There’s not a lot of us left in my family. Ok, that’s not 100% true, but suffice to say that with my generation, the patriarchal legacy of my particular branch of the “Conlin” family is drawing to a close. While i’m fairly familiar that the surname of Conlin is neither rare nor carries any regal quality, the end of the branch is mildly notable, at least for personal reasons. With little shared history among the members of my family, for all i know, i come from a long line of pedophiles, axe murderers and investment bankers.
i have a cousin who is far more interested in the family legacy than most of us are. She is very interested in breaking the apparent wall that extends beyond my grandfather’s generation. In fact, at the time of his passing (i was only around 8 or so), i had asked his surviving brother if there were any particular stories of note regarding the previous generations. We had lots of other stories of family members past to whet our appetites for more. Stories of Spanish War veteran uncles who met their fates leaping through windows after hearing cars back fire, others who had been run out of town for reasons that i was too young to know. “Son,” the equally reclusive and religious gentleman asked in sonorous tones, “Do you love your Mother and Father?” Of course i did. If for no other reason than it would have been a very long walk back to the house for an eight year old. He smiled and replied “Then that is all that matters.”
He never did tell us anything else.
It’s both natural and alliterative that one does wonder about one’s past, and since i am the uncle with a history minor, the crest of family history has undoubtedly fallen to me.
So i’m going to do the honorable thing, and make sh*t up.
You see, that’s the glorious potential that i have. History is indeed written by the survivors, and if i’ve learned nothing from companies that sell family coats of arms and various online family research sites, every bloody one of us is descended from some drunken night of debauchery by an ancestor with a golden hat. Families, it would seem, often do not include a great deal of peasants and vagabonds.
This is why it is both my duty and obligation to ensure that my particular family branch be properly recorded so that when my time has come to pass this veil of tears, those that are curious can learn of our history.
And more importantly, we’re all dead so they can’t prove that we’re lying.
Much like my great (fifteen times removed) grandfather Eric the Carnlyn. A great medium of a man who tilled his farm most days of the month, but when the moon was full and the mists rolled over the hills of the western tuath of Connachta, horror gripped his village. Terrible howls and screams would fill the night. The weathered farmers of the village told stories in cautious whispers. Tales of men who became like great wolves and murdered the sheep and oxen in the night. On those nights, mothers would call upon the gods and elves of the hills for protection of hearth and home. Strangely, while other homes would keep the peat fires burning though the night, Eric’s small home would always be dark and empty. The screams would end by morning, but only a few knew the truth. The sun would greet Eric as he stood, fists upon his hips, a great smile upon his face, skin glinting in the dawn’s light. He stood both equally defiant and pantless. No cow nor sheep murdered, and only blood drawn were from the scratches and bruises on his skin.
For he, Eric, had protected the tiny village in the manner that he found best. By having forced, carnal relations with the lycanthropes that roamed the hills.
That’s right. He raped werewolves.
Of course, “Eric Carnal An Lycanthrope” was abbreviated to “Eric CarnLyn” (and eventually softened to “Conlin”), but that was mostly done to avoid the lingering lawsuits and demands for reparations.