It was the day after Christmas and the people of Lansing, Michigan, were busy with news about their loved ones on the battlefield. All except for Harrison Booth, who was trying to sell his white scarf on the streets. Just two days ago, his company had some mishaps in their acting, while doing a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”. It had failed so much, that the director decided to give the actors no money at all! Now to an actor during the Civil War, no money means no place to stay or any privileges given to the wealthy. This meant disaster to Harrison, who was the adopted son of the Booth family. Not only it meant disaster, but it also deepens the fact that he was a man with a demonic left eye.
So that was the reason for selling his precious scarf. Edwin always complained to Harry about his choice of style. The foster brother did not care, as long as his favorite brother, John Wilkes Booth, approved of his choice. Now things had changed. John sided with the Confederacy, while Harrison chose the Union for moral purposes. The man with a black clothed eye patch saw his breath as he sighed in disappointment. “I guess nobody wants this from a man like me”, he chuckled in a sad tone.
But just as he was about to walk away, a young man stopped by to look at his white scarf. The stranger had enchanting green eyes and beautiful black hair. His face was pale as the snow around him. Harry walked up to the curb to see him. This was his last chance to sell the scarf, or he will not be an actor for a very long time.
“Hello there, young man”, Harrison Booth happily, “Don’t you have a scarf?”
“No”, replied the stranger.
“You better get one. The cold is harsh, but not as terrible as the war.”
“I know already, sir. But I don’t give a raven’s beak about the war. Why should I buy it from you? You’re a human."
‘Human?’ Harry thought. Now the situation was more confusing to him than his favorite brother’s sudden alliance with the Confederacy. He didn’t know that the man he was talking to wasn’t a human to begin with. Harrison Booth was a half human, half dog demon man. And that is, and always will be, a fact he does not deny.
The half-demon takes off his black eye bandanna slowly. Once it was off, he opened his demon eye. It had redness that was supposed to be white and a green iris. “I am not entirely human”, Harrison Booth declared, “This eye is what frightens normal folk, so that’s why I never take it off.”
Mori took a moment to think. ‘I know that eye!’ he thought. ‘It was those same colors that Demon Dogs have.’ He knew this, because his race respected them. This also gave him a great deal of sympathy and empathy for the strange actor, since like the Shifters, Mori thought that the Demon Dogs were extinct. This encounter proved him wrong.
“Look, I’m sorry that I assumed you were human”, Mori apologized, “but I feel sorry about how humans treated you.”
“It’s alright. I have an adopted family that does not mind my ‘disabilities”, the half-breed sadly smiled.
“No!” said Mori. “You don’t have a disability. You are an amazing man with ancient blood running in your veins. I know this is because I’m the last of the Shifters.”
“Shifters?” Harrison asked. He remembers little of the special deers when he was a little boy. “By the way, what is your name?”
“Mori”, the Shifter in disguised answered.
“Well then, Mori, would you like to buy this scarf?” the actor requested.
For one dollar and five cents, Mori traded the money for the white scarf. The article of clothing certainly looked good on him, and it made him feel warm. His green eyes noticed how dry Harrison’s hands are. As an act of kindness and exchange, Mori gave the man his black gloves. But as soon as Harry thanked him, the Shifter in human form had left.
A hundred years had passed since then, and Harrison Booth still owned the gloves. He got lost in memory of that time as he stared warmly at the black gloves on his hands. Johnathen Ripper, his friend since the late 1800’s, was curious at how spacy the former actor had gotten. “Harry?” John asked, “Earth to Harry?”
“Yes, John?” cried Harrison.
“You’ve been daydreaming again. Is it about your brother again?”
“No. I was remembering a boy named Mori, who was a Shifter in disguise. A deer that transform, in fact. He showed me that I’m not alone. That’s how I got these gloves.”
The two got up from Johnathen’s living room and walked outside to go to the Fate’s house, where they interact with their friend’s daughter and celebrate Christmas together. Maybe today, Harrison Booth may tell the tale to Todd’s daughter, Hamlet.
Meanwhile, Mori gazed at the night sky. He touched his white scarf and smiled at the memory of the man who gave to him.