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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) (02/19/09)

TITLE: Light's Transformation
By Joshua Janoski
02/26/09


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Run faster, Lucian! You have to beat the night sky!

The boy’s small feet propelled him across the open field and towards the wooded cover of the forest. The coolness of the fall air soothed his throat as it ran down into his lungs. The aroma of leftover potato soup from a nearby house wafted in the air and tickled his nose, causing his stomach to rumble. His hunger would just have to wait. He had to get as far away from the village as possible. He focused his attention on the cluster of oaks off in the distance.

Keep going, Lucian! You might not make it far enough this time if you stop!

For this ten-year-old boy, every step taken on the dry grass meant a better chance that the secret he held would not be found out, but more importantly, it meant that his mother and sister would be safe. In the small Romanian village where he lived, his sister Sorina lay sleeping in her bed, head nestled tightly against her pillow. Mother sat relaxing in her rocking chair next to the fire, warm and at peace. Lucian couldn’t imagine what would happen if he were near them on nights like this. He feared for their lives and what he might do to them.

Lucian looked up into the night sky. Stars twinkled, and a full moon hung shrouded by a thin sheet of clouds that slowly made their way across the light globe’s plain and towards the open expanse of the black sky.

Almost there! Don’t stop! Don’t sto…

A stray stone snagged the boy’s feet and sent his body flying forward. He landed flat on his stomach just shy of the entrance to the woodlands. His eyes glanced up in terror as the clouds in the night sky dissipated, revealing the full moon’s bright glow.

“Dumnezeu a salva meu Sufletul”, he uttered in his native tongue, meaning “God save my soul.”

The scrawny muscles in Lucian’s arms and thighs began to twitch. A tingling sensation sent chills from his neck down through his spine. The boy’s skinny legs began to bulge, ripping apart his wool trousers. His chest expanded and shredded his shirt, leaving his naked body exposed to the elements. His hands and feet became gnarled and enlarged as razor sharp claws extended from his fingertips and toes. Intense pain gripped him as his body grew in stature and thick strands of white and gray hair protruded from his skin. His sweet, innocent eyes bulged from their sockets and their color changed from blue to bright red. Saliva dripped from fangs hanging from his mouth. He was no longer a boy…he was a beast.

Lucian’s soul lie trapped deep inside the shell of this monster, pounding at the inner walls of his chest and screaming to escape. His cries were deadened by the ear-piercing howl of the creature…

“Awooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!”

The faint glow of candlelight and lanterns from the distant village went out. The people had heard the beast’s cry and sought refuge in their homes, taking shelter from the creature of the night.

Lucian’s power and sense of smell increased exponentially. He drew in strong fragrances of lamb and plum brandy. His claws ripped apart an oak that stood in his way as he headed into the forest, hunched over on all fours. His canine lips craved blood, and his instincts told him to head back towards the village. His soul resisted and prompted him to devour a nearby rabbit instead.

The boy had been transformed by the full moon’s light for nearly three months now. He managed to keep it a secret from his mother, sister, and the rest of the townsfolk. However, each time he morphed into this beast, his craving for human flesh increased. He did not know how much longer he could resist.

The gypsies told him he was cursed. His birthday, they said, was a bad omen and the wolf bite he had received during his summer deer hunting had caused this change. Lucian hoped it was all just a nightmare symbolizing the beast that each person has within them that must be tamed.

As the full moon disappeared, Lucian returned to his normal form. His body weakened from the transformation, he headed back to town, not knowing if this would be the last time he returned. The next time, there might be a silver bullet waiting to penetrate his chest and end his misery once and for all.

Author’s Notes: Romania is a European country known for its folklore involving werewolves, vampires, and other creatures of the night. It is said that a silver bullet is the only thing that can kill a werewolf. The name Lucian translates into the word “light.”


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This article has been read 608 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 02/26/09
What a great story. I thought the boy was on some great mission. I was really surprised:) Good writing!
Shirley McClay 02/26/09
Although I am not a fan of stories of werewolves and magic(putting it mildly)... I have to give you kudos on some excellent writing. It was tense and definitely kept me reading.. wondering what was going to happen next. The details were excellent.
Gerald Shuler 02/28/09
Wow. This is very professionally written. I would be glued to this if it were a published book about a werewolf that cried out to God... and was saved. The light would be saved by THE Light!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge02/28/09
Unique take on the topic, that's for sure!
Leah Nichols 02/28/09
I agree; it's not something that I would enjoy reading or choose to read myself, but it's well done. Nice work capturing the emotions of the boy - he's aware of his problem and desires to change. You portrayed that well.
Lyn Churchyard03/02/09
A very well written story. The opening paragraphs hooked me and kept me reading. This has the potential for a much longer story. Well done as usual Josh.
Sonya Leigh03/02/09
Yes, my friend, you have definitely "still got it". Where's the rest of the saved werewolf story??? We're waiting....

Really good job.
Carol Slider 03/02/09
An excellent job of portraying a tormented soul! It certainly seemed that it could be the beginning of a much longer story about the redemption of Lucian. Well done!
Sara Harricharan 03/02/09
Nice. I liked it. It's different and you did good portraying the inner struggles and real conflicts of his transformation. Nice. And I liked the nameplay on light, cute.
mick dawson03/02/09
Not your usual write Josh, you're noramlly into comedy. This peice just goes to show that you can write just about anything. I particularly liked how you showed fear in the boy; I really felt it and for my money I think you've excelled yourself.
Chely Roach03/02/09
Oooo, prickly goodness! A bold piece for the challenge, and well done for its genre. Diggin' the change up! ;)
Mona Purvis03/02/09
Excellent writing and very compelling story. The MC has a war going on, inside and out. Different style. Fresh, on subject. Good job!
Mona
Norma-Anne Hough03/04/09
wow what an amazing story. Have read quite a bit about werewolfs. Very interesting that only a silver bullet can kill them.
Great stuff and well done.
Blessings,
Joanne Sher 03/04/09
Incredibly visual and engaging piece, Josh. Love his name, and the details. I DIDN'T hate it, by the way :D
Diana Dart 03/04/09
I'm cringing, and shuddering, and I want to cover my eyes. Shame on you, this piece is just too creepy and eerie, but I couldn't look away. I had to read right to the end... and now I feel so much pain for Lucian... sigh. Josh, this is some seriously excellent writing.