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The full moon rose and shone brightly in the sky, sparkling down on the boy’s pale face. The boy was sitting on his bed looking through the window, watching the clouds running over the full moon and hiding it from his sight for some moments. The boy, although the night was warm and quit, shook with anger, as he knew what the full moon meant.
It was a full moon, too, when a monster werewolf came to the village and killed its inhabitants ten years ago. The boy was the only one who remained alive. How, he did not know. He was no older than three years old at that time, leaving with his parents in a small cottage near the lake. Sometimes he would remember the glimpse of the lake surface, the pine tree surrounding the water, and the blue paint of the cottage walls. After the terrible night of murders the monster werewolf brought into the village, the people from neighbor towns were too terrified to go near the village. Two days later, an old brave man went to the village and, to everyone’s amazement, brought a little, hungry, terrified boy with him. The boy has lived with the old man ever since, and ever since has the boy been full of the desire to get even with the werewolf.
The werewolf now was the king of the kingdom where the boy lived, and it was difficult to say what guarded the werewolf better: his armed bodyguards or his terrifying appearance and the record of previous murders and torn-apart families. The boy, although begged by the old man to forget and live on, wanted revenge. One day, Werewolf the King was walking around the town, and the boy saw his escort from the window. Blinded by revenge, he ran out of the house and approached the King’s escort. Heavily breathing, he ran towards the King and looked into his dim, tired eyes. They lit with the longing for prey and the King bit the boy. The transformation, although not possible as the sun, not the moon, shone brightly over the boy and the King’s head, infused the boy’s desire for revenge and the fight began. Fierce, horrific and bloody although the fight was, the boy did not care about his own defense, but yearned to destroy his parents’ murder. New to fights, and new to self-defense, the boy was making one mistake after another, as, finally, he missed the King’s hit and fell to the ground, unable to get revenge, unable to look at the sun which shone brightly above all.
The metamorphosis is a popular transformation tool used in folklore of different times in order to explain the issue of the identity. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Beauty and the Beast, The Odyssey by Homer, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The Metamorphoses by Ovid all contain transformations which are in different places in text, within different contexts and for different purposes. The metamorphosis of a werewolf, as described in my story, has also been frequently used throughout the folklore, especially during the medieval ages.
I chose the figure of werewolf to present the transformation in my story because this half-man, half-beast figure aligns very well with the concept of human self-identity. Adapt to the idea of all of us having good and bad in our personality, and remembering the old story about all of us having good and bad wolf inside of us, with the wolf one feeds determining whether one is a good or a bad person, werewolf seemed to me the perfect choice for a short story. Moreover, it is known that some believed that the werewolves were no other than reincarnations (Sconduto). Although viewed at as the beasts, werewolves in the eyes of pagans signified reincarnation and afterlife. However, those who argued against this belief also stated that a man, being transformed into beast, does not necessarily has the soul of the beast.
It was, therefore, interesting to incorporate these ideas and beliefs into the short story and explain the choices and decisions I made when writing it, and the description and appearances I gave to the main characters, protagonist and antagonist, the boy and the werewolf.
Firstly, I chose a boy as the protagonist in order for the story to be more dramatic. The tragic loss of parents at an early age, although the boy hardly remembers the events, instilled the desire of revenge into the boy’s mind. He does not remember what the life with parents was like, nor can he claim for certain that their family life was peaceful and untroubled. Nonetheless, he takes the deaths of his parents as something he needs to get even with, and the answer to this is simple, in the boy’s mind – the death of his enemy.
The metamorphosis in the boy begins far before he gets bitten by the Werewolf the King in the end. Blinded by the fury at the loss of his parents, the boy carries his anger throughout his life and does not respond to the pleas of the old man, who became his savior. Never does it occur to the boy that that tragic event might have been the beginning of his new life, as all his family’s neighbors got killed that bloody night and he has no one to ask about his life as a child. Therefore, he chooses the line of behavior which suggests him that the werewolf ruined his life, and the boy needs to get even with him. Innocent, young and kind soul back then, the boy’s soul is now maimed and filled with anger, disappointment, fury and revenge. This transformation is only visible to the old man, although not in its full extent, and is not physical, but mental.
The werewolf in antiquity was painted as the monster that lurked in the dark and preyed on the helpless (Sconduto). In my story, the werewolf is more of a maimed human, who is lonely and abandoned to the extent when he can no longer endure the pain of being unloved and unwanted, that he begins to ruin the lives of others, happier than him. There can be parallels drawn between the werewolf from my story and serial killers or, in a smaller scale, lonely people who attempt to ruin the happiness of others by spreading gossips and tarnishing their reputation. Here, the werewolf was driven by his inner force and fury, he resorted to murders as he did not want to simply bite the people and turn them into his kind, but wanted to murder them, as they appeared to be unable to accept him, incapable of forgiving and love. Here, therefore, becomes apparent the nature of the Werewolf’s the King metamorphosis. As mentioned throughout the literature, lycanthropy can take place because of magic, the forces of destiny, as a form of punishing deity, from physic disorders or as a mental alienation (Bremer and Veenstra). Werewolf the King, as evident from the story, turns to werewolf because of mental alienation and isolation from other people due to his feeling of being lonely and abandoned. He chooses revenge towards people who ignore and do not accept him, and later calls the boy, whom he unintendedly left alive, for revenge, as well. The physical metamorphosis of the boy takes place during their first and final fight with Werewolf the King. Although could not be observed, since it was not the full moon at that moment, the transformation took place. We know that one becomes a werewolf when given a bite by the werewolf during the full moon. Of course, it means that the boy could not turn into werewolf at the spot; however, the metamorphosis happened nonetheless. Foolhardy engaging into the fight with the creature the boy both feared and despised above all instead of being strong and using other means of overpowering the werewolf, the boy declined to the level of the werewolf who saw violence as the only option to set the order he desired and get even with those who hurt him.
The story finished with the death of the boy. It is unclear whether the boy irreversibly dies, or dies as a human being but lives as a werewolf, since it is said that the boy was no longer able to see the sunlight – which is an intentional allusion to becoming a werewolf. However, the metamorphosis in my story was addressed on multiple levels, and explained in its purpose and role in the story.
Bremmer, Jan N, and Jan R Veenstra. The Metamorphosis Of Magic From Late Antiquity To The Early Modern Period. Leuven: Peeters, 2002. Web.
Sconduto, Leslie A. Metamorphoses Of The Werewolf. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2008. Web.
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