Jonathan Smith finished hanging the poster up next to his bed. He would have to hide it later, his parents were the kind of fanatics that wouldn't stand for anything even slightly out of the ordinary, they didn’t even let Jon read fantasy novels, although he did anyway, behind their backs. Jon knew exactly where he would have to put the poster too, on the inside of his door, over top of the Michael Jackson poster that was already there.
Honestly, Jon hated Michael Jackson; he had only bought that poster to irritate his parents.
The new poster was some of what Jon liked to call ‘Mythical Contraband’, which is defined as any sort of portrayal of any sort of mythical creatures or fantastical situations whatsoever, as outlawed by the supreme power of the almighty Mom and Dad. It was a werewolf, which was Jon’s favourite of all fictional creatures. In a way, Jon almost wished he could be a werewolf. To him, that would mean freedom, at least for a short while, from the dull throbbing pain that was his ordinary life. Jon spent most of his time engrossed in his illegal fantasy books, reading about amazing other worlds where amazing other things happened to people who were a hell of a lot more interesting than anyone he knew.
Jonathan laid in bed for a while, reading a contraband book, a story about a couple of werewolves and a dragon who solved murders in an 18th century setting. He looked at his alarm clock and saw that it was 12:00 at night, and decided it was time to go to bed. He marked his page, and put the book in a small box, with a lock and key. He put the box in a larger box filled with many smaller boxes, which he then closed, locked, and put at the bottom of an old chest he had found in the attic one day; he piled some assorted objects on top of the box and locked the chest as well. He took all the keys and put them in another box with a couple of buttons where a keyhole should be. The box would only open if the buttons were pressed in a specific order.
Jonathan turned off the light and slowly fell asleep. At some point, he rolled around and his hand touched the wall where the poster was, he was sleeping so deeply that he hadn’t felt it. In fact, it was as if the wall wasn’t there at all. Had Jon been conscious, he would’ve felt his arm brush against something warm and furry. A few minutes later, Jon would’ve sworn that he felt a sharp pain in his arm, but then again, it must’ve been just in his dream…
To Be Continued...?
So, what do you think? I'll only write more if I get good reviews... no pressure though. Constructive criticism would be great, I actually made an effort to proofread this one, but my formatting got all messed up when I copied it here. (And yes, I know it's way too short)
Note: Any resemblance to actual people, places, or situations is completely coincidental blah blah blah legal disclaimer blah blah
Last edited by scifiguy (2009-08-28 00:36:57)
Well I like it scifiguy, I'd love to see more
its good,I wanna see more.
Well, you asked for constructive criticism...
Curious beginning, scifiguy - lycanthropy in the shadow of Dorian Gray, perhaps?
Your premise is rather original; though the rebellious teenager is nearly stereotypical, the living manifestation of the poster is very unique and intriguing. It does a great job in capturing the interest of the reader.
Just so you know, I pictured his room without any windows, I'm not certain why. I'm not sure if that was your intention, but it kinda fits with the feeling of Jon's solitude, using books to escape his incarceration. Suggestion: mention a lock or two on the outside of his door, to lock him in; that would add more malevolence to his parents, but may also be a little too HarryPotteresque.
I might say that it may be too soon for a bite - the idea of his hand brushing against soft, warm fur is certainly enough to grab he reader's attention. A suggestion to fill out the story: you could have the feeling of the fur plague Jon throughout the next day, then at the end of the day he lies awake in bed, staring at the poster, partially scared of falling asleep but does anyway, and that's when the bite happens. However, it would only work if Jon gets out of his room on a regular basis, I think.
Again, just an idea to lengthen the story if you ever need to.
I did not find any blaring technical anomalies, which I rarely do with your writing. I do thank you for skipping a line between paragraphs - it helps the reader. You may want to think about manually indenting each paragraph by 2-4 spaces; it's a little bit tedious to do, but can also be worth it.
I must admit that Jon's security measures reminded me of those old Russian nesting egg doll toys. If Jon is willing to go to such lengths to hide his contraband, his parents must be quite an adversary, probably going through his room constantly. However, since they're only mentioned and not even in the story itself, it adds a bit of ominous tone to their reputation which makes it fit all the more.
In any case, the idea is very original, and you told it in a way that has the reader wanting to read on, to find out more about the poster and the werewolf within.
Okay, I should have the next chapter up.... whenever I finish writing it. Oh, and if you're wondering about the character's name, the most generic name I could come up with is John Smith, and I thought that was a bit too overused, so I changed it a bit.
It's good scifiguy. It leaves me wanting to read more.
yes, please, write more. ^^
Sorry, I've been busy, but I haven't forgotten about it or anything, I just need to look up a few details and I should have the next chapter up... soon. I hope. I'm working on it as we speak, actually.
^^ yay, now i don't have to hurt internally anymore....ok, that was kinda weird, but, anyways it's...Yay
Okay so here it is, now comes the tedious job of format checking. I didn't particularly like this chapter, and it didn't accomplish much. I had thought the thing with the music would be fun to write, but it turned out being a bit tedious, not to mention redundantly redundant (and repetitive). Anyways, here it is:
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Jon woke up and slapped the off button of his alarm clock. It was 6:00, time to move the poster before his parents woke up. Jon got dressed quickly and had started to peel off the tape on the back of the poster when he noticed two small puncture marks on his forearm. Stupid cat must’ve bit me, he thought. He finished removing the poster and walked over to his bedroom door, where he pinned the poster up over top of that stupid Michael Jackson poster.
It was Saturday, so Jon didn’t have to go to school. He stayed in his room for a few hours, listening to one of his CDs, a compilation of random songs by Queen, although it was labeled ‘A Night at the Opera’, on his Walkman, and finally went downstairs, had some breakfast, and went outside. For some unknown reason, Jon felt compelled to spend the day as far from civilization as possible, so he grabbed his bike and rode to a little secluded spot in the woods just outside of town. Jon sat down, leaning against a tree next to a little creek that ran through the clearing, pulled a book out of his backpack, and started reading, letting the sounds of nature provide the perfect soundtrack for the story.
It was hours before Jon looked at his watch and realized that he should probably start heading home. He stowed the book back into the secret pocket he had sewn into the inside of his backpack and rode his bike back towards town. When he got to his house, Jon fully expected to go upstairs, hide the book, and be able to be back downstairs in time for dinner without anyone giving it a second thought. Instead, he found his parents waiting at the door, a murderous look on both of their faces.
“What do you have to say about this?” asked his father, holding up a CD.
“It’s a CD,” replied Jon, not sure what the big deal was.
“'A Night at the Opera?'” his father asked, “Since when do you listen to opera?”
“I don’t know, I just thought I might like it,” Jon said.
“Uh-huh,” his father said, giving Jon a look that scared him for some reason, “why don’t we pop this into the CD player and see what it really is?”
Jon was suddenly afraid, if his parents found out that he was listening to rock, of all things, who knows what they might do to him. Jon’s father put the CD into the player, and Jon’s heart leapt as he realized that the player was set to ‘random’. If only it would play an acceptable song, Jon would be home free. The player took a few seconds to read the disc, seconds that felt like hours to Jon, and started to play. It played ‘Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon’ first, to Jon’s relief, it wasn’t exactly operatic, but it was acceptable. He wasn’t so lucky with the next song, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. The beginning was operatic enough, but the guitar bits were pushing it, and the solo at the end would be too much. Jon’s mother, who was in control of the stereo, changed the song before it finished, but with the next song, ‘Innuendo', Jon had run out of luck.
Jon's parents were the sort of people who looked for sexual innuendo in unlikely places in every conceivable form of creative media, so the fact that Jon owned, much less listened to, a song called 'Innuendo' set their tempers off like nothing one would like to imagine.
“How can you listen to this... this... devil music?” demanded Jon's father, “I will not allow this in my house!” and with that, Jon's father snatched the disc out of the stereo and broke it in half. Jon put on a great show of sulking as he stomped off to his room, but once he closed his bedroom door his scowl disappeared; he always kept a spare copy.
Jon immediately went to his stash and took out all of the music he knew would irritate his parents. He blasted the music as loud as it would go and kept it playing continually. In their defense, his parents took this rather well, it was well past midnight when one of them found the fusebox and shut off the power to Jon's room.
Jon was just getting ready to finally get some sleep (he was going to catch hell in the morning, so he wanted to rest up while he still could and be as prepared as possible) when he noticed something odd about his new poster. Jon may have been groggy when he had moved the poster, but he was fairly sure the werewolf wasn't missing a fang before...
Again, I didn't like this one much, but there will be more to come, and hopefully it will be better. Oh, and is it just me, or is it more than a little unfair that Jon isn't allowed to listen to music that was popular when his parents were young?
Last edited by scifiguy (2009-10-06 22:19:55)
I enjoyed the idea of his going into the woods to enjoy his book, as well as the comment about the sounds of nature being a perfect soundtrack. However, I found it interesting that you gave so much detail about the music he was listening to, but it was just some unnamed book. Is it safe to assume that different songs will play a prominent role in your tale?
“How can you listen to this... this... devil music?”
Is it just me, or does that sound like something his mother would say, followed by Dad's protest about the music in his house? Might be just me. Also, if he blared all the music he his parents hated, wouldn't that entice them to scour his room yet again in search for said music? I understand the rebellious attitudes involved, so perhaps you can make Jon slightly concerned about it, but so infuriated that he didn't care, and he doubted they could get into his treasure box anyway. Just a thought.
Technical Stuff: not that much to report. Your grammar and spelling were great, your word usage was fine - especially for a YA story - and your pace and flow are steady.
As to your question, it's really not that ordinary for sheltered kids to grow up despising the music their peers listened to, especially if they had strict parents as well. Maybe you could use that in your back story at some point.
Keep it coming, scifiguy!
Yes please, Me needs it. xP
Anyway, I don't know if anyone remembers that topic that was floating around a while back, What would you do if you found a werewolf fang? (it's several pages through the Misc. Werewolf Topics category I think, but don't quote me on that), anyway, the next chapter probably deals with what Jon would do... or not, I haven't decided yet. I'm trying to decide whether to slip in the tired old plot device that I use for a lot of my werewolf stories (don't bother looking for them here, I haven't posted a lot of them) but I also want to try something different.
Also, I have a few ideas and I'd like to find out if they're good ones before I decide whether to commit to writing them into the story at this point. You know, trying to keep everything in character and all that. Anyway, I had this idea that over the course of a week or so, Jon's parents begin to notice more and more changes in Jon's behaviour, and they get the wrong impression. Being the deeply old-fashioned religious people they are, Jon's parents decide there's something 'wrong' with him and try to 'fix' him by sending him to one of those religious camps (You know, the kind where they try to 'fix' bi-curious youth, because that's the conclusion that Jon's parents jump to. I think it would give a bit of insight on what kind of people Jon's parents really are, but I really don't want to write any more scenes taking place in a place like that than I really have to, it would get monotonous and I would have to keep writing lines like the 'devil-music' one. (I hated that line, and I don't like writing that sort of thing). Perhaps he runs away at that point? Anyway, let me know what you think. (Oh, and Jon's parents will also think he's on drugs at some point, given his secretive behaviour, and sudden change of attitude, and what is in that chest by his bed, anyway? (We know, but they don't)
Oh, and I never really realized that I never gave the name of the books Jon was reading, I only gave all that detail to the music because I wanted to give an idea of what songs his parents consider, to use a term I despise, "devil-music". (OK, I'm not going to write that again.)
Just remembered: After reading the story, and everyone's posts about it, I keep thinking of things to add to the other chapters. I will add them, and probably follow your suggestions, but I'll leave the posted version as-is so that your posts still make sense.
I think sending him to a religious "retreat" would be too extreme. I would like to hear about John's town; and perhaps a mate or fellow wolf that lives near by or lives on the outskirts, a random electrifying meeting would be fitting!!!!
Also what would be a far stretch is what if the parents were adoptive rouge fanatic Slayers, who happen to be doing some twisted experiment to see if they could "un-turn" a wolf baby?
That would add to our bad rep BUT it could lead to a dynomite story!!!
THAT WAS AMESOME!!!!
& I want to read more! I would buy this book if you ever got is published!!
Perhaps I'll write something along those lines, but for now, I have temporary writers' block. I think I'm going to write something about another wolf (really cryptic sort of fellow, who Jon has a hard time understanding, and who also doesn't reveal that they're a wolf right away.) and the process of making one a werewolf is going to be a bit more complicated than merely a bite. I'm glad you're enjoying my story, and I hope Jon's character isn't too stereotypical (although I'll probably add to it and edit it after I'm done writing/posting it all) Anyway, I don't know when the next chapter will be up, but hopefully it won't be too long.
Okay, um... you may be disappointed to hear this, but I haven't had the time to write the next chapter yet. In the meantime though, I would like to ask you, the reader, a question or two about what I should write next. (This won't necessarily change anything, I just want to know what you think)
First: Do you think Jon should be a little bit more careful around his parents for the next few chapters, or should he just start an all-out rebellion?
Secondly: The werewolf in the poster was not missing a fang before. If (hypothetically of course) Jon should happen upon this fang, what do you think he should do with it? Remembering of course that Jon isn't a werewolf yet and doesn't really know what the significance if it is/could be. (This may become a plot point later on, I don't know yet. I have a vague idea but I want to hear what you think)
Third: Are you frustrated with me now?
I shall wait for a few responses and then hopefully get to work on the next chapter.
first: yes i thinkhe should be more careful with his parents.
Second: if he dose find the fang i think he should make a neckless (so that when his dad tries to take it away the fang stabs jon will he tries to get it back from his dad).
Third: nope not at all
if he dose find the fang i think he should make a neckless (so that when his dad tries to take it away the fang stabs jon will he tries to get it back from his dad).
Oddly enough, I was thinking pretty much almost exactly the same thing. I also had another idea for... I guess I'd better not give it away.
...okay, I have been writing a bit more, but don't expect me to post the next chapter until after exams. (I'm posting this so that this doesn't get deleted before I finish writing the next chapter
Okay, chapter three is done. I know that Jon's 'punishment' is a little weak, but it advances the plotline, and that's what counts, right? This chapter was a bit more fun to write, and it advanced the plot more than the previous ones did. I can discuss plot points when the chapter is actually posted though, so without further ado:
Jon was awoken by his mother screaming his name from downstairs. He groggily got out of bed and un-barricaded the door. When he got downstairs, Jon found his parents waiting for him.
"As punishment for your behaviour, we have decided that you are to spend every afternoon for the next month at Mr. Sellars', he's getting on in years and he could really use some help. I've volunteered you and there's no way you can back out now."
Mr. Sellars was the neighbourhood's resident crotchety old man, Jon wasn't entirely sure how old Mr. Sellars was, all he or anyone else knew is that he rarely left his house and that he refused flat out to go to a retirement home. And of course that he was a grouch. Rumour had it that before Mr. Sellars had gone off to fight in the war, he was a nice, rather agreeable person, but somewhere along the line something in his personality changed, and he came back from the war hating the world and all it's inhabitants.
Around ten minutes later, Jon found himself standing in front of Mr. Sellars' front door with his mom driving away. Jon had felt strange during the last ten minutes, as if he wasn't really present. He felt almost like a zombie, not quite in control of his own body, but aware of everything. Jon stood rooted to the spot for a few seconds and then slowly walked up and mechanically rang the old fashioned doorbell. It seemed like he waited there on the doorstep for an eternity. Finally, after what must have been hours, a grumpy looking elderly man answered the door.
"I suppose you'd be the one they sent to torture me with this time, eh?" said Mr. Sellars.
"Not torture you, sir. I'm here to-"
"To help me, yes. I know the drill. They all think I'm going senile and need 'help'. Well, you may as well come in then, young wolf. I'm sure I can find something for you to do."
During this little bit of conversation, Jon once again became aware of himself, as if he'd turned off the autopilot and was functioning under his own power again. Walking into the interior of Mr. Sellars' house was like stepping into another dimension, or the past, or both. On the far wall there were a bunch of old black-and-white photographs of people Jon couldn't possibly recognize. Curtains were drawn over what seemed like every window in the house, giving it an eerie gloom despite the bright midday sun outside. The most striking thing about the house though, that Jon could see, were the pictures on the walls. Not the photographs, but the full colour drawings and paintings. There were many of these, scattered throughout the entire house that Jon could see. The most striking of these was the most simple, a gray wolf standing next to a lone tree in a devastated plain. It was only after a few seconds that Jon noticed the background, with it's muddy grays and browns. Jon could make out fences and razor wire, and he knew it was a war scene. The expression on the wolf's face was so incredibly sad and full of mourning that Jon actually felt a tear start to form in the corner of his eye. The tree that the wolf was next to, however, was full of life. It was coloured with such passionate shades of green that one couldn't help but feel a bit hopeful. Things will turn out better, the tree seemed to say.
"Move along now," said Mr. Sellers, and Jon realized that he had been staring at the painting for a long time.
"Of course," replied Jon.
"You can start on the dishes. When they're clean and dry and put away, go outside and mow the lawn. When your done with that, come and see me."
Jon silently moved toward the kitchen and began assessing his job. It turned out to be a lot harder than he thought, the stack of dishes was practically up to the ceiling. When that job was finally done, Jon went outside, just as he was told, and started to mow the lawn with the old fashioned lawn mower that Mr. Sellars had provided. The thing that Sellars had neglected to mention was that his lawn went on forever. The backyard was literally the size of a field.
After hours of pushing and grumbling about why didn't the old man get an electric lawn mower, Jon finally finished. As he had been told, Jon went back inside and tried to find Mr. Sellars. Jon searched the entire house, he was about to give up when he heard the old man's voice behind him.
"So, you actually finished it all, did you? Not many people get that far, but there's something different about you, young wolf. I can tell."
"What do you mean, and why do you keep calling me that?"
"Simple. Most of the so called volunteers who show up at my door give up after getting halfway through the dishes, but you stuck it out and did everything I asked you to. That's rare these days, young wolf.
"Why do you keep calling me that?" Jon repeated.
"Young wolf? It's what you are, is it not?" the old man chuckled at Jon's confused expression, "You'll find out in due time."
At that moment there was the sound of a car horn outside. Jon looked out the window and saw his mother's car.
"That's my mom, I've got to go now."
"Before you go, young wolf, I think you dropped this earlier," Mr. Sellars held out something in his hand. It looked like a fang of some kind, it was vaguely familiar to Jon, but he couldn't figure out why. It had a small hole in the top and there was a piece of cord through the hole.
"Sorry, but that's not mine. I don't have anything like that."
"Oh, well then keep it anyway. You worked hard today," Mr. Sellars tied the cord around Jon's neck and whispered something that Jon couldn't quite hear. Just then, Jon's mother honked the horn again.
"Go on, young wolf, can't keep your mother waiting now," said Mr. Sellars, suddenly stern, "I expect you here again tomorrow at noon exactly."
During the ride home, Jon seemed to go into the same dreamlike state he was in before. It was almost as if nothing was quite real. Nothing seemed to make sense, except for one thing. Somehow, in the course of a single afternoon, Jonathan's life was changed forever.
Last edited by scifiguy (2010-01-31 02:26:38)
The old man is a werewolf, or is somehow involved in that world. I wonder what that fog is?
O.O i only have three words for you "this is awsome"
keep it up. hope to get more soon