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Lizzie Brookes
August 9th, 2019, 04:04 PM
After being advised to show not tell I redrafted this story. I hope you will like the new version. Any critque is welcome. Thanks.
:smile:


Werewolves and Lycans

The chime of the Big Ben awakened Richard Halsec as he slumbered in his comfortable single bed in Number 10 Granite Lane. He immediately leapt out of bed, despite it being Sunday. He walked towards the window and for a few minutes admired the silvery grey curtains. Just because he was susceptible to silver and vulnerable to death if any silver object were to pierce him in the head or the heart, this did not mean that he did not admire silver as a colour. Besides, he knew curtains would never harm him. He slowly opened them, allowing the summer sunshine to stream in. Richard made his bed and then went into the bathroom.

Turning on the tap, he took the water in his cupped hands, massaging the sleep out of his face. He remembered that Arthur Conan Doyle had described his detective Sherlock Holmes scooping up the fresh water and making an entire ritual of face washing, Once his morning rituals were complete, he changed into a pristine grey suit and checked his reflection. Good he thought casually. He picked up a kettle and a packet of apple tea, his usual morning beverage. He had been sorry to leave his parents at home but he knew that if they all moved into Number 10, there wouldn’t be anyone to look after their own house. It was a house he himself had constructed, gifted as he was in architecture.

Richard Halsec had been born in the town of Anamis, Oswana on February 22nd 1904. He was the son of Dannan Halsec, a werewolf and Aliza Halsec, a Cockatiel parohuman. Parohumans of Cockatiel ethnicity had grey and white skin along with matching hair. All parohumans possessed straight hair and were herbivores as this was part of their genetic make-up.

Richard started. The apple tea was far too hot at the first sip. He had absentmindedly picked it up and tasted it and it had burnt his tongue. Putting it aside for a few minutes, he decided to get out his mat and do some meditation. He concentrated, clearing his mind of al thought. After about 5 minutes, the beverage had cooled somewhat and he was able to enjoy it.

As he drank, his eyes drifted to his bookshelves; Greek, Latin, Literature, Geography, Mathematics. These had been the subjects he studied as he was growing up. His eye fell upon the seven volume Encyclopaedia Britannica. Becoming nostalgic all of a sudden, he finished his tea, left his cup to soak in the sink, and brought one of the volumes to his desk. He looked up his ancestors in the contents and turned to the correct page. The entry ran thus;

Lupians were humanoids who possessed the traits of wolves. These include; enhanced physical strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and agility. Enhanced vision and hearing were also among their abilities. Following many centuries of evolution, the descendants of the Lupians segregated into two different groups; the werewolves and the lycans. Although both groups possess the traits of their ancestors as well as regenerative and tracking abilities, the werewolves developed a sensitivity to the moonlight. This causes them to switch involuntarily from their human form to their wolf form whenever they stand in the moonlight. The lycans however can switch from human to wolf and vice versa at will.

Richard sighed. While the Lycans were distant cousins of his as they shared the same ancestors, they could not be more different. He was a humanoid who suffered from an unwanted and incurable affliction as the result of his genetic make-up. The lycans on the other hand. Richard shuddered. Could a race of more Machiavellian, narcissistic, megalomaniacal, psychopathic or sociopathic beings than the lycans ever exist? The werewolves had inherited and still possessed the wisdom and benevolence of their Lupian ancestors. They attempted to manage their condition by avoiding moon rays and taking medication to ensure that in the event of becoming wolves, they kept their sanity. The lycans however…Richard gave another shiver….charming, charismatic and intelligent as they were, they were poisoned at the heart by ruthlessness and bigotry.

Still, thought Richard, he was averse to needless violence and cruelty. So too were most beings and even the Utanian Gods. This was why lycans were imprisoned rather than sentenced to death in the event that they committed a crime. He turned back to the contents page and looked up the Lycan Imperium. The entry ran thus;

According to history, the sixteenth century saw the formation, development and rise of the Lycan Imperium; the name given to a “worldwide system of dependencies and colonies”. These colonies were under the sovereignty of the continent Oswana. The Lycans, a brutal and warlike species, obtained several of its colonies by conquest. Towards the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the control which the Oswana crown possessed over its colonies were in the areas of trade and shipping for the most part. Typically the lycans tended to exploit their colonies as a source for the necessary raw materials Oswana needed to obtain. In the 1830s, however the werewolves rebelled against their lycan counterparts, resulting in the forced abolition of slavery in Oswana’s dominions. Despite the small victory achieved by the werewolves, the power of the lycans grew during the nineteenth century. Authoritarianism was forced on all lycan colonies including the continent Anea, colonized by the lycans in 1860, and ruled by Oswana for over 200 years. The power of the Lycan Imperium was finally broken in 1948 following a major civil war where the werewolves emerged victorious.

Richard looked up sharply. He remembered. He had been there. The lycans revelling in their ability to transform, using their powers to claim ownership of other beings and assert their own superiority over all beings. He closed his eyes as he remembered fellow werewolves falling to the ground after being pierced in the head or the heart by any silver object. Even the severing of the lycan spines caused Richard some uneasiness. He certainly did not desire any fellow being to die, but in this case the lycans had only themselves to blame. Besides any tyranny had to be broken whatever the price. Richard remembered that immediately after the civil war had ended, he and several other of his fellow werewolves had been hospitalised for a few months, struggling with Post traumatic Stress Disorder. Still, he sighed, that was all past now.

Richard read on;

The Liberali Party came to power, its leader, Richard Halsec becoming the first werewolf Prime Minister. Described as energetic, ambitious and passionate, Halsec is famous for his liberal idealism, and seen as an “apostle of liberty” and an “inspirational symbol”. Upon coming to power, Richard Halsec immediately made reparation for the actions of the lycans by transferring power with Anea gaining its independence on 17th July 1948. Unfortunately the destructive actions of the lycans could not be completely undone and a cruel law banning same sex relationships remained in place for decades in Anea, despite Halsec repealing this law in his own country.

Richard stopped reading and closed the book. He got up, rubbing his neck. This always happened. Every time he sat at his desk and read he gave himself neckache. Putting the book away carefully, he went to his medical file and got out the exercises his doctor had given him. Once his neck and shoulder pain had eased somewhat, he decided to go for a walk. He first checked his post. Amongst other letters was a letter from Thomasina Kirk, president of Aiwren. He slit open the envelope and read it eagerly before putting it safely away in his desk. Part of his duty as the Oswana Prime Minister was to form diplomatic relations with Aiwren but in the process he had forged a deep personal friendship with the president as they shared the same ideals.

Walking briskly in the warm summer sunshine, Richard noticed a grasshopper. Carefully, he avoided treading on it, taking a nearby leaf, and then setting it carefully among a nearby row of Poplar trees. Halsec then noticed a blind man attempting to cross a road and helped him across.

“Thank you kindly Sir”.

Richard squeezed his shoulder and let him go. Walking further, the melodious notes of a guitar sounded. Richard noticed the guitarist was a poor man wearing rough clothing. A round hat with some money in it was in front of him to which Richard immediately contributed.

“Thank you”.

Richard smiled and walked on.

bdcharles
August 9th, 2019, 05:03 PM
It's reasonably well-written. There's a bit of infodumping and backstory but not too much (I wouldn't want any more though) The biggest issue is that I'm not sure what is happening. Guy gets dressed and goes outside? What's the story going to be about? I think you might want to just slot some inciting incident, even if it's just a hint of one, in there, to give us a reason to read.

Also watch for filtering. You have Richard "noticing" stuff 3 times in the last 2 paras. Once you establish POV, you can just write as-is with only the occasional filter for variety.

Lizzie Brookes
August 9th, 2019, 05:11 PM
Its a fantasy version of how India originally became homophobic although as Islam doesn't exist in my fantasy world the India/Pakistan split never happens. I wasn't sure how to show something that had already happened so I did it through books and from Richard's viewpoint. Thanks for the tip. I'll try and find another word to replace noticed.

bdcharles
August 9th, 2019, 05:33 PM
Its a fantasy version of how India originally became homophobic although as Islam doesn't exist in my fantasy world the India/Pakistan split never happens. I wasn't sure how to show something that had already happened so I did it through books and from Richard's viewpoint. Thanks for the tip. I'll try and find another word to replace noticed.

I suppose a better way to put it is: what is different about this moment in Richard Halsec's life that warrants a story? It can be big or small - he may have decided something, or something may be a little out of place, or a momentous event might have taken place far away, but it helps to get readers invested by suggesting that this is the time things deviate from the norm. It can be a very small mention too - a couple of words. To throw out an example; he's jumping out of bed on Sunday. Is this unusual? If so, make a thing of note of it; eg:

The chime of the Big Ben awakened Richard Halsec as he slumbered in his comfortable single bed in Number 10 Granite Lane. He immediately leapt out of bed, despite it being Sunday. That was indeed strange; he always slept in Sundays.

So there you just pique the reader's interest. Hmm, they'll go. Something's awry this particular Sunday.

Re: the filter, you can just remove the "noticing" part and write what transpires; eg:

Walking briskly in the warm summer sunshine, Richard noticed a grasshopper. Carefully, he avoided treading on it, taking a nearby leaf, and then setting it carefully among a nearby row of Poplar trees. At the edge of the park, a blind man was attempting to cross a road and Richard helped him across.

Lizzie Brookes
August 9th, 2019, 06:45 PM
Thanks. I'll see what I can do.