Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them. Regarding Fantasy, this insight was startling: “I see the fantasy genre as an ever-shifting metaphor for life in this world, an innocuous medium that allows the author to examine difficult, even controversial, subjects with impunity. Honor, religion, politics, nobility, integrity, greed—we’ve an endless list of ideals to be dissected and explored. And maybe learned from.” – Melissa McPhail.
F Trope: Most lycanthropy, telekinesis, etc starts at puberty why not at menopause…
A Not-So-Current Event: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf
According to the source above – “A notable exception to the association of Lycanthropy and the Devil, comes from a rare and lesser known account of an 80-year-old man named Thiess. In 1692, in Jurgenburg, Livonia, Thiess testified under oath that he and other werewolves were the Hounds of God. He claimed they were warriors who went down into hell to do battle with witches and demons. Their efforts ensured that the Devil and his minions did not carry off the grain from local failed crops down to hell. Thiess was steadfast in his assertions, claiming that werewolves in Germany and Russia also did battle with the devil's minions in their own versions of hell, and insisted that when werewolves died, their souls were welcomed into heaven as reward for their service.”
Teodors Pakalns (Latvian) – who goes by Ted in his Minnesota high school is in his supposedly “native land” while mom and dad go clubbing on the French Riviera to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. While admitting to himself that with the divorce rate at 73%, it might be something worth celebrating. But sending him to live with his LATVIAN grandfather in some dinky town of Lode! Near the bustling metropolis of Rujiena? What the heck is he supposed to do?
He frets, fumes and mutters about lousy internet connections until he’s so hungry, he can’t stand it. Coming out to eat, he finds that his grandfather has made a simple meal. It smells great and looks sort of like a calzone. Ted eats on, then eats another and then in sudden and surprisingly good English, grandpa tells him a story. He also tells him he needs to watch out – grandpa Pakalns is a werewolf. He’s a werewolf on a mission from God!
Jaanjika Kivi (Estonian) is called Jan in Helsinki where she lives with her artist mother. She drags Jan to visit her “she’s-been-dying-for-the-last-ten-years” grandmother in Mom’s home of Estonia, which she escaped as a kid by winning an art scholarship to Helsingin Yliopisto the University of Helsinki. Jan and her mother trek to the tiny Estonian town of Karski near the roaring metropolis...of Tartu.
Mom says she can go, but she’ll have to walk. Then Mom goes out to paint, leaving Jan with her elderly grandmother. Jan is mostly afraid of the old woman and doesn’t remember her speaking anything but some old language Jan assumes is Estonian.
Until suddenly Grandma starts to tell a story – in clear English – about how she was a werewolf, on a mission for God...then she turns to Jan and says, “You are my granddaughter. My own daughter refused to take up the mission. I am asking if you would take up my mission; complete it and do what our people have been called to do for five hundred years. I will be with you the entire time, but you must be my strong arms and strong legs. Will you do it, Jaanjika?” Grandma’s eye’s suddenly clear and seem to pierce her heart. “Will you?”
Jaanjika meets Teodors on the border between Estonia and Latvia – in the heart of the ancient land of Livonia, a land with an ancient history that may very well be poised at the dawn of a new era that rights a millennia old wrong.
But what about the forces that don’t want the wrong set right. The ones who have profited from the carnage? Who are they and what will they do to Jaanjika and Teodors?