Recommended Age Range: 12 and up
Approx. Length: 8,276 Words
This is not your traditional wolfman tale. An inventive and original take on a horror classic, The Lycaning creates a new breed of the monster and a society transformed by a Werewolf Apocalypse. It is at the same time a story about love and sacrifice. Part Two delves deeper into the origins of character and plot. Secrets are revealed. Werewolves, humans, and were-zombies clash.
PART ONE: How far will a mother go for the sake of her son? The answer is a disturbing twist on the Lycan legend as Lori R. Lopez (author of Bloodpath and Heartbeat) depicts an experiment gone terribly awry. Charles is a man living with illness and deformity, working in a lab with his scientist mom whose primary goal has become the desperate search for a cure to his debilitating disease. Their work releases a plague that will transform the civilized world into a savage jungle of kill or be killed. Is there hope for Mankind, or will these new creatures wipe out the human race?
PART TWO: As a man schemes to capture the male and female werewolves, Charles discovers the truth behind his original disease and the secrets his mother was keeping. Werewolves, humans, and were-zombies clash in a world filled with change.
The clock ticks. Claws harry the door. They clasp hands. Charles says in a rush, “I’m sorry I haven’t shared everything! It isn’t that I didn’t trust you. I’ve been afraid you wouldn’t love me anymore! That you would —”
~ from The Lycaning
A youthful man cloaked in a hood obscuring his visage stalked the center of two dreary fog-laden lanes at Midnight, a grim apparition with a grudge against life.
~ from The Lycaning
Peering through heavy drapes, they spy at a devastated urban portrait of ruin and disease. No autos prowl the avenue. Solely the shambling forms of rancid empty-eyed homeless stir between corpses and the abandoned husks of automobiles. It’s a scene of nightmare. A landscape that reeks with overripe tragedy and doom.
The residents of the brick bastion feel trapped. There is no conceivable end to the madness of an infestation that has ravaged the city, possibly the entire nation and world, radiating outward from this very point on the planet. They are unaware how far the malady traveled, merely that communications are severed and civilization has ceased to exist in the surrounding region — shattered by a shockwave of violence, a scourge of rampant insanity.
If society is ever to be as it was, a cure must be found. Some way to remedy this ghastly karma . . .
“I give this story five stars for language use alone. The author is sure in her words as she tells the story of a lab experiment gone wrong and a world overrun by lycan beasts. This is essentially a love story, but manages to add a touch of horror. The main character, Charles, could really carry a book on his own. He is barely introduced here, but in the new world overrun by ravenous wolfen, he could really tell us a much longer tale in dealing with that world. Lopez has a gift and a quirky mind that shows clearly in this short tale. THE LYCANING is definitely worth your time.”
“I will be the first to admit, and I have many times, I am not a werewolf fan. This story changed that . . . believe me, this is not the usual werewolf tale. Lori takes this age old monster and makes it her own in the best of ways. [Whether] a werefan or not you will enjoy the new twist this storyteller has put to paper for our enjoyment. I don’t want to give anything away but you will find a bit of love between these e -pages.”
Amazon; Goodreads Review
“Lori Lopez shows her strength at telling short stories with metonymic precision, that is, the whole is represented by the singular part. When Bart calls his father Homer, even before seeing the rest of the show, we know their relationship, Bart’s character, Homer’s character, and the dysfunctional nature of the family. In Lori’s werewolf tale, we see a world of Lycanthropes through the singular love story of the main characters. Because Lori packs so much information in so few images and character actions, one might mistake her frugal use of language for a lack of prose style, whereas the opposite is true: she is succinct in her prose and lets the mind of her reader burst with the full picture. She does not drag out the horror, making the tale more horrific, for we imagine the particulars that she frames for us. Anyone should enjoy this fine twist on the werewolf mythos, but those with an appreciation of metonymy should capture all The Lycaning’s nuances and subtleties.”
“Oh Wow!! What a concept. This short is filled with bravery, cowardice, love, depravity, and generosity. This is a story about the ending of an old way of life and the beginning of something new and vital. I love the way Lori Lopez has blended an old concept with a new way of looking at were-people. I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves werewolves and zombies.”
Amazon; Smashwords Review
“A little bit of horror + a little bit of paranormal + a little bit of romance = another excellent short story from the mind of Lori Lopez!
I have to be honest, short stories are not usually my “thing”. I like developed characters and well-explained plots, and most shorts just can’t carry that off.
Then, I discovered Ms. Lopez’s stories. She has full-length novels that are amazing, but her shorter tales are equally well-done. With her gift for words, she deftly makes you [acquainted] with her characters by telling you what you want and need to know in order to make you care about them. She makes you think of questions as you’re reading, and then succinctly gives you the answers to those questions.
The Lycaning holds true to this style. You’ll find yourself rooting for the main characters. You’ll fear the worst, and then comes the twist…”
Amazon; Smashwords Review
“[A]nother brilliant offering from Lori…
Her way with words has you lilting along and then WHAM the horror hits you!
[A] really ingenious beginning to the werewolf myth . . . felt like a love story with fur and teeth thrown in for that added element of drama!
Lori is so erudite in her story[-]telling you often need a dictionary beside you for comfort….”