AN: Please R&R. No flames. Enjoy! I'm taking a different approach to this story, telling it in first person - Gar's POV. Feedback is much appreciated. I'd love to hear ideas or thoughts on how to go about this story.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans, just the idea for this story.
Movies – a form of entertainment that can be derived from fact, pieces of fact, or pure fiction. This form of entertainment is supposed to be harmless; it's supposed to give you that rush of adrenaline that only those characters get to experience. It's supposed to get your heart pumping, imagination running, and take you into fantasy. Harmless fun...
I believed in all these things until I was given an assignment that made my views change. Things are only harmless if the lines between fact and fiction don't blur, if what was made to stay a secret did just that. I remember when I was naïve and happy as though it were only yesterday…
My classmates and I sat on the edge of our seats in anxious anticipation as our professor passed around a hat containing slips of paper with the subject of our assignment on it. Our Film History professor was notorious for taking such obscure methods when it came to giving us homework and also took the idea of film history up a notch or two, making more than one field apply to it.
Eyes watched as one student after another took a fortune cookie sized piece of paper from the brown leather fedora, sighs of relief or groans of disappointment occasionally escaping a few who were either the victor or the victim of a bad choice.
My pulse beat in my ears, my palms began to get clammy, and with my seat being in the back of the class, I was sure that all the good subjects would be taken by the time the hat reached me. If only I'd truly known…
The worn leather felt odd in my sweaty hand and I place my other hand into it, feeling about for a few seconds before pulling out my piece of paper and was somewhat reluctant to pass the hat to my friend, Kori, who sat to my right. With a gulp I resigned myself to whatever subject had chosen me and unfolded the paper, reading the topic scribbled on it.
Beasts and Werewolves – Fang, Folklore, and. Fiction.
I reread the topic. Surely this is some sort of joke, I thought.
"Whatever you pick you are to stick to ladies and gentlemen," Professor Abram announced, seeming to bring everyone out of his or her own thoughts. "No trading, no whining, and definitely no trying to talk me into giving you another subject matter." A small wave of laughter came from the room. "Whatever piece of paper chose you is what your research paper is to be about. You have until the end of the semester to finish it."
I glanced back down to the paper and sighed. "So shall it be written, so shall it be done," I thought to myself, reciting the famous line from Cecile B. Deville's Ten Commandments starring the late and great Charleston Hesston.
I couldn't totally complain. After all, werewolves and similar beasts had been an interest of mine since as far back as I could remember. My only problem with it was that the topic had such a broad range and the research paper was only going to be five pages in length. How was I to narrow down a subject, which had been written and turned into movie gold over decades? I decided I'd ask just this once class was over. Besides, the only dumb question is the question that isn't asked, right?
The bell rang and everyone rose hastily from his or her seat, no doubt to go to the small concession stand just done the hall that sold the best food on campus. I, on the other hand, took my time, lingering behind my friends and fellow classmates. I made no attempt to make it seem as though doing such wasn't my intent. This action got Professor Abram's attention just as I had wanted.
"Something troubling you, Mr. Logan?" He asked, a salt-and-pepper colored eyebrow rising in what I guessed was more curiosity than anything else.
I gave a nod. "Actually, I have a question," I admitted a bit timidly. Film history was the only class I'd managed to keep a straight A in and I'd be damned if something was going to change that.
"Well speak up, boy," he said, a smile causing the dimples on his round face to show. "You're classmates aren't the only ones with an appetite." I couldn't help but return the smile and walked over to him, handing him the piece of paper. He studied it for a moment. "And what is your question?"
"What are you looking for specifically? I mean, this subject matter has quite a large…reputation in the film industry as well as just about everything in a culture's history."
"You mean you wish to narrow your research?" he asked, his tone indicating surprise.
"Only if you wish the paper to meet your requirements, Professor," I replied.
A hand came to rest on my shoulder. "Gar, this is a golden opportunity for you."
His words caused my brows to furrow in confusion. "I don't understand."
The middle-aged professor sighed lightly. "You've shown an interest in this particular subject since you first walked into this class. The roots of the werewolf legends can be traced to any society, as you said, therefore you can use your other fields of study. For instance, the skills you've learned in your anthropology class can be applied here." He squeezed my shoulder in a friendly manner. "You should be happy that you were given a subject you already know something about."
I let his words register before giving a nod. "You're right. But there's still so many angles…"
"So explore all of them," he said simply. "What harm can it do you? Watch movies, compare and contrast, find what legend makes more sense, make an argument between fiction and a possible scientific approach. The possibilities are endless. You just have to find the right path."
His words caused me to go from overwhelmed to enthusiastic in record time.
I walked out of the classroom with a bounce in my step, feeling much more confident and my mind was ticking away the ideas that could be used to get the project done. However, I wasn't left alone to think for long because the bubbly voice of Kori - an exchange student from a country I couldn't quite pronounce - reached my ears.
"Friend, are you not excited about this project?" she asked.
I nodded. "Actually, I am. I'm going to make my project be different. I'm going to do something that no one will do."
"And what is that?" she asked.
I looked to her, brows furrowing as I began to think and then just settled for shrugging. "I'm not sure just yet, but whatever it is, it's going to be totally awesome."
Kori smiled. "I am sure it will be, Gar."
We walked in silence until we were at the quad. Kori looked to me. "I must say good-bye now. I am to meet Raven in the library." Something sparked in her eye. "Do you want to join us?"
I wanted to leap at the chance just like the way my heart leapt into my throat at the mention of Rachel, aka Raven, Roth. I'd had a crush on her since freshman year, but hadn't been able to do anything aside from crack some jokes around her in an attempt to get her to laugh or smile. Deciding that it'd be best not to embarass myself anymore than I had around the girl, I shook my head.
"That's ok. I need to go to my dorm and start researching."
"Could you not research your subject in the library?"
"I prefer using my laptop," I said, thinking fast. "I'll see you later, Kori."
And with that I began to make my way to my dorm room.
An email sent later in the day to my professor confirmed that my experiment that I'd come up with, while thinking about how to make my project be a unique and new approach, would be acceptable. A paper mainly made up of journal entries would chronicle and accompany a film documenting my journey into the world of "The Beasts Within". The film would go until the end of the semester.
I quickly retreated to my dorm room – a single, the only lottery I had ever won – to begin my research. Articles upon articles, websites upon websites, and etcetera filled my computer screen or lay askew on my desk, different colors of highlighter marking the important points. Folklore, myths, legends, and medical documentations and just about everything else one could hope to find I had at my fingertips.
I spent hours looking over all the resources, memorizing definitions. Lycanthropy: the ability or power of a human being to undergo transformation into a wolf, or wolf-like characteristics. Clinical Lycanthropy: rare psychiatric syndrome which involves a delusion that the affected person can or has transformed into an animal, or that he or she is an animal. Therianthropy: part man and part beast, from the Greek therion, meaning "wild animal" or "beast", and anthrōpos, meaning "man" refers to the metamorphosis of humans into other animals; can also refer to artistic descriptions of characters that simultaneously share human and nonhuman animal traits, for example the animal-headed humanoid forms of gods depicted in Egyptian mythology (such as Ra, Sobek, Anubis, and others) as well as creatures like centaurs and mermaids.
I looked up and downloaded a program that followed the phases of the moon and researched it's relevance when it came to folklore, fiction, and what it meant in today's society. I was intrigued to find out that most crimes over many, many years had mainly occurred on full moons, which is when some believed aggression and tension to be at it's highest point. I scribbled down a reminder on a green post-it note to ask my close friend, Richard Gracen, about that. He was studying to become a Private Investigator and I was sure he'd be willing to help me out.
After only God knows how many hours, my eyes began to blur, my head to pound, and my stomach to growl. Deciding that I'd done enough research for one night, I got up from my desk and then walked into my bathroom and splashed some cold water on my face. Exploring every which way was going to be hard. I ran a hand through my hair; a dark blonde color with spiked, frosted green tips. I then looked down to my watch and decided that I'd go walk to the local vegan joint that wasn't too far from the campus.
As I pulled on my jean jacket, my cell phone rang. I looked at who was calling and smiled and then picked up.
"Hey dude," I said.
"Hey grass stain," Victor said. "Got any plans for tonight?"
"Just going to go down to get a tofu dog or two and then was planning on coming back to the dorm. Why?"
"I just got the latest Mega Monkeys 8 and was wondering if you'd be up to getting your butt whooped at it," he replied confidently.
"Psssh. Never going to happen dude."
"So, are you game?"
I smiled. "Yea, I'm game. Be over as soon as I get done eating. I need the break anyway."