Writing Prompt: Metamorphosis

Contributed by Michael Charboneau

Don’t you hate it when you wake up in the morning to find six cockroach legs dangling out from under your sheets? Isn’t it awful when you find out that those six legs are your own?

Okay, so maybe most people haven’t experienced that, but the precedents for it abound in nature: caterpillars to butterflies, or tadpoles to frogs, for example. Check out the time lapse video below to see how it works.

Metamorphosis isn’t just confined to the animal kingdom, however. The gods of Greek mythology, especially Zeus, had a penchant for transforming themselves into a whole range of different animals and mythical beings. But what about humans? In literature, at least, it’s possible. A man transforms into a giant insect in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, and in Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel The Satanic Verses, one of the main characters finds himself slowly morphing into a foul-breathed faun (half-man, half-goat), complete with a pair of horns.

Write a story in which you or your character undergoes a metamorphosis into another creature. What must he or she do to change back?

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