Mark always wanted to visit Brazil. He was fascinated by the place and its people. Unfortunately he couldn’t afford it so he lived dreaming about it until one day when he won a ticket for a festival in Brazil.
Ever since ancient times, our pastoral town practiced a pagan tradition, welcoming spring by sacrificing the genders of four young men. I know what you are thinking, magic doesn’t exist. Wrong. The Stone of Venus exists. The lottery, the first stage in the Metamorphosis Ceremony came that year, and without fail my name was read from the hundreds of slips of paper that represented our community’s young men. My stomach dropped sick knowing the implication, and what it meant to refuse; even in 2016, declining the ceremony meant banishment from your friends, family, and our otherwise picturesque town. As fearlessly as I could, I let go of my girlfriend’s hand and kissed her tenderly on her forehead in the knowledge this would be our last romantic moment together. She stared aghast as I stepped forward through the crowd. My own Mother was picked many years ago, and now I would follow in her footsteps. ‘Come, come,’ I was ushered by my townspeople to the trail that would lead me to the the Stone of Venus in the grotto.