| "The Bleeding Moon" |
|Affiliations:|| Georgi (cousin)|
Petko was a young resident of the Bulgarian village of Gramada. He was very close to his cousins Todor and Georgi. One day, while the trio was hunting in the woods near the village, Todor went off on his own, despite the warnings of Petko's mother Zhivka. When Petko and Georgi found Todor some time later, he was dead, murdered by men from the nearby village of Kula. A young girl from Kula had run off and married a boy from Gramada against her parents wishes. Thus, Todor's murder was an act of revenge.
Upon discovering Todor's dead body, its slit throat spilling blood onto the ground, both cousins fretted that Todor's violent death might give birth to a vurkolak. After Todor's funeral, the two attempted to return to the place where they found the body, but could not find it. Concluding that they would have to wait, Petko and Georgi returned home and waited for the forty days to elapse.
Their fears proved justified. First, hens disappeared. Then an old ewe went missing. When Petko went to look for it, he discovered it dead, its throat slashed. While Georgi was unwilling to accept that it might be Todor's vurkolak, Petko quickly concluded that it was.
That night, Petko awoke to the howls of a wolf. When he looked out, he saw the wolf howling angrily at the moon. Then the wolf turned its red eyes on him. Petko was entranced, and began crawling out to it, but stopped when he scraped his foot on the wall below his window. The spell broken, the vurkolak disappeared.
However, it returned the next night and engulfed the full moon. Both Petko and Georgi went to Father Boris, Gramada's priest. As they watched, the moon completely vanished into the vurkolak and began to glow red. Hours passed, and the vurkolak continued to feed upon the moon. The villagers resolved then to drive it off. They gathered together pots and pans and began beating on them to make noise. While the vurkolak was bothered, it wasn't until Petko convinced Symeon, the village headman, to get his musket. Symeon's brother Rossen, also owned a musket. After each fired off their heavy guns, the vurkolak retreated.
Not long after that night, Symeon reported that the village of Kula had come to misfortune. From their description, Symeon realized that the vurkolak had begun preying on Kula. Petko, like the rest of Gramada, believed that the vurkolak had found its proper haunt.