EXERCISE Myth-take Challenge #13

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Lstorm, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Myths and legends could be said to be the prototypes of modern novels. They are stories in their own right, tales that were passed on for generations. Even today, some elements from the old myths remain in our stories and occasionally, they serve as inspiration.

    This week’s mythical element is: Isis

    In Egyptian mythology, Isis is the goddess of motherhood, nature, fertility and magic, as well as the protector of the dead and children. She is considered an important part of mythology as she is the wife of Osiris, and in certain interpretations of Egyptian mythology, it is her tears for Osiris that made the Nile flood each year. These two deities are also connected by a rather touching story: Set, the god of darkness, storms, foreigners, not to mention darkness and chaos tricked Osiris so that he climbed into a box that would become Osiris' coffin. Wanting to give a proper burial to her husband, Iris sought the box and found it. However, Set became aware of this and thus, in his rage, he divided Osiris' body into fourteen pieces, then scattered them all over Egypt, but Isis did not give up. She and her sister found thirteen pieces of Osiris' body, but the fourteenth one was regenerated by none other than Isis herself, who brought her husband back to life.

    Your challenge is to write a story that incorporates your own take on this mythical element. The genre and setting of the story does not matter as long as the element remains recognisable.
  2. Gloomy clouds swirled overhead as Isis stood on the balcony, her arms leaning on the rail. In her hands she held the last photo of her husband. It had been months since he had died, and though he smiled up at her from the old photo, Isis’ eyes began to well up with tears again. She slumped over the railing, heavy with the huge burden of her grief. All she had left of the love of her life was this photo.

    It didn’t help her sadness, that ever since she had moved in with her sister, slowly she began to forget what his face looked like. This terrified her, and she began carrying the photo around with her everywhere. The thought of losing his beautiful smile and kind eyes seized her heart in the grip of panic.

    So she clutched the photo limply and stared down at it, not noticing the brisk wind picking up or the sprinkles of rain mingling with her own tears as they dropped onto the photo. Nephthys, her sister, came out onto the balcony with two cups of coffee and set them on the railing beside Isis. It was a feeble attempt to offer her a little comfort and warmth. She placed a soothing arm around her sister’s shoulders.

    “Come on, Isis, don’t you want to come inside? It’s getting pretty cold out here,” Nephthys offered helplessly. She missed her sister’s smiling face back when she was feeling real joy. She hadn’t smiled at all for months. She missed the vibrant artist that she used to be, and how she was so passionate about her art, but now it seemed like all the life had been sucked out of Isis. She wondered if her sister would ever be the same again.

    As the two sisters stood on the balcony, a dark, ominous shadow loomed over them. Fierce, swirling winds began to gust, and the black clouds crackled with electricity. Sheets of ruthless rain began slapping the balcony, and a sudden cruel gust of wind yanked the photo right out of Isis’ hands. Isis screamed in horror as the photo fluttered away into the violent vortex of the storm.

    “We have to get my photo back! I can’t lose him!” she cried. Nephthys grabbed her sister and pulled her into the house, just as a power line exploded and the entire neighborhood fell into a chaotic darkness.


    Slowly, rays of sunlight began to break through the clouds and shine down on the silent neighborhood. Droplets of water hung on every leaf and fence post like sugar crystals. The tall trees, who had been thrown around violently by the wind, stood or leaned very still, unsure of what to do next. Shyly, a few birds began to offer some notes to break the silence.

    Isis was frantic.

    “We have to go find the photo!” Her eyes were frozen wide open in a desperate frenzied stare. Her sister tried to comfort her as best as she could.

    “Don’t worry, Isis, I will try to help you find it,” she said.

    The two stepped out into the neighborhood. Scraps of shredded paper were strewn about the neighborhood, like puzzle pieces that had been thrown around by a tantrum throwing toddler. Both sisters set out determinedly to collect every scrap.

    It was tedious work, overturning every fallen leaf, searching for the missing scraps of her photo. But Isis would not give up. As her heart filled with fire that drove her forward to search for the bits, she slowly began noticing small things around her. Like… how fresh the air seemed to smell after the storms. How bright the green leaves started to shine. How beautiful the fading orange sunlight was as it glinted off beads of rain droplets. These were things that she hadn’t noticed in months.

    Finally, purple twilight chased off the last rays of sunlight, and Isis and Nephthys were forced to go back inside. After lighting some candles and lanterns, they spread out their collected scraps of paper on the dining room table, and began to reassemble the puzzle.

    “Isis, I think we’re still missing a piece,” said Nephthys. Over half of Isis’ late husband’s face was gone. But Nephthys was shocked to see how Isis responded.

    “It’s okay, I think I know how to fix it,” Isis tore out a clean sheet of paper from one of her old sketchbooks, and found a pencil. She arranged the torn pieces of the photo on the paper, and began to fill in the blank spaces, sketching in her husband’s face from memory. When she was finished, it was perfect; it looked almost as though the original photo was still intact. They both stepped back and looked at the drawing. And then Isis’ heart was alight with epiphany.

    “Nephthys… I remembered what he looks like. Exactly what he looks like. I… I don’t think I need this photo any more, he is alive in my heart.” Isis glowed with love and radiance like never before.

    And so, the two sisters went back outside with the photo. Like two angels they stood under the shining stars. Isis released the remaining scraps of the photo into the wind, and it carried them up into the brilliant stars above, where he would be alive for eternity in essence.