EXERCISE Myth-take Challenge #19

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Lstorm, Mar 24, 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: Qilin
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    In Chinese Mythology, the Qilin is a strange mixture of different animals which is described in multiple ways in multiple tales. Sometimes called the "Chinese Unicorn", Qilins have a single horn on their forehead and are thought to have the head of a dragon and the body of a tiger with scales. At other times, Qilins are depicted as a rare form of unicorns and while they look fearsome, they only punish those who are evil. Qilins are gentle creatures which make an effort not to harm any life they come across, unless they become enraged. This usually happens when a good person is assaulted by a sinful one. Qilins are also said to only visit the areas which are governed by a wise leader.

    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.
     
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    It was evening. The sun was about to set and mark the end of my last day on what you call Earth. My strength was fading. My scales had lost their luster, and my eyes their shine. Still, it was all in due time. This was my thousandth year alive. My last year alive.
    I was old and weak. I sprang with as much grace as I could summon over a brook. I pranced through the woodland in last time. Mine was going to be a peaceful but lonely demise. My mentor's spirit had returned to the Celestial Plain, as mine would soon do. Then a new Qilin would take my place, maintaining peace and general harmony in the world.
    Then I heard a short, high scream pierce the peaceful forest's atmosphere.
    With a new-found strength, I bounded off toward the sound. I will die as a guardian. Soon I came upon her, a wounded mortal girl. Her eyes were closed, and blood ran down the side of her face. I bowed my head down and touched my nose to her. Her eyes flickered open.
    ---------------
    I saw him, and now I will always believe. He took the form of a goat with a carp's scales. They covered his back, and faded and softened into fur as they made their way down his legs and sides. He had a mane of silver fur on his back, but it was dulled. His grey-green scales overlapped beautifully, although they were asymmetric.
    This creature was my saviour, and I felt his energy coursing through my body.

    Earlier, I had been out walking, like usual, in the evening. I liked to go out a while before sunset, so that when I arrived home I could watch as colours spilled across the sky. I had been walking along peacefully, listening to the birds chirp and sing.
    The sound of a girl's cry interrupted the tranquility.
    There was a girl, near the same age as me, being harassed by some guy. I ran at the man, and, without thinking, punched him in the jaw. The girl looked as if she could be in my class. I stared at the man, not knowing what to do next. He knew what he was going to do. He grabbed me with large hands by the neck and started to choke me. I tried to scream, but it came out dry and silent. The shock wore off of the girl, and she kicked the man. It didn't make him let go, but his grip loosened, and I pried his loosened hands off of me.
    "Go get help!" I said to the girl in a strained voice as I tried to catch my breath.
    She ran off and the man picked me up. I struggled, but it was no use. He threw me into the woods down a hill that was beside the road. I heard his heavy footsteps run off.
    ---------------
    I gently licked her nose as she came into consciousnesses. She stared at me with such delight. I remembered my mentors words, "Kindness is key to a happy life." It was certainly true. I have heard of Qilins who did nothing but curse evil-spirited mortals with ill fortune; they did not live long lives. I chose to walk a happier path, aiding those in need with my gifts. That's what I did on my last day.
    She smiled weakly at me. I knelt down beside her, already feeling my strength ebbing. I looked into her eyes and become lost in them. It was time to start the Blessing. I sang to her. Of course, it couldn't be heard to any around. It was mind-song that I blessed her with. One that only could be heard our two minds.

    "Here is my blessing of love and great wealth
    That I'm expressing with a gift of health
    It's my desire to protect the weak
    You shall acquire the magic you seek."

    ---------------
    I listened to his song. I was lost in the beauty of his voice. His mouth wasn't moving though, and that puzzled me. He sang for only a minute, but time seemed to slow down for his voice. First the dirt and blood disappeared. Then my wounds sealed themselves shut, and one would not have been able to tell that they were there. I felt very pristine and calm.
    I began to thank the kind creature, but he was no longer there. There were only some shiny bits of what I guess was pure magic. Soon, those disappeared too, and I had nothing left of him but a memory and healed wounds.


    From that day forward I had luck on my side, as well as good health. While I wasn't rich, I was definitely comfortable. I never got ill, and now, at age 95, I am still fairly well. As of late, I have been singing a song every night. A song of appreciation that stemmed from an incident years and years ago.
    Long ago I was blessed with love and great wealth
    That was expressed with a gift of health
    And now I acclaim he who did bless me
    I know not his name yet think o' him fondly

    I hoped that he could hear it and listened to it every night.

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    Which I did. I heard it. I may not be truly alive, yet I exist. I listened to it every Mortal Night, and was saddened the day that it was not sung.
     
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