Writing Prompt #14: Monsters, Myths, and Legends

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2 years ago

Monsters, myths, and legends have been around as long as humanity. I could go do a bunch of research and give you links, but I'm not going to do that today. Instead, I'm going to pose a question.

Why are monsters, myths, and legends so popular?

Most of us have cut our teeth on fairy tales and bedtime stories. Perhaps that is where the love of things that go bump in the night originates.

After reading all of Grimm's fairy tales, I realized they are not necessarily children's stories. They can get pretty scary, fantastic, and even violent.

But we love Grimm's stories so much they made a T.V. show!

I remember I was 9 years old when my mother started reading Edgar Allen Poe at bedtime. The Tell Tale Heart scared me. Mostly when my mom would narrate the heart beat. Thump thump. Thump thump. I also really didn't like the old man's blind eye.

If you haven't read it, please do!

Even though I was terrified by the staring blind eye, I wanted my mom to read it to me every night. I also enjoyed tales of Max und Moritz who were two very human boys but we're also very cruel. They pulled "pranks" on various villagers, killing and maiming as a result. Starting with choking, hanging, and killing 4 chickens.

They go through town wreaking havoc, injuring and maiming, stealing and causing loss of livelihood before ultimate being ground up with the village corn only to be eaten by ducks.

Why was I so fascinated with this kind of story? Why, when I was in 5th grade and we started learning about the Greek myths did I suddenly start paying attention?

Beowulf is still one of my favorite poems. It's a terryfying tale of a monster terrorizing the king and the countryside.

So why are monsters, myths, and legends so fascinating?

In my case I believe it was because of the real life cruelty I experienced even at such a young age. The scary stories were only scary while the story was being told. As soon as the book closed, the fear could be put back on the shelf, too.

I was bullied a lot as a kid. And when I would tell, the bullies would say they were only joking. They were only "pranking" like Max and Moritz. How I wished my bullies would end up being ground into tiny bits and eaten by ducks.

As I learned more about the Greek and Roman myths and legends, I also realized all the bible stories I read as a kid for into these same categories. I found not only an escape into fantasy where tiny David could slay giant Goliath, where Medusa could turn people to stone with a single look, where Kraken and mermaid (sirens) were pitted against every day people. Where Gods turned themselves into swans to have sex with women. Where a giant whale can swallow a dude whole and that dude could just go on living inside the whale (also, Pinocchio).

While I was reading all of these adventures I felt confident I could defeat my personal monsters. I've had quite a few. People who were supposed to be kind and caring, who were supposed to be trusted turned into monsters. The kinds of monsters who are verbally and physically cruel. Who abuse sexually. Who allow the abuse to continue because no matter how many times I spoke up, I was disbelieved or dismissed.

Is it any wonder Narnia was as real to me back then as my milk goats are today? Is it any wonder I read J.R.R. Tolkien's entire Lord of the Ring series before I was 13? I would've happily had snakes for hair if it meant I could turn people to stone. I would've happily caught the Ring Wraiths of it meant I could be a hero and prove my strength.

Those are my reasons. At least the reasons I can think of at the moment.

As a means of escape into a story.

As an example of overcoming and vanquishing my monsters.

As something I could take out and put away. I could close the book.

As the possibility I could walk through a wardrobe or turn into a dragon or throw the ring into the lava.

In the world of monsters, myths, and legends I could pretend to be everything I wasn't in real life. Most of all I could pretend I was powerful. I could pretend to be the hero. I could pretend I wasn't bad.

If you would like to participate in this writing prompt please follow these simple steps:

  1. Write anything about monsters, myths, and legends

  2. Write 100% original content

  3. Tag me, @JonicaBradley

  4. Write at least 600 words so the bot will give you something good

  5. Submit to PromptlyJonica here

  6. HAVE FUN

A few notes.

  • It is the writer's responsibility to ensure no plagiarism.

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2 years ago

Comments

We've been told that supernatural creatures are living with us since we were a child. Since we are living in a rural area, we are being prohibited by our elders to wander around alone because they told us that a human-eating monster might abduct us or we might step on dwarves. We are also closed all our doors and windows when the sun sets and eats dinner early. They said those monsters are active at night and might as well visit us if we are loud.

None of those have come true, though. They just don't want us to wander because we might get into accidents and they are not there to help us immediately.

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2 years ago

Many cultures actually believe in spirits and ghosts and the supernatural.

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2 years ago

That's true. My elders actually believe in those things.

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2 years ago

Thank you for suggesting this as a prompt, its a great topic, I have recently written my first article for this community based on this prompt, all about the legends of fire breathing dragons.

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2 years ago

Some are myths, some are real because I have my experience. It's exciting to write about this prompt :D

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2 years ago

As someone who likes to play games or watch anime/movies that involves any mythical creatures and stories, I am always curious about the origins of those. There are times that I daydream of having such powers and abilities, or seeing the creatures in real life.

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2 years ago

It looks like real stories when described in our childhood. But now after reading a lot from Science I am kinda happy to observe that Everything has reason to happen so we didn't worry about that.

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2 years ago

In my country, Philippines. We have here lots of legends and myths. My grandparents used to tell us a story about how they encountered different elemento, like spirits, Kapre and tikbalang.

I already published an article about this, but I'm planning on making another one. The title of the article that I've published was "The Castle in our School"

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2 years ago

I look forward to reading about all of your elemento

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2 years ago

I grew up on Bible story . My mom never read me a fairytale .. my first book was a Bible story too , but my second book was a encyclopedia and a big fairytale book.. My mom reason was , to practice me just to relay on the Bible. If it is not in the bible, don't believe it or practice it, unless no connection on it.. that's why she bought me an encyclopedia at the very young age - "how is it done ?".. she just bought me a fairy tale book so that I won't be left out to my classmates who loves it. 😅

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2 years ago

My grandparents bought me am entire series of bible story books. Some of the best myths are based on the bible. Old testament and new.

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2 years ago

I love stories of myths and legends. We all have our own monsters. Some more than others. And the idea of ​​being able to defeat them in myths or become a monster to defeat a real one, it's something that many of us have thought about at least one time.

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2 years ago

I'm sure it's very common.

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2 years ago

I hope to think of something. This is a topic that we all have a tale to write about.

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2 years ago

You are right

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2 years ago

This is a lovely Article. My mom also told me some mythical stories. But do you think myths are real? I have been asking Myself these questions. Mythical stories like Narnia, Medussa and so on. What if they were real. Lol..

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2 years ago

I imagine all myths are based on something. Even if it is an explanation of something such as solar eclipse or comets or meteor showers. Manatees or giant squid. Or when a random person comes into power and becomes leader of their tribe. I've seen family stories morph over the years in the repeated telling of them. I think our imaginations can conjur up the most fantastic things.

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2 years ago