The First Myth I Ever Wrote–and Why It Fails (Part 1 of 2)

Let’s have some fun with this! I dug this out of the vault: the first myth I ever wrote, for a 4th grade class assignment. Though embellished by an adult’s retelling, all the key elements are just as they were conjured from a youthful imagination many, many years ago.  (The teacher could have no way of knowing what she was starting with me.)

I don’t consider this a real myth, and in an upcoming post, I’ll explain where and why it falls short.


What is going on up there?

What is going on up there?



It was too good to last for very long.

The Storm King opens his cloak and lets the jet stream out, savoring the cold in his nostrils, across the hairs of his bare arms. As frost edges his brows and beard, he feels his strength begin to return; the effort of the translocation always leaves  him winded. Here in the wild blue Yonder, above the clouds in a rogue tower rooted only in sky, the magic of the spell still crackles; the  tendrils of his enchantment, visible only to him, stretch over hundreds of miles from where his stronghold had been moments ago, to here, where it appeared instantly, out of thin air.

From his vantage point near the tower’s summit, the Storm King can see the curve of the earth below in every direction, shimmering blue. He sighs with relief: empty horizons. They should have peace now, he and his daughter, for at least a few hours. Perhaps this latest translocation will buy them days, if they’re lucky, and—

With a shift in the wind, suddenly he catches the ionized scent. And if he does, they will too.

“Rayne!” He bellows to the princess as he hurtles up the spiraling steps to her chamber, taking them two and three at a time. “How many times do I have to say it? NO PERFUME!” He bursts in with such ferocity that he startles the poor princess into dropping the vial, which shatters to spill its ozone fragrance all over the floor. Well, the king thinks, that should do it; they may as well run up a signal flag while they’re at it. It’s only a matter of time now.

In fact, it’s already too late.

“Rayne, my beloved, my princess! At last, I’ve found you again!” the lovestruck plea of Sirocco, Prince of the Southern Winds of Mediterranea, echoes from below.

“Back away, villain,” Fryj answers, the Prince of Air of the Upper Reaches arriving on snow-crystal wings. “The princess will be my wife, and I will not let her escape me this time!”

“Good sirs!” the Storm King cries from on high. “Surely this is no way for noble suitors to behave. Let us find an honorable way to resolve this, rather than…”

Their ears deafened by the intoxicating fragrance in their nostrils, both princes posture and threaten, glowering at each across the sheep-like clouds, aroused to passion like creatures of hoof and horn, until that is all they can become, and they mystically have transformed themselves into rams.

“…butt heads.”

KRA-KOOM. The ram princes smash into each other with ear-splitting effect. The princess witnesses the struggle from her perch in the window of the tower and, distraught first because of her father’s scolding and now because of the ruckus on her account, begins to sob uncontrollably. By now, the king has had quite enough. With his bow he resorts to less subtle diplomacy, loosing shining arrows upon the feuding princes to try to separate them.

And far down below, among the mortals on the ground, the effects can hardly go unnoticed.

When at last he has summoned enough mystic strength for another translocation, the Storm King cracks the sky open just long enough for his tower to slip away. Just as suddenly as it was there, it’s gone, taking the princess and her falling tears with it. With the object of the princes’ pursuit lost to them, at least for the moment, they revert to a fleeceless form. Grumbling as they part, so do the clouds. The tingling air grows calm.

And somewhere in the world, at the other end of the shift, a tower arrives, nestled high in a cloud. Here the air is tranquil, the skies quiet.

 Until the next change of the wind…

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What Is Myth, and Why Should We Make New Ones?

Are these just random blotches? Or do you see something more?

We human beings specialize in abstract thinking.

You’re doing it right now.

That the dark stroke marks on white that you see on this screen represent letters with sounds that go with them, and those sounds and letters can be put together to make words with ideas that go with them, is an example of abstraction par excellence. To someone who doesn’t know the language, it’s just a bunch of seemingly random marks.

Now imagine you did that with the whole world: What if you took life’s seemingly random experiences, put them together, and were able through abstraction to find meaning in it all?

That’s what myth is.

Myth is the language of our human experience, written in big, bold letters. So the question isn’t why would you want to create new ones (particularly for our Western culture, so distanced from the myths that nourished it); the question is, why wouldn’t you want to create new ones?




About This Blog

Myths are stories that explore the Big Truths of our lives and our world through larger-than-life metaphors. Unfortunately, new myths are in short supply today. This blog aims to fix that, by talking myth, encouraging mythmakers, and looking for new myths in all the wrong places.

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