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Origin Stories

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In the beginning, we have stories. Stories to describe who we are and where we came from. Science and mythology decode origins, but to believers it might not matter what scholars have to say. Often who we are culturally is defined by our creation mythology. The symbolism, faith and explanation reaches for a deeper truth that not even science can definitely say.

Exploring the mystery of life on the Navajo Nation, where geology defines the land and tradition its people, the Dine, writers were tasked with exploring creation myths.

The following are based on the April 6, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a creation myth.

***

A Transfer of Power by Bill Engleson

God-Like-Critter: It’s on your head now, writer. Go for it.

Flash: ME! Why me?

GLC: Because I SEE inside that fomenting cranium of yours. You writers are constantly reinventing the world. Demented, pretentious beings the lot of you. Never satisfied with what is. Always fabricating some fanciful imagining.

Flash: I admit we are stringers of words. But we don’t want to be all-powerful. That’s your job.

GLC: Not any more. You’ve worn me down. Hell, some of you even DENY me.

Flash: Evolution does make sense, doncha think?

GLC: No comment.

Flash: I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

###

Egg-actly: The Beginning by Roger Shipp

“540 billion years ago.”

“You’re quite sure?”

“Of course I’m sure. The computers confirm it.”

“But wasn’t The Big Bang 14 billion years ago?”

“Yes! Isn’t this exciting?”

“But how are you going to explain it?”

“Scientifically, of course. Everyone knows- even in the beginning- you can’t make something out of nothing. The Law of Conservation. We just never knew what was here pre-Big Bang.”

“And now you know?”

“Indubitably. For a bang like that, there had to be a massive built-up of pressure. Probably gases. And then something causes an igniting.”

‘So you’ve found it?”

“The primordial eggshell.”

###

Ranae Immane Mittam by Jules Paige

Kaeru swam in the velvet darkness. Then she leapfrogged
across the sky. Leaving small illuminated globes to hatch.
The eggs bore different reflections, attitudes, altitudes and
aspects of their mother. Some within the various universes
became quasars. Within these systems further divisions
created some spheres that bore other living things.

Kaeru was happy. The velvet darkness brightened. Her
children became too numerous to count. Her work was
compete, now she could return to the beginning and wait.
Watch flora and fauna in vast variety.

To be worshiped was never Kaeru’s goal. Only the creation
of something from her power.

###

The Creation of Secular Music by Anne Goodwin

God could understand why Adam envied the birds. Their vantage point above the earth, the way they’d glide from tree to tree.

“It’s not that,” said Adam. “It’s how they sing your praise.”

So when God created Adam’s wife he gifted her with melody. And all was harmony until she met the Serpent. “Not all music belongs to God,” he hissed. “There are other words. Other tunes.”

Eve shrugged. “God’s music is the best.”

“You cannot know, until you’ve tried some other.”

So Eve sang of birds and bees and apple trees, and God banished her from his garden.

###

How Ellie’s Life Began by Kerry E.B. Black

Doreen’s life bled away on the gurney, seeping into sanitized linens. The doctor nestled a bundle of blankets against the cold. Doreen buried her face within, savoring the warmth, relishing the smell. Too young to die, yet passing with skill, Doreen’s tear-slicked vision blurred. Iron coated her palate, and dust clogged her throat. With trembling fingers, she peeled back a layer of blankets to reveal skin soft as a tulip. Here Doreen found immortality, here, in this tiny person whose eyes squeezed shut against the garish hospital and her mother’s death, this person whose birth brought about her death.

###

The Mandala by Liz Husebye Hartmann

Nora reached two fingers towards the mound of shaving cream on the tiny table. Sliding her fingers across and down, she palmed the foam, squishing it flat and rotating her hand slowly.

Her other hand peeked over the table’s edge and joined in. Before long, her eyes shifted dreamily to a shaft of sunlight on the opposite wall of the noisy preschool, her body rocking with her hand’s movements.

“Shall I make a print for her parents?” Her teacher detected faint, happy humming from the child, and shook her head. “Why interrupt her creative process? It’s her dream time.”

###

Where it Starts by Deborah Lee

“…bring creationism back to the school curriculum,” Jane reads. She rolls her eyes and continues scrolling through headlines, looking for something that’s a step forward instead of back.

Her mind casts back to her little girl, the one she had to leave behind. Tucking her in, sweet dream wishes. “Mommy, I wonder if I’m really real or if someone’s dreaming me.”

Conscious creation. Supreme being. Big Bang. One theory makes as much sense as another, Jane supposes.

Sometimes Jane thinks she must have dreamed her into life, that perfection. Then the nightmare took over. Where’s the myth for that?

###

Reciprocation by D. Avery

Do not forget Turtle who brought the earth up from the watery depths.

Do not forget Tree, whose roots hold and cradle the earth, whose branches hold up Sky. These ones, Turtle, Water, Tree, Sky, are sacred.

Long ago these ones spoke together, and together thought to provide and to sustain; they thought us into existence that we might use their gifts.

Be humble. Our creations are mere imitations, expressing gratitude, expressing wonder. Be mindful. Give thanks to Turtle, to Water, to Sky, to Tree. We are their thoughts that receive their gifts, and they think us most sacred.

###

Eve’s Husband by Luccia Gray

God created Adam, first,
‘Twas Eve’s fault that they were cursed.
Her search for knowledge paid the price
Of ousting them from paradise.
Adam did as he was told,
While Eve, she was very bold.
The husband obedient and good,
The wife complained as ever she could.
Man acted like a demigod,
Made in likeness to his only God.
While his wife was the family builder,
Her husband became the tribal leader,
Pillaging the earth and devastating
What God took six days in creating.
In spite of this some still believe
It’s women’s fault that man doth grieve.

###

Myth by Pensitivity

It was a myth that the grass was always greener.
She was sick of hearing it, fed up with packing up and moving every time things didn’t work out.
As far as she was concerned, grass was grass, green or dead.
Forty years they had been together, never more than two in the same place.
It was a miracle their relationship had survived.
This time though it was the last straw.
As they drove off to their next destination, she knew there would be no grass, green or otherwise.
The idiot didn’t realise they were heading for the desert.

###

Rain Ruinates, and Still Remembering by Elliott Lyngreen

Underneath the screaming sirens uselessly parting traffic; where I lost my fingernails turning your letters into a digital poem; my stomach winces.

Thoughts spiderweb the windshield and drip rose petals scattered along the dash.

Stuck: fenders, fire crashes, belts, and pulleys – through the sidewall. Bent abysmal in the worst extending.

Summer’s crawling from across black sky. Thunder holds itself upon darkness. I slump in frozen, lucid wonder, as rain spins above me.

And rolling (now dizzying) path reflects straight down the rearviewmirror as if remembering the carved or parted way rain on a dust particle started this whole infinity.

###

Pumpkin Seeds by Michael

“See that pumpkin vine down there?” my brother pointed out, “well that’s where we found you.”

In my mind, I was horrified that I had been laying there in the dirt before mum picked me up.

“Dad thought you were another Queensland Blue*. You’re lucky he didn’t slice you up and put you in the pot,” he said as nonchalant as ever.

When I asked mum, she said I was such a little one she had to hand feed me till I was big enough to go it alone.

“Pumpkin seeds,” she’d say, “giving me a wink, amazing things.”

###

Unanswered Questions by Norah Colvin

“What are you doing?”

“Pulling out weeds.”

“Why?”

“So the carrots have more room.”

“Why?”

“So they can grow big and juicy.”

“Why?”

“So they are good to eat for our dinner.”

“Why?”

“To keep us healthy?”

“I want to be healthy.”

“It’s good to be healthy.”

“I don’t want to die.”

“You won’t die. Not for a long time.”

“How do you know?”

Silence. How does anyone know?

“Silas died.”

“Who?”

“Silas.”

“Who is Silas?”

“Was. Silas was my friend.”

“I don’t remember Silas.”

“He was my imaginary friend.”

“Oh. How did he die?”

“I killed him.”

“Why?”

###

Where Fact Meets Fiction (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

With Bubbie at her side, Danni addressed the children. “The Kootenai tribe left evidence of living in this watershed for …”

Hands shot up. “What’s a watershed?” one boy asked.

“Well, that’s the area…”

“Our history is sacred.” Michael spoke from behind the children, walking up the fort path.

“It’s in the dirt, Michael.” Danni was nervous enough without Michael interfering.

“Nupika created animals and spirits. Man Spirit followed the river to be transformed.”

Danni noticed the children were more transfixed by Michael’s tale of transformation than her facts. She began to think of a way to blend them.

###

The One and Only Truth by Geoff Le Pard

‘Mum, do people really believe the Genesis story? Mrs Ryder says they’re Creationists but that’s stupid.’

‘Why?’

Penny looked surprised. ‘You’re an Atheist. You don’t believe…’

‘But that doesn’t make me right.’ Mary smiled. ‘No, I don’t believe in God and Adam and 7 days of creation. But unlike homework I can’t prove or disprove it.’

‘Homework?’

‘You can rely on there always being homework. It’s existence is never in doubt. What’s yours?’

‘Write a creation story.’

‘Ok so if it’s not Genesis, what is it?’

‘Big Bang.’

‘And what’s that?’

‘I… dunno.’

‘Exactly, love. Different folks, different strokes.’

###

In the Beginning by Jane Dougherty

Once upon a time there was nothing, and the nothing began to pulsate, and in time to the pulsating, time began to tick. In time, boredom set in and the nothingness changed rhythm and it began to swing. As it swung back and forth, sparks of interest flickered in the nothingness and they swung too. More and more sparks joined in the dance, swinging and swirling clouds and veils of coloured gas, until the ticking became a riot of noise and gaiety mounting to a monumental crescendo and BOOM, out of anarchy, settled the ordered brilliance of the universe.

###

The Conversation by Reena Saxena

“I have invented a synthetic molecule”.

“Have you replicated nature, or invented something that did not exist before?”

“I draw inspiration from existing patterns, and then, improvise on them.”

“Great! But has Nature run out of stock to cater to the needs of the planet?”

“The population has ballooned by quantum leaps. Competition between human beings, plants and animals has increased. My genius can help me in building a comfort capsule for myself.”

“Is that creativity, or an unwise survival strategy?”

“I do not really know. “

“This God fellow has never educated anyone, just created platforms to learn.”

###

Letter to the Weather Network by Kate Spencer

Dear Mr. Weatherman,

I’m writing you ‘cause I really really want spring to get here. Do you know where it is? Mommy said you might know. I’ve been waiting for it forever sooo long. I ask Mother Nature every day. I ask nicely. Do you know why she is not answering me? I want to go outside and play with Daphnie. Only I can see her. She lives in the daffodils but it’s too cold and she won’t come out. Does Mother Nature have elves like Santa? I’m trying to be extra good. Does that help?

Respectfully yours,

Tammy

###

Dwarfed by Pete Fanning

Zach stared at the sky. Mr. Meyers said they saw stars how they were not how they are. Light years. It hurt his head just thinking about it.

Next door came a big bang. The neighbors fighting again. Zach stared in awe at the clusters. The Milky Way was 100,000 light years across. To be this tiny! With such monumental problems. Could Mr. Meyers be right? That there may be more…another Earth.

There wasn’t another Nana. She didn’t tolerate such thoughts. He’d asked her about it and she’d thunked him good.

It hurt his head just thinking about it.

###

Stargazing by Enkin Anthem

She looks at the stars and wonders.

She knows they’re planets or suns or galaxies, points of radiation and light in the endlessness of the universe. Boundless, inconceivable power, and still only specks of matter in infinity.

She knows everything there is to know about electromagnetism and dark matter, about string cosmology and astroparticle physics. She also knows all the questions that aren’t answered yet, and she’s scared and excited all at once.

But somewhere out there, someone looks at the sky and see the same stars that she sees. And that’s the real miracle – something she can believe.

###

Myth by FloridaBorne

“Hey, Bill,” the burly man said, removing his minor’s hat. “Remember that story about a star falling from the sky, taking 3 men and 8 women back in time…?”

“This is a geology field trip, Joe,” the irate professor replied. “You’re here as our guide, not a mythologist.”

“Tell that to the space ship.”

“What?” Bill yelped.

“You’d know, if you’d read the ancient texts!”

Bill ran through a cave entrance, followed a faint glow, and found 9 mesmerized students staring into a cavern that hadn’t been there a year ago.

Light surrounded them, Joe gulped. “3 men…8 women…”

###


5 Comments

  1. floridaborne says:

    So many different ways to express the prompt.

    As Mr. Spock would say, “Fascinating.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A. E. Robson says:

    So thankful to be able to come and read all of these wonderful works in one place. Thank you Charli for bringing them all together.

    I am missing my time at The Ranch, but the new book (The Quiet Spirits) is finally with the publisher. This, I see as a time for me to get back in the saddle and continue my ride with all of you who are so diligently submitting each week.

    Looking forward to this week’s new prompt and the trails Charli so expertly takes us on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] out of the earth’s navel and spread across the land (for creative takes on origin myths see Origin Stories). To the Pueblos, the journey continues, and some of the clan destinations included what we call […]

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