The Myth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   The Myth by K. C., Malden, MA

When I awoke this morning before the sun, I didn't realize the hand that destiny had dealt me. In keeping with my daily routine, I washed, dressed, and ate. Then I started my journey into the mountainside, the location of my trade, masonry. I was scheduled to build a dividing wall between two properties deep within the woods. As I traveled along the unkept, dirt road, I peered into the clear, bubbling waters flowing adjacent to my path. The reflection in the crystal clear water was that of beautiful burned gold, and red leaves falling gracefully from the trees. A bright, autumn sun had begun to poke out from behind the horizon. Another gorgeous day in the countryside was mine to enjoy. I collected my pack and other belongings and continued with my trek.

After working until the sun blazed directly overhead, I decided to take a break for lunch. I was eager to rest my weary body. As I leaned back against an enormous oak tree, I suddenly felt myself stumbling backwards. Almost immediately I was surrounded by blackness. My initial reaction was immense fear. I couldn't comprehend why I had fallen. Then I began to recall the famous legend of my people:

Once, a long time ago, we lived in complete harmony. The wise, old ones attributed this to the magical Glade Stone. Shimmering and glistening, the Glade Stone is a magnificent sight to be seen. Tragically, however an evil ogre deviously stole the Glade Stone from the center of our village.

Since the robbery, our entire country has fallen into turmoil. The people bicker among themselves and live in oppressive poverty. It is said that whoever retrieves the Stone from the evil ogre will rule the countryside.

Most of the people see this task as inconceivable, and this contributes greatly to our misery. It is believed that the ogre lies deep below the earth amid an extensive labyrinth, guarding the Stone. A tree blocks the entrance to this underground world.

As these thoughts rushed into my mind, I realized that there was no escaping the terror that lay beyond the labyrinth. I realized that there was only one direction in which to continue.

I stoked my lantern and its light revealed ancient writings scrawled deep into the walls. Translated from the old language they read: "Enter through this door if thou dare to continue." I knew my courage must not waver, but I should reveal that I was terrified as I searched endlessly through the dark hallways.

After wandering for what seemed like hours, I could smell the fetid breath and hear the heavy sighing of the ogre. As I crept toward the chamber housing the dreaded creature, my body trembled. I gasped with horror upon first sight of the ogre. His shaggy, thick, and matted brown fur, his wrinkled and leathery skin, and his glassy veined eyes all evoked disgust. His mouth and nose were covered with a putrid, green crust. Two weapon-like horns emerged from both sides of his head. However, in a distant corner of the chamber, I noticed the green shimmer of the Glade Stone.

I reached into my pack, for my crossbow. The ogre awakened, startled by my entrance. Apparently he had remained unchallenged by any human for many years. Every man he had battled had met an unpleasant death.

I used his state of disorientation to my advantage and swiftly fired three poison-tipped arrows into his mid-section. I now had twelve arrows remaining. He winced at the pain from my arrows, but apparently the poison was not powerful enough. He lurched forward and delivered a powerful blow with his clawed paw-like hand. The wind was momentarily knocked out of me. I cowered at his thundering chuckle. However, I urged myself to continue. I fired three more arrows, this time at close range. These proved more effective than the three previous shots, for they were aimed at the bubble in his forehead. Although this was accidental, I was grateful for having discovered his weak spot. The ogre quickly swiped at my skin with his gigantic horns but this effort was unsuccessful, because I nimbly slipped between his legs, prompting him to tumble forward. I launched five more arrows at the enormous creature sprawled upon the floor. I then seized the opportunity to search throughout my pack for the one object that could destroy the ogre. It was the Rock of Virtue.

This gift was given to me on my day of birth by my father, who belonged to the high priesthood. This rock contained the magical power to overcome evil and accomplish great deeds if used by a person pure of heart, mind, and soul. It must only be activated in times of dire need. This is why I was reluctant to use it immediately.

Objects flew from my pack as I searched frantically for the rock. At the bottom of my bag lay the red velvet pouch in which it was contained, my one cherished possession.

The ogre appeared to have recovered from the stun of my poison-tipped arrows, and after some struggle, I launched the remaining arrows more rapidly. After inhaling deeply I flung the Rock of Virtue at his spot. Next, a loud, earth shattering roar sounded and sparks flew in all directions, blinding me with their intense glare. The ogre ceased to exist.

Although I was startled and shaken, I was also elated because I, a mason, had destroyed the infamous ogre. Then, I noticed that the shimmer of the Glade Stone grew in brilliance. I lifted it gingerly from its position. I heard a warm, gentle voice say that I was granted one wish.

"I wish for peace and prosperity to return to my people," I said.

"Your wish has been granted," it echoed.

The glow and noise ended. I was recognized as the King of my village's quarters and I was clad in a lush, bright purple robe. Subjects rejoiced "Long live the King!"

This is the manner in which I began my rule as King and thus restored unity to my people for many years to follow.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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