April Prompt: How the ...

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Sky Alton
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April Prompt: How the ...

Post by Sky Alton » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:47 pm

Did you ever hear how the tortoise painted on the hyena’s spots? Or how the Manx cat lost her tail? Or how the elephant’s trunk was created in a nasty game of tug-o-war with a hungry croc?

I loved these types of stories as a kid, ones that explained exactly how animals gained their most characteristic feature. While none of them are true (at least, we don’t think they are), they’re still a lot of fun.

So, I’d love you to write one for the wizarding world. How the Unicorn got his horn, so to speak. Pick a magical creature and write me a story (of at least 200 words) about what weird and wonderful way it might have come by one of its most notable features.

There is no deadline as such for these prompts but if you’d like it to count towards your chance of earning the award for a specific year, we’ll need it by the end of that school year. If you’re comfortable sharing, then post below. If not, email your story to us via hol.bookclub @ gmail.com (without the spaces). Oh and remember it’s a good idea to check through your piece carefully for spelling and grammatical errors as they make it harder for people to properly enjoy your work.

(Credit to Prof. Amy for the great idea)
"Does the Walker choose the path or the path the walker?" -Garth Nix
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Katya Snow
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Re: April Prompt: How the ...

Post by Katya Snow » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:10 pm

Book Club Note: The story is dark but no darker than fairy tales (especially the original versions of the tales, not the Disneyfied versions) and Harry Potter. ~ Amy

The Siren

Long, long ago before there was a ministry, before there was a Hogwarts, before there was even a Merlin, there lived a little girl and her mother. The little girl was very special, for she could sing so sweetly birds would fly onto her hand, and coax frightened animals from their burrows. She could sing so sweetly as to enrapture even the most noble of kings and the most hard of hearts. Unfortunately, the little girl was very shy, and ashamed of hr face. She believed that she was of no match to her sweet voice, and hid away her face so that none in the world could see her features fearing that the sight of her face would turn them away from her voice. She made good use of her songs, singing for cows to give sweeter milk, hushing lullaby's to sooth the sick to sleep, and jaunty tales to make happy the most sad of heart. She would sing and sing, for that was what made her happy, to see the joy in peoples faces. The little girl was very sad however when she stopped singing and went home. There was no joy at home and she wept herself to sleep every night for while her voice made the people happy, the more she sank, the more ugly she became.

One morning, when she was singing to the buttercups to help them grow, a noble crown prince came upon her, and fell helplessly in love with the sound of her voice. Smitten, he called out to her. “Young miss, young miss, please what is your name?” she did not answer for she was very shy and had harbored a crush on the prince for some time. For while he had never noticed her before, she had seen him often and hidden herself away before he could notice her. It was her mother who answered that her name was Melody and that she was very shy. The mother did not believe her daughter to be ugly at all and that her daughter was being silly, but alas the mother had not seen her daughters face since she was four and began to hide away her features. The mother was also greedy and selfish and frustrated with her daughter who refused to charge anyone for the use of her voice. This was a fortuitous chance for the mother to become more than a pauper. The little girl was, without choice in the matter, was soon married to the crown prince. The crown prince did not mind that she hid away her face from shyness and allowed her to keep the veils and for a while, everyone was happy.

Soon though, the prince was growing frustrated with his wife, who slipped away to sing for the villagers at any chance she had instead of singing for the courts as the prince had intended. He had meant for her to be a trophy for his arm and when she returned from the village, he told her she was never to sing for them again, only to the noble people who deserved to hear her voice. And so, for two months, he refused to sing at all. The less she sang, the more her features began to become lovely again but she did not care for she had realized that beautiful or not, her voice was her only passion and joy in the world and so, when the prince was not looking, she slipped away again and sang for the villagers. This time however, she did not go back to the castle and when the crown prince and her mother came to get her, she refused. The villagers stood in the mother way when she tried to grab Melody to drag her back kicking and screaming and refused them to get close for they loved Melody despite her appearance fr one single villager had snuck upon her while he was sleeping to take a peek and told the others 'twas the most hideous face I ever did saw, but such a sweet girl with a sweet voice so what does it matter?

The crown prince however had never seen the girls face and in a fit of rage, he tore the veil from her face and creamed in horror. Her mother shrieked in terror and the guards who had come to assist all declared her a monster. Heartbroken that her own mother would claim her a hideous beast, and frightened at the Crown princes order to have her killed, she fled, and fell from the tall cliffs in which the crown prince and the guards had trapped her. She fell into the ocean and did not resurface and so, the Crown Prince thought her dead. What he did not know, was that her sweet voice was from magic, and when she fell her magic transformed her. She was so sad, she lay at the bottom of the ocean and cried and for weeks, the world thought she was dead. The longer she went without singing, the more lovely she became once more, and anger and resentment and rage began to grow inside of her. How dare they! How dare they do what they had done! The crown prince! Her own mother! Enraged, she slipped out of the waters and was startled to find the townspeople did not recognize her, and that they where still grieving for her.

Heartened by the fact that someone did miss her, she went to see her mother, who did not miss her daughter at all. Instead she was angry that the Crown prince had nothing to do with her now that Melody was gone. Melody knocked upon the door and let herself in and when her mother recognized her, she smiled so sweetly, and began to sing. The song was hard and harsh and her mother was so frightened by the ghost of her daughter, she died right then and there. The sweet song of rage and fury, had killed her. Her revenge half done, Melody slipped back into the sea, and wove a tail from sea grass and used it to power her into the deep oceans. She knew that the Crown prince was coming, he made the trip across the see every ear and when his ship came, she leaned upon a rock and watched, her beautiful face watching the ship come in and as soon as they could no longer flee her voice, she began to sing.

The greediest of the sailors went first, jumping into the ocean to be with her, drowning in the waters so cold. The others all turned the ship, trying to steer to her, or away and dashed the ides of the ship into the ravines. Without warning, the boat began to sink and the crown prince leaped into the ocean to save himself. She slipped beneath the water, and began to sing once again, pulling him in, he as so greedy, he could not resist her voice and when he saw her, his dreamy expression of greed and joy turned to horror for in her rage and in her song her face had twisted into a horrible mask. Hideous and frightening and in her clutches he drowned. Paying the ultimate price for his greed. She sang and sang and soon, only the sailors without greed in their hearts survived and those she let go.

From then on, anytime a ship went through her waters, she sang and those who where greedy died. Those where where not, lived. And thus was born, the Siren.
Last edited by Prof. Amy Lupin on Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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