As I am currently experiencing a ‘creative block’ I thought I would try to inspire myself by going through my older pieces of writing. The following was one of my first University submissions, written in 2013. The assignment was to write an alternative ‘myth’ so below is my take on the story of creation.
At the start there was darkness. The universe was not empty, but the beings that inhabited its depths were creatures of the night. They were the stuff of nightmares. The stories you tell young children so that they don’t snoop in the cupboards; the instinctive fear of under the bed, of dark rooms. You’re scared for a reason. We should be afraid.
However at some point in the endless darkness light was born. It’s unsure as to why, but one of the dark creatures brawled with another and the chaos it caused created a blast of light. The light ripped through the darkness creating stars and moons, illuminating the planets that the creatures had been oblivious to for so long. The creatures did not embrace this light. Some tried to fight it, some fought each other, and others just died. Many fled into the remaining dark patches but a handful remained. They were curious about the light and the planets, they wanted to explore, so they allowed the light to bore into them until they were left with only their core. Faint shadows wandering. They tapped, prodded, and dug into their surroundings. Some discovered water; great rivers and seas, others discovered flowers and trees. Yet the dark days were not over. The light began to recede, darkness crawling back, engulfing the discovered land. The few creatures that had ventured out into the light did not regain their darkness, instead, they faint glowed ever so slightly, as if the light had stained their cores.
Each day the light would return and the transformed creatures would continue exploring, fuelled by their curiosity. New creatures were discovered: birds, fish, lizards, and warm-blooded beasts. Each night the creatures would glow brighter than before, growing bigger and stronger till eventually, they had taken a new form. Two legs, two arms, five fingers, five toes, one head, and the source of their glow. A heart. They were human.
The dark ones that had hidden at the very beginning still remained. They roamed the land at night and traveled in the shadows by day, hiding their grotesque fearsome form. They watched the humans, a deep hunger filled them, desperate to go back to their eternal night. They wanted their world back. However, they were weakened by the light and so they began to stockpile the slivers of the night; waiting for the day that it could be released and darkness would be restored.
It was found in the chapel. The chapel which was rarely visited these days. No one cared about the carefully crafted porcelain walls, made from broken plates, cups, and various other ornamental treasures. The chapel itself seemed to have lost interest, the walls were faded and the tiled shards had begun to fall, leaving ugly patches of murky concrete. For a while teenagers had visited, using the miniature building as a hangout for sexual and substance experimentation. Even those days had passed and the chapel just stood old and neglected no longer considered as a thing of beauty.
It was found by a girl. A young, petite, plain girl. She had come across the chapel whilst absentmindedly walking, lost in her own little world. Whilst she explored the forgotten building she came across it. Most people wouldn’t have noticed the small black box hidden just behind the crumbling, unstable altar, but this girl was different. This girl could notice the things that others could not.
The box was small, something you’d store earrings or a delicate bracelet. It was a slightly scuffed plain black velvet, quite old and travelled. It had a dull silver clasp on the front, that would quite easily fit a small padlock if you desired, but no such security was present. It didn’t seem valuable or important and anyone else would have assumed someone had just lost it, not concerned enough to search for it. The girl thought differently though. The box had a strange atmosphere about it. The area around it seemed to be darker as if the velvet was leaking into the atmosphere. The girl picked it up carefully. It was heavier then she’d have thought. She looked down to where it had been and saw no darkness, no sign it had been there apart from a small dustless patch of porcelain. She examined it closely, it seemed perfectly normal, just a small trinket box aside from its weight. It was too heavy. She considered what could inside, a solid gold pocket watch perhaps? The box was surely too small for that, and would someone not have come looking for it if that were the case? She wanted to open it, but something was stopping her. Something wasn’t right. She considered putting it back, it wasn’t hers to take, but she couldn’t seem to put it down. It was as if there were magnets in both the box and her hands. Placing it into her pocket she left the chapel.
Outside in the bright, open area she again examined the box. It still gave off that darker atmosphere around it clearer in the light of day. She twiddled the clasp with her petite fingers, toying with the idea of opening it. She chose not to. She headed back home and placed the box on her shelf above her desk. The shelf was filled with old toys, long-forgotten books, and inherited ornaments. The box would soon be forgotten.
A week later she opened it.