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Young Writers Making Myths

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with audiences through the Newspaper Series (and youngwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net). YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to donate to YWP, go to youngwritersproject.org/support.

Next Prompt: Question: Ask any famous person (dead or alive) one question. Who is the person? What is the question and what is the answer? Alternate: Disaster. Ever have one of those days, start to finish, when everything you touch or do leads to disaster? Write about it. Due Feb. 21

This Week’s Prompt: Myth: Create the new urban legend. Make it eerie, funny or outrageous.

The mutual hate started a long time ago. Hard to believe cats and dogs were best friends. They fought battles together and ruled the earth with great pride.

They controlled the birds for a long time, but one bird questioned, “Why do we listen to the dogs and cats?” The other birds agreed. They realized they wouldn’t want to listen to cats and dogs the rest of their lives so they came up with a plan to a) Take control, b) Find a new ruler, c) Make the cats and dogs hate each other.

After a while they decided that option c) would be the best and easiest way to complete their task. Over the next few days, the birds would chat with the cats and dogs, telling them different things that one had said about the other. This drove the two apart.

The birds were stupid. They had parties celebrating their victory. The cats heard them partying and talking about their triumphant victory. This made the cats furious!

To this day we don’t know why the cats didn’t right the wrongs the birds had committed, but we do know why they hate birds.

A lonely little girl was walking along the edge of a cliff with the spray of the ocean in her face. She had always found the smell of the ocean and the cawing of the seagulls comforting.

Staring into space, she looked quite peaceful and calm, but once she snapped out of her trance, her face settled back into the familiar, depressing lines. Her heart felt as though it would shrivel up from loneliness. It didn’t help that it was a day where all the clouds mirrored how she felt: gray, sad and gloomy. She had walked this path every day that she could remember, even on days when the rain was so hard that it felt like someone was throwing rocks at her.

But this day was different; she could feel it. It was a day that history would be made. How she could sense this has yet to be discovered.

She walked down the familiar, jagged path to the delicate grains of sand. But as the girl set down her foot, she noticed that none of the soothing yet so delightful aura of power traveled up her body. Something was different.

The sand now felt like a prison chamber. She walked forward to see if there was anything in the water that might have possibly caused this, and suddenly she tripped on a little green shoot, a plant, as people later on would call it.

As she fell, she twisted gracefully and dove neatly into the water. This was the most surprising yet amazing feeling she had ever experienced, and for the first time in many years, she laughed, a light, bell-like noise. And that first laugh drifted up and up and up. It became the first of many, many stars. Stars, the twinkling, always shining droplets in the sky, were created by the laugh of a lonely little girl.

To read the complete story, go to youngwritersproject.org/node/88501.

New England was too cold.

This cat didn’t like the snow.

To the desert I decided to go.

I had lots of toys

to be delivered

to good girls and boys.

The desert wide

I did search.

Under cactuses I did hide.

I burned my feet

for I did travel

in the desert heat.

Stuck in my paws

did the hot sand get.

Now they call me Sandy Claws.

In the small town of Newbury lurks an abomination. So hideous in shape and corrupt in mind that it has never been spoken of until now. It looks like a vampire bat crossed with a mountain lion, with fangs like a killer shark.

It prowls the roads searching for unsuspecting travelers. Sometimes at night strange sounds and the barking of dogs can be heard, as the beast attacks livestock and farmers alike. Some say that it has the brains of a human but lacks a conscience or any empathy. Witnesses of this beast say that once it sees you it will never stop hunting you…

To read the complete story, go to youngwritersproject.org/node/88506.

  The first sighting was in the year of 1321 by Native Americans who called it wakiwakipopomumu, “a great big llama-like thing.” Since then it has been seen many times. Most commonly seen in America, it is said to move insanely fast. From place to place in seconds. It has never been caught.

But now, my team — Bob the cameraman, Debra the tracker, and Chuck (he doesn’t do anything) — will crack the case of this llama monster. Is it real or is it a fake legend? We will find out. We are The Monster Hunters.

We started camp in Cleveland on May 7, 1995. We are still here. In fact, we have been moving back and forth between cities in America for years now with no luck. But as of today — May 8, 2042 — we have a lead. We found footprints that matched the description, “smallish and hooved.” Described by witnesses, the Llama Monster is about the size of a pony …

To read the complete story, go to youngwritersproject.org/node/88523.