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The Myth Factor - A Televised Talent Show

by BryanW 

Posted: 04 April 2015
Word Count: 785
Summary: For Sandra's Tribute to John Challenge - Week 551

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‘Yeh, well, you’re only a fable.’

‘What?’ replied the dragon.

‘ … an animal based story,’ said Don Juan whilst gazing at his reflection in the giant creature’s gentle bovine eyes.

‘Oh shut up. I’m no short narrative designed to illustrate a cautionary or edifying point. I’m on the Taff’s national flag for goodness sake. You’re just a run-of-the-mill legend, based on some highly suspect fictional accounts. I’m a fantasy creature.’

‘Ah. That reminds me,’ interrupted the fairy-tale figure of Pinocchio diplomatically, ‘It’s probably already started. I’ll switch on.’

The three friends sat back on the settee, ‘though the dragon had to turn to one side so as not to lean on on his spinal ridges.

The programme was in the middle of the contestant’s back story. The audience and viewers at home were being told of his journey - how his family’s property was taken from him, how he’d been forced to live in an overgrown area outside town, how he’d taken to a life of crime, had become the leader of a gang - a gang that soon become his new family, then how the corrupt regional lawman had kidnapped the only girl he loved. The studio audience ahhed as one.

‘I wouldn’t mind kidnapping her myself,’ said DJ, spoiling the dramatic tension.

‘Quiet, he’s about to face the panel,’ said the dragon.
An urbane and elegant unicorn from behind the neon-lit judging panel desk spoke,
‘Tell us, what makes you think you should become a myth?’ 

‘Well, it’s been my dream. Ever since I took up sharp-shooting as a kid.’ The audience cheered.

Camera 1’s medium frame shot of the unicorn’s sour-faced response dissolved into Camera 2’s close-up of the second panelist.  

Venus slowly swivelled her perfect azure-blue eyes from contestant to camera. Viewers throughout the world gasped, mesmerised by the feminine perfection of this armless ancient goddess. 

“Oooh,” she lisped, her voice throbbing with sexual innuendo, ‘Those muscular arms. Love the green outfit. I can see you’re a legend. But a myth?’

‘I’m a bit of a cheeky chappie, too?’ Again, huge cheers from the audience.

‘You know …’ the Third and Chief Panelist interjected supremely, causing a surprised Camera 2 to pan, unscripted, around, managing only to pick up the lower part of His flawlessly white eternal beard which dangled ineffably over the judges’ desk. ‘A mythical figure should really have some, well, deeper, symbolic meaning containing certain essential truths about the human condition. Tell us, my child, about your underlying truths.’

‘ I, well, I’ve sort of taken a lead in developing an innovative rich to poor realignment procedure, which I’m hoping will become a new paradigm in the social interconnectivity continuum.’ 

‘Right, well show us what you can do.’

Camera 1 remained focussed on the contestant, while split-screening with Camera 3 as it zoomed in on a small box some one hundred paces away. Out of it crawled an ordinary-looking housefly. The camera followed as it stopped and languidly rubbed its front legs over its huge compound eyes and stroked its quivering antennae. It paused, crouched slightly, then leapt into the air.

THWAK! On screen, the fly’s upper and lower body separated. The camera followed the two pieces as they tumbled softly downwards. Camera 4 extreme close-upped a goo-dribbling abdomen still pulsing on the studio floor next to a mangled thorax. On the slo-mo action replay could be seen a streak of green as it swished through the nonplussed creature - the obvious cause of the shock bisection.

The audience let out a great ‘Urgh!’

Then Camera 1 took us back to the contestant’s triumphant face, but, sadly, behind it, three large X’s appeared on a giant screen.

The studio audience groaned sympathetically and we watched Robin’s of Loxley AKA Robyn of the Hood’s chiselled chin quiver. 

‘There, there,’ spake the kindly voice of the Infinitely Merciful, ‘The key thing about us myths, unlike you legends, is that we never actually existed.’ There was a pause, and then He spake again. ‘Oh bugger, did I really just admit that?’

The judging panel, Unicorn, Venus and the Lord of All, began to flicker. They were there. Then they weren’t. They were there. Then they … disappeared.  An apocalyptic howl of anguish arose from Earth - the show had been, after all, incredibly popular.

Somewhere in Oxfordshire, England, a balding man in his mid 70’s sat down at his computer. He looked up at the picture on the wall - Charles Darwin in front of his beloved Beagle - and smiled. ‘At long bloody last,’ he said, as the title for a new book formed in his mind. He typed its front page: ’I Told You So” by Richard Dawkins.

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Comments by other Members

Bazz at 13:48 on 04 April 2015  Report this post
Some great ideas here, Bryan, the mythical "reality" show (great concept!), the reasons for Hood being rejected, the mythical audience watching at home, all great ideas. I'm not sure you need the Dawkins cameo at the end (though it is smart), but otherwise this is really good (and a really interesting idea, hope you develop it further).

fiona_j at 13:59 on 04 April 2015  Report this post
Poor Robin Hood, he just wasn't mythical enough. Still, at least he's the stuff of legends!

I love why the show ended too, accidentally admitting you aren't real, very good.


Desormais at 15:23 on 04 April 2015  Report this post
Loved it;  some wonderful throw away lines in here and some great references too.  I particularly liked the synopsis of Robin Hood's 'journey'.  This is very, very clever.  Well done, Bryan. 
Thank you.

euclid at 17:47 on 04 April 2015  Report this post
This is brilliant!

I loved the Richard Dawkins cameo at the end. (I have read almost all his books)
And I particularly loved the business-speak-bullshit paragraph:

‘I, well, I’ve sort of taken a lead in developing an innovative rich to poor realignment procedure, which I’m hoping will become a new paradigm in the social interconnectivity continuum.’ 


I'm not sure where the fly comes in to the story. Shouldn't he have demonstrated how he realigned rich to poor?
And when his chiselled chin quivered, maybe you could have worked this into a reference to his quiver?

Great stuff!


V`yonne at 19:05 on 04 April 2015  Report this post
I wish some politicians would admit they aren't real laugh I loved that ending with Dawkins!

TassieDevil at 19:20 on 04 April 2015  Report this post
The difference between myths and legends? Sounds like the beginning of a great philosophical discussion as I'm certain there is some beastie inbetween the two. Enjoyed the myriad concepts but I'm afraid Richard Dawkins was lost on me. Feeling literarily inadequate now.
Thanks for stirring up my mind though Bryan. You have some lovely imaginations here.

BryanW at 20:40 on 04 April 2015  Report this post
Thank you all for the comments. It was one of those silly middle-of-the-night ideas that I nearly gave up on. At least Robin remained existing, Fiona. And I'm sorry, Alan, about the Richard Dawkins reference. I wasn't trying to be a clever-dick. He's a scientist who writes and speaks a lot about evolution and what he sees as the God-myth. So I just thought he'd be quite pleased with the myth-busting - but, then again, he'd be left with nothing more to argue about!

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