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The Myth Factor - A Televised Talent Show

by  BryanW

Posted: Saturday, April 4, 2015
Word Count: 785
Summary: For Sandra's Tribute to John Challenge - Week 551

‘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.