Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BOOK(S) - Begins January 4 / Ends January 11 (01/04/18)
- TITLE: A Gathering of Villains
By Donna Powers
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I have called this meeting of like-minded individuals to address our common problem. We, who have only sought to fulfill our dubious destinies in the stories we have found ourselves so heedlessly placed by the authors of the world, have consistently been scorned. We have been booed, hissed at and universally disparaged by the high-minded readers of the world.
We – who they sneeringly refer to as “villains” – have been cast in a negative light. We are seen as an obstacle for the hero or heroine; a challenge for them to overcome. As we well know, this is not the whole story.
While I admit we do have a role to play in thwarting the progress of the so-called hero or heroine, I contend that without us, the stories of those hapless protagonists would be as unappealing as 3-day-old leftover oatmeal.
For one example, just how many readers would be interested in the story of Red Riding Hood; if she’d just gone to visit her sick old granny? Please! That little fable would be marketed as a sleeping aid without our dear Big Bad Wolf to spice it up. For those who prefer more intellectual fare; would Jean Val Jean (who was an escaped prisoner, after all) have been spurred to his ultimately heroic role without the relentlessly ongoing pursuit of Javert? After all, wasn’t Javert just doing his job? Consider this: would the relatively lackluster Sherlock Holmes been inspired to rise to such inspectorial heights without the opposing efforts of Professor Moriarty?
I think not.
I could go on all night. But if I may cite one final example, I direct your attention to the Biblical story of Joseph. His brothers did him wrong and earned their places at this little gathering, but that challenge led him through several later obstacles. These then served to forge his character into that of a man who inevitably saved the life of those same brothers. In the end, Joseph admitted his brothers’ allegedly evil deed had been used of God to bring Joseph prominence in his own right.
So, where would he have been without us? Where would any of the right-minded, right-doing goody-two- shoes characters of the books of the world be? In Snoozeville; that’s where.
So here is my proposal: I propose that we should be called what we truly are: Opportunity Facilitators. We should not be seen merely in a negative light any longer, but as the catalyst of the crises which allows Our Hero or Heroine to rise to their destinies.
After all, we are an important and necessary part of every story ever read, and if the authors of the world don’t start to treat us that way, they will soon find themselves crafting stories without us.
I doubt the readers of the world would be able to stomach it.
What say you? Are you with me? Villains of the world, arise!
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