Here’s the URL for this assignment-http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/random-wikipedia-writing/
and here’s the link for the Wikipedia page-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Random
There is a page on Wikipedia, called Wikipedia:Random, where you can click the link and get brought to a random page on Wikipedia. I thought it would be fun to try to combine this feature with folklore, myth, and legend. So, for this assignment, go to the link and then click on the words Special:Random. Whatever page you get, somehow incorporate it into a short story involving your class’s theme. In my case, it is folklore, myth, and legend. Feel free to use other Wikipedia pages and other programs such as Google Earth to research more about your page if you have no idea what it is or if you want to find more information for your story. After writing your story explain what page you got and your thought process in figuring out your story and incorporating your random page into it. See if your readers were able to figure out what random page you got! There’s no maximum or minimum number of words or paragraphs, just make sure your story is longer than what you post on Twitter, so it counts as an assignment, not a Daily Create!
This is my story:
It was a brisk fall evening, as beautiful a one as she ever saw. Mary merrily walked along the road taking notes and pictures of what she saw and heard as bugs make a soundtrack of sounds as she went aling. It was peaceful. So very, very peaceful. Mary couldn’t believe that the townspeople didn’t want her to go out. They had seemed so…terrified. When she first told them of her plans to see the roadside cross and document it as part of her travel blog, they had begged her not to go out at night. They told her of an old legend of events that happened centuries ago.
Back in the middle ages, some travelers along the path, villagers who had spent many long days away and many tiring days traveling back, were violently killed before they were able to return home. The murderer was never caught. Soon after, the villagers started to hear loud wailing and screaming and crying whenever they were passing on that road by the spot where the murders happened. Then, they started to see ghosts, bright white but covered in dark red blood, who tried desperately to get into the town but could never cross into it. They would chase down any villagers they saw, angry that they could go in but they, the ghosts, who were so, so very tired, could not. The only way of escape was by running back, as fast as you could, back to the village. Those caught were never seen again in the village of Dierrey-Saint-Pierre. The villagers later erected a roadside cross near the spot where the villagers died, marking their tragic deaths, and hoped that the remembrance and the prayers conducted for them there would bring them peace. However, the wailing, screaming, and chasing continued. The villagers, for generations, have always tried to never walk that road at night, and certainty not on foot, lest they became the ghosts’ next victim.
Mary didn’t hold much faith in the legend. There were plenty of legends surrounding her hometown back in Virginia, and she had never seen any evidence of those being real. It was such a small, sleepy village (only 196 people!), and so sweet, it was hard to imagine anything bad ever happening there, especially the supernatural. Yet, as she walked along, with only the bugs for company and the tiny towns and old houses distant off on the fields either side of her, she couldn’t help but think of the legend as the night grew quieter, cooler, and darker. However, the peaceful air soon lulled her back to security while she continued on her short trek.
Then, she saw it as she walked up a small hill. The cross, with a design of a white heart at the intersection of the two pieces of brown wood and smaller white cross sitting above that, was waiting for her not along the road. Suddenly, as she neared closer, she heard a loud noise. It sounded like a scream! Mary tried to calm herself down. It was only a fox, wasn’t it? Then, she thought she saw a white speck move in the corner of her eye. She picked up the pace, speed-walking to the cross and hurriedly taking notes and photos. Suddenly, she saw more white specks, too far off the road for her to discern what they were. Mary quickly finished up, mind racing with the legend she had been told, and took off back down the road to Dierrey-Saint-Pierre at a much faster rate than when she had first left the village. Looking back, the white specks were getting closer, and she thought she could see some spots of red on them. Another scream echoed in the night. That did it. Mary did a scream of her own and ran as fast as she could back to town. As soon as she crossed the town limits, she looked back. The specks seemed to grow smaller and disappear, like they were walking back down the road. Mary sighed in relief when she saw the house she was staying in come into view. She was welcomed in by her very worried hosts, who were greatly relieved by her return. Catching her breath, she explained everything to them, still spooked by what she saw. Her hosts were also spooked, and fussed over her until she decided to take a nice, warm bath and went to bed. The bath didn’t bring her comfort, with her heart still racing, and she tossed and turned all night.
When Mary woke up the next morning, it was as nice a day as as the evening was last night. Looking outside at the charming, sunny town and surrounding area, it was hard for her to believe what she saw last night. She decided that while the town and the cross would appear in her blog, her fright that night would not. While it would make for a great story, it was something she wanted to keep to herself for a little while. Mary stayed in the town another day, enjoying more of the local cuisine and folklore. When she left the town limits for the last time, down that same road, she couldn’t help but pick up the pace when passing by that cross, now forever ghostly white in her mind.
For my story example, when I clicked, I got the page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dierrey-Saint-Pierre, for the commune of Dierrey-Saint-Pierre in France. The page has very little on it, with just a historical population chart, a map of where it is, a picture of its roadside cross, and an overview of its location in France. The cross, with its dark, rather spooky image, inspired me to do a spooky legend. The fact that it was on the roadside also helped, as many stories exist of legends on rural roads. The ghosts on the road were inspired by numerous legends/stories I’ve read, such as a book called The scary states of America, a book that I got back in I believe elementary school and one that I have continued to love, and seen on shows like Supernatural. I used the name Mary as a reference to Mary Washington. I thought it was fitting, as I’m taking this class for a gen ed requirement for UMW. Finally, I purposefully never clearly show the ghosts or even say of the ghosts are real in this story, as I want to leave it up in the air. Do the ghosts actually exists? Just as in real life legends, there’s no solid proof, but yet there is still belief.
The Featured image used here and Thumbnail image for the assignment is from here: