1:5 – How Evil Came to Be

by VictoriaWoo

At the end of this lesson you will find detailed instructions for this assignment. Your task is to take the story that Kings tells about how evil comes into the world at the witches conference [In “The Truth About Stories” ] — and change the story any way you want — as long as the end remains the same: once you have told a story, you can never take it back. So, be careful of the stories you tell, AND the stories you listen to. 

Then learn your story by heart, and then tell the story to your friends and family. When you are finished, post a blog with your version of the story and some commentary on what you discovered. If you want, you can post a video of you telling the story, in place of text.

How Evil Came to Be 

There is a story I know. It’s about a woman who had two faces. But no one knew she had two faces, for, she only revealed one of them in the light of the day. Many thousands of years ago, this woman lived in a small town populated with folks of all kinds— merchants, labouring men, women, and their children. Now, this woman often stood behind a shoddy wooden stand in the town’s marketplace, auctioning off trinkets and bottled concoctions supposedly possessing metaphysical powers. The town folk were wary of her, though, and warned their children not to stray too far near her, for they had heard rumours of her wickedness from the animals that lurked the streets at night.

One fateful night, however, a young boy of no more than 6 found himself wandering through the cobblestoned marketplace, in search for the whale-shaped stone he had found earlier that day while playing near his father’s kiosk. His eyes, scanning the ground intently, were suddenly drawn to a rather curious looking jewel, which seemed to glisten in the light of the full moon. Lurching forward to pocket the strange ornament, he was startled by the hooting of an owl. And, when the boy looked up, he was startled again by the sight of an old woman standing before him, immediately noticing her straggly black hair, which hung to her waist, and her piercing blue eyes which swelled as though ready to spill out at any given moment. Of course, innocent as he were, the boy gestured the jewel to the woman thinking that it must be hers. But he froze petrified, in the midst of his movement, because the old woman’s head began to turn. And creak. And then turn again. Her head continued to turn until it had swivelled halfway around her wrinkly neck, revealing a face that was unknown to mankind— unknown to the innocence of a child. The boy’s body instantaneously fell lifeless, and with that, Evil prevailed and Innocence was lost forever.

The town’s animals, the only true witnesses, murmured amongst one another, mourning the fall of Innocence. They told the story of the two-faced woman far and wide throughout the town, but the people were stricken and most refused to listen. “But, of course, it was too late. For once a story is told, it cannot be called back. Once told, it is loose in the world” (King, 10).


My imagination has fallen quite a bit to the wayside since I was a child, and I think this shows in my story. I found it pretty difficult to come up with a preliminary idea that was completely original, but I guess all ideas draw from some previous influence (whether subconsciously or consciously). The difference between written storytelling and oral storytelling became so apparent to me through this assignment; I told my story aloud to friends and family and found the intonation of my speaking so important in portraying it how I imagined. With the written version, I found that it sounded more story-like to me if I wrote it out in the same way I would say it aloud. For example, usually I wouldn’t start sentences with “but” or “and,” yet the story seemed to flow much more organically when I did. I tried to leave parts of the story open to interpretation (names of characters and names of places) such that a reader/listener could construct the story as they saw it in their own mind. This was definitely a challenge to me creatively.

Works Cited

King, Thomas. The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2003. Print.

Popova, Maria. “Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity.” Brain Pickings. n.p. n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.