Origin Story Contest Finalists
Where does Tales come from? Tales doesn’t know! So we enlisted the help of some very creative minds to help us uncover the possibilities in an origin story contest. In all, we had 126 entries! Needless to say our panel of judges had a tough job in selecting a winner! But, here’s the winning story…
First Place – Tales and the Book Bandit
By Amber Phillips
It was an ordinary night. It was past closing time at the Boone County Public Library. All of the doors were locked, all of the lights were off, and everyone was at home sleeping. Everyone that is, except the infamous Book Bandit. Armed with a profound sense of disgust for reading, he was on a mission: to destroy the library and all of the books inside. He crept inside, and began to peruse all of the sections of books. “Where shall I start?” he asked himself, rubbing his hands together and letting out a sinister cackle. “Maybe I’ll start with the children’s books, I can’t stand all of the happiness” he grimaced, making his way to the children’s floor.
As he reached the top of the stairs, he saw a quick shift in the shadows. There was a little girl hiding behind one of the shelves. “What are you doing here?” the Book Bandit asked her. “I couldn’t find my mom, and then all of the lights went out and I got really scared,” she told him. “Do you like it here?” he asked the little girl. “Why of course,” she said, enthusiastically. “Too bad, because I came here to take over and get rid of this place once and for all, and no one can stop me,” the Book Bandit laughed, knocking books off of the shelves as he paced the floor.
The little girl was so scared, when she spotted it in the sky-a shooting star. “I wish I wish there was somebody who could come and protect the library,” she whispered. There was a loud crack of the thunder and a bright flash of lightning. Something was moving in the shadows. He walked out, slowly revealing himself-it was Tales the dragon. “I don’t appreciate you coming here, Book Bandit. You can’t destroy the library, reading is far too important. So many people love it here,” he said. “Nice try,” the Book Bandit cooed, “but I’m determined, and you can’t stop me.”
Suddenly, Tales leapt up and began to pull books off of the shelves. With a magical touch, he brought the characters to life-Spiderman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America-the whole crew! “I’ve got a lot of friends in my favorite books, Mr. Bandit. The power of stories is a lot greater than any power you could ever have,” Tales warned. “We suggest you get out of here quickly, before we’re forced to make you leave.”
The Book Bandit was frightened, and he started to back up slowly. “You may have won this time, Tales, but you can’t stay here forever. I’ll be back,” the Book Bandit said, raising his hands above his head and bolting down the stairs. The little girl came running over and gave Tales a great big hug. “You saved my library!” she said, a huge grin spreading across her face. Tales dismissed his friends, and said to the girl, “it was my pleasure. As long as there is somebody that loves the stories we have here, I will stay here. The Book Bandit won’t get his hands on anything on my watch. Let’s get you home.”
Tales took the little girl back to her house, and decided to come back to stay at the library. He vowed that he would never let the Book Bandit ever hurt the books or the library. As long as people continue to come and enjoy his favorite stories, he’ll stand by them. Tales is always watching over the books and keeping them safe. The library has been his home ever since the night the little girl wished upon the shooting star to save her favorite place.
Special thanks to our panel of judges!
- Priscilla Craddock – Comic Book World
- P. Andrew Miller – Associate Professor of English, Coordinator of Creative Writing at NKU
- William Grapes – Comic Book Writer and Artist of The Infernal Fyre-Dragon comic series