Theological Themes in “Knowing” (2009)

Knowing is a fascinating movie about foreknowledge, determinism, and the end of the world. If you have not seen it, then I highly recommend that you watch it before you read this review. That could be said about any of my reviews, but in this case it is especially true. It has a great “wow” moment at the end which you will not fully appreciate if you already know what will happen.

Plot Summary

The story begins outside William Dawes Elementary School in Lexington, MA in 1959. A young girl (Lucinda Embry) listens to whispers with a worried, and possibly painful, expression on her face. The other children play, seemingly oblivious to the whispers.

Later that day in class, Lucinda’s teacher Miss Taylor announces that the school will bury a time capsule to officially dedicate their school. She asks each student to draw what they think the future will look like. The time capsule will be unburied for children to view in fifty years. Some children draw spaceships and robots, but Lucinda only writes a series of numbers. Each drawing is placed in an envelope and then into the capsule. As two men bury the capsule, Lucinda watches with the same worried expression. A teacher then notices she has disappeared. Police search the school. Miss Taylor finds her in a basement closet scratching the door with bloody fingers. She begs her teacher to make the whispers stop.

Fifty years later, John Koestler is looking through his telescope at Saturn’s rings and invites his son Caleb to look. They discuss the probability of alien life. When he puts Caleb to bed, John says they cannot be sure about the existence of heaven and where Caleb’s mother is, but he tells Caleb to believe if he wants to believe. John then sits alone with a drink and looks at a decorated box with a pained expression.

The next day, John’s class at MIT discusses determinism vs. randomness in the universe and what caused the sun to have the correct distance from Earth, thereby making life possible. Was it determined, or was it random? When a student asks John what he believes, he says, “I think $%# just happens, but that’s me” [0:16:04].

After John dismisses his class he goes to William Dawes Elementary to watch them unbury the time capsule. As children each receive an envelope from the capsule, Caleb hears a high-pitched sound and whispers which no one else hears. He receives Lucinda’s envelope. After he opens it and looks at the numbers, he sees a man in dark clothes watching him from a distance at the edge of a forest.

That night Caleb says his hearing aid is making funny noises. John notices Caleb brought home the sheet of numbers. Caleb thinks it might mean something. After Caleb goes to bed, John accidentally sets wet glass on the paper, making a ring. He notices the sequence 911012996, which he divides into 9/11/01/2996. He checks online and discovers that 2,996 people died on 9/11/01. He then discovers more such patterns indicating dates and how many people died and confirms these predictions through online research.

While at work he shows the sequences which he has circled to Phil Beckman and explains that the sequences predict every major disaster for the past fifty years and how many people died (including the time John’s wife died). The last three sequences, however, indicate disasters which have not yet occurred. Phil points out numbers which are not circled, but John does not know what they mean. Phil thinks John is seeing patterns that are not there.

John then meets with Miss Taylor who first announced the capsule to her class. He shows her Lucinda’s paper with numbers and asks to meet her, but Taylor says Lucinda died several years ago.

While at home, as John attempts to contact the janitors who unburied the capsule, Caleb is kicking a ball in the front yard. Two men in a car stop in front of the house. Caleb hears whispers and high-pitched noises and then runs to the car. One man gives him a small black stone. When John sees them through the window he runs out of the house, thinking Caleb is in danger from the men. He warns Caleb about talking to strangers.

While John researches Lucinda Emory’s death, his sister Grace arrives. She says their parents miss seeing him, but John does not like being a pastor’s son. That night he watches news reports about the economy, solar flares which will interfere with cellular communications, and a fire in the Gulf of Mexico.

The next day while on the way to pick up Caleb from school, John is caught in a traffic jam caused by a traffic accident. He checks his GPS for alternate routes but finds none. He notices his GPS coordinates and checks Lucinda’s paper. He realizes that the uncircled numbers are locations and that he is at the location for a disaster which will allegedly occur on that day as predicted on Lucinda’s paper. A commercial plane then crashes in the field next to the road after scraping its wing across the road and damaging several vehicles. John runs to the crash site and tries to help the survivors.

When he arrives at home, a news story on the TV reports that an estimated 81 people died, the number predicted on Lucinda’s paper. Phil visits the house and encourages John to consider other possibilities. Phil says his scientific mind tells him to have nothing to do with the paper and encourages John to do the same.

One of the strangers from the car watches John’s house from outside. Caleb wakes up hearing whispers. The stranger watches him from across the room and points out his window. Caleb sees everything outside burning. Moose and birds flee an approaching forest fire. Caleb then wakes up from his nightmare and screams. John sees the stranger outside. He runs out with a baseball bat and a flashlight and orders him to stay away.

John then meets Lucinda’s daughter Diana and her daughter Abby at a museum. He tries to talk to Diana about Lucinda’s ability to see the future, but Diana becomes afraid and leaves. John stops her and says he witnessed a plane crash where and when Lucinda said it would happen. He says 170 people will die in New York City tomorrow (Oct 16) and another 33 three days later (on Oct. 19). Diana refuses to listen and leaves. That night a TV reporter speaks about a suspected upcoming terrorist attack on a major east coast city.

John determines the intersection in New York where the next disaster will occur. He calls New York and asks them to seal off the intersection, but they do not listen. He leaves Caleb with Grace and drives to New York City. He finds the street intersection matching the GPS coordinates and then finds a police officer and asks why the intersection has not been sealed off. She asks him to come with her. When he sees a van across the street he runs into the subway. He chases a suspicious looking man, and the police chase John. When the police asks the suspicious man to stop he drops his box, spilling DVDs, not a bomb. A subway train then runs off of its track, causing a major crash and many deaths.

John returns home with Caleb where Diana and Abby are waiting. Diana reminds him that he mentioned October 19 and says that her mother told her that would be the day she would die. As they drive away together, Diana says she has believed all her life that no one can predict her future. She says it does not matter anyway because we all die, and she does not want to know her future. John tells her how his wife died while sleeping during a hotel fire. He had heard that someone is supposed to sense when people he loves are in danger, but that day he felt nothing. He had concluded that no one can know what will happen and that life is “just a string of random accidents and mistakes.” Now he says if he had found the list before that date, then he would have saved her life.

They then arrive at Lucinda’s old home. Diana notices the 33 at the end of the number sequence. She says it looks more like EE written backwards. As they walk in, Diana says that house is where Lucinda died of an overdose. All of her possessions are still there. Diana says Lucinda would say she could hear voices whispering and telling her terrible things. Diana’s father took her away, and then Lucinda moved there “to get ready.”

The next scene alternates between the car with Caleb and Abby and the inside of the house with John and Diana. The walls in one room are covered by news articles documenting various tragedies and a picture which Lucinda would stare at for hours – the wheels in the sky in Ezekiel 1. In Lucinda’s bedroom they find a Bible. While they leave the room John finds a black stone like the one given to Caleb. Outside, Caleb and Abby are asleep in the car. They both wake up and hear whispers while the strange men approach. John then finds a small collection of black stones. One of the strange men walks to the car and says to Caleb, “Come with us.” John turns over Lucinda’s bed and finds “Everyone Else” (which John realizes is the meaning of EE) written repeatedly on the underside. As Abby begins leaving the car, Caleb honks the car horn. When John and Diana run out, the strange men are gone. Abby says the “whisper people” said she and Caleb could go with them if they wanted to.

John sees one of them walking away. He grabs his gun and chases the man. When he finds the man, John asks him what he wants with Caleb. The man shines a bright white light from his mouth which dazes John and then escapes. When they return home, John and Diana both say they think the men have been following them for days. John notes that the final date on Lucinda’s paper does not have coordinates. They discuss whether the paper predicts the end of everything. John tells Caleb he thinks Lucinda could hear the men whisper like Caleb hears them.

The next morning, John finds Abby coloring the Ezekiel picture. At the top of the original picture, God sits in the center of a circle with points around the perimeter. Abby has colored it orange and says, “It’s the sun.” John goes to his office. Drawing from a paper he wrote on solar flares in another star system, he concludes that the numbers on the paper are a warning to everyone. He tells Phil that the Sun will eject a super flare, destroying the ozone layer and killing all life on Earth.

John wonders why he received the prediction if he can do nothing about it. How can he stop the end of the world? Diana admits she knew all her life that Lucinda was right but pretended that she was insane. She suggests some caves where they can take shelter. They then go home and begin packing food and supplies. Caleb hears screeching and whispers. John opens the decorated box and pulls out a locket containing a photo of himself with his wife and Caleb. John calls his father and reminds him of the sermon his father would deliver on Pentecost regarding the gifts of the Spirit, including the gift of prophecy. He warns his father to get deep underground, but his father is at peace with dying when his time comes. The cell phone then loses its signal. John goes upstairs to get Caleb and finds him writing a series of numbers like Lucinda did.

John realizes that Lucinda wrote the final numbers on a door. They drive to the school. John breaks in and takes the door. He then takes it to a shed where he scratches off the paint and then types the final numbers into his GPS. Diana is desperate to go to the cave and takes the children in her car. They are gone when John gets the numbers.

While riding in the car, Abby asks if they are hiding from the whisper people and says that the whisper people know where they are. She has not seen them again, but they speak to her and Caleb by whispering in their heads. This distresses Diana. She then stops at a gas station which receives an emergency broadcast warning people to stock up supplies and either stay indoors or seek underground shelter.

Caleb calls John’s cell phone. Diana takes the phone. John tells her the coordinates lead to her mother’s mobile home. He insists that they must go to her mother’s mobile home and that the caves will not protect them because the solar radiation will penetrate a mile into the Earth’s crust. Someone then steals her car, taking the children. Diana steals another car and chases them, but she runs a red light and is hit by a large truck. The children then realize that the car is being driven by one of the whisper people with another in the passenger seat.

John finds the gas station, which is being overrun by panicked people, but Diana and the children are gone. The attendant tells him someone took her car and that she chased them in another car. John speeds down the road to the crash site. Diana is in an ambulance where paramedics fail to revive her and declare her dead. He finds a black stone in her hand.

John arrives at the mobile home with his gun in his hand. His GPS is not working. He sees tire tracks and follows them through a field and into a clearing where the ground is covered with black stones. He drives further, with his gun in hand, and finds the car with the doors open. He searches while calling for Caleb and finds a whisper person. He approaches the man, pointing the gun at him, and demands his son. Caleb runs out to stop him. Three more whisper people approach them. John wants to leave, but Caleb says they need to go with the whisper people. Caleb and Abby (who are each holding a white rabbit) explain that the whisper people have been protecting them and “sent a message ahead of them to prepare the way” (1:45:13) and have now come for them.

More whisper people arrive, and then a spaceship descends through the clouds. Caleb tells John that the whisper people chose them so that they can start over. A spaceship made of rotating circles descends from the sky and hovers, and then a sphere exits the ship and lands on the ground. A whisper person stops them and communicates telepathically with Caleb. Caleb tells John that only the chosen may go. Caleb and Abby are chosen but not John. After a brief pause to think, John tells Caleb to be strong and to care for Abby. Caleb does not want to leave John, but John encourages him to leave. He insists that they will all be together along with Caleb’s mother. He gives Caleb the locket. Caleb joins the whisper people who transform into luminous aliens with translucent skin. He and Abby board the spaceship with the aliens and the rabbits. The spaceship then leaves earth as many other ships leave from locations all over the world.

John returns to the city, which is in chaos as people panic. He goes to his sister’s house. When she asks where Caleb is, John says Caleb is safe. He goes into the living room where he finds his parents. His father tells him it is not the end. The solar flares then destroy everything on Earth.

Caleb and Abby, now wearing white clothes, are standing in a large field on another world. They place the rabbits on the ground and watch the spaceship leave. They then run across the field toward a large white tree with widely spreading branches. In the distance, more spaceships can be seen leaving the planet.

Theological Themes

John’s father is a pastor, but John has lost faith. He is not convinced that heaven is real and says he cannot know where his dead wife is. His experience with seeing Lucinda’s prophecies come true, however, leads him to reconsider his beliefs. He calls his father, reminds him of the sermon on the gifts of the Spirit, and warns him to seek shelter. Later when faced with his upcoming death and the departure of Caleb, John assures Caleb that they will all be together, mother included. He does not express a new opinion on his father’s faith (except for the sermon on prophecy), but he does believe that there is more than the material life that we see every day.

John also changes his view on determinism vs. randomness. When discussing the question with his class, he says, “I think $%# just happens, but that’s me.” Witnessing the fulfillment of Lucinda’s prophecy seems to change his mind. He does not express a hard determinism view, but the does believe that the predictions are genuine, which would preclude randomness and “$%# just happens.”

Much of the theological material in Knowing revolves around the apocalypse. It does not portray a biblical view, but it does make some loose biblical references. It makes heavy use of numbers in Lucinda’s predictions. Numbers appear in the book of Revelation and other biblical prophecies. The movie also makes a few references to Ezekiel 1 in which the prophet Ezekiel sees a vision of wheels in the sky. Diana says that Lucinda would stare for hours at a drawing depicting that vision. Later Abby colors the picture and says that the circle at the top (not one of the wheels) is the sun. Near the end of the movie, a space ship descends to retrieve Caleb and Abby. It looks like a collection of rotating wheels.

After the ships leave, everything on Earth is destroyed. Like the book of Revelation, however, this is followed with a time of renewal. In the last scene, Caleb and Abby run across a field toward a large tree, presumably on another planet. This tree could be a reference to the Tree of Life in Revelation 21 which describes the new heaven, new earth, and the new Jerusalem. Revelation 22:1-3 describes the river of life with the Tree of Life on both sides of the river. There is, however, no river or city in the field on the new planet, and so it could instead be a new Eden. Which interpretation is intended is unclear, but considering the number of biblical references in this movie, the tree on this planet is most likely intended to refer to the tree in either Eden or the New Earth.

Also note that Revelation was written by the apostle John who informs people of God’s coming judgment. In Knowing, John Koestler receives the revelation in the numbers and warns people of the coming disasters. It is reasonable to conclude that John Koestler’s name is likely intended to be a reference to the apostle John.

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Writing Prompt – Artificially Intelligent Judge

A local government (city or county) appoints an artificial intelligence as a judge.


 

  • Consider possible advantages in an artificially intelligent judge:
    1. It could know all relevant laws and precedents without any lapse in memory, maybe a nation’s entire legal code in all areas of law with no need to specialize.
    2. It could work in any jurisdiction provided that jurisdiction coded its legal code into a compatible database file which could be uploaded to the AI judge.
    3. The judge would be impartial and could not be manipulated by emotional appeals or prejudice, if its programmers do not insert prejudice into the code. (Also a disadvantage. See below.)
  • Also consider possible disadvantages or risks in an artificially intelligent judge:
    1. It would be inflexible, with no compassion or mercy.
    2. It would be logical but with no moral consciousness.
    3. It would be vulnerable to manipulation by programmers who have political agendas but no legal training.
    4. Its ability to work in any jurisdiction could lead to more centralized control.
    5. Distrust of artificial intelligence could generate numerous requests for appeal of its decisions.
  • This story is an opportunity to take advantage of one of the greatest strengths of science fiction – the ability to use hypothetical situations to explore ideas which are of genuine concern to people.
  • This story could go many ways. It could explore the following issues:
    1. What are the ethics and viability of AI and the limits we should impose on its use? This question is relevant today as we develop AI for such uses as autonomous cars, human resources management, and medical care.
    2. Is an AI sentient?
    3. Which safeguards should we put on the decision-making algorithms of AI?
    4. Which checks and balances should be placed on the programmers to prevent the insertion of personal agendas into the programming?

You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

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Writing Prompt – A Strange Forest Path to an Even Stranger Place

You are hiking a forest trail which you have hiked many times. You gradually notice some details which are not quite right. After while it looks like you are no longer in the same forest but instead somewhere strange.


  • Choose any forest trail that you know well. Describe it in detail: the trees and underbrush, sounds, animals, etc. Is this forest in some mountains, a national park, or the forest behind your house?
  • Explain that you have been down this trail many times and why: exploring as a child, a chance to relax and clear your head after a stressful week of work, hunting, camping
  • Then something changes. Maybe things look increasingly different the deeper you go into the forest, or maybe you find a new trail (which you have never seen before now) veering off of the current trail.
  • The air feels different. Is it more/less humid, calmer or more windy, or a difference that is less tangible?
  • You notice different sounds. Maybe they are ominous or just eerie. Maybe humming or fluttering sounds. Describe them.
  • You notice that the trees, bushes, and underbrush are different, like nothing you have ever seen. Describe them.
  • You notice birds, insects, or other animals that you have never seen anywhere in your entire life. You wonder if your eyes are tricking you.
  • You might see a strange building in the forest.
  • This story is a great opportunity to borrow from mythology, folklore, and fairy tales from any culture. Some possibilities include:
    1. The hut of Baba Yaga
    2. Fairies, dryads, nymphs, satyrs
    3. Forest elf city
    4. Ents
    5. Something that makes people fall asleep for many years
  • How did you get here? Any of these options have great potential.
    1. Did the forest vanish with you inside and appear in a place where such creatures are normal?
    2. If you followed a new path, did it lead into a new realm? Why did the new trail appear in a forest you have visited many times without seeing that trail?
    3. Maybe you did not go anywhere unusual, but these creatures moved into the forest. Why? Are they there to stay?
  • How will you return home? After you return home, will you avoid the forest in the future or return to explore it further?

You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

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Fontana Village 2018 – A Day on the Town

6/21/18

For our last full day on vacation we drove to Bryson City, NC for lunch and some shopping. First we went to CJ’s Grille and ate outside with a nice view of the mountains. They had a great special on wings, and so I ordered some hot, Cajun garlic, and honey mustard BBQ, and I traded one wing with my brother-in-law for a lemon pepper wing. All of them were good. If you visit Bryson City, then I recommend CJ’s Grille (Facebook, Maps).

During the meal a cat was relaxing near our table. I was impressed that he was not intimidated unfamiliar people or the busy atmosphere. Being a cat lover, I gave him a few scraps. While we were leaving he wasted no time in claiming our leftovers. He was not even shy about it. A waitress told my father that he is a community cat and that various people feed him and take him to the vet. I do not know whether or not he has an official home, but people do care for him. He seems happy with his life.

After lunch we explored the town. I visited a used book store (always a good choice) and a chocolate shop with my sisters. We then returned to Fontana Village.

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Writing Prompt – Ship in a Bottle

You find a ship in a bottle . . . with people onboard.


  • First decide where you find the bottle. It could be in a ship captain’s quarters, in a museum, in an antique shop, or somewhere else. This will significantly affect the plot
  • Also decide on the type of ship. Much could depend on whether it is a ship of exploration, a pirate ship, a fishing ship, a cruise ship, a ship carrying colonists, or even a ghost ship.
  • How did the ship get in the bottle? How long have the people on the ship lived inside the bottle?
  • How do they have enough air to breath and enough food to eat? Maybe their world is larger than what you see in the bottle, and you only see the area immediately surrounding the ship.
  • Do they know they are in a bottle?
  • Are they aware of people watching them from outside the bottle?
  • Can you affect the world inside the bottle?
    1. Create a large wave by shaking or tilting the bottle
    2. Add a giant squid
    3. If you place another ship in a bottle next to this one, will they fight a battle?
    4. What happens if you break the bottle?
  • Do the people on that ship have a ship in a bottle with people onboard? If you are on a ship, is it in a bottle as well?

You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

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The Value of a Writing Notebook

Last Monday morning before work I read this post about the connection between a writer and his or her notebook. Later that morning I thought about my notebook. I carry it with me almost every time I leave my house. I bring it to church, and I keep it in my pocket at work. Sometimes during breaks or while waiting for our shift meetings to begin, I will sit on a shipping pallet and write a few notes. I wonder if my co-workers watch me and wonder what I am doing each day.

One time many months ago I lost one of my notebooks. I was not panicking, but I was seriously worried. Sure, I could re-write some of my ideas, but not all of them. Even those I re-wrote would not be quite the same. Losing that notebook would be a serious loss. Eventually I did find it. It had fallen into the narrow slot between the car seat and the storage compartment between the seats. What a relief!

When I am recording my first thoughts on a new idea I prefer to write them by hand. Sometimes I do not know how I will use an idea. Sometimes it is vague, and I do not know how I will complete it. Not a problem. I write my notes anyway. Maybe I will think of a way to use them someday. The notes do not need to be perfect. A perfectionist approach will get me nowhere. At this stage they only to be written.

For my writing activities, my most valuable possessions are my tablet and my notebooks. Losing a notebook would be worse than losing a favorite book. I can replace a book, but I cannot replace a notebook. Yes, many of my notes are typed into my computer, but some are not typed. Even if every word was typed into my computer, I would still hate to lose the notebook. It contains my ideas in their earliest forms.

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Writing Prompt – Visiting Auschwitz

I had originally planned to post my next prompt on Friday or this weekend, but I finished it early. I am also interested in people’s thoughts on it. Sometimes a story can serve as a reminder of terrible deeds of the past so that we can avoid them in the future. Someone could do that with this prompt.

Picture yourself visiting Auschwitz. You try to imagine the lives of the Jews imprisoned there and the suffering they endured. You imagine their conversations and the conversations of the guards. You start hearing their voices and think your imagination is getting the best of you. Then you realize you are in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

  • Imagine yourself visiting Poland. Maybe you are visiting your family. Maybe you are a tourist. Maybe you are researching the Holocaust. In any case, you visit the Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp.
  • As you explore the buildings and grounds, you ponder what Jews exerienced there here in the 1940s.
    1. The harsh labor conditions which ensured a high mortality rate
    2. The starvation, thirst, and exhaustion
    3. The gas chambers and the suffering of those who died from Zyklon B.
    4. The crematoria used to burn the dead
    5. The medical experiments conducted on prisoners
    6. The pain of losing relatives
    7. The hopelessness they must have felt
  • You then consider the guards.
    1. What would lead a person to participate in such horrific activities?
    2. Did some of them question what they were doing? If so, did they feel powerless to do anything about it? How did they sleep at night?
  • You try to imagine what it must have been like to visit this place when it was still operating.
    1. You picture how the prisoners may looked after a day of hard labor.
    2. You imagine the conversations of the guards as they went about their daily duties.
  • Then you think you can hear their conversatons. You feel sudden disorientation. When you return to your senses, the people who were exploring the compound with you are gone. Instead, you are in Auschwitz in the 1940s.
    1. How did you get there? How will you return to your time? Can you return?
    2. Are you there as a prisoner or a guard? Have your clothes changed to fit the times?
    3. Will you try to change history and save some of the prisoners? Can you change history? Or do you only want to escape this place and return home?
    4. How much do you know of what happened here? The more you know, the more prepared you will be.
  • This story would be difficult to write. Detailed sensory data would be a must, as would engaging exploration of deep emotional struggles. The history of Auschwitz cannot be handled lightly. It was a dark time in history. For many people, such a topic may be too disturbing to consider, but we cannot forget what happened there because we cannot let it happen again.


How would you develop this story? Please leave your thoughts in a comment.

Because of the sensitive nature of this topic, I asked my sister to proofread this before I posted it. She also enjoys writing. You can read her blog here.


You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

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Let Your Imagination Roam

After writing my first draft of my next writing prompt post (which should be posted on Friday or this weekend) I considered how this series allows me to let my imagination run in any direction. Even while I am still learning how to form a full story, I can nonetheless enjoy the fun of exploring where my imagination can take me. My second writing prompt post also gave me a reason to pull out books from my collection that I have not read since college.

Sometimes I wonder what my cat does when she is roaming outside. Which new territory does she explore? What sorts of adventures does she enjoy? Which animals does she hunt, or does she run up a tree to escape a large dog? Unlike her, I have a job and obligations. I cannot run out on a whim and go wherever I want. Despite this, I can still let my imagination out to play, and when I am at home I can try to express it. I will try to do that with my writing prompt posts.

What do you do to let your imagination run wild? Do you paint or sculpt? Do you play improv music? It can be a strange place, but it can also be fun.

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Writing Prompt – Some Reanimated DNA

A scientist acquires what he thinks is dinosaur DNA and uses methods inspired by Jurassic Park to bring it to life . . ., but it is not dinosaur DNA. It is Grendel’s DNA.

  • Someone could write this as a horror story, but I am thinking more along the lines of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits.
  • I think this story should begin with an embryologist who is a big fan of the book and/or movie Jurassic Park and has often wished he could recreate a dinosaur. A paleontologist friend finds a bone which he believes belonged to a dinosaur. Some portayals of Grendel present him as a giant. If so, then his bones are larger than human bones. That may be why the paleontologist thought the bone belonged to a dinosaur.
  • While examining the bone in his lab, the paleontologist finds some soft tissue and is able to extract some DNA which he sends to the embryologist.
  • After this point the story could go in a few directions:
    1. After the cloned Grendel grows to maturity, he might break out of the lab and rampage through the town. This would work if the writer wants a story similar to classic monster movies or a silly monster movie on the Syfy channel.
    2. Maybe the lab is in a secured government base, in which case the scientists and military struggle to keep the monster contained.
    3. Maybe Grendel runs into the wilderness. The scientists know they need to deal with him, and so as the military searches they work on a solution.
  • Eventually someone needs to kill Grendel. He hates all of humanity, and so he will be a serious threat to everyone as long as he lives. The Grendel in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf did not become evil because of a hard childhood. Living as an outcast very likely contributed to his evil nature, but at the root he was evil by nature because of his lineage from Cain and the punishment from God.
    1. Maybe the military kills him.
    2. Maybe some hunters kill him while he is in the wilderness.
    3. If he flees into a remote wilderness, then maybe the scientists will have time to develop something before he becomes a serious threat. He could still pose a threat, however, to hikers and campers. Maybe the locals of a nearby village identify him with a monster in an old local legend.

You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

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A Memorial Day Display

This is cool. I went downtown to update the address on my car registration where I saw a Memorial Day display outside the Hart County courthouse. I saw crosses for WW1, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam, MPE, and even the Spanish American War. I did not read every cross, and so I may have missed one or two wars. This town has been serving in the United States military for many years.

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