My Favourite Monster A-Z – Harpy

October 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm (fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , )

Another of my favourites from Greek mythology, these hideous bird-woman were often describes as having putrid oily feathers, and morsels of rotting carcasses dotting their plumage. They were also portrayed as vicious and shrill which explains where the modern use of the term “harpy” comes from, describing a disagreeable woman with those character traits.

Norm, the main character in my short story “Insurance” thinks of his mother-in-law as the mythical beast, and refers to her as “the harpy”:

Norm’s mother-in-law was a wiry woman of average height and a very sour disposition; she would screech at Norm on a daily basis, hovering over him like some wretched harpy unless he purposefully made himself scarce. She definitely believed her son-in-law to be the instigator of all her daughter’s woes and would whisper to Luanne about divorcing “the useless grease-monkey” when she thought Norm was out of earshot. It did not make his life any easier, and her negativity was certainly putting a strain on Norm and Luanne’s relationship. He needed to find a way out, and soon, or their marriage would be doomed and that would likely send him back into the bottle.

Here’s my sketch of a harpy above.

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