April 19th, 2009

mythological being known for reclusiveness/not wanting to be around humans

I've got a somewhat deluded character (she knows that it's not real, but prefers it to reality) who tells herself that her social phobia means that she's really an X, where X is a mythological being known for reclusiveness and fear of humans.

This isn't a main plot point of the story, as I envision it now, it is just an example of her inner fantasy life. I need for X to be some creature or being that is known for not wanting to be around humans--for wanting to hide, to be left alone, or to run away from humans. Ruling out all creatures or beings that seek to play tricks on, seduce, or kill humans.

My mind went immediately to unicorns as being solitary and wanting to be left alone, but unicorns are kinda overdone, and then there's that "taming by virgin" motif, which doesn't fit. I'd rather use something unusual that my character would discover in a book, not something like a unicorn that she would have always known about.

I also thought of the Yeti or Sasquatch, but I really doubt she would want to imagine she was a Yeti. If there's a similar creature that isn't so strongly known as male, giant, and hairy, it might work.

My character's mother is a librarian and she is a prolific reader of fantasy even in her most locked-in periods, and she's also a big computer user, so this being could be from any mythology; it doesn't have to be something that is common knowledge to people in the northeastern United States, where the story takes place.

The creature/being could possibly be one that is comfortable among its own kind, or one that is solitary. It can be partially or even mostly unpleasant (she's certainly got some self-loathing), but there should be something about it that makes it attractive, so that daydreaming about it is a soothing thing.

Since my character is currently sleeping during the day and waking at night in order to minimize interacting with her family, a being associated with night would be ideal, but please offer any suggestions you have.

Before people ask: no, I'm not planning on having her be otherkin.

I've found Googling difficult because I can't use "myth" because it's so often used to mean "misconception" (such as "top ten myths about shy children"). Here are some example search terms: shy "mythological" creature, shy myths, shy "mythological" beings, reclusive "mythological" beings, "mythology" "afraid of humans"
I also browsed around on Wikipedia for a while by looking around their various mythology categories, but they seem to have everything categorized by culture ("English legendary creatures" etc), and since I don't care where it's from, that makes looking through the many stubs very onerous indeed.

My "mythology" "afraid of humans" search gave me the ciguapa which looked promising but further searching informed me that the "afraid of humans" bit was made up for that particular children's book--the original myths about ciguapa have them luring men into sex and then killing them, similar to sirens.

Air bag injuries in an adult

Setting: The novel takes place in a modern metropolitan environment. The vehicle, which is a 2006 Hyundai coupe, is hit from behind with an SUV and rammed off the road. They're on an expressway and it's going fast enough that momentum carries it through the guard rail and down an embankment (about a five to seven foot drop). Its momentum is stopped when it rolls into a cement piling. Air bags deploy. The driver, an adult female with her seat belt buckled, is apparently unharmed when she flees the scene but I need her to have slight to moderate airbag injuries later after the adrenaline wears off and she seeks medical attention.

terms searched: air bag impact, air bag deployment, air bag injuries on impact, collision injuries air bag

Articles found via Google: An abstract on fracture patterns due to impact, Assessing Air Bag Injuries, Air Bag Injuries.

Unfortunately, most of what I found involved wrongful death, litigation, or injuries to people who were unrestrained or to infants and children.

None of these had exactly the information I needed. Where, for instance, exactly are the fractures located? What do they look like? What kind of abrasions and in what locations? What is the likelihood of chemical burns, where would they be located, and how would you know if deep tissue had died (as mentioned in one of the articles)? What bones are most likely to break?

There's only one other qualification: it can't leave a scar and it can't leave her permanently disabled. It's all right for her to be out of commission for quite a while; in fact, I'd prefer it.