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Week 9 Story: The Dreams of Sun Wu Kung


I've been asleep for so long.




I cannot tell.

What else can I do trapped beneath a mountain?

I sleep. And I dream.

I dream of my life before this imprisonment.

I dream of the day that I emerged from a stone, high atop the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits.

I dream of the simple life that I had among my ape brethren. Of the days of joy before they made me their king.

I remember the day that I became the King of the Monkeys. I remember the great waterfall and the secret cavern behind it.

I wish I knew back then where my ambition would lead me.

Most often I dream about immortality. I dream of the fateful day when I decided that I would not be constrained by the mortality of a living being.

I remember it clearly. Too clearly. It always brings me pain.

I remember how, on that day, I witnessed the deaths of my friends for the first time. I saw the pain and misery on their families' faces. That day I made a vow to become immortal. And what pain and misery that vow has brought me.

I did not fail in my quest. Through the arts of mind and body, I found the secret to immortality. But, like a fool, I was not satisfied.

Through the heavenly fruits of the gods, I found immortality again. Still, I was not satisfied.

Through the nectar-like wine of the ancient spirits, I drank eternal life. Yet still, I was not satisfied.

Through the life-giving pills of the great Laotzse, I gained a level of immortality never even imagined. And here, I finally faced the consequences.

I fought gods!

I became a god!

I was worshipped and I was arrogant.

In the end, the mighty Buddha himself was forced to restrain me
He threw me down to the Earth, pinned me with a great mountain made of all the elements, and sealed me away.

So I sleep.

And I dream.

And I wait.

For one day, the world will need me again.

One day, they will call out for Sun Wu Kung. They will call out for the Monkey King.

And I will come. Wiser for my experiences.

I just hope the day comes soon.

The day when I can finally wake up...

Wuxingshan (Also known as the Five Finger Mountain)

Author's Note:

This story is really just a taste of the legend of Sun Wu Kung aka the Monkey King. I wanted to write something that would hopefully inspire other people to go read the great stories of the overwhelmingly powerful (and sometimes arrogant) Sun. I left most things intentionally vague here in the hopes that, by reading this story, you might go read the legend for yourself! Pretty much everything that I have described here is elaborated on fully in the full story, and I have linked the unit below in the bibliography! If you feel like I should explain some more of what this story talks about in this author's note, leave me a comment and I'll probably update it! Thanks for reading!

Unit: The Monkey King
Story: The Ape Sun Wu Kung
From: The Chinese Fairy Book
By: R. Wilhelm
Translator: Frederick H. Martens

Photo Credits:
Wuxingshan (Also known as the Five Finger Mountain)


  1. Hi Rhys! I have not read the story of the Monkey King, but I really enjoyed your rendition of it. It was mysterious and vague enough for me to be curious of the original story, making me want to read it, but it was also written in a way that I cold enjoy it on its own. I loved the writing style, it felt like I was truly inside the Monkey King's mind, listening to his agonizing thoughts. Also, it legitimately feels like he has been asleep for eons, thinking and rethinking about his life and his past choices. I think you did an amazing job with this story, but I still would like to get more context in the author's note. As much as I want to read the entire unit, I know that I probably will not do it, so getting some context on the story would be incredibly helpful. Great job!

  2. Hi Rhys!
    I also have not read the original telling of the Monkey King either, but have read multiple retellings of the story and have gotten a rough idea of the source material and find your retelling to be tense. The descriptions of the thoughts within the monkey king's head made me feel like I was right there with him experiencing the story. Overall, a great job and I can't wait to see what all you write in the future!

  3. Hello Rhys,

    I would like to begin by saying that you did a great job with your story. I have not had a chance to read the original story but I really enjoyed reading your version of the story. The dialogue you utilized made like I was in the story itself. I really like Monkey's so I enjoyed the story. Overall, good job and I hope to read more stories from you.


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