Category: Write on Edge


Purpose

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

They were there on purpose. But whether they were placed there or left there was unknown. Had there once been a forest of trees, these few left simply for…for what? Or had it always been a grassy plain, with these dozen trees carefully tended until they could survive on their own?

It had been a long walk to find the place. The journey was made longer because she had no idea where the end was, or how far the journey would be.

The sky was monochrome. She couldn’t tell if it was consistently overcast, or if it was clear and this was simply the color of the sky in this place.

The air was thin. It had been uphill, all the way, even to the bitter end.

The trees marked the horizon perfectly. The trunks met the ground precisely where the ground met the sky. It must be some kind of optical illusion, because they stayed that way even when she was finally among them. She looked to the right. The line of trees met the horizon. She looked to the left and saw the same. No sea, no vast landscape, no gently sloping path leading her down into the next…

There was nothing. She looked back the way she had come. It was open to her, yet there was no going back. That was the path she had taken. It was not meant to be retraced. It was not meant to be regretted.

Ahead of her, the unknown. The undefined.

And so she leapt.

With purpose.

This story was written for the Write On Edge week 10 prompt that was the picture. I ignored the quote. It did not speak to me.

This one turned out much more poetic than most of my stuff, but it intrigues me… what do you think?

Concrit is welcome!

 

Advertisements

Kitsch

I would totally pay $175 for this!

I would totally pay $175 for this!

“It’s big,” he said, taking the life-size resin alligator out of the cardboard box and brushing off the styrofoam popcorn.

“Life size!” she answered happily, helping to brush off her new prized possession.

“It’s going to scare the mailman.”

“It’s cute!”

“It’s plastic,” he said, dropping it onto the grass.

“It’s kitsch.”

“Is that better?”

She ignored him, leaning over to pet the alligator.

He sighed. “Well, is that where you want him? He’s kinda heavy…”

“No. He goes over there…” she gestured to a small plot of freshly dug earth that was indeed near the mailbox.

“Isn’t that were you planted the daffodils?”

“Yup!”

He moved the alligator.

“There. Is that all?”

She paused. “Ummm… for now.”

“For now?”

“For now. I ordered a rhinoceros too, but the shipping is killer.”

OK, cute, but not exactly a story. It’s more like a little scene of someone’s life. But I loved the prompt and wanted to participate this week. I remembered seeing resin alligators in the Toscano catalog, so I looked it up and found one I liked. I can totally see this one in a field of daffodils! Actually, my first choice of life-size lawn ornament would be a police box. Or a giraffe. Or both….

What about you? If you had a big yard and and a coupon for hundreds of dollars for a place like Toscono, what kind of lawn ornament would you buy?

The Strike

By Frank Cadogan Cowper, Pre Raphaelite

By Frank Cadogan Cowper, Pre Raphaelite

I remember the first time grand-père struck Mama. I was only ten years old, and my father had just died.

“Stupid woman!” he snarled. I had never seen him snarl before. “You shall never be the Countess. You have served your purpose and should feel nothing but gratitude that I allow you to remain in my house at all.”

Grand-père called Mama a vessel…a cup. A used cup that could be discarded at any moment. She had done her duty and borne the heir and the spare (my brothers) and one daughter, me. Ironic, though, that her name was Belle. For a bell, before it is struck, is nothing more than a cup…

Mama recoiled at that first strike. She had no concept that one human could lay a hand on another like that…she was so sheltered. That first time, I think she actually forgot it ever happened, as we forget the strange experiences we have in dreams so readily because they are so unfamiliar.

The second time grand-père struck her, she began to vibrate. The vibration resonated, and the quiet, meek little woman who had happily lived her very sheltered and submissive life began to change. Her back was straighter. She looked people directly in the eye when speaking, and her voice was always clear and strong, no longer the mere whisper it had once been.

And there were letters. I didn’t learn until much later in life just what all those letters enabled her to do, but I know that grand-père underestimated the power of the written word, and such was his downfall.

The third time grand-père struck Mama was the last time he laid a hand on her, and the last time we saw him. I’m sure grand-père had no idea my brother had just come through the door behind him. My brother, now the Earl of Danbury, who was then seventeen and more than old enough to make his own decisions. My brother, my hero, decided we were to go and live with Mama’s family in Lavaré, France, while he continued his studies in Paris.

A bell, when struck, rings with a beautiful sound.

A glass, when struck, shatters.

Lady Crystal Basingstoke

This was written for the Write at the Merge prompt “An old bandit adage: A bell is a cup until it is struck.” ~Colin Meloy

I’m curious what readers thought about the time setting. Did a particular era quickly come to mind? Could it be in any of several time periods, as written? This is not related to anything else I’ve written.

Muskrat Love

Cheezy.

“I still say Muskrat Love was the seminal piece of acoustic art to come out of the 1970’s…” Nevaeh argued as they climbed the long winding stair, lanterns swinging and casting odd shadows in the lighthouse’s stairwell. It was an enclosed stair, unlike some houses they’d visited where a climber could look down from the ever more dizzying heights as they climbed.

Sam was breathing too hard to answer her, but it didn’t matter. She was off on one of her monologues about the deterioration of popular music in general, and didn’t expect him to contribute to the conversation. He tried to keep his eyes on the stairs, but they kept straying to the long white legs in front of him. The legs that had been wrapped around him just a few weeks ago.

Nevaeh had declared their one and only sexual encounter a “huge embarrassing mistake” and suggested they forget it ever happened and go back to being friends. Sam, hopelessly in love, didn’t know what to say. He’d just gone along with her, laughing it off even though his heart was breaking inside.

Her voice trailed off ahead and he realized she had put on a burst of speed. She was out of sight, halfway gone up and around the ever-winding stairs. “…but the Captain and Tennille…” she was saying, but he couldn’t make out the rest. It sounded like “made chicken with bisquick beans” but he was pretty sure that’s not what she said.

“Oh my god! This was totally worth it!” Nevaeh exclaimed when he finally joined her at the top. The sun was barely peaking above the watery horizon, its light already brightening the coastline.

It was a perfect moment. He should put his arms around her. It was cold…that was a good excuse. But would she laugh him away? Would it make her uncomfortable?

Sam just stared at her as she stared at the sunset. Then she shivered, and he instinctively reached out, wrapping his arms around her.

“Thanks.” She said. It was a single word, almost impossible to interpret the tone. But Sam knew her well. Even with no words, he’d know what she was thinking. It was the exact same “thanks” she would have given him if he’d handed her something she’d dropped.

He savored the moment anyway. When she squirmed as if to move, he held her there, and she acquiesced. Without looking, he knew her brow was furrowed, wondering why he was keeping her there.

She was already halfway gone, relegating their love to just friendship. He had to get them back to where he’d thought they’d been headed all along, with the sweet and perfect kind of love immortalized in 70’s pop.

“It wasn’t a mistake,” he said softly, rocking ever so gently with her in his arms, both of them facing the sunrise.

For once, Nevaeh didn’t immediately answer.

But she didn’t pull away either.

This was written for the Write at the Merge prompt for week 26. Mandy joked that she wanted to prompt us with Muskrat Love and lanterns, but decided instead to use an acoustic version of Lifehouse’s Halfway Gone and a lighthouse.

I took them all. I’m greedy that way.

My biggest question: is it OK for this to feel like the beginning of a story (or the end) instead of being a complete story in and of itself?

Maud’Dib

“Maa-om…Jeremy’s chasing me with a giant worm!” Olivia whined from the bedroom door.

Jenny sighed. She couldn’t even have two uninterrupted minutes to use the bathroom without the kids shrieking at her. Their dad wouldn’t be home for two more days. It had been the longest six weeks of Jenny’s life, or at least it felt like it. These extended trips were part of the package deal. They were usually only one or two weeks, three at the most, but this latest had been necessarily longer. He could have come home half way through, but as much as he missed them and they missed him, it didn’t make sense to fly over the Pacific twice.

Jenny finished in the bathroom and meandered slowly towards the sounds of howling laughter. They were getting rambunctious, but it probably wasn’t anything she needed to interfere with. She was just glad they were playing in the rest of the house instead of in the master suite. The parents’ bedroom was usually off limits to the kids, but the day before had been extra rainy and thundery and Jenny had played with them in the big closet, having fun pushing buttons and making the giant clothes rack revolve.

She was really looking forward to her husband coming home. Not just for the kids’ sake, but for her own. She’d indulged in a new toy for herself…a very realistic-looking phallus instead of the plain vibrating cylinder she usually used. It was…different. It did the job, but then she stored it back in its box in the closet. Her trusty standard model vibrator was much more efficient. When she told her husband she’d put it away, he’d teased her. “What, did Maud’Dib scare you?” he said, referring to the giant worm god from Dune, one of her favorite movies.

“Why do you have to name everything?” she asked, laughing. He’d gone on to remind her of the many names she’d come up with for various parts of his anatomy, and she broke into fits of giggles that caused both kids, watching Netflix in the other room, to turn and ask her what was so funny.

She hadn’t explained.

Olivia shrieked in that high pitch that only four-year-old girls can hit, running past her mother and slamming her way out the back door.

Jeremy followed after her, wielding something that did indeed resemble a giant worm.

Maud’Dib.

This was written for the Write on Edge prompt that was 1) a picture of a fancy closet with movable racks and 2) the SNL musical skit “dick in a box.”

I have a direct question: Should I have left the story where I did? I still had more than 100 words before reaching the 500 limit. Should I have given a little more wrap-up of how Jenny handled the situation?

Cellar Door

Wine_cellarFinding the wine cellar door was the greatest stroke of serendipity. Frank’s uncle Jack had disappeared for eighteen months during the prohibition years, and when he returned to Toronto he was wealthy enough to ignore the family he so reviled. He built the rambling house on his piece of family property on the Lost Channel, but only lived there for eight months before he disappeared permanently.

Or so they said. That was eighty years ago, about ten years before Frank was born. Eighty years of legal stagnation before Frank found out he’d inherited the place.

“Well Dad, what are you going to do with it?” asked his son Bruce, feet propped up on the heavy wooden table, a glass of fine wine in hand.

“To tell you the truth, I haven’t the foggiest idea. It might have been fun to raise the four of you here, but you all have families of your own now. Calli’s off to Cape Breton and loves it there. Ted’s in Ottowa with Jackie and the twins. Cora and her husband are almost empty-nesters themselves. And you, after building that monstrosity of a log mansion, I don’t think you’ll be uprooting and moving here.”

Bruce shook this head and chuckled. “I don’t suppose you want to ramble around here alone? Maintain the place long enough to get all four of us to get our schedules organized enough to all come for Christmas?

“I used to spend Christmas up here on the channel. But that meant hiking or sledging in, and staying warm by the wood stove and heavy blankets. I suppose selling it is the only thing that makes sense. Maybe we’ll have one family get-together, one week where we turn everything on and you guys and your cousins can all explore the place. Maybe find some clue as to where Jack disappeared to.”

Frank watched Bruce poke around the shelves, heavily laden with dusty bottles.

“I can’t believe that door went undiscovered all these years,” said Bruce, selecting a bottle, reading the label, then putting it back on the shelf.

“Well, it’s not like many people tried. Jack hated everybody. He didn’t build this place to have a family, he built it so he wouldn’t need anyone ever again.”

Bruce paused in his search, looking closely between two of the shelves. “What is it Bruce?”

“Speaking of hidden doors…” Bruce pulled at the wall. A section moved, obviously a door of some kind, but it was stuck. “Huh… it’s like the latch broke…or fell off on the inside.”

Frank watched as Bruce worked the mechanism with his Leatherman. After a few minutes he managed to pull it open.

A putrid stench filled the room.

Bruce coughed and pulled his shirt over his mouth. He shone his flashlight around the tiny chamber.

“Well…” said Bruce through his shirt. “We solved one mystery at least.” He coughed and backed away. “We found Uncle Jack.”

Yeah…I don’t usually get that gory! This was written for a prompt from Write on Edge. The words “cellar door” and there was a photo of a propeller  I loved the photo, and yet it didn’t quite make it into the story.

I do have a great uncle named Jack who disappeared for a while during prohibition, but he had a big family who loved him. I just found his grand daughter on facebook a few weeks ago… I should ask her if she knows anything about his prohibition-era activities…

99 Problems

Stanzi had no idea why he had to open every fridge he found. Hunger, perhaps, even though he knew all he’d find would be rotting and putrid.

Thirteen months since any electricity had flowed through the grid.

Thirteen months since the plague—or whatever someone wanted to label it—had devastated civilization.

“Stanzi!’ Elway yelled, “Walkers.”

Sure enough, eight… no… ten at least… walkers were stumbling towards them, thrashing their way through the inadequate defenses the home’s previous occupants had erected.  Elway took his new-found spring-loaded nail gun and fired it at the monsters. The nails stuck into the flesh, but failed to penetrate the cranium.

“Well, there goes that bright idea…” Elway took out his old trusty—the baseball bat he’d sharpened into a giant spike—and started swinging away.

Stanzi took a moment to size up the current batch. All women, which was rare.

Live women were even rarer.

Still, after all he’d been through, that was a good thing. Elway was only a half decent side-kick, and that was when there were no females around. Well…live ones. Add a bitch to the mix and Elway would be no more use than a nail gun against a walker.

Stanzi wielded the pruning shears like an expert, and soon the threat was vanquished. They moved through the house, not finding much that was helpful.

The back yard was huge. There was a sound coming from the garage.

Something mechanical.

The garage was built against a retaining wall about six feet high. At the top of the retaining wall were spikes protruding out and downwards, likely good enough to keep walkers down. The doors to the garage were steel. They were banged up, but still in good condition.

The garage roof was lined with solar panels.

“You think anyone’s—”

Elway’s sentence was cut off by a voice coming over an intercom. “I’d stay away from the door if I were you.”

Of course, the first thing Elway did was to tap the door with his bat. “Yee owach!” he yelled, followed by a string of profanity that wasn’t impressing anybody. “They’ve electrified the damn door!”

Stanzi backed up until he could see up the hillside. Now that he was looking for it, he could see what he’d missed before. An elaborate tree fort, high in the huge evergreens on the steep slope. The perfect defensible position.

“You got something to trade?” the voice asked.

Stanzi did a mental inventory of everything they’d found that was worth anything. Jewelry might be valuable again someday, but not yet. But they had found an untouched vending machine just two days before.

“I’ve got some Cheetos, life savers… the kind you get from a vending machine…”

There was a moment of silence that made Stanzi think the voice was consulting with someone else.

“You got any chocolate?”

Stanzi had eaten half the candy bars they found, but there were still at least a dozen in his pack.

“I got peanut butter cups, Hershey bars…”

There was a click and the electrical hum ceased. “Come on up. But keep your hands where we can see them.”

Elway prodded the door again. When he didn’t get shocked he opened it. He had to push hard, as there was a spring obviously designed to make sure the door was always closed. Straight in front of them was a staircase, and another door.

At the top, a dirt path led to the base of the tree with the fort. Stanzi scanned above. If whomever it was wanted to kill them, they could easily do so at any time. There was a knotted rope hanging down.

“Climb?” asked Elway. Stanzi nodded.

“At this point, we don’t have much to lose. Even if all they have is clean water, it’s worth all the junk food we found.”

Elway went first, much to his credit, and Stanzi followed him up to a platform about fifteen feet up, with no railing and no visible way of going any farther.

“Well, show us what you’ve got,” said the voice, this time without an intercom. A middle aged man was leaning over the railing of another platform above them.

Elway reached into his coat and the platform they were standing on jolted.

“Oh, and just in case you have any funny ideas, the platform is rigged to dump your assess right down the hill again.”

Stanzi glanced behind him. Sure enough, below them was nothing but a steep hillside and then the retaining wall. They might survive the fall, but it would be almost impossible to get up again, and they’d be sitting ducks if the fort-owner decided to fire on them.

After a lengthy discussion, a ladder was lowered and they were allowed to come up.

That’s when Stanzi knew they had found their own doom in the embrace of salvation.

The tree-house was sparse, but it had the necessities. There was a sink with a large jug of water next to it. If they could waste water on simple things like hand washing, they must have a source. Jerkey and other things Stanzi assumed were food were stored in Mason jars.

Two teenage boys stood at opposite windows, hunting rifles in hand. Stanzi talked with the Dad while the Mom just grinned, a chocolate bar in her hand.

And their doom, Stanzi was sure of it, sat next to her mother, eating her own chocolate bar. The boys had a big sister.

And the sister had eyes for Elway.

This post was written for a surprise prompt from Write on Edge. The video was the prompt, and we had no word limit but a time limit of 24 hours. I discovered the prompt halfway through that!

This isn’t related to any other story I’ve written. The video immediately made me think of the television show The Walking Dead, and the story is fanfic (These aren’t characters from the show.)

 

Stars on Thars

APOLLO 17 ONBOARD PHOTO: LUNAR SURFACE.“Fracking Yankees,” Merrick muttered under his breath. Jonsh had seen him mad before, but never like this. He was seething; Jonsh could almost see the smoke coming out of his ears.

“Yankees?” Jonsh asked, picking up the bins Merrik had scattered and placing them back on the desk. It would take him most of the afternoon to re-sort the contents.

“Yankees, Bolsheviks, Jacobins, Roundheads… they think because they’ve got stars on thars that they’re special.”

Jonsh pulled his lab coat closed. His own badge sported a star. The star that showed his support of the administration, the star that granted him access to certain rights and privileges available only to those who declared themselves aligned with certain ideals.

Jonsh had been chastised more than once for forgetting to wear his badge over his lab coat instead of under it, but today he was glad for the mistake. He’d never taken his boss for a Sneetch, but apparently he was. That surprised him, since the old man had been with the company since the early days.

“This may not be the United Fracking States of America, but I’m still an American citizen just like everybody else in the company, and I’ve got rights,” Merrick ranted.

Jonsh buttoned his lab coat up to his neck and started picking up the contents of the bins while Merrick gazed out at the hardscrabble lunar surface, stroking his beard and thinking. Or plotting…

“Well, we’ll just have to do it the hard way. Come on,” Merrick called to Jonsh and headed for the clean room where their surface suits were stored.

Jonsh set down the items he was sorting, and tiptoed into the clean room. Merrick had shed his lab coat, and was pulling on his surface suit. “Fracking corporate groupies, we should herd them all out the nearest airlock…” the old man was muttering.

Jonsh looked at the airlock. He could feel his badge under his lab coat, a tell-tale heart that glowed through the thin white fabric.

“Uh… I forgot something. I’ll be right back.”

Jonsh ran all the way to HR. A nice young woman, seeing his distress, beckoned him into her office. Jonsh glanced at her ID badge, proudly displaying not just one, but two stars.

He had no idea what that meant.

“I need a transfer,” he said, handing her his badge. His mind raced, deliberating how much of the truth he wanted to tell. Only last month, one of Merrick’s friends had received notice that he was being transferred, but after he was gone there was no word from him at all. It was like he ceased to exist.

“M…m…m….my mother needs me closer to home… she’s ill.”

At least that was partially true. His mother certainly did have some health issues, it just wasn’t anything major.

The woman furrowed her brow and cooed “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.” She keyed something on her screen, and her eyebrows danced up, and then down again, in a series of emotions he could not interpret. “Mr. Clark, it says here that you haven’t reached your MSF yet…”

Jonsh craned his neck to see her screen. “MSF?”

“Minimum Service Fulfillment. It’s expensive to bring employees to the moon, and the company generously paid all your expenses to bring you here. Of course, you can pay your own way back…”

She opened a window on her screen that showed a monetary figure he’d never be able to save up even if he squirreled away every penny for a year. “Umm… I would still work for the company, Earth-side. Can’t they make an exception for a family emergency? Or just, maybe increase my MSF?”

“Oh, we certainly can increase your MSF if there’s a family emergency.” She handed him a slip of paper with a number on it. “Just fill out form 3728 and file it with my office. We’ll take care of you!”

She was beaming with helpfulness as Jonsh stood and thanked her. As soon as he was out of sight, he dropped his badge in the nearest garbage chute. Next, he went to security, reported his badge lost, and asked for a new one.

Without a star.

This was written for the Write on Edge prompt for Dr. Seuss. I’m glad they opened it up to anything Seussical, because the Sneetches have always been a favorite of my husband. If you haven’t read the story of Sneetches with stars on their bellies, I highly recommend it.

This is about 100 over the word limit of 500. This time, I’m simply crying Mea Culpa and leaving it at that.

I also apologize to those fans who have expressed that they are getting tired of my moon theme. Unfortunately, I am OCD (stress the O, not the C) and my brain is currently stranded on the moon.

Although this is not directly related to any of my other stories, it could fit as a prequel to my other moon stories.

*

Famous Last Words

Sugar ShackBianka sat back in the hot tub, stretching out to grab a handful of wet snow from the deck railing. Billy made a face at her, prancing around shirtless in swim trunks and snow boots. She lobbed the snow at him, missing by a country mile.

“That girl of yours throws like a…girl,” Billy’s little brother said. He still hadn’t worked up enough courage to get into the hot tub, even though he was obviously freezing. He had to copy his big brother, parading around in the warm February weather without a shirt even though there was still plenty of snow on the ground.

Bianka had no intention of parading anywhere. There was something delicious about soaking in the hot bubbly water while the air all around her was crisp and cold, but as soon as she got out she’d be making a beeline for the door.

“Hey babe, hold my beer and watch this,” Billy said, stealing a kiss and a quick grope. She took the can and set it on the railing where the snow held it in place.

Billy ran out into the yard, still shirtless, and disappeared behind the sugar house. There was no smoke coming from the chimney yet; it was still a little too early for the sap to run. The steep roof was covered in snow, a glacier that clung tenaciously to the steel.

Billy appeared on the ridge of the roof, snowboard in hand. He slipped and caught himself, then pumped his fists in the air shouting “Whooooo!”

Bianka shook her head. “Billy, be careful! Get down from there!”

“Here I go!” he yelled, jumping onto his snowboard with the grace of a buffalo, causing an avalanche of wet snow to let loose. He managed to stay upright just long enough to reach the edge, and then he lost it and was buried in the sloppy muck.

“Oh my god! Billy!” Bianka jumped out of the hot tub and ran barefoot and bikini-clad through eight inches of mucky snow. Billy was already struggling to get up when she reached him. “Billy! Are you all right?”

“Hells bells, what a ride!” he exclaimed, sitting up and throwing his arms around her.

Bianka squealed and pulled away, swatting at him ineffectively. “I swear, Billy, your last words are going to be “Hold my beer and watch me do this” You are such an idiot!”

“An idiot?” Billy just grinned, struggling up onto his feet to follow her as she was determined to stomp back to the house. “But you gotta admit, I do have a way with words.”

He grabbed her wrist and she let him spin her around. He was an idiot, but he was her idiot. She expected him to pull her in and hold and kiss her until she forgave him, but instead he sank to one knee. “Well?” he asked.

“Well what?” she said, snatching her hand back. This wasn’t his usual game.

Billy kept his eyes locked on hers, and nodded his head subtly towards the sugar shack. Where the snow had fallen off, the dark green roof of her Daddy’s shack were painted with bright pink letters.

MARRY ME!

Not for the first time, nor the last, Bianka regretted the fact that she just couldn’t say no to that boy.

But she lived happily ever after anyway.

This isn’t related to any other story. I wrote it for the Write on Edge prompt a snow fall and a secret revealed.

It’s fun and freeing to do these prompts…the short format, and the independent nature of it. It’s good exercise for a writer. Another benefit is that these shorts give the plot bunnies a place to roam free! Too often in my longer works I’ll get an idea (AKA a plot bunny) and I’ll want desperately to weave it into my established plot. A few of these are good. Too many are bad, especially if the writer goes chasing the plot bunny and totally loses the actual plot.

The Troll’s Tiara

Edgar Degas, The Green Dress

Edgar Degas, The Green Dress

Rebecca tugged at her tutu. The other ballerinas didn’t seem to have a problem with their costumes, but then again they didn’t have the generous badonkadonk she was blessed with.

“Now, we can’t all be the Sugar Plum Fairy…” Amanda was lecturing. Of course, Amanda had the advantage of actually being a fairy. She was pointe-shoe-in for the part.

Rebecca watched her classmates take the stage one at a time. Diana the dryad bounded with endless energy. Naomi the nymph was grace incarnate. The teacher praised them each, giving them the accessory or prop that complemented their part in the upcoming recital.

Rebecca was a troll. She took up most of the stage, which limited her choice of moves she could perform without causing bodily injury to her fellow ballerinas. She music began, and she performed her best move.

The pirouette. Not just one, but pirouette after pirouette, locking eyes with the audience with each turn. Rebecca could spin from dusk till dawn and never get dizzy.

The music ended, and even Amanda applauded enthusiastically. The teacher praised her, then reached down into the magic chest that held all the treasures that represented the parts each ballerina would play. In her hands was the most beautastic, gorgenificient tiara Rebecca had ever seen. The teacher crowned her, and an audible gasp of amazement sounded on all sides.

When the night of the recital came, Rebecca took her spot on center stage. Her pirouettes were perfect, and her tiara sparkled with the multiple spotlights that were aimed at her.

She was the most magnificent disco ball fairy-land had ever seen.

This is not related to anything else I’ve done. Earlier today I was participating in a Google Plus convo with Rebecca Blain and several other writers when we were invaded by a troll. I remarked that I had a story prompt to write, but I suddenly had an urge to write about trolls. Rebecca replied with “Oooh, Ooh, Amy! Can I be a pretty pink princess troll? I wanna be a pretty pink princess!”

Well, I looked at the prompt from Write on Edge, which included a Degas portrait of a ballerina, and voila, the story was born!