Tag Archives: fairy tales

Flash Fiction: Sparkle Wish

Yes, you read that right. After popular demand, I’ve written some flash fiction and would love to share it with you.

This story came about based on a writing prompt provided by a friend in a small writing group I belong to. We each had to pretend we only had 15 minutes to live,  set a timer for 15 minutes and write the story that had to be written. The inspiration for the story was to be the following quote:

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

When I started writing, I had no idea what my story would be about. I just relaxed and let the words flow through me; writing the story that had to be written.

I was very pleased with the final result. A quick spit polish later, it was ready for human consumption. My friend Tonia Marie Harris asked if she could share it on her blog, and I happily agreed. So please, click on over there, have a read of Sparkle Wish, and leave me a comment letting me know what you think of my first foray into Flash Fiction in almost a year.

Here’s a little teaser for you.

Once upon a time, in a forest far, far away, there lived a fairy named Sparkle.

Sparkle was tall and willowy, with shiny hair and sharp eyes, and cute little nubs of wings peeking over her shoulders — a remnant of bygone days when fairies could fly. She lived in a cozy little treehouse, and dined on forest fruit and dewdrop wine. She had everything a fairy could want.

Except one thing.

What Sparkle did not have, was courage. …read more…

Picture by Scared-Princess, shared under CC licence.

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Flash Fiction: Charlene

This week’s challenge at TerribleMinds was to write a 1000 word flash fiction based on a fairy tale. Specifically, to take a fairy tale — any fairy tale at all — and rewrite it in a modern context.

I played around with at least half a dozen ideas before finally settling on the one below. Hopefully the fairy tale it’s based on is obvious when you read it. Enjoy! And remember to hit me up in the comments to tell me what you did and didn’t like. I thrive on comment-love.

Charlene

“She’s green.”

“No she’s not. Well, maybe a little… chartreuse.”

There were three people talking. The man in the white coat was familiar. The other two were new.

“Chartreuse?” one said. The voice was harsh and loud. “She’s green! I paid you good money and I expect a quality product!”

“Oh Chris,” the second stranger said. This one sounded softer. “It doesn’t matter if she’s a little green—“

“Chartreuse.”

“—chartreuse. She’s beautiful. She’s the daughter we’ve always wanted.”

“But she’s—” the loud one said.

“She’s ours.”

White Coat spoke again. “Don’t worry, the chartreuse tint is just a reaction to the chlorophyll used in the procedure. She’ll probably grow out of it.”

“What’s her name?”

“Well, that’s up to you,” said White Coat. ”She’s your daughter.”

The soft one looked me up and down and smiled. “We’ll call her Charlene. Our chartreuse girl.”

White Coat turned back to me. “Congratulations, Charlene. This is your mother and father.”

 ###

“Oh, Mum,” I sobbed, resting my face against her shoulder. “I’m so ugly. It’s not fair.”

“You’re not ugly,” Mum said. She stroked my hair. “You’re beautiful, Charlene.”

“I’m not,” I sobbed. “I’m ugly and hideous and everyone hates me.”

“No one hates you, Charlene.”

I lifted my head and stared at her. She didn’t understand. She was so beautiful, with her soft round face and her brown eyes and blonde hair. How could she possibly understand?  “They do, Mum. They really do.”

“Well, what about Lance? You were so excited when he asked you to Prom.”

My eyes burned. “It was a joke,” I said. “Just a stupid joke. They threw… They threw salad at me. Called me Queen Lettuce. Then Cindy,” the bitch who had tormented me for the last four years, “and Lance were named Prom King and Queen.”

“Oh, Baby. I’m sorry,” Mum said. She hugged me again, and wiped at my tears. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out. But you just wait, in a few years you’ll look back on this and laugh. You’ll see.”

Eventually Mum went away. I washed my face, put on my pyjamas and climbed into bed.

I was woken by muffled voices outside my bedroom door. It was probably Mum. Not wanting another speech about how things were going to be fine, I closed my eyes and feigned sleep. 

The door opened. “There she is,” Dad whispered. “Just like I promised.”

An unfamiliar voice answered. “I’ll take her. She’ll be perfect for my son. Are you sure your wife won’t mind?”

A damp cloth covered my face and I struggled; tried to scream. Then the world faded and my father’s voice was a million miles away. “She’ll get over it. And we can always make a new one.”

 ###

 His bloated body was covered in warts and bed sores and his face looked like something from beyond the grave. He was lying on a dirty mattress on the floor. I could smell him from where I’d woken up on the other side of the room.

“Come closer, my dear,” he said. “There’s no need to be shy. By tonight, you’ll be my wife.”

I didn’t answer. I didn’t know what to say. Then the door opened and a woman came in. “Good, you’re awake,” she said.

I knew that voice. It was the one I’d heard in my bedroom right before my father drugged me.

I lurched to my feet and charged at the old woman. My shoulder hit her in the chest and she fell, flailing wildly. Then I was out the door and into a dirty hallway. I barreled along it until I slammed into another door. I fumbled with the door handle and deadbolt, hoping it hadn’t been key-locked.

I was in luck.

A minute later I escaped into an unfamiliar street and slammed the door behind me. Then I kept running.

 ###

“Living on the streets is hard,” the reporter said, “whether you’re an old hand,” the camera panned to a man in his sixties, “or a stripling of a girl like Charlene.”

The camera focused on me and I tried to smile. I never should have agreed to the interview but the reporter, Regina Swallow, had promised me twenty bucks.

“How long have you been sleeping rough, Charlene?”

 I shrugged and pulled my tattered coat tighter around my shoulders. “About five months,” I said. “I think. It’s hard to keep track.”

“And how did you end up on the street?”

I answered a few more questions, not giving away too much. Then the interview was over and Regina handed me a twenty while the cameraman packed his equipment.

“Have you got somewhere to go?” she asked.

 “There’s a woman I know,” I said. “She lets me sleep in her garage when I do her housework. And there’s a man who wants me to move in. He’s got cataracts. I don’t think he knows about my…” I trailed off. “I’ll be fine.”

Regina frowned at me. “You don’t keep up with the news much, do you?” she asked. I looked at her blankly. “Come with me. There’s someone you should meet.”

 ###

It was like any other new development – houses and half-finished landscaping – except for the military-style checkpoints around it. We left the news van outside and entered on foot.

There was no sign of any guards. There was no sign of any people, either. Everything was quiet.

“Back again, Regina?” called a male voice from behind us.

I turned.Regina said something but I didn’t hear her. I was busy staring.

He was tall and handsome and muscular and had the greenest skin I’d seen outside a mirror. His dark green hair hung to his shoulders. His eyes were sea-green. He was gorgeous.

“Welcome to Chloroville, Charlene. I’m Michael Prince.”

It wasn’t love at first sight. That only happens in fairy tales.

But exactly one year later we wed.

 

EDIT: I was fairly convinced that the fairy tale I based this story on would be so obvious that no one would bother reading through to the end. As it turns out, it’s easier to see the plot similarities if you’re the one who wrote the story. 🙂 So, for those who are interested, this is a modernisation of the story of Thumbelina.

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The Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad Dinosaur

A couple of days ago, I asked 4-year-old Big Brother to do me a favour and entertain 10-month-old Baby for a few minutes. “How?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I said, desperate to escape to the bathroom. “Tell him a story.”

Two minutes later, I returned to find him telling the story of the Three Little Pigs.

“Shhh,” he whispered when I walked in. “I’m making up my own words. My story has a dinosaur.”

This is that story.

Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad Dinosaur

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. When they left home, they built houses. The first pig built his house out of straw. The second pig built his house out of sticks. And the third pig built his house out of bricks.

The houses were all next to each other, because they were best friends. Then they built fences with sticks all around their houses.

One day, a dinosaur came. The dinosaur was a sharp-tooth dinosaur. He went to the first little pig’s house and said, “Little pig, little pig, let me in! And if you don’t, I’ll blow your house down by huffing and puffing!”

“Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”

So the dinosaur huffed and puffed and blew the house down. And the little pig ran to his friend’s house, that was made of sticks.

Then they found out the dinosaur was allergic and started sneezing when he smelled flowers. So they built a garden around the stick house, and it was a trap for the dinosaur.

Soon, the dinosaur came to the second house. “Little pig, little pig, let me in! And if you don’t let me in, I’ll blow your house down and I’ll huff and puff!”

And the two little pigs said, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”

Then the dinosaur started to blow, but then he started sneezing. He was allergic to the flowers that were a trap. But it didn’t work. All his sneezing blew down the stick house, and the two little pigs had to run to the house made of bricks. They went there because their brother was their best friend.

The pigs used lots of rope and made a big trap for the dinosaur.

Soon, the dinosaur came. But he got caught in the trap, and the rope tied around him. So he started running away. And then the pigs went running after him and chasing the dinosaur.

Suddenly, the dinosaur remembered his sharp teeth. He bit through the rope, and then he turned around and started chasing the three little pigs!

The pigs ran as fast as they could back to the brick house, closed the door and locked it. Then the dinosaur said, “Let me in or I’ll blow down your house by huffing and puffing!”

But the pigs didn’t say anything, because they were laughing. The brick house was too strong and the dinosaur couldn’t blow it down.

So the dinosaur used his sharp teeth to bite the house. But it didn’t work!

Then the dinosaur had sore teeth. So he had to go to a dentist.

The dentist said, “You really hurt your teeth. You’re not allowed to bite houses or try to eat little pigs anymore. Otherwise you’ll have to stay here for a hundred years so your teeth can heal.”

But the dinosaur said, “I’m going to go and eat those three little pigs! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

So the dentist locked him in the room. And then the dinosaur realised he was on a plate, but he was too slow to escape. So the dentists all ate him for dinner.

And the three little pigs lived happily ever after.

The end.

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