Microcosms 59

Welcome, flashionistas, to Microcosms 59. Old Father Time is already eating into the 24 hours allocated to this week’s contest. So, read the preamble then crack your knuckles, lean over your keyboard and let your imagination flow through your fingertips.

 

*** ALWAYS REMEMBER AND NEVER FORGET ***

Include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry. 

 

Today – 17 February – is the anniversary of the birth of crime writer Ruth Rendell in 1930. Her best-known creation, appearing in many police stories, was Chief Inspector Wexford.

But I prefer the novels she wrote under her pseudonym Barbara Vine, in which she explored the psychological background of criminals and their victims. These books include:

No Night Is Too Long (1994)
The Brimstone Wedding (1995)
The Chimney-sweeper’s Boy (1998)
Grasshopper (2000)
The Blood Doctor (2002)
The Birthday Present (2008)

Geoff

 

(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be guest host, please contact me.)

 

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, setting and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: Politician, setting: Palace, and genre: Fairy Tale.


Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – you can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

 

*** Once again, be sure to include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry. ***


  • Graduate
  • Care Assistant
  • Author
  • Teenager
  • Physician
  • Politician
  • Alaska
  • Rural House
  • Turkish Bath
  • Rooftops
  • Palace
  • Boot/Trunk of a Car
  • Horror
  • Romance
  • Memoir
  • Crime
  • Comedy
  • Fairy Tale

Spin!


Microcosms 58 Judge’s Pick, Geoff Le Pard, declined the offer to do the judging thing, so that pleasure has fallen to Microcosms 58 Community Pick, Nthato Morakabi.

All submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length. You have until midnight, New York time (EST) to submit.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted on Monday.

Microcosms 60
Microcosms 58
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57 comments for “Microcosms 59

  1. 17 February 2017 at 2:30 am

    Murder, She Imagined

    Harold Smerd was a bookish man. He rarely left an impression but when he did, it was of a man
    not only well-read but also a little gloomy.

    It was Smerd’s habit to take tea at two every second Sunday at the Rogues Crossing Tea and Reading Room a short walk from his cottage.

    Julie Spittle loved to serve him. He often ordered one chocolate croissant with his pot of tea.

    She began to wonder about his life away from the Rogues Crossing.

    Over time, Harold and Julie shared small slivers of conversation.

    “Yes, I do read quite a lot,” he said, rather sadly. “There’s not much else to do.”

    “What do you like to read?” Julie asked, curiously.

    “Oh, Ancient History and Philosophy.”

    “What do you read for fun, Harold?”

    “I read to learn,” he answered.

    “And learning…that must be fun?”

    “I suppose,” he said.

    One Sunday afternoon a few months later, Harold finally expressed some curiosity about Julie.

    “And what do you read?” he finally asked.

    “Mysteries, tons of mysteries.” And then she revealed a secret. “And not only do I read them, Harold. I am writing one.”

    Harold was impressed. “How difficult that must be!”

    “Surprisingly, easy,” she disclosed. “Would you like to read it?”

    Harold had never been this close to an actual author. If indeed mystery writers could be called that.

    “I’d be delighted.”

    “Good, I’ll get you some fresh tea, and afterwards we can drive to my place.”

    Though his routine was flustered, Harold agreed.

    As they left the Rogues Crossing, the sun was setting.

    Harold felt oddly woozy. “I’ll have to lean on you, Julie,” he said.

    As they approached her car, the trunk suddenly opened and he found himself falling into it.

    “What are you doing, Julie?” he pleaded.

    “Research, Harold. Research.”

    300 little mysteries
    @billmelaterplea
    Author; Boot/Trunk of a car; Crime

    6+
    • Alva Holland
      17 February 2017 at 5:26 am

      Oh, I love the build-up in this tale, Bill. Super story with a great ending.

      0
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 8:31 am

      Love the ending! Poor Harold…

      0
    • Firdaus Parvez
      18 February 2017 at 10:11 am

      Fantastic story-telling. Loved it.

      0
  2. Alva Holland
    17 February 2017 at 3:10 am

    Alva Holland
    @Alva1206
    298 words
    Politician/Palace/Fairy Tale

    Pumpkin Season at Government House

    Frances peered around the heavy brocade curtains. Through the misty morning fog, she saw the outline of the official government carriage being prepared for the evening ball at Government House.

    Destined for a day – no, a lifetime – of clearing up other people’s messes, Frances turned to the massive fire-grate full of the detritus of bad decisions, greed and over-indulgence. It was up to her to gather the ashes and prepare the hearth with fresh kindling. Her arms ached, everything ached as she thought of her good-for-nothing stepbrothers upstairs, preening themselves for the ball.

    Simon and Leo had it made, she thought as each sweep of the broom raised old soot and dust, memories and vengeance. There was little she could do to prevent it settling through the room. The stepbrothers would be furious. Her miserable life would be made even more so if she didn’t do her job.

    Frances set her mind to the task. As she buried herself deeper in dirt, the double doors opened behind her, and the two apparently model men entered the room in a sweep of verbal admonishment.

    ‘Jesus, Frances, you’ll never have this room ready on time. What’s wrong with you, woman? The dignitaries will be here at 6. You haven’t even started on the mess that is the Justice Department, the Health Service is in turmoil, the budget deficit numbers resemble a poor maths student’s attempt at algebra and the country’s transport system has come to a halt. Get a move on!’

    As the two men continued their belligerent tirade, Frances spotted a bright spark in the soot. Digging in, she pulled out a silver wand. Brandishing it, she turned to find two bullfrogs where her stepbrothers had stood.

    ‘I WILL be leader. I SHALL go to the ball!’ Frances cried.

    11+
    • Alva Holland
      18 February 2017 at 6:48 am

      Oh my, I think I have a chunk of Irish likes on this one due to my basing my story on the current Irish political skirmishes. Sorry, fellow writers. To those unfamiliar with the goings-on, my story makes little sense but it was fun to write and share.

      0
    • Firdaus Parvez
      18 February 2017 at 10:14 am

      I loved how you described the whole scene, very vivid. Nice twist in the tail.

      0
  3. Storm Jarvis
    17 February 2017 at 3:20 am

    Elements: Politician, Palace, Fairy Tale
    Words: 299

    The Snow Queen

    Derrick awoke to the sound of rustling leaves; the sun licked over his skin as he opened his eyes. Where was he? He looked around the open field, but he did not remember coming here. As Derrick stood he dusted off his pants. The last thing he remembered was the debate with Senator Welsh.

    Derrick held his breathe as the trees cleared, giving way to the most beautiful palace he had seen in his life. The towers rose into steep peaks, nearly piercing the fluffy white clouds hanging in the air.

    A rabbit scurried across the grass in front of him, and made him jump back as Derrick noticed a man running towards him.

    “Derrick, Derrick?” He seemed to be asking as he ran.
    Derrick paused. “…Yes?”
    “We have been waiting for you. The Queen will see you now.”

    Derrick said nothing as the man placed a hand on his back, guiding him towards the double gates ahead. He was speechless as they entered the gates, the palace was made from ice. The sun glistened off the walls like thousands of dancing lights. The Queen descended the stairs wearing a white fur coat; her hair, pitch-black, created a striking contrast to her pale skin.

    The man beside Derrick kneeled as she approached, her arms opening in welcome.

    “Derrick, I have been waiting for you.”

    “Your… majesty, I have no idea where I am.”
    “No doubt you are confused. I am Queen Irma, and you are at my palace in Imana.”

    Derrick recalled a Russian fairy tale about the girl and how she had run away into a cave, freezing the children that accused her of being a witch. A chill ran down his spine as he tried waking up from the nightmare he knew was about to unfold.

    5+
    • Jan Lambrechts
      17 February 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Way to go, Storm; like to read more.

      0
  4. Profile gravatar of Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    17 February 2017 at 4:49 am

    Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    @miladyronel
    298 words
    Politician/ Palace/ Fairy Tale

    Pastel Hell

    The beams across the fresco roof glittered with unearthly beauty. It must have cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

    The politician glanced out the window, hoping to see his host approaching. Instead, butterflies with gem-coloured wings flew in synchronisation.

    He almost expected the tea service to come to life and sing a song or two. Snorting into his cup he tried hard for composure.

    ‘Ah, Mr Rafferty! How kind of you to come.’

    The politician looked up and had to blink a couple of times before his thoughts gathered themselves.

    A man, obviously his host, had appeared in a powder blue suit of gleaming silk and a frothy white shirt. A chameleon was perched on his shoulder, somehow the same colour as the suit.

    ‘What seems to be the problem? You said it was urgent,’ he finally answered.

    ‘Mm, yes. My subjects are revolting. In many ways. They are insisting on all pastels to be expelled from the land. Can you believe it?’

    ‘Hardly. What do you expect me to do about it?’

    ‘Explain to them, in that hardened politician way of yours, that it is discriminatory to do so.’

    ‘May I ask: did they give a reason?’

    ‘Obviously they hate petit fours!’

    The politician tried very hard not to look at the plate of cakes, the icing matching his host’s suit.

    He burst out laughing. His situation was just too ridiculous. And hopeless.

    ‘Mr Rafferty! It’s time for your medicine.’

    He wiped the tears from his eyes and found himself in a white room, the walls the strange consistency of marshmallows, a kindly woman in white offering him a cup of water and a handful of pills.

    His smile vanished even as the blue of the pills and her eyes matched the suit of his host…

    4+
    • Alva Holland
      17 February 2017 at 5:36 am

      Loving the descriptions here, ‘gem coloured wings’ ‘frothy white shirt’ and ‘obviously they hate petit fours.’ Great story, Ronel.

      0
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 8:42 am

      Like the flowing madness of the talk: sad that sanity stumbled in.

      0
  5. 17 February 2017 at 5:42 am

    In Keith We Trust

    Many years ago, in a country far from here, there lived a queen, Ermintrude, who had reigned long and happily with her wizard, Keith.

    Each year, troublesome rulers from other lands arrived, bent on invasion. Each year, Queen Ermintrude welcomed them, presenting lavish banquets for their entertainment. There, through the power of Keith’s subtle magic, Ermintrude’s charm and the gentle brilliance of Agnes Custard, her cook, Ermintrude wooed her guests into submission.

    Peace lay like a blanket over the land for many years.

    But then came the Frog King, Trevor, borne forth on a wave of scandal, demanding the Queen’s obeisance. He arrived in a golden carriage, dragging his consort, Ludmilla, by a most uncomfortable portion of her anatomy. Flanking him, grey and bearded, was Trevor’s own wizard, Steve.

    Queen Ermintrude dispatched Keith to the palace gates.

    ‘Let us in,’ Steve said. ‘We build walls. We don’t wait outside them, boy. King Trevor’s kingdom is the bigliest of them all.’

    ‘But, dear man,’ Keith said, regarding the wincing Ludmilla , ‘Her Majesty cannot abide a sexist.’

    ‘Fake sexism,’ croaked the King. ‘Change it, Steve.’ And, with a wave of his wand, Steve made Ludmilla disappear in a waft of perfume.

    ‘But, dear man,’ Keith said, eyeing their gold carriage, ‘the Queen cannot abide ostentation.’

    ‘Fake wealth,’ croaked the King. ‘Nix it, Steve.’ And, with a flourish of his wand, Steve obliterated the carriage. ‘I don’t need no gold to be great.’

    ‘But, dear man,’ Keith said, ‘the Queen cannot abide egotism.’

    ‘Kill the ego, Steve,’ croaked the King.

    The bearded wizard, shrugged and gave a flick of his wand. Where once King Trevor stood, only an elaborate hairpiece remained.

    ‘Fake King, it would appear,’ muttered Keith. ‘Your magic wanes without a puppet.’ He levelled his own wand, ready to dispatch Steve.

    Politician/Palace/Fairytale
    300 words

    6+
    • Alva Holland
      17 February 2017 at 5:55 am

      Brilliant! John.

      0
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 8:44 am

      And only the hairpiece remains. 🙂

      0
  6. steve lodge
    17 February 2017 at 6:33 am

    By Steve Lodge
    @steveweave71
    299 words
    Politician; Rooftops; Memoir

    It May Look Like Pink Blancmange, But You Won’t Get Fooled Again.

    “I spoke with a voice that no one heard. In the valley, the echo bounced and lay languishing like a lychee in some shadows nearby nothing much.

    “Helicopter propellers embraced the dawn impudently, shouting at people to awaken from slumbers tainted with war, dreams of poverty, gunfire, big shot politicians illuminating their listeners with cold, hard, nagging fears, of facts that could never be verified even if anyone cared.

    “Chasing the stars for a fresh, less tangible, believable outcome to the shadows woven this night of nights when iridescent channels choke and block the paths of progress with limpid, ashen, violent stirrings of chance and magnitude, as if to say ‘Shake us, if you dare. Your streams of voluminous oration repulse and, by equal measure, scare us into muted or demure shame.’

    “Whisper in our dreams no more. They crawl upon rooftops, unseen, scaling church spires in the dark reclusive silence of night, when no audience watches their adventures; but they’ll leave a tell-tale sign for the interested morning. ‘We were there. Where were you?’

    “No saxophone solo on the bus. Not a newsflash on TV. No unexpected surge in the sales of night-vision goggles. It’s as if nothing happened to unsettle us, draw our attention to, but one morning we’ll awake to a new order that silently insinuated into being over many nights where, although our sleep was stilted, ominous and futile, we never looked outside. Our friends on the streets looked down, not up. We are guilty of repeating our mistakes. The Ostrich Approach. By doing nothing, is it too late again?

    “That was an excerpt from ‘I Read It On The Barb Vine’ the memoirs of Lord Fragile of Gripe, from Chapter 7 – ‘Let Them Have Their Say, But Never Let Them Have Their Way.’”

    2+
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 8:50 am

      Great read, thank you. It was so portentous, but was also quite despairing. Really liked the language offsetting itself: iridescent versus ashen, for example.

      0
  7. Profile gravatar of Nic
    Nic
    17 February 2017 at 7:05 am

    Word Count: 240
    @InquisiHedgehog
    Physician/ Rural house/ Romance

    The Return

    I am a love doctor. A physician of the heart. Some may call me a cardiologist, but I work deeper then that. I look at your soul. It is often the soul that is troubled that causes the sickness more than the heart. Solving the heart is easy. You just put them on the cold slab and cut them open and twiddle with the mechanics; but, when they come to, it is hard to give them the soul back. They look at one another like robots. Going through the endless robotic movements, but never taste the thrill of life. I always wanted to give them the passion I had, but they never reacted to it.

    Until one day. She was my best creation. The liquid black hair flowed down her back. Her angular face played games with my mind. I wondered how I could angle her mouth into a smile. She watched the fire flicker and I watched the chestnut highlights in her eyes sparkle. She was a beaut. I wondered what she was musing about. I wandered towards her. She looked at me, “Hello Doc.”
    “Hello, D12.”
    “Why don’t you call me Sarah?”
    “Sarah? But you aren’t her. She passed away.”
    “But what if I didn’t? You know I have her hair, and her eyes. You have been working on me for years.”
    I touched her hand. It felt warm.
    She looked at me. “I am back, my love.”

    5+
  8. 17 February 2017 at 9:18 am

    @geofflepard
    296 words
    Politician, Palace, Fairy Tale

    When Trouble Is Baking In Fairyland

    His High Mufti, the Archdread of Twee hurried across the jellied courtyard. As Minister of Works and Cake his days usually involved assessing the calorific content of building materials – gingerbread, marzipan and so on. But the report he’d just read changed that.
    Ahead, the Palace of Brioche, Twee’s ancient Parliament, loomed large, brown and comfortingly solid, if a touch crusty. But appearances were deceptive. As the report made clear, the chocolate grouting had begun to leak away, the iced mullions were crumbling and the gingerbread walls beginning to bow alarmingly.
    Colin, for that was his name, lowered his head against the sugar-high greetings of the populace. Why did it have to be here, in the one democracy in Fairyland that an iconic structure like the Brioche should be threatened? Other places, run by benign kings and perky princes would just channel magic to a rebuild, and damn the consequences. But not here. Magic was needed for universal health care and keeping yellow-brick roads free of potholes. The Sweet Party would insist on lowering the sugar content; the Grand Old Pastry would try and form a coalition with the Tea Party on a platform of keeping out foreign bakers; and the ruling Sugar and Spice confection would split, as usual, along sweet-savoury lines.
    The choices were stark: close the Brioche, call in all grandmas to a Grand Bake On but lose part of the export drive that had been carefully negotiated to keep the other kingdoms Cake-dependant or keep the Brioche open while employing a Cake a Day strategy to replace the weak parts. But this, he knew, would cost much more in the long run.
    They would all hate him. So much for that old cliché: all political careers have happy endings.

    4+
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 8:53 am

      I could follow the politics here…I’m in the wrong multiverse.

      0
      • Profile gravatar of Geoff Holme
        19 February 2017 at 12:21 am

        I think we are all in the wrong part of the multiverse, Sian… Where’s Stewie Griffin when you need him?

        0
    • Profile gravatar of Geoff Holme
      19 February 2017 at 12:26 am

      Great stuff, Geoff. When this combo of elements came up, I thought that it would lead to this sort of catharsis. 😀
      [ I took the liberty of amending ‘populous’ (adjective) to ‘populace’ (noun). 😉 ]

      0
  9. Profile gravatar of Angelique Pacheco
    17 February 2017 at 11:45 am

    Word count: 288
    Care Assistant/ Rural House/ Horror

    Bone House

    Every day, she went to work for Mr. Dawson in the house at the end of Peony Lane. It was a beautiful walk among the fields of flowers in the spring, but not as nice trudging in the snow drifts in winter. She knew from as young as ten years old that she wanted to look after people. Three years ago, she had answered an advert placed in the local “Times”, and applied for the position of care assistant. The previous care giver had left in a huff. As an assistant, she was cheaper. Mr. Dawson’s daughter had hired her on the spot, bags packed and in the car, ready to leave for New York. Mr. Dawson wasn’t a very nice man. He had been bedridden for the last four years. A “stray” bullet from his neighbor’s gun, who said he was hunting at the time, crushed his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He refused to use a wheelchair.

    She went in every morning, and had a strict routine that she followed as instructed by Mr. Dawson on her first day there. First she was to put on the coffee. She had to walk to his room and leave a chamber pot at the foot of the bed. After precisely twenty minutes, she was to remove the pot and open the curtains. Then she had to change the bed. The list went on and on.

    Luckily, he had become lighter with time. It was easier just to chuck his bones on the chair as she changed the bed then rearrange them again afterwards. And when she was done with the list, she walked back towards the kitchen and settled down to her cup of coffee.

    6+
    • Firdaus Parvez
      17 February 2017 at 11:47 pm

      Wow I didn’t expect that. Nice twist in the end.

      2+
    • Alva Holland
      18 February 2017 at 6:42 am

      The nightmare care assistant! Great story, Angelique. Well done with the tension building.

      1+
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 8:55 am

      Great macabre ending.

      1+
    • Profile gravatar of Geoff Holme
      18 February 2017 at 9:07 am

      Ha! Perhaps Mr Dawson’s instructions should have included to feed him! Nice “twist in the tail” tale, Angelique.

      [ Given the details in the previous sentence, I don’t think the reader then needs to be told explicitly “You could tell she wanted to leave in a hurry.” 😉 ]

      1+
      • Profile gravatar of Angelique Pacheco
        18 February 2017 at 2:21 pm

        Thanks for the tip Geoff! It helps when someone looks at your writing with a fresh perspective 😉 I will fix this on the original. What I loved about this piece was the open-endedness of it. Anything could have happened. It depends how dark and twisty you are 😉

        0
        • Profile gravatar of Geoff Holme
          19 February 2017 at 1:35 am

          I agree that the fact that the circumstances leading to the conclusion are not made explicit makes this a better story: always good to leave a tale open to the the interpretation – or rumination – of the reader.
          Would you like me to remove You could tell she wanted to leave in a hurry. from your entry?

          0
          • Angelique Pacheco
            19 February 2017 at 6:35 am

            Please. Thanks

            0
          • Profile gravatar of Geoff Holme
            23 February 2017 at 2:04 pm

            Sorry, Angelique. I got distracted by life and forgot about this amendment; but it was made in the version that was forwarded to the judge.

            Made here now too.

            0
    • Profile gravatar of Nic
      Nic
      20 February 2017 at 1:53 am

      I loved your story. The twist in the tale was delightful.

      0
  10. Firdaus Parvez
    17 February 2017 at 3:04 pm

    @firdausp
    (300 words)
    Author/ trunk of a car/ memoir

    Plot Twist

    I still remember the fourth book in the series and how Narang was never convinced about the plot.

    It’d been a hot day, and he’d been tailing a car for a couple of hours on the district highway, not a happy scenario considering it was the middle of June and the air conditioner wasn’t working. Narang was obviously irritable.

    “Narang, can you still see the Honda City?” I’d asked.

    “You said it was a Toyota,” he’d grumbled.

    I’d scrolled back on my laptop and sure enough he’d been right.

    “Yes, yes, the Toyota car,” I’d muttered, “just don’t lose sight of it.”

    He’d just groaned in protest, his face shining with sweat.

    He’d followed the car until it suddenly swerved off the road and stopped. Narang had braked right behind it.

    “Take your gun,” I’d whispered.

    “I don’t have one!”

    “You’re a private detective, you need to have a gun,” I’d admonished.

    “Well you didn’t give me one!” he’d shot back.

    “Oh well…I’ll just add that later. It’s in the glove compartment.”

    “A revolver!” He’d smirked looking at it, “are we in the 70’s?”

    “Look I don’t know much about guns. I’ll google, and give you the latest, later.”

    He’d quickly made it to the other car. It was empty.

    “Check the trunk.”

    Narang had opened the trunk and found a large bag. When he’d unzipped it, he had found a woman’s body with a rope around her neck.

    “It’s a case of suicide,” I’d explained.

    “What?” He’d looked horrified. “I came all this way and there is no gory murder?”

    “Well that’s the twist in the story,” I had tried to calm him down.

    “I don’t know how the hell your books even sell,” he had shaken his head and stomped off.

    I had then made it rain.

    6+
  11. Profile gravatar of Janie
    17 February 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Janie
    Elements: Politician, Palace, Fairy Tale
    Word count: 267

    The Storyteller

    Later on, nobody could remember where exactly she came from. Some say she was a servant girl who worked in the palace. Others claim she was a foreign princess who visited the palace for diplomatic reasons.

    Or perhaps she was just the baker’s daughter; a girl who grew up in their midst.

    There are those who believe that she was an evil witch who ensnared the minds of the townsfolk for her own corrupt purposes. And then there are those who would call her a kindly fay who came to liberate them.

    Perhaps it is those last two groups of people who came the closest to the truth. Whether she was good or evil is a matter of perspective, but there is no denying that her words carried at least some sort of magic.

    She told stories laced with sweet, sweet lies and oh-so-bitter truths, and everyone who heard her voice became addicted to her tales. She cast an enchantment upon those around her; one which outsiders could never comprehend.

    With mere words she built worlds, and tore realities apart. She had more power than any king or queen – born into their royal positions – ever had.

    No one knows for certain if she knew of the revolution her stories would spark. Perhaps she was just an innocent traveler with a love for stories, who still has no idea of the change she brought to a kingdom.

    Once upon a time there lived a great king who ruled over his people with an iron fist.

    But there’s a reason why kings are the weakest piece on any chessboard.

    4+
    • Firdaus Parvez
      17 February 2017 at 11:39 pm

      I loved it. The last two lines-fantastic.

      0
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 9:00 am

      Fantastic! Stories are immortal…Kings come and go.

      0
  12. A.J. Walker
    17 February 2017 at 5:13 pm

    The Birth of the Republicans
    A.J. Walker

    Once upon a time in a place far, far away lived a Princess. She was not beautiful, in fact she had a face like an old boot and a body like a sack of spuds, but her heart was in the right place and she was good and kind and the people of her country loved her.

    And she would have lived happily ever after…probably. If it wasn’t for the arrival of a beautiful smooth gentleman who had the gift of many words and unlimited barrows full of smarm and hair gel. This man was a politician. And although the people knew not where he was from, nor indeed what his words actually meant, he sounded “right”. And he believed that monarchy was wrong, that there should be a President instead. That he should be the President. And the people listened. And although they had loved their boot-faced Princess, and although they did not know why they listened to him, they knew he was right.

    So one day, they stormed the Palace. And they tore up the beautiful things. Paintings were slashed. Curtains pulled down. Chairs and tables burnt in a pyre.

    And the smarm arrived in his own sleek coach, black with fine gold lettering. It bore a crest of the country – almost regal, but not quite. For he was not to be the new King, but something different. Something of the people. He would serve them, not live off them like the Princess and her family had.

    That is what he said. So it must be true.

    “Off with her head,” he said.

    And the boot face fell to the floor, by the sack of spuds body.

    And the Republic was born.

    For a while, just a little while, the people rejoiced. But weren’t sure why.

    ——
    WC:300
    @zevonesque
    Fairy Tale/ Palace/ Politician

    5+
  13. Sian Brighal
    17 February 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Sian Brighal
    299 words
    Politician / Palace / Fairy tale

    The Mythmaker

    Not many palaces like this existed, where golden tiles covered the walls and pink marble shimmered on floors, and rainbows pooled as light poured in through painted glass windows arching overhead so that one thought they stood in the bejewelled throat of a waiting bud.

    Most of these palaces were long gone…the gold stolen, the marble cracked and the glass shattered; only stories remain of their splendour. For as beautiful as they were, they were soft and fragile creations. It was wise to remember this.

    Shy’uan was such a wise man, so when he met travellers on the road, drinking wine and feasting on rich meat, boasting they were close to finding such a place, he bought and poured them better wine and richer meat. He gorged, becoming careless with his wealth, exposing the finery of his clothes, the quality of his silk undershirt, the purses on his waist, swollen with gold and the jewels sewn into his coat.

    And when they were drunk, he told them stories of his home, of the proud king he served and the weak army he despaired of and the golden palace that shone as though the sun herself was resting upon the earth, bragging of his city’s bounty and beauty. When they tempted him to tell him where it was, he hiccuped and explained the secret route, for the world was full of clever thieves.

    When Shy’uan woke the next morning, the jewels plucked from his coat, the swollen purses cut free and his silk undershirt gone, he smiled. The innkeeper frowned.

    ‘You’re a foolish gossip, Shy’uan, and you’ve been robbed,’ he sneered.

    ‘My wealth is a gift,’ the politician answered, ‘To sustain them in their years of fruitless wandering, and my poverty will remind my King of the wisdom in myth.’

    3+
    • Alva Holland
      18 February 2017 at 5:11 am

      Gorgeous, Sian. Love your flowing descriptive words, transporting us into the heart of your story. I love this.

      1+
      • Sian Brighal
        18 February 2017 at 9:03 am

        Thanks 🙂

        0
    • Profile gravatar of Firdaus
      18 February 2017 at 10:46 am

      I’m having trouble commenting on the stories and thanking the ones who commented on mine. please know that i appreciate the kind feedback, thank you so much and I really enjoyed all the entries.

      1+
    • Profile gravatar of Firdaus
      18 February 2017 at 10:47 am

      beautiful writing!

      1+
  14. 17 February 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Words: 299
    Used: Care assistant / Rooftops / Romance
    @CarinMarais
    http://www.maraiscarin.wordpress.com

    Moonlight for Two

    The high balcony looked out over the rooftops of the city. Sarah took in the sight of the sleeping city with its dark roofs and twinkling streetlights for the last time before looking up at the sky. The clouds that had promised rain during the afternoon were dispersing at last, leaving only gray tendrils to sweep across the moon. The silver light slowly lit the world of dark below and played upon the roofs so that they looked like the static, glimmering waves of a frozen sea. The silver moonlight shone on them.
    “I’ve seen the moon,” Sarah said, looking up from the wheelchair at Arnold, her ever-present caretaker. “Smelled the rain, and shared it with you. That is all that I had wished for.”
    Arnold glanced up at the silver orb before looking into Sarah’s eyes. He’d take those blue depths over the cold light of the moon any day. Every day. Forever. He fingered the morphine injection he held in one hand. Both knew that the dose it contained was lethal.
    He stepped closer, first kissing Sarah on the top of her head before softly kissing her lips for the last time in the mortal world. She nodded and smiled and he administered the medication while tears dripped from his eyes.

    When she had fallen into her final sleep, he took out the second injection he had not told her about. She would have stopped him, that much he knew. But even an hour without her? He stared out over the moonlit city for a moment before he readied his own injection.
    A smile pulled at his mouth as he leaned back in the chair. This was all he had wanted. Falling into his everlasting sleep holding Sarah’s hand.
    The moon shone silver on the lovers.

    4+
    • Firdaus Parvez
      17 February 2017 at 11:32 pm

      You painted such a beautiful picture and then broke my heart. So sad 🙁

      1+
      • Firdaus Parvez
        17 February 2017 at 11:48 pm

        Beautiful writing.

        1+
    • Alva Holland
      18 February 2017 at 5:10 am

      There’s a lovely depth to this story, Carin. Your writing has such feeling. Sad ending but it needed to be.

      1+
    • Profile gravatar of Angelique Pacheco
      18 February 2017 at 6:04 am

      Beautiful!

      1+
    • Sian Brighal
      18 February 2017 at 9:05 am

      Oh, so bittersweet! Lovely read, thank you.

      0
    • Profile gravatar of Nic
      Nic
      20 February 2017 at 1:46 am

      I loved the last line in your story 🙂 Very good descriptive story.

      1+

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