Welcome, friends! Come in, and let me tell you a Story A Day, all May long…
In June and July, I’ll be drafting two new Kifo Island novels. I know something about 5 of the 6 point of view characters, and I’ve got a sketchy idea of the plots – but I need to learn more about these people and their stories.
So, in May, I explore. Every day, I’ll follow the prompts in A Month of Writing Prompts 2016. I’ll play while moving through my planning efforts. Some of these stories may become part of the eventual novels, but my goal is to invite these characters to show me who they are and what they want – and how their lives fit together to make a novel.
I’ve been writing my story each day, but I slipped behind in my posting. With this post, at last, I am current! =D
I continue with May 19, following the daily prompt, “Retelling a Folk or Fairy Tale”
Week Three is our Rescue Week – some easier prompts that offset the challenges behind and still ahead.
I chose a story my eleven year old daughter referenced a while back, “The Little Match Girl.” It seems to fit both Quincette and Ubunta, but for very different reasons.
Life Is Not a Fairy Tale
Quincette saw the girl from a good way up the beach. She was a dark silhouette against the sunset, knees drawn up, huddled in on herself.
When she was only little, Quincette had read all the fairy tales she could get her hands on, and, after each, she’d close her eyes and imagine that she was in the story. She’d wanted life to be like a fairy tale back then; she’d been fascinated with both the beauty and the tragedy. She’d wondered why the fathers in “Hansel and Gretel” and “Cinderella” allowed their children to be so mistreated by their new wives. She’d wondered what would happen if King Midas scratched his own nose.
The shadowy figure reminded her of the Little Match Girl, the one who saw beautiful things with each match she burned, until she burned an entire bunch, and saw a star falling, and knew someone had died, and it was her…
She’d always wondered why no one even noticed the little girl until she died.
Now, she wondered what made this girl so huddled. She couldn’t be freezing, not on Kifo Island. So it must be something else.
She ran with an even pace, the one that could let her go on for hours. The one that could burn four times as many calories as she ate, so that Mom and Dad wouldn’t even guess that she was a pound lighter than last week, or that she was in control.
Ubunta watched the thin girl running toward her. Even at this distance, she looked like a pile of sticks or matches bound up together in the shape of a person.
She looked like she was starving, or sick – but she moved with the ease of someone who was strong.
It was a mystery – but not her mystery.
She had enough to concern her.
Quincette watched, and as she got close, the girl, who couldn’t be more than fourteen, stood up, her belly curving outward in a gentle swell, her young breasts seeming too heavy for her frame.
She was a child, and she was pregnant.
She was holding a knife.
It glinted in the sunset, like a struck match in the night.