Split Ends for Prince and Rapunzel

 

BlogBattle Sarah B Hair - sig

Photo taken (by me) from Treasury of Fairy Tales

 

Rapunzel, famed for her long, golden locks, was dumped last week by her long-time boyfriend.

“I know, it’s hard to believe anyone would break up with me,” she braided a piece of her hair. “But, no biggie. I mean, I know he’s a prince and all but he’s kind of a jerk.”

Reports from the kingdom paint Prince as a kind and generous member of the royal family, often donating to the local animal shelter and helping out at soup kitchens.

“Everyone loves princey-boy. But he pulled my hair! He climbed it like a stinkin’ ladder! And he likes macaroons. I mean, seriously, who likes macaroons?”

When asked if she had any plans to get a haircut, Rapunzel answered, “I cut my hair one time, you know, to get down from this tower because,” she swung her arm in a circle, “no stairs! Then princey suggested I donate it to Locks of Love. I felt good for, like, five minutes. Then I shut myself up here until it grew back.”

When asked about Helga, the owner of the tower Rapunzel now rents, Rapunzel replied, “She’s a witch, you know, always brewing concoctions in her cauldron.”

“I believe the term is ‘Wiccan’, now.”

“Whatever. Anyway, it’s not ‘real’ magic stuff. She makes awesome hair products and I model them for her through there,” she tilted her head toward the window. “I just smile and,” she laughed, “let down my hair! She’s making boatloads of money.”

“So, just for the record, Helga doesn’t force you to stay here?”

“Ha! No! I’m not going out there.” She examined the ends of her hair through a small telescope. “Do you have any idea what sunlight and humidity can do to your hair?”

~~~

We visited the palace to speak with the prince about the infamous break-up.

He said, “I couldn’t support her shampoo habit any longer. Nearly all the gold from my kingdom is with the barber who closed shop and retired to Hawaii.”

When asked if he regretted his decision, he responded, “Nah. She’s pretty vain. And selfish. I’m happy she’s gone. Macaroon?”

 

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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Week 52 Prompt: Hair
Genre: Satire/Humor

 

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Will Power

 

BlogBattle Sarah B Lollipop sig

 

We never have candy at home. “Waste of money,” Ma says. And there was some just sittin’ in a bowl, askin’ me to take it.

It was the kind I love, too. Those round lollipops wrapped in white paper with the flavors on ’em in different colors.

I wanted one real bad.

I tried to make myself small. Which isn’t that hard. I’m already sorta small. “Scrawny” some kids call me. I don’t get mad.

My teacher says I have no muscle tone. Can’t even ride a bike right. It always falls over ‘cuz I can’t pedal fast enough to keep it up.

I snuck a look over at Ma, then slid down in the chair a little. I kept my eyes on her and stuck my hand out to get one. She slapped my hand away without even lookin’ at me.

“You didn’t ask for one of them pops and, anyway, the answer woulda been ‘no’ if you did.”

“I’m sorry?” The man in the suit said to Ma.

“Are you?” She spat at him.

“What I meant, Mrs. Carter, is that I didn’t understand why you said…”

“I know what you meant,” she leaned forward so her chest was squished into the front of the desk. “I’m not stupid like you think I am. I know what’s goin’ on here.”

“I never implied you were…unintelligent. Nor did I say you were incapable of understanding the situation.”

This was not a good time to open my mouth. I knew that. But I did it. “Ma? Please can I have one of them pops?”

Now she did look at me. Not even out the corner of her eye. No. She turned her whole self to stare me down. I knew that look. Was expectin’ it even. But it still made me shake a little, sorry to say.

“Here you go,” the man reached across his desk and gave me a lollipop with little red fruit on it. I think it was strawberry. But I never tasted it.

Ma snatched that thing outta my hand so fast I didn’t barely feel the stick. She smashed it down on the desk so hard the thing musta cracked and I thought what a waste as I coulda’ been eatin’ it. Made me wanna cry.

I didn’t cry, though. I never cried. That’s a thing about me.

“You wanna give him candy?” Ma stood, palms spread out on the man’s desk staring him down now. “You think that’s makin’ up for what you’re doin’ here?”

The man held his hands up like he was tryin’ to catch raindrops on his fingertips. “I was only trying to give the child a treat, Mrs. Carter. There’s no need for dramatics. Please,” he poked his long nose to the chair, “have a seat.”

So then this is when it happened. All of it.

Ma walked over to the man, raised her arm like she was gonna hit him. She called him somethin’ made my ears go red. The man stood up so fast he dumped his chair right over, crashing into a shelf loaded with stuff that looked real classy, knockin’ some of it on the floor. And I took a lollipop. A fresh whole one with brown spots on the paper that I hoped so bad was root beer flavor.

The man shouted to the big windows behind me, Ma grabbed her bag, I stuffed the pop in my pocket and ran after her.

When we got outside, Ma was cryin’ big, fat tears. She was suckin’ in air. I thought she was gonna throw up. “He’s gone!” she hugged me so hard it hurt a little.

“I know, Ma. I know all that.”

“You don’t know,” she kept those tears goin’. “There’s no will, you understand? No paper sayin’ we get money now he’s gone. Your papa went and left us nothin’. We got no money.”

“I know, Ma.” I wanted so bad to cry with her. But I didn’t. I wiped her face with my sleeve and handed her my lollipop. “I think it’s root beer flavor,” I said. “Your favorite.”

 

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Week 49 Prompt: Lollipops
Genre: Drama

 

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Election Day Causes Many U.S. Citizens to Consider ‘The Cave’

 

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In the United States of America today, people have one thing on their mind: The Cave.

That’s right. According to the Study of Bizarre Election Day Phenomenon by the University of Wicked Smart Students and Pompous Professors (WSSPP), citizens are thinking seriously of ditching the suburbs and heading for the hills. Literally. Some have even started preparations for a quick exit to The Cave in early 2016 after the primary election for president.

“It’s a viable option,” says Carol Fixit of Florida. “The Cave is actually very nice. There are tile mosaics and natural hot springs.”

The Cave is an underground community designed by architect, Neo Opportune, who said in an interview last month that “The Cave is a fully-developed area with all the amenities”. It is currently under construction after a grant from the FFCC (Frantic Foundation of Concerned Citizens) funded the final extension of the sewer system lines.

When the DICs (Desperate Indecisive Citizens) questioned Opportune about the rumors that developers didn’t have the proper building permits, Opportune responded, “After the election, it won’t matter.”

It is uncertain whether any legal action will be taken against anyone involved in the building of The Cave. However, as of today, housing has been increased to accommodate 15,000 residents.

“There is no ‘lesser of two evils’ this time around,” says Nick Bottom of New Hampshire. “Not when the candidates don’t know the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite,” he shook his head. “It’s just not right.”

The confusion Nick refers to occurred during a televised presidential debate last Tuesday. When a candidate was asked what he planned to do to about the national debt, he pointed to the wintry scene through the window, making a comparison to the stalagmites in The Cave. He said they were too dangerous to allow families to consider a move there. Another candidate chuckled and called him on his mistake saying that he was pointing to stalactites, not stalagmites. Yet another candidate chimed in with the observation that they were, indeed, neither of these things and were mere icicles. Someone in the audience shouted that all this Cave talk was just a red herring and the moderator continued the debate by asking the candidates their stance on the regulation of Wall Street.

 

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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Week 34 Prompt: Cave
Genre: Satire

 

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Love and War

 

BlogBattle Sarah B Mars - sig

 

“Keep it down!”

“Can’t hear you!”

“What are you doing up there?”

“Practicing battle techniques!”

“That’s it!” Jupiter stormed to the throne room. “Juno! Make your son stop this at once!”

“He’s your son too, dear. And, honestly, who made him God of war? Let me think…” She tapped her chin. “Oh, that’s right. You.”

“Nice. And who gave him his own holidays?!” Jupiter shot back. “You!”

“At least I didn’t name a month after him! By all the Gods, what did you think that would accomplish!”

“Hey!” Mars shouted, “Keep it down!”

Excuse me?!” Juno spat. She rose from her throne, gown trailing behind her, striding upstairs into Mars’ room.

“Gods, I love that woman,” Jupiter chuckled.

“Mars!” The door swung open at Juno’s voice. “You had better…” She gasped. “WHAT is going on up here!”

“Mother. Calm down.”

“Do NOT tell me to calm down! Greeks are not welcome in my home! Especially her!”

Jupiter cringed and bolted up the stairs. “Okay, okay. Let’s everyone just… Blast it, Aphrodite! I told you not to come back here! We’ll have to call over to Mount Olympus again.”

Juno turned slowly, eyes blazing. “She’s been here before? You…KNEW!”

“I…just the one time…I was going to tell you, love, I just…” Jupiter took a step back. “Mercury!”

“No need to call Mercury,” Hermes smirked, “I’m here now and all is well.” He turned to Aphrodite, “I’ve been looking for you, sweets.”

“Of course you have,” she purred, cleavage heaving.

“Oh, please,” Hermes gagged. “Get over yourself. Zeus sent me.”

“I’m here,” Mercury appeared, out of breath. “What’s he doing here?” He flung his arm toward Hermes.

“Just leaving, message boy,” Hermes grinned.

I wanted to send for Zeus,” Mercury whined.

Aphrodite twirled her hair, “Why don’t you both bring me home?”

“Hey…” Mars whimpered.

“You don’t own me, little God-ling.” Aphrodite sneered.

“But…”

“Oh, alright.” She ran her fingertips over his chiseled chest, “you are my favorite.”

“ENOUGH!” Juno screamed. “Get! Out!”

“Hermes,” Jupiter pleaded, “take her back to Mount Olympus.”

Mars wrapped his arms around Aphrodite’s waist. “No. I love her. She stays.”

“Aww…that’s so sweet,” she turned and kissed him. “And expected.”

“Hermes…Mercury…I don’t care who takes her home. She goes.” Jupiter glanced over at his wife. Juno’s eyes bulged, her face red. “Now!”

 

 

“Hey, did you hear that?”

“What?”

“Sounds like thunder.”

“Oh, mother says thunder is just the Gods fighting.”

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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Week 32 Prompt: Mars
Genre: Humor

 

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Roman

Mars – God of War
Jupiter – King of Gods (Father of Mars, Husband of Juno)
Juno – Queen of Gods (Mother of Mars, Wife of Jupiter)
Mercury – Messenger of the Gods

Greek

Aphrodite – Goddess of Love
Hermes – Messenger of the Gods
Zeus – King of Gods (Father of Aphrodite)

See Emily Play

 

BlogBattle Sarah B - Emily's Snow2 - sig

 

Emily reached her fingers out to touch the glowing snowflakes. Frosty pine-scented breezes blew in from the forest. She giggled, her brown eyes lighting up, as she watched squirrels scurry up trees and bright red cardinals land on snow-covered branches. The sun grinned then dropped. The moon danced into the sky. Stars settled in her hair. She laughed and took off running along the ground, bare feet landing with soft thuds on plush, purple carpet.

“She’s no better,” Emily’s mother studied her little girl crouched in the corner. “You promised…”

“I said we would try,” the doctor corrected.

“Please. Bring her back to me.”

The doctor stared at the tiled floor, “Emily has been here for three months, Mrs. Stevens.”

“Exactly! Enough! Get her back here from…wherever she is.”

“She’s stable.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“Her vitals are good…”

“I don’t give a damn! She belongs at home! With me.”

“I appreciate what you’re going through.”

“You don’t!”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Stevens.” The doctor reached for a tissue box.

“I hate this. I don’t understand any of it. I don’t know if Emily’s in pain…” She grabbed some tissues. “Do you even know where she is? If she can hear us?”

“We haven’t been able to reach her. There’s nothing wrong with her hearing, physically, but I can’t be certain what she’s processing. I think,” he glanced at Emily, “she can sense when you’re here.”

Sense me? She’s my daughter. Is that all I get? Can’t I go to her? Tell her to come back?”

The doctor hesitated, “Mrs. Stevens.” He cleared his throat, “I’m not sure she wants to come back.”

They looked over at the little girl in the hospital gown.

Emily’s hand twitched. She grimaced with something resembling a smile, staring with dead eyes at the twirling snowflakes and playful squirrels.

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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Week 30 Prompt: Reach
Genre: Drama

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Divided by Itself

 

BlogBattle Sarah B Divided by Itself - sig

 

“She’s gone.”

“What?”

“I’m sorry. We did…”

“Everything you could. I’m a doctor, you fool. I know the drill.”

“A doctor. And couldn’t even save your wife.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said ‘A doctor. Of course. Stevens. That’s right.’” She laid her hand on his arm, “Would you like one of the…”

“No. I don’t need anyone from this place.” He shook her hand off.

“Truly, Dr. Stevens. I am sorry.”

He turned, knowing there was nothing he could do here, not wanting to see his wife lying still. He had watched how family members acted as they entered the rooms of their deceased loved ones. No, he wouldn’t do that. He’d go home.

“There’s no one waiting for you.”

He jumped. Looking wildly around, he squeaked, “Hello?” cleared his throat and barked, “Who’s there? What do you want?”

Silence.

The sunset was an impossible pink. Unnatural. Like a child had scribbled with the wrong color crayons. Surreal and slightly unpleasant. It sunk behind perfectly ordinary grey concrete, which made it all the more annoying.

Dr. Stevens wandered through the parking lot trying to get as much distance as possible between himself and the body of his wife. “Dammit!” he squinted, the light dwindling. Where the hell was his car? He roamed until the sky was thoroughly bruised. Deep purple began turning to charcoal.

“You car is by the entrance. Directly in front of the entrance. Where you left it.”

He spun to find no one. Again. “Get away,” he growled.

“You can distance yourself from her, but not from me.”

He walked some more. Around crushed soda cans, over cigarette stubs, through the sliding doors to room 2357.

“Couldn’t keep your distance?” The voice mocked. Too close. Too angry. Too his.

 

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Week 27 Prompt: Distance
Genre: Drama

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Hunger

 

BlogBattle Sarah B Spices B&W - sig

 

“You have to… You know…”

“What?”

Martin cringed. “Cut its head off.”

“Huh. Well that’s…” Jill squinted at the body. “Can’t we just bury it?”

“Nah, it’ll rise again.”

Jill thought about this. “So would it be a zombie?”

“No,” Martin said. Then, “Actually, I’m not sure.” He pulled out his phone. “I’ll Google it.”

“Cool.”

“Okay, here’s something. It says… Wait. Is this thing dead? I mean, again?”

Jill jumped away from the corpse. “I just assumed.”

“I think it is,” Martin stepped closer. “Looks dead. But I guess it would.” He glanced at his phone. “These sites are a mess. None agree on what will actually kill it. Look, I really think we should cut off the head.”

“With what?”

“Good point. I’ll ask Siri.” He stuck his face in front of the screen. “How do you cut off a vampire’s head? Argh! Hold on. She’s finding me places to get tire treads.”

“Any pictures of Edward yet?” Jill peeked over his shoulder. “Ooh…sparkly!”

“You know what, Siri?! Go f…”

“Don’t yell at her! She’s like an all-powerful genie. ‘Phenomenal cosmic powers. Itty-bitty living space‘.” She wiped a tear. “Aw, man, I loved Robin Williams.”

“Huh?”

“Disney? Aladdin?” She rolled her eyes. “The Genie!”

“Oh. Right, right,” Martin sniffed. “Yeah, Robin was great. Okay. Google it is then.”

As she waited, Jill rummaged through the cabinets. “What about garlic? It’ll buy us some time at least, won’t it?”

“Sure, sure. Do we have any?”

“We have, um, cloves, anise, mint, tons of salt, and…camomile.” She laughed. “We can make it herbal tea and calm it to death. Hey,” she grabbed a bottle, “who has anise?”

“We do, apparently.”

“What do we use it for?”

“No idea. Is there any garlic?”

“Nope. Sorry.” Jill unscrewed the lid and sniffed the mint. “Mmm. Minty.”

“You’re making me hungry.”

 

“Excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude but are you two drunk? Because I don’t drink. Alcohol, I mean.” The vampire licked its teeth.

 

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Week 26 Prompt: Head
Genre: Humor

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Legume Allergy Leads to Domestic Troubles

 

BlogBattle Sarah B Legumes - sig

 

Three months after a whirlwind marriage, the local princess, Penelope, finally pins down the cause of her poor health. “Pea sensitivity,” she says. The princess recalls running to the home of the royal family seeking refuge from a violent thunderstorm.  “After I dried off, we had a nice dinner and they invited me to stay.”

The queen then allegedly hid a dried pea underneath the princess’s mattress which was found by a maid the following morning. “Who puts a piece of produce in your bed?” the princess asked. “The woman is nuts.”

“I broke out in hives and had to use major amounts of makeup for the wedding. I looked like a cranberry pancake,” she cried.

The queen, saddened by what she calls “the loss of my son to that gold-digger”, claims the princess married the prince for money. “It is widely known that the girl’s father lost his fortune gambling on fantasy football.”

“We’ve been living in our own place for about two months,” the princess said. “Haven’t had a rash since. Well, except for that time my mother-in-law visited and insisted on helping with dinner.”

The prince declined to be interviewed but would say that Dr. Daniel Fabaceae diagnosed the allergy, insisting that it is severe and could be fatal.

The queen scoffed at the newly diagnosed legume sensitivity but is scheduling another visit to the happy couple’s home next week with some beanbag chairs as a belated wedding gift.

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Week 24 Prompt: Legumes
Genre: Satire/Humor

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The Resistance

 

blogbattle Sarah B Troops - sig

 

They were coming closer. She could sense it—something she’d been able to do since she was a child. It was a gift. One she cherished and that had served her well over the years. No one was exactly sure where it came from. But she knew. It was from the days when she was one of them herself.

Lately, though, she was becoming weaker. They would arrive and catch her off-guard. Once, last month, she was taken by complete surprise. It was as if they had popped, fully formed, from the earth.

That day, she discovered she was unable to fight them without prior knowledge of their arrival. That day, she lost a battle.

Maybe it was the person she pretended to be during her soul-sucking job. Maybe it was the stress of people constantly looking to her for answers. Maybe it was simply the pressure of trying to force herself to retain the gift. Whatever the cause, she was losing hold of it.

She shushed the creatures clinging to her and peeked out the slit of sheer curtain draped over the dining room window. Yes. There they were. Marching across her lawn.

In all shapes and sizes, but with uniforms that marked them as the enemy, they approached. She would be ready. She would not lose this battle.

Letting the fabric fall over the window, she backed away, shutting lights off as she went. The knock would not startle her. Not this time. And this time, she would not answer the call of the Brownie Troop. She would buy no cookies today.

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Week 24 Prompt: Troop

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Roots

 

BlogBattle Sarah B - Roots

 

She spent seven years looking for an anchor. That’s what everyone said she needed. A partner who could ground her, keep her rational, responsible, sensible. Keep her from herself.

She found him and attached herself to his sanity. His kindness soothed, his composure balanced. He tethered her to this world like a kite string. Often, she thought of him when she gardened, digging her hands into the soil, marveling at thin strands stretching, reaching down to set themselves. She daydreamed about roots reaching up. Why not? Into possibility? Into open sky where they might breathe? No, the fragile flowers grabbed earth and wrapped around and held so tightly that it took great force to rip them out. Like the plants, she lived because she was smothered.

Yes, he tethered her—and that is the only way she existed at all.

She could have been as happy as her mind was capable of letting her be. That is when temptation decided to push its way into her pretty life. It shone not like the soft streaks of sunlight through tree branches, but like a flashlight—its beam bright and unforgiving. It exposed her, the delicate ribbon tying her to him morphed into a thick chain. A leash.

She wouldn’t be a dog, even a beloved one. She was a bird and needed to fly. Wiping her palms on her jeans, she picked up dirt-caked shears, cut the cord, and walked away. Away from the home, the computer, the garden, and him. Away from the dust of the place where she had established respectable roots to a place where her thirst for what she wasn’t supposed to want could be satiated. Because what she needed wasn’t an anchor, but an oasis.

 

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Week 23 Prompt: Oasis

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P.S. Thanks to Blondewritemore for alerting me to this fantabulous writing challenge. Cheers!