Family Tree #WritePhoto

 

 

He built it, brick by brick.

Carved from boulders in the valley or stones found weathered by time… He stacked them. Each one a testament to his regrets.

He spent his life there, in those mountains, building walls to shut out the world he regretted not being a part of. The one he left when his wife was murdered.

He taught his son the art of isolation, sorrow, and disappointment. And, together, they worked on those walls.

When he died, his son continued the tradition, creating something so spectacular, it rivaled nearby castles.

He held fast to what he had been taught.

But, unlike his father, he planted a seed of hope which grew into a fine tree. Sturdy and beautiful. Clinging to sorrow, growing out of the pile of regrets. It survived where it should not have. Some say it was magic. Others, that it was simply hope.

 

“Do you want to know what I think?”

“What do you think, grandpa?”

“I think that this magic and hope people talk about when they see my tree…I think they are the same thing.”

 

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Evil Stepmother Support Group ~ One Year Anniversary

 

 

MAY 2017

 

The Misunderstood Stepmoms, a support group started by Cinderella’s stepmother, Caroline, celebrated its one-year anniversary this weekend.

“We were pleased with the turnout,” she said. “And we’re proud that this little group has been around for an entire year.”

Caroline’s statement may be a bit modest. The group is not only still around but, in fact, has swelled to over 600 members. Rumors of branches being formed throughout the country have been circulating for months.

We caught up with Gothel, Rapunzel’s adoptive mother, who had to travel quite a distance for the meetings and recently started a local chapter near her.

“It was good while it lasted but it’s been shut down,” she waved her hand dismissively. “Apparently, I’m not technically a ‘stepmother’. According to some people.”

The “some people” Gothel spoke of are the original three members: Snow White’s, Hansel and Gretel’s, and Cinderella’s stepmothers.

Gothel was awarded legal guardianship of Rapunzel in 2003 but, sources say, there may be evidence the document was faked.

A follow-up with the groups’ founder, Caroline, shed some light on the situation.

“I don’t want to throw stones,” she said, “but, yes, we’ve banned Gothel from our meetings and stripped her of any rights to use our name in future group settings. It’s not entirely about her stepmother status, although it has come to our attention that she is in a cauldron of trouble in regards to how Rapunzel came to be in her care. We, personally, have had…issues with her behavior. I can’t say too much due to an ongoing legal matter. And I want to emphasize that we are a caring group of women.”

Cinderella’s stepmom said, “Caroline’s too nice for her own good. Gothel is nuts. Some stepmothers have a reputation for a reason. Poor Rapunzel. ‘Adoptive mother’, my ass.”

Allegedly, Gothel had lost her temper during a meeting in early May, causing damage to the building and endangering members of the group.

When asked about the incident, Caroline admitted a few of the members were injured during “what can only be described as an ‘attack’.” She has since added a clause to her online ad about the group stating “zero tolerance for violence, magical or otherwise” and plans to hold an emergency meeting to focus on maintaining a safe and supportive environment for The Misunderstood Stepmoms.

 

The group meets once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.
UPDATE: Due to recent events, the location of meetings has been changed from the Fuji Warehouse in downtown Darby to the Braeburn Building on Main Street.

 

Evil Stepmother Support Group

 

 

MAY 2016

 

A new support group started up this week in downtown Darby. They call themselves “The Misunderstood Stepmoms”.

The group is led by Snow White’s stepmother, Caroline, who is fed up with all the hostility.

For years, she was despised and discounted, never being asked to join local book clubs or invited to a girls’ night out. Following this past Mother’s Day weekend, Caroline decided enough was enough.

Needless to say, she did not receive flowers or a card on Sunday.

About Snow, she said, “The girl pigged out on junk food. She was always walking around with her hand stuck in a bag of corn chips or jellybeans. I gave her some fresh fruit and, yes, that included an apple. She took one bite and pretended to choke on it, falling down and accusing me of trying to poison her. The girl didn’t want to eat healthy. End of story.”

Caroline went on to say, “I heard similar accounts of stepmothers being unfairly bashed so I created a safe space for them to talk and share their feelings.”

Cinderella’s stepmom claims she tried for years to get her teenage stepdaughter to “take a bath and change her damn clothes.”

While Hansel and Gretel’s stepmom says she spent months warning her stepchildren not to wander into the woods before their disappearance. “They came home with some cock-and-bull story about a candy house and a kitchen witch. Everyone knows kitchen witches live in the city,” she said.

In both cases, these women were blamed for the unfortunate state of their stepchildren.

“Sadly, these stories are not unique.” Caroline said. The three founding members were joined by fifteen others for their inaugural meeting. While there is no official motto for the group yet, Caroline said, “We want women to know that they are not alone.”

When asked about the group dynamics, Caroline admitted there is some tension. “We have a mix. There are a few members with anger management issues, while others are simply disheartened. But, for a first meeting, things went extremely well. We are a supportive bunch and provide a much-needed sense of community.”

 

The group will meet once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.

 

The Princess and the Pen

 

moonstone-gem

“What are you doing?” Her sister swished into the room, gown brushing the floor.

Without looking up, Keira sighed. “Brea, leave me be. I’m writing.”

Writing!” Brea gasped.

“Well! There’s not need to say it like that!”

“But…” Brea fanned herself. “That’s what crazy people do! You’ll be locked up!”

Keira tapped her pen on the desk, “Uh-huh. I’ll get on that. Now, if you please…”

“Are you even listening to me? You’re always with your nose, unpowdered by the way, inches away from a paper with scribblings on it. Why, you’ll get ink on it! Think of that! This…this…writing…” Brea waved her hand at the desk, “it’s indecent. Absolutely improper for a princess.”

“I don’t care,” Keira sulked.

Brea stood straight, accentuating her incredibly impossible height of 4 feet, 2 inches. “I’m telling Father.”

“Oh, Brea! You mustn’t!” Keira turned to see her older sister wasn’t angry but scared. “Please.” She stood up, pushing a loose hair from her face.

Keira’s eyes widened. She pointed. “You’ve got ink on your cheek now! How will you explain that?! Oh, Keira, this isn’t proper. It’s dangerous.”

“Iridescent,” Keria said.

“Pardon?”

“Iridescent,” Keira repeated. “I’m trying to think of something iridescent to put in my fairy tale.”

“But…” Brea tapped her chin. “That’s easy. I mean, honestly, have you lost your ability to think, sister? Iridescence is everywhere. There are numerous…”

“Such as?” Keira bounced on the balls of her feet.

“Well,” Brea inched closer to the desk. “Whatever the story is about, you can always add a dragon. Their scales are iridescent. Of course there are fairy wings, moonstones, mermaids’ tails, unicorns, sea serpents, and…um…” she giggled, “troll snot. Oh! Then there’s the rare…”

“No,” Keira slumped. “I’m writing a fairy tale. I need something that doesn’t actually exist.” Her sister’s eyes filled. “But thank you. I mean, those were excellent suggestions, Brea. You’re wonderful, helping me braincloud this way. You remember the fairy tales Mother read to us as children? The fantastical creatures and items in those worlds? That’s what I’m trying to remember.”

“Oh,” Brea dabbed her eyes with a lace-edged handkerchief. “Well, I seem to remember something…”

“Yes? What is it? What did it do?”

Brea shook her head, “I can’t quite place it.”

“I know,” Keira returned to her desk and plopped down. “It was like a sphere but not quite. A flying…thing. I don’t recall its purpose.”

“Yes! That’s what I’m thinking of. A sort of blobby, floating, purposeless creature. It…popped. On its own. Maybe that was its magic?”

“Popped. Yes… There was air inside, if I’m not mistaken. And it flew. Or, as you say, floated. Oh, blast it all!” Keira put her head in her hands.

Brea absentmindedly twisted her moonstone ring. She straightened her pink gown, tucked her hair into its ribbon, and turned to leave. “Well then. I’ll just tell Father you’re working on something for his grandchildren, shall I?” She smiled over her shoulder, “It’s called a ‘bubble’.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Join in. Write a story. Read the stories. Vote for your favorites here.

Week 4 Prompt: Iridescent
Genre: Fairy Tale

 

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Riding Hood’s Grandmother Reveals Identity as Bestselling Author

 

Grilling Cookbook - sig

 

Years after the alleged attack on Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, Hazel, the now legendary grandma reveals her identity as bestselling author, Kale E. Pepper.

“First,” Hazel said, “let’s get this out of the way as I know you’re going to ask. The wolf never ate anyone. In fact, he was quite the gentleman. He had lost his way and needed directions to the barber shop. Quite the hairy beast, you know. Red sent him to the local ice cream parlor. That girl couldn’t find her way out of a cardboard box.”

The wolf then ended up at Hazel’s house after being assaulted by a group of school children who threw ice cream cones and popsicles at the poor beast. When asked if she still keeps in touch with the wolf, Hazel answered, “I don’t think he’s around here anymore.”

“But this,” she walked into her kitchen, “is why I called you.”

After brushing some fur off her counter, she showed us a collection of bestselling cookbooks such as Guide to Grilling Wild Game and Savory Large Game: Salads and Side Dishes which she wrote under her pseudonym. “They are selling very well.”

Indeed they are. Her informative new how-to guide, Find it Fresh, Fry it Up, just hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list.

“This one,” she picked up her book entitled Look What’s Coming to Dinner “has been in the top ten for three months,” she said proudly. “Fresh ingredients. That’s the key.”

We declined Hazel’s invitation to stay for supper.

 

Evil Stepmother Support Group

 

Stepmother Support Group - sig

 

A new support group started up this week in downtown Darby. They call themselves “The Misunderstood Stepmoms”.

The group is led by Snow White’s stepmother, Caroline, who is fed up with all the hostility.

For years, she was despised and discounted, never being asked to join local book clubs or invited to a girls’ night out. Following this past Mother’s Day weekend, Caroline decided enough was enough.

Needless to say, she did not receive flowers or a card on Sunday.

About Snow, she said, “The girl pigged out on junk food. She was always walking around with her hand stuck in a bag of corn chips or jellybeans. I gave her some fresh fruit and, yes, that included an apple. She took one bite and pretended to choke on it, falling down and accusing me of trying to poison her. The girl didn’t want to eat healthy. End of story.”

Caroline went on to say, “I heard similar accounts of stepmothers being unfairly bashed so I created a safe space for them to talk and share their feelings.”

Cinderella’s stepmom claims she tried for years to get her teenage stepdaughter to “take a bath and change her damn clothes.”

While Hansel and Gretel’s stepmom says she spent months warning her stepchildren not to wander into the woods before their disappearance. “They came home with some cock-and-bull story about a candy house and a kitchen witch. Everyone knows kitchen witches live in the city,” she said. In both cases, these women were blamed for the unfortunate state of their stepchildren.

“Sadly, these stories are not unique.” Caroline said. The three founding members were joined by fifteen others for their inaugural meeting. While there is no official motto for the group yet, Caroline said, “We want women to know that they are not alone.”

When asked about the group dynamics, Caroline admitted there is some tension. “We have a mix. There are a few members with anger management issues, while others are simply disheartened. But, for a first meeting, things went extremely well. We are a supportive bunch and provide a much-needed sense of community.”

The group will meet once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.

 

Split Ends for Prince and Rapunzel

 

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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 

Read more stories and vote for your favorite here.

Week 52 Prompt: Hair
Genre: Satire/Humor

 

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Gaia

 

“Once upon a time, this land spun like a child’s marble of blue and green glass and hung in the heavens.”

“Spinning? Floating in the air? Preposterous!”

“It twirled in the sky, dancing with a moon, sun, and twinkling lights called ‘stars’.”

“Ignore her! ‘Tis nothing but a fairy tale from the feeble mind of an aged crone.”

“We waged war against a Goddess. Earth was worshiped—her powers immeasurable. We killed this world when we sought that power.”

“Ha! You claim we live on a mass of magic rubble?”

“No. We live on a mass grave of human greed.”

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

January 13, 2016 prompt: Once Upon a Time In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story beginning with “Once upon a time…”  Where you take the “fairy tale” is entirely up to you.

 

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Mermaid Misses Ocean, Files for Divorce

 

Following a four month separation, Princess Melody filed for divorce last week. Melody is confident about her decision. “I have no doubts,” she told reporters.

“These legs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be,” she said. “And these feet! Ugh. I have yet to find a pair of comfortable shoes and I simply cannot keep up with my toenails. They’re nasty. I’m paying for pedicures every other week!”

According to the princess, things have not been going well for a while. “The prince may be handsome and I appreciate him helping me get my voice back but he’s dumb as a barnacle. I haven’t had an intelligent conversation since I left the ocean,” she sighed. “Oh, and don’t get me started on the chef! He is still serving seafood for dinner!”

The prince is confused by Melody’s choice to end their marriage. “I divorced that regular girl and married Mel ‘cause she was cool, you know? She gave up her voice and her fin thing for me and now she wants to leave? Weird.” When asked if he planned to contest the divorce, the Prince answered, “Hey, I didn’t know there was a contest. What do I get if I win?”

Melody has discussed the situation with her dolphin friend, Fredric, who is now in negotiation with the sea witch for a potion that will allow Melody to become a mermaid once more. “That,” she said, “would be my ‘Happily Ever After’.”

 

 

This is part of a weekly writing prompt hosted by Sacha Black.

Writespiration #59 Prompt: Pick a Fairy Tale. What happened after ‘Happily Ever After’?

Legume Allergy Leads to Domestic Troubles

 

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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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