Saturday, September 29, 2012

25 Lessons Learned From Fairy Tales

Hey! I haven't blogged in almost a month, and it has been killing me. Okay, I know I've gone without blogging for longer periods of time, but that was when I would go a month or two without touching my computer. I still do that, but I'm not right now (obviously). This is something I've been thinking about writing for some time, so I finally got around to it yesterday.

1. Always be nice, especially to old and/or disabled people and children.

2. Know if you have faults. That's the only way to overcome them.

3. Show mercy to animals.

4. Especially if you are the eldest or middle of three siblings, all of the same gender, keep in good relations with your younger sibling or siblings.

5. People aren't always as they seem.

6. If you love someone, fight for him.

7. Do not succumb to jealousy.

8. It means nothing to be born into poverty.

9. Be careful what you wish for

10. "The third time's the charm!"

11. Stick to your family. Never abandon, disown, or dishonor them.

12. If someone makes a point of telling you to do or not do something, it's best to listen and obey.

13. There are people in this world who would do you harm.

14. There are those who will defeat all obstacles to defend the innocent.

15.  No one is entirely invincible.

16. Every obstacle can be overcome in some way.

17. Don't take candy from strangers.

18. Be likeable. Good things happen to likeable people. Bad things can happen too, but there is a guarantee of good things.

19. Don't boast.

20. Finish things you set out to do.

21. Don't make promises you won't keep.

22. Be wise.

23. Life can be unfair, but you can shape it.

24. Always be polite.

25. There are happy endings.

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Loves

I'm afraid that I haven't been blogging as often as I should, so I decided to share this with you. I got the prompt from Build Creative Writing Ideas. Please forgive the formatting errors.

Prompt: You get a phone call from a strange number. The voice on the other line says he can reunite you with a lost love, forever. In return, he will take the life of someone close to you. He proves his power by giving you a full day with your lost love. Describe the day and your decision.
It was warm when I woke up, the same temperature outside the covers as within. Sun light poured through my window, and I blinked in its brilliance. Why had I woken up? My sister laughed in the room next to mine. Smiling, I stretched my arms above my head and straightened out my legs. Whoomp!    

“Grendel!” I jerked my blanket covered toes away from our furry fury. He jerked his head towards their new location and pounced before I could move. I kicked. He held on. In a last desperate effort, I rolled off the bed. Somehow he stayed on my mattress. My plan of staying in bed reading for an hour was now officially out the window. I shot a displeased glare at him before pushing myself off the floor. Red caught my eye. My feet were covered with red lines that weren’t there when I’d gone to bed; they stung too. Staying on the flat of my feet, I waddled to the bathroom and sat on the floor while applying band-aids. Dad poked his head through the door.  
 “What happened to you?” 

 “What happened was a sweet cuddle session with Grendel.” 

He chuckled and proceeded to the kitchen in search of coffee.
After a few more minutes I too went to the kitchen. Mom was sitting, slouched over the table; it had been three days since she’d returned form Murray.
The phone leaped to life; Ode to Joy resonated throughout the house. I snatched up the phone in the kitchen, so my mother wouldn’t have to.
 “Hello.” I smiled as I said it, and why not? The day was beautiful, other than the red stripes on my feet.
“Hello, may I speak with Miss Kara?” The voice was decidedly male, but I didn’t recognize it.
 “May I ask who is calling?” I turned and walked to my room.
 A short laugh was the response I received. “You may call me Green, Kara, and I can give you the world.”
 My voice deadened. “If you’re trying to sell me something…”
 “I am, but it’s not the normal kind of sale.”
 “No. One we are on a no call list. Two I am a minor. You should have asked for my parents.”
 “You’re the last one he remembers.”
  My silence was enough of a question for him to continue.
 “You see, I can reunite you with the love that you lost.”
 “I haven’t lost any-”
He cut me off. “All I’m asking for is a life, blood for blood, that sort of thing.”
“I would never trade the life of anyone. Goodbye.”
 “You get one day with him.”
 I hung up.
 That afternoon was beautiful. I lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep. The brush of fur woke me up. I smiled and reached towards it, my eyes still closed. Soft warm fur and a loud purr greeted me. The cat was too big to be Saffron, so it had to be Grendel. I blearily blinked my eyes open. The face I saw was not Grendel’s. It was black and white. We don’t have any black and white cats, and I was surprised that this stranger was so friendly.  I petted him for a few minutes before deciding to go inside. The cat followed me. I changed directions. It still followed me. I bent down and petted it. Purr. Purr. Purr. I walked all the way around the yard, followed by the cat. He hurried along behind me like a loyal puppy. I stopped, caught a sob in my throat, and blinked away the threat of tears. The last time I had thought something like that was with Cheerio. I sat down in the grass and stroked the muscular cat. He purred some more, a deep throaty purr, like a motor boat. He had a nick in his ear like Schuster, so had Cheerio. This cat had a slightly swollen front paw, bare patches near his rear, and green eyes, just like Cheerio.
“Baby?” I knew it was a stupid thing to do, and my eyes were all blurry after I said it, but I called him by Cheerio’s nickname. He purred louder. It was in that moment that I decided to do something, something only my Cheerio would do. I went inside and grabbed a glass of water and a towel before coming back outside. Slowly, I knelt down next to the dark and light cat. Then I gradually poured half of the water on it. He jumped up and ran away. That’s normal. I waited until he stopped and looked back at me before I held up the towel. He charged back and practically pushed himself into the towel, frantically purring. It was at that moment that I was entirely and utterly convinced that this was my Cheerio.
The following hours were spent in the woods. I climbed over fallen trees, and he squirmed under them. We chased each other down secret paths, and we cuddled beneath leaf canopies. I can’t thoroughly describe how happy I was; it was a little like seeing your best friend again in years and discovering that neither of you had changed or forgotten anything, only better. When he had disappeared I felt responsible. After all, I had been the last to see him, the last one he saw.

 “You’re the last one he remembers.”

I bolted upright from the grass, waking Cheerio up. No, please no.
“...I can reunite you with the love that you lost.”
Yes, I had always loved Cheerio, our little Chiaroscuro.
 “You get one day with him.”
I fell to my knees and cried. This time, when Cheerio rubbed against me, I only cried harder.
 It was seven o’clock when Green called again. I had prepared myself and sat on the back porch with the phone and Cheerio. As soon as Ode to Joy started up, I gave Cheerio a fond stroke and picked up the phone. I told myself I wouldn’t cry.

 “Green.” No need for me to say hello. I knew who it was.

“Kara.” I could hear the smile in his voice, and I hated him for it.
 “Yes. You remember my price?” How was it possible for anyone to sound that oily?
 I looked at my scratch covered feet.“‘Blood for blood’.”
 “What is your response?” He sounded hungry and all to eager.
 “I told you, I can’t do that.” I picked up Cheerio and held him close. Purr. Purr.
 “Then say good-bye.” It sounded almost like a threat. The line went dead, and I burst into tears.
 Cheerio and I sat in the woods in silence. I broke it. “I’ll miss you, Princeling.” I couldn’t say anymore; I didn’t need to. When the sun set, he was in my arms. He seemed more real with each passing second, but when the sun was gone he blinked out of existence.
I trudged home in the dark, took a shower, and curled up on my bed; I sobbed there for a few minutes. When I opened my eyes, I saw Schuster under my desk. Still sniffling, I picked him up and held him close. He didn’t complain or dig his claws in my shirt; he just hung limp. I held very still. I didn’t feel him breathing.
 “NO!” I screamed. No no no no no. No, I’d made the right choice. I’d let Cheerio go. I couldn’t lose Schuster now, not now. I heard three pairs of feet pounding down the hall to my room and concerned voices, but they seemed so far away. I held Schuster close and bawled.