Here's my latest via Flash Fiction Friday.
In the UK, Wednesday (May 16) was National Flash Fiction Day. Isn’t that wonderful, celebrating writing like that? So I asked my Twitter followers for three words to give you to use, and here is what they came up with:
So here is your mission. You have 1000 words. Three of them must be frenetic, hobbit, and cummerbund. You may write about a frenetic hobbit wearing a cummerbund, or you may not.
Word Limit: 1000
Cue: Use the words “frenetic” “hobbit” and “cummerbund”
Deadline: Wednesday May 23rd 23:59PM EST
This is pretty open, so I picked a topic that has been in discussed in some of my groups lately. Again. And of course, my own added constraint, The Fairy Tale Players.
"How do I look?" asked the wolf, adjusting his cummerbund.
"Lovely," said the witch. "Just try to act less of a wolf at the wedding. Especially with the elven bridesmaids, they are all daughters of Galadriel so show some respect."
"With hobbits on the groom's side, they may want other options," he said.
The witch shook her head. "Romulus, don't be naughty. I know some of our people are not convinced yet, but these mixed marriages can work. Frodo and Ladrea's will not be that unusual. Just be nice, and smile - without showing too many of your teeth."
When they arrived at the church they had to push themselves past a group of protesters, all jostling with a line of guards and chanting with a frenetic zeal. The crowd shoved their signs at them, signs filled with Biblical quotes and warnings about how this was an unnatural union, leading to the end of marriage and the collapse of civilization.
"What's with these guys, Agnes?" said the wolf. "Humans can't see what we really are unless it's in a story or a dream."
"Good thing," she said. "or they'd see that the guards are all Orcs. I did a quick spell - what upsets them is that their eyes see the marriage partners as two men - one short and swarthy, another tall and slim."
"Ouch," said Romulus. "That must piss the lovely bride off even more. Want me to go over and thump some heads?"
"Let me go and talk to them first," she said. "And when talking and logic fails, I can maybe nudge them with a spell."
"I'll come for backup," said Romulus. "I'll behave, honest."
As they got closer Agnes saw a familiar face in the front, a tall blond woman , hair coiled up, wearing shorts and a halter top, waving and yelling to the crowd through a megaphone. The woman stopped when she saw the witch approaching.
"Rapunzel, what are you doing here?" said Agnes. "Oh - and are those yours? Again?" She pointed to a double stroller next to the blond.
"Please Agnes, just Ray," said her friend. "And yes, they are mine - twins - eight month's old and the father's taken off already. Another jerk of a boyfriend. Luckily I have lots of sisters always eager to adopt my kids. But my life sucks, it's just not fair. I was supposed to marry a prince, and all I end up with are jerks."
"Oh Ray," said the witch. "I know your character in the stories - at least the earlier versions - has a sad tale to follow. Hair let down, prince climbs into tower, you fall in love with prince, he gets you pregnant - twins in fact - then he leaves. But your life between the stories doesn't have to follow that path."
"It's not all that bad," said Ray.
"Come on," said the witch. "Seems you're either pushing strollers of kids around and whining about your life, or hanging on the arm of some tall dark and handsome loser."
"Hi Romulus," said Ray. "You're looking good."
"Rom - tone it down," said the witch. "Ray - focus. And stop acting like such a princess all the time. You're prince will come, but who knows, he might be just a regular person. Just be a little more patient, and a little more selective than all these bad boys - charming but shallow."
"Hey, we're not all bad," said the wolf.
"And why are you here with these people?" said the witch. "Frodo and Lahdrea are our folk, and do deserve happiness with each other. Let me guess, you're upset because they get to marry and you don't. Is that it?"
"Well, maybe a little bit," said Rapunzel. "I do like Frodo and Lahdrea, but here they are getting married - in spite of their differences - and I'm still a loser.."
"You're not a loser," said Romulus. "You've a lot going for you." He raised his hands. "Just not for me, sorry. But who's this crowd of weirdos?""
"I met them last month," Ray said, "in a woman's group I joined. They started talking about men and marriages, and how traditions seem to be disappearing and I added my ideas, and before I knew it they were all following me, yelling and waving signs."
"Don't forget that's part of our power," said the witch. "We add life and reality to stories - we can be very persuasive. You really should be more careful."
"I guess so," said Ray, "but their arguments seem pretty strong, they really believe they are in the right. You're a religious person, Agnes, can you see where they are coming from?"
"I do take my religion seriously," said Agnes. "But I use it as part of my life, as a part of my values. I believe in morality, which is doing right regardless of what I'm told ... not in religion, which is doing what I am told regardless of what is right."
"Wow," said Agnes. "That's heavy."
"Not mine," said Agnes, "but I like it. Does it make sense to you? At least enough to stop pumping these people up?"
"I guess I could tone things down, some of them were getting kinda tiresome anyways," said Ray. "But they are really cranked up by now. I know, there's a new condo proposed a few blocks away, on a former convent site. I'm sure I can lead them there and leave them to it."
"Do that," said Agnes. "Then drop by the reception after, I'm sure I can some nicer boys there for you to meet."