Last year, I think it was, I wrote an original fairy tale and submitted it to a magazine, which didn’t accept it.
So, as my mother used to say, I picked up my doll and my doll rags and went home. Meaning, in this case, I’ll publish it myself.
Some of my friends are having success with their 99-cent shorts, so I decided I’d try that, too. The trouble with that is, I had to make a cover for it, and that’s hard. You all know how much I love hard work: just fine, so long as somebody else is doing it.
ANYWAY, here’s what I finally finagled.
And here’s a sample:
Brightheart to the Rescue
excerpt from “The Tale of The Maiden Brightheart”
by Marian Allen
One of these servants was a little maid of fourteen, with long black hair and sparkling brown eyes. It was her duty to feed the geese and to gather their eggs. Her name was Born-on-a-Wednesday, but she was so outgoing and so kind that everyone called her Brightheart.
One day, Brightheart went out to gather goose eggs and found the geese all limping.
“What has happened to your legs, my dears?” she asked.
“Oh,” said the boldest of the geese, “there are two people living under our coop. They creep out and eat one egg each every day. We let them, for we pity them. They weep so long and so often, we put our feet over our ears and it hurts our legs.”
“Show me them,” said Brightheart.
Sure enough, there were two people huddled under the coop, dressed in rags and weeping so that their hair was wet and salt-crusted with their tears.
“Come out,” said Brightheart. “Tell me why you weep.”
When the people came out, they proved to be an old man clutching a broom and an old woman clutching a mop.
“Do you work in the castle?” asked Brightheart. “Has someone been unkind to you?”
The old woman said, “We don’t know where we work, nor if anyone has been kind or unkind. We don’t know who we are or where we come from. We must be servants, for the only things we have in the world are our clothes and our mop and broom.”
The old man said, “We wake every morning with no memory of any time before. We only know we belong together and we mustn’t lose our broom and mop.”
“Poor things! Come with me.”
And she took them into the scullery, where the cook gave them food, clean clothes, and water to wash the dirt from their bodies and the salt from their hair. She set the old man to sweeping the kitchen courtyard and the old woman to mopping it.
Now, Brightheart was a clever girl, and a bit of a hedge-witch. She had a feeling the old people were more than they seemed, and she set herself to discovering if it was so.
While you’re waiting for this to come out, let me tell you that I already have four 99-cent offerings: not singles, but collections! They’re linked from my Short Stories page.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: A young person helps.