The Fairy Ring Writing Contest Submission – Victoria Boulton

This entry courtesy of Victoria Boulton.
White Lies
A unicorn! She was luminous with beauty in the silver light. My inner-child rose up from the depths of my heart, dancing and laughing. I wished that I had never silenced her and had dared to believe.
I came out from behind the tree trunk and held out my hand as you would to a skittish pet. “Hello.” My voice was soft with nerves and stupid with wonder.
The unicorn snorted and pawed at the ground, and I thought she would flee, leaving me forever wondering. But then my heart soared up on a wave of heat and happiness as she approached. My fingers twitched as her breath tickled my palm. So close, I thought. She lowered her horn.
Broaam!” The unicorn was knocked aside by a boulder of brown flesh – a troll, a lumpy, misshapen man with curved claws and walrus-like tusks.

“Don’t!” I threw myself forwards, grabbing the arm he had drawn back to strike.

I staggered as he shook me loose, but at this reprieve the unicorn trumpeted her victory and lunged, burying her horn deep into my belly.
Broaam!”The troll grabbed the unicorn and flung her; she hit a tree with a sickening crack! I sank to my knees; the unicorn did not stir.
I pressed shaking hands to my belly. “It’s… so wet…”
Girl.”I looked up and he scooped me into his arms. “You were foolish to approach a white fey,” he rumbled as he carried me. “I will bring you to the goblinfolk- they are clever with their hands and will know what to do with you.”
I struggled not to faint into the chest of my saviour, half-dead because of the lies my mother read me when I was a child.
Artwork by Christian Damm, www.conceptartist.dk

The Fairy Ring Writing Contest Submission – Mark Wilson

From the brain of Mark Wilson (@mors_kajak), our first entry about banjos. Enjoy.

Kappa Die Tutti Capo [1] by Mark Wilson

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The house was full of dust, but my cough as I entered was exaggerated, an “Anyone there?!” composed of fear. Not reassured, I moved towards the door at the end of the hall.

***
Distance had meant I hadn’t seen my late grandfather for years, although we continued to correspond: “Before you take possession of my house, there is something I must share. You probably don’t remember the pond in the wood that borders my garden…”

***

I had been to that pond this morning. The day was still and hot, but the woodland sounds had died into silence by the time I was twenty feet from the water, and the air seem to hum by the time I was within ten feet, which was as close as I dared approach.
***

I don’t know if I got them all. I learned to reason with them, but they are so very dangerous, and I risked the lives of so many.

***

I opened the door to the basement, shivering despite the sweat running off me.

***

The kappa are so polite, you see, but there were so many, I had to bargain them all into giving a concert…

***
I descended the stairs, my attempt at a further cough only a quite rasp.

As I entered the basement, I was greeted by a tableau of terror. A dozen of the creatures, frozen in polite rictus, each with one of grandfather’s banjos clutched in dead hands, the rusted capos still clamped round the third fret. Their heads were bowed to the empty chairs, as if still receiving echoes of long-ago applause, the floorboards around their feet stained from where the pond fluid had spilled from their heads.

There was a drip from the ceiling. A scrape on a capo, and the sound of a banjo string snapping…

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[1] Desperately contrived and unamusing (except to me) sort-of Latin pun. I expect there are bonus points for that…. 🙂

Photo by Rick Jackofsky, courtesy of Roosterick.tumblr.com

 

The Fairy Ring Writing Contest Submission – Anna Meade

In the interests of being fair, I offer up to you my own submission to The Fairy Ring Writing Contest. I can’t win, of course, but I wanted to share my humble effort as I believe all writers are in this together. I hope you enjoy.
Violets by Anna Meade
“I want a man who’ll twine violets in my hair.”
I wrote this sentence and then doodled violets in the journal margin. My whimsy would be the death of me. My days were spent on the outskirts of the woods behind my parents’ home, sprawled under a tree on a faded blue-check blanket, barefoot and hair-tumbled and romantic poetry-addled.
I rolled onto my back, staring at the late summer sky. My too-long skirt tangled round my legs, so I sat up to extricate myself. The shadow fell over me then.
I squinted up at him in the sun, “Hello.”
He smiled and put a finger to his lips. His step barely stirred the grass. He took me by the hand to his bower, where we supped on honeysuckle and blackberries. 
“Every day I am with you feels like a year,” said I, idly leaning against his shoulder.
He smiled, so tenderly, and wound flowers through my curls.
His hands were gentle and his kisses were poignant. I stayed awake as long as I could, but my traitor eyelids fell. I slept so heavy, filled with ambrosia and dreams, and when I woke all the forest was in the chill grip of autumn.
I shivered and hurried back towards the edge of the woods, back to my parents’ home. I ran to the door and pounded, “Mother! Father! I’m back!”
The door opened and a startled wrinkle-raisined face peered back at me. “Are you looking for someone, child?”
I stumbled backwards and ran towards the forest, heedless of my way. I found my tree and beneath it, mostly buried in the dirt, I unearthed the smallest fragment of paper. It was weather-faded and nearly illegible, but I knew what it said:
“I want a man who’ll twine violets in my hair.”
Painting by John William Waterhouse; Photography by Andrew Kuykendall