November 29, 2010

Woke up in a palace today. Not like the usual grey-stone castles that feel like crypts. This is an elegant room with marble floors and wide fireplaces. Everything is spotless, but inviting. I wander from room to room and find one dedicated to a million different musical instruments. Does someone really play them all?

There's a room with a long couch (like twice as long as the one in my living room) in front of an equally long hearth and crackling fire. As I get closer, my toes can feel the heat even through my sneakers. The end table has a vase of the most beautiful red and white roses I've ever seen.

"Who are you? What do you want?" asks someone behind me. I turn.

Pretty doesn't begin to describe this girl. I mean, think super model. Only, she doesn't know it. She looks like the nicest girl in the world. Her chestnut hair is in a twist that rests on one shoulder and her cheekbones practically glow. Who is this girl?

"What do you want with me?" she asks.

"Um." I know. Profound. But I honestly can't think of anything to say.

The girl relaxes in the shoulders a takes a steady step toward me. "Are you the one who spoke with my father?" She lifts her eyebrows, looking hopeful. "The one who asked him to bring me here?"

As I realize which fairy tale I'm in, I'm pretty insulted. "Do I look like a beast to you?"

November 25, 2010

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

With all the craziness that is my life right now (you don't even want to know), I've only had time for Ivy posts. I really want to get some of my own writing done, too. I really need to get back into my good writer habits. I have a few book ideas floating around in my head, but I don't have time to work on all of them. (Some day, I hope to be able to juggle multiple projects at once.)

So what do you do when you have too many ideas and not enough time?

November 22, 2010

I wander the forest, trying to keep the old woman's house close, but also trying not to freeze to death. Yes, I'd rather freeze than go into a disease-ridden room. Can you blame me? That poor woman was so sick she barely looked human. Don't judge me. You didn't see her.

I look over my shoulder and spot the somking chimney. I should probably head back soon. When I turn back around, a wolf is standing right directly in front of me. Yes, he's standing. On two legs. Just like one of those funniest videos. I try not to laugh.

The wolf nods at me. The fur around the scruff of his neck looks so warm. When he talks, it's like silk. "Who are you?"

I smile. He seems nice. "I'm Ivy," I say. I feel like I should be a little smarter about what information I offer to this guy. I mean, he is a wolf. Wolves aren't exactly the heroes of fairy tales.

"What do you want?" the wolf asks. What a strange question. What does anyone want?

Focus, Ivy. "I just got back from that old lady's house," I say, pointing behind me. Think. Please think. This wolf is bad. There's an old woman and ... a little girl. "She's dead." I try to say it as convincingly as possible, but I'm working on the fly here and I don't think he buys it.

Still, the wolf's face wrinkles in concern. Have you ever seen a concerned wolf? It's hilarious. "I think I'll pay my respects." The words slip over his tongue like maple syrup.

My heart drops into my belly, but I manage to smile and nod. "I was just going to look for Little Red Riding Hood and let her know so she doesn't come all this way for nothing." Please please go away.

The wolf's face scrunches up again. "Hmmm." He turns around and walks (still on two legs) out of sight.

The forest fades away.

Even though I'm back in my own bed, I have a hard time falling back asleep. I hope the wolf gave up. I hope the little girl is safe now.

November 10, 2010

At first, I think I'm dreaming. I JUST got back from Sleeping Beauty last night! How come I can't one night of just warm blanket and pillow? This forest is freezing!

I wrap my hands around my arms and jump up and down a few times. I'm not sure if it helps or not. It looks like it's early morning. The birds are going nuts all around me.

A muffled sound makes me turn around. A small brick house is buried in the woods, a small overgrown garden next to it. The flowers look like they haven't been watered in weeks. Still, it's cute. And I bet it's warm.

Before I get to the door, I hear the muffled sound again. Someone's coughing. I peek in through the window and see the most wrinkled old lady I've ever seen. She looks nice--lots of laugh lines--but her eyes are droopy and her coloring is off. She has the blanket up to her chin. Her huge, whiskey, cone-shaped chin.

To be honest, I don't really want to go in there. She looks really sick. I can practically see the germs settling on the tea kettle on the big black stove. But I can also see the heat rising from the top of the stove.

The old lady hacks a few more times and that decides it. I'll at least take a short walk before braving that death-trap. I take an overgrown path, trying to keep the cottage in sight, in case I change my mind.

November 3, 2010

Hundreds of people in the room, and no one thinks to jump on the evil fairy before she lifts her hands over the baby. A flash of orange light fills the room. I barely see it, just the blue-greenish afterimage it leaves behind.

When I can see again, I expect the fairy to be gone, but she has one hip leaning on the crib. “The little princess is cursed to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel before her—“

I tackle the fairy. We fly backward and smack into the mosaic pattern on the floor with an “oof”. I lift my fist, but before it lands, the fairy is gone and I’m kneeling on the floor with the whole room staring at me.

No one says anything. For a really long time. Seriously, it’s starting to feel weird. So I stand up and brush myself off to stall for time. Then someone behind me wails. She sounds like an ambulance. I turn around. The queen is hunched over, surrounded by her ladies in waiting. “The princess is cursed.” The queen lifts her head and glares at me through puffy eyes. “And you let that witch go!”

Woah. What?

The king lifts a finger. “Take her away,” he booms. “She will rot in the dungeon.”

“No!” I back up until the wall presses into my back. “I can fix this. I know how to break the curse.”

The king hesitates. Fortunately, so do the guards. The queen goes back to squealing and crying.

“Is everyone here?” I ask. “I mean, all the nearby kingdoms?”

The king nods slowly.

I press my hands together. I banking on the prince being older than the princess. “Gather all the princes together and have them line up.”

The queen stops making that unbearable noise long enough to glare at me (again) and whine, “Shouldn’t we try and prevent this curse?” Sniff. “We should destroy all the spinning wheels.”

I shake me head as politely as I can. “That won’t work. The witch probably has one. The spell can be broken by a prince.”

It takes more back-and-forth arguing before the king decides to give my plan a try. “We can always throw her in the dungeons later.”

The queen pouts and trudges out of the room. Her ladies skitter behind. I fight to keep from rolling my eyes. They’ve probably never heard the term ‘drama queen’ and it’s a bad pun anyway.

The princes eventually get in a line. Some are toddlers, some are like forty. I really hope it’s not one of them. A few of the adults protest. Maybe they’re afraid the curse is contagious. The king puts guards at all the exits. “This is for the little princess. We’re going to try everything.”

After several threats and political moves, we finally get the princes to line up. The king turns to me.

“Okay. Now, have each prince kiss the princess. One of them will break the spell.” I hope.

The line of boys and grown men inches forward as one by one they kiss the princess. Most just give her a peck on the cheek. I hope that’s good enough.

A little boy, about four or five years old, looks like he’s about to pee in his pantaloons. Before the lady next to him can stop him, he scales the side of the crib and climbs in next to the baby princess. He whips of the puffy little hat on his head and leans over to give the gentlest kiss on top of the little girl’s head.

A blue-green flash lights up everything in the room. By the time the orange afterimage fades, I’m back in my bedroom.

I collapse on my bed. Thank goodness that worked.
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