Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Escaping Society #flashfiction #amwriting


Thanks to the lovely and gracious Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW this last week. 

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Credit: Louise – The Storyteller’s Abode
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Violet read the letter her daughter had sent her in disbelief. To fathom a girl of Elizabeth’s quality of breeding would do this to her family was unimaginable

Harsh Victorian society could never know the truth of what Elizabeth had done and Violet wasn’t sure she could bear to keep in contact with her daughter.

She would focus on her other children. Violet’s sons had married well. Three of her daughters were also married suitably and having more children. Her two youngest daughters were courting wealthy gentlemen. 

Elizabeth if not cut-off from her family, could ruin them all. Violet reread part of her daughter’s letter once more in disgust: 

“Did you know Mama, there is such thing as a circus? Freaks of all kinds, but I love them because they’re genuine, not like the society you so desperately try to trap me in. Years of dance lessons have left me flexible. I pirouette far above the ground and dance in the air; I ride the elephants. 

It’s amazing travelling the world and I won’t be returning to London, except for an occasional visit of course. I’ve married one of the men who runs the circus. He is like me, gentry who has run away from a society of judgement. I love you and hope we can write, but I can’t be the woman you want me to be. . .” 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

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Photo Challenge: Fiction – Guardians of Wonderland #fiction #amwriting #Aliceinwonderland


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo challenge.

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Alice was excited to be eighteen and have her coming-out party in society. The young girl who talked nonsense about Wonderland was gone — the adult had almost swallowed her fantastical self completely. 

She participated in garden parties, having tea in different settings such as fashionable tea rooms with her mother and girl friends. Alice went out with friends on picnics and sometimes on a double-date with a girl friend, two gentlemen with potential, and of course a chaperone. 

Part of Alice always had a difficult time letting go of Wonderland. She knew it as a world infinantly crazy. At the same time, it was a place where she felt at home and life even though hidden beneath words and rhymes, made the most sense out of any place she had visited. 

Alice had been around the world. Her father and mother had taken her to Europe. She had seen art and buildings thousands of years-old. She studied countless kings, queens, poets, philisophers, and clergymen as she travelled with a tutor. She had even been to the Orient, stocking up on silk and tea for he friends. Something about having tea, always appealed to her. It wasn’t merely Victorian society’s obsession with the past-time. 

Throughout her travels, Alice found herself thinking about her days in Wonderland. She would consider if her two grand adventures actually occurred. If the dreams she still had of people and creatures in Wonderland — new and old, throughout her life –were true? 

Alice could picture her Wonderland friends drinking tea, eating cookies, and talking nonsense; it had all felt real. She missed her childhood, but at the same time thought she had indeed been bonkers. Her friends at school had quickly shown her how odd little girls were treated and mocked, until Alice ceased talking about Wonderland at all. 

As she grew-up, she believed she caught glimpses of a furry white rabbit in a vest following her, keeping watch. The White Rabbit would turn his head and smile at Alice, purposefully checking his pocket watch and then waving it at her. She didn’t know what the White Rabbit wanted from her and she was never quite sure if he was real. Alice began to ignore the White Rabbit, but he was persistent, even invading her sleep. Her dreams became increasingly vivid and she felt wherever she went, traces of Wonderland and its inhabitants,  grasped her with dreamy tendrils. 

Since Alice had first returned from Wonderland as a small girl of six, a pair of intense green-eyes and an attractive smile, had haunted her dreams. She knew this man, knew he’d always been watching out for her in the stickiest of situations as she grew up, keeping her safe. Alice had never had the chance to meet this young man, only knew that he lingered in her presence often, and that when he she felt him, she was at peace. 

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Alice’s eigteenth birthday was a grand affair. Several young men and women attended with their families. Last night had been an opulent coming-out ball but tonight was a private affair for Alice and her closest girl friends. The best potential suitors for Alice and her friends were also invited. 

She was sipping her tea when her eyes caught the eyes of a man she thought to be about five years her senior. His green-eyes were familiar and glinted knowingly at Alice. She stared at him enthralled; he seemed to know she was drawn to him. His smile was devastatingly familiar, but only in her dreams. Alice wasn’t sure she believedher dreams were genuine. Could magic still be real? 

The young man was a strange creature to her, as strange as those creatures she’d met in Wonderland long ago. Perhaps more so, if the sins of the flesh the Abbot talked about were as terrible as he said they were. But Alice didn’t much care about the Abbot’s warnings. She was intrigued and had always been a curious girl; she peered at the green-eyed man considering him.

 His suit was finely-made and he smiled at her boldly. He moved towards her, but Alice hid amongst her friends, not yet ready to meet him. Her heart fluttered when her eyes met the young man’s mysterious green-eyes again; he was laughing at her shyness

Alice perturbed by his making fun of her, left her own party and went outside to ponder. She sat on a bench in the garden behind her house. She still tended the roses in the garden but had forgotten the unique song of all flowers, she had sung as a child. Her roses were wilting and dry. She stood up and bent to pick a lone surviving rose. Hearing odd noises she looked up. 

She was unsure of where she was at first, the garden had disappeared and Alice stood on a large slippery brown rock in the middle of an ocean. A young man in a boat rowed towards her and the noises she heard was the water lapping against the stone.

“Oh, do hurry, this rock is so small and I think the water is rising,” Alice yelled to the man. She waved her arms until the boat was next to the rock and piercing green-eyes met her shocked blue ones. Strong hands gently held her steady as she stepped into the row boat. 

Alice was grateful to the man, but then she recognized his face from the party. He pushed his short dark-brown waves from his forehead. His green-eyes knowingly studied Alice. She felt as a if she were a child again, under a teacher’s gaze, but the young man was not upset at her; he seemed curious and careful with her instead. 

“Alice,” the young man said, “Please take a seat so I can row us to safer waters and neither one of us falls in the ocean.” Alice obeyed, sitting opposite of the man with her mouth gaping. The man gently closed her mouth, smoothing her skin with the back of his hand. 

Alice’s face heated and she blushed,”Who are you? And why are you here with me in Wonderland? I didn’t think you were real, real enough to attend my party.” 

The young man’s eyes twinkled cheerfully, “I’m Wren, Alice, and I’m here and your here because Wonderland needs us. It was time for you to return and time I met you in person — not only in your dreams.” Alice flushed red.

Wren chuckled, “You didn’t go easy on our friend the White Rabbit. He’s a bit peeved at you for ignoring him so long. He kept waving his prized watch at you. I’m surprised you weren’t curious enough to follow him, darling.” 

“Wren, are you from Wonderland or did you come here as a child too, like me? You’ve been with me before a great deal. I remember your green-eyes and smile; you keep me safe, but you never say hello. I’ve never seen how you actually look before.” 

Dearest, I’ve always lived in Wonderland and you’re correct, I’ve been with you when you’ve visited and I take care you are safe in the outside world. I have a Cheshire Cat who watches you closely, along with my friend the White Rabbit. I haven’t always been able to be with you, but when I cannot you can be sure the Cheshire Cat or the White Rabbit are there.” 

“Why do you keep me safe Wren and why do you call me dearest? I always thought you lived only in my dreams. It’s been so long since I visited through the looking glass; do you stand with the Red Queen or the White Queen?” 

Wren smiled softly as he rowed the boat effortlessly, Alice peppering him with questions; he listened contentedly as he rowed. “I’m supported by the White Queen Alice, but my influence is greater than hers and so your influence will be greater than any queen as well.” 

Alice studied Wren. She had been staring her boots shyly, for far too long. It wasn’t like her to be shy, when she bubbled with questions. Yet, she could feel herself blush anytime she looked at Wren; his smile brightened when he caught Alice staring. 

She brushed the blond hair out of her eyes and in her frilly white dress, balled her hands together on her lap, determined to have a long look at Wren. She was assured she’d seen him before in some form and felt his presence keeping her from harm. Wren was beautiful to Alice; he was handsome and lithely muscled beneath his clothes. He was from Wonderland so she was pleased not to have to hide nonsensical logic from him; he already would understand what Wonderland was like. 

She noticed his eyes peruse her and Alice blushed again. Wren reached for her small hand and squeezed it gently, as he stopped rowing the boat. “Alice, you’re beautiful.  As a girl, I thought you a fascinating girl, defeating the Red Queen and deftly dealing with Time. You had such a tousled head of blond hair and you still do. You’ve the same inquisitive blue-eyes and you’ve grown into a stunning woman,” Wren told her squeezing her hand again. He seemed genuine and the compliments made Alice flustered. 

“Your beauty is also an asset when one has been tasked to guard Wonderland as we have,” Wren continued.”Beauty can attract and fool people and often, at the same time,” Wren said, absently stroking circles on Alice’s hand. “It’s hard for me to explain. Especially since I’ve much more experience than you’ve in life. Humans age slowly in Wonderland –most creatures here do. But as in any land, we have our own ways to protect and our own tyrants to fight. You have proven yourself twice against our foes.” 

Wren held both her hands firmly,  appearing serious, “We have always had two guardians at a time, for a thousand Wonderland years each pair, ensuring Wonderland’s survival. Our guardians are a couple; a couple is stronger than one being. I am one guardian, born in Wonderland and familiar with its ways,” Wren said. 

“The second guardian is you, Alice, born of the outside world. You have learned and come to love Wonderland — though lately you pretend otherwise. You are the second guardian Alice and I’ve waited forever for you, my other half. You know forever can be a very long time.” 

Alice blushed and then upon realizing the great responsibility she now had, her face went white, “Why me? Is this why I have never been able to forget Wonderland all these years ? Am I to marry you, a man I don’t really know? 

Wren grinned at Alice tugging gently on her hands as she tried to free herself from his touch; he chuckled, playfully. Alice began to smile too and as she peered up from their joined hands, she saw the row boat resting on a beach. They stepped over the side of the boat and the vivacity and colour of Wonderland surrounded her as they walked into the forest. The flowers greeted Alice immediately, so happy she had returned. 

Wren stopped walking a moment, turning to face Alice. He was heads above her and tilted her chin up to look at him. “My Alice,” he began, “Magic is a curious thing. It can find the right people and draw them together. It has always driven me to you. I have loved you since I first saw you.” 

“That makes no sense.” 

“But it does Alice. You believe in magic, yes?” Alice nodded.

“Then you know. If you want magical things to happen, you must believe in them. We must believe in each other. And what’s knowing? People are together fifty-years in your world and they don’t know each other. Often, they’ve forgotten the magic — the love, between them. Here the world is magic and I will not forget you or our love.” 

“Wren, I’m particularly fond of you. I’ve never felt this way, except about you, ever — only in dreams when you visited, when I felt you near somehow. Is that love and is it enough? And I’m only eighteen-years-old, how can I guard Wonderland? 

Wren smiled and he gently pecked Alice’s lips.”We have forever. Forever is a thousand Wonderland years. All your old friends are here. Not those girls who were cruel to you for being you at school. Wonderland needs us both and you will soon know me as I know you. We will even know each other better than most people ever know each other. What you feel for me, I’m so thankful for. And yes it is enough, it is the beginning of love.” 

“I’m not sure couples should always know each other better.  Sometimes secrets are better kept,” Alice said thoughtfully. 

Dearest, we cannot have secrets. We have a responsibility but we have a haven in each other and perhaps much later, a child to carry on as guardian with another girl or boy from your world, when forever comes,” Wren stated stroking Alice’s cheek. 

“I can trust you, Wren? I’d rather have the truth in a nonsensical way than an outright lie,” Alice said firmly staring at Wren. 

He blushed this time, “I will be truthful to you —nonsensically and sensically.” 

Alice smiled and kissed Wren’s cheek before saying,”You never said Wren, who do we guard Wonderland from?” 

“From reality, Alice. From those who do not believe in magic. For those who would tell people love is not real and everything has to be logical and make sense. Though our world is much nonsense, we make more sense than the real world. There are always monsters in the midst and as you know, time himself is often one of them. So are Queens and many tyrants, there is always a bad guy somewhere I’m afraid,” Wren said a bit tiredly. 

Alice stared at Wren, standing on her tippy-toes, and stroking his stumbled cheeks in comfort. She felt drawn to Wren, as if she were in a pleasant fog. Gently her lips met Wren’s for a kiss. He kissed her back more intensely and she could feel what she knew was passion between them; it was Alice’s first real kiss. They lingered a while, walking and teasing each other, stealing more kisses which were more difficult for Alice to step away from each time. 

A stray thought occurrred to her as they walked, “Won’t my mother miss me?” Alice asked, “How can I leave her alone?” 

“She will believe you married a wealthy heir and will be pleased, as that will be the truth; we can visit her often, though she will be gone for most of your lifetime.” 

Alice nodded feeling sad, but realizing her duty with Wren. She wasn’t afraid, knowing he was with her. She knew their relationship was blossoming and would flourish, perhaps, with ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ as couples had — but perhaps, better. Their connection had been built her entire life. 

Taking Wren’s hand, Alice walked off into Wonderland. How curious her home would be here with Wren and his greeneyes  gazing at her with love, and the White Rabbit out of no where, jumping beside them. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

15. How Was Last Night For You: Talise’s Past – The Beginning


Please read Chapter 14 here.

Chapter 15: Talise’s Past – The Beginning

Talise was fuming. She had never been this infuriated in her entire life, which was more than twice as long as any human had lived. John Eric caused Talise excessive aggravation.

Talise’s Grandmother Coralia, a powerful sea witch had taught tiny Talise how to use her magic. Coralia had told Talise when she was a child:

“Talise my pearl, you need to learn to control your temper. You need to remember what is important in life: Faith in the Creator and the love of family and friends.” Talise would roll her eyes at Coralia but Talise’s Grandmother would ignore her.

“Talise you need to use your powers to help people, mermaids and humans alike. And never ever let your heart become so disturbed that you turn to the use of black magic. There is no going back from black magic Talise” Coralia warned. “It takes a sea witch over and she can never go back once she is evil.”

Talise hadn’t liked her Grandmother much. Coralia passed away after a lengthy life of five-hundred- twelve human years-old. The other sea witches had placed Coralia in an underwater cave — a mermaid tomb. Talise had become a practicing sea witch when Coralia died, having been trained to replace her Grandmother.

When Talise became a sea witch she wanted nothing to do with the life of a mermaid in Sirene Lake. She swam to the surface of the Sirene, to the cave she had found where the looking glass existed. She gazed upon the humans walking through the fascinating and compelling city of Adare. She had never walked among humans before, Coralia never would have allowed Talise to be among humans yet. Talise was only seventeen-years-old, but perceptive for her age.

Talise peered at the humans from the Sirene, bemused by Victorian women in their heavy dark dresses covering every ounce of their skin. What woman wanted to hide her skin, her enticing shoulders and cleavage, Talise wondered. She could not relate to these women, so called “angels of the house,” they were supposed to be the moral center of the Victorian family. Talise observed the Victorian men in their dark wool suits and hats, who were more often than not, immoral and deeply flawed.

The tremendously overdressed humans came to the beaches in strange bathing suites. The woman sunbathed and played in the water with their children. Strange bathing machines were brought out in the water so women could change into their bathing suits, without being seen by men. It afforded women some amount of privacy.

Talise tried to blend in, sitting in the sand on a blanket wearing an uncomfortable Victorian bathing suit. The outfit was made of wool, worn over bloomers, and had a sailor collar. But people wondered why a young girl of her age was unaccompanied, where was her chaperone?

Men made light of the situation because Talise was so plump and elegantly built. The ideal womanly shape for the era. Young men made passes at her in  eloquent language. Woman looked on her as if she was a trollope. But Talise didn’t mind. She could cause a bitter mother to tumble into the waves, or  even fall naked out of her bathing machine. Talise could cause a chaperone to embarrass themselves and the fragile girls they watched. Chaperone’s and girls in their care knew Talise was more enchanting than, any Victorian girl who lived in Adare.

Mermaids such as Talise came inland to mate and to fall in love. They needed to find a man who carried superior genes for their young. Talise was hopeful that in finding love she could find a completeness she hadn’t found in her family of mermaids or sea witches. Talise had always been called that ‘odd girl of Coralia’s’ growing up. Talise was the girl who made selfish decisions and got into trouble, despite having an adored Grandmother of a sea witch.

The beliefs of other mermaids and sea witches regarding Talise’s behaviour, injured Talise’s young heart sorely. Talise went to her cave where the looking glass was or swam into Adare as often as possible. Her goal was to have a human life on land. To live the dream girls in the Victorian age strived for — to become a wife, a mother, and have a family. Talise wandered the beach of Adare, waiting patiently for an ideal mate in various hideous bathing dresses.

Walking in the waves as the tide came in and out one day, Talise met her first love Ethan. Ethan was handsome and wildly fun. Talise hadn’t even thought twice about sleeping with him over and over again. Ethan married her and introduced Talise to society in a grand wedding ceremony. But Talise never gave birth to any children. There was no little girl (who was actually a mermaid) to pass on the skills Coralia had taught Talise. There was no boys for Ethan, to carry on his lineage.

Talise had loved Ethan with her whole-heart. She learned to be the perfect wife, hostess, and lover. When they never had any children, Ethan was sad.

“It’s not your fault, Talise. I understand. The Lord, does not care for us to have children.”

“Are you sure Ethan,” Talise asked. “I could go to a different Doctor. We could see if we are doing something wrong?”

“Nonsense.” Ethan replied.”But I have decided since my brother Simon has passed away, we should take on raising his two sons, Simon Junior and Edgar. They will be excellent heirs for my shipping business and will give you the children we aren’t able to have.” Talise kissed Ethan for his generosity and good thinking.

Talise silently employed her magic to help her family and to make their lives more comfortable. She healed the boys when they were sick and made sorry those who would harm her family through gossip or otherwise. Their debts were always mysteriously paid off and the boys wanted for nothing. Ethan’s shipping firm was absurdly successful.

But Talise did not know why she was barren. She was afraid to go back and acquire the help of a more powerful sea witch in the Sirene lake to find out why she couldn’t become pregnant. She thought Ethan might have been the reason — but of course, she would never told him what she believed.

Talise allowed her body to age with Ethan. But even at eighty, she looked mistakenly young. When Ethan died at the age of eighty-three. Talise mourned him wretchedly for years. But when the boys were in their late fifties, Talise used her increasingly powerful magic and stopped aging. She transformed her body back to her appearance as a youth. She watched in the mirror in her cave, as her beauty and juvenescence returned. When transformed, Talise appeared as if she had only aged four years, if one could tell.

But Talise had been unprepared for the information she learned from her and Ethan’s nephews after he died, before Talise had become a young woman again. Talise had discovered it was her who could not physically be a mother to a child. Ethan had had an affair throughout his life and had children.

Please Read Chapter 16 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Monday and a Crazy Time Change


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Hi everyone!  It’s Monday and I think Monday’s are always difficult even if you don’t have to go to an office. There is just something about Mondays. The world just doesn’t run the right way at the beginning of the week. Everyone is tired, and it’s hard to get into your school work or job work.

Especially with this fall time change, we know it will be an accident-prone and less productive work week for people from countries who participate in the time change. Yesterday, I learned that it is not because of farmers that we have this time change. In fact, the time change was started by Germany in 1915 to conserve energy. People would spend less energy lighting their homes because they had to get up an hour earlier. Much of Europe, the US, and Canada followed suit with Germany. Ironically enough, we spend more money on energy now because of the time change in Canada at least. The CBC has an interesting article on the time change here.

Also, how did your Halloween weekend go? Facebook was flooded with images of children and families (including pets) all dressed up. It was interesting to see the variety of costumes and how many good natured parents and grandparents dressed up with their children or grandchildren. I don’t recall my parents doing that (LOL) but I don’t blame them for it. I think dressing up your kid or pet is difficult enough. Some parents go all out, especially if your family has a “theme.” Some Moms were thinking ahead this year when they planned their families’ costumes.

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What I would like to try some year is to paint my face-up artistically as a deer or lion (some type of animal.) Face painting has become wonderfully realistic since the nineties. With contouring becoming popular in regular makeup and better face paints besides those sticks that have been around forever, people can paint their  own or their child’s face fantastically! I wasn’t up to doing a lot this Halloween. I had planned on attending a scary haunted house at Fort Edmonton but the tickets for the event sold out fast. I should have put more thought into that earlier.

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But to tell you the truth, I was just too involved studying for my Residential Furnishings midterm (that I thought would be as intense as the Art History midterms and finals I experienced in University) that I didn’t think about Halloween including a costume, face paint, and/or buying tickets for an event. But I did hand out candy to the thirteen kids who came to visit our house for candy. We are close to a park called Rundle Park, it’s lovely especially in the Summer  and is picturesque in Autumn. But it seems the kids trick’o’treating don’t come down far into our neighbourhood. It’s a shame because the kids who did come received a fistful of candy. We are generous at our house. Better that someone else’s kid should eat the candy than any of us.

Additionally, I was getting bored with the theme of my blog so I went through a few different themes this morning and settled on one. I hope you like the new look of the blog and that the header of the red shoes that is a painting, isn’t to blurry and close up. I still have a few things to fix on the blog, but for tonight it will do. Let me know what you think of the new theme? Is there too much on the bottom header where my biography is located? 

I am also about to start a paper and project for my class. I have to choose a certain amount of furniture/art from different eras and design a showroom with brochures and an essay on the theme. I’m thinking about doing it on pieces from a certain periods for example, the Gothic era and then the revival of the Gothic era, Gothic Revival (in the Victorian Era). I think it would be fascinating to put the actual time period of something together with other pieces that tried to emulate it years later. So, that’s the main idea and I need to start tomorrow.  I only have three weeks of time to complete my project.

IMG_0399Is it bad that I have started to think about Christmas? Not to diminish Rememberance Day November 11th here in Canada, but I think the birth of Baby Jesus has a great deal to do with veterans. 

Anyways, every year finding gifts for people seems to get harder. It’s always hit and miss with gifts because one year one person likes their gift and another person wants to return their gift. I think for 2015, I am going to give gift cards. Some people think it’s impersonal but I think that people often have ideas of what they want sometimes and would prefer money or gift cards towards that item or service. Christmas cards take the longest time to write, especially if you are trying to say something personal. I try to write something meaningful. I don’t look up a Hallmark quote and throw it on the card. At least the card can be personal even if the giftcard with it is less so. 

Moreover,  I am anticipating Friday. The new James Bond Spectre is out in the movies.Danial Craig I enjoy Daniel Craig as James Bond. He brought something unique to the part,  grittiness , and great live action chase scenes, that some of the other James Bond movies didn’t contain. I wonder who will play the next James Bond? They need someone to start out at a bit younger age than Daniel Craig did, so he can be in more films. Tom Hardy, was one name I heard was being considered but I don’t really think he has that suave demeaner that James Bond encompasses. Who do you think should play James Bond after Daniel Craig is finished the role, after the James Bond movie after Spectre ? Any other movies you are looking forward to? I can’t wait for the last Hunger Games movie Mockingjay Part II. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss and I love Liam Hemsworth who plays Gale too. Katniss should end up with Gale, not Peta.Team Gale!

Enjoy your week everyone. I will have the regular picture/word prompt stories and some poems coming out. I am thinking about some pieces I can do that are different from my regular posts. Since last month was National Poetry Writing Month, I am considering going back and doing that this month. I love poetry! But I am not sure, I also might be doing Writing 101 to keep busy. Cheers!

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