Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Happens When I Try to Write a Short Story

I have given up the idea of ever writing stories for magazines. I think it would be a great way to "get my name out there", as they say, but the word count troubles me. 8,000 words is actually pretty small.
This was my attempt at rewriting the princess and the pea. It was a total copy-off of Gail Carson Levine's redo, and it's awfully abrupt.



Once upon a time, there lived a 13 year old girl named Holly who couldn’t do anything right. No matter what she tried to do, she messed it up. There was only one thing she could do with out trying.  It was feed the chickens. It started out one day when she had just tried to do the dishes, and got water everywhere. She tried to mop the water up, but hit her mother on the head with the mop (accidentally of course); her mother, being frustrated, told her to go feed the chickens. She just wanted to get rid of her, but her daughter was obedient and did it. Her mother got into a habit of sending her off to feed the chickens and so she got used to it. One day, when her mother was checking the mail, she handed Holly a letter that said:   To all girls 12-30 years old: The day after you receive this, come to the palace. There shall be a test. those who pass it will take another test. After all the tests, the one who has the most royal blood in her will marry the Prince Darius.  The girls who do not pass will be sent home with five gold coins. Holly’s mother decided she would let Holly go, because at least she would bring home five gold coins. Holly left, to take the first test. 978 girls were  at the palace. The first test was in sewing; the girls were shown two dresses and were told to decide which was finer quality. They were about the same; neither one very fine. Holly passed though, because one looked like something she had done, and  the other looked at least a little nice. 326 girls did not pass. 652 remained. The next test was in looks. The girls had to look like a princess. Holly had a large wart on the end of her nose. However, when her turn came, her nose itched, right where her wart was, and so her finger covered the wart. 238 girls didn’t pass. 414 girls remained. The next test had to do with horses. The girls had to tell by looking at two horses, which was finer. “A princess should know her steed” they were told. Holly could tell because one looked a little like the horse she had raised. 375 girls didn’t pass. 39 girls remained. In the next test the girls had to decide which of two dances would be appropriate at a ball. Holly could tell because one looked like her version of the waltz. 24 girls didn’t pass. 15 girls were still in the race. They had come the the end of the day, and there was one last test. They had to sleep on a 7 mattresses  which had a kernel of corn underneath them. In the morning, the prince would chose one if more than two girls remained or if none of them passed the test. Now, prince Darius was very bad at making decisions, and he figured none of the princesses would be able to feel a kernel of corn through all those mattresses. He knew that in the morning he would say: “ Eenie Meenie Miny Moe, catch a tiger by his toe. If he hollers, let him go. My mom  told me to pick the very best one and you’re not it. “ and he would never be able to decide if ‘ you’re not it’ meant she was it, or simply eliminated her. So he decided to change the test. He couldn’t really change the test; that was his father and mother’s job. But he could tell his servant to put his inflatable beach ball under on of the girl’s mattresses, and remove 6 of the mattresses. Holly happened to be the lucky, random one. I the morning, when all the girls were asked if they slept well, everyone except Holly said yes. Holly and Darius were married, and though perhaps she was not a real princess, they lived happily, though not completely honestly, ever after.

1 comment:

  1. I thought that short story was actually pretty good. your right. writing for magazines sounds hard.


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