These are my May favourites:
And here are yours, if the stats can be believed:
Do you agree? Would you have liked to see another story on either list? Let me know in the comments!
‘Give it a decade and Manhattan will be ours. We have waited this long, why the sudden rush?’
‘Mother, please,’ Marina pleads.
It’s her only wish. Mother remains unmoved.
‘It’s so unfair, Delphine. Why won’t she let me? Shelley goes, all the time.’
‘Shelley tried once and got caught. You know she likes telling tales. She doesn’t know the safe way out.’
Marina’s eyes light up like an anglerfish.
I hesitate for a second. She’s only thirty-three and I may regret this.
‘No word to anyone. Including Shelley. Up there, you follow my lead. Happy Birthday, baby sis.’
Story 31 of 31 for Story A Day May.
A crowd of people is swarming around her. They cannot help themselves. Her voice reels them in and holds them spellbound. She sings – of love and loss and letting go – and dances – light on her feet like a prima ballerina. Her audience laughs and cries and when a song comes to its end, they beg for another one, not noticing that the spell has been broken.
She feels sadness.
She has never been happier.
She wants this moment to last.
But she wakes.
Because she chased a dream that turned into a nightmare, she can neither sing nor dance anymore.
‘A mermaid who cannot sing is like a fish without fins.’
The eldest sister gives a sad shake of the head that makes her hair float from side to side.
‘Will you not give her voice back?’
‘Deal’s a deal.’
The five sisters wince.
‘If she could sing, she might rediscover happiness.’
Is the youngest sister sang, wouldn’t she infect anyone who listened with her sadness? If she wanted the ability to voice her heartache, wouldn’t she come herself?
But mostly, the sea-witch likes watching the King’s daughters recoil when they hear a mermaid’s voice out of a sea-witch’s mouth.
Story 22 of 31 for Story A Day May.
The Little Mermaid took the knife and ran to the prince’s bedroom. She loved him. But if she couldn’t have him, she didn’t want another woman to have him, either. She plunged the knife into his heart, put it in his new wife’s hand and wet her feet with his blood. They stopped hurting. She flung herself out the window and into the sea, watching her legs turn into a fishtail again.
Despite the transformation, the Little Mermaid wasn’t herself anymore. She spent her days rubbing away an invisible stain on her tail, voicelessly complaining about her ever bloody feet.
Story 19 of 31 for Story A Day May – today’s prompt suggested we retell a fairy tale, so I injected a little Shakespeare into the ending of the Little Mermaid.
How is it April already? I suppose it means I’m still having fun…
Mind you, having to pick three stories out of the 31 I wrote in March was, again, not much fun. To limit the selection, I decided I wouldn’t consider any story I’d written for Mondays Finish the Story, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers or Friday Fictioneers.
Do you agree? Do you think other stories deserve to be here? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
It’s my penultimate day of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. It requires you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you. Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. But it’s a lot of fun.
Today, I’d like to nominate Lindsey from REVolving.
Five Photos, Five Stories – Day 4: Runaway
A girl lies on a bench on the promenade. She smiles in her sleep.
I know her. I’ve no idea who she is. I have to turn my back to the wind to take a good look. Sand is blowing over from the beach, blasting anyone stupid enough walking along the waterfront. I’ve been stupid for a while.
‘Have we met before?’
It’s nothing but a whisper, drowned out by the wind. She can’t have heard. She opens her eyes. She sits, pats the bench with a scaly hand.
My runaway mermaid. Maybe I’m not as stupid as everyone thinks.
We’d gone down to the beach because there was nothing else to do. We threw rocks at seagulls. A couple of cans of own-brand cider made the rounds. The taste was revolting, but it had the right temperature. When the wind died down, the sun warmed us.
‘Funny footprints. Started out of nowhere.’
Everyone gathered for closer inspection. The tide was coming in, the starting point of the footprints had been washed away. But it looked like someone’d come walking out of the sea. The others lost interest.
But since that day, I’ve been looking for the runaway mermaid.
The picture is one of today’s Flash Fiction February writing prompts. Mermaid was the first thing that popped into my mind, so I went with it. I’m pleased with how it turned out (especially since I struggled with yesterday’s story for hours).
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