Cycle 2 - Stories!!

Posted by Kat 05/04/2020 7 Comment(s) Inanna's Game,

Ready, Set, Write!!

 

We are ready for the second batch of Inanna’s Game stories! What have you created with this cycle's inspirations?

 

This cycle’s stories should be utilizing the inspiration that was posted yesterday. Once you have written your tale and corrected it to make it as readable as possible, please post here in the comments so that others can read your work. Two days before the next cycle starts, comments and voting for the best story will be cut off at 5 PM. The following day, a winner will be announced.

 

Each story remains the copyrighted material of the author posting the story. Please give us the title of the story, the identification of the snippets, characters, and scenes that you attempted to use, as well as any comments you think applicable.

 

Once a story is posted, other players in the Game and outside interested parties are encouraged to make comments and vote for their favorites.

7 Comment(s)

Robin Endicott:
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Inanna's Game #2: Snippet 1, Scenario 1, Character 1

For my fans who were looking for a story about a little boy, here is Peter in…

Captain Bahdu and the Glowing Box

By Robin Endicott



Peter had his whole day planned out. He was going treasure hunting.

The little boy did not hunt just any kind of treasure. He hunted the rare and dangerous ones. He had a special skill for finding them.

First, Peter needed to dress in his treasure hunting clothes.

Peter dug through the pile of clothes on the floor of his closet. He knew exactly where his treasure hunting clothes were. They were halfway down the pile under the ugly red sweater his aunt gave him.

Oh, no! His treasure-hunting clothes were gone! The whole pile of clothes was missing.

Was there a thief in the house?

Peter checked his other valuables.

Bug jar? There.

Box of petrified monster poo? There.

Half of a peanut butter and chocolate sandwich under the bed? There.

Phew! Peter sat down on the floor of his bedroom in relief. All his treasures were there, only his clothes were missing.

Who took them?

Peter looked under the sofa. He looked in the kitchen cabinets. He could not find his missing clothes anywhere.

"Ah hah!" he said. He spied the ugly red sweater on the floor of the laundry room.

"The thief dropped my clothes here."

Peter dove headfirst into the huge pile of clothes on the floor.

The pile wiggled and swayed.

Then, out of the top of the pile, popped the great treasure hunter Captain Bahdu!

Captain Bahdu stood on top of the dirty clothes pile in wrinkled clothes with a stinky sock still hanging from his shoulder.

He wore a yellow and brown striped t-shirt with the lines going around his body, just like on a bee. He wore green cargo pants with lots of huge pockets for holding things he found. On top of that, he wore a black hoodie with more pockets. It was always easier to sneak up on monster guards when you blended in with the grass and the bees.

Captain Bahdu sniffed.

"Ew," he said. Something smelled like dirty socks!

The superhero swung his head around. He found his face in the middle of a nasty, dirty sock.

"Ew," he said again. He threw the sock off his shoulder onto the floor.

He needed his monster whip, then he would be ready to hunt treasures.

A few minutes later, Captain Bahdu stepped out of Peter's house, carrying the world-famous monster whip. It was really a green pool noodle, but monsters did not know that. He tucked it down the back of his hoodie.

The treasure hunter looked around. The house sat on the edge of the king's palace garden. The grass around the house was trimmed and tidy. It was no fun to play in. But the grass in the palace garden was much taller this far from where the king lived. Exciting things could hide in tall grass.

Captain Bahdu looked around with the steely-eye of a professional hunter. He looked under bushes. He looked behind trees. He saw a lot of monster poo but no monsters and no treasure.

Then he saw a glowing box in the middle of a group of trees. The trees all leaned away. They were afraid of the glowing box.

Captain Bahdu crouched down. He looked to his left, then to his right. He looked behind him. No monster guards were around.

Very carefully, Captain Bahdu crawled closer. He heard a humming coming from the box. As he crept closer. A shiver of disgust shook the superhero's body. It sounded like the screeches Peter's father made when he tried to sing.

The sound was almost too awful to hear. Was discovering what was in the glowing box worth it?

A regular treasure hunter would turn away. But not Captain Bahdu. He went where other treasure hunters were afraid to go. He crawled closer.

Captain Bahdu reached out a hand to open the lid of the glowing box. Suddenly, the longer grass around the trees swayed. There were loud chomping noises like something was eating its way through the grass.

Chomp. Chump. Burp.

The long grass parted, and a huge snout appeared.

Captain Bahdu stood up. He bravely pulled his monster whip out of the back of his hoodie. He was ready to fight whatever monster wanted this treasure.

The big green snout wiggled up and down, making loud sniffing noises.

Snuff. Snorfle. Sniff. Sniff.

Then the snout rose up in the air, and a massive alligator in a black trench coat stepped out, standing on its back legs.

The monster lifted dark sunglasses off his face, and said, "Keep your paws off what's mine. Got it? I say I saw it first."

Captain Bahdu's legs shook in terror. This was a scary monster. The superhero gripped the monster whip with both hands. He said to the monster, "I found this unguarded treasure. It's mine fair and square."

"Oh, is it now?" the monster said. He dropped the dark glasses back in front of his eyes. He crouched down with his hands on his knees. He gave a growl that lifted his lips and showed ferocious-looking teeth.

Captain Bahdu blinked and smiled. He knew something the monster did not. Captain Bahdu took one hand off the monster whip and waved it at the alligator in the trench coat.

"Is that a pink marshmallow in your teeth?" Captain Bahdu asked.

The monster looked startled.

"What?" he said. Then the monster's face turned as pink as the marshmallow stuck in his teeth. He used one of his big claws to pick at his teeth.

While the monster was distracted, Captain Bahdu grabbed the unopened box of treasure. It stopped its humming.

In the sudden quiet, the monster shouted, "Hey!" But his finger was still in his mouth. His shout came out sounding like, "Aawwk!"

The alligator monster lunged at Captain Bahdu. Before the monster could wrap a claw around him, Captain Bahdu swung his monster whip.

Thwack!

He swung again.

Thwack, thwack.

The alligator monster sat down on the grass with a thump. His dark glasses were hanging off the end of his nose. He was trying to pull his finger out of the side of his mouth. His claw was stuck in the pink marshmallow still stuck in his teeth.

The monster raised his other hand at Captain Bahdu and shook his fist. "Next time we meet, you won't get off so easy," the monster shouted.

A little bit later, Captain Bahdu snuck back into the house on the edge of the king's garden. He crept into the bedroom and pulled his treasure out of the large pocket of his pants. Then, Captain Bahdu changed back into regular clothes. He dropped his treasure hunting clothes in a pile on the closet floor.

The little boy was no longer Captain Bahdu. He was back to his secret identity of Peter.

"Now, to find out what is in the glowing box," Peter said.

He sat on the floor and put the box down in front of him. Peter slowly and carefully lifted the lid.

There, sitting inside the box was the biggest, most delicious-looking strawberry Peter had ever seen.

With a gleeful grin, Peter picked up the strawberry and popped it in his mouth. Yum, yum, yum, he thought as he chewed the tasty treat.

Peter folded his arms behind his head and laid back on the floor. He gave a happy sigh and said, "I love treasure hunting."

Heather S:
05/15/2020, 08:14:15 PM

This would be a great story for reading to my 4 year old! He loves stories about boys his age!

Ruth LeFevre:
05/12/2020, 06:16:39 PM
Reply

Dusty Kitty
By Ruth LeFevre

I am Hunts-To-Protect, but my humans call me Marco. I am a Guardian Cat, and it is my job to keep my people safe from invaders and any other nastiness that may come into our home. Sadly, I am also cross-eyed and can not see well, so I appear clumsy and uncoordinated.

My Mom and her mate decided to visit one of their friends for the weekend. I did not know the person that they were going to see, but Yoda did. The evil gray cat was behaving strangely because he was bouncing and happy. That cat was never joyful, at least from what I knew of him. Right now, he was downright cheery.

Mom’s mate was a man named Art, which confused me. He didn’t hang on a wall like the rest of Mom’s pictures. Mom packed a suitcase from the room of storage with clothes and stuff, and Art loaded the case into the backbox of the car. Mom got me and Yoda ready and put into the passenger compartment. Then the humans sat in the front seat, and we got started.

It was a long and tedious trip. For the first part, Yoda bawled in the back window of the car. I was trying to get Mom to nap by purring in her lap, and his racket kept us awake. When the mean gray cat finally was quiet, I managed to soothe Mom to sleep, and I quickly followed. I don’t remember anything else about the car ride.

After a long time, we arrived at the friend’s house. Mom greeted the giant man warmly with a hug and called him Abe. Once my two humans got all the stuff into their friend’s house, it was Yoda’s and my turn. This home was a new place for me to explore. So once Mom let me know where the critical cat things were, I started to find what this dwelling held. I was thrilled to be exploring new territory.

The first thing I found was a big lumpy bag. It held a bunch of strange sticks and lots of pockets. It smelled of freshly mown grass and another scent that I couldn’t place, although it was slightly reptilian. I marked that spot with my aroma for further investigation later. The smell of the grass brought to mind a wide swath of manicured green lawn fabulous for a cat to roll in and for hiding from the world.

I checked in one of the pockets on the lumpy bag. I could feel my eyes widen in disbelief. The pocket held cat toys! Hard dimpled balls just perfect for chasing and batting and pouncing practice for a Guardian Cat like me. I got shivers of anticipation down my spine to my tail tip. I had to remind myself that I would have to leave the toys for later. I had a job to do.

I continued my exploration into the room of living. All three humans were sitting down on the furniture, talking to each other. Yoda was sitting next to Abe, getting petted with his eyes half-closed in satisfaction and happiness. Even weirder, the gray cat was rumbling with a deep purr. I recalled my attention to what I should be doing and continued with the job.

There was nothing suspicious in the room of living until I saw something glowing up high. There was some hideous repellent noise coming from that direction as well. It hurt my ears and pierced my mind but needed checking. I had to look. It might be something harmful to Mom, although she didn’t seem to hear the screeching racket.

I slunk into the kitchen and toward the glowing thing. It was above the cabinets on the wall. How to get a better view of the shining spot? Maybe if I got up on the counter, I could see it better. In this position close to it, the sound was mindnumbing in intensity.

I leaped to the countertop and almost missed because of the distraction of the noise. The spot had started flashing now! I was getting alarmed. My humans still hadn’t noticed that anything was wrong. I again couldn’t make out what was up there.

I had to get there quickly. I wiggled my butt to get the right muscle tension, then set myself and jumped. Grabbing hold on the top with my front paws, I saw that the space between the cabinet top and the ceiling was too narrow for me. I needed to squirm and climb my way into it. The fit was tight, but I made it.

The top of the cabinet was horribly dusty and had cobwebs everywhere. The screeching noise here was worse. It was like someone was trying to drive a wedge into my brain through my ears. The sound hurt so much that I was trembling in pain. I crawled on my stomach toward where the light was flashing just as it went out.

I was confused. The light went out, but the screeching continued. I managed to crawl to the edge of the cupboard. The noise was coming from outside the window. There was no danger to Mom, mate, or friend from it. I backed away from the awful sound as fast as I could.

When I got to the other end of the cabinet, the sound was down to merely painful. I could safely jump down to the bar and then to the floor. I was not expecting there to be a thump when I hit the bar top. The conversation between my humans stopped abruptly. Mom gasped when she saw me. Mate, Art started laughing.

Yoda just looked up at me and said, “You are a dusty mess. You are due for a bath. Enjoy.”

Abe stood up and picked me up. He handed me to Mom, who took me into the tiny bathroom. The only good thing about this situation was that the sink was equally small. Mom said, “Marco, I don’t know why you decided that Abe’s cabinets needed dusting, but from the look of you, you did an excellent job.”

I caught a look at myself in the mirror above the sink. I didn’t see the pristine white and orange cat that I am. What I saw horrified me. In the mirror, there was a dusty gray and black cat covered in cobwebs from whiskers to tail tip. I didn’t want Mom to see me like this! My ears and tail drooped with mortification. I let out a disappointed kitty whimper.

Mom closed the bathroom doors and set me down on the floor while she got the water running warm. She looked down on me and said, “Don’t worry, Marco. We’ll have you looking good again in no time. Whatever you were doing, I know you love me. I just want you to know that I love you, too. Now let’s get you cleaned up, shall we?”

Mom picked me up and settled me gently into the sink. While I dislike baths, I love my Mom. I appreciate anything she does for me. She was right, after the scrubbing, she wrapped me in a big fluffy towel. In a short while, I was clean, dry, and ready to play pounce with the dimpled cat toy that I had found earlier. I was no longer the dusty kitty I had seen in the mirror but was back to being the Guardian Cat Hunts-To-Protect.

David M.:
05/15/2020, 08:17:07 PM

This is a nice story and my cat is just like Marco. I wonder what he is saying to me and I could imagine just this going on.

Terry322:
05/15/2020, 08:21:00 PM

Love the story. You obviously have a cat!

Summer Donnelly:
Reply

Chapter 1 – The Carnival

Several weeks into her tenure as Stephanie Harp, Esquire’s assistant, Cinderella DuBois was just starting to get the hang of things and a handle on her sometimes-unpredictable boss. Ms. Harp required coffee in the morning, the stronger, the better. She also liked all her letters ready for signing so she could stuff the envelopes herself. And Cinderella was under very, very strict orders to leave at least five minutes before Stephanie’s lunchtime appointment and to not come back until five minutes after the meeting was over.

And if Cinder occasionally wondered what Ms. Harp did during those hour-long meetings with Rumple, the owner of the local pawnshop, she kept them to herself. Today, at least, was Friday. Cinder looked forward to picking her daughter Flora up from Mrs. Hubbard’s Day Care and spending all weekend with the girl. Already, Cinder was planning a Saturday afternoon of berry picking, bubble blowing, and bread baking.

With a wistful smile, Cinder thought about her own happy childhood. Cinder’s mother had loved to take her daughter out to the garden and teach her all she knew. There had been laughter and joy in their home. At least, there had been until she had come along. Before her father had married that woman with those horrid children.

After that, the joy Cinder had felt in her home and in her life had turned to ashes. Laughter was no longer happy but tinged with mocking and angry words. But still, Cinder had persevered. She had her garden, her father, and the flirtation with the cook from the big house up the road. In her youthful naiveté, Cinder believed she would marry the cook, have lots of babies, and bring her mother’s love to all she touched. Well, at least the baby part was right, Cinder thought as she reached for another letter to type up for Ms. Harp.

Promptly at ten, Ruby Wolfe came by the office with her basket full of goodies. Ruby was a wolf shifter and wife of the local sheriff who also ran a concierge business in and around the village of Thistle Grove. With the Wicked Witches abiding by their treaty and the Baron and his brother restored in their hall, life was pretty good in Thistle Grove.

“Good morning,” Ruby trilled as she entered the brick and ivy-covered building on Main Street. “I have coffee and cinnamon buns today.”

Already, Ruby felt her mouth water and her belly growl at the thought of the delicious treat. “Thanks, Rubes. I appreciate it.” Cinder bit her lip before asking, “Have you heard anything about Winter North? I haven’t seen her since I gave her those boots.”

“As you instructed, I’ve been leaving a small basket of food near her home every few days. The baskets are always empty when I pick them up the next time.” Ruby’s bright green eyes clouded over for just a moment.
“Thank you, by the way. I had no idea the child was suffering like that. Her father has a magnificent farm, but even I can see he’s letting it go to rot.”

“Thanks for helping. I know we can’t fix or change the world, but feeding one teenage girl seems like maybe we’re helping her world.” Cinder shrugged. “At least, I hope we are.”

Ruby set the coffee out and arranged the buns on a plate on the credenza. “Did you see the carnival is coming to town? I asked Wolfe to take me and try and win me a stuffed animal.”

Cinder laughed at the thought of the big, burly lawman tossing rings or arm wrestling in hot pursuit of a toy for his mate. “I may have to take Flora. She’s been so good lately, and it sounds like something we’d both enjoy.”

“Oh, you should! The flyer I saw said there would be a Romani horse act.” Ruby dug the flyer out of her basket and showed it to Cinder. There was a picture of a beautiful man, long black hair streaming behind him as the mighty beast beneath him raced. Cinder’s interest in the upcoming fair increased. Her father had always loved horses and would extol the virtues of the Rom horses.

“And I hear a certain eligible boar shifter may be there, too.” Ruby’s voice trailed off in a teasing tone, and Cinder felt her cheeks pinken in response. Cinder didn’t want to talk about Braden Hamm and especially not with a happily mated Ruby.

“We went out once, Rubes. He’s not interested. Trust me.” Cinder was secure in who she was and where she was going in life. She’d made a few detours on the path, but at twenty-seven and with a young child, she didn’t have time in her life for distractions no matter how hunky they might be.

Ruby shrugged off Cinder’s words. “If you say so, but I like the Hamm brothers. They’re doing good work building homes for area residents.”

“Your husband doesn’t think so,” Cinder commented dryly as she picked up a bun and coffee and prepared to take it into Ms. Harp’s office.

Ruby’s green eyes softened a bit as she thought of her mate. “That was before. He’s softened a bit lately.” Ruby wrinkled her nose and glanced at her watch. “I need to get going. More stops to make. Hope to see you on Saturday.” And with a turn of her glorious red cloak, Ruby left the building.

Still chuckling at the idea of Sheriff Avery Wolfe “softening,” Cinder took the food and drink into her boss’s office.


Chapter 2– Saturday

Right in time for lunch, Cinderella and Flora entered the campgrounds. It was like entering into another world. There were flyers for Kafa, the horse, and his trainer Vai. Signs pointing to Kezia, the fortune-teller who could divine the future for any who visited her tent, were everywhere. There were food vendors and crafters and such a myriad of colors that they entranced Cinder and Flora.

The air was full of odors, some more interesting than others. Near the horses’ tent came the unmistakable aroma of dung combined with sharp voices as men and beast went through their paces.

Nearer the food vendors, were the luxuriant aromas of popcorn and something called xaritsa. Cinder paid for a serving of the unusual item, and she and Flora nibbled on it cautiously. “Hmm. It’s fried cornbread, Mom,” Flora murmured as she took another bite. “It’s delicious. Taste it,” she invited extending her sticky fingers to her mother.

Beginning at one end, mother and daughter explored the fair. At one end was an unusual looking animal that seemed to be part monkey and part cat. “Come and see,” the trainer invited Flora to step closer. She was an older woman with a deeply lined face that gave her a look of someone who had seen much and survived. With a cautious glance back at her mother, Flora eased through the crowd to look at the strange creature.
“This is Dancer. She’s quite loyal but not always as smart as I would wish,” the older woman said with an exaggerated sigh that made the crowd laugh. “Come, come, get a sugar cube,” she encouraged the young girl with a rapid wave of her hands.

Again, after glancing back at her mother and receiving a nod of approval, Flora turned over a coin to the older woman and received a paper bag of sugar cubes. At first, Flora was tentative, unsure of the creature before her, but after the monkey-cat took the first cube, Flora dissolved into happy giggles. With a wide, nearly face-splitting smile continued to give the animal its treats.

At first, Flora just handed the cubes to the creature but then seemed to catch on that Dancer could do tricks. Flora tossed the cubes into the air, and the crowd cheered and whooped when the wild animal caught the cube in mid-flight. But on one throw, Flora lost her balance, and she landed clumsily beside Dancer’s enclosure. With a quick move of her fingers, Dancer tore one of Flora’s ribbons from her hair.

“Mom!” Flora’s voice rose several octaves in pain as the ribbon became tangled, and Dancer pulled several strands of the girl’s hair along with the bow. When Flora tried to snatch it back, Dancer became quite protective of her hoard.

Cinder raced to her daughter, using elbows and shoulders to force her way nearer the enclosure. “Flora, are you okay?” she asked the little girl crying on the ground and clutching one side of her head.

“It took my ribbon,” Flora said, blue eyes looking up at her mother. “And my hair.”

“Aw, poor sweet girl,” Cinder soothed, letting her initial rush of panic leave her. Flora was essentially unharmed, and the lost strands of hair, while painful, weren’t noticeable in the girl’s thick tresses.

She knelt next to her daughter. The night was warm and felt sticky with moisture, and the grass was cool against the skin.

“Are you okay, Flora?” Braden Hamm’s deep voice cut through the cacophony of noise of the fair. Cinderella looked up, startled at the large man who knelt beside her crying daughter. With a wry twist of her lips, Cinder realized the sheer size of his shoulders made people automatically part for them, unlike her own struggle to get through the crowd.

“Hi, Mr. Braden,” Flora greeted the man. She ducked her head and worked her bottom lip out in a pretty good pout. “Dancer stole my hair ribbon.”

“I see that. Well, that’s kind of what happens when we get close to wild animals with pretty shiny things.” He gave her a little boar-like snort that erased the pout and replaced it with a tiny, tear-stained giggle.

“How about we get some of that popcorn and lemonade?” Braden invited, his dark eyes looking at Cinder. “Forget about Dancer and her ribbon-snatching ways.”

“Can we, Mom?” Flora asked, and once again, Cinder was pulled into the allure of her daughter’s eyes.

“Sure,” Cinder replied. “Popcorn and lemonade are just the things after the trauma of losing something.” She helped her daughter up. “Maybe one of the crafters will have something we can get to replace your lost ribbon. How about that?”

“Oh, yes, Mom! There were those pretty barrettes! And barrettes are more grown-up than ribbons, aren’t they? Can we get one of those, please? Pretty, please?” Flora drew the last word out in a whining plea.

Cinder’s heart broke at the thought that her little girl was taking the next step into being a bigger girl. Replacing ribbons for barrettes and then soon would be the clamor for lipstick and rouge. Cinder knew growing up was inevitable, but in the growing dusk and darkness of the spring night, Cinder longed to hold time still. Just for the evening.

With Flora anchoring them, Braden and Cinder walked around the carnival. Braden insisted upon purchasing several new barrettes for Flora despite Cinder’s insistence that she could take care of her child.

“Let me. Please?” Braden’s voice was low and coaxing, his dark brown eyes beseeching hers. “I want to be a part of your life, Cin.”

Cinder felt the tug to be close to Braden. To ignore her past mistakes and trust in her heart again. Anticipation sat like a cloud that even the mosquitos did not dare disturb. Suddenly, a blast of sound and light spangled the sky.

“Oh, look, Mommy! Fireworks!”

But as Flora tugged the adults toward the fireworks, something else caught Cinder’s attention - the Fortune Teller’s Tent.

“You know that’s a lot of junk, right? People can’t really tell the future,” Braden warned.

Cinder only smiled up at him. “Maybe I need to see for myself.”

Chapter 3 – Divine knowledge

After the fireworks, Cinder just couldn’t leave without visiting Kezia and getting her fortune told. “Do you have time for one more?” Cinder asked as she entered the tent.

Braden and Flora were safely tossing rings over milk bottles as they tried to win a stuffed rabbit Flora had decided she was “in love” with. Cinder smiled at how her daughter batted her lashes, and the boar shifter did as she asked. It warmed Cinder’s heart and made her wonder if, at least here, her daughter was wiser than her mom.

“Of course, of course,” Kezia said, waving Cinder into the cozy depths of her tent. The stand of bracelets on her wrists played a gentle and inviting tune. Brightly colored rugs adorned the small space giving it a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Kezia was young, perhaps right around twenty-five, if Cinder had to guess. Dark flowing hair fell down her back like a flowing wave of black coffee. Her eyes were bright and interested as Cinder sat down and paid for the woman’s services.

Once the financial transaction was complete, Kezia pulled a scarf off the crystal ball on the center of the table. The object began to glow as though from within, drawing Cinder deep into a trance. It hummed, a low, harsh tinny sound that both pulled Cinder closer and repulsed her in equal measures.

Kezia recited the usual platitudes of wealth and love and all good things the future held in store for Cinder but then frowned suddenly. A stillness came over the dark-haired woman. “What is this? Who is the prince?”

Cinder shook her head. “I don’t know any prince.” There was the Baron of Thistle Grove, but Cinder couldn’t see any way Baron Knox would wish to impact Cinder’s life.

“I cannot explain it, but it’s very distinct. And bread. There is your gadjo bread in the future.”

The talk of bread made Cinder think about Flora’s father. He’d been a baker at the big house, hadn’t he? But that was silly. Cinder had tried to look for him only to be told he didn’t exist. That’s why she had left her father’s home and made her way to the center of town, to start over.

Cinder left the tent, still lost in thought. She quickly located Braden and Flora. “I do believe that’s the prettiest stuffed rabbit I’ve ever seen,” Cinder commented sharing a smile with Braden.

“Let me walk you home,” Braden said as he fell into step with Cinder and Flora. Cautiously, a little bubble of hope that had nothing to do with Kezia and her divination began growing within the remnants of Cinder’s heart. Maybe, she thought, just maybe, Ruby and Red and her other friends were right. Maybe this solid, dependable man with his foundation of brick and mortar, was worth taking a risk on.

As they exited the campground, a flyer blew past, carried on the wind. With well-placed precision, it landed straight at Braden’s mile-wide torso. “Huh,” he said as he glanced at the paper. He used his free hand to hold it up for Cinder to see. “A new business is coming to Thistle Grove. A bakery, but not like Red and Snow’s place. This bakery will only make bread. Prince Family Baking,” Braden read.

He held up the flyer for Cinder to see and her breath caught as she recognized the face on the flyer. She gasped, her hand rising to her lips.

“Mom? You okay? Do you know him?” Flora asked.

Only Cinder couldn’t answer right away. She was too shocked by the picture of Dane Prince, Flora’s father, smiling back at her from the flyer.

Margo:
05/15/2020, 08:12:28 PM

I LOVE this story! I read all of your fairy retellings and you never fail to deliver an enjoyable story. Thanks so much!

Pam Martin:
05/15/2020, 08:15:41 PM

I am also a Summer Donnelly fan! This is fun and sweet. Just like your other stories. I vote for this one!

Corrine Dilmon:
05/17/2020, 07:08:35 PM

I love this story! It was just what I needed on a rainy day.

Cassi Callens:
05/14/2020, 10:01:18 PM
Reply

“The Other Side of Hell”
Rummaging through the cabinets she found the talisman, a small ring that belonged to her mother. It was one of the last things she needed to preform the ritual. All she had left to do was complete the binding agent for the spell. She grabbed the ginger root and what should have been jars of paint, now empty. A sigh of frustration escaped her lips now noticing that new paints would have to be made again before she could finish the binding. Her mind was constantly plagued with thoughts of spell making and she was more prone to making mistakes.

Crafting the paints hadn’t taken too long since most of the ingredients were plant based and could easily be obtained from her garden. The only problem came when she had mistakenly poured aloe leaves into the blue paint mixture giving the liquid a greenish gray tint. It didn’t make a difference to her and personally she thought it added spunk to the dull red and yellow shades.
After screwing the lids on all of the jars she scooped them up and placed the paints in a tote bag along with her notebook and mother’s ring. Grabbing her sweater and shoes she ran hastily out the door.

Crisp warm air caressed the girl’s cheek as she walked. Her disheveled hair swayed underneath the moonlight. The time felt right. She was sure this was going to work It had to. Stepping into the crypt she found herself in a familiar tunnel leading to her mother’s resting place. Once she reached the room where the coffin was, she immediately shrugged off the tote bag and pulled out the ring and set of paints and set them on opposite sides of the coffin. Snatching the notebook from her bag she opened it up and started the ritual.

The girl began to chant the incantation speaking the words repeatedly until a faint glow of light emerged from the ring. Gradually the light illuminated the crypt, growing ever so brighter before flickering and vanishing into engulfing darkness. Standing there astonished and baffled, she reach down and picked up her notebook. Frantically but thoroughly she scanned the pages looking for any flaws or inconsistencies in the enchantment. Unable to detect any imperfection she tossed the notebook aside and knelt down beside the coffin and wept.

“Magic can’t cure death Jo. No matter the spell, it will not bring our loved ones back to us”
Peering over her shoulder she could see the outline of her grandfather. Jo stood up, turned around and walked towards him. “But how can I live without her?” she replied with a distraught look on her face. “You won’t Jo, but strong hearts learn to find peace.”

Kacey Denny:
05/15/2020, 09:19:29 PM

Beautiful story Cassi Callens!!

roseanne hodgson:
05/16/2020, 06:23:03 PM

Awesome story Cassie, super talented loved it ❤️You have my vote !

Javier Sandoval:
05/16/2020, 09:17:24 PM

Cassi this is sooo good! You have a beautiful talent.

Kelly Callens:
05/16/2020, 09:20:44 PM

Love the way you drew me in with your imagery. I really loved reading this and you left me wanting to read more! Great job, Cassi!

Martina37:
05/17/2020, 07:10:35 PM

This was perfect for the length. I wish my students wrote this well. I may try my hand next cycle and hope you write another one!

Anna Marie:
05/15/2020, 08:18:42 PM
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This made me cry and also agree. Perfect gem of a story.

Sherri Callens:
05/16/2020, 05:05:03 PM
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Love this! Cassi gets my vote!

Lorri Rupard:
05/16/2020, 06:26:57 PM
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Wow! Cassie knocked my socks off. I teach creative writing. She doesn’t clutter sentences with adjectives or adverbs. Lots of nouns and verbs to create great imagery. Love it! Her story is my fave!

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