Short Story Society | Kick Off Week 5

Hello everybody! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Last week’s theme for Short Story Society was love (and/or Christmas) and I had the best time writing my fairy tale (which you can read here ).

Debbie’s story about family and more specifically sisters is so sweet, I adore sister stories so this is perfect! The story is called The Christmas Forgiving Spirit and it’s wonderful!

For the past few weeks I haven’t updated you on other stories that have been written. So here are more stories:

Week 2: Retellings

Debbie’s story The Little Violin girl is very sad and beautiful and will probably bring you to tears.

Jess’ story An Unlikely Couple is so funny (seriously) and so original as well! You should definitely read this one.

Hannah wrote a really cool retelling of Peter Pan with a gender switch, so it’s called Petra Pan and she’s (obviously) a girl. I loved how she merged the past and the present in one story.

I guess everybody’s is a little delayed and all but I can’t wait to read more stories (because they are most definitely wonderful!).

This is the last week 😦 and I’m kinda sad about it because I loved this project, so who knows maybe it’ll return one day! I’m here to tell you the last theme, which is probably not such a large surprise since I’ve talked about it during the twitter sessions.

The theme is…

Past/future

(suggested by Tanya)

I really look forward to this theme and I guess that it also fits the occasion, since the new year is an excellent time to look back and look forward. I’m not going to brainstorm ideas, because I think it’s quite clear what you can do with this theme. I look forward to reading stories about old castles, futuristic spaceships, or everything else you can come up with.

See you at the twitter session tomorrow at 6pm UTC!

Let It Snow | Short Story Society Week 4

Once upon a time…

In a land, far far far from here, a girl sat silently staring out the window of her bedroom. The girl, once a happy and joyful, had now grown cold. As the years passed by, nothing had made her cold heart melt. The sight from her castle tower was wide and she could see far beyond the borders of the kingdom. Below her, the old city lay. The wind made the wooden buildings creak, it seemed like the city’s clock tower was about to bend over and break. The people in the city were all in a hurry, trying to get last minute groceries for dinner and some even getting presents for their loved ones. She sighed, sometimes she wished she was one of them, and her life would be normal. The fate of the kingdom lay in her hands, and she wished more than once that it wasn’t her fault that the kingdom was this way. For years, she had tried to fulfill her prophesy but nothing had helped.

As the sun set beyond the mountains in the neighboring kingdom, a tear escaped from the corner of her eye. The peaks of those mountains, that was how this land was supposed to look, covered in a layer of white snow. It hadn’t snowed for years, ever since she was eleven and her fate was prophesized. It had been eight years, eight years of dry soil. With each year that passed the soil had grown less fertile and the harvest had been less that the year before. The kingdom had become poorer and poorer. Once they had been a large kingdom with one of the largest harvests every year. The snow had been their secret weapon, it had made the food grow bigger and better. Now, her father had to sell parts of their valuable land to other kingdoms in exchange for food.

When Elzi was eleven, her parents had called her to the throne room, where an old woman was waiting there for her. The winter was almost over and not a single flake of snow had fallen. So the King and the Queen had reached out to the old lady that lived far in the hills past the lake, she had been known for her wisdom and magical abilities. The lady named Olipha, had seen the future and Elzi’s fate. Until Elzi, as the only and true daughter of the king and queen, had found true love, the snow would keep away. The way to break this curse, as Elzi had referred to it many times, she needed true love’s kiss.

Her parents had been sceptic at first, so they didn’t do anything about it the first year. Elzi was only so young, after all, she wouldn’t need a prince at eleven. Maybe the lack of snow had only been bad luck and Olipha was just a little crazy. But after a year, there had still been no snow and the harvest had been disappointing for the second year in a row. A drastic change in the royal pair’s mindset had happened. The King invited fellow kings from nearby kingdoms, and the Queen invited all of her royal friends. They were all asked to bring their children. Elzi had spent weeks with the princes and royal boys, but nothing happened. The blonde boy from the kingdom of the mountains, had laughed at her sweetly. The short kid, son of the Queen’s best friend, had been shy and played catch with her. The boy with the eyes dark as the night-sky, had held her hand when they chased the ducks to the pond. But nothing beside that happened. She didn’t fall in love, she didn’t even want to kiss them. As a goodbye, ever one of the boys bowed and kissed her cheek, Elzi’s eyes were focused on the sky all that time, hoping for snow. But not even a drop of rain fell.

Years went by, years in which she was visited by every royal boy or prince her father and mother could find. Every visit started in anticipation but ended in disappointment. Every kiss, lead to nothing more than a goodbye. She had gotten love letters from all around the land, of boys talking about her eyes as bright as the stars and her hair as beautiful as the prettiest autumn leaves. Every one she had read, and answered with a single note saying “I am sorry.” She had grown cold to them, not even one of them had made her heart pound faster, not a single one had made butterflies spin in her stomach. After hundreds of dates and visits, Elzi hated them. Still, the only thing her parents could talk about was the state of the kingdom and the love-less life of Elzi. They kept sending every boy they could find to her.

In the weeks before Christmas, when there always had been more visits, as her parents were getting more desperate, she had locked herself in her room. The days she spent looking out of the window and trying to escape in books, the nights she spent staring at the ceiling. When the sky was at its darkest, she sneaked downstairs to steal food from the large kitchen. The whole land was asleep, but she wasn’t. When she returned at her chamber and filled her empty stomach with food, the guilt of every bite made a bitter taste in her mouth. She prayed to the gods for snow. She prayed for this curse to be broken, but she never got a response. Not even a whisper to acknowledge her existence.

It was the night before Christmas, and she was repeating the process she had done every night for the past weeks: stare at the ceiling, get food, pray, before her eyes fell shut. She dreamed of snowy landscapes with Christmas trees lighted behind windows, with families together having a dinner with long tables full of food. She dreamed of full stomachs and the sound of footsteps in the snow.

Roughly awakened by a knock on the door, her eyes shot open. Light, coming from the window, filled her room. Her window had been open all night and her toes were frozen. She hurried to close the shutters and started making a fire in the fireplace. Another knock at the door. They should know by now that Elzi wouldn’t open the door, she hadn’t opened the door for anyone for weeks. The fire started crackling as the knocks turned into pounding.

“Please, Ellie, open up,” her mother was at the door, and she used the pet name she hadn’t used in years. Elzi always hated her full name, Elzibeth Maryan from the house of Ainward. She had always preferred Elzi, but her mother had always shortened it to Ellie when she was only a little child.

“Why are you here mother?” Elzi didn’t trust it, she never came to wake her up. And now she was also calling her Ellie? Something was up, and Elzi didn’t know if she wanted to know what. “Are you setting me up with another prince you’ve found from a far-away kingdom?”

“Of course not, sweetie, it’s Christmas! Please come downstairs, I’ve got a surprise for you.” Her delicate footsteps revealed that she was already walking away. A surprise? Her voice had sounded joyful, but were surprises ever good? She couldn’t just stay here, she needed to know what it was. So, she put on her dress, and ran downstairs. When she entered the great hall, she was surprised by her parents sitting near a gigantic Christmas tree. Underneath it, three presents, one for her father, one for her mother, and the largest one for her.

Her mother and father stood up at the same moment and walked up to her and pulled her in a warm group hug. “Dearest Ellie, we’re sorry for the way we treated you. We were desperate, and forgot about you in all this prophesy trouble.” Her mother’s voice was soft, her eyes filled with tears. Her father continued. “We won’t do that again, ever. I promise. You’re more important to us than the wealth of the entire kingdom. We’ll find a way.”

“I know we can’t make it up to you by giving you a gift, but maybe this will soften the pain a little.” He let of Elzi and her mother follows his example, “now go open your present!” He points at the large box, wrapped in red and gold. She slowly walks to the box, still hesitatively. A peeping sound comes from it, and her eyes shoot to her parents, “Mother? Father? What did you give me?” but she doesn’t get a response, only a big smile from them both.

A small pull from the laces and the box opens. The thing that’s inside is fluffy, hairy and is still peeping. All of the sudden the little ball of hair turns and shows its nose with two black eyes like pearls above it. Elzi let the little dog snuff her hand before picking him up from the box. She places his little paws on the ground, that immediately slip on the tiles. He stumbles before walking a few meters and hiding behind a chair.

“Come, doggie? Come,” she tries, before turning to the maid and asking for some food for the pup. The dog is still in hiding until the maid returns. With a piece of bread in her hand, Elzi slowly moves to the dog. Half a meter in front of the dog she stops, kneeling for the dog with her hand outstretched. With a little patience, the dog eventually moves to her hand to sniff and sneakily steal the bread from her palm. As if the dog has made up their mind, he makes a run and jumps in Elzi’s lap. She hadn’t expected that so she falls over, the dog still on her chest. She laughs, the first laugh in a long time and her frozen heart skips a beat. “Oh Prince, what are you doing?” she cries out, still laughing. With every laugh her hearts melts a little more. The dog, who is now named Prince, answers with a lick on her cheek. They roll for a while before Elzi’s eye reaches something else, and she stops in the middle of her laugh. She gasps, “look!” she screams, “It’s snowing!”

She runs out the door, on bare feet, with Prince only a few steps behind. Her heart, warm and undone of the layer of ice, glowing with happiness.

… And they lived happily ever after.


I loved writing this Christmas/love themed story, it was so much fun! It is a bit longer than the other stories but I just needed to add more 🙂

When you’ve written your #shortstorysociety story please send it to me. I’m going to make an overview post again. Because the last few weeks had been a little chaotic, I didn’t do it yet. But I hope to do that this week again.

What did you think of my story? Constructive criticism is always welcome!

Did you know that in Holland we have a second day of Christmas? So merry Christmas (and Boxing Day)!

Short Story Society | Kickoff week 4 + NEWS :D

It’s already the stat of the fourth week! I hope you are enjoying this project, I know I do 🙂

I know everybody’s really busy, because it’s almost Christmas and that’s a busy time of the year so don’t worry about being late with your story. Hopefully you’ve got more time this week, it’s Christmas break after all!

So for the theme….

*drumroll*

 

 

 

 

 

Love

Yeah I know you were expecting it to be Christmas, but I thought, not everybody celebrates Christmas, and love is what Christmas is all about. Being together with your loved ones: family, friends. So if you want you can give your story a Christmas theme, but of course that’s not necessary.  Here are a few ideas I came up with for your story:

  • Some families seem perfect, but (almost) every family is dysfunctional. Write about a “perfect” family.
  • Friends are not only close but can also be on the other side of the world. You can use short letters (or text-message) as a method to show the development of their friendship.
  • Christmas dinners can be extremely stressful, but fun as well. Write about a disastrous Christmas dinner with, you know, that one uncle everybody hates but still invites every year.
  • Love comes in many shapes, think of a very special type of love.
  • Since I watched Once Upon A Time and Maleficent, I’ve been intrigued by the concept of a curse that can be only broken with a true-love’s kiss.
  • Write about the love between a child and it’s pet.
  • The best way to show your love is by giving them a very personal present!
  • A person lost the love of their life, how do they continue to live on.
  • I love stories about sisters and their relationship, because they fight but they always make up.
  • Finding a long lost family member.
  • What happened under the mistletoe, stays under the mistletoe 😉

I am already so excited about this. Inspiration is everywhere! What do you think?

Read last week’s story here!


Hey, you’ve made it to the end of this post, if you’re only here because of the big NEWS this is where you should start reading!

I HAVE REACHED 200 FOLLOWERS on WordPress!!!!!!

A massive thank you to all of you! I will think about doing a special post to thank you all, so if you have suggestions or ideas, let me know!

In other news, I’ve started by own Society6 store! Check it out here!

Enter my giveaway!

The Hooded Angel | Short Story Society Week 3

At first it was only playing around, experimenting and pushing science to its limits. That little invention turned into something I could have never expected. I was working on my latest invention in the lab, which is a wing-like structure with thrusters for stability, when at the other side of the street, something disastrous was about to happen.

The wings are inspired by the condor, which is the most efficiently moving animal on earth, if you do not count the human on a bicycle. I have been studying their flying mechanism for months, but now my wings were finished. Well… Almost finished. A scientist is never completely finished, just like an artist. There’s always room for improvement. I guess us science people do have something in common with artsy people after all. The wings are made of the lightest metals with small motors for setting the pieces in motion, they are covered in feathers, just like the condor’s wings are. If my calculations were correct, and I assume they are since I checked them at least once every hour (as if the numbers were to change any second), the wings could carry a person. My invention could make someone fly.

That person, of course, not being me. I’m already scared if I have to climb up a chair to get a book from the top shelf. Imagine what would happen if I were actually going to fly! Well… I don’t have to imagine. Because this is what happened.

At the moment I was fitting on my wings, I had strapped myself in and checked if all the motors worked (they did), something happened in the periphery of my eye. A little boy, that was silently playing on the balcony a few floors higher across the street, made an unexpected move. I turned to see the little boy, slipping over the ledge and slowly falling through the balusters of the balustrade. If felt like it all happened in slow motion. Einstein’s theories about relativity and space-time continuums, were at the tip of my fingers. Time slowed and space contracted, making me be hyperaware of my surroundings. And especially of that little boy. Those little feet stumbling over his miniature car, that then rolled away as the boy fell backwards, his head bumping against the baluster but not stopping him from falling any further.

I am not a sporty person, I can’t even run for 20 meters without being out of breath, but somehow (don’t ask me how) I got myself to the window, and opened it, in a split-second. In my way there I had pushed some stuff around, my bottles of chemicals making a ringing sounds when they hit each other. My toes still hanging on to the ledge of the window, I didn’t dare to look down, and I didn’t have time to either, because that boy was still falling. You can’t just ignore fear, because those chemicals in your amygdala (which is the emotional center in your brain) won’t stop existing if you ignore them. When in danger, your body has the automatic reaction to fight or flight, in my case that would be the latter option. Literally.

My vision blurs and my breath is stuck in my throat. This is it. I need to jump. I let go of the window and I fall, while frantically pushing buttons hoping my wings will open up. The wings are programmed to move exactly as those of a condor do. As they spread, with a wingspan of over two meters on each side, the air resistance makes me suddenly decelerate. My hair floating in my face, and in my mouth. I hope no-one is watching this, because that wouldn’t have been a nice view. As I spit out the hairs, my wings make me move forward and downward. The boy is only a few meters below me and I spin downward, and grab him by the collar. At least, that was the plan. What did happen was that I grabbed the air 20 centimeters away from his collar. Moving and grabbing at the same time is harder than it seems. The surroundings disappear in a blur of vertigo and I try again, this time grabbing him at his little arm. The comfort of his arm alone made me sigh in relief. For one second. Then I realized we were still falling.

Still holding on to his arm, I spread the wings wide open. The ground still comes towards us, only slower than before. I’ve always spend my life as close to the ground as possible, but right now, I wish I was way higher. I wish I was flying high, and not close to hitting the ground while being crushed. I prefer my bones to be intact, thank you very much. My wings, that are still opening and closing fast, makes us fall slower and just before we are about to hit the ground, I make a turn. Now my head is up again, the turn caused by sweater’s hood to fall over my eyes. I clutch the boy to my chest as I go up again. Slowly at first, and I can finally relax a little. The height still scares me, but feeling the wind blow past my body, without feet on the ground, it feels good.

As I was making my way back up to the little boy’s balcony, I no longer felt like science nerd Angie, the girl that didn’t go out much, the girl who spend her time in her lab. I was an entirely new person. I’m not some kind of superhero, but I felt like everything was possible. The limit was no longer the sky, I could reach beyond that. I could be anything.

Like an angel risen from its figurative ashes, I dropped the boy off, before flying off to the impossible. A hooded angel with a world to explore.

 


Send me your stories! I’ll post an overview post of all the stories of week 2 on Thursday 🙂

Short Story Society | Kick-off week 3

Sorry for being late! Also send me your stories, because I would love to read them (you can also link me in your post).

Last week’s theme was Retellings, which was loads of fun (at least I thought it was). If you want you can check out my story Fangs and Flowers.

This week’s theme is…

*drumroll*

 

 

 

 

Hidden

hide
[hahyd]

verb (used with object), hid, hidden or hid, hiding.
1. to conceal from sight; prevent from being seen or discovered
2. to obstruct the view of; cover up
3. to conceal from knowledge or exposure; keep secret

verb (used without object), hid, hidden or hid, hiding.
4. to conceal oneself; lie concealed

noun
5. British. a place of concealment for hunting or observing wildlife; hunting blind.

Verb phrases
6. hide out, to go into or remain in hiding.
From: Dictionary.com

I guess this theme is a little vaguer than retellings, but you can do so much with it, for example:

  • A secret that never should be revealed, comes out.
  • Office-worker by day, superhero by night. What is your hidden identity?
  • There’s hidden beauty in the simplest of things, write about something you see every day but don’t appreciate enough.
  • Hidden evil. That silent boy that always follows the rule, is actually super evil and wants to steal the moon *evil laugh*
  • What if there’s a world build within ours, but you just can’t see it? There could be  a complete vampire underground network, or a fairy society, or an alien race living among us.
  • The universe is filled with aliens, but they just don’t want us to know they are there, so they hide out and keep us in the dark.

So that’s all I could think of for now, but let me know what you think of the theme and what you’ll do with it! I hope to see you all on Friday at 6pm UTC. Again other time zones:

UTC+1 (Europe central time): 7pm (19:00)
EST: 1pm (13:00)
IST (India): 11.30pm (23:30)
CST (China): 2am (Saturday) (2:00)
PST: 10am (10:00)

Fangs and Flowers | Short Story Society Week 2

The wind is howling in the woods, or is it the wolves? A shiver runs through my spine and all my muscles tense. I had heard the stories. All my life, I had been warned not to come here. But I have to go, I can’t go back now or she’ll die. She’ll die, and I will be the one that let her.

The stories varied massively, they were told so many times that the details changed over time, but it always involved the forest at night and wolves. The story my mother used to tell me was about an old crooked lady who lived in the middle of the woods. Her little house was hidden, and had never been found, but according to the story she lived there with her dogs. One day there was a girl, she was lost in the woods and found herself at the doorstep. The girl, scared and alone, was only hoping to find some water and maybe food, but the old lady thought otherwise. On the way there, she innocently picked a flower from the field, and when the lady’s eye fell on that, smoke started rising from her ears. The woman screamed at her, took out something that looked like a wand, and pointed it at her. “How dare you?!” she yelled. “How dare you to steal this source of power from me and then come ask for food?! If you don’t leave this second, I’m sending the dogs after you.” The girl, confused but not afraid of the cute-looking dogs, let out a laugh, “Those dogs? They don’t scare me.” But those would be her last words, if you don’t count the screaming that followed. The dogs transformed into fierce wolves that chased her, ripping her to pieces.

The witch, passively watching, was still boiling from anger. She only blinked with one eye when they ripped of the girl’s flesh, because the other one was from glass. Her flower had been stolen from her. The midnight flower only bloomed once every six months and the petals were extremely powerful. One of them could heal a person entirely, all of them would make a person live forever. For an old lady, such as her, the power was needed to use her magic and to stay alive. Because there was only one of these flowers in the entire forest, and perhaps the entire world, it was vital that it stayed alive. The dogs, her vicious monsters, brought her back the flower, which she was then able to save using some of her precious magic. She cursed the dogs to live to protect the flower, and whoever would step of the path, would meet their end in the claws of the creatures.

With every step I take, I want to run back out of this forest. I want to leave these creepy trees, their creaking sounds and their shadows that seemed to be moving. Every sound makes me startle and turn around, as if every moment a wolf could jump from the bushes or a witch would point her wand at me. The only force that keeps me moving is the knowledge of little Azra laying in her bed, on the verge of dying. She had caught the virus weeks ago, but you only knew that when it was too late. There was no way to save her now, except if I would get her the magical midnight flower. What if it were all just stories? Then this would all be for nothing.

I had to stay on the path. Don’t step off the path, that warning has been swimming circles through my mind all evening. It has become a mantra, repeating over and over again. And I hadn’t stepped off the path, but now I had to. I couldn’t keep on the path or I would go deeper and deeper into the forest, there would be no going back. The midnight flower bloomed only, as the name suggested, at midnight. As the stories told, the flower glows of magic. It grows at the open spot that is in front of me. My feet don’t want to move, still hanging on to the safety of the path, but I force them forward. One step, two steps, I release a deep breath, nothing happened. Maybe it were only stories after all. Snap. My foot has landed on a branch, my body freezes in movement. I was surrounded.

They were real, and more scary than the scariest tales anyone ever told me. Their claws clinging in the ground a few feet before me, their fangs larger than those of a lynx, their eyes black as night, reflecting the little light that fell on them. It seemed like they were growing with every step. There were eight, and they would kill me. I can almost smell the killer instincts coming off them. I tried to keep my breath calm, but it was almost as wild as theirs. The panting breaths from their beak resulted in swirling smoke in the cold autumn air. There was no-where I could go, the path behind me was too far to run to. They would catch me before I could set two steps. This was it. The end was near. My last thoughts would be of these creatures in the dark.

A whisper filled the air, the wolves suddenly stopping in their attack. The whisper of a song, soft and sweet it travelled through the trees. Wild animals in these woods, wild animals oooh. I warn you for the wolves, fear the wolves, for they will kill, they will kill. The song rose in volume, the voice growing louder and higher with the second. And then she appeared in front of me.

Her cloak, once white, but now dark red with blood still dripping down on the soil. She was almost see-through but not really. Her voice is revolving between shrilly and silvery when she speaks: My dear puppies, she pats one on his head, you weren’t going to do to her what you did to me, right? The last word is spoken sweetly with a sour undertone. What was she? A ghost? Was I dreaming? The wolves contracted and stepped back. Naughty dogs. Another step back. Are you okay, my sweet girl? They can get a little intense sometimes, but they have a small heart. I did my best not to collapse and nodded. Grandma should keep a leach on her pups, they don’t like people that much. Don’t you Feathers? She pats another one and sings on Wild animals in these woods… and disappears in the night. The wolves running behind her, fading in the dark. I could swear, I saw them transforming into dogs before they vanished.

With my breath still stuck in my throat, I ran over the field. I located the flower, which was glowing a few dozens of meters in front of me. Before kneeling to pick the fragile flower, I scour the surrounding, the wolves were really gone, and that creepy girl too. I ripped the flower from the ground, taking the roots with it. No-one would kill for this flower ever again. At the moment the flower was in my hand, an intense glass-shattering scream arose from the woods. And as I ran to home, in a little house in the middle of the woods an old lady collapsed, and shattered into a million pieces. The wolves were wolves again, and they were free.


This is the second story for Short Story Society, a project that takes place this December. What did you think? I had a lot of fun writing this story, I got so caught up in it that I wrote it almost entirely in one sit. It was quite difficult to write a story so different from what I normally write.

If you didn’t notice it yet, this is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. It has completely changed from a cute tale to this spooky story. I mixed up the characters and aspects of the story, and made it my own. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

I can’t wait to read all of your stories!

Follow me on Wattpad!

 

Short Story Society | Stories of Week 1

I’m still waiting for a few stories to come in, but there are already 5 stories complete! Whoohoo, I’m so proud of you guys!

Hannah from The Book Thief Without Words wrote a story about reincarnation and love and it’ll make you want to cry. The story is called You Are the End to my Beginning, and it is absolutely beautiful. Also she wrote it within a day (I think), which is amazing!

Debbie from Debbie’s Library has written a heartbreaking story about the end of the world. It’s a sci-fi / dystopic story that is called Downfall. She’s really good at building up the tension!

Tanya from Scribbled Dreams wrote a super cute love story, that is set in high school. The characters are adorable and it’ll melt your heart. The story is called The Apple, and I agree you should definitely continue writing this!

Starmanjones from AlmondCoffeed wrote a story about enjoying the little things in life and it’ll remind you to smile (which is really important! So go smile and share your happiness!) The story is called Prat-Writing.

And lastly, my own story, it’s called Stardust, Hopes and New Beginnings, and that is basically what it’s about. Yeah, idk… it’s about someone who feels stuck in life and decides to leave everything and just go.

[edit]

I just got in Jess’ story!

Jess from Bookends and Endings wrote a start of a (potential?) love story, and I just need to know whether it’ll work out! It’s based off Taylor Swift’s song Begin Again, and is called A New Beginning.

Also my story is now on Wattpad.

[/edit]

Some people have not finished their story yet, which is no problem of course. Just send me a link when you’re finished, and I’ll add them to this or maybe the next wrap-up post! I can’t wait to read them.

This week’s theme: Short Story Society | Kick off week 2

The chat starts in 5 minutes by the way so, I hope you’ll be there!