Tag Archive | fairy tales

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 40

It’s another banner week here at Flash! Friday! What a blast spending time with Pratibha; we’re still chuckling in delight over the timing of her Spotlight interview and her latest contest win (her first win in over a year! but then, she was busy volunteering two terms as a judge and launching a literary magazine, brave writer that she is). Coming up this next Tuesday is a Spotlight interview with another stellar dragon captain, Holly Geely, who’s just published her Magnum Opus The First, The Dragon’s Toenail. The title alone merits an interview, clearly. So, that’ll be Tuesday.

Coming up in the next month or two we’ll also see Spotlight interviews from outside the FF community: a writing conference speaker and Writer’s Digest featured professional whose thoughts on writing and publishing you won’t want to miss; AND for the first time at Flash! Friday, a popular book blogger (YA), who will share her take on what makes books sell.  I’m so excited!

(I’d like to remind you the mic is always open for FF writers with new projects. Just drop me a note!)

Also have to add, seeing today’s Vol 3 – 40: oh my word, we’re just 12 weeks from Flashversary. :gulp: And the start of our FOURTH YEAR…. :plucks grey hair from head: :faints: 


DC2We’re dragon team swapping this week, which means today we’re privileged to have Dragon Team Eight at the helm: that’s A.J. Walker and Voima Oy. Give me Quirk McQuirkines, says A.J., and make me laugh. Or, he supposes, not, if your story needs to go some other direction, which he’s perfectly fine with. Voima urges daring experimentation, and if those experiments tend toward scifi or fantasy, well, she won’t complain, though of course you know best and she’s just along for the glorious, vivid ride.      


Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.  

* Today’s required word count: (don’t faint!) anything up to 300 words (not counting title/byline)

How to enterPost your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (this week it’s 0 – 300 words, excluding title/byline), the two story elements you based your story on, and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new or forgetful, be sure to check the contest guidelines.

Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post Monday.

Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.


This week’s novel inspiration demanded much: today is the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, but we’ve just spent the past couple of weeks in tragedy. In the end, I’ve made a choice that allows you to follow your own heart: Grimms’ Fairy Tales, brothers Jacob and Willhelm’s collection of German folktales. You are welcome today to draw your inspiration from any of these, whether tragic, or funny, or tragically funny, as your Muse leads; note this is one of those lovely rare times, copyright-wise, when derivative tales are quite welcome!

Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these elements; be sure to tell us which two you chose. Reminder: please remember the Flash! Friday guidelines with regard to content). 

* Conflict: open
Character (choose at least one): specify any character(s) from Grimms’ Fairy Tales (listed here; examples Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin)
Theme (choose one): cunning, loyalty, transformation, justice, morality
Setting (choose one): enchanted forest, humble village, castle, isolated cottage 

OPTIONAL PHOTO PROMPT (for inspiration only; it is NOT REQUIRED for your story):

Three Sisters (Die drei Schwester). Public domain in the U.S.; artwork by Andrew Zick.

Three Sisters (Die drei Schwester). Public domain in the U.S.; artwork by Alexander Zick (1845-1907).

Little Old Lady

Briar Rose. Public domain  (copyright expired) illustration by Anne Anderson.

Briar Rose. Public domain (copyright expired) illustration by Anne Anderson.

Little Old Lady

by Rebekah Postupak

She hated the way she walked now, the way her shoulders hunched, the way her boots shuffled along the ground. Took forever getting anywhere, even when she managed to borrow a horse. But worst were the looks, the faux pity dripping down smooth cheeks, the dismissive clicks of tongues on pure, white teeth. Wish we could help. Sorry. If only her hands could unclench, she might have punched them for it.

“Not just anyone could be tasked with this mission,” she’d been told severely. “You should consider it an honor.”

An honor? Her boss’d better recheck the dictionary.

Early on her list had been the young girl, lips of vermillion, raven hair, bright eyes, in the forest home.

“Buy an apple?”

The girl’s face had flushed with annoyance. “I’m busy,” she’d said. Too busy for an ugly old lady like you. “The socks of seven men don’t darn themselves, you know.”

She’d bought the apple in the end, of course, and eaten it noisily—at least the first bite—recognition and regret blooming in her eyes even as she fell.

Then there was the teen wildling, roaming the castle’s forbidden turrets.

“You don’t recognize this, I’d imagine.”

Something sparked in the girl’s eyes. “It’s a spindle.”

“Take heed. Please, not so fast! The needle is sharp.”

“I thank you for your warning.” Old fool. As though you could know better than I. The wildling approached hungrily, seeing only an obstacle to freedom. She, too, fell, eyes closing against her will even as realization dawned.

There were the greedy, candy-obsessed children who gnawed at her cottage’s walls and roof rather than help in the garden. The mannerless girl with fifty feet of matted, lice-infested hair who locked the two of them into a tower rather than bathe. The arrogant beast of a prince who turned her away on a stormy night.

On and on they battled her, a thousand different faces, a thousand different voices, but their responses formed a single unified cry: Myself!

“People can change,” her boss had said. “Sometimes they even change before it’s too late.”

Yes; she loathed the way she walked now, clumsy and awkward, the object of public disdain. It was a temporary housing, though, and one day, when she had completed her mission, she would walk tall and strong and beautiful again like the warrior she was.

But for now she pressed on obediently, relentlessly, even as the proud voices melted into legend, which melted into pages. Searching. Asking. Yes, even—



417 words of “What If?”, written for the flash contest #ChristianFlashWeekly, inspired by the prompt of Hebrews 13:2, Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.