Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The WIP Diaries - MONSTROUS: a short story by me

The WIP Diaries is a blog series about my writing, my current projects, and what's to come in my writing life // 
WIP stands for Work In Progress, for those of you who don't know

So.....today's blog post is me sharing my writing. I'm scared. Nervous, more like. But I'm doing it because I wanna and because I thought it'd be fun.

A while ago I entered my first ever short story competition where the guidelines said to write a fairytale of no more than 1000 words. That's hard, y'all. Flipping hard. But I entered.
Unsurprisingly, and yeah it was a disappointment all the same, I didn't win. But I really feel like it was good practice for my writing skills and generally just a worthwhile thing to have done. I am glad I did it.

And here we are! I'm gonna share my little fairytale with you. It was very hard to write because 1) I wrote it in third person - for some reason - and I literally never write in third person and 2) because I wrote it centred around a child and told it from her perspective. Which I've never done either, and to be honest writing about kids scares me ;) They literally never feature in my books. Haha.
OK shut up now Amy. Here's my story.

(And a big thank you to Di and Uma for helping me edit!)


Once upon a time a little girl dreamed of monsters. Monsters that linger in your heart and imprint upon your being.
Dark, destructive companions.

The little girl envied those monsters.

There was a village breathed to life by fairyfolk. It was hidden among the trees, removed from the outside world, and everyone in this village was of fairy breath. They were unlike any human ever seen. There was a fairy- breathed girl, who had skin like ebony and eyes like emerald pebbles, and she lived with her fairy-breathed mother.

But this child did not play with the other fairy-breathed children. When they dived squealing into the brook, she could not follow because she could not swim. When they laughed and danced and chased each other and she ran after them, she could not keep up because her legs were short. She could not sing, or dance, or paint. But she had no interest in doing anything else.

When the mothers and the Fairy Queen gathered to talk, the children went to play. But the little girl listened to the Fairy Queen’s words. She walked up to the mothers, and looked at the Queen.
"I want to go outside the village," she told the Fairy Queen, who sat on her dandelion throne. "I want to join those outside."
"There is evil outside. Monsters, and things beyond imagination "
Everyone was staring at the little girl, so she said, "I am not afraid of monsters. I want to run. I want to explore what is outside. I want to live with the monsters."
The children turned from their play, and the mothers gasped. They hurried their children away, and the child repeated to the queen, "I want to leave the village."
"What about your mother?"
The fairy- breathed child pouted. "I want to leave."

At bedtime when she sat in her mother's lap and her mother brushed her hair, the child asked her: "Why can't I go beyond the village? Why can't I join those who are outside?" The mother's voice was soft as she said, "We have everything we need here, and more. We do not need to go outside." 
The child did not think she had everything.
When her mother fell asleep, her face as tragic and soft as a fallen star, the child went to the edge of the village. From the forest came howls and laughter that berated the trees and sent birds shrieking. The child grabbed hold of the invisible barrier and ground her teeth. She kicked at the dirt and spat out the sweet air she inhaled. She kept spitting and kicking until she drooped to the ground and her eyes fluttered closed. Her mother found her at first light, and scooped her up and carried her home.

In the morning the child's thoughts were bloated with dreams of the outside. She shooed away the breakfast of bread and honey her mother offered, and she ran to the Fairy Queen.
"Let me go out there!" she ordered the Queen.
"What about everything you have here?" the Queen said.
"I want more," the child glared. She asked her mother, "Let me go out there! I cannot be happy here."
Her mother sighed so softly she almost didn't hear. "You have everything you need here."
"I do not have everything," the child growled.

That night the child did not let her mother brush her hair. She slipped from her grasp and ran outside. She scraped her dirty nails down the invisible barrier.
"There are monsters outside. There is evilness," the Fairy Queen said, watching her.
"I like monsters," said the child. "I want to be a monster. I want to be free."
"Nothing out there is free."
"I want to go!" said the child, and kicked at the night and strained for the noises writhing up from the forest.
"Go home," the Fairy Queen said.
"I do not want my home."
"Go home," warned the Queen.
But the child did not move. Her green eyes were alive in the blackness, her small body a figment of the night. She looked up to the trees, her heart bursting.
She whimpered, "I want to leave."
The Queen stared at her sadly, her face soft, pained. Her heart squeezed for the child. But this time she did not refuse.
The Fairy Queen opened the doors to the world outside. The barrier dissolved, the child rushed to meet it...

 But her heart did not stop craving. She did not stop wanting. Around her the forest seethed, and from it sprung thoughts and fears and desires that feasted on innocence. Anger built up within the child like a bubbling spring. She grabbed a stick from the ground to hurl at the Fairy Queen, but when she touched it, it became a brown snake, slithering around her flesh. She screamed and dropped it. It wriggled in the leaves at her feet and the girl stamped on it and beat it into the soil. Only when she stopped did she see what she had done.

Realised she had killed.

The little girl whirled around for the Fairy Queen, the village.
But they had vanished.
She swung at shadows and kicked at the darkness. In her mind grew thoughts that twisted around her soul.
She screamed for her mother.
 And she heard crying.

The fairy-breathed mother stopped near her little girl. The child sobbed. The mother turned, tears cascading down her cheeks, but her eyes could not find her child. This was the outside, the world of darkness and lost souls who crave but are never satisfied. The child wished she had freedom. She wished she had eaten bread and honey and let her mother brush her hair. The fairy-breathed child realised what she had chosen. And she did not want it anymore.

Then when the little girl could watch her mother no longer, she turned to the world outside and she plunged into the darkness of monsters and men.

*disappears into hole after sharing writing with people* 

I hope you enjoyed my story! Do you like writing short stories? 

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