The trouble started when . . . Prompt #3

Like the Tina Turner song, we’ve been taking it nice and easy with the writing prompts.  Let’s speed it up . .  Today’s writing prompt:  The trouble started when . . . Write for 15 minutes . . . longer if you get on a roll. No worries about how long you write. Just write!

Writing Prompt:  The trouble started when . . .

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  1. mcullen Post author

    This freewrite was inspired by reading about the roots of All Fools Day, which dates back to at least the 1500s as an occasion to perpetrate tomfoolery, possibly in reaction to spring’s mercurial weather. It’s observed on April 1 in many Western countries. In Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, pranksters cry “April fish” as they tape paper fish to people’s backs.

    Sit back and enjoy this silly bit of . . . well you decide what it is.

    “Sit here, me lad, while I tell ye a story.”

    Thomas pulled up a short three-legged stool and sat at his Grandpa’s shins.

    “You, too, Missy.” Grandpa Ellory reached for Lily and lifted her onto his knee. She leaned against his scratchy wool shirt and plopped her thumb into her mouth.

    “There was a time when faeries and princesses were free to roam the land. . . ”

    “Aw, Grandpa,” Thomas protested, “not a story like that. That’s for girls.”

    “Quiet,” Grandpa scolded. “You never know what’s acomin’ unless you listen.”

    Thomas leaned against Grandpa’s leg, fingering a whorl of wood shaving caught in Grandpa’s trousers.

    “As I was sayin’, faeries and princesses were free to go about as they pleased and all was fine and agreeable until the king’s son came of marryin’ age . . . 15 years old.”

    “Fifteen,” Thomas exclaimed, being eight years old, he was sure all girls had cooties except for his Mom and Grandma. He wasn’t sure about his sister, so he watched her closely.

    “Aye, fifteen,” Grandpa repeated. “Now the king didn’t want his son marryin’ just anyone who trolled the forest, so he declared a decree — all girls under the age of eighteen could not traverse the forest unaccompanied.”

    “Grandpa,” Lily sat up, “What does un-uh-cuppy mean?”

    Thomas answered, “It means alone . . . by yourself.”

    “Oh,” Lily sank back onto Grandpa’s chest.

    “As I was sayin’,” Grandpa continued, “The king feared his son might pick the wrong girl to become his bride and eventually queen. The king decreed that if’n a girl was caught alone, a fish was pinned to her back.”

    “A real fish?” asked Lily.

    Thomas looked up into Grandpa’s face to see if he was joshing.

    “No, not a real fish. But a look alike, a fish made out of cloth. And if she was caught a second time. . . .”Grandpa motioned his finger slicing across his throat. “Off with her head.”

    Thomas scooted the stool closer to Grandpa. Lily put her hands over her ears.

    Grandpa continued his story in a deep and somber voice.

    “Aye, the king’s rules were strict. But he was only tryin’ to protect his son. He couldn’t see he was hurtin’ the young women. He had no wife to guide him. His queen died in childbirth. The only genteel woman the prince ever knew was his nursemaid. ‘Course he didn’t need a nursemaid, but she was kept in service all these years to reward her loyalty. In truth, she was a . . . ” . . . need a word here that means “can see the future but not the word ‘psychic.'”


    So what could happen: Have to bring in the cloth fish and how they stopped that horrid ritual and what about the faeries and of course the prince finds true love. . .

    Oh! Aha! . . . Prince is riding in forest and comes across a weeping winsome lass who has lost her way and the faeries report to the nursemaid/nanny and . . .


    Sometimes freewrites aren’t neat and tidy packages. Maybe the trouble started when I first wrote, “Sit here, me lad . . . ”

    * Just a note. . . this is what a freewrite can be. . . just write whatever is on your mind. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense! 🙂

  2. Pingback: The deepest level of desire . . . Prompt #329 – The Write Spot Blog

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