Literary Maneuvers MARCH 2020: Re-tell a Fairy Tale


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  1. #1

    Literary Maneuvers MARCH 2020: Re-tell a Fairy Tale

    Introducing
    Literary Maneuvers Competition
    for March 2020


    "Re-tell a Fairy Tale"


    Word limit: 650
    Begins Sunday, March 1
    Closes Sunday, March 15
    0000hrs GMT
    Critiques from Judges due to SueC
    (please and thank you) by March 31



    Introduction


    This month you will be prompted to Re-tell a Fairy Tale!
    Pick your own title, write about whatever you want, as long as it fits the prompt.


    If you win, you'll get a badge pinned to your profile,
    plus the chance to write for our yearly Grand Fiction Challenge
    which carries cash prizes. Pretty neat, eh?




    Judging


    The judges this month are
    Foxee
    xXx
    Amnesiac
    SueC.


    For those interested in judging, let SueC know via PM or in the new Coffee Shop. If you wish to know more about scoring, take a look at the NEW JUDGING GUIDE which also includes a template to use for your scoring. Please use this template for consistency.




    Additional


    All entries that wish to retain their first rights should post in the LM WORKSHOP THREAD.


    All anonymous entries should be sent to SueC by private message and please note in
    the PM if you want your entry posted in the workshop thread, not visible to the public


    Lastly, why not check out this ancient text on how to best approach this task.




    Rules




    • All forum rules apply. The LM competition is considered a creative area of the forum. If your story contains inappropriate language or content, do not forget add a disclaimer or it could result in disciplinary actions being taken. Click here for the full list of rules and guidelines of the forum.
    • No Poetry! Nothing against you poets out there, but this isn’t a place for your poems. Head on over to the poetry challenges for good competition over there. Some of us fiction people wouldn’t be able to understand your work! Click here for the poetry challenges. Play the prose-poem game at your own risk.
    • No posts that are not entries into the competition are allowed. If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to take part in discussion please head over to the LM Coffee Shop. We’ll be glad to take care of your needs over there.
    • Editing your entry after posting isn’t allowed. You’ll be given a ten minute grace period, but after that your story may not be scored.
    • Only one entry per member.
    • The word limit is 650 words not including the title. If you go over - Your story will not be counted. Microsoft Word is the standard for checking this. If you are unsure of the word count and don't have Word, please send your story to me and I'll check it for you.



    There are a few ways to post your entry:

    If you aren't too concerned about your first rights, then you can simply post your entry here in this thread.

    You can opt to have your entry posted in the Workshop which is a special thread just for LM entries. You would put your story there if you wish to protect your first rights, in case you wish to have the story published one day. Note: If you do post it in the workshop thread, you must post a link to it here in this thread otherwise your story may not be counted.

    You may post your story anonymously. To do so, send your story to the host of the competition. If you wish to have us post it in the workshop thread then say so. Your name will be revealed upon the release of the score.


    Everyone is welcome to participate, including judges. A judge's entry will receive a review by their fellow judges, but it will not receive a score, though some judges are happy to let you know their score for you privately. Please refrain from 'like'-ing or 'lol'-ing an entry until the scores are posted.


    Judges: In the tradition of LM competitions of yore, if you could send the scores no later than three days after the closing date it will ensure a timely release of results. Much later than that and I will have to post with what I have. Again, please see the Judging Guidelines if you have questions. Following the suggested formatting will be much appreciated, too.

    This competition will close on:
    Monday, March 15th at midnight GMT (not BST), on the dot.
    Please note any time differences where you are
    and be mindful of daylight savings time.
    Last edited by SueC; March 2nd, 2020 at 03:48 AM.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  2. #2
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  3. #3
    Red Riding the Hood (641 words)

    Wolf looked up from the chair by the window as Red came in, his gaunt features arranged into an appreciative leer. ‘So, you finally turn up! Did you bring the stuff?’

    Red Riding tossed her golden curls defiantly, walked over to a small table beside his sprawled frame and, slamming down the straw basket, she pulled back the red spotted cloth that covered the contents.

    “Not bad, not bad at all,” murmured Wolf, gulping down a marijuana-laced brownie.

    Red turned on him angrily. “Take it easy! You’re supposed to be selling the stuff not eating it.” She slapped his hand away from the basket and turned towards the old woman in the bed. “This is all top quality merchandise and I expect the usual price. I’ve included some magic mushroom cookies this week. I had a really good crop.”

    Grandma shifted up against the bank of grubby pillows and eyed the basket suspiciously. “Well, let’s hope it’s better than the last lot. Wolf’s eyes haven’t been the same since he tried those mandrake root pancakes that you brought last week! He still sees everything like he’s looking through a magnifying glass.”

    Red grinned, “Serves him right for pinching stuff he don’t pay for!” She kicked Wolf’s feet out of her way as she moved to open the window. “It stinks in here. Can’t you and the old woman take a bath once in a while?”

    Wolf glanced towards her, his mouth twisted into an angry snarl but any words that he had planned to say died in the fetid air as his expression changed. He yelped, shot up from the chair in a tangle of ungainly limbs and disappeared beneath Grandma’s bed, where he lay trembling with fear.

    Red glanced towards the window to see what it was that had spooked him and smiled as she saw her father striding towards the cottage, his woodcutter’s axe slung on his broad and muscular shoulder. She quickly replaced the spotted cloth over the contents of the basket and carried it over to the old woman in the bed, snatching up the bundle of bank notes that lay on the coverlet. She stuffed the money into her pocket and turned back towards the door.

    “Daddy!” she whimpered prettily, as he strode into the room, “Did you come to take me home?”

    Her father nodded and lifted her into a loving hug. “I don’t want you walking home through the wood alone. It’s getting dark and there’s talk of a nasty character that’s been seen hanging about in these parts - some city no-good that goes by the name of Wolf, so I’ve heard. If I catch hold of him he’ll wish he’d stayed in the city!” He turned to his mother-in-law, who lay in the bed watching them. “Good to see you Grandma. You’re looking well and I see young Red has brought you some food.”

    “Oh yes,” Grandma beamed at Red Riding, drawing the basket towards her, “she’s such a good girl. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

    Her father turned to Red and smiled adoringly. “Ah, she’s a kind-hearted, generous young lass. She spends most of her day out in her little garden, growing herbs and vegetables that she loves to share. She’s a good little cook too.”

    “Oh yes,” Grandma nodded, “she has a talent for gardening alright and I always enjoy the things she cooks.”

    As they walked back through the wood towards home, Red clutched the bundle of banknotes inside her pocket with one hand and clung tightly to her daddy’s arm with the other. She skipped along beside him and sang in her pretty-little-girl voice. Her father joined in the chorus, his fine baritone ringing through the wildwood in a joyous show of pride in having a daughter who was so very, very good.

  4. #4
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    The True Story of Prometheus. 645 Adult. Promie is banished from Mt. Olympus.





    It is told that if you were to fly high in the sky like an eagle and if you ventured to the mountains of the Olympians in present day Greece, you might well have heard the cries of a tormented soul.


    You would have found a naked man chained to a rock on the side of a mountain, a huge golden eagle eating his liver. Standing nearby would be a quart-size bottle of Tabasco sauce.


    The man and god, was named Prometheus the son of Zeus, greatest of the gods. Prometheus was doomed for all eternity to suffer having his liver eaten by Zeus’s pet eagle, Twinky. During the night, the liver would grow back. Daily, Twinky will have his munchies. Also daily, the bottle of sauce would replenish itself.


    Promie's punishment was for making fools of the other gods.


    There was the time when he disguised stinky old garbage and bones as a meat sacrifice to his father. Needless to say, the party was a disaster.


    Promie was lucky, with only a few centuries of being restricted to his room on that occasion. But he pulled many other pranks, with a decided irreverence for his parents and the other gods. The clincher being when he gave a gift of fire to a pack of filthy mortals living at the foot of Mount Olympus.


    Since he was still feeling upset over the garbage prank and hated seeing fires reflecting from below, in the dry forest around his home, Zeus again punished his son. That time it was by chaining him to the mountain. He told Promie he would have to remain chained until the end of Eternity, or until Zeus got over his anger – whichever came first.


    Prometheus was to be reduced to eating grubs, insects, and spiders that wandered into his reach. Even then, he mocked his father by sneaking in a large bottle of Tabasco sauce to flavor the offal.


    Finding out about the sauce, Zeus sent in his pet eagle to worsen the punishment.


    But ... harken! What is that noise above? The one scaring Twinky and making him drop his din-din?


    Why, it’s only a foot. A bare callused foot. One belonging to another half-god named Herakles. Hercy was on his way down the mountain to call on a lovely maiden named Pandora, with the mission of getting into her box.


    Unknown to Herakles, the box had already been opened – spreading disease and pestilence over the Earth. Another of Zeus’s intrigues and plots against humanity. It’s a wonder that masochistic humans still worshiped him, the head of a race of godly pranksters.


    In any case, a tiny little thing called "Hope" was still in the box, shaking as it clung to a corner, too shy to leave when it had opened previously. It's what caused Herakles to wish access to Pandora’s lovely sweet box. He hoped to get Hope hopping, as it were.


    Well, imagine his surprise when he stepped right onto the face of his long-lost brother.


    Twinky, getting over his surprise, figured he could double his bloody repast with two livers. He attacked Herky and was promptly slain.


    Hercy freed his brother from the chains and the two continued down ropes to the base of the mountain where Pandora stood waiting, legs and box opened wide to the delight of all the men in the world.


    Seeing two gods walking among lowly humans, Hope sprang out to join the festivity, helping the humans in many ways – such as in learning to bathe and use toilet paper – while the lovely Pandora continued spreading social diseases, gods being immune to such.


    Father Zeus sent Thor after his brothers to punish them. Why do you think we have all these thunderstorms across the Earth? Thankfully for we humans, Hope being with his half-brothers, Thor is basically on a Hopeless quest. Got it?

  5. #5

    The Hill

    The Hill (an ode to Grimm’s Fairytales) (650 words)

    “Jack, get up off your lazy ass. The pigs need feeding, the cows need milking and the fence needs mending. When the devil did I become your farmhand? It’s bad enough that I’m your damn house slave, doing all the cleaning, cooking and waiting on you hand and foot. I’m also getting bloody tired of being your blow up sex doll that you jump on when you get frisky. I’ve nearly had it with you. It’s not what I envisioned when you freed me from a life of servitude in that godforsaken lamp. My gratefulness only goes so far.”

    Jack slowly lifted himself off the couch, gave the enraged genie a sad stern stare and said, “Now, now, my beautiful lovely Jilly Cakes, let’s not forget the deal we both made. Your total freedom only comes after I live out my days with you as my loving obedient wife. And let’s not forget your promise that no harm will come to me by your hand. My wish is binding, if you renege on it, back in the bottle you go. So if you don’t mind, feed those pigs, milk those cows, and mend that fence. Oh and where’s my dinner, I’m hungry.” Jack gave Jilly a big fat kiss on the cheeks and went back on the couch and continued on with his nap. The genie Jilly fumed with rage.

    ..............................

    As the years passed Jack was beginning to feel the ravages of age. Jilly Cakes still looked as young and beautiful as the day he first met her. Why couldn’t he be as immortal as her, never aging or getting sick? He beckoned Jilly towards him and said, “My dearest, I need you to grant me a small favor, make me immortal.”

    Jillys’s eyes twinkled bright as she said, “If I could make you immortal with a blink of my eye, you know I would. I’ve become very fond of you over the years. But I don’t have the power to do so, you’ve run out of wishes, and that’s not in the parameters of our wish contract. But there might be a way to grant your desire if you promise to let me go on my way once you gain your immortality.” Jacks heart pounded with excitement. Without hesitation he promised Jilly Cakes that he would grant her request once he gained everlasting life.

    Jilly grabbed Jacks hand and said, “I know of a ‘Magic Well’ whose crystal clear water imbues those who drink it with good health and ageless immortality. The Well’s not far from here, it’s just over that hill. I didn’t tell you before because I didn’t want to be beholden to you forever, but now that you agreed to let me go, this would be my last gift to you. And for godsakes, please call me Jill, I hate that name Jilly Cakes; it grates on my nerves.”

    ........................

    As Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, Jill said, “I forgot to tell you that there’s a water nymph that guards that well. She will try to kill you, but have no fear; I will distract her while you take a drink, and once drunk, run like hell.”

    When they reached the well, Jack filled his pail with water. Immortality was in his grasp. To his chagrin he saw Jill whispering in the nymphs ear and then Jack heard Jill shout, “Run for your life you Idiot, Run!” As he ran down the hill the nymph grabbed his leg and tripped him. He broke the crown of his head on a tree stump and died. Jill tumbled down after him and laughed with joy. She knew that lying scoundrel would never keep his promise. She would be in his thrall till the end of time. With uncontained glee she said, “I’m finally free from Aladdin the Jackal forever.”


    The End
    Nature weeps, the devil sings
    at mans greed and pride
    and what it brings

    Just lots of useless
    little things

  6. #6
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  7. #7
    David and Goliath
    650 words


    And David said, Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”


    “Here. What you writing?” asked the King’s servant. The spacious battlefield tent of King Saul was bustling this morning.


    “What?” answered the flustered scribe looking up from his parchment, “oh, I’m chronicling events.”


    “Chronicling events? Whatcha doing that for?”


    “For posterity,” the scribe replied, adding under his breathe, “obviously.”


    “But it’s not right. He said he didn’t want to go out and fight.”


    “Oh. Think you can read do you? Bloody court servants getting above their station. Oh, look now, I’ve missed loads - look the King gave the lad the royal armour. That was kind… oh.”


    David was bowed under sheets of magnificent bronze armour. He tried to take a step and fell with a clang, his foot sticking out high from the gleaming pile. It took David a while to wriggle free.


    “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “”because I am not used to them.”


    “No, no, no. He said, ‘God almighty, I think I’ve broken something.’” said the servant.


    “Leave it alone. Aren’t you supposed to be serving or something?”


    With that the court shuffled out of the royal tent and made its way to a jeering crowd of Philistines, spears bristling under a hot sun. A huge man strode from their ranks and issued a challenge to King Saul. David was hurriedly pushed forward. Sling in hand he looked around nervously.


    “You come at me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord almighty.”


    “Well I know you’re bleedin’ making it up now. You could never hear him from here.” said the servant as he sat himself beside the scribe, the latter sighing heavily.


    “I can. I have very good hearing, I’ll have you know.”


    “What’s the big guy saying now then?”


    “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals.”


    The servant folded his arms and chuckled heartily. “Wild animals, indeed.”


    David was wildly running around, trying to squirm past his own ranks only to be pushed back into the fight. He hastily slung a stone at Goliath which bounced harmlessly off his helmet.


    “Uh-oh, he’s in trouble now. How you gonna tart this one up?”


    Just then someone pushed between the scribe and servant.


    “Here, be careful will you,” said the servant, “trying to watch the fight. If you can call it a fight - oh, hi Elhanan.”


    But Elhanan wasn’t listening. He was watching the fight, moving his body in time to Goliath who was running in circles trying to lance the scampering David. Elhanan took a dart from his pocket and loaded it into a blowpipe. When next David was able to get away another sling shot, Elhanan gave a sharp blow. Goliath staggered for a moment before tottering over with a solemn boom. The Philistines were stunned into the silent sound of collective jaws hitting the floor.


    So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone…


    “No, it was Elhanan. He was standing right here, we both saw him with the poison darts…”


    “Oh, look, will you just shut up!”


    “Shut up? Shut up he tells me. Just trying to preserve historical accuracy and all I get is a shut up…” the servant continued to rant as the scribe held his head in his hands. A devious eye peeked from between his fingers. As Elhanan strode past towards the celebrating King Saul, the scribe slipped a dart from his pocket.


    Still the servant droned on, “… and how are we preserve cultural integrity when we can’t even - Ow! My hand, what do you think you’re…”


    The scribe scurried away from the stricken servant and found somewhere quiet to write, chuckling to himself all the while.


    …and struck the Philistine and killed him.

  8. #8
    Army Man
    retelling of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier"
    650 words
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  9. #9
    "ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
    forget your perfect offering
    there is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
    that's how the light gets in."

  10. #10
    ​HELLFIRE

    Red was transporting 33,000 kilos of Imperial munitions through hostile territory. Her interceptor cut a bloodred streak through the black, multicolored jewel-asteroids tumbling like marbles in the cold vacuum of space. Her grip round the joystick was tight, her face icy with cold resolution, but fear flickered in her heart; for in hot pursuit was the deadliest bounty hunter in all the known galaxy. His aim was true, his reputation for cruelty, legendary, and worst of all, Red knew from personal experience just how clever he was. Jon Wolf was a master illusionist, and one of the greatest jammers in the Koprulu sector.

    The worst part was, he hadn't shown his face for over 30 light-years.

    Red gritted her teeth, face like stone, finger hanging over a big green switch. Finally, she sighed and flicked on the autopilot. If the hunter wasn't going to show his face, she thought, eyes flickering shut, maybe she'd finally be able to get a few winks of sleep. Damp tendrils of unconsciousness cloying at her mind, she leaned back, warm darkness embracing her...

    The radio exploded in a cacophony of shrieking buzzes. "SS Hellfire, this is the Deliverance, in the employ of the Imperial navy. Come in, Hellfire."

    She groaned, eyes flashing open as she clawed for the radio. She glanced out the viewport. Gasped, a small smile flickering across her face. A huge Imperial battlecruiser leered wide in her vision, grey and imposing against the darkness of space. "Deliverance, this is Hellfire," she laughed. "I've got a big load of special munitions for you. Been one hell of a flight."

    There was a long silence. So long, Red felt strangely nervous. Then,

    "Roger that, Hellfire. Opening our ports for landing."

    Red smiled and pushed down on the stick, flying in towards the ship's underside. Finished. Over. And easy, to. Too easy.

    She flew in close. As she came in, the ship seemed to stretch, deform. Flicker. Her eyes narrowed, and suddenly her blood ran cold. She pulled back hard on the stick, whirled the ship around and pushed the engines to max.

    An illusion!

    Laughter exploded from the radio. "Too late, Red!" he bellowed. The battlecruiser vanished, a streak of green howled out from the black, gunning straight for Red's own interceptor.

    "Too late!"

    Burning purple-blue screamed past her ship's hull as she tore through dead space, eyes wide with terror, throwing the stick back and forth. She tried to pull round, tried to pull close...

    "Cute, Red!" howled Jon Wolf.

    And then a purple-blue bolt caught her in the right engine. A fiery jet of orange shot out into space and her interceptor went flying, spinning uncontrollable as it spewed smoke and debri out into darkness. She groaned, blood dribbling down her face.

    Jon Wolf closed in, grinning. Lined up his shot. Licked his lips.

    A warp-portal cut through the emptiness, and out shot the real Deliverance, encompassing the black with grey, guns blazing. Jon Wolf hissed. Pulled the trigger, revved up his hyperdrive and blasted back into the warp, not waiting to see if his shots had hit.

    Red tumbled through space, blood splattering across the cabin, head cracking against the controls and consciousness winking into nothingness.

    Dead by Dawn!

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