Those Curly Locks

September 3, 2010 § 8 Comments

This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt is to write a story or poem from the perspective of a broken, inanimate object, as Ericka is sharing her love for The Brave Little Toaster. It may sound strange, but believe me, when you get into the flow of writing it, it isn’t.

Those Curly Locks

I knew that today was different. I knew as soon as I woke up – I always wake up when the toy-box opens, which is about roughly 8am each day, when Julia plays with me for an hour before school, and let’s me sleep on her bed while she’s out. It’s heaven, bliss.

But now, it’s different.

When I woke up, Julia was, as usual, staring right back at me, with a smile on her pretty face. She usually picks me up to brush my lovely hair. It’s gorgeously blonde, and straight, with a lovely pink floral hair clip on the left.

“Morning Barbie,” Julia said, lifting me out and kissing my cheek. She took off my pink and white pyjamas and clothed me in one of my favourite outfits – my golden sparkly gown.

“Morning,” I said, but obviously she couldn’t hear me. She pretends she can, though, but gets the speech wrong sometimes. I might be talking about how Teddy was having trouble sleeping, but she’d think I was talking about my brand new convertible.

Julia’s face lit up as soon as she put my hairbrush away. Her eyes danced.

“Boy, Barbie, have I got a surprise for you!” she gushed, and left the room.

I sat up straight. A surprise? She didn’t usually get me surprises. The convertible was a one off, special offer in Toys R Us. The only surprise I’d gotten before that was a couple of years before, a special edition turquoise prom dress, that I wore for weeks after. It shrunk in the wash though, and it wasn’t replaced.

Julia suddenly came running back in, excitedly. She sat down, cross-legged, in front of me, with her hands behind her back.

“Are you ready, Barbie?”

I grinned. “I sure am!”

After a few seconds she brought her hands forward, presenting another doll. She was beautiful – brunette curls with slight caramel highlights, a beautiful purple halter-neck paired with rolled-up jeans, and the highest heels I’d ever seen. Even my stilettos didn’t compare to these, and I was known to twist my ankle on occasion.

“Hi,” she said, smiling. “I’m Chelsea.”

I wanted to smile back, but was just too jealous. I envied her of her beauty, her clothing, her stilettos. But most of all, those curly locks.

“I’m Barbie. Hey.”

Chelsea’s smile widened. “So you’re the real deal? Wow. I’ve heard so much about you. All the teddies, dinosaur toys, even the alphabet blocks told me pretty much 24/7 how beautiful you were. But I didn’t think this much!”

I was flattered.

“Thank you! I mean, so are you. I love those stilettos!”

Chelsea grinned. “Really? I got them specially in a Vogue edition of my doll. Free.”

I stared at them. They truly were gorgeous. Peep-toed, dark blue silk.

“So… are you going to show me your place?”

I smiled and took Chelsea’s arm. I led her to my mansion, which had my pink convertible parked right outside. Chelsea gasped as soon as she set one stiletto heel on the driveway.

“Is this all yours?” she asked, touching the car with one perfectly-manicured finger.

“Yeah. I sleep in the toy box usually, but during the day I mostly hang around here. I don’t move a lot, as Julia sometimes loses where I am.”

“I totally get what you mean. Wow. Just… wow.”

I led Chelsea round the back to where all my garden equipment was.

“So, do you have your own special gardener, or do you do it yourself?” Chelsea asked, curiously playing with the garden shears.

“I usually do it myself, but sometimes Teddy or Ken helps me.”

“So Ken’s your boyfriend?”

“Yeah.”

“Wow. You’re so lucky. I mean, really, all I have is these curly locks.”

“No way! You’re beautiful!”

“No. Once, I accidentally shaved off all my locks, and I was ugly as sin. Honestly. And it didn’t help matters having a huge mirror in my box.”

I was stunned. She seemed so beautiful, but was it really just the hair? Wow.

Chelsea suddenly walked towards the back door, noticing the hedge trimmer.

“Wow, what’s this?” she asked, picking it up.

“The hedge trimmer. I wouldn’t go near that, I only use it about once a month. My hedges don’t grow that high, really.”

Chelsea laughed and looked at it from all angles. “What does it do?”

“Well… it trims hedges,” I said. Maybe she was right about the whole hair thing? Didn’t seem like she had much of a brain in there.

Chelsea looked awestruck. She obviously hadn’t seen nor heard of one before, and this seemed to fascinate her.

“I love new things. You learn something new everyday, and I tend to stick to that. Do you love discovering new things?”

I shrugged. “I guess so…”

Chelsea found the ‘on’ button and pressed it. The trimmer whirred away. Chelsea raised her eyebrows and grinned.

“Can I have a go at trimming your hedges?” she asked.

I sighed. She probably wouldn’t get off my back if I declined. “Sure.”

Chelsea smiled and walked over to my hedges. She trimmed, and was surprisingly good at it for a first go.

“Sure you’ve never used one?” I asked, grinning. She looked like a real pro.

“Pretty damn!”

Suddenly, as she turned to trim the other side, her heel caught in the hosepipe reel. Before either of us knew what was happening she was falling backwards, the trimmer dangerously near her head. She landed on the paving stones with a crash, her heels flying off her feet.

“Chelsea!” I cried, running over to help pick her up. “Are you okay?”

“Don’t worry, I’m fine. Just took a tumble there.”

I sighed with relief. Phew. I helped her stand up, and that’s when I noticed.

“Chelsea!!”

“What?”

“Your hair is gone!”

Yes, sure enough, the hedge trimmer was lying on the floor, still buzzing, and surrounding it were those curly locks.

The Art Gallery

August 28, 2010 § 6 Comments

As you may know, last week I took part in Red Writing Hood, a meme courtesy of The Red Dress Club.

This week’s prompt is: An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver’s door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.

I was a little confused as to how to use this in context, but after reading some other entries, I understood completely and after a while (again, with the help of my daughter… I must pay her for this, really) I finally thought it all up.

The Art Gallery

Kelly held her bag over her shoulder as she pulled the door open to the Summerdale Art Gallery. She was excited about the grand art opening. The artist, Juliet Brentwood, was her idol. She’d never seen her before, nobody had. That was her mystique. There were no photographs, no videos, as cameras were strictly forbidden at any of her events. This did seem unusual, but so was her work.

“Welcome to Summerdale Art Gallery, how may I help you today?” the receptionist smiled, her register in front of her, filled with A-list names.

“I’ve come for the Juliet Brentwood event,” Kelly replied, almost unable to hold in the excitement. She had to clench her fists to contain her energy, and her nails were digging into her palms painfully, but she didn’t care. It was worth it, she thought.

The receptionist smiled again, ticked Kelly’s name off the register and was given directions to the gallery room.

When she entered the room, there were more people in there than she’d have thought. She wasn’t really expecting a lot of people to be there, especially in England – Juliet was American after all.

The atmosphere was warm, welcoming. Kelly smiled at everyone and sat down, looking at her watch and grinning when she saw the time was nearing for Juliet’s arrival.

20 minutes passed, 20 minutes full of anticipation and excitement, and Kelly was actually starting to get a bit impatient. Juliet was supposed to be there as soon as Kelly had arrived. She didn’t think Juliet would be the sort to be fashionably late – she didn’t seem the fashionista, diva type. Her art was mysterious, dark, shadowing, and yet enjoyable. Kelly could stare at one of her canvases all day and boredom wouldn’t even cross her mind.

Suddenly, a loud shattering sound awoke everyone from their boredom. Everyone stood up immediately and ran to find the source, the whereabouts of this.

Kelly had led the way, and was the first to see the front half of a silver BMW, windscreen cracked, shattered glass surrounding the front wheels in a million tiny, ice-like pieces.

“What the…?”

“What’s that?”

“What the hell is going on here?”

All sorts of enquiries were being called, out loud, to nobody in particular, as none of them expected an answer.

What happened next shocked every one of them, even more than this.

The driver’s door opened, a hand gripped onto the top. They all saw someone jump out, a small figure. The door slammed shut, and the person faced the broken window, and everyone gasped. An 8-year-old girl was standing before their very eyes, a grin on her face. She opened her mouth, uttered 11 words, 11 words that would change everything, everyone’s thoughts, everyone’s views.

“Hello, everyone. I’m Juliet Brentwood. I believe you’ve been expecting me?”

The Dinner Party

August 22, 2010 § 6 Comments

I recently discovered The Red Dress Club, which is, in a nutshell, a writing workshop if you like.

I can’t remember how I found it exactly, but I’m glad I did. I scrolled down through the posts, and found Red Writing Hood.

What you do is, you look at the topics provided, have a look at other people’s entries if you like, and write a tale to correspond with the category.

This week’s provision is: write a first-person piece about either eating your favourite food or taking a shower – without using any personal pronouns.

Now, it seems easy written down. But once you start on the task, the toughness of it all kicks in, and you’re left with writer’s block.

So, I know it says ‘your favourite food’ and everything, but I’m just going to make something up, as I don’t even have a favourite food, or memories worth sharing of my shower and bath experiences, and also because my fiction is better than my non-fiction in all circumstances.

So, with the help of my generous (oh, please. Generous? Her? I had to bloody bribe her) daughter, I came up with this entry for the Red Writing Hood workshop.

The Dinner Party

Opening the cupboards. Realising the ingredients needed are nowhere in sight. Grabbing furiously at whatever is left, the feeling of disappointment and downright horror rising.

The guests will be here. Nothing is ready. Turning the oven up frantically, shoving the pan onto any free hob and dumping the random ingredients collected into it. Grabbing a wooden spoon and stirring it ferociously, staring at the clock all the while. The only sounds in the room are the quick pulse and the menacing ticking of the clock.

The doorbell rings. Early. The whole world stops and comes crashing down.

Running to the door, whipping off the apron and throwing it into the closet. Opening the door and greeting with hugs and the occasional kiss to the cheek. Leading to the living room, pulling out chairs politely and scurrying back to the kitchen, hiding the utter fear.

What to do? The meal isn’t ready, whatever the hell it is. Scooping it onto plates, trying to recognise the carrot and what looks like cabbage medley that has been conjured up. Taking the plates to the table, placing them down and eyeing reactions.

Feedback. Words. Nods. Smiles. No frowns, no vomit, no throwing down napkins and running out of the house forever. Good vibes.

Picking up the napkin sitting on the table and wiping the brow, beads of sweat dissolving into the tissue paper. Crumpling it up and tossing it to one side, it landing perfectly in the waste-paper basket as if professionally.

“Well done!”

“Lovely!”

“Yummy!”

“Delicious!”

The positive feedback roars as forks land on empty plates and full stomachs practically burst out of pretty dresses and shirt and ties.

This was a good dinner party. Must happen again.

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