Meadow337
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wretched writer, ravenous reader! Find me: https://twitter.com/Meadow337 and Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/L.-Meadow/e/B00E97NZYS/
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The Great Write! Granted, writers want to write well, but what makes a "Great Write?" If you are primarily a reader on Prose, please join in the conversation, too, by entering or commenting on what makes for a Great Read. All forms of entries and viewpoints are so appreciated for dialogue! (*I won't be submitting a post myself...just reading/conversing if you tag me @MsH : )
Written by Meadow337

What you are really asking is ...

What makes something stand out as well-written? For me, that starts with a good story. Does the story hold my attention? This doesn't mean it has to be profoundly new or unique (there are really only a few basic plot arcs anyway), but it does mean it needs to be told in a way that holds interest. If you have logic issues, gaping holes in the plot, inconsistent story telling - my interest drops way down. If I can tell what the end is from the start - also an interest killer - unless you manage to grab my attention with something interesting happening in the middle of the story - but that is the part most people find the hardest to write so ... 

Grammar, spelling, punctuation, typos - all these things detract. Bad language usage - not swearing - but misused words, cliches, and what I call thesaurus abuse - you do not need a thesaurus - trust me on this. Rather work on improving your vocabulary through reading work that challenges your reading skills. When you write, use words you are familiar with and if your vocabulary is so poor that you need the help of a thesaurus to find alternative ways of describing something, you NEED to improve your level of reading NOT buy the biggest thesaurus you can find. When you use words you are unfamiliar with, you are prone to misusing them. 

Then there is sentence construction - for heaven's sake please THINK about how you are saying things. When you make toast you don't butter it before you have put it in the toaster - so THINK about what you are saying and the order you are saying it in. Don't butter the toast while it's still bread.

Remember your reader does not have the advantage of being able to see what is in your head. They only have the words on the page to construct the story from. If you don't put it on the page, they can't intuit what you mean. Conversely treat your reader with respect - they can work out things for themselves if set up properly. Too much information is as bad as too little. 

There are no rules for what makes one piece of writing good and another bad - only one can tell immediately when something is truly bad. It is over-written, poorly constructed, predictable, boring and a slog to wade through. Well-written material is a joy to read. There are no mistakes to take you out of the story; you stay immersed in the world the writer has created. It is consistent, and logical and at no point is there something that jars you out of it. The characters are believable and you identify with them. You are carried on an emotional journey with them. You cry with them, you laugh with them, and at the end you are satisfied with the whole of the experience. 

8
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The Great Write! Granted, writers want to write well, but what makes a "Great Write?" If you are primarily a reader on Prose, please join in the conversation, too, by entering or commenting on what makes for a Great Read. All forms of entries and viewpoints are so appreciated for dialogue! (*I won't be submitting a post myself...just reading/conversing if you tag me @MsH : )
Written by Meadow337
What you are really asking is ...
What makes something stand out as well-written? For me, that starts with a good story. Does the story hold my attention? This doesn't mean it has to be profoundly new or unique (there are really only a few basic plot arcs anyway), but it does mean it needs to be told in a way that holds interest. If you have logic issues, gaping holes in the plot, inconsistent story telling - my interest drops way down. If I can tell what the end is from the start - also an interest killer - unless you manage to grab my attention with something interesting happening in the middle of the story - but that is the part most people find the hardest to write so ... 

Grammar, spelling, punctuation, typos - all these things detract. Bad language usage - not swearing - but misused words, cliches, and what I call thesaurus abuse - you do not need a thesaurus - trust me on this. Rather work on improving your vocabulary through reading work that challenges your reading skills. When you write, use words you are familiar with and if your vocabulary is so poor that you need the help of a thesaurus to find alternative ways of describing something, you NEED to improve your level of reading NOT buy the biggest thesaurus you can find. When you use words you are unfamiliar with, you are prone to misusing them. 

Then there is sentence construction - for heaven's sake please THINK about how you are saying things. When you make toast you don't butter it before you have put it in the toaster - so THINK about what you are saying and the order you are saying it in. Don't butter the toast while it's still bread.

Remember your reader does not have the advantage of being able to see what is in your head. They only have the words on the page to construct the story from. If you don't put it on the page, they can't intuit what you mean. Conversely treat your reader with respect - they can work out things for themselves if set up properly. Too much information is as bad as too little. 

There are no rules for what makes one piece of writing good and another bad - only one can tell immediately when something is truly bad. It is over-written, poorly constructed, predictable, boring and a slog to wade through. Well-written material is a joy to read. There are no mistakes to take you out of the story; you stay immersed in the world the writer has created. It is consistent, and logical and at no point is there something that jars you out of it. The characters are believable and you identify with them. You are carried on an emotional journey with them. You cry with them, you laugh with them, and at the end you are satisfied with the whole of the experience. 
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by Meadow337

Opportunity

The door opened and they looked out at the new world. Surprised, Haley burst into tears. 

"Is this it?" 

A vast emptiness stretched out before them. The landscape was barren, devoid of any form of life. There was no visible sign of life, not a tree, or shrub or life-form. Yet it was clearly not a desert. There was no loose sand or evidence of desertification. This was barren in an entirely alien way. The reddish soil was firm, and perfectly level. Haley turned to Gareth, searching his face for reassurance but only saw her worry reflected in his furrowed brow. 

"I suppose we can't stay," he said. 

"No you can't," came a firm voice from behind them. "You have to disembark immediately. Your homesteading package has been off-loaded and you will find the coordinates in your wrist-coms. This location was selected for maximum viability. Please disembark, thank you, good luck." The ship's door closed behind them as they stood forlornly on the planet surface. 

A year later Haley and Gareth had constructed their homestead from the parts in their package; and set up the solar power-grid and the water distillery. They had planted their first crop and felt as though their initial fear and disappointment had morphed into a homesteader's determination to 'make a go of it'.

On the night of their first anniversary in their new home Haley and Gareth decided to celebrate the successes of the previous year. Gareth fetched the bottle of champagne carried so carefully in their hand-luggage so many light-years from Earth. 

"I think we should celebrate surviving our first year out here," he said. Haley held up her glass, laughing at his earnestness as he popped the cork. The bang was unexpectedly loud and their homestead shook. "Wow!" said Haley, "That was some fizz in that bottle." 

"It wasn't the champagne," said Gareth as he went to the door to look out. Outside something had landed in the middle of their small field of Martian Meat-O-Veg (a hybrid GMO crop that was a high protein complete survival foodstuff that could be cooked in a variety of interesting ways). "Oh no!" said Gareth, "Our crop!" They ran from the house to see what the full extent of the damage was. 

In a small crater lay a small blue disk. It emitted a faint hum. Haley slowly picked it up despite Gareth's anxious exclamations. As she held it, the hum increased until it was emitting a high-pitched scream. Haley dropped the device and fell to the ground on top of it holding her head to block out the sound. Gareth fell next to her.  

Finally it all made sense. 

The alien device changed them, transformed them. They had come to terraform the planet, but the planet transformed them instead. They were no longer Haley and Gareth from earth; they were H'l'y and G'r'th from O'k'n'd'r. They were no longer bound to the limitations of organic existence, but free to live in a higher energy plane. They soared above their former home, happy and free. This is why we came, thought H'l'y to G'r'th who agreed, this is why we came.  

Their last thought together as they floated away to explore their new world was, we are free

Five years later the Earth Consortium returned to O'k'n'd'r to follow the progress of the homesteaders they had sponsored to transform the planet. Every homestead was empty, most already disintegrating. Despite extensive inquiries they never discovered what happened to the settlers. The planet was closed to further exploration and marked 'Danger. Off-limits' on all maps. 

9
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by Meadow337
Opportunity
The door opened and they looked out at the new world. Surprised, Haley burst into tears. 

"Is this it?" 

A vast emptiness stretched out before them. The landscape was barren, devoid of any form of life. There was no visible sign of life, not a tree, or shrub or life-form. Yet it was clearly not a desert. There was no loose sand or evidence of desertification. This was barren in an entirely alien way. The reddish soil was firm, and perfectly level. Haley turned to Gareth, searching his face for reassurance but only saw her worry reflected in his furrowed brow. 

"I suppose we can't stay," he said. 

"No you can't," came a firm voice from behind them. "You have to disembark immediately. Your homesteading package has been off-loaded and you will find the coordinates in your wrist-coms. This location was selected for maximum viability. Please disembark, thank you, good luck." The ship's door closed behind them as they stood forlornly on the planet surface. 

A year later Haley and Gareth had constructed their homestead from the parts in their package; and set up the solar power-grid and the water distillery. They had planted their first crop and felt as though their initial fear and disappointment had morphed into a homesteader's determination to 'make a go of it'.

On the night of their first anniversary in their new home Haley and Gareth decided to celebrate the successes of the previous year. Gareth fetched the bottle of champagne carried so carefully in their hand-luggage so many light-years from Earth. 

"I think we should celebrate surviving our first year out here," he said. Haley held up her glass, laughing at his earnestness as he popped the cork. The bang was unexpectedly loud and their homestead shook. "Wow!" said Haley, "That was some fizz in that bottle." 

"It wasn't the champagne," said Gareth as he went to the door to look out. Outside something had landed in the middle of their small field of Martian Meat-O-Veg (a hybrid GMO crop that was a high protein complete survival foodstuff that could be cooked in a variety of interesting ways). "Oh no!" said Gareth, "Our crop!" They ran from the house to see what the full extent of the damage was. 

In a small crater lay a small blue disk. It emitted a faint hum. Haley slowly picked it up despite Gareth's anxious exclamations. As she held it, the hum increased until it was emitting a high-pitched scream. Haley dropped the device and fell to the ground on top of it holding her head to block out the sound. Gareth fell next to her.  

Finally it all made sense. 

The alien device changed them, transformed them. They had come to terraform the planet, but the planet transformed them instead. They were no longer Haley and Gareth from earth; they were H'l'y and G'r'th from O'k'n'd'r. They were no longer bound to the limitations of organic existence, but free to live in a higher energy plane. They soared above their former home, happy and free. This is why we came, thought H'l'y to G'r'th who agreed, this is why we came.  

Their last thought together as they floated away to explore their new world was, we are free

Five years later the Earth Consortium returned to O'k'n'd'r to follow the progress of the homesteaders they had sponsored to transform the planet. Every homestead was empty, most already disintegrating. Despite extensive inquiries they never discovered what happened to the settlers. The planet was closed to further exploration and marked 'Danger. Off-limits' on all maps. 
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Flash Fiction

Too Little Too Late

The dog trotted purposefully down the midnight street. It knew where it was going. It turned a corner and stood up. J'ngel peered at the chronometer. "Blasted disguise," he muttered as he tried to read the face through the hair. The drunk rolled under the cardboard box made his millionth commitment to stop drinking. J'ngel dropped to his paws and scampered out the alleyway. He was late. Late in the way only a time-traveler on a limited budget could be. He had arrived one day late and five hours too early. If he was going to be in position to see the assassination he had to hurry. No time to lose the disguise and still get in position in time to wait out the remaining hours in safety. 

"I'm late," J'ngel cursed. It had taken longer than he anticipated navigating the streets as a dog. He dashed across a busy road narrowly missing a car as he tried to get into position. The assassination would occur any moment now, and if he was to get any usable data for the commission he had to hurry. An angry curse floated out of the car after him as it braked. The Very-Important-Person in the back clutched the seat to keep his balance, but it was too little too late. The bullet disintegrated his head right on schedule. The crowd erupted into chaos. 

J'ngel stood, hang-dog, in front of his superior. "It was too little, too late," he said. "I couldn't get in position in time to see the gunman."

His superior sighed. "I think there is a conspiracy here," he said. "No matter how many archivists we send, we never find out who shot JKF." 

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Written by Meadow337 in portal Flash Fiction
Too Little Too Late
The dog trotted purposefully down the midnight street. It knew where it was going. It turned a corner and stood up. J'ngel peered at the chronometer. "Blasted disguise," he muttered as he tried to read the face through the hair. The drunk rolled under the cardboard box made his millionth commitment to stop drinking. J'ngel dropped to his paws and scampered out the alleyway. He was late. Late in the way only a time-traveler on a limited budget could be. He had arrived one day late and five hours too early. If he was going to be in position to see the assassination he had to hurry. No time to lose the disguise and still get in position in time to wait out the remaining hours in safety. 

"I'm late," J'ngel cursed. It had taken longer than he anticipated navigating the streets as a dog. He dashed across a busy road narrowly missing a car as he tried to get into position. The assassination would occur any moment now, and if he was to get any usable data for the commission he had to hurry. An angry curse floated out of the car after him as it braked. The Very-Important-Person in the back clutched the seat to keep his balance, but it was too little too late. The bullet disintegrated his head right on schedule. The crowd erupted into chaos. 

J'ngel stood, hang-dog, in front of his superior. "It was too little, too late," he said. "I couldn't get in position in time to see the gunman."

His superior sighed. "I think there is a conspiracy here," he said. "No matter how many archivists we send, we never find out who shot JKF." 
5
3
0
Juice
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Over-saturated

Your emotions burst from the screen

in a tidal wave of pain

washing over me, under me, 

carrying me along,

depositing me on the high tide line

over-saturated, hyper-saturated, 

one more line and I...

crystallize 

from brine into a pillar of salt

your tears have transformed me

into a hard shell and I...

am now insensate, indifferent.

...sorry...

6
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21 reads
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Over-saturated
Your emotions burst from the screen
in a tidal wave of pain
washing over me, under me, 
carrying me along,
depositing me on the high tide line
over-saturated, hyper-saturated, 
one more line and I...
crystallize 
from brine into a pillar of salt
your tears have transformed me
into a hard shell and I...
am now insensate, indifferent.


...sorry...
6
3
0
Juice
21 reads
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Over-saturated

Your emotions burst from the screen

in a tidal wave of pain

washing over me, under me, 

carrying me along,

depositing me on the high tide line

over-saturated, hyper-saturated, 

one more line and I...

crystallize 

from brine into a pillar of salt

your tears have transformed me

into a hard shell and I...

am now insensate, indifferent.

...sorry...

4
2
0
Juice
10 reads
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Juice
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Over-saturated
Your emotions burst from the screen
in a tidal wave of pain
washing over me, under me, 
carrying me along,
depositing me on the high tide line
over-saturated, hyper-saturated, 
one more line and I...
crystallize 
from brine into a pillar of salt
your tears have transformed me
into a hard shell and I...
am now insensate, indifferent.


...sorry...
4
2
0
Juice
10 reads
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Donate coins to Meadow337.
Juice
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Psychosomatic

The World is sick,

and I,

I am sick with it.

A bomb goes off in my head,

my stomach can't remember

when it last was fed.

My eyes are weak;

I can't bear the sight

of devastation any longer.

The World is sick,

and I,

I am sick of it.

I am indifferent to the depravity,

blind to the destruction

deaf to the declarations

of war and propaganda

numb to the demands

of the underfed.

The World is sick,

and I,

I am sick with it.

11
4
3
Juice
33 reads
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Psychosomatic
The World is sick,
and I,
I am sick with it.

A bomb goes off in my head,
my stomach can't remember
when it last was fed.
My eyes are weak;
I can't bear the sight
of devastation any longer.

The World is sick,
and I,
I am sick of it.

I am indifferent to the depravity,
blind to the destruction
deaf to the declarations
of war and propaganda
numb to the demands
of the underfed.

The World is sick,
and I,
I am sick with it.
11
4
3
Juice
33 reads
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Flash Fiction

Torture...

I woke strapped to a chair. A man lurched into view clutching a dirty pile of pages to his chest. 

"Wha-?" I worked some saliva into my mouth and tried again. "What happened? Where am I? Who are you?" I tried to inject some authority and quell the tremor of fear in my voice.

"I'm your worst nightmare," he hissed.  He shuffled through the papers and selected one. "You rejected this story in '09, now you are going to listen to it." 

He started reading, "Peter woke up and looked out of the window. It was a grey and rainy day, just like his mood." 

I started screaming and didn't stop until he read the last dreadful words. 

10
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Juice
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Flash Fiction
Torture...
I woke strapped to a chair. A man lurched into view clutching a dirty pile of pages to his chest. 

"Wha-?" I worked some saliva into my mouth and tried again. "What happened? Where am I? Who are you?" I tried to inject some authority and quell the tremor of fear in my voice.

"I'm your worst nightmare," he hissed.  He shuffled through the papers and selected one. "You rejected this story in '09, now you are going to listen to it." 

He started reading, "Peter woke up and looked out of the window. It was a grey and rainy day, just like his mood." 

I started screaming and didn't stop until he read the last dreadful words. 
10
3
0
Juice
21 reads
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CotW #63: Take a much-loved Disney story, twist it into an adult, kick-in-the-gut tale. Poetry or Prose. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #twistedtales for sharing online. Now lights, camera, fiction.
Written by Meadow337

Fairy Godmothers

"No one appreciates fairy godmothers. I give, give, give and do I even get a thank you in return? That's right, no. Well, now it's my turn. I'm going to ...." Pinky's voice trailed off. She had absolutely no idea what she was going to do. The story always went the same way. There was the dirty mistreated or lost child who needed her Fairy Godmother to show up and wave her magic wand and get her to the ball or to the right spot in the woods where she will meet Prince Charming and live happily ever after, but do any one of them ever come back and say 'thank you?' or show the slightest bit of appreciation? Didn't they realise just how tiring it was to come up with a new gimmick every time to catch the stupid (and they were always stupid) Prince's attention? Did they think that the ideas glass slippers and magic ropes and flying carpets and super strong hair just grew on trees? And these days the demands were even worse. No pumpkins into coaches drawn by mice horses. No these days they wanted limousines and real diamonds not fairy diamond drops which melted back into the dew drops they really were. Not only was it getting harder and harder to come up with ideas, but the little darlings were more and more demanding. 'I'm going to teach them all a lesson!' Pinky thought to herself, still fuming.

Her latest rescue had gone particularly badly. The little Princess had insisted, no demanded, a diamond studded tulle creation she had seen in some fashion magazine. "But it's the latest fashion" she had whined, "My sisters will have dresses made by the same designer, but this one is better and you do want me to look better than them don't you?"

Pinky had sighed, and kept her doubts to herself. Any Prince who had to be won through expensive baubles wasn't worth having in her book, but he was Rella's chosen love and that was that. It was simply her job to create the means of meeting and the rest was up to them. When her Prince had dumped her for some tarted up Blonde in a spray on creation that left nothing to the imagination Rella had blamed Pinky for not creating 'real' diamonds for her dress. "There is another party next week," she said, "and if you can make me this," she flashed another picture of a hideous over-the-top diamond encrusted creation at her Fairy Godmother, "with REAL diamonds," she added, "then I'm sure to attract the attention of him..." She flipped the pages of a gossip magazine tossed out by her Ugly Sisters, to a picture of a insipidly handsome young man who was, according to the headlines 'the new Prince of Pop'.

Pinky had never heard of the Kingdom of Pop but as affairs in the human realm changed far too quickly for her to follow, this didn't bother her much. "I hope he rules Pop well," she said to Rella.

"Huh?" replied Rella, snapping her gum, "whatcha talking about? He's groovy!" She added.

It was at this point that Pinky decided that she had had enough. When the date for the ball arrived Pinky had settled on her plan. She had meticulously created the dress Rella had wanted, found a black Fairy Hound willing to be a limousine for a few hours on Friday night and a rather laid back rat in a nearby sewer who had perked up at the invitation to play chauffeur for a few hours. "I drive myself," the Fairy Hound had impressed on him, "so don't even think of touching any of the pedals." The rat just nodded.

When Rella dressed Pinky ensured that included in the ensemble were suitable undergarments, noting that Rella's ideas in that department were rather lacking. "Ooh these are pretty," she said as she put them on. "Do you think the Prince will like them?" she asked Pinky.

"I'm sure he will," Pinky replied.

After seeing Rella off to the ball Pinky slipped into the ballroom to see the results of her plan. So far everything was going as expected. Rella had entered the ballroom to gasps of amazement. The Prince was suitable smitten and was dancing with her. The clock crept closer to the magic hour. Finally it boinged midnight. Pinky felt a thrill of excitement run through her.

Rella looked up as the clock chimed the hour. She knew she must tear herself away from her Prince of Pop, run across the dance floor, leaving one shoe behind (with her name in it just in case) for him to find her later. But as she pulled out of his arms the unthinkable happened. Her dress dissolved leaving her standing there in her underwear, but not the beautiful undergarments she had put on earlier, no the mucky grey droopy old bra that was a size too big and held closed with a large safety pin and the saggy granny pants she rescued from the bin after her Wicked Stepmother threw them out. Her clean hair turned into its usual lanky grease ridden rat's nest. Her spots returned with a vengeance and the grime settled back under her nails. The dancers paused to take in the sight before bursting out with howls of laughter. Her Prince drew back with an exclamation of disgust and turned his back on her and walked away as fast as he could without drawing more attention to himself.

Rella burst into hot tears of shame, anger and mortification. One of her Ugly Stepsisters came up with her coat and put it around her shoulders. "Come Rella," she said gently, "let's get out of here."

Pinky looked at the Prince and then at the Ugly Sister, "so, I didn't underestimate that one, but I did underestimate that one. I think she just might need a Fairy Godmother to visit her one of these days."

After that Rella didn't moon after idols in the magazines. She and her step-sister formed a close friendship and together they stood up to her Wicked Step-Mother (helped a little on the side by Pinky who felt a little bad about the trick she had played) and decided that they both wanted a guy who 'liked me just as I am'.

THE END.

13
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CotW #63: Take a much-loved Disney story, twist it into an adult, kick-in-the-gut tale. Poetry or Prose. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #twistedtales for sharing online. Now lights, camera, fiction.
Written by Meadow337
Fairy Godmothers
"No one appreciates fairy godmothers. I give, give, give and do I even get a thank you in return? That's right, no. Well, now it's my turn. I'm going to ...." Pinky's voice trailed off. She had absolutely no idea what she was going to do. The story always went the same way. There was the dirty mistreated or lost child who needed her Fairy Godmother to show up and wave her magic wand and get her to the ball or to the right spot in the woods where she will meet Prince Charming and live happily ever after, but do any one of them ever come back and say 'thank you?' or show the slightest bit of appreciation? Didn't they realise just how tiring it was to come up with a new gimmick every time to catch the stupid (and they were always stupid) Prince's attention? Did they think that the ideas glass slippers and magic ropes and flying carpets and super strong hair just grew on trees? And these days the demands were even worse. No pumpkins into coaches drawn by mice horses. No these days they wanted limousines and real diamonds not fairy diamond drops which melted back into the dew drops they really were. Not only was it getting harder and harder to come up with ideas, but the little darlings were more and more demanding. 'I'm going to teach them all a lesson!' Pinky thought to herself, still fuming.

Her latest rescue had gone particularly badly. The little Princess had insisted, no demanded, a diamond studded tulle creation she had seen in some fashion magazine. "But it's the latest fashion" she had whined, "My sisters will have dresses made by the same designer, but this one is better and you do want me to look better than them don't you?"

Pinky had sighed, and kept her doubts to herself. Any Prince who had to be won through expensive baubles wasn't worth having in her book, but he was Rella's chosen love and that was that. It was simply her job to create the means of meeting and the rest was up to them. When her Prince had dumped her for some tarted up Blonde in a spray on creation that left nothing to the imagination Rella had blamed Pinky for not creating 'real' diamonds for her dress. "There is another party next week," she said, "and if you can make me this," she flashed another picture of a hideous over-the-top diamond encrusted creation at her Fairy Godmother, "with REAL diamonds," she added, "then I'm sure to attract the attention of him..." She flipped the pages of a gossip magazine tossed out by her Ugly Sisters, to a picture of a insipidly handsome young man who was, according to the headlines 'the new Prince of Pop'.

Pinky had never heard of the Kingdom of Pop but as affairs in the human realm changed far too quickly for her to follow, this didn't bother her much. "I hope he rules Pop well," she said to Rella.

"Huh?" replied Rella, snapping her gum, "whatcha talking about? He's groovy!" She added.

It was at this point that Pinky decided that she had had enough. When the date for the ball arrived Pinky had settled on her plan. She had meticulously created the dress Rella had wanted, found a black Fairy Hound willing to be a limousine for a few hours on Friday night and a rather laid back rat in a nearby sewer who had perked up at the invitation to play chauffeur for a few hours. "I drive myself," the Fairy Hound had impressed on him, "so don't even think of touching any of the pedals." The rat just nodded.

When Rella dressed Pinky ensured that included in the ensemble were suitable undergarments, noting that Rella's ideas in that department were rather lacking. "Ooh these are pretty," she said as she put them on. "Do you think the Prince will like them?" she asked Pinky.

"I'm sure he will," Pinky replied.

After seeing Rella off to the ball Pinky slipped into the ballroom to see the results of her plan. So far everything was going as expected. Rella had entered the ballroom to gasps of amazement. The Prince was suitable smitten and was dancing with her. The clock crept closer to the magic hour. Finally it boinged midnight. Pinky felt a thrill of excitement run through her.

Rella looked up as the clock chimed the hour. She knew she must tear herself away from her Prince of Pop, run across the dance floor, leaving one shoe behind (with her name in it just in case) for him to find her later. But as she pulled out of his arms the unthinkable happened. Her dress dissolved leaving her standing there in her underwear, but not the beautiful undergarments she had put on earlier, no the mucky grey droopy old bra that was a size too big and held closed with a large safety pin and the saggy granny pants she rescued from the bin after her Wicked Stepmother threw them out. Her clean hair turned into its usual lanky grease ridden rat's nest. Her spots returned with a vengeance and the grime settled back under her nails. The dancers paused to take in the sight before bursting out with howls of laughter. Her Prince drew back with an exclamation of disgust and turned his back on her and walked away as fast as he could without drawing more attention to himself.

Rella burst into hot tears of shame, anger and mortification. One of her Ugly Stepsisters came up with her coat and put it around her shoulders. "Come Rella," she said gently, "let's get out of here."

Pinky looked at the Prince and then at the Ugly Sister, "so, I didn't underestimate that one, but I did underestimate that one. I think she just might need a Fairy Godmother to visit her one of these days."

After that Rella didn't moon after idols in the magazines. She and her step-sister formed a close friendship and together they stood up to her Wicked Step-Mother (helped a little on the side by Pinky who felt a little bad about the trick she had played) and decided that they both wanted a guy who 'liked me just as I am'.

THE END.
#TwistedTales 
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Time Heals All Wounds

Time's cruel passage

has stripped my grief bare.

Slowly it has abraded

my memories of you.

Eroded them piece by piece -

first your scent

fled the air,

then your pillow.

I buy the same bottle,

but without your skin,

the intermingling

of pheromones,

it is not the same.

I used to dream

of your touch,

but time's cruel hand

has made me wonder

if you used to stroke

my thigh this way or that?

Sometimes I start awake

with a familiar touch;

I reach for you,

but it's the cat,

bumping his head

against my leg.

I loved the way you laughed,

but time's cruel joke

is that I no longer can recall

exactly how you sounded.

I hear a man in the street

give the same deep chuckle

as you did when you teased

held me on the edge

while I begged

for

that

expected

release...

Now the joke is on me,

when I turn to share

my silliness with you

and you are no longer there.

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Written by Meadow337 in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Time Heals All Wounds
Time's cruel passage
has stripped my grief bare.
Slowly it has abraded
my memories of you.
Eroded them piece by piece -
first your scent
fled the air,
then your pillow.
I buy the same bottle,
but without your skin,
the intermingling
of pheromones,
it is not the same.
I used to dream
of your touch,
but time's cruel hand
has made me wonder
if you used to stroke
my thigh this way or that?
Sometimes I start awake
with a familiar touch;
I reach for you,
but it's the cat,
bumping his head
against my leg.
I loved the way you laughed,
but time's cruel joke
is that I no longer can recall
exactly how you sounded.
I hear a man in the street
give the same deep chuckle
as you did when you teased
held me on the edge
while I begged
for
that
expected
release...
Now the joke is on me,
when I turn to share
my silliness with you
and you are no longer there.


13
3
4
Juice
32 reads
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Juice
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Sci-Fi

The Block Button

One of the greatest inventions of the 31st century - Anno Apocalypse 1001 to be precise, but by your time 3001 - was the invention of the block button for people. This device allowed you to block other people - you couldn't see them, hear them, or interact with them in any way. There was a rumour that the apocalypse had been caused by a similar invention, but no-one believed it. How could such a revolutionary device end the world? With one press of the button the loud-mouthed boor in the queue behind you was silenced. There were no more noisy children - who now were neither seen nor heard, and the neighbour's dog - blissfully silenced forever. 

They sold like hot-cakes. Everyone had to have one, or two, or three - heck why stop there, what happens if you were without your button? Why you'd be forced to listen to all manner of annoying people. Panic would set in. You wouldn't be responsible for your actions under those horrifying circumstances. Button-rage they called it. It only took a few homicides to get a law passed that no-one was permitted to be without a button on their person at all times. Some people even had their button surgically implanted. 

So it was that peace reigned - or silence at least - blissful, joyful, eternal silence. There was no price on the benefits of that silence - well there was - $10.99 for the cheapest button available - but the benefits ... creativity soared, people wrote books and composed arias, never before in the whole of recorded history (except perhaps in the Renaissance) (stop fact-checking me!) had there been such a flowering of the arts. Work productivity was so high many firms instituted reduced hours at twice the pay to slow production to a sustainable rate. Of course with more time on their hands workers turned to other pursuits, getting college degrees, learning new skills. This lead to another set of problems when workers over-took their bosses in education and training and took over the companies, restructured them, sold off the assets and retired. Still we thought the benefits far outweighed these small issues. 

It was when the first bodies showed up that people began to realise the true horror of what we had brought upon ourselves. First it was the pets. Emaciated corpses of previously loved pets who had been blocked and never fed. When the first child died people excused it as an aberration - must be something wrong with those people, who could do a thing like that? But then there were two, then three, then a hundred, then a thousand. The outcry led to an investigation, and the investigation led to a house-by-house search. 

At the final count there were 69 million dead dogs, 75 million dead cats, 25 million dead over the age of 70 and 50 million children under the age of 10. The world erupted in violence. Everyone blamed everyone else. It was all the fault of society, of advertising, of a lack of warning, of a lack of an automatic timer for blocking, of anything but the truth - we did it to ourselves. In our self-denial we went looking for revenge. The neighbour was wrong for buying a barking dog. The wife was wrong for getting that damn cat. Parents were wrong for not caring about their children. And so we formed lynch mobs and strung up anyone we thought was to blame. 

The Second Great Apocalypse took a month. This time however, the survivors ensured that we would never forget. We created the On Button and passed a law that no-one could be without one. The On Button ensured that everyone heard everything that happened within 30 feet. Every sound, every whisper, every grunt, burp and fart. No-one would ever die from being blocked again. 

It was hailed as the greatest invention of 31st century. No-one would ever be alone again. People were cradled in the blissful knowledge that someone would always hear them; always be near enough to hear every sound they made. If you fell, or needed help, you merely had to whisper and someone would hear you. There was always someone listening. Privacy was a thing of the past. We educated our children from a very young age to be noisy, to demand food and attention. The elderly were encouraged to voice their needs as well. Why we were happy to fetch and carry beer at 2 a.m. for the crochety git from next door who never seemed to be able to make these requests during daylight when the stores were open. 

When the first suicides started, we realised our terrible mistake. 

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Written by Meadow337 in portal Sci-Fi
The Block Button
One of the greatest inventions of the 31st century - Anno Apocalypse 1001 to be precise, but by your time 3001 - was the invention of the block button for people. This device allowed you to block other people - you couldn't see them, hear them, or interact with them in any way. There was a rumour that the apocalypse had been caused by a similar invention, but no-one believed it. How could such a revolutionary device end the world? With one press of the button the loud-mouthed boor in the queue behind you was silenced. There were no more noisy children - who now were neither seen nor heard, and the neighbour's dog - blissfully silenced forever. 

They sold like hot-cakes. Everyone had to have one, or two, or three - heck why stop there, what happens if you were without your button? Why you'd be forced to listen to all manner of annoying people. Panic would set in. You wouldn't be responsible for your actions under those horrifying circumstances. Button-rage they called it. It only took a few homicides to get a law passed that no-one was permitted to be without a button on their person at all times. Some people even had their button surgically implanted. 

So it was that peace reigned - or silence at least - blissful, joyful, eternal silence. There was no price on the benefits of that silence - well there was - $10.99 for the cheapest button available - but the benefits ... creativity soared, people wrote books and composed arias, never before in the whole of recorded history (except perhaps in the Renaissance) (stop fact-checking me!) had there been such a flowering of the arts. Work productivity was so high many firms instituted reduced hours at twice the pay to slow production to a sustainable rate. Of course with more time on their hands workers turned to other pursuits, getting college degrees, learning new skills. This lead to another set of problems when workers over-took their bosses in education and training and took over the companies, restructured them, sold off the assets and retired. Still we thought the benefits far outweighed these small issues. 

It was when the first bodies showed up that people began to realise the true horror of what we had brought upon ourselves. First it was the pets. Emaciated corpses of previously loved pets who had been blocked and never fed. When the first child died people excused it as an aberration - must be something wrong with those people, who could do a thing like that? But then there were two, then three, then a hundred, then a thousand. The outcry led to an investigation, and the investigation led to a house-by-house search. 

At the final count there were 69 million dead dogs, 75 million dead cats, 25 million dead over the age of 70 and 50 million children under the age of 10. The world erupted in violence. Everyone blamed everyone else. It was all the fault of society, of advertising, of a lack of warning, of a lack of an automatic timer for blocking, of anything but the truth - we did it to ourselves. In our self-denial we went looking for revenge. The neighbour was wrong for buying a barking dog. The wife was wrong for getting that damn cat. Parents were wrong for not caring about their children. And so we formed lynch mobs and strung up anyone we thought was to blame. 

The Second Great Apocalypse took a month. This time however, the survivors ensured that we would never forget. We created the On Button and passed a law that no-one could be without one. The On Button ensured that everyone heard everything that happened within 30 feet. Every sound, every whisper, every grunt, burp and fart. No-one would ever die from being blocked again. 

It was hailed as the greatest invention of 31st century. No-one would ever be alone again. People were cradled in the blissful knowledge that someone would always hear them; always be near enough to hear every sound they made. If you fell, or needed help, you merely had to whisper and someone would hear you. There was always someone listening. Privacy was a thing of the past. We educated our children from a very young age to be noisy, to demand food and attention. The elderly were encouraged to voice their needs as well. Why we were happy to fetch and carry beer at 2 a.m. for the crochety git from next door who never seemed to be able to make these requests during daylight when the stores were open. 

When the first suicides started, we realised our terrible mistake. 
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Juice
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