Between the long workdays and the hectic time during this quarantine, I grabbed my second prompt and thought about what kind of tale I wanted to tell. I knew it needed to be a fairy tale, but beyond that, everything was blank. This time the prompt I retrieved from NYC Midnight didn’t generate a buzz in my mind. After dismissing about a dozen false starts, the story finally unfolded into a basic narrative. As my fingers found a groove, I plucked some elements from The Noodle Trap, primarily the aspect of nature mingling with an everyday location. The main difference between the two is what the wild intermingles with, and in this piece of flash fiction it’s a retirement home like the one from the Psych episode, The Old and the Restless .
Having fixed the inner workings of the story in place, I started working on how to introduce a bale of hay and give the tale a little sense of unexpected danger. While I haven’t written many Fairy Tales, I’ve come to enjoy them, and I hope that you appreciate Samantha’s journey.
A child racked with fear about her grandmother’s life runs when she overhears the dire news concerning her grandmother’s health…
A small girl huddled under her grandmother’s bed, her head hanging between her knees. She whimpered as she listened to the doctor’s talking to her mother.
“We’re running out of options,” a doctor said.
“What are our alternatives?” The girl’s mother asked.
“We are looking at more unusual procedures,” another physician replied.
The child held her breath, clambering out from under the bed, and dashed for the exit. She wiped her eyes as she shouldered through the doctors, bursting into the hallway.
“Samantha!” the child’s mother cried out.
The girl’s shoulders hunched as she tore down the hall and ducked down a corridor and then another until she came upon an empty room. She sidestepped into it and eased the door closed behind her. With a soft thump, she threw her back against the wall and slid to the floor, burying her face into her hands as the tears flowed. When something tapped her shoulder, the child’s head snapped up and swiveled around.