To those in the know, this year I set myself a challenge of writing one 5,000 word short story every month in 2013. That is 12 stories, and a minimum of 60,000 words. So far, so good. There have been some challenges along the way, such as the two occasions I’ve got halfway through and then changed my mind about what story I want to write. Some months I’ve done it all in plenty of time, other months, it’s gone down to the wire. But all along, I’ve kept going and as things stand, I’m pretty happy with the results. There will be things I need to perhaps tweak, or juggle around, but that is for another time. Now I’m concentrating on putting the words on paper. Or rather onto my computer screen!
Anyhow, every now and then, I promise a little excerpt from what I’ve been writing. So here is a little snippet of what I’ve written for August: a caravan holiday seen through the eyes of a six year old with a vivid imagination, and restless parents…
The Prince surveyed his surroundings. His parents, King Marcus and Queen Joanna were busy elsewhere in the Kingdom, sorting out whatever parents sorted out.
But he had his own job to do. No, not simply a ‘job’ – a quest! Being six years old came with added responsibility in the Kingdom of Caravannia, and the young Prince Michael knew it was only a matter of time before he would have to begin his quest to rid the Kingdom of all the foul, loathsome beasties and bad guys and maybe even find himself a Princess before time ran out.
The Prince was methodically arranging his garments in his chambers, a rather confined space, but this mattered not as it was merely a place to rest his head after a long, hard day’s quest, when his mother called him to the main throne room.
“Michael, darling, do you need help with your clothes?”
“No, mummy, I’ve done it already,” replied the Prince, a little put out at being treated like a baby.
“Okay, sweetie. Daddy is getting changed and then we’re going to find somewhere to have tea,” the Queen informed him, brimming with authority. Prince Michael adored his mother, and she was the be all and end all as far as he was concerned. His father, the King, was nice and useful when it came to the practical stuff, but wasn’t much good at cuddles and bedtime songs – things every self-respecting Prince needs in times of trouble.
The King was soon ready, and as the Royal couple talked about where to go for tea, the young Prince had a quick scout around the Kingdom for potential beastie hideouts.
“Right, Mikey,” the King announced. “We’re off now, so do you want the toilet before you get in the car?”
“I’ll be fine,” the Prince replied assuredly. “I had a wee in the café.” He shuddered at the thought of the grubby excuse for a toilet he’d encountered at the greasy spoon café that he’d had to use in an emergency. Not fit for a Prince, no way, Jose!
“Right, well if you want a toy for the car, get it quick because your mummy and daddy are ravenous and ready to eat!”
The Prince looked around for his favourite toy, a fluffy red dinosaur that the Queen had knitted for him. The Dinosaur had a name too – Dino. It wasn’t necessarily an original name, but it suited Dino very well. He was a Stegosaurus (sort of) with a red top and a pink underbelly and he went everywhere with him.
Later that evening, after the King’s best intentions failed and they ended up in a McDonalds in a faraway Kingdom, Prince Michael was nodding off to sleep in his bed with Dino clung tightly to his chest, and Queen Joanna singing softly to him. He was asleep before the song finished and as the Queen tiptoed silently out of his room, Prince Michael was already dreaming of battles with trolls and dragons in distant lands.
The Prince was woken suddenly in the middle of the night by an almighty banging coming from somewhere in Caravannia. Momentarily unsure of his surroundings, Prince Michael cried out for his mummy. The banging stopped soon after, and much to his relief, the Queen came into his bed chamber, looking quite un-Queen-like in a silk night gown that barely covered her tummy and messy hair all over her face.
“What’s the matter, darling?” She asked the Prince. “Did you wake up and wonder where you are?”
“I heard banging and I was scared, mummy,” Michael explained between sobs. The Queen looked like she was blushing, but it could have just been the heat.
“It’s alright my love. The banging has stopped now, go back to sleep.”
“Okay mummy. Will you sing another song?” The Prince asked hopefully. Thankfully, the Queen obliged and sang a gentle lullaby, and before long, the Prince was overcome by sleep again. He did not hear any more banging from within the Kingdom, and the creaking that followed was not loud enough to disturb his Princely slumbers.
So, there you go. I hope you liked it! Just so you know, once I’ve finished all twelve stories, I will be looking for another writing challenge for 2014 – any suggestions most welcome!!