VIEW LEADERBOARD

Once Again: A Modern Fairy Tale

Once Again: A Modern Fairy Tale

A story written by the servant of a fairy prince who has been convinced it is time to marry. Mara becomes his target, but soon her story becomes greater than Aerrvin's sister's petty demands. The story is set in modern Seattle, where Mara lives and attends college. Morvayne ap Stewart is the main villain in books one and two. As an Elf he ranks higher than Fairies, Brownies etcetera. He has had a major upset in his life causing him to hate and despise Humans. He desires to cleanse the earth from two thirds of its' Humanity. He is confident that the remaining Humans will come to worship and adore him as the King of the world. He has chosen Mara as his bride long before she ever learns about him and the world of the Faire. And certainly long before Aerrvin ever saw her.

0

Fantasy / Sci-fi


author-small

Melani Barr (United States)


Prologue



It wasn’t as if he’d meant to sound petulant. Aerrvin couldn’t have asked for a more faithful servant as found in Bronwyn MacIntash. Making a scene on the beach showed a petulance not often revealed. Most days he was his own Purple self. He loved the qualities of being a Purple Fairy; it allowed him to be more playful and carefree. In his opinion, it was better than being Yellow, like his sister.
‘Ah, Harmony,’ he thought as he lounged upon the shore, ‘she’s the one at fault. Without her demands, I would not have yelled at Bronwyn at all.’
***
“I am not selfish! I simply want to do as I please, is that so hard to understand?”
“No, Aerrvin, I understand you. I do. It is just – hmm, you are turning one hundred and ninety years old next month, and you have yet to find a bride. Your parents are beginning to despair, and for them that is saying something! You know how patient they are,” the broad Brownie sighed, but kept a steady eye on his charge.
“I know, I know! If tha’ sister o’ mine had waited a pint-size longer t’marry, they would not be ever fretful!” In his frustration, his Irish accent grew thick. “Aye, she be t’cause of all me woes!”
Splashing his foot in the tide pool, Aerrvin appreciated the musical sound as he witnessed the sun catching the liquid diamonds before they rejoined the small impression in the sand. Becalmed he continued, “Just because tradition says the oldest must have a child first, doesn’t mean it must be so. Does it?”
“Well, sir if I may say so, such a thing has never been done. Do you wish to break tradition, just to see what happens?”
Bronwyn had a point, so Aerrvin agreed to think upon it. The Brownie removed himself a respectful distance away. Each appeared in his natural state, being roughly six inches in height. Bronwyn climbed onto a piece of driftwood and settled down to whittle some delicate whimsy.
Situated between the two starfish in the tide pool, Aerrvin wriggled to find the most comfortable position. He visualized how he looked as his golden hair swirled in the ripples. His vanity showed on his face at the thought. Though truth be told, Bronwyn sat busily carving that very scene from the driftwood upon which he perched. The rendering would attest to the beauty of the fair Prince as his hair danced in unison with the sea urchins and anemones.
The tide was rising, so Aerrvin dared himself to come to a decision before the pool became a part of the ocean herself. Stroking the nubby surface of the purple starfish on his right soothed his anxiety over having yelled at Bronwyn. Not only was he Aerrvin’s personal servant, but he was also his royal historian and advisor. Brownies are brilliant at most any task they are given and make excellent writers. Aerrvin allowed it was quite disrespectful to lash out against him. Here, here!
The truth of the matter was that Aerrvin was also partially White in his genetic make-up, causing him to cycle out of his happy-go-lucky moods from time to time. Being in a White Fairy mood meant that Aerrvin felt a need to withdraw from social contact. Sometimes he hid away for days, other times months. During these cycles, all beings learn that he is best left alone. Even so, being in a White frame of mind meant he could ponder more clearly, and make wiser decisions. It was deemed a good trait for a future King to have.
Entering The Land of Dreams within the Void, Aerrvin chose to visit long-past memories – events, dear reader, which he chooses to keep to himself at present. Suffice it to say he pondered each fair maiden he had known up to this point.
As the tide neared its highest mark, the delightful Wind Sprite, Mirri Sihee – Aerrvin’s constant and invisible-to-most companion – advised, “My Lord, I do agree, tis time for you to put aside your childhood. If I could wed thee, I surely would, as well you know. But go, make a legend of your search worthy of the bards in olden times.”
Delight warmed his soul causing a small fit of joy to bubble out. “Ha! Mirri you are the light that cheers my soul. How could I find anyone who could compare?”
Aerrvin hugged his precious companion and nodded with his chin tapped softly against her iridescently sheer shoulder. Then lying back down upon the starfish whereon they lay he continued, “But yes, you are correct: Tis time and time enough to be sure.”
Mirri Sihee ran her feather soft fingers through his golden locks; breathing sweet songs of peace into his soul.
With a mental sigh, Aerrvin rose up out of the tide pool. The young Fairy Prince squared his shoulders as he prepared to upsize to full Human proportions and proclaim his willingness to comply.


Picture Perfect

And if our dreams should go awry, what then my sweet, what then?
~ Morvayne ap Stewart



May 7, 2009
Oblivious to the traffic and the bicyclist who cussed her out as she crossed the road, the dark haired girl seemed to meander aimlessly. Mara walked each weekday to the bus stop, either for work or school. Currently, she needed to get to work at the retirement center, but her thoughts kept returning to her photography class. Her final project was due in three weeks, and she had not yet solidified her theme.
“Well, the assignment said it should be unique and representative of nature in the city,” she spoke out loud with a clear, whispery voice. “Nature in the City – nature, natural, hmm,” she sighed. A display of overgrown gardens and weed infested empty lots were her only ideas.
At the old Laundromat, her mood brightened. The activity and renovation brought new life to this section of the neighborhood. The young college student perched on a nearby bench to watch the workmen carry boxes into the building. “Oooh, I wonder what kind of store this will be?”
Pulling out her camera, she took a few pictures; something she often did to document her day. No one could blame her for staring; slim, tightly-muscled, attractive guys are sure to draw the eye. They wore khakis and navy t-shirts. The first one’s long, flowing hair; shone like silky waves on a black sea. Mara interpreted it as a banner signaling, ‘look at me!’ The second workers’ hair brushed a smidgeon past his shoulders. She loved the angle of the early afternoon sun; the way it hit on his golden hair gave him an angelic aura.
Soon enough the bus arrived. From the window, Mara gazed at the scene one last time, the one she dubbed “Mr. Sunshine” glanced up at her and smiled – rakishly.

***
May 8, 2009
“Friday,” Mara said, as she smoothed her curls in front of the mirror. “Today I must turn in my idea for photography, and I have a math test. I hate math!”
Hastily, she applied a pale pink blush to her smooth, white cheeks and then a light skiff of brown eye shadow to accentuate her blue eyes. “No time for mascara, I might miss the bus,” she murmured, as she rushed out of her room.
“Are you talking to yourself again?” Jill quipped.
Jill rented the bedroom suite across the hall. They shared the house that Mara had inherited from her favorite great aunt.
“Not any more than usual,” Mara replied as the two went downstairs for breakfast. “What are we doing tonight?”
“A block party to welcome in our new neighbors!” Jill answered.
She shimmied and danced down the steps in a vain effort to get Mara to loosen up. Jill reminded many of Lucille Ball. She often tried to match Mara up with the guys in the neighborhood but failed with nearly the same comedic effect as Lucy. Mara simply was not interested.
“I didn’t know we had new neighbors, but it sounds fun,” Mara responded, as she grabbed an orange and a granola bar.
Jill rolled her eyes.
With a shrug, Mara went out the door. It was half a block to the bus stop on the corner, but she was early, so she walked down the street to where the old Laundromat was. “Just to check on their progress,” she mused.
A small, crooked smile pulled at her mouth. She was lying to herself but wasn’t ready to admit it. The smile from Mr. Sunshine, as the bus pulled away the day before, still played vibrantly in her mind.


Competition: The Pen Factor 2016, Round 1

SEE MORE LIKE THIS



Read Reviews

Review 1:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • The protagonist didn’t always respond believably against the backdrop of the story. Ask yourself if people would really answer to a situation in that way. Think about whether the characters’ voices could be more convincing for their age, background, gender, time period, genre, gender and ethnicity. Dialogue should be natural and consistent throughout the story.
Characterization
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Main character
  • Connect us to your main protagonist with a deeper characterization. Could your protagonist have a few more distinguishing character traits?
Character conflict
  • The reader’s experience of the story is heightened when the characters’ goals, conflicts and purpose are clear. Perhaps giving this aspect of the story further attention could be worthwhile.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a difficult balancing act. Are you sure all the material is relevant to the plot, setting and atmosphere? Make sure each sentence makes sense to the reader, and each paragraph moves their experience forward.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. The first page should introduce some intrigue, something that causes the reader to turn the page. Think about the conflict and tension in your story. How effectively has it been introduced?
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
Point of view
  • Point of view helps the reader identify whose perspective we are engaging with, i.e. who is narrating the story. It can sometimes be helpful to double check that the point of view in the story is successfully handled. Ensure you consistently use the same point of view and tense throughout.
Style and originality
  • I loved your fresh approach. Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose requires both skill and practice.
Atmosphere and description
  • A writer’s ability to create mood and atmosphere through evocative description is vital to the reader’s experience. It’s a real skill to craft out how the characters react to the setting and atmosphere and perhaps your story could go further in its description. The reader wants to experience the same sensory and poignant journey as the characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
Opening line and hook
  • Great books, nowadays, start with a powerful opening and compelling hook in order to keep the reader engaged. Have you baited the reader enough?
General comments from your fellow writer 1:
You have an intriguing concept. It seems you are taking a fairy growing him to human size and unleashing him into the real world. What I need to know right away is why? Why is he not finding a wife with a fairy? I felt the prologue set up the story but failed to delve deep into the motives and conflict of the protagonist. 1500 words is not much, but as I read the prologue there were too many new characters introduced quickly and not enough of the reason why he didn't want to take a wife. Therefore the sudden resolution that he would, seemed weak. In this amount of space there was too much time spent on the setting when the true story is in the conflict between him and his family. His motivation of not having a wife or his sudden decision to have one seems lost and unimportant, making the premise of finding a wife uninteresting. Was he going to be banished if he didn't, did his childhood imagined friend walk away leaving him lonely, did he have a heart moment in that tide pool and realize his growing age and desire for partnering... right now I, as a reader, don't believe he is serious about taking a wife so the reason to read on is stilted. Why is he suddenly in present day? Why didn't he look for a fairy wife? What brought him to the present human world? Perhaps these will be answered, but I feel some need to be answered before entering the present world... at least tell us why he is there. POV seems to switch to the potential wife a high school student(?) who photographs him. I'm not sure if that is the intent. I didn't feel it was consistently 3rd person or 1st person. Personally, I'd tell it from his 1st person, his view. Maybe you are going to tell it from her view from the prologue on. I felt confused as the reader. You have great vocabulary. Strong description and a sense for fantasy writing. I find the idea intriguing. Concentrate on Goal Motivation and Conflict and disaster or resolution for each scene as well as the overall tale. Keep writing.

Review 2:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • The grammar, typography, sentence structure and punctuation would benefit from a further round of editing to avoid distracting from the quality of the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • The protagonist didn’t always respond believably against the backdrop of the story. Ask yourself if people would really answer to a situation in that way. Think about whether the characters’ voices could be more convincing for their age, background, gender, time period, genre, gender and ethnicity. Dialogue should be natural and consistent throughout the story.
Characterization
  • Make sure your characters are multidimensional. Do they have strengths and weaknesses? Mere mortals make the most interesting stories because they are like you and me and we are able to empathize with their journey. That’s how the connection with a character is formed.
Main character
  • Connect us to your main protagonist with a deeper characterization. Could your protagonist have a few more distinguishing character traits?
Character conflict
  • The reader’s experience of the story is heightened when the characters’ goals, conflicts and purpose are clear. Perhaps giving this aspect of the story further attention could be worthwhile.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The story had a clear and coherent progression with a structured plot.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. The first page should introduce some intrigue, something that causes the reader to turn the page. Think about the conflict and tension in your story. How effectively has it been introduced?
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose is tricky. As writers, we face the daunting task of making sure we are not being predictable. Can you find a way to give the content and characters more of a unique edge? Perhaps say something boldly, something fresh or show an unorthodox approach to a topic?
Atmosphere and description
  • A writer’s ability to create mood and atmosphere through evocative description is vital to the reader’s experience. It’s a real skill to craft out how the characters react to the setting and atmosphere and perhaps your story could go further in its description. The reader wants to experience the same sensory and poignant journey as the characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
Opening line and hook
  • Your strong opening and compelling hook was a promise of wonderful things to come!

Review 3:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals, conflicts and purpose were clearly introduced and I wanted to find out more about them.
Style and originality
  • I loved your fresh approach. Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose requires both skill and practice.
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story was a feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ mood and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
General comments from your fellow writer 3:
I need to know more about these fairies! I love the use of colour as a way of describing the fairy types in such a specific manner. I was a tad confused by the Picture Perfect section - was that supposed to be there? If it's the continuation of the story I'm sure it would tie together with the fairy story nicely later, for now though I chose to mainly review the Prologue. The grammar and descriptiveness was well handled and the characters felt unique. Kings to you, mate. Keep it up!