[Fiction] Friday Challenge for October, 5 2007:
Use the first line of a nursery rhyme (your choice) to start your own story.
Fiction Friday is easy to do.
* Every Thursday, just check this page for this week’s theme or challenge.
* Spend at least 5 minutes composing something original based on the theme or challenge.
* But, remember, no editing. This is to inspire creativity not stifle it.
* On Friday, simply post what you wrote to your own blog.
* Then come back to Write Stuff and leave the link in the comment section of that week’s Fiction Friday post.
A list of nursery rhymes, most I’d never heard of. There were so many choices, here are a few of my favorites.
So what am I going to write? I really like the last one.
“Tails and Taxis”
Three young rats with black felt hats was not a common sight, even for those jaded New Yorkers bustling through Times Square. They were ordinary city rats, wily and plump, but on this afternoon, they had set up in front of the TKTS booth and were actively engaging the queue of weary tourists. The expressions were comical to behold as the bemused crowd tried, without much success, to adopt the sang-froid of the locals. Various children, enchanted with the performing rats, detached themselves with alacrity and plopped down on the pavement in a ragged circle. Their open and delighted smiles alarmed the parents who cajoled their offspring to move away from the dirty rodents.
“Dirty sir? I pray, doth thou speaketh of me? I am a classically trained artist of the boards and through no fault of my own, have been cast into this most dreadful condition.”
Squeals and soft clapping greeted this pronouncement and many of the children edged every closer to the trio of resplendent rats. Howls, grown rapidly distant, could also be heard as harried parents forcibly yanked protesting youngsters out of the crowd. As one child was removed, two more moved into place.
“You there! I say young lady, would you be perchance intrigued by my tale? I have many an exciting adventure to relate.”
The girl in question nervously shrugged and her eyes darted side-to-side before coming to rest on the apparent leader of the rats. He sat upright, propped on his tail, and calmly gazed with clear eyes at the child. When she nodded quickly in agreement, he gracefully doffed his black felt hat and gave a sweeping bow.
“Thanks me lady, you are indeed a pearl beyond price. Boys and girls, lads and lasses, gentlemen and gentlewomen of all ages, gather round and lend me your complete and undivided attention! My name is Joshia Ramshackle and once I was the toast of the continent– not this one mind you– but a land far away and filled with every delectable treat you could possibly imagine.”
Here Joshia the rat paused and put a trembling paw to his face. The painful memories showed in the strain evident on his narrow, pointed snout. A single tear slowly creased his fur and plummeted to the hard concrete. A sigh passed through the throng of children as they commiserated with his plight. The adults by now had abandoned any pretense of aloofness and exchanged astonished glances with total strangers at the sight of their normally misbehaving youngsters sitting completely still and silent.
“I was, if I may be so modest, incredible, amazing, stupendous even. Kings and Queens, Dukes and Earls, every type of nobility swooned at my feet. My playing was beyond reproach and so even reached the wretched poor as I brought light and hope into their miserable existences. I was a pure soul. Until temptation crossed my path. As it is wont to do in all your lives as well. A cookie here, a chocolate there, a mean word, a blow; you see children, I fell from grace not because of my acting, but because I strayed into greener pastures and now I am reduced to a most meager living.”
So saying, the three young rats with black felt hats turned exuberant cartwheels and spinning faster and faster round and round, suddenly leaped prodigiously over the pigtails and towheads. Blond and brunette, black and red, they swiveled as one and watched as Josiah and his two companions scampered off to the curb. A taxi was waiting, roof light on, and on the side it said; ‘Josiah’s Livery’.
By Rose Dewy Knickers, October 4th, 2007