Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fairy Ring Contest: Serendipity

Thanks to Twitter I stumbled across Yearning for Wonderland's fairyring flash fiction competition.  The rules are a 300 word first person account of your first encounter with a fairy.  Now as it happens my very first and as yet unfinished novel Serendipity features just such an encounter.  Coming across the contest forced me to open it up and read it again.  It was like embracing an old friend.

I love Serendipity.  I love the character Perdita Moon and relationship with her rogue fairy, Lulu Larch.  What I didn't have quite right is the plot.  Or the romance.  Or the confidence.  I got scared about writing it in the first person.  I suddenly thought I needed a male perspective.  I lost my way and abandoned.

And it's a shame.  Because I think it's good, perhaps the best thing I've written.  One day it will get it's place in the sun.  At the start of the book Perdita receives a note from her brother Nick, Lord Moon, foisting an unknown young lady upon her hospitality.  She is not pleased, but she finds she can't send Lulu away.


It is one of my particular principles that I should take people as they are and not to judge them on their history or the way that they earn their living.  I don’t speak of it as it would brand me a radical and I do enjoy polite society.  “What were you doing before you met Lord Moon?”
“This and that... I’m a musician.”  I nod.  It is as I expected.  “And a dancer,” she continues, “and a teacher.”  I frown, struggling to imagine Lulu Larch as a seminarian.  A chorus girl seems more credible.
 “And a fairy,” she finishes, drinking the last dregs of her lemonade.
I think I have misheard her. “A real fairy?” There is a laugh in my voice.
“Is there any other variety?” Her eyebrows lift. There is the faintest suggestion in her expression that I have been less than polite.   I raise my eyebrows in return.  I do not relish my manners being brought into question.  
“Do you mean you have to dress as a fairy on stage?” I imagine her in a tawdry theatre, dancing lightly across the stage trailing a pair of fairy wings.  It seems like a reasonable assumption.
“How do you imagine a fairy dresses?” Miss Larch asks, sounding genuinely curious.
I think of the last time I saw A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. “Wings, a wand, a crown.”
“In children’s stories perhaps,” says Miss Larch, her lip curling in scorn.  “As I am a fairy, it follows that fairies dress like me.”
I am commonly held to be an intelligent and well informed woman but she speaks to me as though I am a small child. 
“A fairy,” I repeat and my voice sounds sarcastic to my own ears. A well bred woman is never sarcastic.  I feel slightly shabby.

The Fairy Ring Contest: Details....


Unknown said...

Ha, love the upper crust affronted reaction of the fairy. Quite lovely.

Becky Fyfe said...

I love it! And for some reason it made me think of Mary Poppins. :)

Meg McNulty said...

I know what you man! Similar voices... Perdita is a very no nonsense character. Until she met a fairy, that is ;-)

Meg McNulty said...

By which I mean, I know what you mean. Not I know what you man. #need sleep

Unknown said...

Based on that piece, it does some promising. I thought it was charming. Maybe you just need some time away from it. I hope you return to it sometime.

SJIHolliday said...

That made me smile, great story - well done :)

Meg McNulty said...

@Erin and @SJIHolliday - thanks so much for the comments. I absolutely will go back to it. It makes me laugh whilst I'm writing it - a good sign I think!

Amalia Dillin said...

This is a perfect line: “As I am a fairy, it follows that fairies dress like me.”

And really, I should be following your blog already. I wrote a Helen book too :)

Unknown said...

Loved the whole vibe of the condescending primness! Lovely, quaint, and refreshing!

Anonymous said...

I love the very English attitude of duty and "what's done," to this story. Good job.