Thursday, 31 May 2012

Faerypin Contest Entry

The Lady of the Lamp - Awarded an Honourable Mention in the #FaeryPin Contest

Come closer, Oh Beloved.  Hear my… Oh sod it. 
It’s not as though I have an audience in here.  It’s tight.  Cosy.  Space just for one. Me.
People would ask if I'm lonely if there were any people.  There aren't.   Haven't been for five hundred years.  Maybe millennia.  Hard to know after the first few decades.
I shift slightly, rub my neck.  Sinuous, that's what the sultans called me.  Don't much feel sinuous now.  I feel... dusty.  Mustn't think like that. Mustn't get philosophical.  All that "If a tree falls in the forest" nonsense.  I can see the trees.  Hastate leaves, bristling like daggers.  Rough bark, mottled with shadow.  I can smell them.  Damp, mossy. 
They have to be real.  If the trees aren't real then maybe I'm not real.  No one can see me.  No one can smell me.  No one can hear me, cooped up in here.
Maybe I don't exist.

I open my eyes and my reflection stares back at me bulbous, distorted by the lamp’s curve.  The metal is still bright, smudged a little by my toes.  I draw pictures with them sometimes.  Rub the shining gold, smudge it up a bit.  Toe drawings.  Stick men warriors and fat princesses.
And I dream.  That's what I do most of all, dream. 
When I dream hands curve around my home, warming the cold metal.  Calloused and warm, the hands of a worker or a warrior, not a King.  I smell olives and lemon rind, sweat and dirt from the marketplace.  It's the dirt that brings him back to me, vivid and sharp-scented.  Face streaked with sand, hair tangled by the desert wind.
I stutter into wakefulness and my skin feels hot, tight. 
I gave him three wishes but he didn’t wish for me.


This was written for the delightful Anna Meade's #Faerypin Contest (closing midnight 1 June) and inspired by her wondrous and bountiful Faerytaleish Pinterst Board


Sophie Moss said...

Absolutely brilliant. Meg, you are such a gifted writer. Seriously, this is a beautiful, beautiful piece. Write on, fairy tale sister. Write on.

Jo-Anne Teal (jtvancouver) said...

I agree with Sophie - this tale is beautifully told and pitch perfect in its execution. Well well done, Meg!

Meg McNulty said...

Thank you both! That's lovely of you :-)

Cameron said...

You nearly made me cry there - I agree; you, Madam, have real talent! Write on indeed!

Stacy Bennett said...

Oh Meg, my dear, fairy tales are your calling. I love, love, love this piece. Delightful reading with just a hint of snark. Bravo!!

Lisa Shambrook said...

So beautifully written and wonderful concept, his frustration is tangible!

Meg McNulty said...

Thanks so much - I really appreciate your comments! Lisa, I love that you think of my Djinn as male. Because of the image, I'd imagined female but actually, the story could work either way and I'm glad it's ambiguous.

Afsaneh said...

Ahhh, Meg, your writing never fails to both astound me and invoke a little jealousy! (honesty, that) ;)
Truly beautiful!

Lisa Shambrook said...

Reading it again, I can see it working both ways, but each gender conveys a different feel to the piece! A female Djinn adds a much more sensual sadness to the story, less frustration and more poignant! I love how a piece of writing can be interpreted so many ways!

Lisa Shambrook said...

PS. I should have read the title, Lady of the

Meg McNulty said...

Thanks Afsaneh! :-)

Lisa I LOVED that you envisaged a male Djinn. If I read it with that in my mind I get a whole different take, which is cool when you're reading your own story.

Unknown said...

So witty and yet filled with longing. A gift, to accomplish this in 300 words. Thanks for entering, Meg.

Anonymous said...

A brilliant take on Aladdin, love it. Beth x

Becky Fyfe said...

You have captured the longing and the mood of this lonely genie so well! A wonderful take on the Aladdin story.

Melanie Conklin said...

Shamefully, I am just getting around to reading the FaeryPin entries--I like the rhythm you've established here with all of the fragments.

Often, I'm not brave enough to use fragments. Too OCD in my grammar--but this really evokes a feeling, and without the fragments it wouldn't feel the same.

Nicely done!

Meg McNulty said...

Hi Melanie, I used to be more fragment averse but as I have become more confident I have developed a much looser style. I'm more rules are made to be broken.

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