Monday, September 25, 2006


As mentioned on Friday, I was offered up another opportunity to write a story from a picture in tandem with the future ruler of the world, Hyperion. The rules of the game remained as they've been the previous couple of go-rounds: we write our own thing (I choose to stick with a sub-500-word format) and then post the result, with links to the other person's story, without knowing what their story is about.

Doing these writing exercises is becoming a little addictive, I have to say. The real challenge in it, to my mind, is coming up with an idea that makes sense. For this iteration I threw out a half-dozen ideas that would only bake halfway before collapsing. Even with THIS story there are things I would change, but fortunately time was up and I had to stop working on it.

(Kingfisher, your rules for writing helped a lot, and even though this is rough, it's way better than
the first draft.)

Hyperion, once again, thanks for asking me to play.


First, the picture,

which is from Kara Castro, who is immensely talented.

Next, Hyperion's story, which can be found here..... go ahead, read it first, I know you want to.

Then, my story.

"Where's Marisol?"

“Look at Marisol, she’s doing it again.”

“Shh, Mama, she can hear you.”

“Well, she sure doesn’t look like she can. She looks like she’s in another world.”

“Mama, enough. You know how she is. She’ll come around again soon enough.”

“What is it about her? Why does she do that?”

“Mama, I don’t know. Here, come to the kitchen with me for a cup of coffee and we’ll talk until you have to go home.”

Their quiet chatting was a low muffled buzz in Marisol’s ears, a mossy kind of nonsense. The afternoon sun slanted through the blinds, casting lengths of dark and light against the flowered rug. Marisol focused her attention on the thousands of twists of wool under her feet, waiting.

When she was very still and quiet, the wee people came. They were fascinating, part of a whole different world tinier than anything. Marisol loved watching them, and they didn’t seem to mind her presence.

They crawled up the yarn forest to soak in fresh air and sun. She knew many of them by sight, and over time had learned to hear their voices, distant and small. She knew what some of their words meant, and knew that every afternoon they foraged for crumbs under the dining table. Some semaphored distant friends with eyelash-sized flags, while others used kites made of dust and cat hair to fly around an inch or so about the vast plain of carpet.

Marisol saw one of the rice-grain-sized kiters being blown around by the breath of her sleeping dog. The tiny boy was young like her, and didn’t seem to be in control of the sail. He was getting so close she could could look in his eyes, and saw he was afraid. He was too high, and would never get back home if he sailed too far!

Thinking quickly, Marisol decided to breathe him back to the ground. His terrified eyes turned trusting as she puffed gently at him, guiding him backward and down to the surface. Presently he was safe again, and shouted a faint thanks before sliding down a rope the exact color of her hair toward the invisible world below.

Exausted with excitement and effort, Marisol laid full out on the rug, in need of a nap in the late day sun. As she sank into sleep, dreams came, vivid and quick, of life with the tiny people. She felt like she was falling, smaller and smaller, into the world beneath her.

“Marisol, Marisol! Where have you got to! We’ve got to take Grandma back to the home for supper!”

“Dammit, girl, we have GOT to go! This is no time to be playing!”

Marisol thought that there was nothing ever could be scarier than the heels of Mama’s shoes as they stomped above her head. Then she fell back to sleep, deep in the dark carpet forest.


That's all there is to it. Feel free to play along on your own blog if this picture speaks to you, and let me know if you did.

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