Grab the beverage of your choice and sip your way through these mighty offerings:
Lisa from Lisa Wields Words: (Lisa your paragraphs did not come through so I popped them in where I thought appropriate. Let me know if you want anything changed).
Happy Ever After Not Guaranteed: Edith
When Edith arrived, I had high hopes that finally we would be welcoming someone who would truly appreciate all we had to offer her. Her disheveled, hand-me-down appearance at the portal in the woods suggested that she was seeking access to a better life. Edith blinked and looked around.
“Where am I? Who are you? Where are the others? They ditched me, didn’t they? I knew it.”
Once I could get a word in, I answered, “You are home. My name is Mrs. Dalrymple, and I am here to make your every wish come true. The only other people here are my fairy helpers. I’m sure your friends were simply not deserving of life here at the Manor,” I pointed to the lovely house and gardens a short walk away.
Her face glowed as it transitioned from confusion and suspicion to awe and delight. Edith had the best reaction ever, which gave me hope that she was indeed the one. “That looks like my dream home,” she whispered as if afraid that speaking would destroy the illusion.
“Welcome home, my dear! Allow me to show you around.” Her excitement grew as she saw each aspect of the manor, from the beautiful gardens containing all her favorite flowers to each room especially her bedroom up in the turret.
“It’s like you broke into my hidden dream box and gave me everything I’ve ever wanted,” she said as she twirled around in the turret. “How do I thank you? Who do I thank?”
“No need to thank us, dear,” I said. “We are here to fulfill your dreams.”
For a timeless moment, everything was perfect. The fairies and I surpassed ourselves providing her with the best of everything her heart could desire. We threw her parties filled with handsome fairy folk, where she became the belle of the ball. We built her decadent baths and created clothing made of sensuous material. She ate whatever she desired. Any dream she ever had, we provided.
I should have known things were changing when she began saying things like, “Where are my friends? I bet they are together dancing with princes and having fabulous adventures. Are they wealthier than me? Do they have bigger houses? Are they thinner, more beautiful?”
“I don’t know anything about them,” I explained. “Besides, this is the home of your dreams. This is the life of your dreams.”
“Why didn’t they come with me if this is the place of dreams? That was the whole point, to go to a land where our dreams could come true together. They just used me, didn’t they? They needed a seventh person for the spell to work, and they tricked me into thinking that I was finally part of their group.” She began looking out towards the dark woods surrounding our home.
“How do I get through the woods? I must find them. I have to prove I am as good as they are.”
“The Woods of Discontent are dangerous,” I warned. “Only those with true self-confidence and sense of purpose survive.”
Her eyes flashed green as she snapped, “I think that I am as good as they are, and I intend to prove it.”
I knew we had lost Edith then.
“This place is falling apart,” she said, and of course the Manor, sensitive to her thoughts, suddenly looked old and tired.
“Mrs. Dalrymple,” she ordered, “pack my bag. I will not let them win.”
“This isn’t enough!” Her final words as she strode into the looming darkness. The silence built to a scream.
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Next, from Audrey
Adrenaline junkie, that’s what they called her. They didn’t understand it wasn’t the thrills that kept her coming back. It had morphed into so much more. And now this poser stepped in. A glory hound and experience fiend wrapped in one – just like her. And he had stolen her spotlight.
Her green eyes flashed at the thought. If he was good, she would just do better. Jealously coursed through her veins as she watched him basking in the adoration of the capricious mob. Not for long… Not long. Frustration brimmed to the surface while she watched them fawn over him. The sheep, stupid sheep in adulation, always looking for the next best thing. He was nothing! A copy-cat. A cad. The sinewy vines of envy wrapped around her heart, choking like ivy until her chest ached. But she would do what it took to surpass him, she would become unforgettable.
It was her turn. The crowd, that fickle and spineless following – she needed and loathed them at once –thronged behind. She stepped onto the platform and the world went silent. Suddenly one of the more astute piped up, “Where’s her bungee cord?” She smiled. Unforgettable. Let him try and beat this. She jumped, screams of the horde following her over the edge and then the falling, surrendering to the blackness in an elegant swan dive. Her last thought was smug satisfaction. Unforgettable. And him? He would fade into oblivion now.
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And an offering from Katie at frametale.wordpress.com (Katie your paragraphs also did not come through so let me know if you wish them to appear other than as I put them).
She was the pinnacle of what a human being could achieve, and I had never realized how far I fell short until she was there to show me where the bar was. When she spoke, her words were insightful, articulate, effortless, and those listening would latch on with affirmation and praise.
When I spoke, the ideas fled from my head halfway through and I’d forget the point I was making, or realize it was inapplicable, and anyone who was actually paying attention would remain silent, hoping the event of my blunder would fade along with the sound of the words.
We never spoke. I think she smiled at me once, so innately friendly. But she wouldn’t remember me. She was mean to stand out, to excel. And I fade into the background.
Just as she was, the man she chose was tall, clean, and shining. I could not help but still when I saw him or caught his voice nearby. As glorious as I found him, a simple question scuttled in the depths of my thoughts. The origins of my feelings for him rival that of the chicken or the egg. Did I admire him for who he was, or because he was with her?
I doomed myself by following her, buy securing myself in the misery of the consciousness of our differences.. In my choice of career, in my wardrobe of carefully gathered pieces, in my attempts at being outgoing; all predetermined to fall short as long as I had her to compare myself to.
I remained alone. Not knowing who I was or how to be her, I could never have seemed a stable person to anyone. And I was busy. She, too, was busy; she and her husband were succeeding, buying a big house, having a baby.
What a gorgeous baby. I’d never seen one that so completely fascinated me. With her as a mother and her husband as its father, the baby was guaranteed the kind of life we all dream of, with loving and encouraging parents.
Then there came a day when that cradle was open to me. She had turned away. The buckle parted before my pinching fingers and I lifted that child into my arms as smooth as if I’d practiced a thousand thousand times. For once, I was a natural at something. I could not take her beauty, her intelligence, her natural grace for life. But I could take this.
It was hard not to look back, to see her reaction. But I can imagine it. She turns to her stroller, leans down into the bowl to smile at her little one. The time of day escapes me but I paint sunlight on her gentle face, watching it deepen to alarm. She moves the blankets, but already knows there is not enough mass in there.
She stands, she whirls, she screams.
And I fade into the background.
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Remember, you have until May 31 to enter this round, “Envy”.