February 14, 2017


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them. Regarding Fantasy, this insight was startling: “I see the fantasy genre as an ever-shifting metaphor for life in this world, an innocuous medium that allows the author to examine difficult, even controversial, subjects with impunity. Honor, religion, politics, nobility, integrity, greed—we’ve an endless list of ideals to be dissected and explored. And maybe learned from.” – Melissa McPhail.

F Trope: Fairy Tale

"Fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already because it is in the world already. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St George to kill the dragon."
—GK Chesterton

 Leyla Manghirmalani wrinkled her nose at the overpowering smell of onions and called out, “Jie? What are you doing?”

Jie Busiri leaned back from his dorm room desk, holding a chopping knife and said, “What’s it look like?”

“That you’re stinking up the whole dorm floor on purpose?”

“No, not stinking up anything. I’m calling the onion fairies,” he said it like he was  a little kid.

Leyla shook her head, “Another one of your lame attempts at recreating ancient fairy magic?”

“Hey! That’s not fair! Didn’t I make it rain last week after I did that Lakota rain dance?”

She snorted, “After checking the weather report for three weeks straight and then picking a day even the weather divas all agreed had a greater than ninety percent chance of rain.” She waved her hand in front of her face and backed up, “I don’t want to weep over spilled onion juice. I’ll come back...”

“No! Wait!” Jie grabbed something from his desk and strode across the room, chopping knife in one hand.

Leyla laughed, “If I hadn’t known you since pre-school, I’d have just gone running down the hall dialing 911 and telling them a freshman U of M student had just gone crazy.”

Jie shook his head, handing her a piece of pink gum. “Chew this, it’ll keep your eyes from watering.”

“Why didn’t you just soak them in cold salty water?”

He looked at her like she was crazy and said, “They won’t be magic then, stupid.”

“Hey! Don’t call me stupid! You’re the one they’d throw in the loony bin if they asked why you were chopping onions!” She chewed and stepped into the room and her eyes didn’t tear up automatically. “Hey, it works.”

He blew a bubble and said, “Why do you think I’m doing it?”

“I thought you wanted to be struck by your onion magic?”

He sniffed in disdain and went back to his chopping board. “I’m not interested in helping myself. I’m going to place the slices of onions with a slice of mushroom on top...”
Leyla cut in, “If I get a pain hamburger from Mac’s, can I just put them on and make a Whopper?”

“Ha, ha, ha,” he said, chopping again. “Just wait and see how well our floor does on finals – then we’ll see who has the last laugh!”

They hung out the rest of the night and Leyla helped him place the mushroom and onion slices in the rooms of the people willing to go with his craziness. By the time they were done studying and onion-placing, it was past two in the morning. “I gotta get some sleep,” she said, “I have a chem final first thing.”

Jie gave her a hug, saying, “I made sure I put the biggest onion slice in your room and I piled the rest of the mushrooms on top of it.”

“Oh, thank you so much,” she dead-panned. “Thank you so, so much for your fairly wonderful generosity.”

He smirked then said, “Just you wait, Leyla Higgins, just you wait.”

She smiled at the MY FAIR LADY jab and headed for bed.

Names: ♀Iran, India, ; China, Egypt
Image: http://www.skyscrapernews.com/images/pics/6255CaernarfonCastle_pic1.jpg

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