Thursday, 22 September 2011

Blue Moon - Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 20

Picture source: Wikipedia

Picture Source: Wikipedia

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Challenge, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. This week's theme for Friday, 23rd September, Challenge No.20, is 'Blue Moon'.

(Please read last week's theme-text, 'Bouquet', first, if you have not already done that. You will understand 'Blue Moon' better if you do.)
Here is my text:

Once in a Blue Moon

They folded their wings and stepped through the door, without noticing that they had been watched. She put the vase on a table in the middle of the all-purpose room with wood-stove and built-in beds with curtains.

'Hungry, Sweetheart?' she asked as they kissed.

'Famished,' he muttered between kisses.

'I'll make oatmeal', she replied, still kissing him, and without leaving him, she waved her hand and made the stove fill a pot with water and oats, and the fire burn hotter.

'Did you do a "stone-charm"?' she inquired.

'No. Better do it now'.

Meanwhile, Carl Linnaeus had gathered his samples and wrote quick notes before mounting his horse and riding away. But after a mile, he was disturbed by the thought that he had really seen two human-like creatures that could fly with their own wings. But that goes against all known laws of nature! And he should know. He was going to write a book about the laws of nature and give names to everything in the natural world. What were these creatures?

If he went now, he might still find them. Whatever they were. They had wings like insects or birds, but bodies like humans. Being small and light, they could be birds or bats. But their faces were so beautiful; and they could speak.

They spoke Swedish, but not the same dialect as Carl. He thought that he had understood what they said, but he was beginning to doubt himself. He might be able to describe them if he saw them a second time; just to be certain that they really were winged human-like creatures and not dragonflies.

Carl turned his horse around and rode back to where he had seen them earlier. It was still fairly light, as summer evenings always are in the far north. It might be light enough to see them, if they chose to reappear.

If it had been dark, Carl might have noticed that the moon was blue. There was a soft glow where he had first seen the little man. And there he was, standing by the hut.

'Good evening,' said Carl softly, 'My name is Carl and I study plants. Who are you?'

The tiny man replied quickly, 'No one!' and in a puff of sparkling smoke, he vanished into the little house, which promptly turned into a moss-covered stone.


[Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]

Word count according to WordCalc: 396 ; FCA (Full Critique Acceptable - Write whatever you like. Constructive criticism is always welcome.)

Best wishes,

This text is a piece of fiction, even though I have use some facts about an historical person, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), who published his first work on taxonomy called Systema Naturae in 1735, which lay the ground for modern binomial nomenclature
, giving everything in nature two names and a place in the greater scheme of things.

Please read last week's theme-text, 'Bouquet' if you have not already done that. You will understand 'Blue Moon' better if you do.

More interesting reading: About älvor, if you can read Swedish; and articles in English about pixies and fairies. Each of these terms represents different traditions that are not necessarily interchangeable.

Picture source: Wikipedia

Thanks for reading!

First Commenter:

Adura Ojo
Adura Ojo Presents

To read more texts for 'Blue Moon', Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 20, Friday 23rd September, please go to this site or click on the image below:


Adura Ojo said...

I like that you've created this half way world that is between fantasy and reality. So that we are left wondering if these beautiful winged creatures really exist or if they are a product of Carl's imagination. It's all the more intriguing because Carl is meant to be an expert on these things.

Speaking of the blue moon, I'm not sure what its significance is in the story. It's not that clear to me. Nevertheless, an enchanting story, Anna. :)

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Anna, you had me enchanted from the first sentence: They folded their wings and stepped through the sweet, how faerie! Once again I like you blend of fantasy with fact. No wonder poor Carl is perplexed. He'll be scratching his head for sometime. The ending was so cute!

BTW google 'blue moon' and you'll learn some intriguing facts and a bit of fantasy too! You could definitely have made more of it in this story.


Francine Howarth: UK said...


I love the concept of rational thinking clashing with Carl's inner imagination. It's strange when sun beams bear down in a wooded glade and Mayflies dance before it, because one can spirit forth logic for children that fairies do exist. But here, the touch of magic adds a third dimension, that they are there for real: they speak!

Cute! ;)


Kiru Taye said...

I definitely agree with everyone else, the mix of fantasy and reality works quite well. You question if Carl is actually seeing things or imagining them. Well written.

Beverly Diehl said...

Anna, I love this! I for one, do believe in fairies and pixies, or want to. :-)

This phrase: "without noticing that they had been watched." feels a bit awkward.

Suggested fix: "Carl watched the tiny beings fold their wings and step through the door, unaware of his presence." This makes it clear who the watcher is, and that we're seeing things from his point of view. Also, that they're not in danger - on first read, I was a little tense, wondering if something was going to interrupt or attack them.

You don't need quote marks around stone-charm, and if you expanded the piece a little, you could go in some fun directions with this. You could have her ask if he'd done it, he could grumble about her nagging, and then she could ask again, "Well, did you?" and he could respond, "I'm doing it, I'm doing it" or something along those lines, giving them an even more humanlike dynamic.

As a reader, I want to hang out with the creatures longer. After Carl rides away, he does turn around and come back, but I would like to see some compelling reason why he felt he had to go, and why he didn't stay and watch them longer. Hard to fit in, in this short a piece, I know, but if you expand it, you might want to think about it.

Love the way you blend in a historical person here, and your style and pacing is excellent. I truly felt I was in the scene with Carl.

Ruth Madison said...

Awesome! I can't wait to read more as Carl tries to connect and communicate with these fairy creatures.

Ann said...

What a fabulous story. You left me wanting more.

Anna said...

Adura Ojo

Dear Adura,
(A similar comment is on your blog.)
Thank you for commenting on my post. After reading your poem and looking up the different definitions of what a 'Blue Moon' is considered to be, I think you have woven well the calender-idea of the 'Blue Moon' into your poem, using it to mark the passing of time in a relationship and pin-pointing the best time for an event to take place, such as a wedding.

You did not see the connection to the theme 'Blue Moon' in my text, which is correct. It is weak. If we use the meaning 'Something unsual that almost never or never happens', both my stories for 'Bouquet' amd 'Blue Moon' put together could be called 'an event that almost never or never happens', as the meeting of real live talking faeries is not an everyday occurance.

What I will probably do is chalk these two texts up to 'a learning experience' and rewite them as one text, without any allusion to a 'Bouquet' or 'Blue Moon' at all. I felt that 'Blue Moon' got in the way of what I really wanted to say, especially after reading the history of a 'Blue Moon'.

You ask an interesting question: Do these un-named creatures really exist or are they the product of Carl over-worked imagination? He is alone with only his horse as companion and it is a physically taxing journey, even for a young man in his best years.

I am not a botanist, but I have read a lot about Carl von Linné (Linnaeus) because he is a scientist in a time when science and religion had not quite parted ways. His descriptions of plants are often written within the framework of an appreciation for 'the beauty of God's creation'. His father was an ordained minister of the Church of Sweden (Lutheran). The obvious choice of profession for him would be to continue in his father's footsteps, but his love of plants pulled him in another direction. Linnaeus was interested in a wide variety of subjects, not just botany. And he was human. There is enough documentaion perserved about his life and work that we know that he had some rather wild (and completely wrong) ideas. He thought, for example, that a kind of birds spent the winter under the ice of frozen ponds!

I often choose well-known Swedish historical persons if they fit into the theme of what I am writing at the monment, because one of my blog's sub-themes (besides jewellery-making) is 'Swedish culture and history'. As an English-language blog hailing from Sweden, I feel obliged to be something of a 'Swedish ambassador' from time to time. Not too touristy, but it's there. When I first started blogging, I wrote everything twice in two languages. (Never used Google-Translate-Tools) But since most of my readers seem to be from the greater English-speaking world, I try to write with that perspective in mind.

Thanks again for visiting. As First Commenter you get an extra link from the post back to your blog.

Best wishes,

Ive got a lot of writing yet to do here, but I'll take a break now.

Anna said...

Dear Denise,
(I've written a similar comment on your blog.)

Thank you for your encouraging thoughts about my text. Now that I have read your snippet about Ruby and Michael, I think I understand better what you mean about letting the Blue Moon play a more important role in the story.

Or, I could have written about 'The Northern Lights' in a story similar to yours. As I have written on your blog, that actually happened to me one very sad, embarassing and miserable night, when I had to walk a long way home alone very late from a similar miscalculation. I saw the stormy, firey skies of the Northern Lights. It was the first and only time I had ever seen it; more impressive than a simple blue moon, and it belongs to the natural setting where Carl and the faeri-people are, but not in summer. You only see aurora borealis in winter.

I should have written a story with other characters rather than to half-heartedly press a blue moon into my 'Carl & the Faeri-people Part Two' - text. A winter story with heart-ache and 'The Northern Lights'.

Best wishes,

Anna said...

Francine Howarth

Dear Francine,

I have often wondered how I would react if I were actually to meet a faerie or some other supernatural being.

The closest that I have come to that kind of an experience was on the telephone. I called and old friend with whom I had not been in touch for a year or so. She had always been a rational woman and I did not hear anything in her speech that revealed any change in her, until she suddenly started talking about seeing ghosts and supernatural beings in the same room with her.

My first reaction was to believe her, to take it all at face value. And it really scared me. It gave me shivers up my spine. But that lasted only a few seconds until I realised that she must have had some kind of cerebral haemorrhage. I asked her some questions that she could not answer and she gave the telephone to a nurse who said that I should speak to her children about her condition. The telephone number was the same, but it no longer went to her home, but to an institution, a nursing-home. She wasn't thinking normally anymore and was seeing hallucinations.

But what amazed me most, was that she remembered me. Our friendship seemed to be in tact, or her warm feelings for me were still there, despite her illness. Her poor daughter told me that she did not always recognise her.

The unexplained can be frightening and is probably the source of all these beliefs in 'the little people', or whatever you call them. I met a man who grew up in an isolated village in the mountains. He said that the radio in my grandfather's car scared him when he was a child. He thought that he was hearing strange voices out of nowhere. He had never heard a radio in a car.

Carl is an 18th-century person. The conflicts that I write about in these fictional texts have their roots in the life and thinking of that time. The 18th century was the 'Age of Reason', but there were still a lot of the older ideas around at the same time.

Best wishes,

Anna said...

Kiru Taye

Dear Kiru,
Thanks for stopping by. Thank you for your kind words about my text.
I'm off to read your post!

Best wishes

Anna said...

Dear Kiru,

To answer your question: Carl is actually seeing and hearing these winged hunmanlike creatures. They are real. But Carl is a rational scientist and thinks he may be imagining them.

This is the 18th-century and there are still pockets where the supernatural have survived - deep in moss-covered isolated forests, where elves, faeries, pixes and trolls dwell in caves and in enchanted stones in the undergrowth, hiding from the world of rational human beings. Only outcasts and impoverished eccentics are trusted by the little people. They don't know what to make of Carl. Whatever contact he makes with these creatures, he will never be able to write about it in any scientific journal.

He may write a secret journal about his encounters, but this invaluable document is discarded by his widow. So there is no proof of these encounters.

Best wishes - again,

Anna said...

Beverly Diehl

Dear Beverly,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read, analise and write about my text. My guess is that you have only read this week's post 'Blue Moon' and not last week's text for 'Bouquet'. They belong together. I wrote about 900 words for 'Blue Moon' and had to cut away more than half to meet the requirement of the challenge.
I will not do this again. I should have written a new story with new characters for 'Blue Moon'. I just had trouble leaving Carl and the little people.

I'll send you an e-mail with a longer text version of this story.

Best wishes,

Anna said...

Ruth Madison

Dear Ruth,
Thank you for your kind words about this story. I was thinking about abandonning Carl and his encounter with the little people, but with all this encouragement, I am going to try to expand it a little. I have not succeeded in doing the theme challenge correctly, but maybe I can get a short story out of this writing exercise.
Now I'm off to take a peek at your offering for this week.
Best wishes,

Margo Benson said...

This is so enchanting! I adore anything faerie. I like the idea that this is from a longer piece - it's a nightmare trimming to 400 words sometimes! I felt I was really there.

J.L. Campbell said...

I really like how you worked Blue Moon into the story and that Carl wasn't sure what had happened eventually.

Scheherazade said...

I enjoyed this piece although it was loosely connected to the Blue Moon theme (I should talk!). I think it's obvious that this needs to be expanded. Four hundred words is too limiting for this story. I like the tension between the reality we are taught to believe in and the possibility of an alternate reality.

N. R. Williams said...

Loved your submission. This appears to have a fresh angle on faeries.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

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