Mysterious Mushroom Maiden

Glad you could join us for the next maddening episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot M
Photo credit: Vadim Trunov

How do you know you’ve found your One True Love? Is it the sudden racing of your heart? The catch in your breath? The lightheadedness that is so like being drunk? Some say you can’t know until your hands touch for the first time. But what if you haven’t any hands?

Even from this distance, Elliot knew. She was The One.

“There,” he directed Lorenzo, pointing both eyes at the mushroom that innocently offered her to the world. She glowed, a bit of perfection bathed in heaven’s own light.

“Shiny, dude!” The obliging boatman steered his craft across the current toward the far shore. “This is gonna be tricky, man,” he warned as they slowed to a puddle’s pace.

James leaned out over the prow, peering at a dark spot hovering below the surface mere inches from their goal.

“What’s that, bro?” he asked as a spurt of water erupted barely missing the mushroom.

“Looks like Archy,” Juliet answered. “It must be dinner time.”

Lorenzo scratched his head. “That’s weird — he doesn’t usually miss.”

NO!” Elliot shrieked. “We have to stop him!”

“Chill, man. Circle of Life and stuff,” Lorenzo advised as he and his gondola moved with all the purpose of a drifting leaf.

Elliot took a deep breath, letting it go almost as slowly as their forward progress. At least they were getting closer.

But as he watched, his heart’s desire crept to the edge of her throne to take a closer look as another rapid shot broke the surface.

Elliot’s heart exploded. “NOOOOOOO!!!”

To be continued…

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

#AtoZChallenge A-to-Z Fictioneers: Interested in original fiction? Here’s a list of writers who are writing stories for the 2017 A to Z Challenge. The author’s link will take you to their “A” post. If you know of any other story writers I can share, please drop the link in the comments!

Today’s twofer from April 17, 2016:

Making Money

Since I brought up what I do for a living in my L post, I thought I’d show you some of my favorite stuff. Enjoy. (I’d say, “Be amazed,” but that’d just be wrong.)

Given a choice of fabrics, this is what 3 year old Charlie chose.

Charlie's Anemone

3 year old Charlie wanted to be an anemone for Halloween. He won 1st place in the Birch Aquarium Costume Contest that year.

“Where did you find the pattern?!” Other seamstresses.

Same place I found this one when 4 year old Charlie wanted to be a Harrier jet. In my head.

10-31-07, Charlie's Harrier Jet 01  10-31-07, Charlie's Harrier Jet 02

I’ve also made some that were pretty. An honest and true make-it-pink-make-it-blue Sleeping Beauty dress and a Miss California USA gown.

12-17-06, Hannah's Make It Pink  08-30-04, Courtney's gown 1

A Briar Rose singing-in-the-woods ballet dress for the San Diego Rising Star Competition.

03-17-03, Kristien's dress 01  03-17-03, Kristien's dress 03

Below are some niche creations. 


In the photo above, I didn’t make the two Cabaret costumes in the middle, but it’s always fun to dress guys in drag, and the League of Her Own uniform was personally praised by Julia Roberts. (Honest. Jenn, the woman wearing it, has connections.)

The photo below shows a 7-foot long dragon head puppet I made for a production of “The Hobbit”. Two boys were inside to turn the eyes on and off, move it right and left, and operate the fire extinguisher smoky breath effect. A third boy, our Stick Man, stood behind the teaser and made the head move up and down using a black line hooked to the nose and run over the curtain. Fun times.

Version 2

I look at this stuff and think:

“It is any wonder I’m ready to move on?” Me. At the end of another very looooong day.

What do you think?

Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

52 thoughts on “Mysterious Mushroom Maiden”

  1. Worried and WOWED..
    But not surprised by either one.. I’ve come to the conclusion that authors are a bit sadistic (out of nesseccity of course), in order to write compelling adventures.. The terrible things you do to that poor little snail !
    I love the snail picture and now it is Eliot to me..

    It’s so funny, I knew you were holding back, referring to yourself as a seamstress.. That on any level is talent.. But noooo, you’ve made costumes !!!
    It’s a beautiful talent and I can understand it becoming overwhelming.. The work, the stress of making sure the costumes don’t malfunction and are compatible with the lighting and scenery on stage….. Or in a wedding..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t the theory that what doesn’t thrill us makes us … stop reading? lol.

      Thank you for such wonderful praise, Pan. Like most skills, I figure if you can spend enough time working at them, you’re bound to achieve some rewarding results upon occasion. Theater is a group activity. People who mount a show together become family. Everybody works toward a single goal with a very real deadline, and while each person has a specific job to do, they all have to create together to tell a single story. I love solving the engineering problems inherent in trick costumes, or dance costumes, animal characters, or novelty/fantasy characters. I love creating costumes that not only have the right shape, but drape well, move with personality, have rich texture, reflect light in enhancing ways, but do all that and incorporate color to communicate who a character is. And to see it all come together with every other aspect of a stage show is deeply satisfying. And kind of like magic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Elliot, whatever will we do with you?

    That is some stunning sewing work, Sue! I’m especially amazed by the Harrier jet and Smaug’s giant head. But as beautiful as it all is to look at, I can just picture the amount of work that went into it, along with the many frustrations that come with any artistic endeavor. Can’t say I blame you for wanting to move on, but at least you’ve got some really great work to look back on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elliot’s due for some relief, isn’t he? Thank you for the compliments about my costume creations. Frustrations definitely happened, but the overriding feelings were the joy and satisfaction of the act of creating. In the end, the time the work took meant I had no time left for anything else, but that didn’t stop my urge to pursue other creative ideas. I had to choose, and as you say, I have some satisfying work to look back on.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope soars till it crashes. Faith believes Hope is a Phoenix. Haha! Yeah, I made some elaborate Halloween costumes for my son over the years. Naturally, when he turned 12, he decided to make himself a robot costume out of a water heater box, complete with light-up eyes and a chute for candy delivery. It was pretty cool, and required no sewing at all. lol

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Shweta. I’ve added Shilpa’s to my list. I would love to add Shraddha’s, but she’s done some of her letters as poetry, and the only limitation Sorchia (the original list maker) set was that the work was strictly fiction, “no poetry, please”. I feel an obligation to stay true to that. I’m sorry. I hate to disappoint you.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I continue to have hope for dear Elliot. Your sewing skills are AMAZING! I used to sew my daughters dance costumes. Painstakingly placing every sequin in its proper place. But that was 40 years ago! I can’t imagine doing it now. My fingers hurt just thinking about it. Happy Easter, Susan. I hope you can take a day off to rest. 😊🐣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marcia, and Happy Easter to you, too! I’ll have to spend time cutting fabric today, but I hope to spend much of the day catching up on other people’s posts. I hope you can spend the day relaxing with David and your family as you sip your favorite wine. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful photo of the delicate little snail on the mushroom…but…is Elliot to find true love only to have it so cruelly snatched away before he’s even had chance to speak to her!! 🐌💞🐚😥😥
    Those costumes!! FABULOUS!! The sea anemone..the plane!! The dresses!! Wonderful! I’ve done my time with children’s costumes for my stand by was a t-shirt in the right colour with accessories…for the Tiger who came to Tea-orange t-shirt with hand painted stripes and hand drawn mask…!!🐯
    Ooh yes, nearly forgot: Geraint at Penguin Ponderings, he’s doing the A to Z. Found him when I was poking about earlier…🐱 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “The course of true love never did run smooth.” So saith Wm. Shakespeare, and who are any of us to argue with The Bard? Vadim Trunov’s photos are extraordinary, aren’t they? His technique falls into an often controversial genre, but they do add a fantastical flavor that sparks imagination.

      My favorite part of sewing is solving the engineering challenges that inevitably spring from trying to create something original. That includes projects like hand drawn masks, too! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing Penguin Ponderings, Samantha. I do enjoy exploring what’s out there!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for this unbelievably late response, but I’ve just discovered 8 comments in a spam folder I didn’t know I had. Thanks for reading and your kind words, Lenni! I hope you’ve enjoyed all the episodes since this one, too.


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