Glad you could join us for the next vexing episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Humiliated and furious, the Holy Man of the Holy Mansion took a howling swipe at Cassandra, slicing her neck with his jagged arm.
Cassandra, jerking back with blinding speed and a grip like an abalone’s, ripped one antenna off the top of his monstrous head.
His bloodthirsty scream of rage rang through the sheltered bay, ricocheting from rock to rock, scattering the Brothers in a fearful flurry.
Elliot, free once more, plunged forward, crashing his now secure shell against the stranger’s shins, bowling him over with a striking blow.
As the beast crumpled in a tangled heap of lanky limbs, Cassandra leaped gracefully to the ground, pulling Elliot with her in a race to reach the only way out before their tormentor had a prayer of capturing them again.
They ran into darkness as the sun slipped below the edge of the world and stars gathered to glitter in clustered cliques daring each other to jump.
They ran until suddenly there was nothing beneath them but wind. Wind and an endless fall.
To be continued…
Today’s twofer from April 28, 2016:
Just before Christmas, 1984, the first holiday season of my Child Care career, the second of Cabbage Patch Kids, I started thinking about adopting. I wasn’t too worried, after all, 1983 had been the Year of the Cabbage Patch Christmas Riots. Surely, Coleco had manufactured enough of them this year to meet the growing demand.
Oh, sorry. You didn’t think I meant to adopt a real child, did you?
“Buy your son a doll?” You. Skeptical.
“Sure. How better to practice being a good daddy?” Me
Maybe the reason so many men show so little interest in hands-on baby care is that they absorbed the message that caring for children was “women’s work” when they weren’t allowed to play with dolls.
That wasn’t going to be my son.
The Christmas he was one, Brylan received a baby doll he’d promptly named Jason and loved every bit as much as most little girls love their baby dolls. More than some. (We hadn’t met Hannah yet. She hated baby dolls from infancy. If you put one near her, she’d freak.)
Brylan, on the other hand, was a devoted dad. He fed Jason and bathed him, told him stories and took him to bed. Carried him around at home, took him along when we left the house. For years. But the Christmas he was two, I took it into my head that he needed to experience having a toddler, too.
Coleco hadn’t learned their lesson well. I looked in all the obvious cabbage patches — Toys R Us, Sears, Fedco — but I couldn’t find a little boy Cabbage Patch Kid anywhere. Because of course I had decided Brylan should have one who looked like him.
As Christmas neared, I started looking in less obvious cabbage patches (financially-impaired parent speak for “more expensive stores”) and finally, in a little boutique toy store called The Apple Box, in a touristy bayside mall called Seaport Village, I found Vaughn Mort.
His “adoption fee” was twice that of normal CP Kids.
And right next to him was the most adorable redheaded girl Cabbage Patch Kid.
I don’t know what brain-altering chemical fumes rose from their little vinyl faces, but I thought they might be twins. How could I take one and not the other? When I walked out of The Apple Box, I had adopted Vaughn Mort and his “sister” Glennis Adelle.
They never held as cherished a spot in Brylan’s heart as Jason did. Or as they did in mine. I suspect I really got them for myself. But I only played with them when Brylan and Jason were sleeping, and I always made them sleep in their own cradle when I went to bed.
It’s kind of embarrassing to admit now that I had succumbed to the power of Madison Avenue. But not nearly as embarrassing as leaving McDonald’s without buying anything, and heading for a different Mickey D’s because this particular Golden Arches didn’t have the right Miss Piggy toy in their Happy Meal — the only toy missing from the set Brylan had been collecting one-piece-a-week for weeks.
That was embarrassing.
Have you ever indulged your child — or yourself — in any of the fads that work their magic on the toy market from time to time? It’s a power He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named could only dream of.
#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!
- Aditi’s Indian myths from a female POV at Aditi’s Pen
- Andrea’s fantasy novel, “The Impatiens Chronicles”, as writing instruction at Andrea Lundgren
- Arpan’s horror stories at Tales of Unusual Strangeness
- Atherton’s Victorian murder mystery, “Stranded!”, at Atherton’s Magic Vapour
- Debs’s song-inspired fiction at Bunny and the Bloke
- Diane’s 100-word tales at LadiesWhoLunchReviews,etc
- Dipanwita’s 100-word stories at Cocktails Mocktails and Life
- Iain’s alphabet puzzle-inspired murder mystery serial at Iain Kelly Writing
- Jo’s upbeat emotion stories at Jo Hawk the Writer
- Joe’s excerpts from his upcoming post-Civil War historical fiction, “Steel Horse Saviors”, at Fiction Playground
- John’s flash fiction crime stories with a twist at John Davis Frain
- Keith’s everyday life in fictional Amble Bay at Keith’s Ramblings
- Lenni’s speculative fiction, “What Are They” at J Lenni Dorner
- Marquessa’s short stories spun from her larger work, “Living to Die” at Simply Marquessa
- Natalie’s “Secret Diary of a Serial Killer” at Natalie Westgate
- Raven’s 100-word flash fiction at everywhere and nowhere
- Shailaja’s 100-word oxymoronic stories at The Moving Quill
- Shilpa’s 55-word crime stories at A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose!
- Shweta’s Tiny Tales at My Random Ramblings
- Sorchia’s Gothic fantasy, “A Cold Spring” at Sorchia’s Universe
- S.T. Ranscht’s fantasy/adventure serial, “Elliot’s Adventures”at Space, Time, and Raspberries
Vanessa’s build-a-30-word-story at Vanessence