I’ve written a brand new short story, as with all my short stories I’ve given it its own page. You can find it in the menu and by clicking this link here.
I was asked to write this story by a friend of mine, so that she’d have something to read on the train. The deal was to use three ‘ingredients’ and a theme she gave me to come up with the short story and she would do the same. The three things were cat, mask and snowdrop, all wrapped together with a carnival theme.
My immediate idea was to go with an Alice in Wonderland-ian adventure, which bled through to the final idea where the main character, Cecily, goes on an imagined journey with strange occurrences. The cat, Felix, took the place of the White Rabbit, being the one who leads Cecily to this other world and being more than he seemed once there. My original intention with the mask was to make it a single magical mask that each character wore and became a different person whilst wearing it. Felix was always intended to turn human when he wore it. However it didn’t lend itself well to the ‘was it imagined?’ idea and restricted the characters to only being present one at a time. Instead I settled on a Wizard of Oz-esque ‘and you were there, and you, and you,’ with each of the people Cecily’s sees at the carnival turning up in her imagined world, those wearing masks turning into the animals they represent and Felix doing the opposite.
If I was to make the story longer and more involved I would have stepped up the mystery element of it and been more subtle with the imaginary versions of the carnival workers. I might also retain the romance angled I had originally envisioned between Cecily’s father and the sideshow proprietress, and thus bother to highlight that he is a single parent. Her brother would also have taken on a far more developed villain role and Cecily would have travelled through a range of locales in the imagined world and not just traipsing through a forest for five minutes.
The snowdrops appear thrown into the story at the last minute. They are actually the first scene I came up with after doing some quick research on the meaning of the flower as a symbol of hope and the coming of Spring. There is also a story of the snowdrops growing out of snow-laden ground which is where I took the idea from.
I hope you enjoy reading the story.