Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Writing Prompt: Toys

 So I haven't done writing prompts in SO LONG. So here! I was amazed at how much I was getting into it, even though it's only about 1900 words long. Also, the format's gone horrid because of blogger. I gave it a quick title but I hope you enjoy!

Here's the prompt that inspired me (Click the image to go to the site!) 

Click here for the Writing Prompt!


Alan and his sister Lorrie towered over the broken yellow vase, tiptoeing carefully around the shattered pieces. There was a moment of silence as they took in their surroundings. Thanks to the enormous creature that scurried across the apartment floor, walls and all, the room itself had been rearranged, with pillows that flew in different directions, tables over turned and picture frames relocated where they now lay lifeless on the floor.
All that didn’t matter though, as the main area of concern was the broken antique vase. It was supposedly a very precious and valuable vase that possessed a colorful history where it was held by many wealthy families all around the globe, and it was passed from one member of one family to another member of another family, from the Chinese to the Russians, to the French to the Japanese and so on and so forth. This went on and on until it was famously named the Wandering Vase, when it finally reached the humble home the great Strauss the Magician. Despite its colorful history, the aforementioned vase was absolutely hideous and was mostly used for storing keys, stray screws and nails and the occasional stick of strawberry flavored chewing gum. The vase was dented, chipped, scratched, and asymmetrical with its prosaic shape and was in a horrid shade of yellow that resembled fresh cat vomit—and having it shattered across the floor made it even more so.
Of course the fault behind the broken vase was neither Lorrie’s nor Alan’s. The culprit was a smoke-like creature that hung sideways with its black claws digging into the plaster of their cream-colored walls. The wretched thing was a rat, but it was several times the size of a normal rat and a hundred times more mischievous. Its grin revealed its yellow fangs and it seemed to be chewing on something thick and leathery. Its bright red eyes winked at the children.
Lorrie huffed and dusted the feathers off her green dress and patted out the dust off her yarn-knit skin. It was one thing to have a spell gone wrong but another thing to have caused such a mess. The problem with being a stuffed doll was that it was such an easy task to get dirty. Lorrie had to stay away from most liquid forms and a bath meant hours and hours baking under the sun—the dryer was a horrid and frightening alternative. Alan wasn’t better off. His white shirt and black trousers barely hid the wooden ball joints of his wrists, knees and elbows. Since he was made of wood, he was prone to mold during the wet seasons and was always the target of termites and many eager canines that walk the streets around the city outside. His wooden exterior also meant he was such a terrible hugger and that any form of affection whether it was peck on the cheek, a simple high five or even a handshake was almost constantly uncomfortable—if not extremely painful. Naturally, they were forbidden to enter the kitchen.
Alan walked noisily over cushions and broken vase pieces and made his way across the room towards their father’s workshop door where he eyed Lorrie worriedly. The children didn’t like interrupting their father when he was working on his spells and crafts but things were getting slightly out of their control. They especially didn’t like it when they had to tell their father that his favorite vase was now in a million pieces. Alan adjusted his suspenders and dusted his trousers to make himself look presentable. Before wooden boy could knock, a tall thin man with a thin mustache covered in chalk powder and ink blots pulled the door open, leaning on its fame with a quizzical look on his tired face.
“Alan,” Strauss the Magician said. The wooden boy could see colorful sparks and smoke from behind him in the workshop. “Why aren’t you wearing your shoes? You know you always end up scratching the floor—not to mention the racket that follows!” Alan’s glass eyes travelled solemnly to his bare wooden toes that peeked out from under his chalk covered trousers.
“I’m sorry, Father.” He said. “I had them on, but our lesson sort of ate them.”
“That’s quite alrigh—” Strauss paused. “Did you say your lessons ate them?”
“Not all the lessons!” Alan waved. “Just the one.”
“No! Bad smoke-rat! Bad!” Lorrie cried and both Alan and Strauss turned their attention towards the cloud of black smoke on the wall. This time it seemed to be eating parts of the television set. Even though the particular scenario struck even a magician as odd, Strauss wasted no time reacting. He whirled back into his workshop and quickly emerged with a silver ring as wide as Alan’s own wooden head. Tossing the ring at the smoke creature’s direction, the magician muttered the words; “Collect!” And the ring chased the smoke-like rat around the room.
The ring was quick and clever, intercepting the creature midair and ducking and diving under and over pieces of furniture around the apartment. It wasn’t until Lorrie decided to jump by the kitchen door that the rat stopped dead in its tracks where it was trapped between her and the hovering silver ring.
The smoke-rat paused long enough for the silver ring to bury itself into its almost transparent body. The ring floated inside its belly for a few moments, swimming along some pieces of the television set and Alan’s leather school shoes that haven’t dissolved yet. The smoke-rat fell to the ground with an odd hollow thud—suddenly gaining some form of volume as the ring rose and secured itself around the creature’s neck. It struggled for a moment until it just sat there with a sort of boorish expression on its face. Lorrie wasted no time in poking the creature experimentally and repeatedly, much to the creature’s dismay. It hissed and snapped at her but the charming thing about having a cotton-stuffed body was that you hardly felt any form or physical pain. The smoke-rat was not pleased at all.
“You did it, Father!” Alan exclaimed, hopping noisily with excitement and glee. Strauss dusted his hands theatrically and patted the wooden boy on the head, ruffling the thick threads of wool that was his hair. Lorrie beamed and picked the up the smoke-rat in her stuffed bendy arms. The rat dug it’s fangs into Lorrie’s arm but she paid no attention to it.
            “I’m surprised the ring actually worked,” The magician mused as Lorrie stumbled towards him with the now weighty creature. “It’s was designed to carry water into fires, I sold the idea to people in the fire department. I didn’t think the gathering spell would work on these things though. I am a genius!” He poked the smoke-rat in the belly and withdrew his hand before it was able to bite. “I guess the ring managed to gather and condense its body to the point where it’s now a cotton ball of smoke! Absolute genius!” Strauss cheered.  “Now, how did this incident get about?”
            “I’m sorry for the mess, Father.” Alan fiddled his fingers and they clattered loudly. “Lorrie and I were just trying to finish the homework you gave us!” Strauss turned to Alan to listen. “Lorrie was practicing her foundation spells with the jar of smoke you gave her.  She made a rat.”
            “Oh, Lorrie,” Strauss sighed turning to the little doll girl who was grinning cheek to cheek. “Why must you raise images of unpleasant creatures every time I give you a lesson?” Lorrie wriggled the rat a little and its claws tore into her cotton skin again. Lorrie was always the type to think of scary things. Alan and Strauss could remember the time during painting classes where Lorrie had painted the most frightening picture of a rabbit. Alan had never thought a bunny could look so utterly horrifying. It wasn’t that Lorrie was a terrible artist—no, she was very adept with paint! However, it was that very talent with the brush that made the demon-like rabbit even much for frightening. That night, Alan and Strauss stole into Lorrie’s room and took the horrid painting far away. They burned it and tossed its ashes into the harbor. They never spoke of the incident ever again.
“And what happened to your conjuring spell, Alan?” The magician asked, shuddering at the memory. He turned to face Alan who was mumbling and fidgeting away.
            “I- I must’ve done it wrong. I was trying to conjure my textbook from across the room…” Alan started. “But instead I conjured some sort of spirit.”
            “So this spirit is now possessing smoke and of course, you’ve sent your book elsewhere.” Strauss decided after turning around in search for Alan’s textbook but having no trace of it. Strauss would be lying if he said he wasn’t impressed. The boy nodded and his wooden lips clattered as they did.
“Well, you managed to conjure something that must’ve been miles and miles away! I’d say that was a half-successful lesson. Though, we’ll have to get a replacement for that missing textbook of yours. Heaven knows what we’ll have to do with that thing.” The magician tentatively pointed at the smoke-rat that squirmed in Lorrie’s arms.
            “Can we keep him, Father?” Lorrie bounced, barely making a sound as she did. The rat seemed to have given up all hope of escaping the doll girl’s hold and hung there looking miserable. He objected the idea but Lorrie persisted. Strauss was not fond of the foul creature but the eternal gleams in Lorrie’s green plastic eyes were impossible to ignore. There were many occasions where Lorrie’s charm had beaten him into submission and many more where Alan’s honesty and hearty efforts had kept him from scolding either of them. Fathers were weak when it came to their children.
            “Fine,” Strauss sighed. “I don’t think we’ll have any problems feeding it anyway. The darn thing looks like it’ll eat almost anything.” At this point the creature, having understood every word said, didn’t fancy becoming a house pet and tossed and turned in Lorrie’s arm in desperation. What they didn’t know was that the spirit that possessed the smoke was a mischievous young emperor from a foreign country that had died in an unfortunate fishing accident. The young emperor’s spirit cursed and swore and kicked and screamed, crying out about his important titles and something about wedding garments. Of course, to the ears of Strauss the Magician and his children, all they heard from the smoke-rat were simple squeaks and hisses.
            “Now, let’s get you stitched up and dressed. We’ll have to get a new textbook for you Alan, so find an old pair of shoes.” Alan and Lorrie skipped off and Strauss could hear the faint cries of the rat as it entered Lorrie’s room.
Strauss sighed as he watched them retreat to their own rooms. Alan had talent, that was quite clear, but he was far too nice. Not a trace of tenacity! Magic requires a strong grip to be guided and used, but the wooden boy’s timid nature would make it difficult for him to practice his lessons. Lorrie was quite the opposite. She had a firm personality for someone stuffed with cotton, and that personality gave her the edge that was needed to tame magic spells. However, like Alan, she was still lacking. In her case, it was discipline that was needed and if she wasn’t able to control herself, the magic would end up taming her instead. She showed much promise though, they both did and Strauss never been more pleased with an accidental enchantment over toys than ever before.
“Now that that’s taken care of,” Strauss muttered, dodging broken furniture pieces around the floor.  “Oh no, my vase!”

Word count: 1,974

Welp. That's it! Very quick and undeveloped but it was fun writing :D Maybe I'll do another one soon?


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