Sunday, January 13, 2019

Planting the Path

The Root of Evil by Paula Gail Benson

            The produce from a witch’s garden is enchanted. A pregnant woman craving a rampion (greens, but perhaps the root vegetable) led to her newborn daughter being imprisoned in the witch’s inaccessible tower.
            Only the daughter’s song, led to a prince’s discovery.
            The couple created a prison home until the witch discovered them and, in anger, exiled her transformed charge and maimed the transgressor, shoving him from the tower so he was blinded by the thorn bed she cultivated below.
            Guided by sound, he wandered. Then, once again, he heard his beloved’s song, this time as a lullaby for their twins.

© Paula Gail Benson, all rights reserved

Monday, January 7, 2019

From Glass Slippers to . . . Forest Confusion

The Huntsman’s Dilemma by Paula Gail Benson

It’s odd finding your heart’s desire in a glass coffin in the woods--her skin so white, she looks like a vampire. I wonder, did my true love kiss revive her, or was the poisoned apple dislodged from her throat when the pall bearers jostled her body on the way to her burial?

What makes me feel like Romeo in Juliet’s tomb? How did I get a happily ever after when Shakespeare’s ill-fated sweethearts faced tragedy?

And, what’s with this version where the wicked queen attends our wedding and is forced to dance to her untimely demise in red-hot shoes?

© Paula Gail Benson, all rights reserved

See: “. . . the queen arrives at the wedding to investigate and is shocked to find that the bride is Snow White. She is frozen with rage and fear, but when the Queen was about to start a pandemonium, the prince, who recognizes her as a threat to his kingdom, orders for her to wear a pair of red-hot iron slippers and dance in them until she drops dead for the attempted murder of Snow White, so that the wedding will peacefully continue.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A New Year Brings New Ventures!

With 2019, I begin a series of Drabble (100 word stories) focusing on unexplored aspects of well-known stories. I call these “Ferreted Out Fairy Tales” and the first group “Princely Pursuits,” because they examine the tales from the viewpoints of the rescuers, who largely remain off-stage until making entrances to be heroic.

The first features Cinderella’s Prince on his journey to find his elusive dance partner.

Footfall by Paula Gail Benson

The horses’ hooves stirred up dust from the road they traveled, surrounding them with a sandy mist.

“Must we find this particular maiden?” Felix asked the Prince.

Several hundred female feet had strained to fit the glass slipper. The Prince even indulged children to place their toes where the sole of a future Princess had rested. After covering most of the kingdom without locating a match, Felix, the weary footman, longed for home.

Yet, the Prince persisted. His soul mate had the other see-through sandal, while the one he carried served as a crystal ball predicting an unparalleled future together.

©  Paula Gail Benson, all rights reserved

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Remains of the Show [A work of fiction to honor Greg Rawls' birthday.]

Greg Rawls with father Lucian and Audrey II. Photo by Janice Moir Fulp.
The mood in the theatre’s scenic storage room was somber, funereal. The director and set designer grimly began dismantling Audrey II.

“It’s a shame.”

“Worse. A loss of revenue.”

But, with no room, they couldn’t preserve it for future rentals.

“Perhaps the infrastructure will reappear as Alice’s rabbit hole or in a furniture costume for Beauty.”

“We’ll always have the photos and the memories.”

Slowly, the creation, reduced to its parts, was more discarded than kept. As they started to leave, the designer asked, “Did you hear something?”


The door closed.

In the darkness, a voice said, “Feed me.”

[Please note this original 100-word story, or Drabble, is a work of fiction, written as a tribute to wish my friend Greg Rawls a very Happy Birthday and to honor his set designs for the USCB Center for the Arts, particularly his creation of Audrey II that is still intact!]

Friday, December 23, 2016

People Who Live In Gingerbread Houses Shouldn’t Lick the Icing

[An Original 100-Word Story, or Drabble, by Paula Gail Benson]

As the reporter admired the gingerbread village, Chef Fitch ignored his assistants, Hans and Gerda, who labored at a side table.

“I wish the oven were bigger,” Hans whispered.

“Unnecessary, if you have the proper ingredients,” replied Gerda.

“Can eating a gingerbread house pose a health hazard?”

The chef laughed at the reporter’s question. “Only from spoiled eggs or reaction to a nut allergy.” He gathered a finger-full of icing from a rooftop, plopped it in his mouth, then grimaced. “Too gritty.”

Gerda smiled. “I could have ground the walnuts more firmly.”

“Or, maybe the spoiled eggs congealed,” Hans suggested.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ever Here

The flood washed everything away, including me. At the kids’ urging, Con stayed. So, among the tangled roots that emerged from the drained lake bed, my spirit lingered. First, Con rebuilt the dock, certain of the water’s return. The construction lulled me to sleep beneath green foliage blanketing the bank. Then, I awakened among brown leaves, hearing metal clanking above. I peered around the planks and saw a lighted framework tree. We’d had one each Christmas, now for thirty-seven years. Eyes glistening as he viewed it, Con said softly, “Not evergreen, but ever here.” I stretched, yawned, and nestled deeper.

This 100 word story is offered as an entry for the annual Advent Ghosts event hosted by Loren Eaton at I Saw Lightning Fall. See the other entries there. Thanks, Loren, for the opportunity!

Photo from Walmart Online Catalog

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sam Morton

Hank Phillippi Ryan and Sam Morton

Sam Morton, a wonderful writer, father, husband, and friend, passed away on April 1, 2016. A Citadel graduate, he wrote essays, thrillers, and YA novels; worked as a potato chip slicer, professional wrestler, deputy sheriff, and media consultant; belonged to the Inkplots writing group and Palmetto Chapter of Sisters in Crime; and gave hilarious speeches, one time stripping down to his wrestling tights (worn under his clothes) when he talked to the Lowcountry Romance Writers. In February, Sam and I escorted Hank Phillippi Ryan on a private SC Statehouse tour. Sam’s words and gregarious personality remain a powerful, enduring force.