Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Read: The Prince and the Pea: Day Two

Rosa chewed on her charcoal pencil, her over-sized artist pad propped up in her lap. The pages were still blank. She’d been staring at it for over an hour willing an idea to materialize.

Her television was turned on, mainly out of habit, but she’d snapped off the volume hoping to jar her creativity. On the screen played an old black and white movie that she stared at from time to time willing them to turn to her and give her a brilliant campaign ad.

In his usual spot at the end of her couch, her blonde tabby lay curled in a fuzzy ball, oblivious to her plight.

An empty pint of ‘Chunky Monkey’ and a crumpled bag of potato chips lay on the coffee table, evidence of her frustration and supper rolled into one. Tomorrow she silently promised she’d walk the treadmill for an extra fifteen minutes over her lunch break.

Rosa’s thoughts drifted back to the television screen. At this rate, she’d need the exercise to clear out the frustration of being muscled out again by Gerald. A laugh escaped her mouth, startling the cats slumber. He peered at her with one sleepy eye, stretched and went back to sleep.

As if Gerald possessed a single passionate thought in his body, which was too bad, since despite his universal geeky side, his body was screaming off the charts in terms of seriously fine.

“I don’t suppose you’ve considered the fact that you barely spend any time at all on a mattress?”

Rosa blinked a couple of times, her focus on the characters on the television. At first, she thought the woman on the screen was a kind-looking elderly lady touting the comfort of a new product.

As Rosa watched however, it seemed the woman was looking directly at her.

She picked up the remote and changed the channel. Perhaps the stress was causing her to hallucinate and a nap would be a good idea to refresh her before she plodded on.

“You already work too much, you don’t eat the right foods, and you never go out, just to have fun.” The old woman’s bright blue eyes were dazzling blue. “I’m not sure you understand what passion is truly all about. There is a such a thing as having a passion for life, that can be as important.”

Rosa was dreaming, of course that was it. She reached down, grabbed a chunk of her flesh, and pinched hard. “Ow.”

“Rosa my dear, you aren’t dreaming and I am not a figment of your imagination, though I can’t say that you couldn’t use a little help in that department.”

“Right,” Rosa laughed as she snapped the off button of her remote. The screen went black as she tossed the remote on the table. She reached for the chips and stilled when she heard the voice again.

“You tried that this morning when I tried to reach you on your cell phone.”

The old woman’s image appeared again on the television screen.

Rosa grabbed her cat and clutched the yowling animal to her. Surely, there was a glitch in her remote, how else could she explain this?

“What, are you going to do, launch him at me like a catapult?” Her nasal laughter ended in an unlady-like snort. “Get it…catapult?” Her laughter died to a trickle. “Sorry, I crack myself up sometimes.”

“Who are you, and what do you want?”

“Aha, now we’re getting somewhere. I hate having to appear in bathroom mirrors and cereal bowls, but you do what you have to do to get a clients attention.” The old woman shrugged.

“W-what do you want from me. I don’t make wishes, I’ve not seen any falling stars, I don’t even buy lottery tickets.”

Rosa pushed her body into the corner of the couch, using her cat as a furry shield. He gave a shrill meow and leapt from her arms, trotting with his tail high into the kitchen.

She was all alone with her little television friend. My God she was actually going over the edge.

“To answer your question, which I’m sure you are dying to know—“

“Could we please refrain from using such terms until we establish exactly why you are here?” Rosa croaked, staring warily at the woman.

“Oh heavens child, I’m no angel. Heavens no, they kicked me out of that union years ago. Nope, I am what you would call for all intents and purposes, your fairy godmother.”

“M-my Fairy godmother?”

The woman cast her gaze to the ceiling. “Yes, it’s a step down from angels duty granted, but the hours are so much better and the assignments are a heck of a lot more exciting.”

“Did you say—fairy godmother?”

“And I thought it was old people who were hard of hearing. Listen up, I’ll saw it once more. Fae-ry God-mu-tha,” she enunciated each syllable and Rosa noted then the Brooklyn accent.

Rosa slipped from the couch and smiled at the strange image on the screen. She closed the window leading to her fire escape. On top of everything else, she didn’t need to have her neighbors hearing her talking to her TV.

Pausing a moment, she gazed up at the full moon above and the night sky shimmering with stars. Had she ever noticed this was just outside her window?

“It’s a beautiful world out there, you know.”

She turned and leaned against the windowsill crossing her arms over her chest. “I don’t believe you’re real.” She stated the comment as emphatically as she could in hope that it would awaken her from whatever dream realm she found herself in.

The old woman sighed.

“Why doesn’t that surprise me. Very well, you leave me little choice.”

In a cloud of purple haze, the woman re-appeared in full fairy regalia in the middle of her living room. A powdery lavender dust covered her furniture…certainly the least of her concerns.

“I can clean that up in a jiffy; we have much greater issues going on here.”

As much as Rosa wished to refute that statement, she was careful to even think of a wish, much less give this psycho woman a reason to use her hocus pocus on her.

She glanced around looking for a hidden projector. There was nothing that technology couldn’t achieve in the hands of the knowledgeable person. Maybe she was simply a holographic image being beamed in from a computer nearby.

Rosa walked over, reached out and poked the woman’s ample bosom.

Surprise the old woman reared back as did Rosa. The woman’s gaze narrowed.

“Princess, you have a few things to learn tonight and one of them is definitely trust.”

“I don’t trust anyone but myself.”

The old woman peered at her with kind eyes. Dressed like a replica of Aunt Bee, from Mayberry RFD, she waved her hand and the purple residue disappeared.

Okay, granted Rosa couldn’t explain.

“The truth is Rosa, you don’t even truly trust yourself.”

Rosa laughed. “That’s ludicrous, I’m the most self-sufficient, reliable person I know.”

“Which is why you sleep alone on your couch?”

The old woman’s head dipped as her twinkling blue eyes peered at her.

Much like Gerald, but not nearly as sexy.

Did she just think that?

“I choose to sleep on the couch.”


Rosa hesitated a moment before answering, wondering if it was a trick question. “Because I choose to, that’s why. There’s no cosmic crime in sleeping on the couch is there?” It was Rosa’s turn to laugh, but the woman held her somber gaze.

The elderly would-be faery pulled a lace hanky from what appeared to be an oversized canvas bag. Two large knitting needles stuck out from the open top.

Rosa smiled. “You knit? I didn’t think faery godmother’s had time for such menial human endeavors.”

The silver–haired woman continued to set about her task.

“That attitude my dear, may well be part of your problem. You tend to see the glass half-empty Rosa, instead of half-full.”

Having had about enough, Rosa finely broke. “Okay, how much did he pay you to pull this little stunt?”

Her knitting needles stilled.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about child.”

“No? And just what are you knitting with those, pray tell fairy godmother.” She knew she sounded snarky, but the woman was pushing her buttons and she had a campaign to design.

“These, you mean?” The woman plucked a ball of purple yarn, and a single, thread from her bag.

“These are dreams child. Each one is carefully tied and knotted as they are completed.”

“That doesn’t seem like you’ve been working on that one long.” Rosa pointed out studying the short strand.

The old woman smiled. “That’s why I’m here Rosa. These represent everything in your life that you have wished for and received.”

Rosa sank onto the couch, her gaze fixed on the very short strand of yarn. She began to realize how lonely and sequestered she’d become.

A moment ticked by before she felt the cushions beside her give. The old woman took her hand, and patted it gently.

“It’s never too late to have dreams, Rosa. But you have to be open to serendipity.”

Rosa glanced at the old woman’s hand holding hers. “I’m not built for, what did you call it, serendipity?” Her faery godmother patted her hand again.

“Of course you are. We just have to find it.”

If this woman could help her, make her less afraid to believe in her dreams and find more than just work in her life, perhaps it would be wise to listen.

“You need to find the romance and the passion in your life, Rosa.”

The old woman’s kindly gaze held hers. True, Rosa couldn’t attest that she had a smidgeon of romance in her, much less serendipity, whatever that was. The stakes always seemed too high to attain such luxuries and besides they weren’t exactly reliable anyway. “I don’t know. Serendipity and romance? A person can get hurt and that can set you back from the practical goals in life.”

“Does your practicality keep you warm on a cold night?” her fairy godmother asked blue eyes sparkling wise with warm understanding.

“There’s my cat, he sleeps at my feet.” It was a particularly lame comeback, but all she had, sadly. Rosa shrugged. “Okay, you’ve made your point. However, in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t a million men breaking down my door to get in.”

“Hum, I wonder why?” her faery godmother commented as her gaze raked over Rosa’s ragged sweatpants, her dirty pink fuzzy slippers, and spaghetti stained Dartmouth sweatshirt.

“Maybe I’m not interested in finding my Prince Charming.” Rosa responded in her defense, though the truth was weakening that by the moment.

“So, you do believe the idea that there might be one there, you’re just not interested?”

Rosa shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t found anyone yet that does anything for me.” She pulled her legs up, wrapping her arms around her knees.

Classic fetal position. She was in serious trouble.

“What if I told you that you could find your Prince Charming and the ultimate ad campaign all at the same time?”

Rosa brightened, that was not a half-bad idea, in fact, it was brilliant. At least if the Prince part didn’t work out, at least she’d have the respect of the elderly board of directors for an effective ad campaign. “I’m listening.”

“Are you willing to work with me?”

Rosa’s gaze landed on the very short knitted chain representing her dreams. Struck with curiosity , she asked, “How far back do those go?”

“When was the last time you made a wish?”

Burn. Rosa bit her lip. What did she have to lose?

“What do I have to do?”

“It’s simple really. You’re in the mattress business. So we go with a time tested recipe for such things. What you’ll do is hold auditions for your next ad. You’ll know your Prince Charming by how he behaves in bed.”

Rosa’s eyes widened. “Excuse me, I’m not that kind of girl.”

“Yes, dear, we’ve established that,” her faery godmother laughed. “I’m kidding, sweetheart. You have such a delightful sense of humor. That’ll help.” She pointed the end of her knitting needle at Rosa.

“So, you aren’t asking me to sleep with them?”

“Good heavens no, I use an ancient time-honored system—very high success rate. I can give you references, of course.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Rosa replied as she grabbed her sketchpad. “I can be open-minded if need be. Now tell me how is this magical system going to help me?”

Rosa was getting comfortable with the idea of having her own fairy godmother. To be able to create a killer ad and have her deepest personal dreams come true, I mean, how awesome was that?

“Okay, I’m ready. Go slow; I want to catch every detail.”

Her fairy godmother folded her lace hanky and stuffed it under her bra strap.

“It starts with a pea.”

Rosa wrote the letter on the sketchpad and waited, her pencil poised for the rest.

“That’s it.” The old woman replied tucking the yarn and needles back into her bag.

“But wait a minute, what does ‘P’ mean?”

The kind woman shifted her starry blue gaze to hers and smiled.

“You’ll see.”

Hope you're enjoying  The Prince and the Pea!
Stay tuned for Day Three...see what Rosa's faery godmother has in mind....

Visit the REAL RT faery court!!!