Saturday, February 9, 2013

Story Saturday - CinderEddy

One of my writing projects last month (and this moth too, but that's beside the point) was a short story called "CinderEddy."

"CinderEddy" was originally written for a short story contest on Figment, and since the contest had a 1,200 word limit, I wasn't able to expand it as much as I wanted. The point of the contest had been to write a classic story in a new genre. I chose to rewrite Cinderella as an adventure.

I'd been debating pulling this from my Figment account, since I'd been planning on publishing, but I've decided that, since I didn't end it the way I wanted (because of the word restraint) I can go ahead and share.

Oh, and those of you who recognize the cover art from my website and FB page, it's because it's one of my working cover arts for Sew, It's a Quest. Some day I'll share that picture, because I'm quite proud of it. The only problem it had was the fact that I made the title too small.



"John! John! Guess what! Guess what!"

Edward glanced up from weeding the garden to see the elder of his two stepbrothers gallop up.
"Yes John, what is it?" asked the other stepbrother, James, who was overseeing Edward's weeding.
"The Princess Eileen has been kidnapped!"

"What!" Edward exclaimed, and was instantly given two glares.

"This is of no importance to you, CinderEddy," said John, then turned to James. "The Princess Eileen! Who would do such a thing!"

"I don't know," said James, "but I do know that her father has promised her hand in marriage to any young man who can find and rescue her!"

Instantly all thought of weeding the garden was forgotten. Edward was now ordered here and there, in a flurry of excitement to get his two stepbrothers ready to go. He wasn't going, of course. Why would CinderEddy even dream of doing something as glorious as riding off to rescue a princess? Instead he was ordered to polish his stepbrothers' armour, take his stepbrothers' swords to the blacksmith for sharpening, and saddle the two finest horses in the stables for his stepbrother's use. Oh and pack food. He daren't forget to pack food.

At long last the stepbrothers were ready to go and mounted on their horses. "Be good, CinderEddy," said James.

"Watch the house, don't let anything get stolen," added John. And with that, the two rode away, leaving Edward to cough in the dust.

Once he had finished coughing, Edward broke into a run back towards the house. Even while being bossed here and there by his stepbrothers, a plan had been forming in Edward's mind for how he himself could go and rescue the Princess. You see, his own father, Sir Reginald, had perished in the crusades. Now, while he had been a valiant and renowned knight, he had also been a poor one, so Edward's mother had had to remarry the rich Baron Geoffrey. The Baron Geoffrey had had something against Edward's father, and so treated Edward quite horribly. When Edward's mother had died, it had only gotten worse. Edward had been degraded to a mere servant, and made to sleep in the kitchen. Trying to sleep in the fireplace for warmth had only earned him the nickname of "CinderEddy." Even when Baron Geoffrey himself had died a year before, it had not gotten any better.

As soon as Edward was in the house, he headed for the attic, where he had found an old chest a few years before while dusting. In this chest had been some clothes, some medals from various famous cathedrals …

And Sir Reginald’s sword.

Since Sir Reginald was Edward’s father, Edward regarded this sword as his rightful property. He took nothing else from the room, or even from the house in general, save for a bit of food.

And then, whistling a merry tune, he headed off into the woods in search of the Princess’s kidnappers. Sure, he didn’t have a horse, but, hey, he had a sword. Besides, even if he didn’t succeed, at least he wouldn’t be under his stepbrothers’ thumbs anymore.

After a few days of travel, his feet hurt and he was out of food. He was just about ready to decide that this had been a bad idea when he encountered a bridge. What was remarkable about this bridge was that, as soon as he approached it, a short, but powerful-looking man appeared out of the woods and took his place beside the bridge.

“If you wish to go over my bridge,” he said, “You must solve my riddle.”

“Um,” said Edward, gulping, “I’m looking for Princess Eilleen …”

“And you’re headed in the right direction to find her. But you won’t find her unless you solve my riddle.”

“Am I?”

“Yes, now, do you plan to hear the riddle or not?”

“Um, riddle, yeah, let’s hear it.”

“What force and strength cannot get through,
I with a gentle touch can do;
While many in the streets would stand,
Were I not, as friend, at hand."

Edward was stumped. "Um ... how long do I have to answer the riddle?"

"However long it takes. No one else has answered it yet, they have all gone off and tried to rescue the Princess another way, or they have tried to use force to get past me. They've all met most horrible fates."

"Oh." Edward wandered off. Thinking over this riddle would be hard enough without the man's watchful gaze. What could get through where force and strength could not? If only he had some clue ... some key ...


He hurried back to the bridge where the short man was still waiting for him. "I think I've solved it!" he exclaimed.

"Really?" said the man with a yawn. "And what do you think the answer is?"

"Well," said Edward, "When you can't get through a locked door, you don't use force - you use a key! And if a person loses the key to his home, he's stuck out on the streets - so the answer is key!"

"That is the correct answer," said the man, nodding. "You may go past." He stepped out of the way, but as Edward was passing, he grabbed the young man's hand. Edward started to cry out, but the cry died on his lips as he found a small metal object pressed into his hand.

A key ...

"Take it, it may be of service to you."

And so Edward continued on his way. Thing was, he was still out of food, and his feet still hurt. Luckily, he found an old woman to stay with that night, who gave him some supper, and a small bit of food to take with him to continue his journey.

Soon he found himself in a clearing. In the middle of the clearing was a tower. A tower with a thick door at the base, and a large lock. At the foot of the tower was a young man on a horse. Peering down out of the window at the top of the tower was a beautiful girl, so beautiful that, for a moment, Edward's heart forgot to beat.

"I'm sorry, but the old troll has the key," the girl was shouting down, in a music-like voice. "And there's no other way in."

The man got of his horse and tried to knock down the door with brute force, but, alas, it was a very strong door.

"Fear not, Fair Princess, I shall soon return!" the man declared, then remounted the horse and rode off.
The troll has the key ...

Timidly, Edward stepped out of the woods, and approached the tower. "Um, princess?"

"Yes? Do you wish to rescue me too? I'm sorry, but the troll has the key."

"Um, actually ... I think I've already gotten it from him."

"Did you? Well, then, hurry up and unlock the door! I'll be right down!" She disappeared from the window.

Edward quickly slid the key into the lock and it did, indeed, fit. When he opened the door, there stood the princess. She was even more beautiful close up ...

"You've won!" she said with a grin.

1 comment:

  1. Very cute story! I like the idea of Cinderella as a fellow, cool twist!


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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