Snow White (a flash story)

I know how the last queen died. It’s hard to cover up an assassination, even if it’s done through magic. The king doesn’t rule his own country anymore; he has been enspelled, and perhaps it’s worse because he loves her.

I wanted a mother-daughter relationship, but that couldn’t happen with her. She’s too in love with the power she wields.

I skitter past her room at night when she’s talking to the mirror. “Who’s the fairest of them all?” she asks, and I dread the day that the response is my name.

That day has come; I sense it in the air. I have befriended a huntsman. I am certain he will help me.

He doesn’t.

I must protect myself from retaliation. I flee to the forest, find safety among the seven little people who keep the poachers at bay.

She learns where I am.

I don a disguise and poison an apple. One bite will render her immobile.

I pack a knife at the bottom of my basket.

After all, the only way to eliminate a witch is to cut her still-beating heart from her chest.

This story is copyright 2017 Janna Willard. You may link it for others to read, but you may not copy it elsewhere. This may not be the final draft of this story. Any questions? Please ask!

I’ve been writing music and stories lately, though not as quickly as I’d like. However, I am slowly getting into a groove and that is what I need! I’ll be posting every Friday again starting today, and on the first Friday of the month I’ll offer you a complete flash fiction for you to enjoy, as I have tonight. The rest of the month you’ll get little teaser excerpts and updates on my progress, like usual.


Progress June 23, 2017

I know, I know, I’ve been a bad girl and didn’t post last week. In my defense, it’s been a pretty busy month. My paid work has been trying to take over my life, and until this week I wasn’t able to do much writing!

Happily that has changed, however, and I did manage to write a flash fiction story this week, work on the revision to The Wolf & the Bear, and get a bit of music written. Pretty productive! I was also able to get some writing-related things finished last week, so now I just have one more tiny thing to get sorted out before I unveil my surprise! If all goes well, you’ll have my announcement next Friday.

So, let’s see about an excerpt, shall we?

Hm… it’s been a while since we had anything from The Wolf & the Bear, and I did just finish some work on the first two chapters. Have a bit of a scene from that:

The round, full moon stood sentry over the small long house. Wudurose, sitting in the branches of a nearby tree, watched the smoke rising through the vent in the roof. The Snow Moon was appropriately white this year. Soon the ice on the riveer would begin to crack, and she would again be fishing for meat rather than trying to hunt small game.

She sighed and wished that Fæder would return. It was long since the day he had promised to be back. She wondered what was keeping him.

Footsteps crunched loudly in the snow, and Rose turned her head swiftly to mark the passage of a male figure through the trees.

It had been a full month since Wulf had brought them Bera to tend, and he visited them twice weekly, bringing larger game to supplement the small animals Wudurose was able to provide her family. She was torn between gratefulness for his generosity and resentment that he could do something for her mother and sister that she couldn’t.

She sighed and turned to climb silently down from her perch in the tree.

Progress May 19, 2017

This week I got some more themes written, and I started the next step in revising The Wolf & the Bear. I’m hoping to have that finished by the end of the month. I’m also making progress on a special project I hope to unveil next Friday, so stay tuned!

Your excerpt this week is a computer-generated recording of a bit of a short piece I wrote for beginner clarinet, with piano accompaniment. It’s not very long, but I hope you like it!

Progress May 5, 2017

I have finished that step on The Wolf & the Bear! I can now move on to the next step, which I am sure will take me a while. I think it involves index cards.

I am attempting to do StoryADay May, but so far have only written one story, to the first prompt. I will try to get caught up over the weekend. The second prompt needs more than a flash story (and could end up a novel, so I’m going to sit with it a bit and try outlining) but the third and fourth prompts will be great for flash once I sort out my angles.

This is supposed to be a month for capturing themes again, but haven’t been able to get to that yet either. My goal is to finish collecting the themes I need for that special project, and to finish the first draft (on paper) for the clarinet quartet I was working on in March.

Now, for your reading pleasure, I present the first (unedited) draft of “The Immortal Companion” [working title]. It clocks in at 637 words. I could probably cut it a bit, too. This was a fun story to write, and I have a few ideas of other places I might take these characters. What do you think?

You can see the prompt this is based on over here.

Continue reading “Progress May 5, 2017”

Progress April 21, 2017

It’s been a busy week so I’ve managed to get some more flash fiction written and wrote the piano part for a short clarinet piece (it needs editing), but that’s about it.

Well, I started the next chapter of Relevé and realized that I need to type this story. So now I have to figure out when I’m going to be able to do that (logistical nightmare when you have a two-year-old). I’m sure I’ll get it sorted out soon; in the meantime, I’m going to be focusing on The Wolf & the Bear and try to write as much flash fiction as I can.

I really enjoy writing flash fiction. Writing short stories (really short stories!) is challenging, but it’s a lot of fun, too! I’m able to write funny stories, dramatic stories, exciting stories… and the entire thing is wrapped up in around 500 words (give or take). How fantastic is that?

Here’s another flash opening from this week:

Alaina wrinkled her nose and frowned across the cubicle divider at Terri. “What’s that smell?”

Before Terri could answer, the fire alarm began to blare, eliminating all possibility of conversation.

The women grabbed their purses and followed their co-workers toward the nearest stairwell. As they passed the CEO’s office, they could hear someone calling for help.

Alaina paused. “Should we help them?” she asked.

Is there actually a fire? Who’s in the CEO’s office? Just more questions that are answered in the story!