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CAROUSEL PRINCESS • by Polenth Blake

My horse leads the parade, dappled grey and gold. Swans waltz with elephants behind us. They curtsy in time to the music and whisper, “How pretty she is. How kind.”

A siren cuts through the music. I open my eyes to the ghost of my kingdom. My subjects have fled. All that remains are boarded-up sideshows. The paint cracks and falls from my steed, but I imagine a proud stallion, fresh coat gleaming.

I dismount. The shock of landing jars my bones. I long for the days of royal banquets and castles. A cursed princess has nothing but her clothes and her memories.

The sirens are closer; I hear the engines of the troll chariots now. The trolls will expect children, spray-paint in hand. I’ve seen their marks on the boards: Jez and Cyfer and DJ. It’s their kingdom now.

Blue lights flash at the entrance. I hear the slam of the chariot doors, see the torch beams on the broken gate. Troll dens are not the place for a princess, but I’ll forego my pride for the sake of a warm meal.

I pat my horse on the nose. “I’ll miss you.”


Polenth Blake lives where the mushrooms bloom in autumn. She loves dragon mythology, cephalopods and things with eyestalks. One day, her stories will grow eyestalks and slither away.

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CAROUSEL PRINCESS • by Polenth Blake, 3.2 out of 5 based on 44 ratings
Posted on August 20, 2009 in Literary, Stories
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  • Debra

    Love the story. Love the bio.

  • Arthur Newton

    A gold nugget! Sad, wistful, poetic reality – a good start to the day from my comfort zone.

  • http://patriciahale.blogspot.com Patricia J. Hale

    Poetic, as Arthur said, and pulled me in.

  • Bob

    Lovely, evocative and sad.

  • http://jfjuzwik.blogspot.com Joyce

    Yeah. Okay. What?

  • http://teenangel.netfirms.com Jim Hartley

    More a scene, or a reminiscence, than a story. Why were we here? Where are we going? Slow start, took me a while to figure out what was going on. I found the whole thing rather unsatisfying. Sorry, not my kind of thing.

  • Jen

    I loved this story. I loved the imagery and the world the author created. I’d love to know more about what happened both before *and* after though. I’d love to see this exanded into a longe story or even a book.

  • Amy Corbin

    Reality can really suck!

    I think Jim and Joan should go out for coffee.;) Of course, I’m being silly, but I do think they might have some things in common.

  • M Edwards

    I have to agree with Jen. I think there’s a whole lot here, as a sketch of a story, that could be expanded into a full novella. However, this little piece was fantastic. I don’t need the who, what and where when it’s only a flash fiction piece. I just need to be entertained, mission accomplished!!

  • Christopher Floyd

    This story struck me as disjointed and in desperate need of background. The imagery was good, but the story was so nonsensical that it made me shake my head. There has got to be more to this. A novella maybe? It doesn’t stand alone very well.
    Here’s the thing. In spite of all that, I thoroughly loved it. Gave it four stars even.

  • http://oonahverse Oonah V Joslin

    or an epic poem? Yes very nice use of language.

  • J.C. Towler

    Just starting to get into this when the credits rolled. Writing is great; story is tough to squeeze into a flash.

    –John

  • Smitty

    I liked the poetic prose and imagery quite a bit. Would have loved some background on the Princess but with Flash Fic you take what you get. 3.5 stars.

  • http://teenangel.netfirms.com Jim Hartley

    Re: Smitty’s comment “with Flash Fic you take what you get”.

    I definitely disagree. If something doesn’t fit easily into a Flash piece, then don’t do it! Write it as a regular short story and send it somewhere other than to EDF. Don’t try to cram something into that 1000 words if it needs more.

    I understand the temptation if you really want to submit to EDF … even worse, trying to force something into a Flash contest … but try real hard to avoid doing it. Write the story as it needs to be written, THEN see how long it is and where it fits. (Trimming 20 words might be OK, but be careful.) Well, just my opinion …

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