Friday, November 30, 2012

Write On Edge: I Spy Challenge

Red Writing Hood this week gave us a picture and 500 words. The idea is to chose one of the items in the picture and use it as inspiration. "I spy with my little eye..."

I used all 14 items, from the red "B" to the bobby-pin (or hair-grip as I think they're called in the Queen's English speaking countries, but don't quote me on it) to the paper clip to what looks like a Cracker Jacks plastic toy figurine.

It ended up over 900 words. Not so good.

Soooo, here's an abridged version.

I offer the following in response: Sticky's Owl

Sticky suspended the owl-shaped paper tag with some blue thread from the scavenged spool.  As with all things, his sister was skeptical about its purpose. “I don’t think that much looks like an owl,” Sellamina tied off her end of the thread to a toadstool. “It won’t scare the balinogs.”

“You worry too much, Sella,” Sticky waved her comment away. “It’s perfect.”

“Well, our tree is starting to look like that dustbin you salvage from.”

Undeterred, Sticky flew back a few paces to better admire his owl. Grass and sky peeked through the hollow eyes as the breeze flipped the tag about. “Hmm, I think we need to weigh it down with something.”

“What else do you have in your pack?”

Sticky reached in and pulled out a copper disk. “This one was the heaviest,” he said. “But I’m not sure how to attach it to the bottom.”

Sellamina examined the disk, her wings fluttering at hover speed. “Who do you suppose that likeness is?”

“Knowing humans, it has to be someone very important to etch him in copper.”

“Maybe it’s to do with the sheaf of wheat on the other side.” Her mouth twitched to one side and her eyes narrowed with concentration.

“He’s a farmer!” Sticky squealed.

“What do they use it for?”

Sticky frowned. He didn’t know. He’d seen the disks many times when he scavenged, but always on the ground or collected in bowls. “I saw a waterfall once that had these at the bottom of the pond, and not just copper ones. There were so many others in different sizes and some were even silver.” He scratched his head. “Maybe they hold down their sidle-awks?”

“Sidelwalks,” Sellamina corrected. “If they hold down the sidelwalks then you should probably put that one back. Could be important.”

He protested. “But this will keep the owl from spinning, for certain.”

“I’m still not sure that’s an owl. A cat, mayhap? It needs wiskies.”

Sticky shuddered. Owls generally didn’t prey on pixies: they often even shared the same tree. Cats were a whole other matter, with claws and fangs and quick reflexes. “Does it have to be a cat?” he whined.

“Owls don’t perch this close to the ground, Sticky.” Sellamina reasoned. “We’ll give it some wiskies and some eyes to reflect light.”

Sticky pouted. His sister was seldom wrong about practical things. “I wanted an owl.”

“You got a cat though,” she sighed. “You got an owl-cat.”

“A cat-owl,” he countered, not willing to let go.

“Fine, cat-owl.” She helped adhere the disk in place with a bit of mud and some magic, her sun-kissed hues fading from the spent energy. “That won’t hold forever, but it’ll do for now.”

A flutter of wings sounded as Pocker flew into the meadow, “Sticky! Sticky! You’re back! What did you find this time?”

“I found a balinog scarer!” Sticky announced.

“Ooh, a cat!” Pocker pointed. "It's perfect!"

“Cat-owl,” Sellamina corrected before Sticky got a chance to frown.


  1. I love, love these two, they are so delightful. Their perspective comes across as so honest and real, I can understand why they might think the disks are needed to weigh the sidelwalks down.

    Beautifully done, as usual!

    I think I want a balinog.

    1. Thanks! Ooh! A whole line of stuffed creatures, Sticky and friends...and a giant balinog...Me like this idea! Must figure out how to get it done!

      I'm pleased you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. I always enjoy your pixie stories. I could see them illustrated for a children's book :)

    1. Thanks! I'm thinking I'm gonna pull together a "Many Adventures of Sticky and friends" book...Maybe I'll plot it out after New Years.

      I'm thrilled you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  3. Such a good piece. Really fun to read, and I love the name "Sellamina". Rolls off the tongue. :)

    1. Thanks! Sellamina's name was one of those magical names that just appeared when I typed it in the story. I love it when names like that happen.

      I'm glad you had a fun visit. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  4. I love the pixies, too! They're so whimsical without being silly. You do a wonderful job showing the little bits of our world that could be both confusing and enticing to those unfamiliar with those things were barely consider.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad Sticky and his friends are as entertaining to read as they are to write. I have a ton of fun looking at the world through Sticky's eyes.

      I'm happy you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  5. Excellent!! What fun! I love these characters and their relationships as well as the perspective that it allows you to have. Awesome.

    Great work incorporating many of the prompts!! Love the small world-building details, too. Cat vs owls, wings loosing shimmer after releasing energy.

    Just lovely!

    1. Thanks! Sticky's world is filled with wonder and puzzlement both, but the laws of physics are still in play. You know, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It's fun to discover how pixie magic affects the user. Sticky and his friends have been an exciting ride so far.

      I'm happy you loved your visit. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!