Author, Susanna Leonard Hill, regularly comes up with fun competitions to stimulate our writerly juices. She is culminating her Summer Short & Sweet Series with the following challenge, inspired by this illustration from artist, Heather Newman, launching us back into the era of chivalry (or not, as the story may be). Voting will take place on Susanna’s blog on Monday September 10th.
The contest will be for a children’s story of 250 words or less based on the picture above and in which somebody somewhere in your story says, in dialogue, “Did/do you see that?” (you may substitute any of the other senses – “Did/do you hear/feel/taste/smell that?”) and somebody somewhere in your story says, “Goodbye!” (you are allowed to substitute “Farewell!”, “Au revoir!”, “Sayonara!”, “Ciao!”, or “So long!”) NB I confess already to going over the word count because I know Susanna is never a real stickler for that!
Title: Cedric’s Cold
Author: Joanna Marple
Target Audience: 6-8 year old boys and adults who never grew up
“Bless you,” cawed Crow.
“Blow!” hollered Cook, holding a tablecloth up to Cedric’s chapped nostrils.
“Of all the times for Cedric to get a head cold,” muttered the Prince.
“Right before the wedding banquet,” wailed the Princess, arranging the bridal flowers.
“I’b sorry,” snuffled Cedric. “Baybe there’s another way to light the fire under the castle
“Fetch the kitsch Witch from the Fetid Forest!” Cook ordered, while she attempted home
made cold remedies on Cedric. First she rubbed Vaseline all over his chest, but big gobs
kept getting caught between his scales and the vapor caused Cedric to hallucinate about
his lost love, the Dragoness of Mordor. He broke down sobbing, causing even more
snot to flow.
The Princess tried mixing up a giant drink of honey and lemon, but they had no fire to
heat the water and in its lumpy, yucky cold state, Cedric refused to drink it.
The Prince, who had had a difficult childhood, believed a brisk cold shower would do the
trick and insisted Cedric sit under the waterfall for a full ten minutes, by which time,
Cedric’s tail had turned blue and giant shivers rattled his body.
Cook threw her hands in the air and cried. “We have 100 wedding guests arriving in
two hours, how will we ever roast enough boar for the feast?”
At this moment the kitsch Witch strode out of the forest carrying a basket laden with
foul, oozing black berries.
“Witchy-Poo!” Cook yelled across the chasm. “The wedding guests will be arriving soon
and Cedric’s nose is so bunged up he can’t light a candle let alone the chasm. Do you
have some murky spell to clear his snout?”
“For snot? I do not!” She yelled back, “But he can try some of my menthol lozenges I
bought last week at the dollar store.”
Cedric sucked, crunched and drooled his way through the entire pack of lozenges. He
drew a huge lungful of valley air and spewed fire out into the chasm, where 50 boars,
speared on spits, were roasted to crispy perfection.
“Hoorah! Hoorah!” Cheered the guests as they began to arrive.
Cook invited the kitsch Witch to stay for the bridal banquet, but the witch declined,
confessing that even the sight of wild board made her gassy, and she wouldn’t want to
put a damper on the festivities.
“Phew, did you smell that?” asked the groom’s mother, pinching her nose as she entered
“Boot it and farewell, Witchy-poo, and thanks again for your help!” Cook shoved the kitsch
Witch out of the kitchen door as she grabbed for the air freshener.