Puppy at Play – The Fairy Ring Writing Contest

OK. I was supposed to have been editing tonight, given the looming deadline for my book release in April… but Twitter beckoned. And there I found @ruanna3 and @saraleggz talking about a writing contest. About Fairies. And all of a sudden, one of those nightmare worries that looms in the mind of any pet owner coalesced into a quick Flash Fiction. So I’m posting it here as my entry to The Fairy Ring Writing Contest.

Puppy at Play

The sibilant whisper of wind tickled my whiskers. I had to work hard to discover the source of the scent that was distorting my sense of direction.

I was still a puppy to my parents, but my paws no longer tripped me up when I traipsed through the fields at the foot of our mountain range, and my ears had stiffened to a useful, perpetual perkiness that caught the slightest mouse rustling in the dried stalks of hay. I was grateful for this unauthorized opportunity to romp, despite my mother’s cautionary tales.

So here I was, under the full moon, having escaped my parents’ vigilance and elected to explore the expanding rings of curious night smells. The mist wreathed around me, creating more odorous whorls to confuse my tracking ability. Where normally I would have trotted nose to ground and tail alert in the air behind me, tonight I kept pausing, describing arcs with my snout, trying to latch on to that irregular effervescence that had enticed me under the yard’s fence.

And then it coalesced, drifting down to coat my fur in shimmer. I startled, howled, took off running, hoping to regain my body’s boundaries. The laughter on my back pushed my paws faster, and soon I saw other lights arrowing through the night. Panicky, I couldn’t even tell whether humor or malice drove the mirth.

Mother had warned me about the noisy mechanical beasts, but until the pain pulped my body, I hadn’t known the difference between human and otherworld lights. Now, a comforting warmth soothed me, and the whisper was clear by my ear: “We’re sorry; welcome to Underhill, eternal reward for a life cut short in play.”


The contest is open from now (midnight EST on 2/7/12) to midnight EST on 2/20/12.

To win, write a piece of flash fiction (300 words or less) on your (fictional or not) first-person encounter with a faery, goblin, or fantastical being of your choice. Post your entry on your blog and paste the link code into the HTML editor to be included.

1st Place: A copy of The Fairy Ring and a 10 page edit by Anna Meade.

2nd Place: A copy of The Fairy Ring and a 5 page edit by Anna Meade.

3rd Place: A copy of The Fairy Ring.

So let your imagination run wild. It can be whimsical, beautiful, emotional, creepy, mysterious or horrifying. I ask that you restrict your undead submissions to another contest (no zombies or vampires, please).

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17 thoughts on “Puppy at Play – The Fairy Ring Writing Contest

  1. What a terrific job of putting us inside a puppy’s head–the curiosity, the alertness to sight and sound and smell, that startlement at the unfamiliar.

    You warned me that there was a twist at the end, but I still wasn’t prepared for it–took me completely by surprise.

    This story left me feeling satisfied in a way that flash fiction often doesn’t. It’s rich and complete in its few hundred words, and that’s a difficult thing to accomplish. Well done!

    1. Awww… Glad you (& everyone else!) liked it. I’m not typically one to take a story to that kind of sadness place… But then, I’ve known enough dogs who’ve gotten run over and killed, it’s something I have thought about pretty regularly over the years.

  2. This is really awesome. Fairy encounter from a dog perspective? Yes, please! The ending is so sad, though.

    1. I was a little surprised by that ending too… but then, the fae are quixotic enough I wouldn’t put it past them to regularly lure innocents Underhill through one device or another.

  3. Daughter, This is really amazing. The ending socks you in the stomach, shifting in tone as it does from light-hearted puppy curiosity to the crash of an unexpected new reality.

    And when I think this may have applied to the kitten “Critter,” the fairies are all the more compelling as a symbol, since they are the spirit companions of cats. This has multiple levels of impact; seems like all those years of consuming so many books is transforming itself into your own written stories containing your unique insights. Good job!


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