I’ve taken a wild leap of faith and have created a profile with a freelance writing organization, to hopefully be able to get paid to do (one of the many things I love) — write. Because I want to write a variety of topics, I thought I would start my profile with a collection of different pieces, ranging from fiction to opinion to more journalistic. Here is my fiction piece. I admit it isn’t a new piece; I wrote it for my Creative Writing class my senior year of college. But it haunts me, as I quite like the story it tells. As my other pieces get written, I will share them as well. However, my blog and my freelance writing pieces will be separate, so if you want to check out some of the other things I write, look here.
She was playing in a stream, a small sliver of summer magic, hidden between some trees on her family’s property. The sun was intense, late afternoon ripples of heat baking the dry land. Her small blonde curls were plastered to her face with sweat, framing her deep brown eyes.
She lay in the water, submerging her entire body in its coolness, and felt the small current dance over her pale, hand-me-down bathing suit. She could hear the soft rhythms of music from her little speaker sitting on small rock near her. The music and heat, coupled with her childish fantasies, filled her with a burning wish for the summer to extend longer; she did not want school to start again next week. Like all young girls, she had dreamed of adventures and princes, fairy tales and magic, and she had hoped this summer would finally bring those things. At the end of the past school year, she had dreamed that, maybe, this would be the summer she would meet her prince charming; an overwhelmingly handsome prince, decked in regalia, who would arrive riding on a while horse, sweep her off her feet, and lead her to a kingdom faraway where she and the prince would fall madly in love and live happily ever after. She had watched her Disney movies constantly, and had even thrown some of her mother’s coins into fountains, wishing with childish passion, for her prince to come.
The sun began to dip low in the sky, the magic of sunset and twilight close at hand. She knew her parents would come looking for her soon, but she wanted to cling to this moment, become one with the water, and drift into a world of magic, beauty, and princes. A frog, somewhere in the distance, began to croak.
She lay perfectly still, fear rippling through her body. Now, she knew it was time to leave; the magic has vanished. She let a handful seconds tick by, then she forced herself to remember that she was brave. Sitting up, however, she heard watery movement near her. Afraid of a water snake or other such creature, she bolted out of the water. It was only when her breathing had stilled that she noticed a gentle croaking near her. She looked around, and there, sitting on her towel, was an old, murky brown frog. It’s small beady eyes were staring up at her, it’s skin glistening with water.
To her complete shock, the frog began to speak. From its mouth came a small young voice, in startling contrast to its haggard appearance.
“Hello. I’m Albert. What’s your name?”
She did not know how to respond. A frog was speaking to her; this was not normal. And she knew, as her mother routinely reminded her, not to talk to strangers.
“Uh …… I’m Maggie.”
“Hi Maggie! You’re very pretty.”
“Thank you …. you-you look nice too …” she offered, feeling a blush creep up her cheeks, warming her from the inside out. She felt the absurdity of this moment quite keenly.
“You’re very kind, but I don’t look nice at all. I’m a frog; I’m supposed to be a prince.”
“You’re a prince?!” Suddenly, she was excited. Here was her adventure; here was her chance to experience something thrilling.
“I am, but …. an evil witch put a spell on me ….” His voice trailed off.
“What … what happened?” She crouched down, so she could fully see the frog.
“There’s an evil witch that lives near my kingdom. She doesn’t like my parents, the king and queen very much, but my parents are so nice! I don’t know why she doesn’t like them. But I guess that one day my parents made a law and she didn’t like it, so as revenge, the witch put a spell on me. She said that unless my parents were nice to her, I would be a frog …”
“I’m so sorry,” she said, watching his blinking frog eyes. Suddenly, she was reminded of spells that are broken with a kiss. Without saying anything, she bent towards him. She didn’t care about the bumpy skin on her lips, the slimy texture, or the amphibious smell; she laid a gentle, expectant kiss on his head.
For a moment, the frog just stared at her. Then suddenly, in a brilliant flash of light, brighter and stronger than the setting sun, the old frog was transformed into a young boy about her age dressed richly in dark greens and golds. Perched on his brown hair was a small golden crown glittering in the light.
“Maggie! I don’t know how you did that, but you changed me!” Albert exclaimed, an ecstatic smiling filling his face and reaching his dark green eyes. “Thank you!”.
Gently, and absent of all frog qualities, he kissed her on the cheek. Maggie was speechless, in total awe of what had happened and overwhelmed with the recognition of her own frog prince. Albert took her hand and started to lead her down the stream. It was many minutes before Maggie realized that, in the brilliant flash of light, her hand-me-down bathing suit had been transformed into a beautiful pink princess dress.
Around sunset, Maggie’s parents set out looking for their daughter. It was usual that she had not returned earlier. They were not worried that something that happened; rather, they were certain that she had simply lost track of time.
When they made it to the stream their daughter liked to play in, their hearts broke into a million pieces. Maggie’s mom let out a cry from the depths of her soul to reach the heights of heaven. There, in the stream in their backyard, was their daughter, lying face down in the water. She was pale and cold to the touch.
Days later, when the grief-stricken family received the results of the autopsy, they found, curiously, that the cause of their daughter’s death was a poisonous frog.
In a glorious castle, lit with candles and scented with succulent flowers, Maggie and Albert danced the night away.