Hopefully this is going to be a weekly event of artist prompts. Play along with me? In my first blog entry (Snagging the Muse, An Artist’s Prompt), I wrote about picking slips of paper from a bag full of likes and interests. Here are my three picks from week one:  Sweaters, Fountain Pens and Fairytales. Wow – random, huh? Several stories came to mind, but the one I wrote here seems to fit all three words the best. This story could have been more involved, but I thought I’d go with the abbreviated version.

What words did you pick and what did you create? Here’s mine:

Artist prompts: The Story

The Fountain Pen, the Girl and the Sweater

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived alone in a small village. She was happy on her own and spent her day in her wool shop and her nights reading or knitting by the fire.

On this particular evening, she pulled out a fountain pen and stared at it for a long time. It had been given to her by her grandmother. The grandmother said, “You must not think of anything else when you use this pen. Clear your mind of everything and be very careful.” For that reason, the girl was afraid to use the fountain pen and hid it in a drawer…until now.

This night, she had finished her book and thought it might be fun to test the pen just to see what would happen. She began by drawing a cup of tea. As she put the last stoke of ink on the paper, the tea cup became real. It smelled divine and was steaming hot, just as it was drawn.

The girl couldn’t believe her eyes. When she was finished with her tea, she decided that she would like something to eat and drew a bowl of stew. Again, the stew became real. Then she decided the stew needed a thick piece of grilled bread. As soon as she finished drawing the bread, it too became real. This was wild, she thought to herself.

Suddenly it occurred to her that there must be a price to pay for this kind of magic. She carefully wrapped the pen in some thick cloth and put it back in the drawer, vowing not to use it unless she was desperate.

Waking the next day, she went to the kitchen to start a fire. However, it was already lit, though no one was around to start it. Perhaps she had left it burning from the night before. She began fixing tea and toast. When she sat down to eat, the back door swung open and a man walked in. He was gorgeous with dark eyes and wore a wooly sweater that looked remarkably like one of the sweaters she had knit.

“Good morning, sweetheart,” the man said while setting down his bundle of wood on the hearth. The girl stared wide-eyed in shock. This was the very man she had imagined marrying when she was a little girl. She had dated a few of the village boys, but this person was straight from her imagination. “No!” she said out loud, “you can’t be here! Not now, not like this!”  

The man sat down next to her. “You were thinking about me weren’t you? Last night as you sipped your tea and ate your stew?” The girl’s eyes grew big as she remembered her grandmother’s words. “Oh no,” she whispered, “What have I done?” She realized this was the price she was paying for using the magic fountain pen.

One would think an instant man-of-your-dreams husband that brought in the firewood would be just what any woman would want. However, when he got up from the table, he threw his sweater on the floor, and chucked his muddy boots towards the back door. He flung off his hat, but missed the coat rack. He then plopped down at the table and asked for his breakfast.

The behavior of the man disgusted the girl, and she began to yell at him. “You’ll get nothing until you clean up after yourself!” Over and over she yelled at the beautiful, but sloppy man while he continued to make demands of the girl.

Eventually, she wondered if she could use her fountain pen to get rid of the man. As soon as she had the idea, she liked it. Clearing her mind of any other thoughts, she began to draw. The man, in the meantime, hadn’t even thought to clean up after himself, but instead was busy consuming all her bread, most of the butter, and all the fresh milk, while making a huge mess of her kitchen.

The girl was almost finished with her drawing when she said to the man in her sweetest voice, “Darling, would you please go outside and bring in more firewood. It looks like it might snow tonight.”

The man reluctantly stood up, grabbed his hat, put on his shoes and went out the door. When he was outside, a giant eagle came out of the sky and swooped him off the ground! All that was left of the handsome husband was his sweater, which the girl gladly wore that evening when it started to snow. From then on, the pen remained hidden in the drawer. She no longer needed her fantasy man and was able to make tea and stew without the help of anyone or anything else.

Artist prompts: The Visual

The Fountain Pen and the Sweater, a Fairy’s Tail

While my fairies may not be the most stunning art, they served the purpose: to get my right brain functioning again and my right hand warmed up.

The Fountain Pen and the Sweater, a Fairy’s Tail: