Archive for October, 2013

Sleeping Beauty

Posted in Fairy Tales, Fiction on October 23rd, 2013 by Annabelle – 11 Comments

The girl sat in the stone window-ledge.  She was graceful, beautiful, talented, all the gifts given to her at her birth.  She’d had plenty of time to wonder if they had been worth the cost.

Below her, the castle spread in silent grandeur.  In every room, sleepers, hardly seeming to breathe, left where they had fallen.  In the slanting autumn light, the air sparkled with dust that drifted and turned, but never hit the ground.  Not here.

She hadn’t understood at first.  Alone in the stillness, the unwaking bodies of two handmaids on the floor next to her bed, she had finally realized.  The prince hadn’t come.

At the thought, her eyes fell to the brambles surrounding the castle walls.  She saw no bleached skull, but she thought she knew what had happened all the same.  She imagined she could see the spot — just there, where the roses bloomed in dusky glory every summer.

He had died.  And then the funny thing had happened; the angry fairy’s power at last had broken.  The girl had no idea how many years had passed until then, or how many since. The cruelest joke was that it was the “kindness” of the fairy who had saved her that had kept them all trapped.  The fairy had caught the castle out of time until the prince should arrive.  And then he never did.

So here she was, still sixteen, a phantom of longing drifting through the halls, promise eternally unfulfilled.  Outside, the seasons turned.  Inside, she waited for the last spell to break.  She closed her eyes and wished that her parents had not been so eager for magical gifts, that they had let her birth go unremarked and let her take her chances with an ordinary life.   When the distant geese flew by, obedient to the dictates of time, ordinary seemed like the most extraordinary thing she could imagine.

In the courtyard below, a yellow leaf ceased its eternal circling and slipped down to touch the pavement.


This week I’m combining the Write at the Merge prompt from Write On Edge and the weekly Trifecta Writing Challenge.  Write at the Merge gave us the word “pine” and a photo of leaves falling on a deck, and Trifecta gave us the third definition of the word “phantom” (noun):

And of course, a little fairy tale retelling.  Thanks for reading!

Let’s Lunch: The Perfect Breakfast

Posted in Manna on October 11th, 2013 by Annabelle – 5 Comments

Best. Breakfast. Ever.

Welcome to the October round of Let’s Lunch!  This month’s theme is guilty pleasures.  Since around here are in the painfully, painfully brief season when fresh figs are available, I thought I’d share one of my favorite indulgences: starting the day with an opulent breakfast of fresh figs and ricotta.

I love a fancy breakfast.  Let’s be honest: despite the fact that nutritionists are constantly telling us that it’s important to eat breakfast, it’s hard to make time to actually have a real meal at that hour.  Life gets in the way.  So there’s something especially indulgent-feeling about sitting down with a real treat instead of a bowl of cereal or a breakfast bar.

I do try to eat something for breakfast.  I also try not to start my day with a big bowl of full-fat cheese.  But hey, fresh figs are worth it, don’t you think?

Figs and Ricotta with Honey

1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
A pinch of salt
2-3 fresh figs
Freshly ground black pepper
Honey (I used orange blossom)
Fresh mint or rosemary, finely chopped

Stir a pinch of salt into the ricotta and place in a bowl.  Quarter the figs and arrange them on top of the ricotta.  Give a few grinds of pepper on top, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with your herb of choice.  If you use rosemary, as I did, be sparing and make sure to give the leaves a light chopping first.  Mint you can use more freely.

Still hungry?  Check out the other offerings on Twitter, hashtag #LetsLunch, or below:

The Breakfast Club at Sandwich Surprise.
Shoulder Pork and Ham deconstructed at Insatiable Munchies.
Nutella Cookies at The Little Good Ride.
Halayang Ube at Asian in America.
Mars Bar Slice at Monday Morning Cooking Club.
Japanese Crisp Choco Bites at A Tiger in the Kitchen.
Homemade Biscuits and Sausage Gravy at Dreaming of Pots and Pans.
Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Raspberries and Lemon-Scented Cream at Spicebox Travels.