December 26, 2017

My new middle grade fairy tale novel has a beginning. It might be called BREDLA AND THE RED VELVET ROSE. It begins like this:

Angry. Bredla was angry. And when she was angry, Bredla complained.

“And do you know what else?” said Bredla, “I hate the colors around here. I should say I hate the no colors around here. There are gray rocks and white snow and black at night and black in the cavern. There is black when I close my eyes. And white blizzards with gray tatters. Even our fur is all black and white stripes. Very boring. That is all. Oh, some kind of blue in the ice, yes. Oh, you say the sky is blue, and the sun is yellow. Good for them. But can they shove the clouds and storms aside so I can see blue and yellow for myself? If they can, they have never done it in my lifetime. Well, I want to know even more than blue and yellow. Where is green? You say forests. There is no forest here. Where is red? Especially red. There is a red velvet rose, the raven said. I have never seen red. I do not know what velvet is. I have never seen a flower. I demand to see a flower.”

Bredla folded her arms and glowered. Her parents were helpless whenever Bredla folded her arms and glowered.

“But Bredla,” said her father, “when we came down from the sky, we promised to stay in the caves on top of this very fine mountain. Is that not correct, Harriet?”

“Yes,” said Bredla’s mother. “We really should stay in the caves, dear. They are your home. You were born here. Your father and I saw all the colors when we lived in the sky land. They are not so impressive when you get used to them. Flowers are none of our business. Ice and snow are enough for us. Where will you find such delicious rocks to eat as we have here?”

“I am going to see the red velvet rose,” said Bredla. She tightened the fold of her arms. She deepened the frown of her glower.

Bredla’s parents traded glances. The glances were glances of surrender.

“But how are you going to find this red rose?” asked Harriet, Bredla’s mother.

“Kra,” said Bredla.

“Kra? What is Kra?” said Bredla’s parents at the same time.

“Raven I met under the crag. She was on an errand for her witch. They are coming to get me tomorrow, but I am going now,” said Bredla.

“But what is a raven?” asked Harriet, Bredla’s mother.

“A black bird with a black beak and black wings and shiny black eyes. Kra belongs to the scarlet witch who lives under this mountain. Kra says that the scarlet witch will help me get to the place where the red velvet rose is growing. I will find the witch’s cave at the bottom of the mountain right now. I will soon see scarlet. Not red, though. Kra says scarlet is red with black in it. I do not know what that means, but I will find out. Good-bye.”

Bredla stomped out of the cave and into the permanent storm. Bredla’s parents were not worried. They were confused. Because they were snow giants, Bredla’s parents did not fear witches. They did not fear for Bredla’s safety. Bredla, too, had no fear of witches or anything else, for that matter. She stomped instead of walked. Bredla was a young, sturdy, confident snow giant.

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