Saturday, August 30, 2008

A good start

At last I have joined the ranks of JK Rowling, Neil Gaimen, Nick Hornby and Tom Stopard as a published author... well, it's not all that really... you may have heard of the "What's your story?" competition Waterstones is running, if not, you may have heard that JK Rowling sold a short story for £25,000 not so long ago, well, it was part of this competition. Anyway, I was shortlisted.

So I thought I would post the story here for your reading pleasure. It's called 'The Perfect Word'. It began it's life as a short screenplay, which I always thought was a bit too ambitious ever to be filmed, at least in Ireland. But I always thought it'd be something the Henson Company would like! It has lots of puppet you see.

However I condensed it to it's essence to get it onto one page... anyway, see what you think. Enjoy.

The Perfect Word
Frank Kelly

Once upon a time there was a young man who loved a fair maiden. She was the most beautiful maiden in all the land. So beautiful was she that everyone in the village, men and women alike, would line up outside her door everyday to ask for her hand in marriage. But her answer was always the same:
“No, not you.”
The young man watched from his cabin day after day, listening to the fools and their proposals, watching as they presented her with elaborate gifts like birds, cows and cabbages. But her answer was always the same:
“No, not you.”
One day a prince rode into town on a horse. He skipped the queue as princes often do and jump from his steed to one knee and held out a monstrous dazzler of a ring.
“You are the most beautiful maiden in all the land. With beauty so luminous it dulls the sun. I will give thee my kingdom if you will only be mine.”
“No, not you.” The gathered crowd drew a collective sigh and the prince rode on, a broken man.
The young man wondered why she had said no to all that wealth and power. The prince had promised so much and said such wonderful things… and then it hit him... She had not heard the right words. He would find them and with them make her his wife.
With a quill in one hand and his head in the other he began. All night he paced and pondered and poured over parchment. But no words came. He wrote about the sun, the moon and the stars, the birds and bees, the flutter of his heart and the whisper of the wind. But such words dulled compared to her beauty.
“I must find the perfect word,” he announced to the bugs and bats in his cabin and with great determination he set out into the unknown world to find the perfect word.
Along his journey he discovered France and Australia. He named oceans. He pointed Columbus west. He told Galileo to look up and Newton to look down. But he could not find the words to describe how he felt about the fair maiden who lived in his thoughts and haunted his dreams.
But after two years of searching his journey had came to an end at the world’s edge. He could go no further and so gave up and turned back.
The weary, sun bleach suitors still stood by the fair maidens door. As he walked by her cabin the door opened and she stepped out. He saw that she looked tired and pale. She looked at the first in line.
“No, not you,” she said with a sigh. As the young man walked by he looked at her and she looked back.
“Hello,” he said and walked on.
“You,” she said. The man stopped and turned and looked at her.
“You,” she said again.
“Me?” he said.
“Yes you,” said the fair maiden and ran toward him. She threw her arms around him and kissed him.
“I’ve been waiting for you to say hello to me for as long as I can remember.”


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