Monday April 23rd, 2012

The exercise:

Have some fun with: the strawberry kingdom.

Over the weekend our new strawberry plants that Kat's parents ordered arrived and we planted them out. All thousand of them (give or take a few - nobody could be bothered to actually count them).

They won't do much this year, other than get established, and next year they'll produce a little bit. The year after that, though, we expect to be drowning in strawberries. Thankfully Kat's dad should be retired by then, so it can be his problem.

Apologies for mine; I'm not the least bit happy with it. But that's what practice is for, right? Sometimes you gotta write crap just to get it out of your system.


Their unfettered laughs reveal bright red tongues. Strawberry Fields Forever is the only song they've ever sung. They're a close-knit bunch, from the old to the young.

Everywhere they go their arms are linked, their steps in synch. In the right light, I think their skin is reddish-pink.

All the hair I've seen is a lush, healthy green. So what does all of this truly mean? From their strawberry addiction they'll never be weaned.


Anonymous said...

The Strawberry Kingdom

I looked around and everything was all pink. The world had turned into a set from a Barbie movie, speaking of whom... yes, there she was, all longlegged and blond, eating strawberry shortcake whilst gazing into the eyes of Ken, who’d settled for a strawberry flavoured milkshake. Barbie looked excited about something; Ken finally proposed and gave her a gold engagement ring fitted with an Australian Argyle pink diamond. Why not? He was wealthy enough.
I looked around, there were more dolls approaching the restaurant, aptly named The Strawberry Kingdom, given the theme was anything with strawberries in it. I saw Malibu Stacey amongst the girls gathering around Barbie. Lisa Simpson would be pleased! She sat down, crushing her pink tulle tutu (it was a ballet theme in this month’s costume) and she tucked into scones with strawberry jam and cream whilst her friend ordered strawberry tart and hot chocolate topped with pink marshmallows. The girls looked expectantly at Barbie who winked her false lashes at them. She flashed the pink jewel that adorned the third finger of her left hand and watched as the others drooled with envy. I could hear the oohs and ahhs from where I was ...
Lying down ... what? I opened my eyes. Everything was normal. It’d been a dream. 
Hungry now, I got up and made toast for breakfast, topped with strawberry jam (of course).

Cathryn Leigh said...

The Strawberry Kingdom

“Strawberry Shortcake may rule the garden, but I rule the actual Strawberry patch!”

In leaps and bounds and twirls,
She came upon the stage.
Her hair, jet black, in bouncing curls.
Her tights and shoes in sage.

Black leotard with poke-a-dots
A red cape about her swirls.
She laughs and jumps around about,
Frightening the little girls.

Strawberry Shortcake and her friends
Stare agape in wonder.
Who is this teen in madness,
Who’s tore their play asunder?

First sentence inspired by the prompt, the poem was then written after i thought I wasn’t going to write anything... Go figure. :}

Krystin Scott said...

This one was just plain hard! I opted for a scene.

As the shiny red corvette inched along, the crowd parted allowing it to pass. My feet rested on the leather interior of its back seat while I sat on the rear end graciously waving at everyone I passed. For once the long red hair, now blowing in the breeze, was of benefit to me. I looked down at the folds of my green dress spread out around me, a contrast to my white skin. I thought of myself as a flower blossoming for the first time in front of all these people. As I held on to that thought the smile on my freckle dappled face widened.

Living in the moment, I barely noticed as we crossed under the large arch decorated with two giant strawberry cutouts and generous lengths of red and green toile. The car stopped. Getting out the well dressed driver walked toward me and took my hand. With a nod of reassurance he helped me from the backseat and placed a hand upon the small of my back, escorting me down the cobbled walk, and up the stairs of a raised dais. Gesturing to the throne before me, he silently instructed me to sit. I settled against its plush strawberry shaped backing, as a long red and gold scepter was thrust into my hands.

A fat little man with cherry red chipmunk cheeks rose and walked to a podium covered with an abundance of streamers and balloons. He tapped the microphone and it squealed. I watched as a number of individuals scrunched up their faces or covered their ears attempting to avoid the sound. The cherub faced man apologized, cleared his throat and continued. Welcome friends and neighbors! I’d like to present to you the queen of this year’s Strawberry Festival, Ms. Scarlet Barry!

Iron Bess said...

@Marc - OMG were we supposed to be trying to write really well all the time, I wish you would have told me that weeks ago? ;) (It is a lot better than I could have done.)
@writebite - I really liked it but was a bit disappointed with the dream ending. I was kind of hoping that it was a restaurant where people had to dress up as characters or something.
@Cathryn - pretty darned good for not going to write anything.
@Krystin - love her name!

Play Strawberry With Me

“You be the queen and I be the princess,” Rand said to me. She took my hand and led me to the corner of the room where Strawberry Shortcake presided over her fruit topping minions.

“What about Strawberry Shortcake?” I asked. “Isn’t she the queen of the strawberry kingdom?”

Rand looked over at Strawberry who was sitting in the place of honour then picked her up by the head and tossed her under the table. “Nope, you be the queen,” she said.

I eyed the small chair dubiously before opting to sit on the pink furry rug. “So what exactly do I have to do as the queen?” I asked.

“You havta lock me in the tower, an-a, an-a, an-a not let me go to the ball,” she gushed.

“So I’m a mean queen,” I said uncertainly. I wasn’t sure if I was cut out to be the wicked witch of the west. Rand’s face brightened and she gave me a big smile and nodded enthusiastically. “So what exactly is it that the princess does?” I asked.

Rand’s face scrunched up as she thought about her role. “Well I havta wear a pretty dress, then I havta try and get away, then I havta dance round and round and round with the princess boy at the ball.”

“So who be the princess boy?” I asked.

“Oh we don’t need one,” she said dismissively.

“Good girl,” I replied. “You sure don’t need one, at least not for a whole lot of years.” I ruffled her soft curly hair and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “What are you doing out of your tower? Guards take the princess back to her room and double lock those doors,” I bellowed.

Rand squealed and clapped her hands.

Anonymous said...

Marc- Even on your off days, you are brilliant!

To be read from the perspective of a snail living in a strawberry garden:

A scant sunray slid over the patch, warning us that the darkest part of the day would soon be upon us. Quickly, we gathered our small wares and retreated into the depths of the brush. The rays intensified, causing the shadows to pull into themselves and our hearts to beat faster. It wouldn’t be long before the eerie red glow would encompass us. “Be silent. Be still. Be small. Be silent. Be still. Be small.” The mantra looped through my mind like the tender roots linked to each other ran below our community. We needed both to survive, although I would have gladly shed the previous if it wouldn’t lead to my immediate demise.

I could hear the familiar beating of my heart being accompanied by a much slower beating. I didn’t need to look to know that dark shadows were streaking madly above us. I could see the shapes change from a large soft grey cloud to the deep black bullet that would ultimately end another life even with my eyes closed. It would only be a matter of time, probably a few seconds, before they alighted. With luck, the earth they kicked up would provide us extra shelter.

Luck was hard to come by though. Like chance, it was finicky and refused to be held to any measurable pattern. The earth would save some of us while sacrificing others. I couldn’t remember a day passing that I hadn’t lost a loved one or that a friend didn’t commiserate over the loss of a cousin or father or friend. I felt the ground give way. They were upon us. “Be silent. Be still. Be small,” I thought. “Be silent. Be still. Be small.”

Marc said...

Writebite - fun little scene. Might have been a nice touch to wake up in the midst of all those toys :)

Cathryn - love it. Full of great images :D

Krystin - yeah, I thought I might be testing you guys with this one. Can't go easy on you all the time :P

Great descriptions, you have a gift for bringing scenes to life.

Iron Bess - shh, that's our little secret now :P

Very cute scene. Wouldn't be surprised if it was non-fiction, as it felt very authentic.

Anon - bah, says I. Appreciate the kind words though :)

Holy moly, that mantra is infectious. Totally stuck in my head right now!

shadow said...

my mum would probably love to live in a strawbery kingdom because well she absalootly loves strawberys.

Marc said...

Shadow - sounds like a perfect fit to me :)

micheal5 said...

on my birthday my grandma came over and she got me a playstation3 two games two controllers a headset and a controller charger. she went home and said she would call us when she gets home she never rang us we thought she forgot but the next day grandad rang and said wheres grandma the car is in the middle of the road but no grandma we filed a missing report but she never turn up.