Sunday, January 2, 2011

Yay, it's time for No Kiss Blogfest

No Kiss Blogfest today! That means dozens of writers are putting up scenes where lips come close but are denied connection. Mean writers.

The fest is hosted by Frankie Diane Mallis, and the scenes are bound to range from sizzlin' to hilarious.


The art I chose for my fractured fairytale with modern sensibilities is John Waterhouse's La Belle Dame Sans Merci.


The scene I'm sharing takes place after a princess is forced to leave her father's castle to go on a quest. She is supposed to fulfill her destiny alone and has already had to fight an ogre. This scene occurs when she searches for someone who's following her.



Sword in hand, Princess Charming stepped soundlessly to an opening in the brush. A person, wrapped in a cloak, slept beside a dead fire. A horse dozed nearby.

She crept forward until she could put the tip of her sword against the person’s neck. The cloak covered most of his face, but he was surely male. “Who are you, and why do you follow me?” she demanded, her voice quavering only on the last word.

The man jerked and gasped. Charming stumbled back, tripping on a root. For a moment, she felt suspended in air and then she landed with a thud on her rump, but she managed to keep the sword pointed in the man’s direction.

She scrambled to her feet, feeling an unwanted blush flare on her cheeks, and stared wide-eyed at the young man peering out of the cloak. “Conner? What are you doing here?”

“Gah. You scared me, sneaking up like that, Charms. Although your pratfall took the edge off.” He smiled and sat up, rubbing his eyes and then running fingers through his tangled, blond hair.

“I scared you. Haven’t you been following me--like a sneak thief?” She wanted to erase the fact she’d fallen. But she needed to brush off the dirt, so she ran her free hand across her backside as stealthily as she could.

“A sneak thief! I’m trying to protect you.” Conner flung aside the cloak and stood, towering a foot taller than she.

They glared at one another for an instant until both became aware that Conner was in his long, wool underwear. “Drat. Beg your pardon,” he murmured.

Charming averted her eyes, staring at the dark loam and fallen leaves around her feet. She could hear Conner struggling into his leather breeches and doublet. But even when he was dressed, with boots on and hair tied back, she was too embarrassed to hold his gaze.

She attempted bravado. “You know you must go home, Conner, but you may as well come to our camp for breakfast first.” She kicked at the cold branches in his campfire to scatter them.

“Our camp?” Conner put a finger beneath her chin and tilted her head so she had to look at him. “I thought you were alone.”

“It’s complicated.”

“It’s always complicated where you’re concerned.” Conner dropped his hand from her chin.
“Who’s with you? I requested to be first choice. I thought no one was allowed to accompany you.”

“So did I, but this woman showed up in the middle of the night.”

“A woman?”

“She’s not exactly ordinary.” Charming was unsure what she was allowed to say about Selena.
“She says she can teach me things that will help me on the quest.”

Conner frowned. “I want to meet her, question her.”

“I said you could come for breakfast, but don’t try to be Princess Defender or whatever role you think you must fill.”

“I can’t help being your defender, don’t you know that?” Conner’s voice sounded softer, deeper. He brushed a stray lock of hair off her forehead and let his fingers linger on her cheek.
Her skin tingled where he touched her. His eyes were the same color as pine trees. Why had she never noticed how rich and mysterious the color was before? And his lashes were long enough to cast shadows.

His hand cupped her chin while his thumb grazed her lower lip, feather-soft. “Charms, we never get to be alone. I’ve wanted to do this for so long.” His face dipped toward hers.

Time seemed to stop. She’d never been alone like this with any boy. As she looked into Conner’s familiar face, she was fascinated by how changed he looked--the way his eyelids were heavy, his lips slightly parted.
It seemed that the world held its breath, and there was no one but the two of them in all time and space. But there was so little space between them now. She lifted her chin, offering her mouth to be kissed, longing to know what his lips would feel like on hers.

A tiny gust of wind came out of nowhere, whipping a strand of her hair loose. It danced across her nose and then Conner’s. When they both reached to rub their noses, their hands collided.

Charming giggled. She felt as she was breaking a spell as she took a step back, out of his reach. “Conner, I must return to camp.”

“Just one kiss, Charms. Who knows when we’ll have another chance.” He moved forward, closing the space again. “Just one can’t hurt anything.”

As soon as he said those words, she knew, without a doubt, that within the world of magic, a kiss might change everything. She could not. “We should have breakfast and then you must go home before they come after you.”

She turned her face away from the hurt in his eyes. She ached for that one kiss, too.


Christine Danek said...

Very sweet. Nice job. I like her name. Would love to read on.
Have a great day!

Jan Morrison said...

Oh, nice twist - I like this. Not sure I'll join in as I'm up to my armpits in revision crocodiles but hmmmm...maybe?

Catherine Denton said...

Even though I know no one is getting kissed, I'm still surprised when they don't. I let out a Homer Simpson type, "Doe!"

Great work! I like both these characters. And I love how you ended the scene with, "that within the world of magic, a kiss might change everything".

Sarah Ahiers said...

ooh, i have that print framed in my bedroom! Good taste! And I agree with catherine, i loved how the scene ended

storyqueen said...

I love this.

Is this from the story you are working on right now?

Such fun. I would love to read more!

Well done.


Amalia Dillin said...

awww! So fun! so cute! If only you had not uttered those words, Conner!

I love that you named her Princess Charming, and gave her the nickname of Charms. Perfect.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

AAAH! I LOVE this! Love the twist and the language and the nickname and I just loved it! Thanks so much for participating:)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Christine: Thank you. I was crazy about yours!

Jan: Oh, I wish you could join in, but I know sometimes you can only stretch so far. Thanks for the comment!

Catherine: Ha! Thank you. I'm glad it worked. She really does have to watch those kisses...

Sarah: How cool you have that print! I've used his artwork before for illustrations--so good. And thank you!

Shelley: Yes, this is from the fairytale I'm working on. It is such a fun story to write--I'm glad people are finding it fun to read. (And if you're willing, I may very well ask you to read this one when I come to The End.)

Amalia: Exactly! He blew it big time. She's stuck with rules she doesn't want but it's destiny, so what can she do?

Frankie: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so glad you like it, and I'm so glad you held the fest again. It's such fun.

The Words Crafter said...

Oh, well done! I want to read the rest of the story! Princess Charming - cool!

Mia Hayson said...

I love it! I especially love the chemistry between them and how she's the one waving the sword about.


Kelly Lyman said...

Love this! I want to know why she thinks that just one kiss could change everything in their world. I want to know more about this quest and why he can't be with her! Great job!

Amparo Ortiz said...

LOVE that he calls her Charms!! So. Cute.

Also, this may be the best line ever: "Just one can’t hurt anything.”

Um... hello???? KISS HIM, Charms!!!

Great post!

Summer Ross said...

Persistent isn't he. fun read. Thanks for posting

Jemi Fraser said...

I hope they get htat kiss before the end of the story! Great characters - you can really tell a tale :)

Donna said...

Ohhhhh. Now that's enticing.

Christina Lee said...

Charms you MUST!!! So lovely! My favorite line: "she knew, without a doubt, that within the world of magic, a kiss might change everything."

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

WordsCrafter: Thankyou! I'm working on it so that someday I hope everybody can read the rest of it. I'm pretty fond of this one.

Mia: Yes, she does quite a bit of sword waving. :D

Kelly: She's just realizing what magic exists and what it has to do with her, so she's treading carefully.

Amparo: Ha! Don't you wish she would! Alas, she won't listen to me.

Summer: Yes, that might be his middle name. ;)

Jemi: Wow, thank you!

Donna: Oh, I hope it is. :)

Christina: Yeah, that's a loaded line. Much hangs in the balance. Thanks for liking it. :D

Jessica Silva said...

Super cute! He seemed like a little puppy dog, but then there was a hint of danger at the end. Great job. Thanks for sharing!

Devin Bond said...

We ache for that one kiss too! Conner was adorable and innocent. Princess Charming is a clever spin.

I really like it and I wish I could read more! Great job. :)

Raquel Byrnes said...

I love this, especially the way they call each other by nicknames. The thought of a kiss changing things in the world they inhabit is powerful and adds great conflict.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Jessica: Thanks. Yes, there's danger. He's no puppy. :)

DevinBond: Glad to put a little of the good ache out there. ;) Thanks so much.

Raquel: Thank you so much. Yeah, Charming has to mind those kisses at peril, she finds out.

Unknown said...

Amazing job. Thanks for turning me on to this blogfest. It has been incredibly fun reading everybody's almost kisses!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Love your characters and their chemistry. I wanted their lips to meet as much as they seem to!

~that rebel, Olivia

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

Love it! Not quite the same thing, but We have up the All Sex Blog post right now. It's about your writing
Post Conjunction Bliss

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Trisha: Loved yours. I'm so glad you joined in.

Olivia: Thank you! This was such fun.

Lupe: Your wordplay on that post is too funny!

Robyn Campbell said...

Pat! Loved this one. Is this your fairy tale? Or another delicious tidbit of something you might work on? Whichever. You have written in such an awesome twist, girlfriend. Love, love it. The conflict is overwhelming. Dang it! I felt like I had been denied that kiss. Would and want to read more.

Happy New Year. It's our year. :)

Charity Bradford said...

Oh, how lovely and sad all at once. I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing.

Loralie Hall said...

So not only do they not kiss, but we get to see the heroine's thoughts about why. I love all the little twists and turns in this that make a familiar story different.

Dominic de Mattos said...

I loved the whole topsy turvy fairytale world. The humour is great and the characters so engaging. This is so readable! Thoroughly enjoyed your writing, thanks for sharing!

:Dom (My No Kiss)

Sherrie Petersen said...

I love Princess Charming -- what a nice spin! Nice job :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: Hi, my friend, and thank you for the support, as always. Yes, this is the fairytale I'm currently working on and having such fun with.

Charity: Thank you, it is bittersweet. Glad you like it.

Loralie: The twists are what make rewriting fairytales so much fun. I'm really enjoying this and thank you for the comment!

Dominic: Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the humor in it. I'm trying to keep that tone.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Very sweet and fun! And I'm seriously hoping they get to kiss at some point! :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sherrie: I love her, too! Thank you.

Susan: We'll see about that! and thank you.

Julie Dao said...

I love it, but it was cruel! I wanted them to kiss as much as she wanted him to kiss her LOL. More, please!

Wendy Lu said...

Haha, I like the little nickname, Charms. :) I like the interaction they have together.

"It seemed that the world held its breath, and there was no one but the two of them in all time and space. But there was so little space between them now. She lifted her chin, offering her mouth to be kissed, longing to know what his lips would feel like on hers."

^^ I'm pretty sure that at that point my breath was completely sucked in and I kept screaming in my head, "Kiss, darn it! JUST KISS!"


Melissa said...

I freaking adore your last two sentences. A perfect finish for an excellent excerpt!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Julie: Yeah, I'm mean that way. :)

RedAngel: hee-hee. I'm glad you had fun with the tease.

Melissa: Oh, my, thank you!