Min min Prompt (11/20/2023): In celebration of poet Rabbie Burns’ birthday, write up to 250 words around his quote “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men // Gang aft agley (often go astray)”
To view others’ responses to this prompt, click here.
BTW, this is the 8th of several short(er), seat-of-the-pants installments of an ongoing serial; all can be found on my blog site. I have no idea where this is going, but I intend to have fun while I get there. Optional Summary, but it’ll help: Two teens climb up what they’d heard was a haunted tower, only to find a beautiful stained glass window at the top depicting blue skies, bunnies nibbling on a wind-stroked field of clover, with a castle in the distance. They are drawn into the scene and tumble down a hill, their jeans and t-shirts transforming to dirndl and lederhosen, and find themselves surrounded by tawny-striped, fierce rabbits. Who talk. Yep.
So, we have a magic portal, the warrior bunnies of Queen Buttermilk of the far castle, and of course there are magical objects in a couple of overturned buckets, though Jack has a switchblade in his pocket. Because yes, the teens are named Jack and Jill. Sorry, not sorry.
Jill feeds the rabbits and themselves by spreading the magical tablecloth, and once satisfied, decide to journey to Queen Buttermilk’s castle and find their way home. They head down to a nearby stream to fetch a pail or two of water. And so the story continues…
“You reckon that stream’ll bring us to the castle?” Jack squinted, tracing its sparkling twists and turns.
“Makes about as much sense as anything we’ve experienced so far,” snorted Jill. “Too bad we don’t have a boat.”
“Maybe we do. Let’s look in the buckets.” Lowering the yoke from his shoulders, he pawed through their contents. “We know what the magic tablecloth does. Maybe this brass acorn thimble?”
Jill slipped off her wooden shoes, stepping to the stream’s bank. “It’ll probably sink, but let’s give it a try.” She handed Jack the thimble.
He slipped off his shoes, stepping into the water. “Shit, that’s cold. And…carbonated?”
“Of course it is,” Jill laughed.
“Maybe one of the buckets’ll do?” He pulled them over.
Jill frowned, taking the thimble back and drying it on the skirt of her dirndl. Slipping it in her pocket, she mused, “I have a feeling the pails are for carrying things like water, and magical objects.”
“What’s magical about a baseball mitt?” scoffed Jack.
“We don’t know that yet, do we?” Jill snapped. She shook her head, thinking, “Honestly, what’s wrong with this guy?” In a pique, she grabbed her wooden shoe and threw it at him.
Jack raised his arm. The shoe bounced off and into the water.
He sighed. All he’d wanted was to get Jill up into the tower, maybe kiss her. She was popular, cute, and she seemed to get him, unlike other girls. Well, the best laid plans of mice and men…
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2023)