Chapter 1: Frankie, Elvis, & Dionne

Submissions for the January issue are now closed and with that closing, we’ve also ended our round robin story: Let’s Get Physical. Have no fear! If you’ve missed any of the chapters and would like to get caught up, just go here.

Last week, we opened submissions for our February/March issue: Fairies, Elves, and Dragons. Today, I’m kicking off a new story based on this issue’s theme.

Chapter 1: Frankie, Elvis & Dionne

Tucker waited for his mother to come and read him a bedtime story. The lamp on his bed side table was small and barely lit his room, inviting shadows to grow in the dark corners.  He stared at the closet, trying to figure out if he actually heard a sound from inside or if his mind was playing tricks on him again. Every night for the last two months, Tucker swore he heard tiny voices coming from inside of his closet. They always appeared right around story time. He told his parents about the voices and they always checked but never found anything – except for a stash of junk food he hid. That didn’t go over well with his mother.

The door to his bedroom creaked as his mother opened it and stepped in.

“Are you read for your story?” She asked.

Tucker nodded, relieved he was no longer alone.

She bent over by the bookshelf, selected a book and showed it to him. “How about this one?”

Tucker nodded again, making room in his bed for his mother to sit.

***

(Frankie)

Frankie peered through the slats of the little boy’s closet door, trying to listen as his mother read to him. “Shush!” She said to her companions – Elvis and Dionne. “She’s about to begin the story.”

“How’s she starting it tonight?” Elvis asked as he pulled a hat off his head, revealing his pointed ears. “I hope it’s not once upon a time.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Dionne asked, wrapping her scaly tail around her body.

“It’s over done,” Elvis whined. “Every freaking story begins with once upon a time. Once upon a time there was a cat who wore a ridiculous hat. Once upon a time there was a princess who broke a nail while she waited for her prince to rescue her. Once upon a time there were three fat bears who ate a little girl for breakfast.”

“Enough, Elvis.” Frankie scolded. “We get it. You hate how fairy tales open. Find something new to complain about.”

“Oh,” Elvis began, sliding down a tall shoe. “Excuse me. I’m sorry I’m boring you.” He looked Frankie up and down. “By the way, what the hell are you wearing?”

“What do you mean?” Frankie looked down at her tank top, yoga pants and white sneakers.

“I thought you were a fairy. Where’s your skanky leotard and racy tights? Where are your wings?”

“I only wear those when I’m working,” Frankie said. “Today’s my day off.”

A  fireball shot across the walk-in-closet, striking the wall next to the door. The flames left a small scorch mark on the wall.

“Watch out!” Frankie and Elvis said.

“Sorry,” Dionne said, belching. “It’s my acid reflux. I can’t control it.”

“Try!” Frankie ordered.

“It’s not so easy,” Dionne said. “Last week I was flying over a mountain range and had to stop because I was getting air sick. The nausea triggered my acid reflux and I vomited fireballs all over the top of the mountain.

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“The poor humans living in the town below ran for the lives because they thought the mountain was an erupting volcano.”

“That was you?” Elvis asked. “I heard about that on the news.”

“Enough, both of you!” Frankie yelled, exasperated by her companions.

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“Dionne.” She sighed. “Do your very best to not set anything in here on fire. And you,” Frankie turned toward Elvis. “Since you’re such an expert on how stories should start, how would you do it?”

“I’ll tell you how I’d do it,” Elvis said, prancing up to Frankie. “I start it with a rap.” Elvis cleared his throat, puffing out his chest. “Yo! Yo! Yo! Listen up, people! Cuz this is how the story goes. An Elf. A Fairy. And a Dragon —”

“STOP!” Frankie ordered. 

“What?” Elvis asked. “I barely started.”

“That was the worst rap I’ve ever heard. Do NOT quit your day job doing…whatever it is elves do.”

Oh come on!” Elvis said. “It wasn’t that bad. Dionne, tell Frankie it wasn’t that bad.”

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Elvis turned toward the dragon. “What are you doing?”

Dionne had her cell phone out. “I’m texting my therapist. I think I’m going to need extra sessions this month.”

“You two are a tough crowd,” Elvis said.

Frankie peered through the closet door. “Shoot.”

“What?” Elvis asked.

“Story time is over,” Frankie said. “We missed the whole thing.” She shrugged her shoulders. “All right, guys. We’d better hop back into our books before anyone notices we’re missing.”

Frankie climbed the wall, leaving a trail of fairy dust on the paint. She pulled herself onto the shelf and walked over to the book. She bent down, and grabbed the edge of her book. She pulled on the cover, but couldn’t get it to open. “Crap. Hey, guys! I can’t get my book to open.”

“Me neither,” Dionne said from down below.

“Who the heck is this freak on the cover of my book?” Elvis asked, alarmed. “I don’t remember him being in this story.”

Frankie peered over the edge of the shelf. “That’s not your book, moron! That’s a package of cookies.” She rolled her eyes. “Your book is over there!” She pointed in the direction of his book.

“I knew that,” Elvis said. “I was just testing you to see if you were paying attention.”

“Uh huh.” Frankie replied.

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Elvis grunted and groaned as he fought with the cover of his book. “What the heck is going on?” He asked. “I can’t get my book to open either.”

“Frankie,” Dionne began, “what are we going to do if we can’t get back into our stories?”

To Be Continued….

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