Magic Carpet Ride

For authors, by authors, one word at a time

Magic Carpet Ride

December 1, 2011 Writing 32

She came flying in on a red carpet woven with real gold. She soared between the mountains and skipped across the lake like a pebble chucked by a small boy’s hand. She sailed through the waterfall, laughing in delight even as her eyes caught sight of her father standing big and bold against the blue and cottony sky. She flew in close to him slowly, then picked up speed as she passed him, laughing once more as his outstretched arms missed. She made one more round before letting the carpet settle in a meadow filled with yellow daisies, their rich brown eyed centers giving warmth among the brightness.

She plucked one from the earth and pulled its petals off one by one.

“He loves me!” with a smile.

“Oh, he loves me not.” Her mouth drew down in a mock frown.

“Silly girl,” her father called. His head cast a shadow as he stood over her, his big, loose silver curls catching a gleam from the sun momentarily blinding her. “Of course I love you!”

She giggled as he laid down beside her and tickled her belly. “If only your mother could see you now, flying about like an old pro on that carpet.”

“Ha! She’d throw a fit! ‘She’s too young to be gallivanting around in the skies,’ she’d say. I don’t know why she is so worried. It’s practically safer than driving a car. At least there is no traffic in the sky!”

This elicited a laugh from her father. She loved the sound of it, so deep and jolly, and the way it made his belly jiggle. She loved pulling on his white beard and feeling his moustache tickle her cheek whenever he kissed her.

“It’s her job to worry. Just the same, let’s keep this a secret for now. Christmas eve will be here soon enough and she’ll give in, especially when she gets the report on how well your carpet riding is.” He pulled one of her gold curls conspiratorially.

“I can’t wait. I’ve waited all my life to ride in the sleigh!” She jumped on the carpet in excitement. Her father laughed again. His eyes twinkled.

“All your life, eh? That’s been what, a whole eight years?”

“Doesn’t matter. I’m one step closer to bare-backing Rudolph.”

“Let’s slow down. You’ve just had your first ride on the magic carpet. You aren’t quite ready for Rudolph yet. I don’t think Rudolph is ready for you, either. We have time for one more run. You up for it?”

She smiled so wide her teeth sparkled in the sunlight. She sat back down on the carpet, grabbed two gold threads and shouted “Away!”

She went flying away on a red carpet woven with real gold. She soared between the mountains and skipped across the lake like a pebble chucked by a small boy’s hand. She sailed through the waterfall, laughing in delight even as her eyes caught sight of her father standing big and bold in his red pants and black boots. She flew in close to him slowly, then picked up speed as she passed him, laughing once more as his outstretched arms were left empty.

This little story was first inspired by the carpet puzzle piece, which led to thoughts of Steppenwolf and the Magic Carpet Ride song, so here, for your listening pleasure is Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride:


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This week’s prompt instructions were to use 4 puzzle pieces (shown below). Each of the “extra” pieces could be a story all on its own. Your challenge it to make them all fit together.

This story is also from a prompt for I’m a Storyteller. We were given 2 pictures and a list of story starters or phrases to choose from. I chose “She came flying in…”

So, what do you think? How do you like my little story? Constructive criticism is always wanted and appreciated.

 

32 Responses

  1. TheKirCorner says:

    I loved everything about it. Loved it, it was magical and whimsical….exactly what I need these days. Plus Santa having a daughter makes my heart smile. It just seems like that’s how it should be!

    • DM says:

      I’m so glad you liked it. I enjoyed the magical and whimsical writing after the dark I’ve spent the last 30 days in writing my horror story.

  2. Angelia Sims says:

    So cute! And such a delight to read. 🙂

  3. I love this piece. My daughter and I are listening to the Alana stories by Tamora Pierce, and your main character sounds like the same type of headstrong girl who knows herself. This piece is snappy and fun!

    My effort at constructive criticism:

    “She made one more round before letting the carpet settle in a meadow filled with yellow daisies, [their brown eyed centers lending warmth among the brightness.]–can this bracketed fragment be blended into the sentence below with an effective transition? What are the brown-eye centers making the girl think of? Is this detail important? If so why?

    “She plucked one from the earth and pulled its petals off one by one.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “She smiled so wide she could have been [auditioning for an Extra commercial.]” I’m not sure what it is about this that makes me stop. Perhaps I want a better picture as a reader, and auditioning as an extra doesn’t show me that smile.

    Santa having a daughter is something special. I really, really hope you do more with this. There is some great magic going on with this piece.

    • DM says:

      Actually the last one, the Extra commercial, it’s supposed to be Orbit gum..you know the cheesy commercials where your teeth are always white and shiny no matter what? I’m still not sure that line works though…

      I really appreciate your effort too. I’m pushing the word limit with this piece, but I like the ideas you presented.

      I hadn’t thought about doing more with this, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. This could be a fun story to tell.

      • I guess the idea of the Extra commercial was lost on me. We’ve no TV reception at our house. My daughter is eight and this kind of story is just her speed. This story might find a good audience in the child just moving beyond chapter books but not yet ready for big reads. A story that still has illustrations but not a “baby” book. 🙂

        • DM says:

          Thank you for replying back. It’s interesting because I was thinking that if I left it as is, just simplifying some of the “bigger” worlds, and had it illustrated like a Night before Christmas that it would be appealing to even the smaller set. I will definitely keep your daughter in mind.

  4. julieemoore says:

    This could be a great children’s book. Great detail,

  5. strangelyd says:

    This is a perfect for this time of year. I read it and knew I’d want to share it with my oldest. I agree that it could make a really neat children’s or young adult book.(Love the introduction of a magic carpet into the Santa story.) I also thought that you captured the girl’s spirit in this one post. Love it.

    • DM says:

      Did your oldest like it? I’m considering having my artist brother illustrate it and maybe self-publishing it. Do you think it needs more?

      Thank you!!!

  6. I love the concept here. The images of her riding the carpet are good.

    The only criticism I have is the use of the Orbit audition. To me, it felt out of sync with the tone of the rest of the story. And I’d like to know more of that story.

    Also, I might have some Steppenwolf on my iPod…

    • DM says:

      the Orbit audition was added in later, and I love the image, but I wasn’t sure if it worked, so thanks for sharing that with me!

      Steppenwolf is awesome.

  7. Donna says:

    What a fun story to read! You should definitely turn this into a children’s book as others have suggested. I know two little girls who would just adore it! Critique-wise, I also stuttered over the Orbit mention. The first thing that popped into my head was “Dirty Mouth?” Great motto for gum, not so much for Santa’s daughter. Oh, and I loved that this story took place in the summertime. It’s nice to see Santa relaxing, even if he’s doing it in his boots!

    • DM says:

      I did end up changing it, so I hope it still works the same (without the “dirty Mouth” aspect, LOL). Thank you so much for stopping by and reading and taking time to offer critique. I really appreciate it!!

  8. I just love your work. This was such a fun and light-hearted piece. You are truly talented!

  9. Lance says:

    one of your best…the imagery and the pacing are damn near perfect.

    Love the ending/last paragraph.I just felt emotional swept away. Awesome.

  10. Carrie says:

    I love this. It’s so fun and light and the use of Santa is clever. What DOES he do all year before the holidays take all his time? Why, teach his daughter to fly. But of course!!

    🙂

  11. TheMHalf says:

    This is great. It took a minute for the fact that it was Santa and his daughter to sink in. As much as I claim to “hate” everything Christmasy, this really took me on a fun journey. I loved the light-heartedness of it. It’s fun and well-written. Great job!!

  12. Brandi says:

    Oh Steph, this was… I’m speechless…honestly love, love it… and I hope you write more!
    I’m going to read it to our youngest tonight before she goes to bed. She’ll be 10 on the 13th but she still ‘believes’ so I know she’ll love it too!

    Again, I loved it and I’m so glad this is what you came up with for our little puzzle pieces!

    • DM says:

      Will you let me know if she enjoyed it? Did she ask any questions or anything specific she wanted to know? Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m really glad you liked it.

  13. May says:

    This made me smile. Sweet, lighthearted fun without being sugary.

    • DM says:

      Thank you, May!! My NaNo piece was rather dark and spooky, so after a month in the imaginary dark, this was a breath of fresh air. 😉

  14. Brandon says:

    HA! Very cute! I smiled throughout this.

    The only thing I have for you is the part where she is talking to her dad. For an eight year old, her speech is a little advanced, not to mention, how would she know it’s easier than driving a car? I think if you toned that portion down just a notch, it would be a perfect children’s book!

    Great use of the prompt. Very impressive!

    • DM says:

      You mean your little ones don’t know “how” to drive a car? LOL. Mine’s been telling me how to drive since she was 5. Haha.

      There are a few spots I need to “downsize” to make this really work as a children’s story, so I’m glad you mentioned it. I’ve been playing around trying to think of how to expand it, but so far I’m not coming up with anything. it’s not like it’s going to hit the bookshelves within the next 2 weeks anyway, right?

      It’s good to see you.

  15. So whimsical!

    I did sort of wish the little girl had a name or maybe a few less “shes” in the first paragraph. I realize this is a children’s story and depending on the age, the sentences shouldn’t be too long. But maybe combine some of them or arrange them so all the “shes” aren’t at the beginning of the sentences.

    Nicely done!

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