And I didn't win. In fact, I got lower than I ever have before. But that's okay. I feel good about taking this story slow. But I love it. A lot. Like, a lot a lot a lot.
And, so, I thought I'd share some snippets with you! It's basically a mix of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Twelve Dancing Princesses retellings. And it makes me happy, even if it is going slow.
“Kenneth, I—woah, what in all that’s green happened to your face?”
Kenneth looked up briefly and cracked a smile. “I sold a cow,” he said solemnly.
Jack slid to a seat next to him. He began to take off his shoes. “Oh, right,” he deadpanned. “Silly me. Don’t know why I didn’t jump to that conclusion in the first place.”
She looked him up and down. “Kenneth, where’s the money you got for Buttercup?” Her voice sounded almost frantic.
Without looking up, Kenneth pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to her.
There was a rather stunned silence for a moment.
There was so much contempt in the single word that Kenneth almost felt that beans were a menace to society and should be banned from all respectable houses.
“Well, yes,” he said uncomfortably. “I didn’t sell her for beans,” he added quickly, glancing up at her angry, disbelieving face and back at the ground. “I sold her for money. Of course."
Kenneth gaped up at it, his eyes straining to see how high it would end up—in a matter of seconds, it had disappeared into the clouds. The rumbling stopped. The beanstalk stood there, as calmly as if it had been there for a hundred years. More maybe—how long did it take to grow a beanstalk that big, the normal way? Oh. Yes. It was impossible.
A nervous sort of laugh escaped him at the thought of the townspeople’s lives being interrupted by that—a body falling out of the sky. They’d sigh and say they knew Edward Kilney’s son would end up like that, and what business did he have to be interfering with their market day?
He walked up to the castle’s grand front door, surprised to see that it had been left ajar. But then, a Giant probably didn’t have to worry much about burglars sneaking in.
Kenneth thought how lucky it was that there was nothing in that direction for miles and miles once it got past their own land—no one to squash and kill. If he squinted, he thought he could just make out the giant’s shoes, pointing up to the sky like gravestones.
Jack shook his head as if his ears had been waterlogged. “The beanstalk—the giant—you—is that gold?—what—what happened?”
Kenneth shrugged. “I thought you summed it up pretty well.”
“Is that why the giant was chasing after you? You risked your life for a goose?”
“Well…” Kenneth held up the egg, and Jack’s mouth made an o. “I figured it would rather solve our financial problems.”
But the people of Ahnlia were not fond of anything out of the ordinary, and Mrs. Kilney especially had a reason to hate abnormal plants.
The abnormal goose, though, was somehow okay.
“Oh, hush,” said the giantess in a voice that Kenneth thought was much too loud to be an inside voice. “Mind your manners, my dear young man.”
“Mind my…” began Kenneth, but he sort of felt like his mouth had been disconnected to his brain.
“Yes,” said the giantess impatiently. “And dear, do close your mouth. You look like a goldfish.”
“What’s a goldfish?” Kenneth asked after he was able to bring himself to speak again.
“I did not bring you here to discuss fish,” said the Giantess. “Let me introduce myself. My name is Cybele.” Her accent was strange; it was rather short and clipped sounding.
“Oh,” said Kenneth. “I didn’t come here to discuss fish, so I guess we’re good.”
Cybele raised a giant eyebrow.
“Also,” Kenneth amended, “I didn’t come here at all. You kidnapped me.”
She sighed heavily. “My part of the deal was that I would never harm another human being, physically or magically.”
“Well, hate to break it to you, but you just broke your end of the deal,” Kenneth pointed out. “I’m feeling pretty harmed right now.”
"…it’s like…filling a pig’s bladder with so much water--never releasing any--that it finally just bursts.”
Kenneth frowned. “Why would I fill a pig’s bladder with water?”
Cybele rolled her eyes, which was very strange to watch at this scale.
“It was the first analogy I could think of that would fit your…rustic lifestyle,” she sniffed.
Kenneth shook his head. “I don’t think anyone I know has ever had the least inclination to fill a pig’s bladder with water. Ever.”
He opened his eyes. He was floating. In mid air.
Peridot leaned over and whispered, “I think green’s more my color anyway.”
Azurite rolled her eyes, but smiled a bit. “What would happen if you wore blue?”
“Probably the kingdom would fall,” Peridot decided.
“Ludlow!” Kenneth skidded to a stop a few feet away from the tall man.
“Kenneth?” the man stopped and frowned concernedly. “Are you alright? What has happened?”
“The prisoner,” Kenneth panted. “You have to let him go.”
So, yeah! That's about it, for now. It's certainly got a lot of work needed on it (like, oh...finishing the rough draft), but I think it'll be fun. :)