A few weeks ago a steampunk aquaintance pinged me on Facebook. He was looking for local writers to submit blurbs for a fundraising calendar. The working title was "Stand Up, Durham! - Walking Through Fairy Tales" Their models chose themes, shoes and props, and a photo shoot happened.
True to form when it comes to writing deadlines, I didn't crack open the Dropbox folder until the day of the deadline. I checked with my friend. "Which ones aren't taken yet?"
"Do 'Evil Easter,'" he said.
We could choose any writing form ... poetry, prose, whatever, up to 200 words. I stared at the photo. No inspiration. To get my mind working, I wrote my thoughts about the image, mostly regarding what I would have done if I had shot the photo. I added and cut until I had 200 words. During that process a sliver of thought emerged, which gave me the voice for the piece. I started working on the piece itself. It jumped out fully formed in less than 20 minutes with barely any editing.
The project director was thrilled (whew). Calendars will be printed next week and they're planning a launch party in mid-December. The Independent Weekly
may even do a short piece on the project. Dang.
Looking at it now, I've warmed up to the photo. The text could use some tigtening up, but I'm leaving it as-is:Evil Easter“So you really have the flu? I thought they were kidding. I had to see this.”
“Your sympathy is touching,” he said, after an epic honk into his hankie. He looked her up and down. “You expect to take all the baskets ‘round … walking mostly on grass ... in those heels?” he said.
She rolled her eyes, snapped her gum and snorted. “They’re magic. Duh.”
He closed his eyes, but gave a short nod. His options at this point were limited. One long white ear flopped forward. “So, just eggs and …a head?”
“Basically. It’s the thought that counts, right?”
“So what exactly are we thinking here?” She regarded him with icy blue eyes and a frighteningly cheerful smile. Seconds before the sun was suddenly obscured by a cloud, he noticed that she cast no shadow on the ground.
“So, eggs and a head it is, he said brightly.” You aren’t going to do anything
....permanent, are you?”
“Relax, Pete, she said.” He very nearly did.