Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Monday Project - Storybook

Storybook by Hybrid J

"And then, the Lady in the red dress went back to the dark hall and sat there waiting ..." I closed the storybook and waited for Poppy to ask for more. But she knew that no matter how much she begged me, I wouldn't.

"Come, my dear." I handed her the storybook. She held it against her small body. "Remember what I told you." Poppy nodded her head. "Tell me then." I stood up from the chair. "You said I'm to put the storybook on the mantel place and open to the last page." She sounded annoyed. "And then?" I asked. "And then, we go to bed," Poppy stood in front of the fireplace clutching the storybook, "but ma, why we're never allowed to read the end of the story?" I smiled and shook my head. "Now, let's be a good girl and do what you're told."

Poppy asked if I could stay with her til she fell asleep. She never enjoyed the stay at the family house near the lake. I didn't either. But like her, I was a dutiful daughter to my mother. I returned every year on the summer solstice to read the storybook, except the last page. "It was for Her to read only." Mum told me when I was Poppy's age.

"Ma ..." muttered Poppy in her sleep. I held her tighter and stroked her back gently. She sighed a little and sunk back to sleep. I stared into the darkness of the room and imagined the Lady in the red dress waiting for us to leave the hall. She picked up the storybook we left on the mantel place. And when the last page was read, she and her lover will be reunited agian for the night. They will disappear til the next summer solstice when the storybook is read again.


copyright 2009 Hybrid J. All Rights Reserved.

Above is my submission to The Monday Project - Storybook.

I'm a big believer that once the story is published (in whatever form), it's no longer the sole property of the writers. (I'm not talking about copyright here as I'm dead serious about it!) The readers will now share the creative journey with the writer.

I hope you enjoy my little story. I'd appreciate any comments, though here are a few I specially like to know about.

1) Do you like / dislike the story? Why?
2) Would you consider the story self-contained or it feels incomplete?
3) What do you think of the writing? Bad, average, fair or good?

All are welcomed to leave comments in this blog or to email me at with any suggestions you might have. Thank you.


kate said...

Oh yes! I love it :) thanks for getting involved! Its so interesting to see different peoples responses to the one idea.

I liked the story and i like the writing :) I think its self-contained and feels a whole. It makes me wonder about the before and the after but it definitly doesn't feel incomplete. it makes me sad and it makes me happy, both at the same time. Weird :p

Thanks for playing along! Can't wait to see what else you come up with next

sophie said...

Thanks for your comments on my story. Mine is part of a larger project that I'm working on at the moment, so there are more chapters to it, but the Storybook theme certainly gave me another direction in which to take it.

I've just read yours for about the third time and I love it. I get something new out of it each time. I love the idea of the haunted house, but where the ghosts are welcomed. I also like the idea of the three generations of women who are involved in this.

Do you think you'll take the story any further, or just leave it as a snippet? I think it works really well as both.

Hybrid J said...

Hi Kate,

Appreciate your comments and your time to answer all my questions. It's interesting to notice the bitter-sweet emotions you had from the story. I didn't expect it at all! (love it) Yes, there sure could be more about the story. Will give it a rest for now and see if it wants to be written further ... :)

Cheers and have a wonderful day!

Hybrid J said...

Hi Sophie,

Thanks a lot for the wonderful respond and most of all, a 3 times reading! You surely made my day, hahaha! I haven't shown my writings to people for quite a while so all these (including Kate's) comments mean a lot to me. I'm giving the story a break to see if it wants to be written further. And also I tend to write short short (or some calls flash fiction). I like the idea of snippet which lingers ...

Cheers and thanks again!!! :)

Mr Sketchy said...

Hey Hybrid J,

I liked this story. I will admit, I also read it three times. I was found I got a lot more out of it the second and was intrigued to see if the third time would reveal something more.

I'm torn, I would have to say I'd like to know more about what happens after. But I also think it does complete itself in someways...

Hybrid J said...

Hi Mr Sketchy,

Thanks heaps for reading the story 3 times. Good on you! Seems like the story works its effect to hold and raise readers' interest. Sorry if I made you torn between your thoughts ;) Maybe I'll continue it with our March project - "Missing You" ...

Anyway, really apprecaite your respond. Hope to see you round.

Cheers and have a wonderful day!