I really enjoyed reading the entries from the last pinterest writing prompt we did, so I’d love to host another. This time, I’ll narrow down the choices to three. You may choose any of them. Please post your stories in the comments, or a link to your story if you write it elsewhere!
Penelope was a singularly sensible little girl. That is what all of her governesses and nannies and teachers called her, anyway. They always said it with an odd look upon their face, as if they’d just eaten something surprising and not entirely pleasant. Penelope had looked the word up in the big dictionary out on the pedestal in her mother’s library and found nothing objectionable about the descriptor at all.
She was, as it happens, delighted to know the meaning of “sensible” at this very moment, for her little brother (the one she was supposed to be watching, but who constantly crawled out of sight and ate all manner of revolting things upon the floor while she was trying to read a book) had just shoved a fistful of violets into his mouth, turned into a rabbit, and hopped into the forest.
Had she not been a particularly sensible girl, she might have disbelieved what she’d seen, and wasted precious seconds shouting about for her brother to come out of hiding.
Instead, she plucked a handful of the vivid purple violets and pressed them between the pages of her book, slipped the book into her pocket, and dashed after her brother.
Chasing a rabbit, she quickly found, did not lend itself to also paying attention to one’s surroundings. She chased his white cotton tail through a blur of greenery which morphed without her notice from scrubby pines to gnarled oak trees spilling tendrils of spanish moss.
When finally the rabbit’s panicked run came to an exhausted stop, she unpinned her bonnet and collected his long-eared form into it.
“You’ve really done it now, Edgar,” she recited to the furry bundle, using her best admonishing tone. “However am I to explain this to Mother?”
“I see you’ve found my rabbit,” said a pleasant woman’s voice.
Startled, Penelope looked up to see a lady, robed in black but beautiful, standing mere feet away. The woman smiled, teeth neat and white as doves.
“I haven’t found YOUR rabbit,” Penelope politely explained. “This is my brother.”
The woman laughed, and although her voice was still beautiful, the edges of her tone sharpened and turned brittle. She reminded Penelope of one of her governesses, the one that had been caught with silverware in her pockets.
“Don’t be ridiculous, dear girl. A rabbit for a brother? Surely you’ve simply … fallen asleep. Hand over the rabbit, and when you awaken, you will be home and this horrible ordeal will be over.”
Penelope’s eyes drooped and she stopped a yawn before it could begin. “Nonsense!” she argued, clutching her hat-entrapped brother in her arms as she scrambled to her feet. “I am not and have never been ‘ridiculous.’ I am a very sensible girl.”
The woman hissed and her dove-teeth became fangs and the lily-white skin of her hands blackened. “Give him to me, you little fool!”
“I shan’t!” cried Penelope, and stomped the hard leather heel of her boot sharply down on the woman’s foot.
The lady shrieked in surprise and pain, her voice rising more shrilly than any Penelope had ever heard, sounding more like the cats before the butler opened the windows to shout at them and throw a boot to silence them.
Abruptly, the lady was gone. Where she had stood, trapped beneath Penelope’s boot heel, lay a large brassy pendant on a chain. Penelope reached down and noted that the pendant had some kind of fish upon its face. She was still peering quizzically at it when another voice spoke up.
“Well, now you’ve done it, yes you have, and you not even a clue as to what you’ve begun.”
Warily, Penelope looked around, but could not find the speaker. An acorn flew down from a tree overhead and struck her upon the temple. “Up here!”
A dashing red squirrel with quite the most impressive tail she had ever seen scowled down at her.
“Pardon me,” she said, dipping into a curtsy. “I am unaccustomed to being addressed by wildlife.”
The squirrel flipped his tail twice and twitched his nose at her before finally settling down. “That is much better. You would be surprised at how many adventurers don’t know the first thing about manners!”
“Oh, I’m no adventurer. I’m just a girl.” Penelope looked down to her brother and frowned. “A girl having a very unusual afternoon.”
The squirrel laughed, black eyes sparkling. “Ah, dear girl, that is precisely how adventurers are made.”