Monday, July 9, 2012

Chuck Wendig Challenge rewrite a fairy tale in a modern setting.

Puss in Boots in a modern setting.

From the obituaries in Cork Today!

Today, peacefully at his residence in the exclusive suburb of Montenotte in
Cork City, Robert Maxwell of Maxwell Mills passed away. Surrounded by his
family, sons Michael, Robert and Toby and extended family.

Maxwell Mills ltd has been passed on to his eldest son, Robert Junior seven
years ago, Michael Maxwell the second son has emigrated to the United
States where he set up a franchise buying top quality wheat for the mills
in Ireland.

The youngest son Toby remained as a care-giver to his elderly father for
the last six years. He was unnamed in the will.

Toby looked up at the cracked paintwork on the ceiling. An old leak had
stained the plaster work and mould grew along its fault-line.

It was cold and draughty in the studio but he had no where else to go. The
minute they had buried his father his brothers had thrown him out of the
family home. A 'useless waste of space' was what Robert had said as he
slammed the door behind him. Toby didn't even have the bus fare to get into
town so he'd stumbled down the hill and managed to find the door to this
shabby building not quite closed and not quite open.

There was somebody humming nearby, Toby glanced around and found a pair of
startling green eyes watching him from behind a huge easel. Her movements
were feline, graceful as she quickly ran charcoal across the page.

'Good morning sleepyhead' she smiled 'did you have a good rest in my bed?'

Toby slid his legs off the bed and managed to get his body sitting upright.

'What are you doing?' he asked the girl. She was dressed head to toe in
black and she wore a knitted black beanie cap. He really didn't think it
was that cold this morning. A pair of black gloves rested on one knee just
visible under her easel. She was very slim but her body gave off waves of
energy. He'd never met someone like her before.

'I am capturing your sleeping form' she said 'course you've gone and moved
now and spoiled it all' She took a rag which was casually draped across the
top of the easel and wiped the charcoal smudges from her hands. Replacing
the rag to its home she tucked her gloves into her waistband and stood,
stretching and yawning as she did so.

'Time for breakfast. You hungry?' Toby nodded. Casually she looked him up
and down her gaze sultry. 'Toby, you and I have something in common. We've
both been cheated by Robert Maxwell'. And she turned and walked through the
doorway behind her.

She stood at the kitchen window watching a chaffinch hopping about on the
branches of a huge sycamore. She was spooning sardines straight from the
can into her mouth without a glance. The smell of fish in the small
kitchen was over powering. Toby felt nauseated.
'Would you like some coffee and some soda bread?' he noticed the soda bread on the table 'hey you got Brennans best, it's the brand I always got for my father'
She looked at Toby then her brow furrowed. 'I picked it up last night along with these' and she upended a knapsack onto the table, a wallet, a set of keys, a
mobile phone, a cheque book and some clothes, all belonging to Toby poured
onto the table. 'How did you get these he spluttered in amazement' She
shrugged her shoulders then. 'I've been watching Robert for a while now, I saw him toss you out last night. I was going to invite you here but
then' she paused 'you invited yourself in'. She tossed the empty can out
the window and poured two steaming mugs of coffee. 'You had better eat
something, keep your strength up. We've a lot to get through'

Toby wasn't sure what they had to get through. His head was still reeling
from all the events of the last 24 hours. Toby sighed. It was finally
dawning on him he had no one to depend on except himself and maybe this

'We both know what Robert did to me it seems. But I don't know what he did
to you. I'd like to know.' Those green eyes were burning into his. 'You
think maybe I'm some nut job. After your brother for his money?' she
snapped. Toby nodded, might as well be honest when you've nothing to

'I was making a living, nothing extravagant, enough to get by when I met
your brother. He commissioned me to do a family portrait, him, that frigid
bitch of a wife of his and those two brats. Anyway when he comes to pay me
he gives me a cheque, for double what I asked only its unsigned see. He
wants me to copy his old mans signature on to a blank sheet of paper. And
then he'll sign. So I don't want to do it but my rents due on my little
studio and I haven't eaten all week. So I copy it down and I get it
perfect.' Words pour out of her like hot molten lava full of spite, she says this last bit with more than a hint of pride.

'So what happens next' Toby asked. 'He used that forgery to write you out
of your fathers will and the cheque he gave me was reported stolen so when
I tried to cash it I got arrested'.

Toby's mouth fell open.

'So tonight Toby Maxwell you and I are going to pay Robert a visit and
we're both going to get what's owed us' and she clinked her coffee mug to
his with a saucy wink.


  1. I don’t think I’d want that kitty cat as an enemy. It would be fun to see the whole story.

  2. I really like that kitty too - I think a big part of me wants to be that kitty! I might finish it sometime soon BUT I think it falls under the thriller genre and I'm not sure I could do that well.

  3. great new story! love the purrrsonality!

  4. Hey Tara
    Thanks for reading!
    like your playful writing.