Not a fairytale ending – Reboot

It came to my attention that if I was going for the “character” aspect of M.I.C.E. with this post I fell short in bringing it to a resolution.  Check out the description of this element again (see below) then come on back up here.

See?  In this little tale my character is bored with her job and to properly wrap it up I should have showed that she either became satisfied with it or reconciled to it.  Never mind that she was satisfied in other ways…

Consequently, I’m trying a re-write of this post to include resolution.  Let me know what you think.


You have been warned so if you find yourself offended you have no one to blame but yourself.  So there.

Yesterday I posted about M.I.C.E. and included my story based on the milieu element.  I struggled with the I in M.I.C.E. and finally postponed that one, jumping to the C – character.  If you didn’t get a chance to review the elements of M.I.C.E, the character element was described as follows:

character story starts when the character is dissatisfied with their life or some aspect of it, and finishes when they become either satisfied with or reconciled to it.
Example: Most romance fiction.

Here’s my rewrite of Little Red Riding Hood using the character element as my main focus.  One last warning, this is bawdy with a capital bawd so if you are easily offended do not proceed further.  That is all.

When the alarm went off Red groaned and buried her head under the pillow.  Obviously that didn’t turn the damned thing off and it kept pestering her until she stretched her arm over to hit the snooze button.  “Ten more minutes,” she murmured, turning on her side.  Ten minutes later she was still half-awake when it sounded again.  Red sat up and turned off the alarm, then wandered into her tiny kitchen where she lit a joint and poured a cup of cold coffee.  While waiting for the java to nuke she looked into the fridge hoping something delish would have magically appeared.  No such luck.  Her life was pretty darn predictable.  Taking the reheated coffee, she went to grab a shower.

Work went as work did – slowly.  Office work was so boring!  Red wanted to be challenged or at the very least for something exciting to happen!  From her desk beside the window she could see the county park across the street and she daydreamed it was a forest and she was one of the characters in a fairytale like those her grandmother had told once upon a time.  Not a namby pamby princess, she thought.  I’d be strong enough to take care of myself; who the hell needs Prince Charming?  The Wolf though had always fascinated her, she remembered.  As she stared out at the park she caught a glimpse of something moving just inside the tree line.  She thought at first it was an animal but then it, or he – for now she could see it was a man – stepped out of the trees.  Tall, Dark and Muscular continued through the park to the street and Red saw him mount a Harley Davidson motorcycle parked on the street in front of her office.

“Be still my heart,” she mumbled.  “That is the single most attractive man I’ve seen in – well, ever.”  What the heck was he doing back in the woods, she wondered.  Not one to ignore her impulses, Red resolved to find out.  After work she donned her sweater and strode across the street, then into the trees.  As she went deeper the canopy screened the sun and the light dimmed.  Shadows played with her imagination and she shuddered once when she thought there was someone hiding behind one of the trees.  “Come on Red, get a grip.”

Having no idea what she was looking for, Red wasn’t sure how far to go, how long a walk she wanted to take knowing she’d have to make the return trek at some point.  The path grew darker still and she checked her phone for the time.  What?!  She’d been walking for twenty minutes already?  The park wasn’t that big was it?  “Well screw this!  It’s after six and I want a beer dammit!”  Doing an about face, Red began retracing her steps.  She’d gone only a few yards when she came face to face with Tall, Dark, and Oh-So-Yummy.

He wore tight denim jeans with a white tee shirt and leather jacket a la James Dean.  Dark hair waved over one sharp eye and he stared at her predatorily.  Between the hair and his gaze he reminded her of a wolf on the prowl.

“What the fuck?”

“That’s nice talk,” Red replied, cocking one hip and crossing her arms.

“What the hell are you doing out here?” he growled.

“It’s a free country; I’m taking a walk.”

“In those shoes.”  It wasn’t a question but she glanced down guiltily at her Jimmy Choos which were being mutilated by the forest path.

“What’s it to you?  Don’t tell me, this is your territory and you’ve come back to mark it like a…,” she started to say dog but realized that wasn’t quite right.  He was definitely a wolf.

“Like a what?” he sneered.

“A wolf,” she admitted honestly.  “You remind me of a wolf.”

“And what does that make you?  Little Red Riding Hood?”  He raked her with an insolent stare, looking from the top of her deep red hair to her completely inappropriate footwear.  “I think you’d better leave.”  The earlier menace in his gaze was now clear in his voice.

Her Irish temper took control and she closed the gap between them to poke his chest with her finger.  “I’ll leave when I’m goddamned ready Wolf!”  Anger brought red flags of color to her cheeks and her eyes sparked with heat.

The next moment Tall, Dark, and Hunky had crushed her mouth with his and gathered her into a vise-like embrace.  Fingers wove into her auburn hair as he deepened the kiss.  Moments later when their lips parted they were both breathing hard.

Wow, Red thought, holding his eyes and noticing they were no longer threatening.

His voice was raspy and breathless.  “I’m going to fuck you like you’ve never been fucked before!”

Red smiled slyly, pulling out her .357.

“No you’re not.  You’re going to eat me like the story says.”


Some time later, Red took a drag from the cigarette and passed it to Wolf.  Sitting up she looked around for her clothing.  This had been fun but she couldn’t see it going anywhere and she had to work the next day.

“Where are you going?” growled the Wolf.

She glanced at him over her shoulder.  “Home.  I have to get up early for work.”

“So that’s it?  Wham! Bam! Thank you man?”

“What did you expect?  Happily ever after?” Red smirked.  She shimmied into her lace panties and reached for the matching bra.

“Of course not.”  He shuddered at the thought.

“Then what?  Where do you see this going?”

“My place?” he grinned at her.

“All in good time,” she smiled.  “I still have to work tomorrow.”

“Work is overrated.”

“You’re telling me!”  Red pulled her blouse over her head and tucked it into her skirt.

“Why don’t you work for me?”

“What do you do?”

“I’m a writer.”  He said it with a straight face but Red cracked up.


“I’m dead serious,” he replied, taking no offense.  He was used to that reaction.  “And I need a research assistant.”

Intrigued now, Red paused with one arm in her sweater.  “What would I need to do?”

“A lot of reading, some typing, organization of my notes.”

“So, office stuff huh?”

“With fringe benefits,” he added, smiling.

“Hmm,” Red traced her finger down his jaw and met his eyes.  “I can live with that.”


18 thoughts on “Not a fairytale ending – Reboot

  1. Instead of “started the pot of coffee”, how about “lit up a joint and poured herself some coffee”?
    Loved “He raked her with an insolent stare”.
    Sounds like you’ve been chomping on that new serial, “Fifty shades of gray”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hee! My husband told me that joke while we were dating, too.
    Does the character issue resolve in this story, though? Red’s discontent seems primarily related to the boringness of her job, and that doesn’t change at the end of the story. If she is either reconciled to her existence, or something changes to make her content with it, it wasn’t clear to me. (Not that a good shag isn’t fine on its own, of course. It just seems like an interlude rather than a conclusion.)

    Liked by 2 people

      • Ah-hah! Way to close that character tag. Nice job. Want.
        I remembered something else from the workshop (or maybe the podcast. Or maybe both): the element tells you not only where your story starts, and where it stops, but also what kind of conflict arises in the middle. Specifically, the story conflict is anything that gets in the way of closing the element tag. In a character story, with a character unsatisfied with her job, the conflict has to keep her from being satisfied with or reconciled to her job. Her boss is a jerk; she has to work overtime instead of going to her best friend’s wedding; she applies for other jobs within the company, but never gets an interview; her job gets less and less satisfying, until something happens that either changes her job, or changes her satisfaction with her job.

        I should probably update my post to reflect that. Yes.

        Liked by 1 person

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