Friday, September 30, 2011

Writing Prompt Three: Dottie

Another writing prompt. This one I struggled with and I think the story is a little silly, but I don’t have the energy to write/think of another and I want to do them all, to complete the full thirteen prompts, as tempted as I was to just ignore this one. Historical figures are not my forte and so I did cheat slightly – I’m not sure she really falls under “historical”.

My mother never thought I’d amount to anything. It’s not really expected, you see, for imps to amount to anything, so my mother’s attitude was not unreasonable. I, however, had other ideas and from when I was knee-high to a flea and scribbling poems in my tiny imp diary, knew that I’d prove her wrong. My goal – to use a human to take me to greatness, even if it was unrecognised greatness, my mum would know it was me, and that’s what mattered.

Imps are, essentially, set on this earth to be, well, impish. We were of the New Jersey Imps, a particularly good breed, if I may say so myself, known for impishness pertaining most often to baking. That cake that flopped in the middle and tasted soapy? Probably one of my uncles, swapping the baking powder for washing powder. Not that we were only into baking, we did the common garden imp stuff like hide one sock behind the couch too. I, however, wanted more.

Luckily, I grew up under the floorboards of a Manhattan apartment lived in by the Rothschild’s, a family prone to tragedy with a daughter who they referred to as “difficult”, Dorothy. She was indeed difficult, but I knew I could make her clever and witty and so I moved in, just behind her right ear and started reciting my poetry to her. She wrote them down, my poems, thinking they were hers.

As she grew into a feisty woman, I started giving her my one-liners too, and watched how people laughed and called her “ascerbic”. She got our poems published, we ran with an artistic crowd, she fell in love, over and over, married three times (I can’t claim that as my doing, I was the poetry, the wit, she was the passionate lover.)

I also can’t claim to be responsible for her political aspirations or views, imps are just not into politics. I could’ve done without having to be arrested with her that day in Boston but there you have it: the joys of being an invisible imp behind a famous person’s ear.

Also, I tried so very hard to make her happy. I thought my funny, witty one-liners would perk her up and that our poems, despite them not being of a frivolous nature, would make her smile, but she was a dark soul and the drinking didn’t help. All through those suicide attempts I was fearful, and sad, and became inspired by it in my (her) poetry.

I got her notoriety though, and recognition, and almost an Oscar, twice, and, most importantly, I showed my mother that I could (under cover) make something of myself, despite being a tiny, invisible imp behind somebody’s ear.

If wild my breast and sore my pride,
I bask in dreams of suicide,
If cool my heart and high my head
I think "How lucky are the dead."

Dorothy Parker

Prompt 3: Choose your favorite historical figure and imagine if he/she had been led to greatness by the promptings of an invisible imp living behind his or her right ear. Write a story from the point of view of this creature. Where did it come from? What are its goals? Use research to make your story as accurate as possible.


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Kristin said...

This is fabulous! It doesn't matter if you've "cheated" or not, you're so creative!

Miranda said...

Oh I love it! And yes, I reckon Dorothy Parker is a historical figure.x

Shiny said...

Kristin - thank you.

Miranda - you're right, she's historical in her fabulousness