I know, I know. I've been bad about posting this week. But I've been making really good progress on my novel! I'm about a third of the way through, I think, and I'm pretty happy with the story so far. Here's a peek at the opening scene:
The peaceful silence of the glade was broken by the shout as Princess Martha Louise dropped a frog into the pond.
“We’ll try another one,” said Heather, the Princess’s companion, rolling up her sleeves and reaching into the water.
“Wait, how do we know if it’s a new frog?” Martha Louise asked.
“Um…” Heather paused, trying to figure that out. “We don’t, I guess.” She thought for a moment longer. “I could try putting them off to the side when you’re done, instead of putting them back into the pond.”
“Okay,” Martha Louise agreed. She was sure that some of the frogs would make their way back into the pond, but she did not have a better idea.
“Here we go,” Heather said, reaching deeper into the pond and pulling up a rather large frog. He was wet and slimy, and smelled vaguely of fish. Martha Louise reached over and took the frog from Heather’s hands, closed her eyes, puckered up, and kissed it.
“Dammit!” she cried again.
“Here, give me that,” Heather said, reaching for the frog. She carefully deposited him on the opposite side of the log that she was sitting on, then reached into the pond again. This frog was a smaller candidate, with a bright green skin.
“He looks kind of regal,” Martha Louise said cautiously.
“He does,” Heather agreed. “He’s very shiny, and he smells better than the last two.”
“Well, here goes nothing,” Martha Louise said, taking the frog. Again, she took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and kissed the frog.
Heather took the frog and placed him gently beside the larger frog. The two animals looked at one another, as if wondering just what offense they had committed to receive this kind of treatment. The larger one croaked deeply, and the smaller one replied with a more high-pitched rabbit.
“Shush!” Heather scolded them before reaching into the pond again. “We’re busy here!”
Again, Martha Louise took the frog from her companion and kissed it. Nothing.
“What am I doing wrong?” she finally cried in frustration.
“I think you’re just kissing frogs that are really frogs,” Heather observed. “We really don’t have any way of telling whether a frog is just a frog, or if he’s a cursed prince.”
“We really should find a way… I need to get a prince!” Martha Louise looked as if she were on the verge of tears. “Heather, I’m almost twenty five! In two days, I’ll be a quarter of a century old, and I still won’t have found my prince! What’s a princess without a prince? I can’t be an old maid!”
“Don’t worry, Princess,” Heather tried to reassure her. “I’m sure you’ll find your prince. After all, you’re a princess, and like you said, what’s a princess without a prince? Just because you haven’t found an enchanted frog, that doesn’t mean you won’t find your true love. Besides, don’t you think true love’s first kiss will be better with a person than with an amphibian?”
Martha Louise sighed. “You’re right, I know… and these frogs are kind of nasty…”
A deep croak came from the group of frogs behind the log, and both of the young women turned to look at them, wondering if the frogs had actually understood what Princess Martha Louise had just said. As they looked, they managed to catch sight of the two smaller frogs hopping away from the larger one as quickly as they could – it seemed that the croak was just a coincidence. The large frog slowly turned around to stare at Martha Louise, then croaked again.
“Um, let’s get going,” she said, rising from the log beside the pond.
“Good idea,” Heather replied, glancing nervously at the frog. He croaked again, and the two young women hurried away from the pond.