This week’s Friday Fiction prompt is from right here in Toronto, courtesy of Stacey Plowright, via Madison Woods. It’s an interesting one, but didn’t immediately give me anything to work with, so I went all round the houses with ideas, then came back to my first idea – complete with a bit of mythology, which I hope Stacey will appreciate! The story tallied in at 237 words to start with, so I hope the condensed version still makes clear what’s going on.
I’d love to hear what you think – good or bad.
“Is Pegasi even a word?”
“Plural of Pegasus? White horses of the sky? I think it’s the perfect name for the painting.” I felt myself tossed on those clouded waves, soaring through a sky so blue I could taste it.
“There was only one Pegasus,” scoffed my fellow judge. “Ridiculous clouds.”
“Aren’t they beautiful? Like waves on the ocean, the perfect replication of nature in all things. And based on reality.” I handed her the “Inspiration” photograph.
For a second, she hesitated; then her face hardened again.
“Photoshop is a terrible thing,” she said, flouncing off to the next entry.
49 responses to “Friday Fiction – White Pegasi”
Narrow judgement… for a judge. And blinkered vision. Nicely written Jennifer and a good take on the prompt.
Thanks Sandra. I originally had the narrator making more comments on her selection as a judge, but they went in the cut, leaving you to make a few judgements of your own
What a cynical judge. Well written.
Thank you – yeah, she’s a bit of a useless judge where art is concerned, methinks!
I can see the deadpan, tight lipped delivery for the “only one pegasus” line. Nicely done
Thanks Craig. I was trying to find out the plural of pegasus and that line is straight from someone’s answer on Yahoo questions. I just had to put it in, because it was so right for this character!
Art critics–go figure. Like my daughter says, “Who died and appointed you Elvis?” Very well written, and a beautiful description of a lovely photograph.
To be very honest, Russell, these two critics are in many ways two sides of me. I’m not much of an art-lover, but sometimes something strikes me as beautiful. I like to think no-one would appoint me as a judge though – I don’t think either side of my personality would be much use!
A fine and original take on the propmpt with a touch of myth. Thank you for your suggestions on mine. I am here for others: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/friday-fictioneers-harmattan-rain/
Thanks for stopping by, RP. I’m glad you liked this one.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The judge wore blinders and was on a very short rein.
Your words brought the Pegasi to life!
Thanks, oldentimes, I’m glad you rode the pegasi with me!
Chuckle! That was good, and I don’t see why Pegasi couldn’t be a word. Thanks for the comments on mine.
🙂 Thanks! I think it depends on how hyper-critical you want to be. For this judge, a singular creature could never have a plural – it would be like saying “Zeuses” – there was only ever one Zeus. But she’s a cranky and unimaginative cow, so we shouldn’t let her always be right!
First, I doubt it was photoshopped. Second, even if it was that doesn’t remove the beauty.
Quite agree, Scott, but if you’re blinded by cynicism, sometimes you can’t see anything.
Takes the joy out of life.
I’m of the opinion that Photoshop is as valid a tool as the camera itself! From the moment you you grab your camera, you are manipulating the final product with choice of lens, f-stop, filters, etc. The art of photography is to obtain, as close as possible, the image you see in your mind’s eye. Nice writing, by the way. I almost forgot why I was here. Had to step down from my soap box!
Ooh, I’m not going to get into that debate with you or the judge! I’m glad you liked the writing and it got you going.
Engaging. Who is this judge anywaze?
This story really got me! I say that because when I first saw the photo prompt I had reactions similar to both judges. ‘Beautiful,’ I said at first. ‘How great that someone could capture such an amazing image on film.’ And in the next breath I’m saying ‘It’s obviously Photoshopped…’
I’m sticking with the former opinion because I like to believe in the miraculous. But the cynic is always just beneath the surface! I’m not cynical about this story though. It was a great one!! 🙂
glad you liked it, John. It’s good to have you back. I don’t think the picture’s edited, and I won’t hear any different.
I like the irony and question in the story — and you leave it just a little bit unsettled, which is great. I go with the faith that it’s real! And wouldn’t Pegasus be lonely alone? 🙂
I think it’s real too. The judge is sufficiently cynical she would probably never see it though.
This is funny and I think that snobby judge needs to get lucky! Hahaha! Loved it!
Heehee, she certainly needs to relax a bit!
Good story, and very original. I wonder about how these photos are picked in real life, so I got a kick out of your story. The irony of the cynical judge is particularly apt.
Thanks gloss – glad you enjoyed it. And yes, thankfully Madison is not a cynic!
I like the myth take on the prompt. Very original too, very well done. Thanks much for stopping by mine
Seems like most people have gone apocolyptic this week, so I’m glad to be a bit different!
White Pegasi. The judge in question doesn’t know the first rule of judging; Judge not, lest ye be judged. The jury’s out and the verdict is….Your story is great, the judge is a moron and Photoshop is a tool like any other in the hands of an artist.
You’re just saying that because you photoshopped a black hole in the LHC, Doug! Everyone is certainly judging this judge though, so you’re spot on with your warning.
I don’t think I can add much, Jen. Great take on the prompt made more fun by the way it got people going. What more can a writer ask then to evoke strong emotion from her readers. Good job and thanks for your kind comments on mine.
Absolutely – if we start a fight we’re doing something right, eh?
Some people just refuse to see magic and beauty, even when it’s staring them in the face. Excellent job! Now that I think about it, that picture does look a little bit like Tolkein’s wave horses.
I love the idea of white horses in the waves – this just took one extra step to get there! Thanks for stopping by.
Excellent take on the prompt. Takes me back to how I used to image clouds. As to narrow minded judges – well that’s another story.
Haha, trust writers to really feel the danger of a narrow-minded judge. Glad you liked it!
I’ve always like “flouncing”! I guess if you think about it, deciding you don’t like the use of Photoshop is just as valid as deciding you think it’s fine, although I’m with the narrator in loving the beauty. I enjoyed how you used the clouds in this.
Thanks for your comment. I agree about flouncing as a word – so evocative and therefore great for short word counts. And yes, photoshop is probably one of those things where both sides of the argument have a point. Personally, I think there’s enough beauty in nature without it, but I’m willing to accept it can also make some stunning artwork.
agree with you on the idea that there’s enough beauty in nature. I guess we have to look at Photoshop as a different form of art. Besides, no one likes all types of art equally anyway. I know I certainly don’t care much for quite a lot of modern art, philistine that it makes me to admit it. 🙂
I love this! You never know what someone else sees. This prompt also made me think of a legend and the ocean…
hurray! Some company on the waves!
Loved the characters here. “For a second, she hesitated; then her face hardened again.” This really communicates – in that second, she can’t countenance being wrong, she’s looking for a way out… – photoshop, bingo! ‘flounced’ is great too. Nicely done!
Thanks, Rachel, I’m glad you liked it. And you absolutely nailed that line – for a moment she is swayed by the narrator’s switch to logic, and then she finds the easier path and sticks to her prejudices
You will find white horses in my piece as well. Well done. Blot out what that cynical judge said. I believe the photo is authentic because a few weeks ago we had a strange storm which created the same formation of clouds over the Hudson River… however ours were black and dark. I live on a high floor in a hi-rise and saw it first hand. In fact, it appeared on the front page of our newspaper and some residents posted photos on Facebook. I’m 29 on the list.
Oh absolutely I think it’s authentic. Our judge here was just looking for an excuse to stick by her original stance and sadly photoshop was the hook she hung her hat on.
Awesome! Sorry I didn’t see it until now! (And how did you know I loved pegasus/pegasi/white horse critters with wings? LOL.) Loved “soaring through a sky so blue I could taste it.” 😀
LOL, glad you liked it stacey.