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Once again, it’s time for the Spooky Showcase on the wonderful Jolene Haley’s blog. Every fall she sets a theme and invites authors and artists to write and draw anything they like and, throughout the month of October, Jolene posts them. And we all read and enjoy and celebrate all the art. This is the eighth year for the showcase and my seventh year participating. Links to my stories are on my blog’s SHORT STORY ACHIEVEMENT page.

This year’s theme was twisted fairy tales.

Through October, a new story or work of art will be posted to make the month more fabulous.

Today is my turn!

With the theme announced last summer, I immediately thought of a story I wrote years ago. One that received a place in an anthology, now out-of-print, and one that never became what it could be.

That story was “Together”. Based on the tale “Snow White and Rose Red”, the story explored someone with a voice in their head, one that certainly wasn’t real. As the story unfolded, Rosalie learns to accept Red’s voice and becomes stronger. It was fine, but there was always parts of it I didn’t like. So, here was my chance to rewrite it!

The original “Snow White and Rose Red” told the tale of sisters, who were always nice and, in the end, were rewarded for their continued kindness even in the face of evil.

So to twist it, I added in a little darkness. Because being nice is fine, but what about those moments when you can’t…or won’t be kind.

Rosalie’s mom always says to be nice, be kind, be good. If you aren’t you’ll be punished. So Rosalie tries because she’s scared by something in her mother’s voice, some terrible secret that lurks in her mom’s past. But there’s that voice in Rosalie’s mind. One she knows is real. One that takes over…because her fingernails are painted red and she didn’t do it, because her car radio is tuned to loud music and Rosalie didn’t do that either.

As the voice grows stronger, telling Rosalie to stand up for herself, to fight, Rosalie resists, insisting to be good. That she has to be nice.

Until…

And there is a deep dark secret in Mom’s past. But you’ll have to read it to find out.

Being kind matters. But fighting for yourself and others does too.

Go read “Until…” on Jolene’s blog, then go read the others. Follow on Twitter at #SpookyShowcase.

Jolene is one of the best people I know. She’s always supportive and always ready to fight for you. Participating in her showcase each year has been a pleasure and honor. Joining the spooky showcase means being a part of the writing community at its best, sharing words and ideas, spreading the joy. Everyone is welcome.

Maybe next year, you can add something.

Now go, make the world a better place.