“Two-Minute Tuesdays” are a series of micro-stories written in
five ten minutes or less. Consider them “public practice,” like that guy who shoots free throws in the park. Prompts are supplied at the bottom in case you want to try your own hand at one of them.
The Boy From Portugal (Part 1)
Once upon a time there was a young boy from Portugal named Paulo. Despite the best efforts of his mother and father, he wanted nothing to do with life on the farm and became a shepherd instead, wandering the hills with his flock instead of earning an honest living. The life suited him, and although he dreamed of doing more he never did anything about it.
One afternoon, during his usual nap, a mysterious and powerful spirit visited him.
“Boy,” it said, “I can give you one of three things. I can give you great wealth, a mighty empire, or a small grain of wisdom. Choose well.”
The boy had read One Hundred and One Arabian Nights from cover to cover, and quickly saw through the spirit’s ruse. “Give me wisdom,” he said.
“Very well,” said the spirit. “Go to the pyramids, in Egypt. You will find wisdom there.”
The boy awoke hours later, remembering the vivid dream. “I must go,” he said to himself, “if I’m not to waste the spirit’s gift.” And so he sold his sheep and set off.
Many adventures happened to the boy along the way. The pyramids were much further away than he originally suspected, and it took years to work his way across Africa. Finally he arrived at the fianl oasis in the desert, nearly at his goal.
There he met a beautiful young woman, and they fell in love.
He wanted to stay with her—she made him happy. But he knew he could not stay without sacrificing the wisdom that the spirit had promised him. So the lovers parted, and she pledged to wait until his return.
The young man reached the pyramids, but instead of wisdom he found a vast treasure. After a hair-raising adventure, he was made chief of a powerful tribe, and as much as he wanted to go back to the oasis and his love the duties of leadership called.
(prompt: Write a fairy tale.)