“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 Enchanter’s Arm (Part 1)
Once upon a time there was a young enchanter of more-than-usual ability who lived in the city. He fell in love with his beautiful second cousin (which was allowed, even encouraged back in those days), and she fell in love with him in return. However, he had to leave the city to go to school far away, and so they carried on their courtship overseas. A great many letters soon filled the mailbags of those skippers unlucky enough to be running between the two cities.
The young enchanter loved getting letters from his love. They would come in a great sack whenever a ship landed, and he would try to restrain himself to a single letter per day. Inevitably he lost his resolve and tore open the entire bag, devouring over and over again the words of his lover while waiting for the next ship to come in. He lived this way for several months.
The enchanter was not lazy in writing back. He wrote once, twice, even three times daily to his distant (second) cousin. What he was lazy about, though, was washing his hands after finishing his enchanting work for the day. He often forgot to clean the magic ether off of himself before writing or reading his love’s letters, and the residue began to build up upon his favorites.
One morning he woke to a single brand-new letter laying on his desk. It was the most beautiful, transcendent, magnificent love letter yet . . . but there was no ship in the harbor. Puzzled, but unwilling to question his good fortune, he responded with even more passion than usual and dropped the his response in the mail box.
The next morning there was another letter on his desk, and the next morning another. No one knew where the letters were coming from. Finally the enchanter stayed up all night, watching his desk to learn the truth.
For hours, nothing happened. Finally a beam of moonlight came in through the window (moonbeams are a special kind of magic, of course). As soon as it struck the enchanter’s pen, the pen jerked upright and began writing feverishly on the page. When the moon faded an hour later, the pen dropped, and there it was—a fresh letter from his love!
The enchanter was astounded, and blessed his luck for the miracle. He devoured the new letters every morning for the next week, until all of a sudden they stopped.
The enchanter moped all morning, miserable and with a terrible headache. Finally, at lunch, he realized what had happened: the new moon had come the night before. With no light, there was no letter.
And then the enchanter had an idea.
(prompt: Write a fairy tale. (Yeah, I’ve been on a fairy tale kick. I love writing these because I don’t have to explain shit.))
(Also, I’m totally sure that the enchanter’s idea won’t backfire on him in ironic fashion. Totally. Sure.)