Quick Note: Voting Is Now Open

Voting is open for the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. Check out the entries, including mine, titled “Krampus”, here. Read and head on over to vote for your favorite. The winner is collected along with past winners and put into an anthology.

Voting closes Thursday the 26th at 5 p.m.

Thanks for reading and for voting. And if you vote for me, double-thanks 😀

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

Roundelay: Krampus? Seriously?

Are the children being a cuss?
Running, screaming, pure avarice?
Let them know about the Krampus,
And see how fast they turn from vice!
All the kids, they know Nicholas;
That jolly elf is just too nice!
 
Let them know about the Krampus,
And see how fast they turn from vice!
Crying child throws a fit and fuss?
Tell the tale full of chills and ice.
All the kids, they know Nicholas;
That jolly elf is just too nice!
 
Crying child throws a fit and fuss?
Tell the tale full of chills and ice.
Scar the psyche with little muss;
make the little dears ponder thrice.
All the kids, they know Nicholas;
That jolly elf is just too nice!
 
Scar the psyche with little muss;
make the little dears ponder thrice.
If you do this, I’m serious:
I hope you come down with head-lice!
All the kids, they know Nicholas;
That jolly elf is just too nice!

***

So, I’m scrolling through my reader this morning and I come across a post from Bastet And Sekhmat’s Library titled “Roundelay: Yule-Tide” (check out her site, if you haven’t already 🙂 ). She serves as a great resource, along with Paint The World With Words and others, in my seemingly never-ending quest to at least attempt once the various forms of poetry out there (except Epics, I’m more Homer Simpson than Homer of the Iliad 😉 ).

Like I do with most of my attempts, let me try and break the form down for you.

From Guide to Verse Forms:

The roundelay is quite different from the rondelet, despite the names sounding so similar. It is also different from the roundel, the rondel, the rondine, the rondeauand the rondeau redoublé. These forms all evolved from a common ancestor, hence the similar names. The modern forms are all fixed and tightly defined, but in times past the word roundelay was used in other ways, sometimes as a general term for any kind of lyric.

This is one of those forms where most of the lines get repeated – there are 24 lines in the poem, but only 12 of them are different. The structure is actually very simple, if you consider it in terms of pairs of lines. There are only 6 pairs of lines in the poem, arranged according to this scheme: ABR/BCR/CDR/DER, where R denotes the 2-line refrain that ends each stanza. The metre is trochaic tetrameter (see the metre page if necessary) but it is permissible for some of the lines to be (as here) one syllable short. (credit: Bob Newman)

I’ve color coded my Roundelay as a guide, but here’s a breakdown for those not familiar with poetry (like me, but I’m learning):

24 lines (4 stanzas-6 lines each)

First Stanza

Line 1 – A 1

Line 2 – A 2

Line 3 – B1 (rhyme A1)

Line 4 – B2 (rhyme A2)

Line 5 – Refrain 1 (rhyme A1 and B1)

Line 6 – Refrain 2 (rhyme A2 and B2)

Second stanza

Line 7 – B1 repeats

Line 8 – B2 repeats

Line 9 – C1 (rhyme B1)

Line 10 – C2 (rhyme B2)

Line 11 – Refrain 1

Line 12 – Refrain 2

Third Stanza

Line 13 – C1 repeats

Line 14 – C2 repeats

Line 15 – D1 (rhyme C1)

Line 16 – D2 (rhyme C2)

Line 17 – Refrain 1

Line 18 – Refrain 2

Fourth Stanza

Line 19 – D1 repeats

Line 20 – D2 repeats

Line 21 – E1 (rhyme D1)

Line 22 – E2 (rhyme D2)

Line 23 – Refrain 1

Line 24 – Refrain 2

And for those like me that couldn’t tell an iamb from trochaic foot if a meth-addled junkie held a gun to our heads demanding an explanation, I just went with 8 syllables per line (although 7 is also acceptable apparently).

Hope the breakdown helps and I hope you enjoy.

Happy Holidays to everyone and, as always, Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

 

Indies Unlimited FF Challenge: A Krampus Christmas

peeping moose maine 1997

“Is…is that…a moose?” Davey heaved out between gulps of air. He and his friend, Eric, dashed through the woods, twisting and turning to avoid the maze-like growth of trunks.

“Shut-up and keep running!”

Chains clattering and a discordant bell screeching made Davey peek over his shoulder. A dark-furred creature with sharp black horns and serpent tongue strode after them, carrying a squirming black bag over its shoulder. Davey moaned as the thing leered at him, fangs glistening from the light reflected off the snow.

“Over there!” Eric shouted, pointing at a small cabin in the middle of a clearing. Both boys forced failing legs to hurry toward the shelter. They burst through the door, locked it behind them, and huddled underneath the window.

“I told you you shouldn’t have taken that present from the sleigh,” Davey whined.

“You grabbed one too!”

Hooves clomping on the wooden stoop out front silenced them. A booming knock rattled the whole house, and the kids wrapped their arms around each other, cowering. “Ha! Ha! Ha!,” came the cackling voice of the monster through the thin barrier. “Santa rewards the nice, whilst I receive those filled with vice! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

Silence descended like a shroud. The boys waited for a few minutes, before Eric dared to glance out the window. “He’s gone!”

They grinned in relief, until Davey noticed the fireplace. “Oh, sh-”

Clawed hands grabbed them, and stuffed them, screaming, in the sack.

The stolen presents fell, opening to reveal lumps of coal.

Word Count: 250

Krampus

My own little take on the Krampus legend for Indies Unlimited’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Voting for the week’s best story opens Wednesday, and if you like my little tale I would appreciate your vote! If not, vote for the story you do like (read: mine 😉 ). Join the fun with your own story; the winner will join other winners from previous weeks in a collected anthology! Just use the photo of the moose as inspiration and post your story in the comment section of the linked post. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn