They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I could only use 100! Anywho, here’s my attempt:
Mummy crouches close, frowning. “Don’t you want to see?”
Katie’s head judders. She hates statues. Especially angels, with their blank eyes and cold faces, looming over silent graves. In her dreams, they move, lightning fast, grasping her collar, spiriting her away.
She whines; Daddy’s trouser leg rustles in her grip.
He smiles. “But, you like ponies…!”
She blinks; the word intrigues.
So, now, Daddy scoops her up, and she sees: No stoic, marbled nightmare, this, but a majestic mount, captured mid-motion in a canter.
Mummy takes her tiny hand, pressing it to noble, knotted muzzle.
Enchanted, Katie beams.
Nightmares (night-mares) are horses from Hell, made popular by the Dungeons & Dragons game and manuals. There’s nothing horrific about this particular horse, though. Rather, it’s actually quite lovely and majestic. I wanted to try and capture some childhood ambivalence about statuary (especially those sometimes-scary angel guardians), and make Katie’s fear turn around, when she comes face to face with unexpected beauty.
The Nightingales are characters I’ve visited before, but this was a fun new take on them. It is certainly difficult to break these relationships down into 100 words! I’m tempted to collect the drafts and put some of them up for people to see, to illustrate how ideas start out but then get pruned. Maybe that’s a project for another day, eh?