My muse Ino and I  are still choosing a title and each writing a flash fiction story.

 

Frogs     channelled from Ino

 

The frog turned into a prince, because he was starring in ‘The Frog Prince’, and although he would never dream of fulfilling the expectations of a foolish story in the normal way, he did it this time because he was being paid handsomely, in wads of dollars.

You might wonder where they had found a frog to play the part. They had dredged a river in France, for the frog as you may know has a French accent, and there they had found a sleek green frog who was willing to play the part. He was a good actor too, which was a happy coincidence and helped greatly.

The frog soon asked about the matter of his remuneration. He didn’t want to be paid in flies, or even small water creatures. He wanted money, that ‘filthy lucre’ that is currency amongst human beings. And money they offered him: fifty dollars per scene that he appeared in.

The frog was happy with that. He didn’t think on what he might spend his money. After all, as he had a French accent he might be expected, after filming was finished, to remove to Paris, where he would enter all the most fashionable shops and spend some of it there. After that, with what was left, maybe a holiday on the Riviera in the company of rich businessmen and other film stars, during  which he would make a good  impression and become popular and possibly have pictures of his holiday in the tabloids.

But this was not to happen, for the frog was too small and sticky and frog-like to do these things. He genuinely was a real frog, and not a human-sized model of one, or a cartoon. So after filming was over he plopped straight back into a river, while his money remained in the bank. It crossed his mind that he had been conned, especially as there was a legal proxy who had been appointed to take care of his money, and presumably because he was a human he could spend the money, or alternatively distribute it to someone else.

However, even that didn’t happen at the moment. The frog swam away. leaving a legal tangle which would take a while to undo. In the meantime the audience watched ‘The Frog Prince’, and many of them liked the film. It seemed that everyone kept becoming a frog, while in the world that the audience inhabited outside the cinema, no-one was a frog. Except for the star of the show, and it just proves that however much you want money, you can’t always spend it.

 

Frogs  by Candy Ray

 

The tadpoles and water boatmen are swimming in circles in the heavy, dark green water. Should I scoop some of them into the bucket and take them home? I don’t want them to die this time.

I sit by the pond and take out my plastic-handled fishing net. It looks like a toy, and I’m sure it will be instrumental in killing any fish or other creatures that I scoop up. I would like to find an adult frog, but the frogs have a habit of stopping dead, crouching as if about to do a hand-stand and then slipping away to one side. It’s clever of them because it makes sure that they escape from me, and I can’t trust myself with them, although I long for their company.

The sun hits the top of the pond, but it doesn’t sparkle, the way it would on other stretches of water. The light seems to sink, to be drawn down into the depths, leaving the surface slightly paler in parts, but still a moody pea-soup shade.

Frogs like the dark, and newts do too. If I crouch at the slimy edge of the pond I might see one sliding away through the clinging brown mud- if I’m lucky. Or I might fall in.

Visiting the pond should be a pleasure. There shouldn’t be this thundercloud pall over it, partly a mood and partly a conviction that I’ll see no frogs today.