Thought I’d try something different this week. A writing prompt for February with an interesting twist. It’s called Randomize from Mindlovemisery

The rules for this prompt are what makes it so interesting :

For this week, I would like us to seek inspiration in random places. What does that mean?

I want you to go to 2 places online: 

1st stop: Wikipedia! Click the Random Article button, and the article you get, the title is your title

Guess what I got ? Well, that’s a no brainer, isn’t it! It’s the name of this post. But here’s the interesting thing – Maria is a dark skinned Danish RnB singer. The first song listed is My Soul, also the title of an album she released in 2003. Just had to add that song to this post.

2nd stop: , where you will generate a random image which you should post and connect with your written piece.

And it’s another no brainer for this second stop too! The image below. SO I now need to create something with these two random bits of stuff.


We called her Maria – the scarecrow that is.  Why exactly, or how, she got that name I have no idea. Nobody could even remember how she had got there to start with. It seemed that she had been there forever. She was huge – made of bundles of dry sticks and tatty, holey material that had seen better days. In my seven year old eyes she looked gianormous and nightmarishly scarey. But in a nice kind of goosebumpy way. You know how it is. Kids like to be scared. Like when you sit around a campfire at night and tell ghost stories and make bloodcurdling noises. And then jump in fright at any shadow that moves in the dark.

Every weekend on a Sunday the whole village would traipse to the picnic grounds over which Maria stood guard. It had become like a pilgrimage.  Picnic hampers were packed. Competition was fierce for the most fiendlishly clever and tastiest snacks. You see, Maria had inspired an unquenchable appetite for ghoulish stuff. The scarier and more horrid it looked, the better. It seems that the grown ups in our village had never grown up.

There were skeleton cakes with worms crawling out of blood oozing eye sockets. Sandwiches of rotting hands with green slime dripping down the side. Red, bubbling and frothing drinks served in skull cups. Oh the imagination that went into those creations had to be seen to be believed. Funnily enough they were all scrumptiously delicious – it just took a bit of doing to take that first bite.

Of course there was a prize for the best and tastiest treat of the week. The coffin was engraved with the winner’s name just the same as any decent trophy.  There were competitions throughout the afternoon. Egg and spoon races were always popular , but boy did it stink when that rotten egg was dropped and broke!  Three legged races tied to a skeleton always made it more challenging to win with the skeleton staying in one piece.  Bobbing for rotten apples was impossible of course. Nobody ever managed to get one out whole.

It was like Halloween had come to stay in our village and we celebrated it every single Sunday.  Until ….one Sunday Maria was gone. Vanished. No one knew who took her. Or where they took her. It was as if she had never existed. Our Sunday picnics were doomed. Never again did we meet in the picnic grounds to eat skeleton cakes or rotting hand sandwiches. No one ever bobbed for rotten apples again.  It was as if the soul had gone out of our village, never to return.


THE MORAL of the story about Maria is that life is a celebration of community, relationships and connections.

The Sequel – The Return of Maria

The background to the moral of this story

©  Raili Tanska

Step for Peace 

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”   Margaret Mead


6 thoughts on “Maria

  1. What a lovely and interesting story you weaved, even though the ending made me sad a bit, it was still a great story. I do dream of reading a sequel though, maybe something along the lines of an adventure to retrieve Maria and return Halloween?

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