Really? Do you mean it’s not perfect?
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The Three Golden Rules – by Elizabeth (a retelling of “The Princess On The Glass Hill”)
A farmer’s haymeadow was eaten every Midsummer. He set his sons, one by one, to guard it, but the older two were frightened off by an earthquake. The third, Boots, was despised by his brothers, but he went the third year and stayed through three earthquakes.
At the end, he heard a horse and went outside to catch it eating the grass. Next to it was a saddle, bridle, and full suit of armor, all in brass. He threw the steel from his tinderbox over it, which tamed it. When he returned home, he denied that anything had happened. The next year, the equipment for the horse was in silver, and the year after that, in gold.
Now, the king of that country had a beautiful daughter and had decreed that whoever would marry her must climb a glass mountain to win her. She sat on the mountain with three golden apples in her lap; whoever took them would marry her and receive half the kingdom.
The day of the trial, Boots’ brothers refused to take him, but when the knights and princes had all failed, a knight appeared, whose equipment was brass. The princess was much taken with him, and when he rode one-third of the way up and turned to go back, she threw an apple to him. He took the apple and rode off too quickly to be seen. The next trial, he went in the equipment of silver and rode two-thirds of the way, and the princess threw the second apple to him. The third trial, he went in the equipment of gold, rode all the way, and took the third apple, but still rode off before anyone could catch him.
The king ordered everyone to appear, and in time Boots’ two brothers came. The king asked if there was anyone else. His brothers said that he stayed home for all three trials, but the king sent for him, and when questioned, Boots produced the apples, and therefore the king married his daughter to him and gave him half the kingdom.
Spencer peered at a flyer in his hands as he got into his car and waited for his brothers to show.
“Extra credit film class,” he muttered. “I don’t need the credit.” He shrugged. “But why not?”
The passenger door opened and Brad plopped down. Dawson followed and settled into the backseat. Spencer recognized Brad’s brooding look immediately, then noticed a group of guys laughing.
Spencer shook his head. “What is it this time, Brad?”
“Just shut up and drive, BOOTS,” Brad snarled.
Spencer sighed. “Ok. My bad. Here, take this.” He tossed the flyer at Brad.
“What is it?” Brad mumbled, holding it up as if it had germs.
“Extra credit, my man. You need it too. And look there at the bottom. Your collage is hosting it. I’m thinkin’ about going. Wanna come with me?”
“With you?” He scoffed. “No thanks.” Brad crumpled it and threw it at Dawson.
“Hey!” Dawson shouted, reaching around and punching Brad in the shoulder.
Brad started to retaliate, but Spencer shouted, “Yo! Cool it! You’re distracting the driver! Do you WANT to get in a wreck?”
Brad turned on him instead. “Don’t tell me what to do, BOOTS! I’m two years older than you!”
‘And still stuck in high school doing volunteer work because you cause trouble at college. Not to mention you have to ride with me since the police confiscated your car,’ Spencer thought but knew better than to say it out loud.
“True,” Spencer said, nodding and diffusing the situation. “Dawson, how’d that presentation I helped you with go?”
Dawson rolled his eyes. “Don’t ask.”
“My stupid partner ruined it all because he was giving the speaking part. He couldn’t speak in front of a crowd to save his life.”
“That’s probably why your teacher gave him that part.”
“It effected MY grade! Why couldn’t she have let him learn with someone else? I needed that grade.”
Spencer shook his head, then smiled. “Hey, what about you, Dawson? Wanna come to this film class with me? You’d get that credit back.”
Dawson made a face. “I watch movies, Boots, not learn about ’em. That’s sucking all the fun out of it.”
“Okey-doke. But if you change your mind, just tell me. And here we are, Brad,” he said as he pulled into the college parking lot. “When do I need to pick you up?”
Brad gave him a withering look. “Stop acting so superior, Boots. I’ll text you.” He got out and slammed the door.
“Right,” Spencer sighed. He drove in silence for a few brooding minutes, then slammed his fist against the steering wheel. “Doggone it, Brad ruins everything! I need a pick-me-up. Dawson, where do you want to go?”
Dawson looked at him funnily. “You’re weird, Boots.”
Dawson smiled despite himself. “And awesome. Let’s get ice cream!”
“I concur. Ice cream it is.”
Spencer looked around the empty classroom, sighing. “The only one who doesn’t need it and guess what? You’re the only one who showed up.”
He started to think about leaving when the door opened and a teacher with another man walked in. Spencer’s jaw dropped.
“George Radclyffe!” He gasped.
The world-famous movie star looked at him and smiled slightly. “Hello there, young man.”
Spencer felt himself go dizzy and he didn’t know what to do with himself. He thought he might fall down if he stood, so he stayed seated.
“I expected more students to attend, Mr. Radclyffe, sir,” the teacher said worriedly. “We can cancel if you wish.”
George Radclyffe shook his head. “No. I’m here already. Come here, boy.”
Spencer gulped and stood, then slowly walked up to him in a daze. “Y-yes, sir?”
“Do you know the three golden rules of filmmaking?” George asked, sitting on one of the desks, crossing his arms.
Wide-eyed Spencer shook his head. “No, sir. To be honest, I’ve never learned much about film at all.”
George’s eyebrows narrowed. “Then why are you here? The extra credit, I suppose.”
Spencer shook his head. “No, sir. I don’t really need that. I’m here because, before my dad died, he told me ‘never pass up an opportunity to learn something new. You never know what can happen when you do.’ So I just try to take the opportunities that come my way, I guess ”
George looked away. “A wise man,” he mumbled, a sad look in his eyes.
Categories: Critique Group