As decided by vote, here's the next challenge, proposed by Mary:

Write a scene where the setting is an ironic contrast to the action: a lone character on a blustery, chilly day rejoicing over news of someone close to him, a quarrel on a beautiful sunny day, a confined location where someone gets news of freedom.

Go onward and write! Then post your story here as an answer, and get feedback in the comments. If you ask a main site question while writing for this challenge, leave a comment below this question or mention it in your answer.

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  • great challenge, will be interesting to see the answers :) Jan 15, 2023 at 15:26

2 Answers 2



Pastries dressed up in frills
Fancy ice giving chills
Cake cubes on a little stick
Syrup dripping thick
Wandering eyes getting lost
Consumption no matter the cost
Food for a tongue that cannot taste
But none of it did go to waste


The street held banners and stalls and people. Chatter was cheerful, laughter was frequently, the breeze made the banners snap their radiant colors over the scene while children, squealing with glee, ran under them. The river flowed, and glittered in the sunlight, with shoals of fish appearing as they passed into shadow of the bridges and onward.

If she sat on the stone wall that was the riverbank, her legs swinging over the waves, all the bustle could pass by her.

The vendors' calls were all songs: meat pies, oysters, peaches. Her stomach growled. Laughter rang out behind her, and she swallowed. Her pouch was as empty as her stomach.

At least there were no plants, she told herself. There was no danger she would be accused of being a hedge knight here. There had been a church of St. Philomena on the street. Perhaps she could go back and beg for aid as a poor orphan. It wouldn't be much of a lie.

Her gaze went idly over the river. There were neither ducks nor geese nor swans, but -- she froze -- there were irises growing in the sunshine between two bridges, in all shades of purple, and even as she watched, they started to grow taller, and the patch grew wider.

She snatched back her legs and barreled into the crowd, startling passersby and making others shout that she should watch where she went.

Minutes later, she realized she was utterly lost, and could not even find the church again.

A ball bounced up to her. She looked at for a moment before a rosy-cheeked girl snatched it away.

I should have thrown it back, thought Rae.

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