The Princess’ Ride

14 Aug

100 words for Friday Fictioneers, an agglomeration of writers from Earth who each week use a single photo as a catalyst for creativity.  This week’s prompt, courtesy of Roger Bultot, is shown below. My offering follows.

[[[[[[{{{{{{{{{((((((( Thanks to all who read and commented up until this point (3:00AMHST-Thursday, 15 August, 2013). I appreciate the feedback. I posted about 24 hours ago and made a mistake in the writing of the version below. Though many have commented kindly about the story, I am going to edit it for clarity (I hope). The second (better?) version will appear below the Dread Pirate Robert’s picture below.  Thank you to all who helped me see this error and especially to those who cheered despite the glitches. )))))))))}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}]]]]]]]]]]]

The Princess' Ride


“I’ll be over in fifteen to pick up the last of my stuff. Can you do some yard work or something?”

“As you wish.”

“Piss off,” she snapped. “Just don’t be inside.”

Westley’s lines once worked magic. Now they just angered Buttercup.  Inconceivable.

She pulled up in her new Maxima and stormed into the house while I fired up the chainsaw.

Minutes later the massive oak hammered her car into the anvil of the earth. Shattered glass cascaded over crumpled metal. The ground shook.

The Princess rushed out. Looked at her car, then at me.

“To the pain,” I shouted.

Life is Pain


“I’ll be over in fifteen to pick up the last of my stuff. Can you do some yard work or something?”

“As you wish.”

“Piss off,” she snapped. “Just don’t be inside.”

Lines from The Princess Bride once worked magic on my Buttercup. Now they infuriated her.  Inconceivable.

She pulled up and stormed into the house. I fired up the chainsaw.

Minutes later the massive oak hammered her car into the anvil of the earth. Shattered glass cascaded over crumpled metal. The ground shook.

The Princess rushed out. Looked at her car, then at me.

“To the pain,” I shouted.


(((((((100 words again. More clarity. “My name is Princess Buttercup. You killed my car. Prepare to die.” Thanks for getting this far. Aloha, D.))))))))))


(do not click on this link.)

46 Responses to “The Princess’ Ride”

  1. sandraconner August 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    What a creative way to fight back. I have to wonder if this is based on “real-life” experience — particularly since you seem to have had this one ready at a moment’s notice.
    But he IS going to hide that chain saw some place where Buttercup can’t find it, right???

    • Douglas Macilroy August 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      Dear Sandra,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. This is straight from my imagination courtesy of the prompt. Once she calls a cab and departs the scene, I don’t think Buttercup’s going to be coming back anytime soon.



  2. paulmclem August 14, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Some nice work there Doug.

    Only issue I felt was a mixing of viewpoint. One sentence has “Westley’s lines…” and the next has “I” who I assume to be Westley. Think there is a risk of confusion when you go from 3rd person to 1st person. Kind of lose the flow. Well I do 🙂



    • dmmacilroy August 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Dear Paul,

      Thanks for the scalpel work. I’m going to peruse and edit once my pea brain sees where I’ve put a kink in the flow. I appreciate your input.



      • Douglas Macilroy August 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

        Hi Paul,

        Me again. Westley is a character from a movie whose ‘lines’ my protagonist used to use to good effect on his girlfriend. (Not so much anymore) I can see where the use of Westley’s name would be confusing, especially to those who have not seen The Princess Bride. Thanks for the read.



  3. paulmclem August 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm #


    Gotcha now. No, I thought Westley was the male character. However, your explanation undoes my issue. That said others might fall into the same trap i.e. not know the film you’re referring to. Thanks for responding to my moans.



  4. Adam Ickes August 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    One of my favorite movies which I quote quite frequently (which my wife hates because she hates the movie for some unknown reason) and therefore I can offer no criticism on your story as it would be biased due to my love of the movie.

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      Dear Adam,

      Thank you so much for enjoying my story despite the glitches. I, too, love this stellar movie. I was surprised to find that there are people that have not seen it. Inconceivable. (Stop me!)



  5. Helena Hann-Basquiat August 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    This was magical, from the title to the last line. I do confess the switching from third person to first person threw me a bit — is it just the two of them, or is the “I” supposed to be a third character? I read someone else was confused by this as well, and while your explanation made sense, I think this story might be perfect if this really WAS Goldman’s characters, years down the road — there is no happily ever after, after all.

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Dear Helena,

      Your idea to have the characters actually be Westley and Buttercup after a long and stultifying marriage was perfect. I wish I had thought of it. I appreciate that you could see past the original version’s misleading writing and revel, as I did, in the idea. I tried to remedy things in the second version, posted a few moments ago.

      Many Mahalos for the pingback.



  6. summerstommy2 August 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    I see the humour in Wesley and Buttercup not living happily ever after despite all they went through to be together. Great idea Doug to use a favourite movie of most people as a way to make use of the prompt. I see the confusion others point out, ‘I’ should ‘he’ I think that makes it sit better.

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      Dear Summerstommy,

      The errors were so glaring I can’t believe I didn’t ‘see’/’hear’ them before I posted. Please accept my gratitude for the kind comments. The rewrite is better, thanks to your input.



  7. Sandra August 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    This appeals to the vindictive side of my nature. So much so that … No, better not. I worked out that the Westley/Buttercup thing related to some film I hadn’t seen but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment. And the use of the word Princess in relation to the ‘she-wolf’ was spot on. 🙂 Terse, punchy and a great last line. I should have been there. 🙂

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Dear Sandra,

      Do see The Princess Bride if you get a chance. i know you’ll get a kick out of it. Thanks for your forgiving comments and your joie de vivre, bedrock girl.



  8. misskzebra August 14, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    I assume this would make more sense if I’d watched the movie, all the same, quite humorous.

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Dear Misskzebra,

      I envy you for being able to see the movie for the first time. It loses little after many years, a testament to William Goldman’s great writing. Thanks for commenting in such a kind fashion despite the first version’s flaws.



  9. Gabriella August 14, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    You have an extreme understanding of the concept of revenge!

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      Dear Gabriella,

      Past lives bubbling to the surface, I guess. Thanks for stopping by and commenting despite the first version’s kludgy writing.



  10. elmowrites August 14, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Like others, I fell into the trap of the POV switch, but your explanation make it all make a lot more sense. You lied to me: this is not a “tree fell on my car” story at all, but the far more powerful “tree was pushed” version. Once I understood it (for which I take full responsibility), I very much enjoyed it. My husband worries at how much relish I take in the Carrie Underwood song “Before he cheats”; I think he sees it as a threat! 😉 Your story is in the same vein.

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Dear Jennifer,

      Please read the second version and let me know if it is better. Your skill at ‘seeing’ is paramount among FF’ers. Yes, I did lie, but only to keep you guessing. Neat that you like Carrie’s song so much. A warning to all and sundry.



      • elmowrites August 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

        Ah yes, all clear now. I think “My Buttercup” might have been enough in itself but this leaves no room for doubt.

        The Seer

  11. Carrie August 14, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    I had some of the same POV issues until I clued in what you explained later in the comments. You might want to try and reword it somehow since there shouldn’t be THAT much confusion in 100 words 😉

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Dear Carrie,

      I took your advice. Thanks for being so spot on and gentle. I should have waited to post until I ‘listened’ to my first version and sorted out the dissonance. Let me know if the second version is an improvement.



  12. Jan Brown August 15, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Loved the movie references. I think she has driven him to the Cliffs of Insanity!

    Unfortunately, revenge won’t be sweet. He may wind up in a jail with Rodents of Unusual Size.

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Dear Jan,

      R.O.U.S. may indeed be in his future. i think he’d better just drink some Iocane poison right now and get it over with.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. New version posted to fix the less than ideal first one.



  13. David Stewart August 15, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    as depressing as it is to think of Wesley and Buttercup splitting up, that is just hilarious and that last line is perfect. This is the first time in a long time I’ve reread a story, not because I didn’t understand it all on the first go, but just for the pure pleasure of the story.
    Take care,

    • Douglas Macilroy August 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Dear David,

      Reading your comment made my day for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that I’d made a hash of the first version. I corrected the glitches and appended the second version to the bottom of my post. Glutton for punishment?

      Thanks for seeing what I meant with the first version.



  14. bridgesareforburning August 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    I had similar thoughts in response to this photo, but went another way. My memories of The Princess Bride are too hazy for me to get the references, but I admire the idea of it. I did hear that Prince Charming did the same to Cinderella’s pumpkin after their thing went south! Ron

  15. vb holmes August 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    An amusing story–and a must-see movie recommendation. However, I suspect the tree-on-the car caper put a definite period to the story of Buttercup and Westley.

  16. neenslewy August 16, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Much prefer the second edit, the references are clearer to the reader which allows us to follow the story.
    I like that he is deliberately winding her up.

    The Princess Bride is a special film for me because…
    in my family I was the performer, the one who took Drama etc. my younger brother runs wine bars and pubs in the city. As a teen he was artistically driven. For his 30th (some years ago now) a group of his closest friends (many of them in the world of film) cleverly edited themselves into this film. He then hired a screen at the ‘Electric Cinema’ – original picture house, an amazing venue and invited family and friends. We had no idea what he had produced. I was amused that he had chosen this film, he was trying to blag it as a childhood favourite. (I knew otherwise… he would have needed a team of animator friends to star in that one!) I can’t imagine the proper version anymore in my head, I always see my brother and his old housemates.

    The out-takes were hilarious and made me feel better about my own training as an actor.

  17. unspywriter August 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    LOL! And very visual. I could “see” this happening, and it helps that my ex had a Maxima that color. (chortles evilly) 😉

    Here’s mine:

  18. kz August 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    so that’s how it really ends haha ^^ great story, i enjoyed it a lot. so much that i wanted them to keep fighting and wrecking each others’ stuff ^^

  19. joseph elon lillie August 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Very funny! I loved the Princess Bride reference.

  20. Lindaura Glamoura August 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Well, I did love the Princess Bride, although it is hard to see her in this story….Still it is nice to see her at all.

  21. annisik51 August 17, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Inconceivable it may seem, but I have not seen The Princess Bride. I am suitably demeaned! However, your story stands well without it. It is a fictional story based on sad truth. Relationships go wrong and things can get very nasty indeed.I like your dialogue. And the use of ‘my’ before Buttercup suggests to me that Wesley is still attached to Buttercup, despite the chainsaw thingy. I like the earth as an anvil.

  22. Perry Block August 17, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Well done story and nice call-back to the Princess Bride, which I think it is an entertaining but not one of my favorites. I find Cary Elwes kind of annoying in general, and very annoying in this movie. But your story is anything but — good job!

  23. Dee August 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Dear Doug

    I have to confess that I have not seen The Princess Bride – mea culpa – but I think your story stands up well without it.The only issue was ‘The Princess rushed out’ but I saw that as his pet name for her, (my grandfather called my granny The Duchess) I could see the relationship falling apart, but on the other hand ‘myButtercup’ seems to suggest there are still feelings there.


    • Douglas Macilroy August 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Dear Dee,

      Anger and love roil the waters of all separations. Rarely are they clean breaks that leave us unmarked, hence the nuance you noted in the story.

      Strange coincidence—My grandmother on my father’s side was nicknamed The Duchess also. I smiled so when I read that that name was a favorite of your grandfather’s.



  24. The Bumble Files August 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Much clearer on the second pass, Doug. It’s amazing what a little tweaking can do. I needed the explanation as I wasn’t sure what the line was from the movie. Others may not. I appreciate this change the most, “She pulled up and stormed into the house. I fired up the chainsaw.” So much clearer with this. Good for you for reworking. This is what it’s all about. It’s why we’re here.

  25. Monica Heffner August 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    Great story! A favorite movie here at my home as well. Nice job.

  26. Sarah Ann August 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    This left me smiling – both versions, although the second is definitely clearer. Loved the description of the tree hammering the car ‘… into the anvil of the earth.’

  27. pattisj August 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    Thanks for the clarification. I saw The Princess Bride once, and have read or heard excerpts from the script often, but I didn’t grasp the connection until reading further.

  28. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) August 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Love the sweet revenge.. and that was some kind of yard wark.. anvil indeed… great reading.

  29. lingeringvisions by Dawn August 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    I’m not familiar with the reference but I am familiar with the spite and vengefulness; too familiar.

    • dmmacilroy August 21, 2013 at 2:37 am #

      Dear Dawn,

      Mir also, as they say in Germany. Sorry about that. Hang touch.




  1. Observations on Writing Eco-conscious Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Friday Fictioneers) | Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante. - August 14, 2013

    […] Douglas MacIlroy’s story played with one of my favourite movies, and is just magical. […]

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