How did Mr. Fred come to Tola Island? He was drawn there by the paintings of Jackson Blue. Miranda was the subject of one of those paintings. She was done up in her best silver sequined dress and standing behind the counter at Jed’s diner with all of those beautiful glass cake and pie covers that belonged to Jed’s mother. She has full lips, glossy and not done up. She was holding a just-dipped-in-meringue finger to her mouth. He was standing in Catanzaro’s grocery store where the news was showing on the TV behind the register about some gallery up north. They zeroed in on the painting of Miranda and called it “Miranda’s Meringue.” Mr. Fred was turning 33 years old that day. He was sent to pick up ricotta for his mom’s tradition of making cannoli on his birthday. Back then he was just Fred, staring at that sequined wonder all lit up by the glass, the pies and the wonder of that painter who got to look at that face, that finger covered in toasted air, those soft pillows she had for lips.
“Fred! Fred! That’s $1.35 for the ricotta.” He knew right then he had to meet Miranda of the meringue.
To learn more about this character and Miranda Cully, please visit:
This story is living and breathing. It all started with writing prompts from http://www.sarahselecky.com – I highly recommend signing up for them, just for fun. It only takes 10 minutes a day.
I just spent the morning doing the math of Mr. Fred’s age, when he fell in love with Miranda, what year characters were born and I actually wrote a poem to Mr. Fred. I’ve never written a poem for one of my characters before. This is how alive they are becoming for me.