How Swede it is! First of our finalists submits!


EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska — The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, shines above Bear Lake here Jan. 18. The lights are the result of solar particles colliding with gases in Earth’s atmosphere. Early Eskimos and Indians believed different legends about the Northern Lights, such as they were the souls of animals dancing in the sky or the souls of fallen enemies trying to rise again.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang)


How I hope that our entire following believes in love stories, believes in love, it’s power to inspire and the palliative effects upon our souls.  Parisianne Modert is a finalist in this competition, and here is her fairy tale:

Linnaea Borealis in Bloom

by Parisianne Modert


The doorbell rang.  “Fröken Ööör sue la Johansson?”

“Ja, tack.”

Ursula’s girl friends ran to her side to see the envelope addressed in gold leaf lettering.  The careful opening revealed fine linen, Swedish stationery.  Ursula read out loud:

“Please forgive me, sweet one, for any assumption or intrusion by me of you.  I have been left breathless from your beauty asking only to make your acquaintance at the upcoming Harvard dance.

As apology and compensation, I offer you a makeover enchantment from Gamla Sverige Klädbutik.   The proprietor will dress you as a princess on the dance’s date at my grateful expense.

All I ask in return is one special dance.  Please say yes to both the gifts and dance with me.  I promise that I am a gentleman of considerate, old world manners.

I would fly to the stars if only I had wings, praying to win your heart’s approval.”


“Relax, I’m calling.  Hello, I’m Ursula Johansson…”

“I’ve been expecting your call, let’s say 2ish?”

“Thank you.  I accept.”

“You’re doing this?”

“And all of you are coming with me!”

Like female Nordic wolves, the pack arrived to witness the staff do Ursula’s hair, makeup, nails and elegant matching accessories for the stunned coquettish princess.  The Swedish lace dress was tastefully cut low in back.  Linnaea borealis, light purplish, twin flower sprigs, flown in from Stockholm were placed in her hair.

“Who is my admirer?”

“I am sworn to secrecy, but he is handsome as you are radiantly beautiful.”

“Thank you, but do the heels make me too tall?”

“No, you are a beguiling princess.  Go find your enamored prince.”

“Välsigna dig.  Farväl.”

Ursula’s icy, stoic nature reappeared as defense once arriving at Harvard refusing nameless and mispronounced requests.

From a gentle tap on her bare shoulder she turned to her right feeling the small purplish flowers in her hair on the left bounce lightly.  Ursula gazed  downward expecting the man to be shorter, finding  instead a tie matching her flowers.

Eyes gazing upward, the stranger took her left hand.  With mouth gaping, manners forgotten, Ursula saw a Viking god, so handsome that Ursula froze wide-eyed.   His gentle kiss upon her lifted hand awoke her feeling naked and exposed.

The Norse love goddess, Freyja, melted Ursula’s iceberg, pedestal heart.  Without a word, Ursula lifted her left hand to his upper arm as his right hand slid to her back.  Her once secret admirer led her onto the dance floor.  The room watched the ice princess glow like the northern lights.

“Kan jag få nöjet att denna dans, Ursula?”


‘Som stjarnan uppa himmelen sa kiar’ softly played on as eternity bowed then curtseyed.


The stars in the heavens song of a more graceful century enraptured the newly met couple with destinies entwining.

“I’m Torbjorn, Ursula.”

“No one else is dancing.”

“I only see you.  Let them be forever envious.”

“I loved the Linnaea as a little girl.  How did you know?”

“They are pale compared to your beauty.”

“Torbjorn, you are so handsome and kind.  Am I dreaming.”

“If we both are, then let’s never wake up.  I’m sure I’m in love with you.”

Ursula’s heart fluttered out of control.  “I know I love you too Torbjorn.”

Time stopped, when their lips met.  His hand gently caressed the small of  her back.  Everything became clear like a shuttle launching Thor to strike the heavens.  Thunder bear held his Ursula as gentle as a midnight snowflake.

“Dinner, tonight?”


Ursula dressed delicately placing newly couriered Linnaea in her hair.

At eight, Torbjorn arrived.  Ursula surrendered to his kiss as a blushing virgin ready to make love.

Seated at a private, balcony table overlooking the Charles, the lovers found colorful pots of flowers and gas lamps flickering romantic impressions.


“Darling, Ursula,  I received a family heirloom today.  Your left hand please.   My great grandfather proposed to my great grandmother with this ring.  Their love grew richer with time.  I am on bended knee offering my heart to you with love and passion.  Marry me Ursula.  Become my wife.”

“Torbjorn, with all my heart, I say yes.”

“My parents will love you.”

“O, God…my parents!  How will I explain you to each other?  No!  I’m not giving you up.”

“Please never do!”

“We need to talk before you meet, but not here.  What’s our last name?”


“Love it, but…”

“Dear, listen to my whispered confession.  Ursula, I know you are an alien from another world.  Marry me, my love.”


Ursula Andres here making a conchious decision to seduce the editor-in-chief. He declines, but does invite her to shellebrate his birthday party party on June 22nd at the hacienda of Victor Villasenor.

(Doesn’t Ursula mean “bare”?)


40 thoughts on “How Swede it is! First of our finalists submits!

  1. Thornton Sully says:

    Ööör sue la Johansson = Miss Ursula Johansson

    tack = Yes, thank you

    Sverige Klädbutik = Old Sweden Dress Shop

    dig. Farväl = Bless you. Farewell.

    jag få nöjet att denna dans = May I have the pleasure of this dance

    stjarnan uppa himmelen sa kiar = Just like the star up in the skies

      • Parisianne Modert says:

        Funny, but I sent the translations in with the entry to assist the readers with my questionable Swedish usages along with the picture of the flowers.

          • Parisianne Modert says:

            That comes later in the plot, but your part is played by a lesbian, Norweign spy lady who in time thinks she is a wolf riding a Ducati 1098 before she jumps off the Eiffel Tower with her Swedish, hotel receptionist girl in front of two nuns taking their girls on a field trip. Is that questionable enough? News at 11, Ja!

      • Stars Fall On My Heart says:

        “Stars” may have been correct, but I think it’s got more impact as “star”. She IS his shining star, after all, no one else <3

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          Interesting. The song title has a plural meaning stars. Her heritage is of a people who came from a set of moons in the Orion system and have been unable to return home for generations. Torbjorn in the story does start out Earthly human. The novel that I wrote and carved this entry out of through drastic modification is 225K words. They are each other’s everything and realize it at first dance. When I tell people that I write altenative romance novels and short stories, I am telling the truth.

  2. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    This is a scenario that has captivated my imagination for maybe as long as I had the ability to imagine and dream. Much has been said about the love stories of Roman and Greek mythology,but not too much with Norse mythology. Mystic and captivating…

  3. Glclark says:

    Sweet! Absolutely young, pure, innocent love. I thought of a Cinderella story – the young girl going to the ball with her Norse God. I’m a fan!

  4. Parisianne Modert says:

    I recommend that any reader of this story listen to “Som stjarnen uppa himmelen sa kar” as played by Ensemble Polaris off the album “Midnight Sun” during the dance part of this story to fully appreciate what falling in love at first dance is about. The song is a traditional Swedish folk song that I love dearly.

  5. Diane Cresswell says:

    FANTABALICIOUS – jag tackar dig. I’m Danish (Peterson – Grandpa changed e to o to be different), but having grown up in Mini snowta I hung around with a lot of Swedes and Norvegans. I also grew up reading fairy tales and so I have to say – this one I would have read over and over again always with stars in my eyes and wishing I would find someone like Torbjorn to dance with. Gifted you are – gifted indeed. Now to listen to the song and read it again and again and again….lyrical, flowing, delicate and with a pinch of fairy dust completely magical. Of course the last line about did me in…

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      I regret not fitting the word, “fantabulous” in as promised, but will try to work it into my writings soon. “Fantabalicious” should be patiented for being such a wonderful word. Thank you for your many kind expressions within this contest and your many gifted wisdoms away from this format.

  6. Sheri Strobaugh says:

    LOVE IT!!!!!!! As a Swede myself, ja! Ja! Thank you for sharing this. You are amazing Madame P. It is the dream of every young girl and more.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you. There was so much I had to painful cut, rephrase and change syntex on to get the story trimmed to 750 words. I felt bad about underplaying the intelligence and accomplishments of both lovers. The flower picture at the top shows two flowers growing from the same stalk, both beautiful and meant to live together for life. The symbolism of the tie matching the flowers was my attempt at this concept. In love, I like the sense that not only a couple bond, but generations of family do as well. Thank you for your kind praise. May be romance is so vital to me, because I never had that little girl childhood myself. Often I wish I had.

      • Sheri Strobaugh says:

        Well you definitely have the gift of writing and your words flow with intricacy on many levels. So glad you shared this. It had to be painful to crop so much. I have done that with one of my novels for a short story contest, then thought, “Oh hell, I should have just written a new one, ha!” Good luck my dear.

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          On the one hand the characters’ descriptions were a struggle to eliminate, but on the other hand the exercise of editing is an outstanding challenge and a grand lesson. Perhaps the dividing line between the writer/artist and writing as a hobby is the dedication of rewriting over and over, in editing and wordsmithing to enrichen meaning, develop a cadence within personal style. Win or lose, I have grown as an artist and I suspect each and every one of those who submitted have as well not only by their own edits and rewrites, but also in reading the work submitted by others including yours dear lady.

  7. Michael Stang says:

    I have to tell you, Parisianne Modert, you walk the walk and talk the talk. I understand you will be judged by the story alone, however I would be tempted to look at the commitment of your responses to the other writers responding to you, as well. May I ask if the book this delightfull story was taken from is at a stage to be published, or perhaps is? Anywhere I can read it?

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you for asking Michael. The novel, called, “In-Between”, has not been offered for publication and may never be. If it is, I will have to revisit it with the writing skills I have learned since it was first written. Currently it is 225K in length with references from far in the past into the future. The story treads on some real lives, is extremely erotic in places as well. Therefore, I can not see it being published without an editor and the publishing company’s lawyers giving it a good going over. As many other writers I dread, but respect the red pencil that publishers wield without mercy.

  8. Parisianne Modert says:

    I want the reader to not be mislead by the picture of Ursula Andress below. She was about 5’5″ and mine is 5’11”. Ms. Andress oozed sexuality with deep set eyes and hourglass figure; whereas mine has very pale blue eyes, skin and a non-curvy, thin model’s body. My Ursula is a Madison, Wisconisn supermind even among a superior species to ours. She is studying Nuclear, Applied, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering along with Space Flight Mathematics at MIT not to advance them, but to understand human space travel capabilities better. NASA has been courting her along with various others, her parents have introduced her to young men of her species all over the world, especially in Sweden to no avail. Ursula is a young woman who has been lost in her own mind, been irritated at the attention of those trying to court her, of model agencies trying to sign her and her mother, the doctor and her father, the space engineer trying to get her married off to one of her own species of Orion heritage. Her double spine is what gives her away. She breaks the most sacred rule of her exiled species by falling in love with Torbjourn the Earthling. Torbjourn on the other hand is the serious son, studying international law as it applies to property rights in terms of public domain and industrial patient disputes. The last thing he is looking for is an American wife when he plans on returning to his parents’ shipping empire in Stockholm after graduating. But then he sees Ursula at the library at Harvard one day and everything changes. He is 6’8″ which means that even in heels she must reach up to him like a little girl does her father. Psychology tells us that in doing so the protective person shows trust and wanting. The “tingles” she gets from being close to him are as true as a mature, medical doctor later on at age 55 as they are within the time frame of this shorter piece. Ursula Andress seems to give them rather than have them. She is intense, free and unreserved: whereas my Ursula is virginal, introvert, stoic and icy when approached by young men. There is a great difference therefore.

  9. Tiffany Monique says:

    There are gentle nuances in the reading of details here- the mystery of the secret admirer, the flower in the hair, the bare should being touched, the references to gods and goddess, etc. and then a jarring last sentence that flips the whole story into extra-mode. I’m curious and engaged. Yay!

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      I meant it to be curious neither yellow nor blue, but of light violet. Torbjorn wins Ursula’s heart with his words, his appreciation of feminine fantasy, his presence of being and his ultimate sacrifice. Will her parents accept him, how will they make love, will they be able to have children, which world will they make their home on? Romance to me is idyllic, but overcomes the impossible. Thank you for your articulate praise Tiffany.

  10. Parisianne Modert says:

    I actually did shed some tears while writing, editing and reading it several times before the final version. Did it bring any tears to your eyes? If the story did, then I vanquished the naysayer voices in you that claim that there is no such thing as true love at a first meeting. When I first saw “Love Story” the naysayer in me thought it was an idiotic movie. After years of being on estrogen, I cry everytime I see it, because I lost the love of my life to cancer and have actualized my feminine heart. I know the loss of Oliver, the flippant defenses of Jenny, but Ursula is the woman I wish I had been born as and become.

  11. 1948pdobbs says:

    I admit my ignorance as to the give and take below, so I guess I need to get the “sweet feed”for Clark and Stang. You had my attention all the way to the end and I envisioned your maiden as you defined her, rather than “In-my-dreams-Editor-in-chief’s” picture.
    Blessings, pd

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you. Ursula, until she meets her Torbjorn, is a science serious genius for a people exiled on Earth wishing to return to the Orion system once repairs and improvements on their shuttles that can match the harshness of Earth’s atmosphere. They also must wait for communication with a mothership capable of taking them home. Her species greatest rule is not to intermarry with humans along with remaining hidden from the knowledge of Earthlings. Ursula’s people are depending on her and she breaks their two most ardent rules. Torbjorn sacrifices his chosen career, must never tell his parents of Ursula and starts as a person of great suspicions by her people. Love comes with sacrifices and tremendous sacrific. Like her mother, Ursula’s education shifts just past the end of this section to being a medical doctor for her people. Torbjorn settles for being a property rights lawyer in her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. Their true love is beautiful because it is greater than any challenge they face in the future. When you love someone that much any amount of time short of eternity is not enough time.

  12. KYLE Katz says:

    The gift of who YOU are, delicately parades itself with purity of deliberation, love and confidence. You love to write and swallow words as it shows up in your DNA and makes us feel. No matter where we are in the moment of our day, you manage to provide the escape hatch into another world.
    You are a writer’s writer, a storyteller of ancient wisdom, and don’t mind piercing the surfaces of untapped sanity. You march in the direction you wish to travel, surrounded by an army of visions that hold us captive.
    Your story made me long for that innocence of love. It is said that when a man loves a woman, he will go to unknown lengths to earn her. Torbjorn did. It is the man’s greatest pleasure to earn her. Torbjorn certainly took pleasure. The woman changes in an instant(providing she feels the same way)when this is done in her honor. I was held in the arms of this love story. The gentle tap on the bare shoulder, the gazing into ones eyes,sensual lips that met. The sensitivity and kindness that bonds us to one another. I took a deep breath, sighed, and remembered long ago of love at first sight, as a half of tear glided down my face and I felt his last touch, that warmed my cheek. Bravo. Thank You Parisanne

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Your compliments and explanations of those compliments meant a lot to me Kyle. At first I was taken back by Thorn calling this story, “a fairy tale”, but he is of course correct. Within the song “Young At Heart” there is a line that goes, “Fairy tales can come true, they can happen to you, if you are young at heart.” I write as a lonely person who choose to be an alternative romance novelist, because of being both romantic and alternative myself. I was fortunate to have had a 30 year relationship that only death curtailed. Given that experience, my writing reflects both my longings for a love as great; while accepting my level of strangeness as a human being. Sometimes I feel so different than the norm, I must conclude that I am from another world. Torbjorn would be the man of my own dreams, if time could take me back to Ursula’s age of being a senior at MIT. Also there was a day and age I wanted to go to a school like MIT. Ursula is the little girl blossoming into a woman that I always wished to be. At this point in the story, she is a proud girl who has been taught to never date an Earthling, always wear back padding so no one will notice she has a double spine and never reveal her Orion heritage. There is an explanation of this fear within the novel. The low cut back was my invention to show how smitten and curious about her admirer before they met. It also allowed his discovery of her. In a sense, Torbjorn first falls in attraction with her when she is doing research at the Harvard Library and she is taken enough by his couriered note to her that she forgets the rules she has been taught since childhood. Within my mind, he is a man who covers his bases. He sees her and does his best to find out about her. He has discovered her address, that she is from MIT and has learned she is an intelligent young lady of Swedish heritage. The key here is that the love is fulfilled with the kiss at the same time he caresses her back. Imagine falling in love at the very moment that you discover a being with two spines. Love is the victor here. Ursula falls in love so deeply that only the line, “My parents will love you.”, wakes her up to the reality that she must face. Boldly she says, “No, I will not give you up.” For both of them love is stronger than any obstacle. Torbjourn before he sees Ursula is determined to marry a Swedish woman from Sweden some day, finishing his doctorate and then working for his shipping corporate father, not an Americanized Swedish girl from Wisconsin who must remain the protector of her family’s project to return to a set of moons circling an Orion planet. The title of the novel in waiting is “In-Between”.

  13. Parisianne Modert says:

    As an “Alternative Romance” writer, I wanted to clarify what is romance and what is not in my opinion. To me romance like love is not in the heart of the individual, but a space in-between two or more lovers anywhere from courtship until the last dying breath. It is not lust in a person’s heart, it is not love of self, it is not in mourning a death unless the ghost appears or the love one returns in another form for interaction. Romance is not self-indulgent, but meeting in the common ground of a field beyond (e.g. the famous poem by Rumi). Romance is not the sexual feelings of a single person towards another, rather it is a joining in creation. Romance can have struggles, but it is never a struggle within. It is a struggle in the connective in-between. There may be a great amount of time between responses in lovers (e.g. Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning), but without the give and take the energy dies for me. These are my opinions and my opinions only.

    When I talk about cadence I am referring to the rhythm of word to next word, sentence to next sentence and paragraph to next paragraph as opposed to the logic which is also essential. From my point of view dialogue can be forgiven for being stop and go, but not narrative. In novels I love narrative as sub-text into the psyche of the character(s), but less in short story form when it concerns romance. To create that in-between dynamics a writer, again in my opinion, needs dialogue or it is simply one being’s monologue told in story form.

    I prefer romance that has very differeniated characters, but that’s my taste as a writer and reader. My thought is that while a couple dance in each other’s arms, their feet must take different steps leaving the impression to the audience of the couple not the individual.

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