Tale Weaver/Fairytale – #317 – 4th March – The Wicked Witch – A Miss Marble Story

Miss Marble, witch, of 46 Grimace Street had long pondered the difference between a good and wicked witch.

Her own life, she concluded, as long as it had been, had contained elements of the good and bad.

Mostly she thought of herself as a good witch, but it was always , she was aware, a matter of perspective.

Mr Pruit of 32 Grimace Street most likely considered her a wicked witch. It was all, his own fault when he landed on her doorstep, demanding a supply of her garden fertilizer. He was, on a good day an angry man, but his rudeness to Miss Marble was something she took exception to.

When she began advising him about the use of her fertilizer, he had interrupted her telling her he had been gardening for fifty years and knew all there was to know about gardens and fertilizers.

The result for Mr Pruit was he went home with a bottle of fertilizer but, after applying it to his garden, discovered he was only capable of growing half vegetables. His potatoes were chat size, and his carrots only pencil thick. He blamed Miss Marble, of course, telling everyone who would listen what an evil and wicked witch she was.

On the other hand, old Potty Mary from 43 Grimace Street had no problem using the fertilizer.

The one issue Potty had was remembering to apply the fertilizer only to crops growing below ground. On one occasion, she had applied it to a crop of zucchini, and as everyone knows, you have to watch zucchinis, for if you turned your back on them, they’d grow to twice their size. Potty Mary woke one morning with a zucchini up against her back door. It took a dose of Miss Marble’s Reduction Potion to get things back under control and Potty access to her outhouse.

Meanwhile, Mr Pruit continued spreading rumours about Miss Marble and her wicked ways. It got so that Miss Marble needed to pay him a visit.

She asked if they could have a cup of tea and offered to make it.

Mr Pruit was none to happy about Miss Marble being in his house and sat glumly at his kitchen table while Miss Marble boiled the kettle. She slipped a drop of her Anger Reduction Potion into the cup she poured for him.

The result was instantaneous, and before her sat a much happier Mr Pruit. She took the opportunity to explain about applying her fertilizer, which Mr Pruit listened to and thanked her for the advice.

As she left, she left a bottle of her fertilizer on the table and looked forward to seeing the results.

As Mr Pruit tendered his garden, he thought he must be more polite to Miss Marble the next time he needed fertilizer, as she wasn’t such a wicked old witch after all.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/03/04/tale-weaver-fairytale-317-4th-march-the-wicked-witch/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #121 – Crisp’s Funeral Arrangements.

Crisp, my aged companion, had been quite pensive of late.

She said, “I’d like lots of colour at my funeral. I want to be remembered for the character I am. Don’t you think that’s a good idea?”

We agreed her funeral notice would request bright and colourful attire.

The conversation for the next hour was about the funeral. It was all a bit depressing, and I hadn’t been prepared for it. Crisp had a list of songs, most from our teenage years though her suggestion of Jim Reeves, ‘He’ll Have To Go’ reworded to ‘I’ll Have To Go’ might have taken some organising.

The one thing we agreed on was flowers. Lots of them, bright as could be, spread all around the funeral chapel.

“You’re not planning of going just yet, I hope?

“No,” she said, “far too much fun still to be had.”

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2021/03/03/crimsons-creative-challenge-121/

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Tale Weaver – #316 – 25 February – The Red Hair Girl – Carrots

Her name was Alice Marie Jenkins, and the first day she walked into Gino’s café, her flaming red hair immediately had our attention.

We met each afternoon in Gino’s because it was a safe place for us and good for Gino’s business.

We referred to ourselves as the Table Five gang. We sat at the same table and felt we had some ownership of the table.

We weren’t a gang that did anything. We talked a lot, made plans, but none of us was inclined to get off our backsides and carry through with anything.

Carrots changed a lot of that.

She seemed a timid girl at first, but once we got to know her, she was anything but.

That first day she stood at the counter placing an order of chips and a potato scallop.

She ignored Hugo’s call of “Hey Carrots.” She went and sat at the far table well away from us. It was Josie who made the first move. Before long, Josie had convinced her we weren’t the ratbags we appeared and invited her to join us.

Her family has just moved to the south side of town. We knew it to be a poor area, but Carrots was a girl who didn’t seem like the usual south side kids, rude, defensive and generally unlikeable.

She was going to the State School, and we were all Catholic kids. It didn’t matter as we’d taken an immediate liking to her.

She joined in our chatter, but once her phone rang, she said she had to go. We said we were here most afternoons, and she was welcome to join us.

We didn’t see her for a week or so, and she came in wearing a beanie over her hair and looking unhappy. She ordered and was in two minds to join us, but once Josie had called to her, she came over.

She said she’d been busy, getting settled in, the new school, and she had a little brother who needed looking after most afternoons.

She was just munching into her chips when her phone rang.

“I have to go,” she said, stuffing the phone into her bag. She got up and left, and we watched her leave.

The next day the news around town was of a drug bust on the south side. That afternoon we met at Gino’s and wondered if Carrots was caught up in the bust. The word was that the cops had raided Smith Street and arrested a number of people.

The next time we saw Carrots, we were keen to hear all the gossip about the raid. She turned up on the Friday.

We had questions. Carrots was sheepish about saying anything until we discovered it was her dad who had been busted.

It wasn’t the first time. Drugs were the reason they’d moved here to get away from their last situation. She said her dad couldn’t help himself, he had debts but someone had dobbed him in.

She said they’d probably move again. She was sad about that as we were the first friends she’d ever had.

Josie invited her to stay over at her house. Josie was like that, and that was how the red hair girl came into our lives, and we liked that she had.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/02/25/tale-weaver-316-25-february-the-red-hair-girl/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #119 – Uncle Henry’s Fences.

My aged companion Crisp was looking at the lake and the disappearing fence line.

“One dry year my Uncle Henry decided to fence his paddocks in an attempt to make greater use of his land. He was what my father called an unlucky farmer.

At harvest time you could be sure it would rain and at sowing time it was guaranteed not to rain.

So this day he set to work to build the fences he thought would benefit his farming. They looked magnificent as they ran across the vast plain.

Then it rained, and rained. The fences slowing disappeared beneath the ever-rising water. In the end his place looked a lot like what we are looking at now.

A bit of research showed he’d built at the bottom of an ancient lake. The rain had restored it to its original form.

The water settled in and Uncle Henry had to settle elsewhere.”

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2021/02/17/crimsons-creative-challenge-119/

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Tale Weaver – #315 – Mystery – The Bald Man.

Archie Lapsitter was a tall bald guy who loved his job of catching bad guys.

Like many tall guys, he was a lot shorter when he sat down.

Around town, he was known as “whodunit” Archie.

The mystery of who killed Alice Hudson had consumed the community. It was not concern for Alice but rather a fascination for who had killed her.

Archie was on the job straight away. They had found her body stashed into a garbage bin in the alley beside the courthouse.

As Archie gathered evidence, it was clear that he had no immediate answers, as Alice was one of those people who had a lot of enemies. Each suspect claimed their innocence but expressed their disappointment it wasn’t them who had done the deed, as they believed she had it coming to her.

Archie admitted to being flummoxed.

But he knew a shred of evidence would soon appear and from there more evidence until he had a case.

And that’s how it happened.

Fingers started to point towards Judge Parker, who had a reputation of being seen in seedy places, with seedy people at seedy times.

Archie found fingerprints, DNA, rumour, and gossip abounded, and before long, it was as plain as the nose on his face that the Judge was a man who had questions to answer.

Archie loved the questioning part. Bright lights, a bare room, with just a table and chairs, and getting into the defendants face.

It took some hours, but soon Archie had the Judge talking. He spilled his guts, he admitted his wrong doing, he said Alice had it coming as she had a bad habit of talking about her clients in McNally’s Bar and if there was one thing the Judge had insisted on was discretion. To Alice, the word ‘discretion’ was just another big word she heard from people who thought they were smarted than she was.

Archie’s investigation revealed Alice liked to brag about who her clients were. Her clients were never happy about anyone knowing they knew Alice. Archie could see it was a matter of time before someone silenced her.

The Judge showed no remorse; in fact, he argued he had done the community a favour.

Archie was relieved when he was found guilty and sentenced to life in the rock quarry.

The case over, he went back to sitting in his office, smoking cigars and generally basking in his success.

Just as he was getting comfortable, his door burst open. The butcher announced his wife had gone missing, he was distraught, he burst into tears, Archie made notes, another case had presented itself.

Archie smiled as he knew just where the butcher’s wife was.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/tale-weaver-315-mystery-the-bald-man/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #118 – In Search of Fairies.

 Alluring.

That was the word that came to mind. Out on a walk on a Sunday afternoon, I led her by the hand, as she tended to wander if I didn’t.

“Let’s go down here,” I suggested.

My aged companion, who seemed to age so noticeably these days, nodded in acquiescence as if the saying why not?

“Are there goblins or fairies down here?” she asked.

“Well, let’s see,” I replied.

“I’m hoping for fairies as I don’t like goblins much, nasty creatures goblins. They like to peck your eyes out.”

We wandered along the pathway; it was beautiful, the bush a relief from the dourness of a year ago when we’d been ravaged by bushfires.

“Stop,” she called, “can you see them? Aren’t they delightful?”

She was pointing at a small grotto someone had set up as a memorial. There was a photo of a young girl.

My aged companion’s fairy.

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2021/02/10/crimsons-creative-challenge-118/

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Sunday Writing Prompt – 14February – A story of Love

 Our life was a story of love.

Up until the present, it had been reciprocated.

Today I presented Joyce with a rose.

She wanted to know the occasion.

“I said,” it’s Valentine’s day.

“Is it?” She replied.

“Yes, and this rose is for you.”

“I didn’t know it was today; I haven’t got you anything.”

She looked perplexed as if the day had arrived unexpectedly.

Looking around the room, I could see her confusion.

On Valentine’s Day, we had flowers, bouquets and arrangements.

Mostly purchased by her.

She loved the sentiment the day came with.

I put my arms around her.

Her head rested on my shoulder.

She whispered in my ear:

“You mustn’t tell my husband, he’ll worry, you know.”

I held her in my arms.

“I’ll keep it our secret,” I said, brushing away a tear.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/02/14/sunday-writing-prompt-14february-a-story-of-love/

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Tale Weaver – #314 – Lotion – February 11th

 She thought his gift was odd. Then again, it wasn’t the first time.

It was a plain bottle with a small sticker on the back. “Use sparingly on infected parts. Don’t be greedy.” Which bits of me was the sticker applying to? What did he know I didn’t know?

It was an improvement on my Christmas gift which on the back had a skull and crossbones and which when I did venture to stick my finger in burnt like I’d never felt before.

I thought I best give it a try.

I put a drop on my finger and waited. Nothing happened, so I rubbed it gently on my wrist.

I felt a wave of pleasure go through me. It was like nothing I’d experienced before.

I took more and rubbed it on my skin. I didn’t know my skin could feel the pleasure this lotion afforded me.

The more I applied and greater the craving to use more. I was soon halfway through the bottle. I didn’t think I’d be able to stop. Then I thought about the label: “infected parts”?

I didn’t have any that I knew of.

That was when I got greedy. I was home alone, and so I stripped off and started applying the lotion to the bits of me that gave me pleasure.

I didn’t know I could feel this good. My brain screamed at me for more. My body was loving every second of it.

I squeezed out the last of the lotion. I shook the bottle; I wanted more.

Then there wasn’t. The craving was more intense. I felt my body convulsing as t sought more and more pleasure.

I was out of control; my body was fighting me; the lotion was gone.

Suddenly it all stopped. My body settled. My breathing slowed to a laborious pant.

I wanted to sleep; the pleasure was gone; my phone was ringing.

He was on the phone; he asked me if I had received his gift. Yes I had replied it was wonderful.

Don’t use too much he had said it can be quite devastating the first time you use it.

Yes, I had replied, it certainly can.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/02/11/tale-weaver-314-lotion-february-11th/

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Sunday Writing Prompt – Ginger – 7th February

There was great excitement when mum announced that our cousin Ginger was coming to stay. Double the excitement from me as she was my age and in our family with me being the youngest having a play companion was a dream come true.

Ginger belonged to mum’s eldest sister Aunt Eve who lived far away at the other end of the country and a family we only ever heard about.

There was a lot of movement in our house as mum went about making up Ginger’s room and making us kids vacuum and dust.

All we knew about Ginger was that she’d had a bit of trouble and her mother had asked if we could give her a place to stay as she needed a new environment.

The day she arrived, we gathered at the bus stop and watched the vehicle pull up in a cloud of dust. Then a tall girl climbed down the stairs and stood before us.

Mum stepped forward, and embracing Ginger in welcome. I stood back, taking in the girl who’d just arrived.

Ginger had a ring through her nose, her eyebrow and six studs in each ear. She wore a singlet top and very short denim shorts.

The bus driver dumped her luggage beside her and said farewell.

On the drive back home mum engaged her in small talk, I couldn’t think of anything to say, tongue-tied you might say.

I showed her to her room and mumbled something about dinner being ready.

“What do you do out here?” she asked.

“There’s lots to do,” I replied, “this is a farm, and we all have stuff to do every day.”

“I’m gonna go crazy,” she said as we headed down to dinner.

There was never anything fancy about our place. An old house, in which everything was well used, worn by constant years of service and we all took it for granted.

Ginger was not used to eating off an old crazed dinner plate; the table was covered by an table cloth which bore evidence of many years of eating off.

Dad come in and greeted Ginger in his best most friendly way. A nod and a few grunts in her direction.

After dinner, he said to her: ”You’re here for a while my girl, so make the best of it, this is how it is out here, you’re lucky we’ve had some rain of late so you might get a shower every second day. Hook in where you can, you might have to get your hands dirty, but that’s how it is.”

Neither mum nor dad ever commented on how she dressed, and she spent the first week on her phone to her mother pleading to be allowed back home.

Mum said she’d never spoken to her sister so much as she had in the past week.

Ginger came with me and watched what I did. It took her weeks before she stopped whinging about the place and started to lend a hand.

She could swear as well as anybody, and as I pointed out, this was a farm, and at times things became frustrating.

I was surprised one morning when she came out with her piercings all removed. It changed her face, she looked younger and more innocent and asked if she could go to town for a haircut. Mum said we did our own and offered her services.

Ginger looked at us and realised we all had a similar cut, our hair had never bothered us, and town was a long way to go for a haircut.

As time went on, she began to look more and more like us, except for her flaming red hair.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/02/07/sunday-writing-prompt-ginger-7th-february/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #117 – Crisp Going Missing

 After several days of my aged companion, Crisp, going missing, I found her at the passenger terminal.

“I’m going home,” she announced when I asked her what she had been doing.

“Where’s home?” I asked, knowing she’d sold up everything before coming on our trip.

“Why Gladys Street of course,” she replied as if I should have known. “Mavis called said I should come home.”

I drew in a breath and understood what was happening. I’d been concerned about Crisp for the last few months. She’d started wandering and talking about the past as if she was still there.

“Mavis is dead,” I said to her.

“You are a silly man sometimes,” she retorted, “Mavis wants me to stay at her beach house. I can’t wait to see her and feel the surf around my feet.”

I nodded as I understood it was pointless to get into any conflict with her. Mavis had died when the beach house burnt down.

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2021/02/03/crimsons-creative-challenge-117/

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