Image: © Mara Eastern (Used with Permission)
Trica was never one for venturing down dirt tracks overgrown with vines and vegetation which did all it could to hinder your progress but she was focused on finding Maunchy Munchinson, and if it meant struggling along this track and having her legs, arms and other bits scratched and bruised then so be it.
After persevering for some time and beginning to experience that feeling of hopelessness, she came to a small clearing. There was a sign in front of her announcing: “The Village of Doomsberry”.
Looking around all she could see was a vacant block of land. Not a village, not even a building could be seen.
“All a bit sad isn’t it,” said a voice to her right.
Trica turned to where the voice had come from, but there was no one there.
“Are you another faceless voice?” she asked after all she was getting a bit fed up with voices that came from nowhere and from bodies that had no bodies.
“Afraid so,” said the voice, “it’s better this way.”
“How could it be better, I find it rude that everyone in here seems to be a voice and nothing more.”
“As I said its better this way. If I manifested myself to you, you’d run off screaming. It’s no coincidence the Doomsberry Asylum is located outside the gates to the park. Lots of former visitors in there you know.”
“Are you hideously deformed, or all jelly and pus or something?” asked Trica.
None of that, if I showed myself to you, you’d know immediately why its best I’m invisible. In fact, my wife says I’m at my most attractive when she can’t see me.”
“It’s all so silly if you ask me.”
“You see our problem is out words stink.”
“Your words stink?”
“Yes, horrible so I’m told. You’d reel and probably keel over it would be so over whelming.”
“Well,” said Trica I’ve enough issues with stinky words to contend with.”
“Well good, glad we’ve settled that. You won’t need to ask that question, again will you?”
“No, but can you tell me about the village of Doomsberry?”
“That I can. The doomsberry was ab actual berry you know. Sweet and succulent, people came from miles around to sample it. There was an annual doomsberry festival at harvest time. The berries grew all the way around the town, hence the name, of course.”
“So, what happened?”
“Doomsberry was the meeting place of the witches you see. They brought wealth and prosperity to the place. Then one day there was a dispute over ownership of the berries and one of the witches made up a potion, in haste and hatred I have to add, spread it over the berries and killed them all off. It was a terrible time. The community exiled the witches but it meant the end of the good times for the community. Over time everyone either died off or moved away. Soon it was a ghost town and over the years the buildings all collapsed and now you see it as a vacant parcel of land.”
“That’s so sad,” said Trica who had listened closely.
“No doomsberries is even sadder. They could give you a well-earned tilt to your kilt or a lift like you wouldn’t believe.”
“Well I have to be getting on,” said Trica, I still want to find the witches and talk with Maunchy Munchinson.”
“The witches? Just along a bit and around the corner,” said the voice, you watch out for the leaky cauldron, step around the cactus grove and take a left at the big red wand, don’t go right that’s just a dead end, I think, not many come back who turn right to verify that theory.”
“Thank you,” said Trica, “do you have a name?”
“Name? Oh, its Augustus Snotfellow, on account of my nose. But you’ll have to take my word for that.”
“Thank you, Augustus,” replied Trica as she stepped towards the sign conveniently pointing the direction to “Just Along a Bit”.