Word Prompt: Bestow

This one came from my baby girl. When I asked could she tell me someone who gave gifts, she said ‘fairy godmothers’ so off we go!

We’ve all heard the classic line ‘they lived happily ever after’ and this is very true. For the heroes of the tale.

What of the wish-granters and the wand-wavers? The rungs who our leading men and women step upon as they climb the ladder of merriment?

They are forgotten about in the land of….well no one remembers its name. And they stay that way until they are remembered again….

After The Happily Ever After

A very soggy Saturday night, a trio gathered round a very sticky table at the back of the Skunk and Toad.

The pub was one of those fine establishments where it was safer to wipe your feet on the way out. Local legend had it that since opening it’s filthy doors nearly two hundred years earlier the floors had never actually felt the kiss of a mop. In fact there was enough bacteria embedded in the place that the bar stools could have been weaponised.

The Leprechaun finished his shift and slumped into the snug beside his friends.

“Jaysus there has to be a better way” he said miserably “some arse missed the spit bucket today and it landed on me leg…me leg! I nearly amputated the bleeding thing with a corkscrew!”

The Fairy Godmother shuddered as she unglued her forearm from the table top. She tried her best not to contemplate the brown residue now staining her skin.

“I know Murph” she said as she rubbed her friend on the shoulder “it’s not the nicest place but you’ll find something better soon” Her miniature friend was unconvinced.

“Not the nicest Edith? Have you taken leave of your senses altogether? Billy his wife share the one glass eye!”

Billy was the landlord of the Skunk and Toad. He had a face like a ball of well kneaded dough and a brain to match. Unfortunately for Murph, today was his wife’s turn with the eyeball so Murph spent his shift trying not to retch every time caught a glimpse of the inside of his employers skull.

“Ach I’m sorry Edith” he said “I shouldn’t be taking me misfortune out on yerself. If I could just get me hands on that gold again sure wouldn’t I be out of here in a heartbeat?”

“Ya Allah! Again about the gold!” Exclaimed the Genie “Forget about it fool, that dhahab is long gone, kaput, adios amigo!”

“Oh and what Khalil? Like we’re all not sick to the back teeth of the bleeding Aladdin yarn? Oh boo hoo, my bestest friend left me for a woman, how I miss when we would stay up late brushing each other’s hair! Jaysus how long are ya gonna keep banging on that drum?!”

“Enough!” Interrupted Glinda, the Good Witch Of The North.

“It’s hard times for all of us, ok? I don’t think any of us thought we’d be in this boat but we’re here now, so we might as well make the best of it”

Edith started to weep uncontrollably. Glinda put an arm around her shoulder.

“What’s wrong Edith?” She asked her friend with concern.

“Oh it’s Majella again” she sniffed “I was in the post office this morning and Betty at the the counter told me she’s pregnant. And I had to hear it from the town gossip of all people!”

“Oh Edith, you’re joking” said Glinda as she rummaged in her bag for a tissue.

“That girl always was a brat” said Murph, slapping his pint glass on the table.

He had a tendency to become liberal with his opinions after a quarter pint. Given that he was less than a foot tall the drink didn’t so much go to his head as it shot there like a speeding bullet.

“Would you shut up?” Hissed Glinda, firing him a glance that would’ve turned him to stone if only he weren’t on a roll and too tipsy to notice.

“I’m sorry Edith love but someone has to say it! She always had notions above her station that one. I mean what is with the Cinderella shenanigans? What was wrong with Majella? She must have had that deed poll filed before the ink dried on her marriage certificate. Cinderella O’Doherty….oh aye very regal your highness” he snorted, spraying the already contaminated table with pixie snot.

Edith began sobbing heavily “I just don’t understand, after everything I did for that girl. All the good fortune I bestowed on her, and for what? Not so much as a wedding invite! Not even the evening do! Do you know how many fairies can do a decent glass slipper incantation? None! I’m the last one! And to think she barely gave a backward glance as she went up that aisle….”

“Edith, it has happened to us all my friend” said Khalil “They use us, then they throw us aside like used dish trowels”

“It’s towels you floating moron. You can summon the dead but you still can’t speak decent bleeding English?” Said Murph.

“Listen little man” Khalil retorted “I am Jinn from Arabia, I speak more than 4000 ancient languages, what do you speak? Huh? Drunken hobbit? Imbecile!”

“Oh would someone ever find that bloody lamp you crawled out of and take you off my hands once and for all…”

“Go back to your cereal box cretin…”

The ladies left them to bicker among themselves as they often did. Edith gathered herself and dabbed at her red eyes.

“How’s work going Glinda?”

After Dorothy’s visit, the Emerald City had gone to pot. After the Wizard was exposed, the city enjoyed a brief spell in the spotlight. Alas, after the novelty had worn off, the tourist trade gradually came to an end and most of the Munchkins sold their land to Ikea who promptly erected a superstore. Addicted to a life of singing, they formed the Lilliputian Yodellers and took their new found cash to L.A. in search of a recording contract.

Sadly there was a handful of tone deaf souls who in desperation, turned to a life of crime. They soon became known as the Baby Faced Bandits, and regularly pillaged remote cottages in the woods. Despite their infamy they dropped off the radar a few months ago. Glinda had heard rumours about an old lady and a gingerbread house but she wasn’t one to gossip.

To make ends meet Glinda was now singing in a gentleman’s club six night a week.

“Oh it’s ok, I try to look on the bright side, but it’s not like before at all Edith. I just don’t know how to put in the time.

I was so busy before thwarting my sisters evil deeds I just don’t know what to with myself. Needlepoint in the afternoon just doesn’t have the same zest as floating around in a bubble you know? I think somedays I even miss those monkeys…” she trailed off wistfully, twirling the straw in her G&T.

Edith sighed “I know what you mean Glinda. I’m comfortable enough now with Harold’s pension, but I feel lost now I don’t get to use the wand as much.” She lowered her voice “You know sometimes I turn the odd person into a dog or something for old times sake. I turn them back right away of course, but it just makes me feel like a young fairy again!”

“You don’t!” Exclaimed Glinda “I did the same thing last week! Except I’d was out on Linda’s hen night and had too many daiquiris!”

The pair of them giggled to themselves like a couple of schoolchildren.

Murph and Khalil had finally decided to give it a rest and joined the conversation again. Murph was nearly at the bottom of his first pint and almost four sheets to the wind.

“Well wait till I tell ya! I heard a lovely bit of gossip today!”

“Really Murph? The last bit of lovely gossip you heard was a bad tip for the National that saw me losing twenty quid!” said Glinda

“No love, I know I talk some shite sometimes but I swear on me granny’s grave this is a good one! I heard from One Legged Seamus that people are starting to believe in the old magic again.”

“No, no, no” said Khalil shaking his head “This is going to be like the time when you told us about that Ursula seawitch lady, and poor Edith lost her voice for two months! Don’t listen to him, it is another hairblamed idea”

“Hairbrained, for the love of all that’s holy if you’re going to be cutting me short could you use the right words at least?” Murph slurred drunkenly.

Khalil thanked his lucky stars he was unable to imbibe alcohol, or much else for that matter. A lack of thirst, hunger or exhaustion were some of the few benefits of being a spirit condemned to an existence of altruism. He never wanted to look as bad as the green dwarf mumbling into his pint glass before him.

“No, no, I swear to ye, it’s the real deal this time, magic is making a comeback and soon we’ll all be getting a one way ticket out of this rotten hole. I’ll finally be able to drop Billy’s glass eye down the bleeding plug hole…horrible bloody thing….” as usual he was fading fast.

“Well what is this big change Murph? Tell us!” Edith gave him a shake, they needed to know before he finally passed out

“Some young fella….Hoppy Dobber….Hoopy Pooper? Oh no, I know…..Harry Potter!”

And with that he slid off the bench and landed with a small thump on the grimy floor below.

Word Prompt: Bestow

The Graveyard Shift

I thought I’d take part in ‘1000 Words Worth’ posted by A Guy Called Bloke.

This story is my response to the picture below:

I haven’t written a short story in years, but gave it my best go anyway….please be gentle!

‘Twas a dark and stormy night. The bitter wind whipped round the graveyard, working its hardest to uproot the headstones. The rain fell hard, as though determined to chill a man right to the bone.

The priest inside the crumbling church snuffed the last of the candles, their whispers of smoke bringing him comfort as he inhaled. Each one, a sacred plea or prayer of gratitude. He was slightly dismayed to see there were so few.

The elements outside rattled the old church. The doors shook so fiercely he began to have his doubts that the decaying wood protecting the entrance would last the night.

As he made his final genuflection, an unfamiliar noise reached his ear. A small flutter. He waited, ear cocked, straining to drown out the gale outside. Again. A flapping, like wet sheets blowing on a washing line. He had spent the best part of his days in the worn building, first as an altar boy, then as resident padre, he knew the church better than he knew his own reflection, and he wasn’t imagining things.

A scuttling, across the cold stone floor. With all candles gone the only light was from the moon fighting to puncture the dark clouds that blanketed the miserable night. More scritching and another flap, closer this time. He couldn’t see the source and felt his body prickle with goosebumps. He wasn’t easily spooked but he was no longer a young man and although he may not have admitted it, he was frightened to be alone.

Then he heard a whisper. “What? Who’s there?”. The words spluttered their way out of his throat and he silently cursed himself for not having more courage. Nothing except another scurry on the floor – closer still. The priest felt panic begin to wrap it’s long fingers around him and he reached for the cross around his neck. “Who’s there! Show yourself! You would hide in the dark and scare an old man?”.

From a corner a shadow grew, he heard a click click, then a woosh. The shadow lifted off the ground, the priest leaned forward, struggling to focus his failing eyes on the darkness. All at once he saw two great black wings spread and advance toward him. The priest gasped and stumbled back. He almost lost his footing and had to reach for a statue of St. Jude to steady himself. An enormous black bird finally revealed itself in a shard of moonlight and came to rest it’s huge black talons on the end of a pew not two feet away.

It was an unearthly beast, it’s size alone was fearsome. The bird looked straight at the old priest. It fixed its black eyes square on his, he shuddered and felt dread run down his spine. Despite his own fears he drew himself forward….was this an omen from above? What could this portent mean? He swallowed the lump lodged in his throat and stepped closer to the bird, intrigue driving him forward. “What is it bird?” He whispered. The Raven opened its coal-black beak and replied; “Nevermore.”

Walk All Over Cancer update:

• Steps walked so far today: 15,197

• Steps walked so far this week: 41,449

• Steps to walk by Wednesday: 28,551

• Today’s walking weather: Absolutely cracking day! Sunshine and blue skies….bucketing down now but who cares??

• Other information: Thought I stumbled onto a remake of ‘The Birds’ today! Loads of magpies everywhere in the park, it was eerie! So I did my best Tippi Hedren impersonation and tippi-toed out of there sharpish!

I’ve been on crocus-watch lately, looking forward to these little guys finally blooming!