The Enchantment

 

Image by Imagine_Images from Pixabay

Emilia was a foundling.  A charcoal-burner had heard the cry of a babe at the edge of the forest and brought the small girl to the nuns’ enclosure near his hamlet.

For four bright and happy years the child grew.  She was beloved by the Sisters, and pilgrims loved to see the child playing within the grounds.  There was something refreshing and special about the child.

Emilia had only one nagging concern in her young head – why had her mother abandoned her?

One cold autumn evening the child believed she heard a sweet voice calling her.  She at first thought it was Sister Margo, but as she crept into the cloisters she saw that Margo was fast asleep.

Turning to return to her own bed, she was startled to see a glimmering figure of a beautiful woman before her.

“Come Emilia,” the gorgeous lady said. “It is time to come home.”

Emilia picked up a small lamp and followed the woman.  They left the convent and traveled down the leaf strewn path into the autumnal forest.  All Emilia wanted was to be with the beautiful lady, who she instinctively knew to be her mother.

As they went deeper into the woods, small wings began to emerge from the child’s back, and the trees became filled with summer leaves and flowers.  Her every step was enchanting the forest, Mother Nature’s child had come home:  home to the now enchanted wood.

Forest, Trees, Forest Path, Lighting

Pixabay

Padre

A Spark of Creativity #2: Enchanting

Reposting by Tygpress.com not authorised.

 

A Drink at the Well

 

Image result for woman at well

She wasn’t beautiful, more attractive in an unconventional way.  Her eyes were brown, as was her hair, and in build and stature she was – well – average.  So why couldn’t Talyan get her off of his mind?

He had met the young woman while he and his fellow cavalrymen were riding through – well again – an average little village.  Talyan reined in his mount near the well and called to the young woman to draw a bucket of water for his horse.  She curtsied, which he found odd, but then drew the water and filled the trough.  She then filled a tin cup she had hanging from her girdle and smiling offered it to the warrior.  He thanked her and drank deeply.

Ever since then he could not get her image out of his mind.  He was bewitched.

 

***

 

He was a handsome warrior, about twenty-five years of age.  He had glistening sky blue eyes, and thick blonde curls fell from beneath his helm.  He was broad shouldered, and powerfully built.

Alana had been talking to some of the other village girls near the well when a troop a horse soldiers rode into the village.   Many of the detachment hitched their mounts outside the tavern, but this young hero – and hero he was – stopped at the well and asked Alana to water his horse.

Alana took in his beautiful features and decided that he would be hers.  She gave a small curtsy and smile, as Grandmother had said to do to set the stage for the spell, and then watered the horse.  The secret was to put a drop of the potion into a cup while he was distracted.  She purposely allowed some of the horse’s water to slosh over the trough edge and splash to the ground, momentarily drawing the rider’s attention to the spill.  She then dropped the potion into her cup, and filled it with water for the young man.

Noticing that she was offering him a drink, he thanked her and drank the entire cup before wiping his mouth on a silk cloth which had been tucked into his sleeve.  He then dismounted and sat at the well side watching her as she chatted with her friends.

Soon his captain called the troop to re-form and they rode off to the East.

He will be back, she thought smiling to herself.  Grandmother’s bewitching elixirs never failed.

 

Padre

 

A Spark of Creativity #1: Bewitching

 

 

Deserted

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay

Gunther and Wilm approached the open gates of the town.  All looked as it should, everything tidy, spring flowers neatly tended in their bed.  But where was everyone?  There seemed to be no life.  A couple of loose chickens and a stray cat, but no people or livestock.

“This is really odd,” Wilm said after exploring the market square and some surrounding streets.

The pair had found stable and even some house doors wide open.  On closer examination they could see that wardrobes had been hastily emptied, and furniture missing.  No wagons or carts could be found either.

It was obvious that the entire population of the town had left.  But why?

Gunther climbed the church tower and scanned the horizon to try to ascertain where the towns folk had gone.  He suddenly bounded down the spiral staircase.

“Turks, thousands of them!” he called out as he approached his friend.  “Mustafa Pasha’s whole army is marching this way from the east, and the towns people are all on the road to Vienna to the west.”

“I suggest we go west then,” his friend said grimly.

Padre

 

Haunted Wordsmith: Daily Genre Challenge Aug. 1

 

Note: In 1683 an Ottoman army of 140,000 men led by Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha laid siege Vienna.

When Envy Comes Out of the Closet

Dresses, Apparel, Clothing, Clothes, Clothes Hangers

Pixabay

Which item of clothing is the most jealous?

There is considerable debate on this issue.  According to a certain British comedy group, the flat cap is,  as it looks with envy at both the bowler and the top hat.  But shoes would certainly disagree as heels being always down trodden would love to “get a head,” and be any type of hat.

Envy is not restricted to the extremes of head and foot however.  Even in the middle there is jealousy.  Slacks hate being seen as lazy, and they hate that the even more socially alternative denim is more popular than they.  It seems to be something about the genes.  While some derriere coverings simply skirt this issue, others are often caught up short.

Then there are the undergarments.  Pants and knickers are often the butt of other’s jokes, and really just want to disappear from sight.  But their cousins, the socks also have their nemesis – gloves.  Why do these show-offs get to cover individual digits?  Mittens seem to be in agreement with this glove-envy.

All in all the wardrobe is a place of many petty jealousies.   So fractious are some of these that one group is even known as petty-coats.

 

Padre

Fibbing Friday July 19

1776

Wikipedia

Ben Franklin (7), president of the Greater Philadelphia Kite Flyers Association [1774-77] was just reeling in his latest box-kite, Flash One, when he was approached by four horsemen (1): Paul Revere, a pumpkin headed Hessian, and the two Croissant brothers (11) – baker’s men from the General Lafayette’s favourite pâtisserie.  As they approached Franklin let out a loud sneeze, having been soaked in the recent lightening storm.

“Put the pepper back in the pot (3),” Revere said.

“I shall do just that,” Franklin replied, giving his bifocals a rub on his waistcoat.

About then a Native American passed out of the nearby forest.

“There goes that Sue, fella,” Revere said.

“I think it is Sioux (9),” Franklin corrected.

“Where are you going, my wayward friend, you seem lost?” Ben F. called out to the man.

“I have to deliver this envelope to General Arnold,” the man replied.  “It is a special delivery for Col Ex [Colonial Express], it’s a map of some place in New York (10).”

“That desperado (11)?” Revere snapped.  “He can’t be trusted.”

“Where are you trying to get to then?” one of the Croissants asked.  “Maybe we know the place from out pastry deliveries.”

“It is supposed to be in a cave in the wildwood (5) just past Daniel Boone’s cabin in the Dell (4).

“I think I know the place,” Pierre said, “come with me,” and the two men departed.

As they made their way towards the Dell, they passed Betsy Ross leading a school outing.

“Where are you going with all those kids?” Pierre asked?

“We are on our way to the Old North Church to light a candle (15),” Betsy replied.

“A candle?” the Frenchman asked.

“Yes, just one if by land (16),” she said matter-of-factly.

“Come along children,” she urged, and then departed.

The Native American and the Frenchman continued into the wood, where they came across a Kookaburra perched high in a tree.

“Hello, up there,” Pierre called. “What are you doing?”

“Trying to get a signal (13),” the Kookaburra replied.

“What kind of signal?” asked Sioux.

“One or two candles over at the church tower,” he replied. ” Can’t really see why anyone would want to come by sea though.”

The messenger and his guide took their leave of the old gum tree and came to a river bank, where Michael was paddling his boat back and forth around several crates he had tossed into the water.

“Why are you doing that?” Pierre asked.

“Practice,” Michael replied.  “Just in case I every have to row over the Delaware in the wintertime(14).”

Meanwhile back at the kite field the others were chatting.

Just then John Adams joined them.  “Did you notice there were only three crosses on the road to Sleepy Hollow?” Adams asked.

“Yes, seems there wasn’t enough wood to put up the last one,” Revere said.

“Why not?” The Hessian asked.

“Seems George Washington has been cutting down cherry trees again (6),” Revere said.

“When did he do that?” Franklin asked.

“July Fourth I think (2),” Revere said.

“You know what that means?” Franklin asked rhetorically.

“Cherry pie (8),” they said in chorus and rushed off towards Mount Vernon.

 

Padre

Fibbing Friday – July 5

  1. Who are the Four Horsemen?
  2. What happened on the Fourth of July?
  3. What should you say after sneezing?
  4. Who lived in the Dell?
  5. What was in the wildwood?
  6. Why aren’t there four crosses on the road?
  7. When was Benjamin Franklin president?
  8. What were the American Founding Fathers thinking in 1776?
  9. Why was a boy named Sue?
  10. What was the wayward son supposed to be carrying?
  11. Who was the Baker’s Man?
  12. Who is Desperado?
  13. Why does the Kookaburra sit in the old gum tree?
  14. Where is Michael going in his boat?
  15. Where are you sending the children and why?
  16. Why are you lighting a candle?

Finish the Story: The Locomotive Part Five

Teresa’s bit:

Every summer since Charlie turned six was spent on Grandpa’s Iowa farm. Charlie loved to run through the fields chasing butterflies and spent his nights laying on the cool grass, watching the fireflies and Milky Way. Life was perfect until the train arrived.

“I don’t believe it,” Grandpa said, shaking his head. “Are you sure?”

Frank, a family friend from the other side of town, nodded. “Saw it myself two nights ago out by Cooper’s Ridge.”

Grandpa pulled his old handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his brow. “What are we going to do? We can’t let it happen again. Charlie… I can’t… I won’t.”

“What’s the matter, Grandpa?” Charlie walked into the kitchen when he heard his name.

Grandpa’s face turned white as he grabbed Charlie by the shoulders and shook him. “Don’t you ever get on that train. You hear me, boy? No matter what he says, or what you see happening inside, you never get on that train.”

Charlie was terrified by Grandpa’s expression and could only muster a whimper.

“I’m going to let you go,” Grandpa said, hugging Charlie as tears streamed down his face. “He’s not going to get another one.”

Later that night, as Charlie laid in bed and imagined the mysterious train that had terrified his Grandpa, he heard a whistle in the distance. Slipping on his shoes and bathrobe, Charlie stood at his window and watched as a train appeared through the night’s mist and blew its whistle again. Charlie rubbed his eyes and gulped.

“Wow.”

“You get out of here,” Grandpa shouted as he ran out the front door carrying his rifle. He fired twice and screamed at the train. “You can’t have him! You can’t!”

A well-dressed man stepped into the doorway of the train, looked at Charlie in the window, and said, …

Fandango’s bit

“Boy, you come over here. Don’t make me come and get you, Charlie.”

Charlie was conflicted. He remembered his Grandpa’s warning to him to never get on that train. But the man calling out to him looked so dapper and debonair, just like those men in the fancy magazines his mother would look at back at home. And inside the train he saw other kids playing and partying, having what seemed like a lot of fun. And where was Grandpa?

“Charlie,” the man called out once again. “It’s time to go. You need to come out here and join us on the train before we leave for the next stop.”

“I need to get dressed,” Charlie called out to the man, stalling for time as he tried to figure out what to do.

“No, come as you are, Charlie, you’re fine,” the man called out. “Your Grandpa is already on board, and we have new clothes for you here.”

Charlie grabbed his stuffed teddy bear and slowly walked out of the house and approached the train. The well-dressed man had a broad, welcoming smile on his face and held out a hand of encouragement to Charlie as he neared the train.

“Come on, boy,” the man said, his hand still reaching out to Charlie. Charlie was still hesitant as he thought about Grandpa’s warning, but he couldn’t resist the draw of the man and the train. Charlie reached up and grabbed the man’s hand and was gently assisted onto the train.

“Welcome to the Soul Train, Charlie,” the man said. “Go inside and meet the other children.”

“Where’s Grandpa? Where does this train go?” Charlie asked.

“Relax, Charlie,” the man said, his smile now appearing more sinister than welcoming. “We’re headed straight to ….”

Michael’s bit:

Boomtown where all your dreams will come true.”

Charlie thought that sounded a good idea and looking around found himself in a small room in which there was a tiny window that looked down the corridor of the carriage he was in.

He expected to see the many children he saw when he was being lured to the train, but instead, there was no one apart from the scurrying of a few rats.

Then unexpectedly a rat’s face appeared at the window he was looking through, and he stepped back in fright.

The rat looked at him and shook its head as if disapproving. Charlie found himself against the far wall of the small room as the rat continued to gaze at him.

Then to his amazement, his body shrank down to the floor. His nose grew, his body was wracked by a momentary shudder as a tail grew out of his rear end, and he realised he too had been turned into a rat.

The man responsible for luring him onto the train reappeared at the same time the train gave a jerk and moved along its invisible tracks.

Charlie looked up to see the man standing over him a pleased look on his face as he opened the door of the room and beckoned for Charlie to go through into a room filled it appeared with rats similar to himself.

“Good boy Charlie,” he heard the man say, “you will all come in handy when we…

Crispina’s bit .…

“…thread the labyrinth.”

Charlie looked up with questioning eyes.

“The labyrinth,” the man said as if Charlie should know what that meant. “The labyrinth … you’ve had your short life to learn how to thread it. Ah, don’t remember?”

No, Charlie did not remember, and he was sure that he would.

“Done in your sleep,” the man explained. “Done in your dreams.”

But wasn’t this a dream now? It couldn’t be real. And he wasn’t alone in his confusion. Thousands of sniffing rats all scurrying and turning in circles.

The rattle-chunt of the train changed; became sharper and developed an echo.

“Ah,” the man said, “we’re into the mountain won’t be long now.”

But on and on that train rattled along. And Charlie grew tired. And sleepy.

He woke with a start.

“Labyrinth Station. Labyrinth Station. All rats disembark,” boomed a voice that seemed to thrum in the air.

A door opened, the rats streamed out, Charlie amongst them. But where was he? Everywhere, all around him, everywhere so bright …

My portion:

. . . . almost blinding.  Yet despite the brightness, there was something cold and “shadowy” about the place.

The well dressed man from the train stood before the “rat” children.  He had changed, not in a blatant way, but he too seemed darker – more imposing.  Two other men appeared from the interior of the train and produced heavy hard bristled brooms and began to force the children towards the entrance of a maze of some sort.  The walls were angular and seemed to produce the brightness from themselves.  This made the gaps and passages of the labyrinth difficult to distinguish.

“Okay, my little rats,” the man said in a mocking tone.  Some of you will find your way through my little test.  There are two ways out.  The first will take you home to you “Mommy” the other will take you to my Boomtown.  A place of fun and enjoyment for me and mine.  Are you worthy of me?”

At this the broom-men sniggered, as if the “Prince of Air,” had said something funny.

Charlie could see no humor in it.  He had been tempted by the exciting prospect of a journey on the Soul Train with happy playing children, and even of the idea of “living it big” in Boomtown.  But now all he wanted was to go home to his Grandfather.

Just then the broom bearers started to force the rats into the labyrinth.  There seemed to be the inviting sound of party music and brighter light in some directions.  Many of the children began to instinctively head in those directions.

Charlie was unsure.  He and a two small sandy coloured rats stopped together at the first intersection.  Uncertain as to what to do, Charlie went in the other direction, and the small rats followed him.

As they began to move alone down the passageway a loud roar came from in front of them.  The small male rat immediately turned around and chased after the larger group of rats.

The young female stared after her brother for a moment, and then she followed Charlie.

As they turned a bend, instead of finding a beast waiting for them there was a basin of cold fresh water, and three archways.  Two were bright and blinding like in the first passage, the other had a more pleasant soothing light.

Pair drank the refreshing water, and then followed . . . .

 

I pass this on to msjadeli at Taotalk

Links with: Haunted Wordsmith

Fandango

Morpethroad

Crimson Prose

Padre

 

Miscellaneous Prompted Micro Poems 8

a turquoise car with fin tails

photo by Samuel Taylor via Unsplash

Please take me to a time of simpler things,
The ‘Good Old Days,” when cars had wings,
Of poodle skirts and “Friendship Rings.”

Three Line Tales, Week 175  6 June 2019

imageedit_5_9473823606 (1)

Midnight moon over –

Sleeping city dark and cold –

‘Til the coming dawn

Haunted Wordsmith Prompt: Haiku 7 June 19

photo by Alex Guillaume via Unsplash

As in days of yore –  bows do bend –
Today aimed towards bails of hay –
And not at armoured men.

Three Line Tales, Week 176  13 June 19

 

Here I stand, not moving left or right –
Not sure whether to stand or run –
To follow fight or flight.

TLT Throwback – Year 3: Twenty-four   14 June 19

Image result for martini and olive

He was rattled and swirled
The world spinning and blurred
It’s not easy to be an olive
In a swizzled martini

Goodreads Prompt: Rattled 17 June 19

Padre

 

 

 

 

“The Club Made For You And Me”

 

Image result for bullwinkle hat

image: ebay

The Mickey Mouse Club really had no true agenda of its own, but rather grew out of a typographical error.  It seems that the original concept was to have an anti-Communist organisation centered around young people (the USA’s answer to the Soviet Young Pioneers).  Youngsters would be trained to thwart “The Red Menace” in the same way Rocky and Bullwinkle stopped the schemes of Boris and Natasha.   These young stalwarts of “truth, justice, and the American way,” would be members of the Mikey Moose Club.

Mikey for those who are unaware of it, was the younger, cleverer sibling of Bullwinkle.  Members of the club were to wear distinctive Antler headgear (which contained a broadcasting headset for the sending of intelligence back to CIA headquarters over the cleverly disguised aerials).

The theme song (which to many of you will be vaguely familiar) contained a series of important code words – the meanings of which the Official Secrets Act prevents me from divulging.    

“Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?

M-I-K-E-Y  M-OO-S-E

Mikey Moose, Mikey Moose,

Forever may you hold your antlers high!!”

There are rumors that a few prototype decoder rings are still in circulation, but most have been re-acquired by the authorities and are now held in a secure sub-basement in Area 51.  The last known sighting of one in private hands, was a momentary glimpse at an event near the Trump Tower on 15 June 2015, where it was seen on the right hand of a campaign organiser.

Unfortunately, The Micky Moose Club never materialised because of a misprint in the Langley briefing sheet to the executives at ABC.  The document’s release had already prompted several high profile press releases, and the subsequent production of promotional materials.  Rather than risk embarrassment for the Agency, intelligence officials rushed to court the assistance of Walt Disney, and the rest is history.

 

Padre

Fibbing Friday: What is the secret meaning behind the Mickey Mouse Club?

The Highway

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

The sales convention was going to be in Wichita this year.   The internet had brought about a lot of change for most traveling salesmen, but farm equipment salesmen were still just holding their own.

Davis and his wife, Gloria were a little behind schedule if they were going to make to the convention by November the First.

Their Ford EcoSport glided down the highway, but it was odd that they hadn’t passed another vehicle going in either direction since they had gotten gas in Amarillo.  The road in fact had an eerie loneliness to it.  There seemed to be nothing but miles and miles of vacant farmland, and only each other, and Gloria’s Queen CD to break the monotony.

Even the few towns they skirted seemed to be devoid of life.  Gloria thought it odd to not see any one on the street in Shattuck on Halloween.  Surely the younger trick-or-treaters should have been out.

About forty-five minutes out of town a strange haze seemed to come over the fields on their right.

“Could there be a storm coming?” Gloria asked, looking at the partially clouded sky.

Davis pushed the button on the entertainment console but the FM radio only gave static, he checked a few other stations with the same result.  He switched to AM to only catch broken snippets of Radio Mundo from Mexico.

“Something’s not right,” he said, craning to look at the sky as he drove.

“What are those?” Gloria gasped, looking out the window on her side.

In the field there were at least forty humanoid figures approaching the road at an angle to intercept them.  Their grey skin, and vacant expressions were horrifying.

“Zombies?” Davis questioned aloud as he put his foot down hard to avoid them.  “Must be some kind of a Halloween prank.”

The engine suddenly sputtered to a halt, and the electrical system failed.

“Aliens!” Gloria corrected as the first pressed its face against her window.

 

Padre

Haunted Wordsmith

Prompt A (Holiday challenge): Write a story with a Halloween theme

Prompt B (sentence starter): “What are those?”

Prompt C (photo): Above