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#Saturday Shorts, April 30, 2011

Maleficent, Dorothy and the Italian Rabbit’s Hole

 

Near a quiet English stream on a quiet English day was a quiet English girl thinking quiet English thoughts. As she was thinking these quiet thoughts, she came across a hole, a rather curious hole at the base of an ancient elm. She was a curious little girl and as a curious little girl she had a propensity for staring down strange holes at the bases of elderly elm trees.

 

Suddenly a rabbit raced up behind her, “Fuori del mio bambino di strada. Sono in ritardo!”

 

“Oh my!” She said startled and jumped aside.

 

“Grazie!” he said and politely tipped his hat before disappearing down the strangely curious rabbit hole.

 

“I believe he was supposed to say, ‘I’m late! I’m late!’ or some such thing?” said a voice from above. There on a branch sat a very small man in a very large hat.

 

“Merlin’s the name.” He said, jumping down to offer a greeting.

 

“My name is Dorothy.” The little girl replied matter-of-factly, bending down to take his outstretched hand.

 

“Dorothy. Dorothy! Oh my, that just won’t do!” He exclaimed. “That just won’t do.”

 

“But that is my name.” She frowned.

 

“Yes, yes.” He rambled, “but it still won’t do. Tell me, how do you feel about wind? Oh, nevermind, nevermind.” He pulled a wand from beneath his cloak, “Oh, don’t go in there.” He said pointing to the rabbit hole, then tapped himself on the head.

 

She looked at the hole then back again, but he was merely a thought. Dorothy shrugged and continued merrily along the stream with her newly empty head.

 

—–

 

Enchanted enchantments I make you all mine!

No happily ever afters, no kisses divine.

All magic on earth shall be crushed in my grasp,

and true love shan’t conquer, but fail in my wrath

 

Lightening rappelled from the angry skies while the witch sang. She released a loud cackle making the forest cower in fear. Every living thing that could escape did, even mighty oaks attempted to uproot and run only to come crashing down in defeat.

 

Enchanted enchantments no wishes come true,

wolves will eat children, by ones and by twos.

Flutes and gold lamps will have wishes no more

all charmed magic trinkets shall fall dead at my door

 

“Hello Maleficent,” Merlin said, having been watching amusedly from a mole hole. “At it again I see?” She stopped in mid-verse. Merlin popped from the hole. “You know Sorceress, if you wish to be rid of her, you must try much harder.”

 

“But,” she stumbled, “the rabbit hole.”

 

“Not this time. Did you think you could change the tale without my noticing? Aurora, Snow White, Alice. I will always keep her safe no matter how many times you changer her name, no matter how many times you re-write the story she will always be saved.”

 

She turned away, “Yes,” She quietly plotted, “but has she ever been to Kansas?” Merlin of Oz was already one step ahead.

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#Saturday Shorts, April 23, 2011

Irony Behind Bars

He hadn’t seen the point in eating. For an hour he stared at his final meal, enjoying it for its beauty. A top-cut steak; cooked precisely as he’d ordered, with tender baby asparagus and a baked potato, topped only with cheddar cheese. He had already eaten the apple pie; certain things he just couldn’t resist.

The first time he held human life in his hands had been at the age of twelve, Mrs. Kilgour. He worked for her on weekends doing odd jobs, the oddest being to help her commit suicide. Experts would blame this incident on his sickness but the truth of the matter was that this experience was simply the tipping point to the inevitable.

The problem with being a genius and “Shit-balls Crazy”, as the doorknob of a guard who was last on duty, once called him, was the awareness. It took fifteen years for them to even know there was a serial killer stalking the southern states. He was exceptionally careful. He knew how all of the serial killers got caught, Jeffrey Dahmer, Dr. Harold Shipmen and Ulysses Velveteen. His victims were woman, men, children the elderly, rich, poor, black, white, it didn’t matter. He could make each victim appear to have died in all different manners but each had suffered. He held their lives as long as he could, watching the spark nearly leave their face then returning it. If they were still begging to live they had months, if they were pleading to die, weeks, if they had succumb to insanity, prisoners within their own minds and bodies having survived levels of torture medieval in scope and modern in execution they had days. Once their brains had stopped coping and went dead it was time to move to the next.

One day the police arrived as he was removing the intestines from his latest victim. They had allowed him to replace the guts and sew her back up before he peacefully surrendered. She had survived and here he was, inside Ellis Unit, now three hours past his scheduled execution wondering what the hell was going on. There was no one. The Gargoyle of a guard, Luther had not been around to take his supper. Father Alex hadn’t made one last attempt to save his soul. Even his annoying lawyer, campaigning against state executions wasn’t there to convince him to make one last appeal. It was as if the world had suddenly forgotten him. He picked up the plastic fork and began to eat.

Afterthought:

The true irony of the situation for our character is that he is a survivor. All around him the world has collapsed under a cloud of radioactive dust. In his climate-controlled impenetrable cell he was immune. Perhaps the one man who deserved and wished to die the most lived. Let’s hope, for the sake of our world that this man dies alone, for if he is to survive, there is no telling what kind of humanity would remain on earth.

#Saturday Shorts, June 15, 2011

Paintbrush

 

I watched my father create my world. “What’s that Daddy?” I asked, pointing at nothing and everything. He smiled knowing my game. He swept his brush back and forth, blue overlapping blue, greens, grays and whites. I loved my world. It was enough for me then.

 

“Dad, I’d like a friend.”

“Perhaps it is time to make your own.”

“But what should I draw?”

“What ever your heart desires and your dreams can create.”

 

I sat at the edge of my world staring across the horizon. I closed my eyes and lifted my brush letting it guide me through the colours and lines of my imagination. Sounds and smells filled my senses. The skies pulsed and the seas bubbled. From desert to snowy peak my world filled with life.

 

“What beautiful creatures,” my father said. “But have you made a friend?”

“Not yet.”

“Perhaps something you have already created?”

 

I attempted to make friends with my animals. A frog allowed me to stroke it’s back but leapt into the water and out of site. A vampire bat would chase sticks I’d throw but in the daylight he could not be found. For a time a cat kept me company but he grew tired and meandered away for other distractions. I began to draw anew.

 

Feet and legs; a belly, a torso, arms, hands with short fingers, brown eyes, turned up nose, a shock of dark hair all emerged from the tip of my brush.

 

“Hello!” He said when I finished. “Who am I?”

“Your name is Manny.”

“And yours?”

“Son, but you may call me friend.”

 

Manny and I would run through meadows and climb trees but as I grew older I had to help my father more with his work and Manny became lonely. “Friend, would you make me a friend?”

I did not have time to make so I gave him my brush.

 

Later I found my friend, holding the hand of another. “Who is this?”

“This is Ava. What do you think of her?”

“She’s beautiful.” I could not lie. Her golden hair, pale skin and azure eyes were beyond what my dreams could have created. Jealously I asked for my brush.

 

Hurt, I did not return for many days. My father saw my pensiveness. “Father, should I return?” He merely smiled, knowing I must make up my own mind.

 

It was easy to find Manny and Ava. They had built a cottage at the edge of the meadow.

Manny greeted me warmly. “Hello Friend, there is someone I would like you to meet.” He welcomed me inside. Gently cradled in Ava’s arms was a child.

I did not understand. “But you no longer have my brush.”

“I do not need it. Love also creates life.”

 

I could not leave the warmth of their home. Perhaps tomorrow I shall draw myself an Ava. Perhaps tomorrow I shall leave the creation of the Everything to my father and settle down to create with the colours of love.