Showing posts from April, 2023

On Walking Into Trees

 Once upon a time, but not very long ago, but also in a place that wasn't this place, a woman walked into a tree. The tree wasn't anything special. At least, not in this place. And the walking into it wasn't anything malevolent.       But things escalated quickly.       You know how things go. Particularly in a place that isn't this place.     They go something like: woman walks into tree. Tree puts up defense mechanism that is something like a turtle without a shell suddenly getting one, but it's spiky all over. Spiky shell on tree sticks woman good and hard. Woman gets angry and lights tree on fire.     It was a sad state of affairs. Indeed, the tree went up in flames like a grease fire made out of a liter of goose fat.     And in no time at all, the tree was gone.     The woman looked at the char on the ground and had feelings. They weren't good feelings. In fact, she felt quite a number of not good feelings.      So she stepped into a time machine. And went

A Small Tale of Surprise

 Once upon a time a witch shrieked. She had to. She had been surprise.     Surprises were the worst. This was due to their unexpected properties; being a witch, you never knew if it was going to be a bucket of water to the face, a flaming torch to the face, or a light tap on the shoulder — any way it happened, you screamed. Although, in this case, it was the last one, so given the waste of kinetic energy, she probably should have screamed louder. Just to even things out.     The witch whirled around, her knife in her hand at that slanted angle that said, jugulars beware. Her protege flinched.     'Must it be every day, Stanley?' she said.     'Sorry, miss,' Stanley said.     'It's as much my fault as yours,' she said with a sigh. Then, 'Surely there's got to be a better way?'     Stanley shrugged.     'I could get a pole?' he suggested.     The witch looked Stanley up and down.     'Yes,' she said, 'I think you'd better.&#

Fear and Witches and Tea

Fear's a funny thing when it comes to witches. Witches don't fear much. But people fear them. It comes down to toads. More specifically, being turned into them. People don't much like getting turned into toads. And people don't much like witches.      This particular witch was an interesting sort. Oh, she had all the things; the crone-like stature, the scrawny build, the broom, the magic spells, and the kind of voice that made crows flock to her as though she were one of their own. But she was a neat, small person. And so, that was different from some of the things you hear about witches.     A long time ago, she had been haunted and heckled, spat on and kicked. But she turned that guy into a toad. So that stopped. The village didn't invite her to tea for awhile, though — on account of the witchiness. That took the saving of a child who took a bad turn in the night. There's nothing worse than taking a bad turn in the night unless it's a child taking it. And


Once upon a time there was a girl who found herself on the edge of a river. She was shaking, cold and wet, for she had been dumped into the water for about the thousandth time. This was a common practice of the village, for every time someone did something unexpected or unusual in any way, they received a dunking.      The funny thing about it was that no one else but the girl ever got tossed in the river.     She couldn't understand it. Why her every time?     All she did was feed the birds and the squirrels and the deer that came to the small cottage where she lived. All she did was mix poultices for the sores on the feet of the poor, or give her breakfast to a small wee one who would have gone without. All she did was bathe naked in the river, forgetting that a river moves and finding, as she floated and looked up into the eyes of glaring neighbors, that she had floated too far. All she did was run through the forest so that she could smell the damp moss while she felt the wind