lørdag den 16. november 2019

Words for Wednesday -- November 13

  I'm still playing catch up, using the words from Wednesday 13th. 
  If you want to see what everybody else have written with these prompts, then go here. Elephant's Child is, as all through November, hosting the words, but they're provided by Margaret and friends. 
  This might not be the best I've ever written. But here it is.  

... Add insult to injury


Nothing ventured ...

  Nothing ventured, nothing gained could almost be the motto of my life right now, Susan thought as she looked through the car window. The fields of the quiet farmlands were slowly giving way to sprawling industrial complexes and square living blocks of the suburbs of the town. Doll houses for giants was a phrase she and Linda had coined for those dreary living commodes on a past ride. They imagined at night when people were sleeping, the giant children would arrive, pulling out one floor of the blocks like giant drawers and play with furniture and inhabitants. This had to be the reason why so many people often woke up somewhere else, with hurting bodies and not knowing how they arrived there. And also - more innocently - why people could never find car keys, umbrellas, books, glasses and so on.
  But today Susan felt angry. Their stay at Unicorn island had been cut short. Only one day had Susan been able to go to the Farm and join the lessons. Then something had happened in the world and doings of grown-ups, and now they were on their way back to Susan's home town.
  And to add insult to injury, Linda was happy they were going home! She had obviously fallen out with Beth and Wilma, just as dad with their dad. Now she sat on her end of the backseat demonstratively humming happy going home tunes.
  Susan stuffed her fingers in her ears and tried to concentrate on the book in her lap.
  But she was going to show them!
  The Unicorn Farm had a few rooms for boarders, and she had asked for permission to stay in one of these. Now she just had to find a way to get back to Unicorn Farm to use that room. She really needed to. She had so much to tell and to ask. That whole story with the Gargoyle and the werewolves. And the magic bestiary. Thousands of questions bubbled in Susan's brain.

And now I think I'll have to take a small break in my posting. I hope Wednesday's words will bring my writing mojo back.

fredag den 15. november 2019

Words for Wednesday November 6

Another Wednesday have come and gone. I'm playing catch up, and am using the words from Wednesday 6th. If you want to see what everybody else have written with these challenging words, then go here. Elephant's Child is still hosting the words, but they're provided by Margaret and friends.  




Back on Danish ground they stopped at the first bigger rest area. "We'd better phone Dina and Kurt to tell them we're coming, and ask if they need anything," Mum said.
"I'll fill up the car too, it's no fun to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere," Dad said.
Linda and Susan went off to use the bathrooms and buy some magazines, now that they finally could read them with ease again. When they returned, Dad and Mum had long since returned. Mom had placed a shopping bag with a grilled hen and some cans of asparagus under her seat, and on her lap were three packages of ready made tartlets.
"I know that the filling for these are normally made from boiled, not grilled hen, but there's no way we can boil a hen in time for a merely late dinner. As it is, it'll still be late. Dina is making the sauce as we're driving, then we can assemble it all when we arrive."
Dad drove very fast, they joked about him getting a ticket for speeding should a police car be situated near by, but none such were abroad in the balmy June night.
They arrived at Dina and Kurt's summerhouse ate the "assembled" tartelets with lots of soft drinks and a beer for Dad and Kurt. then they slept.

Next morning Kurt was in a bad temper, he had always been choleric, but this morning was bad. It was the lack of his favorite morning cereals that brought on the fit. In the end Dina drove up to the supermarket near the bridge to go shopping before breakfast.
"Now, I have something on our agenda for today uncle Kurt said." And over breakfast he and aunt Dina told of their newest investments. Land.
"They are selling plots very cheap near one of the roads. If we buy them now, we can sell them later for a profit." Kurt enthused. "We looked at some plots last Wednesday, and we'd like you to come and see them as well. The man selling them is a former pawnbroker, he has already made a minor fortune buying and selling plots."
Mom sighed: "Well I trust your discernment, but I must admit that I've been looking forward to a relaxing day and a bath."
"Oh yes," Dina added, "and I want you to try my new Carmen curlers. They are fantastic."

A big, yellow dog came lolloping in, and brought a halt to the conversation. "Oh Hi. Rusty, old boy," Dina said and patted the big, fawning dog "Now mind that tail of yours."
Linda jumped. "Rusty! Then Wilma and Beth are here as well. May I leave the table." Mom nodded and Linda rushed out.
"Well Susan, I don't suppose you're keen to go plot-hunting with Dad, Uncle Kurt and Wilma and Beth's dad either, are you?" Mom asked.
"Oh, no," Susan answered, "I think I'll go visit the magician's family."
"Fine, then Aunt Dina and I'll have a girl's day in peace and quiet," mom said.
Susan ate slowly, and when the men had left, returned for a ruler, and left again, Aunt Dina turned on the radio. Harry Belafonte's voice filled the room:
Down the way
Where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountaintop
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop ...
     Susan started singing together with him:
Down at the market you can hear
Ladies cry out while on their heads they bear
Ackee, rice, saltfish are nice
And the rum is fine any time o' year
But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down
My head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town.
"I wonder what it is these crying ladies are carrying on their heads," Susan wondered. "The way he articulates the words are very charming, but not easy to understand. I'll have to ask my music teacher when summer holidays are done. Maybe he knows. Or my English teacher, she's younger, she'll be more understanding. And she loves funny words. I remember when she gave us a text containing anosmia. None of us knew what it meant, and we had the craziest guesses. Yes. I'll ask her."

Susan carried her plates to the sink and waved goodbye to Mum and Aunt Dina.

torsdag den 14. november 2019

Words for Wednesday 30 October

In my long, meandering tale I have now reached the words for October 30. If you're curious as to what other participants have done with them, please go and visit Elephant's Child.


 After a long, but totally uneventful day on the German motorways Susan and her family arrived at the port. Susan had slept most of the day, she did not normally sleep very much during a ride, the world was much too exiting, but yesterday night had been taxing in many ways.  She was still plagued with a mild uncertainty whenever she thought about Cerina. Maybe she should have brought the small gargoyle home with her after all. But then again, she would have been lonely, out of place and without any function, as Susan was sure, there were no werewolves in Denmark.
"We have lots of time before the ferry leaves," Dad came back and told them. "The first one is sold out, and there's over 4 hours til the next departure."
"We'll be home late then," Mom said. "Maybe we should visit Dina and Kurt in their summer house, I'm sure they are already there. It is Friday after all."  
"Oh, let's go and see the new mystery movie, while we're waiting," Linda said. "I've heard lots about it. And I saw posters in the big city we just passed."
"I'd like a haircut," Susan said. "I had planned a consultation with the hairdresser tomorrow, but we won't be hone in time for that, and my bangs are killing me. They are into my eyes all the time."
"OK," Dad said "Who wants to see the movie?" Only Linda raised her hand,
"Then Linda and I'll go and watch the movie," Dad said, "Susan you can probably find a hairdresser somewhere near the cinema, What about you, Elin?" Dad asked.
"Oh, I'll be fine, Mom said, I'll find a nice café, have a coffee and a cake and maybe go shopping for some cakes and candy. German sweet stuff is so good!"

They went back to the city they had passed on their way to the ferry, and easily found a place to park near the cinema. Mom and Susan walked a bit further up the main street, where mom found an Italian ice café. Susan easily found a hairdresser, as dad had foreseen. She was lucky because it  had been closed for a long time due to problems with their light fixtures, and had lost almost all their costumers, so they had an open slot immediately. Susan and the hairdresser quickly reached an agreement on the price of a haircut, and to Susan's joy, she was quick, efficient and not too talkative.
They all met back at the car, and drove away to the ferry.
On the ferry Linda told enthusiastically about the movie. "It was very scary, and that violin solo! It made my hair stand on ends. And the heroine ... her freckles were so cute, but she died. Horribly."
 Susan did her best to understand what Linda was saying as they stood on the windblown deck. looking at the setting sun reflecting in the sea's dancing surface. But she was unable to concentrate for long. It was a beautiful evening, and she looked forward to a stay on Unicorn Isle. 

onsdag den 13. november 2019

Susan in Paris 9

Cooper and Teiko were the first to return. They carried between them a creature mangled beyond recognition. It had a head, and some fur could be seen, but what was up and down in the bloody mound, they placed on the floor was not to be determined. Susan watched in horrid fascination. Then the lumps of flesh and bones started moving. Susan felt sick. but before she was overwhelmed, Granny stood at her side.
"Fill this dipper from the cauldron, and bring it to me. Careful. Do not touch the substance, before it has touched the monster there."
Susan did as she was asked, and she returned with a dipper full to the brim. Granny took it from her, and poured the grey green liquid all over the crawling mound of flesh and bone.  Suddenly the bones knit, and the flesh knew where to go. Once again they looked, transfixed as the shape turned more and more human.
"You," Granny whispered. " You're the miller of this town. Do you even know what you are, or rather were, until tonight."
"I know it not," the man whispered, "but I suspected it. I always got drunk, and hid in the cellar at the full moon, but this time I forgot. It was that dance."
"Well that dance, and a gargoyle, and a potion out of my cauldron also cured you. You are no more a skin turner or a lycantrope. What are you going to do now."
"I am cured? I will help build up what I have ruined, and marry the sweet Elsbeth of the swirling shirts. I'll spend two days a week to build and help the citizens of the town for free. Sundays I'll go to church, and on the remaining four, I'll build a new life for Elsbeth and me. And I'll help and recompense you in any way you'll deem necessary."
"I'll hold you to your promises," Granny said. "Now leave!"
Susan turned to the door, where Kensuke, Ella and  Liam came carrying one more wolf-human pile of meat and bones in a sheet. She left the house with Cooper and Teiko, hoping that there were no more of these not quite dead bodies around, or at last hoping she would not be the one to find it.

In all five werewolves were found and cleansed. They were all normal citizens, all having had a suspicion, but deeming werewolves superstition, they had tried to explain their illness under many other names.
None of them saw one another, or were told who they were, only that there were more of them. All pledged to live decent, helpful lives from now on, and Susan and the Mountaineers were sure Granny would hold them to their promises.

"And now, Granny said, as the last of the weres were found and cleansed, "It's time for us all to depart. It's almost midnight. you should all be at he hotel. I cannot thank you enough for your help tonight." She hugged them all soundly, blessing them and then she raised her spoon and chanted something that sounded like a lullaby. Suddenly they drifted trough the air, landing at the parking site in front of the inn.
They piled inside, and as Teiko, the last of them, crossed the threshold, the bell began tolling the midnight hour.
"We'll meet again in Denmark. We'll have to leave early tomorrow."  The Lion dancers said to Susan, and they all hugged one another.
"Gengonai!" Kensuke whispered, swishing his drum stick wand and suddenly Teiko's chirping sounded once again totally unintelligible in Susan's ears.
"Sayonara!" she said, one of the really few Japanese words Susan had learned.
Susan slept as soon as her head hit the pillow, and she dreamt of nothing at all during the night. Next morning she woke very late, and she was sure Granny had done something about this, as she had feared sleeping after seeing the werewolves changing shape.

When Susan and Linda climbed into the car, Susan looked up. And there, at the highest point of the house, where the eaves met, a grey green Gargoyle glistened in the early sun. Susan left the car and looked up. Very slowly one of the eyes closed, and opened again. It was Cerina. 

tirsdag den 12. november 2019

Susan in Paris 8

"And now we clean and brew!" Ella's Grandma commanded. Ella and Teiko cleaned the cauldron, careful not to touch the last drops in it. The other Lion dancers meticulously cleaned their tools, while Susan once again grated large amounts of the purple root. Granny gave Cooper another piece of wood for his grater, if possible even harder, but this time grey. "Wood from the Petrified forest. It's very hard indeed, drummer boy," she said with a loving smile and a pat on his head.   Liam was given another batch of crystals, grey and green for his mortar and pestle. And she handed Teiko and Kensuke something that looked like a snake's or a shark's skin, but Granny said it was from a small dragon.
 The distant howls got closer and closer all the time, urging them to work with speed and care. But as Granny once again stirred the cauldron, adding the shredded, grated or pulverized ingredients, the threatening howls of hunting, hungry wolves turned into the yelping sounds of hurt animals. And then it sounded as if all hell broke loose over the tiny hut. Snarls, roars, yelps, hooting and crashing, flailing falling, terrifying sounds resounded in the clearing in front of the house. Susan jumped to the window, and tried to peek through the shutters, but they were a perfect fit, not a single crack to see through. Ella and Liam was beside her, but Granny came over and gently steered them away from the window. "Dear children, you have done what can be done, trust the little one and the magic of my cauldron." They gathered around the fireplace.
"The second fraught is ready," Granny said, "When all is quiet, we'll use it on Gargoyle and weres alike." She turned to Susan and looked her in the eyes: "That book is a treasure beyond compare. Could you let me have it for a while. I'll send it back, or even better yet send Ella and the Mountaineers up to you with the book when I'm done writing a copy for myself." 
Susan looked at Granny, drew a deep breath and answered: "Yes, you can. My wizarding school is still establishing itself, we can wait. And a visit from the Lion dancers would be a treat in my part of the world."

The sounds died off, not gradually, but as if cut by a giant knife, only a soft whimpering could be heard. And then a scratching at the door. Susan ran to the door, but she could not open it. "Careful my child, Granny said,. " Your heart is big, but the world is a dangerous place." She touched her giant spoon to the door - her wand Susan realized - and a small round hole, like a knot, opened. Granny put an eye to the hole, and looked out. "Yes. It's Cerina!" She announced, smiling from ear to ear and opened the door.
Cerina the gargoyle came through the door. She was wounded and had shrunk again, but she looked defiant and triumphant. "I did it," she said in a small voice. "All the werewolves are mortally wounded. You can dose them without danger."
"Susan, you take care of Cerina,   all the rest of you come here. Susan picked up the tiny gargoyle, and asked her what she needed.
"Wash me in pure water first, and then dip me in the cauldron." The potion in it removes almost all the magic from me again, I will become a normal gargoyle for a long time again. But I have my reward. One of the Weres had been attacked by one like me. He - the other gargoyle - is at the red, white and blue hotel next to the one you stay in."
"Do you want to stay here?" Susan asked, feeling a chill to her heart.
"Yes, gentle girl. "It would make me most happy not to be alone, to be able to defend this small town when the werewolves gathers again and maybe even rise a family."
What do I have to do, my pretty one?" Susan asked.
"Dunk me in the cauldron, and let me fly away before the potion takes full effect. We'll meet again." 
Susan did as the gargoyle had told her, and while she carried the little one to the door, she noticed the colours on wings and chest became more muted, grey green and stone- like. Crying she held the gargoyle up to her face on both palms, kissed the stone grey snout and whispered: "Thank you Celina, live long and prosper." The Gargoyle wept with Susan, two grey, round tears fell as marbles. "Keep my tears, they will be of help to you one day, Cerina said, and flew away, Susan stood as rooted, until her lithe silhouette was swallowed in the distance.