Story: The Jolly Little Toadstool – 10/09/19

The Jolly Little Toastool

Everybody loved the jolly little toadstool, for he was as jolly as could be. He lived in rough grass that surrounded him, and he was perpetually available for a spot of morning tea. Together with the blades of grass accompanying him and his other red toadstool friends nearby, they sipped the morning quaintly away, having nibbles of scones which were set out elaborately, catching to the eye. Jeff, the jolly little toadstool, was a master of all trades. In his spare time, he liked to uproot himself, and work on his opening his family’s ancient safe. Here within this closed off contraption existed something grand; he did not know exactly what it was, but his mother had smiled knowingly years prior, when he presented it with her gnarled hands.

It was difficult for Jeff to attempt to open this contraption, simply due to the fact he had no arms or hands to assist with the opening action. But as he was a Master of all trades, we cannot be left disappointed, and the skills he’d learned for it to be saved were thus: he nibbled upon the combination lock! His tongue was so powerful, yet he’d feel the subtle clicks. There was nothing his tongue couldn’t do with this security dial. In fact, he’d tried many combinations, however, thus far, they were not the right mix. But as he turned the dial rapidly, hastily yet with great skill, he felt each combination drew him closer to the family’s treasure. The mere action of seeking the treasure was in itself a momentous thrill.

But there were days when he’d not be bothered with the treasure, he’d wished for something else to do. Something to express his jolliness to others, something that allowed him to share his positive point of view. In the afternoons, Jeff had a secret activity. He loved to sing along to the children’s television shows in the afternoon, for the tunes were so upbeat and uplifting. Each bouncing syllable and smile from the presenters would make his heart warm, and wish he was a wee toadstool again. Being young had presented only enjoyment for him, and these were the memories that he wished with others he could share. So, he sung along daily, after entertaining at his tea party, after the serious work of attempting to open the combination lock. This soon became the highlight of his day, and I most definitely, most certainly and assuredly would allow him to proclaim, that he wanted to be a children’s show presenter, known for his tunes and smiles each day.

But he felt stumped. How would he gain admission into this world? It seemed that it would be difficult to even be seen for an interview online. This type of employment seemed to be the sort that would attract many beings, and sadly, he felt, that there would be judgement upon him. He had never seen a presenter who was a toadstool such as himself, they were always people or animals, not fungi’s such as himself. It might not matter to them that he was an amusing, jolly character, nice guys finish last, they do say, and perhaps the same is said for those who were laughing and charming characters. Still, he would persist, in this mindset he would not exist, the depressing thoughts that he might not be good enough were not permitted to swim in his mind. Instead, he knew what to do! With a start he uprooted and collected himself, gathered all his toadstool friends, inviting them all for a cup of morning tea, where they could be of great assistance to him.

He spelled out the problems and allowed them to express their views.

“Surely you’ll not be avoided because you’re a mushroom!” one friend said, aghast. “You’d be given a look in because you’re different… Differences stand out.”

“Yeah, I agree,” another friend decreed. “Your differences, your bubbliness, your jolliness, are so worthy of this world, they must be shared.”

“How about your singing voice? What is it like?” Jeff broke into song and started singing a lilting lullaby. With the power of voice ringing in their ears, they all slowly became lethargic and fell asleep. With astonishment, the jolly toadstool knew how he would present his case, he would sing, instead of speak!

Hurriedly, he pulled out his spare journal, which had many pages free to write in. He composed an upbeat pop song with a children’s slant on it, which was a call to the human resources department of the television stations. He sung loud, true and proud, his melody resounded, as he recorded himself on camera, for the unknown faces to view him, and become acquainted with the likes of him.

“That. Was. Magnificent,” proclaimed and clapped his greatest fan, his closest friend named Dan. “They couldn’t turn away the likes of you. You are certainly amazing.” Jeff blushed red, feeling the warmth take to his complexion, as he modestly waved off Dan’s words himself. He couldn’t help though, at being quite chuffed, with the accompanying applause which now resounded from his tea friends. Perhaps his differences coupled with his talent would win him a place as a children’s television presenter, and he could place the combination lock work away for a while instead.

Days passed, weeks passed, even months, they flew, since Jeff had sent off his recording to the stations. His heart ached at the potential that this silence meant unspoken rejections, and only he could be the one who would intuitively know. He felt saddened beyond belief, that he was reduced to the combination lock work. So, instead he picked up another job to fill the day, he went to work with a head mechanic, at Bits and Bobs. He liked the work enough, it was something to make him feel useful, but he didn’t feel blessed. He wanted to entertain children with song and dance. Educate them with new concepts, teaching them brand new things. Instead he was stuck in front of and underneath cars in a garage, lit so dimly.

He supposed at least here he could freely sing. The other beings, Bob, the owner, two rabbits and a frog, secretly laughed at the method in which Jeff worked at Bits and Bobs, because, as he didn’t possess hands, he had to feel around the vehicles and take parts off and install them with his feisty teeth, of which he of course had great command. When he felt judged, he just sung and sung away. It wasn’t his fault he was born without any hands or arms to be seen, clutch with or sway. The songs he made up helped him through the day. He was even contemplating returning to working at home, to pass the time away. At least he wouldn’t be judged there. At least his heart wouldn’t ache.

One day, as Jeff was surfing the internet with his voice-activated computer, he was retrieving his emails, and decided to check the junk folder. To his amazement, what did he see but five emails of acceptance from all five television stations of which he’d applied! He couldn’t believe his eyes, how on earth had his email re-categorised them? They were dated for various times sent in the last three months precisely. It appeared he had the pick of whichever station he desired; they were all so pleased to have heard from him! They loved his song, the fact that it appealed to children and a larger audience, and the fact that he was a toadstool with no limbs was actually quite interesting to them. The most excited email he responded to immediately, telling his computer exactly what he wanted to respond to it. He apologised for the great delay between the producer sending it – for the producer had been so impressed he bypassed the human resources man – because he had only presently read it. He arranged for a potential day that he could come in to meet him, and with immense jolliness he sent his email off, to be read the next day.

“I’d like next Tuesday off work, please,” he requested from the owner of Bits and Bobs.

“No can do, there are no days off,” he replied with a smirk. “Unless you want your whole life off work.” Jeff gritted his teeth. This interview meant the world to him. He knew he couldn’t disclose it though, that would ruin the chances of having this backup job to return to. Then in a flighty breath, he realised he’d had enough. Of the mocking from the other workers, and now this, from arrogant Bob.
“Stuff your job,” he said, and packed up with his teeth all his tools. Stalking away from the ogling, wide-eyed workers, he knew he should have left this job sooner.

“Don’t care crawl back, you worthless toadstool. There’s nothing more you can do!” Bob called out. Jeff shook his head feeling saddened. What an uncouth boss he had turned out to be. Jeff was better off without.

The interview was a roaring success. He impressed the producer and owner, blew them away with his joyfulness and manner that was so infectious. He was hired on the spot, and he can be viewed each afternoon, with his co-host Angela, they teach and sing to children before the evening news. Each moment they sing in unison or harmony, their eyes sparkle, their hearts flow together, they knew they are making a difference with their work, they adore working with one another. They know their opportunity to teach the young is special and they are most grateful for their roles. Here Jeff the toadstool is accepted for who is he, not frowned upon for what he is lacking, for what he cannot do. Because, he is finally a Master of laughter and learning, of singing and dancing, and this means the entire world to him.

© Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: When The Wind Changes – 18/08/19

Nana playfully grabbed my nose as I made a cheeky face.

“You know, Alice, if you continue doing this, your face will stay the same when the wind will change!”

Nonsense,” I replied emphatically. “That is nothing of the truth. I’ve made faces for years now, and there is nothing to show that what you say is proof.” Nana shrugged now, with a wise expression in her eyes. “I don’t know how else to tell you this, but you’ll figure it out deep inside.” And returning to making her home made cabbage rolls did she, smiling to herself, occasionally grinning freely.

Nana was a trickster, she was hilarious and loved to prank. She gave me a mouse for my fifth birthday, presented in a box apparently procured from our local bank. I had been so excited, thinking I was set to receive a money box filled with coins, notes, and other treats, but open the box, and jumped out, what did I see? My future pet, Charles, in all his beautiful glistening capacity. I’ve had Charles for two years now, according to my morose brother Sturt he has not long left to live, the end of his life is not far off, soon he will go. When Sturt says such things, I scold him and make a prolonged mean face, I poke my tongue out, bulge my eyes, and wait until he does say, “Stop that, Sis, you scare me so!” and then upturned my mouth becomes, I have achieved my goal. Off I would trot to achieve another task, off to another task I would run.

I’d heard from others that when the wind changed your altered facial expression could stay the same, but I did not believe it, I welcomed the common sense telling me otherwise, the rationale in my mind, my intelligent brain. For why should I, would I, believe that some occurrence such as this was possible, I’d never seen or heard of anyone else who’d been frozen. This notion was surely impossible!

My favourite face was poking out my little tongue, like a clever happy gecko on his morning run, and then crossed my eyes as tightly as I could, I’d walk around the school yard and playground, bumping into things and people, feeling as happy as I could. It gave me great joy to be silly, and Nana, my darling Nanni, was surely only tricking, this was my understanding.

But then one day, I was pulling a grotesque face, mouth twisted into a snarling opening, eyes rolling here and there, searching for something, and then a gust of wind blew from behind me, near pushing me forward into a nearby tree, and it felt so beautiful, wonderful, that gust, that I went to laugh with great delight and glee. But there was a problem, I couldn’t move my face! It was as though I was frozen here upon an expression in a book, a certain page. I tried to mould my face smoother with my hands, wipe out the wrinkles that came with scrunching my face upon command, but nothing! Not even my eyes could stop rolling and searching, there was nothing I could do, despite me considering everything. Hopeless, hopeless, I felt, I wished I had listened to Nan, my dear loving Nana who was trying to obviously help the best that she could, and with her words floating in my mind, I travelled back to my home, to hide from the world, forevermore I would, never resurfacing ever, not even from time to time.

I stared into my reflection in the mirror. I was an abhorrent sight. I was grotesque, horrid, how had I allowed myself to permit this to occur, simply because I believed Nana’s words warranted no truths, and arrogantly I had pushed them aside. I pulled out book after book, frantically searching for an antidote, a reversal to my truth, and suddenly, after three hours of perusing, I knew what I could do. Apparently I needed to reverse the occurrence by wishing for something the opposite of abhorrence, something filled with beauty and that I could present with utter assurance, then entering a dream-state of mine, I became in the right frame of mind to be sure of this. I closed my rolling, now paining eyes, and heavily focussed on what I wanted to happen, the expression that I wanted to come undone, and thinking of Nana’s smiling face, I proceeded to let the process happen, a wishing, wishing from afar. I pulled out my electric fan and began to let it run, an artificial breeze, the air produced was a replacement for the natural breeze that made me look like this. I muttered special words under my breath, I chanted for change to occur, making these words, wishes,  stronger and stronger until I could believe, and then suddenly my face slackened, and I felt myself become me once more, with a great sigh of relief, I exhaustedly threw myself to the floor. One look in the mirror confirmed my delighted truth, I had returned to myself, my face was presented its usual view.

These days I listen to Nana’s advice now, no matter whether she playfully or seriously presents it forth to me, for she is much older, and far wiser, than I could at this age hope to be. I still poke my tongue out at her, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t ceased being a child, but I only perform my expressions for a second, I don’t allow them to remain long enough for a change in the wind or clouds. I have learned my lesson from the frightening event that had occurred, and as with all lessons in life, they needed to be appreciated as worthy moments, and in my memory the feelings and event are stored. I’ll be as wise as my Nan one day, and I’ll hopefully show my grandkids the way, but until then, I need just be myself, and listen to wise advice provided from trusted others, and nobody else.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story example: Molly the Lioness and her Pilfered Berries – 02/08/19

Molly loved picking and eating berries before having her main meals.

Molly the Lioness had a problem. A dark, deep secret that nobody knew of. She was addicted to picking the nearby farmer’s berries, scoffing them down close to her breakfasts, lunches and teas. She could not help herself, it was the natural colouring and fructose that tempted her, her growling appetite before her meals meant she must have a pre-breakfast, pre-lunch, or pre-dinner. And because these berries were seemingly available for free – not necessarily appropriate for munching by you and me – Molly the Lioness, so ravenous that she was, shovelled into her mouth the berries because, for her, their taste was positively assured.

She loved the tartness of the blue ones, the pink-reddened ones had a somewhat mulberry tasting hue and tongue twisting effect too, and the yellow ones, why, what a delight! Honey flavour dripping down her pipes. She had almost been caught once by the farmer, how embarrassing was that day, with paws dripping with sweetened juices she frantically then ran away. His eyes had spotted her form, and with a Whoop! Holler! and a sound of a flugelhorn, he attempted to rush toward the culprit who was chasing his berries amongst their tiny thorns.

Farmer was less than impressed, when he viewed the sticky mess, of the bushes where his berries should have laid, with sadness overwhelming him. His decision to return to the farm and moodily consume his whisky, drink after drink, he wondered to himself what could he do about this problem, what solution could commence when he would really start to think.

Firstly, he knew that the animal was a mammal, he could see the form running, so amber and agile. A head of luscious hair streaming from its head, but still, he could not view the entire animal in his mind’s eye, he had not enough details of it stored in his head. After all, it was merely a flash in a second, it was so very quick, jumping away from the berries that it so willingly would eat. Perhaps the Farmer would sacrifice and poison his prized berries, just to capture the culprit who seemed to be returning to them with great ease.

And so his plan was so: to sprinkle a natural remedy: vinegar, chilli water and aniseed from the stars, and sprinkle this concoction beneath the brushy vines, within a week he would view which animal had been taking his source of deepened farm made wines.

By week two, Molly had been poisoned so much that her belly ached and made her groan too, she could barely stumble to the vines of berries to have her fill. What she didn’t realise was that the fruits of the vine were what was making her violently paining and with time, she fainted by the bushes, much to the triumph of the Farmer in his knee high galoshes, clutching a bottle of his finest farm’s wine.

“So, it is you,” he said more to himself, than Molly, for there was nobody else. “What should I do with this?” He looked into her barely open eyes. Suddenly his heart ached, he realised what he had done, why had he needed to poison a hungry animal, for following her nose to a meal, to cause her to delightedly, excitedly, to celebrate her soon to be fulfilled appetite, toward the solution run? Imagine if he had been poisoned for wanting to eat his own meals, to satiate his growling stomach, to have his fill, and he realised that these bushes of berries were not all that important, though they were the small source of his wine income, he knew that were not the farm’s most highest sought after component.

And nursed Molly back to good health did the Farmer, he was there by her side, rehydrating her, feeding her, and he apologised a thousand times, for his errant behaviour, and wished nothing for her but goodness, and to be her now saviour. When she roused enough for her eyes to take their fill, of the man who was caring for her, her eyes filled to the brim, her feelings, emotions became warm then stilled, she did not understand why he was there, but she knew that she did most appreciate his care.

From now on, the Farmer allows Molly upon his farm every day, to enjoy the tasty berries, free, on display, to be eaten by her, always. She loves that she is now catered for and does not have to run, slink and jump, just to get a free pre-meal into her hungry chops.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Poem and Drawing: “Onward, loyal steed!” Henry the Toy Horse’s Flight – 02/08/19

It was one of Henry’s dreams to fly.

“Onward and upward, loyal steed!” cried the rounded grey bat, dangling tasty cherries before the face of his best friend, Henry the Toy Horse, his plan to rise was just that.

Henry did not have wings like the bat, but that didn’t stop his dream,

He and Grey Bat were best friends and he wanted to rise like Grey Bat could, easily and fearlessly, just like him, Henry prayed and wished he could.

Would the world part its textile tapestry reality and allow him to perform this flight, no matter how impossible it seemed, into the day and into the nights?

The cherries encouraged him, oh, how they were both so sour and sticky sweet,

With Grey Bat riding atop his back, flying upwards, he was required to rise some more with telepathic measures.

What are telepathic measures, may you ask? It is when Henry would become linked with the mind of Grey Bat and be able to practice his activities and thoughts and special psychic powers.

Therefore, if Grey Bat could fly, hypothetically could he, all he needed was to learn the mental weavings and knowledge available and able to be obtained so freely.

“Come on, Henry, you can do this!” encouraged Grey Bat relentlessly. “Come on, rise up and above, make the most of this!”

And with Henry’s head steaming, his mind trembling, an exterior of outwardly exacerbated internal thinking,

He exhaled ever so deeply and then with some visual imagery, two feet off the ground he slowly rose, what a triumphant victory!

Grey Bat whooped and hollered for many following days, as they rose and fell into the air as though of flying technique they knew it all, always.

For what a great victory that was to be had, the telepathic measures proved so fresh and rad, perhaps they were the only beings in the land to use such a forthcoming measure, of pertinent knowledge to be shared.

And fly and fly all the days and into the nights they did, for many years, then they introduced their growing families.

All of Henry’s horsey sons and daughters were able to take flight, and how proud their Godfather Grey Bat was to see this, it was so pleasantly nice.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Poem and Drawing: Ecstatic Jumping Jellybean – 30/07/19

She was more than happy with her life.

She was an ecstatic jumping jellybean, the happiest bean the world had seen.

She liked to jump in and out of people’s way, causing reckless commotions throughout the day.

Oh, how it made her sing and then laugh, merriment spurting from her sweetened mouth,

And then when it came to laying down for rest during the night, her body was horizontally tested, and her mind and body were slowly going south for hours to remain.

What existed within Jellybean’s dreams?

Why, the prettiest, glorious stories to be ever viewed, heard, then mentally seen!

She created mental images from her daily events, from the moments when she jumped here, there and everywhere.

The shock, the horror, and the joy, upon people’s faces and within their eyes,

When she intercepted their paths, of course it amused her, these mental images were set to last.

“WHY, JOLLYBEAN, WHY ARE YOU ASLEEP?” A booming voice entered her dreams.

“JOLLY, JOLLY, JOLLY!” and she heard a loud guffaw, she certainly wasn’t peacefully sleeping anymore.

It was her half brother Fred, the Green Grotesque Jellybean who had fallen and bumped his head,

He now sported a great bump in his forehead and in his crown, a mere look at the dints would make one cry, “Yeeeeouch!”

“You’re always sleeping or scaring,” Fred chided. “Why don’t you do something productive?”

“What, like fall and hit my head?” Jollybean, also known as Jellybean said, and then she regretted it, why did she need to be cruel with what she said?

Fred’s saddened, long face pained her to view, she decided to cheer him up, in the best way she could.

“Let’s go scaring, come, it will be great fun!” and reluctantly, then slowly smilingly Fred agreed, and then the decision was made, the activity agreed upon.

And a gloriously fine day together they had did they, pursuing peoples and other individuals, keeping their own wits at bay.

That Fred clear forgot the nasty comment Jollybean had made, and he hugged her tightly for the great and wondrously hilarious day.

Nowadays they perform their scaring twice weekly as a way of maintaining their sibling bond,

They’ve grown closer and closer and greatly enjoy the moments together just because,

They were not essentially that different, despite Frank’s propensity for clumsiness,

And Jollybean’s habit of making life a light-hearted laughing mockery and sometimes a downright mess.

Because when they were together, their lives were always blessed.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Poem and Watercolour: Baby Balloon Goes for a Stroll – 29/07/19

Baby Balloon and Mama Martha on their walk.

Baby Balloon was excited,

She was soon to go on her walk,

With her adoptive mother, Mama Martha,

When they walked, they loved to sightsee and talk.

Normally, with most balloons,

One would expect to view them to be floating like a miniature moon,

But Baby Balloon had not yet learned that skill,

She was confined to walking on her tippy toes and resting on her calloused heels.

She performed so much walking that her heels were thickened with the roughened skin,

But it did prove how proactive she was at moving about the world which begged to be explored and seen.

On her tippy toes, over a fence, she could see slightly, a couple inches more of the scene,

When she rested on her heels, she wondered where on earth that world had gone,

Where her eyes had just been.

“How much longer will it take?” she begged Mama Martha. “Until I can soar high above, much higher than the others?”

She wondered how much longer she must wait to learn,

The baby balloon’s equivalent of human walking from crawling,

She was already three years old, should she be concerned?

Was Baby Balloon of stunted development, is this something to sigh of and quietly self soothe?

Would she forever be walking,

An oddity soon to be featured on the Nightly News?

Saddened at the conversation, in which Mama Martha had simply reassured her,

Baby Balloon and Mama set out on their walk.  

“Look at this tree, now that shrub,

And now look! A sparrow and a lark!”

Then suddenly a whooooosh of cold autumn air lifted Baby Balloon clean off the path,

And rise and rise above, dear Martha she did,

“Mama – look! I’m flying at last!”

It did not matter that the flight was artificial,

 That she was not making use of any newly learned or acquired skills,

For she was so delighted with herself,

This feeling of excitement and euphoria had the potential to make one delightfully thrilled.

But now she was dropped carefully back down to earth,

“Mama, I think I can do it,” she whispered, and with a deep inhale, exhale of a breath and then a pause,

She lifted herself clean from the ground, you see,

With the assistance of certain circumstances we can truly learn to improve and be.

Baby Balloon flew everywhere now, but sometimes allowed Mama Martha to walk her,

A form of nostalgia.

A beautiful Balloon story in the making,

One day she would become an unpaid teacher of the community,

Sharing her knowledge of flight,

Allowing the youngsters to rise sooner than naturally possible,

Into their days and winding nights.

And smile upon her future students would she with greatness, pride and might.  

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story example: Amelia Jayne Rust, One Costume Never Enough – 28/07/19

Amelia was passionate about Drama and dress ups.

Meet Amelia Jayne Rust. She loved to play dress ups. The only problem was, with her, one character was never enough. She simply could not decide which animal or person to be, instead she piled on hats, headbands, wings, anything that would confuse the viewer when she pronounced she was ready to be seen! Amelia didn’t suffer from anything like an identity crisis, in case that’s what you were wondering, she was simply indecisive and was haphazard with her costume choices, rather than sitting there, solitary and pondering. What fun it was for her to change, into a new individual upon individual each and every day.

For, her mother allowed her daily dress ups, even when she attended morning secondary school, for in the afternoon she experienced such joys that she could barely hold her anticipation at bay, the class she awaited would come so very soon. It was Drama, where she could express and be herself (but also not be herself), taking on roles and starring as characters that her imagination had created in the spur of the moment, her creativity was more than enough to be appreciated and pondered.

In fact, her Drama teacher secretly held the belief that one day Amelia Jayne Rust would be famous, as an actress in her right no less, also starring in roles of the theatre and musical shows displaying her prowess. Amelia’s incredible talents lent to wildly amazing habits, and daily she would document the stories in her mind, their utterly incredible processes. She was practising becoming a playwright, a poet, a lyricist, and wouldn’t her dramatics go with them so well, they lent themselves to these.

Soon came the day for university auditions. Amelia hoped to procure a place within the prestigious drama college in the city. With nerves of steel, she performed the role of “Susie, Teacher of Grade Two”, set in an office block where she took classes in groups of three, and sometimes two. Occasionally her role would be utterly depressive, then on her good days, manically uplifting, but whatever mood Susie was in, she made certain it benefited her students. Even on her bad days she didn’t call in sick, she made sure her teaching skills were still to be seen while she was ever present.

To Amelia’s surprise, the panel of three gave out a resounding cheer, two out of the three stood to attention, a standing ovation, and how proud Amelia was of herself, for her script, her carefully honed skills, that a single tear escaped her, and then enough was enough!

“Amazing, amazing!” called the final panel member remaining seated. “I can see that falsified tear escaping thee! What perfect control of your emotions,” he gushed, and wasn’t his excitement more than enough, when the three members reassured her that she had secured a college place. It was not their role to tell her now, but so exuberant they were they could not hide the information, it would be to no avail, and with joy and incredible wonder, Amelia bounded outside to her awaiting mother.

“Mum,” she whispered. “Let’s take a triumphant picture.” Then Amelia suddenly realised that this audition had been the first moment in a while where she had acted only as one character, and to her great and utter surprise it had been without fail. For what she had grown to fear the most over the years in selecting one individual or animal or person, was coming across as bland, boring, and almost uncertain. The layering of different roles helped her, assisted her to succeed, but now she realised that she only needed to be one person, one individual at a time in this world to bring others standing to attention or bringing them to their knees. It was a realisation she held quite dearly, and wasn’t her future now planned out and pretty?

As anticipated by Amelia’s drama teacher, she was a roaring success, the world lapped up her acting skills, beauty and charisma, and skills ever so delightedly, and when it came to the latest popular series or upcoming movie, you could be certain there was a chance that Amelia Jayne Rust would be the leading lady.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Poem and Drawing: Two Sword Playing Mice – 27/07/19

Sometimes mice just want to have fun.

Two sword playing mice,

See how they fight,

Watch as one leaps gracefully into a dance,

And slices the thin air near the first sword mouse, making him evasively prance.

The air rippppps, ever so slightly,

A reflection of the thin sword being so mighty.

Gleeful grey Field Mouse,

See as he clicks his sword and turns,

Elegantly with his protruding pot belly,

Attacking violently is something which he will never learn basically let alone wholly.

Then to the serious blonde Field Mouse,

He wants to be victor of all,

Champion of the underbelly of the sword mice world,

He’d walk a mile to gain the golden cup with a nip, spin, thrust, and a final stab with a twirl.

Sword fighting mice,

See how they interact in their world,

Then suddenly an appearance of Chester the Cat,

And the game has been encompassed by him outside and of their world – oh crap!

Chester plays with them for fun,

Pawing, toying with them this way and that,

How to escape they have not yet learned,

Then growing bored of their flailing antics he allows them escape,

Their victorious cries of freedom can now be widely heard.

Off they scurry for more swordplay,

For a long cheerful afternoon of that day.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story example: Mugshots of a Famous Mug – 25/07/19

Barry was interrupted on his way to work.

Barry the Mug led an ordinary life. He woke, put the coffee on, fixed breakfast for his disabled wife. They sat together as he quietly sliced her pancakes into smaller pieces, it made it easier for her to tackle, one of the many difficulties that existed for her to experience and slowly handle. Then off to work at the canning factory Barry would go, his wife would be okay, for their son, Desmond, was her official carer, Barry had to work, the money had to come in somehow.

Then hours into the shift, he was afforded a short break, he puffed on a cigarette hastily, wanting to finish the entirety before it was too late. This daily smoke was his true luxury, he knew it was damaging to his health, yet the feeling of relaxation pressed itself upon him like a welcoming, insistent host.

And at three in the afternoon, time to clock off, to return to his family home, where the love was more than enough. Barry may have led a monotonous life, however what mattered was the life satisfaction and warmth that he felt for his worldly existence inside.

One particular morning, on his walk to the factory – for Barry’s luck was quite rotten and his current car had many things wrong with it – a man approached him with great curiosity.

“Why, sir! Please stop!” he pleaded, insisting with an irksomely eager tone. “Sir, please! Now! You have to know!” Barry ceased his trudging steps and glanced up with eyes possessing deep bags from overwork and stress, surely this man had enough gall to be speaking to the wrong mug, for his excitement was overt and too much. Barry softly responded, “Yes, how may I help?” Within the man’s eyes, glory now abounded, he wanted to share much, to allow Barry to know.

“You, my friend, are a unique piece of art, with your green shadings, and googly eyes, and intrinsically interesting mouth. Have you ever thought of modelling?” he suggested, with a wry smile upon his face. Barry could not believe this person, such discourse was not commonplace. Only beautiful girls and women were stopped in the streets for this, this man’s excitement was essentially an entire waste upon him.

“No, no, I think you have the wrong mug,” he said, smiling modestly, and making out as though to walk away. After all, every minute that one was late to work meant another dollar taken away. It was an unfair policy, to be sure, but that was the manner in which the bosses kept the workers in line, their managers smugly assured.

“Stop!” the man said, suddenly grabbing Barry’s handle with a vice-like grip of his hand as a hook. “You must believe me. You will be the next Booth.” (Booth was the world’s greatest supermodel, he had also been discovered walking the streets, and though Barry thought it was highly unlikely he was similar, this man had such breathiness and glee about Barry to speak.) Still unsure, he arranged to meet this man over the weekend, and have some photos taken. Apparently he was incredibly photogenic, the man said he could see it most certainly indeed, he was, “a viewfinder into heaven”.

Although the photo shoot made Barry uncomfortable, for he was modest and embarrassed by his grotesque appearance and odd looks, he allowed the man to become his agent, and overnight, why, would one believe, that he became an utter success! Soon his face was splashed across advertisements, the television shows, interviews with hosts, travelling the world, flying and meeting dignitaries and experiencing what life had to offer him and his family the most.

Who knew what made him so spectacularly successful, perhaps it was that he was different, something in the ceramics that made his glaze and character appear so utterly unique and different. Now he’s working on a biographical movie, named ‘Mugshots of a Famous Mug’, which details his life story from simple, hard working mug, to bright shiny model to be not only seen, but heard. For while Barry has his face well known, he is also passionate about world events, and human rights, and speaks widely of these does he, for his words and his looks he is renowned and his opinions can only develop and grow.

‘Mugshots of a Famous Mug’, is out in August 16th, 2022, and Barry is most excited for you to come and view.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

*This mug is a real item in circulation, a gift from my mother, sourced from an op shop. As it only has “Made in China” written on it, I am unable to mention a designer or maker.

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Story example: Christine the Curious Crab – 24/07/19

Christine explored with her special, unique skill.

Christine the Crab was an adventurer. Her heart leaped at the promise of exciting exploration and wild adventures. She tried to investigate the sand dunes but they were tiresome and boring to her, miniscule grains of sand upon a million more, what point was there to continue to explore? Besides, the climate of the dunes was far too scorching for her, she’d become a pickled, bright red crab meal if she weren’t careful enough, of this she was most assured!

So she travelled in time to her forest friends and their luscious greenery to view, their little crevasses, mossy undertakings, so much more to sniff, touch and view! But I hear you think aloud, “Did she say time travel?” Of this, Christine was most proud, to have developed the ability to rush back and forth into time and certain areas that she’d already visited quite cheerily. Merrily, she showed off, showcased her talent, it allowed her to widely explore, where did she learn it, I also hear you wonder, why of that I’ll not breathe a word more.

There was one area she could not handle, of this she was slightly embarrassed, for a creature such as a crab must surely have certain habits. One such being accustomed to being around and freely entering water, but this little hermit crab left much for the listener and reader to ponder. Was she a land crab, or an underdeveloped marine crab who unfortunately had missed the day of learning the skill of being comfortable inside the watery depths that were begging to be had? She was disinclined to answer, for the truth she will never know, her heart beat intensely and frighteningly when she viewed the watery depths of the Great Below.

Still, she could explore everywhere else she wanted, time travelling little crab was she, flying before someone’s dinner, and taking a bite and a sip of their tea. It is ridiculous, it’s ludicrous, how skilled Christine could be, whereby she understood her life was pretty damned well great indeed. What did it matter if she could not enter the water, her hermit crab friends could come out to welcome her, they’d meet her on her own planes and she’d show them her talents, by gosh, were they amazed.

Encouraged by her close friends to chase her dreams of exploration, she became a true fledged adventurer with a university education. Weekly, the students would set off in the pursuit of adventure, and learn the craft of being resilient and appreciating all the world’s wonders. Strictly enforced by herself not to cheat and use her time travelling skills, Christine learned the abilities she’d missed out in self learning with persistence, strength, and a decided yearning to know more to experience and view.

Now I see her on the television daily, she has her own instructional show, how famous has my little curious Christine become that I’m so glad to have detailed her story just so. An open time traveler, a non marine hermit oddity, why, types like her would rarely be seen. But she has made it against the odds, created a name for herself, educating the world with her knowledge, and assisting other creatures such as herself. A role model is she, and I am so very proud to say, Christine the Curious Crab has certainly and essentially found her unique way.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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