Story: The Hot Air Balloon – 16/09/19

See this giant hot air balloon? my darling asked of me. It’s all yours for the morning, he smiled.

Me? What about us? I queried. He wanted me to enjoy myself wholly and without distraction.

But darling, you are not by any means a distraction, why, you are my star attraction.

He blushed deep crimson now, rarely was he used to receiving compliments, mainly playful little cute insults which he knew were full of love and meant nothing of which others would use them as.

Run along now, he urged me, run along and have some fun, enjoy yourself. I’d never been in a hot air balloon before. I had always come up with some excuse: too expensive, I would have to awaken too early, it would be too cold, what if the weather turned dreary? And other some such, or whatnot, excuses which masked the true reason: a fear of flying.

I’ll be right here, he reassured me, pointing to the grassy knoll by the evergreen trees. I’ll be reading and researching, it’s important I do so, but I’ll be watching out for you.” He reached forth, pulled me into his grasp, placed his lips full upon mine, passionately. Surprised at his action, I withdrew slightly, then warmed to his embrace. I melted into him because it was rare we expressed ourselves physically.

Thank you, my love, for thinking of me, I said and reluctantly extracted myself from his grasp.

The hot air balloon operator was incredibly kind. He could see I was tremble profusely, that my hands could barely hold onto the edge of the basket which held us as we ascended into the perfectly blue sky, tinged with coloured clouds that twinkled with differing shades in our eyes.

It’s okay, he said reassuringly. First trip in the air? he inquired with a warm smile.

First trip in the air in anything, I replied, I’ve not even been in a plane. What got me the most was the noise as we rose, I was frightened but I knew there was nothing to be afraid of. Balloon accidents were very rare, and this operator seemed to know his methods and flying to a tee. I glanced down at my love, he was reading on his phone, making notes in a pad to his right, his mind set upon certain equations and problematic formulas all of his own. I called to him, waving and attempting a false smile. He looked up, delighted that I was enjoying myself and fervently waved back.

Then, something seemed wrong, there was more strength from the flames which allowed us to rise, we were on an errant path, rocking from side to side. With horror I looked up and realised that the lower flames from the burner had extended far past where they were meant to be and were situated up near the exit hole of the balloon, exposing the likely flammable material to excessive heat, now what could I do? I was too high in the air to jump, but above it showed that we were going to fall anyway, what could I do but scream for my love, to tell him how I felt once more, before I might become gone, gone, gone, away my life would go, crushed or flown away.

I shrieked for him to hear above the burners that scolded the air for listening on its firm intent on destruction, I stared at his bowed head and willed him to raise it, to captured my attentions, but I could smell the acrid scent now, a certain plastic-like melting odour in the air, then a rapid whoosh, and away we dropped, into a group of sharp, gnarled bushes.

I heard him scream my name in the background of the silence which was the result of our inevitable, heard him breaking through the bracken of the bushes, clawing to see if I was alive, for himself. The operator and I were shocked beyond belief, he now was shaking, his hands trembling, telling me over and over,

This has never happened before, this has never happened under my attentions, it has never happened before.

My love finally reached us, I was not damaged, but I was frightened beyond repair.

Oh, my sweet, how did this happen on my watch, my choice, I’m so glad you are here, alive, I will never leave you again, remain by my side. I am so sorry, for this stupid, idiotic choice, in leaving you in there without me. I am glad this operator was there to guide the balloon down somewhat safely.

After helping out myself and the man from the wreckage, my love and I walked away from the scene which never would cease to amaze me. So thankful I am that he was there keeping watch, but never again shall I ride into the air, no matter within what contraption, not even under another expert’s watch.

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


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Story: Mrs Marmalade – 15th September 2019

Mrs Marmalade was known as such because she liked to have marmalade as the main ingredient for her lunch. Not only that, but it was the same for her tea, and breakfast might I add, of course, Mrs Marmalade would agree. She held a great love, a fondness for this condiment, jars and jars filled her cupboards, to fetch more was not required, stockpiled they were, of her house she hardly ever left!

My, was she ravenous, for this delightfully sweet and zesty treat, that in actual fact I will tell you the truth, the only ingredient was this sweet preserve for her meals. She didn’t mind only consuming the sweetness, never had she recalled missing savouries, because this woman only needed one item on her grocery list. Do you get the point, do you understand, that even though she was risking malnutrition she was adamant at only consuming this condiment similar to jam? She couldn’t help it, but she’d never admit it was an addiction, poor Mrs Marmalade didn’t understand that this was a dangerous predilection. Her teeth were nearly all rotten, she could barely chew the zest without experiencing overwhelming pain, yet she would not make an appointment with the dentist; last time she’d presented, he’d told her to throw all her jars of marmalade away!

“Preposterous!” she had yelled. “Why would I do such a thing?” He sadly told her if she continued eating only marmalade her teeth would soon need to be removed rather than replaced with fillings, and given dentures that were uncomfortable and wieldy. But she had not listened, and a pain was present basically in every single tooth, she couldn’t afford the dental service for dentures, but she knew what to do. When it came to having tooth aches, she knew that the first line of advice was to eat soft foods, and my goodness, didn’t she have that in excess: her marmalade was the best item to consume! How she laughed to herself as she continued to eat her favourite delicious item, her delectable treat. What would she do in the future though, who would hold her hand as her teeth either fell out or were yanked out by the dentist man? She didn’t care about the future, for now she was too happy to give a damn.

And so, she continued living only on the condiment, her teeth continued rotting away, she didn’t notice though, for she took pain killers to ease the growing pain. She continued to order her treats online, on the supermarket website. She didn’t need to leave the house at all, no judgement would anyone pass for the massive amounts of jars she had to have delivered by freight.

The potential ending of Mrs Marmalade’s tale is not all that sweet, in fact, it is fraught with disaster, because over time, quickly, her tooth ache peaked. The cavities and gums throbbed with great insistence, and soon there came a time where she couldn’t even chew the softened zest of her favourite treat. Saddened, she knew she must return to the dentist, where he was shocked, horrified, to see the damage she’d allowed to develop when she avoided seeing him regularly.

“You knew I asked you to return late last year, why didn’t you, Mrs Marmalade? Now I have to remove nearly all of your teeth, because you refused to e more aware.” He could talk to her in this tone because they were old family friends, but she didn’t’ appreciate being addressed in this manner, so she built up a wall of defence.

“If you don’t speak to me nicely, I’ll just leave and eat more marmalade!” she threatened.

“Please yourself,” he said with a shrug, “but I’d better remove your rotten teeth to save the few others while you’ve still got them.” Excruciating though the pain was, once they were removed, she felt so much lighter and less in pain. She thanked the dentist and went home again to do what? Exactly what she always did, and wasn’t this a crying shame. Some people never learn their lessons and Mrs Marmalade was a perfect example. Her addiction to this sickeningly sweet treat was her failing, and she felt no need for behavioural correction. 

Nowadays, Mrs Marmalade is the proud owner of a set of perfect dentures. The dentist felt sorrow for her and fund-raised until he’d had enough to aid her. Mrs Marmalade enjoys them because they’re perfect for appearance, but easy to remove when it comes time to eat. There is no worrying about whether her teeth with suffer, because, with the dentures out of her mouth, she can eat all day, throughout all meals, without any chance of decay, no need to suffer! She can consume her delights from morning to supper.

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


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Story: The Fantastical Court Jester – 14/09/19

The fantastical court jester had a multitude of skills. Though he felt that life and himself were a cruel joke, he still amused those in the court as he was willed to. He threw up a rabbit from a hat, danced with his feet flung up and down this way and that, he grabbed the sparkling stars and the moon from wherever he could, out of thin air, and then  he would throw them into the area where the King and Queen and Princess were watching with a great sense of enjoyment, yet the parents still projected an air of judgement. Because they couldn’t act too impressed, they needed the court jester to know that he always was required to up his game, as they do say. To perfect his show, better each time, with more elaborate skills and tricks, while the King and Queen quietly sipped their glasses of red wine.

The princess, though, utterly divine she was, was forever exuberant about his skills. Though, secretly, just between yourselves and I, the Princess had a great crush on this fantastical court jester who didn’t really appreciate his wretched life. And how could he, where he was hired as a mere spectacle, there to amuse and be laughed at, by beings in the court who he felt were buffoons who liked to belittle him. Princess never said a thing about her secret love for him because she knew that nothing could come of it, besides she was already promised to Lord Chive. She hated that obnoxious boy, yet her mother and father had picked him as her future husband because his family had much wealth hidden and also on display. They didn’t shy away from living the life of extroverted billionaires, and this fact made the King and Queen feel very pleased with their selection, of their daughter’s future man.

Still, Princess dreamed of her jester, his smiling face, his painted, decorated eyelids, his twinkling bells on his costumes that when heard, caused her tingles and shudders, in the only good constructionist way that was known how. A tingle here was enough to make her heart leap and bound, and cause an ache deep within her stomach that no food could appease. She needed to view his shows again, over and over, because he was her living drug, the thing she most desired. How much she hated that wretched Lord Chive for being promised as her man for the rest of her life, why, she was only nineteen, she had eyes, ears, a heart and mind, surely, she could select for herself. She would choose her ironic court jester, who had recently been catching her eyes.

The jester wondered whether there was something going on with the Princess, for she stared at him with such hunger and intent. It wasn’t as though he was undressing before her, to a tight bodysuit to showcase his pasty skin, but with bulging muscles and a well-built chest. Occasionally he caught her stares, when he dared to look at her beauty which he’d just realised was there, a wide-eyed glance into her brown docile eyes and slowly, over time, during his shows, he, too, began to fall in love. Before each show he would be nervous now, whereas before he couldn’t give a damn, prior to this, a show was just a show, but with a special audience who actually appreciated his skills, and perhaps more of him, he felt a warmth in his heart that made him fulfilled.

Then, one morning, when the court jester was ready to perform, he took a deep breath and walked before the King, Queen, and daughter. He was wearing a brand-new outfit, selected especially to please the princess, he wore hearts plastered all over his front and his back. And as he danced slowly, sensually, catching the princess’s eyes often, the King and Queen were outraged, they couldn’t believe this treason!

“What on earth is going on?” demanded the King. “I want to know right now!” Suddenly, the jester snapped to, what was he doing here in this love-suit? What on earth had possessed him to create and wear such a thing, when he knew that his feelings for Princess needed to remain hidden? He was just a mere jester, a slave of entertainment, nothing but a speck of dust in the eyes of someone as noble and wealthy as Prince Chive. Abashed, embarrassed and mortified, the jester hung his head, apologised profusely and walked off the stage, proceeding to cry. He wailed and wailed and wailed, knowing that he’d likely be dismissed, into their lands of the forest, where those who committed criminal acts against the royal family lived. The last time he would see his beloved princess had already occurred, it had passed, and her facial expression of confusion mixed with acceptance and love for his visual love proclamation would be what remained in his mind, forever there to be drawn upon and observed.

But, the jester was not banished to the forest, instead he was locked up in the dungeons. Which would be a worse ending? he wondered to himself. Still, at least he could see his princess; every morning she snuck into the chambers of prisoners, and fed him her elaborate and rich breakfasts which she’d refused herself. There she told him of her love, which had blossomed before he even realised, of how his irony at life and means of still projecting happiness were what drew her to him. He would then share his brightened realisations, the moments that he knew she loved him for him, and the moment that he decided to proclaim his true feelings with the heart-suit, before the Queen and King.

Eventually, the jester was freed, and was allowed to remain in the castle. Instead though, he was assigned a different role, and it was within the kitchen, deep in the mass of passageways, where King and Queen believed their daughter wouldn’t find him. The reason they kept him in the castle was a very simple fact: once he had received enough punishment for his behaviour, he could return to his jester role, because he was extremely talented at that.

Love still secretly blossomed though, and whispers of their emotional affair caught wind of Lord Chive’s ears. Mortified by Princess’s lack of loyalty, he withdrew from their arrangement for future husband and wife.

“If she cannot remain loyal, before we are even wed, why makes you think I’d like to bring her wholly into my life?” said Lord Chive to the King. Outraged at the scandal which had still unfolded beneath his very nose, he summoned his daughter and growled at her, with great anger, and he expelled her from the castle at once along with the traitorous jester. They could fend for themselves for some quite time. Of course, they would be allowed back, for not for a decent amount of time. Punishment needed to be observed firstly as something of a permanent kind. Instead of being desperate and feeling betrayed, the court jester and Princess were overjoyed at what had occurred, because now they were free, to love and be, without any need to hide from the eyes of her parents or the world.

The King desperately missed his daughter and soon realised the error of his ways. She was the light of his life, and he had simply flung her aside, because her heart wanted to know another, not the man he had deemed as the correct, wise choice. Who was he to decide who his daughter should love? Was it his role – no, never! – to force her into an alliance that would benefit the Crown, but not the girl? He felt ashamed of himself, and sent out troops to welcome her daughter and her new love back into the castle. Once found though, they didn’t wish to accept the invitation. The irony of the situation is, sometimes a forced freedom is exactly what one needs to realise their own slice of heaven.

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


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Poetry and Prose: A Flower From Her Love – 12/09/19

He rarely buys me flowers. It isn’t because he lacks sentimentality. It’s because I know, that, while pretty, their company will only last for a short while. But when he does, their perfume will romance me, I will breathe in their intoxicating scent, I will feel their colours bloom before me, a wondrous presence I have been given. Still, I ache at their loss, when they inevitably die away, although I know, that unlike the flowers which graced my world for a few days, that his love for me remains. It is here to stay.

This morning he steps into the kitchen with a cheeky, knowing expression on his face. His hands are behind his back, as though there is something obscured that he is so proud to hide from me. Something which he can’t wait to present, something exciting, perhaps. Something I’d love, with his intent so potent. I’m playful, my eyes dance, I know there’s something to expect from my love, something within his strong hands.

“What do you have there, darling?” I ask. With a flourish, he draws his arms from his back, presenting to me, before my delighted face, a beautiful bloom for me to have. Its colouring and perfume, so wondrous to accept, to breathe in and view. I smile, jump up and down, grasp it within my hands then hold his firmly, too.

“My darling, thank you so much, for being in my life.”

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


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Story: “See Ya!” – Simon the Sociable Sloth – 11/09/19

“See ya!” called Simon the ever-sociable sloth to his visitors. “I hope you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves. I urge you to come again soon,” and with that, he bowed deeply, for he was so glad that they had attended. Simon wasn’t like most sloths, who were solitary and shy, hiding behind trees and their leaves. No, Simon was an extrovert, and he socialised as much as pleased. However, after the dinner guests had left, he breathed a sigh of relief. It was difficult for him to remain on top of all of the conversations, and be charming, and most of all avoiding appearing meek. Because inside he would be fighting the urge to flee the scene. He was only recently teaching himself how to be sociable, to be as keen for company as he could be.

Sloths were known for sleeping the day away, so it suited Simon to have his social events at dinner time, with his friends with exuberant personalities, the dinners would be perfectly joyous and gay. Because, when he and his guests were all together, they ate, and laughed, and danced, and played after-dinner cards or board games. Everything was very merry, it was as though these types of dinner were planned perfectly, and their itineraries would be well thought out, and always ended in playing Uno, or on occasion, Monopoly. They would be entertained for hours, and sleepily they would leave only when the sunshine would show itself.

But who were Simon’s friends, how did they stay up into the wee hours of the night with him? Surely they couldn’t be other sloths, because somewhat antisocial they were known for being. No, his friends were the owls, the wolves, the animals that hooted or howled at the moon, away from the sun, and how he loved their company, they were unique and loyal, and terribly great fun. It didn’t matter all that much that Willy the Wolf had tried to bite him one time. Simon understood that was part of his instinct, his urges, to seek out delicious meats to eat. In fact, Simon took it as a compliment, that he was considered a delicacy by Wolf, it made him tingle inside with confidence. What a strange thought process Simon had regarding his friend Willy the Wolf.

One dinner, when Olivia the Owl and her family of six were present, along with Willy the Wolf and his new wife Mindy, Simon asked his guests to take their seats, because presently it was time for their tea. Carefully, for with his curved claws it was difficult to serve, Simon precariously balanced the first course – pumpkin soup – before his ravenous friendship herd. But the soup was secretly not to their liking. Willy and Mindy wanted the taste of meat! So too did Olivia and her troupe, they were hoping for servings of dead rats to be seen. After all, Simon knew of their delicacies and preferences, and they were unsure as to why he’d not catered to their specifications as he usually did.

It was as though he could read their minds. In reality, he’d read their disappointed body language.

“I’m trying a differing menu of sorts,” he said with a smile. With a flourish towards the kitchen, he explained, “I’m going to serve vegan for a while.”

“Vegan?” they all collectively gasped. “What about our need for protein, or red blood cells, their iron??” Mindy began bickering with her husband, forcing him to tell her why on earth she had allowed him to drag her here. Olivia and crew now were squawking among themselves, trying to work out how to politely leave this room. There was no politeness in this. Everyone could hear them, including a now despondent Simon. He had tried, really, he had, to make a positive change to his menu, for his community, and for the environment. He was happy enough to now only eat a strictly vegan menu, and he hadn’t known his friends would be so narrow-minded. He stalked over to the door and flung it open.

“See ya!!!” he yelled, and pointed out the exit of the door.

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


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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: A Resplendent Stag At His Own Stag Do – 04/09/19

There was a lucky stag, who was marrying the most wonderful deer in the world, tonight was his stag do, tonight would be when he celebrated at the same time but a different place to the girls. Usually the night would be filled with heavy drinking, antler fighting, wide eyed ogling, but this wasn’t what he wanted for himself, he didn’t want to sin. Besides, this stag wasn’t interested in drinking excessively, waking up feeling horrid, pains a-plenty, what he was interested in was projecting a special sense of beauty. He had always held a fond feeling, a soft spot, for the sublime and the visually appealing, and his stag friends knew that this was how he wished to celebrate, to project an aesthetically pleasing viewing.

Now, in a quiet corner of the forest they approached him, sombre, with a cascading wreath and male veil all of his own, placing the creation from Nature upon his antlers, his face, around his head, his crown. Upon their tippy toes they adorned him, made him shine resplendent from afar, the flowers, the buds, the leaves, brightening this special stag-star. One friend walked slowly with a full-length elaborately decorated mirror, presenting his stag friend with the visual version of who he presently was. With great delight and a widened smile, he threw his head back and grinned, admiring himself from left to right, all for a while did he.

“What a beauty I have become,” he breathed, so astonished. “Who made this crown for me, my veil, the maker I wish to know them!” Never before had he seen such an intricate crown made for anyone else, let alone him, and he was the King of collecting nature made crowns and other such things. In fact, at home he had stowed in the closet secretly from his future wife the amount of three times twelve, and she would never discover his collection because it was hidden incredibly well. But this crown veil took the cake, it was weaved so specially for him, the flowers and buds so dainty as they’d been plucked, preserved, tamed, and strangely he felt like what a goddess must feel like, a beautiful version of a nature queen. Because this veil was not manly, it appealed to the feminine inside, and this was the part of himself that he liked to be in touch with, it was a gentler part of his insides. He could be a manly stag, making noises to draw attention, fighting with other antlers of strong stag men, but when it came to general life, this stag preferred to be gentle and loving, and not so over protective and wild.

“It was Mrs. Simbalina!” one of his stag friends announced. “She was the one who created this for you, she must have known of your character quite well?”

“Bring her forth to me!” he roared in a manner quite proudly, as he preened and viewed himself again in the mirror, my, it was a glorious scene to behold. He became lost in absorbing the beauty that he usually only felt within, now it was as though Mrs. Simbalina’s creation had drawn out his beautiful inner truth and sense of visual beauty which was now available to be seen. It wasn’t as if he classed himself as unattractive usually, but this crown and veil made him feel quite chuffed, so pleased. Soon, the maker mouse was brought to him.

“Mrs. Simbalina! May I please pay my dues, you have brought the beauty out from within me, look at this wondrous view!” And with a flourish he turned his head this way and that, and groomed the flowing buds of premature roses, until, unfortunately, he accidentally pruned them from their holds, and that was that. Oh, how his heart ached, he threw his head back and produced a guttural wail, what had he done, he had planned to use this veil at the altar, with his lover before him, her eyes captured upon his face, surrounded by this magic veil before her unveiling.

“What have I done?” he cried, tears wept from each inner corner of his eyes.

“Do not fret, Brett,” she said to the stag. “I can make you another instead.” Instantly his eyes dried up as though a puddle would were it placed within a parched desert. He thanked her profusely, and allowed her to leave, of her craft to get on with it. And within two hours she had returned with the most resplendent veil and crown you could ever hope to see, amazing at her life’s work was Mrs. Simbalina, so talented was she.

When Brett and his love’s special day came, they were both wearing their own version of veils, and surprisingly they were made by a craftswoman one and the same. Each one brought out a particular characteristic from the other; the feminine from Brett, brought out the stronger part in his other. As though the veils reflected the way that they were already intertwined in life, they held hands, joined their lives, and their truth was there to be witnessed, held together with love and affection that was wholly meant. And Mrs. Simbalina was secretly taken on by the Stag and his staff as a craftswoman of immense talent and secretive means to alter another’s life course, though her skills would never be openly spoken of, only held within careful silence from east to west, from south to north. Why? It was safer that way, because Mrs. Simbalina had to be carefully guarded due to her ability to exceptionally alter and cause.

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


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Story: The Secret Mozzie Healer – 02/09/19

“She slurped blood here, she sourced blood from there, she took advantage of healing their injuries with great concern and care.”

McBuzzy McBuzz’s role in life was as a brave fighter pilot, she would attack the enemy with rapidity and due diligence. When she was not reigning bullets and bombs down upon the deserving rouge nations, she was honoured to transport her fellow servicemen and women. However, she was addicted to the metallic taste of blood, the iron platelets slipping down her throat, it made her want to gleefully rub her stomach, and find others to drain from. When she was in mid-air, she’d often place the jet on autopilot, so she could visit and speak with the injured soldiers, to see if she could benefit. Some would be asleep, some would be moaning with great pain, their injuries were healing, not quickly enough though, they needed more love and attention. McBuzzy McBuzz was able to feel their pain, empathise with them, and understand what they wanted and in return what she could gain, and in a transfer so very easy, she sucked the pain dry from their blood, a secret tactic that she had learned when she was just a little wee insect bub.

When she performed this action, often the soldiers’ eyes would widen, upright, stiffen, they would sit, their wings now glimmering and golden. “By goodness, what have you done?” they would asked, astounded, looking around with great numbness. “I feel perfectly fine now, and you only drained me of blood as I know it!” McBuzzy felt utterly pleased, a smile coming to her face, a crafty expression that, if it were to be witnessed, would not have gone to waste, because her actions allowed her to gain and the others to lose, and wasn’t this a perfect thing for them to experience and for others to view? It just so happened that McBuzzy would then return to the cockpit, to guide the jet down towards the runway, to deliver the cured servicemen to be used again in the trenches and pits.

Because this was the real reason why she had been raised to have this talent, her wartime family knew that it would come in handy, to have her cure men and women who might otherwise be of no further use to the military, during dangerous world events. If one could make right the injuries sustained, over and over, why, it was as though these soldiers and their skills were being healed again to be used in the battlefield seemingly forever. Then the country would never run out of its manpower, for there would always be McBuzzy the fighter pilot and secret healer to make certain that their soldiers were in tip top shape to continue fighting for the country’s rights, but what would happen if McBuzzy was in trouble, who would heal or save her?

There was no use in accommodating or entertaining such a thought, because this mozzie was able to look after herself. She could remove blood from any being, and never receive a negative transmission or a disease, not a thing. She also had the skill of purifying all received blood, it was like if one were given a murky solution, and they could separate the water from the mud. McBuzzy was such a top secret government individual that she needed to be on the lookout often, to protect herself the most, because she knew that due to her skill set, if others found out they might make use of her, take her away, suddenly kidnap: and put her to ill use.

However, aside from the government officials and herself, no one knew of her skill at all, let alone little, let alone the most. Even the soldiers who she cured couldn’t remember the procedure, for as soon as she left the interior of the jet, she emitted a natural gas that wiped the memories from their minds, no longer would they be saved. But there were beginning to be whispers, rumblings, of a certain talented mosquito, who resided in the war-torn countries as a pilot, and soon the bounty hunters were beginning their tracking, their know-hows.

The soldiers in the plane today didn’t look like the usual characters. Some had keen looks in their eyes, some were nervously darting around, some highly fidgeting. They didn’t have the war-torn expressions paining in their eyeballs, the way that the other, front line soldiers did, this group of soldiers seemed odd, as though they hadn’t experienced any negative war activity. They simply appeared either eager or nervous, for someone, or something. McBuzzy couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she knew something was amiss.

She approached the most nervous looking soldier and asked if he wanted to feel calm.

“Yes… y…yes, of course,” he stammered, barely able to look her in her eyes,  let alone being comfortable with her touching his shaking arm.

“Allow me to rid yourself of your illness, of it I will suck you dry,” she whispered, and she plunged her feeder into his jugular vein, where there would be the most blood flow. He suddenly snapped to, he felt overwhelmingly awake, so refreshed he was amazed! Her talent, her skill, were something certainly to be captured and saved.

“How, what, why?” he asked, needing to understand what had just occurred.

“Never you mind,” she said with a smile, and moved onto the other male mosquitoes in the herd. She cured all five members, they were dutifully pleased, at how clever she was with blood-letting, and her ability to allow them to be free, of the minutia, of the delicateness of illnesses that they didn’t even believe they’d had, and now that they had received her treatment, they didn’t feel like taking her away for their rogue nations, to be analysed, stripped of her talent, and cast away without a care. Besides, she presently emitted her signature gassy scent, and there went their memories of the moments, that was that.

The plane full of bounty hunters presently forgot all about their mission.

McBuzzy slowly gained a huge following, online and in real life, because gradually, slowly but surely, she had allowed the healed others to continue on without having their memories wiped. She felt it was somehow important that they knew that she would be taking credit for the procedures she had performed and how she’d made their lives better as they would soon understand and know it. Because if she healed everyone the world over and they didn’t know who was behind it, wasn’t that slightly pointless, too selflessly altruistic? She also wanted to share her techniques with others, so she started a healing school, where she went through the biology of what her body was capable of, what it had been taught to do. There she taught adaptable techniques of how other mosquitoes could source blood while saving ill fated members of the world, it was incredibly holistic yet medical too.

Soon, there were mosquitoes everywhere, sucking the world dry all over, yet the point of this, the wisdom of the matter, was that they were saving others, not simply satiating their thirst for blood, they worked together. And with the cure being made obvious now, there was no need for warring, for fighting, for capturing other countries for their resources or wealth, no more need to fight for world power, domination, and such, when everyone could coexist peacefully together. It was amazing how from one little mozzie that peace could begin, occur in a special manner, a wondrous style, for her as a great being, and of McBuzzy McBuzz she would be known of as the world’s greatest healer, of her name they would all righteously sing.

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


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Story: Patrick the Pelican With a Tickle in His Throat – 31/08/19

Patrick the Pelican never bothered to chew. A huge mouthful of fish swallowed, gone, that was how he rolled, that was what he would do. Why would anyone bother with the activity of chewing when he could swallow many fish while even thinking? Sometimes he warned by his other, non-pelican friends that he must chew, otherwise he might choke instead! Patrick always laughed them off, after all he gotten by for thirteen long years of his life, without any cause or incidence, he ate each day with no strife.

But what would he do if a little wayward fish became stuck in the back of his throat? He would surely cough, cough, cough, until it became less of a blockage, and flew from his beak from the inside out! It would be no drama, he thought, if this were to occur, because he had a great gag reflex, he used to practice swallowing swords. Patrick was a skilled sword swallower, he was known for his amazing skill through the wharf and in the busy pub a little down south, where he used to showcase his talent on Friday nights after school, this was actually how he gained his fame and his wealth. So, there was nothing to be concerned about, nothing to worry, a little stray fish? Why, nothing to do with it, no need to fret, he didn’t need to think of the consequences carefully, for there would be none, and Patrick knew he could always eat, voraciously or even daintily. It wouldn’t even matter, there’d never be a choking.

One day, Patrick decided to go for a swim. He felt the ocean had a lot to offer him this afternoon, and he wanted to fill his beak to the brim. Normally he desired catching them while diving from the sky, but today he felt a little languid, a little lazy, and he thought he’d give a different method a try. Besides, he could swim and smile and view the unsuspecting fishies all the while, and pick them off, one by one, until his beak was filled with tasty delights, all of them would be his to swallow and have his stomach then positively churn. But one little fishy stood out to him, she was pink and yellow in colour, flaming with elaborate fins and eyes widened with stoic disaster.

“Please, dear Patrick, please stay away from me, I’m too beautiful to be eaten so freely!” Patrick narrowed his eyes and grinned a crafty smile. “No fish is too beautiful to stop it being tasty to me all the while.” And so into his mouth she popped, gone right there, as if she hadn’t existed at all, and with a strange sensation inside, his mouth began to suddenly seem to crawl. What was going on, he wondered, what was that slimy yet creeping sensation that he’d never experienced? Surely it wasn’t that irksome fish, taking her sweet revenge. Instead he tried to ignore the feeling, moved on to other horizons and fishies, and gathering them he continued to do so, well into the evening. Tonight would be a great haul, and he would swallow them all when he was pleased with how full his beak was feeling.

Still, he felt discomfort, now his skin beneath his feathers began to crawl.  From inside his beak, a certain screaming:- “I told you not eat me at all!” Then he felt a type of repeated electric shocking from behind his tongue, near to his throat, he suddenly felt the irresistible need to swallow this sensation away, that doing so would solve it, by taking it down. And so he tried, awfully hard, it was with great strife that he attempted to do so, but nothing would rid him of this horrid form of fishy life. It was like she was going to punish him forever, for simply needing to swallow, to eat her.  It was all a part of life, part of the food chain, why couldn’t she realise this, and just give up, and lie there, instead of fighting, not being tame? Fish were meant to be eaten, that was one of their many roles. It just so happened that this insolent fishie was not accepting, or being aware of the role that she was likely expected to play the most.

Patrick rolled around, trying to dislodge her from the back of his throat where she was somehow causing him the shocks. He then turned upside down then righted himself, and still, she persisted, remaining at large. Finally, he had had enough, he needed to be rid of her, if she would go down, then by goodness he would then spit her out, this was how he would get rid of her. Patrick forced out all the fishes that he had procured, that he had acquired, they all flew from him mouth like a tidal wave of living others, expulsion at its finest, how saddened was he, to have lost his large meal, and then out popped Yellow Fish with her dazzling areas of Pinkie!

“Thank you, dear Patrick, for doing what was right,” she snapped. “Although I knew if I didn’t tickle your throat so, I would have died this very night.  All my extended brothers and sisters will all thank me on the morrow, but you, dear Pelican, of your selfishness, you deserve much sorrow.” And off she swam, swinging her hips so haughtily, head held high, her nose set in a manner so snooty. Never again would Patrick fish near these waters, instead he would visit the high tides elsewhere, and stay away from this sea’s sons and daughters. For fear of coming across a variety like her again, he wanted to simply live a quiet life where he wasn’t made to suffer to his need to eat again and again. It was better this way, that he found some place fresh and new. It was probably that, better still, that he decided to swear himself off eating fishies too.

It seemed wise to become a vegetarian, his mother was one, after all, he did enjoy looking at and taking little tiny bites of her prepared meals, during the years he had still lived at home. One day he would encounter the yellow and pink fish again, and approach her would he with a certain tenderness, and share his wild stories, of his greatest encounters, of fetching and making himself elaborate and downright delicious vegetarian dinners. Perhaps they would become friends, he could only hope for this, because she had taught him a very important lesson with her behaviour and the way she had spoken to him. Think of others, not just as beings, as edible things, but as individuals who have a mind of their own and so too feelings. He was a peculiar pelican for going against the carnivore grain, but boy, wasn’t he happier with his life now, just the same.

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


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Creative Nonfiction: Today’s Thoughts and Mood: A Truthful Account – 29/08/19

I think it’s time that I write how I feel today, a truthful account, that I will put to my name. Everything seems hopeless, I feel as though I’m nothing, not worthy of anything positive, to be written down, nothing joyous or amazing. Nothing can cheer me, it seems as though today’s sharply crested waves have a purpose, a method, a direction in which they’d like to dangerously steer me, the rocky cliff seems their chosen way. My emotions overwhelm as though thick ponderous clouds, blocking any view of sunlight that could ever be discerned, to be found. A murky suppressant internally and I feel as though I’m about to break, I can’t snap myself out of this misery, I’m so miserable, why? Oh, for goodness’s sake!

I shouldn’t need a reason to feel this way, not when I’m usually so buoyant, happy-go-lucky, on my usual positive days, where I’d listen to others, have myself listened to in return, smiles, laughter, snide witty comments, and now of myself, you’re beginning to learn. But there are some of you who don’t need to hear of the personality behind the words, my subtle gearing, my choice smile as I witness something hilarious or absurd. However, today is one of my worse days, and I haven’t experienced anything of the like in a very long while, this ill-tempered mood seems intent on hanging around, without being useful, no fun, no method or style of any visible or felt enjoyment for now let alone for a long while.

It’s like I am sinking into a bog, a quagmire, of heavily thickened emotions that are dragging me under, and little loose arms and greedy hands are grasping at handfuls of my hair, pulling me down, pulling me towards them, over there. Where I can easily sob with my mood, enveloped in this thick, ill fitting stew, that envelopes my body, sucks it right in with ease, as though it feels like I’m decidedly yummy. That this pit, this cesspool, is filled with darkened, painful emotions, and having myself sucked in, the vast pit now sucks me dry, of anything positive or hopeful, now nothing positive is lurking. I can only sit here, arms folded, mud right to my neck, a scowl of sadness upon my face, when will my forced positive thoughts begin to start working?

I know I am bad company to others, feeling like this, I know I am useless, so to speak, at bringing the prior happiness out from within me, I simply wish to be myself again, but how to reach that peak? Everything seems a downer, a drainer, a weight upon my shoulders, every little thing has stacked upon one another to create a mountain of heavy, immovable, impassable things. My path of least resistance is to simply remain saddened, I know that if I wanted to, I could try to forget my worries and my pains, and become, although forced, but decidedly more gladdened.

Whatever happened to being grateful for the things in the world that are positive for us? I cannot, will not, allow myself, to think of this path, although I know that later it will be a must. Otherwise, I will remain in this bog, sinking, sinking, into my ill thoughts and paining dreams, wondering why it is me that is the one suffering, what have I done wrong, nothing! I wish to be positively seen, not viewed of as a negative being.

So, here ends this account, of my trying day, I’m sure others are suffering far more, but I cannot make any comment without having heard of their trying times, an encouraging, loving comment I will most certainly one day throw your way. But understand that my account was simply a means to an end, a method of catharsis, a type of expulsion, I hope that you understood my ailing, and that perhaps you’ll provide me a comforting smile or thought one day, perhaps these thoughts are worth further exploring.

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


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