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: Super Slug – 07/09/19

One fine day, when the sun shone my way, I woke feeling completely whole again. Nothing could or would deter me from my exploration of the garden, my winding path, my set stage. Inside this bustling ecosystem were many specimens of flora and fauna, not least my favourite, Mister Wily Old Toad. He loved to croak at me while blinking incredibly slowly; his wrinkles determined his age as very wizened and old. Mister Toad had been living in the garden for many years. He lived off a diet of snails mainly, a family of them which never seemed to be diminish despite his fantastical sense of hunger that was present always.  It was not unheard of that he could consume two or three of these creatures a day. The poor snail family always lamented their losses, but there was nothing much they could do or say.

There was, however, one snail, who seemed to always be able to dodge the bullet. This snail had been around for many years, despite the fact that snails were meant to survive for only a short length of time. I would see this creature in the mornings, and after Mister Old Toad had lazily captured some of the snail’s family, I’d see him rest down for the night. Then so on and so forth, I’d spot him, and safe in the evenings, he had avoided any strife. How could this possibly occur, when a snail could not travel very fast nor far? How could he evade the sharp tongue of Mister Old Toad? For years he had survived, and I knew not how. I decided today to take a closer look, and follow this snail around until I could view what was happening, until I understood how he remained alive and whole.

So, this morning, when I had awakened whole myself, the broken pieces of me fixed back into place, I searched out this target snail, I shall call him Snail, myself. He was easy to find because he had certain markings upon his shell that made him appear as if he had a saddened donkey painted on his outside. On second thoughts, I could have called him Donkey, but it was a little late for changing the facts and details.

This snail was very peculiar indeed! As I watched him, it was as though my eyes were malfunctioning with the greatest of ease. From one corner of the garden he would suddenly zoom to another, essentially materialising from one space to another area. I couldn’t understand! Weren’t snails meant to be laboured and slow? Their movements barely aided by excessive slime and impeded by the unnecessary lack of desire for any speedy know-how? I shook my head, rubbed my eyes, and once more, the snail was moving in a laboured manner that was more fitting for his species. This I was now relieved to view. I felt satisfied that this was the behaviour that I was meant to find.

The more I stared, the slower the snail became. It was as if he knew I was watching him carefully, and he had slowed down his measures to a speed that caused me to feel incredibly pained. It was excruciating to watch a creature move so bloody slowly, how could he perform this task purposefully and knowingly? I swore that I had seen him move in a zig-zagging rushing pace, but maybe that was a trick of my eye or a trick of my mind; perhaps I had dreamed it. I almost fell asleep while observing him, there was nothing interesting to view, aside from the trail of sticky slime that he left for me to view.

Then all of a sudden, I heard him. Mister Old Toad had made his appearance. It seemed high time that this toad should now wish to manage Snail, in a manner that only he knew best. With a loud and slow opening of his mouth he flicked out his tongue. It wrapped around Snail’s shell in a most delicious and smacking sound heard by all in the garden, not only some. I half expected some shrieking from the snail, some wailing, some yells, but then out of his shell he did pop! And now revealed was a vibrant slug with a red cape, invisible ink upon it carrying his secret name! “Super Slug”, was etched on the fabric, and how the cape flowed as he flew along the ground and away. Mister Toad didn’t seem astonished, perhaps he had seen Super Slug on many days.

And how the slug flew around and around, alerting his other snail and slug beings and gathering them away from the area of Mister Toad, forming their own safety, an impermanent town. He brought all of them to a safe area, where they could avoid being devoured. Mister Old Toad lazily blinked his eyes. He wasn’t impressed by Super Slug’s flamboyance sense of rescue style. After all, he had seen it again and again. It was only impressive to me, for I had never seen it before. Super Slug, formerly known as Snail’s shell lay discarded on the garden path. I carefully picked it up to save it for him, when he decided to return to his disguise at last.

Suddenly, everything in the garden seemed calmer, it was like it had breathed a sigh of relief, for Mister Toad had not bothered any of them further, and he’d decided to go to sleep. So, I waited and waited for Super Slug, but it seemed he would never return, perhaps the fact that I’d viewed his transformation meant that he had to live elsewhere, for his secret had come undone.

No matter that the other creatures already knew of his alteration, I was different, because I was a human, and with other members of my species, I could talk with them. To reveal his ability, and this would not be good for the snail and slug family, not at all for them. I wanted to reassure him that I would not reveal, I would not talk, but the truth is, I may, out of excitement have slipped, and this was what Super Slug surely wanted to avoid, his identity was to be kept safe: that was of the greatest import.

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


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Story example: Hungry Patient Yak – 22/07/19

Hungry yet patient Yak.

At the crest of a hill, at the very top I could see, a hungry, utterly famished Yak staring right back at me. Before him he had a plate of steak, carrot and broccoli, his knife and fork at the ready, he looked at his plate so eagerly. Had I interrupted his dinner, I ignorantly wondered, was in the wrong place at the wrong time? However the Yak simply blinked back at me slowly, as he produced a large bottle of wine! 

With an ever so slight beckoning of his hoof, he drew me towards him, up and up and up the hill, puff puff, I panted, getting closer to the sky as a beautifully crystalline clear roof. How outrageous, I though to myself, that a Yak could be holding an offering of wine, but I liked it occasionally, the red was ever so tasty, so trundled up the hill did I.

I was close, then closer and closer, and suddenly the Yak was losing his grip, in slow motion I witnessed this arrival of the horrible incident, and squeezed my eyes shut for the moment of impact, the spillage was sure to be it. Then I heard a rolling, boom boom roll boom as the bottle scrambled down the hill, peeking through my eyes, I discovered the bottle was still intact and very, very full. 

With great joy I bounded toward that bottle, fetching its miraculousness for Yak and I to handle, polite Yak had still postponed his main course to sip gently with me, with a backdrop of beautiful bright sky to be seen. Surely his meal was cold now, in fact, confused, I looked around for surely who, could have prepared his meal and served it: Bon appetit! There was no person nor animal to view. 

Never mind, I thought, I uncorked that beauty so freely, and polite Yak even shared his carrot and broccoli with me, what a darling Yak was he, he is now a great friend to me.

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


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