Story: Trudence the Child Thief and the Queen of Finery – 08/09/19

The Queen of Finery was amazingly resplendent coated in her gems which adorned every inch of her. They glittered and glimmered upon her velveteen robes. Being so ostentatious a figure, she had nothing to say to those in the palace who passed her; she was too incredible in her own mind to pay attention to others unworthy of her obtaining her attention themselves. She would not bother with beings such as these.

What determined whether someone was unworthy? Well, it is saddening to say that she was always haughty around everybody whose paths she crossed because to her, normal folk – servants, chefs, cleaners, maids, drivers – were unworthy. Some might find it difficult to understand why a queen would look down upon her people. Most especially, the people who served her well, and painted of her a delicate, refined picture. Because for these others, they were always required to speak incredibly highly and well of her. In reality, the truth of the matter was that she was arrogant and undesirable, with moods so flighty they caused chaotic booms, seismic ripples, rather than being calm and assured.

Would anyone in the country willingly spend their time with her? It wouldn’t surprise you to know this – they wouldn’t waste a second with her. The only reason they spent fleeting moments in her presence was because she paid them to be there. She was so outrageous with her moods that these unfortunate souls never came to work underprepared. Before arriving, they listened to soothing, meditative music, to calm their wrought nerves from the days before, healing an ache that was positively shaking at the knowledge they’d once more be required to be with her indoors. But this Queen didn’t realise how horrible she could be; she was used to being just so. She didn’t understand that her “minions” as she referred to them, couldn’t wait for the end of the day when they’d be permitted to return home.

It was the King who had to deal with his tempestuous Queen at night, with her tales of complaints and rapid words, high strung, of how somebody, always someone, had performed a slight against her again. He would sigh under his breath, tune out from the tirades, the rants. He would wait until her breath was spent then he would roll over and fall asleep quickly, before she could find another topic to complain about – usually something petty. She’d then wander around in her mind expelling her warring words quite freely, to be easily spent quite easily. It didn’t matter that the King no longer heard her. What was important to her was the illusion of being heard.

One day, there arrived a new servant, a child of eight years old, by the name of Trudence. She was clever, kind, humorous, but had had a challenging life. Trudence was an orphan, at the age of three her parents had died in a massive train wreck, and being babysat by her Auntie Beatrice that day, she was spared that moment of sudden death. But Aunt couldn’t afford to keep her, for Trudence was an expensive child to cater for. She ate, ate, ate at every given moment, and Aunt knew not how to provide for her. Instead she decided it would be best to put her to work at the Palace, where she could earn her keep, to pay for both their meals and means to survive in this life, lest she continue taking and they both ended up on the streets. Aunt was unable to work due to a debilitating case of “Can No Longer Be Bothered”, so she was glad that she had Trudence willing to work to provide for both of themselves.

To Aunt’s surprise, Trudence took to her new role with zest. She told stories of how she’d passed the Queen in the corridors, flashing her a beaming smile, glancing into the gems that sparkled so much that Trudence felt utterly blessed. It didn’t matter that the Queen never smiled back, the fact that she was in the Queen’s presence meant everything – she was such a finely dressed woman that her efforts to avoid smiling at anyone must surely be an epic test. This palace, for some reason, gave her good feelings. However, one day, Trudence would grab the Queen’s gems, pluck one from the her swishy robes, and another from her vest! Then run away with great speed would Trudence. Her life now was in dangerous waters, she should have already known what this theft would have meant, the fate which the Queen would wish to deliver.

Off with her head!” shrieked the Queen. “That wretch stole my emeralds, so joyously and lovingly green!” By then the soldiers couldn’t find her. Trudence was long gone, with Aunt running alongside her, as they escaped through the forest, away from their home, away from the palace walls where they would never be seen again, never found. Into a neighbouring land would they retreat, where they lived off fragments of the gems, selling each shard for fortunes on the street. They were millionaires now and it was all thanks to Trudence’s wiles. She felt not shame nor guilt for stealing from a Queen who everyone secretly reviled. Trudence had eventually realised that she was nasty, she was mean, she had too much wealth and she’d made it too obviously seen.

Regarding the robbery, she had been asking for it, Trudence believed, and this Aunt reassured her this was completely correct. And now, that the greedy untoward being would knowingly have their lives punished, eradicated, because the Queen’s effort at performing horrid actions were completely unworthy, and her motives not at all well spent. Not that these thought process was morally right, this Trudence soon realised with time, but she had spent too much time experiencing her own sense of luxury to want to return mere fragments that would be nothing to the Queen, a woman whose nose was upturned so very high indeed. Returning to that land would only end in death for both Aunt and herself, and she was unwilling to risk her life simply to clear a conscience of ill-fated morals. She’d simply have to trick herself into accepting that what she had performed at the time was a necessary action.

There was no point in reversing it because what was done was completely done. Better to focus on what positives came of this; she began to whittle away at the gems, breaking them into manageable, saleable fractions, street-size appropriate pieces.

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


Return to All Posts


Home 


Story: The Frog King Kisses Many – 20/08/19

The Frog King had kissed many princesses in his time. None were to his liking, his tastes, the flavour of human was too overwhelming. He had no idea why he was required to couple up with a human being, when of his own species he felt an overwhelming inkling, a great fondness of feeling. It had somehow been programmed into his royal family that he was to rule the Primitive Pond Kingdom with a regal lady, not his frog princesses that he witnessed each morning playing with tadpoles so merrily. He felt an inner angst when he walked by them, in the heart of the pond’s town, he was regal himself, majestic, well grown, he was strong enough to be firm with the rules, make them unfold. But he couldn’t go against the manners of his sovereign state, he knew he had to conform, lest the kingdom fall into ruin, saving it from mortification and embarrassment, it would be too late to relearn.

Every morning, he was required to parade to the Crossroads, where there was a chair, a small table, and a little umbrella, the frogs called it a Dating Brolly. Here he would sit, for hours on end, meeting human princess after human princess who would apply to be seated with him, but then – when they leaned in for the inevitable kiss, which should alter the right one into a hopeful Princess Frog or Queen, he could not help but pull away, disgusted of this practice he was, of this be assured. Leaning in closer, their lips made a smmmmack! And no transformation ever was there, this was a blatant fact. Now Frog King had to deal with saliva upon his lips, wiping away the remnants of their unwanted kisses, and then oh wait, would you look at the time, it was nine o’clock – or some such – he would claim he had another engagement at a quarter past nine! And toddle away with the brolly would he, wherever he desired to go, feeling the heavy breathing behind him of the human princesses who downright refused to go, they stalked him, they followed him, displeased with him, yet desiring him, they simply would not take the obvious hint. So with a great bounce and a hip-hip-hippity-hop Frog King would be gone, of their presence disappeared, completely flown.

Despite his high intelligence, Frog King didn’t seem to completely compute or accept that he could alter the rules of his neighbourhood, that he could rewrite the laws, make them plain and easy to see, that this current Frog King could decide to be single and no longer forced to mingle, he would not be required to kiss many who waited each morning in a desperate, heaving, heavy breathing crowd, for goodness sake’s he now realised that he had kissed some more than three times on consecutive days! It was difficult to keep track of the women when he was utterly bored and still lonely, their company was nothing of interest to him, for their human lives were tedious to hear of, and complete garbage, useless baloney! Even when the thought faintly crossed his mind that he could change the world, make it more positive for him, more divine, he dismissed the thought as soon as it appeared, he did not wish to displease his great uncle, who he most certainly feared.

Uncle Scott was large, he was robust, he was strong, and Frog King knew he wouldn’t hesitate to clip him across the face if he even breathed a word that was wrong. He claimed he was over protective of his nephew, but the truth of the matter was, he was decidedly jealous that Frog King was the King, and an uncle was all that he was. It was a terrible thought to have, to hold, that being the uncle of a wondrous being, disciplined frog was not good enough, that he was desperate for to provide him a serve, whenever he could justify this it would be done, and soon of this ultra disciplinary life Frog King wanted to run!

As he passed the tadpole area of the pond one day, dismayed at the upcoming events of his morning he was swayed toward a cute little group of youths, blue in nature and swimming consistently in their group, now one led the others, and follow did the rest, such a delightful view. Then Frog King noticed a little damsel dressed in a vintage dress, white, and cream with brocade lace, hem down there, and corset up to there, with cascading brunette curls framing her face. She looked delightful, so charming and when she opened her mouth to speak, to greet, she sounded so insightful and enticing, she was such a living dream. They stopped and chatted for a while, apparently she did not know of his ranking in the great kingdom of his world, and this he found utterly refreshing; she knew that he was simply a beautiful moment of truth in a first place sash, they could barely contain their excitement at their immediate connection that Frog King decided to do his dash. He would not hold himself liable to the throne’s rules anymore, he would take this damsel on a date, one that he actually wanted to partake in, be on, and they would have the most glorious time and then some more. And even if Uncle Scott would not approve of his new lady friend, he did not care, he would simply glare and stare, and take the physical serve.

But to King Frog’s great surprise, Uncle Scott was not upset at all, in fact he welcomed the damsel, named Lilac, into the family home.

“Come wine with us, come dine with us,” he welcomed her, and with a smile, he explained why he had been so hard on Frog King all the while. It was out of complete frustration at the rules dictated to him for his nephew left by the former king in his will, that would mean Frog King was forced to marry a human princess, even though she would be inclined to perhaps make of her king into a juicy, leggy meal. The former king had been of the incorrect understanding that a Frog King’s kiss would transform a lady into a royal froggy lady to be seen and heard the pond all over, and Steve couldn’t deviate from that formal will. The former king had been  misled by words whispered by human ladies as he had passed them in the marketplace, he had believed the things they’d said.  

As Frog King had discovered, none were transforming, not any, none of the others, and the fact the he had found an interest in this new lady friend made Uncle Scott so happy he wanted to call the world over, announcing the words to be transported upon the wind, in their clouds they would sail, there they would sing. But devious was Scott, he knew of a loophole in the will, if Frog King ended up with another native frog, Scott would reign true leader, just as he wished,his ambition would prevail. When it came to the throne or true love, months down the track, Frog King was willing, more than happy to give up his throne, for his damsel who was never, ever distressed.

King Scott ruled over the pond with a stern nature and a forcible fist, but the animals and frogs were allowed to live rather independently, and some even wished to continue to coexist. All became regimented and well until one afternoon a human princess attacked him, grabbed forth his face, and kissed him until he became violently unwell. When he came to, he opened his eyes to sternly glare and viciously seethe, but sitting there in front him was the most beautiful of froggy things. A lady, a real stunner, her eyelids flickering at him lazily, he could barely believe his eyes, here was his new, real life Froggy Queen.

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

Return to All Posts


Home

Story: Egbert the Excitable Echidna Soars in Leaps and Bounds – 19/08/19

“Weeeee! Look at me!” called Egbert to his friends, one, two and three. He was spinning on his feet, pirouetting as elegantly as could be.

“You go, ‘Bert!” called Lucy.

“Yeah, keep going!” cheered Brody.

“Why do you always have to be so showy?” groaned Danni. Danni was the moodiest of the four, she didn’t want to join in to the cheering antics at all. She didn’t like encouraging her friends, only wanted to be miserable and moan, this was the life of Danni, who didn’t want to know anyone at all. In fact, the only reason she was there in the group was because the others had taken pity on her, her internal anger often lead her to self combust, and they wanted her to learn to be friendlier and trust. But here she was, as always, breathing heavily, sighing strongly, upset that she was not being attended to, and that Egbert was the one being observed in a manner very happily and lightly. What did she expect, being morose, how could others look upon her with joy, and most of all she needed to understand, that to be approachable one needed to be open and willing to share, speak well of others, and perhaps occasionally lend a helping hand.

“Never mind her,” Lucy muttered under her breath, and she continued calling, encouraging her friend Egbert as he performed the movements of his ballet scene’s choreography. He had been working on this for more than two months, every spare second, every spare minute, he was practicing, rehearsing energetically, his excitability calling, he would leap, prance, breathe deeply, gasp, for his ballet dancing took precedence in his world, to gain a place in the National Ballet Academy it was a dream he would work to make truth, to unfurl.

A slight problem with Egbert was that a lot of things made him excitable, and this had a tendency to take attention away from his goal, provide many distractions, such as that ladybug he found behind his ear, he would name her Philippa, and provide her a terrarium home, or the colours painted on the wall of the alleyway, he would stop to admire them for an hour on his way from secondary school to his home, or the blades of grass, so tufty and firm, he would play with them, giggling, with his claws pressing them to and fro so firmly – he was easily distracted, and this was a problem to him. He knew how to be focused, and he tried his utmost on being like this with his choreography, his routine so well developed and fantastic, but he had to draaaaag himself away from the distracters, in order to refocus.

It wasn’t his fault, he had been diagnosed with a condition years prior that deemed him as having problems with his attention, deficits from this, a disorder, but his mother wouldn’t provide the pharmaceutical medication as she wanted to heal him holistically. She provided him salves, natural tablets, herbs and all, to rectify the problem, and initially it proved to be useful to him, in every mental zone. His attention soared, his eyes were pin pricked focused, he could dance for hours and it wasn’t a problem.

But then something happened, his mother lost faith in her cause, to provide him natural remedies, she simply gave up, and upped and left the mission, hiding in her bedroom hole. Word flew around the community that she was suffering from depression, but she didn’t want to be seen, looked at, viewed by anyone, not even a doctor, she just wanted to rest and sleep, then wake, repeat, sleep, again. So Egbert was left to his own devices, he treated himself the best that he could, it turned out that his best wasn’t enough, he needed to educate himself of the remedies, and do this soon. Surprisingly, his friend Danni, showed an interest in this topic, it was strange, given that she was morose about basically everything she encountered, and together they set out, procuring all research they could possibly find, dumping the literature in a corner, they sat together, and began to furiously read, through the pages they dived.

“Hey, would you look at this?” uttered Egbert excitedly. “Look at this information, this plant, it’s a dandelion, perhaps it has a place for solving?” Then his eyes flittered to another page, darting left then right, then now to another fact!

“Egbert!” Danni exclaimed. “We need to focus!”

After reading solidly for three and a half hours, Egbert and Danni were far less wired, they had lost the focus they had previous harnessed, and now their eyes were becoming heavily lidded.

“Let me fetch you a drink,” she said slyly, and with a secretive smile, Danni darted out to the kitchen, to view was on offer, what was available. Not seeing the ingredients that she would need, she quickly darted out to the Australian natives in the backyard, gently waving in the breeze. Collecting what she needed, she prepared a herbal tea, and providing it, steaming hot, to Egbert, she carefully observed him. He sipped cautiously, carefully, so as not to spill it upon himself, and tried to ignore the strange taste it had to itself. He could not stay silent, he didn’t know what this was, but whatever it was, it wasn’t making him in any way, shape or form excitable, and he wanted to know, why, because!

“It’s a mixture I made, an antidote, a potion, from the information we’ve saved, and look now! Your eyes are focused again!” With happiness, he felt himself aligned, with everything he needed, he now wanted to dance for hours, to fly! But when he rose, he didn’t even want to try, he just wanted to focus on other things, for a while.

“Hmmm, this is in an interesting problem, an unforseen moment, with no explanation,” Danni said, stroking her chin. “We want you focused, but we want you about your dancing excited still to be!” And with this, she consulted the yellowing pages of one book, parchment paper, as old as could be, no one need know where the pages were from, where they have been taken, now free to be viewed, and to his tea she added a sparkle from her fingers, click, with a smile, and with a final sip, Egbert was excitable and focused, for all the while! Now with this antidote, his condition was controlled, he needed not pharmaceuticals, or the missing natural remedies his mother used to make for him when he was younger, and now that he was old, and wiser, and with Danni’s assistance, she guided him, medicated him, and their friendship became firmer and more consistent.

They saw each other more often than usual, they spent time together in his breaks from dancing in the stairwell at school, they confided in one another, and wouldn’t you believe it? Danni was miserable only with a group of others, but one on one she was confident, friendly and all knowing. She simply had had secret issues with being bullied in primary school, that she didn’t like being around more than one person at all. And now that both their problems, for Egbert and Danni were addressed and out in the open, they had the freedom to pursue their dreams.

Egbert obtained the place he most desperately wanted in the National Ballet Academy, in his audition he danced through the air, flitted so freely. No one could have believed that an echidna would careen so eloquently, and he had everything to prove to the panel members that his skill was there, beamingly, to be seen. Danni buckled down, and began studying incredibly hard, at understanding the principals of using vitamins and herbs, and other natural products, and she realised that she had a great passion for pursuing and researching these things.

She set her sights on becoming a natural doctor, she accomplished her dream of obtaining a place in a naturopathic college, and for the next three years she studied heavily. By the time the three years were up, Danni graduated with honours, presenting her thesis to the honoured animals and natural healers of the outback, and Egbert was known of by all, a household name, an elegant creature in the Natural World Ballet. Their other two friends had fallen by the wayside when Danni and Egbert had decided to knuckle down and become more studious, although still successful in their own right, their friendship group was no longer in sight. Danni and Egbert are married now, three kids with great minds, they live together, a natural healer and a ballet dancer who was more of an excitable flier, and of their lives, none in the outback can compare. All of this began from being a little more excitable than the others, and a female echidna who decided to try, to dare.

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

Return to All Posts


Home

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.

Return to All Posts


Home