Story: Miss Veronica the Piggie Goes To Market – 17/08/19

Miss Veronica liked to look her best.

Miss Veronica was a showy piggie. She loved to dress up in ostentatious outfits, so pretty. Her little blue hat atop her porky head, her frilly neck collar around her neck, her dainty bow around her tail so curly, why, she was as gorgeous as she could be. With a slick of red lipstick upon her smackers, she was perfect to be presented to whomever she was pass by or wander. No one could ever imagine within was an introverted piggie who was trembling at the drawn attention. Her dress ups aided her in being more confident and self assured. Forcing herself into the limelight, she would squirm inwardly, slightly, but then bolstering herself in these moments, she hardened herself, and became stronger, an outer shell presented so protectively. And the more she wore her attention seeking garb, the more confident she felt, the garish outfits soon became a second skin, and she felt calmer, reposed, and appreciated within, a sense of personal growth throughout.

Miss Veronica the Piggie enjoyed going to the market on Wednesday, for it was her one day off, and there was much fresh produce, knick-knacks, jewellery, and foods on sale and display, for a pig, more than enough. She enjoyed walking along the aisles, taking in the feverish atmosphere that sometimes accompanied some stalls, the fervent scent of an imminent sale, as the seller and buyer called. She grinned to herself whenever the stall owners’ gaze would flicker to her, taking in her outfit, her confidence, heart and pride would swell more and more. Then she would move on, to enjoy other food or observe other knick-knack delights, she drew the attention of many others, but never caused a startle nor a fright.

Veronica’s favourite part of the market was where they deemed which animal was best in show. This was one of the other reasons why she dressed up, secretively, why she spent time upon her appearance the most. And the reason she went to the Wednesday shows was because she was only just beginning participating in such shows, the Saturday versions were much larger and of greater competition, and the thoughts of such a larger crowd and amount of competitors admittedly scared Miss Veronica, even though she was such a pretty sow. When she had commenced entering the competitions, she had been greatly lacking in her self confidence, but this had been fine, she was working on it through the Wednesday show system.

Firstly, the animals were lined up, presented forth to the crowd by name. Then they were weighed, and measured for girth and height, and allowed to perform up to two tasks or impressive tricks to the crowd to be seen. Miss Veronica only had one finely honed skill, and this was to hoola hoop around her portly hips, for over five minutes, this was her drill. Although the crowd was initially impressed, by the two minute mark they were lulled into boredom, but blessed was Veronica to be able to hoola hoop for so long. Instead of wasting the opportunity of presenting a second talent, as an impromptu, she took upon the stage and sung her favourite song by Pig Schneider, “Back in the Habit”.  

She didn’t win the talents round, and she didn’t win the show, but this was not worth mentioning other than in passing, for the show caused Veronica an outward glow. The ability to stand, being presented, on stage, when initially she was so embarrassed and shy and ashamed, now being here in her garb so unique, showing off her eccentric style, her goal was complete. And ready herself to depart the market and show, when a little piggie, tiny in stature, approached Veronica, so daintily.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” he emitted, for that was only what one could call it. His tiny little voice sounded like a tiny verbal beacon for an ant army. Veronica did not notice him and turned to walk away.

“Veronica? Miss Veronica?” he pressed more forcefully, tugging on her tail’s finery. Startled, she lowered her eyes to him.

“Yes?” she asked kindly. She was never approached at the market, never addressed, this was strange to her, a certain feeling caused an appreciative tingle within.

“I couldn’t help noticing you in the show,” he went on to say. “You were admirable, fabulous, I loved your song choice. Do you think I could take you out on a date?” His eyes shone with hope, and he wished his request had not been made too late. For he had seen the way the other members of the audience shone with admiration, and something else too, which he could not put his finger on, he would have to perform some research.

“Oh my!” Veronica said, placing a trotter, shocked, before her mouth. “Of course, I would love too, I’ll meet you tonight at the pub down south.” Little Piggie grinned a grateful smile, he would be seen with this beauty, for much of a while, and together they would eat, and sing, and hopefully dance, why what a glorious evening that was promised, perhaps they’d hold trotters as they pranced. As they parted ways in the crowd, each saying they greatly looked forward to meeting one another in the pub down south, near Vermouth’s Mouth, Little Piggie overheard a conversation between two farmers from the show’s crowd.

“That winner, mmm, I’m looking forward to that bovine for dinner,” one growled. The other chuckled in return. “These silly animals don’t know they are sending themselves in for assessment, why don’t we just make the process more obvious?”

“But then they wouldn’t come,” the other exclaimed. “And it would be less fun, at least we are allowing them a final moment to enjoy their Life’s run.” Then the men cackled together most evilly, and headed off to the van which provided hot drinks for a spot of peppermint tea.

Shocked, aghast, utterly horrified, Little Piggie rushed around the market trying to decipher what he’d heard and seen with his very ears and eyes. From what it sounded like, the show wasn’t an innocent play on the notion of a beauty pagent, it was instead a sinister means of procuring an animal victim for human consumption, a means of fooling the lot of them. He must spread the word now, it must be so, it must be done, and rushing forth to the marketplace’s microphone, he screamed this aloud:

“Fellow animals, LISTEN TO ME! Do not enter the human’s show ever again, unless you wish the chance to never again be seen. They are looking for victims, to grace their plates for lunch and tea! Now, come now, leave, leave, and never here again be seen!” With this came great confusion, animals running here, rushing there, here, there and everywhere, eyes bulging, obscenely frightened, a catastrophe, a cacophony, and then Little Piggie was swooped away by unseen arms, and taken to a darkened, damp holding room. He was held there initially for the night, then questioned harshly for three days and nights, and ultimately missed out on his evening date with Miss Veronica.

He could not contact her, he did not know what to do, all he could do was imagine her sitting sadly, eyes wistfully flickering to the doorway whenever movement could be seen. And then by the time the kitchen would close, he imagined her dejectedly leaving, her stooped shoulders a heavy pose, and returning home sob sorrowfully would she, whilst she removed her precious fineries.

But they would meet again, coincidentally passing by one another in the street, and Little Piggie would share his tale, and over coffee, many others, of his life’s goals and inner dreams, and the more that Little Piggie opened up to her, the stronger their connection did grow, appreciative at being trusted and her company wanted, Veronica’s heart now felt utterly replete, she was one joyous sow.

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

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Story: Sammi the Beautiful Girl With Two Missing Teeth – 14/08/19

Sammi was a beautiful girl, inside and out. Her hair and skin glowed, shone throughout. Her effervescent personality made others joyous and gay, she was a bubbly, vivacious girl, and she loved to make others happy and keep them entertained. However, Sammi had a personal nightmare, it was evident when she grinned, she always hid behind her open hand, because missing were her two of her teeth. She was ashamed to grin like the other children, to show her remaining pearly whites to the world, she was always told that beauty came from within, but within her mouth was where her exterior beauty ended, she believed, it was the torment of her inner world. She was scared of being judged, frightened of being viewed of as uncool, she knew she had beautiful characteristics and traits, but she wished her teeth had never been taken so soon.

That moment when she had toppled, so happily hanging from the monkey bars, when her teeth made impact with her shins, despite this being in the past, the memories of the pain, as they hit against each other, the ‘crack’ heard inside her brain, made her wish she had not been so careless. If she’d fallen slightly differently, the dentist had said, her teeth could have been saved, instead she was left with unsightly gaps, and pain within her that was always there, within her memories never going away. Instead they had shattered, unable to be retrieved, her baby teeth gone, never to be again seen. And cry and cry all that day, and into the next did she, poor little Sammi, her beauty compromised, her dream of being a beauty queen seemingly gone, her sorrow spread quite freely. And the times when she accidentally burst into a giggle or a guffaw, and unintentionally she showed her teeth, she became chilli red and frightfully embarrassed, for, she wanted nothing more than to hide in her bed, trying to ward off her fiercely warm complexion as though it were a contagious disease about her face, her head.   

For now, Sammi’s dreams of being on show, walking down the runway with teenage model beauties from all over the world were scrapped now, her dreams once a whirlwind, an utter whirl, were now apparently unattainable for this unfortunate little girl. She had planned to grow into the industry, continuing her weekend beauty shows, but now, her best friend Susan scorned her, saying she was no longer the best in show.

“I’m telling you the truth, now,” she said firmly, “Not wanting to hurt you one bit, but those gaps in your mouth, they should be covered or filled, fix them with false teeth.” Her heart fell the most heavily at Susan’s sharpened words, for she was the closest friend in Sammi’s world, she could not understand why she was being such a nasty girl, was she suddenly cruel, no longer caring, had she fallen under a strange spell? Surely she understood that Sammi could smile without her teeth being shown wide, she could walk the runway and wave with delicateness, with glamorous pride, and there was no need for anyone to know that she was missing her teeth, she would train her mouth to disguise the apparent flaws, this uniqueness that she held within.

“I will still enter Miss Terrific Teenage World,” she vowed, from the age of still a little girl. “I will take on all the beauties, I will experience all there is to be seen and told.” And at that, she felt confident, that she could do this, despite her insecurities, despite her feelings that she was inadequate for simply missing two teeth. Although her mother and father had reassured her that her teeth would grow back, Sammi was dubious, their assertion did not seem a fact. She was certain that the two specific teeth she had lost were adult teeth, not baby ones, and that the dentist had simply gotten his facts wrong, and that of dentistry he possibly had much more to learn. After all, she had to prepare herself for the truth, that if she was not receiving any replacement teeth, she would perform the most, her utmost, at adaption; this was what she would do. And practised in the mirror, smiling and talking, while surreptitiously disguising her pearly whites at every minute free of her day and night, finally she gained great skill at deception, so she would not give even the most unsuspecting passerby a sudden fright.

As she grew, the time for Miss Terrific Teenage World finally arrived. She was flown to New Mexico, where all the other contestants were nervously biting their nails, drinking sugar free caffeine drinks, and others were with bright eyes, running on adrenaline, utterly alive. By this stage of her youth, Sammi had the art of speaking eloquently and with deception of her missing teeth down to a fine art, no one could tell, no one even knew, that she was different from the start. All they saw was her lovely face, her styled dress, her flamboyant nails and hair – the dress selected was a bit risque, but with the finery detailed upon the jewelled strapless garment to match her glittery, bejewelled necklace, she felt both at peace and excited beyond belief, she understood that her message to be shared with the world was heaven sent.

And when it came time for her to address the world, in the capacity that she knew of so well, she spoke of freedom, and false alliances to be broken, and strength in numbers, and holding self worth and confidence, that when she was greeted by an almighty audience cheer, a standing ovation far and near, she burst into a widened grin, no longer uncertain that she should hide herself anymore, she knew to shine from the outside and within. She wept tears of happiness when she was awarded first prize, the first teenage beauty to win with a couple of teeth missing beneath her rosy cheeks, beneath her expressive eyes. It didn’t matter whether they were there or not, for the truth be finally told, she was an amazing individual, whose stunted adult teeth would finally, eventually, in one single year, grow.

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

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Story: Sylvie the Punk Who Knew Too Much – 13/08/19

Sylvie the Punk lived a careful, quiet life. Despite her appearance, she was an introverted individual, preferring to stay home and read, by herself, rather than entertaining others outside. Although she had her nose and eyebrow pierced, these were not for mere show value to impress, they were simply the look that she was going for, they were for herself, nobody else, herself, no less. Her favourite pastime was absorbing the knowledge of the greatest writers having walked the earth, she fed upon their words like sticky rice pearls, absorbing their wholesome nutrition as though she was starving, and their words were the first things her eyes had fallen upon.

However, one day, in her grandmother’s library, where she was permitted whenever, daily or nightly, she came across an ancient looking relic, it was a leather-bound book, with embossed name D. D. Derek. Intrigued, and curious while also amazed, she carefully opened the book to the first page, and then, upon the title page, declared there was this book as “My Secrets. Read at your own peril”, and that was that.

“Strange,” she thought to herself. She’d never come across a book like this before. Furiously flipping the pages to satisfy her curious hunger for what had seemingly been held behind for ages, her eyes fell upon a singular page, “Join here with the Masses”. It was a step by step guide on how to hypnotise a crowd, lulling them into a false sense of security until they would do anything you wished them to, even mooing while on one foot, or clapping, stamping and meowing!

“Interesting, interesting,” Sylvie muttered under her breath. “We must test how this works upon the public, but I’m scared of them, this is a test.” Sylvia suffered from a phobia of leaving the house without any accompaniment; she always needed someone there by her side, with her. Usually she took her grandmother, but today she was somewhat poorly and sickly, her mother was at Bible Study, thank goodness she hadn’t been taken along there to listen and see. For, if she had, she would never have made this discovery, this apparent diary filled with spells upon spells of magickry and manipulation of others so freely. She knew this book was wrong, that she had best hide it again, better still, throw it away, but she could not bear the thought, she needed to test out this hypnotic spell today.

The second problem, after her phobia, was that she knew her appearance was somewhat off-putting, her earrings of large safety pins, the piercings in her face, her unique hair cut, her love of wearing an outer clothing layer of lace, created an unwelcoming vibe from the crowds. But why would it matter, if she had hypnotised them? Then again, she needed to lure them in first to have them listen, their newly directed attention span. And hesitantly, she left the room, glancing backwards wistfully as the freedom of being herself she was knowingly leaving alone, and deep breaths, and deep breaths, as she passed out into the sunlight, in actual fact, the air was quite pleasant, perhaps this outing wasn’t going to be of a negative scent.    

Upon the train – it was a fifty five minute ride into town – her eyes devoured the words and scrawling of the spells which she had found at her home. She was so glad that her grandma allowed her to live there, for all her days she could spend reading and researching without a care. The books calmed her, detracted from her life fears.

Now, at the main town mall, she called around, gathered, called, gathered all, until she had attracted a fairly large crowd, and then she sat down and proceeded to do as the spell had told. Soon, all the members of the crowd were cackling, then clucking, then bouncing on one foot, then maniacally laughing. Sylvie joined in along with them, she was so joyous that the spell had worked, that she continued her session within the town into the night, until ten o’clock.

News of her proficiency in magic spread across the land, rapidly, swiftly, with each touch type of a journalists’ command, and when the truth came down to it, Sylvie had procured some enemies, who were jealous beyond doubt of her talented skills she had honed with ease and now permanently had. Apparently she knew too much, needed to be taken down a peg, until she was a normal as normal could be person again.

She was seemingly not permitted to be successful, from her studious work, in her own right, and with the assistance of Mr. Derek, no, she was meant to be stuck at home, afraid of going out, of the world, forever being sick, battling her inner frights. She would not take this kind of attitude, nor would she admit defeat, she would not acknowledge these kinds of people who wished for her skills and opinions to never speak.

Sylvie honed her skills even further, became a master of this type of style, and isn’t it well that this ended well, the news of her skills were still looked upon with great admiration of her wiles.

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

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Story: The Angry Donut – 12/08/19

For most of his life, Donut had experienced overwhelming negativity. It was always ‘donut this’, and ‘donut that’, or ‘do not touch this’, or ‘do not go there’. It was so frustrating and overwhelming, it made Donut into a kind of aggressive tasty treat. His glistening icing which was so enticing did not match the flavour within.

Additionally, all through secondary school, he and his donut friends had been repeatedly pinched on the arm, the leg, the bum, as others walked past, for they wanted to have a taste of their deliciousness, their tastebuds must of them be reminded or learned of. And how insulting that they’d lose a piece of their bodies, surely their stiffened body stance when attacked said, “Don’t you bloody well touch me! Donut you even dare! Stay away from me!”?

Donut and his crew became frightful of school, they no longer wished to attend. If skipping school meant retaining their mass then they would perform this desertion good and well, no matter whether absence was deemed bad. Besides, who would know, their parents were too busy working their day jobs to listen – Donut’s parents’ voicemail at home in all truth and actuality said: “You’ve reached the Donut Family. Donut bother leaving a message. We donut want to talk to you.” And how antisocial was that?

So Donut and his crew were free to wander about the town, actually, more of a city it was, but in this sleepy city it was known as a town. It was a term more fitting for the slower pace and relaxation taken by this type of society, for this town’s residents encompassed many sweetened and savoury treats, as well as humans, a mixed variety. Donut though, was the one most unfairly taken and eaten. He thought to himself, “Wouldn’t it be wise to contemplate talking to the Croissants, they are able to avoid those pesky hungry and famished buzzards, circling above, above our very eyes?”

When all of a sudden, a whoooooooooosh of a speedy object came past, and a great pinching pain Donut felt in his left side, the beginning of a rupture, he knew this was the start. Whoever had been on that wretched and fast bike should surely score some karma points, Donut hoped the rider fell into the path of some large, approaching, moving lights.

It may have been a harsh thought, but Donut was in agony, several of his blood vessels had been ripped, squeezed or burst, with the greatest of the rider’s ease. Disgusted at this thievery, this violent, apprehensive act, Donut decided to do something, and with his friends, of this town and its insolence he would combat.

They scrawled all over every available town wall that there was a protest tomorrow at noon, to come forth, gather round, where all could speak their truths. Of the pain they were suffering, the irritation they were experiencing, the changes they wished to receive, to be given, the list could go on and on, this was a given!

So at 1145 hours the next day, Donut arrived with his knapsack filled with bravery and courage, and all that he could gather to commend. Strapped to his back – he needed to avoid his sticky delicious front – was a large sign, that said “Do not touch me!” For this was his main problem, the source of his misery, that others felt – no, had decided – that he was available as a public tasty treat. This was wrong, this was rude, he had felt the need to leave his education, his expensive boys’ grammar school, and the fees for it were still being paid, because his parents had no idea that his days of skipping school were occurring, in order for his dough to be saved. Dough spent unwittingly for dough to be saved, what an ironic thought to cherish for the day.

Unfortunately for Donut, it seemed he was the only protesting participant, and while he shouted and screamed his message fair and loud, there was not an audience nearby, no passing members of the society, the town, to reap his message, understand his frustrated knowledge, and after an hour of screaming at the top of his lungs, Donut decided to go.

“It’s okay,” he said to himself soothingly, “It does not matter, you will find a way to increase your manoeuvrability. To avoid those pesky pinchers, who are not even truly hungry, but just steal because, they believe they can, and this is wrong.” Suddenly, a bright idea inside, a spark of a light.

The very next day Donut arrived back at school, strutting through the school gates with pride.

“Wow!” one girl gushed.

“Look at him!” a boy expressed.

And a croissant: “What a fashionable donut we have before us!”  

Donut was decked head to toe in shiny aluminium foil, which gave the illusion of mirror wealth to them all, but its actual use was to block the evil thieves – vamoose! – and successful he was that day and always in his tin foil truth. He shared his knowledge and tailoring skills with his all friends and they all eventually returned safely to school again.

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

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Story: The Sociable Sleeve – 11/08/19

Most sleeves were used for surreptitious snot wiping. But not this Sleeve! He wished to be conversant all the time, wherever he might be! He’d talk and talk, to whoever was within his realm, he would chat, chat for hours, until he felt his words were finished, and that to be silent the time was rightly so. When his wearer, dear Amelia, moved her hand to press a section on her smart phone, clever, cheeky Sleeve would carry his weight upon another button, to cause a video time call! And this happened frequently, how embarrassed Amelia felt, for she had to explain the calls to her friends and family, her breath was often now misused, not well spent at all.

“Naughty Sleeve!” she would chide him. “Naughty you are, indeed.” With irritation, she pulled Sleeve upward her arm, and left him perched around her bicep, there was no freedom for him, nowhere to run. He simply had to remain, inanimate, unable to commence a sneaky call, where he could have conversed with whoever might answer, and now, it was as though he was facing a brick wall.

Sleeve felt deflated with his disuse, he felt utterly saddened, mourning his former life, he no longer felt alive. Why was Amelia so cruel, when freedom she could have continued to allow him, to better his grasp of English and conversational skills, too? For, Sleeve was not a native English speaker, he had grown up in the land of One Another, where sleeves and pant legs, and collars could hide, in plain sight and daylight their wearers and owners were not there to of their lives decide. They could do as they wished – for example, one pant leg loved to fish – and pursue all their talents and passions would they, they could do it for hours, upon years, upon days. No intervention like Amelia’s was allowed, and Sociable Sleeve was able to do as he well pleased within this country and his town.

There had come a point in Sleeve’s earlier years where his parents unfortunately decided to separate, he was mournful, he was thunderous, he felt the anger between his eyes. An overwhelming pressure within, a headache growing deeper and more paining still, he had lost his familial structure, and now, broken and shattered among the community they would be seen.

“Darling, we have to tell you something,” his father said carefully. “Your mother and I, and you, will be leaving this land of One Another, to pursue new dreams. Your mother and I have separate dreams, and you need to choose who you will live with for the majority of time.” A tear escaped Sleeve’s eye, this was a great disaster, or so it seemed. He could not readily choose between one or the other, so he threw himself upon the sofa and began to cry, with his tears rapidly falling, and nose dripping then streaming, he wiped himself clean with a section of his pressed and ironed styling. He decided to make it on his own upon Mother Earth, a land far, far away, and when he had successfully procured a kind owner and built a life with them, return to his parents part time would he, there he would partially stay.

So upon arriving to Earth, he had of course found Amelia, who had presented herself as an initially pretty little picture. Full of kindness and warmth, but wasn’t this truly a farce, she simply wanted Sleeve to wear and to her school friends show off. For Sleeve was beautiful, intricate, sewn with golden thread. She didn’t realise she’d look odd with only one sleeve on, rather than two instead. Some people failed to think.

And now that Sleeve is wrapped around her upper arm, now useless, immobile, of nothing positive here could he learn, in this position he was of inaction, a negative, a contraction, sadness welled around his eyes as he soaked in the reality of no more forced or welcomed interactions. Poor Sleeve, he did not know what do. Poor Sleeve, how can we assist him, what shall will we do? We simply must wait until Amelia becomes cold again, and pulls him back down her arm, to be used again, as a warmth provider or as a nose rag factor, unappreciated for his conversational charm. Although chat to himself would he, this charming Sociable Sleeve, until a fresh opportunity arises, to connect with a video through Amelia’s devices. He awaited the chance for this with excitement and baited breath.

One day to the right individual, the right sleeve, he would connect. He would find his match through an accidental connection, shared lifetimes forged with the beauty of their breaths. His perfect sleeve mate, a soul match, a shared, startled then amazed moment, the reflected look in their eyes would scream of internal soul knowledge, changing their worlds as they’d currently known them.

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

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Story: The Boom Box and the Grape – 11/08/19

They grooved together as no other two could.

The Boom Box sat above the hotel, on the top of the roof, thinking, “Well, goodness, this is utterly boring!” No one to play for, no one to entertain, nothing worth sharing, the tunes from his brain. The rooftop was deserted, there was nothing but air conditioning vents, and an entrance to the stairwell. This was the place where Boom Box often came to vent.

Despite the illusion that a boom box’s existence was happy, jolly, bombastic, Boom Box actually suffered from moment of deep sadness, when he realised his presence and tunes were unappreciated. After all, he played songs from a cassette recorded in the 1980’s, and while the many tunes were pleasing and repetitive to him, others wanted something more modern to dance away the night with their hands filled with glasses of rum, scotch, whisky or gin. Their tastes were very specific, this crowd that I speak of, a refined understanding, a niche listening style, a charismatic knowledge. Unfortunately for Boom Box, he had been assigned to this crowd, whom gathered at midnight every Friday in the ballroom five stories below. He was tired of being something that he was not, he wanted to revel and sing, to provide his 1980’s tunes and be appreciated for the songs he held within.

So, one evening, on a Friday night when he was meant to otherwise be occupied, he snuck into the pool room, where there was being held a party, at a quarter to nine. The pool was filled with inflatable toys, the room decorated in a celebratory style, a lone swimmer clasping a pool noodle smiled at him and said, “Hey Boom Box! Give me some music, play me something until it gets well into my head!” He picked his favourite song, and away the sound did blast, the person in the pool decided to jump out onto the concrete and he proceeded to fervently dance. He seemed to love the tune, it was everything he had been hoping for, a sound that came to him and so very soon would there be more revellers accompanying this ecstatic dancer.

Then, all of a sudden,  Boom Box was swept up from the ground, thrown upwards, almost seemingly to the heavens, and placed within a tight grip of a purple hand upon a shoulder, a perfect spot for this contraption. The hand adjusted the knobs, bass and treble, volume pumped loud, and away the tunes would go! Boom Box looked down at his holder, and with a giggle of great delight, he realised he had been swept up by an excitable, bouncy Grape, who seemed funky now, her style and mood would never truly abate, her aura seemed so alive and alight.

She grooved with the mood, sung along to the love songs, the power ballads, the crooning, the dancing music, the tunes, it was all so damned fantastic! The revellers greatly appreciated the Grape’s efforts, and wind back and play and wind back and play, repeatedly, would Boom Box of his tunes, that he thought, “Stuff it, I will not bother with the people in the ballroom.” This was his place now, his room of his ultimate forte, he would remain here every Friday, ignoring the ballroom always. After all, it wasn’t as though they appreciated him up there, and the music he was forced to play them was stuffy and of it he did not hold one iota of care. And when the hotel staff came looking for him at a quarter past one, he simply silenced himself, pretended to be dead and faulty, and away for a boom box replacement did the hotel staff run.

Grape proved a great partner, she was such a warm, sweetened and talented ball of fruit, Boom Box wondered whether she had been sent from afar to save him from the bathroom’s continued metaphorical noose. Grape was the groove master who knew how to speed things faster, and slow them right down, to create a mood-like roller coaster. Now he was relaxed, with her, in her presence, it seemed together they would go far, but even if only for the night, their collaboration meant much to him, for it also meant he had not gone down without a fight. The ballroom members could be completely forgotten for all he cared, memories erased that very night, his efforts no longer forced to be shared.

Grape and Boom Box, the epic new duo, the talented pair, they ended up travelling far and wide everywhere. A continent wide tour, and then one of the world, they entertained crowds upon crowds, of men, women, boys, and girls. Their tunes reached and touched the hearts of generations, for the recordings that Boom Box held there was only one of this compilation, and when it came to alterations, Grape leaped forth and performed her dee-jaying skills to recreate that roller coaster ride’s rapidly fluctuating moods.

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

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Story: Iced Chai Latte and Hot Choc: Who Will Reign Supreme? – 10/08/19

The Iced Chai Latte knew she was rich. Her thickened fluid crept down the throats of many, her recipe slid down for sure, it quelled the need for an iced beverage, satisfying and scratching that irritating itch. She was utterly delicious and gorgeous, she was made for a relative and worthy cause. For every Iced Chai Latte that was made within the cafe down the street, half of its price was donated to the charity of the Homeless Family Dream. Needless to say, the price of the latte was inflated to make certain, to be sure, that the Homeless Family Dream received and reaped the most benefits that could be grasped and seen. Over the past month, two thousand and twenty five dollars were gleaned, from thirsty sippers who wanted their parched mouths satiated, and their hearts warmed, their desire to be altruistic a living, real life dream.

But what say you to the humble Hot Choc, who sat next to Iced Chai Latte, no one looking at her? Was she now commonplace, was she uncool, was she unworthy of being in the room? Why was the Iced Chai Latte all the rage, just because she was newer and of this world was upon a charity’s visual page? Hot Choc was classic, Hot Choc was nice, Hot Choc was everything that you’d ever want in a hot vice.

And why was she being snubbed, for being traditional, why, even her once appealing marshmallows were being utterly ignored! Sadness upon this day, damned be you now, if all that you are hoping for is to wear a facade of a crown. To pretend that you do not like the Hot Choc, why, what has she done to you at all, has she performed you ill, you used to like her so much, when you pranced all over town! You once glorified her, you once could not wait for that sugary, chocolately goodness to slip into your mouth, and now your eyes are wayward, they are too far north, they do not wish for the Hot Choc to enter and go down south.

Iced Chai L atte may be in style, but while the appeal is heightened somewhat by the charity drive, we cannot forget how glorious she tastes, we must understand this always. In comparison to the classic, Hot Choc, she is bombastic, but Hot Choc will always have a place, in our hearts, for she is fundamentally fantastic. And so ends the drive of who wins, who is the superior of them all, we cannot, and should not be made to decide, for the taste of both enthrals. Better still to order one of both, then down the hatch, down south where we will enjoy them the most.

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

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Story: The Abandoned Pink Pearl – 10/08/19

She had been taken, now where was she?

The Pink Pearl originated from the Deep Sea of Joseph, a far off seascape where there were no humans to know of. Beneath the depths of the surface of this glorious sea, were little minutiae, to be viewed of by the most precise of eyes, on any given day, to be taken in, to be seen. Yet closer to the forefront, there lived a special, and rather especially large oyster, inside, tucked within was a beautiful pink pearl, of great vision to be held, to be sure. Her name was Eve, she was as pretty as could be, a special sheen, a opalescent luster, about her body was present for all to view, of her sheen the viewers would appreciate her glowing gleam. But one day, she was unfairly plucked from her casing, and taken away, far off, into a land of unknowing.

Ferocious pirates were responsible for the pearlnapping of Eve, from her homeland, her oyster bed she knew she would never again be or breathe. So she sobbed in the galleys of the ship where she was locked away, she was miserable and experienced such utter heartache she could not live out a single positive moment in her day. The tears, oh, how many she wept, her wailing drew the attention of her pirate captors as though of them she was willingly calling, her tears never seemingly enough spent, always continually falling.

The pirates decided to hold a private, personal polling and debate, was it worth holding Eve aboard the ship, when of her misery she would not abate? They never knew how homesick a silly little pearl could be, in fact, she was a gigantic pearl, that was why they stole her, but of her presence they now wished to be free. She was far too much of a baby, she could not control herself, why, who on earth would mourn the loss of an oyster bed when here she had a perfectly superior and clearly far more comfortable bed shelf?

They landed the ship at the nearest island, small, sizable enough though, for a pest whom they did not wish to hear of her continued whining, no matter how much her worth on the black market, they could not deal anymore with the irritations she was providing, a sense of patience would never grow.

Quite obviously, these pirates were not empathetic, they only thought of themselves, and where and how they would benefit, cash flowing beneath the decking of the boat. Then, they forcibly removed Eve from the room, and threw her overboard, onto the island, where they left her high and dry, marooned. And sail away as quickly as they could, before she could even run and yell, all the time she had was to throw up her hands, and scream out, “What the hell?”

Her misery continued, for now she knew not where at all she was, not even upon a ship with others, no matter how cruel they were. At least she hadn’t been alone. At least they had fed her, given her drinks to allow her positive, continued shimmering sheen, and now, what to do, she was alone here with the swaying trees.

Over time though, she realised she could survive, she taught herself to prepare and eat the leaves of the native trees and how to dive. This was a means of how to replenish her moisture, so she would survive, for she could not drink the sea water, it was far too salty for her, back in the Sea of Joseph there housed fresh water, of a taste which she much preferred.

To her surprise, one day a ship sailed past, slowly, eyes lazily convincing herself that it was not a mirage, it was safety beckoning toward her at last! Oh, this opportunity for rescue was presenting itself, right before her very eyes, if only she could attract attention to herself! And call, call, call, call out she did, she caught the ears of the crew and the captain, she was now readily seen, and rushed aboard she was, treated like a queen, no longer the abandoned pink pearl, she was the rescued pink pearl of the Seas! All the world over would she now be seen.

Even her mother, the oyster, now a grandmotherly type, grey and cuddly, viewed her daughter on the seascape television, so proud of her little Evie was she, she wished one day they would be reunited with ease. And even if this could not be a wish come true, she knew Eve would have a wonderful life, and she wished so truly hard for her, for this to come true. Of her girl, she was so very proud and pleased, for surviving her trials and such a wretchedly painful catastrophe.

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

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Story: The Imaginative Little Caterpillar – 09/08/19

The Imaginative Little Caterpillar could transform into things! With the power of his mind he could draw forth his convoluted dreams. He’d always wanted to be a pink park ranger, or a charismatic carpenter, or an amazingly awesome astronaut who could explore here and there, or a ferocious fire-breathing fireman, these he could all transform into without a worry, concern or care.

As he gazed into the mirror after his transformation into a kazoo playing pet kangaroo, he swung his hips this way and that, thinking to himself, “Well! How did I do!” But these transformations only lasted for the day, the moment he placed his head upon his partially ripped cocoon, he lost the idea of how to transform into this or that being or person that night, he wished for an idea, another convoluted dream to come to him soon.

Why were his dreams deemed convoluted when they were simply dreams to alter, to change, the imaginative little caterpillar into another’s different life stage? They were deemed as such because he knew not how the transformations occurred, but to him they were much, much, much more special than simply lying and crawling in the dirt. He did not wish to live that life, to crawl and scrabble in the dirt and sand, he was far too intelligent to allow the dirt to command. It stuck upon him, made him yucky and gross, his transformation dreams were what excited him the most.

Then one morning he felt a great urge to wrap himself, rather than becoming someone else. He attached himself to a twig then slowly, slowly he wrapped himself with silken threads that covered his body so large. And there he hung for eighteen days precisely, being patient, strong minded, and calming, waiting and wondering what on earth would happen when he was able to expel himself from this kind of a body nest, a tight wrapping.

Then the moment arrived, he felt it right to of this world be reborn, to come again alive, and as he separated from the cocoon, he felt extra long legs stretch, and observing to his right and his left, an enormously beautiful wingspan in his sight! Oh, how his heart filled to the brim, at looking at what would now carry him, flying him around the world, above the earth, such a pleasant means of transportation, no longer rolling in the dirt.

No more did this Newborn Butterfly need to transform into other people or forms, when what had been awaiting within him, the power inside, to transform him into the unique form he needed was one of special great worth. He was now pleased, he was delighted, he was so happy deep inside, that for the next three days he flew about the place with no method to his madness, no place to sit and decide. What move to make, where to further go, and for the last day of his exploration, he laid down and from him, something small, a short burst, decided to go. His last breath of life, after his excited exploring last few days, the life of a butterfly was short, but wasn’t it so beautiful to have experienced those days anyway.

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

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Poem and Drawing: The Monster Whose Scaring Went Too Far – 06/08/19

I can scare you, I can startle you, just with a wave of my arms,

My hungry,  googley eyes will view and devour you, don’t I possess so much charm?

I will creep, I will sneak on my fluffy feet until I reach my dreams,

Of scaring you and knowing that you are utterly frightened of me.

What say you to this? Am I by all means an oddball, wanting to frighten, are my dreams remiss?

Or can you understand that scarin’ runs in the fam’, and that to carry on with this sense of adventure is behaviour which is encouraged to stick.

But one day I startled the wrong person, she was heading south down the road,

She was listening to music and smiling to herself,

Then out of the darkened alleyway I crept,

Step

Step

Slide and then walk,

And before her with my hands presented forth did I jump!

“Arrrrghhhhh!” she cried, shrill shrieking in my ear. “Aaaahhhhh!” she continued on, her eyes bulging with fear.

Then suddenly she grasped her chest, breathing heavily, here is a fact, I had caused her a suspected heart attack,

And this was no joking matter.

No matter that I am a monster, and would be frowned upon for remaining,

I stayed with this girl to ensure the ambulance officers could save her.

But they would not let me into the vehicle, they would not allow me to travel, to see,

I sighed heavily and left my phone number with the older ambulance girl, asking them to contact me.

The very next day, I received a call. The girl was alive, safe and well. She had thanked the nurse to pass onto me, even though she knew the heart attack’s causation was me.

Apparently she had already experienced three mini heart attacks in her life,

And the major attack had been waiting to show itself, at any specific or given time.

She was so thankful that I had been there to assist her,

She wanted to take me out for a thank you dinner.

And as I sat nervously at the table, waiting for her to arrive, I understood that it was a miracle that she had survived.

I am not a saviour, I was simply in the right place, and my actions forced a heart attack that was premature, but almost welcomed in that fateful day.

She arrived in a bedazzled pink dress, walking towards me, swishing here, swishing there,

And it was with a respectful nod of my head toward her, we toasted our champagne flutes to living stronger and even longer.

These days I am retired from scaring, the thought of returning causes my head to hurt, my eyes to feel paining and glaring,

For I am here now looking after my love, the girl who strolled down south, she accepted me from the moment we locked eyes, she knew it was a message from someone important, someone up above.

She fervently believed we had met in those strange circumstances to commence our special worldly love.

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

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