Story: The Most Easily Startled Shark You Would Ever Meet – 01/09/19

Spike was an easily startled shark, everything he saw caused him a sense of horror to be seen, he jumped at the sight of anything, even a malformed coral piece lurking deep within the sea. The shadowy darkness of a cavern would make him tremble just so, the privacy for him was no sense or heaven to want, need of or know. Better that he stayed away, glided off, swum away, into fresher waters before he bumped into a fish hook plied with a slimy worm which refused to be still, to stay, and the notion that he could be caught by a nasty human terrified him this day.

The worm upon the hook swayed, swayed this way and that, grinning to Spike seemingly, murmuring that it would be okay, to eat him, to taste, how delicious he would be, why, he only needed to have just a little taste, and then freedom from the sea Spike would be knowing, this was a fact! Because Spike disliked being in the depths, he wanted to free of the sights and scenes of the sea’s frightening views, and if that meant he had to throw himself out of the sea, that was what he was prepared to do. But now that Worm was presenting another way to escape this world, Spike was beginning to grow less suspicious, perhaps the hook would take him upward in a method that was safe to be known. He didn’t have to bite into it, cause the hook to puncture his mouth, his precious face, he could perhaps link himself onto it with his tail or his fins, that would hurt less, and would allow him a view like nothing else. 

As he would rise from the deep, he envisaged himself dangling with ease, looking down upon the shrinking seascape feeling so very pleased. He would see the passing whales, spouting out water from their blowholes, schools of fish in the pristine water so clever, swarming together, so fit. The image itself seemed to make Spike happy, it was a method of escaping, to be taken away, to a better place, where, once lifted high enough, he could detach himself and throw himself on land, then a new life he would find. It all made perfect sense to him, thus he then hooked his tail to the hook, not before having devoured the worm though, the living form of protein he knew would be wise to take from the hook.  

With a shake and a tug, he alerted to the humans up above that he was ready to be lifted up. Slowly they allowed his ascent, permitting him the view around the sea and above, just as he had thought, the views were just as he’d understood and were what the worm had explained to him, what he’d meant, and soon he was hanging from above a trawling ship, where large fish rested upon their deck such as huge specimens of marlin and tuna.

“MY!” called the fishermen. “WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT??” A collective gasp as they view Spike the frightened shark as he approached them with an apparent gruesome intent. His teeth were bared wide with fright, although the humans misconstrued this as threatening, he swung this way and that, trying to free himself onto land, from the firm hook that was keeping him from escaping. It was not going along as planned, he wanted to be free of these gawking, threatening men, who surely only wanted to eat him later, moments before in which he’d surely be suffering.

Around and around Spike swung, he was barely avoiding the men with their grappling hands and violent bats. He didn’t know precisely what they wanted to do with them, but it seemed as though they wanted to hit him many times, this seemed an obvious fact. He wriggled about and wriggled some more, and slipped from the hook, onto the deck the humans were grinning, their desires almost assured. He slid this way to escape them, and then slid to the end of the ship some more, until he was heavy enough to weigh them down, a forty five degree angle the ship was now at large.

Spike knew that to get to the nearby land he would need to pop back into the sea, but he was reluctant to do so, because he had been so eager to leave. What if he couldn’t escape the sea again so easily, without the fisherman’s hook leverage, essentially he would have to bounce from here to there, with a type of cushioning to please. So instead he grabbed two humans, the ones who seemed most intent on having him of this world leave, and he sat upon them, allowing them to be buoyant, life saving devices for them now to be. They were frightened, startled beyond belief, at being attached to Spike, but he smiled to himself, grinned inside, and said, “Well, that’s what happens when you try to make me into oil, meat and hide!” They shook vigorously, their eyes widened and startled, their words begging for him to free them, but he wouldn’t, after all, he needed them, to escape their hunting world.

Splash, he re-entered his previous world, and bounce up and down, he did, with delight, the humans realised that they could also survive here, as long as their heads were kept above water, they would be able to remain alive. He swum towards the bank, the shore where he would live quietly and well, and once he’d used the humans for his benefits, he detached from them, waved them off, and said his fond farewells.

“Thanks for capturing me, I captured you in turn,” he said with a snide smile. “I am no longer frightened of you, this place, or my former world.” He was a shark of great bravery, for his travels he had learned, that there was nothing to be scared of, at least not in his new world. There were no brightly coloured corals to hurt himself upon, there were no murky caverns to explore and discover undesirables inside waiting to be known, and now upon land the only thing Spike needed to be worried of was remaining hydrated and having enough air to breathe in and out with precious appreciation and grateful love. He had overcome his fears, just by entering our reality, our world. Sometimes leaving behind what we do not wish to face can allow us to explore other exciting realms.

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


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Story: Carmella the Witch-In-Training and the Sparkling Night Sky – 01/09/19

The sky appeared, to her, so very dull and grey. With her wand presented, she shut her eyes, winced them closed tightly, her thoughts, whatever they might be, didn’t, by any means, come carelessly. Carefully, she wound the wand around and around, circling the dull sky, until brightness abounded. From the tip of the wooden device she expelled a cloud of softened material, a bubble, if you will, of her good intent and will. Now the skies were a beautiful light blue, with the night tapestries of stars laid out, a confusing juxtaposed view to behold, yet still, it was wondrous to be seen. Of her handiwork she knew, that before her training, she’d never have had the opportunity to perform this, and her mind and eyes would be ailing, at observing the plainness that was there to have been seen, although now that she was more skilled, she was able to alter certain things in the reality that she lived in.

Satisfied with her handiwork, she mentally prepared the stars, in differential arrangements, newer representations, that had more meaning to her. But the stars refused to move, so obstinately they wouldn’t, couldn’t, nothing at all to do, they wouldn’t be rearranged by a mere witch-in-training, they knew that their own organisations were perfect in themselves, and their constellations were worth saving.

Still, Carmella, witch-in-training, attempted to mold the stars with her mind. She didn’t realise that what she was doing was sacrilegious, these stars and their formations had been there since the dawn of time. Whether the Big Bang or God, they were placed here, by someone or something, for a reason, and to alter them really proved a certain sense of worldly treason. It was one thing to alter the colour and shade and hue of the skies, but an entirely different matter when one meddles with something that should not be altered, nor compromised. Carmella pointed her wand at the stars, in particular now, Gemini, and shrieked her most potent magical word, “Kamenlatra!!!” It was meant to be the ultimate spell to be cast, when others didn’t cause anything, not even a movement in stagnant dust motes. The world shuddered for a moment, a warping sound, take that as you will, and then Gemini was reversed and rearranged, Carmella grinned deeply still!

“Just wait until Sharon hears about this!” she giggled to herself. She understood that what she had done was entirely amazing, yet incredibly remiss. One of the first rules of being an Earth Witch was not to harm Mother Earth, yet here she was, celebrating her alteration of the Earth’s precious arrangement, the precocious twins of Gemini were now no longer at large. The world now seemed unbalanced, as though there were no childish laughs to be had, a breaking of the link between child-like wonder and still a sense of growing maturity, the atmosphere around now felt hollow, less than whole. It was an aching sensation in the pit of the stomach of everyone, a paining, a longing, and they didn’t understand this was so because someone had thoughtlessly rearranged something, two beings that had been perfect, just so. The world was now akimbo.

Carmella skipped to school that day. She’d had a wonderful night retraining the rest of the Zodiac to be different where they hung in the sky and where they laid. Their new, brighter repositioning caused brightness in her eyes, a clear sense of delight, why, she was now the Master, she had the ability to alter the source of the stars’ dying light. She would arrive in a few minutes to Route Sixteen, where her training school, Sharon’s Witchity School For Clever Girls was situated out of the way.

“Miss Sharon, Miss Sharon!” Carmella called to her, even before she’d reached the door. “Did you see what I’ve done? Have a look then look some more!” Miss Sharon swept into the room with her cape flourishing as she moved. Her beady little bespectacled eyes narrowed, as she sniffed out a sense of recklessness and stupidity within the room. Looking for the source of these, she could only lay her eyes upon her student Carmella, who was never, at all, stupid nor reckless, never had she been known to be these things.

“What are you speaking of, dear child?” she implored the excited being. Barely able to stand still, Carmella’s heart and sense of pride were abounding. “Look tonight, at the stars, at what I have done! I altered the constellations, each and every one.” Proudly, with her chest thrown forth, she grinned widely, she couldn’t help it, of course. What a silly little being that Carmella was being, didn’t she realise that what she had done would disrupt the lives of every single living being? For the stars told their stories, their ways and movements within the world, affecting how we operated, sharing secrets of life that were able to be unfurled. They spoke of courage, of lightness, of brightness and wisdom, beauty in the beholders, and now they were warped, strangely made versions of them.

“There is no reason to wait tonight to view the stars,” her teacher replied, and with a whoosh of her wand, she altered from day to night, and suddenly, feeling faint, she realised that this child was essentially at large. She’d be wanted by the Witch police for this, how could she think that this was the correct thing to do, of common sense, its target had sorely missed, Miss Sharon felt a wash of murky feeling, a deep, insidious blue. She pointed her wand at the stars to rectify the process but there was nothing, no change, because, Carmella had accidentally locked, with her magic skills, a secret code to never be entered, because even she did not know what it was. She’d scrambled the directions to rearrange and essentially added a coding that wouldn’t be remembered, unless one were startled enough or amazed.

“Right,” Miss Sharon said after getting over feeling horrified. “We must do something about this, before others will have the chance to notice this.” But Carmella didn’t understand what they could do, even her grand teacher Miss Sharon could not alter the method made to never be undone by their hands. Her teacher knew what she had to do, and she pulled out a large roll of blank paper, with markers, fine liners, Posca pens, and coloured pencils, too.

“Let’s get to work,” she said firmly, very seriously. Miss Sharon quickly switched the sky from night back to day, to allow them time to alter the mistakes that Carmella that previous night had made.

And so they drew the night sky from heart, tracing and plotting out the patterns, dotting the now darkened paper skies with flicks of brightness, correct, no longer ill wandering stars. They depicted the upper world as best as they knew, bold and lovely, it was something wondrous to view. Carmella grew more and more excited as time went on, for their creation was taking shape, and she realised now that her errors of the night could be undone. She shouldn’t feel bad anymore, because they were going to somehow rectify her process. And once completed, they laid the depiction of the sky up high, it was something perfect in itself to witness. With a certain technique to her movements, sharp, swift, yet with gracefulness to it, Miss Sharon weaved their sky to the altered one behind. With a quick, emboldened cutting of the stitches, she felt perfection in this replication as they knew it, others wouldn’t realise the duplication because Miss Sharon had made theirs a reality as the world would soon know it.

When night time befell, the whole world was in amazement and awe. They couldn’t understand how this had happened, how much brighter their nightscape world above had become, had it been by divine hands or simply the work of the stars? And when it came to whether Carmella had to face up to her star altering deeds to the Witch police, I’ll tell you this, she was incredibly lucky to have Miss Sharon as her teacher, because with the authorities she smoothed over her student’s behaviour with ease. She was a silver tongue as well, very skilled indeed.

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

Sometimes mice just want to have fun.

Two sword playing mice,

See how they fight,

Watch as one leaps gracefully into a dance,

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

The air rippppps, ever so slightly,

A reflection of the thin sword being so mighty.

Gleeful grey Field Mouse,

See as he clicks his sword and turns,

Elegantly with his protruding pot belly,

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

Then to the serious blonde Field Mouse,

He wants to be victor of all,

Champion of the underbelly of the sword mice world,

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

Sword fighting mice,

See how they interact in their world,

Then suddenly an appearance of Chester the Cat,

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

Chester plays with them for fun,

Pawing, toying with them this way and that,

How to escape they have not yet learned,

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

Their victorious cries of freedom can now be widely heard.

Off they scurry for more swordplay,

For a long cheerful afternoon of that day.

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

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Story example: Gerald the Graveyard Caretaker – 27/07/19

Ghouls can be viewed in differing lights.

Gerald was a peculiar character, he possessed strange characteristics, oddities that stuck out, character flaws, personality antics. He was awkward around men and women, and only felt comfortable around ghouls, of the graveyard in which he took care of them. He faltered at the sight of a real person, scurried away with all his might once they were in sight, but when it came to welcoming a ghoul, so strident and proud was he, to welcome it into his home, where he would serve them jam and cream scones and a pot of steaming tea. For Gerald was the town’s graveyard caretaker, and of real life humans he had little contact, which he was most pleased about, as in his past he had experienced some negative tragedies. With the ghouls, instead of humans, did he love to converse with and dance with them with ease.

It was not Gerald’s fault he had experienced negative activities, one was when he was twenty three. The perpetrators saw him with his deep hunch, walking with eyes staring straight to the ground, laughing with animosity of his awkwardness, their mirth was much. They began to throw small pebbles at him, irritating him, then deeply angering him for a great while. His rage bubbled to the surface, he was enraged and screamed with a sincere lack of eloquent style.

Another incident occurred when he was twenty two, the year prior, when his confidence in himself was the highest, oh, how it soared. For it was this year that he was travelling the world alone, taking in breathtaking views and meeting other travelers and interesting locals to know and of their culture’s understanding grow, he didn’t need Mum or Dad as emotional crutches, but then he met Sandra, whose heart he did snatch.

She and he fell in deep romantic love, it was as if they were made for the other, perfect opposites complementing the other’s love, what a perfect, pretty picture. Then one day, after five months, she told him, quite out of the blue, that she had met someone better, what on earth was he to do? The love of his life now walked away from him for the very last time, arm in arm he imagined them, walking into the setting sun, to awaiting glasses of sparkling wine.

Their love had been rich, a tapestry that was not quite complete, a dangling thread here and there, and that destroyed the dream when side by side a perfect image was compared. He returned to his homeland with a bitterness surrounding his understanding of life, and within the month applied for the job of graveyard caretaker, instead of him having returned with a new loving wife.

And that was why he preferred ghouls, they didn’t hurt you the most, not like real life humans who wanted to serve you the painfully raw truths which direly hit home. Ghouls were his friends, humans were out of style, wondering less and thinking more, Gerald decided that he would commence a certain life trial. He would live and breathe the life of a ghoul, awakening when least expected, creating sounds worthy of the ghoul nearby, coming soon to you, the only things that he could not achieve were flying through the walls and soaring through the roof. To do this, Gerald would have to leave life as a human, and dedicate his life to becoming a Caretaker Ghoul. Sometimes he felt he was ready enough for this role, for what was the point in dealing with human life, when he saw one or two or three, he wanted them to go?

He prayed day and night for his transformation, he asked all his friendly ghouls how he would ascend to the Ghoul Heaven, where he could obtain his transparent form, achieve his hauntingly lilting “oooOOOooo”s, when would he arrive there, what to do? Gerald had to remain patient, for many, many hours. Hours, upon days, upon weeks, upon years, and at the age of seventy five, he felt a tugging behind his ears. A certain soul-like grip pulling him apart, soul under attack, physical form presenting forth one day, soul pulled backward, disconnect, and then, POOF! He was looking down upon his formerly present human self, he gave an almighty yelp!

“I’m a ghoul, I’m a ghoul!” he shouted, in celebratory style. “I can do whatever I want, I’ll be Caretaker Ghoul for a long while!” But what was the difference in being a real life human Caretaker and the Caretaker of the Ghouls, why, they listened to him, and now they’re listening to you.

“OOOOOoooooOOOOO,” we all sing. “Gerald, we bid you farewell, may you live a happy ghoul life, with no sadness to know of, no feeling that you failed. Be joyous in your new life, you are here forevermore, mix with the hauntingly beautiful souls who surround you, much more happiness for your life is in store.” And flit away, this way and that, did Gerald joyously, gleefully he celebrated for the next twenty five breakfasts, lunches and teas.

Though he remembered his past love, the details were now hazy, he didn’t need them to resurface enough, her name was absent, eventually he found another love in his ghoul, Susie Patsy Pagent Daisy.

And together they guarded the graveyard, with strength, unconditional love and hope. His former love should have remained, for Gerald was the one in the world who would have loved her forever and cared for her the most.  Lessons to be learned, of love and loyalty lost, the reckoning and strength of a solid relationship requires trust and confidence ever so very much.

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


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Story example: Shower of Superpower – 26/07/19

The Shower helped you slip into an outfit more comfortable.

It was a little known fact in the town of Wertferdshire that the public toilet and shower block possessed much power. Only among the adults was this subject made privy, for their children and other younger folk, the fact was unknown, and to share it with them would be unforgiving.

In Shower Block C, with its scummy algae scale and potential living disease lurked a shower that was most potent indeed. While its water was painfully cold, the powers it provided were available for the wise and old, for a day, the shower would transform one into a superhero or super character, their dreams becoming vibrantly real and bold!

The type of superpower that the Shower would provide was determined by the depth of hope and courage one possessed inside. For example, for the courageous Mr. Skin, he stepped into that spurting wash of frozen water and left with a second, impenetrable scaly green reptilian skin. Whereas Mrs Meek, while hopeful she were, she shook and trembled at the idea of being something else that was usually not within her. And escape did she, as a large, powerful Mouse, Mouse Woman she was known of that day, and didn’t she ransack her enemy, Mrs. Shingle’s, house!

One morning, Mister Fire Chief’s son followed him to work early. He loved to skip school, and play hookey. And witness did he, his father entering the seemingly abandoned, derelict shower block, and exit as a Marshall with hoses strapped to his chest, fire extinguishers upon his back, and a trailing fire truck behind him on a string at that. Aghast, yet amazed, and utterly impressed, his son giggled to himself, and decided to keep this secret close to his chest. The next morning he would follow his father inside quietly, and learn and watch the magic develop and change him. Then he could be a superhero, if only for one day! He would attend school and wow the schoolkids away.

But the Shower of Superpower was an intelligent sort. He knew when he had been detected, and when he was about to be caught. He did not want the young children to have this escape, for it was only for the tired adults with their monotonous lives that he wanted to assist and allow their stresses to vacate. If all the children knew, then what would be the use in their ability to daydream, to write silly stories, to draw as they pleased? Most adults of this town weren’t afforded that right, they were required to work, work, and work, most of their lives.

So the Shower, quietly at night, decided to up and leave, of this town of Wertferdshire it was time to be free. To seek another town, to set up premises and become known from utterly unknown, the curiosity and joy the adults would feel from exploring his power providing style on their own.

And when the Fire Chief’s son crept into the shower block, he saw nothing different, nothing out of sorts. Simply his father having a quick free shower, because the price of water was far too expensive at home, with disappointment and sadness, the son softly groaned. Perhaps the image he saw yesterday was but an illusion, perhaps he had fallen down and suffered a concussion, or maybe he slipped into daydream and fantasy and imagined his dad in a fire-fighting superhero way, either option, his uncertainty would remain. He kept this secret to himself, fearing judgement, until his dying day.

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

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

Barry was interrupted on his way to work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story example: The Spinning Top Who Couldn’t Spin – 24/07/19

I just couldn’t spin…


I’m just a little baby spinning top. I’ve come into the world and flourished and grown magnitudes, from the size of a wee little finger to a baby size of ‘still most large enough’. My striped colours of beauty were splashed upon me through childhood, growing in richness and vibrancy, my ordered rainbow speaks volumes, not of a creation made daintily.

Despite my appealing appearance, I have a secret to admit. It is a shameful thing to share with you, this I will readily admit, these words I plan to share with you, I will duly commit. When it comes to commencing the start of my movement, I’m too scared to start myself, for I cannot bring myself to move in circles, this is a delicate and difficult moment in itself. The very first time I attempted a spin, I became so nauseated deep within, I felt as though rats were scrambling in my belly, frantically searching for cheese and red wine, their teeth biting, paining in me in every way. For this was a special type of sickness, only known to me, the rats continued their running, running, running, as I hurled empty air regularly.  

 My mother instructed me to stop, shared her thoughts that perhaps I was born in the wrong body, that spinning was not my style and to cease, for she’d had enough, of watching her precious baby Spinner try to unintentionally remove her dinner, why the fact of the matter is, I was questioning myself, why wasn’t I born even a participant let alone a Spinner winner? My sister was the family champion, she could spin nonstop for seven and a half days, Father was a champion in his heyday: he lasted five and a third days. Even Mama was skilled, she took the pudding at moving for four days and three quarters, and here I was, only being able to take a cessation order.

I could not spin for let alone a minute, yet this did not sadden me, for I had other dreams for my life and that essentially bolstered me. Being forced to be static, I could perform many things, I could sing, I could play the trumpet, I could write, draw art, I could do anything! Not living up to the pesky family name of having spinning in the skills and spinning on the brain was in fact a blessing in itself.

For, I could do whatever I wished, and not be questioned about spinning failure any more, or anything else. It was accepted I was an oddity, that I was a family anomaly, and I was fine with this, I was multitasking daily, who wanted to be only able to spin daily? Not me, no more, no how, not me. I was the Creative Spinner of the Family.

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

 
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Story example: Horace and his Beach Side Predicament – 23/07/19

Horace was aghast – would this be his last scene?

Horace panted as he turned the page of Time Magazine. It was far too hot in this alleged land of paradise, too much heat within the grains between his toes, this scorching sand screaming to be felt, rather than simply seen. It did not help that he was slightly, a tad bit overweight, when he was at this size he couldn’t tolerate the heat as well as he could on slimmer times and dates. Yet he inhaled sharply, told himself to relax, he was here for a bit of ‘time out’ as his wife called it, more like of Horace she wanted to be without. Still, at her requesting of his trip, he had feigned knowledge of her secret she kept pretty, and pretended to be unaware of her secret habit of flying go-go bats, of this he was proving to not be privy.

Then, from the waters, in the waves there came a sharp groan, as though as a massive creaking ship had appeared and was expressing its greatest fears to be heard, to be well known, a sharp CRACK and a WOOSH, and Horace raised his eyes, a cursory glance, then panic became of him, a tidal wave had appeared. He essentially needed to hastily escape with a rushing and frantic dance.

Move not could he, he was stiffened with fright, the tidal wave rushed forth, threatening his facade of a life. His thoughts turned to his loyal yet preoccupied little Aniseed, his wife, how he wished for her to be here, holding his hand comfortingly throughout his strife. Horace now heard a cackling, now a deep chortling, morphing into a maniacal, gravelly cacophony. His eyes darted upward, and what did he view? An evilly clouded sun witnessing its fill, of Horace’s shiny form, about to be taken by either the wave or her enigmatic storm, he was, how should we say this, soon to be gone.

Poor Horace, he hadn’t even wanted to take this trip, it was only because of Aniseed’s selfish secret dream. For she wanted to be queen and leader of the world’s team of fastest flying go-go bats, and now potentially never again of her husband would she see, would she regret unintentionally planning that? Any caring wife would be concerned, would have investigated his destination with much drive and personal style, to ensure the dangers were minimal for travel being undertaken, but research she had performed, her motives were interwoven. Perhaps the tidal wave would relocate him, allow Horace and Aniseed fresh new starts, or, who knew: Horace may even return humbled and this would be a wondrous view of a new life together for them to start.

For the current Horace could be mean, and somewhat cruel in his manner, looking down upon apparently unworthy, lesser others, and this irked his wife Aniseed to no end. She knew that almost every being had goodness within her or him, and was equal to any other man or woman, no matter how much fortune or stature was held within, it was the character that she prized more. A dichotomy of differences, between this wife and man, all she wished for was excitement and appreciating others for their inner worth, and Horace was a simple, yet calculated man. But in this moment, when he glanced into the malicious eyes of the clouded sun, he knew he must feel this remorse for his past behaviour, that he must change for the good, from morals of almost bare nothing or even none.  

Some might say it was an epiphany, that God had touched his soul with his very hands, but what I think it essentially was was the fear of dying an unforgiving, callous, cruel hearted man. He may have been loving to his wife, but to the others in his world, he caused them much sorrow and strife, and now in the moments before his apparent death, he had the moment to relinquish his nasty means to his ends. How he prayed to the Lord for the curtains to open, for the wave to be dissected and fold away, gone, forgotten, for the sun to clear into sunny delightful times, and suddenly – his end was no longer nigh.

Was it all a dream? he wondered, looking into the clear blue skies, his heart was pounding, surely it meant he was a prospect to die, then shuddering, he was left wondering if it were simply a daydream or perhaps his entire reality. Nothing in this land really was what it may seem.

Horace returned to Aniseed a changed man. His character, of his previous preposterous nature, he no longer gave a damn. He naught felt the need to uphold a character so displeasing, not when he had quite possibly been a man who’d experienced a miraculous saving.

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

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Story example: Bubble of Happiness – 22/07/19

A bubble of happiness – what’s inside of yours?

Happiness in a bubble: what does it mean to you? To some, it means love, health, protection or security, and to others it means materialism and fortunes of the wealthy. To me, right now, happiness means this single fried chicken drumstick, food is my current mood, and I would say the state and growth of my appetite is rather inflamed and in itself quite wildly drastic. 

The delicate crunch of the perfectly fried skin causes happiness to grow within me, such happiness deep within, while the soft inner meat of rich texture cushions my gnarling toothy, gnashing grin. Such bliss in this moment, a simple bite into an affordable treat, causes shiver of delight, permeating within.

To many in this world, food is happiness, and for those who have it in readiness, individuals such as you and I, we should feel utterly satisfied and blessed. For the many starving within the world have no other choice than to become fainter and more gaunt, their bubble of happiness might simply be a piece of bread, or an apple, anything to chew or crunch. 

Work on your bubble of happiness, internally caressing it day by day, nurture what is important to you, during the morning, midday, afternoon and evening, even when you lay in bed awake. And then continue to dream of your hopes and your chased dreams, for achieving your happiness is as important as it truly seems.

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

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