Story: The City of Neon Lights Hides Something Deep Within – 22/08/19

The city of neon lights welcomed deceptively. Visitors travelling from near and far could not shield their eyes from a welcoming so bright, a manner so garish, upon the eyes it was presented somewhat violently. The lights flashed on and off, their pleasing colour scheme dancing in the eyes of the visitors, like flame to moths, and into the entranceway they explored, into the darkness of the unknown. What would the darkness behold, the neon lights only partially and eerily lighting their way, weaving through tunnels and roads and laneways, dotted with houses looking exactly the same. There seemed no one here to be seen, it was as though it was a ghost town, so who were the neon signs being lit up for, it was unknown to those visitors, their confusion could be cemented, it could be assured.

So they wandered the streets slowly, taking in the brightness, the signs declaring “Money money money”, and “Tap dancing lessons daily”, and “Enter here for some existential fun”. Another spouted the words “Do not dare proceed, begin to run”. At the sight of that neon light, the travellers became rigid, what could it be warning them from, why did the sign’s poster want them to leave? Surely there was nothing bad behind that house’s closed door, and understanding they should probably not explore they still stepped forth a few steps, then a few more.

“Hey, what do you think we should do?” asked one male traveller worriedly. Another smiled bravely, courageously, and said, “We should definitely explore, it is what will cause my heart to be pleased!”

“But, we shouldn’t, it’s bad,” the former counteracted.

“Phooey!” another called out, “let us do what we wish to do with this.”

And into the doorway they went, bowing slightly as the doorway was low, and covered with a smattering of old cobwebs of lurking large spiders and thick layers of dust particles, they travelled the darkened corridor, coughing and wheezing all the way, hoping for at least some future neon lights to soon light their way. Soon they reached their apparent destination, the room was small, wider than they expected for a house that appeared so small initially, but exploring the room now was of most import, there was surely something special about this area, it must be the truth, there must be something dangerous to view. They sat and closed their eyes now, ruminating on what they might find upon opening their orbs, and suddenly they heard a deep throaty growl, and of this the mostly excited travellers felt well pleased and wanting to see and hear more! A gravelly sounding rumble in the throat and a clearing of thickened phlegm, and now opening their eyes hesitantly, not certain what they would view, there was a gargantuan, a monster right before them. His eyes were bloodshot red, his pupils pin pricked, his hair severely cut, with green skin and terrible breath from abscessed teeth he was more disgusting than any other being in many ways, then he sniffed thickly, the sound of rapidly moving snot. He coughed carefully and levelled his gaze with the most excited traveller in the room.

“Excuse me, lady,” he said, “Could you please spare me a pot of lemon, honey and tea? My throat is now as dry as dry as can be.” Her expression was startled, eyes widened like saucers, was this monster calling upon her for chores for this hour? With his polite request she didn’t know what to say, how to take it, but certainly he didn’t behave anything like a monster who looked like him, nothing like how she would have expected. She was sorry to express to him that she indeed had no access to pots of tea, but changed the topic of conversation quickly, and with ease did she. 

“Why are you hidden here, guarded by the neon sign, telling visitors to stay away when you are simply lovely and happy, so utterly vibrant on this day?” 
“Sit down,” urged the monster, “And I will share my tale.” Thus, the travellers sat upon their bottoms, crossing their legs as though they were in primary school again, and remained silent, listening for the tale to be revealed, it would surely be well outlined to them.

And so began the monster’s tale of heartache and intrigue, of meeting the wrong woman monster, the wrong teacher, the incorrect master, he spoke of how much bad luck did he have to experience, in his life of such an up and down rollercoaster, for his lifelong work of inventing he’d only received a pittance, and his patent had been incorrectly filed and he’d lost control of the ownership of his prized invention. It was intended as his main source of future income. As each saddening fact was revealed, the travellers felt their hearts ache, and their understanding of his life become ingrained in them, they could actually feel his sorrows and his aching and how he felt and thought when the events were unfolding or being undertaken.

Finally the monster said that he had been placed in this guarded room not for his safety, but for the outside world, for the Others, because he was far too intelligent, too superior, to be mixing with these non-monsters. The humans didn’t wish to be exposed to his intelligence because what came with it was the bad luck that was somehow interlinked, and being in the same vicinity as the humans, they believed the transference of the intelligence with bad luck was imminent. So they kept him within this tiny room until they could extract his knowledge and talent, and leave him with nothing, other than bad luck as his fact.

“But, Monster! How unfair is this! You cannot be punished for being smart, for having a well wired mind, this cannot be, this completely breaks my heart!”

“Ah, but the humans think it is right, it is so, here I will live until I die, my body will then rot and then go. Deeply saddened by this mental image, the travellers decided to break Monster out and here of their plans they could envisage, they would drag him through the tunnel slowly – it was almost not wide enough for him – and out and into the dangerous City of Lights would they bring him, only temporarily. Then he would be brought out away from the deceitful Welcoming sign, and taken into the fields, the hills, where he could live, finally being truly alive. They would take him on their worldly travels, they had nothing to fear, not even his bad luck, for that was for superstitious individuals, such as the ignorant, cold hearted people, in the City of Neon Lights where he was gladdened to have departed. It really should have been called the City of Broken Dreams, but at least the humans weren’t visible in the streets, ready to counteract Monster’s presence with a fight, this city was nothing like what it initially appeared and seemed.  

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

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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.

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Drawing and Checklist: How To Be Turtley Awesome at Life 101 – 26/07/19

How to turtley rock at life.

·         Never hide, ashamed inside your shell, always reveal your true character confidently, and be yourself!

·         Don’t be afraid to express the ideas in your mind, for others will appreciate your thoughts of this kind.

·         Look in the mirror and smile, you are beautiful, one in a million, you are yourself in your own detailed style!

·         Be friendly, be wise, be kind, treat others with respect, every single moment, to do this there is always time.

·         Love the ones close to you, and love those who cannot love themselves too.

·         Extend a helping hand, be a good Samaritan, sometimes others cannot help themselves, but sadly, some could not give a damn.

·         Be the shining, fluorescent self you were born to be, light the way for yourself and others, take a leadership role, this is wise indeed.

·         Explore the world for its passageways and journeys, it’s your story, this is your life.

·         But most of all, HAVE FUN in life, be turtley awesome, and avoid getting into unnecessary strife.

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

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Story example: Little Sooty Bunny and the Forest – 17/07/19

Little Sooty Bunny liked when she could explore.

By Alice Well (LMH) (c)

Little Sooty Bunny liked to be led astray. Although she was cruelly kept captive upon a leash, occasionally her owner’s heart would be swayed. During these times she would be led off the path, the common ground as it were known and called, and into the forest into a jovial scene where characters waited to greet Little Sooty Bunny and made her excitement grow!

It was on adventures such as these that the Bunny wished extremely ever so much to escape, so she could play in the woods, with the Twin Trees and their smiling mouths, eyes hooded secretively, only happiness exuded, no negativity, no horrid hate. The Sun and the Moon chuckling and giggling with accompanying forest tunes, the Trees so free they were tickling Bunny with their sweetly sung Fur Elises and Clair de Lunes.

But Bunny was stuck! Held by that unfair leash, how would she escape, from the terrible owner she always managed to accidentally displease every day? For every movement or noise Bunny would make would upset and cause her owner’s anger to flare like a terrible disease, taking hours to abate. The only reason he took Bunny out was to get her away from the house, where he longed to lay about, and tiring Bunny of energy meant his later relaxing could be uninterrupted and entirely at ease.

The silly owner didn’t realise that if he allowed Bunny loose to freedom, he would kill two birds with one stone: allowing him to continually laze about and allowing Bunny the freedom to escape from the cruel owner, of him to be without, and to have a more loving, welcoming home.

Then one day a crafty squirrel descended from a tree, “Allow me to help, dear Bunny, allow me to help you view this world, how special it is, how beautifully perfect it can be.” And gnaw through the leash slowly did Squirrel until he gained success, with a tentative look at her sleepy owner Bunny was suddenly more than impressed! Escape did she, after thanking her saviour, and into the forest she went to live, a life of happiness and ardour. It was something that Bunny was most deserving of, something she appreciated most wholeheartedly.

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

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Story example: The Constricting Snake – 17/07/19

The Constricting Snake had many fruity victims.

By Alice Well (LMH) (c)

The constricting snake had had many victims as of late. In particular he liked to wrap around hapless pieces of fruit. His favourite, of course, was the tomato (yes, that’s a fruit!), wrapping tighter and tighter until: EXPLODE! Its shape capput! 

The seeds and mess would be splattered on the roof, wall, floor, sofa, kitchen chairs, and how satisfying it was to Snake that he, giggled and twisted and further contorted because he knew it was everywhere. But he never ate his fruit victims, they were simply game for his amusing, he wanted to find more, for this game was worth further pursuing.

One day Snake came upon a red apple, how gloriously shiny did it appear, that Snake immediately set upon it with a wry grin and wicked curl tactic, constrict, CONSTRICT, but it would not become broken in a manner that he felt would be so fantastic. 

Growing irritated and growly, Snake set his fangs upon it, biting and biting, deeply and rapidly until nothing but holes were left to view. This poor red apple was like a pitted golf ball or the moon with its craters, of his interest Snake would give up incredibly soon. For there was nothing left to alter, nothing to change or attack or squash, that he unravelled quickly without any faltering and slid into the dust and the brush. And another poor waste of fruit had wasted had he, that it was lucky the little animals discovered the remnants for their morning tea.

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

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Story example: Television Rabbit – 14/07/19

(c) By Alice Well (LMH) 

Television Rabbit was in demand all over town. Fuzzy television screens he could fix in a flash, for this task he held the undefeated title and crown. All he’d do was hop hop HOP atop the faulty appliance, and alter the angle of his electronic ears, for a correct signal or signals, to analogically find them. 

One fine day he was strutting about town, soaking in the glory of his knowledge that wherever he was, success could be found, then suddenly, slowly, he felt a slight droooooop. 

In fear he grabbed his ‘bunny ear’ and found it had gone from rigid to lacklustre, weak and limp like a kinaesthetically warped and unattractive spoon. 

“By George, what will I do?” he frantically thought to himself. All traces of bold arrogance now aborted, he was paining now, within himself. How could he perform his job tasks with expertise and ease?? Now both ears were drooping and bent, was he the only one who would truly care that they almost reached his knees?

For now, his competitor, Panda the Tuner, would likely take over all of his future clients, and saddening though it was, perhaps Television Rabbit’s working days had been had, now it was his time to experience the television’s fuzz of his own faulty appliance that he had. 

These days he is quieter, much less bravado has he, he walks slowly among the town peoples, wistfully dreaming of analogue TVs. If only he could fix, go back to his hey day, but the truth of the matter is there was no need for him nor Panda, for digital TV was now the way.

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

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Story example: Flat the Cat – 13/07/19

(c) by Alice Well (LMH)

Flat the Cat was exactly that, despite sporting a large jovial bow and a head of tight curls as a feline hat. She occupied a large surface area, and when she looked at how much, she became further dismayed and would begin to shudder. For Flat was self conscious, though she need not be, she used to be young, light, carefree and much more sprightly. But the irony was this, to her kittens she used to preach, it is what is on the inside that counts, do not listen when others try to bully or negatively ‘teach’.

For the bullies had often caused her kittens to feel down and she always wanted their moods bubbly, or at least somewhat round, a curved pleasant shape if one were to describe a mood, a bubble of sorts, rainbow coloured in hue!

Yet here Flat was, moaning and groaning about her size, of her apparent unworthy appearance, why, she should take the negatives thoughts away, push them from her stride! For living with sadness was terribly rough, she needed a cheering up of sorts, something wonderful enough.

So she invited her friend over, she was skilled with her paws, she manipulated and melded Flat’s hair into cascading ribbons and curls. And as Flat stared at the final project, her reflection before her very eyes, with surprise she spotted the sparkle and gleam that she thought never would be viewed or experienced again, now she made a pact and would decide. To be happy and grateful for her life, to not become self conscious of things that life had thrown in her path, in the way of her life’s ride. 

She was perfect as she was, an exterior and interior so beautiful had she, she flipped her curls with dramatic flair and chuckled into the air sounding and feeling so pleased. 

By Alice Well (LMH) 

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


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Story example: Wormy the Poltergeist – 13/07/19

Wormy was such a happy little poltergeist.

(c) by Alice Well (LMH)

Wormy the Poltergeist was such a joyous being. All day long he’d smile, sing, and jive away. He was from the family known as the Electrodes, they habituated down a path known as Lane Down Cove. 

Here there were many from their clan, brothers, sisters, cousins, women, children, man, and they coexisted in dutiful dignity, capturing their own delightful pleasures, from simply communicating joyously and politely with one another. 

The Moon, with his forlorn sidekick star, liked to look down upon the Electrodes, grinning from afar. How happy was he that this large family could live without turmoil or disaster, their thoughts, movements and words communicated so freely, slowly, rapidly, faster.

Then one day, disaster struck! An enormous worm, squirmed her way into Lane Down Cove to learn, to discover, to find for herself, the most tastiest of worm poltergeists, he or she would be her new satiated host. 

Upon selecting the liveliest, unfortunately it was poor Poltergeist, the enormous worm set to eat him for her tea. And struggle this way and struggle at that, Poltergeist wormed his way away, this way and that!

But he could not escape, he was too weak compared to she, the devilish worm who was set for dinner, the evil monstrosity! Then calling out could be heard, screams perpetuating fear, knowledge Poltergeist must be saved, his brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins rolled in to save the day. 

The enormous worm was regretful, but there was no time for that, in the flip of a coin, a lighting of the stove, the worm became dinner herself, how ironic was that.

By Alice Well (LMH) 

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

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Story example: Edward the Displaced Penguin – 13/07/19

Edward wasn’t certain exactly where he was meant to be…

(c) by Alice Well (LMH)

Edward was a sleepy penguin, he liked to snooze all day. Hours passed and hours lapsed, he’d nap to while away his days. One day he selected a new favourite glacier, to curl upon and rest his weary eyes, and wouldn’t you know it, by the arrival of sunset, he was deep in his REM cycle, his dreams already beginning to fly. 

He dreamed he was in motion, in the deep freezing ocean, floundering to and fro, but not a struggle, no, of course not, no, no, for Edward wasn’t a terrible swimmer at all! 

Then a sudden jolt, in fright Edward opened his eyes, taken aback by the glaring sun, why, he was beneath a shading tree, in the middle of what appeared December’s sticky breeze, from a glacier he had unknowingly travelled to Australia!!!

He tried to acclimatise, but all Edward could do was feverishly sweat, a penguin such as himself of this country was never meant, to be in such a warm, sweltering stink, how to get home, he tried to ponder, then heavily think, how could he return safely to his glacier with its calming icy drink? 

But that glacier had ceased to exist, it was called climate change, of the Earth it was like its disease, and the best Edward could do, would be to become comfortable on the land, at least he was the only penguin he would set his foot upon sand. 

And that is what occurs, when the world is uncared for, animals become displaced, and most humans avoid action and simply spout lies and conjecture. 

We could all learn from George, and his saddening tale, take care of the world or risk unwanted consequences, our lives and planet are at risk, and of saving the globe and ourselves we cannot fail.

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

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