Poem: The Creature in the Red Sneakers – 18/09/19

Aghast was he, an appalled creature was he,

because presently he could see,

he’d been fitted with horrid red sneakers during his waking dreams.

It seemed as though he’d barely zoned out of reality, temporarily,

and now here he was encumbered by tight cumbersome footwear upon his fine delicate feet.

Greatly unamused was he!

He tried to rid himself of them, kicking his tootsies this way, that,

But the laces were too tightened, and his hands were malformed,

What could this creature do to escape this undesired scene he abhorred?

How he wailed and how he shrieked, for attention to be brought his way,

It seemed like he needed one of those nasty self-serving humans, to help him with obtaining freedom and

Be on his way.

One happened upon him, saw his piteous state and hung about to diagnose his pain source,

“Silly human, cannot you understand my shrieks, my words?” he said in creature-language, a babbling talk.

Attempting to again kick his shoes off, it was seemingly hopeless,

A lost cause.

His rapid screeching frightened the human, she hastened away from him,

He ran after her, squealing for assistance, then,

Tripped on his laces, fell flat on his face.

To his joy and astonishment, one of the formerly secure ties was now loose,

Enough to be able to undo and slip off the cumbersome ugly red shoe;

he was now partially footloose.

He rose from the dirt, half flat-footed and sprinted to trip over the other,

He succeeded in his mission, now,

he was able to slip out of the unwanted other.

He hadn’t needed any assistance after all, he was resourceful enough to have escaped,

The only thing that meddling, unhelpful human had performed was

Walking away from him, without any provided assistance,

without a single word emitted.

That was why he kept mostly away from humans, they didn’t know how to assist correctly or well,

Because for this complex creature,

he didn’t appreciate his feet being dressed by some well-meaning human, while this creature was under a daydreaming spell.

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


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Story: The Subjugating Sandcastle – 09/09/19

The Subjugating Sandcastle

The subjugating sandcastle was known for conquering all. He was self-righteous and known for growing enraged, becoming vile and temperamental when he didn’t immediately achieve the overpowering of hapless sandcastles, his overthrowing goals. But with time he would quash them, squeeze them into the rough sand dunes, never again to be formed, at least not very soon. For, their makers had long gone home, the destroyed sandcastles which had existed were nothing to cry over. They’d simply be tears over spilled milk, or salty tears into a saltier ocean’s water.

Each day, the emperor sandcastle – as he liked to call himself – who loved to subjugate and decimate, would select a new target, a fresh sandcastle made and now basking in the sun, to vanquish this new victim, for him it was terribly thrill-causing; in fact, it was outrageously fun. Because he would jump upon them, mash them into a pile of unformed grains, then kick them aside, and perform this all again. No one knew exactly why and what caused the emperor to become temperamental, but he was out of his mind when he destroyed innocent victims of the sandcastle kind. When it came to enraged destroying, this sandcastle was not afraid.

He was obsessed with power, wielding it all, dominations over the little men and sandcastle women. They had performed no wrong, nothing at all had they done, that would warrant the keen eye of the destroying emperor sandcastle he was. But still they were targeted and demolished, one after the other, each day. The sandscape would be reduced to a flattened scene, only showcasing the self-selected decimating “emperor” who ruined with ease. He needed to be overthrown. His ending needed to be on display.

One Saturday, there was a party held upon the emperor’s beach. At least fifteen children were in attendance, and as many castles were made before their creators would grow weary from the sun beating upon their eyes, when they would decide to leave. They left their sandcastle creations, decorated with seaweed pieces and little shells. One even had two little flags and a dead starfish, that was the feature piece of this constructed sandcastle, the most beautiful castle of them all. Her name was Marny, and boy, was her personality so sparkling, so effervescent, and downright funny! She was able to make jokes with the jocks, chat freely with the mathematic loving ‘nerds’. She could converse with the popular girls, and still be able to admit herself to conversation with every other boy sandcastle and sandcastle girl. In short, she was somewhat of a leader, though she was humble and didn’t acknowledge this herself. She was happy to be Marny; she was happy being herself.

But then whispers came among the grains of sand, on the flatness of this land. There apparently lurked and creeped a nasty individual, a power-hungry deluded sandcastle who thought he was an emperor, who desired to beat down every sandcastle that was here, near, and beyond there. His existence instilled into the group of sandcastles great and overwhelming fear. However, Marny laughed and pooh-poohed away this idea. Who had ever heard of a subjugating and decimating sandcastle who quashed other beings with no sense of conscience, no sense of fear? Certainly, she had not, not in her several hours of life upon this beach. She was an intelligent being, but she needed to learn to fear. Because here rounded Emperor now, crashing his sandy feet upon the land, stirring the grains here and there, into their eyes, cyclonic in fashion they traversed through the air.

The group of castles could not see anymore, they were terrified, what was in store? Still Marny called for calm, there was nothing to fear, they’d have to trust themselves and have confidence inside themselves, this they must learn. Because Marny wasn’t scared of death, or of being taken away or taken down. She knew that if this apparent enemy of theirs took over them all, she could escape, he would be the one next overthrown. Though, if he reduced her to nothing, then she could accept that, being broken in this life was a given. Especially so for a being made of sand, one cannot hope to forever exist on land.

“Come together, brothers and sisters, and hold each other’s hands!” she yelled. And join together they did. Their hearts beat frantically, hands shook terribly, because aside from feeling, they’d lost their sense of sight, and there was nothing to do except wait until their ending.

“I WILL CRUSH YOU ALL!” a dominating voice bellowed, and then some stamping upon the ground, and silence then came. “OR, I WILL BRING YOU UNDER MY CONTROL! WHAT IS IT YOU WOULD LIKE MOST OF ALL?” Confused shrieks of “control” and “crush” came from the mouths of them all. A shrill cackling and then: “OVERTHROW!” The emperor turned upon his side and commenced a deathly roll. Soon the sandcastles were in pieces, some sections still firm, hardened, the others collapsed into piles of saddened sand. But this was all a dream of theirs, perhaps they had been subjected to too much sun upon their heads.

With a collective shake of their befuddled heads, they opened their eyes once again. Everything was how they had left it, before they had closed their eyes. How could this be reality, how could fifteen sandcastles experience the same dream cycles? I cannot explain myself adequately but hark, what’s that sound? I can hear Emperor’s returning deadly roll. Now, Marny smiled to herself. She had recited to them the wrong bedtime story; her head was too full of imagination to remove her sense of committed glory. Because as the quiet, unannounced leader of the group, she had led them into a certain terrifying dream land. They would understand the significant of her power and the meaning of Emperor’s wish to overthrow others when they would grow older. She was really a wise soul: her consciousness had been around for almost forever.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Story: Super Slug – 07/09/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Story: Technology Invaders: When They Decide To Go Bump In The Night – 06/08/19

She was frustrated at every step; there were nasty, faceless individuals attempting to hold her back. They used their wily tactics to sneak into her system unknowingly, taking pride in themselves for being overly cunning. How cruel could some people be? Why did they wish to target little old she? She had not performed them any wrongdoings, nor ill. They simply wished to show off with their unwarranted intrusions and programs and smoking set of computer skills that would, hopefully they wished, cause her to run. But she would not give up, she would not allow them to alter her intent. She was here and now, and her time with her work and her passions was what she felt was well spent.

Although some might wish to aim for her, take her down for whatever reason, she hoped that with her fervent attitude, she would deter and evade the lot of them. Because some people wanted to hurt others for unknown reasons, and she greatly disliked individuals of this kind, they were certainly not looked upon favourably by those up in heaven, not at all, oh my. They wanted to create a hell for her on earth, but she wouldn’t allow it. She would continue creating and making, her creations birthed from her artistic mind and hands, from them they would flow through them.

How brave does one need to be to be a faceless enemy? To want to take down another when their vulnerabilities seem a-plenty? How courageous those individuals must be when it came to causing her duress, her distress was ongoing, and they must have loved to hear of her frustrated moans. Because she herself was learning, she needed to learn very quickly, how to rectify the processes which were coming thick and fast. She would hopefully not have to deal with these attacks as activities that were ongoing. But the question of that day was, was she being targeted for who she was? For what she did, for what she made? Was there a problem with the people or persons that she closely knew, or was she simply a random pick, like a braying sheep plucked from a field?

Was she simply anonymous to them, nothing more than a plaything to amuse themselves with, and once having stolen or self-gratified, they would move onto the next victim they could see? This was the problem with online things, certain people mixed in negative circles and their abilities were highly skilled, and they did not wish to be seen. They would sneak around the networks, with stealth and utter command, taking over computers and networks without any sense of giving a damn. In fact, it would probably be glorious for them to take someone down, and she didn’t quite understand why she was the pick, or even if she was a personal victim, of someone with a purposeful malicious hacking crown.

There may be people in the world who looked down their noses at her, for the things she wrote or talked about, but surely this was not worthy of herself being taken down. How was it fair that she was being punished for expressing her creativity, her art, her thoughts? Why couldn’t she be left alone to create, to be the person who she was? Besides, who were the real cowards, the ones with their faces hidden, or her, with her face on display, open for the world to know, she was not going to hide away. Why on earth would she allow these others to alter her life and set tasks, just because of the threats that splashed on her display, which once caused a fluttering heart?

She would not be deterred. She would not be taken down. She would fight onward, and be herself. No more fear would there be, she would take the lessons as they came. There was nothing to be afraid of anymore, because everything would be completely and securely saved. She would be the strongest in the face of these adversaries and she wished to pass a message on: Don’t bother to creep inside, when you dare not even show your faces.

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


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Story: Love Without Self Punishment – 03/09/19

With her eyes closed, she felt serene and free. Acceptance swirled within her like a welcoming mist, a self-love that had taken many years to grow, for herself to believe. Standing there with her curvaceous figure clad only in a bikini, she knew that years prior she wouldn’t have been comfortable in this size of clothing, wouldn’t dare to be seen. Now she felt a sense of quiet confidence. An accepting of who she was, what her image had become, so different from who she had once been. Unlike the yesterdays where she would shy away, embarrassed by a single stomach roll popping through her clothes, she had learned over time to simply appreciate and love herself. She had not always been so kind to herself, so many precious years had been wasted, pure happiness missed, completely wasted in the process.

She’d lived through years of feeling pressured to conform to society’s norms, to be toned and thin, wear revealing, tight clothes, they were not only the pressures of society but a decision she had also thrown upon herself. She’d control and obsessively count her calories, exercise excessively, measure the deficits, plan out every meal to each macro and calorie, all for the need to be beautiful to herself and all, because she knew of the attention she’d draw, and she essentially wanted to be seen. She had been invisible for too long in her life up until now, a quiet girl, a wallflower of a woman, barely noticed by the world.

But there came a time when she couldn’t control her world any longer, everything became far too difficult, she felt her mentality being somewhat snowed under. Her disordered thoughts and life became too tiring and too physically exhausting to keep up the effort and the pretenses, thus she allowed herself, reluctantly, to slip, and this did cause her much distress. But she couldn’t continue without risking breaking herself, in this life she had been abusing herself, and she knew that it was only a matter of time before her body broke internally, for the doctors with their worried expressions to shake their heads sadly.

Then came the slow weight gains, then faster as she binged to subconsciously make up for the restrictions, and faster still her body would grow until she had regained to her original size, original weight, and then some more as well. She was dismayed, heartbroken because of all her prior control and hard work, there was nothing anymore to show for it, her memories she might as well throw unwanted, useless into the welcoming dirt. Her photos which she’d taken of herself over time were like a collage, a catalogue of attractive to not, in her eyes, she couldn’t accept herself, because this shape, this new form, was something she wished to be rid of. She couldn’t muster the energy to recommence with the tactics of shrinking again though, her secrets, her techniques, it was as though they were meant to be leaving her, this was the correct thing to do, it must be so.

So, she carefully learned to love food again, she learned to enjoy every single bite. Not hating herself for wanting more, and reaching for the second serve, her body needed the vitamins, the sustenance, the help, to be healthy and alive. And no matter how many kilograms she was gaining and would gain, she understood that this was simply the course of Nature, and to not fixate upon the negatives, but the positives, such as improved health and happiness, this she would again and again. Sure, she was now classed as medically overweight but aside from a health factor what did this matter? As long as she had learned to be happy within herself, that was the feeling that mattered the most. It was a welcoming interior picture.

Because for the first time in years she could enjoy a glass of regular Coca Cola, not fearing that one sip that may lead to another and another, and she could eat a slice of pizza without concern or care, and she could dress herself in a bikini and parade around the shop where she was trying it on there. There was no sign of her wanting to hide within the change room, calling over her friend to view her while she was still enclosed in it, a closet view, she was able to stand outside, look in the communal mirror from which she used to, when previously gaining, shy away from and hide, and now she closed her eyes again, breathed in and out, a deep sighing. How far she’d come from those years of great starvation.

Never again would she punish her body, she would feed it whatever it so desired, she would provide it anything she wanted, without a single shred of guilt to be had. There was nothing to be self-conscious of, no matter whether her curved, bulging stomach was on show, in fact, this was a form of wondrous beauty in itself. In this bikini, her thick thighs and curvaceous hips were displayed, rather than hidden within a one-piece instead. And she somehow liked it this way, understanding in her heart that she must accept this was her body’s way of making her love what it had become, and to not alter herself again with any sense of unhealthy methods or desires or needs or wants. She didn’t care that her arms were now thicker, that her thighs rubbed against each other when she walked, pressing firmly together, that her chins were more prominent, because inner beauty was what she should prize the most.

And appreciate herself for her interior that she did, no more worrying about what others would think of her, how she’d be viewed, judged or seen. She loved every part of herself, even her two wonky side teeth, and that was the end of the tale for this little former wallflower who had finally bloomed so delightfully.

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

 


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Story: Naughty Little Eraser – 03/09/19

Naughty little Eraser, wiping away Pencil’s truths, she thought that she could get away with it, now view what dear Innocent Pencil can do! She’ll wreak revenge with the swiftest of skill, the irony at repeatedly poking at soft Eraser with another pencil is not lost upon us, the most agile of throws and pokes Pencil has at her will to fulfil. For, all those notes she wrote, those truths which she’d unfurl, detail, unfold, nasty little Eraser thought it clever to make them more invisible, completely untold. And all those words of wept sorrow, dreams of the future, proper tomorrows, were essentially lost, and now, Pencil was taking control. She’d not allow this other to win this scene, to flee away with her erasing skills intact, no, this was a certain fact she did not wish to see. Instead, she hoped that Eraser would walk away unable to rub away another’s words ever again, she would be broken into little rubbery pieces, feeling less wholesome and more powerless instead. This was how Pencil felt when she discovered her Journal completely rubbed out, simply due to Eraser’s jealousy, at the fact that she paired with Journal rather than Eraser when they all first met.

And throw and poke and poke and throw did Pencil to the little defenseless Eraser, wishing that she could punish her, make her feel emotional pain and such, then Pencil suddenly realised her method of revenge was one of madness, and she was being physically crueler than Eraser had been emotionally, and this method of attack should now be unheard of, ceased in itself instead, never again to be practiced nor seen. But she could not stop, she was compelled, to continue on attacking, her anger would not be quelled, it was rising as she recalled all of her precious wiped away words, their phrasings now never again to be read of or heard. Her masterpieces of daily entries, disintegrated, compelled by Eraser’s former chagrin, her winding words, her sonnets, her soliloquies, were gone, gone, gone, blown away with pieces of rubbed eraser in the wind.

And now there was a little pile of mess, tiny erasers in blocks of two and three, grouped in saddening heaps, plain for the world to see. Pencil grinned with notable satisfaction, at her ability to perform this process, because even though Eraser was in pieces, she wasn’t completely harmed, she was still living. Because when one separates an eraser into differing sections, they simply rejuvenate and become another eraser person, so essentially Pencil had helped their cause, though really, they were far too small to make any difference in others’ important written words.

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


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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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