A Grimm Tale

This was it, I was finally going nuts. the queen had me going around the world to get the names so she could guess the name of the devilish little man who wanted her first born kid.  Frustrated, I turned a corner to see a small figure jumping up and down singing today i bake, tomorrow I brew, next I’ll have the queen’s child and I’m Rumpelstiltskin and no one will know . 

Horrified by this strange man I crouched behind a rock and watched as his shadow danced in the firelight.  He then proceeded to tear at a hog he was roasting and hummed as he ate.  Slowly i began to back away when i got to a safe distance i sat and tried to process what i just saw. 

I had heard the little man say a name right.  I had slipped my mind to write it down  but it was not important.   Catching my breath I began progressing my way home.  The woods where the wolves roam was the fastest way.  But if someone ventured into it they would never be seen again.  So I cut around it to the south through the mountains. 

  Arriving the next day I found the gates were open and unguarded as everyone had gone to the castle to see the turn out of the event and to get a glimpse of the creature who wanted the queen’s child.  Of course being a messenger I was ignored by the throngs of people. 

While squeezing my way through I spotted the queen and king.  Once I pulled my way out I tried to assure myself I would be fine.  because the queen was, how should i say it, crazy.  She would storm through the castle screaming at poor servants who had done nothing.  Then she’d act fine so no one knew how she was going to be that day.

Before I could say a word the door flew open and in strode the little man.  Do you have a guess of what my name is he shouted down the hall.  Try as she might the queen could not guess the name of the man.  Hahaha he crowed as the child was handed over.   Before I give my child over what is your name, the queen said. 

Rumpelstiltskin said gleefully then his laughter died in his throat realizing his mistake he screamed trickery and fled the room.  Before anyone could do anything he was gone.  Now I just hope I don’t have to go track down the queen’s child he took with him. 

 In my opinion it’s better off eating hog, watching Rumpelstiltskin dance, and listening to him sing.                    

`progress ,distance, gate, event, investment, drive me nuts, fit as a fiddle

My Dream

October 28, 2020
My Dream
Swimming through the murk was dangerous, you lose your sense of direction and creatures lurk there too. Sharks prey on lost divers and so does the mysterious leviathan. Yet here I was searching for the most dangerous of sea creatures, the leviathan. This creature was a giant stretching longer than a blue whale. Its maw is big enuf to swallow a ship whole. Its eyes were like lamps that would stare into your soul. It searches for fishes that will satisfy its hunger for blood! Stories say it appears out nowhere eats what it can get in its mouth and then disappears. Finding it was going to be a challenge that would take a while.
Kicking farther into the darkness I descended toward the bottom of the ocean. The darkness wrapped me in a blanket of false security. A giant squid fled at the sight of my head lamp. I forced my way through a cluster of hydrothermal vents which sent a cloud of red hot minerals up past my head.
Giant clams littered the bottom of the sea bed. Suddenly all of the sea life stopped and the water seemed to get colder around me as it filtered past. Shadows danced with the movement of my head lamp. Deep sea fish who feared the light scurred into the darkness.
A cave loomed ahead thinking this was my destination, I steeled my nerves and ventured ahead. Remains would not leave their familiar mark of an animal den under water, as sea currents would whisk them off to the unknown.
Movement halted my progression forward. An eel showed its fangs at me before retreating back to its hole. The leviathan must not have lived here. With no sign of the leviathan I turned back. Then over the radio the captain of the boat started screaming but as suddenly as it started the noise was replaced with static.
As my head broke the surface I saw nothing, my conclusion was that the ship had been attacked by the legendary creature I had been searching for. Then I was shaken awake. You have to get to get up or you’ll miss the bus,my mom was saying. So what did you do? I asked my friend. Well he said nothing that exciting.

Appearance, conclusion, finding, storage, basket, keep your shirt on, down to earth

Fit as a fiddle

… continued

But Suje hesitated. He couldn’t get his body to move. He wasn’t frail, but also wasn’t fit as a fiddle. Retro was the muscle of the group. What if the creator of that sound was larger than he and the only option was to flee? Or defend himself?

“Suj! Come on!”, Retro persisted.

Suje thought, “what sound? I don’t know what you’re talking about”. But retracted that from his mind.

They slowly made progress to cover the distance. Suje was overthinking it, as usual. What if it was nothing. Retro was off, a few paces ahead with no concern.

“Thud!”. A lump entered Suje’s throat. That was heavy. He stopped, considering if it were more important to complete his chores for mother. But, what would his friends think? They’d think he was the steady head in the group. Always the one considering the long term investment effect.

The wind picked up. The tree tops rustled. Enough to keep the air from entering his lungs, a little gasping for breath as no air was near his face. Or that was was he felt.

“Hey, what’s over there? Is that where the cave is?”, he yelled at Retro who was joyously strolling toward the treeline. A rapid gate, stick in hand, waving at grass tops and bugs along the way. “Hey!, slow down! Retr….”, he saw his friends posture and stopped promptly.

Retro froze in his tracks. Suje finally caught up. Nothing catches Retro’s attention like there to hold him. A statue. In a softer voice, not wanting to alarm anything around them, as though the sound of his resinating voice would awaken a grasshopper from it’s slumber. With gentle reprieve, Suje said “what got you dude?”. A blank stare in his eyes, off in the distance. What could be there?

The dust came out of nowhere. In a spiral upward lift, the twisting cloud surrounded them almost instantly. Screaming to keep up with the level of the wind “RETRO!!”, Suje lost sight of his friend. Being pushed backward, sumlbing to maintain his posture. He collapsed to the ground to lower his center of gravity, but that meant he couldn’t find his friend.

“What do you want!?”, a frustration and annoyance resonated from him, as though he was screaming at a knocking at the door in the middle of the night.

And then it stopped. The dirt settled. The noise was gone. The chaos that instantly surrounded him was not there anymore. And neither was Retro.

Fit as a fiddle

Giant’s Castle

October 22, 2020
Giant’s Castle
I snuck through the darkness. Breathing heavily I tried not to make a noise that would give my presence away. I could hear the loud crashing that confirmed that I was still being pursued. Running to a window I tried to open it. but the noise of my struggle must have alerted my searcher to my whereabouts, because I suddenly found myself the giant grasp of the being that lived here.
“So, he chuckled, you’re the rat that has been stealing my treasure. I have a punishment fit for you,”he cried as I was thrown into a huge pit. Not knowing what monster that cyclops held in here I scurred to the side to limit the sides I had to keep an eye on.
There was a cold reptilian hiss that sent my heart racing. Surely the cyclops didn’t keep a dragon down here. But my terror was confirmed when out from the shadows slinked the biggest fire breather I had ever seen. Now I was between a rock and a dragon. Watching me with only one cruel eye it prowled back and forth looking for a time to strike. Panicking I began to search with my eyes to see if there was a way out.
Seeing my fear the dragon inched closer. Tring to fend it off I picked up a bone no doubt the remains of its last meal. The one eyed beast came closer to me itching for more food. At the last second I remembered the door in a bottle I had. Hastily I pulled it out of my pocket and threw it at the wall. As I leapt through I felt the heat like an oven washing over my leg from the dragon’s flames.
Slamming the door behind me I realized I was still in the dreaded house of the cyclops. Hurriedly I scanned my surroundings and saw I was under the bureau in the cyclops room. Looking in the familiar spot I saw my exit behind the trap door that led down to the treasure room. Quickly I dashed over and out through the passageway.
Not looking or caring what was around me I charged down and out to where I could continue home. But when I got back I would be a rich man.

Payment, oven, presence, trainer, giant, between a rock and a hard place

Keep your shirt on

Suje walked the same path he always walks. Beautiful scenery attracted him here each morning. A mixture of earth, dirt, nature and peaceful farm countryside. A few conversational hellos to locals and friends as he passed. From all appearances, this would be another day like all the others.

“You know”, he thought, we should go fishing today. After work. I’ll ask my friends, Retro and Laus. What an enjoyable time we will have. Friends, joking, swimming, fishing.

As a young man in the eastern town of Serpentine, he was expected to pursue the careers set out by his father and family. His older brothers were in the tax collection business. He had little interest in this. But, he was not getting younger and soon his father would push even more for him to finish his schooling and come to work with the family.

His sisters were smarter than his brothers. They combined efforts and created their own business designing custom defense gear and clothing. Lightweight yet sturdy and strong. Most everyone needed some sort of protection from the surprise visit of the locusts. Those buggers could chew through your clothing and into our skin in a few moments surprise. So, better to invest in some sort of protection that run the risk of bleeding everywhere. That’s what their advertisement brand is built on. Not a bad idea if you ask me.

They let him try out some of their newest season apparel. His friends got a good laugh out of capturing some of the biting creatures and testing the endurance of the material. He was not as thrilled, but it was helpful information to give back to his sisters.

He was almost at the grain storage silo. After filling his basket for the morning and returning that Mother, he’d be able to finish his choirs and have the rest of the day to himself. It really was a wonderful time in his life.

Never did it cross his mind that today might be different. Not without struggles, he understood, but nothing overly difficult.

Coming back from the silo, following a different path than he used to arrive. Similar enough, but there was something about changing the pathway home that gave him a sense of journey. It took the same amount of time and difficulty. He saw the way home differently that the walk path to arrive. The wind blew slightly and a dark cloud covered the tree tops to his right. “That is strange” he thought, but kept moving. His brothers did teach him to pay attention to his surroundings. He tried to apply that in most situations. But with a positive spirit and adventurous mind, he most likely forgot this more times that he should have.

That feeling of ‘strange’ flowed up the spine of his back. No recognising something was different, he increased his gate. A rumble noise from the tree line. A shaking of the ground. Like when a boulder falls from a cliffside. A thud and shutter. Felt, more than heard.

Does he run home or stand his ground? Time for the thimble to decide. He reached into his pocket and returned in his palm the thimble. A small sewing device his sister Bella gave him to stitch small tears in the fabric of his shirt. He used this in times when he couldn’t logically determine what to decide. Spinning it and waiting for it to stop. The direction told him how to continue. The small end pointed toward the trees. Face it.

He sat calculating his options. Weapons? None. A basket of grain, which if he lost would only hurt him later or he’d have to return to get more from the silo.

One lesson he did remember from his brother Fredric was “if it makes you look up, you might want to look down”. One distracting thing might actually just distract you from the real threat. Just in time he turned with suspicion and caught a glimpse of the blur of the object as it passed his head. He quickly rolled to the ground. Got his body weight under control and recovered his feet under him in a way that would allow him to defend himself from the threat if needed.

His eyes glanced through the grass field. Nothing.

“BAAHHH!” a leaping Retro jumped out from the grass only a few feet from him. He fell over backwards in stress. His feet tangled and heels caught on the ground. A sense of regret, annoyance and fright. As his breathing slowed, his thoughts turned from pain to laughter.

Retro, now standing over him smiling, caring about the wellbeing of his dear friend, but also giggling at the surprise tactic he was able to pull over on his friend. “Keep your shirt on buddy”, no one is here to hurt you. Boyhood pranks meant to solidify friendships as well as safely learn to deal with anguish and turmoil. This time very unexpected.

“Why are you not with you mother at the market?”, Suje asked.

“Oh, she don’t need me with her. Besides, I fooled her over that I wasn’t feeling well. I figured we’d go fishing today”.

“I wanna go, but I have to get this basket home for lunch and then choirs. How did you make the noise?”, stated Suje.

“What noise?”, proclaimed Retro in confusion. “What were you spooked about a minute ago? You rolled your thimble dude. You freaking?”

With a little quiver in his voice, Suje said “I heard a noise over there. It was big.”.

“Man, you crazy, come on. We check it out”.

Oct 28, 2020
Keep your shirt on
Down to earth