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      The landscape had become oddly unfamiliar to Franiel. He had walked this path to the Village at the foot of the mountains maybe a half a dozen times, yet he felt certain he had never before seen these surroundings. He had never seen this patch of bright yellow flowers with their golden centers, nor this gnarled tree whose branches dropped down over the path causing Franiel to stoop in order to pass by. He stopped, hesitating, should he return the way he had come, find where he had left the path? Yet even while his mind was telling him what he was seeing should not be, he knew in his heart that he had taken no wrong turning. He touched the trunk of the old tree, and asking for wisdom, felt it’s reassuring energy calm his anxiety. The way ahead, though unexpected, felt friendly.

      As fate would have it he had not journeyed much further when he spied a fellow traveler coming towards him on the path ahead, a small figure swathed in colourful robes, wild and dishevelled locks of hair protruding exuberantly from beneath his brown leather cap.

      Greetings Fellow Traveler, cried out Franiel as he drew nearer, My name is Franiel. I am travelling from the Monastery of Margilonia to the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon, and foolishly I appear to have mislaid my way.

      The stranger chuckled merrily. Greetings Franiel, Indeed If that is your destination then I fear perhaps you are more lost than you care to admit. He motioned towards the grassy bank at the side of the path. Perhaps we might sit awhile and talk, for I know that I for one, could do with a rest and bite to eat.

      A splendid idea, replied Franiel, sensing magic in the stranger and enjoying immensely the unexpected diversion.

      So my friend you are a long way from the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon.

      Am I indeed? mused Franiel, How could that be, for that was where I was heading, and as far as I know I did not step from the path, and yet here I am.

      The stranger chuckled again, and his laughter was so infectious that Franiel joined in, not really being able to identify the source of the amusement, yet feeling all the better for it.

      And how important is it that you get to the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon?

      I am on a mission from Aum Geog, the newly appointed Abbot, replied Franiel, as he pulled out the chalice from his pack, to have this cup inscribed.

      The stranger reached out for the chalice, and studied it intently for a few moments. He took some of the water from his own water bottle and poured it into the chalice. Muttering a few words which Franiel did not recognise, the stranger closed his eyes and held the cup up as though offering it to the Gods. After a few moments he took a sip from the chalice. A look of delight crossed his face, As I thought! he chuckled.

      Now drink, my friend, he said offering the chalice back to Franiel.

      This is the sweetest Nectar you carry in your bottle ! Franiel exclaimed in surprise after taking some sips.

      The stranger chortled, It was plain water from the river I passed on my travels. I gather from your surprise that you do not know the magic of this chalice?

      Franiel shook his head. Well to be honest I have not really given the chalice much consideration, only to briefly wonder at my task. My mind has been more occupied with other matters. Franiel looked at the chalice in his hands, And what more can you tell me of this magic?

      I can caution you to be wary my friend, I would not be so quick to show strangers you meet on your path this cup, for be assured there would be some who would be keen to possess this. He frowned for a moment. What are the words which are to be inscribed on this chalice?

      Franiel pulled the sealed letter from his pack, and, feeling only a moment’s hesitation, opened it; “Bibere venenum in argento”, he read haltingly, then shrugged. I confess I don’t know what that means, I have not been taught in the old language.

      It is a curse of the Ancients, it means “drink poison from a cup of silver”. Seeing the puzzled look on Franiel’s face the stranger went on to explain. The magic of the chalice is to transform. I uttered words of love and the water transformed to sweet nectar. Had I whipered words of hate and fear, had my intention been to kill, I could have changed the water to bitter poison. The power though is not in the chalice, it is in the intention of the one who holds it and who knows of it’s magic.

      Franiel shook his head, bewildered, I can find no sense in this. Why would Aum Geog curse the cup in this way?

      The stranger turned and looked at Franiel, his clear blue gaze piercing and direct, I don’t know this Aum Geog, neither do I know his heart …. I know that you are the bearer of the cup now Franiel. Make sure you are asking the right questions.


        Twilight was in a reflective frame of mind. She had felt real sad saying goodbye to her brothers, and that Blue Bull Elroy had won was worrying away at her. She’d had a dream about it the other night, the bull had got loose and it was all her doing. Well she didn’t remember much more than that about the dream, but it left her with a worried feeling.

        What is is honey? asked Mama Belle , who had been watching the quiet girl and had seen the shadow pass over her face.

        Oh it aint nothing much, I am just being addled brained. I were thinking about my brothers.

        Well honey, you just say your prayers for them at night, and leave them to the Good Lord to mind out for. One thing don’t do nobody no good ever is worrying.

        Do you believe in God, Mama Belle?

        Mama Belle chuckled. Sure I believe in God, even though all my life people said I must be born of the devil to get this way. Her eyes took on a faraway look. When I was little my mother said to me, “God must sure love you Belle. He knows you one of his special children to give you such a hard testing in life. He knows you can take it.” Well I took that to heart, and fact is, far as I know, we only got one shot at this life. So I might as well make the best of things I reckon. The sun still shines on Belle honey, don’t you worry.

        Must be hard for the sun to get through all that hair though, thought Twilight, feeling a bit sad for what her friend had been through.

        Them’s the freaks I reckon, those ones that pay just to come and have a look see.


        Dear Elroy and Jo

        I am having a fine time here, meeting some real nice folks. Mr Elson has got a plan to put some of my dancing in the show, in an act along with Bleep and Flop, that’s two of the little folks, Bleep is only 3 foot high, and Flop is not much more than a few inches taller. Well it will be fun and it means I will get paid more than just minding them babies.

        Felix Otterworthy, or they call him “the Otter Man” on account of the fact he ain’t go no legs, is a very learned gentleman. He has said he will help me some with my writing if I would like. Well, that is probably the thing I feel most excited about. He read one of my stories, and said it showed “some potential”.

        So it is all going fine. I can hear them now doing the first call of the day, so this is a short letter for now.

        My friend Mama Belle says I should pray for you boys. I said, “I reckon them two are beyond help”.

        Well I am only making fun, got to go now, Be sure and write me something back.

        lots of love Twi


        ROLL UP! ROLL UP! WELCOME TO FABULOUSLY GREAT FREAKUS CIRCUS! THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH! See extraordinary acts and amazing feats! COME AND MEET THE FREAKS! See the Man with Two Heads, yes that’s what I said, TWO HEADS. Meet the ugliest woman that ever walked the face of the earth, that’s if you can stand to look at her! ROLL UP! ROLL UP!

        Another day at the circus was starting.


          Circles of eight, squalked the parrot, circles of Eight QUAA QUAA QUAAAAAA, he shrieked, as Becky walked into the vets clutching her little dog under her arm.

          No need to shout, Maya! Chump, the little wiry terrier whispered to the parrot.

          Becky surreptitiously scanned the waiting room to see if anyone had noticed the talking dog, and breathed a sigh of relief. The half dozen people were shouting between themselves at full volume, their voices reverberating around the tiled room, and no-one had noticed. A fat white bulldog puppy winked at Becky, and blew her a kiss.

          Lordy, thought Becky, whatever next.


          In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud


            THE WIDE ones caught maevel AS SHE WAS beginning A game. HER sisters, A boy, HER self AND HER mummy WERE GOING ON A trip. THE bag LADY heard, BUT DIDN’T understand. Night ON THE island CAME, AND sam, quintin, AND quickly yann AND THE BAG lady, moments within OPEINING THE door, A human real focus sort, WHO loved tomkin, WALKED IN.

            NO higher EVENT HAD happened; perhaps IT looked LIKE action, beautiful TO himself, able TO SEE sanso’S mother, rather blond WITH dark ROOTS. AH, words ARE wanted, FOR AN ass SO true TO BEcome aware SO easily. I needed TO read love INTO whatever YOU MAY BE thinking, AS I GO wandering IN THE lemonS, THINKING OUTSIDE THE box.

            Warm SUN, LET’S sleep; let’S meEt AND watch important water IMAGERY. Nothing IS lost, IT’S calling US.

            Cool session! :yahoo_eyelashes:

            IT’S A fine LINE BETWEEN already focused dragons THIS year. IT’S ALL happening NOW; I wonder IF finding tracy created UNtold CLUES.:cluebox: :yahoo_doh:

            WE knew THE great blue GUY WAS getting mean, changing OUR cave SO often AND SO weird .

            NOTHING IS EVER forgotten :yahoo_skull:


              On hearing the scream Dr Bronklehampton jumped up from what he was doing and rushed towards the laboratory where the Mummy, or Sasha Goldenwort, was having her fifth session under the laser. The only other person with any medical training of note on the island was Nurse Bellamy, who currently was down on the beach climbing coconut palms. A ridiculous pastime in Dr Bronklehampton’s opinion, however a young native boy had taught Nurse Bellamy something called the frog technique for climbing palm trees, and she now seemed to derive great pleasure from skimming up and down and bringing him back coconuts. The problem was, he reflected as he puffed down the corridor, that they had far too much time on this island with not enough to keep them occupied for some months now.

              A smell of burning greeted Dr Bronklehampton as he rushed into the laboratory. Sasha was lying outstretched on the floor.

              Dr Bronklehampton, medical expert that he was, knew at once something must have gone horribly wrong. He rang the alarm located on the wall by the door in the hope it would raise Nurse Bellamy, and rushed to Sasha’s side.

              Sasha was dead.

              He could see this immediately. Her skin, which just a short time ago was a beautiful and youthful smooth peachy colour, was now covered in purple weals.

              He sat silently for a moment thinking, then calmly and deliberately walked to the laboratory door and locked it.


              Nurse Bellamy was indeed halfway up a particularly tall palm tree when the alarm sounded. Oh bugger, she swore. By the time she arrived back at the treatment center, Dr Bronklehampton was reclining in his office. So sorry, he said with an apologetic smile, false alarm. Hope you weren’t inconvenienced. Anyway, good thing you are here, I believe two of the new guests have arrived, you might like to go and meet them.

              Oh, he said casually , as though an afterthought, Sascha decided to leave early, while the hydroplane was here. She said to say goodbye to you. Yes, she is absolutely delighted with the results of her treatment.


                Ted Marshall swaggered into the saloon and ordered a tequila. He adopted a casual pose against the bar, tipped his pith helmet back with one casual finger, and surveyed the scene. He cast a disninterested glance over the dancers, and tut tutted under his breath when he recognized Twilight. That girl was too big for her scuffed boots!

                A charismatic character caught Ted’s eye, a handsome man in a stylishly crumpled white linen suit, stretched taut against his bulging biceps. Success, drive and determination seemed to exude from his very pores, the slick sheen of raw power.

                Ted edged himself closer to the larger than life character, and glared at the tall lean man who had just walked in.


                  His senses were now hightened and he could feel the multi-layered energy patterns of the cave created by Leörmn. He could feel the connections with Leörmn and that they were part of him as he was part of them too. His foffing aspect just rippled inside the cave and for a few seconds added a green hue in the energy of the cave, rendering it smoother and a green flourishing moss began appearing in some hidden places.

                  — There is different probable paths for us to follow. Different qualities and different probabilities to emerge :)

                  She smiled, looking at him observing her energy. Their energy fields were merged as often when they were together. Their colors were blending, adding new qualities to their expressed focuses in this dimension.

                  — We are following all of them, beloved, she said grinning. I don’t want to actualize in this particular focus the quickest though I want to lof a little before.

                  He was seeing Salome’s energy intertwined and blended with all the energy of this dimension. Some more present, some lighter and not so focused in this particular area… she was observing him observing the blueprints also, they were fascinating… a bit different from what he was remembering from his last visit. They had changed them… well he also had changed them. It was a new exploration. From this particular interest in the new qualities added he felt he was creating new focuses to explore these and also new essences decided to fragment and explore differently, again changing the vibrational tone of the dimension… it was a continuous and wondrous process.

                  The marmoset was shining blue, still full of Salome’s energy. Leo’s energy pattern seemed quite new to this dimension.

                  — You are the one who introduced them in this dimension, he smiggled cunningly, I feel others are coming now. They find it quite fun and welcoming here.

                  They both laughed and She grinned slyly.

                  — Well I’m a Path Opener, you know..

                  Leo jumped on her right shoulder and wrapped his tail around her neck possessively. He did that little squick she was so fond of.

                  Sam has been following us also. She said. I feel she’s already with Malvina and jumping all around the place. Time to go before she messes the cave around :))

                  — Well this way then my precious :>

                  She saw him shift his attention sideway a little and his energy hue changed, becoming a bit more mustard, the tunnels around them were becoming translucent and he walked through the rocky mount in the direction of the sky blue energy of their beloved friend Malvina.


                    Frankly, Malvina seems a bit down, Tina said to Al after having read the play’s entry.
                    Oh, well, I suppose she has too her bad hair days… sighed Al who had shaved his hair in a mohawk this morning. He was thinking of trying some new beliefs adjustments so that he would be able to regulate more precisely the flow of his hairs…
                    In fact, he knew it was just as easy as knowing that the hair do not grow, just like trees do not grow.
                    A bit like the mummy in that old book from Anne Rice who could just absorb the rays of the sun to regenerate his body…


                    Malika was painting her toenails. Bright fuchsia.
                    She would spend Thanksgiving with her family, and felt some lightness would be very needed in that environment.
                    She had decided on a white outfit, with light blue and white coach purse and little heeled shoes.
                    A little quartz pendant to complete the ensemble would be perfect.


                    Malvina had finished preparing the vials of silgreen bloom’s potion. There were thirty three of them, all lined up, and now she could go for her walk to the village.
                    Strangely, she became aware of an energy; in fact two energies. They were diffuse in the background before, but now, they were popping to the forefront, and very intensely.

                    That was unexpected…


                    Salome had thought of a gift for Malvina. She had shown it mentally to Georges, and he had smiled in her mind warmly.
                    And as they walked into the tunnels, they started to gather particles of matter of that dimension around their focus of attention, and slowly started to become translucent bodies, and then fully focused.

                    The gift was following them.


                      Lucius was quite franky exhausted. Building roads, always building roads….endlessly long boringly straight ones. He was fed up with it; the only thing that kept him going was his imagination. If he let his mind wander, he hardly felt his aching back. He didn’t think of Rome, Rome, nothing but Rome, like so many of his compatriots, he thought of other times and places, and imagined what they were like.

                      He imagined who had walked this valley before him, and who might walk it after him. He imagined a girl in a swing hung from a fig tree, twirling round and round, and wondered who she was. The image came with a feeling, a feeling of anticipation and excitement, full of enthusiasm and delight. Lucius began to feel a little disorientated, so strong and clear was the image, and wondered why a fig tree was growing right in the middle of the road he was building. He opened his mouth to shout No! We can’t build the road here, this is where the girl swings!….and shut it again quickly. It was getting harder and harder to stay focused on the present and not say anything strange out loud. He looked around furtively, but nobody had noticed.

                      Phew! he said, or the Roman equivalent of Phew, and buckled down to the task of building the road.


                        About time you woke up, came a familiar grumpy voice from behind a pile of logs. Mandrake emerged. And I don’t have fur balls, he added, haughtily.

                        Mandrake, thank God! Arona had been a little concerned that , given the amount of time presumably had passed, Mandrake may no longer be with them. Tactfully she kept this to herself, given Mandrake’s especially truculent mood.

                        Please tell me what happened now, she said to Vincentius. I think I am ready to hear.

                        Vincentius looked uncertain, sighed , but agreed to tell her the tale. Afterwards, Arona was silent for quite some time. She stared thoughtfully at the fire, mesmerised by the dancing flames, gently stroking Mandrakes silky black coat.

                        Oh bugger, she said eventually and stood up decisively. I really think I have to go and see that old lizardy croney woman, and without delay.

                        I wish you wouldn’t, but I do understand, said Vincentius sadly.

                        I don’t understand, said Mandrake crossly, twitching his tail impatiently and narrowing his green eyes

                        Arona went over to the sleeping Yikesy and studied him with fond interest. He is not getting any better looking with age is he? She kissed him tenderly on the cheek and whispered in his ear.

                        Thank you so much for caring for him, she said to Vincentius and gave him a huge hug.

                        On the way out of the cave she ran into Leormn.

                        Oh, she said, Vincentius said you allowed us to use the room. Thank you so much. And she kissed Leormn on what she thought would be his cheek, however, a little unsure of Dragon anatomy, it may have been technically a snout or something.

                        Arona walked rapidly for several hours, trying to concentrate on the directions given to her by Vincentius and hoping that she was headed in the right direction. Eventually she started to tire and her determination faded. She sat down on a rock and closed her eyes. Her shoulders slumped in weariness and she despondently wished she was back in the cave with the others. She felt deeply sad.

                        And is this something you really must face? asked a kindly voice in her head.

                        I have no idea really, she answered despairingly. I don’t know. I mean I thought I knew. I thought if I didn’t then I would always be in fear. When I looked into the flames of the fire it all seemed clear. I needed to understand and face it, I thought anyway….

                        hmmm, said the voice. Well the best advice I can give you is to trust yourself.

                        Arona opened her eyes and saw, to her surprise, a small cottage in the distance. Why, I don’t remember that cottage being there a moment ago, she thought. It looks just as Vincentius described. How remarkable. I was closer than I thought! Her spirits rose.

                        Outside the cottage the old crone was bent over, digging in a small vegetable plot. A basket of cabbages sat by her side. She stood up at Arona’s approach, wiping the dirt from her gnarly hands on her apron.

                        Hello Arona, she cackled. I have been expecting you. I don’t believe we were properly introduced last time. My name is Lucille. And she held out a hand for Arona to shake.

                        I have come to get some answers from you, said Arona, firmly crossing her arms and ignoring the outstretched hand.

                        Lucille sighed and dropped her hand. Her pointy chin quivered, and Arona noticed a big wart, with one thick black hair growing out of it, right on the tip of lucille’s chin. She tried not to stare.

                        Alright little one, Lucille said soflty. Why don’t you go and wait in the orchard. I will go and fix us a nice, cool drink of lemonade.

                        The orchard was full of old fruit trees, their twisted trunks reminded Arona of Lucille herself. From one of the trees hung an old swing. Arona sat on it, holding the rope, and gently rocked herself back and forwards, thinking. She had to admit, she was, quite frankly puzzled. The visit so far wasn’t going as expected.

                        She kept rocking, faster now.

                        She hit her heels into the hard earth again and again.

                        I don’t know. She tried to dig these words into the earth with her heels.

                        Then she sidestepped her feet in crab-like movements in diminishing circles. The ropes of the swing twisted tighter and tighter.

                        Arona leant backwards and stuck her legs out straight in front of her. The ropes unwound and sent her spinning. weeeeeeeeeeee hoooooooooooooooo!

                        She looked up into the sky. Blue sky through the trees with racing spinning clouds. She felt dizzy.

                        She stood up and braced herself against the seat of the swing. She held onto the ropes and pushed hard against the seat beneath her. She bent her knees under the swing. She kicked her feet forwards.

                        She wanted to go higher. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them outwards. She stretched her body backwards and arched her back.

                        I don’t know, she whispered.

                        She sat upright. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them as hard as she could. She leant her body backwards. She stretched as far as she could. On the rebound her heels hit the ground hard, but still she wanted to keep going higher and higher.

                        I DON’T KNOW! she shouted, as loudly as she could.


                        Lucille returned with the lemonade.

                        How do I know if it is safe to drink this? Arona asked. You have cast one spell on me, how am I to know this is not another?

                        Lucille cackled. Dear little Arona, she said, if I wanted to cast a spell on you I would have done it before now.

                        Okay, well that makes good sense, thought Arona, gratefully drinking the lemonade.


                          :mummy: ok last mummy just walked in:yahoo_rofl:


                          In reply to: Synchronicity


                            Today as I walked into a waiting room, a piece of music which has special significance started playing. Someone else walked in behind me and the receptionist called out “hello Finn”.

                            Also I have been saying “yikes” quite a bit. I think it is a baby synch . :face-plain:

                            In fact I said it twice in a few minutes this morning, so I think that is twins. :yahoo_bug: :yahoo_bug:


                              Oh said Arona. All of a sudden she knew she had to be somewhere. She handed the sabulmantium to Sanso.

                              She walked, and then she stopped and she waited.

                              She did not have to wait long before they appeared. A stocky dwarf, whose presence, despite his small stature, immediately inspired respect. He was accompanied by a young woman, tall and graceful, with shiny golden hair. She was very pretty, but it was the peaceful expression on her face which really caught Arona’s attention. The woman was cradling an infant in her arms.

                              Palani, the dwarf, smiled at Arona and held out some food for her. Some aromatic orange fruit she had never seen before, however she was so hungry by now she devoured it greedily.

                              Your magic is powerful, said Palani. Arona wanted to deny it, but found she couldn’t. So she just nodded.

                              The woman smiled. Here she said, holding the infant out to Arona. This is for you.

                              Caught off guard Arona took the baby.

                              I really am having the strangest time, she thought. She had no idea what to do with the baby, or why she was the one to look after it. But she held it carefully.

                              Wait! she shouted urgently, as they walked away

                              Why have you given me this baby. I can’t look after it. Are you coming back? At least tell me what is the baby’s name?

                              They didn’t answer.

                              Yikes said Arona.


                                She was focusing different aspects of herself differently and slowing down her vibrationnal quality in order to acquire that timely touch necessary to interact as she wanted in this particular dimension.

                                She was focusing on this… cave and adding her own energy to the movement of this seasonable exploration.

                                She could feel Malvina and a young female… Arona, yes as translation of her tone, speaking together.

                                She was feeling Buckberry was also attracted to the cave of his father.

                                She smiled… her dearest Georges was here too now.

                                Salome was fully focused now in one of the bluish glowing tunnels… she rippled a loving energy to the glukenitche who turned yellow of pleasure for a few seconds, and she walked through the rocky mount in the direction of the roockery.


                                  Sean just walked in looking for sweet Tina……:yahoo_whistling:


                                    Sean put the letter in his pocket. Perhaps a trip to the Amusement Park wasn’t such a bad idea. He always enjoyed Becky’s company, and he was curious about dear old Al. Becky’s postscript hadn’t made a great deal of sense, but then, Becky was a bit like that. The truth of it was, he needed a break.

                                    Sean wondered if Tina would be there. He remembered their brief meeting, and how he’d been struck by her sweet voice. And Sam, dear funny Sam!

                                    Sean put his hat on, and walked out into the clammy Irish drizzle. A pint of guinness in The Dunloughpadraisobahairiedunkennyloughaire Arms to celebrate, I think! He patted the letter in his pocket and smiled for the first time in months.


                                      Becky woke up in a sweat. Her bedclothes were tangled and what remained of her pillow was on the floor. The room was full of downy feathers.

                                      Sheesh, said Becky, pushing sweaty strands of hair out of her eyes and reaching for her cigarettes.

                                      What a dream! Wow, I wonder what that witch did to deserve that! Becky couldn’t quite believe she’d had such a violently aggressive dream. All she could really remember was attacking a witch, and slapping her repeatedly, and punching her, screaming all the while DON’T…EVER….DO THAT AGAIN Wangwangawanga…… DON’T DO IT wangawanga… then the witch had turned into a goose, but still Becky kept punching her, causing the poor gooses feathers to fly everywhere, and all the while Becky kept shouting WANGAWANGAWANGA……

                                      I can’t believe I did that, even in a dream! Becky hated violence so much that she walked out of the room if a violent scene was showing on the television, and she loved witches and geese.

                                      That poor goose! Becky decided to go back into the dream, to smooth what was left of the gooses ruffled feathers, and apologize.

                                      She stubbed out her cigarette, and settled back against the pillows and closed her eyes. Now the goose was looking at her reproachfully, in between straightening her plumage, and huffing and tutting a bit.

                                      I’m awfully sorry about that! I don’t know why I did it. Becky hoped it was a forgiving kind of goose, and not a vengeful one.

                                      It matters not, I suppose, grumbled the goose, I must have created being slapped around by a sweaty madwoman, though gawd knows why.

                                      Were you a witch in another focus? Becky asked. Because I was angry with a witch initially, not a big white goose and I don’t know how I came to be pummeling you. Come to think of it, I don’t know why I was attacking the witch either. The witch did look unpleasant though, but you look nice enough….

                                      Well I don’t look very blimmen nice with my feathers in this state, dearie! And don’t remind me of that dratted witch focus, gawd, I was horrid. Not surprised you lashed out at that one!

                                      Becky started to relax. Things were looking promising. The goose was turning out to be rather sweet.

                                      But as you can see, continued the goose, I am not a witch, I am a big white goose now, a rather sweet one too, even if I do say so myself, so let’s hear no more about it.

                                      Becky smiled broadly at the goose. I appreciate that very much! Oh by the way…what’s your name?

                                      Angela, answered the goose, Angela Wing.

                                      REALLY? Becky said, rather rudely, and then caught herself and said: Angela! What a lovely name! Angela Wing, would you like to be in our play?


                                        India Louise and Eugenia momentarily forgot about the gold locket and walked over to the exceptionally long trunk. India dropped the locket into her pocket as she investigated the exterior of the trunk, which didn’t appear to have an opening. It seemed to have been made around whatever it housed, and permanently.

                                        ‘How strange’, mused India, ‘it must not be intended to open, ever!’

                                        ‘That makes me want to open it’, said Eugenia. ‘Let’s! Let’s open it!’

                                        Eugenia was rummaging in the desk drawers for a suitable tool.

                                        ‘Wow, look at this, Indy’. She held a heavy black letter opener up to show India, with an elaborate carved dragon on the handle. The dragon had glittering amethyst eyes, and a serpentine line of coloured stones along its back.

                                        India shivered involuntarily at the sight of the dragon. Horrid nasty creatures, dragons, she muttered, resisting an urge to cross herself. ‘Peace be with you, now bugger off’ she whispered the spell under her breath so Eugenia wouldn’t hear her and think she was a silly goose. Horrid scaley slimy stinky reptiles.

                                        ‘You go first, Genie, try and prise the trunk open.’ India didn’t want to touch the letter opener, but she was rather curious about the contents of the trunk.

                                        Eugenia was a strong and capable lass, with a practical methodical mind ~ unlike India Louise ~ and before long the first piece of wood came splintering off.

                                        ‘Nice one, Genie, well done.’ India said as Eugenia wrenched off another few planks.

                                        ‘Oh MY GOD!’ ‘Jumping Jehosophat!’ ‘What the……’ ‘Holy Moly, Genie, what the….’. After a few initial exclamations, the girls were silent, the hair standing up on their arms.

                                        They were looking down at the shrivelled features of a dried up body, covered in bits of disintegrating faded fabric.

                                        ‘A mummy! It’s a friggen mummy!’


                                          Laughter is Priceless’ .

                                          Hey Genie! Look at this. India Louise held a gold locket up to the lamp. It’s inscribed on the back, look: laughter is priceless.
                                          What’s on the front? Eugenia asked, moving closer.
                                          The locket was egg shaped and had an unusual south pacific motif on the top, and an inscription in comic sans font on the bottom. Open it, Indy, see if there’s anything inside. Eugenia shivered. OOOhh someone just walked over my grave, she said, shuddering again. It’s weird in here, eh.
                                          Yeah, bit scarey really, India Louise giggled, fumbling with the locket catch.


                                            India Louise sat at the end of the extraordinarily long oak dinner table. A tiny figure engrossed in some drawing. The morning sun shone in the window, brightening the otherwise dark room.

                                            Lord Wrick walked in, not seeming to see India Louise at first. He held a letter in his hand, and some old newspaper clippings. He sat down heavily at the table, opened the letter, and read it. After reading it, he sat staring into space for a long while.

                                            India Louise looked up from her drawing.

                                            What is wrong Grandpa? You look sad. She walked over to him and hugged him. See look at this. Look at my drawing of a flower, perhaps that will cheer you up. The painter Bill has been showing me how to use these paint sticks and also how to use my mind to help make the painting have life.

                                            It is beautiful India Louise.

                                            What did the letter say Grandpa. Why is it making you so sad?

                                            It is just an old letter, India Louise.

                                            Yes it looks very old. Was it bad news?

                                            Just reminds me of things I wish I had said a long time ago, said her great grandfather, Regret is an awful curse

                                            The little girl hugged him again. Yes it sounds awful. I think I will draw another flower for you grandpa.

                                            He smiled. Thank you India Louise. I will be back soon. I will put the letter away now.

                                            Yes, put it away now. I can’t see any point looking at it if it makes you sad, and then come and see the flower I will draw for you.

                                            Lord Wrick walked over to the bookshelves and reached up. There was a tin on the top shelf. He opened the tin and got out an old key.

                                            He walked down the passage way, to the right and then down some stairs leading to the cellar. There was a door, which had not been opened for some time, and he had to use some force to get the key to work in the lock.

                                            The room was dark, musty, mostly full of what would seem to be junk, which had been thrown there when people did not know what else was to be done with it. There was an old chest of drawers against one wall. He pulled open the top draw, fingering gently some of the items, more old letters, a feather, some pebbles, a diary, some old paintings and photos. He knew each object had a life of it’s own, memories which create worlds. He added the letter and the newspaper article.

                                            As he left the room, he wondered whether to lock the door again, and decided not to. He had a funny feeling within himself as he made this decision to leave it open, a shift, as though his simple decision had changed things, somehow.

                                            Silly old fool he thought, laughing at himself. He would go and see the flower that India Louise was drawing for him.

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