Frozen and Waiting

 

I waited in a room cluttered with old shoes and tattered coats. There were buckets and several mops and brooms piled or leaning against the wall and a shelf with a few jars. I was in a mudroom. I wrung my hair out and fluffed my skirts, trying to make them dryer. I don’t know if I succeeded in any discernable way. My body was unable to feel the cold any more and I felt almost warm. I turned towards the door and then back towards the interior. I had been left here so I gathered I was supposed to dry myself off. The Elves didn’t often notice human suffering but I had inconvenienced them already by dripping all over their stone floors.

I leaned forward and took a step towards a thick curtain, crumpled up against a corner. My foot slipped and I fell. Several things cracked loudly as I landed upon the mixed detritus of the floor. A knee had landed against the stone again. I grabbed the curtain and wrapped it about myself and then collapsed by the door, heedless of the jars and poles now freed and rolling around and used the curtain to squeeze water from my skirts. Now I was merely wet instead of soaked and the feeling was returning to my hands. I knew because they began to sting and twitch.

The door opened and I turned and bowed my head. I could tell it was the goblin again from his shoes. “You’ve dried off. Good. Now take that cloth off and come on.” I let the curtain fall and stepped around the detritus on the floor. In the hall I followed directly behind the uniformed goblin to a large door, which opened once, we were in front of it. On the other side was a cavern big enough to be used as a banquet hall. Leaning against a stone table was a young man with short blond hair, dressed in green velvet. Beside him was a goblin woman, her hair in braids, pinned against her skull.

“Finally,” said the woman. She yanked on a rope, which I noticed was connected to the man’s wrist and he stood with a sulky hop.

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The damp

Liquid splashed down the wall. I’d tasted it and it was not quite water but bearable, better than what I was used to in fact. The cavern was uneven and I escaped from the water at the icy hill at the back. Its smoothness told that the cavern had flooded in the past and the rock was not exempt from the waters’ attention. I lay curled up and waited. My new task must be soon approaching. I was never allowed more than a days rest.

“And here you are sleeping,” said the Elf disdainfully, she stood at the entrance and casually avoided the water which had settled in pools all around the cell. I stood and bowed deeply. I was careful not to splash her when my feet sunk under the surface or when my forehead dipped so far that my hair trailed down into the water and fell back in place against my shoulders soaked and hanging in red-brown ropy strings when I finally looked back up. I did not speak. I would not be rude.

The Elf waved a hand at me. I bowed my head and I could feel her jeweled glare. “I just spent the last day with the snail. His new keeper is doing a much better job. Not that you care but the snail is almost recovered.”

I bowed my head further and stopped my self with great relief from restraining my hair. My hands must always remain clasped in front of me.

“Well, I suppose we shall give you your new task.” The Elf sighed and turned away. She stared at the bars and then disappeared in a cloud of green.

I shivered and grabbed my hair then climbed back up to huddle on the rock. My dress was stained almost black from the water. My hair weighted my head and refused to wring out.

I stared at the bars to the entrance of the cave. Soon, they were gone and a goblin in a tailcoat of red with gold frogging stood by the entrance and beckoned.

“Come,” he said in his scratched violin and gravel voice as I took too long to unknot my body from on top of the cold rock. He beckoned more insistently.

I stepped off the rock and fell. My face sunk into the water and I shoved with my arms forcing myself back up. The goblin watched, vibrating with impatience as I staggered through the water and stood before him with head bowed and hair gathered around both arms.

He glared and then turned and walked away. I followed, dripping. My dress dragged with a slither. The trip was punctuated by the slap of damp slippers and rough smacks as I stumbled against the walls and the sound of cracking nuts as my knees hit stone.

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The Princess and The Snail and Their Predicament

I hadn’t really caught on to how things work with my first post but, that should do it.

I stood in the forest watching the snail cough up strawberry gobs of vomit. The raw chunks came up against fangs and forced themselves out any way they could.

This is what had happened. The snail had left his swamp. I don’t know why and I don’t know how. I hoped he was not dying but I feared he was.

I reached out to force him back the way he came and he reared up at me, falling hard upon the ground with a dry rustle. I retreated. In all my time with him not once had I touched his poison. Not even for fear of the snails’ life would I do so now. The strawberry chunks littered the ground all around the area and flecks of poison both mixed with them and landed on their own to eat away at whatever they touched.

The snail continued to vomit and made such noises. I’d never heard them before from him or anything else as he choked a little with every expulsion and tried to wheeze with every second of relief. The  yellow green and yellow spots fading on his back and purple spreading in irregular patches as his skin sunk in on itself. I stood there and watched as the snail died.

A change in the world and the Elf was there, naked and artfully painted red. She stared at the snail and shrieked and then she stared at me. Her green eyes flashed. “I should have trusted a human to screw things up. I’ve worse for you to do,” she said emphatically and I found that I was in a small cavern. I looked toward the opening at the bars from top to bottom. I was alone.

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The Start

I’m starting a blog. I have little to do and very few people get to read my writing at present, so I intend to put some of my stuff online for random people to read. It’s a little like what Dickens did. Think of my stuff as penny dreadfuls, short stories or installments of one story that provide excitement, suspense and high adventure at least that’s the theory. My writing ranges from bizarre to tame and tasteful to raunchy depending on what my emotions are at the time so i don’t know what any of us will get out of this.

Once upon a time there was a snail with big black teeth. He had many teeth, but the two that really stood out were the fangs right at the front of his mouth: one on the bottom and the other at the top. These fangs barely had room beside each other and scraped together whenever the snail opened his mouth the little bit that he could. Venom dripped off of the tips and onto the ground as the teeth curved enough to stick out rather prominently.

I was the snails keeper. He had to be bottle fed and have his wounds tended to whenever he slithered across too much of his venom and it burned against his skin. I was the one who spoke to him and wiped his eyes when they became crusted with orange gunk, like old apricot jam and I was the one who spent endless hours on his grotto and the suits that he had to wear. Trying to keep a tie that wouldn’t get damaged was no easy task. The pixies kept on stealing them, I would swear to it, and mostly I had to order bulk polyester.

The ties were often too garish for my sensibilities, but the salesmen that passed by took advantage. Everyone took advantage. The pixies, the elf, even the snail though he couldn’t help it.

All of these years I’ve been doing this. Marriage didn’t even protect me. If only I had been a first born. All it took was one walk in the woods and I was finished, doomed.

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