A Muddled Tale Continues….

A Muddled Tale

Part 3: It is a weird world – Three  Knights in a new world..

 

When the awkward problem of no clothing was solved, they came to a heart stopping decision. It was made in their usual manner by holding a group discussion. This meant a very meandering path was taken before the point was clarified. The conversation went something like this:

“These clothes are very soft,” Grouchy muttered as he ran his hand gently up and down the shirt fabric.

“Not very manly nor fit for a Knight. They don’t clank or need polishing.” Sleazy whispered. “But I agree they are warm and don’t make my skin itch.”

“Yes. But they are not normal but neither is this world. That hut looked like nothing we know.” Lazy beckoned and they moved closer. When they were in a tight huddle he whispered, “we are under a spell. Be very careful of what you say and who you say it to.”

“I agree, we are in a world of magic and mystery. We are not afraid. We are knights – we have to stick together.” Grouchy gave a nod and stood very tall and proud.

The decision was made. Even though they were strangers in a strange world they would act knightly and stay together.

Two minutes later they split up to search for food or a means of transport. They would meet at the foot of the mountain close to them at dawn next morning.

It is not necessary to go into the tedious frightening details of how badly they each fared. Enough to say when they returned to their meeting point, none of them carried any food or had a horse or cart with them.

Grouchy was shaking. Sleazy rendered speechless. Lazy was jabbering like an idiot.

They walked to a small stream. After taking a drink Grouchy declared it to be tainted. Then they ate berries which they found growing in a nearby hedge. Sleazy thought they were sour and too bitter.

Lazy said, “we are neither Goldilocks nor the three bears. I think they are fine.” He ate his fill which left the hedge pretty empty.

Night was descending on the mountain in an abrupt manner. By the time Grouchy lit a fire  it was dark and cold. Sleazy dumped a bundle of sticks on the ground and crouched low. He said, “there is something peculiar happening. Lazy was spinning on his head. One minute he was dancing on the spot the next he was spinning on his head.”

Grouchy frowned, “I have had a peculiar feeling all day, like I should be providing a better place for us to stay. I have this itch to make the ground more comfortable and the fire bigger to warm us all.” He jumped to his feet. With a screech of horror he said, “I’m turning into a girl.”

Sleazy nodded. “It is as I thought . We are bewitched. I know this because I have been counting non-stop all day long. We need to hide.”

Grouchy considered his words carefully. “To be in disguise and untraceable we should take new names.”

Sleazy allowed this thought time to roam and wander through his head.

Lazy danced into view. He performed a neat pirouette and said, “I have this desire to dance. I am crazy or ill.”

“No,” Grouchy said, “you are under a spell.”

Lazy searched the landscape around them. Briars and gorse were mingled with brambles and small trees. “Who put us under it? And where are they?”

Sleazy explained their theory on the event. “We should change names. I would like to be called Liam.” Lazy declared.

“I am George, ” Grouchy said.

They both turned to Sleazy. He wrinkled his nose and thought for a long time. “I am Sam.” With a deep furrow spreading across his forehead he admitted, “though it will seem strange to be called that, why don’t we stick to our initials?”

So they became G, S, L.

“We need to get moving as far away from here as possible.” G said.

“In the morning, would be fine with me.” S said to L only to find L had twirled out of sight.

 

 

Maria’s – A Muddled Fairy Tale – Part 2.

Scrumptious Witch.  My side of the tale.

When those three moaning, tiresome knights, kept knocking on my door asking for favors I could not give, I became a little sick and tired of them.

After all when a  pretty, blonde and intelligent witch is trying to snag a Prince Charming having three dolts hanging around her hut is not exactly saying “come and get me” to every available prince, is it?

They were following me or so it seemed. Everywhere I looked there they were. Even when I nipped out late one evening to find come beetle juice there they were: one hopping on his armor the other moaning about being beaten and the third stemming the flow of blood from another self-inflicted injury during a jousting match.

I pretended to brush my hair while sitting not to far away and listened to them. It was apparent they were useless. They would always be moaning and groaning. Something drastic had to be done.  If I was to push them onto another witch I would need help or a really sneaky spell.

I decided if I solved their problems, I would be rid of them but that might make me famous. And then I would have every ruddy knight on the planet camped outside my door.

If the path to a hut containing treasure (me) is blocked by a mountain of knights it would not be enticing to a handsome Prince.

My solution was simple. It happened in a moment of  blinding revelation. I needed to stash them somewhere safe. And in return for their removal I would give them each a gift.

This last bit took some time. Gifts are not something to be bandied about, and this is what I came up with:

Lazy whose armor was always the grottiest would be transformed into an ultra clean cleaner, seeing dirt where no one else could.

Grouchy’s temper would vanish. His anti social side would morph into a person who loves to entertain.

Sleazy lack of interest in everything would turn around. He would become a person needing an answer.

So the spell was cast. I took my time and put them in a deep sleep, they would only be awakened when the world was in need of knights big and small once again.

Unfortunately for me while I was doing the spell that big-headed oaf, Always-Right-Knight stumbled upon me in full moon light dance and chant mode. He wished to join me so he too joined their party. But I was cautious.  I removed him a distance from the others and decided not to meddle with an already arrogant overbearing idiot.

In my defense we were in need of three good solid supports for the bridge and guess who found them?

Yes. Me.

Hopefully the future world will be an amazing place where knights will be true honest and happy.

Bob’s Diary: I am in this chapter: Moving On. Chapter 2

2. The Meeting

A shout of delight announced the arrival of the third place team across the finish line. Ally noted his happiness and could appreciate how well he had done. She suspected he would have preferred to finish in first place. Taking a deep breath she walked forward in her usual energetic bouncy manner towards Steve. She decided to disregard her stinging hand. She couldn’t prove he had intended to hit her.

Hand outstretched she congratulated him. He ignored her offered hand, saying, “You were lucky this time.”

Ally nodded at him and turned away. She had expected no more from him. She could see the third prize winner breathless and smiling making a fuss of his dogs. He was new to racing but she had the odd sensation that they had met before.

Steve’s next words brought her attention hurtling back to him.”Racing is no place for a woman, but if you were looking for attention to get your dogs noticed. It worked. I’ll take your lead dog off your hands. She is the best of an okay lot. ”

She acknowledged his words with a cool tone in her reply. “I’m not asking for anyone to take any one of my dogs, off my hands, as you so sweetly put it. And they are much better than okay.”

His next words put a chill racing through her, “I’ll wait, you will be glad of the money soon enough but I won’t make as generous an offer the next time. It was a lucky win. You and I know that.”

With his comment swirling in her head Ally said, “Hmm. I suppose it was down to luck that I walked the route earlier and got thoroughly soaked. You should know conditions can change in a few minutes depending on weather and how many races are run before ours.”

His expression became sterner. He moved closer. He towered over her as he began, “now look here.”

He got no further because a smooth warm voice interrupted Steve saying, “I didn’t realise this was a contact sport. If you are looking for an opponent, next time please make an appointment with me. I’d be happy to knock some sense and manners into you, Steve.”

Ally watching Steve’s face recognised the dangerous gleam in his eyes. She looked at the newcomer. She wasn’t prepared for the cold calculating look in his eyes. Turning to Ally he said with a warm smile, “She’s one smart, fast dog and you handled your team like a professional. I, on the other hand, made a mess of the last kilometre especially that bend.”

Steve looked at him and grunted, “Great Tom. You know nothing. Just you remember what we talked about before.” He turned on his heel and left them.

Shoving his sunglasses to the top of his head the man before her said, ‘Now the oaf has left let’s start again. Thanks for a great race. I’m Tom Lynch and I really enjoyed that. It was exhilarating.’

Her cold hand was enfolded in his large warm hand. As they shook hands a ripple of energy coursed through her causing her to let her hand drop from his. Looking up at him Ally discovered she was being watched by the darkest pair of eyes she had ever seen.

“I look forward to racing you again and I hope it will be soon.” Tom said leaning towards her.

Ally felt she might be swallowed up by those eyes. She opened her mouth but didn’t get a chance to reply because the moment was lost as she was surrounded by a group of older men who were loudly congratulating her on her win.

She was aware of Tom standing to one side listening to the murmurs of, ‘well done Ally love,’ and “you have done Sam proud. Good girl.”  Then she forgot everything. The mention of Sam’s name brought tears to her eyes. Ally noticed some of the men wiping their own eyes as they turned away. Ally’s dad, Sam, had been respected and loved in this racing world. She missed him, but racing brought his memory closer to her.

“May I offer my sincerest sympathy?” Tom’s voice was soft but she jumped when he spoke, for a moment she had forgotten him.

The warmth and sincerity in his voice got to her. Ally blinking furiously to dispel the further rush of tears, nodded her head. “Thanks. He got me into this mess in the first place.” All about them people were busy, shouting instructions to others or to barking dogs.

Tom kicked at a tuft of grass at his feet as he said, “Me too. I came to watch a race and met Sam. His enthusiasm encouraged me to pull Mac off the sidelines. He gave me a lot. Tips, advice and his time.”

As he spoke his team had her attention. Ally chewed on her bottom lip waiting for a break in conversation to give him the bad news. She managed to suppress a grin when she saw two of them chewing through their shiny new harness. Her words sharper than she intended, “I think you should rescue your gear. They appear to like the taste.”

Tom glanced behind him and groaned. He was moving towards them as he said, “Thank you and again, I’m sorry about Sam. Watch out for us next time. I’ll be looking for you.”

Ally dripping mud and water looked towards her team who were in a mucky but happy state.  She walked over to them. After giving each dog a hug and praising them Ally became aware that one was missing: Bob.

She hadn’t seen him sitting at the finish line with Bill, her father’s best friend. Puzzled, Ally went in search of her team cheerleader. She discovered he had ditched Bill. Bob was sitting under a golf umbrella, with a lady. Ally noting her grey hair and twinkling eyes and gentle way of speaking to the dog, groaned. He had gained another fan.

The lady was enjoying a drink and a sandwich. Bob, Ally noticed, was being very attentive and appreciative. A sandwich was placed before him. He carefully inspected it, nudging aside the top layer of bread. Thin slices of cucumber and ham were swallowed in a hurry when he saw Ally thundering his way.

“I told you not to go around begging. Bob, what am I going to do with you? Can’t I leave you for a moment? Bill was minding you, what happened?” Ally paused to glance at Bob’s hostess.

“I’m sorry. It’s my fault, I fed him. You look tired and wet. Would you like some tea?” Bob’s new friend sounded concerned.

“No, thank you.” Ally gritted her teeth and reminded herself to be polite. After all, this lady knew nothing about her wayward dog’s love of begging.

“Bill had a job to do. He asked us to keep each other company. I do think you are being a bit hard on Bob.  He has been great fun while my son deserted me to chase some woman or dogs. You know what men are like, always chasing something.” She smiled at Ally. With a flick of her thin wrist she apologized, “Bob reminds me of him. So handsome that you can’t refuse anything he asks. Please don’t scold Bob. He’s a child; look at those soulful sad eyes.”

Ally remembered her manners. “Thank you for minding him. However he’s a bold child. We must go. Come on Bob, up and at ’em.” She didn’t have to say another word, the dog got to his feet with difficulty and lumbered after her. Ally turned to him and said, “I hope the cucumber gives you trouble. You deserve it.”

His loud belch ended the conversation.

Moving On is now on Sale on Amazon.

Maria’s: Moving On

E-Book Cover

Illustration by:  Constantinos Thersippos Karentzos –  “Field”, a digital sketch of an original artwork, with model Sofia Doulgeraki

Moving On

 

Ally O’Brien s world has been knocked sideways by the death of her father. The breakup of her marriage leaves her feeling disillusioned about love.  For this romantic Irishwoman being a divorcee is not a trophy.

Ally wishes to move on with her life.

Trouble, she believed had arrived into her life via her inheritance.  Her inheritance consisted of her family home which was in need of repair and her father’s five dogs. Four of the dogs were part of his racing team. Ally returns to the sport of dog sledding, on wheels. She rediscovers the joy of competing and occasionally winning.

Tom Lynch is everything Ally should avoid, handsome and charming, with a different woman beside him each day of the week. He is used to winning. A woman who is indifferent to his charm creates a challenge.

Ally is certain of one thing, love is not for her.

However, Ally is everything Tom has been searching for.

 

It is available on Amazon  in paperback and on kindle.

 

Maria’s Stuff: Sunday without dogs

I had a day out with a difference on Saturday, it took a lot of persuasion to get Bob smiling again because I left him at home. Thank you to Meath River Rescue for letting me tag along.

ipp

To make it up to him I brought him to the wood searching for an Ogre to chase.

ipp ipp ipp

As you can see it took a long time, with many stop offs along the way.

ipp

 

 

 

 

Bob’s Diary: To cheer Maria up…

talking 1Yesterday was Mother’s day and though her two kids did an amazing job, cooking dinner and surprising her with some spectacular bird earrings. I know Maria still missed her own mum… so….

We decided to cheer her up by beginning our expedition plans to find that Ogre.

I’ve been watching Dora, and learnt a lot,

Looking for Dora the Explorer.

Looking for Dora the Explorer.

So I now know preparation is the key for finding a species, in this case an Ogre. We started by gathering together the following items:

stuff in barrow

1.  Food

 2. Fairy Cakes

3. In case of emergency phone

4. Binoculars

5. Food

6.  First aid kit and book.

7.  A silver star

8. –  We are still waiting on this one,  it is a map of the wood where he lives …until then we will  practice our drills…

talking 2

Ellie:  Hang on a moment, Bob. Why have we got a star?

Bob: all travellers know that if you are lost you can find your way by looking at stars, so we are bringing our own, just in case

ball on stick 1

Ellie: And a ball on a stick?

Bob: Its the old donkey thing, you know donkey being led by a carrot on a stick,

Ellie: No I don’t understand.

Bob: You are a collie/husky, you like balls, see I’ll show you..

donkey

Ellie: Nope sorry I don’t get it..

Bob: Don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it. We just have to pick the correct mode of transport to be pulled.

2nd veh

 Ellie: now that looks plain stupid.

Bob: which one?

3rd veh

vehicle 1

 

Ellie:  Hmm.. I don’t think you’ll get any donkey to pull any of those.

ellies final word

 

But I wouldn’t mind a drive in a Ferrari.

Bob’s Diary: Who let him in?

Friday, I had a great dream and a pretty nifty sleep,

bob sleep

then I noticed

bobs discovery

Him.       Who let the bear in?

ellie and bear

 Ellie wasn’t impressed either.

So….

circle the wagons

We decided to circle the wagons, tighten the defense line.

Above all protect… our dinners.

A prisoner beneath Tara of the High Kings

Macha, The Morrigu, a witch, a warrior of legends long past. She is a prisoner  in the valley beneath the shadow of the sacred mountain of Tara where High Kings flourished, fought and died.

Time means nothing to Macha. Years slip by her, as do the many who come out of curiosity to visit the ancient site at Tara. They wish to catch a glimpse of an ancient magical atmosphere to help them create a better vision of what had been.

Macha pays them no heed for mirroring their curious state will only wreck havoc with her energy levels. She knows what she is: an unseen shadow lurking behind the tiny hillock that Tara has become.

She delights in her dreams, filled of greatness, people and feats. She longs to hear the battle cries, the demented wailing of those mourning. To smell the air after battle, acrid and heavy with the stench of death.  A time like no other, she chortles.

The present holds no meaning for her unless she is handed the key to her freedom. Thinking of this her much sought,  promised freedom brings far too great a pain for her. She knows it will happen, but when? The words roll around her mind.

She drifts for a second or is it centuries? Here time has lost all meaning to her. Despite her intentions, entombed in this non-existent world of hers a tiny hope flares. If only he would come, she muses on that ecstatic moment when her freedom will erupt like a fountain eager to catch its first glimpse of all above the crust of the earth.

This freedom, which this ancient druidess craves holds so much promise and here she stops her dreaming, freedom is beyond her comprehension after so many years of captivity.

This state of captivity irritates her. These binding unseen chains of magic which keeps her trapped in the depths of the earth.  Here there is darkness but not solitude for the earth spinning on its axis is like a tired old machine and deep within its mechanical depths it grinds and groans in an ever ending interlinked spiral made of hope and despair.

Since her birth Macha was enchanted by stories. Tales of human accomplishments and disasters are her favourite, languages are another and she longs to hear her native tongue spoken again.  When I was young…. The words only remind her of her useless state and she resorts to humour. Oh’ how fickle we are when youth holds us in its enthusiastic grasp, she chortles. Tired now from all the, what iffing she succumbs to the mind numbing darkness muttering her mantra, “I will be ready for you when you set foot on Tara, I will know.”

Children’s Story: Millie Plants Ideas

 

Millie loves to help in the garden.  “Squish, squash,” Millie sang as she jumped up and down on the seeds she planted.  She wore her favorite bright green boots.

Granddad said, “be kind to them Millie.”

“I am. See, first I dig a hole, then I cover them up with a blanket of soil. Then I make sure they are tucked in good and safe.”

Granddad said, “Jumping on them and shouting isn’t being gentle. If you are gentle surprising things can happen,” Granddad said. “Try it and see.”

Millie loves surprises. She decided to try being gentle to the animals around her. She sat on the grass whispering to Bob, (her dog) , Brandy (Granddad’s lazy cat) and a fat blackbird who sat on the fence.

Millie said, “Brandy I know you would love to catch the biggest mouse in the whole world.” He looked at her then went back to washing his paws.

“Mr. Blackbird, I know you will sing the best song ever.” The blackbird flew away.

“Bob you will learn to smile.” Millie said. “And I will plant my ideas in the garden to grow.”

Granddad looked at his garden. It was very neat, “but perhaps not in the vegetable beds.”

Millie went into the house to find ideas to plant.

She found a cupcake recipe. She folded it over and sprinkled it with sugar.

Outside in the garden she picked the sunniest spot in the flower bed. She dug a large hole. Millie pressed the folded recipe into the earth. On top of it she placed a red cherry. “I love cherries.”

In the house she found an old hat. “I love hats but you need a scarf,” she murmured carrying it outside. With a soft ‘plonk’ it went into the ground.

After their lunch of tomato soup and fruitcake Millie went to help Granddad with his digging.

By five o clock that evening she was tired. She sat on an old bucket and asked the blackbird. “Did you learn a sweet song?”

His answer was a sweet musical song. Millie smiled.

Granddad said, “I told you, being kind and gentle works.”

Millie went in search of Brandy. She discovered he had found and eaten her two chocolate mice. “Don’t be sick,” she warned him.

She went in search of Bob. She searched the whole house for him but could not find him.

“Millie, come and look at this.” Granddad shouted.

Down in Millie’s special flower bed she discovered a smiling Bob wearing a straw hat with a red scarf tied dangling from the brim. Bob was eating a large cherry cupcake. Granddad was sitting beside him on the grass minding four cherry cupcakes.

“Great work Millie. Try the hat on.”

She did. “You were right Granddad. Surprising things happen when you are gentle and kind.”

They sat wearing big smiles as they ate cherry cupcakes in the evening sun.