Flash Fiction Friday: Your Prompt: Write a fairy tale with this starter: “Once upon a time” and these words: Widow, Woodcutter, Witch, Willow, and Wander
This is (as always) the first draft of something I wish I could complete. When starting, Wizard Will was definitely the narrator, but I didn’t know he would be as involved as he turns out to be. If there was going to be a second draft, that would have to be attended to. The word count amount is posted first, and the tale continues on in a post below.
Once Upon a Wizard
Once upon a time, in a grand and very dirty city, there lived many mindless folk. Truly, many of the once-hardworking innocents finally chose to remove their minds, letting the Most Wise Ones do what they would with all the knowledge of their kind.
And so, instead of wild and fantastic invention, instead of grandiose flights of amazing imagination to impossible places, instead of the unbelievable gladness that comes from the morn’s first cup of extra-strong kava, the very fine folk decided the Most Wise Ones were wise indeed when not only did they remove their minds, but removed the jealous and murderous wishes that came with the Grandiose and the Unbelievable.
Oh yes, it was a good choice. A thick, warm, and quiet blanket covered the obese land, encouraging all within to simply nod their heads like a child’s trinket in an automated transport.
Why, then, are we here? What is there of interest in a land of bobble-heads?
You are not from here… Surely you have heard the story. Yes, that one. The evil witch and the kindly woodcutter, all about how the grand balance of things was restored in the Land of the Most Wise Ones. Everyone knows of it, even as far away as the lands that are not supposed to be.
Well, that is not quite the way it happened. The tale is true, it all did happen, just a little different from what the Most Wisest One of all decided was truth.
The splendid Woodcutter was widely revered indeed. Not only could he wield an axe with the ease and glee of a master chef with his prize duck, but he knew most every piece of gossip that could be had. After all, he has chopped the legs of many a dinner table. And had his pleasure on more than one as well.
But that is a different pillow to be stuffed.
In this time of orange skies, false truths, and Avisaurus Egg Soufflé – there is nothing fluffier than Alice’s soufflé, I simply must bring you to try it – gossip has never had more power. Both men and women, given a bit of beer and time, must have it. Even the Most Wise Ones cannot take that away.
Forgive me. This old wizard tends to wander in the telling of tales. But bear with me, it will all become clear. Although, truth be told, the story of how I became called a wizard in the first place may hold the interest of someone, especially since all I did was hide that card in the pocket of my—
And so it began, that insufferably warm morning in November, that she became a widow. The body of her beloved became putrid so very quickly, as even though it is normally very hot up here at the earth’s pole, this season was especially so.
This was not helping the Most Wise Ones of Nevaar, as they had built much of their fable of power on the fact that Mister and Miss inhabitant was not nearly clever enough to control their urges to contain all the changes that were happening. Every mechanical Eohippus and portable Magpie were strictly managed by those who “knew what they were doing”.
Of course, no one needed to know about the massive terra-forming the clever leaders were executing, causing death among so many airborne creatures. (some of my best friends are Airbornes). Nor did they need to know about all the toxic—
Where was I? Oh yes, the decrepit body. The tale. Never judge a body by what’s left of its skin. Just remember that if I get sidetracked again, would you?
The newly made window was heartbroken of course. His name was Troye. And she had decided to spend her life with this nice young man. And he was nice. He had a preference for the cold, however, and would often go South, to spend his time in the snow.
No one is perfect…
It was true love. They were both clever. So clever, in fact, that they stopped eating what the Most Wise Ones said was good for them. They stopped listening to what the Most Wise Ones said was right to listen to. And once they had done that, they stopped putting their faith in the hands of the One Who Created Everything, and instead put their hearts in the young minds of Those Who Continue After us.
Oh, and that was the last straw. And Troye knew this to be so, even from the beginning. But he didn’t tell his beloved, and he hated himself for that. Until one day he understood. She had known long before he had!
Strange things happened around them after that. Vehicles that no one can drive, only ride in, would pass by just a bit too close to them. Things that were ordinary, dull and trivial would just… well, they would just explode whenever they would pass by. Heavy musical instruments would fall from windows that weren’t supposed to be open.
It was none of those unexplainable things that finally caught up with Troye. No, it was a bee, of all things. Bees are very rare in Nevaar. There is a small population of them on the large eastern continent South of this decrepit colony, in a hot pocket before the snow begins.
Except no one knows they are there. Well, this wizard knows, but this wizard is special.
Aside from that, those bees are big. Very big. They cannot be put in a pocket and taken to your niece to play with. They would eat your niece. And then there would be all the explaining that would have to be done, because that young niece is dead. All those birthdays gone.
But someone, somehow, got that bee from the East to our empire of Nevaar. And what a mess it was to clean up after poor Troye met his end. There were pieces everywhere.
So the new widow – apart from being completely heartbroken – was a little suspicious.
Woodcutter Wally came to the rescue, however. He was a helpful man indeed. It just so happened that Wally had created a special mirror for one of the “higher-ups” in the government, and the lady of the home had such a soft spot for a good northern Chablis. The lady did like to chat while Wally worked his wonder. Wally was not so very surprised to hear that interesting new laws would soon be passed in the land of bobble-heads, and that it would be more and more difficult to create new bobble-heads.
The Most Wise Ones thought it would be most wise to begin being careful what kind of new bobble-heads would be coming into the world.
Some of them are easier to… care for… than others.
Troye and his lovely wife were of the ‘high maintenance’ kind. Not to be encouraged. Best to ‘weed the garden’, so to speak, they unanimously decided.
No need to trouble the hard-working inhabitants, they had so much to worry over as it was. Much better they collect their wages to keep their Most Wise Ones comfortable and able to make such caring decisions.
It is not widely known that wizards are frequently at the bottom of their class in school. They don’t need to be smart, or talented in anything. Or even strong.
A wizard needs to be clever. That is all.
In my experience, it is shockingly similar for witches. The one witch who broke that customary occurrence was Bryyn. She took that stage name many years ago after throwing a highly irritating strain of fungus in the face of her second arranged ‘date’ she never wanted. He looked like a bowl of week-old pea soup for a week after. Oh that was so amusing… That, of course, labelled her a witch. She barely escaped with her life to the Frontiers, where Bryyn stayed for many seasons.
So when Bryyn came to me with news of the changes Nevaar was facing, I most certainly listened.
The Community of Clevers would need a little help from the Frontier folk, and who knew what might possibly come from it? And I never could refuse Bryyn anyway, and she well knew that. The little witch…
If the plight of Widow Loreli and the appetite of Woodcutter Wally have caught even a hint of your interest, please, dispose of the Trolls and continue on below…