11th January: Mischief

Many stories tell of mischief and mayhem, they tell it in all sorts of ways, caused by all manner of creature. Most use fairies or goblins, they call them sprites or fear to give them names at all. Mischief to one species can be torment or suffering to another, such as milk going sour or hearing the patter of tiny feet, seeing something out the corner of your eye that when you turn isn’t there.

When I was younger I used to believe that my toys woke up when I slept, one of the reasons that I loved the film Toy Story. I firmly believed that they fought monsters under my bead. And sometimes, they too would engage in mischief. That age old idea that something has moved from where you left it.

So really, what’s to say that the two aren’t interlinked?

‘Put it down!’ came a harsh whisper from the top of the bed, ‘She’s coming!’

There was a soft thump as the toy was dropped on the floor. The door opened and a young girl skipped into the room. She was calling to a person downstairs.

‘I just need Isabell!’ But Isabell was not on the pillow where she had been carefully placed. instead she was sprawled on the floor. Her lace bonnet several feet from her head, and her skirts all askew. ‘Isabell!’ the girl chided, ‘What are you ding on the floor!’

The doll was carefully picked up, brushed off and her lace bonnet fastened back on, then she was swiftly escorted from the room. That was all the fuss that was made. Perhaps an adult would have wondered how a doll had managed to get out of the covers, and roll of the bed to be so artfully spread about; but to a child it made perfect sense, Isabell had tried to get to her.  Perfectly logical.

If there were mischievous eyes peering from under the bed, well, a lady like Isabell couldn’t have been expected to climb off the bed by herself, could she.

11th January: Mischief

10th January: Confused

‘It really is quite simple,’ Dave said.

‘No, I get what you’re saying, I just don’t understand why,’ replied Hep-B-2-9. Dave stared, considering the reptilian alien before him.

‘You’re confused about the why?’ he asked.

‘It simply doesn’t make any sense. How does the paper have any effect on the rock?’

‘Well it,’ Dave paused, ‘I suppose it kind of covers the rock,’ He made a motion with his hands, ‘Maybe it blinds it?’ Dave trailed off, feeling confused himself.

‘But, human-Dave, rocks do not have eyes.’

‘Oh, no. No. Not literal eyes.’ Dave said, shaking his head, ‘It’s a thing called personification, where you give an object human, er, traits.’ He trailed off, fidgeting under Hep-B-2-9’s five eyes.

‘Human-Dave.’ Hep-B-2-9 finally said.

‘Yes?’ Asked Dave, hopefully.

‘I have eyes.’

‘This isn’t working.’

‘My eyes are fully functional under human understanding of eyes.’

‘That’s not what I meant.’

What had been a simple conversation about Earth games had suddenly taken a strange twist.

‘Human-Dave, am I a rock?’

Dave had no idea how it had happened.

‘Human-Dave?’

‘Yes Hep-B?’

‘Would you like to play  rock-beating-scissors-with-paper?’

‘It’s just called rock, paper, scissors.’

‘Oh. Would you like to play?’

‘Yeah, alright.’

10th January: Confused

9th January: Switching

Based on a crossover fanfiction between Wicked, the musical, and Disney’s Descendants.

Switching from Glinda the Good to Maleficent the evil fairy hadn’t been very easy. In fact, it hadn’t been her choice at all. As ever the Wizard and Madam Morrible made a chilling couple. Glinda had taken Elphaba’s death very hard, and she found it far too difficult to continue the charade that the duo had thought up for her, however they also seemed to believe that Glinda had signed her life away to them, in blood. Now not even Fieyero was there to help her.

Once they had realised that Glinda was serious about no longer performing her ‘duties’ as the good witch nasty rumours began to spread about her true involvement with the wicked witch of the west. Then, one day the wizard disappeared and that was when Glinda knew she was really in trouble. news spread quickly that Glinda was somehow responsible for the wizard vanishing. So she did the only thing she could, she ran.

She spent a lot of time on the run, many years passed without her truly noticing. This time allowed her to get to grips with some of the more difficult spells in the Grimmorie. Most of them were defensive, but she would have been stupid to ignore the dangerous ones, and many of them saved her life more times than she would care to admit. Still, some nights she found herself wishing that she had even a singular speck of the easy talent that Elphaba had shown.

Years later found a blonde woman on the streets of an unfamiliar kingdom, far far from the Emerald City and those that once sang the name of Glinda the Good. So too were the pink frills and glittering gowns gone, now she was dressed in rags, bitter and twisted against the world and those who had cursed her to this life.

In this kingdom she head of a new king and his new bride, along side tales of their goodness and kindness. Intrigued and slightly hopeful she slipped into the castle, but inside she was enraged to find the Wizard, sat comfortable and plush on the throne. Once more he had wormed his way into a position of power where he could ruin more lived. Glinda tried in vain to warn the kingdom of the danger he posed but the King or the Wizard had prepared for this moment. He rose with a shout and warned them all that she was an evil fairy who had hunted him since childhood. The local fairies rose against her and branded her Maleficent, for the malice they thought she contained.

Branded with this new name Glinda found herself banished to the edges of the kingdom, where she once more felt the sting of rejection and came to truly understand the treatment Elphaba had endured all her life. This time, though, Glinda was ready, and she was angry. So she patiently waited until the time was right.

An announcement for the newborn princess was called all though out the land, the king had been blessed with a child. Maleficent came to the castle, ready to give her blessing upon the child, despite not receiving any invitation, for it was customary in this kingdom to invite anyone of power, and she certainly had power.

‘You’re not upset?’ the new queen asked. Beside her the Wizard glared, untrusting of Glinda’s kind smile. And he was right too, for Glinda was here to exact her revenge, for Elephaba and herself. She saw her chance, and she took it, laying upon the baby a curse. As she looked into the Wizard’s eyes she knew he understood, he had used them as puppets, tiny creatures to dance to his whim. Now his child would be her puppet, dancing on the strings she played, ones that would lead to her death, just as it had lead to Elphaba’s and Glinda the Good’s.

Then she left, and she believed that finally she would have the peace that had been denied to her.

 

9th January: Switching

Day 5: Pet

Nicole had gotten Marcy for Christmas. She had was a tiny golden cocker spaniel, with ears too big for her head and a tail that moved a mile a minute. The moment Nicole opened the large cardboard box she had been in love. Marcy was everything you could want in a dog; intelligent, brave and playful. Nicole spent hours training her, trying to teach her to ‘Sit!’, ‘Stay!’ and ‘Play Dead!’

‘Bang!’ Nicole pretended to shoot at Marcy, who dropped to the floor and rolled onto her back, tongue lolling out. The only thing that ruined the illusion was the wagging tail.

Nicole taught her all sorts of tricks, and she wasn’t ashamed to say that Marcy was her best friend. Years later when Nicole had to move away for university she cried. Marcy cried too, her parents told her, every night for several days. Every holiday Nicole would come back and spend all her time making it up to Marcy. Sometimes, even though she wasn’t allowed, her parents would sneak Marcy into her dorm room. Her housemates would spoilt the little golden dog, feeding her biscuits when Nicole wasn’t looking. Marcy loved every second of it.

What she loved even more was when Nicole moved into her own home in second year and Marcy was finally allowed to join her. To Nicole it made all the difference, having her furry friend to help ease the stress of exams. Her classmates even encouraged her to bring Marcy to study sessions or would come around to Nicole’s house for a good long cuddle.

After university Marcy moved with Nicole again, this time to a new job with longer hours. But every night they would go for a long walk and then play or cuddle. Marcy liked this life, just the two of them together. Yet, even this didn’t last for soon she was introduced to Josh. Marcy didn’t like Josh.

To Nicole it seemed like Marcy just didn’t like the new guy in her life. Maybe it was jealousy of her time or that Josh got Marcy’s spot on the couch. Nicole just didn’t know, but when it came down to Josh or Marcy there was no choice to make. Josh left rather quickly.

Marcy liked Michael. She even came to him for snacks or to hide behind him when Nicole was telling her off. Marcy was getting old now, so more and more she was putting her trust into Michael to look after Nicole. She knew she had chosen right when Michael found a golden ring the same shade as Marcy’s fur.

Nicole knew as she watched Marcy huff as she climbed up onto Michael’s knee that Marcy had given her blessing, and that was all Nicole needed.

Day 5: Pet

Day 3: Fire

Hell was always warm. It was a fact. Just the way things were done. Demons compared it to human sayings like, ‘The sky is blue.’ or ‘Water is wet.’ One of those things that everyone notices but no one comments on. They only strange thing about Hell being warm was that there was no visible sign of how the heat was generated; no radiators or fires, no electricity or some kind of friction. In fact considering the damp stone walls that made up every room, and the deep cavernous depths that housed the condemned souls Hell should have been positively arctic (another human saying meaning very cold).

The only fire in the entirety of Hell was in Lucifer’s throne room. And boy, was it big. The fireplace itself took up the entirety of the wall on the right, there were two mantle pieces. The first one was at just the right height for Lucifer to rest his arm on it. In reality it was nothing more than a decorative shelf spanning the front of the fireplace, but no one pointed that out. He had placed a large clock in the centre and had put pictures of Persephone, his late wife, on one side and Methalis, his son on the other. Ceris, his daughter, was very carefully missing from every photo. During the festive season he decorated it with glittered twigs and stolen angel feathers.

The real mantle piece stood some 12 feet higher, only a little taller than the flames could reach. it was cared from a black marble with red veins, and had faces twisted in agony carved into it, matched with writhing bodies and demons with sharp implements and realistic flames. Lucifer liked to brag that this father had carved it himself, making it a family heirloom to passed through the generations of the rulers of Hell. However Ceris had found a receipt from a marble carver in Greece. The poor human had then checked himself into a hospital for the mentally ill and Ceris had decided it was best not to tell Lucifer, lest he get it into his head to visit the poor man.

Anyway, humans had once theorised that Hell was so warm because each level brought you closer to the centre of the Earth. They thought that the heat from the molten core rose straight through Hell, burning the souls of the damned as it passed. This was a very good theory, and indeed it was wonderfully dramatic. Methalis was very sure that should his father ever hear of this the next time he visited Hell would be lit by an eerie red light, have towering pillars of steam and random bursts of fire, all topped off with the smell of singed hair. It was, then, very understandable why Methalis and Ceris had gone to great lengths to ensure that Lucifer never even heard of the human called Dante, never mind had the opportunity to read his works.

The truth was that while Hell was very warm, it just so happened that it could get chilly too, especially when it’s half 3 in the morning and you get out of bed to go to the toilet. Simply because it is a universal rule that everywhere is cold at half 3 in the morning as by then the heating has turned off, as it does in every house. For while Hell was in it’s own special dimension and it served as a rather unique purpose to very naughty humans and their eternal souls, it was nothing more than a house. it just so happened to have a very large fireplace and a bad reputation.

Day 3: Fire

Day 2: Resolution

She had been working on it for weeks; planning, rewriting, reshaping until finally it was ready. A single piece of paper, plain white, no lines or marks except from the neat black of her pen. it was her secret wish.

With an almost reverent manner, she folded it carefully until it was a small square. then she tucked it into her money box. It was the first thing she had ever put in it. Soon, there would be a collection of notes and noisy coins. But for now, it was just the lonely square of paper.

By this time next year it would be full. this time next year she would be realising her dreams. then there would be no one to stop her, and nothing to get in her way. This was the promise she was making to herself.

That tiny piece of paper held her fondest dream. Every day she added something to the money box. Every day until one day when she didn’t come home at all.

Weeks later her mother found the money box, and she took it to the living room, and added to it every day. She thought nothing about it, had no idea about the little square of paper sitting at the bottom. To her it was nothing more than a precious reminder. Soon the money box was full, and her mother had to open it. Out fell coins, notes and a single square of white paper.

Her fondest dream, never realised.

Day 2: Resolution

Day 1: The Stroke Of Midnight

A warm glow suffused the air, the heavy heat of the fire and the soft scent of spices creating a cosy cocoon. In a plush green arm chair dozed a witch. You knew she was a witch by the black pointed hat tipped over her face, rising slightly with every small snore. A black cat was curled on her lap and it too was fast asleep. Indeed even the mice in the walls and the fly on the windowsill were asleep. The only sound was the pop and crack of burning wood from the fire. 

WOOSH! CRACK!

A lound bang filled the air, lighting the small room with bright purples and pinks. The cat jumped, claws digging into the witch. She lept from her char witch a cry, sending the cat flying across the room. It hossed and slunk out the door, tail held high. The witch was left standing, one hand clutching her chest. Outside more crackes and fizzes could be heard. 

The little old witch shuffled over to the fire where she busied herself preparing tea. Then, with the kettle left to boil, she moved to the window. 

Far below, enclosed by a ring of mountains, was a village. Every house was lit, and in the very center a square had been strung with lanterns. The villagers were dancing, singing at the top of their voices, their songs drifted up to her. Every now and then another firework was launched into the sky.

She stood waching for so long that even the cat had the bravery to join her again. It watched the sparks fly with the intesity of a mouse hunt. Ocassionally baatting at the window like it could catch them. The kettle let out a high whistle and she moved over, humming to herself. 

Once she was again settled in her arm chair, this time with tea and an old book, the cat moved back to her lap. The old witche’s hat found a place on the table next to her. There they sat through the chimes of the new year, a little old witch and her familiar. 

Sometimes magical things happen at the stroke of midnight, and sometimes its magical just to see the beginning of a new year start.
Part of my story a day challenge, you write a story every day for a whole year. This is day 1, posted late but written on time.

Day 1: The Stroke Of Midnight