Words on Wednesday

Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 by Travis Cody in
16

Before we get to my Words on Wednesday, I just want to make sure you remember to tune in this evening at 7pm to The Mo Show. Mo will be talking about his fantastic trip to Egypt, and describing what it was like to land in an Arab country on 11 Sept 2001.




Now, I've posted a couple chapters of my children's story A Quest for Special Friends, and I've gotten some pretty good feedback. So I'd like to say thanks for that.

Here are a couple more chapters. I'm considering getting this story ready and finding a place to submit it. I've also been reading about self-publishing as well, although I don't know that this would be the right story to go that route.

If you need a refresher on how our story begins, you can click here.

Chapter Three

In ten minutes time, Sir Michael the Gallant arrived at the gates of the Pink Castle with Erik the Wonderful and the Great Cat Shelley. As they dismounted and Shelley settled down to a nap, a chilling scream came from high up inside the castle.

Sir Michael and the Great Magician Himself, fearing the worst, charged up the pathway to the castle, bashing down the door that the magician had fixed and would need to fix again. Sir Michael followed the sounds, which had gone from screaming to wailing, a chorus of voices that gradually worked to stand his hair on end. He knew what had happened. He knew he was too late. He knew he had failed once again.

Sir Michael reached the top of the stairs. He had to stop and clap his hands to his ears. The screeching and sobbing threatened to deafen him. All about, the poor maids wailed and cried and carried on. It was more than he could stand. With his hands pressed to his ears, he searched for his Beautiful Princess, for surely her despair would be the most heart-wrenching and the most in need of his comforting presence.

Meanwhile, the Great Magician Himself had climbed to the top of the stairs and was having a similar struggle with the noise. He busied himself among the poor maids, distributing hugs and smiles and little reassurances. He spoke from experience, having been bereft of his own Special Friend. Slowly, order and quiet was restored.

Sir Michael was able to concentrate better as Erik the Wonderful worked his Mr. Fixit magic on the poor maids. Finally, the Knight spotted Princess Tonya’s golden head. She was huddled in a heap on the floor at the foot of her pink canopy bed. She sat deathly still, her arms wrapped about her drawn up knees. She stared straight ahead, her eyes unfocused. A single tear tracked a path down her cheek.

“Princess Tonya?” called Sir Michael softly. He knelt down beside her and laid his hand gently upon her shoulder. She still did not move. “Princess Tonya, are you all right?”

The question finally released her from her shock, and the Beautiful Princess Tonya began to sob. Sir Michael the Gallant gathered his Princess in his arms and rocked her gently.

After several moments, the skies darkened. Clouds rolled about the sky, lightening flashed and thunder boomed. A great wind whistled in the chimney, and the castle creaked and groaned against its force.

Sir Michael knew that the weather was reacting to Princess Tonya’s despair, but he could think of no way to reassure her. Erik the Wonderful had calmed most of the poor maids, but he too was at a loss for what to do for the Princess.

Suddenly, Sir Michael felt something warm rub his ankle. He looked down and saw Shelley, shrunk down to normal house cat size. The cat purred at him and rubbed her head repeatedly against his leg. Sir Michael did not understand what she wanted, but he wished she would go away. She interfered with his job of comforting the Princess. He shook his leg to drive her off.

Shelley, exasperated with her hints so rudely ignored, hissed and spat and swatted Sir Michael’s ankle. The Knight yipped in pain and moved backward, upsetting his balance and putting a space between himself and the Princess. Shelley, with regal grace, purred contentedly and eased herself into Princess Tonya’s lap. The Princess, with something soft and cuddly before her, made the appropriate response. She hugged Shelley and stopped crying.

The storm lessened, but loomed ominously, for the Beautiful Princess still was not happy. She was able to explain what happened.

“I came upstairs to change my clothes for the banquet. I picked out my favorite pink dress, and pretty pink shoes, and my pink bonnet with the pink and white ribbons. When I asked Kesra the Gnome which dress she would like to wear, I saw that she was gone!”

Princess Tonya’s eyes misted and her lower lip quivered, and the storm boiled threateningly. Shelley shoved her face into the Princess’ neck. The Princess was forced to deal with the tickly whiskers, and for the moment was distracted from crying. The storm, poised, waited to unleash its fury at a moment’s despairing notice.

“We’ve all lost our Special Friends, Princess Tonya,” said Sir Michael, hoping the shared grief might help the Princess.

“Oh dear,” cried Princess Tonya. “You mean you don’t have Biff Bear?”

Sir Michael shook his head no.

“And, is Mr. Fuzzy Blanket gone too?”

The Great Magician Himself pouted, and his grip on his fix it magic loosened. The poor maids all at once burst into fitful tears.

Instead of giving in to her grief once more, the Beautiful Princess Tonya scratched Shelley behind the ears. Then she dislodged the warm fur ball from her lap and stood. The Princess stomped her little foot and put her fists on her hips.

“This is no time to go carrying on like a bunch of babies,” she announced. “We’re all terribly upset, of course, but crying about it will not solve the problem. We must find out what has happened, and we must find all of our Special Friends, and we must do so at once!”

She stomped her little foot again, just so everyone understood that she was serious.

Princess Tonya’s declaration quieted everyone. The poor maids were ashamed. All of them had special feelings for their own Special Friends, but they also knew that Princess Tonya’s relationship with Kesra the Gnome was extra special. As the Princess had overcome her heart stopping grief, so must the poor maids behave with equal strength of will.

Sir Michael was proud of his Princess, and his love for her grew even stronger. He also knew how to make up for his failure to defeat the mackerel fish, and his worse failure in protecting the Special Friends of Yesumay Land. He spoke strongly and confidently.

“I know what has happened to Kesra the Gnome, Biff Bear, Mr. Fuzzy Blanket, and all the other Special Friends.”

Everyone grew still and quiet at this announcement, and all eyes turned to Sir Michael the Gallant. He could feel Princess Tonya staring at him, and he felt the confidence in her gaze. What he was about to say would frighten them all, but it would also prepare them for the difficult task of recovering their Special Friends.

“Well, Sir Michael?” prompted Princess Tonya. “If you know, then you must tell.”

The Gallant Knight nodded. “I do know. The Evil Sourpuss, Mr. Blotchy, has kidnapped our Special Friends.”

Princess Tonya gasped and the Great Magician Himself dropped his tools. The poor maids sniffled and nearly began to wail again. Even Sir Michael momentarily lost control, his armor clanging has he folded his arms across his chest and lowered his head.

Princess Tonya silenced the poor maids with a frown, and then shooed them all out of her room with orders to go ahead and prepare the macaroni and cheese feast. Then she asked, “Mr. Fixit, didn’t you say that Mr. Blotchy had probably been behind our broken can opener?”

“Yes, I did indeed,” the Great Magician Himself replied as he picked up his tools and stuffed them back in his pockets. “No one else could be that nasty. The missing parts could only be removed with tools, and I’m the only toolman in Yesumay Land. I didn’t take the parts.”

“Mr. Blotchy, the Evil Sourpuss!” exclaimed Sir Michael. “But why would he break the can opener and send the mackerel fish?”

Princess Tonya snapped her fingers. “To keep us busy while he kidnapped the Special Friends!”

“Of course!” agreed the Great Magician Himself. “We were all so worried, and Princess Tonya was so upset, about the mackerel fish, that nobody noticed that the Special Friends were missing until it was too late.”

“But why would he take the Special Friends?” Princess Tonya demanded. Her sadness was becoming anger.

“Just because he’s a mean, nasty, evil old sourpuss,” declared the Great Magician Himself, making a face.

“That can’t be the only reason,” Sir Michael disagreed. “But it doesn’t matter now why Mr. Blotchy did it. What matters is how we get our Special Friends back. We must go to the Black Glass Castle With Streaky Windows and demand the release of our Special Friends.”

Princess Tonya pursed her lips and shivered. “But, it’s rumored that the Black Glass Castle With Streaky Windows is surrounded by a sour green bean moat. Gack! I couldn’t go there. . .it’s much too nasty.”

“And what about Kesra the Gnome?” Sir Michael reminded her. “If Mr. Blotchy has her, he could do anything. He might drown her in the sour green beans.”

Princess Tonya was horrified. The thought that Kesra the Gnome was held captive in the Black Glass Castle With Streaky Windows, surrounded by a sour green bean moat, was too much for her to bear without a fight.

She drew herself up to her tallest height, tossed her golden hair, and crossed her arms in front of her. She declared bravely, “I swear by pink rose petals, sour green beans or no sour green beans, we are going to that nasty castle, and we are going to stop Mr. Blotchy from pestering us once and for all. Sir Michael the Gallant, I’ll need your help. And you too Mr. Fixit. And the Great Cat Shelley. We won’t rest until Mr. Blotchy is defeated and our Special Friends are returned!”

Chapter Four

They took two days to prepare for their journey to No No Corner, where Mr. Blotchy lived in his Black Glass Castle With Streaky Windows. The Beautiful Princess Tonya hated to wait so long, since she missed Kesra the Gnome tremendously. Tempers were short throughout Yesumay Land, since all of the Special Friends had been kidnapped. There was no one to talk to, no one to advise what might be best to take on a long and hazardous journey. Most glaringly wrong was the absence of a Special Friend to take along on the dangerous trip.

Nevertheless, Special Friends were the reason for the quest. Though confusion ruled the planning and chaos caused delays, Princess Tonya gradually strengthened her resolve. She watched as the Great Magician Himself mindlessly packed his pockets with tools and gadgets that only he knew the uses for, his eyes dull with the emptiness of the loss of Mr. Fuzzy Blanket. Her heart nearly broke at the sight of Sir Michael the Gallant absently walking round and round the Great Cat Shelley, searching for the extra saddle that she already wore, and the armor that the Knight had already donned.

The poor maids who packed the provisions for the journey were no better than those who would attempt the rescue. They went about their chores listlessly, barely speaking to one another. It was a sorry state of affairs, and Princess Tonya had just about had her fill of it.

Normally, when her dark moods loomed, she sought a secret corner of her Pink Castle and ranted at Kesra the Gnome. The Special Friend never talked back and never scolded the Princess for her foul temper. Eventually Princess Tonya was able to control herself. She usually laughed after one of these little fits, and wondered what could possibly have made her so angry.

Kesra the Gnome was gone, however; kidnapped by the wicked Evil Sourpuss. Princess Tonya stomped her little foot, scrunched up her face, and began to fume. She was ready for a major tantrum.

“Enough is quite enough!”

The poor maids in the kitchen jumped in fright. The Great Magician Himself dropped all of his tools on his foot and howled in pain. Sir Michael shook so hard his armor rattled. The force of Princess Tonya’s anger was felt throughout Yesumay Land, rippling outward from the Pink Castle to the Red Castle to the Blue Castle, and to every other place in between. Everyone felt the tremor when the Beautiful Princess stomped her little foot, and all of Yesumay Land fell immediately silent.

Princess Tonya’s eyes glared out from her scrunched up angry face.

“I have sworn to stop Mr. Blotchy and rescue the Special Friends. I am afraid, and just as lost as you without them. But I am ready to go and face whatever Mr. Blotchy can throw at me. I expect some help. It’s all right to be afraid, but we can’t let it keep us from doing what must be done.”

Sir Michael the Gallant was ashamed of his behavior. “Princess Tonya is right. It’s time to snap out of it, people. We can’t lose sight of what we must do. Of course we’re worried about our Special Friends, and of course we don’t know if we can possibly rescue them. But we have each other to lean on. We know what we can do; we’ve done it before with confidence and our Special Friends. We have to find the strength they would give us, and go and get them back!”

The Great Magician Himself straightened up. “It’s not like our Special Friends are really gone, you know. We always have them with us, in here.” He pointed to his chest and put his hand flat against his heart.

“That’s right,” said Princess Tonya, her face bright and her Smile there for all to see and draw confidence. “I may not be able to hold her, but I can still find the courage that I normally only get from Kesra the Gnome. I just have to hug myself.”

And she did.

An amazing thing happened. A glow began around Princess Tonya’s ankles. It rose and grew brighter, until it encompassed her entire body. Once the glow engulfed her, it expanded out from her in a circle, like the ripples of a pond. It touched Sir Michael and his silver armor gleamed and sparkled. The glow brushed the Great Magician Himself, smoothing the wrinkles in his overalls and organizing his pockets. The Gallant Knight no longer creaked and clanked, and the Great Magician Himself’s tools and gadgets all found their proper places.

The glow that started with Princess Tonya’s hug of herself spread throughout Yesumay Land, just as the force of her anger had moments earlier. Strong emotion, genuinely expressed on behalf of Special Friends, galvanized into solid motion. Princess Tonya, Sir Michael, and Erik the Wonderful mounted the Great Cat Shelley and began their rescue mission, still basking in the afterglow of The Hug, as ever after that moment would be known.

16 comments:

  1. Bond says:

    'pretty good results'

    No Dude... we have raved over it...

    Sent you an email...

  1. Anndi says:

    Well, you know The Chicklet's opinion of this story... Uncle Travis needs to get himself to the story factory!

    I plan on sharing this with a special little boy real soon.

    SMOOCH

    Missed you bro!

  1. Shelby says:

    deeee lightful :)

  1. I truly enjoyed this...wordsmith yourself (smile)

    have you seen this one?

  1. Shelby says:

    .. I did the middle name meme today :)

    it was fun!

  1. Matt-Man says:

    How the hell do you have the patience to type all of that? Cheers!!

  1. Travis says:

    V: Thanks for the raves and the support.

    Ann: Story factory...LOL! I hope the boy enjoys the story.

    Shelby: Glad you enjoyed!

    Katherine: I have seen that video - hilarious! And thanks for the support.

    Bee: Thank you Ma'am!

    Shelby: I'll be by shortly.

    Matt: If you mean the first time I wrote it, well you know how it goes with a writer. If you mean putting it on the blog, copy and paste from Word!!

  1. Comedy + says:

    Very well done. Not much for fairy tales, but his is very well done. How to The Hug... :)

  1. Jamie says:

    Trav,

    This is delightful. You really must send it on the rounds of the publishers. I really, really want to live in yesumay and that requires a holdable edition.

  1. Jamie says:

    Trav,

    You might find this site helpful

    Write Childrens Books

  1. Travis says:

    Comedy: Thanks for the feedback.

    Jamie: I appreciate the good words and the link.

  1. Pauline says:

    Very entertaining as usual. Great workTrav!

  1. wolfbaby says:

    i love it if you get it published let me knwo i'd like to get a copy!!

    great!! really great;)

  1. lisa says:

    Thanks for another installment. So enjoyable as usual!

  1. TopChamp says:

    Hello - somehow I missed this...every time you have posted. I guess Weds isn't a blogging day for me.

    I am sorry... for this is lovely. I love the thought of a hug reaching out and touching everyone.. and organising the crumply magician's pockets. Fab.