Thursday, 7 January 2010

Deep In The Woods Flash Fiction

Went a bit morbid for New Year's Friday Flash, so have gone for a bit of knockabout humour this week. My one and only venture into Fantasy.



Once upon a time, not that long ago, well really rather recently - and actually it happened on more than the one occasion, at least thrice that I can think of, in fact if you look on a map of the world I bet you can find some place where it's happening right now even - anyway there was this idyllic forest. Or, if the local landowner was to be believed, a wood, since there were all sorts of Prince's tithe and mulct implications. His Madison Avenue lawyers were pushing the boat right out and trying to get its status downgraded to a coppice, after the landowner had spurned the advances of OJ's team who had tendered that they could get it recognised as a mere shrubbery. But none of this concerns us, for the non-human interest story lies with the denizens of this enchanted forest/wood/coppice (TBC).

One fine sunny day dawned and in came Macho the Fairy hurtling in at 3 fmph (mach one in human velocity). "Folk of Sylvania gather round. I have some great news of terrible danger afoot" she panted. "Shouldn't that be 'terrible news of great danger'?" chided Grammarian the hobgoblin with a stutter. Macho made the universal sign of 'W' with her dainty fingers, before eliding like two graceful swan necks diving for food into a pair of 'L's'. (Their secluded woodland arcadia had played host to many teenage human couplings, which inevitably ended with such an exchange of sign language and the pair stomping home in different directions from one another).

"Ooh, I'm all on tenterhooks at yet another of Macho's proclamations" sneered Proam the boggart, as he stretched his mighty frame out over the grass, thereby creating a necrotic zone at a stroke. Then he picked his nose, rolled over on to his side and flicked the mucal yield into the space just vacated. Instantly sprung up a fairy ring (so now you know!) "When you've finished your nasal horticulture Pro ..." scolded Macho, stamping her little foot impatiently, while her gossamer wings resonated to the rhythm. "All right keep your wings on. Would you prefer I just swallowed it?"

Suddenly there was a tremendous howling emitted from the bowels of the forest/wood/coppice. "What's that?" quivered winsome Losesome the dryad. "That is an omen for our future and it is not good I'm telling you" replied Macho. "No, that is just our neighbourhood banshee getting her oats" tittered Easy the nympho nymphette. "The banshee is a disembodied spirit, therefore she is unable to enjoy carnality of any sort" intoned Grammarian. "The luckless status for most of us women, full bodied or not, when it comes to you men" opined Fudge the brownie.

"I know absolutely what that sound portends" shouted Macho. They are the implements of death wielded by the town dwellers. Norm you're a gnome, used to handling minerals. Don't you detect a metallic timbre behind that scream?" "Well I spose ..." "The sound of their axes may not carry this far, but that categorically is the whine of an electrified chainsaw". The exhalations and cries of 'No' and 'Surely?' rang out from this serrated circle. Even Proam was moved to raise his hand from scratching his broad behind, up to his head (and he didn't even pause to smell his fingers).

"Whatever for? What do they want with our home?" asked Riddim the half-elf. "Golf course, car park, logging, Ikea flat-pack furniture, who knows? What difference does it make ?" Macho declaimed. She was so vexed, she crossed her arms and inadvertently stilled her wings so she ceased hovering and fell into the jungle of Proam's fairy circle. No one laughed though. "We've got to get ourselves organised" Otiose the Sprite said sprightly. "Chain ourselves to the trees" she added. "I'm eight inches tall, how's that going to work?" said Macho dusting herself down. "And where's the metal going to come from to make chains? Since we gnomes got cast out of our cast iron foundry. Didn't see much fraternal solidarity when we were out on strike trying to save our jobs". "At least you were offered retraining" snapped Sugarplum the embittered kobald. "Oh yeah right. Do you really see me as a social worker? Family division, with my gnarled old miner's face? Now they've lumbered me with all the changeling cases to stop me scaring the kids".

"Ahem, if I could return us to the immediate business at hand. Otiose might be on to something. We can unionise oursleves. Make it a wider struggle" reasoned Macho. "Oh yeah, Woodland Folk Local 666. Shoulder to shoulder with the Teamsters. Secondary picketing from the Mailmen, I can just see it all now" hissed Sugarplum. "Don't mention 'picket' please I implore you" begged Riddim. "Whyever not?" quizzed Losesome. "I ask you just to think what picket fences are made from? We're all doomed!"

"If I may be allowed to interject a moment here" breathed a voice that sounded like it had smoked 60 a day since the dawn of time. "Yes, what are we scotch mist?" echoed a sister voice. "You will be if their chainsaws get here" snorted Easy. "Let the trees speak" Macho declared. "After all, they have been here longer than any of us". "I challenge that assertion" asserted gormless Norm gnome. "Hey, count my rings stumpy!" "I'd have to cut you down first wouldn't I? How wise does that make you wrinkle features?" "Hark who's talking, have you looked in a mirror recently?"

"Please, this squabbling isn't getting us anywhere. Venerable tree, please give us the benefit of your wisdom". "Thank you fairy spirit. My ancestors were allowed natural deaths, since there were no humans around. But even they were not permitted to rest in peace, once the humans disinterred them and burned them as oil and coal. Humans just cannot abide anything green, anything more permanent and long-lived than they. We all have to be bent to their will. Well, let them do it I say -" "But then we will all perish. For how can we survive without the woods to support us?" "Hear me out. You yourselves may pass on, but your species will survive. Somewhere in the world, preserved in the ether, your spirits will remain. In the meantime, all the fauna will gradually disappear as humans snatch their habitats from them. With no animals, humans will not be able to teach and instruct their young how to read. How to speak even probably, for it is these wonders that first fire their infant imaginations. Without communication, the human race will stagnate and wither and die. I grant this is a long-term strategy, but I am a tree so this is my time scale. But your kith and kin will, believe me, inherit the earth."

The colloquy was brought to a sudden halt with a fearsome wailing and a tree crashing to the ground right in the middle of their gathering. A dishevelled banshee loomed, hand grasping a stout oak for support. "Wow, that was quite a seeing to I've just had!" I'm not going to be able to stand for a couple of days I reckon" she cackled. And with a cry of "Timberrr!" she collapsed to the ground.

17 comments:

Anton Gully said...

You need to cut about half those words out but you've got something with that idea.

Sulci Collective said...

Ha ha, only the word limit kept me this low! Words feed off words, leaping over one another, elbowing weaker lexemes out of the way in the Darwinian world of prosody.

Cool avatar!

Thanks for coming by

Marisa Birns said...

Amusing tumble of a fairy tale! Loved the names (Macho the fairy, heh)

Unions, bah! Local 666? LOL!

Haven't people learned from Tolkien about messing about with trees?

Lessons abound in your distinctive take...

Karen from Mentor said...

You DO realize that you just ruined fairy rings for me ....RUINED I say.... *sigh*

Karen :0)

Sulci Collective said...

Apologies Karen. Maybe it's a regional thing and where you live they have a purer origin?

Thanks Marisa, yeah the names were fun.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Your names, words and descriptions had me in stitches -

"mucal yield," "nasal horticulture, "Easy the nympho nymphette, "he didn't even pause to smell his fingers" (eeww!), "gnomes got cast out of our cast iron foundry," "Woodland Folk Local 666." LOL!

Those naughty banshees, always screaming!

Very good story with lots of fun!

Sulci Collective said...

Thanks Anne, thought I'd go comedic for the New Year

mazzz in Leeds said...

the winsome Losesome - lol!

mucal yield was a good one (very good, in fact, but having once read "cloacal offering", the bar has been set rather high for me in this regard)

Sulci Collective said...

cloacal offering - was that me?

Note to self, keep better records of body secretions already employed in fiction

mazzz in Leeds said...

No, it was someone in a post on a bodybuilding forum, of all places!

Skycycler said...

"If I may be allowed to interject a moment here" breathed a voice that sounded like it had smoked 60 a day since the dawn of time." Madge Ramsey, If I'm not mistaken?

Dense intertextual piece, this! Like it! That banshee...

Linda said...

Loads of fun, very sardonic in tone. A good thing. A bit manic, too. Also a good thing. Peace, Linda

Laura Eno said...

You should do fantasy more often! Loads of fun (like Karen, faerie rings are now RUINED for me). Loved the wandering opening paragraph.

Sulci Collective said...

Johnnie Cochran insisted on the shape of the first paragraph (apparently it's all about blowing smoke).
Thanks to you all for your kind comments.

It will probably be a return to more sombre tones next week, but I can promise vampires...

Anton Gully said...

Mazz- "cloacal offering"... I just HAD to go look that up. Ugh.

Draco Torre said...

No morbid? Okay humor is nice, too. Amusing, on the wordy side for flash, but I suffer from words, too.
-David Shrock

Sulci Collective said...

Oh I employ cloaca at least once a novel. No, not in the marketing!