When I posted the Story Bounce idea I had no idea anything would happen, at best I thought a few people might leave random comments but after it was highlighted on The Daily Post things just went Wooosh! The story telling folk swung by and added their slice of fiction to the story, and my smile became unmanageable and painful, but YAY, it worked!
The comments box is now closed for that story. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and proved it wasn’t just a silly idea!
I’ve gathered all the comments together in one short story, hopefully you can spot the bits that are yours. I’ve edited it here and there in order to make it flow better, and added a splash of narrative where necessary. So here it is.
The following takes place between supper time and breakfast time…
‘Twas a cold and stormy night on the Foxhearth Coastline. Boon Castle sat on a bluff overlooking the fierce waves. Despite its lonely and forbidding appearance the castle was a warm and lively place filled with colourful characters. The mouth-watering smell of the evening feast drifted from the kitchen. Alice and Harry, heirs to the Thrown of Boon, were telling each other ghost stories in their bedroom. They giggled with every new twist to their tale and yelped with shock and laughter as they frightened one another.
In the dining hall Catherine the Cook rang the dinner gong. Alice & Harry jumped at the sudden noise – a window had blown open in their bedroom and the fury of the storm swept inside, bringing with it a werewolf! They stood motionless; their giggling subsiding as their eyes widened in terror. Alice turned to Harry and grabbed a garlic close from wreath around his neck.
She pulled her arm back to throw it at the lycanthrope, but Harry yelled:
“No! that’s for Vampires!”
Thinking it couldn’t hurt to try, Alice through it anyway. To her, and the werewolf’s, surprise, it recoiled in terror as it began to change in to a hobgoblin dressed in a Grateful Dead t-shirt. The strange greenish blueish creature blinked in surprised at it’s sudden manifestation and said:
“Gaarh! You ungrateful brats! Is that any way to greet your dear old Grandpa, dead these many years?”
The children, wrinkled their noses curiously at the malformed beast.
“You know,” said Harry. “There IS something about the eyes.”
Alice, ever the pragmatist, cut to the chase.
“Make it quick, Gramps. It’s dinner time.”
“Fear not, my sweets. My time here is brief. I bring you a warning, from one heir to the next.”
His eyes shifted warily across the room.
“Beware! Beware the strange, unknown visitor that will knock on the castle door tomorrow for he brings ill tides from yonder. Heed my advice or you will be sorry!” He coughed and looked sideways. “Beware the Cook, she’s not what she seems. The proof is in the pudding…er, the Texas Garlic Toast. You can see what it did to me. Just look at this face! I’m proof that folklore can come to life sometimes too!”
And with that cryptic remark he jumped back out the window into the storm torn night.
In the mean time cook was busy gathering the ingredients for the special potion that had made it possible for the heirs to maintain their sanity even on a night like this.
The kitchens were a chaotic place, cooks rattled pots and pans, mice scampered across the floor and Gordon Ramsey sat in the corner playing Bridge with Jamie Oliver. Catherine the Cook didn’t like celebrities much.
Dun Dun Derrrrrrr….
Alice started shaking. She fell into Harry’s arms. “What just happened?
Harry jumped up and closed the window. The shutters were banging shut from the wind that was howling outside….or was it something else howling outside. Just then the room went cold.
“Does that mean Cook made pudding? I hate that stuff,” Harry pouted as they escaped into the hallway.
“This is no time to think of food!” Alice shouted. “If Grandpa could come back from the dead, wearing The Dead, anything was possible.”
“What should we do?” Harry asked, his voice shaking.
Before Alice could answer Catherine the Cook appeared at the end of the hall, stirring a pot of rust-coloured mush that smelled of belly button lint.
“Where’s my extra garlic?” she asked the shaken children.
Harry looked down for the garlic wreath around his neck and recoiled in horror at the coiled snakes slithering up and around and toward his longish curly hair.
“Get that awful smelling stuff out of here!” he screamed “You’re trying to poison us. We know you’re evil. We know you want to kill us so you can steal the fortune our grandfather left us but . . .”
His garlic had turned into a horrible slimy slithery creature. He ripped it from around his throat…a strange gurgling sound erupted from his lips as he sank slowly to the ground. But his screams were nothing compared to the wild yelling of Catherine the Cook!
“Oh NO!” she screeched. “It’s happening again! I thought…”
”Harry?” Alice cried in panic, rushing to his side. Her brain is frazzled…what next? “What has happened”?
Catherine the Cook ran to the window and opened it up. The sky was filled with furious winds of rain as the sky lit up with lightning. In the distance, Catherine the Cook saw black shadowy figures approaching with red glowing eyes. Catherine the Cook turned around to face Alice and Harry.
“Tripe and onions is the traditional fare of your forebears….you have to eat some now or…..”
A wicked looking creature bounded through the open window, it looked like a cross between a golum, only twice as crazy, and a Hobbit, only much uglier – small hairy feet with blue nail polish.
The truth was, Catherine was hiding a long life family secret, which she was about to reveal to Alice and Harry but just hen Hector arrived to save the day. Hector is a man of honour. He cast a spell into the air.
“Falou, eu estou bem! o que Deus deu aos nossos Avós,ninguém vai Roubar, e soluça… em,” said Hector.
Harry and Alice didn’t understand the language, so they pulled out their universal language translator and saw that it said: “What God gave our grandparents, no one will steal, this is my word and my bond!”
“You will be turned out into the stormy night by the evil Greeble.” said Hector using his words. “Who has had an unnatural hold over this family since the time of your great great great…er…” Hector counted his fingers. “Great great grandfather Albert who first fought the Greeble.”
“He’s going to tell us another dreadful family history story isn’t he?” Harry asked Alice.
“Looks that way,” Alice replied.
“It’s been nothing but clichés tonight,” said Harry with a scowl. He kicked an innocent GIJoe in the face and stuck his hands in his pockets. “Come on then, old man Hector. Get on with it.”
“Your great great…Your Grandfather was adorned with wreaths of rotting onions and withered tripe, whew that must have been stinky, right kids?”
Hector waited patiently for a response. Alice and Harry shared a look of exasperation which was all the support Hector needed to resume his story with as much drama and theatrical gibberish as he could muster.
“He stood on Boon Hill, above the farm where the apple mead is made,” he gave the kids a wink. “And repelled the beast from the lands! The Greeble fell in with the wrong coven of wizards who cursed him when he left them for a beautiful witch named Hagatha The Wizened. She was a beautiful witch, once, long ago, but her greed for dark, and often quite dull, magic has left her crooked and evil.”
Hector thought about this for a moment. In the meantime the Greeble relaxed by the window and sent a few texts to his pals.
“Hmm, well, maybe evil is a strong word,” Hector said. “Mischievous at best, but with only revenge to keep her sanity in check. But, everything that has happened in the past is history. now is the time of the Greeble’s return!”
“We’re doomed,” cried Catherine the Cook.
“Who will save me?” Alice howled.
“Us,” Harry prompted his sister with a sour look. “Who will save US?”
Before Alice could reply the evil Greeble hobbled over to Catherine the Cook and dunked his face in her cooking pot of belly button lint soup.
Alice zapped the Greeble with a bolt of green lightning she flung from her fingertips that surprised her as much as it did the Greeble.
The Greeble howled in pain as he (it? who can tell with Greebles?) was flung back and crumpled into a ball.
“I’ve got a bit of the wizard genes in me, too,” cried Alice.
“Wow, you actually turned it into a ball, a bright shiny bouncy-looking ball,” Harry said.
Catherine, sputtering belly lint soup cried out. ”No Harry don’t touch that Greeble ball or you’ll be turned into Greeble-Junior! That’s exactly what they want you to do! Oh the terror, the woe, the dastardly plots that will soon unfold as the story bounces around…oh the…wait…where was I?”
“Who?” asked Alice.
“The Greeble Gang.”
Harry’s hand was inches from the Greeble ball. He stared up at Catherine the Cook. “Who are they?” he asked.
Catherine the Cook took a deep breath.
“They are an evil parasitic gang of vile, repulsive reprobates with no manners, stinky breath and very bad grammar. They are the Greeble Gang!” Catherine the Cook cackled for a moment then fell silent.
A thin green arm reached out of the Greeble ball and scratched Harry across his chest. Three large gashes that he did not feel, was not sure how they appeared and didn’t know what it meant.
Alice began to cry. “Is great great…is Grandpa responsible for all this woe and sadness?” she asked then pointed a finger at Catherine the Cook. “Or is it all your fault, you pathetic excuse for a chef?”
Catherine the Cook rolled on the floor laughing her ass off.
“Has she gone totally nuts?” Alice asked Harry.
“I don’t know,” Harry whimpered. He sounded full of melancholy. “But does this mean that I will get into Harvard? Because I’ve already heard from Columbia and Princeton. Of course, I did ask Cook to mail that Harvard application, and I never received a Delivery Confirmation on it. I have to get out of Boon, though, so even Princeton will do, if necessary.”
“Anything to get out of Boon,” Alice commented. “I still don’t know why this is happening to me.”
“Us,” corrected Harry. He hated his sisters self-centred nature at times.
Is He Still Here?
“They are the Sojuru,” Hector announced with a flourish.
“Oh criminy,” said Alice. “Is he still here?”
“According to the chapter title, yeah,” said Harry. “I thought his part in the story was over with,” Harry said. “No one mentioned this bit in the comments box.”
Hector ignored them. “A power-hungry clan banished from the kingdom centuries ago after attacking and pillaging many provinces,” he proclaimed. “They use these Greebles as the foot soldiers in their quest to seize control of this world and seek to expand their army by turning children like yourself.”
“Hey! I’m nearly a grown up you know,” complained Alice.
“Oh yeah?” Harry said with a raised eye brow. “Then what are you doing still playing with Care Bears and Polly Pocket and My Little Pony?”
“Hush,” Alice told him. “Hector hasn’t finished being dull to us.”
“I’ve not seen a Greeble since I was about your age,” said Hector. He paced around the room like is was a stage, frequently turning to address an imaginary audience. “I’d hoped they’d given up after being driven back during their last assault, but it seems the Sojuru may be coming out of their docile state once again. They must have been plotting something in all that time. We must protect our selves from their attacks and come up with our own defence against them.”
“Go now!” Hector cried out. He sank to his knees and waited for the applause that would never come. “Hurry, Alice and Harry! We have to reach Brighton by tomorrow morning. If we don’t, Harry will turn into a Greeble forever. We have to get a magic potion which can only be found in the witch’s cave! And we must be careful, as the witch will eat children!”
“Fear not,” said Alice. “Even a witch cannot face the dreaded Amulet of Boon. We will take it and wave it at anyone who stands in our way!”
“What in heck is the Amulet of Boon?” asked Harry.
“It’s the dusty thing hidden by our Granduncle King Boon the Four and a halfth, in the bottom of the grandfather clock in the hall.”
“That? That’s a dead tarantula,” said Harry.
“But it sure beats garlic,” said Alice.
“Oh but I do not like garlic,” said Harry with a grin on his face. He gave Catherine the Cook a hard stare. “And you truly should clean up this place. I’ve seen your job description, it says cooking and cleaning.”
Alice yawned and held her hand up. Harry high-fived it without much enthusiasm.
“I have seen some of those five toe shoes,” Catherine the Cook declared. “They will come in handy.”
Harry stared at her. “WHAT are you talking about? Five toed what?” He felt lost, the random plot was starting to take its toll on him.
Hector jumped to his feet and stamped on a huge spider that had crawled out from under the bed to watch the show. He was about to stuff a handful of pop corn in his mouth but…well, dead spiders don’t eat pop corn so Hector was simply correcting a serious plot error.
The sudden movement from Hector alarmed Catherine the Cook who whirled about, snatched up the dead arachnid and thrust it Hectors face, causing him to leap backwards a bit to quickly.
“You daft git!” Hector yelped. “What are you on about? I didn’t say anything. Come on.”
Alice and Harry exchanged looks of exasperation and pity.
Together they entered the dungeon at Boon Castle. It was dark and dank. You could smell the evil that pervaded the dungeon. Harry shivered in fright . He knew that the unspeakable was here with them.
Alice waved at the dead arachnid with two eyes glowing in the corner.
“Do you see that Harry?” she asked.
“Do you smell that Alice?”
“Blame the garlic.”
The slowly approached the corner to discover a 3 foot tall gummy bear eating a pile of gummy worms. But even more surprising than that was the grandfather clock that once stood proudly in the hall. Someone had moved it, someone had changed it and now the gummy bear was munching on the gummy worms that slithered out of the bottom of the grandfather clock.
“Hurry!” Alice said. “Stick your hand inside and grab the Amulet of Boon.”
“No way,” replied Harry. The gummy bear looked angry by the sudden disturbance. “I’m not going near that thing. It’s not in my job description.”
“Don’t be such a wuss,” Alice snapped. “The gummy bear is made of candy. He won’t harm you.”
Harry didn’t want anything to do with any more plot twists but they needed that amulet. He took a deep breath and pushed his hand through the pile of gummy worms and inside the grandfather clock.
Suddenly the clock chimed 3 am. causing Harry to jump and hit his head.
“Harry, are you okay?” Alice asked, her voice shaky.
“Yes, I’m fine, I just need to get that amulet.”
Harry stretched a little further and finally closed his fingers around the amulet. As he began pulling it out he felt a smooth, silky set of five fingers massage his arm. He enjoyed the sensation (picturing a drop-dead gorgeous babe inside the clock) until he was violently tugged and squeezed into the grandfather clock.
“Harry! I’m coming,” Alice screeched as she tried jumping in after him but with no success.
She now stood outside the clock, wondering what happened to Harry.
Yummy Gummy Wormy Talky
Alice stared at the grandfather clock in shock. Where had Harry vanished to? How was she going to find him? Why was the gummy bear arranging gummy worms on the dungeon floor?
To her surprise the gummy bear used gummy worms to spell out…
I T ~ I S ~ T O O ~ L A T E
Alice clenched her jaw in determination. It was not too late, she was going after Harry! Besides, they needed the amulet. She took a deep breath, feeling a little woozy from the sugary stench of gummy worms eaten by gummy bear, then stepped inside the clock.
To her surprise she discovered that Harry had grabbed a handful of gumies and begun to leave a trail. Where it led she had no idea, but at the end of it she hoped would be Harry & the amulet. Alice braced herself.
Alice pushed through whispering meshes of spider webs into the land of Boontling where she spied two gummy worms slithering across the discarded apron of Catherine.
The purple gummy began to sizzle and curl around a knob of beechwood on a delicately embroidered apron pocket. Alice stood there for a while marvelling at the sheer irony of it all – a purple gummy worm coiling about on a piece of art so beautiful. A rare and welcome sight in an otherwise haphazard tale of werewolves, Greebles, insane cooks and some guy called Hector who didn’t seem to have a job at Boon Castle at all.
Harry and grandpa were trapped in the painting. The key to freeing them from the painting was in the purple gummy worm. The very worm that had wriggled out of the dungeon, up the twisty stairs and out onto a ledge. Alice didn’t stop to work out how or why a gummy worm would do this, she followed the gummy worm out into the stormy night. The purple gummy worm morphed into a skinny dragon and took flight over the castle.
The gummy bear followed Alice. Out on the ledge it transformed into a gummy eagle. Alice jumped on its back and they flew through the air. Eventually they reached the purple gummy worm dragon…thing, and captured it.
She was shaken but still alive from their frequent-flyer flight through the night and into the castle. Suddenly, Alice’s blood froze. The grumpy talismanic bear, eagle had magically vanished but Alice could see the worms arranging themselves into a fresh set of words:
R E M E M B E R ~ T H E ~ O L D ~ S AY I N G
“What old saying?” asked Alice.
The gummy worms slithered.
I T ~ N E V E R ~ R A I N S ~ B U T ~ I T ~ P O U R S
“But that doesn’t make any sense!” Alice cried.
N E I T H E R ~ D O E S ~ Y O U R ~ D R E S S
Alice was being mocked by gummy worms. She turned and ran back to the castle.
Nun So Terrible.
In the Great Hall she searched for the oldest painting, The Boon & The Green Goat. It depicted a time long forgotten where the first master of the great castle, Igor Boon, had wrestled with the Green Goat before it could kick down the gates to the moat.
In the painting, behind Igor Boon, on a windswept hillside, Alice saw Harry. Some how he had been magically transported into the painting.
Alice looked down at the Amulet of Boon.
“This is never going to work,” she said to herself.
Nevertheless she held the amulet up near the painting and closed her eyes. There was the sound of a goat. Just then she realized she was also transported into the painting and she had lost the amulet! Alice saw Harry and ran toward him, but before she could reach him, Igor Boon stopped her. Alice started to scream for Harry, but Harry was to far away to hear.
When Igor got her to be quiet, he took her away to a strange and unfamiliar part of the castle, she was frogmarched along hallowed halls to her surprise which she had never seen before.
She stared in wonder at the women she saw patrolling the area, garbed in the outfits of nuns but bearing none of their civility, they looked at her with malevolence. It was clear to Alice that something was brewing in their minds.
She started to call out with repugnance….
“Brew not that mental beer, my bubs,
or you will rue the day
that I walked through these airy halls
and drained that brew away.
For tho you look like holy dames
your aims are clear to see –
you wish to to frame us all
and hang us in your gallery.
But I’ll outwit you yet, you’ll see,
I am a feminist,
and now you’ve got me all uptight –
I’m well and truly pissed!”
And with that she wrenched her arm free from Igor’s grasp, wheeled around, and ran directly toward the dastardly nun! Bravery had never been her strong suit but a glowing amulet around the nuns neck beckoned her.
She had to have it!
She dove directly at the nun reaching out with all her might to grab the glowing pendant but to her surprise….it turned into a green cobra which reached its head towards her and spat a gruesome wad of gummies down the front of her dress. These mocking, gooey worms were more vicious than the others, and made horrid comments about their mother.
“Your mother wears combat boots!” they chanted in unison.
The assault abruptly stopped when the door was thrown open by the ghost of great great…of Grandfather Albert Boon, holding the ghost of the Amulet of Boon, which wickered flickeringly with a weird and wondrous wiggle of smoking wampum which wore down the gruesome wad of gummies until they were nothing but a pile of ash on the floor.
A Profitable Prophecy.
“Now,” said the ghost of Grandfather Albert Boon. “You must take this precious thingy…this special watchmacallit…Amulet! And rescue your brother. He is in danger! If the Greeble Gang get to him before you do they will turn him into the King of the Gummy Bears. Only when a chewy jelly treat sits on the Throne of Boon will the prophecy be fulfilled.”
“The prophecy,” Grandfather Albert Boot said. “There’s got to be a prophecy or nothing ever gets done.” The ghost sighed and sat on the floor. “Oh you can call it a revolution if you want but it doesn’t have the same ring to it. Greebles are the anti-gummy. They want all yummy candy treats to taste of dirt and vinegar and dead rotten mice. They will soon come and suck Harry out of the painting and tie him to the throne. Only when the King of the Gummy Bears sits on the throne can the Greebles melt him down and repackage him as New Improved Gummy Bear! They’ll make billions!”
“Oh. My. God.” It all made sense now, well most of it…Alice mused over this. Okay, some of it…little bits did anyway. “Children all over the world will go nuts for new and improved shiny tasty treats!”
“Yes they will,” said Grandfather Albert Boon. “And when they do they will turn into Greebles who will invade Castle Boon and turn everyone into gummy worms.”
Alice snatched Amulet of Boon and fled. Her mind was racing with the visions of the auras around her, and she scrambled to understand what she had just heard. Nothing made sense any more. Vague memories of Catherine the Cook & garlic scented slithering creatures somehow connected her to this scene.
Feeling her way, as if through a fog, Alice found the painting of The Boon & The Green Goat. Igor Boon scowled at her when he saw she had the one true amulet.
“Ye shall never get away with it,” he snapped.
“Watch me!” shouted Alice.
The Amulet of Boon shone brightly in her hand. The painting melted and ran down the stone wall. Harry tumbled out of the painting at the same time as an army of Greebles surged through the castle.
Alice turned and held the amulet high above her head. The Greebles howled in dismay as the magic of the amulet revealed their true nature, the dreaded Jelly Baby Army. At once they began to dissolve and run into puddles of goo all over the stone floor.
“Alice!” cried Harry. “You saved me!”
“And don’t you forget it,” Alice replied.
Ahhh, That Makes Sense. Right?
The next day Alice and Harry were playing in their room. Alice was playing Peasants & Taxes, a game where the Court of My Little Pony served eviction notices to the Care Bear peasants for not paying their taxes. Harry was busy arranging his G.I Joe army into ranks based on who wrote the most entertaining blog.
“Harry?” asked Alice. “Do you think if the window hadn’t blown open last night we’d never have had a crazy adventure and learned of the prophecy or met some of our weird ancestors?”
Harry opened his mouth to answer when the bedroom door opened with a bang. Hector rushed in and took up a heroic stance, hands on hips, legs apart, chin up.
“Let me answer that for you my child!” he bellowed.
“Seriously, who is this guy?” asked Harry.
“An idiot,” Alice said with a frown.
Behind Hector was Catherine the Cook with her rosy red cheeks, bowl in hand and flour on her apron. She gave Harry and Alice an apologetic look.
“Come now children, don’t mock your father,” Catherine the Cook told them. She wagged a finger in their direction. “He might be a bit loopy but he’s got a good heart.”
“It’s not his heart we’re worried about,” Harry replied.
“King Harry!” snapped Catherine the Cook.
“Sorry mother,” Harry said quietly.
“Enough of this tot!” Hector cried out. “I shall tell you a tale of tales and you will listen!”
All three of them groaned.
“‘Twas a cold and stormy night on the Foxhearth Coastline. Boon Castle sat on a bluff overlooking the fierce waves. Despite its lonely and forbidding appearance the castle was a warm and lively place filled with colourful characters…”