“Mummy, tell me a story
please,” wheedled the russet haired lad tucked deep within his covers.
A crumpled pair of ears
peeked out revealing nothing more of the teddy bear that lurked beneath with a
concerned expression on its face.
The boy’s mother arched an
eyebrow: “A story? Why, did I not just read one last night?” she teased.
“Yes you did. Please,
mummy. I want to hear a holiday story, a special holiday story!”
Mother smiled softly
waving her hand at the lamp causing it to dim. The room dipped into a gentle
glow. The night sky appeared on the ceiling complete with all of the stars and
moons. She lowered herself onto the edge of the bed and stroked the silky brown
“Most assuredly I have a
tale to tell. It may not be quite what you had in mind, but I think it will
suffice. Is Teddy ready?”
The boy nodded his head.
“And are you ready?”
More vigorous nodding.
“Then let us begin. Our tale starts one Christhankstide Eve, on Mount Grimm, under the prime moon…”
Saint Olafinski sat
astride Philbert, his triple horned boar, gazing down from Mount Grimm.
Below, inside a glittering pool of light, was the town of Sahlter. Absently he twirled the end of his
long, thick beard around one finger. Moonlight gleamed off of his mane of white
hair which flowed majestically past his shoulders. Philbert snorted with
piggish delight. St. Olafinski took his bull hide gloves out from the thick
belt which strained to keep his gut constrained. Carefully he pulled them on, a
maestro preparing for his symphony.
Truly, our work is cut out for us this night. Such a den of unbridled joy shall
not go unrewarded. Most of all the children! Their bright young eyes shining
with the new light of morning will be celebration enough for us," he
There was a sharp ‘CRACK’
in the air followed by a parchment drifting down on the wind like a leaf. St.
Olafinski plucked it out, donned his reading spectacles and held the paper at
"Hrrm...It seems that
a young lady wants a new Pretty Pink Princess Fantasy Realm set. And by MY
BEARD SHE SHALL HAVE IT!" declared the leather and satin covered giant of
a man. He paused in rapt contemplation. "Yet where would I acquire such an
obvious object of unimaginable joy?"
There was another ‘CRACK’
which tore the very fabric of the inky sky. A smaller note dropped neatly into
St. Olafinski's hand. On it in clear black text was a name and address.
"HOHO, WE RIDE,
St. Olafinski dug his boot
heels into Philbert's sides urging the tan and gray striped boar downhill.
Headlong they plunged into the night air. A gibbous moon lit their path and
trees were black pillars rising from the hillside, rocks formed shadowy fingers
curling up from the ground. Philbert's fetid breath steamed in the winter's air
and his trotters clattered against the earth with the sound of thunder. The
heaving mass of man and beast vanished into the nighttime’s shroud.
The snow dusted streets of
Sahlter bustled with shoppers, vendors and members of the thieves’ guild.
Festive candles and lamps lit shops brightly with their luminescence. Patrons
moved in and out bearing packages and bundles. Round faces with rosy cheeks
smiled and nodded to each other in passing. Except of course for the thieves;
they kept their faces hidden in shadows and brushed against people, relieving
them of their valuables and then vanishing into the crowds.
A light snow continued to
coat the townsfolk as the evening progressed. The bent roofs leaned out over
the street in some places, offering a modicum of respite from the snow.
Scarcely anyone noticed when a dark purple mist began drifting in amongst the
bustling ankles of the people.
At the same time everyone,
save for perhaps two or three hardened murderers, gave a collective shudder as
a feeling of impending dread took hold of them. Several small children began to
wail in high keening voices. Parents clutched them closer wheeling away from
the shops. Inexplicably they started to make their way toward home. Shopping
and merriment fell off abandoned like outdoor tables in a sudden downpour. The
fog grew thicker, more intense in its effect. It spread throughout the streets
in a matter of a few moments.
The lanes were still in
the way that thoroughfares tend to get late at night in winter. Frost decorated
window sills, curbs and cobblestones. A slapping, shuffling sound interrupted
the quiet. A creature moved through the now deserted streets staying within the
dark corners. Long feet with tough leathery pads made a smacking noise against
the ground followed by the clicking of many claw tips rattling against the
cobblestones. ‘Thwap-clickety-clicktey-click’ they went. The legs were short in
proportion to both feet and torso, but bandy and covered with wire-like
muscles. Fine gray hair and a serviceable leather vest that had many pockets
covered its chest and abdomen.
Atop a long neck perched a
diamond shaped head. Needle sharp fangs protruded out of a tiny mouth below a
squared off snout. A lightning blue and black Mohawk decorated the crown of the
creature's head, splitting a pair of horns that jutted out in different
directions. Oversized cat ears jutted out horizontally from the side of its head,
pierced multiple times by heavy lead earrings.
Luminous yellow eyes
peered into the murky clouds of fog, seeking the least lit path. A belt rode
across the creature's hips containing several implements such as a hooked knife
and a morning star. On the other side was a fat pouch full of softly clinking
coins. From its neck hung an amulet containing a polished white and purple
marbled stone which radiated a gentle light.
Thunder drifted across the
night air, a long distant rumble that oppressed other sounds. The supernatural
fog wafted out into the air three inches behind the creature. Occasionally a
claw-tipped finger would tap the stone in the necklace causing more clouds to
gush out. It halted before a cheery storefront. In whimsical letters 'Fantasy
Realm Toy Shop' formed an arc over a frosted image of a castle. A grimace
crawled across its mouth as though an unpleasant relative just arrived
unannounced, but the long fingered hand grasped the door handle and pulled it
Light and warmth poured
out of the shop washing over the creature. It hissed out through its nose in
disgust forcing itself to cross the threshold. Blinking his huge eyes against
the well-lit shop he rubbed both sockets to ease the sting. Shelves on either
side of the entrance lay devoid of items for sale. Paper and ribbon in tattered
bits covered the floor. The creature shook out its long Mohawk flinging
droplets of melted snow in a splendid arc. A broad counter ran from side to
side at the back of the shop. A shelf behind it bore a single pearlescent pink
box emblazoned with the words: 'Pretty Pink Princess Fantasy Realm Play Set'
along with several Princess Patsy dolls and their accessories. A cruel smirk,
or perhaps another grimace, stretched across the small mouth.
The creature strode to the
counter, its large feet smacking wetly against the wood floor. Reaching the
counter, it swept the store with its yellow gaze, drumming its fingers against
the wood counter top. Rows of multi-tiered shelves that bore all manner of toys
for boys or girls filled the other half of the room. A minute passed and the
creature grew more agitated, the pace of its claws became staccato. It blinked
and looked across the counter spying a gleaming silver bell which bore the
label: 'Please Ring for Service.'
Gingerly, it reached out
with a slender finger and just barely pressed down with the tip of the nail. A
soft chime rang through the shop. The creature flattened its ears against its
skull, hissing through its nose. Still it waited. Several more minutes wandered
past with no assistance showing up. The creature realized that it would have to
ring the bell again. A second muscial 'ding' rang out.
No one came to help. The
amber eyes narrowed malevolently at the bell, sitting oh-so smugly on the
counter. Without warning a morning star flashed up overhead and descended in a
blur of spiked fury, decimating the bell. The creature gave the remnants
several more solid hits before stopping hastily as part of the rich wood fell
away from the head sized depression the weapon had left. Quickly the morning
star vanished and narrow lips not normally meant for whistling tried to affect
an innocent tune.
A thick green curtain
behind the counter parted revealing an average sized human wearing an off-white
smock with a patch that read: 'Bob.' The man was bald save for the pair of
bushy mutton chops that decorated his cheeks. He winked at a group of female
shoppers stroking the facial hair: “Ladies,” he said in an alluring voice.
The group of women
tittered before moving further into the store in search of gifts for giving.
The shopkeeper wore a welcoming smile, which twitched and wavered when he
spotted his damaged counter. Bob took in the sole customer remaining in the
vicinity, who just barely rose above the edge. The merchant took in the
needle-like teeth, chromatic eyes and gray fur.
"May I, um...help
you?" inquired the shopkeeper.
said the creature pointing at the box on the shelf.
"Ah, the number one
seller this holiday season. I am ‘Salacious’ Bob McKenna by the way, at your
service. That particular model is not for sale, it is already purchased and
awaiting pickup. Baron Von Woofen Schmooley himself is scheduled to pick it
up," Bob whispered conspiratorially.
the creature pointing at itself. “I wantsss it.”
"You're a minion if I
am not mistaken. Is that correct?" Bob guessed.
box," spat the minion. It was as though the mere mention of the color hurt
"The 'Pretty Pink
Princess Fantasy Realm Play Set'? You are most fortunate in that I am having
several more sets to put out on the floor momentarily."
"Must have… The
“Yes of course,” Bob’s
face was bland. “I would suggest you get in line over there in order to have a
go at getting a set.”
Bob waved in the direction
of a velvet rope labyrinth where a crowd waited impatiently. With a trademark
glower the minion took a step toward the crowd with the morning star once again
dangling from his hand and a wicked gleam in his eyes. Bob cleared his throat
pointing a sign that read: “No Weapons, No Magic, No Foolin’!”
On cue a pair of massive
Ogres shouldered their way from the backroom into the shop. They crossed their
thick arms athwart unimaginably broad chests and scowled. Roderick considered
his own scowl to be top notch. However here was a pair that boded an unpleasant
and certainly sticky end. With great caution Roderick placed his weapon on the
countertop. Then he went through the rest of his pockets divesting himself of
his remaining potions, favorite black jack and a few booby-traps.
Feeling almost weightless
Roderick sulked over to the line and stepped in behind a pair of older women
clutching coupon books and brightly color pieces of paper. Roderick took in his
surroundings. Checking to see if the Ogres were paying attention he slipped
through narrow openings between shoppers in the line like smoke through a
The line was not as long
as it had first appeared to be. Only three patrons now stood ahead of him. He
smiled at them showing off rows of pointy teeth. They paled slightly. Roderick
hitched his thumbs into his belt and rocked back on his heels. An elderly Dwarf
stood at the head of the line before him. She (or perhaps he) arched a bushy
eyebrow then returned to stoic contemplation of the aisle ahead.
From behind him came a
tapping sound. It was wood against wood, object hitting floor, the thudding
drew closer. It stopped. A long wheezing cough sprayed unidentified wet bits
across the nape of Roderick’s neck. He twitched involuntarily and spun around
with narrow slits for nostrils and eyes. A shambling, phlegmy mass stood
huddled mere inches from the minion. It took Roderick a few seconds to realize
that the mass was a human woman wearing a hat and very tattered cloak upon
which lichen grew and that pulsed with a strange reddish inner light. Beady
eyes peeked out from under the brim of the felt hat flicking up and down
"Oo, aintcha a narrah
one,” rasped the newcomer.
She shuffled forward
closing the last few inches between them. The brim of her hat tipped up as she
gazed into Roderick’s eyes. He in turn looked down his nose at her. The eyes
that met his gaze were close-set and sunk into many folds of wrinkled skin. He
took a step backwards while the dorsal hair on his neck stood upright.
“Wotcher lookin’ for in
here muh wee furry lackey?” she asked with a voice as dry as old parchment. “A
bit o’ joy fer the master mebee.”
“On a quessst,” affirmed
"Mmm, to be sure an'
its’ a doozy. Mean pun’shment waitin’ if you fail?”
Minioning,” the woman said slyly.
Roderick nodded slowly in
agreement then took a sideways step away from the woman, who he believed was
probably a witch from the southern swamps. Resolutely he turned his gaze back
to the aisle where the cardboard and cellophane prize awaited him. A few sad
squishy noises from the witch made his ears spasm uncontrollably.
Another noise distracted
him from his glowering. It was that of sniffling. Turning his head Roderick
discovered a young man standing next to him. The youth was dressed completely
in black pajamas with a cowl draped around his neck. A delicate tendril of
mucus dangled from the right nostril, stretching and defying gravity. A weak
smile flickered in Roderick’s direction. Roderick blinked once, but when his
eyes opened the kid was gone. A slight scuffling sound drew his attention to
his right. There was the youth again.
Sets. They’retotallyboss. Idon’thavethePrettyPinkPricesssetyetbutwhenIdoit’llcompletemycollection.”
Roderick winced. The
youthful vigor oozed literally and figuratively from every orifice and pore. He
sidled away from the raven garbed boy. His barefoot squelched down into a
puddle of something cold, viscous, and sticky.
“mmmm, now yer innit
ain’tcha?” the witch cackled.
Roderick scanned the crowd
that was gathering behind the witch and kid. The crowd began to look like a
swelling mass of water about to burst over a dam. Roderick considered fleeing,
briefly. However the vision of his master’s torture chamber along with all of
the recently sharpened pointy things sent a chill down Roderick’s elongated
Grumbling even more the
minion pivoted again to face the red velvet rope blocking his passage into the
aisle where three pink boxes shone in magnificent light, sparkling like gems in
the underground vaults of the master’s holdings.
“It’sjustspeciallightingtocreatetheillusionofglitteringjewels. WhenImoveoutofmyparentshouse, I’mgonnasetupalightingrigthatwillbejustasspectacularasPhilbertssilvertippedtusks!”
enthused the young man.
A store clerk wearing a
suit of plate mail clanked up to the rope sparing Roderick from further
dealings with the boy for the time being. Blonde pigtails stuck out from the
helmet. Lifting the visor a young woman smiled broadly at the entire group with
pearly white teeth. As she talked her magically enhanced dimples radiated
cuteness. Roderick shielded his eyes from the overpowering adorableness.
“Hiyee everyone! We’re
just so super thrilled that you’ve chosen to shop with us tonight. We know that
in a last ditch effort to please the children who control every aspect of your
waking lives you have limited choices. Wisely you came here to Salacious Bob’s
Fantasy Realm Toy Shop! SQUEEE! Anyhoodle. There are some rules we have to
obey, otherwise Mr. Frowny comes out, and you don’t want Mr. Frowny to come
out. Do you?” she burbled fixing a cold gaze on Roderick.
Cautiously he shook his
head negatively. It felt strange to shake his head for it was not often that he
got to answer anyone in the negative. Call it an occupational hazard waiting to
happen if you will.
"Righty-o! Here we
go. Just a few of the tiniest rules, okayee? No weapons, no wands, no potions,
no curses, no charms, no scrolls and no traps. No telekinesis, no
teleportation, no hypnosis, no poisoning, no tripping, no poking and no turning
to stone. No fireballs, no chain lightning, no prismatic sprays, no cursing
(not to be confused with curses), no illusions. No refunds, no rebates, no
kidding. Any complaints may register them with Mr. Frowny. Okayee?”
The clerk paused and
snapped a bubble with her gum. She looked over at ‘Salacious’ Bob, who had an
eye on the large clock, the other pinned on a buxom patron. As the hands lined
up on Midnight he gave a sharp nod of his head. The clerk clapped down her
visor and deftly unhooked the rope and flung it aside.
Roderick moving quickly
leapt over the rope the exact instant that the clerk unhooked it. A howl of
anger rose up from the crowd behind him. The pounding of his feet and heart drowned
out the trailing sound of many aggravated holiday shoppers in pursuit. His
claws extended grasping for the nearest box that was his prize, just
millimeters away from contact. A black shadow materialized in front of
Roderick. Unable to stop himself, the minion ran straight into a thick wooden
plank that swung into his path.
shrieked the boy dropping the shelf and plucking one of the boxes from its
place. In a burst of hyperkinetic speed he vanished up the aisle making for the
checkout counter. Roderick pulled himself up off the floor disoriented and
angry while shaking his head to clear it.
Snarling he reached for
the next box. This time a wizened hand jutted in and slapped his away
forcefully. Pain flared across his knuckles. Blinking in surprise he stared at
the shambling mound of a witch. A silver ruler disappeared into the tatty folds
of the cloak. On his hand a red line cut down through the fur to the hide
beneath. Cackling naughtily the witch scooped up the second box, shuffling back
down the row of shelves.
Roderick shook his hand
several times to test its responsiveness. It hurt but still functioned.
Thankfully it was only one blow from the silver implement. A quick hit at that.
Prolonged exposure could be fatal to minions of his kind. Out of the corner of
his eye the last box waited. A tentative smile broke out. Roderick looked in
both directions before grabbing the play set. He hugged it tightly to his
A dull thump concussed the
air around Roderick. Curling smoke followed the blast. It was like moonlight
and talons and feathers bursting forth with shimmering sparkles of gold and
jazz hands. Out of the cloud emerged a massive figure.
“HOHO, err I mean: Greetings,
fellow shopper. It is I…uh..Thorgensson…uhm…Smith.”
The enormous gentleman
standing before Roderick had an unkempt shock of white hair and comical black
glasses without any lenses. A rubber nose decorated the man’s face. A leather
gauntleted hand reached down and tried to pry the box out of the minion’s thin
“Please my good man, I
need this item.”
Thorgensson poked Roderick
in the chest with a finger almost as thick as one of Roderick’s arms thrusting
him back against the toy shelves.
"Listen to me you
vile little miscreant, there is a deserving child out there somewhere in dire
need of this toy. I’ve dealt with work stoppages, supply chain strikes and a
pair of Panty Pixies who refuse to believe that my workshop isn’t part of
something called: ‘Ale Pong Golf.’ No two bit sawed off boot licking minion is
going to deny me!” yelled the mountain of a man at the mote of a minion.
A ham-like hand seized
Roderick by the throat and hoisted him clear of the floor. Cold blue eyes bore
into his golden ones. Roderick gave a little snort through his nostrils. Far
scarier beings than this had done worse than this. A deep throat clearing
operation began next to the pair. They each rotated an eye to examine the girth
of an Ogre. A cracked tusk jutted brusquely from its lower jaw.
“’ere now, there’s no
cause for wot you doin. Put der little feller down, gentle like,” the Ogre told
“I insist that this foul
creature relinquish the play set,” demanded Thorgensson.
“For the master…” Roderick
“I don’ care wat choo are
fightin ‘boot. No violence is to be per’petrated on these here premises…” The
Ogre took a beat, savoring the bit of gristle wedged between two molars and the
moment as well. “…’less me or Alice is doin’ it.”
“Alice,” guffawed Thorgensson. “The other Ogre
is called Alice?”
“You may wish to strongly
reconsider your position of mirth concerning the naming of me brother see’n as
how he’s the one which busted me tusker.”
“Oh,” said the slightly
mollified gentleman. “Well, never you mind about that. I have work that needs
done. Noble righteous work. Where may I get another Pretty Pink Princess
Fantasy Realm Play Set?”
“The little feller has the
last one. Deal wit it,” said the Ogre turning his back on them and lumbering
Roderick until his feet again touched the ground. Thorgensson backed up a step
and raised his hands in capitulation. Suddenly the massive man’s face went wide
with surprise. Pointing a trembling finger he shouted: “It’s the master!”
Roderick snapped his head
around wondering what the master was doing down in the town. It was unlike him
to leave his lair.
yelped as he swiped the parcel out of Roderick’s claws.
Roderick slapped his hand
over his eyes pulling it down over his face, gaping at the retreating figure
sprinting up the aisle toward the check out counter. That man just duped him
with a ‘shocked face head fake.’ If the Creeping Cruds down on level 3 of the
Proving Grounds got wind of this he’d never hear the end of it. Roderick
surveyed the store. Thorgensson was at the counter stingily counting out coins
from a small fringe covered coin purse, unaware shoppers meandered around like
so many sheep (thinking of such made Roderick smack his thin lips in hunger.)
Moving swiftly Roderick approached the two Ogres.
“Wheresss back exit?”
The Ogres peered down at
Roderick then exchanged a knowing glance.
“That white haired prat
done made a fool of you, didn’t he fella?” asked Alice.
“Can you see yer way o’
mebbe greasin’ a few palms for such intelligence?” inquired the Not Alice Ogre.
Roderick hefted a coin
purse of his own. What it lacked for in fringe, it made up with weight. Without
hesitating, he dropped it into the Ogre’s hand. A pair of smiles stretched
across their faces. Alice
swept Roderick’s equipment into a tidy pile and dumped it into the minion’s
“Well sir, it’s been a
great pleasure it has. Mind your step, through those curtains; take a right,
last door in the dark hallway. Tonight’s passcode is ‘Turtle Brownies.’
And I ain’t talking about no baked goods neither. Hey-o!”
“’Cor Alice, don’ be like
that. Not in front o’ the customers,” admonished his brother. “Best o’ luck to
ye. I tink yer quarry parked in the alley outside the exit, so if you move
Roderick nodded and jogged
through the curtain while stuffing his supplies back into their normal places
on his belt. He turned right once through the curtain and entered a dark
hallway. His eyes made the gloom appear as midday. The exit door loomed ahead.
Arriving in front of it Roderick hissed: “Turtle Browniesss.”
A sighing sort of sound
came from the door. Two bars retracted into unseen recesses allowing the door
to swing open. Snow dusted the door’s stoop. A chill blast of wind ripped into
the hall ruffling Roderick’s fur. The air smelled clean, crisp and like
unwashed bacon. Swinging the exit wide open Roderick took in the scene in the
A tan boar with gray
stripes and triple silver tipped horns stood majestically in the cramped alley.
Oily black hair made up its mane and tiny red coals glowed where eyes normally
were. It looked in Roderick’s direction and squealed loudly. One cloven hoof
pawed at the cobblestones launching sparks with each blow. Roderick rubbed his
hands together out of sheer glee.
“Nicesss piggy,” cooed
He looked over the
threshold into the alley. To his right was the main thoroughfare, to the left
the corridor dog legged to the right. Fluffy glistening flakes of snow drifted
out of the inky sky. The boar shook its great shoulders flinging melted snow
drops in all directions. At the mouth of the alley rapid footsteps drew
Roderick’s attention. The huge figure from the shop came into view. The pink
box reflected weakly some of the light from a lamp on the street.
Roderick twined his
fingers together and cracked his joints. The bear of a man stole another glance
in the direction he had come from and darted toward the boar.
yourself, we ride immediately,” he clamored in a high pitched tone.
Thorgensson slid to a halt
in the wet snow next to the boar. He gave the beast a quick scratch between the
triad of horns that protruded from its snout. Roderick hissed with all of his
might. The noise startled the large man into dropping the Pretty Pink Princess
Fantasy set. He whirled around and found himself belly to face with the glimmering
yellow eyes of Roderick.
“Err, hello little fellow.
Nice to uhm, see you again. I say, this is awkward isn’t it?” mumbled
“Wantsss the box. For the
master!” insisted Roderick pointing a talon tipped finger at the package.
“Yes well, too bad you
can’t use any of your weapons or potions in the store. Because there is nothing
you can do to prevent me from completing my task.”
The enormous man stooped
down and picked up the play set. Shaking snow off of the box he said over his shoulder:
“A very special child, one who is kind and deserving, is going to receive this
gift under her Christhankstide Mule.”
“No. For the master’s
child. You are thief!”
“I most certainly am not.
I am Saint Olafinski, the Patron Saint of Christhankstide, the beloved icon for
thousands of children across the realm. Surely you know of me.”
“Thief! Nasty robber.
Jussst like the adventurersss in the master’s Proving Groundsss.”
“Whatever. Point is, you
cannot stop me.”
“Can too,” Roderick
disagreed shaking out his favorite morning star.
St. Olafinski eyed the
mauling weapon and snorted derisively. “You can’t use that, you’re in the store
and the guards won’t let you.”
Roderick smiled a broad
and wicked smile. He took one exaggerated step over the threshold.
“Not in store now…”
With a flick of his wrist
Roderick threw a handful of black power with gold flecks at St Olafinski. The
self-confessed holiday symbol drew a deep breath since the attack startled him.
The sudden intake of air brought the powder into his body freezing him stiff as
a statue. Only his eyes could move. He blinked in surprise. Roderick stalked
the few short feet between them.
He did several very violent
and indescribable things to the hapless Saint Olafinski, leaving him reduced to
a painful heap. Philbert eyed the small creature that just laid out his owner
and oinked more than a little nervously. Roderick took the Pretty Pink Princess
Fantasy set from St. Olafinski’s unconscious hands. Moving to the entrance of
the alley Roderick peered out. The streets were empty. Better to be wary
though. He was about to touch the gemstone around his neck when he had a second
thought. Turning to look back down the alley at Philbert another evil smile
crossed his lips.
“Piggy tasty? I thinksss
so. The Minions holiday bonusss, nice tasty ham.”
Roderick tapped the gem
issuing great billowing clouds of the fog. From within the depths of the mist
there came a terrible squeal, followed by silence and a grave sense of paranoia
and dread. A familiar sound of slapping feet against wet cobblestones echoed up
the alley joined this time by the sounds of something very heavy being dragged.
“And that my dear was the
year Saint Olafinski did not complete his journey.”
“Oh mummy, that’s just
dreadful,” whispered the boy.
“In a way it is. In
another way it is even worse. You see, history did not forget the little girl
who wanted that play set just as badly as Roderick’s master’s daughter.
Devastated by disappointment that awful Christhankstide morning, the young lady
never fully recovered from her perceived loss. She allowed a seed of anger to
fester deep within her soul.”
“What happened then?” the
young lad asked.
“She was a young witch.
She had cast a spell to deliver the information to Saint Olafinski regarding
the gift she desired. From the day she was so bitterly disappointed she focused
her energy into the study of dark magic, eventually conquering the Fantasy
Realm by the time she was twenty three.”
The mother paused and
rubbed the boy’s back reassuringly. “Eventually your great-great-grandfather
Thews of Barbaria slew the unhappy wretch and freed the kingdom. The lesson you
should take from this is: It is not necessarily the disappointments in life but
rather how we handle them that defines our character.”
The boy lay silent in his
bed for a moment contemplating the starry sky above him.
“Mummy, does this mean I’m
not getting the Storm Siege Castle play set?” he asked suspiciously.