Friday, January 08, 2010

Offspring


Later, when Harold thought about his reaction when first he learned of his mother's death, he remembered being annoyed by the sounds of the television in the background.

"Doug, turn down that noise!"

His brother looked at him but did not move from the couch.

"Lost the remote. Don't feel like getting up." he said.

Harold sighed. "There's better ways to do things, you know."

It was his Aunt Gigi who called with the news. The last time that Harold and Doug saw her, they were eleven and eight years old, respectively. She sat with them at the train station to wait for the people who would take them away from their mother, and to their new safe life. When two women arrived, both dressed in black and faces arranged in similar business-like expressions, the boys went with them without a fuss. They were obedient children and if their Aunt Gigi told them they had to do something, they did. They trusted her. Their mother, not surprisingly, never argued with her sister over this turn of events. She wanted many things but none included her children.

Over the years, Aunt Gigi kept in touch with them but thought it best not to speak too much about their mother's life. Harold now listened to the details of her death.

"She died in a storm?"

* * * * *

After Doug was asleep for several hours, Harold stood at the doorway of the bedroom and stared at him. The light from the full moon was bright enough to cast softened illumination on Doug's green complexion. It was not unlike his own, Harold thought as he touched his face.

They resembled their mother.

Even though they lived an early life unnourished by an affection that never filled their mother's heart or their souls, he was saddened by her loss. But he vowed he would never tell Doug about the absurdity of her death. A house! A house had fallen on her and killed her.

Then, the locals cheered and danced and sang.

"Ding dong the witch is dead!"

He knew his brother would laugh himself sick at the story, and rightly so. But a dead mother deserved respect, he thought.

Harold left Doug's room and sat by the fire in the study. He allowed himself final thoughts on the matter. They were happy and settled in this place where magic was also known and accepted, though Doug refused to learn how to harness his gift. No matter. As always, Harold would take good care of things.

He stood, ready for bed,  and pointed a finger at the fireplace. Its flames hissed away instantly.

There was nothing wicked about him.

51 comments:

  1. Excellent! Sucked me right in; I really felt for these kids - I hope I got it right, but although there might be nothing evil about Harold, reading between the lines, I reckon Doug's just like his mummy! :P

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  2. LMAO!! Masterful storytelling and so wonderfully wickedly funny; you had me going right to the end with this one.

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  3. clever and EVIL - good combo.

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  4. Haha! you had me going there, totally!
    "There's better ways to do things" indeed :)

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  5. "She wanted many things but none included her children." --Wow, that's resonant, M. I like your twist, too!

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  6. The first nightmare I ever had was after watching the wizard of oz. I was four. What the hell were they thinking? lol.... I liked this very much. I liked the way you gently led us by the hand right down the yellow brick road...wicked witch of the east as a mommy...never pictured that before...interesting idea...but omg...who's the daddy? LOTS of tequila that night methinks.

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  7. Excellent! A compelling tale from the get-go and well written throughout. Love how you use the Wizard of Oz (quite inventively by you) to tell a story that stands up on its own merits.

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  8. Very well told, strong imagery and a great ending.

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  9. Funny! Sucked me right in. Like Karen, I want to know who the daddy is.

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  10. Ahhh, lovely, just lovely. I didn't see that coming at all. Thank you xx

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  11. Great story. Smart and wicked. Nice introduction leads pleasantly into the turn at the end.

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  12. Ha! Nice spin!Ever since I read Greg Bear's retelling of Beauty & the Beast, I've wanted to try doing something like this. Hard to think in original lines from a classic story, but you've done a great job with this one! :-)

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  13. excellent imagination.

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  14. Brilliantly funny, as I've come to expect from you, Marissa.

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  15. That was surprising, your imagination never stops amazing me!
    Great story, I loved the idea of the the wicked witch of the east as a mommy :)

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  16. Wicked Good! A male perspective of "Practical Magic!" I enjoyed this one!

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  17. "A house! A house had fallen on her and killed her."

    Genius! Great piece, Marisa. I wondered where this would go until: "The light from the full moon was bright enough to cast softened illumination on Doug's green complexion..." Very enjoyable.

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  18. Loved your play on the Wiz. Just stupendous. But now I have that song running through my head and I can't shut it off... Peace, Linda

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  19. The story shifts going in the complete opposite direction I thought it would. I was thinking "oh ok this is a more serious piece about children dealing with death... blah blah blah." Then it shifts and takes a much more interesting turn.

    I also liked the use of dialog. From what I've seen so far, a lot of FF pieces don't make use of enough dialog.

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  20. "There was nothing wicked about him." Classic! Wonderful storytelling. Nicely written!

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  21. Was admiring the line "The light from the full moon was bright enough to cast softened illumination on Doug's..." Then: "green complexion." OMG, that was awesome. So perfectly jarring. Casting everything in a new light. ;) Enjoyed, felt so bad for the kids in the beginning in regard to the mother. Enjoyed, as always. :)

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  22. OMG, that was brilliant!

    I'm aware of "Wicked" but that's a WHOLE different spin. Fantastic concept.

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  23. I'm still chuckling!

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  24. This is excellent! I love the spin-off from the classic story.

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  25. Marissa,

    Great storytelling. I think your muse is doing great things! So many people have "evil" unpleasant people in their past - it is so hard to reconcile their feelings for them after they die. I really appreciate how you did this!

    Well done!

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  26. Fantastic Marisa! Just the laugh I needed to get me started on the path to recovery. You have such a clever imagination.

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  27. Excellent!! nasty...
    So well written. :)

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  28. I love the magical turn. You use the right amount of whimsy, although I want to see more of these characters.

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  29. Ha! You got me, reeled me in with that green bit and then: Wham.

    Now I'm ready for lions, and tigers, and bears: oh my!

    Thanks.

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  30. Great story! You really had a handle on this one. Great job!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

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  31. I didn't see that ending coming!

    Nice job.

    Puts me in the mood for some short story-telling...

    All the best,

    ~ Corra :)

    from the desk of a writer

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  32. Hi Marisa,

    Got your link from Nicola's Birthday Blog Bash. I'll bookmark your blog , will read and comment on your short story soon. Follow me if you are interested.
    www.leelasom.com

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  33. Nice new spin on an old story. Good stuff!

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  34. I liked the twist in the tale... had me bewitched and then amused. Well done.

    Douglas

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  35. Anonymous9:40 AM

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  37. Great story - am now in the process of reading more!

    Cat x

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  38. Cute, cute, cute. I loved it. Fun to know about the wicked witch's kids. And it was a great twist.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  39. Hi Marisa, I loved your story. Somehow I feel a special connection with you as I also sometimes (okay, often) do things out of order.

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  40. Nice! I love the Oz connection - I laughed out loud at that one :)

    Great work!

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  42. Prowling cautiously in from Nicola's blog birthday party. Oooh, what a story!

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  43. Welcome catdownunder! We had a good time at the blog party, didn't we?

    Glad you enjoyed the story. :)

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  44. Bewitching and captivating. I enjoyed the twist on this story.

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  45. Great job! When you got to the part about the house falling on her I figured where this was going, and it made me laugh out loud. Loved it!

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  46. Nice take on the Wizard of Oz and like other's I wonder how Doug's going to turn out.

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  47. Somehow the last sentence was just right (must be magic). You've got me wondering about Doug. We might have to keep our eye on that one...

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  48. This was wonderful! You did a fabulous job of leading the reader through this, to the letter perfect last sentence. Excellent piece of writing.

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  49. I love stories like that! Thoroughly enjoyed :)

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