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No Good Deed: Ch9 - Treks With A T-Rex
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Shady Stoat



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:18 am    Post subject: No Good Deed: Ch9 - Treks With A T-Rex  

Chapter Nine: Treks with a T-Rex

Elladora considered the problem. There was no point in giving this little minx a sweet little fairy-tale adventure, full of talking mushrooms and buttercup fairies. Something told her that Carly would be less than impressed with any adventure that ended in a pat on the head from the local village Constable, and a slap-up cream tea at the end of it.

No. For the sort of wish that she wanted to grant, she was going to need some backup.

“This will take a little work,” she said, sweetly. “I’ll be back before the end of the day, dear. Then – you shall have your adventure. In full.”

Carly’s shout of excitement was the last thing that Dora heard as she swooshed herself out of the bedroom.

She shook her head and wished for an age where children would at least learn to recognise a well-delivered threat when it hit them in the face…

---------

Now was not the time to go chasing down Carly’s wish. Not that she wouldn’t have liked to – but there was that darned training course to give at eleven o’clock. What on earth was she going to tell a dozen fairy-godmothers about the success of her own wish-granting techniques?

She pictured herself addressing the audience. ‘My fellow godmothers - just aim for disaster and everything will turn out all right!’ It had about as much chance of success as anything else she could think to say!

She hadn’t so much as spared a thought on the training session, and she came to the uncomfortable conclusion that it was already too late for her to begin planning now. She would just have to wing it (with a most inadequate pair of wings!) and hope.

In the meantime, she could get back to her cottage and spare an hour for a cup of tea – and, yes, let’s face it, a cream bun.

Arriving in her hallway, though, the first thing she saw was Chuzzle’s apologetic face peering out of the kitchen.

She closed her eyes briefly. “What. Have. You. Done.”

He whimpered slightly. “Tweren’t me, Miss Chubb. I didn’t do nothin’. It insisted on comin’ in and waitin’. I said yer wouldn’t be ‘appy about it. I told it yer didn’t…”

“What insisted?” snapped Elladora. Then, following the nervous twitch of his eyes, she pushed past him and went into the kitchen.

There, perched on her dining room table, was the largest and ugliest vulture that she had ever seen! Not that she had seen that many that a meaningful comparison was possible! Still, it didn’t help that this one seemed to have gone to the toilet on one of her best tablecloths.

As she stood there, gathering her outrage, it opened its beak and spoke.

“Ah. You’re back then?” it cawed, hoarsely. “Good. Fate asked me pass on a message as I was flying by your cottage. She said to be sure to deliver it personally. You should get a better housegnome, by the way. This one’s a bit short on manners.”

Elladora immediately felt a little better disposed towards Chuzzle. Any bird that preached manners to her after doing its business on her tablecloth was, in her opinion, asking to see the dining table from a whole different perspective. Preferably one that involved gravy, roast potatoes and sage and onion stuffing!

“If you’re here to deliver a message, you’d better deliver it,” she gritted.

The vulture spread its wings and gave a halfhearted flap. Elladora winced as its talons bit through the cloth and into the wood itself. Fate’s attempt at theatrics was scratching her table to bits! And what was more, it was making her think in italics!

“Fate just said that she wanted to see you straight away,” declared the vulture, settling back into its earlier posture. “Before the training session. On pain of being demoted to Gratitude Gremlin. That’s what she said.”

Dora heaved a hefty sigh. “Right. You’ve delivered your message. Now get off my table and out of my house.”

The vulture fixed her with a beady stare. “I see where the housegnome gets his manners. All right, I’m going.”

With a squawk (and taking a final chunk out of the dining table) the vulture flapped noisily into the hall and out of the still-open front door. Elladora glared after it.

Then she caught sight of the nervous-looking gnome, standing behind her. For once, he had nothing to worry about. She allowed her expression to become less severe.

“Don’t let it worry you, Chuzzle. You can’t stop Fate – or her little tricks.”

‘That’s my job,’ she added silently. Then, aloud. “Just see what you can do with the tablecloth while I’m gone. And the table, too. I’m going to see Fate.”

No tea. No cream buns. Just anxious gnomes and unexpected vultures as a rather poor replacement. It was with a decidedly irritable swish to her wand that Elladora disappeared towards the Palace of Threads.

--------------

It was with a sense of inevitability that Dora trudged up to Fate’s front door. One way or another, it was going to get her in the end. She might as well face it squarely and accept the outcome.

With a resolute grip, she tugged on the bell-rope.

There was a far-off chime. Elladora winced and waited.

…and waited…

Something disastrous failed to happen. Eventually, the fairy-godmother was forced to unclench her muscles and take a cautious breath. She heard the sound of footsteps and cringed anew as the door was opened.

“Oh. Hi Elladora. Come on in.”

Dora blinked in confusion. Alexander Rose was standing at Fate’s front door and nothing bad was happening. It was as if a sabre-toothed tiger had just pounced on her… and proceeded to talk about the weather.

“Uhh…” she began, uncertainly.

Fate’s manservant had already turned and was halfway down the hall. Suddenly, he turned back and strode towards her with a frown on his face.

‘Ah,” thought the fairy-godmother. ‘Here it comes.’

It certainly did – but it was not what she had expected.

“Miss Chubb,” he began, “What do you know about this Veronica Crumpet?”

“I… errr… what?” managed Elladora.

He clasped his hands together. His fingers knotted and twisted against each other.

“Veronica. Veronica Crumpet. You know? That girl you were talking to yesterday.”

He looked desperately uncomfortable. Elladora just looked perplexed.

“It’s just… well… she’s been… uhh…”

“Oh, spit it out, man!” She began to lose patience with him.

He took a deep breath. “She’s been bugging me,” he said, rushing the words out. “You know – sending me letters and stuff.”

He blushed. “It’s not like I’m interested or anything. I just… well, I just… wondered about her. That’s all.”

Elladora wore a look of profound disbelief. What was she now – an agony aunt?

Before she could answer, however, a figure stepped out of the study, directly behind the sweating form of Alexander Rose.

“Having a nice chat, are we?” intoned Fate. “And did you manage to finish your door alterations, by any chance, Mr. Rose?”

“Oh. Umm. Well…” If he had been blushing before, you could have toasted marshmallows on his cheeks at this point. “I… not yet.”

“Then I won’t hold you up any longer,” Fate said in a voice of smooth viciousness. “Perhaps you could keep your mind on the job for long enough to complete your chores?”

Then, as she ushered Elladora into her study, she added, in perfectly audible tones, “You just can’t get the staff these days, Miss Chubb.”

Dora felt faintly puzzled. This day was turning out to be very unusual. First she had been feeling sorry for Chuzzle, and now Alexander Rose. What was the world coming to, she wondered.

The study door shut behind them. Elladora turned wearily to Fate.

“What is it this time?” she asked.

Fate sat down in one of the leather armchairs. “I merely wanted to remind you that your…” She paused, and then sneered the next word, “good reputation is an illusion that can be maintained or broken. Be very careful what you say when you are training the rest of my employees, Miss Chubb.”

Dora raised her eyebrows. “Is it my reputation you’re worried about, Fate? Or yours?”

“Merely a friendly warning,” hissed Fate, sounding anything but friendly. “If you choose to misspeak yourself at the schoolhouse, many of your recent privileges can be revoked as easily as they have been granted.”

“My privileges?” The fairy-godmother barked out a humourless laugh. “Every privilege I’ve gained recently has been fought for with blood, sweat and tears. My own and other peoples. So don’t go telling me that you can revoke them. If you could have, you would have by now.”

She continued, overriding Fate. “Which brings up another point. Chuzzle. My new housegnome. Were you ever going to tell me that he’d been fired before?”

“I really don’t see that it’s any of your concern, Miss Chu…”

“None of my concern?” exploded the fairy-godmother before Fate had finished. “None of my concern? It is if he starts hogging my orb at all hours and leaving me with an enormous bill to pay!”

Fate smiled an unpleasant little smile. “Ah. You’ve found out about his little problem then?”

Despite having suspected it, Elladora was aghast that her boss had admitted pre-knowledge of the problem so readily. She found herself stunned into silence.

“You see,” continued her employer, “that was what made him such a perfect candidate as your housegnome. You seem to have a recent… predisposition… for turning peoples’ lives around. Making them see the errors of their ways. Consider Chuzzle your next project, my dear Elladora.”

Dora fumed. She would have loved to continue this conversation to its conclusion – preferably while Fate was chained and being rapidly lowered into a pit of boiling lava. Already, though, she was in danger of running late for her appointment with the other godmothers. She simply didn’t have time for this. Not right now, at least.

“At least tell me this,” she snapped. “How many times has he been fired? How deep does this problem go?”

Fate pretended to consider, although Dora was almost certain she already knew the answer.

“Hmm. I believe he has gone through three employers before yourself,” she said, at last. “The Lady Luck found him most… unlucky. She passed him on to one of the guardian angels, I think – you know, the one with the green hair and the unsightly acne? Then, I believe he was employed by the Sandman for a while. When he came into my care, I knew that you and he would get along famously.”

“Like a house on fire,” glared Elladora. “Unfortunately, it could well be my house!”

She glance at the time and rose from her chair. “I’ve got to go. We’ll settle this later!”

She stalked out of the study, considering the problem of her gnome. Luck, the green-haired guardian and the Sandman, eh? Well, she had to visit the Sandman later on, anyway. Perhaps she could get some more insight then.

For now, she had a training course to attend. Just one more road-trip into the chaos that her world had become, lately.

Sighing, she turned the handle of the front door and opened it. In an instant, she was surrounded by a wind that shrieked and howled. Her clothing flapped around her like a horde of insane ducks. She staggered backwards, hands clawed to find something to cling to. She snatched at a presentation table, which promptly fell over, taking her with it.

A moment later, the wind dropped down to merely gale force. Then to a strong gust, a faint breeze… and stillness.

Elladora glared out from the mop that had been her hair just a few moments ago. Predictably, Alexander Rose was standing in the doorway, grinning sheepishly.

“Well, at least the wind machine’s back on again,” he said, apologetically. “Now I just have to get it blowing in the right direction.”

------------

By the time that she had tidied herself up (and walloped Alexander Rose so hard that his teeth had rattled!), Elladora was running to the very last second of the very last minute. She waved her wand, reappeared in front of the square-built schoolhouse and hurried up its steps as fast as her legs would carry her. She vowed, as she always did at moments of extreme exercise, to cut down on the consumption of cream-cakes in the future.

Stopping to catch her breath for a few precious seconds, she tried to regain her composure as she entered the classroom. Twelve godmothers were already there, looking more bored than eager. Elladora couldn’t honestly blame them. This was going to be a gigantic waste of everyone’s time.

The chimes sang out from the belltower above, declaring it to be eleven o’clock. As the clock struck, she found herself unprepared. There had been no time to think, no time to plan. She had no idea what to tell all these bored minions before her – other than ‘Let’s all go home – I won’t tell if you don’t.’

That wouldn’t really do either, of course. One of them was bound to sneak off and tell Fate – who would delight in bringing it to the attention of the Powers – and then she would find herself on a training course about giving training courses!

Well, she was bound to think of something. She opened her mouth.

“Let’s begin.”

There was a general ‘rhubarb’ of agreement from the other godmothers. If nothing else, it proved that they were still alive.

Elladora tried to gather her thoughts. They milled like stubborn sheep.

“Right. Well, I expect you’re wondering how I’ve achieved my… err… recent success,” she began, wondering rather the same thing herself. “It all began a few weeks ago, when I noticed…”

She trailed off. Then began again.

“It was when I hit my godmothering centenary, and I began to think…”

No. That wasn’t going to work either.

“You see, I had a backlog of difficult wishes, and, at the time I…”

The semi-interested expressions on the faces of her audience were rapidly turning into semi-concerned ones. They were now hanging on her every word – which was strange, because she was saying absolutely nothing of any value whatsoever!

She took a deep breath and decided that there was no option but to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in.

“You want to know why my wishes are working out so wonderfully, when yours aren’t?” she demanded, looking around the class. “Then take a good hard look at our jobs! Hasn’t anyone noticed that we’re no longer granting wishes to people who need them – or even want them? Doesn’t anyone else see that granting someone instant fame or a Prince to marry isn’t going to make them happy? Don’t you see? It’s all outdated nonsense. We’re relics from a bygone age! If only we could wave a magic wand and bring ourselves up to date with the modern world! But we…”

“…can!”

Astoundingly, one of the sheep-faced fairy-godmothers stood up. “I see exactly what you’re saying,” she continued, looking around the group with a sort of shy enthusiasm. “I’ve felt it myself. What the fairy-godmothers really need… is further training in psychology!”

There was a buzz of conversation. Then another stood up. “Shouldn’t it be sociology? I mean, we have to consider the welfare of the community as a whole when we’re granting our wishes. I just think…”

“Yes yes yes,” interrupted the first, impatiently. “Psychology for the individual wisher, sociology for the extra family and community benefits. What I’m saying, though, is it all comes down to a greater understanding of…”

Beyond all likelihood, a third godmother stood up. “Sorry for interrupting, but I don’t think that’s what Elladora was trying to say at all.” She turned back to Dora. “Unless I’m mistaken?”

“Well… I mean… no…” floundered Elladora, completely taken aback by the sudden signs of life from her crowd of zombie-attendees. “All I was trying to say…”

“…was that, maybe we should be referring the wishes through a more responsible channel,” finished the third godmother, triumphantly. “It stands to reason – if the children aren’t capable of making rational and reasonable requests, perhaps the parents should have veto – or at least an input into the situation. We could…”

“…put it to the vote? Perhaps a proportional representation system that…”

“…yes, but what about the psychology courses? I still think…”

“…well, obviously we can attack this problem from a three-pronged point of view. There’s always…”

Dora’s jaw hung open. Whatever she had expected, it had not been this! It was like watching a revolution break out at the Women’s Institute Annual Cake-Bake. She wondered whether to continue speaking, to try to inject a little sanity back into the proceedings.

She could have spared herself the worry. A fire had been lit in the souls of the downtrodden godmothers and her words were no longer needed to fan the flames. The rest of the hour was taken up with non-stop psychobabble and one godmother shouting the next down. Each suggestion was crazier than the last, but none were discarded and each was greeted with the fervour of a true zealot.

Finally, morbid curiosity gave way to boredom. There was no sign of them stopping – ever! They were so involved with their multi-layered approaches and ratified statements that they never noticed when she crept out of the front door and onto the steps outside.

With a resigned sigh at the madness of the world, she swished her wand and disappeared towards her next destination.

-----------

It was half past twelve and Elladora’s stomach was beginning to growl. However, for once, there were more important things than food to take care of. That session in the schoolhouse had cost her far more of a busy day than she could comfortably afford to lose. Now it was lunchtime and she still had an entity to visit, a wish to sort out, another wish to spy on and a housegnome to tackle.

Life had never been so full (unlike her stomach!).

It was for this reason that she forewent the usual courtesy of walking to her next destination. Instead, she chose to rematerialize directly in front of it.

The Sand Castle. She looked up at the building and sighed. Such a fragile house. It always turned to formless mud at the first heavy rain, or ended up getting trampled by passing ogres. Currently, it seemed in fairly good repair, with just one corner having been squashed down under a heavy boot-print.

Given the usual state of the house’s occupant, though, Elladora rather doubted whether the damage had even been noticed.

She wandered up to the front door and gave a cautious knock. A distinct set of knuckle-prints were left behind. She rubbed the back of her hand absently against her skirt and waited for someone to answer.

A minute later, when nobody did, she rapped again. Then, not entirely unsurprised, she pushed open the door and ventured inside.

Even for a Limbo house, the interior of this one was… well, a bit odd. Powdery golden sand covered the floor in place of carpets. The walls were painted sky blue with cloud patterns and a constant noise of waves and seagulls echoed through every room of the home. There was the strong scent of salt and seaweed – and something a little bit more intoxicating underneath it. Weed of a sort, certainly… but nothing at all to do with the sea.

Wrinkling her nose with prudish distaste, Elladora followed the more subtle aroma towards the back of the house. There, lying flat out on an enormous beige beanbag, was the one she sought.

She wafted the fog of purple smoke away, coughed whilst simultaneously trying not to breathe too deeply, and managed:

“Good afternoon, Sandman.”

For a moment, she thought he hadn’t heard her. Then his eyes opened and he smiled dreamily.

“Whhoooaaa. Elladora. Dude – I mean, Dudette – have a seat. Chill.”

Dora resisted the impulse to roll her eyes. Despite the Sandman’s wavy blond hair and wild surfer tan, she knew that his manner of speech was as much of an affectation as Fate’s twelve-piece orchestra. Underneath the Californian beach-bum was a lanky student from Liverpool, twelve years into his Limbo job, but certainly not twelve years wiser for the experience.

She took a seat at the far end of the room, where the smoke was, at least, a little thinner. There was nothing fake about that part of the image!

“I was wondering if I could prevail on you for a favour?” she asked, beginning to feel a little light-headed.

The Sandman giggled inconsequentially. “Preee-vail. Preeee-vail away, your godmotherliness. Lay it on me.”

If she hadn’t been so worried about inhaling, Dora would have taken a deep breath. As it was, she merely said:

“I need to grant one of my wishers an adventure. Something exciting – perhaps a little too exciting, if you get my drift?”

“AAaahhhhhhhhhhh.” The Sandman’s exclamation went on for a ridiculously long time. Finally, he sucked in another lungful of the smoky air and continued. “You don’t want the little dude-ina to get chomped, splatted or turned into little dude-ina soup? Is that what’s grooving your truffles?”

“Err…” Dora took a moment to work his nonsense out. “Yes. I think. All I’m saying is, if she were to dream an adventure, then it could be as real as she wanted it to be. It’s well within your powers. When it comes to dreams, you’re the top man to see.”

She smiled hopefully, hoping that her eyes weren’t watering too visibly.

“Top man. Woooo!” The Sandman lounged back in his beanbag with a complacent smile on his face. “You are Elladora-ble, sweetness. Only too happy to help out a fellow granter of dreams. Sand sacks are in the kitchen, babe. You want the green stuff. One cupful. Okaaaaaaay?”

Again, the last word dragged on. Elladora gave him a brief smile and stood up, thankful to be leaving the intoxicating room. As her hand was on the door handle, though, she turned back, remembering the other matter.

“Oh – while I’m here,” she said, “did you once have a housegnome? Name of Chuzzle?”

A silly grin split the face of the horizontal man. “Chuzzle? Woah yeah! Little dude – all those wrinkles!”

“And… am I right in thinking you sacked him?”

“Uhh… lemme think…” His face wrinkled into a slow frown. “Oh yeah. The dude had problems, man! I mean, woman!”

“Problems with PlayGnome Triple X?” advanced Elladora, cautiously.

“Awww, it wasn’t the Triple X channel back then,” he answered. “Just PlayGnome basic. Still good, though. Some of the positions those gnomes can bend into… you just wouldn’t believe, baby!”

“Yes. Quite,” she replied, stiffly.

Undettered, he continued, “We used to watch it together sometimes. Pretty cool, for a gnome. Then the bills started coming in and he couldn’t pay up, man. Out of control! So I told him – get help or get out, dude!”

“Help?” asked Elladora, feeling some small measure of hope.

“Yeah. Help. You know, Dorabubble,” and another infantile giggle escaped him, “the O.A.”

“Err…?”

“The Orbaholics Anonymous meetings.” The Sandman gained the energy to raise his head from the beanbag. “Up in the Limbo Admin building. You know?”

Dora blinked. “I didn’t,” she admitted. “So he wouldn’t get help?”

“Who? Oh, the gnome dude? Yeah, he went cold orb for a while… but then he fell off the wagon. Hopeless addict, man! I mean, woman!”

‘Unlike yourself, of course,’ thought Elladora. Still needing the favour, though, she kept wisely silent.

“Well, thanks for the sand,” she said, trying not to sway under the influence of the fumes. “I’ll just go and pick up a cupful, then I’ll be off. I owe you one.”

He mumbled something in reply, but Elladora was gone already, more than glad to be out of there. Stopping only to pick up a cup of green sand, she swooshed her way back to Carly’s house.

As expected, the girl was still at school. However, the fairy-godmother scribbled a quick note and left the sand by her bedside. She would find it soon enough – and then the fun could begin.

In the meantime, it was way past time for lunch!

------------

It was mid-afternoon by the time she got home. Lunch had been prepared, given time to get thoroughly cold, put in the fridge and left to turn into mulch. What had been beef stew with dumplings was now beef sludge with half-submerged islands of sunken suet.

Elladora ate it anyway. She was so hungry that she would have eaten skunk steaks. Raw.

She noticed that the tablecloth was clean and unsoiled by vultures (or anything else, for that matter). Even without lifting it, though, she knew that the scratches were still there. She could feel the grooves in the antique wood. The meal passed with pleasant thoughts about the various methods she could use to make Fate suffer, should she ever get the chance.

It was only after she had finished her stew, washing it down with a couple of chocolate chip muffins, that she noticed the complete absence of Chuzzle. She concluded that he was probably avoiding her since she had promised to tackle his problem head-on today.

Well, that was about to end.

“Chuzzle!” she called out. Then a moment later, impatiently. “Chuzzle!”

After an obviously unwilling interval, the gnome popped his head around the kitchen door. “Yes, yer fairygodmotherness?”

“You and I are going to take a little trip,” announced Elladora.

“Err… are we?” he asked, desperately.

“We are.”

And with that, she took him firmly by his wrinkly little hand and transported them straight to the Limbo Administration Building.

Standing in front of the main steps, Elladora felt, as always, dwarfed by the sheer enormity of the offices. The main portion of the building rose up and outward until it was obscured by the clouds and horizon haze. That was the illusion, anyway. The reality was simply this: it had grown so big that it was now encroaching on other dimensions.

Once again, Elladora reflected on the irony of this. Whilst her boss haggled over every one of Dora’s job entitlements and perks, while she was stuck in a cramped cottage with inadequate facilities, the requirements of the Limbo Administration staff never seemed to be balked at. More offices, the best of the employees, private bathrooms, personal gyms, mini-bars, saunas, a whole floor of conference rooms… nothing was denied them.

The building grew and expanded, bloating up like some ever-hungry beast. Now, it was not uncommon for people to go in there for a simple replacement pencil-sharpener and never to be seen or heard of for months at a time.

Fortunately, Elladora had her trusty wand. She didn’t intend to spend days wandering around the building, lost and cream-cakeless. One trip to the information desk should tell her all she needed to know.

She entered the building, dragging an unwilling gnome behind her. There was a purple-haired woman in too-tight clothing and clashing lipstick.

“Yes?” she drawled, insolently.

“Where are the O.A. Meetings held?” Elladora tightened her clutch on Chuzzle’s hand as he groaned.

“O.A? Conference Room three hundred and twelve,” she said, going back to examining her nails. She was obviously trying to avoid having to give directions.

Fortunately, Elladora had no intention of getting directions. Her old Hopemaster 250 would have been stumped by this problem, but the Wishmaster 2000 was more than up to the job. She concentrated, adjusted the wand settings a little, and poke-jabbed the wand at the air.

The disappeared and reappeared almost simultaneously. A long, grey corridor was filled with lots of identical grey doors. The only differences were the numbers, and the occasional helpful poster. The one she was standing in front of, for example, had the slogan:

O.A. Meeting in Session

All comers welcome!

Dora regarded her wand fondly for a moment, before pulling the dispirited gnome after her. She turned the handle and went in.

“Let’s try it again, lads. Ready?

“Fee! Fie! Fo! Fum!”

A great troll-like creature stood on a creaking podium, thundering out the words. His audience appeared to be four other creatures of similar size. There was already one splintered chair, lying sadly in the corner where it had failed in its duty of chair-and-support. The others were bending and bowing under the strain, while all four giants repeated the words back in a variety of dull and inconsistent voices.

“Fee! Fire! Err…”

“Thee! Thie! Tho! Thum!”

“Uhh… Fee… uhh… summink… uhh… Foe… uhh… Finger?”

“Ug! Ug! Ug! Ug!”

“Boys, boys!” The creature on the podium stayed them with a massive hand. “You’re just not getting it. Look – it’s simple enough – let’s give it one more shot, eh? Fee! Fie! Fo! Yes, can I help you?”

Elladora and Chuzzle were still standing, frozen, in the doorway. Finally, the fairy-godmother found her voice.

“We… that is… he,” she pointed at Chuzzle, “was looking for the… ahh… O.A?”

“’e’s too small,” rumbled one of the beasts from the audience. “Ogres only, pipsqueak!”

The ogre on the podium, however, seemed brighter than the rest (it wasn’t difficult, after all!).

“You want the other O.A., fairy-godmother,” he boomed at her. “This is the Ogre’s Association. Built to fight…” he brought out a book and read a passage as his finger traced the words, “ste-re-o-ty-pic-al att-i-tudes brought on by a few irr-es-pons-i-ble ind-iv-i-du-als of our species.”

What Dora wanted to ask was the room number of the alternate O.A. meetings. Against her better judgement, however, she found herself asking:

“And you think the best way to combat stereotypes is to teach your members to say ‘Fee! Fie! Fo! Fum!’ properly, then?”

“Err…” There was a confused rumble of noise from the assembled ogres. “…yeah?”

She couldn’t help herself. “Because that’s what ogres stereotypically do? Look, it’s really none of my business, but if you want to break with the whole ‘ogre’ thing, why don’t you take up something completely different?”

For a creature that could squash her flat with one thump of his giant fist, it was amazing how relatively small and helpless he was looking.

“Err…” he said again. “Like what?”

Elladora sighed. She didn’t have time for this!

“Oh, I don’t know,” she snapped. “How about… basket weaving? Baking cakes? Look – do you know what room the Orbaholics Association meets in?”

“Umm… yeah. Room forty three.” Dora took her opportunity and made for the door. The last thing she heard from the ogres was a hesitant voice asking. “So… boys… anyone know anyfink about basket-weaving?”

She waved her wand and reappeared outside room forty three, complete with gnome in tow. This time the notice was a little more informative.

Orbaholics Anonymous

Is one ball never enough? Join us!

She looked at Chuzzle. He gave her a ‘must I?’ look. She returned it with an ‘it’s either that or get fired!’ look.

He sighed and opened the door. A female voice drifted out, mid-sentence.

“…been four days and eleven hours since my last episode of Desperate Housegnomes.”

“Hi, Dizzy.”

With a last, lingering look of reproach, Chuzzle slipped inside and closed the door behind him. Elladora lingered for five minutes, just to make sure that he didn’t sneak out again. Then, with a feeling almost approaching relief, she took herself home with the aid of her trusty Wishmaster.

----------

With no Chuzzle to prepare her evening meal, Dora was free to raid the bakery box. Three iced buns and half a Victoria Sponge later, she was comfortably bloated and feeling sleepy.

Now was not the time for sleep, however. Now was the time to see whether her newest brat had taken the bait yet. What little Wonderland would she dream up for herself – and would it be as wonderful as she had led herself to believe?

She took another cup of tea into the study and sat down with the orb. This time there were no credit messages. Dora traced the correct rune-patterns and Carly’s picture became clear…

-----------

Carly had come home from school to find very little in terms of a fairy-godmother or a wish. One pot of rather manky-looking sand and a two lines of note was a swizz, as far as she was concerned. Where was the adventure? Where was the excitement? Where – to put not too fine a point on it – were the convenient baddies that she could beat up and kill?

She read the note for the third time, a look of petulance on her face.

Dear Carly,

This is the sand of adventure. Simply sprinkle it over yourself and wait for the excitement to begin.

Use it wisely. Fairy-godmothers don’t give refunds.

Regards,
Elladora

It made as little sense this time as it had on the first two readings. Nevertheless, it seemed to be all she was getting. With much blowing out of her lips, she picked up the cup of sand. Sprinkling it over herself was going to mess up her clothes – not to mention the carpet. She wondered if, maybe, she would even have to allow her mother in to vacuum the floor and put her clothes through the wash.

Whatever. She would think about that later. For now, it was time to see what this lousy sand could do. Shutting her mouth and closing her eyes, she upended the cup over her head. Even as she felt the first grains running down her neck, she was falling… falling…

---------

…falling…

…falling…

She landed.

Her first thought was that at least she had landed somewhere soft. Her second thought was soft… and moist. This was quickly followed by soft, moist… and hellish stinky!

Some instinct made her press her lips firmly together before she had registered what the substance was that she had fallen into. Swallowing would be a really bad idea in her current situation. She scrabbled around, mired in the giant mound of muck, with large black flies buzzing around her in their dozens. A few seconds later (and boy! Did it feel like so much longer!), she managed to roll herself out of the muck and into the long grass to the side.

Carly tried not to breathe, concentrating instead on holding down the contents of her stomach. She was covered in some of the foulest-smelling dung that she had ever encountered. It was obvious that, whatever had done this, it hadn’t been stocking up on the roughage in its diet.

She tried to wipe the worst of it off by rolling in the grass, scowling all the while. Call this an adventure? It certainly left a lot to be desired as far as she was concerned!

It was somewhere around this point that her brain finally registered where she was. She looked around, seeing her surroundings for the first time.

She was in some sort of jungle. There were huge, twisty trees that seemed to be made up of hundreds of bark-like vines strung together. They sprouted leaves that were almost as big as she was. The grass was well above her knees and a much brighter green than she had ever seen before. The sky was a brilliant meld of orange and purple streaks, although giant ferns blocked much of its light. The strange squawks and shrieks surrounded her, fighting a fevered battle for which could alarm her the most. Even they had to compete with the annoyance of buzzing insects as big as the palm of her hand, though. They came in their dozens, attracted to the smell of her new perfume.

It was at this point that she noticed the change in her own appearance. Before, she had been a rather short and spotty teenager, with hair the colour of used straw and a rather pale complexion, sitting at home in her wrinkled school uniform. Now she was still a rather short and spotty teenager, with hair the colour of used straw and a rather pale complexion, but the school uniform was gone, to be replaced by a beige canvas jacket with canvas shorts, thick socks and brown boots. The uniform of the colonial safari hunter, in fact. The only things missing to complete the ensemble were a hat (which she could see sticking out at a rather jaunty angle from the muck) and a weapon of any sort. A further examination showed the silvery shape of a half-submerged automatic rifle, also half-buried in the same pyramid of dung.

Lip curled up in distaste, Carly began to circle the decomposing waste, trying to find the best angle to pick out the gun from. It was only when she reached the far side of brown-mountain, that she caught sight of something far more important.

There was a pair of eyes staring at her from out of the undergrowth. They were quite large eyes, quite high up in the undergrowth. They were attached to a quite large head, which was attached to an even larger torso. In fact, it was safe to say that Carly had never seen any eyes, head or torso quite that large before.

As it blasted out an ear-shattering roar, she knew, though, which name to attach to this really quite large creature.

T-Rex!!!

Even as her brain was congratulating her for making the connection, her legs were already leaps ahead of it. They were taking the rest of her body, at high speed, away from the giant dinosaur.

For a moment, she thought that she had got away with her quick retreat. Then the roar was renewed and the juddering thump of footsteps pounded out a pursuit.

It was at this point that her mind chose to reflect on how these creatures always seemed a little more… well… TV sized on screen. A little less dangerous and definitely a whole lot more pleasant in the breath department!

It also chose to point out to her that she was currently putting quite a lot of distance between her and the only weapon she had at her disposal. It was telling her this quite instantly. So insistently, in fact, that her legs faltered, undecided between going forward and going back.

As it happened, this was the only thing that allowed her to escape the well-placed chomp from the dinosaur’s jaws, landing neatly where she would have been if she had continued running. Carly uttered a shrill (and most un-adventuress-like) scream and promptly added a little of her own aroma to her already pungent clothing.

There was no time to recover as the T-Rex pounded directly over her. The stink of carrion was overwhelming and Carly’s legs sped off again, led by instinct. She doubled back, heading for the muck-pile and hoping that the dinosaur was too stupid or too slow to catch her.

It was neither. A helter-skelter dodge and dive began, the girl’s breathless screams drowned out by the frustrated roar of the giant beast as it hunted.

How she got there she never knew, but suddenly the brown pile came into view on her left. Beyond disgust, beyond any other feeling than sheer, blind, panic, Carly threw herself into the dung and scrabbled around for her gun.

She felt the hot breath on the back of her bare and scratched legs. She heard the clash of teeth as they closed on nothing but air. How it had missed her, she had no idea. Her mind was concentrated on nothing more than pulling the M-16 out of the dinosaur’s bowel-contents.

Grasping it with slick hands, she rolled, fired the gun, realised that the safety wasn’t off, avoided another snap by half-burying herself in the muck, got the safety sorted, was roared at with breath that caused highly localised genocide to the swarm of flies around her, chambered the first round and let rip.

If she had thought the roaring was loud before, it was nothing compared to the thrashing and screaming of the wounded T-Rex. The gun danced in her grip like a mad python and she shrieked and sobbed and scattered the ammunition in a random and deadly pattern.

The bullets emptied in seconds. Despite most of them missing the dinosaur, she could see that the damage had been done. Blood gushed from four different wounds in its chest and neck as it took two uncertain steps backwards. Then it swayed and began to stagger, crashing into trees and toppling them, drenching the area in dark red-black blood, making enough noise to draw every other predator from miles around before finally keeling over onto its side and staring at her through slowly glazing eyes.

Carly, breath still hitching with panic, stumbled upright on wobbly legs. She didn’t want to go and look, but she felt compelled to. Shuddering with every step, she approached the dying dinosaur, watched its massive rib-cage rise and fall in shallow breaths, smelled the stink of the dung and the death… and promptly threw her guts up on the jungle floor.

-----------

There was a knock on the door. Elladora looked up from the fuzzy dream sequence in her orb. It was dark outside now. Chuzzle must be back from his meeting – but if so, why was he knocking?

She got up, feeling weary from a long day, and went to the front door. Opening it, she looked down, expecting to see the little form of a gnome. Her jaw hung open as her eyes were forced to travel upward.

Black robe, shadowy features, orange glowing eyes.

What on earth was a Power doing, visiting her cottage?

“Umm… do you want to come in?” she asked, realising how abrupt it sounded as she spoke the words.

“Thank you.”

Much to her amazement, the cloaked figure floated past her.

She found herself babbling. “I have tea? Or coffee - unless you’d like something a little stronger? Errr… you could have some brandy, if you like. I’m sure I can find some in the cupboards somewhe…”

“Thank you. No.”

Her skin rose in gooseflesh at the mysterious voice. Not knowing what else to say or do, she led him to her living room and waited for him to be seated on the sofa.

An awkward silence ensued. At least, it was awkward for her. Who knew what a Power thought or what made one of them awkward? However it felt, it chose to break the silence first.

“I just wanted to say that we are… pleased… with the excellent training course that you gave this morning,” it began. “The other fairy-godmothers seem stirred by your words. In fact, we have not seen them filled with such enthusiasm for decades. Perhaps even centuries. It bodes well for the future.”

Elladora managed a sick little smile. Enthusiasm, yes. But for what? A bunch of mumbo-jumbo that everyone would claim she had preached after the fact – even thought she had barely said a word. Then, when it all went wrong, the blame would come her way as swiftly as the credit had.

“Well, I didn’t do anything, really,” she said, realising that her damage-limitation was never going to work. She changed the subject instead. “I was just thinking of making myself some cocoa before I went to bed. It’s been a long day.”

If she had hoped to discourage the Power, it didn’t work. He merely sat there for a second or two, before speaking again.

“There was another matter.”

“Oh?”

“Another letter has come to our attention, Miss Chubb,” said the entity, pulling an envelope out from under the folds of its cloak. “Regarding a wish you granted yesterday. It was deemed important to deal with this immediately, therefore I was sent to deliver it to you in person.”

Dora swallowed. That didn’t sound good. She took the letter unwillingly and found it had already been opened. Sighing, she drew the letter out and read it.

Dear Fairy-Godmother,

What have you done to our little girl?

Oh dear. That didn’t look good. She read on.

As our youngest, Sofie has always been a bit – how do I say it? – a bit possessive. She doesn’t often get new things, and when she does, she sometimes has a bit of a hard time sharing them.

Or she did, until yesterday, anyway. It was so nice of you to give her a family of such special rabbits, especially with the part about the Easter Eggs. Now she’s like a completely different girl. Can’t wait to give the eggs away to her friends and the rest of her family. She’s even sharing the care of her new pets with her brothers and sisters. They’re getting on better than they ever have in their lives, and it’s all thanks to you, fairy-godmother. We owe you so much!

Gratefully Yours,

Joanne Mackland (Sofie’s Mom)

She looked up, disbelieving. After her viewing session yesterday, she had been sure it had all gone wrong for the little girl.

“Very clever of you.” The Power nodded his hood approvingly. “You obviously did your research well. However did you persuade the Easter Bunny to tell you the secret of his new pets?”

Elladora was flummoxed. “His secret? Ah… his secret… well…”

“Quite ingenious, when you think about it,” continued the Power, oblivious to her difficulties. “Eggs eaten quickly are of the finest chocolate. Eggs left to hatch turn into more pet bunnies for the farm, but eggs given away can be eaten at the new owner’s leisure. Easter is a time for giving, after all. Clever of you to think of it, Miss Chubb.”

As Dora tried to gather her thoughts, the Power reached into its cloak again. It drew out a large, glittery pair of wings. She looked at them and felt her heart sink.

“Congratulations, Miss Chubb. Your third commendation in two weeks. No wonder you have been nominated for the Employee of the Month award. You should be very proud.”

Stammering and stuttering, she had no choice but to accept the Power’s help in taking off her old wings and fitting the new ones. She fumed silently at the circumstances that kept forcing honours on her, when all she wanted was to quietly be allowed to resign.

Then again, she though, after the Power had left, a new pair of wings may not be so bad after all. The old pair could barely lift her. Maybe these larger, more powerful ones would have more luck!

She wriggled them into a more comfortable position, then flapped them experimentally. The world turned upside-down and there was a jolt of severe giddiness. The next thing she knew, she was hovering, wrong-way-up, against the ceiling.

Ah. These were going to take a little practice. With much difficulty, she righted herself and flapped her way clumsily back to the ground.

Perhaps after a good night’s sleep, the wings would start to make a little more sense. She didn’t hold out much hope though. Nothing else had been making sense for weeks now!

And with that thought, she went gratefully to bed.

------------

She was awoken the next morning by a cheery rap on the bedroom door. It was shortly followed by an equally cheery-looking gnome with a breakfast tray in his hands.

Dora sat up in bed, blinking.

“Good morning, Chuzzle,” she yawned. “Breakfast in bed?” Then, more suspiciously. “What have you done?”

“Turnin’ over a new leaf, Miss Chubb,” replied Chuzzle, his wrinkles deepening as he smiled broadly. “Yer’ll never ‘ave to complain about me again, so yer won’t.”

“Ah.” Elladora mulled over the likelihood of this and found it most unconvincing. “So… how did the meeting go?”

“Great, Miss.” Chuzzle put the breakfast tray on her knees with a fervent look in his eyes. “Daily meetin’s, Miss. I’m back on the wagon, won’t miss a one!”

“Well… good,” was all the godmother could think to say. He seemed genuine, but Elladora had learned to distrust the obvious, when it came to her housegnome. She watched as he bustled around, tidying up after her and finally taking the remains of her tray down to the kitchen again. Then, wearily, she decided that, whatever the next problem was, she would just have to deal with it as it came along. She seemed to be doing more and more of that these days!

Talking of more problems, she had another wish to get rid of. This holiday wouldn’t earn itself!

She got out of bed, got dressed and went downstairs to take a look at the next name down in her notebook.

Morag Whittaker. Aged eleven. Elladora sighed. Probably another wish for a pony; all little girls of that age seemed to want a pony. Then again, with her recent run, who could tell?

There was one terribly easy way to find out. She lifted her wand and went a-visiting…

--------------

She arrived in a custard-yellow room. Immediately, it became clear that this was no usual case she was dealing with here.

For one thing, this was an office, not a girl’s bedroom. There was a cheap plywood desk and some horribly uncomfortable looking chairs scattered around it. The sort of chairs that you only saw in schools or hospitals, usually. The walls were filled with plaques and certificates of achievement, written in bureaucratic script and all looking soullessly similar. The carpet was blue-grey, although at one point, it had probably been blue, and the blinds were the colour of dust, whatever they had started out as being.

For another thing, there was someone sitting in the only comfortable chair. Whoever she was, she was most definitely not Morag Whittaker, aged eleven. Not unless the girl had gone through some serious trauma and mutilation in her short life!

This woman was in her late thirties. She was thin and sharp-faced, with dyed-black hair tied into a severe pony-tail. Her choice of make-up was trowel-of-the-day and her clothing was the sort that, if you were rich and beautiful, you could get away with. This woman was neither, and looked like a magpie that even the other magpies thought was going a bit over-the-top.

Caught off balance, Dora gaped, lost for words.

The other woman spoke. “You must be here about the wishes,” she said, crisply. “It’s the wand, you see. I guessed.”

“Ah,” replied Elladora, as if that cleared everything up. It didn’t, so she added, “I see,” in the hopes that she would.

When that didn’t work either, she tried: “Where’s Morag?”

“You won’t be needing her.” The woman rose from her chair and extended a cold, dry hand. “My name is Miss Jacqueline Spiggs and I run this place.”

The fairy-godmother looked around, bemused. “What is this place?”

“The Crawthorpe Girl’s Home,” answered Miss Spiggs. “A place for the fostering and betterment of young girls, as they call it in the brochure. An orphanage, in old terms. A brattery, as I like to call it.”

“And… Morag is one of the orphans,” guessed Elladora, trying to catch up.

“She is – but as I said, you need not concern yourself with her.” The woman pushed a form over the desk for the fairy-godmother to read. It stated, in simple type:

I, Morag Angela Whittaker, hereby, of my own free will and governance, give my three wishes over to the responsible care of my legal guardian, Miss Jacqueline Spiggs.

Signed

Morag Whittaker

Elladora gritted her teeth. She had heard about cases like this. It was a loophole in the legal guardian system. The other godmothers had been complaining about it for years, but predictably, the Powers had been doing nothing about it. They preferred to leave it to Admin to sort it out after the fact.

On the plus side, Admin always did sort it out, eventually. They sorted it out by dealing out a whole new set of wishes to the original ‘deserving case’. Eventually, Morag would get the wishes that were coming to her. In the meantime, though, Jacqueline Spiggs was the thoroughly undeserving owner of the fairy-godmother’s services.

She could simply leave, she supposed. Wait for the issue to be sorted out. Two things decided her against that. Firstly, she wanted the holiday, and Fate would never grant her time off when she had a name on her lists. This could take months for Admin to sort out, and Fate was sure to guarantee that those months were vacationless and miserable for her favourite fairy-godmother.

“What is your wish?” she asked, resigning herself to some overtime.

The orphan manager smiled coldly. “I think you’ll find I have three. It seems that my wards do have some uses after all. Then again, there have to be some compensations for doing this miserable job of mine – coz the pay doesn’t amount to much and,” she laughed a sour laugh, “believe me, I certainly don’t do it for the happy little smiles on the darling childrens’ faces.”

Looking at the shrew-faced woman, Elladora could well believe it. She sometimes felt the same way about her own job. However, even she would have stopped short at stealing a child’s wishes away for her own personal use!

Which brought her to the second reason for not leaving. How could she resist the urge to sabotage the wishes of such a special case? Whatever she did, Morag Whittaker would end up with her three wishes intact and three chances to waste them. Where was the harm in having a little fun – and perhaps getting the Powers to take back one or two of those unpleasant commendations of theirs!

She settled back in one of the uncomfortable chairs and bent her attention to the task before her.

Miss Spiggs continued. “Three wishes. From a fairy-godmother. It’s hard to believe – but I’m going to give it a try. Now, how does it go? I wish for… health, wealth and beauty. That’s the usual three, isn’t it?”

“It is now,” said Elladora…
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Smee



Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 5215
Location: UK

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:07 am    Post subject:  

Awesome chapter :clap:

So much going on, and it's all entertaining.

The decision point is a tricky one too - three wishes in one - that should boost the power we can use I presume?

I don't think we need it though... she wasn't very specific with her wishes.

Health : She's not dead, so presumably she has that already. Nothing needs doing.

Wealth : How much wealth? Maybe a wealth in empty sardine tins, or wealth of warts?

Beauty : Make the wealth of warts into moles so they are called 'beauty-spots' :-D

It'd be nice if the BFG could come along and take her for a personal visit with the Flesh-lump Eater. :cool:


Happy Writing. :)
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8783
Location: http://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:09 am    Post subject:  

Wow. That wasn't a chapter! More like half a book! Great!! :D

Well, my brains are currently all occupied trying to think of a Real Bananas plot, but Smee once again seems to have summed up the basics.

Let me book some brain time and I will post more should any ideas come up.
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Mother Goose



Joined: 09 May 2004
Posts: 511
Location: Connecticut

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:29 am    Post subject:  

Wonderful chapter - it's why my breakfast dishes aren't done at 11:30! Calls for thought, though.
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Solomon Birch



Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 1562
Location: England..... but Japan beckons.....

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject:  

*sniff* What a chapter..... some of the best writing I have read in ages. And superbly lengthy! :D

Quote: Perhaps she could get some more insights then

Just this small niggle; shouldn't this be insight..?

Now, good decision point. Get us working our old think pots. Hmmm....*scratches head* :?

How about... giving her the health of a 8 year old orphan (preferably with TB, but apparently Elladora's not allowed to kill...). That should teach her a lesson. While I think the powers may not be that bothered about the loop-hole, they seem to care about getting the job done, and have a sort of understanding with Elladora, so I think they will see why she did that to her, to make her a 'better person'... ;)

As for wealth, she could find/be given a large sum of money which the local council/government then say she has to put into making orphanage improvements, overseen by a taskforce that ensures she uses it properly.

And for beatiful... she could gain that certain somthing that makes a few select adults appealing to children. Many would love this, but as she doesn't seem to be a child friendly kinda lady, the extra affection and attention would not be welcome.

Phew, that was fun. Now I wan't the next, even longer chapter... o-)

*holds breath* :shock: ©
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Sorrow_A
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Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject:  

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

I wasn't logged in and there was a Bob underneath Mother Goose's post and I clicked on it and it moved and I didn't get the Fables and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Phew. Ok. Well.

Can't wait to see how Miss Adventure responds to this wish.

And I agree with Soily's ideas. They sound good to me.
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Key
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Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject:  

Bravo, Shady! :cheers:

As far as the wishes go, I say she gets the care of an orphan who is healthy, beautfiul, and heir to a large fortune.
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject:  

Yes, I was drawn by the fact that she never wished for good health or a lot of wealth. And beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.

Why not turn her into some sort of diseased crone, living in a small hovel somewhere? I'm sure she'd seem attractive to a diseased male crone.
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DukeReg
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Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:52 pm    Post subject:  

Nice.

I think she should try to design the wishes with the utmost attention to fairness and logic, like she had in the past, when everything always went pear shaped. The lady should get:

The health of one of her orphans. This is only a punishment if they are really being mistreated, which is as it should ideally be.

Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The lady should be able to see the beauty of her adorable orphan charges all day every day. If she's a real bitter soul, she'll suffer for it. Otherwise not.

Wealth I leave to others to suggest.


How are you going to poll this up, Stoat? Can I suggest 3 polls, immediatelly after each other, one for each wish? It will take longer, but you wont have people wanting the Health part of poll option one, and the Wealth and Beauty parts of other options, and so forth.
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Ingrothechundyer
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Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject:  

Great chapter Stoat :D

For wealth... She finds that her rich uncle that she never knew died and she plays a substantial part in the will... As the executor and the folks who do inherit are extremely jealous of each other and don't trust her. Hound her every move. Call for audits. Etc...
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Kalanna Rai
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Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:05 pm    Post subject:  

She wished for health, wealth, and beauty...but she didn't say how long she wanted to keep those things...

Turn her into a hot modle that strikes it rich...only get into a traumatic accident and lose the fortune to medical bills...her face tragically ruined for the rest of her life...
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Smee
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Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject:  

Pure Evil Kalanna - very good :-D
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Solomon Birch
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Location: England..... but Japan beckons.....

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:01 am    Post subject:  

Yes, that's pretty mean. But if Dora can't kill, can she horribly disfigure? I doubt it. :?
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Shady Stoat
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Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:14 am    Post subject:  

Wow! Lots of comments already - you lot are suckers for punishment ;)

Thanks for the niggle, Soily. It's been de-nigged :D

Now, for the rest of the points. *takes a deep breath* In order:

Smee wrote:
three wishes in one - that should boost the power we can use I presume?

Well, given that Miss Spiggs asked for three wishes, it's quite fair either to combine them (as per Key's and Kal's suggestions) or to grant them as three, seperate normal wishes. You're the voters, you get to choose :)

Solomon Birch wrote: but apparently Elladora's not allowed to kill

It's not so much that, as she shouldn't lose sight of her goals. It would be pretty hard to explain to the Powers how, by killing someone, you granted their wishes to the best of your ability. Such deeds belong to other job descriptions altogether. Evil Godmother, Wicked Witch, the Bogeyman etc.

Anything that she can pass of as an accident or an endeavour to bring out the true meaning of the wish, on the other hand... is fair game :cool:

DukeReg wrote: How are you going to poll this up, Stoat?

*grins* With great difficulty.

I'm planning something like this:

Putting up a 'health' vote first. In it I'll include everyone's individual options for health, plus all the suggestions that combine the wishes into one. If one of the combos wins, I'll use that (and any of the as-yet-unpolled options that fit well enough). If one of the individual options wins, I'll move onto wealth, including any of the combos that still don't clash with the 'health' winning option. And so on. I expect it'll be a nightmare, but I should have thought of that before I created shrew-face and her 3 wishes scenario.

Rod - meet back ;)
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Solomon Birch
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Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:28 am    Post subject:  

Great, sounds good. Can't wait! :biggrin:

*holds breath* :shock: ©
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ethereal_fauna
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Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:45 am    Post subject:  

Finished the book, now for the suggestions. :cool:

Her wishes aren't necessarily granted in order...maybe this could be considered a combination of the three wishes? For health...give her a healthy appetite. She eats so much she gets extremely huge, stretching out her shrewish, crony features. She abandons her job of torturing orphaned children, and instead lands a cushiony gig as a top porno model for a BBW magazine. Everyone admires her astonishing beauty...which by default she has a lot of...and she becomes one of the wealthiest and top-paid models. She can't roll herself out of bed in the morning, or wipe her own ass because of the bulk, but her wishes are granted. :x
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thebean203
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Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject:  

:tu: *mentions shes been reading all along but just created an account, and holds breath*
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Kalanna Rai
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Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:01 pm    Post subject:  

Welcome bean! This is IF and don't worry, I won't eat you...

And Stoat I like the idea you've got for setting up the poll...it'd be a nightmare for me...
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Shady Stoat
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Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject:  

Yey! Another reader. Welcome bean - hope you're having a good time. Any suggestions welcome *offers a cream-cake to aid thinking* ;)
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thebean203
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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:33 am    Post subject:  

lol glad to be here *takes cream cake hungrily* mmmmm cake :-o
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Stubby
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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:43 am    Post subject:  

A couple of great phrases spring to mind

"Young and healthy"
"Young and beautiful"

People do seem to equate health and beauty with youth, and I'm sure this nice lady wouldn't complainif she got four wishes for the price of three.

So, make her young, healthy and pretty - in fact, make her into a newly orphaned 8 year old, who has not a single known relative in all the world, but a STAGGERING amount of money - held in trust until she turns 21 of course.

Let her spend 13 years in her own orphanage, in the tender care of the highly skilled and motivated team of workers that she has put together over the years. I'm quite sure she will have made sure that any troublemakers got moved on to other posts, and that everyone there now feels just as much love and compassion for their little charges as she does.
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Mother Goose
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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:56 am    Post subject:  

lol - I like your thinking, Stubby!

Another suggestion: interpret health to include mental and spiritual health and give her the healthy portion of empathy she seems to be missing. Shocked by the condition of her orphanage, she is energized to make it into a model, attracting millions in donations and acquiring a beauty of soul (something like Mother Teresa).
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ethereal_fauna
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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:58 am    Post subject:  

Much nicer suggestions than mine...but unlikely to earn her a bad review and get her terminated. :cool:
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DukeReg
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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:48 pm    Post subject:  

ethereal_fauna wrote: Much nicer suggestions than mine...but unlikely to earn her a bad review and get her terminated. :cool:

On the other hand, when she tried to do things properly in the past, it all went pear shaped... maybe her luck will hold out.
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Mother Goose
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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject:  

You're right, fauna, I lost track of the ultimate goal. I was just trying to give the owner of the wishes something she really didn't want - to fill the letter and not the spirit of her wish. But the Duke has a point - maybe reverse psychology could work.
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject:  

I didn't read all the answers-there were too many, so I might be repeating myself.

First of all, she didn't mention who to give it to, so if we give it to the little girl, we'll take care of six wishes.

If not:

Health- Make her super muscle woman, athletic type.
Wealth- True wealth is in giving, right? Give away her most prized possesion away.
Beauty- To who's taste? Some people think acne is attracted. Some people like a nice botox...although Elladora might overdo it by accident. Then she wouldn't even be able to talk (which is a good thing)!
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Key
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Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:57 pm    Post subject:  

A variation on what I suggested before:

Have three orphans come into her care: one who's extremely healthy, one who's beautiful, and one who's the heir to a trust fund.

Health, wealth, and beauty. She "has" them all. :D
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject:  

I do like that one, trouble is, it doesn't really help Elldora to lose her job.
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thebean203
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Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:05 pm    Post subject:  

turning her into an 8-year-old..me like :D
but what about giving her

health-of a flea or something, w/the same life expectancy (though i suppose that isnt really her wish, she'd die sooner :? )
beauty-the beauty of a baby, babies are *beautiful*

wealth-something she would have to spend in limbo; after all, the powers wouldnt like a normal mortal in their realms, but surely theres something that equates to wealth she can use-a certificate to the um cupidity store (tying into beauty?)

or maybe a leprachaun that would produce continous gold? but one that is SO incredibly annoying (chuzzle-like) or the gold would dissapear after a certain time limit
:lol: but there are billions of other options for a wish like this.......:x
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Rachel
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Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:08 pm    Post subject:  

Hi, I'm new here and have come across your story. It's great!

I can't exactly think of anything *blames writers block* but I might have one for wealth. Make it come from someone else, say a really rich person who doesn't forgive easily, and has a lot of police men and lawyers. Before she knows it they will be on to her and she be off to jail. Don't have a clue how they will find out though. :?
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Shady Stoat
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Joined: 02 Oct 2005
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Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject:  

Another new reader! Welcome Rachel - help yourself *points to the cream-cake selection*

OK, folks, the first poll for this will be going up in about 12 hours. If you want to say anything else, now's your chance :)
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Stubby
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Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 2:25 am    Post subject:  

Another one - sparked by Key's variation of giving her the three things as orphans.

Why stop at one orphan? Why not grant her health, wealth and beauty for every orphan in her charge? Let he be able to cure all their ailments, let them truly blossom in her care, let there be rich unknown uncles that keep dieing off left right and center leaving them loads of money.

Soon she'll be receiving new orphans from all over the place as word of her orphanage's wonderful effects spreads!


On the subject of trying to get fired, the way I see it, from what is said, whichever way she grants this one, she is going to get praise from one department in administration and disdain from another. It is a stolen wish, so she is meant to teach a lesson, but, still, currently it is a wish, and she is meant to grant it. It seems that she would know that the reward OR the punishment is going to bounce around like a rubber ball in a pinball machine as the various departments try to get their stories and expectations to be consistent.

I say she should just have fun with this one, be as nasty as she feels this woman deserves, and _hope_ that the normal wish department gets to it first.
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Solomon Birch
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Joined: 22 Nov 2005
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Location: England..... but Japan beckons.....

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:57 am    Post subject:  

Great idea Stubby, though I doubt the aged uncles will share in the joyful sentiment that the poor ickle orphans will be revelling in! ;) :biggrin:
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Shady Stoat
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Location: England

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject:  

Poll's up, pretty people :D

Wealth and beauty to follow in a few days, if the options are needed.
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DukeReg
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Joined: 12 Oct 2005
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Location: Australia

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject:  

For some reason I only just considered changing the lady's sleeping habits as a solution. After all "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." would apply to a woman too. Elladora could have REALLY copped out that way.
Its too late now I guess.

In the end I voted to grant the wishes to the original recipient. Its technically a correct granting of the wish, it is going to annoy the awful lady no end, and if she's lucky and she gets into trouble for using a loophole to not grant the spirit of the wish, she may lose some of those commendations she didn't want.

I guess that means Stoat'll have to decide how the wishes are granted to the OR, if that option wins.
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LordoftheNight
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Location: Hell

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject:  

Voted, for a nice five way tie.
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thebean203
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Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 6:59 pm    Post subject:  

hehe voted for the beauty of a baby <3
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Ingrothechundyer
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Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:31 am    Post subject:  

Now it's only a three way tie :lol:
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thebean203
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Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject:  

wait......isnt the beauty of a baby one actually a beauty choice, technically...i mean....its even in the name.... :confused:
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Shady Stoat
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Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:54 am    Post subject:  

LOL! Thanks old bean - told you this set of poll options would be a nightmare.

Right, sorry to everyone who's voted so far, but let's try that again, should we? I'll set the poll up again, and include DukeReg's bedtime habits option in as well. You got lucky, Duke :)

I'll send a notification once the poll's back up. And, once again *blush* sorry :D
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