Storygames Home City of IF
Free online storygaming
 

No Good Deed: Ch10 - Little Orphan Danni
Click here to go to the original topic
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
       Storygames Home -> No Good Deed...
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Shady Stoat



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:31 am    Post subject: No Good Deed: Ch10 - Little Orphan Danni  

Chapter Ten: Little Orphan Danni!

Health, wealth and beauty. Elladora looked at the shrewish woman before her, thoughtfully. They were generic enough wishes. She could grant them quickly and get it over with, she supposed. Keep her head down, keep out of trouble, keep doing this drudge job for the next four hundred years…

Well, perhaps not then. Besides, Miss Jacqueline Spiggs needed teaching a lesson, and Elladora was becoming a rather good teacher, these days.

She considered the wishes again. Most people would have wished for health, wealth and happiness, or beauty, riches and happiness. Most people would have asked for the wishes one at a time and put a little more detail into each one. The fact that she hadn’t, left the orphanage manager in a particularly precarious position. One that was ripe for Dora to exploit, in fact.

A plan began to form in her head – but how best to achieve it? After a moment, she nodded to herself and turned her attention back to the impatient Miss Spiggs.

“You’ll get your wishes,” she said, smiling icily. “Or rather, you’ll get Morag’s wishes. I just have a little arranging to do – then you will get everything you asked for.”

‘And everything you deserve,’ she added to herself, as she whisked herself out of the office and back home.

-----------

She didn’t know why she had decided to go back to the cottage, exactly. It was probably something to do with the happy little gnome who had brought her breakfast in bed this morning. Any time Chuzzle was happy, there was bound to be hell to pay somewhere down the line.

Her suspicions seemed confirmed when she walked into the study, to find Chuzzle springing guiltily to his feet. His hands were clutching something firmly behind his back.

“Oh, Chuzzle!” She glared at him, then dropped heavily into her chair. “Tell me you haven’t been sneaking in here and looking at the PlayGnome channel again!”

“I ‘aven’t bin lookin’ at the PlayGnome channel, yer fairy-godmotherness,” the gnome answered, nervously.

Elladora rolled her eyes. “I meant… Oh, just tell me – have you been playing with my orb this morning?”

Chuzzle stared at her, wide-eyed. “No, Miss Chubb. I ‘aven’t. I told yer I was on the wagon. Got me meetins now. Every day.”

He sighed, but stifled the gloomy expression quickly as Dora’s eyes narrowed.

“Then what have you got behind your back?” she demanded.

The gnome gulped. “Err…” he began. “… p-paper?”

“Let me see.” She folded her arms.

Chuzzle slowly brought his hands from behind his back. To the fairy-godmother’s amazement, there was indeed paper in them. It was her patterned writing paper, true, but petty larceny of office-supplies seemed a relief after her initial suspicions.

“What do you want with paper?” she demanded, curiosity getting the better of her.

The gnome shuffled, giving every indication of a guilty conscience. “Well Miss, it’s like this y’see. The O.A. told us ter write things down. A diary, like. An’ yer can’t write things down without paper, Miss Chubb.”

He was guilty as pay-per-view sin. She was sure of it. Guilty of what, though? Had he been up to something specific, or was generalised guilt hanging around him like the after-effects of a five-bean stew?

Moreover, was it really worth getting him flustered and defensive, when he was going cold-PlayGnome? Life was stressful enough for both of them, without making things worse!

So she sighed and let it drop. “Take the paper then. Don’t forget to take a pen with you too. And no PlayGnome while I’m gone.”

Chuzzle perked up immediately. “Ah. You got the message from Fate then?”

“What message?”

“Err…” the gnome looked nervous again. “She… err… left a message on the front door?”

Elladora turned and marched to the front door, expecting trouble. She was not disappointed. Branded on her door, in letters of burning fire, were the words:

MAFIA CLUB

Dora turned on Chuzzle. “Why haven’t you put the fire out? The whole house could go up! Honestly!”

“I tried, Miss,” he said, pointing with wounded countenance at the puddle on the doorstep. “Threw a jug o’water on ‘em, I did. Them’s magic flames though, they’ll not go out ‘til the enchantment wears off. Yer stuck with ‘em fer a while, yer godmotherliness.”

Elladora ground her teeth. “I most certainly am not. They say addicts should keep busy. Well, your task for the day is to get me a new door fitted. I don’t care how you do it – I’m not having my front door vandalised by that… that… saboteur! Get it fixed – and quickly!”

“But Miss Chubb, I’m not a…” began Chuzzle, but the fairy-godmother was already gone.

“…maintenance gnome,” he finished glumly.

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

Mid-journey, Elladora decided to change destinations. It would do Fate good to wait a while. Besides, tactics like Fate’s latest summons were designed specifically to put Dora at a disadvantage. It was difficult to win any conflict when you couldn’t keep control of your temper – especially in a public place like the Mafia building.

No, Fate could wait until the rest of the morning’s business was over.

She landed in front of the Limbo Administration Building again. It was not her favourite location and she had been here twice in two days now. Still, after the amount of personal favours she had asked of her fellow entities recently, she really couldn’t afford to owe any more of them. It was Limbo’s job to give help where it was needed. They may need a not-so-gentle reminder of that fact from time to time, but Elladora was sure she could make them see reason. Eventually.

She made her way into the building and stopped at the reception desk. The same purple-haired woman was sitting there, reading a newspaper with the aid of her index finger and a concentrated mouthing of the words.

Dora cleared her throat, meaningfully. The reception ignored her just long enough to offend and not quite long enough to allow the godmother to complain. Then she looked up, insolently.

“Yes?” she drawled.

“Which department do I need to see for information about non-assigned Limbo staff?” asked the fairy-godmother, swallowing her annoyance.

“What type of non-assigned Limbo staff?” The blasted woman looked down and began to run her finger over the next paragraph of text.

“I don’t know!” snapped Elladora. “What types are there?”

Purple-hair looked up again and rolled her eyes dramatically. “There’s mythical, figurative, urban legend, modern, minor, themed, collective, allegorical, experimental, behind-the-scenes, administrative, on probation, obsolete, in therap…”

The fairy-godmother shook her head, bewildered. “Look – stop! I just want someone who might want to take on a project, while they’re not on an assigned task. I have a wish to grant and it needs someone to act the role of an orphaned heiress for a while. Maybe Red Riding Hood – or one of the Gratitude Gremlins, perhaps? Isn’t there any simple way of finding out who’s free?”

“Sure there is,” said the receptionist in a bored voice. “Pick a department, go there and ask.”

With a deliberate motion, Purple-hair picked up the paper and held it between herself and Elladora.

The fairy-godmother felt her blood beginning to boil. First Fate and now this dim-witted receptionist, too! Well, she wasn’t going to stand for any more of their nonsense. She was going to…

Her wand was already half-raised when she stopped. Right there, on the newspaper’s front page, a headline grabbed her attention.

Daughter of Hardware Tycoon in Guardianship Battle

Daniella Brunsdale, fifteen year old heir to the Brunsco fortune, was made a ward of court yesterday, after a bitter wrangle broke out over the fitness of her appointed Guardian to look after her best interests.

It appears that, eight years ago, Jacob Brunswick (brother of the deceased millionaire) was brought to trial for tax evasion and fraud. Although subsequently acquitted, his half-sister, Amelia Brunswick, has contended that the monetary allegations have made him into an unfit guardian for a multi-million dollar heiress.

As the accusations rage back and forth, the teenager faces an uncertain future in the hands of social services. Taken in by…

Elladora read no further. She could barely believe her luck! At last, circumstances seemed to be working for her, rather than against! A fifteen-year-old heiress, right there for the taking, and all she had to do was make sure that right girl turned up in the right orphanage at the right time.

Jacqueline Spiggs was about to get health, wealth and beauty, all in one highly frustrating package. With a flourish, she waved her wand and arranged the details to fit. She turned to go, casting a final disgusted glance at the receptionist, who was still making a pretence of reading the paper, leaning backwards on the rear legs of her chair.

Elladora didn’t even try to resist. With a malicious smile, she used the wand one last time, conjuring a hairline crack in one of the two supporting chair-legs. Then she began to walk out of the hall. She paused in the doorway, drinking in the sounds of splintering wood and the slow panic of a sprawling receptionist. Then, with a final gesture, she swooshed herself out of there and to the MAFIA club.

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

She arrived, as usual, outside the gates of the club. For a moment, she thought she had got away without meeting any security guard. Then a large boulder looked up at her and she realised she had been mistaken.

As she ventured closer, she realised that it was not a troll, as he had originally suspected. This one was an ogre. Not just any ogre, either. She recognised him as the clever one who had been standing on the podium of the Ogres’ Association (she winced at having to use the words ‘clever’ and ‘ogre’ in the same sentence, but comparatively speaking to the rest of the ogres, he was!).

It was difficult to tell ogres apart at the best of times. There were only two things that made him distinct from the others. First, he was wearing a extra-extra-extra-large baseball cap with the slogan: Oggers are peepel two!!! Second, he was glaring with great concentration at the wicker baskets in his massive hands, as he tried to bash them together.

Dora decided to try and sneak by. Whatever was going on, she had a feeling that she didn’t want to be a part of it. However, as she drew level with him, he looked up.

“Oh. It’s you,” he grunted, picking splinters of cane-work out of his fingers.

“Yes. It’s me,” repeated Elladora, lamely. “I was just…”

She edged towards the gate, hopefully.

“Look – maybe you can help, eh?” The ogre landed a heavy paw on her shoulder, making her knees wobble with the effort of staying upright. “This basket-weaving fing? How do you get the baskets through each other? They keep breaking.”

For the first time in her life, Dora would have been glad to get into the MAFIA club.

“You’re not supposed to use the baskets,” she remonstrated. “Basket-weaving is… Oh, look – I’m a bit busy at the moment. I have to go and see Fate and I haven’t got time…”

Elladora trailed off as she was treated to the unnerving sight of an ogre with a wobbling bottom lip.

“Well, you told us to get wiv the basket-weaving, lady,” he said, with indignation in his voice. “And I’m trying, I really am, but the lads – they don’t know nuffin’ about fings like that and they look to me to make their lives better and I… sometimes I just don’t know how to help dem and…”

He broke off, snuffling and promptly blew his nose on the squashed remains of one of the wicker baskets. Elladora looked on, torn between disgust and pity. Against all practical considerations, she found herself saying:

“Oh, all right. I’ll try and find time to pop into your ogres’ meeting.” She held up her hands as the ogre gave her a look filled with gratitude. “Just once, and just to get you started – and only if I can spare the time. If you’re serious about this, you really ought to get yourself some guest speakers, you know.”

“Guest speakers? What are dey, den?”

“They’re…” Elladora broke off, realising she was getting herself in ever deeper. “We’ll talk about it later, if I can get to your meeting. Now I really do have to go.”

She gently disengaged the ogre’s paw from her shoulder. It didn’t work. A few seconds later, when he noticed her huffing and heaving at his paw with both of hers, he looked apologetic and removed it of his own volition.

“Sorry fairy-godmuvver,” he rumbled. “You go straight in now. See you later?”

Dora gave a weak smile and made her escape as fast as she could. When had life suddenly got so complicated? Where were the idle days that she used to enjoy? Where were the languorous cream teas and days spent planting bulbs in the garden?

She sighed. Then again, where was the boredom? Where was the sense of futility and the knowledge that there was nothing to look forward to but the weekly game of canasta with Father Time? Since her style of wish-granting had altered, her life had at least become less dull! It seemed that constant strife was the price she was paying for that.

She entered the club-house and made her way straight through to the social lounge. At least, that was the intention. The last side-door opened as she began to pass and she halted in her tracks.

“What are you doing here?” she accused.

Alexander Rose and his companion froze in mid-giggle, looking furtive. Fate’s manservant recovered first.

“Ah, Elladora,” he said, plastering a wide smile on his face. “I don’t know if you’ve met…”

“You ridiculous boy!” snapped Dora. “Of course I’ve met her. Veronica Crumpet, what are you doing in Limbo?”

The way she looked shyly at Alexander gave the answer away immediately. Elladora almost sighed aloud as the boy took up the silent plea and answered for her.

“She’s thinking of getting a job in Limbo,” he said, somewhere between embarrassed and adversarial. “I volunteered to… that is, I was given the task of taking her on the tour, to help her decide.”

Elladora raised an eyebrow. “She’s a child. You can’t work in Limbo until you’re…”

“Sixteen,” interrupted Veronica. “I’ll be sixteen in a couple of weeks. Then I can decide what I want to do and where I want to do it.”

“Well believe me,” snapped Dora, “you don’t want to work here!”

“What’s wrong with it?” demanded Veronica, hotly. “Alex has been showing me around, introducing me to all the characters. It’s lovely – just like a real-life fairy story. Better than plain old Urbanopol… I mean, Diddlesfield,” she amended, hastily.

“Have you decided then?” asked Alexander, eagerly. Then he realised how he had sounded and affected an immediate air of nonchalance. “I mean… I could always get on with some of my other chores if our tour is concluded?”

“I didn’t say I’d decided.” She inched closer to him and hooked her hand around his arm. “There’s lots more of Limbo to see yet.”

Elladora shook her head in disgust as both Alex and Veronica tried to express their interest in each other without letting any sign, word or expression give them away. Modern mating rituals were an enigma to her. In her day, it had all been calling-cards and asking the father for permission. Now the only cards were the ones they used to play strip poker, and the father was lucky if he got to meet the boy before the wedding!

“It’s your funeral,” she muttered and began to walk on. Alexander’s next words halted her.

“Hey Veronica – have you ever considered a career in fairy-godmothering?”

She whirled, barely suppressing the urge to hit him right in the enthusiasm.

Veronica turned a calculating look on the fairy-godmother.

“Are you looking for an apprentice?” she asked, cocking her head to one side.

Elladora opened her mouth – then closed it again, not trusting herself to speak. Shuddering at the thought, she turned and fled to the MAFIA lounge.

It was only when she got there that she realised the company in here would be no better. Fate was sitting at a table, looking thunderous, with a Power at either side of her. The look she gave Dora as she spotted her, could have baited rat-traps.

“What kept you, Miss Chubb?” she demanded.

Elladora gave her an even stare. “Perhaps if the burning words on my door had been extinguishable, I might have been here sooner. Now, how can I help you?”

She felt a moment’s satisfaction at the discomfort on Fate’s face. Being embarrassed by one of her employees in front of the Powers had obviously not featured in her plans.

“Well – now that you’re here, perhaps you’d be good enough to help us with a little problem?” She said – then added, poisonously: “One of your own making, I might add!”

“Not at all, Miss Chubb,” said the Power on Fate’s left. “Do sit down. We shall explain the matter more thoroughly. Would you like a drink?”

Dora was about to say no, then realised that adding to Fate’s outrage would be worth it. “Yes please. I’ll have whatever Fate is having.”

Fortunately, the Power took her statement to mean a drink, rather than a small stroke. The barman was called and, shortly afterwards, something orange and bubbly was placed in front of her.

“Now,” began the other Power, “we were wondering whether we could prevail upon your talents to deal with the other fairy-godmothers for us.

“Deal with them?” asked Elladora, immediately wary. “How?”

The other one spoke up. “Since your training course, they have been understandably enthusiastic about their new roles. However, we are beginning to feel… concerned.

Fate glared at her. “They haven’t been out of the schoolhouse since you finished teaching them, Miss Chubb. The only one who has ventured beyond the doors went straight back in as soon as they had secured an order of teabags and cream-cakes – and that was eight hours ago. You have broken my fairy-godmothers and I expect you to make it right again!”

“Whilst we appreciate their levels of fervour for your teachings,” one of the Powers stilled Fate with a simple hand gesture. “We feel that the time has come to put some of these new thoughts into action.”

“Yes,” agreed the other. “As their natural leader, it seems only fitting that you get them motivated to move forward from this point. We would deem it a great favour if you would see to it.”

“They… they’ve been stuck in that meeting since I left?” repeated Dora, slowly. “You mean, they’re still rabbi… discussing the coursework?”

All three entities nodded at her. She gulped, wondering what mischief she had wrought and how she could get out of it intact.

She could simply refuse to do what the Powers asked, of course. One did not lightly ignore a Power’s request though. They had their ways of enforcing discipline, and of making an example of those that were not prepared to fit in with the workings of Limbo. If she wasn’t careful, she could find herself demoted so far that she would be looking to Chuzzle for instructions!

Then again, if she did go to the schoolhouse, what would she find there? How far into their madness would they have descended, and would Dora have any hope of getting them back to the track of actually fairy-godmothering again? And once she did, how many godmothering disasters were going to come back to bite her?

She heaved a sigh. Those were problems for the future. Her immediate problem lay in pacifying the Powers. The others could wait.

“I’ll go and… and see what they’re up to,” she said, weakly.

“Excellent. We knew you would not let us down.”

“Yes, well, I’ll be off then.” Elladora got up quickly, backing away from the three of them. One Power speaking was enough to raise the hairs on the back of her neck. Two was a little… well… overpowering.

She was almost at the door, when her attention was drawn to the MAFIA notice-board. There was a notice on it, announcing in thick green letters than the Employee of the Month competition was up and running. Beneath it were four candidates, with their appropriate mugshots.

Until then, she had almost managed to forget that she had been nominated for the ghastly competition. Now, though, she saw a photo of herself, windmilling her arms as she fell backwards, with an expression that suggested she was choking on a giant brussel sprout.

It compared rather badly to the other three photographs, which reeked of dignity and majesty. Death, fully cowled and wielding a large, silver scythe. The personification of Good, surrounded by a glowing golden aura and wearing a smile full of teeth so dazzling that he could have been posing for a toothpaste commercial. And finally, the Easter Bunny, striking a pose which managed simultaneously to be cute and risqué. He always got nominated at this time of year, just as Santa always got nominated at Christmas.

How had she come to be nominated with the big guns? What chance did she have of winning, and what good would it do her if she did? The only things on offer were a cheap piece of tin and an interview for the monthly Limbo newsletter. Torrid piece of junk, it was.

As she left the building, though, she began to wonder. Just how much damage could she do to her employer, if granted an interview in a magazine that everyone would read? They did say that the media was the most powerful force on the planet in this day and age. Perhaps it would be worth trying to compete, if only to get her say in a place where Fate couldn’t shut her up?

There was no time to think about that now, though. Now, it was time to face the other godmothers. Glumly, she swooshed her wand and disappeared.

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

The schoolhouse stood before her. It looked innocent enough, but Dora knew better. The other fairy-godmothers were lurking in there, cooking up mischief faster than a housegnome with an orb-sessive compulsive disorder.

She glanced at the time and winced. She was going to have to get a move on if there was any chance of getting back home in time to take Chuzzle to his O.A. meeting. Even if things went well here, she would probably only be able to snatch a quick cream-cake for lunch before she was off out again. Life had certainly got interesting in a hurry!

Taking a deep breath, she marched into the schoolhouse and looked around. Even after having been told the truth by Fate and the Powers, she still found it astonishing that all the godmothers were still here. The conversation levels had softened not one whit since she had left yesterday. If anything, they were more fevered than they had been then.

Nobody noticed Dora as she stood in the doorway. Nobody noticed her as she walked in and stood at the front of the classroom. No heads turned as she cleared her throat meaningfully. Not one voice quieted as she tried a polite ‘excuse me’.

“Quuiiiiieeeet!” she bellowed at last. Finally, the babble began to die as the other godmothers noticed she was there.

Now that she had their attention, Dora wasn’t quite sure what to say.

“What are you all doing?” she demanded at last. “The Powers said that you’d been in here since yesterday!”

“The Powers?” asked one of the godmothers. “You’ve talked to the Powers. Oh, you’re so lucky – I’ve only ever seen one once and he was right at the other end of the room. Is it true that they never actually speak?”

“It’s – look, never mind that,” answered Elladora, tetchily. “Why aren’t you out at work?”

“Well,” said another, “we thought it was important to fully explore the implications of your lessons. I think it’s clear that we need to go out as a collective, so that when one of us vacations, the others can fill their duties with a style befitting to the league of fairy-godmothers and…”

“Now hang on a minute,” interjected another, “We never actually agreed to the fairy-godmothers’ league, if you recall. That was going to be on the agenda of our second bi-monthly meeting, just under the motion of orb-sharing.”

“Yes, but I thought it had been generally agreed to be a good thing if we could come up with a suitable title for it,” proffered the first. “Most of the objections raised were to the term ‘league’, contrary to ‘union’ or ‘group’ or…” she turned and glared at one of the younger fairy-godmothers, “… ‘gaggle’, as someone suggested.”

“There were more objections offered than that,” protested another. “What about who’s going to head up the committee, and…”

“STOP!” bawled Elladora, uncrossing her eyes with difficulty. “Look – you should be out there doing the job. It’s the only way you’re going to learn anything in the long run.”

“Yes, I said that, but…”

“…but the point was made that experience is no substitute for consistency,” interrupted a slab-faced godmother from the corner of the room. “I still think that we ought to start our own contract of fairy-godmother granting guidelines. Once it’s all down there on paper, nobody can say…”

“Oh please! How many times do we have to go over the same old ground? We already voted on that issue. Twice, if you recall, at your own insist…”

The scraping of fingernails on the blackboard gradually brought the meeting back to order. Elladora turned back to the crowd and glared at them.

“This is ridiculous!” she snapped, as soon as she was sure she had their attention again. “You were doing just fine without all this nonsense just a few days ago. Not that much has changed. You just have to…”

One of the fairy-godmothers raised her hand, timidly. “Excuse me,” she piped up. “I was just wondering…”

“What?” barked Dora, thoroughly out of her depth by now.

“Are those new wings?”

“What? Oh. Err… yes.” Elladora answered, somewhat derailed. “I… uhh… got them yesterday. Going back to this meeting, though…”

“Did you get them from Fate?” asked another godmother. There was a buzz of envy rippling around the room.

“No. It was just a commendation present from the Powers. Look here, you have to get back to…”

“Personally? From the Powers?” Now the godmothers’ attention was undivided. “Are they Cherub Fly-fasts?”

“I… I don’t really know,” replied Elladora, thoroughly flustered by now. Within seconds, she was surrounded by fascinated godmothers, examining the fixings behind her back.

“It is! It’s a Cherub Fly-fast. They’re still prototypes. They say you can lift an elephant with those things.”

“Have you taken the advanced flying test yet? You’re not supposed to fly in those things without the advanced certificate you know.”

“Forget the wings. How many commendations has she received in the last few weeks?”

“Two, isn’t it?”

“No, more like three!”

“Three? Really?”

Elladora had had enough. “Yes, I’ve had three commendations – and you know how I got them? Not by sitting around on my bottom and discussing how to fairy-godmother. By actually going out and granting wishes. To the granter goes the glory!”

The godmothers looked at one another, smiles breaking out on their faces.

“To the granter goes the glory,” echoed one of them. “I like that. Yes – I like it. Do you mind if I use that, Elladora?”

Seeing that she was getting somewhere at last (although unsure of precisely where), Elladora decided to change tracks.

“Of course you can,” she said, heartily. “It’s something we all need to bear in mind. After all, wands were made for wishing.”

A whisper rippled through the crowd. ‘Wands were made for wishing. Of course! That makes sense!’

The fairy-godmother ventured another, aware that she might by this time be pushing her luck. “You have to grant wishes to follow your dreams.”

It was nonsense – utter nonsense – but it seemed to be working. To Dora’s amazement, the godmothers started breaking away towards the door. Just a couple at first, then a larger bunch. Then as a group, they broke and ran in their enthusiasm to start work again.

She rolled her eyes in the now-empty classroom. It seemed that when reason and logic did not work, a mindless slogan would do the job.

Ah well, whatever it had taken, she was glad the committee had broken up at last. Now she had to be getting home.

----------

Her wand brought her to the front path of her garden. Her first observation was that the front door was no longer flame-burnt. Her second was that there was no longer any door. Fast on the heels of that was the realisation that the front door wasn’t the only thing missing.

The front face of her cottage was held up by nothing but scaffold. The brickwork was gone, the window frames were lying flat on the ground among the rubble and there was tarpaulin and bricks and wood and rope all over the place. There were also over a dozen gnomes busying themselves with the destruction of her property.

For a second, she stood frozen. Then she marched furiously forward.

“What are you doing?” she shrieked. “Chuzzle!”

“Chuzzle’s inside, Miss,” said one of the gnomes, smiling cheerfully at her. “’e’s busy y’see. But we’re doin’ exackly what ‘e told us to, Miss.”

Elladora felt her blood beginning to boil. “Tell me – how, in the name of all that is sane, did he take my instruction to fix the front door and turn it into…” she swept an arm angrily over the vista before her, “…this?”

“Oh, so it was the front door.” The gnome turned to one of his colleagues. “Told yer!”

The other gnome nodded knowledgeably. “Coulda bin that, I suppose. Coulda bin. I thought it was the windows, though. Lookit the state o’ them frames? They’re virchally rottin’ away, Miss.”

“Forget the winders.” Another gnome wandered up. Dora vaguely recognised this one (through the red mist that was obscuring her vision). Grippy or Beany, she was almost sure. “That chimney stack was fair about ter fall on yer ‘ead, Miss Chubb. I thought ‘e meant that.”

“Werrll, ‘e jus’ pointed and said ‘fix it’,” said the original gnome. “’e’s not a maintenance gnome ‘imself, so we thought ‘e just meant the whole front o’ the house. Don’t worry, we c’n ‘ave it all back, better’n new in… oh… five or six days, tops.”

For the moment, the O.A. meeting was forgotten. The ogres were forgotten. Her precious orb-time was forgotten. The only thought she had was of getting hold of Chuzzle and wringing his neck.

She stalked angrily past the building-site and into what little was left of her cottage.

“Chuzzle!” she shrieked.

“I ‘adn’t forgotten, yer godmotherness.” He scuttled out, looked harassed. He also looked, Elladora noticed immediately, rather inky. There were smudges around his chin and nose and his flesh was scraped with lines of blue right up to the elbows.

“What,” bit Dora, “is all of this?”

For the first time, Chuzzle looked to the scene behind her. His jaw dropped and he assumed the hunched stance of the shortly-to-be-fired.

“I just told ‘em to fix the door, Miss Chubb!” he pleaded. “Honest I did!”

Elladora glared at him. “Tell them to put it back the way it was. Right now!”

“Yes Miss.” He scurried off. Elladora waited, distracted from her anger by the uncomfortable sensation of her stomach rumbling. It was nearly two o’clock and not so much as a cream-cake since breakfast!

Hunger won. She slipped into the kitchen and grabbed an éclair, feeling the cream calm her with its calorific wisdom. By the time she emerged into the hall again, she felt ready to accept whatever disasters were in the offing.

A good job too, it turned out. Chuzzle came back, looking eager.

“Sorted, Miss. They say they c’n ‘ave the house right back to the way it was,” he beamed. “Five or six days, they say. Yer’ll never notice the diff’rence.”

Elladora looked at the cheery face before her and decided that there was no point to this discussion. None at all. Later, she would sort out the fact that she was living in a three-walled house with a group of leering gnomes as builders. For now, there were a couple of O.A. meetings to get to.

She looked at Chuzzle. Those weren’t the only issues she was going to have to sort out afterwards. What was Chuzzle doing with so much ink and why was he in such a hurry that he couldn’t give clear instructions to his friends?

Dismissing her curiosity for now, she waved her wand and took the two of them to the Admin Building.

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

An hour later, she was thoroughly regretting that she had ever agreed to lend a hand to the ogres.

She had dragged Chuzzle into his meeting and left him. Then, with a house full of work-gnomes, it had seemed almost more pleasant to spend an hour at an ogre self-improvement class, than to go home.

Pushing the door open, she had been greeted enthusiastically by a very relieved ogre leader. The floor had been strewn with brittle cane-work and defeat was hanging in the air like a particularly bad smell (then again, that could have been the ogres themselves. They didn’t exactly smell like an advertisement for deodorant!).

Lacking any expertise in basket-work, she decided to stick with something easy like cake-baking. Half a dozen simple, conjurable ingredients and an oven or two. What could possibly go wrong?

Now, standing looking at the four ogres before her, she knew the answer to that question.

One of them was so covered in flour that he looked like the ghost of ogres past. His cake hadn’t got past the first ingredient. What he lacked in variety, though, he had made up in quantity. Six bags of flour were scattered around the room, to the point where every surface was covered in dusty white powder. If the Sandman came in unexpectedly, his first impression would probably be that he had stepped into some form of personal paradise.

Another of them had completely ignored the cake tins – and, indeed, the very notion that cakes should be circular. He had insisted on baking himself a club-shaped lump of dough, which he then went on to complain about because ‘dis too soft for bashin’ people wiv!’

The third had been potentially quite reasonable at baking. He had at least got the idea of mixing flour, eggs, sugar and milk together (although Elladora had been forced to remove the eggshells and the carton from the mixture during the process). However, he hadn’t seemed able to get his head around the fact that there was no added ingredient of powdered bone in the mix.

“But it sez! We learned it las’ week, din’t we, Busta?” He appealed to his fellow ogre, who was too involved in spreading flour around to notice the question. “Be he live or be he dead, we’ll grind ‘is bones to make our bread. Just gimme a minute fairy-godlady, I can fetch you bones no problums. Plenty of ‘em ‘round ‘ere.”

From there, it had swiftly degenerated into a debate explaining the difference between cake and bread, swiftly followed by a lecture on the subject of ogre stereotyping and why it must be avoided.

All in all, it had been far more trouble than she could have expected in her worst nightmares. Elladora wiped the sweat from her brow and tried to edge towards the door. She was waylaid by the lead ogre who, beyond all probability, seemed to have had a thoroughly good time.

“Thanks fairy-godmother,” he said, thrusting an eggy hand into hers and pumping it up and down with slimy abandon. “The lads are very grateful. Dey can’t wait ‘til tomorrow. Can you, lads? What’s the next lesson gonna be, den?”

Elladora freed her hand and wiped the egg off it with a look of distaste.

“Tomorrow?” she said, without enthusiasm. “I can’t do this every day, boys. You’ll have to start getting guest speakers in. Different people, different skills. You can learn all sorts of new skills.”

The lead ogre’s shoulders began to slump.

“And it’s no use fixing me with that lost puppy expression,” she added hastily, her heart sinking as that was precisely what the lead ogre did. “I simply can’t spare the time. You boys will have to start helping yourself sometime and – oh, all right! Stop staring at me like that. I’ll take you down to reception and we can have a word with the people down there. See if we can get you fixed up with some sort of agenda for this…” she hesitated, staring at the ogre with his weapon of dough, “… club of yours. But that’s it. That’s absolutely the most I can do for you.”

“Tanks, Miss Chubb,” chorused the majority of the ogres, their gratitude weighing on her like… like the combined weight of four ogres.

It was twenty minutes later by the time she had sorted the details out with the reception desk. Purple-hair was still on duty and she had no great reason to be generous towards Elladora. The fairy-godmother had plenty of opportunity to regret her cheap shot with the chair leg earlier.

By the time she got around to fetching Chuzzle from the Orbaholics Association, she was more than a little flustered. He looked at her gratefully, then surprised her by flinging himself at her and clinging on for dear life.

“I’m so glad ter see yer, Miss Chubb,” he snuffled, as she tried to disentangle herself. “I thought yer’d decided ter give up on me!”

“Don’t be silly,” said Elladora, feeling guilty at the relief she had felt at the thought. “I just got caught up in some other business.”

“I didn’t mean ter get yer ‘ouse ruined,” he said, his voice muffled by her skirt. “I jus’ thought they’d do the door, honest I did!”

She finally managed to get him unclung. “I’m not giving up on you,” she said, sternly, “but I’m not letting you off the hook, either. When we get home, you’re going to have a word with those friends of yours and make them get my house back to normal. And not in five or six days. I want it done in one!”

His eyes widened. “One, Miss? Yer can’t be serious! I mean, they can’t jus’ put it all back tergether again like…”

He saw the look in her eyes and trailed off, defeated. “Yes, Miss Chubb.”

“That’s better,” she sniffed and, taking his hand, headed back to the cottage.

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

Elladora fixed herself a meal while Chuzzle was busy with his builder friends. It was five o’clock and one cream-cake was hardly enough to fuel the sort of day she had lived through.

In no time at all, she had whipped up and eaten an omelette. That and half a chocolate sponge cake later and she was feeling a lot better about life. She didn’t even sour too much when Chuzzle nervously told her that the gnomes couldn’t possibly repair her house in a single day.

“They said three, mebbe four,” he said, wringing his gnarled hands. “That includes all the repairs, mind. No charge. For a friend, like. They can’t go no faster, though. Not even fer you, Miss Chubb.”

“Three days, then,” replied Elladora, sipping her tea. “Now – Chuzzle – what have you been doing to get ink all over yourself?”

His eyes tracked around the room, avoiding hers.

“Nothin’ much, Miss,” he stammered. “I was just… just doin’ some…”

There was a knock at the door (which, having been deemed first priority, had been fixed upright, against fresh air. Magic could be used to great effect in some circumstances – and then there was this!). The fairy-godmother half-rose to her feet, then settled back and groaned as her feet protested.

“Go and see who that is, Chuzzle,” she ordered, wearily.

“Yes, Miss Chubb.”

She sipped her tea and waited. A few moments later, the gnome returned, leading…

Oh blast! What was Veronica Crumpet doing here?

“You do realise the front of your house is gone?” demanded the girl.

“I wondered why there was a breeze around my feet,” shot Dora. “Of course I know, you silly girl. Now, what are you doing here?”

“Fate sent me with a letter for you,” she replied, promptly. “She said I might as well come, because I’d be working with you soon, so I could have a look around the cottage while I was here.”

“She what?” Elladora sprang to her feet, all aches forgotten.

Miss Crumpet stepped back, warily. “Well, yes. If I’m to have an internship in Limbo, I’m expected to spend a week in each department before I decide what training I want to specialise in. It’s the same for all candidates of my age, apparently. So Fate said I could spend my week with you, learn the ropes from the best, she said.”

Elladora glared at her. “I’ll just bet she did.”

Advancing on the girl, she snatched the envelope rudely from her hands. Having Chuzzle around was bad enough. Chuzzle and some lovesick teenager (not to mention frequent visits from Alexander Rose) would be intolerable! Tomorrow, she would be having words with Fate. Quite loud words, probably.

“All right,” she said, sourly. “You’ve delivered the message. Now go away.”

“Well – how rude!” pouted Veronica. When it became clear that no apology was forthcoming, however, she turned and stomped off in the direction of the gate.

Dora sat down again, slowly. She opened the envelope gingerly, just in case another one of Fate’s deadly parlour tricks emerged from it. All she got, though, were two pieces of paper. The front one was in Fate’s scrawl and read, simply:

Lucky again, Miss Chubb.

The second one, she realised on seeing the signature, was from Carly Morris. Little Miss T-Rex. With sinking spirits, she read what it had to say.

Dear Fairy-Godmother,

Yesterday, I asked for a real adventure. I had no idea that I’d get something so real as that! The jungles! The smells! Especially the poo! It was like I was really there! Sometimes I still think I can smell the stuff on me, even though I was clean when I got back.

It’s all different from the games, isn’t it? When it’s real, I mean. When the guns really shoot and things really die.

What I’m trying to say is, it matters. They show it in computer games and you just shoot, but there’s people doing the same thing to real animals with real guns out there, and it’s got to stop. Think of all those wales

(Elladora stopped and tutted over the spelling)

Think of all those wales and the baby seals and apparently there’s these Russian tigers somewhere or other – China, I think – that are dying out coz people keep shooting them and taking their bones off to make cough drops or something.

That’s why I’m asking you to send this letter on to ten people that you know. If everyone who gets it donates some money, I’ll collect it all and send it to the tigers and the seals, once I find out where they are. Then we can do rallies and go on protest marches and do rescue raids on those chain-smoking dogs in the laboratories.

We can do it. I know I can count on your help, fairy-godmother. You’ve opened my eyes to the cruelty that exists all around me. I’ll never be the same again.

Thankyou!
Carly Morris

Elladora scrunched the note up in irritation. Why, oh why did her wishes keep turning out like this? She tried to get someone eaten by a dream dinosaur, and what happened? The girl and the dinosaur ended up on the same side! It was ironic in the extreme!

In her annoyance, she threw the crumpled paper at the waste-basket. It missed and rolled around the rim before landing on the rug beyond. As her eye followed it, she was drawn to the large pile of paper already in the basket.

Not being a great letter-writer herself, Elladora realised immediately that this was not a case of Chuzzle having forgotten to empty the bin for a few days. This was all recent – and what was more, it was all going a long way towards explaining those ink-stains on Chuzzles flesh.

She headed over to the basket and, giving in to her curiosity, plucked one of the papers from it. It read:

Dear Readers,

I thought you might like to know about a party I held at my Mistress’ house (let’s just call her ‘E’ for now).

It all started when she got the PlayGnome XXX channel on her orb. Well, we weren’t about to let all that steamy stuff go on without us, so I arranged for some of my friends to come over and share the fun.

Dora read on, her jaw hanging open. Apparently, she was a very progressive mistress, who didn’t mind sharing her orb (and the suggestion implied, herself!) with fourteen gnomes. It was full of smut and double-entendres, with many crossings-out and corrections. It was also highly fictionalised and full of the sort of detail that she could only hope was straight from Chuzzle’s filthy imagination.

She picked up another of his correspondence attempts. This one was about Chuzzle, his feather duster and ‘Let’s just call her E’. It had only the threadiest resemblance to reality, as did the next letter about what ‘E’ liked doing to him when she was in a temper.

Finally, unable to bear reading another word, she screeched:

“Chuzzle!!”

A moment later, he bobbed his head around the door, a bright and chipper expression on his face. It swiftly turned to the nervous, sweating smile of one who has been well and truly rumbled.

“Ahhh… yes Mistress?” he quavered.

She could barely trust herself to speak. “Explain yourself!”

His eyes searched the room, looking for an excuse, a convenient lie – anything that would save him. It landed on her expression like a fly into hot oil.

“I… I…” he stammered. Then the words came out in a rush. “Yer see, Miss Chubb, there’s a PlayGnome weekly magazine. I… I ‘ave a few copies, stacked under me bed.”

A few copies. That probably translated into ‘so many magazines that my mattress is almost at ceiling level now’. Elladora snarled, softly. She should have been keeping a closer eye on the deviant gnome!

He continued, wilting under the force of her gaze.

“A-anyway – they offers a prize fer the best reader-letter of the week. I j-jus’ thought, if I could write somethin’ decent…”

“What,” ground Dora, “is the prize?”

His gaze dropped to the floor. "A free orb, Miss."

The fairy-godmother ran her fingers through her hair, resisting with difficulty the urge to tear it out at the roots.

“So,” she said, finally. “Instead of giving up your addiction, as I requested, you’ve decided to stash filthy magazines in my home, and write lies about me, in order to get an orb of your own? Am I correct?”

Chuzzle hung his head. Snuffles could be heard. “I jus’ thought that… *sniff*… if I ‘ad me own orb, yer couldn’t complain about me… *sniff*… watchin’ me favourite channel, Miss.”

A new thought occurred, leaving her horrified. “You haven’t sent any of those letters, have you?”

He muttered something. “Speak up,” she barked.

“Only one, Miss Chubb,” he muttered.

Horror left her lost for words. Within one day, Chuzzle had stolen from her, destroyed her house and written softcore libel with her as the subject-matter! How much more of this could she be expected to take?

With difficulty, she gathered her thoughts and suppressed her urge to strangle the gnome.

“Right,” she spat. “This is what’s going to happen. You are going to go out to the editor’s office – or wherever it is that you sent the letter to. You are going to do whatever it takes to get that letter back – and I mean whatever it takes! I will not have you defiling my name for the pleasure of your perverted little friends. Then you will come back here and we will have a long talk about your future. Am I making myself clear?”

“Yes Mistress,” he said, his lip quivering. This time, though, it evoked no pity from Elladora. She simply glared at him, with ice in her eyes, until he removed himself from her presence.

She was going to have to admit defeat with her housegnome. Let Fate have this victory after all. He was a hopeless case, just like the Sandman had said.

Sadness and anger raged within her. She could feel the beginnings of heartburn, eating its way up through her stomach. Searching around for something to take her mind of the mess that her life was in, she caught sight of the orb.

Yes, that would do. It was about time she found out how Jacqueline Spiggs was getting on, anyhow.

She picked up the crystal ball and incanted the spell that would let her take a closer look. Gradually, the screen began to fill with images…

-----------

Miss Spiggs checked her watch for the thirtieth time since the godmother had disappeared. This was ridiculous! How difficult could it be to grant health, wealth and beauty? They were the three obvious wishes, to her mind. Standard fairy-godmother stuff.

Unless it was all a hoax, of course. If her little wards had been playing pranks on her, she would take great delight in making sure that they regretted it for months after. There were all sorts of ways of making an orphan’s life miserable in this place. After all, it wasn’t like they had anyone to complain to, was it? Except her, of course – and she wasn’t much of a listener, when it came to those little devils.

The honking of a car-horn interrupted her reverie. She looked out of her window, to the front gates of the orphanage. There was a sleek black limousine, stuck at the gates. They remained locked, for the most part, to prevent the little devils running off at every opportunity.

Jacqueline frowned in consternation. Surely there wasn’t a governor expected today? She certainly hadn’t been told in advance about any inspection, and with the bribe money she paid out to the local council, she was guaranteed fair notice for anything of that nature.

A hard smile broke out on her face as she saw the groundskeeper going to open the gates. Whoever was in the car, they certainly had money to spend. Perhaps she was overdue a visit from Daddy Warbucks? Well, if a millionaire rolled in wanting one of the miserable little creatures in her orphanage, he was more than welcome. More than!

To her amazement, she saw that there was not just one car, but four. They glided into the grounds with almost silent engines and smoked windows.

Her curiosity now fully aroused, Miss Spiggs left her office and picked her way through the grimy halls to the front door. She opened it just in time to see a chauffeur opening a door in the back of the first limousine.

A girl stepped out. She was wearing knee-length suede boots and short skirt to match. Her blouse was designer silk and her jewellery was obviously not fake. She wore shades and had a movie-star swagger as she approached the orphanage manager.

Spitting out some gum on the freshly-manicured lawn, she held out a hand.

“Hi. I’m Danni Brunsdale. I’ll be staying with you for a couple of weeks. If you show me to my room, my butler will fetch my bags up.”

“Your room?” The manageress looked around wildly. Nobody had told her of any new orphans in her care. There had certainly been no mention of rich celebrities who acted like lodgers!

She tried to regain the upper hand. “I have no idea what you’re up to Miss Brunsdale, but that’s not the way we do things around here. You’ll be sharing a dormitory with eight other girls. Your belongings will be kept in storage until such time as you find yourself a new family, at which point it will be placed in their care, along with you. We’ll have to get you out of those clothes as well. There’s a strict uniform among the detain… among the girls here. This won’t do at all. Come with…”

She trailed off as the doors to the second limo opened. A huge man unfolded himself from the back seat. He was six and a half feet tall and his muscles bulged, stretching the skin taut around them. He walked with all the grace of a gorilla, until he was standing two paces behind Danni, then fixed his stubbly glare on Miss Spiggs.

“Oh, I nearly forgot. This is Ronald, my chauffeur and Amos, my second chauffeur,” continued the girl, as if Jacqueline had not spoken. “Llewellyn, my butler, Nancy, my personal shopper, Bonzo – he insists on being called Bonzo – my bodyguard, Katrina, my maid, Xavier, my chef and Ellis, my masseur. They insisted on staying with me, while the case gets settled. So – my bedroom?”

She looked expectantly at the orphanage governess, then shrugged as Miss Spiggs seemed incapable of doing anything other than opening and shutting her mouth like a carp.

“Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find my own way,” she said. “Give me a chance to say ‘hi’ to all the other guys and girls anyway. This is going to be such fun! Llewellyn – my bags.”

With that, she breezed off and into the orphanage. Half an hour later, when Miss Spiggs had finally got over the shock enough to re-enter her former sanctuary, she heard laughter coming from the main hall.

It was a rare enough sound to make her stop and explore further. That hated voice rose above those of her other charges.

“Well, yes, it’s pretty grotty, but my staff will have it cleaned up in no time. I’ve already sent Nancy out to get us some decent feed and Xavier will cook us up something fabbo for the evening meal. Does everyone here like French food? Oh good. This is going to be great – I just know it – and when my Uncle wins the custody case, I’ll ask him if you can all come over to stay. Lord knows we’ve got the room in our ranch. You’ll love it and we’ll all be such good pals and…”

Feeling ill, Jacqueline escaped to her office. That girl was going to cause havoc to her well-ordered system, and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it. The barest hint of a complaint and she would either set Bruiser (or whatever his name was) on the governess, or she would complain to the authorities and get Jacqueline replaced! It was hideously unfair!

One sit down and four brandies later, it suddenly occurred to her that this new orphan was not only wealthy, but beautiful and healthy as well. As the fifth brandy slopped across her desk, she cursed Elladora in words that almost shorted the orb out…

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

Dora looked up with a weary smile on her face. The distraction had worked and she was in a much better temper. Nevertheless, it was time to go to bed now and get some rest. If the coming days were anything like this one, she was going to need it!

Rather grateful that there was still no sign of Chuzzle, she made herself a cocoa and settled down for the night, trying to ignore the fact that she was sleeping in a room with only three walls and two-thirds of a roof.

He had apparently returned when she woke up the next morning. The evidence was a tray of breakfast, left by her bedside. Of the gnome, however, there was no sign.

Elladora sighed, guessing why her housekeeper was ignoring her. He didn’t want to face the fourth dismissal in a row. For that matter, neither did she. Sooner or later, it would have to be faced, but for now, she might as well just get on with breakfast and her next wish.

After she had polished off the scrambled eggs on toast, she got dressed and went down to look at her notebook. Only four names left now. The next was Colleen Shrille, aged thirteen, first wish. As usual, there was no mention of her preferred choice. By now, Dora had ceased even trying to predict the nature of the wishes, or the way that they would turn out. Better to simply get on with the job.

She did. With a wave of her wand, she was gone, bound Colleen-wards.

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

She arrived in Colleen’s bedroom, to the most atrocious racket. The volume on the TV was turned up to full, by the sound of it, and five boys, in ill-fitting costumes, were synchro-cavorting while they bawled out a soul-less melody in five part harmony.

Standing right in front of the television, a teenaged girl was shrieking along to the music. Her eyes were closed and she had a hairbrush in her hand, pressed close to her lips. She was following the dance-moves in exact time, swinging her arms wildly and nearly catching Dora on the chin.

As the fairy-godmother cut the noise level with her wand, she stared around the room. Every surface of every wall was plastered in images of the same boy. He had greasy blond hair and the level of stubble that suggested the need for a better razor. He was also wearing ridiculously camp clothes, with sashes and ruffs, in leopard-prints, silks, denims and leathers. Everything was figure-hugging, almost to the point of obscenity.

Elladora sighed. She had a feeling she knew what was coming.

Colleen had opened her eyes by now and was staring at the fairy-godmother. She was, thankfully, easier to convince than either of her other first-wishers had recently been. A mere five minutes later, they had cut to the chase.

“So I get anything I want,” said the girl, with a greedy glint in her eyes. She reached over to the television set and tweaked the volume back to its original deafening volume.

“As soon as you tell me what you want, yes,” said Dora, lunging for the volume control and turning it back to a bearable level.

Colleen glared at her. “Couldn’t they find a fairy-godmother who was a bit more up-to-date? No offence, but you look like someone’s grandma!”

Elladora spent a second pondering how anyone could not take offence at a statement like that. She dismissed it with an irritable shake of her head.

“Look – what do you want?” she said, impatiently. “I haven’t got all – if you touch that volume control one more time, young lady, I’ll make your ears drop off – I mean it!”

The girl’s hand fell sulkily away from the remote control.

“I’d better make my wish,” she pouted. “If only so you’ll go away and stop bothering me.”

“You do that,” glared Dora.

“In that case…” Colleen pondered, then swung around and pointed to one of the posters. “I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard of Dwayne McKismo? A bit after your time, is he?”

“As a matter of fact,” replied the fairy-godmother, calmly, “I have. Lead singer of B4, I believe.”

She smiled frostily at the taken-aback expression on Colleen’s face. “What has he got to do with your wish?”

Colleen gazed at the picture and licked her lips. “Dwayne McKismo is god. I want what he’s got.”

“You have to say ‘I wish’,” said Elladora, hardly daring to believe her luck.

“Oh all right!” flounced the girl. “In that case – I wish to have what Dwayne McKismo’s got. Is that better?”

“Much,” grinned Dora…
Back to top  
ethereal_fauna



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject:  

First post! :D

Will comment later after I've read this small book. Expect this chapter will be as stunning as the rest.
Back to top  
Idea master



Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 1787
Location: Sneaking Idearium into your beverages.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:26 am    Post subject:  

Evil plots forming...
Hum.
Well, Stoatly one, I must admit that you do very interesting work here and leave us with a wide field.
Dwayne could have multiple things, all of them bad. For example, he could be running a drug business and has to escape assassination every other night. See what Colleen thinks of that.
Or we could just make Colleen into a full bodied male, though we already used that gimmick up way back when.
Heck, he has a large paycheck, doesn't he? Maybe Colleen's parents will increase the money she gets, or maybe Colleen gets a job where she's forced to work long hours for an insanely huge amount of money.
But if Colleen wants Dwayne's voice, that's something else in and of itself. Switch the voices of the two, and you ruin them both.
Dwayne also has a large female fanbase. I'm pretty sure that Colleen can get one as well, though that may be a bit harrowing. And fun.
Envious friends and co-workers is also doable. Though the envy and blind seething barely concealed rage will make Colleen reconsider quite quickly.
Maybe a crippling genetic disease or poisioned...
I know there's a whole lot more out there.
Oh, and Stoatly one...
Could it be possible to become a wisher in your story?
I've been mulling this one over for a while, and I'd be interested in your response.
Back to top  
Shady Stoat



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject:  

Idea master wrote:
Oh, and Stoatly one...
Could it be possible to become a wisher in your story?
I've been mulling this one over for a while, and I'd be interested in your response.

*grins* You should have mulled it less and asked it sooner. The next chapter is most likely to be the last, unless something stupendously unexpected happens in the meantime. Sorry IM :)
Back to top  
LordoftheNight



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5260
Location: Hell

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject:  

Maybe it's just me, but the first thought that leapt into my head was male genitalia. That would really ruin her day.
Back to top  
ethereal_fauna



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject:  

What's he got? A bad case of the puppy-loves for beastie girl? Well there you go, and sad little trio if there ever was one. :D
Back to top  
ethereal_fauna



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject:  

lordofthenight wrote: Maybe it's just me, but the first thought that leapt into my head was male genitalia. That would really ruin her day.

:lol: Didn't think about that. Good one though. Facial hair would work as well.
Back to top  
Chinaren



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

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject:  

Great chapter as usual old Stoaty!

And the last episode next? How can this be? noooooo!

Er, as for the wish, I find myself idea-less as usual, though some of the ideas above are good ones.

I will ponder...
Back to top  
DukeReg



Joined: 12 Oct 2005
Posts: 287
Location: Australia

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:48 pm    Post subject:  

Maybe Dwayne McKismo has got a secret yearning for a quiet holiday full of contemplation and self-discovery. Wont make for very interesting reading in itself, but its all I could think of to add that hasn't been mentioned.
Back to top  
Rachel
Guest





Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:08 am    Post subject:  

I can't think of anything... :(

The only thing is a disease that is slowly killing him off but that has already been taken.
Back to top  
Solomon Birch
Guest


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

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:39 am    Post subject:  

Superb chapter Stoat, though it's sad that it's almost over. I've got some ideas, but I'm sure IM has already snatched 'em...

Well, what about a secret habit that McKismo has. Like; an addiction to chocolate sauce, or banana fritters or coke-fuelled orgies... (that last one may not be entirely appropriate, but you never know...). Maybe he really hates what he does and just wishes he was a wandering folk musician/anti-boyband campaigner. I'm sure she'd love that... ;) That could be a little hard to work in, but it sure would be a surprise for Colleen.

Hmm, can't think of anything else right now, but if I do, I shall come back. :biggrin:

*holds breath* :shock:
Back to top  
Idea master
Guest


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 1787
Location: Sneaking Idearium into your beverages.

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject:  

Ah-HA, stoatly one, did you think it would be as easy as all that?
You yourself wrote that there are FOUR more people on Elladora's list.
So unless you plan on getting her fired, she has four clients to attend to before she can take a holiday.
And there's other things that have to be taken care of as well. Like the fact that Ella is still missing half her house, or Chuzzle's orb addiction. And what about the ogres? And you can't leave Alexander hanging like that, although half these things do deserve it.
No, stoatly one, you've written yourself into a cage, and the nearest key is four chapters away.
Back to top  
Shady Stoat
Guest


Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:00 am    Post subject:  

Idea master wrote:
No, stoatly one, you've written yourself into a cage, and the nearest key is four chapters away.

You'll see... :D
Back to top  
Solomon Birch
Guest


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

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:02 am    Post subject:  

Stoat is perfectly capable of wrapping it up in the next chapter, if she sees fit. She can write, this girl. :biggrin:
Back to top  
Smee
Guest


Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 5215
Location: UK

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:26 am    Post subject:  

Excellent Chapter as expected :D

Lot's of great one-liners in there that had me giggling, tittering and all those other manly exclamations of humour. ;)

Very interesting wording for the wish.

What has Dwayne got...

Despite the obviousness of male organs, I think facial hair would be more amusing, and certainly harder to hide.

I'd imagine Dwayne also has quite a developed ego. If we give her a matching ego, but without the crowds of screaming fans to stroke it, I can see her getting annoyed very quickly. Desperation for praise, in any form, will see her bragging about her lowliest achievements and doing things (anything) to get attention. Will she even realise this is her wish working?

No other unmentioned ideas at the moment, but I'll be back if I think of anything.

Happy Writing. :)
Back to top  
Sorrow_A
Guest





Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:49 pm    Post subject:  

My first idea, Lordy took.

Several people suggested the genetic disease.

And when I finally thought I had a good idea...Smee had the moustache idea...so now, I have to say I agree with everyone, except the ones which have not been expressly disagreed with, which is nobody.
Back to top  
Rachel
Guest





Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:19 pm    Post subject:  

He could have a law case where he is being framed for something like drug use, murder. Or maybe he is gettting sued or his wife is divorcing him.

I wonder if that's been taken already.
Back to top  
Shady Stoat
Guest


Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:24 pm    Post subject:  

Don't be afraid to use again or expand upon ideas that have already been used. Or combine them, for that matter.

I shouldn't think I'll be putting more than one or two of any one person's poll options up there, so if you have a different take on one of the wishes expressed in an earlier post, take it and run with it.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far :D
Back to top  
Kalanna Rai
Guest


Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:25 pm    Post subject:  

Make her Duane's rival male singer nemesis...everything he's got but she can't have him...
Back to top  
Ovrlndnsea
Guest





Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject:  

As usual, superb chapter. Give her literally everything that this Dwayne McSomebody has got, including... no... that's too much like Martine from Chapter five (you know, when she gets perfect equality)... How about... no... I can't think of something that isn't too similar to chapter five...
Quote: Maybe it's just me, but the first thought that leapt into my head was male genitalia. That would really ruin her day.
Good idea, but I'm not sure how that could be the same thing as what she wished for.
Back to top  
LordoftheNight
Guest


Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5260
Location: Hell

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:35 pm    Post subject:  

Her wxact words
Quote: “In that case – I wish to have what Dwayne McKismo’s got. Is that better?”

It is something he's got - may not be what she wanted, but it's what she wished for.
Back to top  
Rachel
Guest





Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:24 am    Post subject:  

Pure evil...

I like it!
Back to top  
thebean203
Guest





Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:55 am    Post subject:  

wonderful chapter as always =P

it's a sign of the apocalypse when the "stoatly one" writes a bad chapter...
anyway, Dwayne McKismo....no good ideas that haven't been said...also no ideas for blending

perhaps during the day a brainwave will hit me and I'll fall. Very hard. But other than being in pain, i wiwll have a wonderful idea to contribute
Back to top  
Stubby
Guest





Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:03 am    Post subject:  

well, how about a record contract - with truly horrendous penalty clauses if she doesn't get a number one album out by the end of the month?

Or..... a truly HORRIBLE manager. Singers are always saying that their manger screwed them over. Maybe hers could be running her life somehow? Help me out here - I've gone blank, but I'm sure we can build on this one :)
Back to top  
Rachel
Guest





Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:07 am    Post subject:  

You could give her everything he's got. So they would pratcically be the same people.
Back to top  
The White Blacksmith
Guest


Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:30 am    Post subject:  

correct me if i'm wrong , Fauna, but it isn't Dwayne McWhatsit 8) that has a crush on Beasy-Weasty, it's Alexander Hunchback.

On that note, she could have crouds of screaming girls following her every move and loving her croaky, terrible voice. :lol: . Or the bad manager :nono: is a good Idea. maybe what he's got is being constantly on a tour bus, or maybe it's being in the group. She didn't say what part of the group she wanted to be, or even if she wanted to be in the group at all. she could do that, only she could be the bus-driver and general dogsbody of the group. You know, preparing their food, scrubbing the stage. There's all kinds of stuff at Dora's disposal, most of it pretty darn evil :x .
Back to top  
ethereal_fauna
Guest


Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 5:46 am    Post subject:  

Oh yeah...it is Alex. Well that scraps my original notion, but I stick by the facial hair. :lol:
Back to top  
The White Blacksmith
Guest


Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:34 am    Post subject:  

Nevermind. It can still be reversed, with the Hunchback of Notre Fate loving her for a brief while, like he loved Dwayne. Then Beasty girl could get really angry with our current wisher and Cupid and beat her upwith Limbo-powers
Back to top  
Shady Stoat
Guest


Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject:  

Poll's up for 3 days
Back to top  
Chinaren
Guest


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

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject:  

Voted for the obvious. ;) Couldn't resist.
Back to top  
Solomon Birch
Guest


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

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:24 am    Post subject:  

Voted!
Back to top  
LordoftheNight
Guest


Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5260
Location: Hell

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:44 am    Post subject:  

Voted, and winning.
Back to top  
Ovrlndnsea
Guest





Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:34 am    Post subject:  

I wasn't real serious in what I voted, I just thought that it might be kinda funny, but that noone else would pick it.

Turns out it is winning.
Back to top  
Chinaren
Guest


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

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:38 am    Post subject:  

Ovrlndnsea wrote: I wasn't real serious in what I voted, I just thought that it might be kinda funny, but that noone else would pick it.

Turns out it is winning.

Yes, well. You have to give old Stoaty the harder choices, she doesn't like the easy ones. ;)

Plus we're a bunch of pervos. :shock:
Back to top  
The White Blacksmith
Guest


Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:43 am    Post subject:  

SICKOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :censored:

the manager is the best idea, and thats why I voted for it. Considered the huge ego, but I thought it would be really funny to see how she gets along with no spare minute.
Back to top  
Rachel
Guest





Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:59 am    Post subject:  

Voted
Back to top  
The White Blacksmith
Guest


Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 5:06 am    Post subject:  

for what? c'mon, c'mon, need to know, c'mon c'mon :P
Back to top  
Rachel
Guest





Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject:  

The winning one of course :biggrin:

I of course have serious problems and ask your imaginary friend how they discovered the fact.
Back to top  
The White Blacksmith
Guest


Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:11 am    Post subject:  

my imaginary friend is PSYCIC!!! :scared: :rofl:
Back to top  
Shady Stoat
Guest


Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:13 am    Post subject:  

1 more day to get the last votes in. If you wanna, you'd better :D
Back to top  
 
       Storygames Home -> No Good Deed... Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2


Powered by phpBB Search Engine Indexer
Powered by phpBB 2.0.16 © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group