I am posting my works to Amazon as I post this. Should be ready to purchase by tomorrow some time in the morning.
I will post again when it is ready.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!
Okay, time for a little fun. I get tired of blowing up the world, people dying, death and destruction and clever people averting universal disasters after awhile and have to fall back on my very most favorite fantasy characters, the top of the list being Merlin.
So while not so long, it is a meant to be amusing and light hearted tale of Merlin as a young boy....proceed with caution, as you are in grave danger of having fun! :) John
Of Man and Gods, Centaurs and Eagles
A Merlin Story
By John Pirillo
My name is Merlin Ambrosius Indigo. And this is my story:
The first time he decided to venture out on his own in the lands was the first time he had his nose rubbed in dragon poo. Literally!
"Great gods of fire, Lillian!" He had hollered at his best friend, Lillian. She was a centaur with a gorgeous mane of silken purple hair and a tail to match. Her body was a piece of art, carved by the gods of the mountain and the gods of wood. She was as fluid as water and as strong and unyielding as stone. In other words she was stubborn.
She twitched her button nose and stuck her tongue out at him.
His anger fizzled into a spout of dry stupidity. "Okay!" He said, wiping at the poo with one of the great leaves of the tree next to him. The dragon had to have perched in the tree the night before or else he wouldn't have had the enormous dropping fall onto his hair and face like it did. Sometimes a denizen of the lands got whacked from the sky as dragons flew over. They were quite unconscious of where they dropped, just like the birds, but always apologized whenever they found out. So they weren't soulless creatures, just...well, he had to think with a grin...spontaneous.
"Indigo." The name she preferred to call him because his face turned that color whenever he was mad or upset. "You really must be more alert."
He frowned at her. At his early age he already had thickset, heavy eyebrows that looked like thunderclouds fallen from the heavens. "Next time, you wait under the tree."
"I shall." She agreed, but he could tell she wouldn't. It wasn't her nature to take chances like him. Perhaps that was what compelled him to explore deeper into the woods that morning. Mother Tree had given him her blessings and Father Tree as well, once he could be awoken from his usual day long slumber. His father was a lazy head, he thought fondly.
"Indigo!" Lillian shouted.
He startled from his thoughts and saw that she was galloping off. "Can't catch me!"
He frowned deeply. "Of course I can't, you four legged excuse of an imp!"
She giggled girlishly and hoofed it even faster.
He stood there with his hands on his hips, wondering what to do next, and then a bright idea flourished for a moment in his mind. He rubbed his hands together and then cupped them to his mouth.
Lillian didn't look back when she heard the call of an eagle. They were so common in the lands that hardly anyone noticed them calling to each other as they wheeled in the skies or dove for food. Eagles were mighty creatures and not to be feared. They were the friends of Fairie.
She also didn't look back when she heard powerful wings approaching. She had no fear of anything flying, because anything that flew in these lands was friendly. But when Merlin swooped past on the back of a giant eagle and then put his thumb to his nose and blew a rude sound, she stopped and flew up her back hooves and kicked at the sky.
"Ambrosius! You rascal!" She hollered. She used his middle name when she was angry or irritated with him. At that particular moment her great big brown eyes were screwed tight in anger and irritation.
Merlin sensed it, leaned over the beak of the eagle and stroked between its eyes gently. "Shall we help Lillian calm down, old friend?"
The eagle, whose name was Feathers Sky God, swept around in a tight circle then approached Lillian head on. Lillian continued to make rude gestures until she realized Feathers Sky God wasn't going to turn.
She quickly turned about and began racing for the safety of the woods. "I'm going to pluck your beard when I get you back home." She cursed at Merlin.
He heard. He had very, very good ears. Almost supernatural, because he could hear words before they were spoken by lips. In his head. "Too young to have a beard." He shouted at her, and then as he swept just a bare inch above her purple hair, he coaxed Feathers Sky God to complete the mission.
Lillian screamed in horror as a precise bomb of about ten inches in diameter splashed in waves of goo across her glistening back. "I am so going to pluck your beard for sure, you beast!"
Merlin laughed all the way home. He leaped from Feathers Sky God's back, rushed to his sleeping spot, and grabbed the largest tumble of berry branches he had stashed there and ran back and held it up for Feathers Sky God, who began plucking the berries he loved from the branches as delicately as if he were using fingers.
Merlin loved to watch his large feathered friend eat. He rolled his eyes with pleasure at even the smallest of tidbits he was fed by Merlin. "If only all creatures were as noble and grateful as you, Feathers Sky God." He praised the creature.
Fathers Sky God rewarded him with a rub of his beak across Merlin's face, and then he swept around and leaped back into the sky, calling out happily as his wings caught a draft which pulled him higher yet.
Mother Tree tapped him on the shoulder. He looked up into her warm, amber eyes and she gave him a smile. "You've been naughty again, haven't you, Merlin?"
His mother usually addressed him by his first name. Well, she was his mother after all!
"Noooo." He hedged.
She leaned closer, her eyes whirling hypnotically in their sockets.
"MERLIN I'M GOING TO MURDER YOU!"
"Yes." He finally admitted as Lillian drew in beside Mother Tree. She put her well muscled arms and hands to her sides and glared at Merlin. Then she tossed her mane revealing the gooey mess on her back.
"Oh my!" Mother Tree exclaimed. "Did Merlin do that?"
"No." He answered.
"Yes." She added.
She looked at both of them. "Well, which is it?"
Merlin sighed. He couldn't lie well. It wasn't in his nature...yet! But he saw sometimes in quiet moments his future and it included parts of himself he didn't recognize now, and some of those parts frightened him and some made him sad and some like this part just made him sadder. Because he saw the coming loss of a better part of himself that could never be replaced...his innocence.
"She made fun of me!"
Mother Tree looked at Lillian.
"He got back at me by making Feathers Sky God poo on me!" She spit out angrily, tossing her girlish mane in emphasis.
Even though she was mad at him he couldn't help but admire the beauty of her hair. She noticed and crossed her arms, raised her nose and went. "Humph!"
Mother Tree touched Merlin on his right shoulder. "What has Father Tree taught you, my son?"
He paused a long time. He wanted to say it, but the moment he did he would be admitting he was wrong and he would also be facing the loss of innocence he had dreaded seeing come to past. Finally, he took a deep breath and looked across at Lillian. "I'm so sorry, Lillian. I shouldn't have done that."
Lillian gave him a beautiful smile. "I forgive you."
Mother Tree laughed. "Now see how easy that was?"
Mother Tree walked slowly away.
Merlin looked into Lillian's eyes, which were now looking kind of...triumphant. Mother Tree hadn't seen that side of her. Merlin had...more than once by now.
"No. What I should have done was had him empty out on your head!" Merlin said, and then as Lillian roared angrily behind him, kicking at the sky with her angry hooves, he clapped his hands together and vanished in a clap of thunder and lightning.
Merlin appeared in another clap of thunder and lightning beside a calm lake in a distant land, where men stood tall, but fought fiercely amongst themselves for possession of what all living creatures shared, but which they falsely claimed as their own. A land he was attracted to, though at that time he couldn't explain why. His visions of the future told him this land was important to him in the future and would become more so when he met someone very special.
He never got a clear glimpse of who that was, but he knew when the day came he would recognize the child. It was his ability to see to the truth of things. He sighed. Especially in himself.
So he sat beside the lake and pondered the mischief he had wrought and that more impish side of himself and wondered where it came from. He knew his real father and mother must be human like he, but Mother and Father Tree would always be his real parents. He also knew that. Saw that. He sighed again, and leaned his chin on his cupped hands, seated on his crossed leg on the green sward next to the lake.
The lake bubbled slightly, which caught his attention. Then a wondrous light began to rise and bubble in the water, colors of the rainbow. As he watched a great sword of uncanny beauty and incredible godlike beauty rose from the waters, clutched in the hand of a water nymph. He rose to his feet and gestured at the rising sword and hand.
"It is not time yet!" He ordered, not knowing why he said those words, only that they were true.
The sword slid back into the waters and the bright rainbow colors vanished. In moments the waters became still once more. He could see a fish launching across the bottom near his feet and a distant eagle soaring across the skies.
He turned his back to the lake and his future and began walking again towards the land he was born in. Or was he?
He clapped his hands and vanished in a flash of thunder and lightning.
The Comic Book Commando jumps into the life of a teenager who is granted super comic book powers and must learn how to use them to survive.
"Don't love me just because I'm beautiful. Love me because your heart tells you it is the truth of your own soul." Cartoon
A young girl screams for help!
A young teen named Johnnie hears her cry of terror and fear.
He's no hero, but he can't just let her die.
He rushes into blazing hot high rise fire to rescue the young girl who is trapped between broken floors.
In a daring attempt to save not only her life, but his own as well, Johnnie risks a leap that no normal human could possibly do.
When he reaches the outside of the building, with the young girl in his hands, he discovers she has mysteriously vanished.
This is the beginning of a number of strange events that leads to him discover he has been tested by the Princess of another world. Another universe. A place where all living creatures, human, plants, animals and monsters are comic book characters drawn by someone at some time either in our world or another.
Her name is Cartoon.
She tells him he has been granted the ability to draw on the powers of all cartoons!
Thus begins a series of fantastic adventures that expose Johnnie to danger and evil of a kind he never thought could exist in the real world.
Nothing will ever be the same for him.
He's no longer just a teenage kid going to college and holding down a part time job.
He has become...THE COMIC BOOK COMMANDO!
Don't miss out on this epic new adventure that goes places no one has ever gone before. Purchase it now at Amazon, Smashwords or here in my bookstore for only $2.99.
Enjoy hours of reading pleasure.
Become a comic book hero.
Rescue a Princess.
Bound over buildings.
Pass your exams!
Be a Comic Book Commando!
Available now for only $2.99 at Amazon, Smashwords and here in my bookstore.
Hey Writers and Readers!
You're missing out if you haven't checked out this site.
Lots of fun, good reading and if you're a writer, a place to land your ideas.
So don't be like that snobby guy above, click on Readers Gazette for reading and writing adventures!
Best to all.
Somewhere in Dreamland was a 1936 film based on the titular song. This film was part of Max Fleischer's Color Classics series. The film was produced by Max Fleischer, directed by Dave Fleischer, and was animated by Fleischer veterans Seymour Kneitel and Roland Crandall.
Contents Plot A young brother and sister carry a wagon through town, gathering wood planks and logs for their home stove. They pass by five merchants' shops: a tinker's, a tailor's, a toy merchant's, a butcher's, and a baker's. The children stop for a moment, to admire the confectioneries in the window. They lick the window to pretend they're tasting the cupcakes. As he sees the children, the friendly baker goes inside, and comes back with cupcakes for them, but the children have already left. The merchants gather to make a plan because they want to help those poor children. The children reach home, and they are welcomed by their mother with a kiss. They sit down to dinner: hard bread and flat water. The children eat quickly, with the boy saying "I'm still hungry, Ma." She then cries, because they are very poor, due to the Great Depression. The boy tries to make her feel better by assuring her that he was "only foolin'" and their mother kisses them good night. They get in their pajamas, and they each sing a part of the song, as they fall asleep beneath their very tattered sheets. The mother extinguishes the candle light, and sadly retires for the night.
In their sleep, they enter a land with a welcome sign, an arch of pillows with the word "Dreamland". They happily frolic through the wondrous land, which includes trees where they can pick beautiful clothes and shoes, a syrup river, an ice cream cone field with lilies pouring chocolate and caramel syrups, an animal cracker carousel, a field of popcorn-making corn stalks accompanied by literal buttercups to dip the popcorn in, wonderful toys, and two luxurious beds. They laugh happily, and fall asleep, only to wake up the next morning. To their surprise, a large feast is on the kitchen table, as well as toys and clothing surrounding the room, all of which was provided by the Merchants. The children look up to the kind merchants, asking twice if all these things are for them. The merchants nod and reply "All for you, yes!" The children shout in joy, and begin to eat. The boy, however, suspicious of this good fortune, sticks a fork in his bottom to ensure they aren't just dreaming again (they're not). The children laugh and continue to eat, as the chorus "Somewhere in dreamland, tonight" plays.
Song's lyrics I'll see you somewhere in dreamlandSomewhere in dreamland tonightOver a bridge made of moonbeamsWe'll find our clouds are silver lined Each little star in the cosmosShining our welcome so brightDreams will come true for me and youSomewhere in dreamland tonight Trivia
Catch Me If You Can
"A Young King Arthur Story"
By John Pirillo
It was neither dawn nor dusk, but a twilight of a heavy sort where the clouds veil the skies in somber hues of gold and red, daring you to try to sleep or awaken beneath them. It was an auspicious time and a dark time, a time of light and life, and a time when dark forebodings rose like mists from the heaves of the earth below.
Merlin sat with Arthur beneath that shroud of mystery, himself a mystery, as his thoughts flew where only one such as he could travel.
"Were I a magician, I would make the clouds go away so the sun could shine and make all the bright and pretty things shine and grow beneath it." Arthur ranted, the hint of amusement touching his lips as he watched his master.
Merlin continued his restful pose, both legs intertwined in that strange position he had learned in the Far East from the dark skinned men there who worshipped a thousand different gods, but obeyed only one. His skin was bronzed just like the skies at that moment. Merlin spent many an hour outside tending to the needs of the wild life that was sheltered neared his Crystal Cave, and the needs of the people who came to him for healing and health.
"Were you a magician." Merlin finally said, with a light smirk on his lips. "I would be out of a job."
Arthur unraveled himself from his position on his elbows, and sat up, startled by the statement. "If I were a magician? Are you saying I could be one?"
Merlin opened his eyes and Arthur could see a vast depth of gold light emitting from within them, as if someone else were watching him through Merlin's eyes, and not Merlin himself.
"Could I really become a magician?"
Merlin loosened his legs from each other, and propped his head on his knees watching Arthur go through all the motions of trying to figure out what he meant. The young lad was a very bright soul, but had a tendency at times to get lost in the intellectual side of things. Something that Merlin hoped in time to wear away at until the pure pristine hope of Britain shone with the Light that had been promised by his birth.
"I would think even the least of God's creatures could be a magician, Arthur."
"How is that possible?"
Merlin spread his palms and a beautiful butterfly fluttered from above and lit upon his right palm. It had triangular shaped blazons on its wings that seemed to pop out in gold and red. Its eyes were a gold color and its antenna a soft brown. It began to wash its face, as it that was the normal thing for it to do on a stranger's hand.
"For instance this tiny being. Just look at how much magic it offers in its gentle touch, its beautiful colors, and its dainty, carefree leap through the airs."
Merlin lifted his palm and the butterfly spiraled upwards, trailing a soft dust from its wings behind it, like a fairy taking flight.
"It is beautiful. But I'd hardly call that magic." Arthur finally ventured. "Wouldn't it have to be able to transform one thing into another?"
"Arthur, were you but to see your eyes when it landed on my right palm and began to wash its elegant face, you would no longer doubt magic in such a creature."
A cry in the skies drew Arthur's attention. It was a small white dragon, leading a larger golden one that seemed to be alert to all about it as the baby flew. When the baby flew too close to the ground, the mother dragon soared beneath it to urge it back into the air, and when it flew too high, she flew above it to help it back down before its wings lost their grip on the tenuous skies.
"It's a baby dragon."
"Not just any baby, Arthur. It's a King of Dragons."
"Yes. Only the purest of colors can find such a dragon. This dragon one day will carry a great leader into battle to fight the forces of darkness, and shall carry him like a chariot to the very gates of heaven itself."
When Merlin spoke those words, his eyes were on Arthur, as Arthur's eyes were on the baby white dragon. He smiled at Arthur's look. "No magic?"
Arthur looked at him and smiled. "The mother's love? She never lets him venture too close to the earth, nor too high in the heavens."
"And what else, Arthur?"
Arthur thought about it.
"It makes my heart dance."
Merlin clapped his hands.
"And isn't a dancing heart...magic?"
Arthur giggled, then grabbed Merlin's magic staff, leaped to his feet and ran away. "And so is your staff!"
"Arthur you come back with that staff!"
"Catch me if you can, old man!"
Merlin laughed and leaped to his feet.
Arthur led him past the Crystal Cave and along a narrow path about the mountainside it was embedded upon. Arthur, for his part, knew the path quite well as he used it daily to return home to his home with his Uncle, and to serve the Dark Queen Morgana, a task that fraught his nerves with fear and doubt, but that he did with a sense of urgency because he wished to serve his people, and could not do so, if he were ignorant of what they needed...and feared.
Arthur leaped across a fallen tree, and then scampered up a steep slope, using the staff to dig into the loose soil so he could make better headway. He looked back and Merlin was no longer behind him. He grinned. "Gotcha, old man!"
Suddenly, a pair of strong hands gripped him and pulled him up into the air and Merlin was whirling him around like a small child.
Arthur cried out with laughter and shouts to let him down, but Merlin was relentless. The more Arthur cried for release, the more he turned him, until he was so dizzy he thought he might throw up, then Merlin set him down on a large boulder, depositing him on the cliff of a great overhang that overlooked the Golden Forests below and the distant towers of the castle where Lord High King Uther Pendragon and the Dark Queen Morgana lived.
Merlin sat beside Arthur, and gently prized the staff from between his fingers, then set it between them. "I may be older. But I'm not that old!"
Arthur laughed, and then almost gagged as his stomach heaved for a moment.
Merlin reached onto his belt and loosened a flash attached there. He opened it and handed it over. Arthur took a long drag, and then his pale face brightened. "Honey water."
Merlin and Arthur sat there upon the wide boulder, dangling their feet over the edge of the drop, watching as the clouds finally drifted apart to reveal a setting sun, which kissed the distant black towers of the Dark Ones, and softened its dismal appearance.
"Some day I will build a new city here, Merlin."
"I pray that day comes soon, the world needs order, but..." He looked at Arthur. "It needs love even more. Never forget that, Arthur. Law is only a part of the structure of life. Without love, law is cold and spineless, like that which the Dark King and Queen wield, but with love, it becomes like a radiant sun supplying life and vigor to all it shines upon."
Arthur nodded. "I'm not sure such a day will ever come to these lands. The Dark Ones have such a powerful hold on it, and the wealthy, Merlin, they have forgotten the laws of charity. They take from the common man, more and more, and give back lashes and abuse, with little to eat and sustain the souls and bodies of the peoples."
Merlin put an arm about Arthur's shoulders. "Maybe someday you can change all of that. You think?"
"I don' know what to think."
Arthur's face hardened. "But if I could do it right now, I would. I'd have the heads of those Dark Ones..."
Merlin put a finger to Arthur's lips.
Arthur gave him a surprised look.
"Arthur, all is part of God's Creation and part of his body. We must never forget that in God's eyes we are all each other's brothers and sisters."
Arthur sighed and put his head in his hands. "It's so hard to remember that sometimes, especially when I see Morgana's guards whipping a young girl because she kept a loaf of bread for her ailing father, instead of tithing it to the Dark Queen."
"Patience, Arthur. Just like a tree plummets the earth with its stout roots, some day you shall also do that, and your roots will sustain you when you need to shelter and succor those of need."
Arthur looked up and brightened.
"You think so?"
Merlin gave Arthur a knowing look. "I know so."
"Can't catch me, old man!" Arthur cried out, snatching up the staff again and sprinting back down the mountainside.
Merlin watched Arthur run and smiled. "A child must be a child before he becomes a man."
So having said, he took himself back down the mountain, already knowing exactly where to surprise Arthur and recapture his staff. Some magic requires magic, but some only requires patience and maturity.
Indigo, the Color of Magic
"It is often said that the greatest and most powerful magic is that which comes from the heart."
-- Merlin --
His first memory of the other world was one of a great droning kind of sound. It was enticing like a magnet draws iron filings to its core. He was drifting in a cosmos of speckling light, dazzled by its beauty and lulled by the harmonics of its gentleness. He had no reason to be anywhere, to do anything. He only had the need to exist. To flow wherever the great River of Life took him. Not a straggler in the currents, tossed against the hard rock's of humanity, but an eagle soaring high above the weights and uncertainties of life as we know it.
So it's no wonder that his first thought when awakened from that vast, soothing current of peacefulness was...
"I am Merlin Indigo of Ambrosia. I am the high flying Eagle, firm of purpose, powerful and wondrous to behold." He stated, mimicking the tall tree that bent over him and chided him for speaking like a child. He was a child. A very small one. Not so small, but small enough to qualify him as a genuine squirt of a human. Though some might say Elf, because his ears strayed a bit too far from the sides of his head, and were a bit too pointy for their satisfaction. But no one every spoke their complaints out loud. No, he had to hear them in his mind. Always over and over, the same things.
"What manner of creature is this that can talk to trees, flowers and skies?"
"How can he possibly know it's going to rain right now, and then it does?"
"He's too small to even grasp a magical staff, and yet he can weave spells like a threader with a loom. He's impossible."
"Just a child."
"He can't be of magic yet. Or at all. He's just a human. Or maybe mostly."
Yes, it was the same drivel over and over until his poor tiny mind, or big mind if you could measure such as his, was tinkling with noises and prattles, complaints and overtures until his cherubim little body wanted to sprout real wings and fly away like his pet eagles did.
And that was another thing. How could a mere child. And a boy at that manage to tame a full grown eagle, let alone a baby? Those were the endless squirts of information and gripes he had to endure day after day, hour after hour, and yet even through all of that grueling mind work, he managed to exhibit an exemplary temperament, or perhaps it was in spite of it. He didn't know anymore.
He was growing up now. He was almost ten years old, or was it nine, or eight. He couldn't remember because no one would dare to tell him. Mother Tree had forbidden them to age him in any way, saying it would ruin his wonderful mind.
"Ha!" He spit out at the frog gathered on its webbed feet before him.
"Ribbit!" The frog replied eagerly, sensing he might be in for another handout.
Whenever Merlin was aggrieved or angry with someone, which was usually himself, he would wander down to the Lilly Pond or Frog Pond as Mother Tree called it and feed the frogs crumbs from his breakfast or dinner. He never ate it all, which might explain as he grew older why he lost his cherubim form and became more like a beanstalk, lean and wiry, muscular and dense, as opposed to rolly poly and fat like Gnome Brown was, who lived under Mother Tree's home in his tiny apartment made from sea shells and mouse glue.
Today he was mad mostly because Papa Tree had been scolding him for being human, saying he wasted too much time playing with the buds and the sprouts, and not enough time on his education. If he was going to grow up to be a proper tree and stay in his place, he would need to reach out in more directions, stretch himself. Which in this instance meant standing in all kinds of preposterous positions with his legs and arms spread out like a wildly growing Thumble Brush.
He never complained. His father just didn't understand why he couldn't grow leaves and branches like all his other children who came back to visit his forest from time to time. Nanever Forest was in the Realm of Fairie, to the Southern Southern portions, where the Great Melts met the Frozen Wastes. And fragile, so fragile because of its precarious balance between extreme cold and the ever budding spring of the Great Melts, which kept all life perpetually growing.
It was rumored, by his father and mother he remembered that anyone who drank of the Great Melts would never die, but live forever. But like all rumors that floated through Nanever, he gave it little thought. But in those days he didn't give much of anything a lot of thought. He might have had a great mind, but his heart tended to overrule it most of the time and ride his emotions into one spread of experience into another, like a river seeping into the sea endlessly, endlessly.
"Father." He asked Father Tree one morning as he stood on his right foot alone, both his arms at opposite angles, and fingers trying to do the same, but not so successfully. "Is it true what some of the Gnomes say?"
"What would that be child of thunder?"
It was his favorite name for him. Child of thunder, because they had found him in a thunder storm, wailing so loud that even the thunder couldn't drown him out. Though his mother had been more specific and claimed he had come down from heaven on a thunderbolt of light that split the forest in two.
He didn't know who to believe when he was told that yarn, and chose to just ignore it as was his nature with rumors and fantasies. Like the idea that there were humans out there somewhere warring with each other over food and drink. He couldn't begin to imagine such a thing, so he set it aside for a day of pondering, which he seldom got to.
It wasn't that he wasn't a wise child. For most children are wise to the extent that they are quite malleable and accepting, he just wasn't a very patient one when it came to the truth. Truth had to be spooned to him on a platter of hard rock stone, with it nailed down by green sprouts or he didn't believe it.
Father Tree had taught him that way of truth. And he clung to it. He would never forget the teachings of his parents, Father and Mother Tree. He had learned as he got older that both had been alive before the Great Movement that had separated Fairie from mankind, separating the dross, but heavy lands of humanity from the Light and heavenly lands of Fairie. The mortal from the immortal.
It was rumored. Those dratted rumors he swore beneath his breath. It was rumored that all of life had once been immortal but ten men and ten beings of earth, rock, stone, wood and petal had rebelled against the Creation, the One Light and caused a battle for dominance of the elements and the world itself.
It had divided in time the spirits of man from their very own bodies, sending many of them into an animal like state, before the more loving brethren of Fairie had taken pity on them and helped them to find their spirits once more. It had been a long and arduous process, and he had heard that at one time the entire world had been conjoined as one land mass, but the battle had severed the land mass into giant masses moated by huge seas of water. He didn't know if that was true, for he had seen no more water than he could find in Nanever, which was usually more than enough for his needs...a drink, a bath, a swim, splashing water into the petals of his friends, and the sprouts of his other friends.
Even the Tree Children played in the abundance of water that was readily available. It was there one day as he was holding a frog in the palm of his hands, studying it, as it sunned itself there, that he learned that in the world of man water was not always readily available and man strove against man to secure it from the other. Killing each other.
When they said the word "killing" the entire forest became as quiet as the first whisper of spring and toadstools hid beneath their tops, Gnomes closed their tiny trapdoors and spouts drooped beneath the earth to hide their ears.
But today he was just sitting on his usual perch above Frog Pond, counting how many leaps it would take his favorite frog friend to cross the lilies in the water. Herkie. He had named him after a large Brownie that lived in the huge Sunflower beside the pond. Herkie had taken but two hops. The other froggies had taken a minimum of four to five.
He had applauded when Herkie reached the other side, causing the rest of the frogs to start croaking in alarm, until he spoke to them calmly and told them they were all quite good at being frogs and had no reason to be frightened or alarmed.
Immediately, they had settled down on their favorite lily's waiting for tasty bugs to waft their way for lunch.
He stood up on his perch and admired his form in the rippling waters of the pond. He now stood about five feet tall, which he was told was small for a tree, but he ignored it knowing full well that known he had known so far exceeded his height by more than ten feet. Surely he would catch up all in one spring, as had so many of his other Tree friends.
So ignoring his slim, short body he began practicing his stretches to make himself strong enough to become a full grown tree. Little did he know at that time that he would never become a tree, nor reach fifty feet tall, but would instead top off at a meager six and a half feet or so.
Such is the fate of a Merlin.
A Gnobs Tree must always provide a shade
For the baby Minotaurs when it sprouts in the Spring.
For neither dale nor glade
Will provide the peace and quiet Gnobs brings.
-- A quote by Sir Thumbledore Giddy --
Gnobs stood in the position he took every spring when the baby Minotaurs sprouted from the horns of their mothers in twos and threes, then were planted in the ground until they could become big enough to walk on their own. His green skin and large red lips were blended perfectly into the tree form he had shape shifted into for the occasion.
Giddy leaned against his pal. He was a knight of King Edward's Court and a very unique individual. His armor was his real skin. Only his face was made of flesh. Everything else was not.
Giddy liked the Gnobs Tree look that Gnobs had assumed. Usually he took a shape that could be so outrageous it was frightening, or so crazy you couldn't stop laughing, like the time he had a dragon growing from each of his fingers who fought with each other, or the time he turned his nose into a licorice stick to tease a giant. That hadn't worked out too well for either of them once the giant caught hold of Gnobs nose, he didn't want to let go.
Only quick thinking on Giddy's part saved the day, but it had cost him a day's wages to purchase the muffins that finally coaxed the giant away from Gnobs nose.
Right now at that moment Gnobs body was made of a nice, rough-looking bark of red and blue shades, but was soft enough not to hurt the scalp of a tender child should they decide to climb him, which they always did after a few days. He looked up into Gnobs face, which was made of wood and fresh sprouts of leaves and tiny branches, with eyes that were hooded with whorls of deep burnt wood, so that he had a kind of prosaic look, or perhaps more that of a wistful poet about the burst forth in the song of words that they were borne to bear forth to the world.
"I'm thirsty." Gnobs complained.
Out the window went Giddy's wistful thoughts.
"I'll get you some water."
"Not for thattttt!" Gnobs immediately uttered.
"Then for what?"
Gnobs looked down at his feet which were wide roots above the ground and against which dozens of baby Minotaurs sprouted, the Mommy Minotaurs tucked next to them to keep them warm and happy.
"You want to be cuddled?"
"Why not?" Gnobs responded.
"But you're not a minotaur!"
"I have feelings."
"Keep them." Giddy warned. "You'll be through with your job on the morrow."
"But who will hug me then?"
Giddy sighed. "Gnobs, I will hug you."
"Oh will you?" Gnobs cried out, causing some of the baby Minotaurs to begin to cry.
Gnobs immediately sprouted parts of himself into baby Minotaur dolls which made cute sounds. The Mommy Minotaurs hugged them to their children and they became quiet again.
"How long until tomorrow?" Gnobs asked when the kids grew quiet again.
"Oh at least a day." Giddy said with a twinkle in his eye.
Gnobs scowled at Giddy. "You're teasing me!"
"Yes. Yes. I am." Giddy proclaimed. "It's usually you...if you remember...that is always teasing me!"
"Oh." Gnobs said, his tree face drooping with sadness. "I'm a badddd boy."
Giddy thumped his friend's barky skin and shook his head. "Not bad. Just a bit over the top sometimes."
Gnobs brightened. "So you'll still hug me?"
"Only if you behave."
"I'll behave. I'll behave." Gnobs declared and shut his eyes.
"Why are you going to sleep. There's still a whole day ahead of us." Giddy announced.
"Because if I go to sleep now tomorrow will come faster."
Giddy laughed. "Oh Gnobs. Time will move the same no matter what we do."
"But what else am I to do?" Gnobs complained. "I'm stuck here now."
"Remember Gnobs. You're the one that started this tradition."
"Oh. You're right." Gnobs said, remembering his first time, which was three years ago, soon after he had met Giddy and befriended him.
"It seems like only yesterday." Gnobs said.
"Time flies." Giddy agreed. "Especially when you're busy."
Then Giddy clapped his metallic skinned hands over his mouth, which along with his eyes nose and face, were the only parts of him that weren't metal. "Whoops!"
Gnobs began to cry.
The baby Minotaurs began to cry.
The Mommy Minotaurs made grunting alarm sounds. The father Minotaurs came running across the wide meadow from the river where they had been bathing, thinking something horrible had happened.
"Now look and see what you've done!" Giddy scalded Gnobs.
"But you told me time flies and it's not flying at all, because I'm not busy. Not even a little."
Giddy looked at the charging Minotaurs, who were huffing and puffing curls of white smoke as they came to what they thought was the danger of their alarmed spouses and children. Giddy had to think of something. Fast. Really fast or it was going to be a disaster!
Giddy's heart churned a moment in his chest and then he brightened. "I love you, Gnobs!" He said gently, hugging the Gnobs tree, which looked so much like a gigantic frog sprouting bark, branches and trees.
Gnobs big eyes widened and he used a branch hand to wipe away the tears.
"I love you too, Giddy!"
And so Giddy learned a lesson that day. Careful what you say. Very careful.
The Baker Street Universe Book Store