Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Great Magician's Feather Pen: The Story of the Ink Fairies and the Evil Squid Ink

“I’ve run out of ink for my pen!” said the Great Magician in the Kingdom of Reynes, dumping his ink jar.
The Magician scratched his feather pen across the handmade paper, only to make a faded line.
“Where are you Ink Fairies?” he called out the window. “I need more ink. I have stories to write!”
He looked at his stacked manuscripts sitting in his bookshelf, neatly bound with leather and string.
Like all magicians, the Great Magician had a special gift that distinguished him in the kingdoms—his was storytelling.
In fact, whether or not people knew it, he was responsible for writing all the stories in every kingdom of the world.
After he wrote the masterpieces, the Ink Fairies took his work and put them in the Timeless Library, where all stories were saved despite space or time. Then, when an author or scribe needed a story, the Ink Fairies delivered the book to their beside at night. When they woke in the morning, the story had been inscribed in their memory through the Magician’s spell. Of course, only the Great Magician and the Ink Fairies knew this secret. If humans knew of the Magician’s power, they would be jealous and covet his magic, which they already thought was their own.
“Here I am, sir!” said Pherenice the Fairy, who had heavenly blue flowers on her wings. “We worked all night on making a new batch of ink for you,” she said, dropping the latest batch of fairy ink on his desk with a thump.
One after another the Great Magician checked off the names of the Ink Fairies as they delivered their full ink jars:
Blossom, Cherry, Dewdrop, Euclea, Flutter, Glimmer, Moonshadow, Songbird, Twinkle, Veil, and Wonderspell.
“Fabulous!” the Magician said. “I have enough ink for my work next week, and all is well with the world.”
“Well, all is well almost,” Moonshadow said, who was so bright that she always had a shadow behind her.
“What is it this time?” the Great Magician said. “Let me guess! The Ink Press is broken again!”
“No . . . not exactly,” Cherry said. “It’s more like the Evil Squid Ink sent us a letter on seaweed parchment.”
“What does he want now? Stay at the bottom of Lake Doom, and stop trying to steal my stories!” the Magician said.
“He’s always wanted your ink,” Blossom said, sitting on the Magician’s shoulder. “He can’t write stories like you!”
“I wouldn’t worry if I were you,” Dewdrop said, cleaning her ink bottle with her shiny wings.
“No, I would worry,” Euclea said. “The Evil Squid Ink is evil for reasons—he wants to take over the Ink Press.”
Flutter fluttered over to the Magician, handing him the threatening note on seaweed parchment, which he read aloud:
“Great Magician: I am coming for you! I will take your Ink Press for my own. I am the Evil Squid Ink, and you are only a half-rate Magician who comes up with fairy stories that have taken over the minds of children and their parents for far too long. My ink will now be known throughout generations! Your Ink Press and Timeless Library will be mine! This is war. Leave the Kingdom of Reynes before I force you out with my Squid Ink Army. I am the one with the Ink. You’ve never been anything other than a plagiarizing fool. Truly, The Evil Squid Ink”
“What shall we do now?” Glimmer said. “There must be a glimmer of hope somewhere. There always is . . .”
“We must secure the Ink Press,” Veil said. “And then we must prepare for a fierce and long battle.”
“I will call for the neighboring fairies to come to our defense,” Songbird sang, flying across the Magician’s office.
“None of that will defeat him!” the Magician said. “I must write what’s happening in a story, and it must get published in the human world, so they can know the lies of the Evil Squid Ink. It’s the only way to defeat him for good!”
“He’ll stay at the bottom of Lake Doom in hiding, fearful that the humans would destroy him,” Twinkle said, with a sparkle in her eye. “The story must make it to the Timeless Library by midnight of the last day of the month for it to be available to its author in this season. Otherwise, it has no chance to get published until next year.”
“This means that I have three days,” The Magician said. “I will need constant ink and no distractions! Then, you must deliver the story to the Timeless Library, and its author without delay! Telling this story is the only way to win.”
“Until you finish the greatest piece of fiction ever written, we’ll protect you!” Wonderspell said. “The Evil Squid Ink only wants to use the Ink Press and Timeless Library to promote his own meaningless and dark stories!”
“That will never happen, but we must deliver the story to an author who isn’t jealous of the Magician’s storytelling magic,” Pherenice said. “We’ll find the best author available and prepare to fight the Squid Ink Army.”
Day and night for the next three days, the Great Magician worked tirelessly on “The Story of the Evil Squid Ink.”
“More ink!” the Great Magician said, rubbing his sore wrist. “I must have more ink! Fairies! Where are you?”
In the meantime, the Evil Squid Ink descended on the Magician’s castle, throwing deadly ink bombs.
As Pherenice delivered the jars of ink, the other fairies defended the Kingdom of Reynes from the Squid Ink Army.
They sent fairy dust into the squid tentacles, causing confusion so they couldn’t throw the ink bombs.
Although the Squid Ink Army was relentless, the Ink Fairies didn’t back down, diffusing the ink bombs before they could detonate and sending them back to the slippery squids. The Ink Fairies’ cleverness enraged the Evil Squid Ink, who wanted to kill the Magician. “I’ll settle this myself,” he said, growling. “The world will know my stories!”
As he made his way to the Great Magician’s chambers, the fairies fought him until he arrived at his door.
“I must finish this story!” the Magician said, placing his feather pen behind his ear. “I’m on the last chapter.”
He scribbled and scrawled as quick as he could of the horrors of the Evil Squid Ink, ending the manuscript with this sentiment: “And so the horrendous creature hid at the bottom of Lake Doom for the rest of time, never to use words against humankind. Instead, stories were only used for the good of men and women alike. The End.”
“Quickly!” the Magician called to the Ink Fairies. “Take my manuscript to the Timeless Library. Register it among the Books of Time, and then deliver it to its author and scribe among humankind. Hurry! There is no time to waste.”
As Pherenice and a group of fairies from neighboring kingdoms flew through the window to pick up the masterpiece, the Evil Squid Ink blew open the front door of the Great Magician’s chambers with an especially potent ink bomb.
“Fly as fast as you can!” the Magician said, sending the fairies on their way to the Timeless Library.
While the fairies took off, the Evil Squid Ink wrestled the Great Magician on the chamber floors.
The Evil Squid Ink almost strangled the Magician with its tentacles until the Magician stabbed him with his feather pen.
“This pen is sharper than a knife!” the Magician said, as the varmint slithered into the hall, bleeding.
Of course, the beast crawled away before the Magician could kill him, and it shrank back into Lake Doom with his army.
“You got away!” the wizard said, stumbling into the hall. “I knew the only way to truly defeat you was to tell your story.” Meanwhile, Pherenice and the fairies expedited “The Story of the Evil Squid Ink” through the Timeless Library, registering it with a special code in a category all its own: “Stories that Save the Fate of Humankind and Their Children.”
Before the Evil Squid Ink could reorganize himself for another attack, Pherenice delivered the manuscript to the beside of Pen Jen, an American author who was well-known for her children’s magazine, Pen Jen’s Inkwell.
When she awoke in the morning, she scribbled notes on paper by her beside and made an outline during breakfast.
“I’ve come up with the best story yet,” she told her mother on the phone. “There’s this magician with a feather pen, and he has ink fairies who give him magic ink to write classic stories for all humanity, and a squid that is jealous of the magician’s enchanted stories. It’s going to be marvelous! I’ll let you read it for typos when I have the first draft.”
By the time the manuscript was a published best-seller in New York City, the Evil Squid Ink was so afraid the humans would kill him and his Squid Ink Army that he stayed at the bottom of Lake Doom for eternity, never to threaten the Great Magician again. And The Great Magician with the help of his Ink Fairies kept writing the stories that all humankind loved. His magic feather pen had never been so delightful!

Copyright 2016 Jennifer Waters

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Cain & Abel," a song lyric from the FATE collection


VERSE:           
Cain was able to walk in the garden,
And able to eat from the trees.
He was able to drink from the river,
And able to work as he pleased.

REFRAIN:       
But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.

VERSE:           
Cain was able to speak with the angels,
And able to talk straight to God.
He was able to dream of the heavens,
And able to give life a nod.

REFRAIN:       
But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.

BRIDGE:         
He could have been,
His brother’s keeper.
Now his blood is on our hands.
Still no one understands,
His blood desires to have you and me.

VERSE:           
Cain was able to seek new beginnings,
And able to stand in the light.
He was able to fight back the darkness,
And able to do what was right.

REFRAIN:       
But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.
                       
BRIDGE:         
He could have been,
His brother’s keeper.
Now his blood is on our hands.
Still no one understands,
His blood desires to have you and me.

(REPEAT BRIDGE)

REFRAIN:       
Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.
But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.
Oh, Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.

TAG:                
A restless wanderer he will be.
A restless wanderer he will be.
A restless wanderer he will be.
A restless wanderer he will be.

Copyright 2016 Jennifer Waters

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels: The Story of Time-Traveling Shoes

“I’ve got on my Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels!” said 12-year-old Aiyana Mitchell, sitting on the back porch.
She lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia and spent one too many summer days at the swimming pool.
“My time-traveling shoes!” she said. “I can close my eyes and travel to places in the future and the past!”
As she pulled the laces tight on her sparking pink heels, she thought of where she would like to travel for the first time.
Of course, the pointy stiletto shoes were a special gift from her Aunt Olivia, who had outgrown time-traveling with age.
“These shoes are now yours,” Aunt Olivia told her niece. “Have the time of your life! I’ve traveled enough for now.”
As the story goes, the shoes originally came from an era of magic shoe makers in England during the late 1890s.
She bought them on a trip to England from the Portobello Road Market without knowing their magic powers until she put them on her feet. 
Her aunt had used the shoes to travel to so many places that it seemed she was on a constant vacation. 
The family always said that her aunt was so full of stories, and none of them could be true, but Aiyana always believed in her excursions and loved receiving her souvenirs. 
Now she was about to try the shoes for the first time for herself. 
Since her aunt didn’t have children, she gave the shoes to Aiyana, as long as she didn’t tell her mom about them.
“It’s better to stay in the present—forget about the past and wait for the future,” Aiyana’s mom said, rolling her eyes at her sister’s imagination. 
Despite her mother’s warning, Aiyana wanted the adventure and mystery of the time-traveling shoes. 
So, she hid them under her bed in what looked like a beat up, old shoebox, and her mom never noticed them.
Now that she was ready to use them, she decided that she better try traveling some place calm and serene.
“How about traveling to the early 1900’s to a lake with a boat and a fancy parasol and swans?” Aiyana said.
Although the present was full of sunshine and blue clouds, she was eager to research another era. 
When she closed her eyes, she was transported to another century, appearing wearing a lace dress and sitting in a boat on a lake.
As she gained her bearings, she grabbed the side of the boat with her left hand. The parasol slipped from her right hand.
“Oh, no!” she said, startled by the swans in the lake. Then, the boat capsized, and she fell into the lake with a splash.
“This looks like a scene from one of those Impressionist paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir,” Aiyana said.
Her once curly hair had lost its bounce when doused with the water from the lake. She felt like a fat sponge.
In all the commotion, Aiyana’s time-traveling shoes slipped off her feet and sank to the bottom of the lake.
“Now I’ll be stuck in the 1900’s forever!” she yelled, grabbing onto the side of the boat, kicking her feet.
She pulled herself back up the side of the boat, sopping wet, and cried: “Someone help me get my shoes back!”
The lovely parasol floated on top of the lake as an upside-down umbrella across the rippling water.
“My lady! Let me help you!” said a proper gentleman in a striped, full-body swimming suit, diving her direction.
“I’m from the year 2018, and I lost my time-traveling shoes within a minute of being here!” she said to the man.
“If you could dive to the bottom of the lake, and find the shoes, so I could go back to 2018, I’d appreciate it so much.”
“That is quite a story, young lady,” the man said. “They must be your favorite pair of shoes to have such a story!”
“If you don’t find them, I’m going to have to scour the bottom of the lake by myself, and I can’t swim in this dress!” she said. “And I will probably drown, trying to find my shoes! My mom expects me to be in the present for dinner!”
“Right away, madam! I’ll find those shoes. Then you can travel anywhere you want,” the man said, who looked a little bit like her Uncle Herb from the present. “I’m putting on my goggles, and I’m about to descend into the deep.”
As the man dove into the lake, Aiyana squeezed water out her lacy dress and paddled out to the parasol on the lake.
When she raised the parasol, water dumped on her head, and she shook her head until she could see again.
Then, the man swimming in the lake on her behalf popped his head above the water: “My lady, still no shoes!”
He took a deep breath and went back underneath the water with a splash. A breeze blew over the water.
“Maybe I should have settled for the swimming pool!” Aiyana said. “It might’ve been easier than all this adventure.”
From beneath the water, a hand arose with the Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels, dripping wet.
“I found your lovely footwear,” the man said, handing her the shoes with sand filling in the toes.
“Thank you, kind sir,” Aiyana said, shaking the sand out of the shoes and putting them back on her feet. “I’d rather live in the present. If I come back to the past or brave the future, there must be a specific reason. I’m just so out of sorts.”
“Well, now you can go on your journey,” the kind sir said. “I’ll be swimming in the lake, if you return.”
With that, Aiyana returned to the present on the back porch in her Philadelphia home with her mother calling.
“Aiyana, come help me make dinner,” her mother said. “What have you been doing out there all afternoon anyhow?”
As Aiyana walked into the kitchen, she created a trail of footprints and a puddle of lake water that stunned her.
“What did you just get out of the swimming pool?” her mom scolded her, wiping up the water with paper towels. “Please don’t tell me that you’ve been trying to figure out how to use those silly old shoes from Aunt Olivia.”
Aiyana ran upstairs to her bedroom before her mother could see her Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels.
“Before I go time-traveling again, I need to ask my aunt for advice,” Aiyana said. “It really has to go better next time. Maybe I should tie the shoes to my feet with ribbons. I’d really like to travel to all kinds of places, like the Roaring Twenties, the 50’s in America, the 1980s, the Renaissance, and future space travel. Time has no limit!”

Copyright 2018 Jennifer Waters