Faery Tail

It doesn’t make any real difference where or when the event in question happened, but that it happened at all is the main point of this recollection.

For a brief time and space in existence, the event described below began and ended and changed a few lives. The beginning had to do with a sword, a spider, and a wrinkly little man named Raplin.

Now, Raplin’s life had nothing at all to do with the sword or the spider, but it did have to do with a certain wrinkly little woman named Chedlin. The only problem with Chedlin, thought Raplin, concerned the fact that she had a definite lack of knowledge concerning Raplin himself. You see, she knew of Raplin only as "the little wrinkly man who lives beyond the small swamp". Not only did Chedlin have that idea, but everyone in the small town of Berintulip did as well.

Without being seen or heard, every day of every month, Raplin brought a small basket of swamp fruit, known to be the best fruit of the land, to Chedlin’s doorstep. Every day of every month Chedlin would pick up fruit basket from her doorstep and exchange it for an empty one.

Now, there were few in Berintulip who would call Chedlin a fool, stupid, or hopelessly without the necessary gray matter to function normally, but the significance of having fresh swamp fruit on her doorstep every day of every month never struck her as being odd. It did strike Sheelba of the eyeless face odd, however, and Sheelba did everything in his power to learn who or what brought these fruits to Chedlin’s doorstep.

Now, Raplin had a son named Gewy (pronounced Gooey) who knew of Raplin’s activities and also knew of Sheelba of the eyeless face.

One day while harvesting the various swamp fruits, Raplin came across a small broken stick. "Hmm... wood." he thought.

On that same day, Gewy tromped through the swamp of boot sucking mud to visit with his fiancée, Throckmorton the large and cumbersome. Throckmorton’s parents had a sense of humor and named her Throckmorton because of it. Her parents, Gil and Hirma, thought that if by chance she had no sense of humor people could at least laugh at her name. This of course did not please Throckmorton in the least, but nothing could be done, for the town of Berintulip never changed the names of its inhabitants, and once an inhabitant always an inhabitant.

As Gewy neared Throckmorton’s place of residence the three twins, Lampot, Joc l’Gingy Timalan, and Uffa the Wise had located a snail hill and were busily stomping the snails into greasy little bits. Gewy, always one to join in the fun, began his own method of snail stomping, which consisted mainly of throwing himself into the air and landing squarely on his back. Unbeknownst to the twins, Gewy had had years of experience at this sort of thing. They watched him a while and noticed that in the action of snail stomping, Gewy’s method proved much more effective than their own. So, in time (about two minutes) the three twins, Lampot, Uffa the Wise, and Joc l’Gingy Timalan, started throwing their bodies high into the air and landing on their backs. In the course of events (about 30 seconds) they all died from massive internal injuries. Gewy looked at them, went through their pockets, found a few coppers, and then trudged away to Throckmorton’s hut.

In the meantime Raplin had found a stick in the swamp, and for the second time he muttered, "Hmm... Wood."

Unbeknownst to Gewy, Throckmorton did not love him the way he loved her. She loved him in the way that people love their favorite pen or pencil- the kind that always gets lost. So, as he trudged wearily to her house (looting corpses always made him weary), he had no idea that at that very moment Throckmorton ran through her cottage stark naked with the four twins, Ramslips, Bilabol, Guaqlot, and Cretnicks, all stark naked, right behind her.

Gewy never knocked n Throckmorton’s door when he visited, and at this particular time he made no exception. He merely opened it as usual and walked in and was immediately trampled to death by the four twins.

Throckmorton, upon discovering his mashed body, quickly pulled the intestines out and hung them up for drying. She then instructed the twins to take the corpse to the little swamp and dump it.

As they walked towards the little swamp with the disemboweled body of Gewy between them, the lady Chedlin trotted out of her cottage (for she always trotted) and said to them, "Oh, I see you’ve killed poor Gewy. Are you dumping the corpse into the small swamp just outside of town?" The four twins happily answered in unison. "Yes we are wonderful Chedlin, would you care to join us?" In the purest eye batting delight of a maiden half a century her niece, hands up to her mouth, eyes sparkling with more than bad corneas and glaucoma, she said, "Oh yes! Please!"

A moment later they were all trotting down the main street of Berintulip doing the happy corpse dumping dance and splotching the cobbles with Gewy’s blood. Well, in no time at all the entire town had come out of the various cottages and lean-to’s they lived in to join in the festivities.

Soon the entire population of Berintulip stood at the edge of the small swamp and watched as the four twins dumped the mutilated corpse of Gewy into the festering muck. From somewhere deep inside the swamp a small voice would have been heard saying , "Hmm.... Wood." if anyone had happened to be listening.

The four twins danced around and around the corpse and finally sank into the swamp. However, only three died and Ramslips survived, though his life changed dramatically and he wanted nothing at all to do with Berintulip and left to eventually die three days later in a freak accident concerning a frog, hamster, fish hook, and a very very poisonous snake.

Soon the population returned to their homes and cottages. Throckmorton couldn’t find her favorite pen, and Sheelba of the eyeless face couldn’t see anything anyway because of course he had no eyes to see with.

In her home Chedlin sat down in a very soft mass of rotting swamp fruit. You see, she never actually ate any of the fruit Raplin sent her. Oh, yes, she would SAY she ate the fruit, but the, hmm, sweet old lady would just pour it out on the carpet and let it rot and putrefy. It was said by the few who knew of this deranged activity that she enjoyed the intimate buzzing of the fruit flies as they circled her head and found homes in her various orifices such as eyes, ears, nose, and mouth and open scab pits.

Meanwhile, deep in the small swamp, Raplin stooped low as to pick up a broken piece of swamp wood. "Hmmm.... Wood." he said as he methodically bit the stick into tiny pieces, spit them into his hands with a good deal of saliva and juices from the sinus passages, rubbed them together, and worked the fibrous mass through his stringy hair.

As Throckmorton searched for her favorite pen, and Sheelba of the eyeless face wondered what things actually looked like, there was born in a distant land a fair and handsome prince. After he slipped out of the mother’s womb, a sword slipped out as well and the newborn baby grasped the sword like rattle, shaking it all about, killing all the doctors and nurses that watched. Sometime later someone found the baby, cared for it, and three months later died via the same method. Eventually the baby found itself tossed in disgust and fear into the wilderness of the swamp where various nasty muck creatures brought it up as one of their own.

In the intervening years, Raplin continued giving Chedlin fruit which she continued throwing on the growing pile of rot on the living room floor, and Throckmorton continued looking for her pen. The pen, meanwhile, had found it’s way into the hands of Sheelba of the eyeless face, and Sheelba while never having any real use for the pen, decided to never give it back.

The baby grew up to be a boy who grew up to be a young man who grew up to be a little bit older and wiser. One day as Raplin searched for the swamp fruit that he so endeared to give to Chedlin, he found the little swamp boy, now a large swamp man, polishing his sword on a small black stone. The stone had a mystic quality never seen by Raplin before and he said to the swamp man, "Hmmm... You are made of wood, are you not?" The swamp man answered by hacking Raplin’s pet frog to pieces. Raplin screamed in rage and sorrow and ran throughout the small swamp and was not seen again for more than two hours.

Then one day winter came and the swamp froze. Oh, so distraught was poor Chedlin for no fruit grew in the winter, that Throckmorton invited Sheelba of the eyeless face over to Chedlin’s house wherein Throckmorton sat on them both. Throckmorton left the bodies on the pile of rotting vegetation and left the house forever, never noticing her lost pen in Sheelba of the Eyeless Face’s pocket.

That same afternoon, Throckmorton invited the five twins, Beringy Doo, Yappo Scrambay, Qwerty Iopas, Jippynogo, and Bob over to her cottage for a cup of tea. They lived happily ever after.

In the swamp the man with the sword finally found Raplin’s house. Poor poor Raplin, unable to find fruit for Chedlin who he didn’t know died by the sheer undenying weight of Throckmorton moments earlier, sat in his own little pile of misery. The swamp man walked up and said, "I believe, sir, that you are made of wood." In no more than a moment, cheer and delight broke Raplin’s face. He soon recovered with minimal scarring.

In the coming years there were stories told of the two men as they galloped naked throughout the swamp, but the most intriguing tale had yet to be told. The spider saw it all, and the tale went like this:

One day Raplin and the swamp man stopped by a pool of water and bathed each other. Such a warm and fuzzy feeling of brotherly and other unmentionable friendships linked the two of them that day, that the creatures who lived in the pool of water could hardly stand it. In no time at all, various carnivorous swamp monsters messily ate both the swamp man and Raplin.

High above the pool the spider saw this, and directly after the story was related, the narrator killed it in a fit of uncontrollable xenophobic anger. It is difficult and not to mention nauseous to even imagine the feeling of being killed by a spider. Can you? Let me help. The fangs slowly pierce your skin and then gallons of venom are pumped in with the spider’s specialized venom pumpers and you are slowly paralyzed while remaining conscious and lucid of the whole despicable situation. Then one day, before you’ve had a chance to die but not before you've had a chance to endure prolonged suffering and misery, the spider sneaks up and scares the bloody hell out of you. The spider does this mainly because spiders enjoy that sort of thing. They know how horrid they are with all those spiny little hairs and clicky-clicky grasper pinchers. Then after you've had a chance to start your heart back up, the spider gets to work on sucking all the soft bits out of your body until you are hanging from the web lifeless and wrinkled like a sausage skin without a sausage. Then, of course, the spider doesn’t give a damn about your remains and casually snips the single web strand holding your gruesome corpse which then falls lifeless to the ever festering compost that makes up the forest floor far beneath you.

But in the end, the food chain pretty much survives and the world basically lives happily ever after.


Copyright (C) 1990 by Scot Ranney
"Oh 'tis the scurby waddle which perbs the
slippant vumlop, or say the clig mullert."

Mambo Scrambe
est 1995, copyright © tyrinth.com TM