“Now, well, who is going to part with a good sovereign for this,” I asked, gesturing around goosie’s former living room, now office. Pages of her latest manuscript were scattered and tossed on floor and furniture. But asked where page 10 was, or where was the scene with the cat and the fiddle, goosie always directly pointed, well, to the spot, even if we had played with the placement. Damn psychic geese. Everything about her was unusual to be well polite on a nice sunny inside the office day; down right strange described her especially when sleet grey storm clouds roiled over her desk, and precipitation of some sort fell. Hail was the worst – she kept super-strong umbrellas in a jar by the office door.
“Oh,” she said, finally looking up. The real “Mother Goose” would never have been recognized by anyone on the street. Which was good because Jack Horner’s publicity plans either failed miserably or were too successful. Well it was his idea to start the rumour the rhymes were actually opaque or translucent – whatever – satires on politics, social mores, scandals, women, prostitutes, the “landed” class – all manor of gentry up to Lords and Marquis and Barons. But, because his other publicity schemes: was she a woman who, since Tom had a thing for Wales, dressed like a Welsh country dame Wales) and rode a goose, or was she a goose who talked and wore a hat, always a stupid cap, goosie would mutter, were counter productive.
The corrupt constabulary, well, had orders from prominent politicians and high class clowns to arrest Mother Goose on site or was it sight, of treason. And the winner of our “Who’s Mother Goose?” would get, unfortunately, a day at the Tower of London rather than at our office for tea and crumpets with goosie, and some of her reader’s favourites. I excused myself. I told her from the start, “goosie, well, so help me god if I every find the slightest part of myself – even as small as from a shattered egg shell, I shall pull your . . . well and wring your well . . . . I’ll quit.” Goosie found this hilarious and usually took me out for drinks every time I sputtered over what I thought – paranoiacally she said – was a reference to me.
“It’s so simple,” she said. I realized she was replying to my opening comment of 20 minutes before. “They buy the papers, think they understand the stories, toss them to their children’s nannies. The stories are read to or by their charges. The little ones get it right most of the time. Some so right, I fear for their adult years. As to the father, at his club, over cigar and brandy discuss the stories, fitting Lord So and Such into Tom-Tom, the Piper’s son character. The wives gossip about who was the maid at the well, or well of course, the reference to “little Miss Mary” could be none other than . . . .”
“As I was not lucky, like my brother, to be the goose who lays the golden egg. Imagine – a man giving birth! ‘Tis a wilder notion than those lovely pens future cousin six-times-removed, Aflac (funny well name) brought back from his trip – the ones without real ink and never saw a feather or a nib – and so I don’t have to mourn every day those who gave their lives for the quill.”
I should have seen the storm clouds gathering. “goosie, you know that feather quill pens are giving way to other methods.” The lightening missed me by about a millimeter and burned another hole in the carpet.
“Remember. I don’t have those golden eggs, and to think how many of my family, loosing only their flight feathers if the goosier quill dresser was humane, never got to fly south. Or north.” Well, I choose not to mention I had heard the feathers were most often those molted by wild geese during migration. Goosie could be described as wild, true, but I suppose some of her relatives were more domesticated, and perhaps, well . . . Either way, it was one of her of her “issues.”
Things might have gotten kinda crazy, if Jacqueline Spratt had not entered the office well like the drama queen she was. She oft bemoaned that she would “forever be known . . . ‘as wife,’ while Jack got all the pr. Threw herself down on a fainting couch covered with sheaves of paper, and in her stage-like whisper voice asked, “Do we have any bail money?”.
“What did HE do now?” – there was a decided coolness in the air as Jaqueline and Wee Willie Winkie had been well, winking at each other with rumours being that Willie was not wee after all. I said, “not the night gown again? You promised not to let him out unless he was well, properly, I mean well . . . decently dressed.” I was imagining Jaqueline indecently attired, noting I’d make sure she was entertained enough not to well run around town.
Goosie shook the bail, formerly a tea tin, fund box. Not much of an echo of cash. “How long til trial?” goosie asked, gathering up her her cap and fashionable bonnet (not a damn cruddy cap she would say). Jaqueline in fine diva form, mumbled weakly she would try to find out. She well sobbed quietly to herself. I hope the tears dotting her eloquently, finely chiseled cheek bones, were real rather than false. Rather she be a true woman that cheated, than a cheating woman who was not true.
“Take care of things,” she said turning to me after she had arranged her cape, hair, then a stomped foot and “Damn, the dress” – stained fingers and dress from drawing charcoal and these Wonder pens of Aflac’s. What did he call them, Flics. No Dics, Yes, Vics, definitely Vics. “While I change, I’ll think of what needs to be done. For sure the spoon and the dish had to come to speaking terms, Old King Cole has got to start getting treatment for his melancholia, and . . . her voice trailed off as she scrampered up the stairs.
“Where is she going, leaving poor Willie freezing since they took away his night gown” You see well stories had to be altered so that the gown was flannel and for sleeping not the tulle one with lace edging and quite the décolleté. It was a dress for the night, particularly as the teal of the dress complemented her incredibly deep, mesmerizing eyes and alabaster complexion. Not a dress for sleeping in.
I move a few steps away. Her eau de fillet minion was making me hungry in several places. “ To see her brother about another golden egg,” I replied. Jacqueline began to ask, “Isn’t he the one who . . .”. But she was too delicate a creature to consider the consequences. I knew well goosie would say Jacqueline was not too delicate to carry an egg under each arm on her way out of town.
It was going to be an interesting week, Peter was due with an expose of pumpkins and force feeding; I supposed well I would have to interview the fair maidens all in a row who had applied to be goosie’s assistant. Not even Aflac knew when Jill could return to work – those stupid games with her brother had given her several concussions; she was getting, well, to put it nicely, rather dotty. She made goosie seem well quite sane which was a marvelous feat not likely to make the pages of Old Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes.
So, it would prove to be quite the month, not just the week. And, damn it, the reference on page 35 to “While master fiddles his fiddlingstick/And knows not what to do.” was well about me an an incident I t’would rather not speak of case delicate eyes should behold these words. You delicate creatures may leave the room now, whilst I tell about the cat, dog, spoon, moon, fiddle and cow . . . talk about a sixsom. Well, you see . . . . calling it an orgy . . . well I went with my fiddle sticks, and then . . . . .well.
She smiled, “I well … wrote this story kind of sort of well, without thought or corrections well except for spelling, of corase.” She got close to the publish button: “written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Fairy Tale Prompt #70 created by wild child 47.” She added, “Fantabulous prompt, well, by the way.”
@ adh (a darkened house) 2016