by Luke Blanchard


Springblossom the fairy went tripping down the fairy path that ran through the wild part of the garden, eager to begin her tasks for the day. There were the daisies to pollinate, and birthday gifts to be laid out ready for the baby spiders in the egg sac under the dry oak leaf. The thrips had been nibbling at the petals of the roses, and she meant to tell them off sternly. She smiled and spread her arms to enjoy the warmth of the sun.


Rumplestiltskin the kitten was hiding nearby in the long grass. His eyes followed her as she came down the walk. As she was passing he leapt out and cuffed her with a paw, knocking her to the ground. Then he sat on his haunches to watch her.


Bruised and shaking, Springblossom slowly sat up. Her heart jumped when she saw the kitten and realised what had happened. At first she was too terrified to move, for fear of triggering another attack. But before long the cat began to look away, as if he had lost interest. Avoiding sudden movements, she began to get up while slowly spreading her wings. The cat still seemed distracted, so she jumped into the air to fly away. Immediately he lashed out and knocked her back down.


For a while she lay completely still. Then she began haltingly to hoist herself up, to look at her tormentor. Her face and body were badly bruised and one of her wings hung down her back limply. Instead of fear she felt complete hopelessness. Once again the cat was sitting on his haunches, sometimes looking at her and sometimes looking away. She no longer believed this meant he wasn’t watching her closely. She could hear the buzzing sound of a bee somewhere and the other usual garden noises.


Suddenly the cat lashed out again, once more knocking her flat. This time he opened a gash in her side, and she cried out. There was an eruption of sparks from the wound, as from a sparkler. Startled, Rumplestiltskin backed away quickly. But before long the sparkling diminished and died off. When he was quite sure it wouldn’t start again Rumplestiltskin came closer and tentatively prodded the fairy with a paw. She did not respond. He tried another prod. There was no renewal of the sparkling, so he grabbed her with his jaws and bit down hard to make sure she was dead.


Later in the day Springblossom’s friend Quitchgrass came looking for her. He found what was left of her shoved to the side of the path, near the bluebells where he’d kissed her after the Super Bowl party. He ran home in hysterics, and after going to see the body the mayor called a meeting of the ring council to warn everyone that they might have a serial killer on their hands. As they did.

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If Geoff Johns wrote Enid Blyton fairytales...

To paraphrase "The Unicorn and the Wasp": "Tell me there's no Noddy !" "There's no Noddy... Not anymore."

Thanks, gents. And also for your kind words last year.

Today's fun coincidence:  When I got to the gym this afternoon, one of the TV's was playing a Noddy cartoon.



To Quitchgrass fell the task of telling Mary that Springblossom had been killed. They had played together every week, when she and Mum came over to visit Grandma and she was able to slip away to the bottom of the garden. She had recently seen Peter Pan and was eager to tell Springblossom all about it. But when she got to the place where they met she was surprised to see the wrong fairy waiting for her, and was instantly afraid. When he told her what had happened it seemed to her that the bottom had fallen out of her world. "It's not true! It's not!" she wailed. "Fairies don't die if you believe in them! I do believe in fairies! I DO!"


"No! No!" shouted Quitchgrass in fear. But it was too late. There was a stirring in the earth near the bluebells, where Springblossom had been buried in accordance with fairy custom. An arm forced itself above the surface, followed by a head. The left side of her skull was missing, and at first her jaw hung slackly. Then she saw the girl, and a hungry expression entered her eyes. She began to speak with difficulty. "Hello, Mary," she whispered. "Come closer, Mary..."

Congratulations, LB, you've managed to scare me a little!

Thanks, Baron. I plotted a further continuation, but I decided not to beat that horse to death. Because if you do that on Halloween it springs back to life and rips your throat out.


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