furious fiction story that did not make the cut {but I’m proud I wrote it anyway}


The air was thick with magic. Not the mealy mouthed, wrinkle your nose, white kind of magic but the down and dirty, dark-minded, we’re going to stir up the world kind. With a little violence on the side, if you want it, and can afford to pay. I pull my hat down a little further, walk through the shimmering crowds as if I own the party, praying I’ll remain unnoticed.

“Well! Well! Well! You have a nerve coming to MY party!”

Music stops and so does the chatter. All eyes are upon me.


I turn around to face the changeling, Susannah.

Despite her long misshapen legs and the permanent sneer etched on her prematurely aged face she is considered a beauty in Faux-Georgian circles. Today she affects a sweet, maiden style. High waisted muslin dress, sprigged with tiny bows, in contrasting shades of blue. Her brother, Percival, stands at her side, sneering and pudgy in his frocked coat and tights. He took snuff, but was not really up to it.

For a moment I forget my lines. Just as the panic begins to rise, I remember and make a deep bow.

“Greetings Miz Susannah”

I follow up with a perfunctory curtsey in Percival’s direction.

“And to you, Duke”

He nods in boredom and signals to the orchestra to commence the next berceuse. The crowds begin to loll and dream dance, helped along by the misty atmosphere of deepest desire.

Susannah glares. I try not to blanche for I know it is dangerous to show fear in front of her. She is my faerie twin; she knows me better than I know myself.  She hates me.

“I told you not to come here”, she says, fingering a knife which has appeared out of nowhere. It is long and thin and looks insanely sharp. “There is nothing for you here, or didn’t I make that clear last time!”

My heart leaps and I feel the place where my left arm used to be. In the depths of my mind it is still there. Feeling brave, and a little desperate, I straighten my spine and tell her straight to her face, “I only want one little button. To complete my collection, you know.”

She looks unconvinced so I continue, trying not to babble, “Yours is the last Button Party of the year. And I only need the one. Please Susannah, I’ll never come here again if you’ll only let me buy the button I need. It’s only one…” my words trail off and I feel tears flowing down my cheeks.

“Oh! For Oberon’s sake! Get your damned button and leave!!”

I bow, smiling underneath my tears.

I buy my button and retire to the belvedere, where my warlock and lover, Aidan, awaits.

“I have it”, I say, handing over the twelfth button.

He smiles, grasps my hand.

“We’ll bring your arm back, then leave.”

Not before revenge, I think, not before I get my revenge.



Copyright June 2019




The Dental Deception

Situated at various points along the main street of Upper Weeping a renegade shop would appear and then disappear only to reappear once more, at some time in the future, or the past. This shop had been at various times, a backwards clockmaker, a Veneerist of Sins and a Flaming Cross blood donation point {which turned out to be a front for Vampyres Pseudonymous!}

One rare sunny morning, the peoples of Upper Weeping woke to find that a Psychic Dentist had moved in overnight. The bravest peeked behind the purple velveteen curtains in an attempt to see the Dreaded Dentist, to only find a table sporting a crystal ball, two chairs and a monstrosity of an ancient tea maker.

As the day wore on interest in the absent Dentist rose and fell depending on who was gossiping about whom or how much free time anyone had. No Dentist was seen the next day either, nor the next or even the next. Curiously though, as the shop remained unoccupied, the inhabitants of Upper Weeping began to complain of toothache. By the end of the week most were in abject agony, cursing the Dentist for his absence.

It was at this point that the curtains flew open and The Psychic Dentist appeared in a flourish of black cape, head covered in a massive hood. As one the customers moved forward clamouring for attention, pushing the Tiny Dentist {only a mere metre high it was claimed later} inside, where they were met with a wall of Trollish Receptionist. She held them back, letting them in one at a time, after they had paid a fee. By the end of the day not one tooth ached, though all mouths felt slightly numb. All agreed that The Psychic Dentist was a wonder.

Around midnight, with torches flaring and sniffer wolves snuffling, The Magical Transgression Sniffer-Outer Fraud Squad forced it’s way into the Dentist’s premises. Luckily for the Dentist he’d left as abruptly as he’d arrived. Unluckily for the people of Upper Weeping he had also left with a heap of their money, leaving behind the ancient tea maker full of clove tea, a plastic faux-crystal ball for the children to play with and a reluctance to ever visit a Dentist again.


Copyright September 2014

Magical Growth Spurts

sunday sketch 69 halloween special by terry whidborne

Sunday Sketch No.69 by Terry Whidborne @Tezzabold

you cannot tell
when casting a spell
if a tail shall grow
where you want it to show

it’s especially tough
if your Latin’s quite rough
to keep in proportion
without some contortion

the size of your hands
or where your nose lands
the length of your legs
if your ears look like pegs

so be chirpy not maudlin
when stirring your cauldron
magic comes out in spurts
be careful, it hurts!!

Copyright October 2013


On the eve of her fifteenth birthday he arrived. A deal was a deal after all. Her mother had promised him that he could have her when she turned fifteen. She’d always known that this would be so, but she still did not want to go with him. He was not attractive; he looked more like a toad than a man.

On her birthday morning her mother gave her cake for breakfast and a silver amulet for luck. Then, her clothes packed in a small suitcase with wheels, she set off with the toadman.

He drove a Cadillac. She had to admit that was cool {she still didn’t like him}. He wore skinny jeans and winkle picker boots, again that made him hip and cool {but she still didn’t like him}. He played rockabilly on the radio and that was cool too {she was never going to like him}.

Intriguingly he did not speak. When she thought back he hadn’t spoken to her mother either, just sat in the car all night waiting for her fifteenth birthday to dawn.

After many hours of driving {most of which she slept through}, they arrived at his house. Toad hall she called it in her mind, trying not to remember how fond she’d been of toad, ratty and mole in her youth {she wasn’t going to like him}.

She soon settled into the routine the housekeeper outlined for her. She only saw the toadman at dinner everyday. He never spoke, just ate his dinner in silence, stared solemnly at her and then left.

One day a tall man in a dark cloak burst in upon their evening meal.

“Aha!! You thought to deceive me!” he screamed quite demonically. “She’s coming with me!”

He went to grab her arm. Now she’d had enough of being ordered about and in the last few months things had become clearer in her head. She’d become an expert at housework, witchcraft and self defence. The toadman’s housekeeper was an excellent teacher. So, she stabbed her fork into his hand and hit him over the head with the wine bottle. The red wine seemed to have an unfortunate effect on the caped man, as he melted clean away.  Simultaneously the toadman grew taller and leaner and helluva lot better looking. He still looked a little toady. But it was a vast improvement on before.

“Thank you” he croaked.

“No problem” she said settling back down to finish her dinner.

So they sat together in comfortable silence, ate their Shepherd’s Pie, followed by Jam Roly Poly and custard.

{she was starting to like him}

Copyright April 2013