SO. Two hours before a new #VisDare, and I’ve managed to squeak in my entry for Anna Meade’s Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower! If you’ve been living in a Rubix Cube and don’t know what I’m talking about, the full explanation is found HERE at Laura James’ webpage. Short story is, this little tale is going into a special e-book for our one and only Anna Meade, and her wonderful betrothed, Michael Loy.
Below is my entry. There is one deliberate misspelling, which I think you’ll understand when you see it. Also, if you share Anna’s (and my) love of Shakespeare, fairies, wombats, floriography, gypsies, and esoteric minutae of the Victorian Era — you’ll feel right at home.
Hope you enjoy! Leave a comment below, if you would; I always love to hear what other people think. THEN scamper off to read the other wonderful entries! Don’t heckle Anna too much about them, though — she’s trying not to read any of them until after the book is officially presented (which is a bit like a child promising not to shake any presents before Christmas morning, so we’ll see how she fares!)!
And ssoooooo…….my entry for the bridal shower!!!
Snapdragons!!
Puck’s Comeuppance
by Angela Goff
yes to e-book 🙂
“Don’t mix cowslips with snapdragons!”   
           
Mustardseed gathered the cowslips from the florist’s carriage – a jaunty little vardo with a brace of wombats in the traces, nibbling away at Her Royal Dark Highness’ shrubberies. The vardo’s doors were thrown open, revealing a cramped room full of blooms, and overseen by Hecate, Mistress of the Dark Fairy Courts.
“And pomegranate blooms!” she rasped over another nosegay, which she handed down to Mustardseed. “Pomegranate and narcissus should never touch. NEVER!”
Mustardseed sighed, and took the cowslips before jostling the other fairies out of her way. Hecate continued her lecture as she handed jasmine and myrtle to the next fairies in line:
“Floriography is but a hobby to mortals. A wise fairy knows what flower to use and when, and what each one means. When you learn their craft – you’ll serve in the Inner Court. Not before!”
Mustardseed swallowed back disappointment as she ducked into the chapel bower, mostly to avoid the sidelong glances of the other fairies. She was relieved that Puck, at least, was nowhere to be seen.
Anger ran through her as memory of “that dismal love fiasco” (as Hecate called it) rose up before her. Mustardseed had been innocent; she had waited on that silly ass-headed Bottom just as she was told. But thanks to Puck’s interference, her Queen remembered nothing of her loyalty during “The Bottom Incident.”
“And my thanks?” sniffed Mustardseed. “Outer Courts only, and wombat duty each Tuesday.” She wrinkled her nose at the thought of the wombatery and adjoining barns, where the more unsavory aspects of wombat husbandry took place.
Inside the arbor it was clean, cool, and deliciously wombat-free. Tables were set over sprawling tree-roots, draped in embroidered cloths and set with sprays of calla-lilies and sweet-sultans. Wisteria twined through the trees, dropping pale tongues over the altar. To one side, a lithe shadow crouched by the wedding-feast.
“Puck!” gasped Mustardseed. “Get away from there!”
Puck’s foxlike face stretched into a grin. His hands were on the golden meade-bowls that had been set out for the royal wedding toast.
“Why? Do you know how many times they’ve married each other?”
“Yes. Once a century on the summer solstice,” said Mustardseed. “Undying love. Joy immutable. Vows eternally renewed. What matters if it’s their first wedding or their thirtieth? They are the Eternal Couple of Fairydom. Their wedding must be perfect!”
“Perfect is boring! Besides, it’s time her Royal Darkness got another dose of her own interference!”
Mustardseed watched as Puck held a bright pansy over the meade-bowls.
“NO YOU DON’T!” Cowslips fell to the floor as Mustardseed sprang forward, snatching at the flower.
“Why not?” Puck leapt away. “Maybe she’ll fall in love with a toadstool this time. Or a wombat! She loooves wombats…”
Mustardseed jumped again; but Puck was taller, and easily kept the pansy beyond reach.
“Robin Goodfellow!” roared Hecate from the rear of the arbor. Behind her stood a dozen fairies, brimming with flowers of every description.  “What are you doing?”
Puck opened his mouth to string a quick lie. It was unfair how easily he could do this, and with such charm – even to old Hecate, who was as crotchety a specimen as Fairydom could offer.
Mustardseed snatched up a snapdragon from the nearest arrangement. Then she jumped, and fisted the whole bloom into Puck’s mouth. He coughed and spat, dropping both pansy and snapdragon on the floor. Hecate strode toward the table, hand moving to the bone amulet she kept around her neck.
“Robin! What are you doing?” she demanded.
“Spiking the punch,” said Puck promptly, then clapped a hand over his mouth. Hecate stopped, hand frozen halfway to her amulet.
“You did what?”
“Put acacia and buck-beans in the wedding bed,” Puck mumbled through his fingers. His eyes were wide, as though he couldn’t believe his own words.
Hecate’s eyes narrowed. “And what else?”
“Replaced the wedding vows with dirty poetry.” Puck’s eyes now bulged with horror, his face as scarlet as the snapdragons. Then he pushed both fists into his mouth and ran from the grove. Hecate watched him go, fingering the amulet.
“Hope he meets Her Royal Majesty on the way,” she said. “Serves him right!” She stooped and lifted the mangled snapdragon before turning to Mustardseed.
“And this?”
Mustardseed swallowed hard. “When it stands alone – ‘Gracious Lady’,” she said. “When it touches other flowers: ‘Deception’ and ‘Presumption’.” She grinned. “So a lie forced into the mouth of a liar…”
“…makes an honest Puck.” Hecate gave a slow smile. “Spoken like an Inner Court fairy. Well done!”
Thanks for reading!!
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