Fiction: Meeting the Gremlin

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 23 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered.  As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels to me like arranging a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month is to boost the content of this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which will stand alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my book design.

Meeting the Gremlin

crockery

“I said, no” spat out her mother. “We don’t have the money.”

“But Dad said I could.”

“I’m not interested in the unfounded promises my ex-husband makes to curry favour with you, young lady. He may be your father, but you live under my roof, and I-say-no!”

Her mother huffed on her coat. “Enough of this, I have to go to work. You can sort your own tea out, you selfish, ungrateful child.”

“I’m not a child, mother, I’m thirteen years old and I’m sick of you treating me like a baby!” Ariel bellowed.

Her mother responded by slamming the front door loudly behind her.

Ariel was left alone to fume. “And it’s dinner, you evil bitch, not ‘tea’!” she yelled, emboldened by her fury and the empty house.

With no one to yell back at her, she stomped heavily up the stairs to her bedroom – either to scream or to cry, she would have to decide which, on arrival.

She flung open her bedroom door and there he was, sitting in the corner, casually and cross legged; just grinning at her.

Whilst this was the first time they’d met and they certainly weren’t being formally introduced, she immediately knew who it was. Here was her gremlin – her very own personal demon, just sitting there as bold as brass, and looking decidedly pleased with himself.

He got to his feet, proudly straightening himself up to his full height. He was nearly three feet tall. Then he bowed deeply and sarcastically to her. He was dressed in a black raggedy tunic and breeches, with a red pixie cap and pointy shoes. A red, corded belt was pulled tightly around his paunchy belly.

Just as Miss Maribelle – in her breezy story telling classes at Tregorwick Castle – had taught her, a few short years ago; her gremlin said nothing with words, but conveyed all he had to communicate with the vibration of thought and emotion. “Ah, so good to meet you at last, Miss Ariel. My name is Martrucio,” he insinuated. “How do you do?”

Ariel, rooted to the spot with surprised fascination, just stared at him. Then her mind started to turn as she looked him over and took him in: apart from the obvious fairy tale dress code, he was ordinarily obnoxious. When she looked closer, there was something quite familiar about his facial features, but she couldn’t quite work out what it was.

He looked up at her insouciantly. “I look like you, you ugly baboon.”

Ariel recoiled. “Get out!” she yelled.

“No.”

“Get OUT!!!”

“No way, young Missy. I’m here to stay.” And then to her horror, she realised that he was now clinging tightly to her right leg. She frantically tried to beat him off, screaming and pushing at his shoulders with her hands, yet he continued to hang on, implacably.

Realising that her desperate attempts to release his grip were fruitless, she ceased her physical tirade and took stock with several deep breaths. It was then that she noticed his foul stench. Martrucio it turned out, had a distinctly nasty and mouldy sort of odour that clung relentlessly to the back of her nostrils. “Please let go of me” she pleaded silently.

The gremlin smiled ingratiatingly and released his grasp. He then assumed – what she soon came to recognise as – his favourite position – just to the back of and several inches away from her right leg. This meant that he was always both close enough and far enough away, to be just on the fringes of her sight-line and her consciousness…

Ariel tried to remember what she had been taught as child about the management of the miniature, personalised nightmare which now lurked beside her.

“Oh, you’ll get to know me well enough, Miss. But manage me? Never!”

Before she had time to react, he’d gone. At least, he’d gone from her room. To her horror she now heard the sound of smashing crockery coming from the kitchen, below.

She hurtled down the stairs and there he was, hurling her mother’s best crockery onto the brittle linoleum floor – plate, by painstaking plate. “That’ll show her!”

“Oh God, oh no – stop this. She’ll kill me. She will absolutely beat the living daylights out of me” Ariel shrieked.

Martrucio theatrically dropped a large oval serving platter – her mother’s pride and joy – with relish, smiling his acquiesce as it fell and shattered spectacularly into a thousand pieces. He stood back to admire his work. There were shards of colourful ceramic scattered all over the kitchen floor and across the formica table.

In anguish Ariel crouched down to pick up the broken pieces, slicing a large cut into her left thumb almost immediately. She howled out in fearful fury as blood dripped down to mingle in with the mess on the floor. She rocked back on to her heels and put her throbbing thumb into her mouth to suck the blood away. Motionless now, Martrucio watched her and she felt his gloating victory.

Crying now, adrenaline rushing through her body, Ariel’s heart was hammering and her mind was racing. She couldn’t hide this ceramic catastrophe. She couldn’t blame anyone else or cover over her tracks. Who the hell was going to believe that the actual culprit was a three foot high gremlin who was only visible to her?

Ariel thought she was in serious danger of losing her sanity, but one thing she knew in that moment, with absolute certainty; was that her mother was going to be absolutely furious.

~ Sandra Peachey ©

PS: “Thank you for sharing your letters with us all. You have such a wonderful gift with words. … Wishing you joy.” ~ Monique Blackmore

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I had when I did my first blog challenge 4 years ago.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

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