“I can hear clearly now…”

(Warning: there might be a really rude word in this)

Once upon a time there lived a faerie.

Rosemary Dingleberry Fattarse lived under a rock near the red capped white spotted toadstool, sheltered by the fallen oak, riddled with the bore holes of wood lice and beetles, in a green fern shaded glade in the woods in Penponds, near a pixie tribe headed by a matriarch called ‘Joan of the Wad’. Life in the glade was as peachy as a barrel full of soft ripe fruit. Dragonflies danced translucent in the rays of the sun, cobwebs shone in the morning dew and the scent of flowers in season wafted through the treetops. Owls hooted their nighttime symphonies, nightingales greeted the dawn while jackdaws cackled their endless stream of gossip. Rosemary loved the woodland and its inhabitants, be they of fur or flower, and being a ‘faerie’ meant an especial intuitive knowledge of the rolling of the seasons, of where all the creatures lived and where the bears crapped. She loved it all. Except for having to put up with the pixie folk and their wise ass jokes.

The pixies often called Rosemary a ‘fairy’ in passing greeting, which although the two words sound the same, Rosemary could tell they meant ‘fairy’ instead of ‘faerie’. When out of earshot, they called her by another F word. 

This irked Rosemary somewhat because she knew that the pixies knew that ‘fairies’ existed only in the Big People’s little people’s bedtime books and were a class of creature a bit too fey for her liking. Everyone knows a fairy supposedly dies when a kitten is killed, or when one of the Big People taking time out for a bit of ‘me love’. Rosemary had very little time for this level of sensitivity. 

“Flitting about in their tiny gossamer skirts, waving their little wands as if they could make magic out of mere wishes, and taking offence if they see a kitten die or one of the Big People indulging in a little secretive self pleasure……..wankers”. 

…thought Rosemary. Being likened to a bunch of non existent wankers was not to her liking. Mind, there are worse things to be likened to, as Rosemary oft reminded the pixie folk with her choice of colourful epithet for them. 

It had long been established, in Rosemary’s mind at least, that faeries like her were the magical, ass busting, in your face folk-in-the-woods who notably could not care less not only if a kitten dies but would actively gather friends around to eat popcorn to watch it happening, then take pictures to sell the story to the trolls of the Old Oak Forest caves to comment upon on Twitter. As for the self pleasuring activities of the Big People, who did the pixies think were doing the magic whispering in their big wax encrusted earholes in the first place encouraging the act? The Gods had allowed the Big People to evolve without the requirement to indulge in genital self titillation but the Faeries were not be denied a bit of fun. They knew one whisper from them in a receptive ear, then the bashing of bishops, bean flicking and Crafty Shermans would break out from Barnstable to Barnsley. For centuries the faeries had been secretly encouraging this form of distraction and this was the real reason for the fall of the Roman Empire. Nero was too busy choking his chicken to notice the city was on fire. Historians used the euphemism ‘fiddling while Rome burned’ for good reason, they merely omitted what was being fiddled with. Faerie magic was given a boost with the coming of the mobile phone as they now had the new sport of encouraging sexting and sending dick pics. This was proper faerie, not fairy, magic. 

“So, don’t call me a fairy again or I’ll punch your lights out” Rosemary snarked at any pixie who just happened to wander by her Rock. 

Rosemary liked to wear hobnail boots, striped red and white socks and blue denim dungarees. Her hat was made of dried out nettle leaves and oft resembled the remains of a rotting frog sat upon her head. Some of the pixies swore blind that it was actually a rotting frog such was the misshapen appearance of the thing. Dingleberry was not her actual name, merely a nickname picked up at faerie school following an unfortunate incident during the viral pandemic that ripped through the woodland community resulting in the shortage of loo rolls, chocolate and good sense. ‘Dingers’ bore the epithet with pride. Rosemary only shaved on Wednesdays and nurtured her left buttock wart like it was her only child. 

Otherwise, life in the woods was harmonious.

So harmonious that it eventually became boring for Rosemary, or ‘Dingers’ as she was known to her friends. The pixies referred to her merely as Fat Arse, with the emphasise on the two words in a hilarious and very clever play on words, as they saw it, of her surname.

Sat upon the bank of the little stream that tinkled its way under the woodland canopy, Rosemary was dipping her toes in the clear water while trying to spear the minnows with a bramble prick and flicking fag ash onto the head of a nearby daisy.

“Morning, Mrs Fairy” said a passing pixie on his way to buy a pasty. 

“Fuck off, you spotty little cunt” thought Rosemary, but merely nodded in his direction with a barely concealed grimace. 

“….and its Mrs Faerie to you, you little shit” she said. 

Thus was a modicum of discord sown in the woodland. 

“Christ, this is boring…I’m going to have to do something to stir things up around here or else my nipples will shrivel and my crotch runs dry”. 

The thing is, a woodland may be a beautiful place, but not much excitement occurs. Bluebells come and go, primroses bloom, leaves fall off trees and rabbits do what rabbits do. Once you’ve watched a of few them doing it a few times,  the gloss wears thin. The closest thing a faerie gets to an exciting adventure is when a bear enters the wood to do what bears are renowned for doing and does it on a faerie’s sleeping head. That was how Rupert “Dumphead” Twicepringle got his nickname. 

“Right” Rosemary said, “I’m off to find a dying kitten” and with that she stood up and stanked out of the wood in the direction of the wind. No need for a map or a compass because faeries use the clouds to navigate by, even when they can’t see them for the leaves above their heads. They can smell a cumulus from about 2000 feet away, which is just as well because that’s how far away they often were. 

Now, you may think that Rosemary’s hunt for pussy adventure was a rather heartless aim to have in life, and that there is enough misery on the planet without the need to make feline demise a spectator sport for the faeries. You might think that life has many other beautiful things to enjoy – a waterfall in a glade, the fresh fallen snow on a crisp winter’s morn, the smell of a pasty fresh out of the oven. For ‘all things bright and beautiful’ Rosemary cared not a toss. She had run out of tosses to give, moved through the big box of fucks till it was empty and had long ago exhausted the store of the tinker’s cuss. 

Just as she rounded the 300 year old oak which stood sentinel at the entrance to the woodland, Rosemary came across the old granite style which led to a path across a meadow towards the village of Thrustbottom-cum-Erly, when her WhatsApp pinged a message. 

“Don’t forget to visit Old Scrotewrinkle”. 

Old Scrotewrinkle was one of the Big People, the village accountant who liked to cook curries and chillis as well as the books. Rosemary had him down as a regular who needed the magic whisper in his ear to prevent his sanity from slipping its boots on and throwing itself down the village well due in no small measure to a severe lack of female attention. Unable to see a faerie, all he knew was that from time to time (every day) he heard a wee small voice that said “time to crack one off”. That would be Rosemary, knowing full well that the fairies would find it distasteful if they ever found out. Which they never did. Because they don’t exist, except in…‘fairy stories’.

Anyway. ‘Old Scrotewrinkle’ or Thomas Jefferson Muffnuzzle to give him his real name, was busy in the kitchen when Rosemary walked through the wall. He was a well built man who was as wide as he was tall, the sort to be found in the middle of a rugby scrum. Weary of age and demeanour he was nonetheless throwing himself into chopping onions and garlic for tonight’s bum burner of a vindaloo. A unopened bottle of cold lager at hand, he threw the knife about with the skill of a Jihadi executioner. He hummed a little song to himself such was his current state of contentment. Little did he know what Rosemary was going to suggest in his ear. Mind, he should have suspected for it would not have been the first time. 

She settled on his left shoulder and was about to whisper her magic spell when she heard,

“Fancy a beer with that curry…go on, you know you do”. 

It was none other than Joan of the Wad, the pixie Queen on his right shoulder. 

“What the f…?’ cried Rosemary, “I know that voice!” 

Looking right through Scrotewrinkle’s left ear she spotted Joan on the other side through his right ear. She could do this because there is a straight tube connecting the left and right ears of the Big People so that faeries and pixies can look inside the heads and mess them up a little. This does not appear in any anatomy book because faeries do not write, or publish for that matter, anatomy books. Nor do pixies and they are the only ones, along with the faeries, who know this tube is there. They call it the Central Line as it runs through the centre of the Big People’s heads. 

“What do you think you are doing, I was here first!” cried Rosemary, and to reinforce her point she shouted into his left ear “Bugger the beer, bash the bishop instead!” 

Thomas nearly dropped his knife at this and was momentarily quite confused for both suggestions were spot on even if it did set up a degree of cognitive dissonance. He wisely thought that strangling the monkey was probably not a good idea while wielding a rather sharp knife. 

“Bring on the Beer” whispered Joan.

“Bash the Bishop” Rosemary replied. 



This went on for a for a full five minutes.

Thomas had difficulty knowing what to do but had no understanding of what was going on. Being an accountant he rarely read medical text books but knew that inside his head was a lumpy gooey mess called a brain.  He thought it looked like a bunch of uncooked Cumberland sausages all squished and filled in together, and he believed this is where his inner voices came from. 

What he had no idea of was the magical reality of two semi mythological creatures yelling at each other through a semi permeable tube running through a a colourful kaleidoscopic but empty cavern. The words entered the tube and bits of them by osmosis floated through the walls of the tube and entered the cavernous emptiness taking on a mystical form of many colours as they bounced around in a quantum dance for dominance. They took on surreal forms of fighting creatures locked in a war of attrition to decide which word would win out to pull the decision handle which sits right at the centre. I say ‘sits’ but really it floats in the ether. It is pink and fluffy and can be blown by the gentlest breeze at times, while also at other times it could not be bent by a tornado’s blast. Its molecular structure had yet to be discovered and no one in the universe knew exactly how it worked but somehow the words had some effect. In the fight for supremacy, the words would access the pool of emotions that sat in bowl to the left of the decision handle and whoever could stir this bowl first often won out as he decision handle often turned in the same direction as the emotion bowl. The problem currently was that both the words ‘beer’ and ‘bishop’ had previously agitated this bowl quite vigorously, and thus were equally adept at stirring the emotions but in equal but opposite directions.

The emotion bowl was fed by external substances that could enhance or disturb its contents. These substances included memories as well as the more mundane coffee and cocaine. Flooding the bowl was always an option but then one risked the decision handle flying off into the maelstrom of quantum singularities of which, ironically, there was more than one. We intuitively know this happens because when emotions gets disturbed in this manner we actually talk about ‘flying off the handle’. 

The effect on Thomas made him wonder if his sanity had left home leaving it in the charge of a basket of idiots. 

Joan and Rosemary, blissfully unaware of what was going on, just kept shouting at each other from ether side of Thomas’ head. 

Later, back in the woodland, Joan and Rosemary were sat on the banks of the little stream smoking weed and munching magic mushrooms while flicking blackberry seeds at  the midges. 

“That was fun, we should do that more often”said Joan.

“Oh yes, fucked him up good and proper” said Rosemary. 

They were now bezzie mates after what they had just witnessed.

Thomas’s case was due before the magistrate the next morning after he was found wandering the high street pissed as a tank upped newt on new years’s eve and butt naked with turmeric coloured testicles. The police doctor duly noted he was hearing voices and called for a psychiatric assessment. 

And thats the truth about mental illness. The voices are very real, and there is nothing in your head but a fluffy decision handle that can be pulled in any direction as emotion wills. 

Published by Lance Goodman

Freelance writer, bon vivant and all-round good oeuf.

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