Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Where There's A Will

I was asked to write a short story by Raynwomaan that relates to a letter of the alphabet. She kindly chose the letter for me, here. Just in case you’re like me and can’t work it out, it’s the ‘W. Anyway, below is my effort. It’s a children’s story. Sort of.

William waited, watching for any movement on the road. He knew it would take a while for them to arrive and he thought, wistfully, about the time he’d last clapped eyes on his sister, Winifred.

As he waited it felt as if there was some magic that was making the clock hands go widdershins, it had been so long since his sister had been in his life. Sometimes it felt like a world away. He stood up, his excess body weight forcing him to waddle his way to the kitchen, his many chins wobbling every which way. He needed a cup of tea, something to calm him down. While he admitted that he was looking forward to seeing Winifred, something made his heart flutter, as if there was a weakening of sorts happening inside his chest.

The kettle whistled as it came to the boil and William lifted it gingerly, the handle feeling white hot against his clammy skin. Why was he feeling so weird?

The hours passed by and Winifred had yet to appear, to come knocking at the door, and William realised he missed the familiar whack of her hand as it connected with the wood. He decided something must have happened to his sister on her way to his home, something that, when he let his mind wander brought fear winging its way to his heart.

“I can’t just sit around here, waiting,” William said to himself. “I can’t wonder any longer about what might have occurred on the way here. I’m off to find out, I’m off to wander the surrounding area to find my sister.

And so, William left his home for the first time in, well, in weeks.

Once he was outside, William discovered that changes had come about since his last venture into the big wide world . A wall of spiky thorns had sprung up and created an impenetrable forest that William felt sure he’d never get through. And perhaps he wouldn’t have, had the wizard not suddenly appeared beside him, whispering in his ear.

We will never know what the wizard spoke into William’s ear that day, but whatever it was it seemed to galvanise his spirit. People still talk about what happened that day in reverential tones.

They talked in hushed voices about how William had picked up a sword and begun to hack his way through the forest of thorns as if in a frenzy. Later, stories emerged that Winifred, William’s sister was being held captive in her home by an evil witch and the wizard had been the bearer of the news. It was this information that had made William whisk himself off through the thorny forest at great speed. No one else had been able to hack their way through, which just goes to prove: where there’s a Will there’s a way .