WOBBLY WIBBLY WOO WHAT A STRANGE SMELL TOO
Sebastian took a seat in the corner of the bedroom and appeared to have a notebook with him. He glanced across at Tingle and Josh and noticed how they had neatly arranged their clothes over the chairs beside their beds. ‘I do like neat children,’ he said. ‘Those bloomin’ monstrosities who throw their stuff all over the place and think people should pick up after them should be kept in a shed.’
Tingle glanced at Josh, if they were really untidy they wouldn’t want to be kept in a shed.
Six Hippobottymous whispered to Sebastian and asked if they could stay and listen to his story. He seemed a little bashful, but nodded and swept his hair to the side. They plodded out of the room, grabbed some large plump pillows and when they returned sat comfortably on the floor. It wasn’t often they had the opportunity to hear Sebastian read.
‘Story time?’ Josh said hopefully, tucked up in his comfy fresh bed.
‘Kind of… I don’t have any children’s books, so thought I would write you a little story so you can sleep. Are you ready?’
‘I am tired,’ said Josh with a yawn.
‘Me too,’ said Tingle rubbing her eyes.
‘Okay… so there was a man…’ he began.
‘Mister Stinkworthy most stories start with once-upon-a-time…’ Tingle said gently.
‘Ah I forgot that… Stumbled at the first story hurdle didn’t I?’ Sebastian crossed his legs and cleared his throat. ‘It is easy to forget,’ he said and took a deep breath. ‘Once upon a time there was a man who went to live in the forest. He loved trees and plants and being in nature. It was his favourite place to be… He was a thoughtful, kind man who liked to mind his own business yet he had a secret.’
Sebastian paused for affect.
Josh and Tingle waited. The silence dragged on…
‘Okay… His secret was that he loved to make nice smells. He loved being able to find the perfect flower nectars and petals to make perfume that made people happy. His biggest joy was to create a fragrance so beautiful that whoever wore it lit up with joy.’ Sebastian sighed and scratched his face. He glanced at the children, they seemed to want more. ‘It’s not boring you is it?’
‘No Mister Stinkworthy,’ Tingle replied. Josh waved his dinosaur to show he was also interested.
‘One day the smell loving man sat over his small cauldron and mixed a number of flower nectars. On that particular day he added in a new flower that he had only just found. He didn’t know what it was but it smelled lovely. So he mixed lots of lovely petals in some hot water and added some cherries. During that morning he waited for the steam to rise and left the concoction to bubble until it became like a treacle.’
‘What does that big word mean?’ Josh asked as he placed Dino on his pillow to sleep.
‘Oh it is a kind of mixture. Like when you make a cake.’ Sebastian replied, he had to remember not to use words that were too large.
‘So… later that evening he returned to the cauldron and sat by the fire. For a while he enjoyed the aroma. It made him feel a sense of calm, joy and peace… He also felt hope.’
Tingle and Josh rolled onto their sides and watched Sebastian as he turned to the next page…
‘Well can you guess what happened?’ he asked.
‘He had his tea?’ Tingle replied after some thought.
‘Not quite. Something magical happened and then he had his tea,’ Sebastian said smiling at the children.
‘He turned into a pumpkin?’ Josh asked.
‘No – why would that happen?’ Sebastian was quite surprised by Josh’s answer.
‘It happens in other stories…’ Tingle said.
‘Not to the hero…’ Sebastian smiled and shook his head… ‘Children!’
‘Well something magical happened in the forest. Lots of little lights rose into the air. Some might have thought they were fire flies but they weren’t. The faeries had smelled the beautiful scent and were inquisitive. They circled the man a few times and decided he was not a threat. So when they felt safe, they changed from little glowing lights into full sized faeries… They were as tall as him and looked like elves. They had pointed ears and silver skin.’
Tingle and Josh glanced at each other… They had only seen little faeries at the treasure tree. So maybe they could be tall too. They had to tell Auntie Joanna what they had found out.
‘Then guess what happened?’ Sebastian asked.
‘One made a bad smell?’ Josh said with a giggle.
‘Now why would a faerie do that?’ Sebastian asked, noticing that Josh found himself very funny.
‘To have a nice smell,’ Josh replied, as if he made perfect sense.
It was a good point.
‘No the first faeries approached and asked what the potion was. I explained that it was a perfume. Four or five of the other faeries approached and then finally a fifth faerie changed from a little light into a beautiful woman with long hair and a crown. The man gasped because he knew a Queen when he saw one… She approached and instinctively he kneeled. Her presence was filled with power.’
Sebastian paused again and watched the children’s expressions.
‘Another Queen?’ whispered Tingle.
‘A Queen with magic…’ Sebastian replied. ‘Anyway she loved the perfume… so the man simply gave it to her. She asked what the man wanted for it. He said “Nothing,” to be in the presence of a true Queen was more than enough. The fact that a Faerie Queen had admired his perfume would always be with him.
She was amazed that he did not want anything for such a beautiful creation.
“Well since you have gifted me… I shall gift you with three wishes…” she said and watched his reaction. The man hadn’t expected that and without thought three wishes popped into his head.
“What is your first wish?” she asked.
“To become the greatest aroma creator on this planet and to have all the help I need to make that happen,” he replied.
“That seems fair,” she said with a giggle. “It is done…” she said spinning through the air and firing some stars up to the sky like magical fireworks.
“What is your second wish?” she asked, the first wish was usually easy.
“I would like to be able to create magic,” he replied.
“Do you understand that magic in the wrong hands is dangerous and destructive?” She sighed and studied the man. Humans with the power of magic could be dangerous.
The man shrugged, “I intend to use the magic to enhance my aromas and make them magical. I can’t see how that is a bad thing. If I use the magic badly then please take my magical powers away from me.”
The Faerie Queen studied the man before her. He was right and he had just created the most beautiful scent she had ever experienced. He also accepted if he misused the power then she could take it back.
“Okay… It is done,” she said entering into another spin and raising her hands to the heavens. More little lights, like fireflies, rose into the sky like flame-filled lanterns. A moment later the man felt his whole body shudder and his spine tingle. With a random flash, a twisted silver staff appeared on the ground before him. It appeared to be made of entwined silver wood with an orb on the top filled with many colours like an opal.
“Silver Birch… Try it,” she said with a kind smile.
The man lifted the staff and gazed into the ball – it was as if a whole universe was spinning inside. He turned to some rocks beside him and pointed the staff in their direction. As he concentrated the rock lifted from the ground and floated in the air. When he realised what he had done he gasped and the rock fell back to the ground.
“That is how magic feels, you will need to learn a lot and know precisely what you want to do with it otherwise it could have some weird repercussions. It takes time to learn how to do proper magic and it takes an even longer time to manifest wisely.”
The man didn’t know what the Faerie Queen meant. What kind of repercussions could happen? Should he be worried?’
‘Mister Stinkworthy. Do you like magic?’ Tingle asked.
‘That is a strange question,’ Sebastian replied.
‘Well it must be weird saying something by accident and then something weird happens,’ Tingle said rubbing her eyes.
‘Ah I understand now. Yes I magically made a rain storm of potatoes by mistake. That wasn’t pleasant, they were like hailstones but didn’t melt. After all the potatoes pelted me, I collected them and in the end I made a nice soup!’
Josh giggled and his eyes closed. Sebastian could tell the children were ready to sleep so needed to finish the story. ‘‘Okay and your final wish?” she asked.
“I want to live forever,” the man replied in a matter of fact tone.
“Are you sure that is what you want?” she replied, understanding what he asked for might be a little challenging and demanding. “Why would you want that? I can tell you that living forever isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and it gets really boring. At least you have a reason to make the most of every day by having limited time. When you have forever you literally have no cause to make the most of your now.”
The man realised he had made a bit of a mistake in what he had asked for. “Okay I want to live forever and stay this age and not get old. Phew!’’
The Faerie Queen sighed, “You may regret this wish. Although it is for you to learn your own lessons…’’
The man smiled and poured the beautiful smelling scent into a number of glass jars and handed them to the Faerie Queen. “Thank you your majesty.” he said with a bow.
The faeries fluttered beside the glass jars and glanced at each other fearfully. “Thank you for your gift… I am Queen Lydia… and it is a joy to witness such passion in someone who can create such beauty and expect nothing for it. The thing is, and this is something you may not know, faeries cannot touch glass without going to sleep. Would you mind us taking the cauldron containing the scent and we will return it tomorrow?”
The man had never heard that faeries could not touch glass without sleeping and poured the liquid back into the copper cauldron and gestured for the faeries to take it. With that she gazed into his eyes, gave him a gentle smile and transformed into a glowing star. A moment later she flitted into the night with all of the other faeries.’ Sebastian paused, ‘He really had no idea that faeries went to sleep when they touched glass.’ He sat back in the chair and sighed. ‘Oh and they all lived happily ever after…’
Tingle’s eyes were half closed. ‘That man was you wasn’t it Mister Stinkworthy?’
Sebastian remained quiet and fidgeted.
‘He didn’t live happily ever after because he ended up being imprisoned,’ Tingle whispered with her eyes closed.
‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Josh said as his eyes closed and then suddenly opened them again as he struggled to stay awake.
Sebastian began to chuckle… ‘Time for you both to sleep… We will talk tomorrow morning over breakfast. Does 7.30am work for you?’
‘Yes Mister Stinkworthy,’ Tingle muttered. ‘We usually wake up very early and sometimes we make a lot of noise because we are children.’
‘Well I will see you at breakfast at 7.30am. My bedroom is quite far away. So if you need anything then please press that button and one of the Little Stinkers will come and help. Good night,’ he said. He tossed his cape over his shoulders and made a theatrical departure and paused by the door. ‘Make sure you get plenty of sleep because tomorrow is a big day in the world of stink! The STINKTAKULAR and STINKATHON will be something that goes down in history and you get to see it unfold from the source!’