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A Peculiar Party ~ Part Five March 26, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Magick & Mystery, Word Play.

IMGP3542b“Okay.  We can’t read the plaque or reclaim Betty’s necklace.  Not yet, anyway.  Let’s go over what has happened since that night.  What have you noticed?”

“Well, we can pop about like strobe lights . . . into scenes and out of them.”

“Like Betty did earlier!”


“Describe the sensation for me.  As best you can.”

“I suspect it’s a bit like time travel.  But only in the NOW.”

“Place to place.  Not time to time.”


“Makes sense given the plaque’s word choice:  The sands of time be not stilled.”

“The best we can tell, the spell affects the time-space continuum, but only the space axis.”

Wikipedia ~ Merlin (in Public Domain)

“So you haven’t popped back in time to visit King Arthur or . . .”

Freddie finished the thought.  “Or Merlin.”

“Ah . . .  Merlin would be the one to see.”

“Indeed he would.”

“When you say ‘we’ . . . just you and Betty?”

“Teddy too.”


Freddie looked apologetic.  “I touched him when we got back that night.”

“And that was enough?”

“Yes.  What we touch, changes.  And not always in predictable or pleasant ways.  Fortunately Teddy is still steady.”

IMGP3550bI looked around at unweeded beds.  “Is that why the garden is untidy?”

“Yes.  We haven’t gardened.  We don’t want to turn this space into a second Magic Kingdom with singing flowers and dancing palms.”

“Good thinking.  One Magic Kingdom is enough.”

I leaned back against Flipper’s tail to consider Freddie’s tale, “That’s why Teddy offered me an imaginary cocktail from an empty tray.”

Freddie nodded.  “If Teddy had mixed you a cocktail, it might have been as volatile as a Molotov ~ anything from the nectar of the gods to toxic waste.”

“A sludge smoothie.”

“We haven’t figured out how to predict IT yet . . . whatever IT is.  We’re still in the dark.  Hence the S.O.S. to you.”

“Give me a few examples.  If Teddy had fixed me a drink, what would have happened to the glass?  If you know.”

“We never know exactly.  But, if you picture the dancing teapot in Beauty and the Beast, you’ll be on the right dance floor.”

“Really?  So . . . have all your pots flipped their lids?”

“No.  We haven’t eaten since that night.”


“Not a thing.  We can drink from the fountain.  It provides full nourishment . . . but I miss chewing.”

“Rather like being on a juice fast, eh?”

“Yes.”  He chuckled.  “Betty is delighted.  She’s never hungry AND she’s losing weight.  As far as she’s concerned, it’s the perfect diet.  She feels younger and more energetic than she has in years.”

“Almost like having your own fountain of youth.”

“Almost.  In fact, Betty’s gotten a bit vain.”

“I noticed her eyeing the mirror as she passed by.  It seemed out of character.”

“She’s feeling rather like the Belle of the Ball.”

“She’s Belle and you’re . . .”

“. . . the Beast!”

I continued considering, doing most of my thinking out loud so Freddie could correct any misapprehension on my part.

“If you can’t fix food or serve drinks, it’s rather hard to entertain.  That’s why there are no other guests tonight.  And your King Midas Touch is why you couldn’t get me a chair.”


Wikipedia ~ Contract Bridge (in Public Domain)

“Could I have gotten a chair myself?”

“Most are out of commission ~ any that we’ve sat in are off doing their own thing.”

“Such as?”

Freddie grinned.

“Most seem to enjoy a good game of Bridge.”

To be continued . . . 

The entire story can be found at the Short Stories tab.  Click HERE!


1. Pix Under the Oaks - March 26, 2013

Strange stuff going on!

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Molotov cocktails and chairs playing bridge. :mrgreen:

2. suzicate - March 26, 2013

Just caught up on your story. Quite strange and magical events….perhaps you could call Sherlock Holmes in to help solve all the mysteries going on!

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

I’ve been missing my weekly dose of “Elementary” on Thursday nights due to March Madness. Perhaps I should invite Sherlock and Watson to join the party in Naples. Or maybe Patrick Jane from The Mentalist? 😀

Even if they don’t join the cast, I’ve got a few FUN characters coming down the pike between now and story’s end . . . a telepathic frog, a clairvoyant madame AND a shaman.

3. William D'Andrea - March 26, 2013

Have you seen that webook.com is now back on line, under new management? It’s now dev.webook.com . Would you like to repost this story there? I’m not sure if the illustrations can be posted on webook, but if they can, you’d have a much larger number of readers, and perhaps a chance to have help with publishing this work.

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Thanks for letting me know that WeBook is back on line, but I won’t post this there.

I prefer writing on WordPress . . . greater creative control, the ability to add links and images, and better search capability (using the word search widget).

4. SidevieW - March 26, 2013

oh definitely ‘shrooms and toad licking

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Wouldn’t that be funny . . . a frog licking a toad (or eating a magic mushroom). 😀

SidevieW - March 26, 2013

each part I feel more and more as though there is something making me fuzzy 😉

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

That’s the way I feel each time I re-visit Wonderland by wandering about with Alice.

5. Grannymar - March 26, 2013

It is all in the sands of time…..

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

And in the Eternal NOW. 😎

6. Three Well Beings - March 26, 2013

Popping in and out of scenes…in the NOW…touching others and never knowing what is going to happen…definitely random acts of something, but I’m still holding on for the what! 🙂 You have a great little story here, Nancy!

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Thanks, Debra! Imagine if everything we touched changed? Right before our eyes. It would be like walking on quicksand, or egg shells, with a bit of TNT tossed into the mix. *BOOM*

7. colonialist - March 26, 2013

Right – all perfectly logical and straightforward. We all guessed that, of course … 🙂
You get a mention back at my humble abode, by the way …

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Straight-forward logic might still make an appearance . . . but only after a few more twists and turns.

I’ll be around straight away. Thanks for the heads up.

8. diannegray - March 26, 2013

This is a magical mystery tour, Nancy and I’m loving it! 😀

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Yay! Still to come . . . a telepathic frog, a clairvoyant madame AND a shaman. :mrgreen:

diannegray - March 26, 2013

Woo hoo! 😀

9. viviankirkfield - March 27, 2013

Reading the comments is almost (but definitely not quite) as entertaining as your story, Nancy! I’m enjoying this surreal adventure…sometimes it’s good to walk down unknown paths.:)

nrhatch - March 27, 2013

Writing this story was an exercise in letting the path unfold before me . . . one step at a time . . . without straining to see past the headlights.

10. sufilight - March 27, 2013

While Betty is losing weight, lots of strange Quantum physics-like stuff is going on … This has been an entertaining story! 😀

nrhatch - March 27, 2013

Thanks, Marie. I now sense where, when, and how this tale shall end -> my lips are sealed.

11. kateshrewsday - March 27, 2013

Fantastic twists and turns to the plot, Nancy. I love the idea of this kind of Midas touch.

nrhatch - March 27, 2013

Thanks, Kate. I’ve enjoyed watching this story unfold. It’s been fun writing without steering toward a pre-conceived destination.

12. dearrosie - March 29, 2013

oh goodie I look forward to reading about King Arthur and Merlin – well I assume we will because you gave the wikipedia entry…

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

I feel terrible, but Merlin does NOT make another appearance in this tale . . . but you can find Merlin, Arthur, and Archimedes here:


dearrosie - March 29, 2013

oh no how disappointing Nancy!

nrhatch - March 30, 2013

If I could time travel . . . Merlin is the first “person” I’d seek.

13. nrhatch - March 30, 2013

Several readers requested that I post A Peculiar Party Under The Palms as a single page.

Just click HERE and you’ll be whisked through cyber space to join the party. Wheeee . . .

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