Midnight Rambler

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She had not realise she had moved. Touch, not movement nor sound alerting her to it; fourteen inches of bread knife magically filled her hand, taking control of its own movement alone, leaving Gentle Annis somewhat out of the picture as it did so. She watched the elderly lady lean further forward deliciously exposing even more of her neck, and her spine…………

The thunderous rapport of ‘Shave and a hair

She had not realise she had moved. Touch, not movement nor sound alerting her to it; fourteen inches of bread knife magically filled her hand, taking control of its own movement alone, leaving Gentle Annis somewhat out of the picture as it did so. She watched the elderly lady lean further forward deliciously exposing even more of her neck, and her spine…………

The thunderous rapport of ‘Shave and a haircut, two bit’s!’ exploded from the door beside her, causing her to jump in fright, her attention broken, her hand relinquishing control of the bread knife back to her, turning her attentions toward the source of the noise to hear the same rapping, equally as heartily as the first time on the tired old wooden front door to the cottage.

“Are you there Mum…..oowwwwww!” he started cheerily, poking his head around the door, only to have the kettle lid hit him squarely in the left eye, powerfully thrown from hip height by a now scowling Mrs. Itch; leaving Gentle Annis in awe at the strength of the blow when considering its source. She gently placed the knife back on to the table off to her left, yet still within her reach.

“Mum! What did you do……….”

“If I had of been wearing knickers, they would have had wee in them by now!” Snarled Mrs. Itch, now facing a man easily seven feet tall with shoulders and chest broader than the doorframe he stooped within. “Scare an old woman, and her guest like that! I ought to put you over my knee boy! Now what the hell do you want, you’ve run out again haven’t you, you useless lump?”

Standing, turning, bobbing in an attempt at a curtsy, the smile of the wolf spreading across her face in the manner of bar room sharks the world over, “hello sir, I am Gentle Annis. It is a pleasure to meet you.” She purred, taking in his yellow eyes staring at her chest without meeting her own.

“Ha ha! Well met.” He said through an embarrassed expression of discomfort, to be replaced by a quizzical look, tilting his head ever so slightly to one side. “Oh, you’d be the lass I passed earlier talking to the Girl Guides near the Big Oak on the forest path earlier. Nice lasses aren’t they?!”

“Hmmmmmmmmm…………………” rolled deep from within her chest.

“They do prattle on and on though. I’m surprised you made it here at all!” Mrs. Itch’s rebuke now all but forgotten.

“Indeed.” she drawled, noting his yellowed eyes finally meeting her own.

“Don’t be fooled my dear. This cesspit of a boy is my very own useless son.” Spat Mrs. Itch, “he may cut wood, but the only reason he is here has nothing to do with visiting the woman that gave him life, nor has it to do with a nice cup of tea, but Albion to a brick, he has run out of what my poppies give me!”

“Go easy Mum,” the woodcutter stammered uncomfortably through an obviously forced smile. “I just happened to be passing and I thought to myself, ‘self, you haven’t dropped in on your dear old Mum lately. Best you be a good son and drop in now.’ So that exactly what I’m doing now; coincidentally, and just as it happens, I am running quite, well really very low, almost out of your magical poppy stuff that I only use for medicinal purposes when I am feeling extremely poorly. Really Mum……honest”

“Poorly?! My wrinkled bum ‘poorly’!” Mrs. Itch squawked. “That stuff will be the death of you my lad, and soon Gods willing. ‘Poorly’?! Piffle and tosh!”

Black teeth appeared through a cadaverous smile that did not reach his lips, his sole focus now exclusively on his mother.

‘Opium! Here?’ thought Gentle Annis with exquisite delight. ‘Oh my oh my, the fun we’ll have, and the places we will go!’ Smiling, sharp and nasty; pupils dilating and nostrils flaring. ‘Opium, and by the state of him, he will move heaven and earth to get it. Poor Mr. Woodsman, we have business I believe!’

Springing to her feet, her chair skidded across the floor of the tiny cottage, crashing into the small bed, toppling onto its side. Pivoting in the same movement, Gentle Annis balled her small fist, and with all of the power of the bloody red cloak behind her, she punched the stooped woodsman on the point of the chin; a sharp crack, followed by a thud as his jaw shattered and his knees gave out, leaving him landing on his face inside the lovely old womans door.

Turning still with the built up force from the blow driving her, Gentle Annis twirled with the speed and agility of an angered ferret; snapping the old girl’s head back with a blow equally as hard as the one she delivered to the son.

Neither moved. She drained him of his blood almost immediately; her cloak dripping bright red and grotesque. So much so did his blood match her need, she left the old lady in her unconsciousness.

Gentle Annis’s opium hunt began in earnest.

cut, two bit’s!’ exploded from the door beside her, causing her to jump in fright, her attention broken, her hand relinquishing control of the bread knife back to her, turning her attentions toward the source of the noise to hear the same rapping, equally as heartily as the first time on the tired old wooden front door to the cottage.

“Are you there Mum…..oowwwwww!” he started cheerily, poking his head around the door, only to have the kettle lid hit him squarely in the left eye, powerfully thrown from hip height by a now scowling Mrs. Itch; leaving Gentle Annis in awe at the strength of the blow when considering its source. She gently placed the knife back on to the table off to her left, yet still within her reach.

“Mum! What did you do……….”

“If I had of been wearing knickers, they would have had wee in them by now!” Snarled Mrs. Itch, now facing a man easily seven feet tall with shoulders and chest broader than the doorframe he stooped within. “Scare an old woman, and her guest like that! I ought to put you over my knee boy! Now what the hell do you want, you’ve run out again haven’t you, you useless lump?”

Standing, turning, bobbing in an attempt at a curtsy, the smile of the wolf spreading across her face in the manner of bar room sharks the world over, “hello sir, I am Gentle Annis. It is a pleasure to meet you.” She purred, taking in his yellow eyes staring at her chest without meeting her own.

“Ha ha! Well met.” He said through an embarrassed expression of discomfort, to be replaced by a quizzical look, tilting his head ever so slightly to one side. “Oh, you’d be the lass I passed earlier talking to the Girl Guides near the Big Oak on the forest path earlier. Nice lasses aren’t they?!”

“Hmmmmmmmmm…………………” rolled deep from within her chest.

“They do prattle on and on though. I’m surprised you made it here at all!” Mrs. Itch’s rebuke now all but forgotten.

“Indeed.” she drawled, noting his yellowed eyes finally meeting her own.

“Don’t be fooled my dear. This cesspit of a boy is my very own useless son.” Spat Mrs. Itch, “he may cut wood, but the only reason he is here has nothing to do with visiting the woman that gave him life, nor has it to do with a nice cup of tea, but Albion to a brick, he has run out of what my poppies give me!”

“Go easy Mum,” the woodcutter stammered uncomfortably through an obviously forced smile. “I just happened to be passing and I thought to myself, ‘self, you haven’t dropped in on your dear old Mum lately. Best you be a good son and drop in now.’ So that exactly what I’m doing now; coincidentally, and just as it happens, I am running quite, well really very low, almost out of your magical poppy stuff that I only use for medicinal purposes when I am feeling extremely poorly. Really Mum……honest”

“Poorly?! My wrinkled bum ‘poorly’!” Mrs. Itch squawked. “That stuff will be the death of you my lad, and soon Gods willing. ‘Poorly’?! Piffle and tosh!”

Black teeth appeared through a cadaverous smile that did not reach his lips, his sole focus now exclusively on his mother.

‘Opium! Here?’ thought Gentle Annis with exquisite delight. ‘Oh my oh my, the fun we’ll have, and the places we will go!’ Smiling, sharp and nasty; pupils dilating and nostrils flaring. ‘Opium, and by the state of him, he will move heaven and earth to get it. Poor Mr. Woodsman, we have business I believe!’

Springing to her feet, her chair skidded across the floor of the tiny cottage, crashing into the small bed, toppling onto its side. Pivoting in the same movement, Gentle Annis balled her small fist, and with all of the power of the bloody red cloak behind her, she punched the stooped woodsman on the point of the chin; a sharp crack, followed by a thud as his jaw shattered and his knees gave out, leaving him landing on his face inside the lovely old womans door.

Turning still with the built up force from the blow driving her, Gentle Annis twirled with the speed and agility of an angered ferret; snapping the old girl’s head back with a blow equally as hard as the one she delivered to the son.

Neither moved. She drained him of his blood almost immediately; her cloak dripping bright red and grotesque. So much so did his blood match her need, she left the old lady in her unconsciousness.

Gentle Annis’s opium hunt began in earnest.

 

 

Click the picture above.

 

 

N.

 

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