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Monday, April 21, 2014

While the origins of All Fools Day may not be precisely known, I'm a bit partial to the Wikipedia segment: . . that April is the time of the year, around Easter when the passion of Jesus took place and Jesus was sent back and forth from one official to another — from Annas to Caiaphas, from Caiaphas to Pilate, and from Pilate to Herod to be mocked and tormented, and that from this arose our present custom, "by which we send one place to another such persons as we think proper objects of our ridicule."

Below is my 998 word interpretation of the above theme for Denise Covey's Write . .Edit . .Publish monthly bloghop for April.


Without doubt, Lukas was lost. The truth was obvious to everyone except Lukas Salmon.

“Dost thou yield Master Salmon?”

“Nay, I know precisely where we are Mistress Lillia. Mark my words, I’ll have you to Castle Roogan before the sun rises.”

The groomsmen snickered around the pre-dawn fire as the nobleman repositioned the map, bending close to catch the dancing light. Lady Lillia waved her silk fan in front of her unpainted face. She’d ordered the stop to warm her toes after her maids complained of the hours couped up in the coach with full bladders and empty wine flasks. Sadly, her maids had succumbed to the effects of the long ride and abundance of alcohol just moments before their intended host discovered a convenient copse to shelter in for a short spell.

“Seems your short-cuts have extended our journey and tired out the ladies you wished to make profit off my dear Sir.”

“Profit?” Lukas took a theatrical step away from the fire, his face flushed with false apoplexy and his right hand polishing the pommel of his poniard.

The Lady laughed, a tinkling sound like shattering glass that was only one of the reasons the escort
leapt away from the fire with drawn swords. Her tall white wig suddenly morphed into short, red hair. A turquoise, feathered comb exposed pointed doe ears. She stretched leather boots towards the hearth and exposed smooth nobbly knees where a flowing lavender gown once tantalized a glimpse of ankle.

“Your arrogance betrays you Sir,” the transformed Lady cooed, accepting a walnut from a bushy tailed squirrel. She winked at it, and the squirrel chattered excitedly and spun a little dance before racing up a nearby tree. For a moment she was distracted by the adventurous tale of giving he recited to his mate and two kittens.

“My Lady –”

“Lilliona,” she snapped.

For  a moment she wished she had not come to the rescue of these damsels in idiocy. At the end of every season, the Ton was rife with the gossip of missing maidens, lesser daughters of consequence, lists of lost heirs. Why Lillia bothered with this motley crew of ladies in waiting was a mystery even to herself. As a lesser Fae however, she was drawn to the plight of the cast off servants.  Not the typical route to elevate her status to a Banshee, but Lilllia wasn't sure she harbored aspirations that lofty.

Besides, it was great fun to toy with these Noblemen of ill repute.

“The fox you followed through the night was my familiar Theon. And Theon took instruction from the squirrels to find this faerie ringed rest spot. So you see Sir, I have been in charge of this merry chase since before you absconded with these innocent ladies.”

“Fox?” Lukas exclaimed, drawing closer to the fire.  “I follow no creature through these woods but my own experience. And, do not let these lady’s youth deceive you, Mistress –”

“Spare me the details of your innocence,” Lilliona interrupted.

She waved a long finger at two of the groomsmen, and in seconds they melted into large red foxes; one wearing the golden coat of the footman, the other adorned with the green plumed fedora of the coach master. They yipped and pranced in front of their mistress, showing off their colorful spoils.

“Yes my friends, go now to your dens. You deserve these riches, and the stories of glamour told to your mates and kits.”

The two foxes disappeared into the foliage, leaving no prints in the damp loam.

“Now, what to do with you, Young Sirs.”

Lukas’ protest – both verbal and the drawn threat of his poniard – fell limp from mouth and fingers as Lilliona rose and floated above the dying embers of the fire, gracefully landing beside the frozen henchman.

“You do not act alone, of this I am certain. You lack the cunning of my foxes.” She tapped Lukas’ forehead and smirked as his face shimmered with sweat. “But, you are loyal, and highly paid. Hmm, how can I discover your secrets?”

The distant sound of harness bells and heavy hooves announced a probable search party for the kidnapped ladies, and in her distraction the charm holding the three remaining groomsmen relaxed enough for them to dash into the forest.

“Silly me,” Lilliona exclaimed, tsking and pursing her lips into a pout. “Well, perhaps you have outfoxed me after all Young Master. Catch you later.”

As the copse exploded with the thunder of thoroughbreds and armed soldiers, Lilliona transformed into a woodpecker and flew into a tall pine tree.  She landed beside a snowy owl with the face of her brother.

“Giving up the game so soon? Its not like you to miscalculate a move.”

“Ca,” she laughed, staring down at Lukas, who was waving his arms and pointing and stammering the most outrageous tale of foul deeds perpetrated by his missing groomsmen.

She allowed her lips and throat to penetrate her disguise. “The game is just begun. He will have someone to answer to for his failure this night, and I shall be there on his window as His master tosses him over. And then –“

“Stop playing with these petty humans Lilliona. You disappoint Mother.”

“One can never please a storm cloud Nedhir. Stop trying so hard.”

“And who will rescue you,” he shouted at his sister as she launched into the rising sun.

For a while he watched the humans flounder through the forest. The magpies and chipmunks kept him informed of the progress of the search. His eyes grew heavy with boredom as the hours passed and the sun burned away his nocturnal vision. He hooted encouragement to himself as he tucked his feathery head beneath his wing.

He could afford to sleep out the day while his sister flitted about, laying strategies to catch a human prey. She wasn't nearly as clever as she thought, and he would beat her at her foolish game.

* * *

Did you play any fool's jokes on your friends, or frenemy's, during this month? Or perhaps you were the victim in a ruthless hoax? Do tell in the comments.

If you want to read more WEP April Fools submissions, or to add a submission of your own.


Robin said...

Clever story. I enjoyed it very much.

Nothing exciting happened here to celebrate April 1.

Sally said...

What a great story. A lovely twist with wry humour.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Donna,

Really like this! Your descriptions and fantasy elements are wonderful!

Pat Hatt said...

haha fun story indeed at your feed. I use april fools once in a while, but doing it on april fool's when it is expected, isn't the way to go.

D.G. Hudson said...

I do like the turns and twists of this tale, Donna, and the action ending. The 'missing ladies lists' sound interesting.

What were the plans for those who were found, then succumbed to their wine? Enjoyed this story, as it shows that if you don't take a few risks, you'll never know what you might have missed.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Donna! I've been back to read your story several times as each time I get interrupted by someone.

I love the language, the feistiness, the fun of this story. It could move on to something bigger I think. Maybe a long short story? I love the fact that April Fool's has been around for such a long time.

Hope you had a great Easter break. Loved the egg hunt on facebook.

Catch you later Partner!


Midnight scribbles said...

Hi Donna, I loved reading this story. Was magical, I could almost picture it :)

Tammy Theriault said...

dang good writing with a wonderful twist and turn. no joking! or april joking... LOL

Nilanjana Bose said...

Such a fun story, loved the fantasy elements. Magical!

DEZMOND said...

such delight, true delight!

Donna Hole said...

Hi Robin.

Thanks Sally.

Hey Michael; nice to see you around again.

Pat: I did get away with a good April 1 joke this year. The co-worker still scowles at me :)

DG; thanks. Yes, some risks are necessary.

Dx: I had fun with the grandkids this year, and didn't have to spend all day driving. win win.

Midnight; nice to meet you. I was afraid the magic was overdone ..

Mistress Tammy; thanks for the compliments.

Hi Nila :)

He Dezzy :)