River Wissey Lovell Fuller

The Village in Never Never Land

January 2009

Chapter one or our new Fairy Story....

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

A modern Fairy tale* an everyday story of country folk

The Village in Never Never Land

Chapter one

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a small village nestled on the gently-rising grounds out of the marshes. That people had been living there for many years was evidenced by the old church - now practically unused, which stood in gentle decay. Nevertheless this church was the only building of architectural value for miles around.

The village, which we shall call Ritten, lay snugly between Phlegm Green (known to all as Green Phlegm) and Stonk Fairy a somewhat larger conurbation - which not only boasted a corner shop, but also a Post Office. Some of our younger readers may not know what a Post Office is, but in days of yore - before the Sainted Tony had converted all to his brave new world religion - this quaint institution was used by the old crones and half-crippled pensioners to collect their meagre allowances from Big Brother (another mythical character of whom you will read more later).

Now, in Phlegm Green there lived a foul and noxious dragon called "The Sooarge Pump" and his ally, a mysterious subterranean creature: The Pype. Although many people had seen the dragon, all fled from its mighty effluent lest they be struck down by the odour of its breath. The Pype had never been seen above ground, so its existence had not been proved conclusively.

Some village elders even denied that The Pype could exist at all and used this excuse for not helping tackle the beast - even when begged to do so by their humble flock. Those elders (some called them the seven wise men - others had a different view) looked the other way, but continued to do nothing. Periodically however, like The Kraken, The Pype would awake and the news would spread like wildfire. At those times, no-one would dare be on the streets - so foul was its presence.

The Pype's function was to swallow the Dragon's droppings and to deposit them far away. However he was not up to the task and this led to a great plague afflicting Ritten - The Stench. When the Stench was abroad, birds flew their nests and horses bolted, whinnying piteously. People threw themselves into the river in a vain attempt to escape the horror. For most villagers however, there was no escape.

The residents of Ritten pleaded again and again with their masters for some support in helping to slay the dragon, but their appeals fell upon deaf ears. Thus within a short time Ritten became known throughout the area as - and I hardly dare mention it for fear of the great curse being brought down upon me - "The Village of Never Never Land" or, by others as "The Village of the Damned". Cue thunder and lightning bolts!

I have to write more slowly now, for I have been left half-paralysed by a direct hit. The Great Curse has claimed another victim! But I must struggle on - the awful story has to be told and since my life is nearly over, I must warn all unsuspecting persons of the grave dangers they face in that cold and forbidding place.

But wait, you ask, what of the notorious "Gang of Seven", the hideous group of hobgoblins and their mutual-admiration society, the Apparition (or A-Parish-ion as it is sometimes spelled) Council, whose self-appointed task it was to care for the interests of the villagers? Well, they continued to huddle around their cauldron every two months, wild-eyed, dribbling and giggling insanely, but did nothing whatever to help the poor benighted souls around them. The villagers still had to pay their tithes of course, but continued to suffer from - I can hardly bring myself to utter the words - the Stench.

Was there no remedy for their ills? Well, as in all good fairy stories, help was at hand. Into the village strode one day a fearless traveller named Handsome Jack. Seated on a white charger, with his maiden by his side, he was fair of face and strong of arm - tall, athletic, much-travelled, a sparkling conversationalist, intelligent and humorous - an all-round jolly good fellow. Over the years his mighty weapon had slain many a dragon and pleasured many a fair maiden.

Next time: Gasp in amazement as Jack confronts the Beast. Thrill to the tale of the duel to the death. Learn how the hobgoblins were shamed by Handsome Jack. Read the pen portraits of those pathetic wizened creatures - and give thanks that you do not have to rely upon them for succour.

If you would like to read the next installment, you must tell The Editor and the heart-stopping tale will be continued.

The Dreamcatcher

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