20. in which onions go flying

As the crone turned from the counter with the skillet in hand, she noticed Danny standing there.

“You!” she said. “Told you to git!” She advanced toward Danny menacingly, swinging the skillet.

Immediately, Danny lobbed the poppet at her.

The skillet crashed to the ground, and the old woman cried out in surprise. Slices of onion flew in every direction over the floor. The crone stood staring at the ground, clutching the poppet. “Oh, dear,” she sighed.

“I’ll get that,” said Danny quickly.

“Would you, dear?” said the crone.

“Yes, just… Play with me first, OK?”

“With these onions– Oh, all right.” She tossed the poppet back.

They passed it back and forth.

“Oh, this is going to be grand,” sassed the rabbit. “Anyone want to place the starting bet?”

“Shut up and help me out,” snapped Danny.

“Oh, I would, love. But I’m all tied up, you see, and I’ve only got these little paws here. And I’m just a little blight. Oh,” it added. “And I’m dead, to boot.”

“For a dead thing, you’ve got an active mouth on you,” said the old woman to the rabbit. To Danny, she asked, “What do you need help with, dear?”

“The name,” said Danny. “I’m looking for a name.”

“Oh! You’ve come to the right place, then, sweets. I know a name or two. Live as long as I have, you pick them up, all right.” She smiled, caught the poppet, and tossed it back. “It gets to be, you forget as many as you remember. What sort of name are you looking for?”

“A forest,” said Danny. “An enchanted forest.”

“Ooooh,” said the old woman. She smiled and nodded. “But don’t you know, they’re all enchanted?”

Danny waited silently. Caught. Tossed. Caught.

“Well, you are a dear,” said the crone. “Let’s have a look in my book, then, yes?”

“Careful,” warned the venison in a low voice.

“Wait!” said Danny, and tossed the poppet as the crone began to turn away.

The old woman caught it and chuckled. “What, dear? Can’t put it down, can you?”

“No. Just…not yet. Where’s your book at?”

“Just back here, dear.” She peered at Danny’s face. “Are you all right, now? Is something wrong?”

“No. I just…think you should hold on to the poppet while I clean up these onions for you, OK?”

The rabbit groaned.

“What?” said Danny as the old woman shuffled away, poppet tucked into the crook of her arm. “Any better ideas?”

“Dust pan’s in the corner,” said the rabbit.

“Right.” Danny knelt and began throwing onion pieces back into the skillet.

“Still edible, you know,” said the snake from the kettle. “Haven’t been cooked and all yet. Isn’t that so, Harry?”

“Don’t stew over it, Sam,” said the rabbit.

The crone stood in the far corner of the room, holding a candle over a huge book. Danny eyed the old woman as she picked onion pieces off of the floor. After a few moments, she heard the sound of something soft hit the floor — the poppet. The crone exclaimed, “Oop!”

“Oh dear,” muttered the snake as it shrunk slowly back into the kettle again.

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Creative Commons License
Christie “Iamba” Bailey

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~ by iamba on October 31, 2008.

One Response to “20. in which onions go flying”

  1. […] quiet!” the crone said irritably. Then, almost as an afterthought, “Blast it!” next page Christie “Iamba” […]

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