Monday, October 11, 2010

The Tale of Catastrophe

Here's a funny little story that just came to me. I hope you like it!!


Once upon a time there was a girl named Catastrophe.

Cat was the seventh daughter of the seventh son of the seventh son, and on and on for quite a few generations. When she was born it was quite tragic for her parents, for she broke the seventh son trend. When she was born her father looked at her and cried out, "Catastrophe!" That was how she got her name.

Isn't that sad?

In all the kingdom of Serenity there was never a girl so catastrophic as Catastrophe. Whatsoever she did or touched or made was either ill-done, broken or destroyed. She could not even dream, for when she did her dreams were shattered.

Catastrophe was a maid in the Castle of King Melliflous. When she swept the floors she did so carefully, so that she would not break the stones. She was often scolded by the Official HouseKeeper for damaging Royal Property. She wept at nights behind the cupboards in the kitchen, wishing for just one person to ease her pain.

One night, after Cat had finished sweeping and scrubbing and cleaning for the day, she lay down on her pallet behind the warm fireplace and shut her eyes. But she could not sleep. Too much sadness was going through her mind.

"I shall never be anybody," she said sadly. "I shall always just be a catastrophe. Why, even tonight I managed to destroy the Official HouseKeeper's broom. Now I must pay her for a new one, and heaven knows I make few enough Ownsies as it is. This is a tragedy."

Cat turned over and stared at the sooty cobwebs above. She wished she could take them and make a ball of wishes from them. Hopelessly, she whispered:

"Soot of cobweb, bring to me
One white wish to comfort me."

A ribbon of starlight twinkled through the window and caught in the cobwebs. Cat sat up, staring at the figure that materialized from the starlight.

It was a little woman, very old but still very pretty. There was a mischievous gleam in her eye and she was dressed all in white, with a little silver tiara on her brow. Her white hair was braided and bound in a bun about her head. About her waist she wore a blue sash and in her hand she carried a wand.

Cat stared: the wand looked very much like a fountain pen. Surely, she thinks, it really isn't!

"Hello," the old lady said in a sweet voice. "Dear Cat, don't look so alarmed! I am the wish fairy, here to grant your wish."

Cat stammered in amaze, "But Lady, what did I wish?"

The wish fairy tutted. "You must remember. You wished for one white wish to comfort you."

Cat's mouth formed an O.

"Quite right," said the fairy and handed her wand to Cat. Cat took it reverently, and looked at it. Hm, she thought. It is a fountain pen, no doubt about it.
"I perceive," the fairy said, "That you have a vivid imagination, yet you cannot afford the money it would take to buy yourself a pen and paper. So here. Here is the pen, and here," and the fairy pulled out a monstrous ream of paper, "Here is paper. And don't worry. No matter how much you write there will always be paper for you. It will magically replenish. Isn't that something?"

It was something. Cat sat upon the floor, marvelling at the white texture of the paper, at the fine nib of the pen. She wrote the first three letters of her name upon the whiteness. Cat. The blackness of the letters look very fine against the white paper.

The wish fairy smiled. "Happy writing," she said, and vanished.

Cat smiled back. Happy writing indeed! Perhaps she could write and sell her work. Think of all the Ownsies she would earn!

Cat shivered and ran her fingers along the edge of the paper. These white pages are full of possibility.

"The tale of Catastrophe," she whispered to herself, "By Cat Scribbler. That sounds fine."

Katrina DeLallo, 2010

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