Deborah Boydston Deborah Boydston
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Chances were if her family knew the extent of its stronghold on her 'and' her days of babysitting would be surely numbered. Consider changing the word 'and' to 'that'. Makes more sense.

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Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

Fenton and the Dusty Fragments. Conclusion

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She had a friend.

A lot ado about nothing type of conclusion to a lot to do about nothing story.

“Snug as a bug in a rug,” mused Abigale, tucking her restless nephew into bed. “You’re safe as houses from the Batterflies now.”

“And you’re not angry with me anymore, are you Aunty Abs,” replied Fenton, clutching Oscar, his beloved teddy bear, tightly in the crook his right arm. “We can go back to being friends again…can’t we?”

“I never stopped being your friend sweetheart. My anger was directed at what you did, not at you as a person.”  

“I’ll try to be good from now on.”

“I know you will. Now, I’m going to turn out the light and…”


“I know you are not tired but it will help hide you better from the Batterflies. They can’t see too well in the dark.”

“Well okay then, but I ain’t gonna sleep ya know. It’s still too early and I’m not even a wee bitty tired, and nor’s Oscar.”

Abigale smiled. She touched the tip of his nose with her index finger and made a slight beeping noise that caused him to giggle inanely.

“Of course not. You just lie here and rest your eyes. I’ll be back later to check on you, if you need me I’ll be in the living room.”

“Since we ain’t tired and in bed anyways can me and Oscar have a bedtime story…please.”

“Well okay; only if you promise to go to sleep after I’ve finished.”

“I will, even if I’m not tired.”

“Once long ago in the deep dark forest of Drongobongo, there lived a big Gorilla named Abigale and she was…”

“That’s not fair. Mum say’s that I’m a cheeky little monkey so I should be the big strong mighty grilla.”

“You haven’t heard the story before so how do you know if being the Gorilla is a good thing or not?”

“I don’t care…I wanna be the grilla.”

“Your request is missing a magic word.”

“I wanna be the grilla…please.”

“That’s better…. Once long ago in the deep dark forest of Drongobongo, there lived a big Gorilla named Fenton and he was feared throughout the jungle. Lion shied away from arguing with him, as did Elephant and even Oscar, king of all the bears….”

The assigning of character names had always proven a very important part of any bedtime story and most times Fenton insisted being at least one of the main protagonists. Oscar and Abigale were to be relegated to supporting cast roles. His enthusiasm would sometimes see him cast as a villain or someone that gets comeuppance but this seldom seemed to faze him as he was used to getting into trouble.

Abigale watched as Fenton’s eyelids flickered and gradually closed whilst she told him of how the Gorilla was tricked out of his stolen treasure by the Weasel. His grip around Oscar loosened and breathing became deep and rhythmic. She stopped talking, crept to the end of the room and turned out the light before closing his door then wandering back out to the kitchen.

“Showered, teeth brushed and in bed before eight thirty,” mumbled Abigale, pouring what she considered a well-earned glass of red wine. “Even the weasel would be hard pressed to have come up with a more cunning plan to get Fenton to bed.”

Being single and unable to bear children of her own she had inadvertently become the family Nanny, so to speak, and most of her sisters, cousins and even friends enlisted her babysitting skills on a frequent basis. She kept a steady supply of treats & cleaning products handy and took good care of each and every child that came through her door, but she suspected that it was no secret among the family gossipmongers that Fenton was her favourite.

She turned on the radio, keeping the volume soft so as not to wake Fenton and listened to “Chopin’s Fantasie impromptu Op 66” as she sipped slowly away at the wine. It was one of her favourite pieces of classical music. Before developing arthritis, her grandmother would often play in on the piano during visits and was high on her own to-do-list to learn. Her life was full of things she planned to do but never seemed to get round to doing. Nothing as they say ever comes from doing nothing.

Another such "to-do" involved a serious attempt to cut down on her alcohol intake. Chances were if her family knew the extent of its stronghold on her and her days of babysitting would be surely numbered. She did a lot of her drinking in secret, hiding it out of sight from the children and used breath mints whenever possible to hide the smell of alcohol from her breath. 1 comment

A fretful cry seized Abigale’s attention. Discarding her drink she ran down the hallway toward the bedroom.

“Help me Aunty Abs…they’re here!" fretted Fenton hastening from his room. He embraced her tightly and trembled  "The Batterflies are here and they’re going to beat me! Stop them Aunty Abs…stop them!”

Abigale was just in the midst of consoling him when something suddenly flew towards her. Its massive butterfly wings whipped through the air as it bared its razor sharp fangs. Could this actually be one of the Batterflies that she had warned her nephew of? No, that was crazy-talk, she had made the entire thing up; yet there it was - hovering less than a meter away from her.

“Leave him alone!” she demanded “He already confessed!”

“Oh we know that,” answered the Batterfly “he admitted he broke the ornament.”

“The guilty one remains shamefully silent,” added a second winged avenger emerging from the room.

“Shame!” decreed a third.

One after the other more and more Batterflies emerged and surrounded Abigale and Fenton. Soon there was literally no escape.  

“He confessed! He broke it and he confessed and is extremely sorry!” she ranted.

“Tanya will not tolerate a coerced confession and nor will we!” affirmed the first Batterfly.

“But he did it! You saw him…didn’t you?”

“Remember! Remember! Remember” they all chanted in unison “confess, confess, confess…!”

Abigale released her nephew, and  staggered back as their leathery wings struck her arms, legs, butt, back; everywhere. Pain surged intolerably and she dropped to the floor weeping. Her surroundings became hazy and then as if by magic she was transported back in time.

Abigale saw herself staggering up the path in the wee hours of the morning after the dinner party, fumbling for the keys. She watched as  she let herself in and stumbled down the hallway and wandered into the living room. Mumbling bitterly about the shoddy job the contractors the made of the carpet cleaning she stumbled about the room trying to maintain balance but tripped over her feet, and crashed heavily into the adjacent wall. Seconds later the crystal vase toppled from the mantelpiece and dropped to the floor, shattering on impact.

“Stop, stop…okay I confess” she cried, her mind transporting her back to the present.  
The beating wings abruptly ceased. “I did it. I broke it early this morning and was hoping to clean it up before anyone saw but forgot about it. “I saw Fenton in the living room and jumped to conclusions…I’m sorry sweetheart please forgive me…I never actually heard the vase break.”  

“Is th-that (sob) t-true Aunty Abs?” whimpered Fenton “How could you after all the times I helped you out!”

“I’m sorry dear, I’m so sorr,” she wept and with that the Batterflies abruptly ceased their beating.

“You’ve been a very naughty Aunty and need to be punished.”  

“I know I have but I promise I won’t do it again.

Abigale continued weeping as Fenton took her hand and helped her back up on her feet again. He grinned impishly for a few seconds before leading her into the living room and ushering his aunt into far left corner.

“Ten minutes Aunty Abs. Time starts now!”

“Don’t be silly dear.”

“You must have had enough timeouts in your life to know the routine by now: back straight, arms by your sides, feet together, nose touching the wall and nil by mouth from start to finish. Two seconds gone, nine minutes fifty seconds to go, time restarts now.”

“Oh come on Fenton.”

“No talking in timeout. Two seconds gone, nine minutes fifty seconds to go, time restarts now.”

“Okay Fenton, it’s the least I can do…I love you heaps and I am very sorry.”

“I love you to Aunty Abs but no talking in timeout. Two seconds gone, nine minutes fifty seconds to go, time restarts now.”

Ends Here.

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