Sylvanwye (extract)

Graham sighed looking off into the distance.  “I must admit I really connected with this one, I really thought I nailed his character.”  He took of his hat and cleaned the top with his sleeve.

“At first,” he continued excitedly, “I was going to go for a stutter or maybe a facial tic but I felt that my shop mole wouldn’t have had one.”

“Yes, you did really well, dear.”  Gwendolyn patted the top of his head.

“Do you think next time I could choose a different name?”  He placed his hat back on his head.

“What’s wrong with Graham?” she asked as she clicked her fingers at things in the shop making them disappear into a gingham knitting bag.

“It’s, it’s just not me.  There I’ve said it, I’m really sorry, mamma, I just don’t feel like a Graham anymore.”

Gwendolyn stopped and looked at him, several plant pots hung in the air bobbing impatiently.  “But it’s your name.”

“Yes, well, I always preferred Polka Dot Sky, I feel it’s more in character with ‘me’.”

“Really?”  She snapped her fingers again and the plant pots dived into the knitting bag leaving a trail of soil.

“Yes.  It’s also a good side kick name…”

“Familiar,” Gwendolyn corrected. “Witches have familiars not sidekicks.”  She jumped as the carpet rolled itself up and shoved itself into the bulging bag.

“…Familiar name,” Graham persisted.  “‘Look,’ people will say, ‘there goes Gwendolyn Spires, witch for hire and her familiar, Polka Dot Sky’.  It has a certain…”

“Graham, enough now,” she interrupted, ducking as the cash register flew by.

“Would you just…?

“No,” she said firmly.  “Look, last week you wanted to be a cowboy called Lame and the week before that…”

“When we were jumping with crows?”

“Yes, you wanted to be called Lord Finchley Wellbody.  Your name is Graham and you’re a mime,” she reminded him kindly.

“It’s just…”

Gwendolyn sighed.  “My mother warned me not to take on a mole, she said, stick to a cat, they’re no trouble.  Do you want me to take you back? Do you really want to go back down to the mime?”

“Oh no, mamma, please don’t, it’s dark down there and I have grown accustom to the light, the sun warming my fur, the freshness of the air, the freedom to wear a flower in my hat.  You know what it’s like at the mime, the constant workshops, the silence of a hundred moles digging and miming, miming and digging, I just couldn’t stand it, not now I found the light of improvisation,” Graham pleaded, clasping his gloved hands in front of him.

She smiled, Graham smiled back.  “Was that a bit over the top?” he asked, innocently.

“Just a little,” Gwendolyn replied, nodding.  “You know, maybe we could think of a surname for you,” she conceded feeling the weight of the bag before picking it up.

“Yes, yes that would be perfect.  ‘There goes Gwendolyn Spires, witch for hire and her familiar Graham Pencil Sharpener.”

“Delongley.”

“Finchcreep.”

“Devereux.”

“Sharpblades.”

And so it went on as they disappeared in a cloud of swirling sparkly bits, candyfloss and a dollop of ice-cream, leaving Dog Face Floyd and Mr Giggles behind to lick up the mess.

Copyright ©RMC May 2018.  All rights reserved.

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