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(A short story of 3280 words)

Unusual Results

Children's Humour

by Steve Way

A story for 8 to 11 yea-olds. Having eaten some of the wizard's magic jelly, which was supposed to make him sing better but didn't, King Popple spends every day making up football results. Meanwhile for a not unrelated reason everyone has purple wax constantly dribbling out of their ears and all the children under 5 think they are cows. Hopefully the chamberlain might have a useful idea...

The poor queen's nerves were strained to the limit so much of the time that some of her courtiers thought they might spring apart with a loud twang like an overtightened violin string. She was undoubtedly beginning to look much older than her age.

The delicate gifts she and her husband received from other kings and queens were all placed on top of the mantelpiece over the fire in the throne room. There was only one problem. The mantelpiece was very old and rickety. The slightest knock could make it shake in an unpredictable way and one of the vases or cups or whatever would fall off. Even a loud noise, like a door banging in the distance, could get the mantelpiece shaking and items falling.

Unfortunately, the king had eaten some magic jelly the wizard had made. It was supposed to make him be able to sing better but hadn’t and now he was suffering the unfortunate side-effects of the wizard’s disastrous concoction. The king had become too distracted to order the repair of the mantelpiece or to realise that if one of the china gifts were to fall off and break it would be likely that some form of unpredictable disaster would fall upon the kingdom. This was because all the gifts were imbued with magic and if they were broken, the magic contained within them would be unleashed randomly and uncontrollably. Instead, due to the side-effects of the jelly, the king just sat on his throne all day making up football results or reading them out once the Royal Newspaper arrived on Saturday evening...

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A review of Unusual Results from the CUT team.... 

Steve Way’s imaginative story embraces the absurd with gusto as Queen Dishcloth and her chamberlain search for a way to cure King Popple of a peculiar ailment, an affliction that sees him able to do nothing but make up ridiculous football scores while his kingdom goes to rack and ruin. A charming comedy that includes magic jelly, purple ear wax and various brilliant plans that may or may not be all that useful at the particular moment they are required. Aimed at younger readers but recommended for anyone who enjoys well-crafted silliness. 

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