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The Undoing of Giles Crumm: Part 1 (standard:fairy tales, 1490 words) [1/2] show all parts
Author: heatherUpdated: Oct 23 2000Views/Reads: 2214/1085Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Two strange figures trudge into the village of Benton with a definite destination--to solve the problem of Giles Crumm, the crummiest and crustiest man alive.
 



Most of the villagers in Benton, if not all, went to bed precisely at
seven o' clock in the evening. (Perhaps this seems odd to you, and 
perhaps you are asking yourself, "Why would anyone want to go to bed at 
seven o' clock in the evening if you are above the age of three?"  
Well, you would want to go to bed at that time too if you got up at two 
in the morning, for that was how things went in this village!).  Had 
anyone been up at that unearthly hour of midnight, a strange and 
unusual sight would have befallen their eyes.  Two small figures, 
(smaller than was usual, even in that day and age) trudged through the 
snow, their footsteps crunching loudly.  On their back was a large sack 
full of something, I cannot tell you what. 

"I told you this wasn't a good idea, Declan!" one of the figures said in
a thick Irish brogue. 

"Shut your yob and keep walkin', Clancy, or tis your hide I'll have
warmin' me back!" Declan snapped at him. 

"If we're caught, Declan, you'll have nary a smart word to say, for you
know what will happen!" Clancy couldn't resist warning. 

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, what did I say!  If we're caught, it's your
fault, for you with your neverending gab!" Declan hissed. 

At this, Declan fell quiet for a time, and continued to support half of
the heavy sack, nearly tipping Declan over at times, for which he 
received a hefty blow from Declan's free hand. 

"How much further?" he gasped out after they had walked many yards. 

Declan looked up at the sky, seeming to study the stars for some
direction. 

"Not much further," he replied. 

They continued to walk until they reached a stately home at the end of a
lane.  Clancy panted as if he would die at any moment, and even Declan 
looked as if he needed a bit of a nap. 

"Is this it?" Clancy gasped. 

"Aye, tis it, and what a nasty place 'tis!" Declan said with a grimaced.


"Nasty?  It looks right friendly, if ye ask me," Clancy contradicted. 

At this, Declan, tired and not in the mood for Clancy's arguments,
exploded. 

"And I ask, who did ask you!  Twasn't me, I know for sure, so keep your
two bits out of the matter!  Don't mess with things you ken nought 
about, me grandfather always said, and he lived 'til a hundred and 
three!"  he roared.  He was about to continue this barrage on the 
unsuspecting Clancy, when he heard a noise from upstairs.  "Bejasus, 
now you've done it! Quick, hide your sorry skin before we get caught 
and put in a circus or some such nonsense!" Declan hissed. 

The two scrambled to hide, leaving the sack in the middle of the
doorway.  Clancy secured himself in an empty pint pot, and Declan hid 
inside a desk drawer.  The noises from upstairs continued, until the 
two heard a door open and footsteps clattering down the stairs.  At the 
foot, they could just make out perhaps the nastiest looking man alive.  
He stood about five feet, six inches, and was about sixty years old.  
He was wrinkled from top to toe, his mouth bunched up into a nasty 
grimace, and dirty spectacles perched on his hawk-like nose.  His shock 
of white hair was ruffled into the air like a Roman soldier's helmet, 
and two spindly, spider-like legs stuck out akwardly beneath the gray 
nightgown he wore.  He clutched a heavy, gnarled cane in one hand. 

"Hello?  Come out, ye blasted vagrants, or I'll skin ye 'live, if me
name ain't Giles Crumm!" he croaked, shaking the cane. 

Declan gave Clancy a look as if to say, "I told you it was a nasty
place!" 



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