Chapter 10

Now, we all know that @Grimnien is a bit strange but until I actually spent a weekend with him recently I didn’t realise how strange he was! In fact there isn’t a word in the dictionary that can be used to describe the wizard so I had probably better make one up. Now, let me think……….Grimnien is a squizardly wizard. Yes I know that’s not a word…..yet, because the little man inside my computy- type contraption drew a red line under it.

I caught the night train to…….ahem……the place where Grimnien lives and was stunned into silence when my taxi swung into his driveway, I have never seen a place like that in my life! I always thought he would live somewhere imposing but BOY I wasn’t ready for the sight of that castle! I thought I lived in a fancy pad but…………well, let’s put it this way, whoever stuck the sequins on those walls can come and decorate my place anytime! I dread to think how long it took too because however much I craned my neck I couldn’t see the top, it seemed to disappear above the clouds.

I glanced back at the taxi driver to catch his reaction but he was yawning as he turned his cab round in the driveway, I expect he’d seen it many times before and had got used to the sight of the sequined walls glinting in the moonlight.

I was quite shocked when Grimnien himself answered the door in his gold, sequined ball gown……Yes I know, strange place to have a door! (I know how your human minds work) Surely he must have servants in a rambling place like this?……….

‘Ah, Mr Shanks, come in, come in……’ beckoned the squizardly wizard with a beaming smile on his face.

As I entered I immediately felt uncomfortable as I remembered the words of Sketch and Morton when I was leaving for the train. I had been excited to be beckoned to visit the mighty wizard in his home and convinced that he was going to give me my long overdue promotion. Hall and Balthus, however were convinced that Grimnien was going to turn me into a frog. I think they had concocted this story between them whilst filled with a jealous rage! After all none of the other Grimniens have ever been invited to stay with the mighty wizard!

It didn’t help when he ushered me into the lounge to be confronted by hundreds of frogs leaping about all over the furniture! I politely declined the jam butty as the massive frog who had been sitting on it leapt off!

All the while, as I stood gaping at the scene Grimnien kept letting out high pitched giggles which were quite unnerving given the scenes that were flashing through my mind!

You don’t need me to tell you that all the windows were covered in sequined curtains, the cushions were inside sequined covers, there were sequined throws over the sofas, sequined cloths on the tables, ……..I think you get the picture………..It’s just a pity he’s obsessed with two such juxtaposing elements, the leaping frogs spoil the sparkling scene…….in my humble opinion!

Luckily I had eaten well in my first class carriage. Grimnien didn’t seem to mind the frogs sitting on the food he’d so carefully laid out!

After he had finished stuffing his face with jam butties – in between bouts of giggling – we finally got down to the reason for my invitation…………….

My eyes must have looked like giant sequins when he unrolled the metres and metres of material. He then produced several large jars containing……’ve guessed it……..sequins!

‘I was hoping you’d be a good chap, Gongleshanks and help me to sew a few sequins on to my new dress’ he beamed. ‘But, wait! What sort of a host am I?’ he set the jars down on the coffee table and absent mindedly brushed several frogs onto the floor. ‘You must be tired after your long journey, this can wait, we have the whole weekend to do this’ he went on as my heart sank.

‘Let me show you to your room so that you can get some rest.’ I followed him up the staircase and along several corridors to a beautiful room overlooking a wide expanse of land which seemed to go on for ever. There was nothing but fields and trees as far as my eyes could see. There seemed to be no other living creatures anywhere within the vicinity of the sequined castle.

‘Sleep well dear boy, we have much sewing ahead of us’ he giggled and with that he was gone.

I must have been very weary because the next thing I knew was I was waking up with Garli’s sunshine streaming in through the window and glinting on the sequins causing me to squint and wonder for a moment where I was.

‘Breakfast is ready!’ a cheery voice broke into my thoughts followed by the annoying giggling sound.

‘I’ll be down in a minute Grimnien’ I shouted as the grim reality of frog infested food brought me back to……erm………….the R word! I washed and dressed as I consoled myself with the thought that at least it was looking unlikely that I was going to be turned into a frog!

As I approached the dining room I was overcome by the delicious aroma of bacon, eggs, tomatoes, sausages, toast……….and decided that I was going to have to put my frog aversion to one side, just for today as I realised my rumbling tummy was drowning out the ribbeting of the frogs.  Several helpings later we sat back rubbing our full tummies. I must say the wizard is an excellent cook although he’ll need to cure his frog habit if he has any aspirations of opening a restaurant!

‘I’ll wash up’ I said weakly, thinking it was only polite to offer but I was stunned by Grimnien’s reply.

‘No need for that dear boy, the frogs will do it’ he said as he waved his arm dismissively. ‘After all’ he went on, ‘They made the mess whilst they were cooking breakfast’ he giggled……….I suddenly felt a bit sick…………..

I don’t want to bore you with the details but, suffice to say, that was one of the longest weekends of my life! Sewing sequins onto a ball gown is not my idea of fun! In fact, sewing anything is not my idea of fun! I am a macho imp! ‘What would my vast army of fans say if they could see me now?’ I thought to myself as I looked at my bleeding fingers………….NO I’m NOT swearing, my fingers were bleeding! Grimnien noticed and began running round in a big girly panic………sorry girlies! 🙂

‘Oh Gongleshanks, your fingers…….they’re bleeding!’ he exclaimed in his high pitched, screechy voice. He dashed out of the room and returned several minutes later with a pair of gloves.

‘Here, put these on’ he squealed ‘I don’t want blood on my new dress!’

With that, he slumped back in his chair and continued to sew the dam……erm the sequins on without looking up again for another four hours!

Apart from a few delicious meals this was how my entire weekend was spent in the squizardly wizard’s castle!

I was dying to ask, on several occasions, whether anyone else lived in the castle with him but I thought better of it……….I didn’t want to say or do anything that might upset Grimnien. I didn’t fancy spending the rest of my days leaping around that castle,   cooking and washing up and conversing in ribbets! No siree! I wanted to keep my head down, get the sequins sewn on and get back to ……erm………the R word! Back to the luxury of my servants waiting on me foot and hand! I even started to miss my so-called friends! I missed Sketch biting my thumb and tweaking my nose, I even missed being called Pesky! I missed Morton’s fishy smell and his stupid jokes, I missed AnMarie……ah, my little AnMarie ……..I didn’t miss Dene telling folk he’s a bigger megastar than me because…….I didn’t know him then! Muwahahahaha

I didn’t miss Garli because I had her sunshine but OH MY! Did I miss that gorgeous, beautiful Kara! I even missed my followers…….that’s how bad it was!!

I also missed Killgin Stark; I missed him slicing boulders in half with his sword! Dare I say this because I KNOW I’ll never hear the last of it……I even missed Tom from @LithiumGlassRd I missed his insults and the fact that he keeps accusing me of insinuating things!

Anyway……the weekend eventually came to an end and I was SO happy to say goodbye to the squizardly wizard! I mean, I know he’s the boss and………you’re supposed to respect the boss, right? But, let’s be brutally honest……..<looks round nervously to make sure Grimnien’s not listening>………..How can you respect a bald headed, red faced man in a sequined dress? I mean……..even Eddie Izzard has hair! And……all those frogs leaping around in his sequined castle………..You do realise they were all once human beings??……….Just because you don’t agree with somebody else’s viewpoint…….it doesn’t justify turning them into frogs………does it? I mean, come ON, be honest…………….Have you never thought that Grimnien is just a teency weency bit strange??………..

Answers on a postcard please to:

Grimnien The Sequined castle Out in the middle of nowhere……….




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