Chapter 3

Grimnien is named after the Zoriat God, Grimnian – who, incidentally does not wear dresses! –  Our wizard aspires to be like the Zoriat God………….mmmmmm.

When Grimnien was a young wizard growing up in Grimney he was part of a large family. He was the only boy with six sisters. It was during these formative years that he discovered he had a talent for magic, being quite adept at making their sweets disappear!

He used to watch his sisters putting on make up and trying on lots of dresses and he often felt ‘left out’.

One day when he was left alone in the house he decided to see what all the fuss was about. He would have been around fifteen years old at the time. He sat in front of their large dressing table mirror and proceeded to experiment with the lipsticks and powders he had so often watched them applying.

Once made up he took a beautiful ball gown out of the wardrobe, he was mesmerised by all the sparkly sequins which had been lovingly hand sewn onto the gown. A couple fell off as he struggled to squeeze his bulk into the delicate material and finally, puffing and panting, he squeezed his huge feet into a pair of strappy high heels.

Grimnien then proceeded to the full length mirror where he stroked down the dress and inspected his efforts. He was quite delighted by the result! As the young wizard struck a pose and pouted his ruby red lips a figure appeared in the room, it was his mother! She had returned to the house early leaving her daughters to collect fruit in the woods.

‘Hello dear’ said the woman who clearly didn’t recognise her son. ‘Who are you? And what are you doing in my daughters’ bed chamber?’

Grimnien was taken aback. He couldn’t believe that his own mother didn’t recognise him. He had two choices now, he could confess and face his mother’s ridicule or he could act out the charade. The wily young wizard opted for option two………..

‘Oh hello Mrs Grimnien’ he breathed in his sweetest voice. ‘Esmeralda said I could borrow her ball gown, there is a dance at the Grimney shack next week and there will be lots of minstrels there playing their lutes. I SO love lute players, don’t you Mrs Grimnien?’

The wizard mother was quite taken with the beautiful young maiden.

‘Indeed I do dear, my late uncle Scarion was a lute player you know, all the ladies loved him, he was quite charismatic’ she smiled fondly at the memory of her uncle.

‘Oh how delightful’ oozed Grimnien, who was clearly enjoying his new found acting ability:

‘to have a musician in the family, you must have been sooo proud of him.’ The wizard tossed his hair playfully – for he had some hair in those days.

‘Would you like a cup of Gadroon tea dear, erm…..what is your name by the way?’

Grimnien fumbled around in his head for a name…….

‘My name?’ he said slowly, playing for thinking time, ‘My name is Sparkle’ he blurted out as he eyed the sequins scattered on the floor.

‘Oh that’s an unusual name’ his mother commented, ‘but…..very pretty’ she went on quickly, not wishing to offend.

‘Yes my mother was a fairy queen’ went on the young wizard who was getting comfortable with his new character. ……’and my father was a woodcutter until he married her and became honorary king in fairyland.’

‘Really?’ went on Mrs G, so…….how come you need to borrow a ball gown?

This stumped young Grimnien for a moment.

‘I was admiring it last week when Esmerelda was showing off……I mean showing it to me.’ He went on ‘and she said I could borrow it for the Grimney ball so I said Thank you that would be lovely, because I didn’t want to offend her.’

He looked intently at his mother searching for clues as to whether she had bought his silly tale.

‘Oh I see’ said mother as the boy heaved a sigh of relief, ‘that was very thoughtful of you’ she smiled. Clearly our wizard inherited his intellect from the maternal side of his family.

‘Oh is that the time?’ Grimnien said as he picked up the layers of material in the gown and headed for the door. ‘I will decline your kind offer of a cup of tea’ he went on, ‘I must go and pick some berries for tea.’

‘What a delightful young maiden’ thought Mrs Grimnien as she watched the girl hurrying into the woods in her dress and high heels. ‘She would make a lovely sweetheart for our young Grimnien, I must tell him about the dance next week’…………..

Grimnien found himself hurtling through the woods in his new frock and heels. What was he going to do now? He couldn’t take it off because he had nothing to change into. He wandered for many days and many nights too scared to go home. How could he explain the broken heel and ripped hem to Esmerelda?

There were many dangerous creatures in the woods but Grimnien was safe because they had never seen anything quite like him before and steered well clear!

He washed the make up off in a lake but he still didn’t have ‘a thing’ to wear!

This was when Grimnien ran into the Grand Wizard Morton Balthus. He was still a wizard then, not the slimy clam that he is today. Grimnien had already decided to make a life for himself, now that he was a man…….. Morton invited him to stay in his castle. He did offer him some clothes to wear but Grimnien had started to feel comfortable in his new attire.

Young Grimnien stayed in the castle with Morton for several years and became his apprentice. Yes our dear Grimnien learned everything he knows from Morton Balthus……..which explains a lot really! They got on well those two wizards; Morton never mentioned Grimnien’s choice of clothes, either because he was very discreet or, more likely, because Morton was so obsessed by his experiments that he simply didn’t notice. Balthus worked tirelessly day and night. He attended the wizards’ convention every year and was determined to become the cleverest and most powerful wizard in Grimney.

One day Grimnien returned to the castle with some exciting news. He couldn’t find Morton anywhere.

‘Morton……MORTON!’ he shouted. He was very anxious to tell the master wizard about the half price shoe sale in town.  As he struggled to put all his carrier bags onto the table he noticed a cauldron bubbling away in the corner then he heard a tiny voice,

‘Here I am Grimnien, I’ve had a little ………..incident’ Grimnien looked down in the direction of the voice and saw a slimy clam trying to climb up the table leg. He stepped back quickly, horrified at the thought of getting slime on his designer dress. Gently he picked the clam up and placed him on the table. The wizard then burst into fits of laughter:

‘MORTON! What……have you done…….now?’ he spluttered in between chuckles.

‘It’s not funny!’ retorted Morton: ‘I can’t reverse the spell; I could be stuck like this for ever!’

Grimnien stopped laughing at the Master wizard’s words, he had never heard Morton say, ‘can’t’ in all the years he had known him.

Well the author knows very little about wizardly things, in fact, all he knows about Harry Potter is that he wears glasses so, to save face he will simply say……

To cut a long story short……..

The two wizards tried every trick in the book – literally – to change Morton Balthus back to his original form but it was hopeless.

Secretly, Grimnien was pleased because if Morton stayed a clam he had no competition and although he didn’t actually get his wizard’s diploma, he had learned enough to be pretty impressive. He even considered putting Morton into a clam chowder to disperse of the competition altogether but that would be just plain evil and Big G is anything but evil.

Morton never recovered from his ‘accident’ and went slightly insane. It worried Grimnien that he spent his days making vases. Not that there is anything wrong with making vases you understand but it is seen as a slight come down for a Master wizard.

I do worry, me being Steve, alias Bob, to see Morton Balthus tweeting in twitterland these days. He does seem to be turning rather ‘dark’ lately which is such a shame! Morton was once extremely handsome, clever and charismatic. I do hope he will find a cure for himself and at least return to the happy clam he once was.

Grimnien enjoyed his time at Morton’s castle. He had lots of time to pursue his hobbies, writing and painting. He had loved doing these things when he had been at home but his father had frowned on his work.

‘What’s all this namby pamby stuff?’ he’d chided the lad as young Grimnien had shyly showed him a poem what he’d wrote. (No it’s not a grammatical error dear reader, it’s a reference to a Morecambe and Wise joke!) ‘Thee wants ter get theesel’ a good axe young lad an’ get practicin’ at fellin them there trees!’ he yelled, because he was a Yorkshire Grimnien!

Grimnien had kept his poems and paintings hidden from that day on because he didn’t want to be a disappointment to his macho father.

Whilst in Morton’s castle Grimnien wrote three books about his homeland which he illustrated. He also wrote several volumes of poetry. In fact it was one of Grimnien’s books which inspired Steve alias Bob to write this very book which you are reading now”

To read Grimnien’s books and poems visit: Click on Citizen’s stories to read   his work and also many contributions from site members.

A poem by Grimnien:

The Silver Birds

Oh timid whispers of the wind

You seem to wish the summer in

You call to her in warm caressing bursts

Blessing all with a touch of April sun

The weeping willow has begun

To cascade her flowing leafy locks 

Into the flowing tender breeze

Where flocks of silent silver birds

Sweep above her outstretched natural green

Between Forget-Me-Nots and Saffron Meadow  

Unfurls a sea of Primrose Red

Shadowed below as the sun arose

Swirling yellow overhead

Serene the toothsome cherry trees

Sprouted from the cherished soil 

Uncoils each outstretched blossomed branch

That carries the fruit of nature’s toil

‘Oh blessed are the weeks that see the seasons change 

Where tulips flood in silky bud from out of winter sleep

And Mother Nature keeps those flowers 

Fresh upon the grange

Allured by the tender touch of April’s falling rain’.

























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