The Story of Diva – Part Three
& The final instalment
Published by Madeleine Masterson at Shakespir
Copyright 2015 Madeleine Masterson
Diva snuggled down deeper under the bedclothes by Em’s feet, making a very warm nest for herself which was suffocating hot by anyone’s standards. Naturally Bad fairy had told her to do this, being a very cold fairy, and she had kept up her instructions in her shrill excitable voice until puppy simply had to do it. Did I mention the slug? Kept in a matchbox by Bad fairy, and useful as a page marker and so on. Slug liked it hot too.
Good fairy, hardly able to breathe let alone speak, stayed calm with tried and tested meditation techniques. The self-hopefulness one usually worked as long as you had 100% faith in it – otherwise it was touch and go; Good fairy had such a faith and when she has asked for help with this difficult situation (the other fairy. Diva’s plan. Just about everything.), she had complete trust in a solution coming forward. Why else would she tell Diva she had a plan; even now said plan was being knitted together, following Diva’s special pattern there in the spell. It was to be a design of excellence and named in true twentieth century style – thus DIVA.DOC was created and woven into the Great Spell in such a way you couldn’t see the join!
Em woke up and looked round the small cluttered room through sleepy narrowed eyes. It was only 10 o’clock. One of her feet was trapped by something, and in the dream she had just woken out of, her foot was caught in a trap and she could not move. She had shouted for help, but the noise she made was less than a mouse-squeak, less than a whisper and no matter how hard she tried, her foot became more leaden and stuck and her voice like the rustle of a leaf falling to the ground. Actually it was Diva trapping her foot and to Em’s delight she was able to shout:
‘Is that my mummy shouting?’ queried Diva, unsure but aware of some urgency.
The second shout confirmed there was a need to move, and despite that fairy telling her to stay put, buried deep at the bottom of the bed all cosy and warm, she obeyed Good fairy instead, ‘Hurry up now Diva,’ said Good fairy, at last able to breath and think straight. ‘I want to tell you about the Plan, and once again I must ask you to take no notice of Bad fairy – you do know the difference now don’t you?’
Diva Said yes, but truthfully, she wasn’t sure – sometimes it was easy to tell, like going in Gordon’s pockets and eating whatever you find there, well Good Fairy would never say that; but things like licking Em’s feet and perhaps nibbling on them slightly – what was wrong with that? Yet Good fairy seemed to think this unnecessary and possibly annoying to Em.
‘Just don’t do it Diva, and try hard not to let Bad fairy persuade you it’s a good idea.’
Diva contented herself with a small nibble on Em’s ear despite being told to bite it hard (Bad fairy of course). Em wasn’t too bothered as something else had her attention and it was card from Ma. All the way from her real home, Kingston upon Hull.
‘And the plan is,’ murmured Good fairy…..
‘And Ma says why don’t I stop fartassing about up here just drifting and move back to Hull and throw my lot in with hers?’ Em was fairly pink-faced with excitement and shouting down Gordon’s protests.
I have nearly, by some miracle (and a lot of guinness) finished the course.
Why not come back down and throw your lot in here? If it comes to it, bring the new puppy Diva. (I have talked through with Kim and the cats.)
SAE plus cash enc.
Love Ma X
This simple note had been written and popped into a beauty card and then popped in a letterbox before anyone could change their mind.
Trolling back the way, from said box with Kimmy dog, Ma ruminated on this latest move. Her mind grappled with dogs and cats squashed into the small damp flat she presently inhabited, not to mention money. It came onto rain, and Hull never the most picturesque of places, took on a grey tone, not unlike the walk Gordon was even now taking, with a straining puppy on a lead.
Gordon had put up a small protest following Em’s announcement. If she had come all the way to Glasgow to get away from boring old things like mothers, why go back to them?
It was useless – a tiny fumbling objection in the face of a huge invincible argument. Only women have these cast-iron defence mechanisms where right is right and wrong is right and there is no dissuasion; according to Gordon’s world that is. Gordon mumbled on finally admitting defeat and reaching for Diva’s lead.
‘C’mon Diva, we’re away out.’ Off they went Diva well in front and forcing Gordon to take the worn tenement stone steps about four at a time until he regained slight control.
‘Stop pulling Diva and listen to me’
‘But you told me to race down the steps as fast as I could and make Gordon fall over!’ barked Diva happily.
Wearily Good fairy reminded Diva of Bad fairy’s tactics – her renowned talent for imitating others, in this case herself. ‘Please do try and work it out Diva!’ Now, the plan is to move out of Glasgow to be with Em’s Mother and in so doing to leave BAD FAIRY behind. So, whatever you do, you must keep this a secret. Do you promise?’
‘I promise!’ woofed Diva who knew what a secret was. It was a special thing to know and had to be treasured like a precious jewel, guarded against anyone knowing it. Yes she would keep this secret safe (as safe as her hidden store of biscuits) and only talk to Good fairy about it. And Em. And Gordon.
Bad fairy was bored now. Bored with riding like a queen under Diva’s tail, and bored with pretending to be Good fairy. This could only mean one thing: Trouble. For if she was fed up with a life of luxury and fun, she would go to all sorts of lengths to amuse herself. At Diva’s expense of course, and probably Em and Gordon; and now there was Em’s Mother.
Ma was not unaware of invisible forces operating. After all, a year spent with others on the course to end all courses had racked up a lot of negativity. Countering this with positive benevolent thoughts, she could often be found in a variety of meditative states, for like Good fairy, she was prone to bursts of self-help. Kimmy dog often settled next to her, finding these relaxation times soothing to her collie dog nerves, and a comfort to settle on Ma’s feet. The cats liked it too, a warm solid bed until it jumped up complaining.
So you could say Em’s mother had a protection against future events which tested out her positivity rather. The Plan was not fool proof although it had been put together with foresight and caution; just enough as we will see, that careful planning to see the Great Spell work.
Arriving back at his flat, Gordon sensed a change in the atmosphere. Hardly had he let Diva off the lead than he realised what it was. Em was up, dressed, washed and out. The note on the table told him all.
Gone to post letter to Ma.
Think it’s a good idea to go down to Hull.
Will get chips on way back.
Love Em xxxxx
‘Diva Wiva pupster poo!’ sang Em as she skipped round Gordon’s tiny room, chased by said puppy and serenaded by shrill barking. Gordon was not part of this game, yet. He lay under a blanket on the old settee asleep, with a benign look on his face.
Still in a happy go lucky mood, Em put some Bob Dylan on, at a noise level a notch higher than the department for the environment recommend as ‘safe.’ To this, Gordon awoke. It’s worth mentioning that if you are woken suddenly, abruptly and in effect with a shock to the system, you are not, for a few seconds responsible for your actions. Despite this, and leaving a pleasant colourful dream to be jerked into consciousness, Gordon lay there nicely, with no immediate signs of aggression.
Diva jumped onto his head and began a small nibble and wash of his beard. Who knew, there might even be some food thereabouts,(recommended Bad fairy).
‘It’s OK, I’m taking her for a walk. I can’t do anything right in here!’ and Em flurried around capturing Diva and sticking her on a lead before slamming out.
Gordon remained still and calm on the settee knowing Em’s little ways now. One of them was arguing with herself in the absence of any others. Had he complained? Spoken out? Not he. Eventually he fell back into a comforting slumber. With Gordon, anxiety states were saved for waking life, not for sleeping – it was here he returned to Paradise Lost.
Em made her way into the park; Kelvin Park. This was a beautiful, landscaped green refuge, away from all the grey. She pondered on whether to let Diva run free for a bit; the man wasn’t on the bench eating his lunch which was surely what drew Diva to him, well jumping on him to be exact, the other day. (Good fairy had spoken up in vain, and of course Bad fairy had made the suggestion..).
They weren’t near a road or water and the Park seemed quiet. Perhaps not though, especially as they would be going back to Hull soon.
‘When are we going to Hull!’ woofed Diva, picking up on Em’s thoughts. Good fairy had been teaching her how to do this and it had been a proud moment when Diva had first done it. It was to do with food, and Em had just been thinking about biscuits; when Diva saw a picture of a huge yellow crispy dog biscuit she barked and barked until she got one.
‘Don’t overdo it!’ Cautioned Good fairy, making Diva aware of personal privacy and wotnot and using the gift of mind reading to help not harm. There was also the problem of keeping all this news quiet. Reading aloud was out of the question (Em’s notes) and even the butterfly had to stop being so helpful here.
‘So Diva,’ continued Good fairy, ’Em is going to take you on the train to meet her mother and let her get organised. First though, her mother is coming here to Glasgow to pick up all Em’s things; after that you are going to Hull!’
Bad fairy was working overtime on the mind reading, and had picked up a few mentions of Em’s mother coming for a visit, to bring some more things?? And meet (saint) Gordon. The rest of it though was still unknown as she could not get back into the Great Spell to find out. This was heavily protected by the PASSWORD PROTECT. However, knowing what she did, caused her to embark on a very naughty and dangerous trick.
Ma had a final check round as she waited for a colleague (from that ghastly course) to call at the flat, as arranged, and then set off to Glasgow in her estate car.
Cats in, Kimmy dog on my bed, windows shut, oven off. Ma’s checklist was pinned to the front door as a final absolute. The cats, Flossie and Daisy were back in after much banging a fork against a plate and then making cutting up noises. Kimmy dog was snoring away from her cosy nook on the old green candlewick bedspread and Ma did pause to wonder what anyone would think? Dogs on the bed?? An emotive issue this, but Ma came down firmly on the side of yes they can; should the day arrive when a prospective partner dared to step inside – they would have to be ok with it too. End of.
The doorbell rang coupled with a volley of deep barking’s. Ma gathered herself up for this epic journey (the return of daughter’s things. Gordon. Diva) and closed the door behind her. She had spoken to Em that morning and this in the days of reverse charges! Ha! More money….
‘I’ll be up there about three I reckon Em.’
‘Can’t wait for you to meet Diva and Gordon –‘
‘And you have packed everything? ‘ Ma held her breath and closed her eyes for the answer.
‘Yes! Yes, don’t be boring Ma.’
Boring eh. Ma sighed and concentrated on the road. Not yet a driver herself, she was no judge of her colleague’s driving but it was raining and the roads were already
wet from a rather rainy month. Roll on summer she thought and roll on the end of Uni. Her course ended in July and it couldn’t end a minute too soon. A ghastly mistake but had to be endured to the finish. Ma was nothing if not determined, and giving up was not an option. Her colleague in direct contrast was enjoying the course a lot and kept going on about it.
What with the insecurity of this albeit one way conversation and the journey, Ma could feel an anxiety attack coming on. As they beetled along leaving Yorkshire behind and approaching Scotch Corner, the car suddenly skidded on the wet road, going over to the right-hand side; colleague seemed to take this in her stride, and luckily as Ma observed, there was no other traffic either in front or behind. Time to stop for tea?
I mean Ma didn’t know of the fairy world, of the battle going on even now between Good fairy and Bad, with poor Diva pulled this way and that – but she did feel a twinge of ill wind about things. Bad fairy, was about to pull off a big trick, and in her book, in her ‘Big Tricks for the Advanced Fairy’ book, this was a goodun. Her slug had marked the page for her, as she slowly read it through.
Em awaited her mum’s presence spending a happy hour in the park with Gordon and Diva, actually letting her run free. Diva took full advantage of this and headed for the bench just like Bad fairy told her to.
Bad fairy giggled to herself as she swung up and down on Diva’s tail enjoying the rush of air as puppy galloped towards the woman and child seated on said bench. She felt topped up with mischief and impatient for the ‘Do Try This At Home! (the blurb in her tricky book) or, the very naughty thing to happen. It would be her first real trick as a Bad fairy, on a proper being in this world. She had been taught this trick amongst others at the Primary School for Gifted Fairies, a fine establishment aiming for excellence in all its pupils. I should explain then, that at this juncture in her career, Bad fairy was such a pupil, gifted and rather clever.
The ‘Study of Tricks and Magic’ course was available to all fairies wishing (I know) to find out more about their Kingdom; Bad fairy did very well gaining top marks and a merit badge for her essay titled: ‘Why Tricks and Magic must be used with care’
After she was expelled (another story), Bad fairy simply used her gifts and cleverness to please herself; as Good fairy had pointed out to Diva, we all have to choose, and Bad fairy had chosen to be bad.
‘I can’t wait to see if the Great Trick works,’ sang Bad fairy as she whizzed along on Puppy’s tail,’ I uttered all the names in the right order and made Diva repeat the magic word!’
As usual Diva had, in all innocence, been taken in without knowing it. What next?
Diva streaked towards the bench, just reaching it as the woman and child stood up to go and Gordon caught up with her.
‘Diva!’ everyone seemed to say this together and Diva did stop in her tracks.
‘Something terrible is going to happen I can feel the vibrations of a really bad trick Diva! If I start working on it now, perhaps I can catch it in time or at least make it less powerful.’ Good fairy spoke with such urgency and authority that Diva’s hair stood on end.
‘Something’s wrong,’ Em tugged on Gordon’s T-shirt, ‘I feel like something’s wrong!’
‘We’ll go back,’ responded Gordon, clipping Diva’s lead back on and setting a brisk pace for home. It seemed however fast they walked, the park had moved itself to become bigger and wider and longer. Em remembered her mum always said as she trudged home with heavy shopping that the house must have moved further up the street. Her fear increased and she could not wait to get back to the bedsit, for surely Ma would turn up as planned and it would be normal again.
At about the exact moment everyone felt anxious and worried in Glasgow, Ma suffered a similar attack, only real and not imagined. They had stopped for tea, in a little cottage-type tea room perched on one of the endless hills. Rested and confident they would soon arrive in Glasgow to see Em and her Gordon chap, Ma tried to settle back and enjoy the scenery. The wet scenery.
The accident when it happened didn’t make much sense, Colleague shouted:
‘It’s coming straight for us!’ and then they seemed to swerve over to the left, onto the hard shoulder and then over the barrier. The next bit was in slow motion and Ma had plenty of time to wonder how they might end up. I say slow motion, but here’s the thing, not slow enough to be brave or sad or afraid. The car rolled down a fairly steep slope across a wide band of grass and then half turned into a ditch. Here it stopped and Ma took stock at last. Being in the passenger seat, she was high above colleague whose door now faced the ground.
‘I’m getting out of here!’ she stated, and proceeded to kick open her door twisting round to do it. Several twists and kicks later, it swung open. Climbing out never felt so good and she marvelled at her lucky escape. Not a scratch or a bruise just lucky to be alive.
Good fairy hovered, almost exhausted by Diva’s ear. She felt certain she had caught the Great Trick in the nick of time, knowing that the weaker she became, the more power for good was beating back the strength of it. Even Diva, usually so happy go lucky had suffered alongside Em, who was biting her thumb and pacing the floor.
Gordon, returned from a neighbour’s phone for the third time. The phone was in use as a contact number for Ma, as she had insisted, annoying Em when she did but as it turned out, fully justified. It was now a much needed line of communication and when it finally rang, no-one wanted to answer it.
‘Hallo?’ Em gripped the receiver and held her breath.
‘It’s me,’ announced Ma, ’we’re not going to make it; I’ve been in an accident but I’m fine.’
‘What happened? I knew something was wrong – we all did!’
The sequence of events was explained with a promise to ring when finally home in Hull via a recovery truck. As Ma related the story of a disaster averted, Em hugged Diva tight – what if her mother hadn’t made it?
There was of course, only one disappointed creature listening in. Bad fairy suitably chastened and thwarted had attempted no other trickery that day, and with a fleeting regard for Good fairy’s powers, fell asleep under Diva’s tail.
‘Will we ever go to Hull now?’ woofed up Diva, ’you said it was the Great Plan and you said –‘
‘Be quite sure,’ declared Good fairy, too tired for lengthy discussion, that if I said it’s going to happen, then it will!’ Goodnight Diva.’ And fell asleep herself.
The train finally pulled into Kingston upon Hull station, and Em gathered up her bundles whilst hanging onto Diva. It had been a long hot journey and whatever the vet said about the tablets, was a pack of lies. Diva had not gone to sleep as anticipated or even drowsy. Rather, it seemed to increase her energy and the entertainment value for a carriage packed with bored travellers.
Ma sat quietly, thinking happy thoughts on the round red metal seating provided by whoever ran the railways now. Checking the station clock and wondering if this was Em’s train pulling in she got up and searched the crowd for a young woman and a puppy. She saw Diva first, and let me tell you it was instant love. Whatever moves us to connect with another, hit the spot. Diva knew who it was, as Good fairy nudged her saying ‘Here she is!’ Diva’s happy heart surged with joy and she forgot the world for a moment or two.
‘So this is Diva! She’s gorgeous!’ Ma stroked her silky ears,
‘It was a horrible journey, Diva drove me mad, the tablets were rubbish, I feel sick, I need a drink –‘ Em gladly let Ma take the lead.
‘Can’t wait for her to meet Kimmy dog!’ burbled Ma and even Good fairy, cautious by nature, allowed herself a small sigh of contentment. Ah.
Bad fairy, who had stolen Diva’s travel tablets thinking they were sweets, lay in a very deep sleep under Diva’s tail.
Thus the Great Spell re-writes itself and in it is written: ‘that a woman, fair and just with her own well-mannered and well-behaved dog, will come to the aid of said puppy, and in a true labour of love will keep her safe and loved.’
In very small print, somewhat like a disclaimer on an important document, it also says: [notwithstanding Bad fairy]
Which just means that the Spell will do its utmost to override Bad fairy and her tricks, but is covered in case not. Kimmy dog is keen to convert Bad fairy, being of a missionary nature and has the patience to do it.
Meanwhile, Ma dreams of the end of her dread course and the next chapter in her life. Puppy is nestled on her bed, next to a worn out Em and listening to a story which Kimmy dog is carefully recounting. This is only interrupted by Diva scraping furiously at the beautiful silky embroidered coverlet on the bed.
‘But you said to make a big hole in the cover.’ went Diva.
‘I said no such thing,’ admonished Good fairy, who had been listening to Kimmy dog’s story too. Bad fairy smirked and swung round into a more comfy position under Diva’s tail. They all re-settled, and Kimmy dog began:
‘Once upon a time,’ she said mournfully, ’there was a beautiful puppy called Diva.’
â€˜Bad fairy was bored now. Bored with riding like a queen under Divaâ€™s tail, and bored with pretending to be Good fairy. This could only mean one thing. Trouble. For if she was fed up with a life of luxury and fun, she would go to all sorts of lengths to amuse herself. At Divaâ€™s expense of course, and probably Em and Gordon; and now there was Emâ€™s Mother.â€™ Here we go for the final instalment of Diva! Our puppy is heading for more adventures and Good fairy has her magic cut out. Hold on, like Gordon does to Divaâ€™s lead and followâ€¦..