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Just placing my story here for now. I will dress up this page at a later time...
Funtosee, the Dwarf, the Unabridged
Funtosee, the Dwarf
Written by: Artsie_ladie, aka Sharon Donnelly
© 2006/01/01 
Written for the Elftown Prose Contest.
Total Word Count Total: 3220 - 3225 words
  Once upon a time, when there were castles and kings, elves and fairies and a world of Fantasy, there was a dwarf different from other dwarfs. Because of his difference, he thought that he was banned from the kingdom where he had always lived. Thinking as such, perhaps by some wrong information, gossip, he left his kingdom and set out to find a new place to live. In the pouring rain he began his journey out into the countryside. After wondering all through the night, tired, hungry, wet and cold, he saw a little farmhouse at dawn, so he walked up the front steps and knocked on the door...


   "Hey, look, Alley! Come and see who is standing at our door!" The dwarf just stood there, totally undaunted by Jacob's enthusiasm.

   "Just a minute," Alley hollered. "I'm just about done with breakfast. Jacob, come and eat your breakfast while it's still warm."

   "Yes, sister. I'm coming." He looked at the little creature and said. "My sister will be right here. I have to go eat my breakfast now." 

   The dwarf nodded.

   Jacob backed away and turned to go to the kitchen. Suddenly, he spun around and said, "Come on in. You can have something to eat with us. Would you like that?"

   As he shook his head, no, the drenched dwarf managed a faint grin.

   Just then, Alley came stomping into the entrance way. "Jacob, get in the kitchen!" she demanded as she gave a glancing look towards the front door. "And you are? Is there something I can help you with?" Alley asked, trying to sound a little more pleasant, yet official and authoritative, because their aunt and uncle had left her in charge while they went on a journey to take Grandmother some groceries she needed.

   The sopping, wet dwarf motioned for an invite in. Alley, though feeling a bit leery, nodded reluctantly, her approval.

   The dwarf took a couple of steps just inside the open door. His squishy, water logged shoes made puddles where he stood. His pointy hat's brim was a dripping eave. His poor excuse for a coat was tattered and torn. He looked lean and frail as he stood trembling, cold and wet. 

   Alley, feeling less suspicious and more sympathetic, said, "Oh, you look like a dwarf in need." She walked over by the fireplace and beckoned the dwarf to do the same. The cold, little stranger eagerly accepted as he scurried to stand in front of the hearth. Alley reached for an afghan on the back of the sofa and draped it around the shivering, little fellow. For the first, she noticed a spark of joy displayed by a slight twinkle in the dwarf's blue eyes.

   "Can you talk?" she asked. "What is your name? Where do you live?" Alley had so many questions, as she usually did.

   Finished with his breakfast, Jacob came bouncing into the room. Jacob always had an abundance of energy.

   "Calm down!" Alley exclaimed, as she grabbed Jacob's arm. "Sit down."

   As Jacob sat with resistance, he whined. "Oh, come on, Alley. I'm curious, too."

   "Well, he's cold and wet and he doesn't need you bombarding him with your silly questions." Alley paused. "Besides, if you really wanted to help, you would go up to the attic and find some of your old clothes that you have outgrown. Our guest could use a warm, dry change of clothing."

   "Yeah, right!" Jacob replied. "Like my clothes are going to fit him!"

   "Just do as I ask," Alley insisted.

   "Oh, alright. I will." Jacob mumbled. In a moping fashion he stood up and slowly exited up the stairway to the attic trunks.

   "Can I get you something?" Alley asked the dwarf. "What is your name?" again, she asked.

   "Funtosee," he shyly spoke, with a worried look.

   "Ohhh," Alley nodded puzzlingly. "Um, why were you given this name? It's a different sorta' name."

   Funtosee bowed his head. "Cuz... cuz.... I don't know," he frowned.

   "There must be a reason for your name," Alley stated as she tried to maintain her composure. "Let's see, now," she thought aloud. "You must be a lot of fun? Is that it?"

   "No, I don't think I am," the dwarf pouted.

   "Okay, we don't have to analyze your name if you don't want to. I'll go get you a nice cup of steaming, hot chicken broth with some croutons. It will warm your belly. You will feel much better then." Alley gave Funtosee a forgiving grin as she left the room to get him some broth. 


   Meanwhile, Jacob was up in the attic. He was supposed to be looking for his old clothes, which he started out doing. He had found some old trousers, shirts and socks with no mates, but no shoes, just an old pair of worn out, fuzzy slippers. Thinking they would be fun to see on his feet again, he tried for several minutes to squeeze his foot into one, but to no avail. It just didn't fit. How he had loved his puppy slippers! Regretfully, he lay them aside. At that moment his old, toy chest caught his eye. Jacob ran over to investigate some forgotten memories that now lay dusty and musty, yet, otherwise okay in that old, toy chest. He took out some toy trucks and cars. He dug down in the chest and found his old, sheriff's badge. As he was trying to pin it on, he heard a commanding voice. It was his sister calling to him. 

   "Jacob! What's taking you so long?" Alley called up from the kitchen.

   "Coming," he reluctantly answered. As he gathered up his findings, he took another quick look around. "I'll have to come back up here later." He vowed solemnly to himself. "Yup!" Jacob answered himself.

   As he clambered down the stairs, trying not to lose anything along the way, he started to daydream about getting back up in the attic and reinvestigating some of his old toys which he hadn't played with in a long time. He was trying to recall what was put away in that old toy chest. He was about halfway down the stairs, when he lost his footing. He stumbled and went rolling down, everything tumbling right along with him. Luckily, he wasn't hurt. His head had landed on a fuzzy slipper!

   Alley heard the commotion. She came running in. "Are you alright? she asked, then burst out laughing!

   "What's so funny?" Jacob moaned.

   Alley pointed to the bottom of the banister. Still laughing, she said, "Just look at that!" The fuzzy, puppy slipper was hooked on the end of it with its mouth wide open and its ears laid back, but the eyes were loose, as though they were bulging from its head in total amazement.
As Jacob stood up, picking up the duds he had retrieved from the attic, he said, "Ha, ha ha," mocking Alley's sense of humor. "Funny," he muttered. "I don't think it's so funny!"

   "Okay," Alley admitted. "Maybe not to you, but... never mind. Let's go take care of our guest in the living room," as she lifted the fuzzy slipper up off the banister.

   As they entered the room, their mouths dropped in astonishment. They could not believe their eyes!

   The dwarf not noticing an audience, was humming a tune and dancing to a beat for his ears only. He moved with surprising gracefulness. His soggy, wet shoes, tattered coat and the afghan had been tossed aside. His feet lightly caressed the floor as he danced and pranced around the room. His maneuvers and steps were delightful to watch. He performed acrobatic somersaults without losing a beat. When he snapped his fingers, there in a puff, a fairy appeared. Together, like magic, they moved as one. They giggled and laughed, a picture of fun! 
This entrancing scene would have gone on for a very long time probably, if Jacob hadn't suddenly sneezed, that is.

   "Oops," Jacob apologetically whispered, as he covered his nose and mouth and looked at Alley.

   Alley, disappointed with the interruption caused by her brother, frowned at him.

   "Sorry!" Jacob muttered.

   They both looked back at their living room, but it had become sadly still. There was the dwarf shivering, yet, with the afghan draped around him just as before. Alley and Jacob went over to him and in unison, they both blurted out, "Why did you stop dancing?"

   Funtosee hugged the afghan a wee bit tighter, rolled his eyes and asked, shyly. "What d-do you mean?"

   "Oh, come on," Jacob insisted. "You were just dancing. We saw you. We did. Didn't we, Alley?"

   Alley nodded in agreement. "Yes, Funtosee. We just saw you dancing and doing somersaults with a fairy!" Alley glanced around. "Where's the fairy?"

   "Okay! Okay! I admit it. Now what? What are you going to do with me now that you know that I do such silly things?" The dwarf, gripped in fear, kept pulling the afghan even tighter around him.

   "Do to you?" Alley cried out. "Why would we do something to you?"

   Jacob, wanting to remain in the thick of things, chimed in. "Yeah, why would we?"

   The dwarf, after a brief study of their faces, felt a bit reassured now. He relaxed his grip on the afghan Alley's aunt had made. Realizing he had their full attention, he proceeded to tell his story.

[~~(Sum. replace. of Omission for contest)~~]

[  He explained that in his homeland kingdom, dwarfs weren't allowed to do anything, but make things, fix them and run errands. They weren't allowed to mingle with the elves or fairies and were forbidden to entertain anyone. He went on and explained that he had been caught entertaining some elves and fairies by one of the servants. Therefore, the gossip was that he was banished from the kingdom. He further explained he was looking for some caves in the hills to live in.]  
[The threesome decided, then, to prepare for an adventuresome cave-searching journey.]

[~~~~~~~(Omitted part:)~~~~~~~]

   "I live in a castle just over yonder that way," he pointed out the direction. "Dwarfs are supposed to be workers. We're supposed to make things, fix things, run errands and such. We are not given the right to have fun or do fun things, nor are we allowed to be or act funny. We are supposed to be plain, dull, and simple, just doing what we are told to do. No more. No less." Funtosee sighed.

   "In my kingdom, dwarfs don't mingle with fairies or elves. We are given no rights to magic, either. Amongst the dwarfs of the castle, it is known secretively that I'm an entertainer." A half smile crossed his face. "It has been kept a secret among us for many years. This is why my name is Funtosee. I've been nicknamed this for so long that I can't even remember my given name. It's because of my abilities, that I've become very friendly with the elves and fairies. I make them laugh, you see, so they, too, have kept my secret." Funtosee cleared his throat, and with a lesser amount of enthusiasm, he continued.

   "A few days ago, I must have been spotted by a servant of the king doing my dancing act for a few elves, because gossip has it amongst my dwarf friends, the king had put out orders to have me brought before him and probably banished from his kingdom or worse. So, I had no choice but to flee," he stated frantically. "I've never been anywhere outside the castle, so I am totally lost and I have no place to go. You have been so kind to me." A tear ran down his cheek, but Funtosee still managed a smile as he looked at the children's attentive faces.

   He gathered his composure and stood up slowly. "I'm getting dry now," as he felt his clothes. "So, if you want, I can leave. I understand that there are caves around here somewhere that banished elves and fairies live in. I was hoping I could live in the caves with them. Do you know of such caves?" His face displayed a hopeful look.

   Alley and Jacob looked at one another with raised brows.

   "Hmmm, let me think," she said.

   "Wait! I think I know where they could be," exclaimed Jacob. "I have an idea! We all could have an adventure, together! Besides," Jacob added as he looked at Alley, "you never have any time to play with me anymore, so this could be fun."

   "Hmmm," Alley rubbed her chin. "I don't know if we should, Jacob."

   "Oh, please!" Jacob begged Alley.

   "Okay. We'll do it. The sun is out now, too. Our aunt and uncle won't arrive home until later tomorrow," said Alley, justifying her reasoning mostly for her own benefit.

   "Cool!" shouted Jacob. "Let's get started!"

   She looked at the dwarf in his tattered clothes. "Here, take these and put them on. They may not fit just right, but at least, you'll be dry and warm. You may not want to wear the fuzzy slippers, though, and that's fine. I'll pack us up some food for our journey." As Alley was about to exit the room, she paused and asked, "Do you like food such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?"  
A delighted, Funtosee nodded. "Yes, I do."

   Alley quickly packed extra food and clothes. Jacob tore off to his room. He came out shouting, "I can't forget my magic sword!"

   "Goodness gracious!" Alley replied. "Just what do you expect to do with that?"

   Jacob stroked the sword. "It will help protect us from danger," he declared.

   Alley decided to let it ride. She just rolled her eyes and said nothing. 

---([End of omitted part])---468 words----

   As they started out on their little adventure, they were happy, full of anticipation and energy. It was much warmer now and the birds were chirping with a melody of encouragement. To achieve their final destination, however, they would have to pass through a thickly wooded area, the subject of some unsavory tales. They took turns carrying Funtosee, for his short, little steps would slow them down considerably. As they neared the eery woods, they held onto each other for assurance, an attempt to perpetuate security in one another.

   They hadn't trodden very far into the woods, when this huge bird, from high on a cliff, flew so closely over them, his wing brushed Alley's head. He perched on a huge boulder just in front of them and screeched so loudly their ears rang. The threesome stopped abruptly in their tracks.

   "What do you suppose he's trying to tell us?" Alley whispered.

   "Gee, I don't know." Jacob looked worried.

   Suddenly, he flew up, circling them several times.

   "I think he's trying to tell us something," Funtosee suggested.

   "Hmm, perhaps, you're right. Let's see if he wants us to follow him." Alley motioned with her head.

   All in agreement they followed the bird. The trio became confused and anxious, though, when they realized they were being led back out of the woods, and in the direction of the castle!

   "No! No!" Funtosee cried. "I can't go back! I can't I tell you! I'll be thrown into the pit of spiders and snakes!"

   He struggled trying to free himself from Alley's arms, wriggling and squirming.

   "Stop!" Alley scolded him. "You, too!" She ordered Jacob. "We need to figure out what to do here, before we go any further."

   As the trio contemplated their next move, they became unaware of their immediate surroundings.

   A piercing scream shattered their thoughts and the huge bird was circling again. They knew without doubt, he was announcing a warning. They frantically scoped the area around them.

   Suddenly, three gnomes appeared, one on each side. Each of them was carrying a shiny, deadly sword, which they gleefully swung around in a menacing manner. 

   Alley wailed. Funtosee trembled as he abandoned the thought of freeing himself from Alley's grasp. Jacob was speechless as he stood motionless.

   One of the gnomes stepped forward with a snide remark. "We only want your treasure. Hand it over!"

   Petrified, Alley could only squeak. "What treasure? We have no treasure!"

   The shorter one stepped forward now and glared at Alley. "Don't lie to me, girl. You're holding the treasure that we're seeking!"
"I-I am? W-where? W-what?" She stammered.

   "That little thing that you're holding in your arms is just as good as any treasure. Therefore, it IS treasure to us and we mean to take it. Hand 'em over and we shall let you live." The third, long-bearded gnome demanded.

   "No!" Alley squeezed Funtosee so tightly he groaned. 

   From out of nowhere the bird, their guardian friend, dive bombed the third gnome and sent him, along with his sword flying through the air, like snapped off twigs. His sword stuck high into a tree, while he lay lifeless beneath it. 

   With this, Jacob snapped out of his fear-induced trance. He remembered his magic sword. Quickly, he drew it from its sheath. 

   "Aye-ya!" Jacob's readiness for battle echoed across the valley. "Now, who wants to challenge my magic sword?"

   The two gnomes that remained, just roared with laughter. They stepped towards Jacob and said. "Just what do you think you're going to do with that?" They laughed some more.

   Jacob's eyes narrowed as he glared with anger and defiance at the two sneering gnomes. He swung his sword wildly, missing his targets by a mile. 

   The gnomes roared louder with laughter! 

   Alley screamed, "Jacob, don't make things worse!" 

   Jacob told Alley to shush and advanced toward the gnomes. Again, he swung. His aim was forceful and true this time, as his sword collided with theirs, snapping them in two like they were toothpicks. His magic sword began glowing brightly. Not one in its presence could believe their eyes! The gnomes, aghast, were speechless. Their laughter was silenced now. Defeated, they disappeared into the woods. 

   The bird squawked, again, reminding them of their pending journey. 


   They still weren't sure whether to follow the bird or not, but he had helped them in their time of need. Should they trust him? Should they turn back? Go home? The bird continued to beckon them to follow him towards the castle which stood just over the hill.
They looked at one another, trying to figure out what to do.

   An awesome light, a rainbow of colors, shining brightly over the kingdom, his homeland, caught Funtosee's attention. "Look! Look!" he exclaimed, tugging on Alley's sleeve. All three became entranced at the awesome, magical vision of light! 

   Minutes later, a fast-approaching sound of a marching band, shattered the silence. They turned to run, but an elf leaped into their path. 
Startled, they froze like statues.

   "Be not afraid," said the little elf. "I have a message for Funtosee."

   Funtosee snuggled down deeper into the security of Alley's arms. 

   "Okay, what is it?" Jacob stepped forward and inquired, for he was now confident that with his magical sword at his side, he could protect them against anything. 

   "Well," the elf began. "The king has a search underway for Funtosee. He wants him returned to the kingdom."

   "What for?" Alley asked with much skepticism.

   The elf continued. "The king wants Funtosee to take charge of the kingdom's entertainment. He heard about his delightful, acrobatic, twirling dances. The king has made new laws allowing dwarfs to have more privileges. Also, there's someone else, too, that anxiously awaits him." 

   With this said, the elf blew his whistle. Some guards and a chariot came around the bend. The bird, perched nearby, squawked his approval. The elf bowed and said, "Your escort awaits!" 

   As they climbed aboard the king's chariot lined in velvet and gold, there waiting, was the fairy princess! They all cheered for little Funtosee, for he was about to be welcomed back royally in the land known as Fantosee .....that's Fantasy!

   The moral of this story is: Don't believe or put your trust in the gossip that you hear.

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