Wittle’s Little Magic Spin Tub
By 7:00 a.m. the town square of Sweet Poppy was already starting to get full of people. Everyone was arriving from all the surrounding towns and areas to attend the annual Sweet Poppy Fall Festival ¾a time for all the surrounding communities in the county of WilfaWaft to gather, set up booths, and to trade or sell homemade goodies and kick knacks of all kinds. The fall festival not only attracted locals but people from all over. The small town of Sweet Poppy was quite proud of their one hundred year tradition. Every year it was well advertised and prepared for. This year was especially a celebration commemorating the one hundred years of Sweet Poppy Fall Festivals. By 8:30 all game booths, stands, and the food court was all ready to go.
Sam Hickory was in charge of the animal zoo that was always right in the middle of the town square. Donkey and goat rides, chicken egg competitions, a pig mud contest, and animal feeding pens were just some of the fun activities at Hickory’s Zoo. Crazy Travis Moonburly was in charge of all game competitions such as slimy sludge wrestling, mud and water dunking , horseshoe throwing, pie eating and anything crazy that people would be crazy enough to do for prizes.
And then there was Suzell Smellie. Mrs. Smellie was in charge of all the entertainment for the festival, which suited her just fine considering Suzell had always dreamed of being famous, either as an actress, singer, or dancer. In fact Suzell Smellie loved nothing more than being in the spotlight and would stop at nothing to be the center of attention. If there was an opportunity to be seen, then Suzell made sure she was indeed seen.
However, Mrs. Smellie never really did anything good, anything good except maybe gossip and stir things up in town. Suzell made sure either her or her twin nine year old daughters, Sunshine and Pretty Smellie, were always in the spotlight and always winning. If things were done just right Suzell Smellie had the town eating out of her hands. In Suzell’s mind she was a star. Sweet Poppy was her stage, and the townsfolk were the audience. If there was a play at the Poppy House Theater, Suzell was there. If there was a school play Sunshine, Pretty, and Suzell were there. If there was a contest of any kind, Suzell would surely sacrifice all to be involved. Even Suzell’s husband Willafred Smellie made sure his wife and daughters were always content. Being the town banker was enough responsibility in and of itself, but dealing with Suzell, Sunshine, and Pretty made a doubly challenging and miserable life for dear Willafred.
In preparation for the fashion and beauty contest, Suzell was busy making sure her two spoiled rotten daughters were perfectly groomed for the production. Of course, Suzell was not allowed to be a judge since Sunshine and Pretty Smellie were both contestants and family.
All of a sudden Suzell noticed a young girl dressed in one outlandish outfit if there ever was one; the girl wore a big floppy purple hat with a long fluffy white feather. Her long wavy mousy brown hair looked to be only partly pinned up under the velvet purple hat. The outfit the strange girl wore was a lime and green flowery concoction with a long thick orange scarf tied at the waist. Suzell about fell to the floor at the sight of the funny dressed girl. Sunshine and Pretty burst out laughing to tears. Suzell approached the child.
“Surely you are not here for the beauty contest. I mean surely not you,” declared Suzell.
“Oh, no mam. Not I. I’m just here on business, passing these cards out. Here have one,” softly replied the adolescent.
Suzell held the card and read it aloud: “Awfully Good Z’s Eats and Goodies, in Sweet Poppy in the purple house on the hill over the bridge.”
“Purple house? You? You live in that horrid eye sore that overlooks our precious gingerbread town? You poor child. You really expect people to come there to buy food you make? Is the food purple, too? And what is your name?”
“No mam. Not all of it; it’s green sometimes and orange, and my name is Pa Patty Sally!
“Oh, dear and who are your parents and why do they send you out of your home dressed in atrocious outfits? That funny awful hat and that dress! You know, I used to have living room curtains that I threw out a years ago that looked just like that dress of yours. In fact, I put them outside to be picked up one morning and in one hour they were gone! Looks like they found their way to the town garbage dump after all!” said Suzell mockingly.
“Have a good day, Mrs. Smellie. Sorry to bother you.”
“Hey, how old are you?”
The girl walked away.
“And I’ve heard about you people up there. You’ll never have business from the likes of me or anyone in this town.”
Suzell crumbled up the card and threw it on the ground, rolling her eyes and shaking her head she laughed aloud.
One week later Suzell’s new volunteer project was to help cater a community dinner and awards banquet commemorating all those families who contributed to the Sweet Poppy Fall Festival and made it such a success by raising money for community projects. Mrs. Smellie insisted that she take care of all the food catering all by herself. Of course, Suzell knew nothing of cooking. However, she led everyone to believe that she was an absolute kitchen wiz. In the past when she was involved with potlucks or dinners, Suzell always went out of town and bought the dishes, but took credit for making them. This time Suzell thought herself capable of cooking, but any attempt was met with sheer disaster. The day before the banquet, Suzell and her daughters made a complete mess of the kitchen, and anything they touched was either not edible or burnt.
It turned out Suzell was desperate. It was midnight, her family was in bed, and she was frantic. Suzell then remembered the poor girl passing out the cards at the festival. She woke up her daughters, Sunshine and Pretty. Neither one had the card, but Suzell remembered the card saying that Awfully Good Z’s Eats and Goodies was open 24 hours. Suzell grabbed her coat and purse and started for the door. The rain was pouring down outside, so she grabbed a newspaper to cover her head. There was no use starting the car, waking up everyone and attracting attention. Suzell headed down the road toward the purple house in her two and a half inch high heels.
Several of the neighbors’ dogs began to bark, so Suzell moved as fast as she could. She had no choice. She was more than desperate. She knew she had tooted her horn and that she had to come through in light of her declaration of loving to cook and being so perfect at it. Suzell slipped in the mud on the way up the hill, messing up her perfect blonde coiffeur and getting her expensive dress all muddy. The weather became worse. The rain poured down, and Suzell’s newspaper was now reduced to soggy tissue. She was drenched, her makeup ruined, and her hair a wet mop.
The thirty-five minute walk led Mrs. Smellie over the bridge and finally to the porch of the great horrific, purple monstrosity of a house. Instead of a doorbell or doorknocker, an iron figure of a fairy with wings was in the middle of the large purple door. The fairy was pointing to a hammer hanging from a leather strap that hung by the door. Suzell grabbed the hammer and hit the fairy on the door three times. Nothing happened. Then a voice from somewhere said, “ Must knock on the fairy four times four times, then spin four times four times, and then repeat four times, if not run along.” Suzell very impatiently complied with the odd requirements as she was told. Then mysteriously the door opened, and Suzell cautiously stepped in. Suddenly, the door slammed shut behind her. The foyer was a small round five-sided room that was painted bright fluorescent green with sloppy paintings of flowers and animals. A huge bright pink bench was placed in the middle of the room, and a matching pink coat rack stood by the door. The room was lit by a huge brass chandelier of dripping lit candles.
Mrs. Smellie was both fearful and somewhat amazed at such a sight. She debated on whether or not to just leave.
“I’m here to see a Pa Patty Sally. Hello? I really, really am in serious need of your . . . goodies,” announced Suzell.
Near the ceiling, just over a large yellow door with red trim and a red door knob, hung a small round, blue framed mirror with a speaker directly under it. Suddenly the image of a face, a white bearded man, appeared in the mirror. Through the small speaker, a man’s voice could be heard.
“Welcome to Awefully Good Z’s Eats and Goodies. And what can we do for you mam?”
Suzell looked up and responded, “I need help. I need desserts, cookies, cakes, and a lot of them as quickly as possible. Can you do that?”
“Why, I’m certain, absolutely! Most surely we can! I will have Faloodie bring you a menu,” said the strange man.
A fat, big, yellow orange polka dotted cat with long orange whiskers popped out of a pink moveable door near the floor. A menu was folded in the feline’s long tail.
Suzell jumped. “Oh, my lands, what kind of cat is that?”
“Faloodi will not bite you,” said the man above.
Suzell took the menu from the cat’s tail.
“Not very hard anyway,” the man said.
Suzell impatiently rolled her eyes and glanced at the long menu.
“Oh, what is all of this? I can’t say these tongue twisters like. . . like McCruffin Fuffins? Butterscotch Trotchafotch?”
“Yes, yes that’s right,” said the man. “We won’t have time to make some things by tomorrow. If you want anything by tomorrow, may I suggest the Suquestra Spoodle Neptune Struddle or Frilly Frack Nickerbacks? And you have to try our Crushtrushy Spladder Mushy.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake. What is this? The local snack shack for circus clowns?” Suzell remarked.
“No, no Mrs. Stinky.”
“It’s Smellie . . . Suzell Smellie ¾not Stinky!” snapped Suzell. “Look, I have no choice, and I swore to that poor misbegotten child Pa Patty that I would never ever step foot on these most embarrassing premises, but now I am most desperate. I need goodies for almost two hundred people by noon tomorrow, whatever you have! I don’t care at this point! I’ll take whatever there is time for!” Mrs. Smellie begged.
“Allrighty Mrs. Sniffer Smeller. All will arrive at your back doorstep by 4:00 a.m., along with the what you owe. Bye bye!” The man’s face disappeared from the mirror.
“Smellie! It’s Mrs. Smellie, and how do you know where I live? You can’t just dump food outside my back door. Hello!” cried Suzell.
Suzell trudged her way back through mud and barking dogs, dreading a disastrous stinky kitchen to have to clean. Suzell hoped things would turn out all right. She wanted nothing more than to take a warm bath and to go to bed.
That morning Suzell awoke to Willafred shaking her. “It’s 8:30 honey! You gotta get up.”
Suzell ran out to the back porch to find to giant thick green box with pink strips and gigantic yellow large bow with a tag that read: “Price: four dozen eggs, one bucket each of tomatoes, bananas, grapes plus three watermelons, and as many jelly beans as one can get.”
People started to arrive at the Sweet Poppy Community Center and everyone was held spellbound by the sight of the strange looking goodies that smelled so wonderfully divine. At fist everyone was slow to eat. Then eventually everyone joined in and ate and ate and ate until everything was gone. They all praised Suzell and begged to know her recipes.
Later that night Suzell even received phone calls from people offering money and things they owned just to get one recipe.
Three days later members of the Community Center held a small meeting, and Suzell Smellie was especially asked to attend.
“What was in that food, Mrs. Smellie? That night I ate your food, I couldn’t keep my feet on the ground. I began to float in the air!” said Fantucker Finch.
“My husband stood upside down and walked on his hands. Then he did back flips.
I sang till I could sing no more,” said Melba Noodle.
People started showing up with similar stories and demanded to know what was going on. Cornered, Suzell confessed that she was dishonest and did not cook the food herself, but bought it from some traveling salesman. She told only her husband where she had really gotten it. Suzell, her husband, and her daughters plotted a sinister plan to keep Pa Patty and the real source of the magic food a secret. They all plotted till they could plot no more.
“Look darlings, can you imagine what we could do if we got a hold of those recipes? We would be set for life; we would be rich, famous and powerful! We have to find out who lives in that atrocious purple nightmare. We have to get in there,” demanded Suzell.
Suzell wondered if perhaps she could stall the strange man behind the glass while one of her daughters squeezed in through that big kitty door, found an opening and then let her in. Willifred refused to take that approach and put an end to the conversation until later, leaving both Suzell and the twins to convince each other to put action into words. They were soon on their way.
At the purple house, Suzell did the usual door routine, and the door opened; however, the strange man in the mirror was not there. No one was. Suzell told Pretty to go through the Kitty door first since she was the skinniest. And so she did.
“Pretty, what do you see? Find a way to unlock this door, “Suzell yelled. “Are there any keys hanging up?”
Pretty replied yes but that they were hanging on a latch above the door under a small window. There was a staircase going up to the keys but that it was a small staircase with steps only for really tiny little feet.
“Well, Pretty, quite dillydallying around, and get those keys!”
“I can’t Mama. I can’t! I’m just too big. I will fall, and there’s a big yellow and orange monster in here,” yelled the frightened girl.
The big cat was hissing at Pretty and coming after her. Panicking, Pretty darted up the tiny stair case, grabbing on to candle holder on the wall. As she reached the top of the door, Pretty latched on to another candle chandelier hanging from the ceiling. She yelled out the small speaker under the window, “ Mommy!! Help me! It’s gonna eat me up!”
“No I’m gonna feed you to it if you don’t get those keys!” replied Suzell.
Pretty grabbed the keys as the cat watched from the bottom. Sunshine knelt down, called for the large cat, and the cat came out the door. She stroked its neck while Suzell opened three cans of tuna fish to stall the cat. Suddenly, they heard a loud thump. Pretty fell from the top of the door and onto the floor.
“Mom, mom my hair!” cried Pretty.
“Unlock that door. Baby, think of everything we talked about,” begged Suzell.
Then Pretty unlocked the door with the key. The green room was nine feet from floor to the ceiling, the middle was an open space with small wooden tables and chairs and one normal size. Suzell grabbed the chair and placed it in front of the kitty door. The wall consisted of two levels, another small staircase off to the side leading up to the next floor level. There, a wooden rail balcony went all the way around the room. Beyond where several small doors of orange, blue, yellow, purple and pink. The floor of the peculiar dwelling was shimmery brick of purple, orange, yellow, and green.
When Suzell turned around, she had noticed the tiny-stepped red staircase from the floor and over the yellow door that Pretty had described. A long winding hallway lead to two small wooden doors. Suzeel and Pretty peaked in to see what appeared to be a dungeon-like sunken area in the ground, but it was no dungeon. It was a kitchen ¾a yellow kitchen ¾ and in the middle were large steel vats or cauldrons.
“You see, girls, I was right. This is some witch house if there ever was one!” said the worried mother.
“I don’t think we’ll find anything in here but trouble. Let’s go!” said a frightened Sunshine.
Suzell noticed a small pad of paper with scribbling on it on one of the kitchen counters. She didn’t think twice about grabbing it
Coming from inside of one of the rooms was a sound like a water fountain. The room appeared to be a big bathroom, with one very large glowing gold green bathtub with a yellow rim. There was a ladder going up one side of it, and steps on the other side. On one there was also a slide going into the tub and even a diving board on the other. Water was splashing from the top of the tub to the floor.
“Mommy should we turn off the faucets?” asked Pretty.
The faucets were not on. Sunshine ran up the little steps and peered into the tub.
“Mom. Mom. Look!!” Suzell and Pretty followed behind her.
To their surprise, the water turned different colors, and images could be seen, and sounds of thunder could be heard. In the water of the mysterious tub clouds blew to and fro in a blue stormy sky. Then a strong wind swelled from inside the tub and into the room. Soaking and wet, Suzell, Pretty, and Sunshine ran away from the overflowing strange tub. All three ran out of the room and hid in what appeared to be a very queer indoor garden if there ever was one. The garden had different colored plants that hummed, and it overlooked the yellow dungeon-like kitchen.
The frightening storm sounds could be heard from the strange bathroom. All three girls huddled and hid, watching the wind and lightning flicker from out of the room. All the water that flowed out of the room never flooded anything, but drained between the bricks the floor was made of. All was quite except for the sound of footsteps, lots of them. Out of the room appeared a family of very small trolls about two and a half feet tall, carrying bags bigger than themselves down into the yellow kitchen. All trolls were soaked and wet. There were the husband and wife, Zeepedee and Zuetta Wittle, both with fuzzy white hair and their three sons: twins Dizazoo and Sgogie, one with red hair and the other with orange, and Pun Puny, the youngest with blue hair. All threw their bags down and father Zeepedee grabbed a match taller than himself, lit it with one strike on the brick floor, and then lit a furnace. The whole family stood in front of the stove to dry.
“Darling Zeepedee, where could Faloodie be? We will need his help carrying the bootie in,” said Zuetta Wittle.
“Oh, no ¾ that monster of a cat; when they find him they’ll know!” Suzell thought to herself.
“I go and find’ em fur ya,” said Dizazoo.
Dizazoo ran back in. “Someone has been in here. Poor Fallodie was trapped in the front room with Pa Patty’s chair blocking the kitty door.”
“Oh no! Who could it be? What could it be?” yelled Pun Puny.
“Ya know I think I smell ‘em. Yea, I do. There’s three of them, I smell ‘em I do and they stink they do! They’re definitely smellie!” said Zeepedee.
“If they’re fairies we can use em’ for cookin!” snapped Sgogie.
“Faloodie and the kids will sniff em out,”said Zuetta.
About then those strange plants in that queer garden started to hum loudly, then shake wildly.
“Au! Ha! It’s the Tattle Tell plants! They’re right every time,” said Zeepedee.
“I believe not my eyes. It’s two fairies followed by one giant! Sick’em Faloodie.!” yelled Dizazoo.
“No ya fumbling near clumsy puffety! They’re humans! Faloodie, stop!” demanded Mr. Wittle.
Zeepedee Troll grabbed a large staff with a baby dragon’s claw on the end of it. “Well well, if it isn’t a curious customer.”
Both twins started to scream. “Mommy, we’re gonna die!”
“We came to pay what owed you, that’s all,” screamed Suzell. “All you little devils keep away. Don’t eat my very own children,” pleaded the scared mother.
“We wont eat ya. We only eat fairies. We ain‘t devils!” said Sgogie.
“She thinks we goblins!” yelled Pun Puny.
The trolls gathered round and wrapped them up with a long rope.
“I remember ya lady. So ya came back for more goodies, did ya? Or something more?” accused Zeedepee. “Ya, snooping looking for recipes . . . I smell it on ya!”
“Look, what is that in her baggy?” asked Dizazoo.
Zuetta pulled out that little pad of paper.
“Ain’t that something? A mother stealing goodie recipes from another mother,” said Zuetta.
“I want to know what you put in your food and how you do it,” demanded Suzell.
“Yea, we are gonna be rich and famous!” bragged Pretty .
“Maybe we should add a human dish to our list,” chuckled Sgogie.
“Let us go. This whole town will be after you freaks. My husband is a man of respect in Sweet Poppy, and you will all be in trouble. I know you are holding that poor young girl under some spell.”
“Pa Patty? She is our very own daughter!” cried Zuetta.
“So your husband is involved to?” yelled Zeepedee. “I’m afraid we can’t just let ya’ll go right now.”
“What is all this about? Strange foods, magic bath tubs, and trolls?” inquired Suzell Smellie
“That’s how we get from here to Wittle Little,” Pun Puny said.
“Hush it up. Don’t tell her nothing.”
“What you gonna do with us?” asked Sunshine.
“Just don’t know. Teach you a lesson, cause ya ain’t going till we know you’ve learned your lesson!” declared Zeepedee.
“My husband knows we are here, and the whole town will come for us.”
About that time Pa Patty Sally walked in. “Oh, I know them; it’s the Smellie family.”
“What? Did you kidnap her, too?” cried Suzell.
“No! She was born a human. Don’t know how it happened ¾ just did, that’s magic for ya. In our world magic things just happen more than they do in yours. Cause we live in a world of magic,” said Zeepedee.
“Well I’m not surprised you three did this, but I’m more surprised that you actually got in!” said Pa Patty. “My family won’t hurt you.”
“We are from Wittle Little and because our daughter is human we have to live in this world, also, so we live in both worlds. The magic spin tub is not just to take you where you want to go but where you belong. It was given us by the good beloved wizard Sylzester Spinch of Evergreen, where Wittle Little is located. Your husband belongs with you, so he’ll be here soon. He‘ll be here with time, when the magic spin tub sees to it! Zeepedee explained.
“As soon as Mr. Stinky sits in his tub and washes his bum. Ha Ha!” joked Sgogie.
“Ya fill it with water and pour Fraquestra Froufrestra and say a little ditty four times while you spin. You get in it, pull the drain and you will spin, spin away to Wittle Little,” said Dizazoo. “You see you got in trouble and was brought here for a reason, but you’ll get back.”
The Wittles made sure everyone was comfortable and well fed. The twins threw fits for awhile. The troll family was very cordial and brought out fruits and vegetables that had never been seen by human eyes. All different colors and sizes.
“You see our fruits and vegetables are different from yours. The magic tub takes us to Wittle Little and we bring everything back. Our vegetables and fruits are magical and they make humans do magical things indeed,” informed Zuetta.
“Who do you even do business with and how do you make money if all you ask for is our human food instead of money?” asked Suzell.
“We do business with people from all over the world and some outside of this world like the Wittles, the Littles, the Elves, and garden dwarves of Evergreen. But not the other dwarves, and not the fairies either ¾they’re only good for eat’in. As for humans, well they come to us. We don’t pick them. The magic picks them, just like magic picked you. We are not here for you to discover our magic, but we are here to help you find your own. Really, everyone has a lot of magic. It’s only those who choose to accept it that truly understand it. As for money, what would we do with it? Money is something of your world, we trade for your food cause we take it back to Wittle Little. Your food makes us do magic things just like our food make you do magic things,” said Zuetta.
Sunshine and Pretty started to enjoy the unique troll family, but Suzell would not admit that she did.
“Mom, I sorta of like them,” said Sunshine.
“Why Sunshine?” asked Suzell
“They do things together, sing together, cook together, and we don’t. We are always planning and scheming, trying to out do everyone.”
Suddenly Sgogie screamed out “He’s a coming though the tub! It’s that Mr. Stinky.”
“Everyone ran up to where the magic spin tub was, and sure enough, Willifred Smellie stood up all soaking and wet.
“Oh, my Lord, where am I? What happened? I’m naked!”
Zuetta Troll handed Mr. Smellie a blanket.
“Suzell, Pretty, Sunshine, where have you been and what are these things?”asked Willafred. “I was taking a bath and everything just went crazy and I came here.”
Suzell explained everything that happened to Mr. Smellie, why they were there, and how she and the girls broke in and stole the trolls’ recipe book. She was sure to let Willifred and the friendly troll family know that she knew she had done something wrong and felt sorry about it. Willafred demanded he and his family leave.
“Oh, no you cannot leave now. When the time is right, the magic spin tub will bring you home,” said Zuetta.,
“No we will walk out that door and go home,” yelled Willafred.
“Can we stay a little longer, Daddy? We were gonna help Mrs. Wittle make Frafrufer Muffin Stuffin Cakes,” begged Sunshine.
Mr. Smellie ordered his wife to grab the twins, and they headed for the door. When Willafred opened the door, it was not Sweet Poppy that he saw before him but total darkness, like space, and filled with thousands of stars. Mr. Smellie slammed the door shut.
“Mr. Smellie, when you stole the key and came past our door you left your world completely, but not we ours. For we are able to be in both worlds at one time, but not you. That’s why the only way back home for you is through the magic spin tub. What you saw outside was Gaffa, sort of a magical outer space. Something a human cannot pass through,” explained Zeepedee.
“What do you want?” asked Willafred.
“Well, all four of you must stay here for twenty four hours starting in one hour, and you must help make all sorts of famous Wittle dishes, as well as some of yours, in preparation for a celebration of our beloved wizard’s birthday . You then will be sent back through the spin tub, but you will not remember what happened. You will be changed forever. You will have learned some lesson you were meant to learn. It may take a while to figure out what lesson that is, but you will. In thirty years you all will gain some memory of what happened.”
So work they did; for twenty four hours the Wittles and the Smellies worked side by side talking, laughing. eating together, enjoying and learning from each other. When it was time to go they all had become friends and shared tears and hugs. Sgogie, Dizaoo had the tub ready, and Pa Patty brought the magic potion. The whole family one by one, slid into the green golden magic spin tub. Suzell made it into the family tub first, then Willafred. Sunshine and Pretty did not go through but just floated to the top of the spin tub.
“Oh, Zebedee they did‘nt go through. If the magic spin tub takes you where you belong, then that means the human girls belong here?” cried Zuetta.
The troll children helped the two crying girls out of the tub.
“Where’s our mommy and daddy?” the twins cried.
“Zuetta, could it be that they were brought here because like our precious Pa Patty they are different? Could it be that magic is bringing them where they belong, that maybe they are one of us?” asked a very worried Zeepedee.