The Making of a Conscience
Three figures, Abel and Marie Valleyson, and Marie's mother Teresa, watched Dr. Hopper as he continued to walk down the road, made it to his house and walked inside after shutting the gate of the white picket fence and his dark green door.
“Well, he certainly looks happy” said Marie.
“Sure does,” snickered Abel.
“But remember babies… it wasn’t always that way… the people of this town have got a long way to go, and many secrets to unlock before they find out the truth…”
The two looked at Teresa.
She was right…
Enchanted Forest- Sixty-four years earlier
“Good evening, Madame Puppet” the creature sneered. “My… what a handsome boy you have…” the creature’s grin was malicious at best.
“Aww… he looks just like his father…”
Never had Myra longed to scream, cry, and hold her baby close to her than in that moment…
She stood still, frozen, before falling faint... just barely noticing the mushroom style revealing dress, the faint flutter, and a quick flash of blue…
Myra stirred, her thoughts and vision clouded. She couldn’t remember what had just occurred.
She didn’t remember even where she was, until she saw Martin kneeling next to her, a worried look on his face.
“W-what happened?” Myra asked, rubbing her head from where it was bruised and throbbing with pain.
Her hair getting tangled in his fingers, Martin cradled Myra’s head in his hands, looking back in disgust at the creature holding their son hostage.
“What do you want?” he spat.
The creature giggled.
“Silly man- I have what I want- now"
She grinned with glee, gently cradling the child to her bosom.
“Give me back my baby!” Myra shrieked.
To which the flying pest replied: “Make me!”
Myra quickly glanced at Martin for help. What could they do?
The flying, fluttering creature moved closer to Martin.
“You know, Martin... I’m surprised at you. Not only do you not recognize me... but you have the audacity not to set the example for your charming little prince!”
She turned back to the baby in her arms making sickly sweet noises and cooing at him.
His parents were disturbed. Of course they had plans for the child, but that didn’t mean they wished him to come to any harm…
Hello my love the thing thought as she ran a finger over Baby Jiminy’s cheek, his blue eyes blinking sleepily.
She would never reveal it, but seeing this tiny tot was love at first sight.
Someday things would change, and they be together forever...
She kissed Baby Jiminy on the cheek, to which he squirmed and fussed.
Soon after the babe’s buttocks erupted in foul smoke.
The thing screamed, and Martin chuckled.
That’s my boy!
Martin caught the child just as the creature dropped him.
“Hear this and be forewarned! I am giving the child
back on one condition! that I become his fairy godmother!”
Myra cooed and coddled the boy as Martin shooed the fairy away.
“Yes yes... whatever you say...now get lost!”
The fairy disappeared with a smirk.
We will meet again, Jiminy...
Ten years later
In the Enchanted Forest, in a small village on the outskirts of the Badlands, Martin and Myra were busy putting on a puppet show.
Their young son, ten-year-old Jiminy moved quietly through the crowd, unseen and unnoticed as he deftly stole money and valuables from various members of the audience.
Their attention was conveniently distracted by the puppet show.
After he was sure that no one saw him, Jiminy slipped into the family caravan, unnoticed by the audience.
Later, Jiminy and his parents pour over the items Jiminy acquired.
“Whoa…careful- careful!” Martin chastised after Jiminy turned one of the money bags upside down causing coins to spill on the overturned barrel.
“Don’t let those coins roll away” Myra said.
“Nope.. they might- disappear!” Martin said, performing one of his oldest and most favored ‘magic tricks’.
Jiminy rolled his eyes, subtly. Wouldn’t his parents ever change?
Suddenly Jiminy pulled a cricket cage out of a bag.
“Oh, a cricket!” he exclaimed.
“I love crickets!” he’d never had a pet of his own, aside from the horses, which were used more for transportation than anything else.
He hoped that in some way this would be a hint of some sort…?
“Crickets are trouble” Myra muttered, instantly crushing Jiminy’s hopes.
“They get to do whatever they want” he insisted. “Hopping from place to place” he’d hoped this burst of knowledge would spark a necessary need…
“They’re free” Jiminy said wistfully.
“You’re free” Myra said, incensed.
“To do whatever we want” Martin agreed.
“To be who you are” Myra added.
“And you are who you are” Martin said, hoping they were getting through to the foolish, stubborn boy. Raising him hadn’t been as easy as they thought, especially when he got certain ideas into his head.
“Well, maybe I don’t want to steal… maybe I want to be good” Jiminy argued.
In truth he’d seen what happened to thieves who got caught. They were either locked up, or hanged.
Jiminy gulped. He was only ten, but if he ever grew up and found a really nice girl he liked and married her, what kind of life would that give her, and their family?
How was stealing the best way to run one’s life?
“Good is another word for weak” Martin said.
“Let us do the thinking for you” Myra suggested, after all, Mother knows best.
“You are who you are, and there’s no changing it. Right?” Martin prodded, more for compliance than correctness.
Jiminy reluctantly agrees, “Right.”
“Problem solved.” Martin declared as he pulled the coin out of Myra’s ear.
Jiminy sighed, determined to find a way out. The more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea.
Maybe the girl he’d meet was a shape-shifter, or had magic…
She would be healthy, strong, also beautifully dark and mysterious.
Now for her name…
Emie… short for Emerald?
No, too natural… how about
Jiminy growled as his parents told him to hurry up…
Would he never escape and find True Love?