All posts by Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things.

Mrs Beaten is hiding

Mrs Beaten hasn’t been out in the daylight for some time now. She’s living on dried things that do not taste very good. Not that fresh things would taste much better. At night, she makes a dash to the well.

Mrs Beaten is afraid.

Someone posted a poster through her door. It’s just the kind of poster she likes to make. She’s proud of having mastered paper-making, and proud of her opinions. At least, she was.

How many people have seen this?

She does not know.

How many people have seen her laundry, hanging discreetly in the little back garden?

Certainly, her neighbours. She suspects the Jones girl is behind it, the one who only last week said ‘My uncle, Mrs Tidy Jones told me…’

The Jones girl who has clearly been mocking her all along.

But there’s truth in it, for her knickers do not express the best of her standards, and she feels the shame of it keenly.

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Mrs Beaten and the giant oceanic gnii

Mrs Beaten is strangely quiet. She hasn’t put up a single judgmental poster in more than a week. Has she fallen ill? Was she kidnapped? Or does it have something to do with the giant oceanic gnii?

Has she been silenced in favour of more exciting news? Would you be perfectly happy if that were true?

Back when Hopeless, Maine had an economy, and seaweed was not the primary content of everyone’s diets, the wealth of the island was due to giant oceanic gnii. Hopeless was on the migratory route of these amazing creatures. As a consequence traps were laid and a refinery built, and the oil and the money rolled in.

The giant oceanic gnii stopped coming after a while. Some thought they had become extinct, others that the clever beasties had simply learned to avoid the nets. Either way, no one has seen a giant gnii in a long time.

And yet this image is clear evidence that one has been by – there’s no other way of getting that sort of a view, and the tentacles and lamps are highly suggestive.

If you’ve seen the giant oceanic gnii and want to send in a report, please do!

Mrs Beaten does not like to be over familiar

It has come to my attention that Mr Frampton Jones, of the Hopeless Vendetta, has immaculate shirts. I feel uncomfortably over-familiar in using his first name thusly (we are hardly on intimate terms!) but with so many islanders being properly ‘Mr Jones’ it becomes exceeding difficult to clarify to whom one is referring. While trying to find food for purchase last week, I was involved in a most confusing conversation in which at least three farmers called Mr Jones were involved, and as a consequence I entirely failed to find any meat for the table.

While I do not like to speak ill of others, I cannot help but feel that my neighbour, Miss Tenacity Jones was making mock of me. I have previously been compelled to discourage her familiar way of talking about people, and now she refers to all of her relations as Mr or Mrs Jones, with scant regard to their apparent gender, and it is most unhelpful of her.

Mr Frampton Jones, of The Hopeless Vendetta has beautiful shirts. His shoes are invariably shined, his bowler hat neatly brushed. It lifts my spirits to think that I may not be alone in seeking civilization on this vile island.

The unspeakable difficulties facing Mrs Beaten

I do not think it is the proper business of women to criticise important men who are doing important things, importantly. Many times in the past I have had no choice but to silence foolish women who have thought it appropriate to air opinions of this nature. It is a woman’s place to applaud, to hold pens, to commiserate if appropriate, and not, I feel strongly, to make comment on the actions of the superior sex.

And yet, when the pillars of the community act badly, what is a woman to do? Should I remain silent, complicit in allowing dreadfulness to continue? What is the proper response to finding that the important men are not doing the important things? This is truly a conundrum.

The great men of the island have such appallingly low standards. Reverend Davies may often be seen in public wearing a shirt with no actual collar. Doctor Willoughby’s collars are limp and yellowing, and there are visible stains upon the front part. Durosimi O’Stoat, I am told, is the last male heir of one of the most important local families. I briefly made his acquaintance yesterday. We were not properly introduced, he smelled of common dirt, and the whole encounter has left me shocked.

What am I to do? It is unspeakably difficult for me.

Mrs Beaten is Judging You

I, Mrs Emmaline Elizabeth Beatrice Beaten found myself shipwrecked upon the shores of Hopeless Maine some six months ago. It is a cold and wretched place, sorely in want of even the most basic things in life. The island has not a single manufacturer of doilies or tablecloths. The natives are coarse and vulgar, with no sense of etiquette or good manners. Even those who claim to form the social hierarchy show a distinct lack of breeding.

Now that I am recovered from the shock of my arrival in this place, I see that I have a moral duty to perform. I must raise these people up from their sordid condition. I must instil in them a sense of right and wrong, and a clear understanding of how this applies to matters of personal toilet and the correct way to send out invitations. Although I am by nature a humble, and modest woman, it is clear to me that I have been called and must cast aside my reserve in order to lead these hapless islanders into the light.

(Every Sunday, Mrs Beaten will be sharing her annoyance, while awkwardly betraying her own poor manners and lack of common sense, sometimes through the medium of little sketches.)

Jellyfish Woman

Not everyone believes in jellyfish woman.

So thin and pale her skin that

You do not see her until she

Is upon you. Too late then.

Her soft body, her tendrils touching

Skin and mind and because

She is poison you will believe

That she is beauty.

Because she is poison

You will believe her a friend.

All the while, jellyfish woman

Cuts you with a hundred barbs

And takes blood from a hundred cuts.

Leaves you floating and confused.

Later, you will recall the beauty,

And how kind she seemed.

So lovely, jellyfish woman, that you

Go back freely to her cove.

Into her waters.

Telling yourself the barbs do not cut

That poison is kindness

That you do not mind the drops

Of blood she needs to survive.

She is so beautiful, after all.

And the water in her cove is deep enough

To hide all the bones from you.

And all of your bones

From everyone else.

Horrorscopes for denizens of Hopeless Maine

The Hopeless Vendetta apologises for the recent hiatus in horoscopes, which was caused by unforeseen circumstances. Due to the aforementioned unforeseen circumstances, I have fired the previous astrologer, and replaced her with someone who, hopefully, has some idea of what’s going on! I take no responsibility for the consequences of your acting, or not acting upon anything said, implied, or absent from your horrorscope.

Frampton Jones

Aries: You’ve had a tough winter. Now, the first signs of spring are here, it’s obvious that nothing is going to get better for you any time soon.

Taurus: Expect to find a pot of gold this month – literally or metaphorically. Expect to find out next month exactly how the curse on it works.

Gemini: Shutting your eyes and pretending it isn’t there doesn’t solve anything. But on the other hand, opening your eyes and facing it could well drive you mad.

Cancer: You may lose your heart this month, one way or another. Best to sat away from inventors, devices and pointy farm implements.

Leo: Don’t tell anyone. No matter how guilty that makes you feel, if you want to survive beyond the next full moon, keep those secrets really secret.

Virgo: Given where Neptune is, this could be a really difficult month for you. By Neptune, I don’t mean the planet, I mean Neptune Chevin. And it’s not just you, we’re all going to have problems with him.

Libra: There has never been a better time to give away everything you own and live in a barrel. You should reflect on what this says about your life.

Scorpio: Expect some exciting and significant losses this month. It will be memorable, and you’re really going to feel it.

Capricorn: If you follow your dreams, you’ll set off a chain of events leading to unimaginable horrors. I know you won’t take good advice, but that’s my conscience eased.

Aquarius: stay away from dogs, ephemeral, insubstantial women who beckon you towards cliffs, and anything living in the bottom of your stew pot. You can survive this!

Pisces: Wrap up warm this month because there’s a nasty bite in the air and you will be especially vulnerable to it. Try not to leave any skin exposed.