Once upon a time, deep in the heart of Yesteryear.com, there lived an old lady. Skin soured by the sun, provoking the neighbourhood riff raff to coin the nickname “Pruneface”. Catchy and not far off from her actual name Prunella. Pruneface loved gossip, whether from her lips and to her ears. It is, in fact, literally what she lived for. For if she was not fed, whether large or small doses of the poisonous rumors, a part of her would begin to die. And so by no stretch of the imagination, her dying weakness was peace. The lack of chaos would be her undoing.

And in this time there also lived a troubled squire who had the equal misfortune of being nicknamed, whether appropriately or not. He had fallen from his high standing amongst his fellow commoners, once regarded as noble and now associated with apparent lowlifes. He had fallen from grace in their eyes, for the most part by mere association so he was now regaled as “Fiasco Felix”.

Felix lived a quiet life with his pet rats. He spent his days training them and the rest of his time he put pen to paper. Or a bird’s feather-in-ink to parchment, to be fair to the times. Hit and miss, Felix had the distinct honor of putting his thoughts in the town’s monthly newspaper. Or, again, the feather in ink routine which literally took a month for the handful of scribes to write.

More times than not, after publishing his latest efforts, Felix would hear how Pruneface disliked what had been documented. Once in a while, she would send random messengers of the same poisonous caliber to express her thoughts to him. She would run her gossip mill at full capacity those days, the sewage pumping fast via her mouth. Her bitter sourness flowed like life taking lava, devouring all in her wake. In time, people began noticing more and more that there was in fact nothing degenerate about Felix and that all negative accounts of him were pinpointed to the nasty, old Pruneface herself.

Townsfolk began seeing clearly. They started addressing her as the root of all evil in that little tiny town, as it were. Prunefaces family and friends disowned her. Her shame and ways of wickedness eventually began haunting her dreams. Visions of demons and vermin from under all rocks and crannies circled her nightly, chanting for her demise. The dreams overtook her life and all she could see was death for it called for her by name.

She clawed at her skin. Her arms, her chest, her face now streaks of torn flesh and blood dripping from her chin and elbows. With shrieks of terror embedded in her ears, the only way to silence them was to rip them off and that she did, with the help of a rusty old knife. Saw, rip, saw, rip. But the taunts and madness didn’t stop there for she could still hear and see just fine. Using the same jagged blade, she gouged out her eyes, almost expertly as though it was something she had done before.

Without eyes, she still saw all the heckling, murderous monsters of hell reaching to her, welcoming her home. Reality was now art and the eyeless, earless, half-skinned alive Pruneface fumbled and stumbled to the ground as she reached for the drill her husband had left her. In one fluid motion of sweet release, she plunged the swirling bit deep into her earhole, chewing it’s way into her convalescing brain.

And there she lay, now “Pruneface the corpse”, with the drill in her skull and in a pool of crimson blood. Her soul went immediately to hell, or so the legend has it. Many things were passed down from her wretched life but one thing above all: Mind your beeswax.

The end.

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