Welcome, 2020! My first post. I believe this crazy hot summer has fried my brain. We have had no rain in the Waterless North since before Christmas. Right now I am receiving my sixth load of water.
Just for fun, today’s teaser has a touch of fantasy.


Toby jiggled the coins in his pocket as he gazed wide-eyed into the display cabinet.
“I can’t decide between the liquorice, the jelly-beans or the gob-stopper.” He looked despairingly at Candy Sweet, proprietor of Sweet Delights.
With a twinkle in her eye, she replied, “You have quite a conundrum, lad. The liquorice strap will lead you down a road which will fork. One fork leads to despair and desolation, the other to a place of fun and happiness.”
“But how will I know which fork to follow?”
“There are clue’s, but… .”
“But what?”
“You’ll only have a split-second to decide.”
“And the jelly-beans?”
“Each jelly-bean you consume will whisk you to a place resplendent in the colour and taste of that bean.”
“Wow, that sounds exciting and not near as risky as the liquorice.”
“Does it? What does red remind you off?”
Toby thought of the bloodied-knee he’d received when he fell off his bike recently. He shuddered.
“And the gob-stopper?”
“Ah, the gob-stopper is a whole other dimension. See how the colours swirl and mingle like waves in a churning sea?”
Toby nodded.
“Imagine a fragile sailing boat in a raging sea storm. The sucker of the gob-stopper will be tossed and tumbled upon those tumultuous waves until… .”
“Until what?”
“Until the vessel washes up on the silky sands of magical Gobligook Island where you’ll be king for a year and a day!”
“Awesome! One gob-stopper, please.” Toby slammed his coins on the cabinet.
Candy, resting her arms on the cabinet, lent towards Toby. “Not so fast, young man.” She tapped the side of her nose. “Should you be bounced from the sail-boat, you’ll be sucked to the depths of the ocean floor where lurks the fearful Gobble Monster.”
Toby jiggled from foot to foot. He bent and scratched his scabby knee.
“What’s it going to be then, eh? The liquorice, the jelly-beans or the gob-stopper?”
Toby hesitated.
“What’s your decision? It is a beautiful and terrible thing and should, therefore, be treated with great caution.” The woman advised.
Visions of the magical island flashed in front of Toby’s eyes. “One gob-stopper, please,” he beamed.
He left the store, plopped the gob-stopper into his mouth and sucked deeply. The sugary-sweetness teased his tongue, watery juices slushed around his mouth, swirls of rainbow colours dazzled his eyes.
Toby looked to the sky, looked to the dark, hovering clouds. In the distance, thunder boomed lightning crackled, and Toby trembled with fear. A splash of saltwater sprayed his freckled face, as a sudden whoosh of wind snatched him, tossed him and tumbled him, and flung him into a fragile vessel. Toby clung desperately to the sides as mighty waves relentlessly lashed the tiny boat.
As Candy Sweet prepared to close her shop for the day, a distraught woman bustled in. “My boy, small, reddish-blonde hair, a splattering of freckles, have you seen him? He’s not come home. He’s never done anything like this before.”
“Is he fond of gob-stoppers?” Candy Sweet asked.

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