Wood You Be Mine? OG Version

Wood You Be Mine? OG Version

Just when you think we’re done, I present to you the original version of Wood You Be Mine? Written by me in my 12th grade Creative Writing class, the assignment was to take a popular fairy tale and put a new twist on it. As most of you guessed, I took the story of Pinocchio and asked, instead of a wooden boy becoming…you know what? I think you all know by now what I was going for. So here it is: The original, unedited version of 17-year-old Steve Giordano’s Wood You Be Mine? Please remember: I wrote this over eight years ago; the style is…less refined. That said, see if you can point out everything that was carried over in to the new version! You’ll be surprised how much was left in.

Legno Ragazzo was a poor Italian boy who had been orphaned at a young age. A kindly old man named Mr. Saggezza had adopted little Legno when he had been eight years old and Legno, now ten, was not content with how things were going with his life. Sure, Mr. Saggezza was great, but there was something that was definitely missing. He finally realized what that was when they were taking a nice stroll down the street, and Legno saw the most beautiful girl that he had ever seen. She was his height, with beautiful cornflower hair, deep brown eyes, and a nice oak finish. The girl was a wooden toy hanging in the store window, but Legno did not care. She was gorgeous, and she wood, I mean would, be his.

“She will be mine, but what would Mr. Saggezza say?”

“That’s she’s made out of wood and that it’s creepy,” Mr. Saggezza replied.

“How’d you know I said that?”

“I’m standing right next to you, Legno.”

“Oh. I thought I was having one of those moments like in a play where I say something out loud but I’m the only one who hears it. Y’know?”

“You could’ve just thought it instead.”

“I figured that this would be more dramatic.”

“I see.”

They continued on their walk for a few more minutes, and finally they returned home. Unbeknownst to them, they were being followed by a helpful insect known as Jiminy Termite. He had overheard young Legno’s problem and wanted to aid him the best that he could. He came into Legno’s room that night with intentions of introducing himself.

“Legno, wake up Legno,” Jiminy whispered, “I’m here to help you claim your love.”

Legno slowly woke up and saw Jiminy on his nose, staring at him.

“AAHH! AAHH! Termite! Someone kill it! Mr. Saggezza!”

“Shut up, Legno!”

“You can talk?”

“Yes, I’m a magical talking termite.”

“I see… AAHH! AAHH! Magical talking termite! Someone kill it! Mr. Saggezza!”

“Legno, be quiet! I’m here to help you!”

“Who… who are you?” Legno stuttered.

“The name’s Jiminy Termite, and I’m here to help you. See, I overheard your problem and am interested in helping you out.”


“Why not? I believe that every good deed goes noticed and I have taken it upon myself to personally ensure that you become a wooden boy.”

“That sure is nice of you, Timiny!”


“Oh, right.”

“Yes well, anyway… get some rest, because tomorrow, the search to fulfill your dream will commence!”

Legno went straight to bed and dreamt about the future with his soon-to-be lady. He imagined himself holding her, running with her, laying down with her and looking at the stars. Now sure, most people would say that you can’t do any of those things because you’re made out of wood, but Legno wasn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. He also began to think of all the other fun stuff you could do if you are made out of wood: Polishing yourself with tarnish, sanding down the rough edges, and making a bunch of knock-on-wood jokes whenever he wanted to. Life as a piece of wood sure did seem pretty sweet.

The next morning, Legno woke up to the sweet smell of Mr. Saggezza’s breakfast being cooked. He went downstairs, pulled up a seat, and began to tell Mr. Saggezza what happened.

“Are you sure you didn’t just dream all this up?” inquired the old man.

“No! An insect told me last night that I would became a real wooden boy soon so I can marry my love… my amor.”

“Which is the toy girl in the window?”


“And this was told to you by a magical talking insect?”


“Are you on drugs?”

“Not to my knowledge, but who knows what they were serving us at the orphanage.”

“Oh, God…”

“Mr. Saggezza, I don’t understand why you can’t be happy for me! How would you have felt if people told you that you couldn’t marry Mrs. Saggezza?”

“I’m not married, Legno. Have you ever seen a woman in here, ever?”

“Huh… well I’ll be. But my point still stands… you can’t stop our love!”

“My boy, I believe that every person has to go their own path. If this is what you truly believe your destiny is, then by all means, go for it.”

“Thank you, Mr. Saggezza!” Legno yelled as he ran out the door.

“If you ask me, that boy’s already made of wood,” the old man muttered to himself.

Outside, Legno found Jiminy waiting for him by the house, just itching to get things started.

“Top of the morning, my dear boy. Ready to start your adventure?”

“You know it, Jiminy… but where do we start?”

“Well, all we really need is to find a shooting star. A shooting star will grant a young child any kind of wish that they desire.”

“That’s stupid. What else you got?”

“The shooting star is really the best thing you can go with.”

“That doesn’t make any sense… how can a hot ball of matter spiraling through the sky grant any sort of wish?”

“Yeah, you’re right that is stupid. Hey, did you hear about the one guy that wanted to be made out of hickory and talks to insects?”

“No. Sounds like a moron, though.”

Jiminy rubbed his brow in frustration and said, “Fine, no shooting stars. I know of some old lady in the forest that we can talk to, so let’s try her.”

“I love old ladies! They always have the most interesting aromas!”

The two partners ventured into the forest until they reached a house made completely out of candy. They looked at the nibbled-on dwelling for a few moments before knocking on the door.

“May I help you?” the sweet old lady asked.

“We’re looking for someone to grant my friend’s wish. He wants to turn into wood.”

Oh, I may be of some assistance, why don’t you just come in…”

At that time Legno noticed a boy boiling in a pot of water and his sister in the oven.

“Help us, for the love of God, help us!” they cried.

“Eh, it looks like you’re already getting ready turn to that boy into a ladle and that girl into a pan.” Legno commented. “We’ll go somewhere else.”

“Come back any time, child,” the decrepit woman relayed.

“Know any other places?” Legno queried Jiminy as they were leaving.

“Well, I know a guy who knows a guy that says he’s heard of a guy that has a magical lamp. Let’s try him.”

So the two then went all around town until they found the lamp, and finally they were able to track it down and release the all-powerful genie.

“I will grant you any three wishes that you desire!”

“You know, I thought ‘Good Will Hunting’ was magnificent,” Jiminy replied.

“What’s that?”


“Okay, so wait… I only get three wishes?” Legno asked.

“That’s correct.”

“Man, only three?”

Jiminy added, “But Legno, before you were happy with just one.”

“Yeah, but that was before I knew that there could be more. Just think of what I could get with four, or dare I say five, wishes! I wish that whole ‘three wishes only’ thing would change.”

“Fine!” the genie yelled, “It is granted! No wishes! That’s what you get for being greedy!”

The genie went back into his bottle, and Legno once again was left without someone to make his dream come true. It was getting pretty dark and Legno had felt like it was never going to be achieved.

“Look Legno,” Jiminy screamed, “a shooting star! Trust me, make a wish!”


“I wish you weren’t so stupid!”

“Ha! See! It didn’t work!”

“Just do it or I won’t help you again!”

“Fine, if that’s the way you’re going to act… ‘Oh, spectacularly stupid shooting star, please make me into a wooden boy!’ ”

There was a splash of light and Legno was gloriously transformed into a wooden boy, just like Jiminy had promised. His wish had come true, and he had his friend Jiminy Termite to thank for it.

“Thank you Jiminy, you were right this whole time!”

“Yes, well, as long as things turned out well now, that’s all that matters.”

“How can I ever repay you?”

“Well… I haven’t had a real wooden boy in such a long time. I think I know how I’ll get repaid.”

“Wait, so you only helped me just so you could eat me?”

“Yeah, basically.”

Jiminy lunged and devoured poor unassuming Legno. The boy had wished for so much and it all had turned against him. Now he was just a pile of sawdust on the ground.

Moral: Plastics are the wave of the future.


An unexpected, not-so-happy ending here, but it’s an interesting prototype to the story that I eventually produced, don’t you agree? I remember thinking this was awesome when I first wrote it all those years ago, but now I look back on it and cringe (the same with Girls = Satan for all y’all old enough to remember that one). So what’s the verdict? Is there anything here you like more than in the new version?

And on a more important note, Empowered starts next week! In a world where everyone is super, what happens to the one kid who isn’t? A story that will stir up both feelings of nostalgia and lament from the days of high school, our new hero, Carl Freeman, must learn to find his place in a world where being different is the worst thing possible. See you then!

Drawings From Kevin: Timothy

Drawings From Kevin: Timothy

In another installment in the “Drawings from Kevin” series, my good friend depicts SPOILERS mentor-turned-villain Timothy in all his glory. I feel that he found the perfect balance between civilized and sinister. But what do my loyal followers think? Peep this shit and let me know Facebook or Twitter. And, no offense to K-Bone, but this isn’t the special treat I had for you all this week. That’s coming Thursday, so I hope this satiates until then!

Click for a larger view!

Pretty sick, right? The kid’s got talent, that’s for damn sure. What do you think though? Does he look like how you imagined? I appreciate any and all feedback, even if you think it’s absolute trash. Click one of the links below to let me know, and a new post is coming in two days!

The Wood You Be Mine? Finale

The Wood You Be Mine? Finale

Well, here we finally are. In the extra long conclusion to the story, we finally say goodbye to Legno, Timothy, and Saggezza. For once, I’m actually not sure what to say. Not to get too sappy, but this was a pretty personal accomplishment for me. So, like it or hate it, I’m proud of it regardless. And for those who’ve enjoyed my writing, don’t fret: I have two stories now that are in production. In two weeks begins Empowered! For all of you pining for the awkwardness, drama, and heartbreak of high school, that will be the tale for you (also, it has superpowers). But for now, join me in the thrilling final post to Wood You Be Mine?

Legno, with Timothy still perched upon his shoulder, made his way up Deus Ex Collina, the highest point of town. The sun was beginning to set, and the orange glow was blanketing the land as the sky began its shift from blue to pink.

“I still think this is a stupid idea,” Legno blurted to Timothy, his words seething with incredulity. “How’s asking a rock for something going to make any sort of a difference?”

With a sigh, Timothy responded, “It’s common folklore, Legno, that those pure of heart will get what they desire most. And although you’re…”

Timothy paused for a moment to choose his next words judiciously.

“…a unique, albeit perhaps callous sort at times, there is indeed a lot of good in you. If the legends are true, then I have no reason to see why it wouldn’t work, son.”

Only half listening to Timothy, Legno was too busy focusing his attention on the ballad being sung in the distance:

There ain’t no prick big or small/Trust us boys, she’s had ‘em all!

“Gah!” Legno yelled. “They’ve started! It’s done! Game over, man! Game over!”

Suddenly, a flash of light appeared in the sky. As the professor had predicted, the star shot through the heavens, a trail of shimmering gold marking its path. In mere seconds, it’d be gone from their sights forever. If Legno had any chance at all, it’d have to be now.

“Legno!” Timothy screamed. “It’s there! Make a wish before it’s too late!”

“This is so damn stupid, Timothy! Giant rocks don’t grant wishes!”

“My word, Legno! I wish you weren’t so stupid!” screamed Timothy in a rare moment of frustration.

“Ha!” Legno screamed back. “It didn’t work! Told you!”

“You have nothing to lose! Just try!”

“Fine!” he said, finally giving in to Timothy’s demands. He turned towards the hurdling meteor, threw his arms out and towards the sky and proclaimed, ‘Oh, spectacularly stupid hunk of rock, I wish I might, I wish I may, be a wooden boy this day!’ ”

For a beat, all remained as it was.

“Welp,” Legno began, “I don’t hate to say ‘I told you…’ ”

Suddenly, a prickling sensation encompassed Legno. It was tolerable for a moment but quickly became unbearable.

“I…uh…ow,” an unnerved Legno blurted out.

“Legno?” a flummoxed Timothy responded.


His body began to convulse. He fell to his knees with his hands planting themselves on the ground to keep himself from totally collapsing. Timothy hopped off and stared in amazement.

“Legno, is it what I think?”

“I…I don’t…ow. Ow! Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow!”

It was then that a flash of light surrounded Legno’s body. He tried to talk. He tried to scream. But no words were able to escape his lips. The light appeared to raise Legno’s body in to the air, hovering a meter above the ground. Timothy looked in awe as everything they had worked for that day finally came to fruition.

And within moments, he was dropped back on to the ground, once again on his hands and knees, struggling to catch his breath.

“What…*huff* the crap…*huff*… was that *huff*?”

“Legno,” a wide-eyed Timothy said in disbelief, “look at yourself.”

Slowly, Legno picked himself up off the ground, and just as he did, he understood Timothy’s request. His hands, his feet, his whole body…he had gotten his wish.

Joints were now golden colored hinges.

Pale skin now a light brown oak.

The pimple on his nose now a tiny leaf.

His gray eyes now orbs of glass.

He was finally a wooden boy.

And with that came a price.

“HOLY MOLEY!” screamed Legno. “I take it all back! Everything I said about you, that stupid rock, the professor, all of it! It worked! I…I can’t believe it, it worked! I feel like this isn’t real! I feel like I may wake up at any moment now!”

Legno’s grin spread from wooden ear to wooden ear. He could barely contain his joy.

“Come on, Tim! Hop back on!” he cheered, while patting his shoulder. “We can still make it before the Geminies leave! I just heard them sing something about a rooster inserting itself in to a kitten, whatever the hell that means.”

“Oh,” Timothy began, “pay no mind to the inappropriate spew of those gypsies. As of now, they and this whole ‘Marion’ business are no longer of any concern.”

Legno stood there, dumbfounded. A look of utter confusion was painted on his face as he furrowed his brow to try to understand what Timothy meant.

“Um, do you mean you don’t think we’ll get there in time? I know, so if we leave now, we’ll…”

For the second time that night, Legno let out a loud, shrieking howl.

A hot, searing pain shot through his right ankle. Looking down, he immediately noticed a large chunk had gone missing, sawdust now littering the ground before him. Clutching his wounded ankle with both hands to lessen the unbearable throbbing while tears of agony flowed down from his eyes, he saw Timothy in front of him with a wicked smile draped across his face, specks of wood littered on his lips.

Legno tried to form a rational thought, but his head was spinning. So much had happened in so little time. He could barely process what was happening. “What are you…! Why would you…! I thought we were friends!”

“Oh, Legno,” Timothy said looking at him. “Oh, poor, pathetic Legno. If you only knew. Recticulitermes lucifugus, or ‘rectal fungus,’ as you so lovingly put it, is a breed of termite. Or, in other words…”

He then jumped onto to Legno’s left ankle, taking a large bite out of that one as well. Legno, no longer being able to support his weight, now collapsed to the ground.

“…wood eaters,” he finished as he jumped back on to the ground.

“Tim…” Legno began in utter disbelief, the tears in his eyes no longer just ones of pain, but also of sadness and heartbreak, “…you did all this just to eat me?”

“Mm, well, originally, my plan was to hide in the case of your would-be girlfriend and feast on her, but then I saw you, overheard your plight, and I thought, ‘A real live wooden boy? I should save my appetite.’ I just couldn’t resist, you see.”

In the distance, unheard by either party, there was galloping.

“Oh, and I hate to be melodramatic, and moreover, there’s nothing I want less than to put up with your incessant whining and free-flowing stream of imbecilic thoughts any longer. So before I go right for your head and put you out of your misery, are there any last words? And please, let’s make them coherent for once.”

Just then, a figure slowly came from behind the insect, doing his best to not be overheard. Seeing this, Legno let out a broad smile that encompassed his entire face.

He began to laugh.

“What’s so funny?”

“It…” Legno choked out, trying to hold back his laughter, “it just that looks like I wasn’t the only one with a little crush, Timothy.”

“What are you…”

At that moment, Timothy was interrupt by a booming voice. Loud, angry, and determined.

“Hey, bug!”

Turning around to see who it was, Timothy was only able to catch a mere glimpse of his face.

His boot, however, he got more than enough of a view.

“Oh, dear,” Timothy murmured to himself.

And with a disgusting mix of *stomp*, *crunch*, *squish* filling the air, Stefano Saggezza brought down his foot upon Timothy. As the bottom of his boot met the ground, he violently moved it from right to left a dozen times, ensuring that Timothy didn’t survive the experience.

Then, slowly lifting his leg so it was parallel to the ground, he inspected his foot to make sure of Timothy’s demise. Tilting his head, he saw Timothy’s flattened, lifeless body. And with an unforgiving flick of his forefinger, he sent the bug off in to the distance, ending the story of Timothy the termite.

“Should’ve wished for a harder shell, you bastard.”

Turning to his son, Saggezza had a look of sorrow in his eyes. There Legno was, a boy completely made out of wood. His heart broke seeing his like that way. He slowly made his way towards the boy.

“Legno, are you okay?”

“Well, other than, you know, missing huge chunks of my ankles, not as bad as you’d think, all things considered.”

“Oh, Legno. It can’t believe it was true. You did this for a doll?”

“Crap! Marion, is she…” he then popped up and limped forward, despite the pain in his ankles making it feel as if he were stepping on knives.

He stood in silence for a moment, desperately hoping to still here the song of the Geminies.


“They’re gone,” he muttered, downcasted. “She’s gone. All of this was for nothing.”

Putting his hand on Legno’s shoulder, Saggezza said, “Legno, I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry for all of this. If I had been a better…”

Legno looked up at him woefully.

“If I could’ve guided you better or just been there for you…but, it wasn’t for nothing. You’ve learned a lesson today, son.”

“Plastics are the wave of the future?”

“Failure is a part of life,” Saggezza corrected. “There’s no way around that. You can either let it help you…”

Saggezza looked at the ground.

“…or halt you.”

“But I didn’t get the girl.”

Picking his head back up, Saggezza responded, “Most relationships fail, Legno, even before they begin. But you tried; you need to see that that’s the important part. If you hadn’t, you would have failed regardless. She might be gone, but there’s still something to be learned here. And the sad fact is…”

Pausing to take a deep breath and momentarily reflect on his own shortcomings, Saggezza continued, “The sad fact is sometimes we lose. There are just some things we’ll fail at no matter what. And guess what? There’s nothing wrong with that. When you know what you can’t do, it helps you discover what you can do. Every failure helps us to learn a little more about ourselves; every failure gives us a clue about what we’re doing wrong, and we’re that much wiser next time.”

“But what did I do wrong? I changed everything to be with her.”

“Legno, regardless of all of what happened, you can’t be with an inanimate object. I mean, that’s…that’s just fact. How would you even…”

Saggezza then began miming with his hands Legno and Marion’s possible interactions.

“You know what? Forget that part. The real point is that you went through all this trouble to change yourself for someone. And if you need to completely overhaul who you are and what it is about you that makes you special to get someone to like you, then they’re really not liking you, Legno. They’re liking this fictional character you created. Life’s too short to pretend to be something you’re not. Let’s say it worked. Let’s say you were able to win Marion or any other girl over by being someone who isn’t Legno. How long could you expect to be happy? Eventually, it’d begin to eat you up inside.”

Looking at his ankles, Legno responded, “Or outside.”

Saggezza let out a sad smile. “Come here, son,” he said. Picking up Legno from underneath the armpits, he carried him over to Maggie’s steed and gently lowered him in to the saddle.

“Where’d this come from?”

“An old friend.”

The comment marinated in Legno’s mind for a few moments before it clicked with him. He hadn’t even thought to ask how or why Saggezza knew to save him until now.

“Maggie’s a swell lady.”

Saggezza was quiet for a second, and then smiled and said, “The swellest. Let’s go home, son.”

“Sounds good, pop,” was Legno’s response, turning Saggezza’s smile even wider.

There was a calm, welcomed silence as the two rode off towards the sunset, Legno firmly mounted on the horse while Saggezza followed closely to its right, reigns held safely in hand. Saggezza silently thanked God for letting him save Legno…and for letting Legno save him.

“So when we get home, do you think I should polish myself off before bed?”



Two brothers were stowing away their props for the night. One put a wooden marionette in her case as the other made quick work disassembling their stage.

“It’s a shame,” Giuseppe remarked, “I really was hoping Legno would come to see the show. You know, see ‘Marion’ one last time.”

“Beppe, we both know that that wasn’t his path.”

“Yeah, but I’m a sucker for happy endings, Gio. We can’t all be as dour as you, brother.”

“His ending was happy in its own way. That’s the whole point.”

“Yeah, I know. But still,” Giuseppe remarked pensively. “Anyway, I’m all finished up. You good to go?”

Giving a nod of acknowledgement, Giovanni simply remarked, “Come then, brother. There are other worlds than these.”

The two brothers, going at their own pace, silently made their way north in to the Sicilian woodlands. With a *swoosh* and a bright flash of light, they were gone.


Well, that’s all I got for you clowns. Not much to really say that I haven’t already said, and more importantly, I’d like more to hear from all of you. Let me know if the finale gave you a sense of closure, if it made sense thematically, or really just any thoughts you might have. As always, let me know on Facebook or Twitter. Empowered starts in two weeks, and next week’s post will be a special treat. See you then, and thank you all so, so much for reading!

Wood You Be Mine? Act 3 Interlude

Wood You Be Mine? Act 3 Interlude

In a bit of a departure from what I’ve been posting, it’s time to switch gears from the Legno/Timothy story and focus on Saggezza and former flame Magdalena. How will the perpetually inebriated Saggezza react to seeing the woman that broke his heart years ago, a heart that’s never fully healed? Find out below:

Across town, Stefano Saggezza laid on floor, where he had passed out hours ago. He was awoken by a knock at the door.

With a belabored moan, he pushed himself up, wiped the drool from his bottom lip, and stumbled towards the threshold. In a swift motion, he opened the door, only to see the last person he ever expected to see.

The two shared a sad, meaningful look for a moment, and then, without a word uttered between either party, Saggezza shifted to the left to clear the entrance, and the woman slowly entered.

“Hello, Maggie,” Saggezza said.

“Hello, Stef,” she rejoined.

“You know, you’re still the only person I let call me that.”

She smirked.

“And what little pet name did you give for the guy you left me for?” he asked bitterly.

Looking at Saggezza cockeyed, she questioned, “You mean…God?”

“Yeah, I suppose that’s pretty short enough already,” he replied while turning towards the kitchen to rummage through his liquor cabinet.

Now more than ever, he was going to need a drink.

“Campari, Campari…he never brought back the…Legno! Legno! Where’s my Campari!”

“That’s actually what I came here to talk to you about, Stef.”

“What?” he asked, rolling his eyes. “Don’t tell me you’re here to berate me about my drinking, too.”

“No, as much of a concern it is, that’s not why I came. It’s about Legno.”

Snapping back to a sense of sobriety, Saggezza asked, “What’s wrong? How do you even remember him?”

With a sad smile, Magdalena responded, “How could I forget the child you wanted me to raise with you?”

Saggezza didn’t respond.

“He came by the church earlier; he came looking for a ‘miracle.’ He, well…he wanted to become a wooden boy.”

“That *urp* that sounds like Legno all right.” With a worried look beginning to drape over his face as the reality of something happening to Legno starting to sink in, Saggezza asked, “Is he okay?”

“I don’t know. He was with this…talking insect…”

“And I thought I was the drunk.”

“I know it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. And listen, this overgrown bug – ‘Timothy’ Legno called him – I don’t trust him. There was a malicious air surrounding him. I really think something bad is going to happen to Legno, Stef.”

“You’re sure about this? I…” he stopped himself midsentence and and slowly turned his head to look at the ground, ashamed. “I know I haven’t been the best of fathers and was never really there for him, but if what you’re saying is true…”

“It is. They said they’re going to be at Deus Ex Collina by dusk. They were on their way there when I left. I took one of the church’s horses to get here. Take her; you might be able to beat them there. I can walk back to the church, just bring her back when you’re done.”

Picking his head up, Saggezza replied, “Thank you, Maggie, and I…you know I never stopped loving you.”

“I know, Stef, but this isn’t the time. And please tell me this lifestyle,” she then stretched out her left arm and waved towards the mess of empty bottles and trash, “isn’t because of me.”

With closed eyes and a shrug of his shoulders, he responded, “I don’t know what you want me to say, Maggie.”

“Oh, Stef. I’ll always love you, but just not like that anymore. You need to accept that it’s over and move on. Please, go to Legno. Make sure he’s safe. You still have a chance to make things right between the two of you. But all of this,” she once again waved towards the mess, “it needs to stop.”

“I know. I never wanted to live like this. Without you.”

“Stef. You pushed me away, and now you’re doing the same to him. If he feels empty inside, be there for him. Be the father he needs. Give him strength and guidance. He’s getting that from someone else now because you’re not there. And…and just go, Stef. Before it’s too late.”

Grabbing his boots, mud glued to the bottom and smelling as if something crawled in them and died, he forced them on, not wasting any time to untie and tie them. He whipped his canvas jacket on and rushed out the door. Turning towards Maggie one last time, he said, “Thank you. And I’ll make it all right. I promise.” As a single, hot tear rolled down his eye and on his cheek, he said in a low voice, “I’ll fix everything.”

Maggie walked slowly towards him and kissed the tear away.

“Goodbye, Stefano.”

“Goodbye, Magdalena.”

Finally, he turned and ran out towards the horse. Planting both hands on its backside, he used all his strength to throw himself up on top of the beast. Grabbing the reigns, he whipped them forcefully, and with a loud “Hyah!” he was off.

And with a pitiful, garbled “Nyah,” he pulled over to vomit.

“Oh, Lord,” prayed a disappointed Magdalena, “please get him there before he gets arrested.”


A bit more serious, personal entry, but one that I’m personally proud of. Do you feel the same? Hopefully the lack of slapstick humor wasn’t too much of a turn off. Was the drama as effective as the comedy? I sure hope so, but let me me know what you think. The next few stories will lean towards the dramatic side, so think of this as a taste of things to come. And guess what? Next week marks the conclusion of the entire tale! I never thought I’d get to this point, and I want to thank all my friends for the support. Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter for questions and comments, and I’ll see you all in a week!

Wood You Be Mine? Act 3, Part 1

Wood You Be Mine? Act 3, Part 1

Yes, all: We’re at the start of the final act of Wood You Be Mine? But it’s okay. The next two stories are already in progress. I won’t give away too many details, but here are the titles: Empowered and A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Want to take a guess what they’re about? Drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter! But for now, let’s all enjoy the start of Act 3.

“Shooting star; what a quack,” bemoaned Legno. “What now, Timothy?”

“Well, when all else fails and things look their bleakest, it’s not uncommon to turn to a higher power” was Timothy’s response.

“You mean, like, God?”

“Well, the Professor, although being hyperbolic, did say it’d take an act of God. And seeing as we have no other options currently, I don’t see how it could hurt. Granted, I find organized religion to be a bunch of hooey, but I’m not an unreasonable insect. Surely there’s a chapel or some such where we can inquire about a miracle for you.”

“If that’s the case, when I went through my biweekly routine of rummaging through the chest in Saggies’ closet that he thinks I don’t know about, I found a picture of a woman, and on the back it said ‘Magdalena’ and ‘Chiesa dello Spirito Santo.’ So, I don’t know, maybe we see if this Magdalena is still there, drop Saggies’ name, and perhaps she can fast track us a miracle up to the big man himself!”

“Curious. And you two don’t attend church often?”

“No, Saggies says he gave up on all that a long time ago.”

“Well, I can’t quite fault him for that,” Timothy stated pretentiously. “In any event, do you know where this church is located?”

“Yeah,” Legno said as a cold chill went up his spine, “I’m not super keen on the idea of going there, though. It’s right next to a cemetery. I’m not too good around dead things.”

“Death, Legno, is just an extension of life. There’s nothing to fear. If anything, it enhances life, reminds you to live it to the fullest. And that’s exactly what our mission is today, is it not?”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Taking a deep breath in and out, he continued with, “Let’s get a move on then. The place is a bit of a hike, but if we hurry, maybe we can get God to whip us up a miracle before dark.”

Pumping his skinny little calf muscles for what felt like the hundredth time today, Legno headed east until he came upon the church. Noticing that the sun had begun its downward journey from the sky, Legno’s heart started beating with the fury of a stampeding elephant. Time was running out.

Finally arriving, Legno zoomed up the steps. Grabbing the metal ring and pulling open the tall, heavy door, Legno walked in to the church and was immediately awestruck. Adorned in the structure were stained glass paintings depicting the struggles of Christ, rows upon rows of benches, eager for parishioners, and, in the back, a woman lighting one of the many candles on a modest looking table as she silently prayed.

Legno, not being especially religious, wasn’t sure how to approach her. Is he allowed to interrupt? How does he address her?

“Wait are you waiting for?” whispered Timothy. “Go on; ask her if she knows this ‘Magdalena.’ ”

Trepidatiously ambling over to the woman, Legno cleared his throat and spoke. “Um,” he began, “Sister, right?”

The nun, whose eyes had been closed as her lips softly uttered a prayer, stopped midsentence and turned to Legno.

“Sorry for interrupting you,” he said sheepishly, “but, um, we’re looking for someone. I think her name might be Magdalena?”

“Oh yes,” the Sister replied, not at all bothered by Legno halting her prayer, “I believe she’s in the back room cleaning up. I’ll ask her to come over when she’s done. Do you mind waiting a moment?”

“No, no…that’s fine. Thanks.”

The nun turned back to the table to finish her prayer. Moments after, she slowly turned around and gracefully moved towards the back room to retrieve Sister Magdalena. As the pair waited, Legno soaked in the atmosphere of the church. Not a regular attendee, it was the first time he had stepped inside a church in years.

There was a calming ambiance in the building; Saturday mass wasn’t to start for another few hours, and the only persons around were the nuns and clergymen.

“Hello, child,” came a voice from behind him in a warm, motherly tone. “Sister Maryanne told me you wanted to see me. Do I know you?”

Legno turned around to face the woman. She was tall, just over one and three quarters meters. Although older, her face told the tale of a beautiful young girl who graciously aged in to a mature older woman, with her white coif and black veil carefully framing her delicate features.

“Well…” Legno replied, “do you know a man named ‘Stefano Saggezza’? I found your picture in his room, and I thought you might be able to help us since I don’t really know any other religious folks.”

“Stef…” Magdalena replied, in a tone barely above a whisper. “Are you…Legno?”

“Yeah! How’d you know?”

“Stef and I…”

“He prefers ‘Saggies,’ actually.”

She smirked and continued, “He and I were…friends. One of the last conversations we had was on the day he adopted you.”

“Oh,” Legno then paused, confused by this revelation. He cocked his head and squinted his eyes as he looked at her. “Really?”

“Yes, he thought that with you…” Magdalena stopped for a moment and looked down as a pang of emotion swept through her. ‘Stefano Saggezza’ had been a name she’d been trying to forget for a long time.

“He thought that I what?”

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” Timothy said, finally chiming in, “but we’re not exactly here to reminisce, are we, Legno?”

“Yeah,” he agreed, although disappointed he wouldn’t hear the rest of what she had to say on the subject of his parent, “Yeah, you’re right. Sorry, Tim.”

Magdalena had not previously noticed Timothy. Although oversized for a bug, he was still easy to miss. Upon the initial sight of him, she jumped back with a shock, her eyes widened, and she let out a frightened squeak before covering her mouth to silence it.

“Oh, ha, yeah. That’s Timothy. We’re buddies.”

“He’s your…friend? A talking bug?”

“I’m so much more than that, dear. And might I add, you look quite becoming in that habit,” Timothy replied in an attempt at playful flirtation. Magdalena hesitated for a moment and gave a forced smile before turning back to Legno.

Magdalena stood without moving or making a sound and let Timothy’s presence sink in. Due to her livelihood, she he knew that there were things that couldn’t quite be explained; that’s why it’s called ‘faith’ and not ‘fact.’ She was able to accept the unacceptable. Today, the unacceptable was the revelation that there are apparently some insects that can talk.

As a nun, she accepted this reality. But as a woman, her intuition told her there was something not quite genuine about this ‘Timothy.’

“Legno, you never told me what it is I can help you with. It’s apparent you’re not here to discuss Stefano,” she said, her bright green eyes shooting a quick glare at Timothy and just as quickly turning back towards Legno, “so what is it I can do for you? I’d be happy to help in any way possible.”

“Well, there’s this girl. And, granted, I don’t really pray that much, nor am I super religious, but, I don’t know, I was hoping the, uh, the big guy up there,” he said, pointing the ceiling, “could throw me a bone or something.”

“I can light a candle and say a prayer for you, dear, but I can’t promise you anything. That’s not quite the way God works. As much as He loves us all, He’s unable to grant wishes and give us anything we want. That would take all the meaning out of life. Do you understand?”

“But why?” Legno asked, his eyes beginning to water, “Does he want me to suffer or something?”

“Oh, Legno,” she said, kneeling down to meet him at eye level, “without suffering, there’s no compassion. Without suffering, we become complacent. Without suffering, one’s true character is never tested. I like to believe that He tests us every day. And every day, we have opportunities. Do we make the selfless choice or the selfish choice? I believe every one of our actions has a consequence even though you may not be able to tell right away. All I can really tell you is to be a good person, do the right thing, and happiness will come to you. Life has a way of balancing itself out. I promise.”

Looking down, he murmured to himself, “But I want happiness to come now…”

Having heard enough, Timothy decided to interject. “Legno, and my dear, please do not take offense, but I think she may be a little off on this. ‘Power of prayer’ and glorification of suffering, if you want to be an outside observer and let life and opportunities pass you by, then by all means, take her advice. However, you can be like me, take initiative, and you can claim what’s rightfully yours.”

Magdalena, feeling furious and condescended to, was boiling up inside but kept a quiet and dignified veil of placidity.

“Come, there’s still time to make our way to the top of Deus Ex Collina to see that shooting star. If what Professor Cannizzaro said is true, you’ll be a wooden boy by dusk.”

‘You’ll be a wooden boy by dusk,’ resonated in Magdalena’s head as her left eyebrow arched in bewilderment.

“Might as well,” Legno sighed, “seeing as we’re all out of options.” After finishing his sentence, he gave a quick hop over to Magdalena and wrapped his arms around her for an unexpected hug.

“Bye, Mag. And thanks anyway. I’ll tell Saggies you said hi.”

Touched by the boy’s tenderness, she said, “Of course, child. And…” she gave a quick look to Timothy once again and finished, “and be careful.”

Down but not quite yet defeated, Legno lightly sprinted back towards to the entrance, pushed the tall wooden door open, and, before leaving, turned around to give the church one last look. And one last poignant look to Magdalena as well.

Magdalena watched him as he left, and, for a few moments, looked at the door. She stood there quietly gathering her thoughts before heading towards the back room and in to the head nun’s quarters.

She knocked on the door and the voice inside invited her in. Wasting no time, Magdalena asked, “Mother Superior, would I be able to take an afternoon leave? There’s someone whom I need to see.”


And with that, we begin our winding down of this tale! Next week will be the Act 3 Interlude, and I’m sure you all have an idea on who she’s going to see in a confrontation years in the making. How’s Act 3 so far? Does it tickle your fancy? As always, let me know on Facebook or Twitter! See you all soon!