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The Inconvienences

by AnnTran

Anna isn't special, she's just often inconvenienced.

She finds that she really minded.

Nobody is extraordinary— that's what she's been taught. Everyone is everyone and you mind your own business. But people have inconveniences, and that's the relatable part.

It doesn't matter if she's three, five, nine or eleven— The Inconveniences don't stop. It doesn't matter if she's fifteen, or fifty; or in a completely different continent— The Inconveniences don't stop. It doesn't matter if she's in a new hemisphere, on the other side of the world, or an entirely new planet— The freaking Inconveniences just won't stop.

Anna is sure that even if she was in an entirely different universe, The Inconveniences will still find her somehow.

It started when she was two. Yes, two. Twenty-four months into the world, living like a drunk little skunk with no care for the world. She barely even remembered this, for whatever's sake, but a story's a story, and here this one goes:

It was a normal day.

The sky was blue. The sun was shining. The grass was greenishly green and the clouds were white-ishly white.

Yay. Cool. Is there something of note?

Yes, there is. If one were to turn their heads two-hundred seventy degrees to the left to see an itty-bitty baby Anna being dragged around by an ugly goblin. She means no offense to any beautiful goblins out there, of course, if they even exist— but this one has shaped her view of the goblin species as a whole, and here it is: they are ugly, grumpy, greedy and wrinkly little stumps.

(Even now, half a century later, Anna has yet to meet a goblin that doesn't meet any of these requirements. While there are much more tolerable ones, she doesn't like to interact with them on a daily basis. But back to the story.)

The goblin, to which a baby Anna does not have the brain capacity to distinguish from a plastic gnome or the ceramic santa decorations in the lawn, was actually attempting to kidnap her. Still, even as young as she was, Anna was very much allergic to all things inconvenient— and this goblin was interrupting her afternoon nap.

Let it be known that this woman had the finest pair of lungs nature could afford; and my, my is Mother Earth generous. Her cries had knocked twelve of her delivery nurses flat out unconscious when she was born, so rest assured that Anna can and would scream.

And scream a two-year-old Anna did.

Her grandmother busted out of the house within two seconds with her pickaxe, Anna's parents scrambling. Through later retellings, she would be treated to the most heroic and adventurous tale of her life, featuring her chivalrous grandmother swooping in to save her from the clutches of Rumplestiltskin's second cousin, The Ordinary Garden Goblin, with an old lady's pickaxe and sheer, feral will.

Anna herself was quite unimpressed with the sugar coating on all her sordid affairs. It’s always such a hassle to deal with her excited cousins scrambling for Tales of The Inconveniences. All she did remember from that incident was her dear old granny sending The Garden Goblin off to see Jesus with a violent swing of her pointy pickaxe, which doesn't really make good first-memory for a two-year-old to have.

Anywho— that was when The Inconveniences started to become Inconveniences.

Sometimes, Anna really wished she could return to those blissful, blissful days in kindergarten filled with innocence and ignorance. The only Inconveniences she had to deal with back then were her brain-dead classmate George who kept drooling ‘BRAINSSSSSSS’ every five words and the occasional faerie trying to weasel her name out of her.

Too bad, so sad— Anna paid attention during library reading time. She wasn't going to wander around the world and wonder what her purpose in life is at five years old, not in this lifetime.

By the time she was entering elementary school, Anna was an expert at dealing with the Monsters Under Her Bed and making sure that Grandpap’s haunted doll, Robert, had enough enrichment and toys to play around with so it wouldn't keep breaking her fine china. Seriously, of all the crap in her collection that it can break, that blasted thing always aimed for her good china— it nearly broke the new Quing Dynasty Porcelain plate that she had to trade two of her second molars for just last week.

Say what you will about her ominous living habits, but knowing how to occupy Those Things That Keep You Up At Night for a good night's sleep and how to bargain with the Tooth Fairy were essential survival skills.

Besides, if any of them became too much for her to handle, there was the Dog and the Cat to fall back on. Everybody in her family had a Dog and a Cat, and she aptly named all of them variations of Dog and Cat.

Tonight was one such night, and Anna was over at Uncle Freddy's. Uncle Freddy's place was in the middle of Buttfrick Nowhere and was well over a thousand years old. It was a shack, basically. Anna thinks that a werewolf used to live here.

Crawling under the covers, she nestles herself beside her Uncle. He looked over and chuckled, before adjusting himself so that he could cuddle her more efficiently.

“Bad dream, Annie-bug?”

“No, just a Too-Much day,” She hummed, as serious as a nine-year-old can, before mumbling, “...and a nightfright.”

“Ah,” Uncle Freddy pressed a kiss on her forehead, nuzzling her hair affectionately, “Tiring, those Too-Much days. As for the nightfright— remember what Grandmama said, Nanners?”

Anna hummed, burrowing into her Uncle's welcoming warmth, “The Cat eats ghosts and the Dog eats monsters.”

He nodded approvingly, and started stroking her hair. Before long, they were both asleep.

On the floor, Feline— Freddy's Cat— licked his paws and mouth clean, which were covered in an ominously glowing substance. Next to him was Hound— Freddy's lovely giant doberman— whose ears were perked up and alert as she rumbled a warning growl towards the colony of yellow eyes peeking in from the dark bushes outside.

Anna was ten when she saw a speeding white rabbit wearing a three-piece suit and a monocle while holding a pocket watch, mumbling, “I'm late, I'm late, I'm late—”, frantically as it jumped into a hole in the ground. From where she was sitting, she could see the warped and melted clocks inside the physics-breaking tunnel, right before it disappeared in a flash of light.

Anna stood up, gathered her things and walked away. She is not dealing with this today. The park down the road will be much more relaxing for her state of mind.

Behind her, the oddly colored cat she was sketching meowed, slowly turning into sparkling dust, before leaving only a Cheshire grin behind.

Anna moved out to a new school at sixteen. The Inconveniences still followed her.

New ones popped up, now and then. But most of them are interesting enough to not annoy her too much.

Her new friends were a good bunch, but they all have their quirks. Jason’s eyes glowed green from time to time. Danny looked like a sheet— always in desperate need of Vitamin D. Lily and Mary liked to carry wooden sticks around and mutter strange strings of Latin when it suited their fancy.

Yeah. Quirky. Anna doesn't really mind it though.

Her schoolmates were a pretty big Inconvenience, sometimes. There was that giant twenty-feet-tall weed forest some seniors from their school grew— it blocked out the sun for about two weeks before they finished harvesting it. Some of her classmates were discussing their upcoming hike on the mountains; and she had to put up with stories about a giant beanstalk and some dude named Jack that let them climb it for ten dollars per person. Her new group mates for that Shakespeare project in English— two close friends named Jack (unrelated to the previous one) and Gill— seemed to have hit their heads somewhere when they were kids.

Her neighbors were interesting as well. The house right next to hers was made entirely out of gingerbread, and the old woman who lived there relentlessly tried to get her to come over for dinner. The dog in the house right across the street has three heads. Anna was gardening in her backyard one day, and there was this Big-Foot like thing that kept watching her.

Inconveniences, all around.

The highlight of her stay so far was getting lost in the forest while trying to forage for some wild blueberries during Thanksgiving. Anna couldn't find her way back before the night fell, and got stuck in there for seven days and seven nights. She had to put up with way too many Inconveniences that week.

Like the three bears that apparently wore clothes and lived in a house she stumbled upon. (They were surprisingly good hosts, and the porridge was delicious. Anna promised to visit again.)

Or the muscular wolf-man that she played fetch with on Tuesday. (Anna found that he liked chasing after the stick the most, and Oliver was decent enough to give her directions after the full moon passed.)

Or the gang of thieves that were setting up camp on Wednesday and nearly mugged her. (If she kept ignoring the fact that they were criminals and the unfortunate almost-mugging, Robin's group of friends— who called themselves the Hoods— were very fun to talk to.)

Anna quite literally ran into a treasure cave and was trapped inside for three hours on Thursday morning, before she managed to weasel the magical password out of the blue ghost that lived in the lamp two mountains of gold away from the entrance. While ‘Open Sesame’ wasn't the weirdest phrase she heard, it was still strange.

On Friday, she somehow managed to find another mysterious cave, but the seven men who were mining it were much nicer than the old grumps that wouldn't let her out of the first one. Anna even made friends with their niece, Snow, who gifted her a hooded red cloak (it was the softest thing she ever touched) and a basket of mouth-watering baked goods.

Saturday morning, she bid goodbye to Snow and her uncles after getting the other girl's number, and was happily skipping through a flower meadow when she ran into Oliver again. Anna spent some time teaching the young man how to make flower crowns, since she wasn't in a particular rush now that the town was in sight again, and got to meet Oliver's lovely grandmother who was just the funniest little old lady in existence.

She stayed the night, and Noah, Oliver's dad and the local huntsman, drove her back to town on Sunday.

Life was good from then on— or as good as being Inconvenienced everyday could be.

By the time she finished high school and was about to move to another country for college, Anna had grown quite fond of her local Inconveniences. Cerberus, the three-headed dog in the house across from hers, was quite distressed when she told his guardian, Charon, of her departure.

(The man looked like a walking corpse and always insisted that he was just dog sitting for his boss, but Anna minds her own business and doesn't assume when she learned his apparent boss' name was Hades.)

Madam Leckermaul next door, who would invite her everyday to dinner without fail, was a hair’s width away from dragging her in for a meal when she heard. Only her grandchildren, Hansel and Gretel, physically holding her back stopped her.

Anna made her rounds that week, finding her Inconveniences and friends and bidding them goodbye. Snow promised to visit her at Oxford sometime and Oliver said he'll send her Granny's famous stew via his relatives in London, while Noah promised to pass along the news to the Hoods when they settle in the forest again.

After that, word got out somehow and her woodland friends, The Big Foot Thing and All The Other Forest Monsters visited Anna during her foraging trips to wish her well. It was a tearful affair all around, but Anna geared herself up for these next few years of her life.

In early July, she hugged her friends bye-bye, who were also moving away, and sent word back to her family of her new living arrangements.

Anna was going to miss her Inconveniences here, but it wasn't like they're going to leave her alone.

The Inconveniences will always follow her, that was a fact.

For her graduation from Oxford University, her family came and gave her three things— a Dog, a Cat, and a haunted doll named Anabell; courtesy of her Grandparents and Uncles. Anna doesn't think she cried quite as much when she received her very own doll, one that was named after her no less.

All her friends were there. Danny even managed to show up in the photos, somehow. She still kept that photo framed on her walls, right next to her favorite red cloak that still fits, after all these years.

Anna worked hard, but it wasn't really enjoyable. She gave as good as she got to her tyrannical boss for fifteen years, who to this day still expected her to spin straw into gold. Anna was a good sales head, but she wasn't magic. If that man wanted gold, he could've asked Rumplestiltskin.

She finally quit her job after nearly blowing up the place, and gathered up her shit to move somewhere remote. She finally understood why Uncle Freddy liked being in Buttfrick Nowhere— besides the Inconviences, it was a happy and peaceful lifestyle to uphold.

Anna had more than enough money to live like that. She was content. Not even the occasional broken china caused by ‘Bell could dampen her happiness. She was with her Inconveniences, so life was good.

“Shoo, shoo. Go get a job or something, you tiny fish. You can't drown me,” Anna gently nudged Sally the baby Rusalka’s grabby claws away from her ankles. The matured ones were busy trying to drown one of the Perytons that came to her pond for a drink. Anna hoped they would fail— they managed to kill a full-grown stag last year, and the stench was unbearable.

Finally dislodging her foot from Sally’s webbed hands, Anna threw a few rats towards Wendy the Wendigo, who was lurking in the forest near her house. Wendy caught them, and happily scurried away.

“AnniEEE—!!!” Lila, her semi-transparent roommate and very enthusiastic assistant, yelled through the hollering winds from the barn, “YAAAAAagAAAA's comiNGGG AAAgaiNNNNNN—”

As if on cue, the Earth shook as the first ‘THUMP’ sounded. The trees rattled, and fruits fell as startled birds took flight. A second ‘THUMP’ came, then a third, then a forth.

On the horizon, a giant house on chicken legs suddenly appeared, and Anna let out an exasperated sigh. Gods Damn it, Baba Yaga, at least give me a heads up!

Anna pulled out the extremely excessive amounts of rope from her garage, muttering as she made her way towards the beast, “I swear to every deity from that ever existed, if that house shits on my yard again—”

Out of nowhere, a bunch of hulking, viking-like people appeared in a flash of lightning. Anna sighed, again. At least Thor had the decency to appear sheepish about showing up unannounced.

Lucifer, the owner of their favorite local pub, was quite happy about the excessive amounts of alcohol they purchased that evening. Between the old Russian witch and the group of Norse Gods, an ungodly amount of liquor was needed.

Ignoring her drunken companions, Anna continued to scribble in her notebook. Her trip to Scotland to visit her friend, The Loch Ness Monster ,was next week. She'll figure out how to kick these freeloaders out by then, she always did.

Nessie was as pleasant as ever, and Anna also met her neighbors as well. The Lady of the Lake was gracious enough to return Grandmam's pickaxe when she accidentally dropped it, and also gave Anna two more— one made of gold and one made of silver. She doesn't really need it— it's another Inconvenience, really— but extra money is extra money.

She even got a brand new sword to add to her collection! The Witch of the Waterfall was one foul-mouthed spirit compared to her cousin, but considering the amount of harassment she gets from travelers, it's well deserved.

Anna hummed a song, absentmindedly dancing as she went through the gates, not noticing the absolute mess that was scattered around her yard. It wasn't until she tripped over Wendy's half-eaten meal (...shit, was that an arm?) that reality came back.

“What the hell happened here?”

Her Inconveniences grinned, all bursting into excited chatter as they recounted how they valiantly defended her home against the group of looters that randomly decided to target Anna's cottage and are now celebrating their victory.

Lila kept giggling and flickering in and out of vision, doing a cheesy victory dance with Peter and his smug group of Lost Children. The older Inconveniences weren't much better— Baba Yaga and Thor are already bringing out Lucifer's harder liquors, calling all Inconveniences-that-are-capable-of-getting-drunk to an ill-advised drinking game.

Outside her window, a juvenile Sally and her school of Rusalkas played Monkey in the Middle with a thoroughly chewed-up hiking boot, while the hulking shadow of Big-Foot and Wendy loomed in the shades of the forest. On the shelves, ‘Bell made a clicky noise that sounded like a high-pitched laugh.

Looking at her crowded cottage, Anna noticed that some of friends came for a visit and neglected to inform her. Honestly, Inconveniences and their tendency to show up unannounced— Snow and Oliver could’ve texted her first.

“Hey, Anns! We’re playing Uno!” Jason called, “Wanna join?”

Walking to the table, Anna gave an exasperated sigh, smiling.

Anna isn't special, she's just often inconvenienced.

But this time, she found that she didn't really mind.

Is this a review?



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34 Reviews

Points: 3057
Reviews: 34

Wed May 22, 2024 12:52 pm
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AnotherCrowInRow wrote a review...

I think I've come across my favorite story yet here on YWS! I like your storytelling style - it's fluent and sometimes a bit too simple, but full of little things that I enjoy. I love allusions to the most famous fairy tales, mythology and folklore, the whole story of which is literally overflowing. At the beginning, it doesn't hit a person's eyes - instead, they slowly show up and there are more and more of them. Often in a very funny way. At the beginning, I was sure that my favorite character would be the grandmother, but the truth is that I liked everyone. I also enjoyed the hints of the 4th wall being broken.The whole story is pleasantly lighthearted, full of a good sense of humor and I really enjoyed reading it! I certainly enjoy reading a lot more from you. Good job!

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70 Reviews

Points: 10
Reviews: 70

Mon May 20, 2024 5:51 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...

Anna has everything happening to her at the same time.

When I smiled:

I love the fact that Anna is just so casual with all of these fictional characters and they also like her as well. She is meeting with literal old gods and just having a nice tea break and I find it funny that she refers to them as inconveniences, despite being so cordial and kind with them.

I feel like we need a part where she is talking with the regular. People who don't actually believe in that stuff in the future and she's just like. Yeah, baba yaga's house keeps crapping on my lawn, and they're like, "Hah, you believe in that?" And she's just dumbfounded.

I also really love the casualness. All of these creatures that would normally be incredibly threatening at just being absolutely normal with her. It shows a unique twist and was that Jason from Friday the 13th at the end?

A Line to Remember:

Her Inconveniences grinned, all bursting into excited chatter as they recounted how they valiantly defended her home against the group of looters that randomly decided to target Anna's cottage and are now celebrating their victory.

This was honestly adorable and I was just imagining all of the characters doing this because it shows just how much they care for Anna and how much she actually cares for them because she was just like ah geez. I wonder how her interactions will proceed in the future.

A New Lesson:

two close friends named Jack and Gill— seemed to have hit their heads somewhere when they were kids.

I may be wrong, but I think it's Jack and Jill.

The Catalyst's Growth:

I love how casual she is about. All of these monsters, beasts and elder gods. Just chilling near her house. She gives intense Bianca from clinic of horror vibes.

She just grew up casual with it all.And has never grown scared of any of the monsters.


Well done.

The emperor is rich, but he can't buy another day.
— Chinese Proverb