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Setting Things right - Part 1 by hippo2 Setting Things right - Part 1 by hippo2

Martha and the Celtic Harp



The concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London had ended. It was an overwhelming success for the Irish orchestra. Among the audience were two women from Switzerland, who had come a long way to London. But Amelia and Martha hadn't come to listen to the music in the first place. They came to see Saoirse, a harpist they had met two years ago, when the orchestra performed in Switzerland.
Back then, Martha was forced to serve Saoirse's enemy Roisin. But Roisin used her wishes to have revenge on Saoirse. Eventually, Martha twisted Roisin's last wish and transformed the woman into a harp. She gave the harp to Saoirse. Now, after two years, Martha had decided that Roisin was punished enough. Together with Amelia, she decided to seek out Saoirse and Roisin and set things right.
Martha was delighted to see Saoirse still playing the harp. When the concerto was over, she and Amelia headed for the back stage area to talk to Saoirse. But they didn't get far, as a security man blocked their paths. "Sorry, you cannot pass!" he said. "Access only to artists and VIPs."

"VIPs?" Amelia asked.

"That's right. Only with a VIP-pass you may go backstage."

Martha tugged her friend away. "Don't worry Amelia. If he WISHES to see our VIP-passes, we can provide them."

Obviously, Amelia got the drift and followed Martha to the restroom.


A few minutes later, Amelia and Martha returned. First, Martha had to explain to Amelia what VIP means. Amelia quickly understood and wished for two VIP passes, with which to two women returned. This time, the security guy let them pass. It didn't take long for them to find Saoirse's dressing room. They knocked and Saoirse called them in. She was in the process to polish her harp, which was once her rival Roisin. The glistering, wooden body of Roisin was still part of the harp. When Saoirse turned around and saw Martha she went pale. "It... It's you again. What are you going to do to me now, you evil genie?"

"Relax. I'm not here to do anything to you. Actually, I'm here to free Roisin from her predicament." Martha explained.

At these words, Saoirse embraced the harp as if she was protecting her child. "No! You can't take my harp away. I owe Roisin all my success. When I play on her, it feels as if the harp has her own personality."

Martha took a deep breath. To Saoirse, it seemed that Martha was getting bigger and more menacing. "That's not for you to decide." the genie said in an intimidating voice.

"Aaa...and www..wath about Roisin?" Saoirse stammered in fear.

"Martha, she has a point here." Amelia interfered. "You should check Roisin's mental condition first."

"Alright. I'll do that." Martha grumbled. She walked over to the harp and placed her hand on Roisin's head. Then she reached for any mind that was left inside the carved wood.


Martha found herself in total blackness. "Hello? Is anybody here?"

"Who is there?" answered Roisin's voice.

"It's me, Martha. I came to turn you back into a human."

"Turn back into a woman?" the voice asked. "So these are not simply dreams?"

"What do you mean?"

"From time to time, I have strange dreams of a human life. But that can't be right, because I was always a harp, wasn't I?"

"That' not right. You were once a harpist before I twisted one of your wishes and turned you into this harp. Don't you remember?" Martha asked.

"I dreamed about that, yes. But to me, it seems so surreal. I mean, humans becoming harps, right?"

"Don't you want to play harp all by yourself again? And do all the other things humans do?"

"Tempting..." the voice said. "But then, I wouldn't be a harp anymore, right? I would lose my connection to the music?"

"Well, you would still be a good harpist. You could make music on a harp by yourself." Martha argued.

"You don't understand me. Inside here, I can feel the music flowing through me. It is as if my soul is one with the music. I never had that feeling in my dreams. And I don't want to lose it." the voice explained.

"Does that mean that you WANT to stay a harp?"

"I cannot bear to be without a player." the voice replied sounding frightened. "As long as Saoirse is playing on me, everything will be fine." The voice stopped for  moment. "Although, there's one thing you could do for me."

"What is it?"

"Can you give me the ability to play all by myself? So, I could express myself again."


Your Coice


A Martha grants the wish fav.me/d6tz5ga
B Martha carries on with her original plan fav.me/d6tz5uq
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:iconasari13:
asari13 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
nice art
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014
Thank you.
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:iconmnmega:
mnmega Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
She forgot to do that "mind protection in the past" thing...
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
True. That's why Roisin sees herself as a harp now.
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:iconmnmega:
mnmega Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Wonder if she's gonna remember that she forgot to do that or not~
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Martha is aware of that. If she'd restore the mind, Roisin would be the same, evil person who hates Saoirse. Martha prefers Roisin's harp personality and will leave her as she is.
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:iconmnmega:
mnmega Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Right, forgot she was rather evil.
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:icondanparkerstudios:
danparkerstudios Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
This is a nice story. Well, I'm glad that Rosin decided to remain as a harp forever. Nice story. thankfully, she still has a mind inside.
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:iconrod-roger:
Rod-Roger Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
NICE! Very nice man! It appears Martha learned another lesson once more, while her victims will remain the same by there will it could be for better or for worse. On the one hand, the evil musician learned to be at peace due to having the music flow through her very soul however on the other hand you can have someone stay a statue and just be art, never moving or speaking a soul stuck in a husk.
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Sure. There are several other victims left. I wonder how many victims the fans wants to see rescued. And wich ones of them.
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:iconrod-roger:
Rod-Roger Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Indeed but how you did the Harp was quite good. If memory servers we do have the girl stuck in the lamp
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Exactly. That's Jennifer in the Lava lamp. She had to share a room with her sister Cindy. So she used her wishes to get her own room including a library. Jennifer had promised to use her last wish to make Martha human again. When she broke her word, Martha locked her in her new room, which was inside the lava lamp.
The question is now: Has Martha forgiven her and free her from the lamp, or will she turn her into the genie of the lava lamp.
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:iconrod-roger:
Rod-Roger Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Or she is dead, dude she had like no food or water in there
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
No. Martha gave her a magical fridge that provided her with food and water. Also, there is a bath section in that room.
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:iconrod-roger:
Rod-Roger Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Wow, sounds nice. BEt it has a enteriment system and a gym to
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
I see Jennifer more like the book type than the x-box site.
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(1 Reply)
:iconjorrun:
Jorrun Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
this was great :)
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:iconemperornortonii:
EmperorNortonII Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Very well written!
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:iconkaaslave:
kaaslave Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
So Martha's seeking redemption...could be interesting. :)
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
Yeah. This story is a follow-up to  Ending 1 fav.me/d6kc6i5 My idea is, that Martha want's to have a clean conscious before she uses her free wish. But it leads to a more philosophical questions: If after the mind adapts, a new person is born or if the old person still exists.
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:iconmagicshoppe:
magicshoppe Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
Most likely it is a meaningless question. Because if Martha had restored Roison, yes, she might have been upset at first. But if Martha then left and returned two years later, would she still be upset? Or would she have rediscovered all the things human have and can do that she had forgotten about while a harp. The question is would Martha want to return several years later and check up on her victims to see if return to human for was or wasn't the right thing to do?
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
There would have been a way to restore her Roisin with her original mind intact: Amelia would first have wished, that Martha had added a protection spell to Roisin's mind. Then they she would have wished for the harp to be turned back. I'm pretty sure that Roisin would be angry then for being locked away inside a lamp for three years. Remember that the original Roisin had a feud with Saoirse and caused a serious injury for Saoirse with one of her wishes. That evil woman would be back in the world.

But I guess that's not what you are talking about: You (propably) mean, they turn Roisin back into a human right now. I agree that woman might be angry to, but because she isn't a harp any longer. If Martha would return two years later and see how this woman had developed, she would surely find a real woman who sees herself as one. But this woman would have a different personality than Roisin had. The original Roisin wouldn't exist anymore.
Even that might be better than the original Roisin. Remember that the original Roisin had a feud with Saoirse and caused a serious injury for Saoirse with one of her wishes. Not that Saoirse is any better: She let a genie lock Roisin away in a bottle for years. Yeah, maybe both women could have become more friendly in the process.

Still, the question is valid: If Roisin is restored now without adding protection to her mind, will her old personality appear again after two years or so or will she develope a new personality?
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:iconmagicshoppe:
magicshoppe Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Depends on whether she needs her "mind" recovered to remember her feud with Saoirse. Is that feud in her memory but being suppressed by her new ability to be played and make beautiful music? Or is the memory only retrievable if her "mind" is restored? That's the funny thing about this. Amelia says she remembers being a mouse. It just doesn't relate to her new life. The harp-Roisin might remember the feud but have no ability to relate it to her new identity, being a harp. Restore her form and you might restore her ability to feud, making the memory relevant again.

Too easy to get too metaphysical with this discussion.
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
With the second half of your comment, you hit the spot. The basic rule for the transformed persons in my story is, that the form of their existence (the new form after the transformation) defines their consciousness. But memories of the old form are not lost. They change their meaning as the consciousness adapts to the new form.
As a harp, Roisin can't comprehend the memories of Roisin the human feuding Saoirse. So these memories loose their meanings, but they are still there. Amelia on the other hand repeats the meaning of her memories, as she says: The memories of my whole life are what defines me. I can't deny that I was a mouse before.

And yes, you are right: We are deep in philosophy here. If you write a TF story and want to explore the idea further, you have to think about what happens to the mind of the transformed person. One concept could be that the mind is perserved. You find that concept in many fairy tales. Think about the prince of frogs, who is guiding the princess to kiss him so the curse will be broken. He kept his human mind.
Another concept would be that the old consciousness is lost, either at once or over time as it adapts to a new form. I derived that concept from dialectical materialism.
Both concepts could be seen as thesis and anti-thesis. Both concepts exclude each other. A synthesis would be that an additional spell would prevent the mind from adapting, thus solving the exclusion.
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:iconmagicshoppe:
magicshoppe Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
You've already used that the synthesis spell when Amelia wished (i forget who's) mind was as it would be if Martha had made allowances for preserving in the previous wish.

Of course, this is a violation of a common wish story rule whereby you can't modify a previous wish. But that just means your Martha universe doesn't use that rule.
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
You mean Sylvia, the woman who was transformed into a palm by Gregorios and later restored by Amelia and Martha using exactly that wish.

I don't know if it is a "common" rule, but I have read about that rule before. Anyway, it was never an issue in my Martha universe and I never mentioned it. I don't like it either: If you apply this rule, it would be impossible to undo one of the first two wishes, if the result is cathastrophic.
Take the legend of King Midas for example. A master uses his first wishes in such a way, that he ends up with King Midas' hands, that means: Every object and every person he touches turns into gold. During the course of the story, he really repents his greedy wish and wants to undo it. Showing mercy on him and undoing his wish because her really feels remorse for what he did is a good twist to show the moral of the story. With the rule, that wishes can't be altered, there would be no way to undo his first wish (including the consequences).
Another example: Take the Horror movie Wes Craven's Wishmaster. The movie begins with a persian statue being unloaded at the docks. The crane operator is drunken and he drops the statue so it smashes into pieces. Inside the statue was a gem hidden, which contained an evil jinn. During the course of the movie, the jinn grants a lot of wishes and twists them horrible, even killing several masters (apperently, the no killing rule doesn't count in Wishmaster). The jinn is eventually defeated, when the heroine wishes, that the crane operator wasn't drunken when he unloaded the statue. The djinn is still trapped inside the intact statue and non of his wishes happened.
Of course you can add such a rule to your story, but personally, I think it is a too great limit to the story telling. Thus, it doesn't apply to my universe.
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:iconkaaslave:
kaaslave Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
Cool. :)
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:icondanstanding:
DanStanding Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
Really great. Nice twist on things!
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:iconp-z-p-z:
P-z-p-Z Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, that will be a problem in the future.
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
What will be a problem? What Amelia said?
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:iconp-z-p-z:
P-z-p-Z Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, though Jennifer wasn't changed though, just stuck in a lava lamp.
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:iconhippo2:
hippo2 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
True! Jennifer is a much different case. She has most likely kept her human mind and will surely say something about being locked way in a lamp. It will be intersting, anyway.
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:iconp-z-p-z:
P-z-p-Z Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yes it will be.
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