1818. A bird’s-eye view

It had been an inconvenience. Owing to the huge amount of looting going on during the week that the government banned all cigarettes – just for the week mind you – it was dangerous to venture outside from early dusk to late dawn. “Stay inside” was the government’s cry. It was both a command and a warning. Those seen venturing out after six in the evening would be shot.

The curfew had at least one good thing coming out of it; there were no traffic accidents between dusk and dawn. For the whole week there were no deaths on the roads. Those whose lives had been spared because of the curfew naturally had no idea that their lives had been spared. If there had been no curfew they would be dead.

Of course, being a writer gives one a bird’s-eye view. We know who was spared and who was not. I’m telling you now: Elwin Frisby was spared. He had sat at home in a bad mood. Here he was nineteen years old, and locked up at his parents’ home on a Saturday night. A Saturday night! What a difference it may have made to his mood if he had been able to be told that if it wasn’t for the curfew he would be in a body bag lying on a shelf in a morgue somewhere.

There are other things we writers glean from our bird’s-eye view. Elwin Frisby eventually married Anita and they had three children. One of them was Cornelius. Cornelius became the greatest tyrant in the history of the country. Thousands died at his hand. He was a raging megalomaniac.

How much better it would have been if years earlier there had been no curfew and his father had been killed off in a car accident. But who was to know?

27 thoughts on “1818. A bird’s-eye view

  1. Sarah Angleton

    Alas, there are always unintended consequences. By the way, have you read Ian McEwan’s novel Nutshell? I finished it recently and thought of you. It’s written entirely from the point of view of a late term fetus. Seems like just your kind of wonderfully absurd story.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  2. dumbestblogger

    I’m glad you brought my attention to the fact that cigerattes are going to be banned soon. In the interim I plan on investing heavily in the black market for cigarettes, so that by the time Cornelius comes to power I will be sitting pretty on a pile of gold in my bat cave, and won’t give two flying flips about the millions he kills.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
      1. dumbestblogger

        Funny story, the town I live in used to be a major tobacco center. I walk my dog past the old tobacco warehouses almost every day. Nowadays marijuana is probably more popular, but there’s certainly potential.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Bruce Post author

          I used to smoke 40 a day, until my car broke down and I was stuck way out of town. I smoked every cigarette butt I could find – even resorted to pine needles!

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. dumbestblogger

            Youch! That’s a pretty serious habit. How were the pine needles? I have never taken up smoking because I’m too cheap, but if I could get the same effect from raking my lawn I might be sorely tempted.

            Liked by 2 people

            Reply
    1. Bruce Guðmund Post author

      I’m not sure if it’s the same thing as metafiction but I’ve always been a bit partial to Bertolt Brecht’s “Verfremdungseffekt” – which reminds the audience that they’re watching a play. It has the opposite effect of dragging the audience into the action.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

Please feel free to spout, tout, flout, sprout, pout, or simply say something sensible

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s