Tag Archives: fiction

1713. Lion tamer

Bruno worked during the day at a shoe factory. Once a week in the evening he gave the local circus’ lion tamer an evening off by stepping into his shoes. Do not fear! Bruno was a fully-trained lion tamer. He knew lions like the back of his hand, and the lions knew him.

The most exciting part of the evening’s performance was always when the lion opened its mouth and Bruno would put his head in. It was nerve-wrac

1708. The Oxford Comma

Even though Aneliese was American and Quentin was British they managed to forge a relationship that spanned across the great Atlantic Ocean, and they married. The marriage was made in heaven, although heaven had omitted one important factor: Analiese used the Oxford Comma and Quentin didn’t.

For those who don’t give much of a hoot about what the Oxford Comma is, it is the comma that precedes the final “and” in a list. For example: The flag is red, white, and blue. That’s what Aneliese would write. Quentin would write: The flag is red, white and blue (without the second comma).

For each academic tome that Aneliese produced to prove her point, Quentin would provide another. The discussion thundered throughout their marriage, throughout the births of their six children, throughout retirement and venerable age. Eventually they both died. Their grown children planned the tombstone inscription:

Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.

The tombstone awaits. Discussion rages.

Repeat of Story 379: Beer garden

(This is the eighth and final story in a week or so of repeats. “Beer garden” first appeared on this blog on 24 October 2014. The picture is a detail of a wonderful photograph by Terry Barca. It was what inspired this story. In the photograph, every face could tell a story or two. WARNING: The story contains foul language.)

Yeah, well I’m standing there outside in this pub’s beer garden, and I’ve got a bottle of beer, Haägen I suppose, or something like that because the bottle’s green as far as I remember. And I’m talking to this chick. And she’s really boring.

Then this other guy comes along and starts talking to this chick, and they talk and talk like I’m not there. And I’m stuck with my back to the wall, and they’re in front of me, and there’s no way I can escape. I’m trapped. So I nod and smile like I’m interested (“so I just fed it some crushed cereal” she said), like it’s the biggest fucking deal in the world.

Then he asks if she’s got any other pets, and she said she had a cat but gave it away when it got the goldfish. I take a swig of the Haägen only to find there’s nothing left in the bottle. I say I’m going to get another drink, and it’s like I’m not there, he’s so into her fucking cat.

Eventually I say excuse me and push right past them and go to the bar and get another Haägen. And when I turn round, over at the chick there’s this big hulky bastard smashing a bottle over the head of the boring cat-lover. So I think, fuck this, if we’re going to get entertainment I might as well get a proper drink.

Like a bourbon and coke.

Repeat of Story 766: Pigs

(This is the seventh story in a week or so of repeats. “Pigs” first appeared on this blog on 15 November 2015.)

It constantly amazes me how wrongful misinformation has been perpetuated down the centuries. The Three Little Pigs’ names were Marjorie, Eleanor and Constantia. Clearly, because they were builders by profession, the sexist yesteryears couldn’t bear to think of the pigs as females. Book illustrators portrayed them in men’s clothing for eons.

There they are now, all crowded into Constantia’s brick house.

“Go away, you dirty Big Bad Wolf,” bellowed Marjorie from the upstairs window.

But who is this appearing? Why! It’s Little Red Riding Hood on a horse!

“Hands up!” shouted Little Red Riding Hood, pointing a gun at the Big Bad Wolf. Little Red Riding Hood flung back the red hood.

“He’s a boy!” snorted Eleanor excitedly. “Little Red Riding Hood’s a boy!”

“Yeah,” said Little Riding Hood, “my real name is Jason. I have no idea why they paint me as a girl.”

“Save us!’” cried the Three Little Pigs. “Shoot the Big Bad Wolf!”

Little Red Riding Hood pulled the trigger and shot the Big Bad Wolf dead.

“The Big Bad Wolf won’t be chasing you three chicks again,” said Little Red Riding Hood. “That’s the end of Celine and her fearful marauding.”

Repeat of Story 386: Marietta plans a murder

(This is the sixth story in a week or so of repeats. “Marietta plans a murder” first appeared on this blog on 31 October 2014.)

Don’t get me wrong. Marietta wasn’t an evil person. When she decided to murder her husband it was out of the purest of intentions. He had been unfaithful.

Marietta had always vouched for the sanctity of marriage. She couldn’t understand why all these participants in broken marriages insisted on divorce. Hadn’t they vowed to remain faithful unto death?

Now that her husband had committed infidelity after infidelity she knew exactly how these other people felt. Divorce was not good enough. She had promised unto death and that’s what she was going to do.

But how best to go about it and not get caught? Poison? The autopsy would discover it. Gunshot? It would have to be in self-defence, and that would be too difficult to set up.

She would simply (after searching it online) “undo the brakes” of his car. And that’s what she did! He drove to the pub every Thursday evening over a wild and winding road. Thursday was perfect. That was the evening she attended her prayer meeting. She could feign distress, with a touch of hysteria, when the sad news was phoned through.

She drove off in her car for the prayer meeting. It was with a certain amount of nervous excitement.

“Goodbye, darling,” she waved. “Goodbye!”

All that can be said is that great minds think alike. Marietta and her husband were suited to each other down to the ground.

May she rest in peace.

Repeat of Story 330: Blueberry-persimmon pie

(This is the third story in a week or so of repeats. “Blueberry-persimmon pie” first appeared on this blog on 5 September 2014.)

I’ve just spent all morning making a pie. It’s a blueberry-persimmon pie. I’ve never put those two things together before, and haven’t read of it. I hope it tastes okay.

It’s the persimmon season, and not the blueberry one. So I’ve bought a packet of blueberries imported from California or somewhere. The persimmons I got from a stall at the side of the road. Some kids selling bags of persimmons for three dollars each. There’s about twenty in each bag.

Making pies is not my thing. First of all, my husband goes crackers at me if I buy pastry.

“Just make the pastry yourself, you dumb idiot,” he says. So I have to sneak the bought pastry into the house, because, quite frankly, I can’t make pastry. In fact, I hide the pastry sheets in my neighbour’s freezer. She’s very good like that. She understands. And then when I need a sheet of pastry, I creep over and grab it out of her freezer. Provided my husband’s not home, of course. I couldn’t think of anything worse than him going ape-shit at me over a sheet of pastry.

So I mixed the blueberries up with slices of persimmon that I cut up. I hope my husband likes it. It’s a taste he might be a bit unfamiliar with, but at least I can say it’s something slightly new, and it doesn’t hurt to try things. Persimmons are as old-fashioned as the hills. I’ll tell him that. I’ll tell him that his great-grandmother would’ve had a persimmon tree. He likes history. He’ll like that. He’ll eat it because of his great-grandmother. Otherwise he’ll hit me and tell me to stop baking foreign shit.

I hope he eats it, and that the new taste will stop him from noticing the other stuff I’ve put in.

1705. Merry Philly

There was a time when Philadelphia rather liked her name. It was a bit different and she was the only Philadelphia in her class. Things began to change at high school. She won a book for essay writing and the inside of the cover was inscribed with a misspelling. It said “Congratulations Philadelfia”. Philadelphia was disappointed. It took all the joy out of having won the prize.

“I shall change my name to Phyllis,” declared Phyllis. That worked very well until her Chemistry teacher wrote her name as “Fillus”. Phyllis was starting to get annoyed.

“Use you middle name,” suggested her mother.

And that is why Philadelphia Mary Smith to this day is known simply as Merry.