Tag Archives: plot

1697. The unbald prima donna

(There is a tradition in folk tales, oft overlooked or frowned upon, of telling the occasional story that is complete nonsense, utter silliness, foolish to the nth degree. For the next three days, today included, the stories will attempt to be in that genre. I’ve always been rather partial to the style.)

Matilda had the most beautiful singing voice, but she was so shy that no one ever heard her sing. Every day she would sneak outside to behind the farm barn and sing arias from famous operas.

One freezing winter’s day it was so cold behind the barn that the music Matilda sang hung in the air. There were literally frozen notes unflinchingly dangling in the sky. Matilda scurried back inside to get warm next to the coal range.

A country yokel happened to be passing and he saw the hanging frozen notes and gathered them up into his haversack. He took them to the local opera house where the notes quickly defrosted.

“Is that you singing?” asked the maestro in charge.

“It is indeed,” said the yokel.

He was given the role of Friedrich in Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot. It was a disaster because the character of Friedrich was a bass and Matilda was a coloratura soprano.

In the meantime, Matilda continued to sing secretly behind the barn. Which just goes to show, doesn’t it?

1688. An inconvenient visitor

Terrence had just finished putting his wife’s corpse in the back of his car and cleaning up the kitchen in the house when his wife’s sister knocked at the door. This was the last thing Terrence wanted. He had planned the murder meticulously, and a large part of the planning was to do with how to get rid of the body. He hadn’t planned that Rhona’s sister would turn up in the middle of it all.

“Where’s Rhona?” asked Astrid.

“She went yesterday to visit a sick friend,” said Terrence. “She’ll probably be away for a few days.”

“Strange,” said Astrid. “She usually tells me things like that.”

Terrence wished she’d leave. He had to invite her inside. He had to act normally. Thank goodness he’d cleaned up the mess in the kitchen where Rhona had been baking when the deed was done. It hadn’t been more than quarter of an hour since he’d killed Rhona. The body in the back of the car would still be warm.

Astrid volunteered to go into the kitchen to make coffee. “Sure,” said Terrence.

A few minutes later Astrid called out from the kitchen.

“Do you want me to take the cake out of the oven?”

“What cake?” answered Terrence.

“Well it hasn’t been in the oven for any longer than 25 minutes.”

Terrence now has two bodies to get rid of.

1669. Crossing the river

When the specialist told Gladys that her left leg would have to be amputated, she wasn’t at all pleased. “It’s gangrene,” said the doctor. “It’s gangrene in the toes. There’s no other way for survival than amputation.”

Golly gosh! Gladys was struck dumb. She’d had that leg all her life, she said. And then she laughed. What a silly thing to have said! “Well doctor, you probably don’t realize but I’ve had these legs all my life.”

Somehow the absurdity of her reaction diffused the shock a little. “And when doctor will this happen?”

“This afternoon,” said the doctor. “The sooner the better.”

“But I’ve got my car parked in the hospital car park,” said Gladys, as if that was a reason to forego immediate amputation. Somehow Gladys had imagined that she would get a month or so at home pottering in the garden and doing this and that before being rendered half-legless. It was not to be. The afternoon came and went. Gladys’s leg went too.

All that was two years ago. These days she’s back at home as happy as a sand-boy. Some things are a bit tricky for her to do, but as Gladys said to her doctor: Sometimes you have to swim the alligator-infested river to get to the safety of the other side.

1654. A secret revealed

(Thanks to badfinger20 of PowerPop… An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture for the opening sentence).

Nine-year-old Marty secretly buried a box next to his parent’s house. Why? I hear you ask. And what was in the box? Even though it’s secret, some of us are party to the information. But first, we must backtrack a little to provide some context.

Marty had lived an eventful nine years. He had been shuffled from one foster home to another. Eventually he was claimed and adopted by his biological parents who regretted giving him up nine years earlier. What became obvious very quickly was the reason they had given Marty up for adoption in the first place: they were incompetent parents.

Neither parent worked. Mom got drunk every night. Dad was hardly ever home; he was out doing whatever it is that grownups do. Marty was always hungry. In many ways he was the only sensible person in the household.

Anyway, he had no trouble getting rid of the bodies. It was the tell-tale kitchen carving knife he was most worried about.

1644. Clown loaches

Danny was upset. His teenage son was having a party and a group of drunken youths were having bets as to who would swallow a clown loach. So far three of Danny’s four loaches in his tropical aquarium had been swallowed.

Danny enjoyed his aquarium. It was a hobby. He had the aquarium in the sitting room where all could enjoy it watching the fish. He knew it was a silly thing to try to tell seven drunken teens not to swallow another loach. They swore at him and one started to chase the remaining clown loach around and around in the aquarium with a pocket knife.

Danny stepped in. A youth pushed the aquarium over and glass shattered everywhere. Water drenched the carpet. Everyone laughed hysterically, until they realized that the guy who had pushed the aquarium over has cut his arm rather badly. Danny had to quickly bandage the arm and call for an ambulance.

It was all a waste of time anyway. The youth died in the ambulance. Some sort of bacterial poisoning from the gut of the fish.

1629. Drop dead gorgeous

Savannah and her three sisters were dead keen on fashion. They presumed, of course, that that’s why they were invited to a Retro Festival. Those of us born a few years before Savannah and her three sisters don’t really regard relatively recent days as being Retro. But Retro the invitation over the phone said, and Retro it was going to be.

Savannah and her three sisters were way ahead of their time. They had come out of the closet very early in the nineteen eighties. All four of them. They had endured ridicule and distain. These days life was easier for the sisters and their partners. No longer were they abused and scorned, but accepted for who they were. When Savannah took the phone call inviting her and her sisters to the Retro Festival it seemed to Savannah, for she’d always had trouble with the issue, that they were at last part of the day-to-day ordinary fabric of society.

All this is part of the reason why they went to so much trouble, and expense, to do the best by the invitation that they possibly could.

Of course, a phone call is a phone call. Sometimes things can get muffled, and muffled they got. Needless to say, they didn’t stay particularly long at the Hetero Festival.

1621. A week camping

There’s surely little more scrumptious than a sausage cooked on a camp fire, then wrapped in a buttered slice of bread with some chopped fried onion and tomato sauce. Follow this with a hot cup of tea or coffee made with water boiled in a tin hung over the hot embers. It’s summer! It’s evening! There are a few mosquitoes but the insect repellent keeps most at bay. All that’s needed now is a competent guitarist to complete the spell. A little sing-along and a bit of yarn telling and all is perfect.

Rufus and Trina with their two children had been camping for a week. Twice a man had come along and told them to move, but they hadn’t budged. Apparently they were not permitted to have a camp fire where they were, or to erect a tent. Rufus had used some choice words at the man, which had prompted Trina both times to say, “For goodness sake, Rufus, not in front of the children.” It made little difference; Rufus gave the man a piece of his mind in a way that only Rufus could.

It was nearing the time they would have to move. The camping food supply was getting low, as was wood for the fire. Camping on their driveway after the catastrophic earthquake was only a temporary measure. But where to go?