Tag Archives: prose

1545. Wheat allergy

Rosemary felt ill most of the time.

Eventually she got a doctor who knew what she was talking about. After tests, the doctor pronounced that Rosemary had a wheat allergy.

“Avoid bread and other food made from wheat,” said the doctor.

“But doctor,” said Rosemary, “my husband bakes bread every day. He always has. He’s so proud of his bread-making skills. And he does make lovely bread. That’s how we met.”

Rosemary went home. She never told her husband.

Rosemary felt ill most of the time.

1544. Keeping a diary

Since he was eight, David had kept a diary. Every day, throughout the school year, he would write “Fine day. Full day’s classes”. Unless, of course, it was raining. Then he would write, “Raining. Full day’s classes.”

Only occasionally, if something really exciting or different happened, would he deviate from the norm. “Fine day. Full day’s classes. My birthday. Got a Swiss army knife.”

Now that he was all grown up, the words had changed but the pattern stayed the same. “Fine day. Full day’s work.” He grew bored with it. He started adding fiction. “Fine day. Full day’s work. Murdered a prostitute on Crown Street.” “Fine day. Full day’s work. Murdered a woman waiting at the corner of Adelaide Street and Beaconsfield Road.”

It was silly, but no one read his diaries of course, so it didn’t matter. His entries become more creative: “Fine day. Full day’s work. Set fire to the shoe factory on Herbert Street. Four people dead.” “Raining. Full day’s work. Left a bomb under the seat of a bus. Eleven dead.”

When a homemade bomb exploded in the back shed and David was killed, his mother found the diaries in his bedroom. She threw them into the incinerator at her work. She never told a soul.

1538: Lancelot Grope’s calling

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Nitin at Fighting the Dying Light. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

When he looked at the clown in his greens and reds, his raging coulrophilia kicked in. Lancelot Grope couldn’t help it. He was only too pleased that he himself was wearing baggy clown’s trousers.

Lancelot’s coulrophilia had made his teenage years almost unbearable. The trouble had been that his mother had been obsessed with a relatively muscular trapeze artist named Standish Nikolayevich, and Lancelot was dragged from one circus performance to another. It was okay for his sister to admit that she was obsessed with circus horses (and for his mother to be obsessed with Standish Nikolayevich) but to admit to coulrophilia was another thing altogether. Things came to a head when Cocoa Craven Hook, one of Lancelot’s favourite clowns, took Lancelot out the back.

Cocoa Craven Hook was wearing his greens and reds and looked amazing.

“Judging from looking at your trousers,” said Cocoa, “you seem to be pretty enthusiastic about clowning. Can I show you a thing or two? Let me pull a surprise out of my pocket.”

Suddenly a bunch of flowers appeared from nowhere. One of the flowers squirted water in Lancelot’s face. Lancelot laughed.

“I’ll show you how it’s done,” said Cocoa kindly. “First let me put these flowers in your pocket.”

Lancelot was hooked. He’d never experienced anything quite so exciting. There was no going back. He would be a coulrophiliac for life. Coulrophilia would be his life’s calling. He would use it to cure those who suffered from coulrophobia. And indeed he did.

Today, especially in Hollywood, there’s many a former coulrophobiac who is now a practising coulrophiliac. They’re in the News, and some of them even made it to the circus.

1536: A real s.o.b.

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Sarah Angleton. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Jim Mackey was a real s.o.b., but that wasn’t what Rudy admired about him. Jim and Rudy had known each other since they were at school. In fact when they started school together aged six, Jim had shown Rudy how to chew on a bit of paper, roll it into a ball, put it in the hollow tube of a ballpoint pen, and blow it at enormous speed at the teacher when she wasn’t looking.

“Ouch! Who shot the pea-shooter?” asked the teacher.

“It was Rudy, Miss,” said Jim.

“Jim Mackey, you are a good boy for telling the truth.” She gave him a chocolate fish as a reward. “As for you, Rudy, you are a wicked, wicked boy.”

Jim would betray any friend for a chocolate fish. He would set up other students to do dastardly deeds and then tell on them. It was a method that served him well now that he was all grown. He was an asshole. He was an archbastard. He would arrange for criminals to steal and would then report them to the police. He got rich on the crimes of others.

But things came to a head when Jim Mackey reported to the police that Rudy’s wife was peddling drugs. Rudy shot Jim Mackey dead. There was blood everywhere. Being dead was what Rudy most admired about that s.o.b.

1535: Last word

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Chelsea Owens. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

The esteemed and highly intelligent host limited them to one sentence each. “The esteemed and highly intelligent host” – yeah, right. He had a gun in his hand and had lined the three of them up against the wall. They were the enemies of the people.

“You’re limited to one sentence each before you get shot.” He was excited. You could tell he was excited. He was short of breath, and even though he’d done this dozens of times before you could tell he still got excited about it. “One sentence each so think about it carefully.”

Johnny Smith, who had been arrested on trumped up charges of plotting to hack into the Premier’s computer, spoke first. “Quite frankly I don’t give a crap about having to say…”

BANG!

Angela McKay was next. “There are a few points I’d like to make…”

BANG!

Only Freddie Flood was left. “I know where there’s buried treasure,” he said.

He’s still alive today, although not extremely comfortable.

1534: Ballroom dancing

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by nananoyz of Praying for Eyebrowz.  If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Jane’s biggest regret in life was that she’d never danced. To be honest, she wasn’t exactly Swan Lake material.

No that’s not what I meant, said Jane. I was not thinking of ballet. I was thinking more of ballroom dancing.

In fact, Jane wasn’t thinking exactly of ballroom dancing either. She was thinking more of how lovely it would be to be in the arms of one of those male dance partners one sees on television. One of them could fling her all over the place, and then they would dance on and on and on. In fact they would dance into the sunset. They would fall in love and get married and have a pile of kids. And the handsome ballroom dancer would come home from a day of working to support his wife and children, and before the wonderful dinner she had prepared they would dance a quick foxtrot in the living room. Yes, that’s really what Jane wanted. Not simply a dance, but a dancer.

And then she went to the parish ball, and it was very bright and lovely with coloured lights and a wonderful band. And Jane sat against a wall on a long form next to another person who was also a wallflower. And then Jane saw a man approach. He was very handsome indeed. Jane’s heart kind of fluttered, but he asked the girl next to her for the dance. And Jane smiled like she was really enjoying the occasion but in truth she wanted to cry.

Then quite suddenly there was a man’s voice next to her. She never saw him approach.

“Would you like to dance?” he said. “I know people might think it silly but I’d love it if you would dance with me.”

Jane said “Yes!” and she and Mervyn (for that was his name) danced the whole night away. The things Mervyn could do in his wheel chair! Backwards, forwards, spins and slides. You wouldn’t believe what a show-off he was! Quite frankly, Jane lost all respectability and danced like there was no tomorrow. They were named the “couple of the ball” and stole the show with their celebration jive.

That was over forty-five years ago. Mervyn is long dead. But Jane delights in teaching her grandchildren how to dance. No! No! Not ballet. Ballroom dancing.

1533: Inspiration

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Chris of chrisnelson61. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

The opening line was always the most difficult to write. He’d written openings many times before, but this time it seemed doubly important. It was as if people’s lives depended on it. Certainly his life depended on it, especially his career. I suppose having a career is like having a life.

Strangely, he was in a train when the opening line struck him. He’d spent days on his opening line. He’d changed it dozens of times, rarely on paper but mainly in his head. Once the opening was decided upon, all else would follow. But he had writer’s block. What was he to do? And then WHAM! it came to him while on a train.

Abraham stepped forward.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.