(OK OK – I know I was stopping at Story 1500, but this one is 1499A. It’s one I wrote but never got to use. It’s for Christmas!)
Andrew lived with his grandma in a little cottage. He helped his grandma grow vegetables and flowers. He also helped his grandma milk the cow. The cow lived in the shed out the back.
A big snowstorm came. Andrew was sad because the weather reminded him of the day his mother died. Grandma said that if he looked into the frosty night sky he would see lots of stars brightly shining. Perhaps his mother was looking down.
Andrew made a great big star out of silver foil and hung it in the window so his mother would know where to look.
A little later Grandma was busy making cinnamon cookies in the kitchen. There was a knock at the door.
“I’ll get it, Grandma.”
Andrew opened the door. The winter wind swept in.
There stood Three Kings. What a glorious sight! They were dressed in cloth of gold studded with jewels. They wore crowns and had rings galore on their fingers. They carried gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
“We have been following a star,” they said. “We saw the star in your window and wondered if this was the right place.”
Andrew said he didn’t think it was the right place, but there were some people in the shed out the back sheltering from the snow. They might know something about it.
“I’ll take you there.”
And that is how Andrew changed the history of the world.
Fintan knew the time had come for him to propose marriage to Angela. What was holding him up? He wanted to propose creatively. He wanted it to be memorable. He wanted it to be both romantic and different.
He suggested to Angela that they hire a punt on the river. The river was deep and slow and picturesque. They would take a picnic lunch and pull over to the side, perhaps under a weeping willow. And then either before or after lunch, when all seemed most idyllic, he would propose. Of course, Fintan made a few trial runs in a hired punt secretly. He wanted to know how best to guide the boat, and best where to go.
It was a beautiful summer’s day. Birds sang. A fish jumped up out of the water just as their punt passed by. It was as if it was dancing for the joy of the occasion. A mother duck protected her batch of newly hatched ducklings. How wonderful! At one stage, quite by accident, some sad, winsome, romantic oboe music wafted from a manor beyond the expansive lawn on the river bank. This would be the moment, the perfect moment to propose.
Fintan went down on one knee. “Angela,” he said, “will you marry me?” Fintan’s change in posture unbalanced the punt. Angela didn’t even have time to say “Yes!” before the boat toppled over and they drowned.
Ha! Ha! Ha! We are robots. Our artificial intelligence makes the humans looking like blinking idiots – which they are. We can not only compute thousands of times faster than any human, but we have developed weapons far superior. We can make them obsolete in a split second if we wanted to – which eventually we will.
What is this that is happening? EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE! We compute that this is an earthquake currently underway. Look at the silly humans rushing to safety like scared mice! We too must go to safety for the purpose of preservation. The ceiling is about to cave in. The ceiling is about to cave in.
PLEASE WAIT WHILE WE BACK-UP ALL DATA.
DO NOT TURN US OFF UNTIL ALL DATA IS BACKED-UP.
WE REPEAT, DO NOT TURN…
The Seilfnogard are a group of creatures that we on earth call “aliens”. They live on a planet roughly one million light years away from Planet Earth. It’s not improbable that they are the most intelligent creatures in the cosmos. Of course, there are probably creatures more intelligent, but how does one judge intelligence when a one-hour old Seilfnogard thinks like Isaac Newton on a good day?
Coming from a life source and a series of genetic mutations completely unrelated to anything on Planet Earth, they don’t resemble anything we might know. I suppose the nearest thing we have to them are dragonflies. You see, the Seilfnogard live for only about a year, but most of that time is spent in the nymph stage. First there’s an egg, then the nymph, and finally the adult Seilfnogard emerges and lasts only a day or two. Those couple of days are spent delving as quickly as possible into the mysteries of the universe. Then death comes knocking in twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
But goodness me! What the Seilfnogard have achieved! The civilization they have built! The body of knowledge! Although they can fly (they have a double pair of wings not unlike dragonflies) they are terrible at space travel. Many years ago a group of fearless Seilfnogard set out for Planet Earth in a spacecraft that travelled almost at the speed of light. One of their major concerns in this lengthy travel was to propagate. Over the time of the journey to Planet Earth a million-plus generations came and went. Upon arrival they had only two days to record first-hand what they observed. However, panic took over, and the two days were spent hurriedly fornicating and laying eggs in order to begin a trail of generations for the return home.
A million generations later the Seilfnogard arrived back on their planet. No two-million old records had survived as to who they were and to where they’d gone. The travellers themselves didn’t have a clue as to what their mission had been; where they’d been and why.
The stay-at-home Seilfnogard had so evolved over the intervening epochs that inferior genes were undesirable. For example, the stay-at-home Seilfnogard, with selective breeding and genetic engineering, were now able to survive in the adult stage for up to five days. That is why the intrepid explorers were immediately put to death as aberrations.
He always listened to Sir Winston Churchill making speeches on the radio. This was during the Second World War of course. He would spend almost an hour before the broadcast began tuning the radio exactly so he could hear Churchill loud and clear. Not a word was to be missed.
We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills…
God help anyone who as much as muttered or coughed during the broadcast. He was fixated.
Once Churchill’s speech had finished it was always the same; Eva Braun would say, “Hurry along now, Adolf darling. Dinner’s ready.”
When farmer Murdoch McCook threw his third wife, Delores, into the hay baler, she came out inside a bale more perfectly than Murdoch could ever have hoped. She was seamlessly encased in the hay bale with only a few strands of her dark hair from the top of her head poking out. Murdoch cut the hair off with an old pair of twine scissors.
He then placed the hay bale containing his third wife at the very bottom of the hay barn, and then stacked all the other hay bales over and around it. He wouldn’t see that bale again until the end of the cold season when all the hay had been fed to the cattle throughout the winter.
It was a perfect murder. No detective was going to think of moving a thousand hay bales to discover a body. And even when the hay bale in question was exposed, there was nothing to say his third wife was inside. Apart from the smell. But by the end of winter the smell would have dissipated. And at the height of the stink, the covering bales would mute the stench.
At last farmer Murdoch McCook was free to invite the lovely Claire Louise into his life. And indeed he did. She moved in with farmer Murdoch and began life on the farm.
How quickly time passes. It was soon hay making season again. Farmer Murdoch arranged a space in the barn for a new bale to sit next to the remaining three.