Tag Archives: writing

1483. A reflection on a pair of wood pigeons

Mr and Mrs Wood Pigeon were a handsome couple. Not only that, but Mrs Wood Pigeon had laid an egg. It was a smooth, white, oval egg. They were both very proud of it. Mrs Wood Pigeon sat on it first, and then Mr Wood Pigeon had his turn at keeping the egg warm. For several days they took turns at incubating their fabulous egg.

Mr Wood Pigeon had another job in between sittings. He had to make sure the area around the nest was safe from enemies. There was one smart-alec male woodpigeon on the other side of the field. He clearly had his eye on Mrs Wood Pigeon. He would strut around, and then perform spectacular aerodynamics just to show off. And he imitated everything that Mr Wood Pigeon did. If Mr Wood Pigeon flew up in the air, the smart-alec would as well. If he flew down, so did the smart-alec. It was infuriating.

“One day I’m going to teach you a good lesson”, called out Mr Wood Pigeon to the smart-alec across the way. And he did! One lovely sunny afternoon, just after Mrs Wood Pigeon had taken over the care of the egg, Mr Wood Pigeon swooped across the field in pursuit of the smart-alec. The smart-alec flew towards him at a fantastic rate. They collided. WHAM!

Mr Wood Pigeon’s neck was broken. He’d flown into his reflection in the window of the house across the field. Mrs Wood Pigeon waited and waited, but Mr Wood Pigeon never came back.

1482. The Peripatetic Muse

Creative people think that there are nine Muses. In fact, there are ten, and I happen to be the tenth. I am known as the Peripatetic Muse because my job is to move from one Muse position to another, so that the nine traditional Muses can take their annual vacation in turn.

Of course, each Muse takes a month off, so I get to operate for them for nine months of the year. The remaining three months I spend planning and preparing for my next nine month stint.

I don’t fill in for each Muse along the same lines as each. For example, when I replace Thalia for a month I’m not inspiring comedy writers to create comedies. When I replace Erato for a month I’m not inspiring poets to pen love poetry.

My function is different. It’s why you never hear of me, because it would ruin my ability to operate freely. Ever heard of writer’s block? That’s me! I help people write comedies (and even tell jokes) that aren’t funny or happy. My task is to make lovers write such appalling doggerel that relationships end in tatters. I inspire aspiring artist to toss their notebooks into the fire. Replacing Calliope is my favourite; I make people compose bombastic crap. When replacing Polymnia several years ago I had my greatest triumph: I invented rap.

Naturally (don’t we all?) I have a wee hobby on the side. I inspire people to write blogs. But shhhh! Don’t tell a soul.

1475. Bon appetit!

It was Thanksgiving, and Fred and Jaime Burtwhistle had much to be thankful for, although they couldn’t agree on what their next step in life together was to be. Fred’s Great Aunt Donnabelle, whom they loved very much for obvious reasons, had died and left them a gigantic fortune. It was such a pleasure to be able to spend money and not have their nosy great aunt overseeing. Waiting for her to die had taken years.

Then there was Jaime’s Aunt Mabel to be thankful for. She would never shut up. Talk talk talk. She had a motor accident at some stage during the year and lost the ability to talk. What a relief! What a blessing!

Jaime’s father was a chronic alcoholic and they had put him in a care center of some sort for drunks. It was going to be good not having him around on Thanksgiving to ruin everything.

Fred’s mother, a widow, was a nut case. She had been “institutionalized”. Hopefully in a padded cell. You’ve no idea how embarrassing that woman could be.

So indeed there was much for Fred and Jaime Burtwhistle to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. They had no children, so it was to be just the two of them. Of course, they couldn’t agree on how best to spend Great Aunt Donnabelle’s inheritance. To solve this disagreeable problem Fred had poisoned the cranberry sauce, and Jaime had poisoned the pumpkin pie.

Bon appetit!

1456. The blue rose

You’ve probably heard of the black tulip, and likewise the blue rose. These days, with genetic engineering, nearly everything is possible. That’s why Belinda wasn’t at all surprised when she came across an advertisement for “100 seeds of a blue rose”. She thought it a little strange that she should grow roses from seed. Grafting seems to be more the norm.

Using her credit card, she bought 100 seeds for $10.73. The postage was included, which was great considering the seeds would be sent all the way from China.

The first things she noticed was that lots of money had gone from her bank account. It seemed that the 100 seeds were $10.73 each.

After several weeks she received a letter from Customs. Did she know there was a fine of $50,000 for trying to import illegally foreign seeds and vegetable matter into the country?

Belinda was desperate. She couldn’t afford that. She wrote to Customs and suggested they stuff the blue rose seeds where the sun doesn’t shine and she hoped they sprouted thorns.

Her expensive, and useless, lawyer intimated she might get out on parole in a couple of months.

1455. The song of the skylarks

Mrs Drogmire (everyone knew her as Dear Mrs Drogmire for no one knew her first name) lived alone in a cottage somewhere in the country. She had lived there since her husband died almost fifty years ago. For the last twenty years she had retired from her work with the Manufacturing Association where she developed flame resistant fabric for furniture and vehicles.

These days she read, gardened and knitted. Her husband had passed on before they had even thought of starting a family. But who needs grandchildren to fill in a busy day?

The country thing that Dear Mrs Drogmire loved the most was the skylarks. Their singing, high in the sky, brought a great deal of joy to her summers. These days, with her slightly fading eyesight, she could rarely pick them out in the bright sky, but her hearing was still acute, and their singing was as if made for heaven. She would sit in a chair outside with a good book and a cup of tea, and the skylarks turned life to bliss.

And then two youths came by with their slug guns and started firing at the singing skylarks.

“What are you doing?” asked Dear Mrs Drogmire.

“We’re practising,” they said. “These skylarks are good target.”

“Don’t shoot my skylarks,” said Dear Mrs Drogmire.

“Why don’t you go drown yourself, old lady?” said the youths getting in their old truck and driving off.

They came back the following week. Leaving their truck the youths walked up the road and into a field. They started shooting the skylarks again. Suddenly their truck burst into flame. It was a gigantic explosion. Bits of truck flew into the air all over the place.

“What happened? What happened?” exclaimed Dear Mrs Drogmire dashing out of her house. “Thank goodness you weren’t in the vehicle when it overheated.”

“The cause of the explosion is unknown to us,” said the visiting policeman. “Not even the sweet little old lady who lives nearby saw a thing.”

1453. The last scream

It was very spooky. Within seconds of Natasha getting wet in the shower (this is at night time) the bathroom light would go off. It started only about a month ago, and occasionally. Now it happened automatically, every time.

“Blow it,” thought Natasha, not as yet equating the event with supranatural causes, “I shall walk dripping wet across the bathroom floor and turn the light back on.” She did just that. But no sooner had she got back into the shower the light went out again.

Next above the sound of water falling, she heard “hee hee hee”. It was a woman’s voice. It was coming from the direction of the light switch. Natasha began to feel scared. The “hee hee hee” had certain nasty overtones.

Natasha stepped immediately out of the shower, strode to the light switch, turned it on and reached for a towel. All the bathroom towels had gone. Not even the usual hand towel was there.

And then she saw it. OMG! She saw it! Natasha screamed. That scream was the last sound ever to come out of Natasha’s mouth.

Hee hee hee!

1441. He’s still there

Norbert hadn’t realized he’d died. He got up in the morning totally oblivious to the fact that he had died in his sleep. He made breakfast. He made plans for the day. He even made his bed! In fact he hadn’t made his bed he just thought that he’d made his bed.

It wasn’t until several days went by that he realized no one had any perception of his presence. Everything in Norbert’s existence was simply his imagination. For example, he saw them sell his car, but he still drove it to town. It seemed like he was travelling in his car, but he wasn’t.

The only difference at first was that life would have no end. Fear of death had gone. Immortality reigned. Life had the same pains and joys, the same ups and downs. And then he began to have nightmares. He began to wonder if he was in hell. He began to believe he was in hell. The plummet into hell was a slow and deceitful process. It got worse as the years went by. It became horrific. He began to scream “Let me out! Let me out!” There was no escape.

He’s still there.

1422. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it

Quite frankly, I’m sick of it, Heidi. I come home from work and the place is a mess. The kids’ rooms are a mess. The kids haven’t even done their homework. The only food to look forward to is precooked stuff out of a package. You just heat it up in the microwave like you don’t care. The dishes don’t get done. The kids eat too much junk.

Then all you do is complain about every little thing. You want a better car. The lawn needs mowing – well, mow it yourself if that’s what you want. You haven’t taken the trash out. You’re not separating trash into recyclables. You don’t take any pride in your appearance any more. You look like an old cow.

Oh yes, Heidi, you have a cold. When don’t you have a cold? Moan moan moan. I cut down your work hours at the factory to only 30 hours a week so you could do some home-making stuff you so desperately wanted and all you do is moan moan moan. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

Heidi pulled out a gun and shot him dead. It was premeditated.

1415. Humdrumery

Astra was born in Latvia and in her twenties had emigrated. She did it on her own. Her parents had passed on and her only sibling, a sister, had married rich and was living a life of luxury disinterested and somewhere else.

Changing countries for Astra was both a risk and an adventure. Who knew what was around the corner? Who knew what stranger might suddenly transform her life? The world was her oyster!

Astra quickly found a job. After all, she was fluent in a number of languages. Her job paid well. She lived comfortably.

She never met Mr Right. She lived on her own. She didn’t know how to make friends in a foreign country. She thought the locals weren’t too keen to hang out with foreigners.

When she died in early old age a couple of people came to her funeral. None of them were sad. They knew her vaguely from work.

Her lively adventure had in fact been ho-hum, humdrum, mediocre, you know, sort of neither here nor there.

1414. God saith

The band of faithful had gathered together in the little church. The vicar was reading from the Bible:

Thou Lord hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves.
Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
Mine eye mourneth by …

Suddenly there was a great flash of light. All had to shield their eyes. A great reverberating voice boomed through the church:

Oh for God’s sake! I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Can’t you speak proper English?

At first all thought it was the voice of God, but then they realized it was the local atheist who had rigged up a system and was playing a trick. A visiting archdeacon taught the atheist a jolly good lesson by beating a bit of charity into him with a baseball bat.