Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
They simply stopped giving me shovels. No matter how many requisition forms I filled out, I would never again receive another.
I was asked to dig a trench along the side of path to prevent flooding. Unseasonably robust storms had caused the ground to become waterlogged; the gravel and stone dust coagulated in lumps, leading to minor bicycle accidents. I was expected to help guide the water runoff by gouging a groove along the thoroughfare.
It was a brisk, misty morning when I found an old, sturdy, pointed shovel in the tool shed.
I located the head of the path, and ascertained the distance. If the weather had continued in that state, I could have finished the job in two days.
I drove the pointed blade of the shovel into the ground. Instantly, an oversized gray hand wrapped its stony digits around the forequarter of the implement and yanked it into the earth.
I was left without a shovel, and I had evacuated my bowels.
Over the next few days, no less than nine shovels were lost to the same procedure. By the end of the fortnight, I had arrived at the idea that the creature at the other end of that mammoth hand either passionately loved or nauseatingly detested shovels.
A brief bit of research at the library revealed that a young woman, purported to be a witch, had disappeared along the path in 1972.
In her high school yearbook, she listed her life’s ambition: “To fuck Houdini.”