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.
One morning, Howie Lovecraft was upset about something. He was often upset, about many things. Some of things were easy to identify. The people in his neighborhood upset him enormously. He didn’t like their food or their hair, by and large. Nor did he like looking at their clothes or hearing them speak.
Sometimes Howie got upset about strange things that lived in the river or out in the forest. These things were as old as the planet, itself. They secretly caused terrible things to happen, and they were so ugly that if you looked at them, you would go crazy. The only subject you could talk about for the rest of your life was how frightening they were.
Howie really didn’t like the production on the Hüsker Dü albums. He thought the band sounded flat and lifeless in the studio. He would tell everyone at Dick’s Books that the Hüsker Dü records were disappointing in comparison to their concerts.
Star Trek was a strange subject for Howie. He was obsessed with the show; he enjoyed wearing special costumes inspired by characters. Still, it was impossible to get him to say anything completely flattering about the science fiction drama. He was very critical of William Shatner’s acting and he possessed an unusual ability to locate plot holes. If he encountered other people who claimed to like Star Trek, particularly people who shared his enthusiasm for dressing up in costumes, he would address them in a secret language that only very few people could understand. Many became angry with Howie for doing this, and for constantly flinging questions at them and then interrupting when they attempted to answer. Someone broke Howie’s tricorder, once.
Howie would get very upset when his younger, but much larger, brother, Sparky, would demonstrate professional wrestling maneuvers using Howie as a subject. One summer day, Sparky did the airplane spin on Howie three times, and Howie refused to speak to anyone for a long time.
Once Howie and Spark were watching The Harlem Globetrotters on television. Howie had never heard of The Harlem Globetrotters, but, upon seeing them, he knew that he disliked them intensely. Sparky, it turns out, was huge fan of The Harlem Globetrotters, and he bet Howie that The Harlem Globetrotters would defeat their opponents thoroughly. The loser of the bet would have to convert to Catholicism.
Howie quickly became upset at both The Harlem Globetrotters’ undisguised rule breaking and their adversaries’ unpardonable gullibility. The Harlem Globetrotters threw confetti at their rivals; ran up into the stands in what was a clear violation of boundaries; and, at one point, brought a ladder onto the court to execute a complicated ruse.
True to his word, Howie angrily became Romish for several days, ceasing only after discovering that the Irishmen in his parish were cunningly assimilating into the population by declining to wear their trademark green curly shoes. He penned a letter to the governor.