Interlude With Public

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.

“Not much to do here in the afternoons, is there?”

“There’s plenty.”

“Doesn’t look like it.”

“Trust me.”

“Do your supervisors come by here in the afternoon to make sure you’re doing stuff?”

“Sometimes.”

“Seems like a big waste of time. These are my tax dollars.”

“These are our tax dollars.”

“Still seems like you guys don’t do much in the afternoon. That’s all I’m saying.”

“Is your son still in jail?”

“What the fuck business is that of yours?”

“Those are your tax dollars, too. He probably doesn’t do much, either. Where’d he learn how to do that shit, too? Did he pick it up from you? You fuck little girls on the side?”

“Fuck you!”

“I’m too old for you.”

Field Trip

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.

33 kids, all between the ages of 7 and 17. No problem. We could do that one in our sleep. Show ‘em the jellyfish tank. Show ‘em the scary moray eels. Show ‘em the adorable, dim-witted manatees. Wrap it up, obviously, with the sharks. Give ‘em some plastic name tags shaped like squids. Trivia contest; winner gets a t-shirt. Pack ‘em back onto the bus and ship ‘em back home.

8 chaperones. They turned out to be wild cards, they did.

For starters, they insisted on accompanying each kid to the restroom, regardless of age. Roswell, the 75 year old volunteer and graduate of the Naval Academy, demanded to know why there were 3 people, only 1 of whom was male, in a single bathroom stall in the men’s room. He waved his mop around, flecks of water landed on the brim of my cap.

During the tour, a chaperone insisted that the common sea robin was created by God to punish other fish. He refused to elaborate.

Once the kids discovered that the outing included neither a kraken nor a Blu-Ray copy of Veggie Tales, they became aggressive.

After a suppressed mutiny near the snack bar (no-one was allowed any sugar we discovered,) the group was led outside to the parking lot for what seemed to be an interlude of guided chanting, followed by a Maoist struggle session among the chaperones that left 2 moms in tears.

Nobody got a t-shirt.

Thoughts On Lunar Eclipse

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.

The world was supposed to end. It didn’t. Man, breakfast was awkward, the next morning.

I didn’t know if I was the only one who hated Uncle Sean, but I suspected I was actually one of several. That morning, he shoveled beans into his mouth and spoke in the Boston accent that made him sound like he’d sustained a head injury.

Why hadn’t the world ended, Uncle Sean? You’ve been telling us for years.

“Somebody did it wrong,” was his answer.

Uncle Sean spent the next two days conspicuously avoiding the subject of Armageddon. His “wife,” Rebecca, moved like a cold draft through the second floor of the communal house. Every few minutes, you’d hear her slam a wooden spoon onto the counter or slam a door.

Someone wrote “Sean eats Gerald Ford’s asshole on TV” in marker on the fridge.

Ordinarily, this would have resulted in a few days of fasting and enforced prayer (I assume it would have; no-one had ever done anything so brazenly confrontational before.) Instead, Sean smiled sheepishly, as if to say “Yeah, I know you guys are pissed. Turns out we were living a lie.”

Sean said he was driving out to Idaho to meditate, to find out what The Lord had really meant. Three days later, they found his car less than 20 miles from the communal house. He had gone to track down The Lord, looking for answers. He barely made it into Connecticut.

They never found his head.

It was probably his brother who did it.

Gay Hi Ho!

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.

She was 16 years old, with a shaved head and cluster of silver piercings in her bottom lip. T-shirt with a picture of Patti Smith on it. She’d been Minus 24 Years Old when Horses first came out.

Speaking of coming out, she was gay. I was likely the first person she had told – apart from her girlfriend, who went to a different school. She told me she was confused; she wasn’t even sure how to be gay.

I told her to try Gay Hi Ho! Gay Hi Ho was when you stood on your front yard and shouted “Gay Hiii Hooooo” at the top of your voice like Nelson Eddy in one of those Canadian Mountie movies. You’d listen and, after a few seconds, you’d hear someone in the distance return with “Gay Hiiii Hooooooooooooo!” That meant you had met your partner.

A few months later, she told her parents about this, and they called an attorney. That’s how I lost my job as a guidance counselor. Now, I work in a porn store that also sells right wing stuff.

Overheard At Cumberland Farms

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.

I don’t care. He’s got to give me respect. I live in his house and I don’t care, but he has to respect me. What I do downstairs is none of his fucking business. There’s got to be respect. Respect. I told him I wanted a dog. My friend is getting rid of his dog, so I said I’d take it. He’s moving and the dog’s not coming with him, so I said I’d take it. See? So I tell my dad and he’s like, “We can’t have a dog in here.” I’m like, “Tough shit. You have to respect my decisions.” So I get the dog and my dad is like “You’re gonna be the one who has to feed it and walk it and clean up the shit.” I’m like, “I will.” So I get the dog and the dog starts hanging around with my dad all the fucking time. Upstairs. Now, my dad, he’s the one who feeds it and walks it and cleans up the shit, so what am I supposed to do? See? Like I do something and takes it over and what the fuck am I supposed to do? He doesn’t respect me.

The Living Dead!

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.

Louis had made a billion dollars by the time he was 29. He bought the old house in which he’d grown up, and he had it demolished. In its place, he planted grass and created a green expanse. A quiet place with small benches.

In the center of the lawn, he placed a huge statue – 10 feet high – depicting the members of his family being attacked by angry dogs.

The members of the media speculated feverishly about why Louis would do such a disgusting, upsetting and petty thing. The people who grew up in the same town as Louis, and who remembered his angry and unintelligent brother and sister knocking ice cream cones and sodas out of peoples’ hands while yelling “Kung Fu Chop!” – a bothersome practice they continued well into their late teens – were free of such officiousness.

Nashville

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.

She approached the front door. She was shy and quiet.

“What is this place?” she asked the man in the blue jacket.

“This is Newbury Museum Of Illustration & Graphic design,” he answered.

“Is it haunted?” she asked him.

“No, it isn’t,” he answered. He closed his eyes for a few moments and then reopened them.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“How do you know?”

“Because it was built last spring.”

“Did somebody die while they were building it, and now his soul is trapped here?”

“I’ll ask. Hey, Paul!”

Paul entered the foyer. He was a tall man, also wearing a blue jacket.

“Yes?”

“Did anyone on the construction crew die while building the building?”

Paul turned to the woman.

“The place isn’t haunted, OK?”