Monday, December 29, 2008

An Aversion to Pecans

Unscrewing the top, Jip Jones noticed a pecan on the floor. Being averse to such nuts, he let out a faint howl. Then he went back to unscrewing the top.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mrs. Kerchif and her son, with the latter reading the paper and the former wondering what might be contained within the paper being read

Mrs. Kerchif enters her son’s room. He is sitting on a couch reading the paper. When Mrs. Kerchif sees this she lets out a deep sigh. The son looks up.


The mother smiles. She loves when her son speaks to her. “So you found the paper father left?”

The son shakes the paper.

“Well I was just making sure.” She waits briefly for a response, and then turns and leaves the room.

Mrs. Kerchif is now standing outside of her son’s room. She is thinking about all of the things that her son might be reading about. She lets out another deep sigh.



“Why are you standing outside of my room?”

“Oh, I’m not dear.”

The son doesn’t reply, but Mrs. Kerchif can hear the crumpling of paper. Then she hears his footsteps. Mrs. Kerchif’s son walks out of his room and past his mother. He doesn’t look at her as he passes, but she is staring hard at him. “Where are you going?” she gasps. He doesn’t reply to this either, but instead hurries down the hallway. Moments later Mrs. Kerchif hears the front door open and then almost immediately slam shut. She smiles, then enters her son’s room. She walks over to the crumpled paper on the floor. Picking up pieces at random, she skims over the paper’s contents. Having sufficiently perused the paper, Mrs. Kerchif leaves her son’s room. She goes to her chair near the front door and sits down. She will wait here for her son to return.

In a cardboard box, on Friday, with two guests, one related, the other not, Gene plays host.

Gene, feeling obligated, begins:

Good evening.

The other two:

Hello, Gene.


Do you two know each other?


Absolutely not.


Well then I must introduce you.


No need.



Nothing more is said the rest of the evening.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Allegory Overheard While Rehearsing For The Production Of A Play In Which I Was To Have A Minor But Nonetheless Significant Role

A man walked down a road. He was tired, but he kept walking. Then he heard a chirp. He paused to think about the chirp, but then continued walking. Finally he got to where he had been walking to, so he sat down. While seated, the man had all sorts of thoughts. Sometimes these thoughts would lead him back to the chirp he had heard only just recently. The man wondered what sort of creature had made the chirp. Finally, he decided to look for whatever it was. He began walking down the same road from which he had just come. He walked and walked and walked, listening all the while for a chirp. Then, suddenly, he heard a chirp. Was it the same chirp? he asked himself. Was that the same chirp I heard earlier? He couldn’t decide. Being uncertain, he stopped walking. He didn’t dare continue, knowing that this might be the same chirp he had heard earlier. At the same time, he couldn’t help thinking that, perhaps, it wasn’t the same chirp. The man is still standing there to this day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally Understanding What Everyone Else Has Always Understood

A nasty bug had been going around the office. People were miserable and suffering. Everyone had a sniffle or cough or weepy eye. Everyone, that is, except Chandra. Chandra never got sick. She was always, as she put it, fine. People resented Chandra for this reason, and despite her naturally ingratiating personality, she had very few friends in the office.

Chandra’s husband was the same way: he never got sick. Or at least he hadn’t ever gotten sick until now. This nasty bug, the one that had been going around Chandra’s office, had also been going around Chandra’s husband’s office, and he had caught it. When he came home sniffling and coughing and weepy eyed, Chandra’s face dropped. “What’s wrong?” she asked. Chandra’s husband looked up at her and in an instant realized why everyone disliked his wife. “Nothing,” he said, and walked sullenly back to their bedroom to be alone.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thack and Smith

A man named Thack set a grapefruit on top of the head of a woman named Smith. He told her to hold still. She tried, but something made her shudder. The grapefruit rolled off of her head and hit the floor with a small thud. Thack picked it up. He stared at it for a moment, then walked with it over to a chair. He set the grapefruit down on the seat of the chair and stepped back from it. Both he and Smith stared at the seated grapefruit. Then Thack walked back over to the chair and picked up the grapefruit. “You see,” he said, “like that.” She nodded her head to show she understood, and then Thack walked back over to her. He set the grapefruit back atop Smith’s head. This time she didn’t shudder. The grapefruit balanced atop her head for several minutes. Finally Thack walked back over to her and removed the grapefruit. “Now you see,” he said. “”Yes,” she replied, “I do.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


There is a long string tied between two trees. One girl notices the string and adroitly hops over it. Another girl does not see the string, however, so when she walks through the trees she trips and falls. Had there been people there, they all would have laughed. As it was, though, I was the only person who saw it, and I felt it would be rude to laugh at the girl. Instead we just sort of awkwardly nodded at one another, and then the girl hurried along.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Boys and Bugs

Vincent imagined that being an insect wouldn’t be all that much different than being a boy. He even came up with some reasons to support this idea: bugs, like boys, have legs; also, bugs have eyes. Legs and eyes, those two fundamental human traits, are also shared by bugs, and as a result, a little boy named Vincent imagined that being an insect wouldn’t be all that much different than being a boy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Woman Leaving a Room

He sat straight up in his chair. She stood above him. Her neck was red, but her face was white as ash. Attached to his long left pant leg he had a small, unsharpened knife. It had a red handle.

They were inside of a room. The room had white walls, and the bright light on the ceiling gave it an exaggeratedly harsh look. This look was the reason she had once wanted to move into the room, but now it only antagonized her. She hated the way she looked in it, and she was constantly rubbing parts of herself as if to protect them from the light. He had never cared about the light, but now he was upset with the way it made her look. It was like a refutation of his taste, a blow to his connoisseurship, etc.

She had been standing above him for several minutes, her neck growing redder with each passing moment, her face more blanched. He could hardly look at her now. She was menacing and awful. He folded his left leg over his right and began stroking his calf. He wanted to laugh, but he knew what would happen. So he stared at her or at the harsh white walls, or he would just let his eyes roll desultorily about. At last, finally, the woman coughed into her thin, ringed hand. He looked immediately up at her and began:

“I know. I know. But I always said. I mean, I have.” He stopped there. His eyes fled back toward the walls. He continued rubbing his calf.

Her voice began, choked, almost coughing, “What?”

“Well I did,” he said. “I absolutely did.” He still wasn’t looking at her. He just looked hard at the wall and rubbed his calf.

“Perfect. Perfect. Of course.” She coughed each of these words at him, and she never withdrew her gaze.

“I don’t know. I don’t. You know. I can say something. I have.” He laughed at this. “I have.”

At this her body heaved forward, but it snapped back almost immediately. She caught herself. Then her face split. Strange rubicund thorns blossomed all over her blanched face. A sort of scream seemed to be swallowed. She turned away from the man and walked stiffly towards the door. “I’ll just go then,” she whispered.

He looked at her again. He was smiling, but not laughing. Nodding his head, he said, “Sure.”

She walked out of the apartment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finding A Note, Composing A Note, And Not Sending A Note, Along With Other Biographical Details

A short note was found under a waste bin. It read: ok for now. uncertainty later. will speak when possible. ha. yrs. And the initials were smudged. A man found this note. The man’s name was Hall. He worked for a textile company. Three months prior to having found the note, Hall had insulted someone he had been intimate with. When he found this note, he was reminded of this person. He didn’t care for his job, but he kept it anyway. He felt that this was easier than looking for a new one. After reading the note, he decided that he would try to contact the person he had insulted. He wrote them a note. It read: for now, certain. speaking when possible. unamused. yrs. H. His initial wasn’t smudged – he made sure of this. He was going to stamp it and drop it in the post, but he remembered that the rate for stamps had gone up recently. He only had stamps at the old rate, so he didn’t send the note. He still works at the textile company, and he still prefers this to looking for a new job.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Heroine and Mr. Round Roundly

On top of her head sat a small cap. It was brown with a faint yellow bow. Underneath the cap, at the peak of the lining, was a pink button. Nobody but her knew about this button, though, because she never took off her cap. She didn’t take her cap off because, as she said, she didn’t feel inclined to do so. People, curious creatures that they are, would often ask her if there was anything they could do that might incline her to remove the cap. No, she would reply, absolutely not. And she meant this. There wasn’t anything anybody could do to make her feel inclined to take off her cap. Or this was what she thought, anyway, prior to meeting Mr. Round Roundly.

Mr. Round Roundly was a proud young literary man. He had brown hair and square, solid teeth. He spoke in clipped but elegant sentences, and was considered to be a very amiable young man.

One day Mr. Round Roundly saw our heroine sitting alone in the middle of the street, atop a stool, wearing, naturally, her brown cap. Thinking it odd that a woman should be sitting atop a stool in the middle of the street, Mr. Round Roundly approached her. Cars buzzed by the two as they sat conversing in the middle of the street, and though many onlookers strained to hear what was being said, nobody could make out much above the roar of the automobiles. The only thing about this interaction that anyone can be certain of is that, after several moments of what seemed like pleasant enough conversation, our heroine removed her cap and stuck it smilingly atop the head of Mr. Round Roundly. A great gasp could be heard above the roar of the cars, and all eye were fixed on the couple. Finally, our heroine hopped down from her stool and locked arms with Mr. Round Roundly, and the two walked carelessly through the traffic and out of the street. They left the stool behind them, and to this day it remains in the middle of the street, a symbol of this inscrutable event.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On the Existence of Ornithologists

For a bird to be that – a bird – it must possess a number of more or less essential qualities. There are certain sorts of humans that know with certainty what these more or less essential qualities are. These certain sorts of humans are known as ornithologists. Why anyone would want to know the more or less essential qualities of these creatures – birds – I cannot say with any degree of certainty. That they exist, however, is irrefutable.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Engineer

He had set up a device to help him consume his soup. A bowl (of soup) was set atop a stack of books. Then, he laced together a number of celery stalks, and angled them up towards the bowl. This created a sort of channel from the bowl to his mouth. He would then kick out one of the books. This was supposed to cause the bowl to spit forth a bit of soup. With any luck some of the spit soup would land in the celery channel, and with a bit more luck the soup would be able to pass down the entirety of the long channel and into his mouth. It was not the most efficient way of eating soup – this he would willingly admit – but it was, as he was always repeating, the most interesting way.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Two Men

A man enters another man’s room and sits down. He has not been invited, but he does not appear to be unwelcome. The man whose room it is even nods at the guest, but he does not smile. He is seated in a cushioned brown chair, and his eyes are only barely open. The other man, the guest, points at an empty chair next to the seated man. The seated man nods again, but his face remains impassive. Once the guest has seated himself, he reaches into his pocket. After a few moments, he withdraws a single unbent, pristine flower. He holds the flower perpendicularly to the ground. He shakes it slightly, and then stops so that it is again perpendicular to the floor. After this short ritual he retires the flower, stuffing it back into his pocket. He turns his head so that he is now looking at the man whose room it is. Both his eyes close, and as they do his grayish tongue begins to poke slowly out of his mouth. The other man, the man whose room it is, turns his head towards the man. He is offended, but only slightly. He closes his nearly shut eyes, but he does not stick out his tongue. He turns away from his guest and sinks more deeply into his seat. The other man, feeling rebuffed, recoils his tongue and turns away from the man. He too sinks into his chair. Neither has their eyes open, but neither is asleep. Some time passes. Then the guest stands up. He walks over to the host and grabs him by the chin. He shakes the seated man’s head jerkily from side to side. He stares hard down at him. The host’s face is unflinching; it is totally unresponsive. The guest lets go of the man. He stands above him, shaking slightly. He lets out a faint grown, and then turns towards the door.

Standing at the door, the guest turns and once more looks at the seated man. “And tomorrow,” he whispers. The host, without opening his eyes, whispers, “Of course.” The other man turns the door’s handle and disappears from the room.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


He read: cocktails @ 8. yours &c, rw

Chuckling and sniffling at once, Laim Clot stuffed the missive into his pocket. He then took one of his ten fingers and rubbed it against the lobe of his left ear. He could not explain why he had done this, but this is understandable since no one had asked him to.

In three weeks time Laim Clot will be dead. The papers will pronounce it an accident, his family a tragedy, and his friends, well, his friends will most likely chuckle and sniffle all at the same time, but not really pronounce it anything at all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Man in a Cup

He felt like he was inside of a cup. It was a slender cup, though he was by no means a slender man. He was not uncomfortable, however. Simply annoyed. And then the bird came.

A bird was always coming to him when he felt as if he were inside of a cup: a big colorful bird that makes all sorts of sounds. He would always confuse these sounds with words and begin speaking to the creature. This always seemed to quiet the bird down, and after a few moments it would typically fly away. The man would then be left alone, still feeling as if he were inside of a slender but not uncomfortable cup.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An Allegory Overheard in the Woods

Two fish forget for a moment that they are fish. One of them thinks that it is a bird, so tries to fly from the water. The other, thinking that it is a rodent, tries to scurry across the beach. The fish that tries to fly flops briefly out of the water but tumbles almost immediately back in. The fish that tries to scurry across the sand, however, is never able to return to the water. It flops about on the beach for a while, until finally it grows tired and falls asleep. It never wakes back up. Since other fish witnessed the surviving fish try to fly, they tease it relentlessly to this day. Since no fish saw the other fish try to scurry across the beach, however, it has been entirely forgotten.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mull's Mail

Unfortunately for Mull, the mail is not coming today. He only very rarely received anything in the mail, but he was always anxious for it to come. What might it bring today? he would ask himself. Then he would imagine all sorts of things that it might bring: a salad, a new can of paint, a thumbtack, a toothbrush. Mull would have been pleased with any of these things, and thus each day he would anxiously await the coming of the mail. Today, though, the mail is not going to come, which is unfortunate for Mull, obviously.