Kreative Kue 158

Kreative Kue 157 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

My thanks to John W Howell, author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, and who blogs at Fiction Favorites, who sent:

The Market by John W. Howell © 2017

“Why are you on top of that box?”

“Are you kidding? Do you know how many shoplifters are out there?”

“What good does it do to stand up there?”

“I can look over the crowd and spot them before they can rob us.”

“Sounds good in theory. How is it working so far?”

“Right now there is a pickpocket checking out a guy’s wallet.”


“See that’s the problem with you a slouched in that chair. You can’t see anything. He’s over to the left. he looks like a shark ready to have a meal.”

“That guy in the olive colored jacket?”

“Yes, the one with the mustache.”

“That is a police officer, you idiot.”

“He sure doesn’t look like one.”

“He is undercover looking for thieves.”

“I guess you have to look like one to catch one.”

“Yeah, he is even carrying a baby so as not to stand out. Now come down from there before you hurt yourself.”

“Where would you get a baby?”

“Are you serious.? Quit with the questions and get down.”

“Wait there is a guy with a backpack.”

“All the way across the aisle. I don’t think he is a threat.”

“By the way. Do you see that set of stairs on top of Omar’s tent over there.”

“I see them. So what?”

“I think I’m going to ask Omar if I can borrow them.”

“What for?”

“To make it easier to climb up on my box.”

“You and that box ought to run away with each other. You know that?”

My effort was:

Navigating the crowd

“What’s the occasion?”

“Occasion? Why would there be an occasion?”

“All these people.”

“It’s the market.”

“I can see it’s a market, but that doesn’t explain why so many people.”

“It’s a popular market.”

“Yes, but are the people here because there’s a market on, or is the market here because there are a lot of people?”

“That’s a very deep question.”

“But does it have a deep answer?”

“I think I see what you’re getting at. Kind of analogous to all manner of chicken-and-egg situations, isn’t it?”


“Yeah. Like is the human population so large because it’s successful, or is it successful because it’s so large?”


“Yeah, yeah. You really got me started now. Okay, try this. Fashion. Driven by or driving consumer needs?”

“I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, pal, but can I have a draw?”

“Ah, I see what you’re saying. Do I think like this because I’m on the weed, or am I on the weed because I think like this?”

“Yeah. Are you an idiot because you’re talking garbage, or are you talking garbage because you’re an idiot?”

“You see? You’re beginning to get it.”

“Okay, professor. Now apply your indescribably large brain to this little conundrum. We are here, at this end of the crowd, a crowd which must contain—”

“More people than turned up for Trump’s inauguration?”

“Very probably, a lot anyway. Now. Here’s the thing. At the other end of this crowd—”

“Assuming there is another end and it doesn’t go on forever.”

“Assuming that, at its other end, is what?”

“I get the feeling you’re going to suggest it’s somewhere we need to be.”

“Yes and no. Yes, we need to be there, but no, it isn’t our destination.”

“If it’s not our destination, why do we need to be there?”

“On the face of it, a very good question. Tell me, when you leave for work in the morning, where do you go?”

“To work, of course.”


“Well, no. I go to the bus stop to catch a… I see what you’re saying. THere’s a bus stop at the end of this crowd.”

“Not exactly. It’s a subway station. That’s where we catch the train to take us to where we want to be.”

“Isn’t there an easier way?”


“So your conundrum is…”

“How in the name of all that’s sacred do we get through this crowd in time to catch our train?”

“What if I yell FIRE?”

“Someone might.”



“That would scatter the crowd, though, wouldn’t it?”

“A farmer from distant Darjeeling, woke up with a very strange feeling; his feet felt quite sore when he stood on the floor, but his slippers were stuck to the ceiling.”

“And the relevance of that is?”

“Nothing. Don’t you ever get the urge to just make up a limerick?”

“Never have yet, but that bloke in front with the kid seems to think you’re quite weird. Look how he’s moving away…”

“Maybe that’s it. Follow me; I’ll recite limericks as we head to the station, and people will step back in disbelief, just like the guy with the kid did.”

“How will that help anybody?”

“Don’t you see? They’ll clear a path for us to get to where we’re going. And all I have to do is—”

“Talk rubbish. Which, in fairness…”


On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here – pingbacks don’t often work.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.


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