Kreative Kue 316

Kreative Kue 315 asked for submissions based on this photograph:


John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

The Order by John W. Howell © 2021

“I know you hate to go over budget. That’s why I offered to help.”

“How can you help?”

“Easy. You write down an item and tell me the cost. Then, I plug it into the calculator for you. In the end, we will have a total. and you’ll know if you are over or under.”

“What if I’m over?”

“You simply go down the list and eliminate items until you are on budget again.”

“Seems logical. What if I’m under budget?”

“That is really simple. You add some stuff you always wanted but felt you couldn’t afford.”

“I like this system. It adds a little bit of discipline to the shopping trip.”

“That’s right and gives you control.”

“I can’t believe a bird came up  with this.”

“I’m telling you if more people listened to the advice of birds, this would be a better place to live. Before we start listing, what is your budget?”

“I would say $50.00.”

“Okay, give me the first item.”

“Birdseed $4.50.”

“Got it. The second.”

“Twelve pack of VooDoo Ranger ale, $16.50.”

“Okay. Next.”

“Standing rib roast $22.50.”

“Whew. Next.”

“Bottle of red wine $10.00.”

“Cheap. Next.”

“Used to be two bucks. They called it Two Buck Chuck. Now it should be called Ten Buck Chuck. That’s my list.”

“Okay, let me hit total. Uh oh.”

“Uh oh?”

“Yeah, the total is $53.50.”

“That’s not good.”

“Might have to eliminate something. How about the wine?”

“Lifes blood.”

Vo Doo Ranger?”

“Brain food.”

“Smaller Standing rib roast?”

“Too many mouths.”

“Don’t tell me.”

“What’s the total without the birdseed?”

“Aw, come on. Who thought of this system in the first place?”

“So you shouldn’t be surprised. The total?”


“Under budget.”

“Yup. It’s a cruel world.”

“I do thank you for your idea.”

“Yeah, sure. Anytime. As they say, ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’”

“Who says?”

“Who indeed? I’m sure it was a bird.”

Tien Skye, who blogs at From the Widow Seat offered this tale. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The real reason © 2021, Tien Skye

“No wait, can you repeat that part about the variables in the Hodge conjecture again?”

The thrush stopped pecking at the calculator, dropped the pencil in its talons and clicked its beak impatiently. “Buddy, that’s like the third time I explained with the diagrams. Haven’t you watched that movie ‘Three and Out’?”

I blinked. “No, I haven’t.”

The thrush only cocked its head and stared at me incredulously. “Buddy, go watch it. Seriously.”

“Well, I usually just watch what is on the television. I don’t have that much privilege,” I muttered. “You know,” I started as a strange thought came to me. “Why don’t you go to a real mathematician’s house and actually tell him the solution?”

The thrush only rolled its eyes at me. “Buddy, you think I haven’t tried? The moment my kin or I enter, they go all nuts. I have yet to meet one who doesn’t shoo us out.” The thrush preened its feathers. “Besides, it’s not like they are going to share the prize money with us anyway.”

Suddenly, the thrush raised its head in alert even as I cocked my head in concentration.


“All right, Buddy, your human is here. Destroy the evidence!”

“Buddy! What did you do?” Cecil screamed at her dog. Buddy was still chewing and gnawing on her Maths homework.

“And you! Shoo! Go away!” Cecil waved her hands frantically at the bird, chasing it from the remains of her Maths homework.

The thrush only gave a triumphant scream that oddly sounded like “Told you so!” before flying out the window.

My effort was:

It doesn’t add up!

“What are you after, Birdie?”

“I’m having an existential crisis, and it’s scaring me.”

“Existential crisis? You? You’re a bird. Birds don’t have the intellectual wherewithal to have  existential crises.”

“I know. That’s what’s scaring me.”

 “Okay, I’ll go with it for now. Do you want to talk about it?”

“I’d love to. Will you take the role of my counsellor?”

“If that’s what you want; why not?”

“Okay. Where shall I start?”

“I’ll tell you what. Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

“Can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Been done. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. That’d be plagiarism.”

“Fair enough. What’s the first thing you remember?”

“Okay, I can try that. Bear in mind, though, that early memories may not be mine.”

“What do you mean? Whose will they be?”

“Let’s turn that around. What’s your first memory?”

“That’s easy. I was dressed as a pageboy in a street party for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.”

“How old were you?”

“It was a few days before my fourth birthday.”

“And you have a clear memory of it?”

“Of course.”

“Are you sure? You haven’t remembered being told about it, or seen a photograph later?”

“I see what you mean… I have an old black and white photo… And, now I come to think of it, I couldn’t tell you what colour my robe was.”

“Now you’ve accepted that, I’ll give you my first memory; but bear in mind it may not be mine.”

“I’m all ears.”

“No you’re not!”

“I mean, I’m ready and eager to hear what you have to say.”

“Good. I remember a falling sensation; then I was inside the maw of a vicious creature. I must have passed out. When I came to, I was inside a box. It was dark and warm.”

“That’ll be when I rescued you from my dog.”

“I lived in that box for a while. I was fed often enough and quite happy with life. Then I was taken out and put in this enormous room—”

“So you could develop and fly.”

“That was you, too?”

“Surely was.”

“Well. Thanks, I suppose. But what am I supposed to do now? What’s the purpose of my existence? That’s what’s bugging me. That’s what I need to work out.”

“When you’ve grown bigger and stronger; when you can fly well, and when you can eat natural food instead of the prepared stuff I’m giving you, then you’ll be able to go out into the wild.”

“The wild? What the heck is that?”

“It’s open air; it’s nature; it’s where you belong.”

“But I don’t know anyone there.”

“You will. You’ll find within a couple of days that it will all seem perfectly normal and natural – which is what it is. You’ll make friends, you’ll even find a lady blackbird that you’ll want to spend your life with “

“I don’t need to find a bird to spend my life with. I want to spend my life with you.”

“No, you don’t. You can’t. We’re not the same. You need to pass on your genes. To do that, you need a female of your kind so you can mate and breed.”

“That sounds awful!”

“You’re young, Birdie. I thought the concept was pretty grim until I hit my mid-teens; then, suddenly, it seemed like a fine idea.”

“You’re just trying to get rid of me, aren’t you?”

“When the time comes; yes, I am. But it’s for your own good. I shall be sad to see you go, but happy that you’ll be where you are meant to be.”

“That makes no sense whatever. How can you be both happy and sad? It doesn’t add up!”

“If you are smart enough to have an existential crisis, my friend, you must be smart enough to work that out for yourself.”

“This calculator won’t help. Can I use your computer?”


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.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

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