Kreative Kue 322 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
“I can’t see any signs of injury.”
“That is amazing. You should have seen how these two came together.”
“Tell me what happened.”
“That big lug and Gerry went up for the coconut at the same time.”
“Yeah, and when their heads connected, the lug went down.”
“That’s him laying there.”
“Has anyone taken a look at him?”
“We all looked at him.”
“I mean, has anyone checked him out?”
“And what did you find.”
“No kidding. Is he breathing?”
“He was a minute ago.”
“Okay, I’ll have a look.”
“I have to say, Gerry must have the hardest head in the country.”
“So, doc, how’s the lug?”
“He’ll be fine. I put some ice on his lump. Let me look at Gerry again. My goodness, not even a scratch.”
“Gerry says it’s all those bananas.”
“I’m sure. It could also be that he is not a purebred monkey. I suspect somewhere along the line, his ancestors got mixed up with some humans.”
“Yes. I would d like to do some DNA research, but I already have an opinion.”
“Do tell. Who do you think is part of his DNA?”
“With that hard head, I would guess a writer of some kind. Probably self-published.”
Tien Skye, who blogs at From the Widow Seat offered this spooky tale. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The Outsider © 2021, Tien Skye
“…and you’ll be surprised. I mean, just look at the son. You could tell that something is wrong with him, but the school is insisting that her son just needs a bit more time and space to adjust. Sickening. Well, I don’t know about you, but if I were you, I wouldn’t let my children go near her son. In fact, I’m going to talk to the principal to demand for a reason why that child is in the same class as my daughter!”
“Yes, we really need to talk to the principal. You should have seen the way her son just sits quietly in one corner of the class. He doesn’t talk and he doesn’t play with other children. He just stays in that corner and stares at everyone. Who knows what he is thinking?”
“Right, right! The other day, I saw him walking home. He saw me but he didn’t wave or greet me. He just looked at the ground and ran off! What kind of kid is that? And my son wanted to go after him to greet him. Something about the teacher telling everyone in the class to be friendly with him because of one reason or another. Luckily I grabbed him and we went the other way. I was so afraid he would suddenly turn around and come after us!”
“Hmm, I heard she got into trouble in another neighbourhood. Something about fighting with a man and screaming like a crazy woman. And her son was hiding behind some lamp post and crying. Right out in the street! I heard even the police got involved and they carted her and her son to the station.”
“That’s it. I’m talking to the principal today! This can’t wait anymore. Who knows what is going to happen if we don’t act?”
There was a chorus of agreement from the group of women as they reached a consensus. They did not even bother to keep their voices down.
Just around the corner, another woman leaned against the wall, her eyes red.
What had she done to deserve such a life?
She felt someone tug the corner of her shirt and looked down. Her son looked up at her and slipped his hand into hers.
She sniffed and whispered, “Let’s go.”
My effort was:
“The old boy’s asleep alright. I just tried giving him a nudge. Nothing.”
“Great! What’s the plan, Stan?”
“We’ll carry on as normal, so if he wakes up he won’t suspect anything. I’ve got a special job for you, Nobby. And stop calling me Stan. My name is Beki and you know it.”
“Yeah. Beki,” the young primate shouted.
“Who’s Beki?” the troop asked.
“Stan!” Nobby replied.
“Who’s Beki? Stan!” the troop chorused.
“So to us, you’re Stan. Stan the man with a plan,” Nobby added, his face approximating a grin. Or was it a grimace? Or a leer? .Or possibly even a threat posture. Never mind. It worked. “So what’s the job you’ve got for me — Stan?”
Beki assumed an air of unconcern that fooled nobody. “I want you to go to the keepers’ store and pick up the things on this list.” He handed a short list to Nobby.
“I can’t read,” Nobby said, “how am I supposed to know what to get?”
“Give it back; I’ll read it to you. Will you be able to remember a list of things?”
“Okay. I’ll read them out one by one and you repeat them back to me. One artist’s palette…”
“Never mind what it is; can you remember to ask for it?”
“Call it back.”
“One artist’s palette.”
“Good. Three paintbrushes: One inch, half inch and pencil-tip.”
“Three paintbrushes: One inch, half inch and pencil-tip.”
“Excellent.” This to-and-fro continued until the list was complete and memorised. Finally, Nobby repeated the entire list in one go before scooting off to the keepers’ store.
“Do you think he’ll remember it all?” asked Broken-Tail, a mid-life female named after … well, I can imagine you’ll guess how she acquired that sobriquet.
“I can only hope,” Beki replied, “We’ve done what we can; it’s in Nobby’s hands now.”
“That’s what’s worrying me,” Broken-Tail said.
“Have confidence – he’s your son.”
“That’s what’s worrying me,” Broken-Tail repeated, causing something of a titter from the rest of the troop – every one of whom was fully aware how scatter-brained Nobby could be when he put his mind to it – or, rather, when he failed to do exactly that.
Time passed. The troop went about the serious business of picking parasites off each other’s pelts. The old boy stayed asleep.
Finally, Nobby returned with the things he had been charged with obtaining. Beki checked what had arrived.
“Excellent,” he said, “you did good, Nobby. You will no longer be called the nincompoop of the troop.”
“So I’m no longer stupid and useless?” Nobby asked, excitedly.
“Oh, you’re still that, and some,” Beki replied, “We’ll just stop reminding you every ten minutes.”
“I’ll take that.”
“Let’s get started, then. Three of you take a brush each. Without disturbing the old boy, whoever has the thickest brush, take the red paint and do his nose, around his mouth and eyes. Pale blue with the medium brush and dark blue the thin one; and I want parallel stripes from his eyes to his nose. When that’s done, Nobby will stand the mirror in front of him whilst we wake him up. Let’s see how he reacts when he thinks he’s turned into a Mandrill in his sleep!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.