It doesn’t add up!

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“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?”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 315 published on this site.

 

Kreative Kue 315

Kreative Kue 314 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

04-06-2006 09-29-39_0026a

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 Job by John W. Howell © 2021

“Would you look at that.”

“What the mess?”

“No, the dog.”

“What about him.”

“He’s sound asleep there.”

“Yeah, so what?”

“I hired him to empty all those boxes.”

“Well obviously he is not doing the job you hired him to do.”

“That’s obvious.”

“How much are you paying him?”

“$14.00 an hour.”

“Doesn’t seem like you are getting your money’s worth.”

“No kidding. What should I do?”

“Why don’t you hire him to sleep? I think you can get him at a cheaper rate.”

“I guess it’s my fault in the end.”

“Why’s that?”

“I should never have hired a dog to do a man’s work.”

“You open to being a little more broad minded?”

“What do you mean?”

“You said ‘man’s work.’”

“Yeah,so what?”

“Could a woman do the same work?”

“Sure.”

“You still paying $14.00 an hour?”

“I would like to, yes.”

“You just found the dog’s replacement. When can I start?”

“How about now?”

“Can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Need a nap.”

“Off the clock?”

“What are you paying the dog?”

“haven’t decided yet.”

“When you do I’ll nap at the same price. See ya.”


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

(Untitled) © 2021, Tien Skye

“Well, go on! Look at what you did!”

Cooper only laid his head down and whined.

“You are such a bad boy. Bad boy!” I continued relentlessly. “Don’t hide your face when I’m talking to you! Look around you! What did you do, huh? What did you do?”

Naturally, Cooper continued to ignore me and buried his head into the paper.

“Well? What are we going to do with all this, huh?” I questioned him in a scalding manner.

Cooper finally looked at me with those puppy eyes that he was too old yet completely suitable for. “I ordered the paper that you told me on Amazon and even managed to get them shipped. I just forgot it’s toilet paper that you wanted!”


My effort was:

It’s a Wrap!

“What are you doing, Hobie?”

“Quiet, Dad; please.”

“Hang on, fellah. You don’t tell me to be quiet. Now come on. What are you doing?”

“Ignoring you. mostly.”

“You have no right to ignore me, matey.”

“And yet you have the right, knowing I’ve been going blind for years and now have no sight left, to drag me from the home where I know the exact location of everything and could manoeuvre around the house without bumping into anything, and dragging me to this new house. I have no idea where anything is and I keep bumping into stuff. I don’t even know where the door is when I need to go out and relieve myself. So don’t talk to me about rights!”

“Steady on, old chap. You’ll love it here. No more having to walk along busy roads—”

“With which I was familiar.”

“No more being confined to a small back garden—”

“Which I knew my way around!”

“But there’s a big field attached to this house – almost an acre. You can walk around it to your heart’s content.”

“Yeah, and have no idea how to get back again.”

“You’ll soon get used to it, Hobie Would it help if I put up something that will make a bit of noise so you’ll be able to work out which direction to go?”

“That depends.”

“On what?”

“On whether you’ll ever stop talking and give me the chance to listen to something else.”

“That’s hardly fair.”

“Isn’t it? What are you doing now?”

“Talking to you.”

“Exactly, whilst I’m trying to listen out for something.”

“What are you trying to hear?”

“This paper. It hasn’t made a sound yet.”

“What sound do you expect it to make?”

“Duh. What sort of paper is it?”

“Hahaha. I know what you’ve done.”

“What?”

“You heard me tell Mum about it, but obviously didn’t see the label.”

“So?”

“It’s wrapping paper, Hobie… wrapping with a W.”


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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 keithchanning@gmail.com 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.

It’s a Wrap!

04-06-2006 09-29-39_0026a

“What are you doing, Hobie?”

“Quiet, Dad; please.”

“Hang on, fellah. You don’t tell me to be quiet. Now come on. What are you doing?”

“Ignoring you. mostly.”

“You have no right to ignore me, matey.”

“And yet you have the right, knowing I’ve been going blind for years and now have no sight left, to drag me from the home where I know the exact location of everything and could manoeuvre around the house without bumping into anything, and dragging me to this new house. I have no idea where anything is and I keep bumping into stuff. I don’t even know where the door is when I need to go out and relieve myself. So don’t talk to me about rights!”

“Steady on, old chap. You’ll love it here. No more having to walk along busy roads—”

“With which I was familiar.”

“No more being confined to a small back garden—”

“Which I knew my way around!”

“But there’s a big field attached to this house – almost an acre. You can walk around it to your heart’s content.”

“Yeah, and have no idea how to get back again.”

“You’ll soon get used to it, Hobie. Would it help if I put up something that will make a bit of noise so you’ll be able to work out which direction to go?”

“That depends.”

“On what?”

“On whether you’ll ever stop talking and give me the chance to listen to something else.”

“That’s hardly fair.”

“Isn’t it? What are you doing now?”

“Talking to you.”

“Exactly, whilst I’m trying to listen out for something.”

“What are you trying to hear?”

“This paper. It hasn’t made a sound yet.”

“What sound do you expect it to make?”

“Duh. What sort of paper is it?”

“Hahaha. I know what you’ve done.”

“What?”

“You heard me tell Mum about it, but obviously didn’t see the label.”

“So?”

“It’s wrapping paper, Hobie… wrapping with a W.”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 314 published on this site.