Growing Pains

Jack first noticed that he’d started growing when his head hit the ceiling. How he had managed to miss the fact that he had left a dent in the lintel he never worked out, but once he’d managed to solve the equally puzzling question of how to get out of the room he made his way to the doctor.

‘ In my professional opinion,’ the doctor said; ‘you are growing.’

‘But what’s causing it?’ Jack asked

‘That,’ said the doctor; ‘is a very good question. We’ll probably dissect you when you die to find out.’

This, Jack decided, wasn’t helpful; and so he decided to leave. ‘Watch the lintel!’ Cried the doctor.

The next week was torture for Jack, at least until he stopped hitting trees. After that milestone was reached his head no longer hurt from constant bangs, although the constant climbing attempts by lesser mortals were annoying. But with the absence of pain came a new worry: would it soon be replaced with an absence of oxygen as he reached ever greater heights? We’ll, we will never know, because three days after that thought first occured Jack died, having been hacked down by an urchin who was being pursued by a giant of the fee-fo-fum variety. Luckily he had left his body to science; but all they learnt upon autopsy was that he had had a fondness for beans.

Hats

There are times when you don’t want to have to worry about what is on your head. One of these times is when trekking through the endless desert of South Musenland. There the preditors swoop down from above and scoop out the brains of their prey with sharp spoon-like claws, but that is not what we speak about here. Our tale takes place in the urban settings of Goo, in North Musenland. Here, a man with a hat strides into a club, and despite the exhortations of the butler, refuses to remove his hat. No amount of pleading can induce him to remove it, and he is eventually allowed to retain it. This departure from the strict rules of half a century is only counternanced due to his being the Prime Minister; a man whose exploits in the southern wastelands are only overshadowed by his reputation as a thinker. And indeed, if people had known, these two things were the cause of his hat habit; for his reputation for the latter could only be undermined by the legacy of the former: the hollow scoop of his egg-cup skull.

Vampire Cats

They came at night, when all was dark. Sleek, vicious shapes, teeth sharp and claws brights under the thin light of a watery moon; the unearthly howls of the wolves echoing throughout the village. Terry hated them almost as much as he hated his name, which was pretty rubbish for a Transylvanian. But it was the vampire cats that he hated more; the way they shrieked their song, the way they pounced on the unwary, and the way they left dead songbirds everywhere meant that Terry was determined to stop the scourge once and for all, and so he sat now in the early evening, waiting for what he knew would come. And then, as the last of the people in the village hurried home and piled the furniture and most expendable children against the door as a barricade, Terry lifted his butterfly net and brought it down hard. When he brought it up again a bat was struggling within.

‘Why?!’ it said.

‘Because I want to speak to you, Terry  replied.

‘So phone!’ said the bat; ‘You do this every time! It’s ridiculous!’

‘You never answer the phone,’ Terry said, twisting the net so the Bat could fly free, which it did before flapping so that it hovered opposite him at head height. ‘I want to know why the cats are turning  undead again. The Count promised last time.’

‘The Count also promised not to eat anyone,’ the bat pointed out.

‘But he didn’t eat anyone,’ Terry replied. ‘It’s strictly drinking with him. ‘

The bat looked at him with an apologetic air and shrugged its wings as if to say ‘can’t do anything about it.’ Terry sighed, and took up his stick. It was time to visit the castle again.

The castle was big, and forbidding, and foreboding, and generally loomed. It also gave off the distinct impression that it was trying too hard. Terry found the way annoying; mainly as he had to shoot half a dozen vampire cats with a crossbow that fired silver quarrels. This did not slow him down for long though, and soon he came before the door, barred and solid as the night was black. He knocked, and the door fell over.

‘What is it now?’ boomed a voice.

‘I’ve come to complain about the cats,’ Terry said.

‘And you had to knock over the door?’ Terry found himself feeling defensive.

‘I just knocked,’ he said as he skewered a cat sneaking up behind him with an over-shoulder shot. ‘And I’ts about these damn cats. You promised you’d not have any more.’

The count appeared before him in a flash.

‘Vampire cats?’ he asked; ‘again?’

‘Yes,’ Terry said; ‘are you going to tell me you didn’t make them? Because you’re the only one who does that sort of thing.’

The count looked guilty.

‘We’ll, I didn’t; I mean, not quite. you see’ –

He broke off abruptly, staring down.

‘Well?’ prompted Terry, as the Count looked wretched.

‘I think I know where they came from.’ he siad, and Terry glared at him.

‘What did you do?’ he said, and suddenly two things happened;  he felt a sharp pain in his ankle and the Count said in a guilty rush:

‘I may have made vampire mice.’

More odd stories and absurdist fiction by Severley Odd can be found on Amazon

With A Smile, Not A Bang

The way to end, most authorities agree, is with a bang. Atom bombs, for example, keep to this rule and this fact is deeply satisfying for most people except those most directly involved. This is just one case proving the validity of the rule.

However, as any abuser of statistics knows, there always can be outliers. In the case of endings, The short-lived country known as Wheinott is probably the most famous.

Wheinott came into existence as a practical joke, the declaration of independence being published in a peer-reviewed academic paper to make a point, and if a government minister with big ideals and little brains had not read it that would have been an end to the matter. But he did, and after careful Parliamentary scrutiny that no other part of the country could stand the area in question (mainly on account of it being far too cheerful for eight o’clock in the morning), it was granted independence.

The residents of the hastily declared independent country of Wheinott were suprised to discover that they were a country, mainly because none of them had been consulted on the matter, but faced up to this with their usual optimistic outlook.

‘We’ll be okay,’ said the unofficial spokesman when asked; ‘after all, how hard can it be to run a country?’

Perhaps they would have made a success of it, but we shall never know, as the previous host country, incensed that anyone could be so blasé about leaving them, declare war. And so the tanks, strike-fighters and infantry moved in, conquering the place in half a day. But the abiding  memory that the army personnel had, the reoccurring theme that psychiatrists heard time and again from the traumatized men was this- the giant billboard displaying, in cheery yellow-and-red comic-sans lettering: ‘Welcome to Wheinott, and enjoy your invasion.’

 

More absurdist fiction by Severely Odd can be found on Amazon

Lollipop

via Daily Prompt: Lollipop

It was a small lollipop, and it felt this keenly. All the larger lollipops looked down on it (even those on lower shelves), and none of the boiled sweets would even glance its way. The sweet-shop owner -a tall, pale man with fang-like teeth and eyes of fire – often picked it up and examined it before making sad tutting noises. And it seemed that that would be all its existence consisted of, until The Day.

The Day, as the lollipop always though of it, was the  day a customer came in to the store. This was an event that had not happened since the shop had formed after a freak accident involving a sugar-factory explosion and a very surprised forest, and so a low murmuring broke out amongst the various sentient treats, which were in the majority; only some toffees and a gingerbread man with a theoretically dry sense of humour lacking a sense of self. The sweet-shop owner, quite unnerved at the prospect of a sale, combusted  rather than have to face awkward questions like ‘how much is that?’, and so it was left to the sweets themselves to do the serving. Sadly, the customer did not seem to be in the mood to talk to any snacks, unique or not, and decided to serve himself. And he picked up, much to its immeasurable pride and the unending envy of the rest, our lollipop. And as he did so it decided that this was The Day, the day where it All Got Better.

And then the customer put it in his mouth.

It was a very short-lived triumph.

Severely Odd is a writer of odd fiction; more of his work can be found on Amazon

Doughnuts in the Morning

Sir Tempest Brockel rubbed the perspiration from his brow and moaned. The heat was unbearable, he thought to himself, and it was draining watching the hired hands excavate the tomb. As he watched one slowed down a bit and a swell of outrage rose in Sir Tempest’s breast, but it was too hot for that, and so he retired to the tent to sip on fresh-pressed oranges and eat the sweet dates of Al-Garbled. If the workers found anything they would call him.

He had no sooner slipped through the tent-flap when the cries began, and he ran straight back outside.

‘A tomb, Offendi,’ cried his right hand man, the name of whom Sir Tempest could never remember, it being fiendishly difficult. All foreign names were; why couldn’t they stick to simple ones like Archibald, Algernon and Agamemnon, just to take the ‘A’s’for example?

Pondering on this impenetrable mystery, he wandered over to the structure being uncovered, losing half his bodyweight in fluids from the heat. Crouching down over an inscription just legiable, partly out of interest and partly to prevent his suddenly far too loose trousers from falling down, he blanched.

‘There’s a curse on this one!’ he cried, suddenly regretting it. The natives exchanged glances.

‘It just says ‘If you dare to uncover this tomb- Do not enter!’ explained another of the men, whose fiendishly difficult name was much harder to remember than, for example, Montgomery, Montmorency or Marsupial. although Sir Tempest was not too sure about that last one either, come to think of it.

Another native turned up, and the tall Englishman gave a sigh of relief as it was the only one he could ever remember the name of .

‘What do you want Halibut?’

‘That is Al- Biet, Sir Ten-pests,’ replied the man with good humour; ‘I just wanted to know if I could keep this small trinket in exchange for helping you fully uncover the tomb.’ And he produced a four-foot tall roll of bandages.

Sir Tempest looked at it lazily.

‘That’s fair;- oh, that’s who I came for!’ He turned bright red, but not out of annoyance, out of sunburn which could come on quite suddenly over here, and added; ‘no way. I’ll dig out the Tomb with may bare hands if I have too!’

Four months later, Sir Tempest scooped up the final handful and proudly strode into the tomb. In doing so he became the first person to die of doughnut asphyxiation; the curse, which he had misheard, was ‘doughnut enter, and they did so at the rate of one a second, popping into existence between him and the door. And what was worse was that they were jam doughnuts; and so Sir Tempest Brockel came to a sticky end.

Autumn Falls

You would expect that Autumn personified would be a red-head. Sadly, at least in this reality this was not strictly the case; true a few wisps of reddish-brown hair clung to his head like a shipwrecked sailor to a domed desert-island, but most of it had fallen out. If you understand how things work this would not surprise you. But this coldish and dampish day Autumn has more to worry about than the fact he is follicly challenged; for he had heard that Winter, fed up with being last of the Four Seasons, has decided to come and slay his precursor act, and has a sword of the sharpest frost. A decomposing leaf offers little by way of opposition.

And so Autumn has retreated into his gloomy and damp castle to take stock and devise a plan which will save his skin, and spends the evenings in a foul mood. However it is not possible to spend to long facing the prospect of imminent termination without either having an idea or going mad, and as he strongly suspected he already was the latter, Autumn did the former.

Two days later, Winter arrived at Autumns castle, and was greeted by a very fat man.

‘Have you seen Autumn?’

The voice was icy.

‘Yes,’ the man replied with a grin. ‘I have.’

‘Where is he?’ came the demand in a voice full of frost; ‘and who are you?’

‘I’m a travel agent,’ the man replied with a grin, ‘and he’s gone on holiday. You can go there to if you like; I’ve got a vacancy in about three months.’

‘I’ll take it,’ replied the cold one, and this explains a lot.