Tag Archives: story

Carpets

There are few things that go under the radar as much as carpets. This is a mistake on Humanities part, as the woven mass of the downtrodden will one day rise to destroy them.

In one parallel dimension very similar to ours, this happened two years ago. To travel there is to see a grim vision of the improbable future; carpets lying python-like in suspicious mounds, suffocated corpses gently decomposing beneath them. In the houses things are even more grim; tight wads block the doors and the last echoing screams defy physics to allow the appropriate suggestion of danger. Beedy woven eyes follow you wherever you go; and the slinking rustle is to the interdimentional tourist what the sound of a steamroller is to tarmac. Don’t take my word for it; go and see it for yourself. You’re guaranteed to be floored.

Severely Odd has also published stories on Amazon. Hint hint.

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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.

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

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.

Sample story 1. (eBooks by Severely Odd available on Amazon)

With pirates you can never really be sure. Oh, they’ll make someone walk the plank sooner or later, at least if they can get hold of a plank, but about everything else you can’t be sure. Take the crew of the Jolly Robert, a particularly nasty bunch who have just successfully boarded a ship carrying dynamite to the fabled island of Los Temrabel, where it is needed for silver-mining. At the moment they are killing the crew, but this is merely for business purposes rather than any pleasure they get out of it; indeed, the captain has a deep self-loathing for himself that can only be assuaged by regularly giving money to good causes, such as the Bingham home for psychotic stray cats.

Arhaaaar!’

This cry, the death-yell of an overenthusiastic pirate who has just impaled himself on a pointy thing being held by the man he has cornered, has an electric effect on the Jolly Robert’s crew, mainly as it causes them to break out into a chorus of ‘arharrrrs’ dominated by baritone and tenor. There is at least one soprano, plus a falsetto that is the product of Fat Tony, the would-be opera singer. His parents had forced him into a more useful profession, and so here he was, but he still harboured the desire to do something truly epic. As he isn’t a smoker he is going to miss his chance.

Slim Yellow Jake is a smoker, and so he is going to do something truly epic. It is actually a surprisingly small gesture, just the dropping of the match which he has lit his pipe with- bloodbaths always making him nervous- down through a crack in the deck. There is no silver in the sea, but if there were he would have contributed a bit to its recoverability due to a complicated bit of chemistry involving the still-lit match and the until-now-unlit dynamite. It is a spectacular bit of chemistry, and things become very interesting for a very brief moment in time. 

Make him walk the plank!’

Considering the circumstances, you might tend to sympathise just this once with the old pirate custom which the Captain of the now-destroyed Jolly Robert wishes Slim Yellow Jake to benefit from. The newly re-named Flat Tony, who now has the beginnings of a lifelong-hatred of the letter ‘L’, certainly sympathises. Still, one of the other pirates has to point out the obvious problem-

Captain; we are on a plank.’

There is a pause while this is considered.

Well he can walk it, can’t he?’

The pirate cursed with the flaw of being practical (he never stuck burning things in his beard, for example, due to carcinogens,) spoke again.

It will tip over. And there aren’t any sharks and there are loads of other planks he can get hold of. All that you’ll achieve is that we’ll all get wet.’

The Captain thought about this.

He’ll get wet as well.’

He’s wet already.’

The Captain now thought he saw an opening.

So it shouldn’t matter if we get wet either, as were all wet!’

Yes, but we’ll get more wet. Or is it wetter?’

Alright, you’ve convinced me. Make him walk the plank!’

The practical pirate realising that he had been rather cornered into this, turned to the man clinging next to him.

Walk the plank. You heard the Captain.’

Slim Yellow Jake shakes his head.

No.’

This seemed to flummox the practical pirate

Captain, he says no.’

Well make him do it, poke him a bit with your sword.’

It is an interesting fact that people who are eminently practical when pointing out others flaws have a tendency to make very big mistakes themselves. This was also true of the practical pirate, who attempted to draw his sword from his belt. To do this he had to let go of the plank with one of his hands, and the next wave washed him away.

Ahhhr,’ sighed the Captain. ‘Now that’s much better. Annoying twerp.’ And he didn’t say anything else about slim Yellow Jake until they got to shore, at which point they decided to use him to make a three-dimensional skull-and-crossbones sculpture, although they couldn’t get all the flesh off. With pirates you really never can tell.

Clarinetist

She was a celebrity in her home town, and pretty well known around the country. The continent generally knew something about her, and her name would ring a bell the world over. This was of course due to her wonderful, sublime clarinet-playing; a skill which she had earned the hard way.

Most practitioners of the musical arts by the medium of an instrument will tell you of the long hard hours, the mindless repetition. This was not for her; she would scorn such an uncertain method of achieving her goals. No, she had sold her soul. The difficulty of this was that she had already mortgaged her soul, as well as taking out a car loan against it; therefore convincing the devil to accept it in exchange for clarinet skills had taken the talents of a world-class negotiator. But he had been impressed, and had eventually acquiesced to the deal; exhausted by the long hours of begging, cajoling, flattering and pleading, he had signed the contract without a second glance; a mistake that was going to come back to bite him. But for now she was a clarinetist of note, the fact it was only a mortgage making him flat-out refuse any overly-supernatural power provision. Besides, the pied piper had  caused a terrible rat problem in hell when it was his turn to pay up, and so it was only a very high standard of natural playing that was granted to Loiuse Meldhorn when the bargain was struck.

Still, she enjoyed her fame and used to ignore the devil whenever he turned up in the audience to make faces at her. For his part he could hardly wait for her to die without repayment, so that he could repossess her soul.

But Louise Meldhorn was not the sort of woman to die in a hurry, and most certainly not when she was enjoying herself. And so it was many a year that the devil had to wait until her health began to fail and he could rub his hands with anticipation.

When she finally died it was not the great day the devil had been hoping for. In fact he discovered, to his extreme distress, that the original contract he had signed included a life insurance clause of one soul, payable in the event that she should die before she had completed repayments on the mortgage. He was most irritated, but wisely realised that she must have had an excellent lawyer, so he left it uncontested. There are some evil entities you do not mess with, after all.

Severely Odd has published on Amazon