October 11, 2016
Categories: Magician's island, Prospero's Books . Tags: 101words.org, Creative Writing, Flash Fiction, Photography, Prospero Dae, Travel . Author: exiledprospero . Comments: 15 Comments
Like a majorette and her baton, a mountain man, living in a remote, montane, thatch-roofed hut, often seen chewing cud, keeps a shotgun at his side. Apart from this being a brilliant literary conceit, it introduces, more or less painfully, the subject of long unkempt beards, touching ever–so-slightly upon the dark penumbra of guns and horrific violence.
Are you with me so far? Good. Let the narrative continue.
I sallied forth with my manservant Sancho Panza, past windmills and other distractions, to the nearest drugstore, whereupon I came to understand (and you should have seen the rictus of disappointment on Panza’s mouth ) that my favorite brand of disposable razors—Gillette, if you must know—was not to be found, and was directed by Elsa, a neurotic cryptologist who was apparently having trouble finding work in her chosen field, to try the Occam brand since it was, in her words, “as good as a mischievous cipher.”
That’s when my campaign of firebombing various drugstores began in earnest. This was indeed the simplest solution and consequently the most effective way to make a point (everyone is doing it these days.) Incidentally the Occam razors were not all that bad after all, but it’s was the principle of the thing.
Now, a few words about the Rio Olympics. As a biblical scholar, I’d like to share some of my research with you. Most of you will know that Moses came down from the mount with a bunch of tablets purchased at a high altitude garage sale. Then, when taking the stationary home (they offered him a plastic bag, but environmentally conscious Moses refused), he tripped, a notable contretemps, on a coax cable (fiber-optic cables did not yet exist) and hurt his patella. But my research, using the latest spectroscopic analysis, demonstrates that there were eleven commandments—not the oft-quoted ten. The last commandment was: Thou shall not take selfies–you can always look like a fool later. Olympians, diplomats, please take notice.
A story about collapsible umbrellas and love…
This flash fiction story is appearing today on the pages of Flash Fiction Magazine.
(Ariel listens attentively to her calm, devilishly well-informed master)
To be blunt, I was asked by a group of unlettered dwarfs to write a neoglacial article on the subject of pent-up emotions. My initial response was–go jump in the Urubamba, as my Aztec grandmother used to recommend when someone got her dander up–and I was comfortable in that decision, till I became enraged at the lack of a sensible protocol for those of you who routinely box themselves into elevators.
For instance, you enter the elevator facing, let’s say, east. Why in Tarzan’s name do you immediately turn to face west? If you can take two mincing steps forward, why can’t you take two mincing steps back? Oh, there are those black-hearted people who insist that it’s because the floor-selection buttons are on the other side, forcing busy people (coiffed nicely, holding a briefcase or wrestling with an untidy stack of paper while still appearing to be intelligent) to turn around and select a floor (presuming they weren’t there just for the ride–which is unlikely as business people generally have the same amount of free spirit as unconscionably cold slabs of granite).
But couldn’t the controls have just as easily been installed on the opposite wall–so that the buttons (usually silver–but why not peach or rose or pond-scum green?) greet the elevator pimp (a technical term–as defined in the Human Rights Charter) instantly, without ever forcing them to turn around? Turning around for people with pierced eardrums, for instance, could be dangerous, as they could easily lose their balance, fall, upset the delicate elevator machinery, and send the quaking box down the shaft at Formula One speed, causing injury.
Bad designs always makes me so angry. If I had my way, I’d claw my way to the top [metaphorically–otherwise I’d use the elevator], become president of the Otis Corporation, and fire the whole design team. Fire them, and retroactively garner their wages. I’d be doing the world a public service.
Now don’t get me started on escalators.
If I have been absent lately, it is because I am quietly working for you, for humanity.
There’s so much red tape involved in obtaining a government grant (particularly when the proposed project does not meet the objectives of those in power). And then there’s the issue of intelligibility and/or readability. Of course I can fill out online forms–but has it not occurred to anyone that I enjoy the manifold color options offered by Crayola? For instance, my budget was beautifully detailed in Macaroni and Cheese (a color understandably close to an orange sunset or a grilled cheese sandwich–with the bubbly stuff that oozes out). And even though the opening statement, in Periwinkle, may have been a little hard to read (it’s a very timid color), it showcased some of my finest writing.
I used a lot of graphs, first rendered in Dandelion but then in Permanent Geranium Lake–a real stroke of genius. It all looked so good. It’s unfortunate they took the attitude that 500 pages of graphs, however pretty, was excessive. Damn bureaucrats.
Still, my central thesis was simple enough, and I think using stick figures to illustrate my point about the economic and social ramifications of obliterating part of the island to make room for cash crops was powerfully made, and the series of lawsuits they threatened is proof enough that I had touched a nerve.
Sometimes, one must take a brave stance. For instance, why do we need so many hotels here? I was merely suggesting that by a utilizing a state-of-the-art interlocking system of dams, we could repurpose the land currently earmarked for the hoteliers with their golf courses, duck ponds, and messy palms. The land, once flooded, could be used to grow crops such as cranberries (if we could somehow roll back the temperature) or camu camu.
My closing statement, in Wild Watermelon (a fluorescent crayon), was so spot-on it made me cry. Hopefully they will read it in a darkened hotel room, preferably before the flood gates open. “Change is coming,” I warned them in Robin’s Egg Blue.
Governor’s mansion. Isle of Devils.
A flotilla of pirate ships gathers on Prospero’s island.
After several rounds of cannon fire, the armada disperses.
(pictured is Jatropha podagrica–which, when correctly prepared, can kill a man)
(another obsession in the making)
In case you were asleep and missed these well-kept secrets, here they are…