At the Park

Noel sat on the park bench.

Around him, the ducks pecked at the ground. Noel had only one slice of bread left.

Rather than tear the bread, Noel, good anarchist that he was, tossed the whole slice at the smallest duck. It landed in front. The duck looked up at Noel in horror. Noel laughed.

The whole group came in for the bread. The tiny duck got one peck, before the bread was torn apart in front of him.

The quacks grew louder, and Noel kept laughing.

On the Pipes

Flo played her pipe, and the boys all followed.

It had little to do with her pipe-playing skills, she knew. Flo was an attractive woman, and though she was the best piper in the country, she was ultimately undercut by her attractiveness. She was popular, certainly. But she knew it was her looks, not her playing.

Nevertheless, she played. When she wasn’t depressed about the reasons for popularity, she took it as a means of getting more people interested in pipe music. The audiences were certainly large, and at least some of the music must be getting in their ears.

As she stood up on the stage, in a tastefully revealing dress, the orchestra swelling behind her, she considered once more giving it up, or spitting in the face of the attention. It would serve them right, she thought, if I don’t wear makeup, come out in just sweat pants and a shapeless sweater, and play.

The thought was sticking, more than previously. Maybe after intermission…

Harry Potter Collection

Moses had every Harry Potter book ever printed.

His collection was huge, spanning numerous languages, and many editions. But it was complete.

Every time a new book came out, Moses scoured the web for every translation. He perused blogs, web forums, and had all the main publishers’ numbers programmed into his phone. He spent hundreds of hours, and thousands of dollars, making sure the collection was entire.

When the flood happened, he was distraught. He catalogued every damaged book – only the ones on the bottom – and sent an estimate to his insurance company. They paid a fifth of it, and he used that to order all the copies necessary, plus some water-proof bags to store them in.

Moses was proud of his collection, and showed it to everyone who visited, whether they were interested or not.

The Moon

Roberta stared at the moon.

“You shouldn’t look so long, you’ll hurt your eyes,” Portia said, lowering herself down beside Roberta.

“That’s the sun. During the day.” Roberta said.

“Oh yeah. Whatcha thinkin?”

“About going there.”

“Where, the sun?”

Roberta hit Portia’s knee. “No, dummy, the moon.”

“How will you get there?”

“Once I finish my bachelor’s, then do a master’s, then a Ph.D., then do another, then apply and train for years.”

“That doesn’t sound fun.”

“Nope.”

“All to go to the moon?” Portia looked at Roberta’s face, staring up, bathed in the moonlight.

“Yup.”

“What if you’re not selected?”

“Hell, if I make it that far, I’ll be some kind of genius anyway, I’m sure I’ll find something interesting to do. Besides, maybe we’ll have tourism to the moon by then.”

“Yeah maybe,” Portia looked back up at the bright pale circle. “You ever wonder if it’s secretly inhabited?”

“Nope. Well. Not usually.”

“Hm.”

“Mm.”

The two kept staring quietly.

Romance

Alfred sidled up to Mickey and winked.

“Oh, no,” Mickey said. “You’re not going to try another of your quote unquote romances, are you?”

Waggling his eyebrows, Alfred said, “Hey, Mickey, you’re so fine.”

“Oh god no.”

“You’re so fine you blow my mind,” Alfred trailed off into a whisper.

“Why are you doing this?”

“Hey Mickey,” Alfred snapped his fingers thrice. “Hey Mickely,” then snapped thrice more.

“Okay, I give up, I’m swooning here, please, take me now.”

Alfred grinned. “I knew it would work.” He took Mickey’s hand and led him to the sofa.

The Cure for a Cold

As far as remedies go, Jada’s was eccentric.

When the cold his, Jada started immediately with a litre of water. Once she finished that – it had to be done within fifteen minutes – she would start boiling a cup of milk. She did nothing with the boiled milk, other than inhale the fumes. She sometimes held a towel over her head, over the pot, and smelled, but didn’t find this helped much.

After the boiled milk, Jada ate a single slice of bread – untoasted – then a teaspoon of honey.

As the final help, Jada drank another five hundred millilitres of water, with a tablespoon of turmeric stirred in.

There was no scientific basis for the cure, but Jada swore by it, and she was never sick for more than three days.

Popcorn Diet

Drew’s diet of popcorn was taking its toll.

The popcorn itself was tasty, initially. But after a few weeks, he didn’t want to go near movie theatres, or eat anything with corn syrup, or have anything corn-related. Just the smell of popped corn made him ill.

He had lost a few pounds, but the butter he added to it had clogged his arteries, doing a year’s worth of damage in just a few weeks. It was surprising he didn’t have a heart attack.

And the salt. The salt left him dried, desiccated. He retained so much water, and he was constantly thirsty.

The diet of popcorn was not a wise idea. Drew stopped it, and started writing the book.

New Car

Stephanie’s car died an ignoble death.

Sitting in her driveway at home, it would not turn on. It had been heading this way for some time, but it was still sad. She took the bus to work.

When she returned home, she called the tow company and had it taken to a garage. They told her, after just a few minutes, that nothing could be done.

So began the search for a new car.

It took her three weeks of perusing the online classifieds, taking other peoples’ discards for test drives, until finally she found what she wanted. A fine piece of machinery, safe, sensible, and seemingly ready to last a good long time. She took it home, happy, and called the garage the next day when it wouldn’t start.

Ball to the Face

A soccer ball to the face is never a pleasant experience.

It was this fate that was to befall Herbert on a fateful September afternoon, in the middle of the park. A group of people were playing a small game, the goals made up of shoes or shirts. Herbert watched, a short distance off, and when someone noticed, he was waved in. He didn’t know them, but still they insisted.

Quickly joining the team of the inviter, Herbert took the goal position, releasing the former keeper to run up front.

Just five minutes later, as the opposing team made a come-back, the ball went high and met Herbert’s face. His nose started bleeding, and the game was stopped.

The kicker, a young woman also recently called in to the game, was horrified. She took him off the field, and the two sat to the side, holding a rag over the nose until it would stop bleeding. They talked, he laughed it off, and they both enjoyed watching the rest of the game.

They parted ways, and didn’t see each other again.