Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Science Versus Life (Infinite Monkeys)(A To Z Challenge)

Science Versus Life

So never stayed near the village, which worried his mother no end.

He would walk through the forest, hour upon hour, not hunting, not gathering, just walking.

“What do you do, all those hours?” she asked him, one day.

“I think,” he said.

So’s mother reported that to the elders: “He thinks.”

The elders discussed this amongst themselves, quietly, in order that So’s mother (who had, impertinently, remained in their view during the talk) might not hear.  Then, the youngest of the elders turned to her with the results of the debate.

“What,” the youngest elder asked, “Does he think about?”

So’s mother was not allowed to follow him into the woods. Instead, another villager was dispatched to determine what So was thinking about, and the next morning, as the other villagers began preparing to fish or hunt or gather plaintains, So walked out into the woods, followed by the spy, whose name was Tinioc.

Tinioc reported back that evening. “I could not determine what he was thinking about,” he told the elders, who told this to So’s mother, who asked “Where did he go?”

“The river,” said Tinioc, and told how So had climbed out onto a long branch of a tree that hung far out over the water, and there had lain on his belly, occasionally trailing his hand in the water.

This mystified the elders, and the next day several of them, the stronger ones who could still walk far, went with Tinioc and followed So themselves. That day, So did not go to the river tree, but instead tracked through the jungle, pushing aside broad leaves, until he reached an ant hill.  There, he spent several hours crouching on various sides of the hill, every now and then putting down leaves, or twigs, or flower petals he would gather from around the ant hill’s clearing.

The elders debated that, too, that night, with Tinioc reporting back to So’s mother that they had not yet come to a decision of what to do about this.

“They have not,” Tinioc told her, “Even decided if they need to decide anything about this.”

Day after day, more and more villagers followed So, always trying to remain hidden, until on the fifth day there were more than twenty villagers trailing through the jungle, a long line of silent hunters and tillers and women creeping after him.  They watched So that day, and every day, as he climbed up trees and came down with bird’s nests, or as he walked behind waterfalls, or peered at spider’s webs.

On the seventh day, the elders met, as they had every night, and determined that following So was getting them nowhere.  They instead decided to have various members of the village go and do the things they had observed So doing.

Tinioc, they ordered, would continue to follow So, and each day would report back what So had done that day.  Meanwhile, other villagers would go climb the long tree branch, or wade through the shallow marshes with a stick, poking at some of the harder to see places, or scatter a nest of birds and watch them fly off in different patterns, or even make their way to the sandy shores of the sea where sometimes large boats could be seen sailing by, far off on the horizon.  There, the elders told those villagers, you will watch the boats but not wave, just as So does.

These men and sometimes women reported back each day, too, on what they had done and whether they had determined what it was So had thought about while he did those.  Each time, the conclusion was the same:

I do not know what So was thinking,” the villager would report.

For over a month this continued, until finally the elders decided that it was time to ask So, himself, even though they had felt this was a dangerous thing to do. Who knows what such a strange boy would say, when asked such a question!

The elders feared So’s answer.  There was a story in the village about the question that had begun the universe.  It went like this:

Before the universe had begun, the creator, who at that time was called nothing as there was nothing to name, looked around and saw nothing but darkness all around him, or her – there was no way to say whether the creator was a man or woman at the time because there was nobody or nothing else to observe the creator – and the creator, seeing the absence of everything but him, or her, self, had asked:

“Where is everything?”

That simple question, the villagers knew, had brought about the entire universe, in response to the creator’s question, and thus the power of questions, and their answers, had been established at the same time as everything else that was.

From that story, the elders had always taught the villagers this message: Be careful what questions you ask, as one day there may be an answer that destroys everything. And so the villagers rarely asked any questions, at all.

Thus, it was with no small degree of fear that the elders, sitting in front of the central fire, faced So.  Around the edges of the clearing, the villagers gathered to watch the questioning.

So came forward.

“What is it you want to know, elders?” he asked.  His face glowed red in the night, his eyes calm.

The youngest elder leaned forward, and said:

“We want to know what it is you think about, all day, every day, as you do these things you do.”

So cocked his head at them.

“Then ask,” he said, “the question.”  For So had noticed that the elder had not in fact phrased it as a question, at all.

The youngest elder took a deep breath, and said “What do you think about, all day, every day, So?”

“I ask questions,” So told them.  At their frightened looks, he went on: “I ask why the river never runs out of water, and how the ants know which leaves to eat and which will poison their young, why the birds go to sea to find food when there is so much behind them in the forest, how the bugs learned to make themselves look like flowers.  I ask where the large boats come from and where they go to, and who rides on them.  I wonder how the caves behind the waterfall grew, and why the rocks in them shine so even though they have never seen the sun.”

The list of So’s questions went on and on, until the moon had set and the fire had nearly died out.  When So was finally silent, the elders – stunned by the sheer number of questions, and possible answers – were speechless.

It was up to So’s mother to ask the question everyone wanted to know:

“Have you,” she asked,  “Gotten any answers?”

Answers! The villagers could not help but look to the sky to see if perhaps the stars were winking out, even then.

“No,” said So, and every villager relaxed and let go of her, or his, fear, until So went on:

“Not yet.”

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW YZ... a story (A to Z challenge)

X helped make humans immortal -- and one of those humans has helped make a million universes, all of which are now in danger...


So many worlds!

R, let me speak now: you rest. We must finish this up and must decide what to do.

Of course we all recognized it: we had just heard the voice itself, and now it was as though her laugh, her tears, her scorn and lack of sanity and the rest of her psyche were embedded, woven, skeined through the universe itself.

Which, of course, they were.  Had she created Diana’s universe? It seems unlikely – but as X’s mistake –

Hold, X! For mistake it was!

As X’s mistake allowed the real and abstract to intertwine, it allowed her sister’s creations to leap off the page, to become more than hot-tempered wild dreams, to become real.  From one universe with real and abstract had spun a hundred, a thousand, a million universes, maybe more. Suddenly, suddenly, everything ever dreamed of had become real, somewhere, and we were in the middle of it, with Diana, but the majority of the universes, of the existences, of the spirits, had sprung directly from a lifetime of the sister’s writing.

Trapped on paper, stuck in her room, these worlds lived only in her mind. She never believed they were not as real as the room in which she sat – and she never believed they were not more real than the world that she saw but never visited out of her window. 

But though real to her, they were not to us.

But X! You scoundrel: you changed that.  Your sympathy, though well-placed, has led us to this: a lifetime of derangement, sprung open and scattered around the cosmos, each one of which has a different piece of the sister’s soul, and each one of which is ending.


I see it in all your faces: you know it, too.

She cannot bear the strain of all these realities.  She cannot stand. Her mind is snapping, and because of that all of the universes, all existence – so recently sprung into being – will soon fold up and wither and die.

As will she: When her mind dies, it may be that every world every where dies with it so entwined she is with them.

Standing there in Diana’s room we only just realized that, listening to L’s report of what L had gone through, enough worlds flickering by like the pages of a book turning, and each of them with that ever-growing, ever-more-frightening laugh on the horizon.

Did someone say it was thunder?  It is not, and we know it now.


This is what we have come to.  We wasted vital time, some of us, chasing through worlds looking for David. And now we…

… and now we must ask X for a favor.

Each letter has had a turn to talk.  Here's links to all of them.  They're best, probably, if read in order but each is also more or less independent and they can be read in any order and result in the same story.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Resolutions To The Story (A to Z Challenge) (250=1)

Resolutions To The Story.

So she shot him and walked away, leaving the stupid ring, the hot cocoa packets, and all $13 lying on his chest.


Their first child was born six months after the wedding, a development that was unexpected only by those who failed to perceive the slight bulge underneath her dress.


“No,” she said, but added, “But keep trying. Someday, I may say yes.”


“Why?” she asks.

“Why?” he echoes her question – not asking himself, the questioning in his voice merely wondering why she needs a reason beyond love.

“Why do you want to marry me?” she asks.

“Because it’s the only way they’ll let you onto the ship with me when it comes,” he tells her.

She stares at his face to see if he’s joking.

He’s clearly not, but that doesn’t prove anything to her.

“Prove it,” she says.

In the end, it took him showing her to his landing craft and pointing out the small glimmer of the mothership’s engines that seemed to limn the moon.

Her wedding dress was a spacesuit.


It was 2 a.m. when she awoke, the television late-night news softly telling of a train wreck somewhere, the wine glass knocked over on the end table, her phone devoid of any attempt to call her.  He hadn’t come over, and she never saw him again.


“What are you writing?” he asks.

“Things that could’ve been,” she laughs.

“Can I see them?” he wonders.

“Not the way I can,” she tells him.  


This is a 250=1 story -- a story that's exactly 250 words long, including the title. But not including the picture, because everyone knows that's worth 1,000 words.  So actually this is a 1,250 word story, and you are getting a LOT of extra value here. Here's a list of lots more stories like that.

FREE BOOK! Every day in April is free book day, and today's FREE book is Up So Down, the story of a brother and a sister in the year after the mysterious death of the sister's fiance, and the changes in their lives.  It's been compared (favorably) to Anne Tyler.  CLICK HERE to get it for FREE!

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW YZ... a story (A to Z Challenge)

X dared to help humans achieve some immortality -- and that has led to the realization of all previously-imaginary things, and the further descent into madness of the woman who created most of it.  Now, the letters of the alphabet tremble and wonder what they can do to avoid destruction.

This is a serialized story; links to the other parts are at the end. 

Ragnarok is upon us.

We stand here talking when we should be acting.

No, be quiet, A. You and your faction, C, you others: keep quiet. Whatever support you had from me at the start is now gone, as I recognize reality.

The reality is this:

We need X.

Having allowed the creation of a god, we now find we need that god to help us.

I was with the others when they went with Diana, you know that, and I saw her sister’s ravings, and I was one of the few, the very few, who realized what was happening.

X had – has – crossed reality with the abstract, and with that, all of imagination became real, and so much of what had been imagination had been created solely by her, Diana’s mad sister.

When first she vanished, we were stunned. Such a thing did not happen, Diana’s face said, and I found myself looking from Q, who had shied away, to L, who almost immediately turned and went in the direction the sister had headed when she had disappeared from our view.

Nobody went with L. The others of us stayed with Diana; we were scattered, now, among the room and among the worlds.  The papers slowly fell, their rain ending, until the room was still again.

Where did she go?” Diana asked.

That is the question, I told her, and I saw a few of the other letters nodding.  I found myself looking at the papers around us, the scribbled writings few had ever read, some of them beautiful, some of them agonizing, none of them mundane.

Think, I told myself, and then told the others.  We read then, through our minds, the worlds that had been created by the sister, remembering and reading and realizing that now, those worlds were not merely the dreams of a shut-in but had themselves become real and were multiplying, multiplying, multiplying beyond belief, driven by the energy that crackled in every cell of her sister’s mind.

This is bad, I said to the others.

David…” Diana said.

“There is no time for David,” I told her.  I could feel the trembling already, then, the same shaking and rumbling that we have all felt now and that grows more and more tremulous, more and more threatening.

David… has always had the ability to talk to her,” Diana said.

L suddenly stumbled back into the dim view afforded by the window.

“So many,” L said…

… L, where are you now? Do you hide? Have you learned caution?  Come here, L, show them, show them your visage, the remainder of the realms you roamed after the sister…

So many, L told us, and we all stared at him as the words on the papers – words we helped make! – soaked into us.

My sister dreams of worlds,” Diana said.

“And now those worlds are real,” I finished for her.

And she is lost in them,” but that was not the only part of it we needed to know.  L had seen, and L told us what we did not yet know but soon would: that Diana’s sister was in all of them, she was everywhere, and that wherever one went…

Listen…” L said to us then, there in the dark room, and we all paused, and heard it.

Off in the distance, almost too quiet, too far, too low registered to hear, almost, and we all shuddered.

It was Diana’s sister, laughing through tears of pain.


Each letter has had a turn to talk.  Here's links to all of them.  They're best, probably, if read in order but each is also more or less independent and they can be read in any order and result in the same story.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Questions (250=1)(A To Z Challenge)


Can you shut off the alarm clock?

Do you have to play the news so loudly?

Are you going to sleep all day?

Won’t you be late for work?

Didn’t you make yourself some breakfast?

Did you hear the sound the car is making?

What time do you think you’ll be home?

Do you suppose you could stop and pick up some bread after work?

Why don’t you watch where you’re going?

Why are you late?

Can you take his call?

Didn’t you know the meeting was starting?

Did you jam up the copier?

What am I supposed to do with this?

Do you consider this acceptable?

Do you want to go to lunch today?

Do you mind if we try that new restaurant?

Have you ever been here before?

What are you going to order?

Do you want to try a little bite of mine?

Should we get a glass of wine?

Would just one drink be so bad?

Do we have to go back to the office just yet?

Do you know how cute you are when you smile like that?

Can’t you make up a sales call or something you had to go to?

Should we take separate cars?

Do you know where that hotel is?

Why don’t you make yourself comfortable?

Are you nervous?

Do you like what you see?

Does that feel good?

Where are you going?

What are you doing home already?

Are those for me?

What’s wrong?

Did you forget the bread?


This is a 250=1 story, which means it's exactly 250 words long, including the title.  I've written a lot of them and you should read them all, which you can do by clicking this to go to a list of them.  DOING SO MAY WELL SAVE THE UNIVERSE.  I mean, that's possible, right? 

Other notes!

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Are you a writer? I want to pay you for what you write.  Click the "We Pay For Stories" tab up top there. 

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW YZ... a story. (A to Z Challenge)




Thank you.

I must speak, and as I am unaccustomed to doing so on my own, I must ask that you refrain from interrupting me.

We are here to decide, after all.

We have come back together to determine first, if there is anything to do, and secondly, what we should do, of our options.

But I fear our time is running out, dear friends, often-lovers, sometimes-enemies.

I fear our time comes, in the way of all things mortal.

We all know what O first surmised, now, of course: we, too, may die, and we know not what awaits us once this existence fades away into another.

Do you hear the thunder?

I do.

Do you see the lightning?

I do.

Do you know of the other worlds we have seen?

You do not – not all of you, as not all of you came with us to the mad sister’s house.

Shall we not blame her, as much as we blame X?

I see you getting restless, bear with me. Remember: I rarely do this on my own. Bear with me!

We debate, yes, but there must be plans before action and debate before plans and so we must debate, and debate quickly, but part of that must be that you must know what happened, there in the dark room of the mad sister.

You must… u must.


Will you not meet my eyes, even now?

There: again: The peal and roll of the end.

I will be quick.

I am awake, she said to us, and those who heard her voice in that moment shuddered.  I am awake, she said, and it seemed to me that it meant more than simply the state of not being asleep.  It meant far, far more than that.

What must it be like, to know that dreams are real and fear them?

I hope never to know.

I am awake, she told us and Diana started forward, her shape, her body, seeming then formless and indistinct as she passed from our world into the world she used to inhabit.  Diana fell upon her sister’s bed, kneeling next to it, trying to clasp her sister’s hand.

Where!” Diana demanded.  It was not a question!

Where!Í” her mad sister shrieked, suddenly, sitting up with a violent jerk and casting aside the bedclothes. 

We were still in the shadows of the room, we letters, and the room was scarcely lit at all by the slightly-brighter night outside.  It seemed to me then that the room was full of shadows of differing depths: the absolute dark of the gloom, the brighter shades of Diana, and the solid obsidian of her sister bursting forth from the white of the sheets that had covered her. Only her eyes were truly visible, and they were crazed with visions that seemed to glow forth from inside her mind.

EVERYWHERE!” her sister howled, the insanity carried on every note of her voice, somehow enunciating each letter in that word as though she both sung them and spat them out at the same time.  This was not a human way of talking.  Who knows when she had last been fully human?

You cannot create without imbuing in your creations something of yourself.  This we know, for when humans created us and when they create with us, we carry bits of them back, but what if you create things no being should know?

What if you create infinities incomprehensible to the mortal mind? What if the expanses you imagine in your fevered dreams are populated by gods and monsters?

What if the gods cannot be distinguished from the monsters?

That is, after all, what we debate here: Who is a god, and who is a monster?

And, if we determine that, what can we do to them?

She appeared monstrous to us then, towering over Diana – though the sister herself was small, frail, even, she loomed and her sad rage somehow made her larger than the room, made her a part of the dark night itself, contained within the room and stretching out of it at the same time, the way dark inside the room is a part of the dark outside of the room.

How…” her mad sister said, her voice faltering then.

Diana looked up at her, meeting her eyes.

How have you come back?” her sister asked.

I do not know,” Diana told her.

Is it possible to come back?” her sister asked.

It is, it seems,” Diana responded.  She reached her hand up, towards her sister’s, and her sister dropped to her knees on the bed.

Where am I?” her sister asked, quietly.

You are here, in your room, dear sister,” Diana whispered, gently.  “You are here, and I am here, and I need to ask you something.

Her sister closed her eyes, put her head in her hands, and then opened them again.

We all fell back, for her eyes carried within them all the infinities of every creation everywhere. They were hollow pits, falling through universe after universe after universe.

WHERE AM I?” her sister wailed.  She threw up her hands, and Diana, incorporeal and untouchable, flinched away nonetheless, and at that the sister’s torments grew louder and more unbearable.

There were those of us who fled, then, and came back here, but I stayed.

I stayed!

And U.  You stayed, as well.

Will you not forgive me?

Will you not stand by my side, to determine whether we can do anything to alter what is happening?

Will you not huddle together with me as the destruction grows closer, as we learn whether we are to have a fate, at all, and what that fate might be?

I stayed, and U stayed, and a few others, and we witnessed the mad sister stand suddenly upright again, and begin dashing around the room.  From the shelves she pulled books, and grabbed from them her frantic writings.  She opened these, flung them around, she opened drawers and brought more out from behind clothing.  She prised up a floorboard and a rolled up sheaf of scribblings followed.  The room appeared to be filled with flock after flock of birds, her instability infecting the entire area as she spun and whirled, the entire time saying, over and over Where am I Where am I Where am I

And then she stopped moving: the papers swirled around her and began to fall, no longer stirred by her dance, the dance that parodied are own.

And then she stopped, and she stared directly at us with those eyes, those eyes that contained within them everything, ever, and she saw us.

She looked right at me, and I confess it; I was afraid!

I was afraid!

I ducked.  I ducked away and tried to hide and I left my U, my beloved U, my truest companion, alone there under her gaze.

U, I am sorry! I will never be able to make it up to you but I shall spend whatever time we have left, trying!  Will you not please look at me once?

The rest of you must know, must know… what happened next.

The sister charged at us, hands clenching at whatever paper scraps she could grasp. She ran through us and disappeared.

Where am I” was the last thing we heard from her.

We did not come back here, not right away.  Perhaps we waited too long?

We did not come back here.  Instead, we followed Diana.

Perhaps that delay has now cost us everything.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Time Is A Penumbra (A To Z Challenge)(250=1)

Time Is A Penumbra.

Almost-shadow: depending on where a person stands, all or some obscuring of the light occurs.

The light is the future.  It shines all around us and over us and on us, but because we stand in the penumbra, the future is eclipsed by the present and so we do not see it.

If you stay in the middle, none of the light gets through and you wander through life exactly like a person in a dark room: unsure, arms outstretched, flinching from easily-imagined collisions with endtables or walls you did not know were in front of you. But if you manage to step to the edge, glimpses of the light are possible.

A man makes his way to the edge of the occluding body, the occlusion being his own existence. He sees some of the light, catches glimpses of his future: sitting on a bus as the Navy Pier recedes, carrying a birthday cake with eleven candles flaring atop it, first clasping hands and then awkwardly hugging another man.  He experiences these things the way eyes experience a photograph: knowing that they are real while also knowing they are images.

The light is painfully bright and one must be careful not to wander too far out, for the light can blind, and make it hard to find one’s way back, so most stay in the shadow or at best stick their head out fleetingly.  Some brave, or foolish, souls go into the light and stay there. 


This is one of those 250=1 stories, in which the story is exactly 250 words long including the title. No more, no less. I guess that's the meaning of the word exactly, though, so you probably got that.  I'm going to eventually write 250 of them and then publish them all in a book, and then be a gazillionaire, and then move to Hawaii, and then find a seashell and then take that seashell back to my home and put it on a shelf by the fireplace, and then probably eat dinner, I guess. I'd probably be hungry by then.

ARE YOU A WRITER? Probably. If so, I PAY FOR STORIES. Click the We Pay For Stories tab at the top for details. (The tab uses the royal We, because tabs are always puttin' on airs.)

I'd get that eye checked out if I were you.
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And, finally, the post below is an ongoing story of the alphabet: The Letter X has helped humans get an afterlife, which has resulted in other letters being angry, and in letters becoming more real.  Now, a few of them have resolved to help Diana find her dead lover, and the key to that seems to be Diana's mad sister.  It's really good and you don't have to have read the previous installments to enjoy it. Do I sound too needy? I think I sound too needy.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW YZ... a story (A to Z Challenge)

This is a serialized story; for links to previous installments, go to the end of the post.

Passages opened and we rushed off from the meeting pell-mell to a panoply of experiences!  I followed, though I did not want to, drawn, pulled in, compelled in the way one looks at an accident or perhaps the way one might walk downstairs, late at night, cautiously, one’s heart beating in one’s throat, palpitating, telling oneself over and over that it was nothing, just the cat, but not believing it, anyway.

Interesting that I did not at that time realize that I had never walked down any stairs at night, had never had a heart to beat.  Interesting that I did not realize the change that had been coming over us at that time.

We rushed, after Diana, towards nowhere and everywhere, there being nowhere to go in the abstract, only suddenly there was a where to go, there, in that place that had never had places, and we were able to move physically from

And even


And we moved without moving in that place without places, but we also moved the way real things do: we becoming real as Diana became less so, maybe? Our existences



Becoming more alike each other's and less like they had been.

In an instant or an eon, we were there


We were here.

The cottage, where Diana’s sister lived. We were there.

It was nighttime.

It was dark.

So dark that the room appeared an inkblot, and the only smudge in the complete obscurity before us was the small window through which shone the faint light of a moonless sky clouded over. So dim it was that we could make out nothing in the room, other than that the room existed.

Diana’s mad sister slept, and in her sleep was absolutely motionless, or so it seemed at least in the dark.

I, myself, marveled that I could be here, at all – here, here! HERE! – without anyone calling on me. I had not gone through the dance, I had not been summoned, I had not been pulled out of a dreamless dream into an unreal reality. In the past, I had been unable to make this trip on my own volition, but now was here.

Here. In the dark, where a madwoman slept.

“She is there, sleeping,” Diana told us, those of us who had come with her, who after hearing her story had decided to help her find David, had believed that David must still exist somewhere.

We knew that, of course. We could sense her sister’s presence, even though we could not see her. And something more: standing there, I was aware of the many times I had been called to her bidding, the words we had helped her write down, the poetry she had completed and then hidden away.  I could look around the room in the dark and see the spots, without seeing, knowing they were there: those scraps of paper on which we had helped her write her delusions.

Or were they delusions?

If nothing is something and something nothing, if sense is nonsense and nonsense is sense, if the existence of one thing requires the existence of all things, then wouldn’t the existence of reality mean that there must be dreams?

And would it not then be a matter of perspective, which is which?

“Shall I wake her?” Diana asked us.

We murmured, unsure enough of this new way that we were not willing to lead, we who had always followed.

“I am awake,” came the sister’s voice from the obsidian shadows.

Each letter has had a turn to talk.  Here's links to all of them.  They're best, probably, if read in order but each is also more or less independent and they can be read in any order and result in the same story.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Origami (A to Z Challenge)(Infinite Monkeys)


In a park sits a man.  From out of his pocket, he pulls a small sheet of paper, only about



He folds it,

this way,
that way,
another way,

A          c          r          o          s          s,

y. He p-u-l-l-s
on one end
a crease in, and
suddenly there is a

bird sitting next to him.

The bird looks at him, quizzically.

Was it like that for you?

It asks him.

The man asks was what like what, for him?

Creation, the bird says. Was creation like that for you?

That depends, the man says.  Like what? What was creation like, for the bird, he wonders aloud.

It was tough! The bird tells him.

I began to know, the bird tells him, before I knew what knowing was, and what I knew was that things did not feel right.  Then, as you folded or pressed or pulled or bent, more, I knew more things and saw more things and then I heard things, and then I was here.

Was it painful? The man supposes.

Not painful, not at first, as I did not know what pain was, but the part where you did that thing?

This one, the man guesses, moving his hands around in a certain motion.

Yes, I think that was it, the bird responds.  That part was pretty… hurtful? Is that the word?

That is probably the word, the man says. 

I’m sorry, I don’t know all the words yet, the bird tells him.

I am sorry, the man says, because I did not know it would be painful for you.

It’s not your fault, the bird says.

In a way, the man knows, it is.

The bird thanked him, and flew away.


Okay, this isn't a 250=1 story, because I didn't want to cut it down to 250 words, so it's an "Infinite Monkeys" story.  Infinite Monkeys stories are part of a project I'm working on that you will learn more about probably in August, but for now, they're stories mostly like this.  Here's a list of other Infinite Monkeys stories if you liked this one

OTHER NEWS!  The free book of the day is The Scariest Things, You CAN'T Imagine, a collection of short horror stories like The Deal, in which a young boy is tormented by a demon and gets no help from his parents, or Rage, which has a boy kidnapped by gargoyles and then returning to his mom... mad.  Get it free by clicking here.  

As always, the post below is also an A To Z post, the continuing story of turmoil in the alphabet: When X, overcome by sadness at witnessing a suicide, overlaps the world of the abstract with the real, it gives humans an afterlife but angers many of his fellow letters -- and has the unforeseen consequence of demonstrating that there are many worlds!  Check out O's installment in the next post.