8thdayfiction

…and on the 8th day, micro fiction was published on some dude's blog.

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Fattius Grumples III

There once was a King named Fattius Grumples III.

King Fattius Grumples III was mean and grumpy, and he perspired a lot (probably because he was also very fat).

Fat, sweaty King Fattius Grumples III ruled over the citizens of Sweetsylvania like a big, fat, sweaty royal jerkface. He sat on his throne like a blob, day after day, barking orders at his servants until his face was a sweaty ball of crimson.

One of the things he yelled for the most was candy. King Fattius Grumples III loved candy (one of the reasons he was so fat and sweaty).

CAAAAAAANDY!” he’d bellow, and the servants would come running with sweet treats for the King to eat. King Fattius Grumples III would stuff his face until he could barely breathe and then he’d sit there on his throne, panting, his face and hands smeared with chocolate.

Every day, King Fattius Grumples III would eat more and more candy, until one day, between bites, he said, “I want a BIGGER-sized candy! BIGGER!” Half-eaten chocolate sprayed out of his mouth as he screamed.

Davey, one of the King’s lowliest servants, was the only one who dared speak up.

“W-w-well, Your Highness, w-why don’t we just b-bring you a lot more of the regular-sized candy?”

King Fattius Grumples III sat up in his throne, veins bulging from his forehead, his man boobs jiggling with rage.

NOOOOOOO! That’s TOO MANY WRAPPERS to unwrap! I want a big-sized candy–as big as TWO of the regular size–in ONE WRAPPER! NOW MAKE IT HAPPEN!

The servants scattered. Davey went to the Royal Chocolatiers and got them to make special candy that had double the regular amount in one wrapper. This special size became known throughout the land as “King Fattius Grumples III Size”, which over the years became shortened to what we know it as today: King Size.

And that’s why, even today, you’ve probably always felt guilty whenever you scarfed down a King Size candy bar. Subconsciously, you were aware that you were perpetuating the legacy of a fat, sweaty tyrant.

But now that you know the story…

…eh, what are ya gonna do? NOT eat a questionably large portion of the candy you love?

I mean, this was really more of a “hey, it’s kind of interesting how this product we take for granted came about”-type story, not a “the morally right response is to avoid this or feel guilty about it”-thing, you know?

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Her Best Drawing Yet

As she moved her hand over the surface, Maggie felt inspired. This was going to be her best drawing yet. She loved the new materials she’d started working with. It was the first time she’d ever tried them, and they just made the nicest colors.

“Maggie, NO!” Mom darted across the room and yanked Maggie’s arm away from her drawing. “What have you done?”

“You don’t like it? I think it’s pretty.”

Mom dropped her head and took a few seconds to breathe. Then she looked up and held out a hand.

“Give me that.”

Maggie handed over the magnet she’d swiped from the refrigerator and started crying.

Mom bent down and hugged her. “Oh baby, it’s OK. You didn’t know. But this,” she said as she held up the magnet and then motioned towards the TV, “is permanent. Your drawing can’t be erased off there. And now we can’t watch the TV, because your drawing’s on there.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know why, sweetie. I don’t know how that works.”

She exhaled and stood up. “But I do know that now, maybe your Daddy will get us a flat screen and finally get rid of this thing that’s six times older than you are.” She winked at Maggie and held out her hand. “High five!”

Maggie smiled and slapped Mom’s hand. “High five!”, then added, “Mommy, this is the best getting in trouble ever!”

Mom laughed. “Yeah, it’s not bad, huh? Come on, it’s time for lunch.”

They made their way to the kitchen, where they sat together and paged through the Best Buy flier over a shared peanut butter sandwich. Maggie didn’t know what “HD” was, but it sounded nice, and Mom couldn’t stop talking about it.

Paying Dues

Zeke knew he’d have to work his way up in the organization, that he wouldn’t be starting at the top. There were dues to pay. He got that.

But still, he thought: This was ridiculous.

“Don’t get me wrong—it’s not your fault,” he said to Molly as he opened the chute and slid an unwrapped Snickers bar into her cage. “I just really don’t see the point of this.”

Partly, Zeke blamed himself. He had been warned he might end up in a position like this. On more than one occasion, when he had confided in someone his ambition to enter this career field, they had told him about this: About how striking out on your own as a mad scientist was extremely hard to do, how his best option was to go to work for someone established, blah blah blah, dues-paying and all that.

And he was also told how there were two sides to mad science: The conquer and/or destroy the world mad genius plots, and the smaller, garden-variety insane projects. He was warned he’d probably spend years doing the latter before he’d be given a shot to work on the former. His passion for the work, though, was too great, and he figured it wouldn’t be that bad.

But as he stared at Molly, who seemed to be just staring at the Snickers bar, he couldn’t help but feel impatient. He’d heard rumors about the Death Ray project, and he wanted in on that. He really felt like he’d be able to contribute to it.

From what he’d heard, though, the Death Ray was the highest of high-level projects, and he hadn’t even been working there a year. So instead of the Death Ray, he was tasked with determining if an anteater would eat anything other than ants. He wasn’t told why he was on this project or what it was supposed to accomplish.

But he was paying dues, so he tried not to think too hard about it. He just scribbled down some notes, opened the chute, pushed a McRib sandwich through to Molly for her appraisal, and daydreamed about how he’d get himself to the next level.

Easy Spirit

She slid the shoebox across the counter.

“I’d like to return these.”

He looked at the box: Doc Martens. He looked at her: White. Upper middle-aged. Definitely a mom, maybe a retiree. Still rocking the perm she probably first got in the early ’90s.

Interesting.

He opened the box and absent-mindedly pulled away the tissue paper to make sure the boots were still in there and were in decent condition while asking, “Anything wrong with them?”

The answer he expected was “They were a gift for my [SON/DAUGHTER/NIECE/NEPHEW], but [HE/SHE] [ALREADY HAS A PAIR/DECIDED THEY WEREN’T HIS(HER) STYLE/SAID THEY DON’T FIT].”

The answer he got was, “Well, I needed a pair of winter boots, and I decided I wanted to go with something…different. But I don’t know. These just aren’t me, maybe. I guess I’m more of an Easy Spirit kinda gal!” She chuckled nervously.

“OK—no harm, no foul. Easy Spirits are cool. I mean, Joe Strummer wore Easy Spirits, right?” he said, not bothering to hide the hint of condescension in his voice. “Do you have the receipt?”

“Yes,” she said and started to fumble through her purse.

“OK, so if you paid for these with cash, we can do cash back; if you used a card, I’ll swipe your card and credit the—”

“Here it is,” she said, and pulled her receipt-less hand out of her purse, clenched it into a fist, and put it in his face with middle finger extended.

“That’s for making fun of Easy Spirits, and for thinking I don’t know who Joe Strummer is! I’m keeping the shoes,” she said while taking the box back, then added, “and I’m going to come by here every morning for the next six months, wearing these boots, and every day I’m going to kick the front glass of your store with ’em, just to get your attention so I can give you one of THESE!” She put her middle finger in his face again.

And she kept her word. She walked by every day, kicking and shaking the store’s front glass and giving him the bird.

He kind of loved it. I mean, really, the job was usually so boring. He nicknamed her Perm Kicks-A-Lot, and her visits were always the highlight of his day.

A Sign From God

God was in a rut.

He’d had it up to the tip of his beard with signs.

For one thing, He couldn’t shake the feeling that He was always either providing sign after sign to those too distracted or oblivious to notice them, or feeling guilty for not having signs to give to all the well-meaning people out there desperately seeking them.

And for another thing, “a sign from God” was beyond clichéd at this point. He knew it; everyone knew it.

So when Traci at the copy shop told Him they were currently running a special on banners, God said, “Talk to me, my child.”

Long story short, if you’ve seen one of the following banners recently:

YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY GO TO GRAD SCHOOL.

TRY THE MU SHU PORK!

DON’T ASK SHEILA TO MARRY YOU. YOU’LL REGRET IT, JERRY.

(this means you, Karen, Scott, and—obviously—Jerry), trust me—it wasn’t a coincidence.

At buy two, get the third free, it was an absolute STEAL. Not to mention lucky for you, Jerry. God may not have sprung for that third banner at its regular retail price.

A Bit Late

Jason woke up with a start. Something seemed off.

He fumbled for his phone, and as the display came to life, he realized what was wrong. It was ten after seven; he should have been sitting down at his desk to start his workday at that very moment.

He shot out of bed, cursed under his breath, and cleared his throat several times so he wouldn’t sound as groggy as he felt when Dennis picked up. It was the weirdest thing. He checked and double-checked: The alarm had been set, it was still set (he hadn’t turned it off in a half-asleep haze earlier that morning), the alarm was right next to his head as he—

“Support Services, this is Dennis.”

“Hi. Dennis. It’s Jason. I overslept; I’m going to be a bit late today. I—”

“Well, that explains today.”

What was that supposed to mean? Dennis sounded peeved; he was usually laid back. And Jason had NEVER been late before. He hadn’t even used any of his sick days. Something was going on.

“Um, I’m sorry…?” Jason knew he was making things worse by not already knowing what he’d done, but he just had no idea. Dennis would have to spell it out for him and he’d have to make it right after the fact.

“I appreciate you calling me today, but where were you yesterday?”

Yesterday?

“Um, I’m—”

“It’s Friday morning, Jason. I haven’t seen you since Wednesday afternoon. I called you yesterday and you never answered. You have an entire missed workday to account for.”

Haven’t seen you since Wed—

Wait.

Friday? Jason grabbed his watch—it was, in fact, two days later than when he last looked at it right before he went to sleep Wednesday night.

“Dennis, I’ll call you right back.”

He disconnected and saw: 12 MISSED CALLS; 8 NEW VOICEMAILS. Hanging up wasn’t going to make things any better with Dennis, but Jason had some things to do before continuing their conversation: He had to call his mom and let her know he wasn’t dead, call the landlord and remind him—for the THIRD time—that the gas leak hadn’t been fixed and that he’d be seeing him in court, go online for a free consultation from Jacob Bowers & Associates: The Injury Super Lawyers, and pay a visit to the ER to make sure he wasn’t brain-damaged.

It was going to be a full morning, but that was OK. He was well-rested.

A Miracle

The motivational speaker paced the stage with purpose. She had just spent close to an hour working towards the climax of her speech and was now ready to unleash her catchphrase on the audience gathered in the hotel ballroom.

“YOU are a MIRACLE!”, she declared in a booming, big-tent-revival voice. She repeated the phrase, each time poking her index finger towards a different  section of the crowd and staring them down, lest the heaviness she was conveying go unnoticed by anyone in attendance.

“YOU are a MIRACLE! And YOU are a MIRACLE! And YOU—YOU are A MIRACLE!”

Tell me something I DON’T know, Bobby Rogers thought to himself as he sat there, unmoved and fuming. I can’t believe I paid $150 for a ticket to this NONSENSE.

The Boss

He was so, SO tempted, at that moment, to turn to Susan and shout “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!”

He resisted the temptation for two reasons:

1) It would have been an inappropriate way to act during the reading of their father’s will, and
2) The attorney had just read the section of said will which appointed Susan the new CEO of the family business, for which he worked, so…well, you know.

Chinese New Year

The boys wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year, so Pete went and bought them some firecrackers.

The plan was, they were going to do the firecrackers outside, on the driveway or something, and Pete would supervise.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned.

As the firefighters hosed down the last of the flames licking at the charred skeletal frame of their house, Pete, Cathy, and the boys stood on the sidewalk, too shocked to do anything other than stare dumbly at the unintended aftermath of their celebration.

Cathy finally broke the silence.

“It looks like we’ll be staying at the Y for a while. Happy Year of the Gym Rat, everyone.”

 

The Meeting

H opened the door slowly and found a seat near the back. He was only a few minutes late, and as usual, they were starting late. It looked like he hadn’t missed anything.

Not that you’d ever really miss anything if you didn’t go to these meetings, he thought to himself.

The meetings were pretty much always the same thing. Times New Roman would gavel the meeting to order. H liked TNR. He was old school, classic. He looked kind of like Woodrow Wilson.

TNR would welcome everyone, and then ask Arial to read the minutes from the last meeting. H was always being told he and Arial looked alike, and was always being asked if the two of them were siblings or cousins or something. He didn’t see it.

Last meeting’s minutes would be approved in a cursory vote, and then it was on to new business. Sometimes there’d be a guest speaker. Last time, it was Westminster, who gave a talk on “filling a niche” or something. He honestly had tuned out on that one; the guy’s entire presentation was very machine-like.

He squirmed in his seat. He’d made the bad choice to sit next to Copperplate Gothic, who was spilling over into H’s seat. The joke about CG was, he was so fat he was already 48 pt. before he was out of diapers.

So after the guest speaker and/or new business, the floor would open for comment. This was by far the worst part. It was always the same thing: Comic Sans (with his unfortunate Hawaiian shirts and bad comb-over) would take to the mic just to tell bad jokes, followed by Cloister Black who, after an eternity of throat-clearing and monocle-adjusting, would rant about the “digital age” and how us “classics” have to stick together against this threat. Papyrus would step forward and invite us all to his tapas and wine-tasting bar after the meeting, and finally, Wingdings would take to the mic and…well, no one ever understood a word he said.

Just as TNR started to rap the gavel, H heard the door creak open. He turned to look, and it was her. Courier snuck in, gave him a quick wave, and tip-toed over to an open seat.

He smiled. Now he remembered why he went to these things.

H was crazy about Courier. She was pretty in an unassuming way. She was retro and hip, without obnoxiously broadcasting it (unlike her d-bag boyfriend Cooper Black). Seeing her made him feel kind of…italicized. He liked the feeling, and couldn’t wait for the meeting to be over so he could talk to her.

He sat back, half-listened to Arial reading the minutes, and waited.

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