Here is my contribution to Laura’s Literary Lion challenge, which has a 400 word maximum. This week the Literary Lion has supplied the prompt word “time”.
I had lots of ideas for this week and finally went for the maddest one :-).
“Thyme. A king among herbs.”
This was the opening line of the presentation given at the Twelfth Annual Conference of Advanced Physics, Manchester by Professor Grint Bigglesworth.
Bigglesworth, a man so convinced of his own infallibility that “mistakes” were something which happened to other people. A man who, in his youth, had developed a theory which had made him impossible to ignore, much as everyone wanted to.
An appreciative laugh rippled through the audience. Biggleworth was slightly confused – he’d decided not to start with the standard opening joke – but carried on unperturbed.
“Used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming and by the Greeks as incense, today we use it…” he continued.
Had he taken a moment to think, he might have wondered why his allotted topic at a conference of advanced physics was a discourse on a small green plant. Had he looked at the faces of his audience (all inferior to him, as he believed), he might have noticed the grins of embarrassment. the nervous fidgeting. Had he insisted on a written copy of his invitation to speak, he might have noticed the spelling of the word “time”.
However, he did none of these things. And thus he continued extolling the virtues of thymus vulgaris for a full hour and thirty minutes.
He was instantly ruined. No-one would return his calls. No journal would accept his submissions. His university finally had an excuse to be rid of him.
And so on that day, a self-important blowhard was forever removed from the invitation list of every major scientific conference in the world. On that day, a self-righteous narcissist with all the social graces of a cucumber was denied access to all public forums. On that day, an annoyingly persistent serial letter-writer was permanently barred from publication in any respectable (and many less respectable) scientific publications, magazines and newspapers.
Was it an honest mistake, an insidious conspiracy or rampant stupidity that brought him to this? Do we care? Let us just sit, close our eyes, take a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit perhaps, and be thankful.
Don’t forget to click on the blue froggy to read all the other stories!
The residents of Clusterdale awoke one morning to find their little township draped in a thin layer of white.
Children were ecstatic. What fun they would have! Adults looked out of their windows suspiciously. It was too warm for snow, surely? It was mid-summer! Was this the effect of global warming? A new ice age?
Was the End come at last?
Children laughed, not understanding the worried looks on their parents’ faces.
Across town, fire fighters reeled up their hoses. The massive overnight explosion at “Walker Brothers Icing Sugar Packing and Distribution” would be talked about for years to come.
Here is my contribution to Barbara Beacham’s Mondays Finish the Story. I apologise that this is my second flash fiction of the day, but I have been leaving things rather late this past week.
The supplied sentence to go with the prompt picture is in bold in my story, and you can read this week’s other contributions by clicking on the blue froggy.
The petroglyphs told the story of an unusual event.
“By Jove,” remarked Pinkerton-Smythe excitedly. “Look at this, Pendergast!”
The two smartly dressed gentlemen perused the carvings.
“On the right,” continued Pinkerton-Smythe, “we have an attack by wild animals, see there?”
“And here, look, concentric circles indicating the tribe’s wanderings to escape these attacks. Here they climb mountains in their trek – it seems as if they constructed ladders to help. We see them hunting as they walk, and here these squiggly lines, a river, undoubtedly.”
“I do see, old chap.”
“And here at last you see, bottom left, they arrive in a forest and make their home.”
“I say, this carving is exquisite! I must have it, Pinkerton-Smythe! You there, ten million for this!”
Five thousand years ago…
“Wumpa! What have I told you about doodling on your dad’s table top? He’ll be so mad! And where did you get that chisel? Put it back at once!”
“Aww, Mum, I bet it’ll be worth a fortune one day!”
Just under the wire (and in a hurry), here is my contribution to Laura’s Literary Lion challenge. This week’s prompt word is “king”. Sorry there’s no photo, I’m doing this in my lunch break and don’t have time to find something suitable. So, with very little proof-reading, here we go.
A Day in the Life
It’s not easy being King. Some days it feels like the whole world and his wife is after me for something. It’s always, “Sign this, Your Majesty!” or, “The palace sewers are backed up again!” Like I’m a plumber. I’m the King, dammit! Here we go…
“Your Majesty, Drimmen’s let his cows graze in moi fields again.”
I don’t care.
“I’ll send someone over. Next!”
“Your Majesty, the milk’s turned sour. It’s witches!”
Saints preserve us.
“You left it in the sun again, didn’t you, Breevor? Next!”
“Your Majesty, my daughter’s run off with the milliner’s son! What shall I do?”
How should I know? She’s your daughter.
“Prepare for a wedding. Next!”
And so it goes on. And on. And on. Day in, day out. Don’t I have people for this? It’s not right. Ah, here comes a royal messenger.
“Your Majesty, King Matchett of Greater Gribdovia has crossed the border! It’s war!”
At last, something I can sink my teeth into. Something Kingly!
“Call my generals, sound the alarms, bring me troop…”
“Whoops, sorry, your Majesty. Wrong piece of paper, he hasn’t crossed the border after all. Just a little novelette I’m writing. Ahem. I meant to say that the royal chickens have burrowed under the wire and escaped into the woods again. What shall we do?”
I don’t usually do this, but the photo reminded me of the original “Italian Job” film. I apologise, but my “punchline” won’t work (at all) if you haven’t at least heard the famous Michael Caine quote. However, I’m very short of time this week and it’s today or never.
Here is a link to the quote on YouTube, which made me laugh once again.
According to the photo’s title, the photo is actually Dijon which is in France. Imagine them naming a town after a mustard :-).
“Wowee!” shouted Grant as Davies steered the Mini at speed through the narrow streets. “This is all a bit ‘Italian Job’!”
“Yeah!” yelled Davies as he manoeuvred around a bicycle, narrowly avoiding a street stall. “Whoa, that was close.”
“Watch out for those tourists!”
Davies screamed into a side-street.
“Boxes! On the right!”
Davies steered through the boxes, knocking them flying.
“Awesome!” shouted Grant as Davies screeched to a stop outside the newsagent. As they watched, the shutters came down.
“Dammit!” cursed Grant. “Too late. They’re shut.”
“Well,” said Davies, affecting a “Michael Caine” accent. “We could always blow the bloody doors off!”
Feel free to either groan or look blank, depending on whether or not you’ve seen the film :-).