#100 The Meeting

Jim the Bunny looked at the table of nametags and was surprised at all the “Robs” he saw. Rob from the coffee shop, Rob from the other coffee shop, Reset Button Rob, it seemed to go on forever. He found his name, on a special name tag with a lanyard instead of adhesive (A good thing for someone who didn’t wear a shirt) where it should be, between Jenna and Joe. Jabberpaw’s had already been taken.

As he put his lanyard on, he looked around the room. A few people had arrived already, including Jabber, who was in the corner talking with chick who was showing off her smartphone. Jabber looked impressed. At the other end of the room were two extremely overdressed people talking almost exclusively about how to spend money, jewelry flowing, like they had just won the lottery. A strange crowd, to say the least.

Jim hopped away and found a peculiar little man and his peculiar little girlfriend. The man introduced himself as Gene.

“So do you know what this is all about?”, Jim asked Gene.

“Not a clue! I just got an invitation two days ago that said to show up here”, Gene replied.

“That seems to be what everyone got”.

The room they were in was quite large, with a bar of multiple heights (to support the strange array of sized people and animals in attendance), and a stage with a podium. That was where the normal elements of the room ended. There were quite a large number of doors around the outside edges of the rooms, and periodically one would open and the person or animal emerge. They’d stare around the room for a few moments, and then wander to the table with the nametags.

Jim supposed they all had a similar experience as he had. They’d received an invitation, and then found a strange door somewhere they’d never seen it before. The one Jim, Jabberpaw, Sylvester, Bob, and the knitting sheep had come through was near Jabber’s cave. It was attached to a tree which Jim swore hadn’t had a door before. But the door was at the end of the map that accompanied the invitation, so Jim and his group entered.

Now he saw the sheep talking with a little girl holding a teddy bear, no doubt asking about the fiber makeup of her inanimate friend. In the corner, a smallish man wearing extremely ‘lifted’ shoes marched up to a smallish T-rex who wore a chef’s hat. This was, to say the least, a weird meeting.

About 30 minutes past the ‘start’ of the party, as listed on the invite, the lights dimmed and the group, as if compelled by some strange force, began to assemble in the chairs laid out before the stage and podium. After they had all sat, a screen lowered from the ceiling of the stage and a short film began to play. It showed a variety of events that had happened to the crowd, as if some disembodied camera had followed them on various days over the past few months. They all sat amazed as they recalled the events.

Finally when the film was done, a spotlight shown on the podium. The camera trained on the podium, projected on the screen, was really the only way to notice the two birds that had landed on the podium’s edge, by the microphone.

“Good evening, My name is Pete, and this is my friend Zak”, one little bird said.

“We’re here tonight to welcome you to a speech by a person that, up until today, none of us knew existed”, the other chimed in.

“He’s just spoken with us, and now we’d like to introduce you to our friend, The Author!”

The birds flew away, and a man walked out from the right of the stage, confidently smiling and moving toward the center.

“Who is this guy?”, Jim said to the person sitting next to him, a guy who smelled of alcohol and wore a flower in his lapel. The man did not answer.

“Do you know who this guys is?”, Jim said to the person on the other side, a pale faced man named Edmund according to his name tag.

“You moron – those birds just said none of us know who he is!”, Edmund replied. Jim sat their quietly, annoyed.

“100 days ago”, the man began, “All of you didn’t exist. Well, except for Jim & Bob – they existed but were tucked away in nearly forgotten folder”.

Jim sat there, confused. He knew he had existed for some time, and so had Sylvester, Jabber, the sheep, and everyone else in the Woods.

“You see, I wrote about all of you, thus taking you out of an imaginary ether of thought and placing you into words on a page, or a screen”.

“This guy is high”, Jim said to Edmund. Edmund just looked annoyed, a bit constipated, and somehow stunningly attractive. It was this last element that freaked Jim out the most.

The man continued.

“Now, after 100 days, I’m calling you all together to meet. Because honestly, I need your help. You see, while I wrote all of your stories, I have no idea what any of it means. Sure, I may have put some lofty thoughts in a few of your stories, or even a preachy message or two in some cases. In others I simply wrote a story or poem that reflected abstract feelings or thoughts. But now as I look out there and see all of you, I realize something – I feel as though we’re all related in some way, but I’ll be damned if I know what that is”.

Jim couldn’t take it anymore. He hopped up to the stage, as quickly as he could, and jumped on the podium.

“Dude – I don’t know what you’re smoking, but all I can see in this room is a mess of odd people and talking animals. I mean – there’s a dinosaur that is asking anyone if they want to come over and grill out later, another dinosaur looking for his socks, and a guy who says some group of super spies are after him. If you created all of us, then it’s your responsibility to put all of this together into something that makes sense!”

The man looked down at Jim, who had knocked the prepared address of the podium as he hopped up, and paused. Then after a slow moment a smile crept to his face.

“Jim, I agree we’re a mess, and I just realized something”.

“What’s that, weirdo?”, Jim said in reply.

“That this whole project, and all of you, only need to exist. You don’t need to do, say, act, or interact in any way. You’ve all served your purpose beautifully over the past 3 months, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. Thank you”, the man said as he began to walk away. The lights in the room came up to show that the doors were removed, with just empty archways back to respective worlds. The animals and people, from that day on, were free to come and go to each other’s worlds, hindered only by their mind.

“I have no idea what that guy was talking about”, Jim said, to no one in particular. The group was mingling once more, people coming and going through the doors, exploring.

As Jim hopped down, he realized he had something in his pocket. He pulled out a crumpled €5 note.

“Damn, gotta hit the bank before Bunnymart on the way home…”, he muttered as he made his way back toward The Woods.

A Short Story a Day was a daily feature and creative writing project. Shortly a book will be available containing all of these stories, and exclusive behind-the-story entries for each!

#99 Finality

Everything ends, despite our wishes
despite our hopes
despite our dreams
despite how hard we wish it wouldn’t.

Everything finishes, despite our inability
to see an alternative reality
to perceive ourselves advancing
to relive the past.

Everything builds upon us, even though
it feels trivial
it seems larger than it is
it ends.

[SSDay]

#98 Invitation

Jim the Bunny looked at piece of paper skeptically. It simply read:

You are invited to a gathering on May 10. Many exciting and interesting people and animals will be there.

Jim had never received an invitation to anything before, much less a ‘gathering’ with ‘interesting people and animals’. He checked his FB account and saw that animals all around The Woods had received similar notices. Jabberpaw was especially excited, as not only had he never received an invitation to anything before, he had specifically received orders not to attend various parties and social events, on account of his large stature and scary nature.

Jim, being a snarky bunny, weighed his options, but in the end concluded that it was better to attend such an event to alleviate his curiosity, than to avoid it just to be a jerk.

Bunny © by ahmadridhwan

[SSDay]

#97 Text To Speech

Sam never claimed that she was the most ‘girlish’ of girls. If prompted, she could act extremely feminine, however her natural state was more tempered, less stereotypical. One area where she seemed similar and different to her peers came in her use of a cell phone. While most 20-year-olds are glued to their phones, Sam didn’t enjoy texting so much as she enjoyed pushing her smartphone to do things most people her age had no interest in.

“But isn’t this cool?!?”, was her frequent cry, after showing some new trick she’d learned, or some tweak she’d implemented. Her friends would shrug and say “Yea…”, and then turn the subject to something they felt a bit more comfortable with.

Sam enjoyed listening to music on her phone, and was understandably intrigued by a new app promising to read her emails and text messages to her, pausing her music as needed. She quickly paid her $2 to download the app, and set it up.

The first time it sounded, Sam was shocked at the efficiency of the robotic voice that read her an incoming text. Over time, the robotic voice of her phone became more personable to her, and even earned a name, Martin.

With a busy schedule, there were days Martin spoke to Sam more than the rest of the world combined. Through workouts and trips, walks and unwinding after a long day, Martin would periodically interrupt to report on what was new in Sam’s life.

Then one day, Sam realized that Martin had been silent for a bit too long. A quick glance at her phone revealed her worst nightmare: The software update she’d applied earlier in the day had broken poor Martin, and no update for his software was yet available. Martin was gone, and Sam was inconsolable. Each morning she checked the manufacturer’s website, eagerly signing up for early beta access to a new version, and promising to test it fully if admitted.

Then one afternoon, about a week after Martin’s demise, it hit Sam. She had actually formed a sort of friendship with the robotic voice of her phone. It didn’t mind if she was geeky at heart, and it certainly didn’t talk unless it had something genuinely interesting to say. A man of few words, Sam was able to imagine a back story to Martin, not a stretch after she’d already personified it with a name. Martin’s departure felt almost as if a friend was missing.

It was then that Sam realized that perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to follow her own usual path of moderation. She took her phone, navigated away from Martin’s manufacturer’s web forums, and called a friend she hadn’t talked to in a few months. As they caught up, she realized that perhaps a bit of Martin withdrawal wasn’t a bad thing.

[SSDay]

#96 What’s Next?

“Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!”, the brain of the author thought as he sat down to pen his Sunday night prose.

“4 Left! And so much more I could say”, the brain continued.

It was true. There was so much uncharted territory. Why not write a poem about polar bears, or a story about a traveling salesman named Martin who finds his one true love in a coffee shop in Nebraska? It’s easy to get into projects, the brain thought, but ending them is another thing completely.

Yet all things must end in some fashion. And while we expect things like a daily twitter notification of mediocre storytelling, eventually it shall end. Better to have traveled the road than to not have started the journey, staying safe and at home, warm from the cold light of an ending.

Some say endings are just new beginnings, but make no mistake, things do end as we know them. We’ll never be able to return to that exact routine ever again. Our job is to simply cherish the memory, and embrace the opportunity to make new and radically different experiences rank with those of our past.

[SSDay]

#94 A Simpler Time

Five minutes ago was a simpler time
One where I did not worry as much
Then life changed to frantic from sublime
Forcing decisions made in a clutch

Five minutes doesn’t seem sufficient
To turn one’s life upside down
However fate appears very proficient
It laughs as it knocks you around

Five days action in 300 seconds
It seems amazing to think
Action destroys as much as it beckons
Emotions both soar and sink.

[SSDay]

 

#93 White Wall

“Tag it man – hurry up!”

Javier stood there, staring at the wall. It was freshly painted, gleaming in a light grey.

“I will – I just want to make sure it’s perfect”

“Dude – it’s your tag – you’ve sprayed it a dozen times – just spray it again and let’s get out of here before the cops show up!”.

They were merely steps away from the precinct – and despite it being early in the morning, way before dawn, the place buzzed with some activity from time to time.

Javier had never had this problem before. Perhaps it was “spray dysfunction” or “spray anxiety” – for some reason, the blank surface intimidated him, and stopped him in his tracks.

“You stupid idiot”, his companion called, “Fine, I’ll do it”.

Javier’s tag, slightly off as sprayed by his companion, appeared on the wall.

They scampered off.

[SSDay]

#92 Silence

Silence Speaks Louder
Choose What To Say With Much Care
Omit Most Of It

[SSDay]

#91 The Inspiration Tap

“We’ve got an emergency sir!”, cried the CE.

“Report!”, came back the reply from the SCE.

“The tap has run dry!”, said his subordinate.

“Nonsense – in all my 29 years as Senior Creative Engineer I’ve never seen the tap run dry!”, said the SCE indignantly.

“Come see for yourself, sir”, the CE said to his boss.

“My God… its dripping… quick – get a bucket and collect some of it – we need to get it to the Boss! He’s got 9 more stories to write!”, the SCE shouted.

“I know, he keeps putting our reply types after our text, he isn’t switching it up anymore – it’s like he isn’t even trying”, the CE said, no doubt annoying the Boss.

“It’s worse than we thought…”, the SCE said as he took the bucket to the Boss.

Silently, the Boss accepted the bucket.

“My faithful engineer”, he began, “The tap is under my control – I can start it or stop it as I wish. It’s an upgrade. I appreciate your concern”.

Author’s Note: The tap does ebb and flow, however as I get into the last few stories, I admit it will be nice to not have to push out so much creativity on a regular basis. On the plus side, I’ve got a lot of these insights into the creative process that I’m planning on sharing in later blog posts and the book!

Pipes! Pipes! © by Danndalf

[SSDay]