I lay in the grass finishing my newest Terry Pratchett and drifted off to sleep.
I was Anselme Lanturlu tiling the surface of the earth to measure its curvature, and then turned into a gardener. I won a million dollars in a competition I hadn’t entered, and flew to New Zealand. Suddenly I realised I was a bear: lovely, I can sleep right until spring! My cozy cave was on the edge of town: close enough to the shops, but within easy reach of the forest. The walls were filled with writing and paintings: bears are pretty much all-rounders. They said I had no sense of taste, but bears mostly go by smell anyway. Especially the smell of hyacinths. Time for another snooze.
I awoke with a start: I’m coming home was playing on the radio.
(11 facts about me, answering Eve’s 11 questions.)
A blog is one more drop in the ocean of the internet, so it’s lovely to get feedback. My heartfelt thanks to all who have read, liked, or commented.
The holiday season. You could smell it in the air. The spices, the cakes, and the candy. Wrapping paper crackled and tinsel sparkled. There was a general air of anticipation and fun mixed in with frantic holiday shopping. Everyone was awash with mulled wine, goodwill, and charity.
Not everyone was happy, to be sure. Jody and Fred spent the days huddled together in wordless misery. Nobody had told them, but they knew.
One of them would be for the pot.
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A bit of a downer for a holiday? So how do I turn that round? Well, maybe Jody and Fred will follow this example.
as usual our family has enjoyed an eventful year, and we’d like to share our news with you all.
As some of you already know, our house was repossessed earlier in the year, due to an unfortunate misunderstanding with the tax authorities. Happily we’ve found the perfect little family home, and we’re currently parked just 3 miles up the North Road. Grant attached it to a power line with his usual technical skill. Later in the year he was fired from his job, but not before he got hold of some choice bits of information on several members of the board. We are looking forward to a comfortable retirement in the near future.
Our pride and joy Sharon failed the entrance exam to the new school, but with her usual courage she’s decided to soldier on and try again next year. Her charming new boyfriend Dwight is very successful in the pharmaceutical line, so let us know if you need anything. Our dear son Steven was arrested (his first time!!!), but we’re confident he will get off on a technicality.
After our move, Rover went missing, though we believe he may still be in the area. We have heard of a number of chickens disappearing, and he always did love chicken. Ginger on the other hand is thriving – and providing us with regular fresh meat: the local butcher has a cat-flap.
As for me, I’ve got my little flask, and am fine as always.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and an equally successful 2013.
Donna + Grant + Sharon + Steven + Rover + Ginger
Time was running out. He had put off the decision as long as he could.
Engrossed in the project he had asked strangers their opinion. The fuzzy answers annoyed him: what use were they? He studied ancient books and their sweeping judgements made him angry: it was just words. None of these philosophers had known the responsibility he faced.
It was up to him to finalise the program. His hand would flip the switch. Future generations would thank him – or curse his name.
We have many needs, he thought. Big ones and small ones. Some we all share, others are peculiar to ourselves. Sometimes we value one more; another time we valued it less. Not all our needs are met, indeed, some may never be.
So that is what he taught the machines. They would preserve life. They would consider needs varying in individuals and over time. They would do what was possible to restore the scorched earth. But when the planet was habitable again, they would relinquish their power.
And give mankind the freedom to make its own mistakes. Again.
* * *
T. Mastgrave’s philosophical story challenge: the relationship between “good” and “pleasurable”.
It was a beautiful day; clouds drifted lazily overhead. Jack and his Grandfather were lying in the grass.
– See the dragon? It’s turning into a duck! They laughed.
– Look, those two have joined. Are they still two clouds? Or is it one now?
Jack frowned in concentration. Over the meadow, the clouds seemed to peter out.
– What do you think happens to the clouds when they get there?
Jack pondered. People were always telling him things. Only Grandfather asked what Jack thought.
It would be the last time the two were together. Back in school, Jack’s teacher commiserated.
– It’s alright, Jack reassured his teacher. He’s in the air now.
* * *
T. Mastgrave’ philosophical story challenge: What is the soul?
Some people go to endless trouble preparing for a job interview. I say, get there early, and take a quick look round. It’s what I did this morning. I went inside and quickly looked over the instruments to see how they worked. When I put them away, I thought I could field any questions likely to come up. Now for a cup of tea and a nice chat.
What a total waste of a perfectly good morning! I didn’t even get the job. Next time, I’m not applying as a neuro-surgeon. I think I’m better suited for a managerial position…
* * *
This week’s 100-word-challenge at Julia’s Place: …they worked when I put them away…
Robbie sat down on a log and let out a sigh, Rufus flopped down beside him. The two had scampered up the hill and dashed into the woods, now both needed to catch their breath.
Robbie thought it was unfair. He was sure he tried to be good. OK, so he probably shouldn’t have tried to drape the neighbour’s tabby on his snowman – though it made a great fur scarf. He was sick of being lectured, especially when the lecture involved innocent animals.
If animals are innocent, why aren’t I? Rufus looked up at him, thumping his tail, and woofed.
* * *
Today’s philosophical story challenge: Is man innately good or evil?
And the Sunday Post Challenge: Peaceful.