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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Short Short Stories!
A confrontational visitor upsets the status quo.

Submitted: October 03, 2016

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Submitted: October 03, 2016





Hey. I’m glad I’ve caught you. I can’t stop for long as I’m on my way to dinner but I need to tell someone what’s just happened. It’s really upset me. This guy — I mean I’m proud to live in this community. There’s such a great atmosphere. Of course, there are disagreements from time to time, but the amicable nature of the place is soon restored afterwards —  but this guy I’ve just come across, the nerve of the guy. And we all get on with each other usually, don’t we? Old friends and new friends. Some of them keep themselves to themselves. Others will give their opinion about certain things. But they don’t offend us. They don’t insult us. But this guy. My goodness me. 

And to think this is the same garden we shared with that beautiful creature who we all miss terribly. She always had a beautiful personality and, in later life, was blessed with such aesthetic beauty as well. May she rest in peace. Such a strange turn of events that, wasn’t it? We spent so much time together, crawling around, chewing the leaves, chewing the fat. She crawled faster than me, I’ve always conceded that. But such was her generosity, she would patiently wait for me to catch up and would never dream of eating everything before I got there. Beautiful. Then…well you know what happened. She was getting older and older and she took to sleeping more and more. She was so tired. She slept for so long I can’t have been the only one to think she might never wake up. Then one day, what do you know, there she is, fluttering around above my head. She’d managed to find a couple of wings from somewhere and there she was — a new lease of life. Such vibrant colours. I shall never forget that moment. Of course, she hadn’t a clue how to use those new appendages. Zig-zigging and dithering all over the place. Well, you can’t expect to learn new skills at that age, can you? Absolutely no control of her own movements. Such a shame. It’s quite sad when you think about it. We all miss her immensely. But what a note to go out on. Beautiful. But I digress. Where was I?

Ah, yes. The contrast of that memory with this latest encounter. I still can’t believe the cheek of the guy. And you know me, I take everything with a pinch of salt — if you’ll pardon the expression — but this guy has really wound me up. And it’s not like there aren’t others here who antagonise us. But not on this level. Never on this level. What about those fellows over there in the long grass. Up all night, every night, working on their so called music while we’re all trying to catch forty winks. But we don’t say anything do we? We tolerate. We understand. They’ve been given a musical instrument where their legs are — by whatever force it was that created them — and it’s only right that they should practice. And goodness knows they need the practice. Such a racket! Why they feel they have to rehearse though the night is beyond me. But we don’t confront them, do we? We don’t say anything. We let them get on with their lives and we get on with ours. Such is this nature of this place. It’s why I love living here. Until this guy turned up today. I can’t tell you how angry it’s made me.

And you might think I’m making too much of it. He hasn’t threatened my life or anything. Not like some others I could mention. I’m thinking of that feathery menace who's always swooping down towards us. And we all know that some of the smaller chaps have become a victim to her onslaught. But she’s got to survive. We understand that. She’s got to eat like the rest of us. It’s just a little unfortunate that we happen to be her favourite food. But most of the time she’s harmless, drinking out of that stone statue or singing the day away. And credit where credit’s due - she’s far better at singing than those noisy fellows over there are at making their own brand of music. So even though there’s a chance we’ll be eaten, we live side by side, in a certain level of harmony. An environment of understanding and tolerance. An equilibrium. But this guy — he didn’t try to eat me, I’ll give him that — but this guy. 

And it’s such a diverse community here, isn’t it? There has to be a certain amount of respect for each other for the whole place to function as it does. So many different characters coexist here. There are the artists — how they manage to spin those incredible sculptures which glisten so magnificently in the light will always be a mystery to me. Especially when you see them scuttle around on those eight legs of theirs so ungracefully and awkwardly. Then there are the team players; the hard workers. Always buzzing about, grafting with their peers to put food on the table every night. They have a tremendous team spirit amongst them. It can only help boost our morale and inspire the rest of us to see dedication like that. And then there are those who are quite shy and reclusive. Like those slithery chaps who we only see emerge from the soil to see the daylight when it rains, knowing full well everyone else will be sheltering and so they won’t have to interact with anyone. But we all get along with each other. I know I’m repeating myself but it needs to be said. We all get along. But this guy. Let me tell you. 

There I was, minding my own business — just setting off to dinner on this pleasant evening we’re enjoying today — when I catch him out of the corner of my antenna, sauntering up to me. Nothing untoward so far, you’re probably thinking. Well, first impressions can be misleading. He seemed like an amiable guy. He was very similar in appearance to myself. And I don’t want to seem self-aggrandising but I am from a particularly attractive species, I’m sure you’ll agree. As I say, he was very similar in appearance to myself, with the obvious difference being that he was wearing a spiral patterned suit. A hard suit which made him look a bit peculiar if you ask me.

“You want to get yourself one of these.”

This was his opening gambit.

“Excuse me?” says I.

“One of these cloaks like I’ve got. All the best creatures are wearing them these days. So many advantages over what, may I say, the lower class like you go about with.”

Well, I was taken aback. The insults had started and he wasn’t finished yet either. Not by a long chalk.

“I have a far superior lifestyle than you because of this coat, you know.” He continued as my anger grew, “It gives great protection from the flying feathery ones when they’re looking for a meal. My chances of being eaten are so slim compared to yours. And let me tell you something else - I don’t have to worry about finding shelter when it rains either. I just curl up under this fantastic garment and it’s just like been indoors.”

With the rage building inside me I ventured to stick up for myself, “Well, maybe I like the rain. Maybe I don’t have to worry about finding any shelter because I enjoy sitting in the rain so much. You didn’t think of that did you?” And it’s true. I do like the rain. It’s in my top five weather conditions, if not the top three. But that didn’t deter him.

“You’re a liar,” he says, “no-one likes the rain. Not really. It’s too wet. Why can’t you just admit that I’ve got it so much better than you and your miserable little existence.”

Such arrogance. I had never heard the like before. This guy was the most condescending and uncouth show-off I have ever met in my life. I was so furious I couldn’t speak. He just sat there smirking and looking all superior while I left him behind and went on my way. And that’s when I ran into you. 

So you can see why I’m so upset. The way that guy spoke to me. It goes against the unwritten rules we all abide by and adhere to here. Against the laws of nature. I hope our paths don’t cross again is all I can say. What a slimeball. 

I must say, it feels so good to get all this off my chest. I’m feeling so much better now. I hope we can chat again sometime soon. Anyway, I must go. Those cabbages aren’t going to eat themselves.

© Copyright 2018 E. G. Harris. All rights reserved.

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