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Posts Tagged ‘flash fiction’

Among my fellow practitioners I was at the same spot at the same rush hour as I did every other 364 day, pan handling. I scraped my pan with my wooden spoon. Every other beggar was doing the same. The noise must have ratcheted up a few decibels the cop on the beat  swiveled around to bark, “Beat it.”

“This aint drum ,-and no retreat either,” I said like a pro.

Seeing his sickly smile I said, ” I found a rabbit foot this morning. A lucky day for me, Pennies from heaven, sure. ” I told him to stick around. Poor fellow he beat a hasty retreat.

Hardly I went back to scraping all the beggars were scraping their pans and I felt I was the conductor and the orchestra was there to follow suit.

The beggars said, “Success smiles on us fellows!”

Suddenly there was a bang! ear splitting one at that. Pieces of people whatever left of them flying before their legs could catch up with them. What carnage! what bedlam.

Before we caught on what was happening a miracle!

Our pans were filled to brim with nails, ball bearings and iron rivets and what not. We beggars looked at the days earnings . No word was necessary. All that metal would fetch a couple of thousand pounds. No pennies from heaven. Who cares?

Scraping pans louder brings luck for beggars everywhere, I believe.

benny

 

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“At the Creation Time each life form was allotted equal levels of energy to which behemoths complained. Their complaint was, “You have counted us equal with insects which are so many.” “Our energy level is same..”
“Trim yourself to make the most of it.” Advised the Keeper of the Celestial Park.
Taking heed of his advice they became in course of time, elephants which were half the size of their forefathers. Complaints of injustice did not come from the behemoths alone. Bees were angry too. They saw mites lolling whole day among the herds of cattle. They complained to the Celestial Keeper that holding same levels of energy with those lazy blood suckers was unfair. “We buzz all day and by sundown we are a wreck!”
“Make your constant toil, something to remember by.”
The result was that they began producing honey which pleased all. “Give them bees, whatever energy left of mine,” said bears who loved it above everything else.
“Why such kindness?” the Keeper could not understand.
“I am thinking of my cubs.” One wise old bear said,” perhaps self interest. Call what you will.”

In every action and reaction energy is carried across. Every cause and every effect in the loom of Cosmic Nothingness works non-stop. How the wicked prosper by downright villainy stands out. Simple folks believe they are benefited by their lawlessness. But how long? The upright and simple folks also prosper with energy as in this story. Can the bears or flowers thank enough the bees for their yeoman service?
Perhaps a supernova scatters energy suddenly upping the chances of survival for some weak species. Laws of Compensation and Negation are moral co-valence of Supreme Intelligence.
benny

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Thank Heaven!
Rabbi Benn Weiss was waiting for me at the sidewalk. Cock-eyed Happy Place catered to anyone who had a certain style. The raffish sailors frequented there as well as beggars who paused in between panhandling for a swig. They paid in style of course with the money they cadged from the customers. Anyone with the style, I mean those who had money, got attention. When I reached the Rabbi he had just disposed a beggar who claimed had acted in the production of South Pacific.
“ There is nothing like a dame.” I crooned knowingly. Benn Weiss shrugged his shoulders and suddenly he said in alarm, “ You look as if seen a ghost!” I explained after having downed a couple of shots of whiskey, “ I suddenly remembered Gigi!” My friend looked perplexed.
“ Remember Maurice Chevalier singing, ‘Thank heaven for little girls?’ I was just twelve and was in love with Leslie Caron myself.”
The Rabbi was listening closely. “ Oh Jake you’re a romantic.”
“I went on singing for days the same number till my father kicked me in the seat of my knickers.
“So you mooned and was in love. So what?”
“ If I sang ‘Thank Heaven for little girls’ now like I did then, would not I be thought of being a closet paedophile or something?” I said.
benny

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“Ecco homo!” Rabbi Weiss one morning exclaimed laying aside his papers. I waited for him to explain which, as I had anticipated, he did. He patted his luxuriant white beard and said, “ Mattan this Armenian Jew! He is now become the Mayor. I had long ago warned him of coming to a bad end. Now he has gone and proved me wrong!”
That name seemed to ring a bell. “ Wasn’t his grand father who ended up in a gulag?” The rabbi nodded.
I added, “And a terrible poet to boot. He wrote, ‘Lament from the Lost Ark.’ Remember?”
“ Who doesn’t know the lines, Lark, lark is it you? / It is me again; / I’m set down as Cain/
My love for Mark it’s true. And so on.” I quoted from memory.
“Please refrain from quoting his lines while we call on Mattan this afternoon,” Benn Weiss cautioned me. I replied, “ Mum is the word.”
“Once his father was so worried about him.” Rabbi Weiss ruminated, “ that he would do such a thing as serve the public.” “Isn’t serving the public a good thing?”
“Yes, Jake,” my friend continued,” Not in case of Mattan. He will beggar the public funds as he did with his father’s life savings.”
“So we are going to meet a crook?” Rabbi Weiss was deep in thought. “I shall not quote poetry.” I assured my friend, ”Perhaps a joke or two when the time calls for it?”
The rabbi nodded his head.
Later in the evening while the mayor and the rabbi had exhausted the topics I asked,” Have you heard about a fellow who stole the white elephant of the King of Siam for a lark? When the law caught up with him he could only say, ‘It was all a mistake, fellows!’
“He is now in Sing- Sing on account of a lark.”
benny

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Aesop and the Ass ©

The ass was sore with Aesop for having made him look a fool in public. One day he approached the story teller and said,” Well sir, you made me look ridiculous with your ridiculous stories; Am I not more intelligent than a horse?”
“Oh sure, more than a hobby horse.” Aesop said with a chuckle.
“We shall see to that.”
Next morning all over the town large bill boards were seen, with the following words,” Aesop says: An ass is more intelligent than a ‘ hobby’ horse.” The word ‘ hobby’ was in fine print and none noticed it. The advertisement campaign launched by the ass was so successful the price of horses slumped overnight.

benny

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All My Sons©

When my sons came of age I gave the eldest a stamp I had but no envelope to stick it on; nor had a friend to send. I had one blind count in Florence who couldn’t read a thing any way so he didn’t count. Just the same he left his villa to me and I gave it to the second oldest. My third son got a painting that I had picked from one of the flea markets on the left bank of Seine, Paris. To my fourth I entrusted a paperweight. Of course to my last I gave a denture with initials GW.
Before I could leave this world my eldest son came smug and self assured and said, “You gave me a Penny Black,1840.”
“You have made a fortune?”
“Oh no, my dog just chewed to pulp.” said he.
The second son managed to arrive at my deathbed and we hugged and he said he had converted his villa into an orphanage for stray dogs. With beating heart I asked,” what of that western wall on the piano nobile ?”
“Oh the figure of Christ was nude; so were apostles. So I painted over the whole thing.”
“Son, it was by Michelangelo.”
“Never heard of him. I had to protect the feelings of the house keeper”.
The next one said the painting was so unlike a face he could live with.
“Matt, it was by Picasso. One from his cubism period”. My son Matthew said, “Picasso or Pickaxe, what do I care? Either you get the face right or use a digital,- Canon is my choice, for gods sake.’
‘My fourth son George, only cared for his own feelings, but still made my day. I asked what he did with the paperweight.
“How long do I think I can go on feeling a piece of glass in my pocket?”
“So what did you do?’
“I threw it into the garbage of course.”
I murmured, “Hope Diamond, my paperweight and my nest egg.” What George did not know didn’t hurt him. I greeted my last son and he said, ‘Pop the denture you gave belonged to some fellow called George Washington. You think I’ll keep some one’s dentures, the one that didn’t fit him, will sit well with me?’ So my son had smashed it and thrown it away. A man’s whole life in the face of such calamity is likely to speed up and mine was in a flash.
It anyway cured me.
“Well, well,” I got up from my bed and said,” A bunch of hopeless idiots I raised up. I must get down to business.”
All my sons were aghast and tried to restrain me. “No you are in your deathbed. Stay.”
“Oh no,” I was sure. “I cannot afford to die. I must at least make some money for myself.The Undertaker does not do his job for free. It is a fact of life.”

benny

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Changing values

In a curious town like Pye-in-the Skye there are many ways to be considered ‘mad.’ Max was not an idiot but the folks thought he was a borderline case. They didn’t take kindly to those who did not live unto their expectations. Nor did they warm up to those who stuck to their guns. As soon as he learned to assemble a refrigerator he knew he wanted to sell one. Where did he go but to the North Pole and naturally the rest sighed and said, ‘Good riddance.’
He wanted to sell refrigerators to the natives.
The Inuit didn’t buy a single one and he died a very poor man. All that he left behind was some ice boxes and a technical manual.
On the other hand Dr. Faustus having made a pact with the devil became the most celebrated scholar. He knew everything that went under the Sun, which passed for knowledge. How the crowned heads and scholars alike feted him! Then came the computers that made him redundant. He died in grief. He said that a machine beat him. Yes.
The world went a-changing! Then came a thaw and ice melted. The polar caps vanished as an icicle in a furnace. The people in Nunavut learned to live with the climate changes. Then someone found the papers of ‘Mad’ Max and it was a discovery that electrified the whole region. They began to make fridges themselves and control their houses to the right temperature.
The world in their own muddling ways saw a great injustice was done to Inuit. They owed to them a great debt for destroying their old way of life. How to repay them?
Nunavut became synonymous the home of refrigerators. The world leaders came to an agreement that fridges made there could be sold worldwide duty-free. Buying fridges made in Nunavut was consistent with principles of ethical living. Inuit prospered.
Who contributed to the welfare of the world more? A fool or a scholar?
benny

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