CfPUiSL: Tales of the Last Axe Swallower


You know the feeling you get when you jump off the seventh floor of speeding train and land on a soft pile of freshly carved pastrami, suffering only minor internal wounds and find a lucky penny after regaining consciousness? I’m sure you do.

Axe-swallowing is sort of like that.

Way back when, before the Ambulance Wars and the Great Flattening, we axe-swallowers were popular entertainers. You could find us at any lobcobblery, shelack-shack, or roadside salad bar in the country.

But those days are long past and dwelling on them swallows nothing. The axe you swallowed yesterday means nothing next to the axe you will swallow tomorrow. And in this day and age, tomorrows axe will be celebrated by few.

We do it now, not for fame, money, or even free lunch (though sometimes there still is that). No, we axe-swallowers just like swallowing axes.

Unlike sword swallowing (which is sadly still popular in some parts), we can legally chew the axes before swallowing. This sounds like it would make it easy, but acquiring strong enough teeth for it takes years of training. It is also balanced by the rule that the axe, once swallowed, may not be unswallowed. See if a sword-swallower can do that!

And now, my friends, sit still and I will tell you about my life.

[This, like other CfPUiSLs, may or may not eventually turn into a larger story.]

As part of the celebrations for the first day ...


Part 4 of Lack and the Potato Mine


Lack could not sleep at all that night.  He loved his parents and had thought they loved him too.

He knew that they loved him less than his long lost brother Wilhelm, but it never mattered much because he had been missing since before Lack was born.

Never had he imagined that they might see him as an emergency food supply.  It was no wonder that they had allowed him to get so porkulent, he thought to himself.

He lay awake and prayed to the pointy stick for help.

Hours passed and so did Lack’s last fragments of hope.  He had almost come to accept his fate when he heard a terrific “B’shoom!” from outside.  He ran to the window and beheld the sound’s origin.  It was a round hole in the earth with smooth sides that appeared to descend forever.

If you saw it, you might be reminded of a manhole with no cover, but such things were not known to Lack.  He was reminded simply of the impossibility of such a hole digging itself all at once in his yard.  He remembered then that it was in the exact spot that he’d left the pointy stick the night before.

He wanted an escape and here it was!

The only challenge would be to get outside without waking Mother or Father.

A cautionary tale of some other family’s holiday party

Stomach Ache microbe

Image by nickstone333 via Flickr

I’ve already forgotten
the mushrooms au gratin
and you’ve all remembered that

Nobody remembered
to wash out the blender
although you remembered the cat

Your cat just sits still
and gets fed by Fitz-Bill
who shouldn’t be wearing that hat

If he keeps feeding
and Myrtle keeps reading
his stomach may go ‘splat’

And none would be thankful for that.

Lack and the Potato Mine part 2


Lack begged and begged, but they would not listen, so he fell into a deep and unceasing sadness.  Potatoes would exist for Lack only in dreams, so he dreamed as much as he could, waking only when forced.

One day, Lack’s mother sent him to the nearby peasant village of Umbleheim to get some meat.  As fat and slow as Lack was, his parents were even fatter and slower.  He hoped that maybe he would find a potato on this errand, so he agreed to go.

As he walked, he hummed his favorite song, the Lumbery Sea and Me, and the trip to the village flew by like like a flying thing that flies quickly.  He had never been to the sea and didn’t know if it was lumbery or not, but he had always liked that song.

He spotted a delicious-looking peasant almost immediately and cast his peasant net.  The little old man (which it was) did not struggle, but looked at Lack without fear and said,

“My nem is Otch and ye will release me now cussai hev a thing ye want!”

Lack was thrilled.  “You have potatoes?”

“It’s be’er than potatoes!  I’ve a magically pointy stick. En ye ken have it!”

“Why would I want a pointy stick?” he asked confusedly.

“Ye stick it in’der ground before ye sleep and it grows inta whatever ya like!”

“Jaggity wintersheep, that sounds great!  Give it to me.”

And so, the net was emptied and packed away with the magically pointy stick while the old peasant named Otch skipped away, quietly chortling to himself.

Tea Time on Mars


I sit on a wall of boiling leather

and wonder what this roiling weather

means for apple kicking hour

under the tall and ticking tower

that isn’t even a clock.

It’s finally time for the fishes to sink

they’ve had too many knishes to drink

and their buoyancy runs low

regardless of the snow

I can’t see them from the dock.

Murdersocks: Chapter 3: In which murder gets old

Murderous days and murderous nights passed with increasingly monotonous murderosity.  It was becoming less and less enjoyable as time passed and my village decreased in unmurderedness.  It had gotten so thoroughly murdered that my guilt over my small part in it had evolved into boredom.  I just wanted to sell some more bread.
I decided to remove myself to a murderous tent in the mountains.   If I were only worried about my own self, making myself a mountainy man was probably unnecessary.  My Sock-driven deeds had been witnessed frequently already by that point, but no one stayed unmurdered long enough to share their murderous news.
I was really hiding the rest of the world from me.  Or at least that was my intent.
The problem was that this mountain had many other mountainy men and mountainy women already living there mountainously.  They looked so happy before I murdered them that I couldn’t help wishing the Murdersocks would leave me alone.
Of course, I knew that I couldn’t just hand them to someone or I might end up murdered myself.  Some might say that being murdered was what I deserved, but this was all clearly not my fault.  The Socks and the Socks alone were to blame for all the murderous murderosity that had been ocurring lately.  What they deserved, of course, was to be buried deep beneath some remote place where their sockily murderous influence could not reach the living.  However, a little voice in my feet told me they wouldn’t allow that.
My next thought was that maybe I could take them off and deliver them to someone else via that group of crows that kept following me.  I didn’t think that would be a problem.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I was wrong.  So wrong was I that not only were the Socks not deliverable by carrier-crows, but they were not even removable from my feet.  They were not attached to me per se, but irremovable nonetheless.
I sat down on the stump that my tent was constructed over, and crossed my legs.  I noticed that the socks were more red than ever and were even more comfortable than they were on the first day, despite never having been washed.  Still, as I knew was necessary, I removed my baker’s-clogs and then started to pull them off.  I couldn’t though.  My muscles seized and refused to carry out the assignment my brain had given them.
The little voice came back.  It spoke, not in words, but in pure murderous thought.  What it communicated was that I was no longer in control.  I had believed myself to be doing as I chose (besides the murder) in these last weeks, but the Socks were making every decision.  The discovery of the mountainy populace was therefore no accident, but a well thought-out act of murderity.
This horrible realization left me in despair.  That night, I slept in my tent, much as any other night, but I did not dream of puppies and candy as I usually do.  I dreamt of the first day.