Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Short Story: Four And Twenty Bad Words

Ever find a piece of paper in a used book, some time stained scribbling from a long dead hand? Well I did. And it was in a book of nursery rhymes I picked up for my daughter. But what I found was disturbing, horrible even, and forever changed my view of those fairy tale lands and enchanting stories. I’ll say no more but let you read what was scribbled on that parchment tucked into the pages. I turned it into a short story but left the names unchanged. And yes, this story does fit the category of "Twisted." I hope you enjoy it.

Four And Twenty Bad Words
by Paul Darcy

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Bloody stupid if you ask me. If you were an egg would you prop yourself up on a wall overlooking a hard surface on purpose? Well, would you? Only if you had a death wish I say. You are thinking that maybe Humpty did? I’m sure he was put there against his will, was too frightened to say anything and when he couldn’t take it anymore, he jumped.

You know who did this deed, don’t you? Well if you don’t know, I’ll tell you though me fate may be the same. The king and all his men. But they tried to put him together again, right? Wrong! Oh sure they made as if to put him together again, but they didn’t really try. I saw the whole thing plain as day.

I was pushed aside, told to wait, the king’s men and horses were doing all they could. Horses. Just think about that for a moment. Hooves. Not very good at piecing together small white splinters of eggshell if you ask me, and here were the king’s men denying access to those who could have made a real difference while they let their horses muck about with poor Humpty’s shattered remains. A complete and purposefully botched job. But who can gainsay a king? Not me, and I’m not even going to try publicly though I’ve grumbled enough after the incident that I’m sure they are on to me.

Which brings me to why the dish ran away with the spoon. No reason given, right? Well let’s take a look at some forgotten facts. The cow jumped over the moon to escape the laughing dog. Upon reflection that’s how I see it. Nobody trusts or likes that mutt much. He is crazed for sure, fed and trained by the king, and the dish knew it. It took the dish a long time to convince the spoon to bolt. You see the spoon wasn’t afraid of the dog. The dog could chew and chew but the spoon, she’s stainless and could take the worst punishment from his molars. The dish on the other hand, though microwave and dishwasher safe, was not indestructible and could be chewed to the point of fracture. And not wanting to be left alone in the big wide world coerced the spoon into joining him. They were long time friends and spent much time together. There may be other motives to it, but I stick to the most obvious.

Little Miss Muffet, now there’s a sad story here. Not really afraid of spiders at all, though she convinced her friends that she was. I know better. It was all a ruse, carefully planned and executed to look like the spider scared her away. You want the plain truth. Her wicked step mother, the king’s sister, fed her only curds and whey after she herself ate the best food with the food coupon allotted to her on Miss Muffet’s behalf. So, by convincing her friends and neighbors that she was terrified of spiders, Miss Muffet carefully orchestrated the encounter with the spider so as to have a legitimate reason for leaving her step mother and never coming back. I hear she is in Neverland now, and doing quite well.

That little pig that went wee wee wee all the way home. Hell, I don’t know nothing about him, honest. And I’m not going to be guilty about liking the flame broiled double bacon cheese burger one bit. And for only a wee wee wee bit more you can get fries with it as well.

And don’t talk to me about magic beans or plums in pies. Who ever heard of a plum pie anyway. I mean really, there is plum pudding, plum cake, plum juice and even sugar plum fairies, but plum pie? Who are you trying to kid?

And don’t try to cover up for that lackadaisical, no good for nothing slacker Bo Peep. I mean watching sheep was left to the youngest of children hundreds of years ago and even today, and she couldn’t even find one? Come on, for Christ’s sake, sheep aren’t exactly stealth creatures capable of hiding in fields. They are bloody white like clouds, on green grass, and slow and dumb and only interested in eating grass. So how come Bo Peep lost them? Pure negligence, that’s what I say.

And who is her dad?

Do I need to say it.

Okay, I’ll say it.

The king!

And being the spoiled brat that she was she just plain didn’t want to look after them. She was too busy flirting with Little Boy Blue. And it was no surprise that when Bo Peep finished with Boy Blue by the haystacks he was fast asleep and her sheep were lost. They had plenty of time wander away. She didn’t care where they were anyhow. Leave them alone and they will come home was what the king advised. What lame-ass excuse to use on the sheep’s owners. But she had the backing of the king and everything was smoothed over. She should be doing time now for this botched job. Sure, the sheep did come home, but they have some responsible person looking after them now, not some cow-eyed flirting tart interested in scoring with Boy Blue. Nepotism makes me sick. Now where was I?

Most pies are baked at roughly 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or more. Now I may not be Einstein or even Laplace, two very brilliant people from our fairy tales, but someone help me here. What bird could withstand that kind of temperature for 30 minutes, let alone being bound in pastry with only the smallest of breathing holes poked through the top. Black birds? Oh please. So who started the sad rumor about 4 and twenty of them flying out of a baked pie? Is this the same king who’s men propped Humpty up for his big fall? Hey, I say it is. So who could trust a king that blatantly abuses the laws of science for his own ends and let’s his men assassinate a valued member of the community? I don’t, not one bit.

If I could find the country the dish ran off too I might join him, not to cut in on his spoon action, but to get away from this goofy land and its evil tyrant. So you still don’t see conspiracies every where you look, eh? How about that old woman with the droves of kids. And living in a shoe? That’s just pushing credibility too bloody far. I mean the largest shoe I ever saw could maybe hold one small infant, but a drove of kids? The king uses this one, says he is supporting her and her children as a token of his good will towards the poor.

And nobody I know has ever seen her, that imaginary shoe or the hundreds of alleged kids. And that many kids would make noise throughout the countryside, impossible to hide. Lies, all lies. Please again. Same kingdom here folks, same seedy king. And when he is not busy fostering these horrible lies he is treading the streets naked like he is wearing a million dollar suit and proclaiming himself Emperor or other. And I will not keep my voice down. This charade has gone on far too long.

Wolves blowing down houses made of straw and sticks? Now arguably wolves have larger lung capacity than the average person, but you try blowing down a straw house, even one poorly constructed. Hell, I’ll be there to take pictures. Hell, first one to do it with lung power alone I’ll write a personal check for 1000 dollars. No takers, eh? Not even the king? How about some of his men? I thought so.

I have much to say, and I fear my time is short. I can hear the horses hooves from all the king’s men already. When you see me on the wall, you know the one, know it wasn’t my idea, even if I’m smiling. And when I finally tumble off to my death, and you see those who put me there mulling about like they are trying to help, know this. They are there only to ensure my demise. It happens to all of us eventually. Those of us who learn the truth, the truth about the king and his lies and his seedy henchmen. I may not live out the day, but if you recover these notes maybe you can spread the word, carry it to distant lands less corrupt, less eager to believe the lies. Maybe one of them will take up arms and stop the horrors here.

I’m afraid I can’t write any more for I can clearly see the king’s men now coming quickly down the road, and Oh this steams my potatoes, that laughing treacherous dog is with them. I will hide this under the nearest stone and hope they don’t see me. Damn, but I am too young to die, but all I have said needed saying. If you find this please pass it on, and for the love of truth do not let any of the king’s men see it. Take this out of the land as soon as you can. This land which was once pure, now tainted by that king and all he stands for.

Yours truly,

Humpty’s youngest son,


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