Tag Archives: parable

294. The children all hauled a lumbering beast behind them

The children all hauled a lumbering beast behind them, a hundred feet tall, its arms and legs the size of tree trunks. On top of the beasts a small forest grew, with lush pines and green meadows, a safe haven to retreat at night, to eat and rest for another day’s march along the barren plains.

I had often asked them why they journeyed the globe this way. How they had tamed the beasts and why they were only led by children, not by adults – the sight of whom I had yet to experience in this strange land. But they never spoke a word. All they did was walk into the big nowhere.

Not until my fifth week did I notice a change in the pattern. I saw one of the older girls of the troupe  climbing from her beast, kissing it goodbye and then wandering off into the night. I tried running after her but the beast blocked my path until the darkness had swallowed her.

The following day the beast that had lost it’s child, decided to stay behind, broken-hearted, yet somehow contented. As if it had fulfilled its destiny and was now able to lead a life alone.

We never encountered the runaway girl again, though a few days later a new beast joined the troupe. It was led by a child so young it could barely walk. But she kept up with us and when night fell, like the other children, she climbed up her animal, ate some berries and fell sound asleep.

She had her mother’s eyes, this child.

And when she was old enough, she too would be allowed to stand on her own feet, find her own path and burst from her fragile cocoon to blossom into a magnificent, caring beast.

 

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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

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276. From the quagmire a creature arose

From the quagmire a creature arose that defied everything we associate with a living, breathing organism. It was a faceless, shapeless blob, blind and deaf, feeding not on organic material but on fear.  And through its ghastly, unfathomable appearance it assured there was plenty of angst to feast upon.

It first engulfed the countryside, sweeping up the life force of powerless peasants waving their pitchforks as they ran from the creature, not realizing this only made it stronger and faster. Then it decimated the densely populated banks of the river, growing in size and gloominess until it blocked out the low winter sun and casted a dark shadow over the kingdom.

The creature moved fast, but not swiftly enough to outrun the messengers on horseback who warned the inland cities of impending doom.

“Leave your houses and run,” the messengers howled. “For when the abomination reaches these walls, they will crumble under its might and you will perish with them.”

The citizens heeded the call, packed their goods and set off in a chaotic flurry as the creature appeared on the horizon, more voracious than ever.

Yet in the empty streets the lonely tapping of wood on stone was still audible. The sound of the blind and deaf old man making his way to the local pub as he did every Friday. In all the hubbub no-one had warned him of the destruction coming and he had neither seen nor heard the ruckus surrounding the citizens’ flight.

Though he felt the city trembling as the creature crushed it, he felt no fear. And as the abomination passed through him, it stumbled and shivered and finally shrank into an insignificant pool, gobbled up by the streets.

Fear, it seemed, can be defeated, if you hold a mirror to it.

 

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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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54. Atop the ruins of the giant art deco building

Atop the ruins of the giant art deco building stood a lonely tree amid the weeds. No-one noticed it, no-one admired it, no-one was struck by its beauty. It just stood there. Small, slender and overlooked.

 

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Read the rest of the tale and 100 more stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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