500 word short story
I have a story to tell of sorts. It is roughly composed of: Exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, and denouement, but only roughly, for I realised that to facilitate each element of traditional plot structure in such a confined environment, is rather difficult! It concerns nothing in particular and no one of any real substance. It is fuzzy around the edges, blurred in the middle but it does finish at the end.
I remember well the day it didn’t really begin, for I had lost one half of my favourite pair of socks, hence I was irked. I hastily wrote a poem about it called:
Shall I compare thee to a sock?
Yes I shall.
Once of a pair,
you tumbled away,
It came out
In the wash
a loner, a
heretic of the
I then put on a less agreeable pair and consequentially walked the earth wretchedly for the rest of the day, much like Caine from Kung Fu, only less focused.
I walked down a road and listened to an old chip shop sign groan in the grey breeze and later on in a greener place I saw cows skipping like lambs, which unnerved me. I then sat down on a convenient bench and took out my sandwiches from my rucksack. They were normal sandwiches, and I consumed them with little enthusiasm. Then I struck up a smoke, like a cowboy.
I remember thinking: The mundanity of waking up and of going to sleep and of the minutiae in-between is what life is all about! Then I wept.
With weeping came an Ocular migraine (I presume this was entirely coincidental.) They start in the centre of one’s eye with a slight blurring of vision, and then continue to expand with what is known as “an aura” which involves flashing lights and blind spots, shapes of all inconsistencies, eventually rendering one half-blind.
Whilst consumed within my Ocular migraine attack, sat on the convenient bench, I could do nothing but try to focus on something central within the haze.
I saw beneath me an ant pushing a ball of nectar (at least 20 times his size) up a muddy incline. Each time he reached the top, the incline was such that the angle tipped him back and he rolled back down to the bottom again with his nectar intact. He attempted this at least 10 times, and then on his final roll back into the abyss was crunched in half by a rabid stag beetle.
That little anvil-headed communist, that miniature Sisyphus; tried and failed, spectacularly. I had nothing but pure love in my heart for him, an admiration that almost overwhelmed me; attempting a task both laborious and ultimately futile.
I threw my remaining sandwiches into the gauze bush behind, hoping that the local badgers weren’t picky about piccalilli and thought:
I shall aim to fail spectacularly, and that’s the best I can do.