Short Fiction

Uncertain and Untitled

I’m really feeling under the gun about my “U” post today.  It’s the first time in the whole challenge that every idea I had was underwhelming in an unusually big way.  Even my spouse tried to spark me with “unity,” “umbrella,” and “unction.”  Those were not bad either.  It turns out that there’s a lot of “uumph”  behind “U.” 

And let’s not forget all of the universities and even the universe itself — both are way too big to do justice in 200 -300 words.  So I’m just going to take a stab at a little flash fiction, and undulate back to the fridge for some leftover rice pudding. 

“If a panther and a catamount got in a fight, who would win?”  My brother was six, the golden age of strength comparison.  Of course, when you’re six you’re trying to find your own rank on the scale of strength, but Mom won’t let you beat up on anything to prove it.   So he had to rely on me to call these bouts.  “The panther,”  I said, even though I had never seen either of these creatures, but guessed anything that was part “cat” couldn’t be as ferocious and strong as an animal with its own unique and cool-sounding name.

“And then the panther would have to fight again, an even bigger cat,”  my brother held up his arms in an arc over his head like a champion wrestler to indicate that fight would be even more stupendous.

This could go on all night, and would end with us making up new predator matches — dinosaurs matched with killer whales, mutant lizards and piranhas, giant insects swarming over the carcasses of the fallen.  Until our mother would finally call out, exhausted, hauling up the last basket of laundry for the night, “Enough, you two.  There’s school tomorrow.”   So I’d kick him out of my room and get in bed myself kinda laughing at how goofy he was.   I miss those days and my goofy little brother whose super sized imagination and outside the box thinking brought us the genetically modified gerbils that deforested Lake Wobegon. 

 

 

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