280 character stories, written in return for Movember Donations – November 2012.
Doners name a subject, I write a story: http://mobro.co/mattgilbert1
Donate a little more and they also get a jingle by Mo Sista Jenny Smart: http://movemberjingles.tumblr.com/
Tache Tale No. 1, for Suzie Doore – Marsupials.
Barbara the Bandicoot was fed up. People kept confusing her for something she most definitely was not. “I am not a rat” she would declaim to all & sundry. “I am a marsupial”. But nobody cared. Then one day, whilst chomping on a spider, Barbara decided to do something about it…
Tache Tale No. 2, for Salpi – Sausages.
The sausage woke with a start. It was cold. He looked around him. Everyone in the cheese box was fast asleep. The milk was snoring. And the juice, the juice was in bits – as usual. Suddenly the light went on. The fridge door swung open. This could be the end, the final grilling.
Tache Tale No. 3, for Liam – Longshore Drift.
Sarah put the binoculars down. She couldn’t be certain but it appeared as though a new spit was forming on this stretch of the coast. It was hardly Cape Cod, but the distal end of the nascent formation was beginning to look distinctly hook shaped. The waves churned on, oblivious.
Tache Tale No. 4, for Ben Daly – Soundwave – the Transformer.
“This is no Deception spy Megatron” said Soundwave. “No.” said his leader. Puzzled he jammed the cassette into his chest. The tape heads whirred into action. “Ahh” said Megatron. “See, Street Sounds Electro 10 far superior to 9. Transformer by MC Craig “G” Now that’s a CHOON.”
Tache Tales 5, for Zoe – The Wedding Engagement
Could there be a perfect moment? He wondered. Should he engineer a situation, risk giving the game away? Maybe he could drop it into conversation casually? Would that give it enough weight? This was hard. In the end, he went ahead and asked. It was exactly the right thing to do.
Tache Tales 6, for Emily B Williams – Artichokes
“Artichoke’s been at it again, giving it all that about how delicious he is. Ponce.” Courgette had got himself rather worked up. “Shut up he’s coming” said Broccoli. “No I won’t. Oi Arti – you’re just a thistle…” Artichoke rose above the taunts – after all he had a big heart.
Tache Tales 7, for Gavin Campbell – Sloth – with thanks to Raymond Chandler
It was eleven o’ clock in the morning, the sun was struggling to filter through the canopy. I was hairy, three-toed & tired. Dog tired, if you can say that about a Bradypodidaie – that’s a Sloth to you. Sooner or later this jungle was going to kill me. But not today. I yawned.
Tache Tales 8, for Phillis Cobley, from her grandson Adam
For some Pontypool’s claim to greatness stems from the celebrated 1970s front row of Windsor, Faulkner & Price. Well the rugby fans are wrong. The town’s one genuine legendary figure arrived a bit earlier, at Christmas 1922. This year she’ll be 90 – Phillis Cobley, we salute you.
9 Stephanie Chybowski – The boyfriend in Australia
He’d been out there for three weeks. Three long weeks. It had been a blast. Better weather. Colder beer. Less stress. More Kangaroos. And Goannas. Those big, lizardy things you just don’t see in London. But something was missing. Something special. It was time to come home.
10 Nicky Campbell (neé Hartnell) Paul – her tall and shiny new husband.
Paul was tall. Clearly there was a lot more to him than that, but this was his most salient quality. The kind of thing that people noticed – well most of them, you always get the odd one who is oblivious. But not Nicky. She noticed everything about him. And liked it.
11 Anthony Nicols – The Girlfriend singing jingles
Something didn’t feel right. The distant sound of crass jaunty music kept fading in and out of hearing. Each time it was only a temporary reprieve, before the awful noise returned, more insistent than ever. What had he done to deserve this? To become a man haunted by a jingle.
12 Will Gilbert – No subject chosen. So you get a tale about a tree with a conscience.
The possum shit was the worst; that and their constant scratching. Little flea-bags. Being an Elm in Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens would be ok if it stopped there. But the hellish thing about this curse, was that he’d kept all human senses intact. He tensed. Another dog was drawing near.
13 for Andrew Bannister – Kari the black-and-white Colobus Monkey
Somewhere along the line, Kari had taken a wrong turn. The trees had thinned and instead of the jungle clearing, there was a large metal bridge. A man smiled at her. ‘Why-Aye Monkey Man. Good to see you supporting the Toon’. ‘Notts County actually’, Kari replied and waddled on.
14 for the unflappable Nicky Campbell (neé Hartnell) from her production department colleagues.
The rumbling became a roar as Nicky walked away from the office. Unruffled she continued calmly on her way. When the sky blackened and the meteors began fizzing down to earth – setting fire to trees and buildings as they landed – Nicky sighed. ‘Everything is going to be fine.’
15 for Dave Tokley – The Movember Cress Moustache
Beyond the door, the place was unrecognizable. Where once a table and chairs had stood a tangled mass of vegetation sprawled, the room was a jungle. Dave gulped. The funny little man who’d sold him the seeds had been right, this was no ordinary cress. Now where was that machete?
16 for Andy Prosser – The Traveller
The long journey had been worth it. The city stretched out below him, every street seemed to glisten in the sun, holding out the promise of endless possibility. So, the stories had been no fabulous exaggerations after all. He smiled, kicked out a foot, and began the descent.
17 for Paul Ford – Learning English in London
The teacher slapped the desk with his hand. ‘Do it again. I don’t want no Northern inflections, West Country burrs or nuffink that ain’t proper English. It’s LAAAAANDUN. And York Hall should sound like “Your call’. Right?’ A hand shot up at the back, followed by a nervous ‘Sir?’
18 for Mandy Rayment – The Hangover Blues
A pair of blank eyes stared back at her. Absent-mindedly gazing into a fishmonger’s window was no help. She pressed her head against the cool glass, enjoying a moment’s relief before the thudding pain returned. She knew she should have left that last drop alone.
19 for Teddy Corcoran – Tigers, Dragons and biscuits
Teddy couldn’t be sure but he thought that he saw his drawing move. Yes, the tiger-striped dragon was stretching its wings. It cocked its head to one side and winked. ‘Hello Teddy’ he said. ‘Would you like a biscuit?’
‘How do you know my name?’ said Teddy.
‘Aha’ said the dragon.
20 for Billy Corcoran – The Rock n’ Roll Mirror
Billy stared at the missing tooth in the mirror. He was rather proud of the gap. Then he noticed someone else in the reflection. A leather-clad guitarist. ‘Hey Billy’ he said, ‘Let’s Rock’. The man kicked out a foot and tore into the most amazing riff that Billy had ever heard.
21 for (my) Sam Gilbert – Go-Gos
Sam stood at the top of the slide. He was ready. The Go-Gos in the bushes were ready. He waved his left hand. The squirrel did a back-flip. Sam pointed to another. It sped off around and around the playground before leaping back onto its original branch. This was going to be fun.