Flash: Rich Ives


Perhaps There Will Be Something Left

I want to explain why I missed the brunch on Tuesday. My green pants of sin were drying on the clothesline and Cuddles was not at the shoe house. Laisy Daisy and Weed were flying your very best underwear kite, the one that flew like a bubbling guppy, and it got caught in a tree while Gramps was carving another lawn flamingo. I took it away from him, but the dog found it. I wanted to take it surfing.

Nothing doing. That’s what Gramps said and you know what? He was right. When he finished it, that flamingo had curves like Susie Detweiler. So I guess I missed the brunch for no good reason and I’m a little steamed, but most sinners never even notice.

Betty the Doll was here for dinner on Sunday. She wore an old bonnet. She called it a beret, but I knew it was a bonnet. She wanted to show me her picture holes. She said they were brilliant wounds and someday they would make her famous. I don’t think so, but maybe I should study it.

What kind of person do you think a scientist needs to be? My teacher says we must not get the idea that scientists will soon run out of problems to solve. My teacher says things to get our attention, like an invention that solves one problem may create many new problems. Doesn’t that mean more and more scientists will be needed until there aren’t any normal people left? Klondike says I have an “elusive” mind. He’s still going to Alaska, but not yet. Alaska must be more elusive than my mind is.

I dropped some things today. Sure enough, they all hit the ground at the same time. My book says a scientist is just a human being like anyone else. I don’t think so.

But I don’t want you to be angry with me.

Maybe we could teach researchers to sing together.

Maybe you could save me some leftovers.

I’m sorry you’re sorry I couldn’t make it, but sing anyway, okay?

Previously Unavailable for Comment

Before the insect entered the donkey’s ear, it bit the elderly caretaker and landed briefly on the child’s sweat-stained undershirt.

Beautiful, seductive and hungry, the insect seemed fearless.

Amidst several mysterious, yet predictable cycles, the insect, like many of the wealthy men of the fourteenth century, hunted for fulfillment in the blood and toil of the poor.

The several small pieces of copper discovered in the bitten donkey’s feces had nothing to do with the insect, but the poor old caretaker who owned the donkey did not want to believe this. There had to be some advantage in his misfortunes. The man’s children, who had discovered the copper, became known for making fine pottery textured with tiny seeds.

Several centuries later, following a hint of interest from the new pope’s most successful imposter, the fourteenth century returned from the textbooks to learn the modern art of self-promotion. In this it was only modestly successful. Everyone believed what the fourteenth century said, but no one cared.

The imposter turned out to be the author of an entomological textbook with an inordinate fondness for copper jewelry.

Following the war to end all wars, beautiful, seductive and hungry entomological obsessions began to influence modern peasants. The distant descendants of the caretaker’s children welcomed them, but inside the modern donkey’s ear, something was biting so gently it might have been a breeze from the future.

The fourteenth century, carrying a gratuitous selection of copper-colored apologies contained in several fine pieces of seed pottery, paused to reflect upon entry into the chapel and entered the swimming pool instead, unaware that a current membership was required.

Modern children continued to grow agitated. Not even the modern donkey’s ancient whisper could hold still. The problem, of course, continued to be fear, as it had been for centuries, but the aging children, who had appeared one at a time without their wigs, may have been the real imposters.

Early Psychology

Bruno’s father spits out parts of his stomach to show that he does not like his food.  Bruno’s father is covered with thick fur. Bruno’s mother weaves heavy blankets from Bruno’s father.

Bruno’s uncle is one of the workers. If they should raise their arms, their harnesses would fall off, but they never raise their arms. Bruno’s uncle is also a father, but his son is a manager. Sometimes when the factory is slow, Bruno’s cousin sees a worker who is going the wrong way. He aims at a spot near the man and when the stone strikes the ground, the man is frightened and runs back the other way.

No saddle is needed to ride Bruno’s father for his great quantity of thick fur is easy to hold on to. But sometimes Bruno’s father tells his creature jokes and gestures wildly like a bucking horse and Bruno trots along behind.

Some of the mothers gather at Bruno’s house to make children. They offer each other stories of the future achievements of the children they desire and believe if they speak with enough conviction, the children will arrive to fulfill their dreams. The mothers bake bread in the shape of newborns and it is said the most perfect loaf will start that child on the way as it is eaten. None of the mothers has a window or a chimney.

When Bruno’s father swears, he often disparages the hole in his bottom or the fertilizer, which issues from it. Sometimes Bruno’s mother makes Bruno’s father stop speaking of this. Bruno’s father refers to this as a time of drought.

As Bruno gets older, he carries many things on his back. This leads Bruno to notice that the things, which the river carries on its back, it often takes to its bed. Perhaps I can learn from this river, thinks Bruno.

But the smart fathers know that water runs downhill and if you could cut straight through a river with a huge knife, you would find another river. This could be very difficult to convey to the sons.

Bruno sleeps downhill from his father. He hungers for a father’s comfort. He has never been a river. He has no knife.

By staying home when his father goes out, Bruno is learning from his mother to make children.  Bruno’s fur is almost ready for blankets. By milking his mother’s dreams for knowledge, Bruno may discover how to navigate his life without a huge knife. Perhaps he could teach this to his father because if you cut straight through a son with a huge knife, you would not find another son. This could be very difficult to convey to a jealous father.

If Bruno is truly grown up now, he could father his own mistakes.

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