Friday, April 23, 2010

Comment Gobbler------ flash fiction

He floated out of my laptop screen like a loose speck of glitter and curled up on the f10 key for a nap. He slept for about an hour and then began exploring my keyboard. He was incredibly cute-- I could tell he wasn't an insect--only two arms, two legs --but I had no idea what he was. After I caught him licking the lettering off of my "o" key I bustled about trying to figure out what to feed him. Since he was so tiny it was hard to give him anything without drowning or crushing him. I tried oatmeal, mashed potatoes, a miniscule saucer of milk. Nothing. He didn't eat a darn thing until he found an alphabet that had fallen out of my bowl. Then he chewed through it like a hot knife through butter; sleeping afterwards for a whole day. The next morning he was the size of a match head, and with the help of a magnifying glass I could see his tiny features. I delighted in his silly googly eyes, his gummy smile, his pink skin and the bumpy nubs all down his front and back. He gabbled non stop when he was awake and made a soft buzzing sound when he slept, feet in the air, holding on to his tiny penis for comfort. It was all so very adorable.

After just a couple of days I got quite used to him dancing on the keys while I typed. And boy was he a fast little sucker. Mid morning yesterday when he settled down on the backspace key to catch his breath, I scratched him affectionately on his head with the edge of my nail. He was teething and I had given him a piece of shoelace and some old greeting cards to chew on. He happily chewed and gnawed away while watching the words I typed appearing on the screen. The third time he climbed up and ate a couple of lines of my text, I decided to take a break too. I popped over to read Jodi MacArthur's story at Flashes in the Dark. When I was done reading, I pulled a line I liked out of her text and proceeded to add it and a way to go message into the comment box. The kettle whistled and I got up to take it off the burner before I finished. I came back with my tea and checked my comment for typos and pushed send. I noticed that my little guy had wandered off somewhere. I hastily checked the bottoms of my feet and all of the surrounding piles of paper for him.

Nothing. No sign. I wondered what the heck could have happened to him and hoped that he was ok. I also hoped that he was getting enough to eat. He had been eating non stop and growing by leaps and bounds pretty much minute by minute all day. He had grown so much that right before he disappeared even without the magnifying lens I was having no trouble seeing his shiny sharp teeth and his furry, purple, unbifurcated eyebrow.

I fussed and worried all day and then came to the conclusion that my sweet little creature had somehow pulled himself back into my laptop screen and gone walkabout.

He was still AWOL in the morning when I booted up my computer and went back to check on Jodi's response to my comment. But the weird thing was, my comment wasn't there either. I went on twitter to tell Jodi that I had enjoyed her story and that my comment must have lodged itself in comment purgatory.

That was when I heard the news.

John Wiswell had been attacked and apparently eaten by some sort of giant, pink, ravenous razor toothed creature with tentacles all down its front and back.

The news reporter said that he had been sitting at his computer writing a story about comment gobblers at the time. John's story claimed that comment gobblers were know to be emotionally unstable, callous and possessing a deep hunger for something.

Situational irony can be such a bitch.




In response to the "gob off" challenge issued to me by @Wiswell on twitter

John Wiswell's Comment Gobbler Story

Jodi MacArthur's story at Flashes in the Dark

47 comments:

John Wiswell said...

I issued no challenges! I was dragged into this! Think of the Pac-People! Writing my demise just because you and Jodi wanted comment gobblers stories! Of all the...!

You had best be kind to your little guy. He reminded me of the Fornits from Stephen King's "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet," one of my all-time favorite shorts. The little guys who live in your keyboard are responsible for all your ideas. If you don't care for them, they might leave you with terminal writer's block. At least yours has eaten recently. Shame it was me, but at least he's eaten.

Amanda Scotney said...

He was so incredibly cute but he grew up way too fast!

pegjet said...

Are you the one that had a tea creature too?

Karen, this ROCKED! I enjoyed the Jodi and John references too.

The gobbler is such a cute little fellow....

Laurita said...

This is possibly the best ending sentence ever.

Marisa Birns said...

I am glad you solved the mystery of what happens to the comments we thought we left.

That explains why my absolutely brilliant words are never read, and only the blah ones are left behind!

Also, what a shame. I so liked John.

P.S. If you see your little guy again remind him that he could go BLIND if he persists in sleeping with that...comfort.

The nuns said so. *nods knowledgeably*

katen said...

Three for the price of one!

Cute and humorous, and lately I've been in need of cute and humorous. Thank you!

shannon said...

Oh so wickedly funny! I think that could be the best first line ever, too.

Poor John, what a way to go. Gobble gobble.

Jen Brubacher said...

This is very Stephen King-esque! The little creature is adorable and so very creepy.

Sad ending, John. Ah well.

Jodi MacArthur said...

Karen- Karen- Karen!

This reminded me of that 80's movie Gremlins. Cute little fluffy things - until they eat. Chaos rules! What else could you have done?

I was delighted that you read and left me a comment at FITD. Bad comment gobbler!

Thank you so much for the story plug, wonderful creative story, and the fun.

And I agree with Laurita. That has to be the best last line of a story EVER. Glad the little munchler didn't gobble that one.

Hugs!

Jodi

Jodi MacArthur said...

Thanks again, Karen! <3

Deanna Schrayer said...

Oh so fantastically imaginative Karen! Love it! Except, of course, the demise of John - guess some things are inveitable though. :)

Sulci Collective said...

as fast as we kill off species in the world, we conjure up new ones through our internet technologies, emoticons and the like. And we're not deforesting any rainforests to do so. All this new online etiquette is indeed a most curious beast.

marc nash

Karen from Mentor said...

John & Jodi, I'm glad you both liked it. It is sad that John had to die, but hey....we all sacrifice for our art.
This was fun. I enjoyed our little communal romp in the sandbox.

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

I'm thrilled to be compared to giants like Stephen King and Chris Columbus because they live on the edge of the weird idea scale. A while back someone said I was as weird as Neil Gaiman.

Now if only someone would say I can write like Terry Pratchett and Janet Evanovich's bastard child I could die happy.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Deanna, yes, poor John. Poor, poor John.
But I think this does prove the nurture theory. When I was feeding him light lovely words he was a vegetarian. Or at least he was a non-humanitarian

[in this scenerio humanitarian=a creature who eats humans]

Thank you for the "fantastically imaginative"

*hugs Deanna*

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Laura, *raises hand* the second scenerio please.

@ Amanda well, kids these days...whatchagonnado?

@Peggy, yes, that was me with an alien in my tea last week. I've put up tinfoil around my house to muffle the signal I put out that attracts weird events to me. I should be able to write about things that didn't actually happen for the next few weeks.
[thanks for saying this rocked]

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Laurita & Shannon & Jodi RE: the first and last line...you guys talk amongst yourselves and get a consensus, but I'm pleased that you liked both the opening and the closing. It's like good bread on a sandwich. Gotta have the good bread.

[followed by cookies of course]

Karen from Mentor said...

@Marisa, I've NEVER seen you leave a blah comment. Sometimes I just type "what Marisa said" into a comment box because you're just one of the BEST COMMENTERS EVER...stops to wonder if Marisa could make a living at being an excellent commenter.

[Marisa's so gorgeous she could certainly make a living from helping out with the other thing she mentioned...but the nuns probably wouldn't like that either...]

Karen from Mentor said...

@ katen and Jen, thank you both for taking the time to comment. And it was fun to interweave John and Jodi into this.

I sent Jon Strother an email asking if I was going to be drummed out of the group for committing #fridayflashicide on John Wiswell. Cross your fingers that I'm here again next week for me will ya?

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Marc,
Sometimes I just don't know what the hell you're talking about....
[grins at you]

Hey, did you see that I got to use unbifurcated in a sentence?
[grins some more]
I was pretty stoked about that.


Really appreciate everybody stopping in and taking the time to comment.

[hugs for everybody!!!]

Marisa Birns said...

Just had to come here to LAUGH at your comments, Karen. Especially to Marc!

You think I could earn money? No! Not about that other thing. (Eww)

The commenting thing.

Still laughing about Marc.

Oh. Sorry, Marc. Not laughing AT you.

I saw John before so he's come back to life. Think Mary Shelley had something to do about that.

I'll be quiet now. Don't know why I'm blathering.

Gracie said...

I laughed all the way through this. (Poor John...)

The little fellow and his wee pink... Made me laugh right out loud.

You really do have a priceless, koo-koo sense of humor. Totally delightful.

Aislinn O'Connor said...

It's obviously no coincidence I've just had to post a comment twice to get it where I was trying to put it - the creature's obviously still hungry!

Hilarious, and brilliantly original - if ever Douglas Adams' publishers commission a sequel to "Hitchhiker's Guide"...!!

~Tim said...

This is great. And you can write circles around Terry Pratchett and Janet Evanovich's bastard child.

BTW, there is no truth to the rumor that comment gobblers were released into the wild from my experiments with a combination word processor and food processor. Still, I'm going to mince my words by hand for a while....

J. M. Strother said...

This was funny, Karen. I love your ahem... unusual sense of humor. :)

Please don't kill off too many more flashers. We're trying to grow the community, not eat it.
~jon

Daniel W. Powell said...

Loved it! Reminded me, in the first act, of Stephen King's "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet"!

Hope things are going well...

windspiritgirl said...

Loved it!! Adorable little creature. Ahem. As long as he's nice to the rest of the #fridayflash community...and tell Marisa that just a bit more...comfort...might have warded off the bloody rampage. ;)

Alan W. Davidson said...

John was so adorable, I'll have a scotch in his honour. I enjoyed your descriptions of the little fella. Great job!

Cathy Olliffe said...

Karen, you write like Terry Pratchett and Janet Evanovich's bastard child.

Hagelrat said...

ha excellent. :)

Lou Freshwater said...

This so tragic.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Lou, isn't it though?

@ Hagelrat, glad to help you through til drinks time luv.

@Cathy...*smooch* --> you're so indulgent of me.

@ Alan I'm sure he'll appreciate the sentiment. Although he does seem to have resurrected himself as a zombie on twitter...
[oh wait, maybe that was me throwing in the zombie bit...it's all just a blur...]

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Melissa I promised Jon Strother via email that I wouldn't kill off anyone else.
[he told me I could tell this next part publicly]

He guessed that I had killed off Laura Eno before he came to read the story.... I told him that I WOULD NEVER kill off Laura....

Because I'm sure that no matter how far and wide I spread her ashes she'd still come back to get me from the afterworld...

*shudders*

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Gracie..I'm glad that his wee pink ... amused you. Thank you for the koo koo and the delightful. I think you should just write all my reviews from now on.

@ Aislinn And now DOUGLAS ADAMS... wow..Thank you. That is one of my all time favorite books. He had such a strange mind. Loved his work.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Marisa,
I think Marc forgave me for poking him in the comment thread this morning whilst playing with me on twitter. It was just such a fun thing to do I couldn't help myself. Glad you enjoyed it.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Tim...mincing your words by hand...*stands up tips hat, puts hat back on*

@ Daniel Powell, LOVE the new photo Daniel. Nice to see you! Since you and John W both mentioned it I'm going to have to read "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet" now.
Thanks for stopping in.
:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks for coming in Jon. I promise, in front of all these witnesses not to kill off any more flashers.

Well.... unless they start it...

[grins at you]

Laura Eno said...

The FSOD is polished now...

Yes, my ashes do recombine, no matter how scattered - heh

You wouldn't want Jezebel and Mr Fluffy mad at you either. Bwahahaha!

estrella05azul said...

This was so cute! Up until I heard the news... :P
Loved this, Karen!!! :)

ganymeder said...

Funny! Obviously he only ate lines that were extraneous or something because your writing looks pretty flawless to me.

Poor John. If only he'd had some alphabet soup or greeting cards handy, this tragedy might have been avoided.

Great story.

Donald Conrad said...

Hah, that last line is priceless.

Aaron Polson said...

Oh irony, how is it you sting so?

John Wiswell said...

I'll miss me.

Karly Kirkpatrick said...

That was scary-cute!

heartigan said...

Wow, this was really funny! It made my lunch break, thanks for the laugh :)

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Laura *shudder*

@ Estrella - yes, poor John.

@ ganymeder Thank you for the "pretty flawless" and the "great story"... I agree that if only John had possessed a can of alphabet soup he may have been spared. He may also have been spared if he had imagined a DIFFERENT kind of comment gobbler ..... the whole careful what you wish for scenerio.

:0)

Susan Cross said...

"Googly eyes" caught my attention. I am not so kind. I would have crushed that little guy! I hate little specks on my keyboard. Oh no, I just noticed that the letter "O" on my keyboard looks more like a "C". I'd better get out the tiny keyboard vacuum.

Jon, you're right we don't want to lose any flashers. What would life be like without flashers? With the way things are going I half expect that to catch on.