Winning story from CRAP Board's short story contest
Issue date: 4/17/09 Section: Focus
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Four nut collectors once lived in a tree together. Well, no. Correction: They tolerated each other in a tree together. Greg liked to live on the highest branch, right at the top of the tree, where there were hardly any leaves. It was his branch. Greg could not tolerate the others if they could not keep their little curious, tempted paws off his branch. Terry, Blake, and Jerome all lived lower down. They could handle others touching their property, enough to not go on rampages. From the lower branches, they could play and watch the travelers move below them. Greg did not like this, got aggravated, and yelled down in his slow deep voice, "SHUT! UP!"
Greg would get so angry that he would stop in the middle of his run-on sentences, "YOU GUYS NEVER STOP AND YOU MAKE ME SO MAD AND I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW SLEEP DEPRIVED YOU MAKE ME AND YOU PIECES OF SHRRRRHHHAAAAHHHHH!" spitting and ranting, to run around in circles, aimlessly attempting to display his anger in a physical form. None of the others liked this, so they would completely ignore him, which they knew was the best way to fire him up more than he already was. One day, Greg was trying to decide which nut to eat when he overheard the others giggling about something on the ground. How the heck was Greg supposed to think when there was all of this talking going on? And how much good is this talking doing? None. It was gossip and gossip was, in Greg's mind, bad. It was even worse because he could not decide anything while they were giggling and laughing in their little flamboyant squirrelly voices.
A little boy with an opaque green balloon caught Terry's eyes, which sparked the conversation. Terry loved green; it was his favorite color. He became so giddy from the sight of the balloon that the others were infected and began to laugh uncontrollably. They rolled on their backs with their paws at their mouths trying to hold in the giggles and tears.
Greg's sleep schedule was different than those of the others. Since Greg lived up where the leaves do not grow thick, sunlight could shine straight through. Greg was also exhausted because Blake spent all night telling stupid lies about how he had met up with females from a popular networking tree and how they turned out to be so much hotter in person. The pervasive laughter awoke a bitter, sleep-deprived Greg.