the boy who tried to be a snail

I’m waiting for washing to finish so I wrote a bedtime story:

One damp evening a boy watched a snail as it moved towards vegetables in the garden. He was amazed at the determination of the thing; its eyes out on the end of stalks, so excited was the snail. How long do you suppose that snail will take to eat vegetables? The boy supposed that by the time the snail got there and ate and got home again it would be the morning. The snail would then go to sleep and then wake up and do it again. The boy was amazed at the thing. At that it spent everything on doing one thing.

The next morning the boy had already gotten up and dressed for school before he shocked to a halt, remembering that last night he had vowed that today he would be being a snail, to see what it was like. He sheepishly checked about to see that nobody had spotted him breaking his secret vow to himself and then he lay down on his front on the floor. He nodded to drag his chin along the carpet and he rolled his shoulders and rotated his hands and feet in order to creep forward sort of. This worked okay and he even got someway down the stairs without having to alter the technique too much before his mum spotted him and had a go at him. What do you think you are doing. Stop messing about. Especially on the stairs. The boy crawled like a person to the foot of the stairs and stood up and made breakfast but he was still a snail in his heart and would really start his day as a snail from after he had left the house.

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dead bill

Just found an old story buried in my gmail. I had jotted it down before going to sleep one day:

Dead Bill

After leading for mostly a lonely life, Bill sat down and died. In the morning Bill woke up and made a breakfast of eggs. Bill went out into the street. “Hi Bill.” his neighbours said. Bill smiled and said hello back. Bill went to the shop. “Hi Bill.” said the people in the shop. Bill smiled and said hello back. Bill went home, had some tea and turned on the television. “Hi Bill.” said the news. Bill frowned and said hello back.

“Why are you frowning Bill?” said the news reader.
“You’ve never said hi to me before.” said Bill.
“Well,” said the news reader, “today is different. You’re on the news today.”
“I am?”
“Yes. We’re having an interview right now.”
“We are?”
“Yes.”

Bill’s frown deepened.

“Okay,” said Bill, “do you have some questions?”
“Yes. What is it like when you are dead?”
“Am I dead?”
“Yes.”
“Oh. Well then, I suppose it’s the same as being alive…except more people talk to you and smile.”
“Oh, that is a good answer Bill,” the news reader smiled, “all of our viewers will be very pleased. It’s the same but nicer, they’ll say.”
“It is,” said Bill, “do you have any other questions?”
“I don’t think so,” said the news reader, “I wouldn’t want to risk a bad answer after that very good answer.”
“Okay then, “said Bill, “Bye then.”
“Bye bye Bill.”

Bill turned off the television. He stared at the wall and then he stared at the floor, his frown growing as deep as it could. He then stood up at the same time as the doorbell rang. Bill opened the door.

“Hello Sir!” Cried an odd looking American lady in a top hat. “How are you today?”
“Are you here to take me to heaven?” Bill said, looking very confused and sheepish.
“I’m here to take you to fun!” Beamed the lady and then swept her arm back, revealing a jet plane sitting in the middle of Bill’s street.
“Get yourself on that airplane there sir!”
“I have to go to work.” Said Bill, wondering whether he did or not.
“Haha, sir. I wouldn’t be here if you did, and I’m definitely here and you’re definitely on that plane, now hop to it!”

Bill walked up the steps onto the plane and sat down. A waiter came up and handed him a minty lemonade.

“Thank you.” said Bill.

The top-hatted gentlewoman leapt up onto the plane, lifted her hat from her head and treated Bill to an elegant bow. The plane took to the air with a mighty Whooosh!

“Now then, where to first sir? L.A? Broadway? C-C-C-Carnegie Hall?!”
“Do I have to go to one of those?”
“I think the answer to that question is why would you not want to go to one of those, is it not sir?”
“Well, I don’t really like showbusiness. It’s a bit noisy isn’t it. I’d rather do something a bit quieter.”
“A bit quieter? A bit quieter?! Nonesense! You’ll be world famous, you’ll live forever, you’ll be adored!”
“I don’t want to be world famous, live forever and be adored,” said Bill, “besides, I’m too dead to live forever.”
“Never too late sir, never too late. Now just sit back and relax, we’ll be landing shortly on the roof of Empire Studios. From there we’ll make the best entrance you’ve ever made, you’ll play the best Tarzan there’s ever been, we’ll jet all over the world doing interviews, be back in New York for the premiere tonight and you’ll be on screens worldwide at 8pm. Isn’t that just glorious!”
“I don’t like it!” cried Bill, “I want to get off.”
“Can’t get off now, sir. The world turns, the movies get made, the people get famous!”

But Bill had already jumped out of the door and he fell down and down and down and Phlumph! landed in a big mound of snow. He stood up and shook himself off and looked around the glittering graveyard.
There was a hooded figure standing by a large square hole. Bill walked over and looked into it. His bed was at the bottom, looking comfy.

“Is this mine?” Bill said to the figure.

The figure didn’t say anything. The black hole of its hood just stared back at Bill.

“That was a silly question wasn’t it!” Bill chuckled. “I suppose I should get in should I?”

The figure shrugged.

“You know, I was never that unhappy or anything. I didn’t mind being lonely mostly. A lot of people are. Some are even lonely all the time…”

The figure’s shoulders slumped. It looked at its watch.

Bill lowered himself into the hole and fell backwards into bed.

“Ooh, comfy.” He said and looked up to say bye but the figure had wandered off already.

Bill found a big mug of steaming tea next to his bed and settled down with it.

“Well, one thing’s for sure,” he said, “I’d rather be in bed and comfy with tea in a mug than a big great Tarzan!”

He chuckled quietly to himself and, finishing his tea, lay down and went to sleep.

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