Two more postcards from the End of the World stories: March 14th

by michaelfcrane

Bicycle

Dear Genghis Khan and his seven dwarves,

A friend of mine told me a story about her twin sister Mary, who was overweight. She went to see her family doctor. He told her she had to exercise more and gave her the address of a bicycle shop. He said it was important that she told the owner that the doctor had sent her. She was given a blue bicycle with wooden wheels. She decided she would ride it home and then lock it in the garage forever. But when she arrived home, she couldn’t get off the bicycle because her feet were stuck to the pedals. She rode through the afternoon and into the night. When she wanted to sleep she closed her eyes and the pedals worked on their own and the bicycle steered itself. Every morning at seven-thirty and every night at nine o’clock, no matter where she was, the same man would be waiting on the road side to hand her a special dietary food in a brown paper bag as she rode past. She rode non-stop for exactly one year until she came to a river. The pedals on the bicycle seized up. Mary got off and sat on the bank to rest, and she noticed her reflection in the clear water. She was slim and her hair had grown down her back. Someone sat down beside her. It was the man who had always given her food. He stroked her hair and old her she looked beautiful although he’d quite liked her the way she was before. A deep sound rumbled in her throat for a long time, almost like the sound of a cat purring.

Hooray for Hollywood,
from Sally, when I say goodbye
I only mean for ever.

Trolls

To the Somalian Princess, with the dread-lock extensions.

Shunned by civilisation, a family of trolls lived under the bridge at the End of the World. The troll’s wife carved up the roasted dog as her husband and the baby troll licked their lips. After the glorious feast, the wife cleaned the table while her husband carried their young son to the cot. His wife threw the scraps into he river. Her husband told a bedtime story to his son: ‘There was a young human who became governor of a large state. He was aware there was much crime so he made it his duty to uphold the death penalty. Whether they were innocent or guilty didn’t concern the governor and many men were executed. He soon became popular and was elected President. He knew that his people, the voters, liked strong leaders so he attacked a small poor nation and became a hero. He had many mistresses and though there were great scandals, his popularity soared. His people like their presidents to be virile. The economy began to weaken and the president knew that only a war could bring prosperity to his nation. He told his people that he was declaring war on the moon and the stock markets reacted favourably to such strong leadership. The president blew the moon out of the sky and there was much rejoicing, but the people forgot that the moon reflected the light from the sun and the nights became pitch black. No artificial light could restore the peace that existed when the moon was in the sky. The president was impeached and exiled to a tropical island with his three mistresses and wrote a best selling autobiography.’ The troll finished his story and his son said, ‘humans are so stupid daddy.’ ‘Not only are they stupid, they are ugly son. They aren’t beautiful like us trolls,’ His father kissed his son’s head and turned out the light.

From the denim clad stranger
patting a black poodle
that licks his hands.

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