I for It took a full ten seconds: #atozchallenge ficion

As a co-host, I begin with A to Z Challenge  reminders:
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you’re unsure.
2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have 5 other blogs.
3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.

Today’s story comes from the prompt and picture sent by 
Jamie Gibbs. I chose this because of its fairy-tale quality, and I fancied the idea of a very literary, cynical take on what would have made excellent fantasy.



It took a full ten seconds for him to realize that he was awake and not in his bed. It had happened again–he had walked out to his backyard and beyond, and now he lay on the leaf-covered forest floor. A look at the partly clouded sky told him he would reach his office late again, and a glance at his wristwatch confirmed it.
Propping himself on his elbow, he rubbed sleep from his eyes and found his one-eyed gaze returned by the tree across where he lay. Like a monster escaped from his nightmares, the tree sneered, fixing its beady eye and thin lips into a knowing smirk. 
I know you, it said, Peter Pansington, your surname has grown as much as the rest of you, especially your belly. How do you like being a grown up, eh?
Peter thought of his wife who could not cook. Or would not, at any rate. Of the children he had fathered who could never keep quiet. Of friends he never made. Of his boss who could not smile, his colleagues who could not stop laughing. Of his body that could not sleep in bed, wandering out into the woods each night.
Why, it is swell being grown up! he said, getting up and brushing the leaves off his trainers, Beats the hell out of standing like a statue all day in the middle of a garden, having fairies and animals and people gawk at you.
Wouldn’t you rather go back? asked the tree, its eye rolling in its socket, its lip uncurled.
No, he said, beginning to walk away, this may not be fun, but it ends. Forever gets to be boring. I’d rather be a bald, ornery man who grows old, than a boy who stands in one place, never growing up.
But what is the point? the tree threw the question at his retreating back. You made me, and now you’re going away.
There is the whole point, dear tree, said he, looking straight ahead as he walked back to the bedlam that was his home. There is no point. There never will be.
What should I do now? wailed the tree.
Take a walk, tree, grow old, have kids, die, said Perter Parsington, turning the knob on his back door. Stop searching for the point behind it all.  There is none. Trust me.

A to Z Stories of Life and DeathIf you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Add Yours
  1. Anna

    What a wierd fairytale! I wasn't sure what this was all about until I got to the line: Wouldn't you rather go back?
    Then the whole back story became clear: Peter Pansington was formerly a garden statue that was magically given the gift of life and mortality.

    Very clever!

    Oh now I get it. He was Peter Pan, the boy who would never grow up!

    Very clever indeed!

    Best wishes,
    Anna's A-Z, the letter K

  2. Jocelyn Rish

    First of all, that is such a great picture. And what a different direction you took with it – a little melancholy, but nice to see Peter finally take some responsibility.

    Wishing you continued success with the A to Z challenge,

  3. Emma

    Peter and his wife should have a conversation and recommit.
    Great makes me recognize some feelings I had to work through.

  4. jabblog

    Perhaps Peter would enjoy learning to cook for himself. How sad that he finds no point to it all;-) You could have such fun expanding this story:-)

  5. Damyanti

    I'll be visiting all of you back in return for your lovely comments.

    Here's a few replies to comments that I feel need an answer in clarification:

    Maggie: No, there is no smile at the end– this is how I wanted the story all along, cos I wrote the last line long before I reached the ending 🙂

    Melody—I'm not even sure Peter married Wendy. Peter here is the peter in all young boys..

    Angela, in each of us is a Peter and a tree…at least according to the story :)—so yes, pity us all.

    Teresa, it is a bit about existentialism, yes. I read Sartre and Camus more than a decade ago, but they never quite left me.

    Kathy–I'm amazed at what readers find in a story. Your reaction made me think twice about what I did with the story.:) I thought I had killed the fantasy in this one with a monster dose of the mundane, butchered it quite without mercy. But I guess once the story is out there, readers decide what it means, and what it says to them—and I'm happy with that. Thanks for reading the story yourself, and to your kids.

  6. Angela Brown

    I'm not sure which to pity more, Peter for accepting the "bedlam" that is his life, which will come to an end…or the tree trapped in its state of always trying to find the point to things.

    Perhaps a bit of pity to both should be duly doled out.

  7. P V Ariel

    Well written one, with serious tips to follow while blogging and following, ye, the word verification irritates many, Remove at ones to get more visits and comments.
    Thanks for sharing these tips and today;s post

  8. Nick Wilford

    Very clever. I always thought not growing up would get boring eventually, especially as a statue, but it would be nice if his life had turned out just a little better!

  9. MAJK

    umm I can decided where I'm depressed or impressed or both… probably both. Poor Peter Pan … someone really should have taught that Wendy creature to cook 😉

    *~ MAJK ~*
    Twitter @Safireblade
    A To Z Blog Challenge

  10. Maggie McGee

    Nicely done. I suspect if the story had continued we would have found a turn around – some level of recognition between the two that would have left us with a smile. I can see it coming…