This Fable Friday finds its inspiration in two sources whose friendship I value. The first one is Sabrina. During our Saturday evening writer’s dinner, we have noticed a weird phenomenon; every single time, a waiter or waitress ends up breaking something. I think I’ve witnessed more dishes accidents in a month than I ever had before.
The second inspiration is Phil. On a previous fable, Phil commented: “I’m actually sitting at a table at an outdoor café at this moment next to a group of concert musicians! Could there be an absurd fable there?” I decided there was. 😉
Any resemblance with existing people is entirely fortuitous. *liar/cough combo*
An Absurd Fable In Which Creativity Bends The World Out Of Shape
I lowered Granny Kianga to the bench and she sighed in relief when her buttocks settled on the pillow I had previously put on the wooden structure. She never let her age become public display when we were with the family. When she was alone with me, things were different. She knows I’m way too selfish to pity her. Or so she once told me.
I sat next to Granny. We were across the street from the terrace of a charming French café. From our bench, we grasped the whole set of tables in a glance. That probably accounted for Granny’s choice. I would rather have grabbed myself a glass of iced tea, but I wasn’t foolish enough to argue with Granny on one of her outings. Apparently, she wanted to teach the world to me, today. Couldn’t we do that in her Jacuzzi?
“What are we doing here, anyway?”
“Shush,” Granny snapped. My eyes widened but my lips remained tightly pressed together. “We increase your observation skills today.” She pointed the terrace with the extremity of her crooked cane. “Who are les artistes?”
My shoulder slumped, my eyes rolled, and a flask finger designated the quartet of musicians whose soft music floated around us. A sharp pain flashed through my arm when Granny slapped it with the pommel of her cane.
“Don’t play stupid or I’ll croak here. Les artistes!”
When Granny ordered, one obeyed. If nothing else, my family’s craziness had thought me that. If only I knew what the hell she meant by “les artistes”!
I rested my elbows on my knees and cradled my chin with my hands. At least, if I got it wrong again, Granny Kianga would only have robust parts to hit. Once inconspicuously braced, I concentrated on the terrace before me. The white folks all looked the same. Some were so crazy about caffeine that they sipped coffee despite the beautiful sunshine. Drug addicts. Most people contented themselves with iced tea or the overly sugary and milky cocktail poured over ice cubes they dared call iced coffee. Ewww…
I browsed through the crowd nonetheless, if only to avoid bruises. Then I spotted them: two women and a man. The man looked rather tall. His legs stretched by the side of the table, crossed at the ankles. He laid back, sipping the iced tea trapped within his long fingers. With the back of his free hand, he brushed away the devil-may-care brown bang the wind had blown in his face. He breathed the nonchalant flair of the artist though he just sat there with a crooked smile.
His attention went to the women’ duet in front of him. Alternating at a quick rhythm, the women’s voices mixed and soloed in harmony. The blue-haired woman seemed to lead the conversation, gesticulating and fervently taking notes on a napkin every two minutes. There was already quite a pile of scribbled napkins tucked under her elbow to keep them from being blown away by the breeze. The eyes of the other one shone bright behind her glasses. Most of her concentration obviously went to following the conversation but a tiny part must have been necessary to roll that glass ball around her arms and hands. It jazzed the light into an entrancing dance.
How does one learn to do that?
Fairly confident in my choice, I pointed their table. Granny nodded and extended a pair of oddly shaped glasses. I cocked an eyebrow. She just waved the glasses at my face until I placed them on my nose.
I couldn’t keep the surprise from parting my lips. The world wasn’t the same at all through these glasses. I could see jello-y blobs jumping out of the women’s heads and flooding the restaurant. They rebounded all around the place getting into people’s food and drinks. The women’s glasses were halfway empty of liquid but filled to the brim with blobs.
And they drank them!
It caused an ever-increasing amount of blobs to come to life.
“They’re like… feeding off each other! How can people not notice?”
“They notice. See that couple over there?” Granny pointed where an all-gray, frowning couple ate salad. And blobs. “They’ll have great sex tonight.”
“What?” I was glad I didn’t have iced tea because I would have spilled it for sure.
“They can use swallows of creative juice.” As she said that, I saw the couple rubbing their legs together like teenagers.
I decided to let that one slide and returned to my observation. The man’s behaviour intrigued me. He wasn’t talking. He just sipped jello-spiced iced tea. Blobs seem to drive everyone to act out. Not him.
Every few minutes, one big blob came out of his head. Nothing like his companions’ stream of medium-sized, bouncing blobs. His fell down to the floor like rocks. They piled one over the other.
“We should head over there.” Granny prompted.
She knocked my head with the pommel of her cane in response. I sighed and helped her to get up while another of the silent man’s blob was added to his pile.
“Quick! It’s almost there!”
I hurried as fast as I could with Granny on my arm. Her voice carried the weight of impending doom. I had no clue what was at stake. While we headed for the terrace, another heavy blob was added to the pile and I understood what the problem was: the pile merged into a new creature that jumped at lightning speed.
The thing landed in an empty glass set on the tray of a busboy. The glass shook for a moment then burst. Its inhabitant, that could only be described as a burning bunny*, hovered over tray, unbeknownst to the bewildered busboy, and then split in four. The newborns filled the remaining glasses. All four of them burst.
And now there were eight burning bunnies.
“Stop them,” Granny yelled, urging me forward. She slowly followed.
How the hell does one stop creative burning bunnies?
“Order!” I yelled and, expectedly, everyone looked at me. To my delight, one bunny disappeared with a pop. “Responsibilities.” Pop! “Schedule. Duty. Organisation. Requirements. Math.”
The last burning bunny approached be slowly and tried to pull a “sad puppy” look. I bowed down and murmured in his ear: “Deadline.” The burning bunny lost his flame, shivered and popped.
Granny reached me and patted my shoulder. She grabbed my arm and steered me toward home under the questioning eyes of the people on the terrace. Swell.
You’re beginning to know me so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the morale of my story is twofold.
First, and more importantly, creativity bends the world. It doesn’t just change it, as some say, it skews our perception of it and can make it seem better until it actually is better. It’s also very contagious.
Secondly, beware the silent types.
* Note: If it is the first time you encounter the burning bunnies, you should really go check out author Kim Harrison’s explanation. You should read her books too. But I’m not going to say that.
Additional note: I cannot have dinner with Sabrina this Saturday because I’ll be out of town. And I’m fresh out of musing for the Fable Fridays. So if you want to infect me with a quick creative outburst, be my guest!