The Buddha happened upon a starving beggar. Offering a parcel of bread, the vagrant instead absconds with the entire loaf. The next night, the Buddha returned to find two beggars in the same spot. He offers another loaf but they fight over the right proportions. On the third night, four beggars demanded their share. The Buddha splits a loaf into four equal parts but the small portions lead to discontent. On the fourth and final night, eight beggars awaited their free handouts. The Buddha leaves a sack of flour on the ground with some water. The octet spills the cup as they devoured the sack and left retching.
Jack: “So I tricked the devil into paying my tabs.”
Jon: “Oh. How’d you do that?”
Jack: “Satin agreed to a drinking match. My eternal soul if I lose. Ten extra years if I win. Half-way in, I slipped a note to the bartender.”
Jon: “What was on it?”
Jack: “An unsigned IOU from hell.”
Jon: “Damn, how’d he take it?”
Jack: “He started mixing holy water.”
Inspired from the original stingy Jack myth!
Entry to this week’s What Pegman Saw! Location is La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná in Paraguay.
A young prince once asked an old cripple how he could sleep so soundly each night. The cripple responded that he had been born with his deformities and had learned to live with this fact. Curious, the prince offered to have his best doctors and servants treat him. The old man chuckled and politely declined, replying that he was content with his lot in life. That night, the boy dreamed that he had turned into the cripple who begged for his livelihood. Waking up from the nightmare, he swore to never let such a fate come to pass.
Decades later in old age, the prince who ascended the throne and became king wandered the halls alone at night. Now an insomniac, he cursed the cripple for having steered him onto his current path. On his deathbed, the man finally broke down and begged for a reprieve. His wish was granted.
Jamie, I found the field of containers but they are all empty. Why did the city lock them in the first place?
Probably to stop people from living there. To keep the homeless homeless I suppose.
That sounds horrible. I’ll unlock them at once.
6-months later on the news: City’s emerging slums hit with typhoid fever and cholera epidemic. Leading cause was lack of proper sanitation and strained medical services.
Jamie, why are the doctors storing these crates of antibiotics? The children are dying!
Probably to hoard them for themselves and their wealthy friends.
That sounds horrible …
I saw the harbinger in black. A shadowy figure on horseback, it traversed the great plains with supernatural haste towards the walled city. Upon approaching the gates, three requests were made. Water for his mare of which none was provided. Passage to the temple of which none was given. Audience with the magistrate of which none was granted. For three nights, the rider left without admittance but not before circumscribing the region’s limits. On the fourth, a low rumble shook the lands as massive roots tore through the bedrocks. The city had been razed and its name struck from all records by decree.
Mathew: The folks who manage the Belvedere have a saying that there’re two types of people who stay here. Stray cats, and lost dogs.
Joseline: Oh is that so. Why not a third like a homely Kangaroo?
Mathew: Hear me out.
Mathew: The stray cats are a flighty bunch who can’t settle in any one place for long. Their daemon is an ever-rising tide that follows them. Boredom is the trigger but I believe it to be dread. What’s on the other side of the tide, they refuse to see much less willing to dip their paws into. And so, they must keep scurrying from one ledge to the next till none remain.
Joseline: Ha! must be why existential cat loathes the tub. But how do they end up at the Belvedere then?
Mathew: Well that is because of the lost dogs.
Joseline: Let me guess, orphans who are looking for a home?
Mathew: Yes in a way but more sad. Lost dogs are sniffing for a master that they have never known. It’s an instinct that should have never evolved had they stayed wolves instead of submitting to the other. Because of this, they carry an aura of loneliness of the most repellant sort and will follow the slightest affection to the ends of the Earth.
Joseline: Is Belvedere at the ends of the Earth?
Mathew: Almost. When stray cats and lost dogs meet, a terrible misunderstanding happens. The former confuses attention for a perch. The latter mistakes charm for love. The Belvedere is the prison from which the cats can’t leave and the dogs can’t enter. It is hell on Earth!
Joseline: Who are you?
Mathew: Why the exterminator of course. How else to keep the numbers down?
The old witch had enough of the kids who pranked her house last Halloween. This time, she’d offer them some special sweets inspired from her apprenticeship in Haiti decades ago. A simple voodoo spell she cast on the confections, normally used to link sensations between patients and healers once consumed. Only fools would bite at the same apple twice and more so if tempted she smirked. Laying out the fancy bowl of delectables by the door, she inscribed in fine print on a placard “Please take only one”. Those kids should be feeling a bit wobbly by night’s end!
Entry to this week’s FFFC!
Dane’s sins cast a long shadow. In public, the press scrutinized his record. Four counts of murder, three counts of rape, two counts of assault, one count of fraud. In private, his conscience was pure rage, having channeled a lifetime of neglect and abuse into a hatred of all things good. The court sentenced him to be hanged but this did not faze him. On his last day, a priest asked if he would repent for his crimes under God. Dane demanded that God repent for the crimes committed against him. Pitying the man, the priest prayed for salvation and left. The guards arrived and led Dane to the execution grounds. Tying the rope around his own neck, he made no remarks and simply leapt. Upon waking up at the gates of hell, the devil doled out his punishment. Dane would be reincarnated as all the lives that he sinned against until he forgave his own crimes.
The separatists drew lines in the sand after the cold-blooded assassination of their leader. Once a prosperous colony, Damos was on the verge of fracturing in two after an early winter wiped out the harvest and unyielding blizzards decimated the population. Late spring trickled in but arguments for abandoning the settlement started long before. Southward raged the young separatists who dreamt of green pastures and wild game roaming the countryside. Nay voiced the old majority who recalled nothing but desolation over those grounds from whence they traversed long ago. Two shots were fired at the pulpit and mayhem ensued. By next spring, there were no survivors.
Toad and Frog once met at a local pub by the brewery ducts. Toad, being a regular to the local marshes had sampled every wine and beer the establishment had to offer. Set in his ways, he knew exactly what he liked for any mood and occasion. Frog on the other was a dabbler who traveled far-and-wide, never sleeping under the same drainpipe twice. Mercurial was his temperament for he sampled with sips, never finishing one drink before the next. Eyed from afar, Toad approached Frog and asked why he drank, even offering to pay. Frog responded that he sought the world’s finest drink wherever it may lay. With a chuckle, Toad remarked that such a drink doesn’t exist. Frog disagreed and the two parted soon afterwards. Years later, the two found themselves on the same autopsy table. Toad suffered a lifetime of ammonia poisoning. Frog from a bloated liver.
Entry to Crimson’s Creative challenge