Recently borrowed a book called 'Wizards of Odd', a short story collection of humorous fantasy and science-fiction. Trying my hand at humour in stories!
I'm not very good at it...It's quite rough here. Oh well! I shall practice more :)
"Hello, I'd like to buy a pencil, please," said Henry.
Henry was a normal-looking man, albeit on the more portly side of the scale, hair styled in the most fashionable cut of the time. His hairdresser had looked at the cutout that Henry had been clutching
desperately, and thanked the gods that his prices were high enough that
he could afford to deal with this betrayal of fashion. Only, the hairstyle didn't work with his face shape, which was as round as a clock face, and ticked people off just as much. So, maybe not as normal-looking as you would think.
The shopkeeper stared at this abomination looming in front of him, with this messy shock of hair and small patches of pink all down his body where the shirt had given up trying to hide the horror below. His pants were no better, though instead of pink patches there were more conventional patches of off-colour fabric and patterns that would make a cat regurgitate the past week's food just to compare colours.
"They're over there on the aisle," the shopkeeper croaked gruffly. "Go get 'em yourself - they're in the Stationery section."
Henry gaped at him. He looked around the shop, as if looking for a lost bird, and then swung his head ponderously back towards the shopkeeper. He moved his lips silently, as if possessed by some 18th-century spirit needing to be exorcised. Henry looked up, and addressed his next statement to a space 10 cm above the shopkeepers head.
"But this whole shop is stationary," he replied warily. "Is this a joke? I just want a pencil."
"...Are you pulling my leg, mate?" the shopkeeper countered. "The section marked 'Stationary', you dim-wit." Sensing some discomfort, Henry lumbered in the vague direction that the shopkeeper had pointed his gnarled, lead-powdered finger. The shopkeeper's angry muttering was the enigmatic soundtrack to his journey for a pencil.
The section marked 'Stationery' was, as expected, immobile. Henry was faced with an absolute sea of colours and shapes and sizes that boggled the mind. There were blue ones and red ones and black ones and yellow ones, ones with horses, some with levers and cogs, and one with a curiously shaped...nub on the end of it. Where were the normal, tried and true, honest to god, sturdy 2B pencils?! Was that one made of metal? Was this one a zebra? What the hell is the nub on the end of that one?
Faced with utter uncertainty, Henry decided that it might be easier to ask for more information. He slowly shambled back to the shopkeeper, who sighed (almost comically) at the return of the fool.
"Er...I want to buy a pencil."
"Yeah, I told ya, the 'Stationery' section over there," the shopkeeper jabbed his finger violently at the same place as before. "And yeah, it ain't moving neither!"
Henry stared at the finger, noting the whorls and arches that were put in stark relief due to the muted grey paintings of graphite on the shopkeepers skin. His mind was running at the speed of a sloth, but even he knew there was trouble ahead.
"There's...too many choices though," he said imploringly. He then tried to use what could only be described as his...'puppy dog' look, though really, the end result was horrifying. He put his head down, looked up, widened his eyes, cocked his head at an angle and tried to pout like a puppy. This was (from his research) the way to look cuter and hopefully get people to pity you. He'd tried to turn his ear inside out once while practicing, but that had been far too painful, and the nice man who'd come from the Hospital had given him a good talking to. Unfortunately, in reality, the final result was the same as a wet fish, in both aesthetic and emotional effect.
Bewildered, the shopkeeper asked, "What do you need it for mate?"
"I want to write a letter," Henry tried to right his face to a more respectable expression, aiming for 'stern', but instead landing on 'bug-eyed'
"Which one?" the shopkeeper asked spitefully.
"Errr...what?," Henry paused, thinking of his next words. "I want to write a letter to my dog."
The shopkeeper, who had, in his opinion, been as patient as a monk in a monastery (which was, coincidentally, where he wanted to transport himself to right now), decided to stop dealing with this buffoon. Exasperated, he threw his half-used, worn down pencil at Henry, who deftly caught it, surprinsing both himself and the shopkeeper.
"There, now get out of my shop!"
"But I haven't paid for it," Henry replied conscientiously.
"Just leave already!" the shopkeeper kicked at Henry, who flinched and half-ran, half-fell over towards the door. Remembering his manners, Henry called out behind himself as he left.
"Thank you!" he said cheerily.
Once outside, he proudly looked at his acquisition. Reaching into his bag, he pulled out a notebook to test the pencil. On the first page, he started to draw an 'A', when suddenly...
Crack! The pencil tip snapped instantly, causing splinters to shower the pavement.
Oh well, Henry thought to himself. I guess I need another pencil.
And then turned around to enter the shop.