Jun 6, 2020
During the Covid-19 lockdown, we started getting together on Zoom to improvise. Here are some stories we told.
Music: Creepy — Bensound.com.
Walking home, Phillip observed children playing on the swing. He pushed them off.
Mark put a wimple on and started singing like he was Sister Act.
Morning had broken in South Sussex. The animals were awake and violent.
Opening his present, Timothy discovered something surprising. It was his own head inside.
Heating my house takes many slaves. They burn coal and sometimes, burn themselves.
Susie put gin in everything, including her mother's tea. Rest in peace.
And now some slightly longer stories.
David rode his bicycle to work. It had a bright, shiny bell and a light that he could use when it was dark. One day it developed a puncture and stopping by the side of the road to fix the puncture, he was run over by a car. The ambulance came quickly and whisked him off to the emergency department of the local hospital. The doctors patched him up as best they could and although he was to walk with a limp for the rest of his life, he was more or less all right. The only problem was he needed to top up his pressure every day.
Mabel had always wanted to keep chickens. One day, she went to a garden center and got some. Unfortunately her husband had other ideas of the best thing to do with them. One by one her chickens started to go missing. When she questioned him about it, he looked at her with flashing eyes. "Don't worry about the chickens," he would say. The satanic rituals he performed each night made him more and more powerful until one day he became Prime Minister. Unfortunately by then he had run out of chickens, so he only stayed Prime Minister for about 15 days.
Waking one morning, Jeremy opened his eyes. In front of him was a gorgeous sight. The woman he loved had climbed through his window in the night. Climbing the rough exterior walls of the tower had given her cuts and scrapes on her body. However, he didn't care. She looked amazing to him. She however was shocked and appalled when she woke up to discover herself in his bedroom, covered in bruises and scratches that she had no memory of getting. "What the fuck did you do to me?" She reached for her mobile phone, which fortunately she had thought to bring with her. Jeremy now languishes in prison. His beloved does not want to have anything to do with him. But she still sleep walks every night.
Delia Smith wanted to boil an egg.
First of course, she had to find the perfect pan. Fortunately, Delia's kitchen is huge and it has every type of pan conceivable, extremely well-filed. Her first thought was that she wanted a very small pan, almost exactly the size of the egg. So she went to the very small pans section, that is first organised by diameter and then by depth. And she found herself one, which she believed would be about exactly the size of a regular farm egg. Well, when she put the egg into it and filled the pan with water, she became bothered by a particular detail that she hadn't thought of. Because the pan was such a similar shape to the egg, it wasn't able to sit on its side properly once the water was in.
Next, she thought, maybe what she needed was an enormous pan, and then some kind of gantry to hold the egg in the exact centre. She took a golf buggy to the other end of her kitchen and went to the large pans and picked out more or less a cauldron. Placing it on the back of the buggy, she then went off to her bits and bobs cupboard and found something that she could use as a gantry that had originally been intended for cubing beetroots. Returning to the the main cooking area, she assembled the contraption and placed an egg within it. And then she went to fill up the cauldron with water.
But, quelle dommage! she had failed to take something very important into account. The time that it takes to boil water increases exponentially with the volume. When she quickly calculated how long it would take to boil this egg, it would take the regular amount of time to cook it, but nearly an entire lifetime to heat the water. And her husband was in bed waiting for his breakfast right that moment. She decided to start a health craze for eating raw eggs.
"Come into my office", Roger said to the new recruit. "I have a job for you. And you must tell none of the others what I'm about to say. I want you to take this envelope and put it through a certain letter box." And he provided the details of the letterbox: the number, how far above the ground it was, the street address and so forth.
The new recruit, slightly mystified by the instruction, was an obedient and hardworking lad called Peter Purse. And so, following the instructions that he'd been given to the letter, Peter took the envelope and set out to find the letter box.
He walked, following a street map until he found the building. He managed to gain entrance to the lobby. He realised that the postboxes inside the building weren't all in the lobby, they were on the different floors. And so he started one by one to scout through the floors, looking for the right numbered letterbox.
It took him the best part of the morning, but finally Peter Purse found the relevant letterbox, put the letter into it and, with the feeling of a job well done, he returned to his place of work.
Peter gave no more thought to the letter that he had delivered for several weeks until he was once again summoned to the study of his boss.
"Come into my office," said Roger, "I have another job for you. And this one is of a more permanent nature. How would you like to be a postman?"
Peter thought long and hard about the question, and finally agreed. As the years went by, he wondered about the other people in the company who weren't postmen. He wondered what they were doing with their lives, but being a postman he was always on the move, and never had a chance to go back and look.
At the top of Melissa's building was a floor that no one went to. Everyone knew it was there. It was clearly marked in the lift, and on the signposts that run up the staircase. But she asked around and nobody knew who lived there or how to actually get out at that floor. So one day she tried.
"How hard can it be?" she thought, "I'll just push the button in the lift." So the doors closed. She pushed the button, and the lift went nowhere. "That's funny," she thought, and pushed it again. Still nothing.
"I shall try the stairs," she thought, pushing the button to open the lift doors. As she climbed the stairs, she heard an echo of her own footsteps.
Or was it?
Looking down, she could not see anything. Looking up, similarly the stairwell appeared empty.
But looking sideways, just out of the corner of her eye, she felt she could see some sort of movement. It was only when she got to the door to the mysterious floor that she was able to see what it was.
It was a woman, much like her. A woman wearing the same clothes as her, the same height, the same colour hair as her.
The only difference between this woman and herself was that she was fading away as this woman was becoming more distinct.
As she reached for the door handle at the top of the building, her mirror image reached for the door handle too. And Melissa saw her own hands, her fingers fade as fast as the rest of her body was fading into nothing.
Suddenly, she felt the door slamming behind her and her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room of indeterminate size that she found herself in.
There was no sound. There was no light. There was just herself in the darkness.
And when she turned, there was no door behind her, either.
Every morning on his way into work. Roger brought himself a coffee. He went to the same little coffee shop just around the corner from his workplace. Until one day he discovered that it wasn't open as usual. Where was he going to get his coffee now? He looked across the road and a little stall he had never seen before had been set up. It offered flights to South America for pick your own coffee tours. So, not really being able to think properly at the moment because of not having had his morning coffee, he signed up for one. It cost him all of his life savings, and a little more. But now he is a Chilean citizen.
You have been listening to James Aylett, James Lark, and Andrew Ormerod. Join us next time, for more Totally Made Up Tales.
Taking stock of the situation, Hector threw his sword into the pool, winning.
I enjoyed that because we had only had thirteen words, but we used five of them just to say "taking stock of the situation".