I recently found this story in the 250-Word Story thread on LinkedIn, from 11/11/15, and realized I had not yet posted it. Sorry for the delay. — Russell
A Wolf Who Couldn’t Whistle, by Bobby Warner
Bristles the Wolf was very lonely. He simply couldn’t get a date. The other male wolves approached comely females wolves, howled, then gave a woo-woo whistle, and the girls loved it.
Bristles could howl all right. He was the pack’s champion howler. He just couldn’t whistle.
One day he went to the fair. The other male wolves were winning prizes for their girl dates, but Bristles had to be satisfied winning a prize for himself. He did, and it changed everything.
He won a whistle, which he blew every time he howled. He got more dates than he could handle.
(Posted to a page on Emma’s blog.)
Journalists have been working tirelessly to expose the truth. Daily, there are new revelations about the dictator’s past collusion with an arch enemy, followed by his interference into the investigation. He labeled the reporters as the “Enemies of the State”, a chilling reminiscent of Nazi Germany. A former playboy businessman with no experience in governance, he has been boastful of himself, a classic narcissist.
Baby-boomer Josh Lane had spent time in an ashram of an Indian guru during his turbulent youth in the ’70s. He remembered him teaching: “Ego spoils wisdom. If wisdom is spoiled, downfall comes to a man.”
Daniel and Tricia ran past the waitress, through the open door and out of the café.
“Oi!” she called as she waved the bill, turning to walk to the table.
Helen sighed as the woman approached her. They surveyed the detritus on the table; the remains of three Very Filling All-Day Breakfasts (as claimed on the blackboard).
“Left you to it, did they?”
“Huh-huh. And not for the first time.”
The woman started to clear the table. “Smokers, eh! Can’t wait, can they?”
Helen grinned. “I know, but I’ve learnt. I get the money out of them before we order!”
It’s all round.
Chipped circle-rims. Teabags swollen with workplace rage.
The rota to make the tea is round, too.
Everyone ignores the washing up in turn; then they poison one another with dregs of mould.
Whose turn is it next?
He used to be a beautiful boy, immaculate peroxide hair like Billy Idol, but years of alcohol had taken its toll. His skin was now yellow, hair balding and a beer pot developing.
James took his usual seat at the local pub on a wet Friday night.
“Do you fancy joining us, my darling?” he asked a young lady.
“No, thanks, though you’re not bad looking … for someone your age.”
He was Lancelot at the Round Table but the knights were ever diminishing. Peering in the pub mirror he saw the awful truth. His allure had disappeared.
(Posted, with picture, to a page on the F.F.F. website.)
The slit of his mouth collided with mine: teeth mashed, saliva drooled down our lips, and I tasted the salt of his leakage. Fingers slid in my hand to weave with mine.
“Mhm,” I mouthed.
“Like that, Andrew?” he asked, suckling down to my neck.
My breathing came in short, rasping spikes.
He laughed. I felt the warmth crawl on my skin.
The door creaked open, light exposed our midnight kissing. He retracted from me quickly.
“Stewart!” croaked a feminine voice in shock.
“Marta?!” he questioned, my hand still in his. “Please, don’t tell!”
“You two?!” she gasped. “Oh, God!”
Friday evenings, I find myself at home, melting into a recliner, where I weed the workweek’s chaos out of my mind.
I inevitably surrender, first to sleep, then to a dream in which I’m floating like smoke toward a horizon that separates time from space. Below me, the face of every surface is smiling and I’m smiling back.
While drifting through herds of pearl-white clouds, a dreamy voice whispers, “You cannot stay here.”
A poke to center of my chest ends the dream.
I see my wife. She says, “Dinner.”
With a grin, I follow her to the dining room.
He never really understood why she left. But he knew that was why she did.
She spoke less with every passing day. “Words are crass,” she said. “Words are for strangers. If what we have is special, you should already know what I’m thinking.”
“Do you know what I am thinking?”
“That you love me and wish we could just talk, like normal people.”
He looked at her in surprise and hope but saw neither in her eyes.
“That my love is not special enough and that I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering what you wanted.”