Friday, May 31, 2013

FFF: A Hook To Hang The World On

Every week, Kurt posts a new flash fiction story. This week, we honor St. Louis's most iconic bit of architecture...

A Hook To Hang The World On
Word Count: 597

The ocean was smooth, the sky calm. Three figures in rags rode their raft up to the silver structure that protruded from the water. Two of them appeared to be sleeping, but the third, Gaz, held up his hand to shield his eyes from the sun. As they drew nearer to the structure, he stowed his paddle and stared up in awe. Then he gave one of his compatriots a kick.

“Ow,” said Charlie. “Shite, mate, but ‘at’s bright.” He covered his eyes with his hand. The giant structure in front of him glistened in the light.

“There it is,” Gaz said.

Charlie sat up and shook his head. “There wot is?”

“Is da Norf Pole,” said Gaz.

Merril stirred and sat up. “Oi, dat’s bright, mate,” she said.

“Where’s da Norf Pole?” asked Charlie.

“There,” said Gaz, pointing at the giant silver structure that arched out of the water and then back down into it. “There it is. I tol’ you dis was da Norf Pole.”

“It ain’t da Norf Pole,” said Charlie. “It’s just a big thing.”

Merril snorted. “I agrees wit’ Charlie,” she said. “I would fink we can still go Norf from here.”

“I’m tellin’ yous, dis da Norf Pole,” said Gaz. “It ‘as to be. Why else would dis hook be here?”

Charlie looked up at the “hook” and scratched his head. “There’s other buildin’s around,” he said. “You can see bits of ‘em under da water. Maybe it’s just anover buildin’.”

“No, it’s a hook, I tells ya,” said Gaz. “A hook ter hang da world on. ‘At’s why dis ‘as ter be da Norf Pole. Dis was where da world hung from, before it got dumped in all dis water.”

“I would fink the Norf Pole should be colder, mate,” said Merril.

“Wot?” said Gaz. “It’s cold.”

“It’s breezy,” said Merril, “but it ain’t cold.”

“I don’t know’s I’ve ever been somewhere dat’s well-and-truly cold,” said Charlie.

“Ain’t no places like ‘at no more,” said Gaz. “Not since da gods dropped da Earf into da water.”

“I still fink it’s just a buildin’,” said Charlie.

“Who would build a buildin’ lookin’ like dat?” asked Gaz. “A big ol’ silver fing wot comes up one side and goes down de other. Is like a hook wot you find on a Christmas ornament.”

“Dat don’t mean it ain’t just anover buildin’,” said Charlie.

“Den why is it here?” asked Gaz, standing in the raft. “Why is it here when all da rest of ‘em fell over?”

“I don’t know,” said Charlie.

“I know, and I’ll tell you,” said Gaz. “It’s here to remind us. De ancients pissed off da gods and so da gods abandoned us all, lef’ us swimmin’ in a world of water, waitin’ around ter starve or drown. But da gods dinna want us ter forget da ‘orrible mistakes da ancients made, so ‘ey lef’ dis hook right ‘ere. Lef’ it so’s we could see how far we’ve fallen, and maybe one day da gods’ll lift us back up again.”

Merril and Charlie sat in silence. They looked up at Gaz and then back at each other. Charlie shrugged.

“It’s a good story, mate,” said Merril, “but ‘ow do we convince da gods ter lift da world back up?”

“Well, fuck if I know,” said Gaz. “But it is a good story, innit?”

“I still fink we can go further Norf from here,” said Merril.

“Nah, it’s Souf every way from here,” said Gaz.

“I guess we’re goin’ Souf, den,” said Charlie.

“Too right, mate,” said Gaz.

Edited by Carolyn "My Brain Hurts" Abram.

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