The Most Interesting Person in the World

Archive for the ‘Flash Fiction’ Category

Gather ’round, children. Let me tell you a tale, a yarn that will scare the marshmallows out of you. So hold tightly to your blankets.

There once was a great white noise. This audio-visual terror came with its own set of townspeaople, and overwhelm them it did. They wished so much the sun would set at night, and quietly, so they could get to sleep. So they hired a mercenary, a hero, to come into town and invent a new thing with his magic potion. This Eastern European mad scientist huffed and he puffed, and finally he created a darkness so dark and quietly loud (as opposed to loudly quiet) that it overwhelmed them all. Soon he got a book deal, and now he’s touring the talk-show circuit.

So that’s it, kids. A lesson in life management. There’s no time for questions. Finish your s’mores and go to bed.

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Once upon a time, there was a beautiful jewel in a beautiful Ontario museum. This jewel was unlike any other jewel in the world. (Then again, isn’t every jewel?) When light moved across its surface, it danced in the light. When darkness fell on the jewel, it looked even more beautiful in its dark and dramatic state. From every angle, it looked beautiful in a different way. (I acknowledge this is getting thin here; but how else am I supposed to say good things about an inanimate object? Besides, jewels really aren’t my forte.)

Every day, this museum had hundreds of visitors, and they all stopped when they came to this jewel. They were mesmerized. They had never seen anything like it. Kids in school groups would lag behind in this room. Tourists would return to Toronto just to see the jewel again. Newspapers would cover the story of the jewel over and over, only because each journalist wanted to see it again. After a few more examples, you will get the point, and I will move on with the story now.

As it turns out, this beautiful jewel had been violently mined in a far-away land where bad things happened because of inanimate objects. (I won’t get into details here, since this topic also isn’t my forte.) One man in particular worked very hard and sweated many sweats to get this jewel from the person who mined it. On this particular day for this particular story, he entered this particular museum and saw this particular jewel. And sure enough, he recognized it.

“That is my jewel,” he said to himself, “and I will have it!”

This man was determined. (In case the bold text didn’t give it away.) He took the museum to court. He used all the money and influence he had. He proved that it was his jewel, and he won the right to take it home.

It was all his. It sat in his living room. Nobody else got to see the jewel, except on his terms, and only when he felt like having visitors.

Soon, however, he noticed that the jewel didn’t look as beautiful as it had in the museum. It needed a certain lighting. Unfortunately, lighting wasn’t his forte, so he had to hire lighting people to set up a special ambiance for lighting the jewel. “We will set up the best lighting system that you can imagine,” they promised, “but on one condition: we should be allowed to come and look at this jewel whenever we want.”

It wasn’t too much to ask, so he acquiesced. And soon the jewel was well-lit once again. It was his well-lit jewel.

But now he noticed that dust kept falling on it. Also, it kept rolling off his desk. He needed a special case, to protect it, and a special cushion to cushion it. And not just any case and cushion. After all, this jewel deserved only the best. So he found the best case-and-cushion dealer in town, and ordered a special set-up for this jewel that let you know how important was this jewel sitting on this desk, from the moment you walked into this room. And the dealer said to him, “I will make you a case and cushion fit for this jewel;” and he added, “but, you must let me and my family come and visit this jewel whenever we want.” Desperate, the man acquiesced, and soon he had a magnificent case fit for the magnificent jewel, and a cushion so comfortable you would wish your butt sat on such a lovely cushion. And many frequent visitors. After all, this was his well-lit, well-cased, well-cushioned jewel.

One day, when reading an issue of “Beautiful Jewel Quarterly,” the man found out that it is important to keep a jewel at the right temperature to preserve it. “Oh, come on,” he said in exasperation.

One heating-and-cooling system later, one insurance policy later, one room-makeover later… after many cases of interior-design surgery, the room was soon flooded with people, day in, day out, who wanted, and had been granted, permission to stare at this beautiful jewel. This amazing jewel that belonged to our protagonist, and only to our protagonist. This jewel that was all his, that lived in his living room, that he could view whenever he wanted.

At the end of the day, however, he realized that he had the jewel, but he didn’t have his privacy. He didn’t have his life.

In fact, he didn’t own the jewel. The jewel owned him.

“I… I guess I’ll go first,” pipes in the average-height guy wearing a blue shirt in a nondescript segment of the circle. “Hi, my name is… I forget, and I’m an amnesiac.”

“Hi, amnesiac,” murmurs the crowd.

“I guess I should start at the beginning. I mean, how I got to be this way. Only I can’t tell you that story, because, unfortunately, I can’t remember it.”

“It’s okay,” says the woman positing herself as the leader. “This is a safe space. If it comes back to you, you can share it with us.”

“I guess the scariest part for me,” says a stubbled man caressing a stress ball, “is the possibility that I can be someone I don’t want to be. Like I could have a seemingly boring life, but really I’m a serial killer, and I kept it so well-hidden that I’ll never know.

“Or even worse,” he continues, “I can just have a boring life.”

“That is pretty bad,” mumbles an obese woman in a dress, more to herself than anyone else.

“Betcha can’t tell a tale in under 100.”

“How much?”

“Five bucks.”

“I shot him. He lived. Now I’m in Reform School for Failures.”

“I want my $5 back.”

“You owe me ten. I told two tales.”


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