The Three (or two) Brothers (and sister) and the mighty Secession Tree
Part One: The Mighty Penguin of Solemn Distribution
There once was a very large forest, that actually wasn't all that large. But saying it was large is a good, dramatic way of introducing this story. A decently dramatic way anyway. Saying it was large, deep, dark, and filled with horrible, creepy monsters would be a very dramatic way of introducing the story, but that would contradict the central mood of the story and establish an inner conflict within the reader, because seeing the diction of "deep" and "dark" would establish a subconscious idea within them that this is going to be a horror story, which really isn't what I had in mind.
Meh. I'll start over.
There once was a medium sized forest, with no monsters in it, and nothing particularly overdramatic or out of the ordinary. It was a very normal, average, mediocre, non-scary, non-dramatic forest.
Yeah, that's a good start. Now I'll stop with these needless interruptions that disrupt the flow of the tale by breaking the fourth wall and revealing that this isn't really real...which you already know because it's an article on a website...
But anyway, there was a house on the edge of the forest. Not literally the edge, as in like the edge of a knife, or the edge of a cliff, but the point in the forest at which the treeline kind of fizzled out, to form something that kind of resembled a straight line, a straight line that, according to the strange inner traditions of the english language, could constitute an "edge" even though it would be more accurate to refer to it as a "nondescript, indistinct border region." Phew.
If you've made it this far into the story, I congratulate you. I've really rambled quite a bit more than I initially intended.
Well anyway, the house was somewhat near the nondescript, indistinct border region of the mediocre, average sized woodland region more simplistically called a "forest."
Yeah. This is good.
So one day, a young man who was about 21 years old (not that his age matters...the flow of the story wouldn't have been any different if he had been 21 or even 23) came running out of the house. Or perhaps he was walking briskly. Well, he was walking at a medium to fast pace, not exactly running, but it was too fast to be considered walking.
"Hello, Margaret!" he said to his sister, who was picking shriveled, moldy apples from a dead apple tree. "My name isn't Margaret, it's Louise!" she screamed, throwing one of the apples at him.
"Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot," he said, looking perplexed.
"Jeeze, Frank, that's the seventh time you've forgotten my name today!!!" said
Margaret Louise, putting her hands on her hips. Actually, she didn't put her hands on her hips, because she was still picking apples. Oh god, I'm contradicting myself. THIS STORY IS GOING TO HELL!!! AAAAAA!!! No...no...I'll just take a deep breath...and pretend that little continuity error didn't happen...yes...just keep reading. I'll pick up the story where I left off.
"I'm sorry, Louise, I just can't help it!"
"Gimme a break, Frank!"
"My name's not Frank, you stupid bitch!"
"Uh, yeah it is."
"No it isn't!"
"Yes it is, Frank! Check your birth certificate!"
He glowered at Louise, and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a can opener, a hairnet, and a poodle, before saying "Ah, here it is, my birth certificate!"
He looked at it. "HAHAHA, my name isn't Frank, it's "Eight pounds, seven ounces." YOU LOSE!!!"
"No, Frank, that's your weight."
"Oh yeah. Hmmm," Frank looked over the page, "Oh yeah! My name IS Frank, isn't it? For some reason, I thought it was "Look After Me, Joana, While I Play Basketball with my Shrew." How strange."
"No, that's our uncle's name!"
The author of this story needs to piddle. He will be back shortly.
END OF INTERMISSION
I'm done piddling, and the story can now progress without interruption. Well, relatively without interruption. What I mean to say is that it will proceed without any additional interruptions, aside from this one, which is short. Well, relatively short. If you consider a few sentences to be short. It would be considered long to some simple, single celled organism, a minute creature that could spend its entire life crawling across your computer screen and die before reaching the period at the end of this sentence. But then again, from another, wider perspective, taking into account the billions of years that have passed since the universe sprang forth and the chemical compounds that form living things first wriggled forth from the cosmic sludge of primal earth, and looking into the future to the ultimate chaotic oblivion of the universe's demise, this paragraph is really quite short; a microsecond in a larger field. But anyway, this interruption is almost over, and I shall no longer add any more wierd personal details about what I'm doing, such as the fact that I just peed, or that my neighbor's dog is barking loudly, or that I just cracked one of my knuckles. Anyway, back to the story.
Frank and Louise stared at each other akwardly for several seconds, waiting for the author to finish his existential ramblings so that they could get back to the story. They then realized that the author was finished rambling, and that they could continue their zany dialogue.
"So, Frank, what's your excuse for forgetting my name this time? Last week, when you called me "Thumbscrew Major, Bungalo with a toothpick wire intercourse," you used the excuse that you were struggling to understand the inherent numerical patterns forming a hidden subtext of Albert Camus's "The Myth of Sisyphus," and how it reflected his inner postmodernist philosophy. I then spent the next eight hours convincing you that Camus was an absurdist, not a postmodernist, therefore leaving your entire theory in shambles. Thanks to all the time we wasted arguing, I burnt the turkey I was cooking us for dinner!"
"That turkey dinner wouldn't have worked out anyway. You left the oven door open. The thing would have just run right out of the oven."
"Look, I told you a million times that when you cook a turkey, it has to be dead first! You can't just open the oven and stuff it inside when it's still alive!"
"But killing it would be cruel!"
"And what about the venison you tried to serve the week before? You spent all day trying to cram that angry deer into the oven, and what was the end result? It jumped out of the window, and left you with nothing but a handful of its fur!"
"Yeah, but be fair. That fur did taste pretty good with barbacue sauce."
"Don't be ridiculous, Margaret!"
"IT'S LOUISE!!!" YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN, FRANK!!!!!!"
"I'm sorry Louise, my mind is just racing with activity right now. I can't stand the way our country is headed! America is spiraling into economic oblivion!"
"We don't live in America. This is Denmark."
"WHATEVER!!! Denmark is spiraling into oblivion too!"
"Bah, whatever, Frank. I don't see any evidence!"
"Don't see any evidence? But look at this front page!!!"
Frank whipped a newspaper out of his pocket. Well, he didn't literally "whip" it, like one whips a horse or an old woman. He pulled it out of his pocket at a very rapid speed. Just another one of those little quirks with the english language. Anyway.
He brandished the newspaper in his sister's face.
"Look at the main story!!!" he said.
"Uhh...it says "Man swallows eighteen lobsters, breaks record."
"Oh, is that what it says?" he said, glancing at the paper with interest, "I was wondering what it said...I can't actually read this language...but it doesn't matter! This country is spiraling out of control!!!"
"No, it isn't."
"Yes it is, and we should DO something about it!!!"
"But I'm picking apples!"
"This is more important than picking apples! Well, marginally. It's a little bit more important than picking apples."
"Alright, fine. We can take some sort of action to save Denmark. But then can I please finish picking these apples, so I can kill them and make a pie out of them?"
"Honestly, Louise, you don't need to kill apples. They aren't animals. They don't feel pain."
"Are you implying that I should bake apples without shooting them first? But Frank, that would be CRUEL!!!"
"Whatever. Now, what action should we take against the corruption in Denmark?" said Frank.
"I don't know, you decide. Just try not to get us arrested for urinating on public property like you did last year, when you wanted to resolve the trade dispute in Yugoslovia."
Part Two: The part that came immediately after Part One
And so, Louise set down her basket of apples, in the blowing grass. Blowing grass. That doesn't make any sense at all. I must be getting tired. I could have used all matter of diverse, metaphorical descriptive language, and I said "blowing grass." Good grief.
Frank sat down on a stump, and it yowled loudly and ran off. "Oops, that wasn't a stump, that was the cat," said Frank, looking perplexed, "Oh well. He'll be back eventually. Oh, that reminds me, did you feed the wildebeast this morning?"
"We don't have a wildebeast. We have a goldfish."
"Whatever. Did you feed him?"
"It's a her. And yes, I gave her some cherries and a slice of whale blubber."
"Excellent! That should keep her nourished while we have our adventure. I think I've figured out what I want to do now. We should secede from Denmark!"
"Secede? As in, form our own nation?"
"Yeah! That tree over there looks nice!"
"Tree? You want to make an independent country out of a TREE?"
"Yeah! Let's form our own nation! We can call it, The Massive, Sweaty, Wriggling, Pulsating Mass of Nondescript, Bloody Flesh!!!"
"That's a horrible name, Frank."
"No it isn't, it's fantastic! I love it! Since I named it, I get to be president. Since you don't like the name, you're being unpatriotic towards our noble nation, and you shall serve prison time by climbing underneath that root at the bottom and pretending to be in jail."
"This is stupid," said Louise, "I wanna go back and pick apples."
"NO!!! Say that one more time and you'll be under the roots for a full day! Now GET UNDER THERE!!!"
Louise rolled her eyes (not literally, as in removing them from her head and rolling them along the ground, but figuratively. As in, she rolled them in her head. Or, she rolled them as far as the natural laws of evolution that have shaped the human mechanism allowed her to roll them) and crawled (this interruption is completely unnecessary) under (but this one isn't) the root of the tree. Frank then pulled a crayon out of his pocket, and scribbled "JAIL" on the root. Or rather, he wrote "JAI," then ran out of room, so he simply grabbed a leaf and wrote the letter "L" on it.
"Now, it's time to draw a border for our independent nation," said Frank, as he drew a border in crayon, around the tree, "No people from Denmark will be allowed to cross this border. If they do, I shall consider it an act of war!"
Frank then approached a small ant hole. "Alright, ants!" he screamed into the hole, "You were previously living in Denmark, but you now live under my rule! You have the right to your own opinions, but you must agree with me without question on every issue, or I will brand you as unpatriotic and squash you! Any questions?"
The ants were silent. Frank grinned, and climbed to the highest branch of the tree, where he sat down and surveyed the land around him. "I get a good view of foreign soil from up here!" he yelled down to Louise, "I can see for miles around. I'd like to see any invaders get past me!" As he was saying this, a viking ran across the border, climbed the tree, reached into his pocket, grabbed his wallet, and ran off. Frank didn't notice.
After five minutes, Frank said, "Okay, Louise, your sentence is up! You can come out now!" Louise emerged from under the root, covered in dirt. "Now why are you leader again?" she said, looking confused.
"Because I named the country, and because I'm better," he said, swelling proudly. Well, not literally swelling. He didn't have some horrid disease that caused his body to increase in size. But metaphorically, he swelled with pride. Perhaps even his ego swelled, and the realm of his inner soul devoted to being self-centered expanded a little bit, perhaps crowding some of the other realms (assuming that the soul has limited space, which brings up a key argument of modern day philosophy). Anyway, he was proud.
"Well, I don't think you--" began Louise, looking irritated.
"CAREFUL!! You don't want to end up under the root again, do you?" said Frank.
"No, it was gross under there," she said, "Fine. You're leader."
"Let's draft a constitution!" bellowed Frank.
"We don't have any paper," said Louise.
"Eh, I'll just write it on my leg," said Frank, rolling up the sleeve of his pants, "Okay, uhm...Article I. We shall not be corrupt, unless we need to. Article II. We should never commit injustices, unless it is necessary. Article III. No ambassador to Denmark is necessary, because those corrupt bastards would probably assassinate him, her, or it. I suppose that's about all we need. Oh, as far as laws are concerned, no peeling bark off the tree, no peeing in non-designated peeing areas, and no nosepicking. If you are an insect, you will be killed for violating any laws, but if you are someone important like me or Louise, you can get away with anything."
"Oh, I like that!" said Louise, sounding excited.
"Now, as per being recognized by all other world powers, we will refuse to trade with any other nations until the UN and Denmark acknowledge us as an independent nation."
Frank stood up on his branch, and screamed, "OYE!!! UNITED NATIONS!! DENMARK!!!! IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, LISTEN UP!!! LOUISE AND I WILL NOT BE DOING ANY BUSINESS WITH YOU, AND WILL REFUSE TO LET YOU HAVE ANY OF OUR EXTENSIVE OIL SUPPLY, UNTIL YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT OUR NATION, The Massive, Sweaty, Wriggling, Pulsating Mass of Nondescript, Bloody Flesh, IS INDEED A FREE AND FULLY INDEPENDENT NATION!!!"
Frank then sat back down. "Now," he said, "We just wait for them to respond. I'm sure we'll be getting a letter back any day now. Oh, look at the time! We're nearing our ten minute anniversary! We'll have to celebrate!"
Frank and Louise spent the next couple minutes gathering up leaves to use as fireworks. Then, the exact, ten-minute anniversary of the country's creation came.
"Oh, mighty God," said Frank, as Louise used matches to light the leaves on fire and throw them in the air, "We thank thee for providing us with a happy and peaceful first ten minutes of existence. We pray that you bless our nation as the greatest on Earth. Thanks, etc. Amen."
All of a sudden, Frank saw something that caught his eye. "LOOK!" he screamed, pointing at the ground. A beetle was slowly crawling through the grass, approaching the red line that was the country's border. "AN INVADER!!!!" screamed Frank.
Frank pointed at the beetle, and screamed, "STAY AWAY!!! I'm warning you...YOU CROSS THAT BORDER, AND IT'LL MEAN WAR BETWEEN OUR NATION AND DENMARK!!!" The beetle continued to scuttle towards the border. "THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING!" SCREAMED FRANK. THEN, THE WRITER REALIZED THAT HE HAD LEFT CAPS LOCK ON, AND PROMPTLY TURNED IT OFF. Anyway, the beetle reached the border, and crossed it.
In an instant (not literally), Frank had climbed out of the tree, grabbed the beetle, wrapped one of his shoelaces around the beetles neck, and hung it. "THAT'LL TEACH YOU TO MESS WITH US, YOU FILTHY FOREIGNER!!!" screamed Frank at the dangling beetle. He then turned to Louise.
"You can be my adviser, which basically means I'll ignore you unless you make the suggestions I want to hear," said Frank, "Now, that beetle was probably a scout, which means that more invaders from Denmark are probably coming. We'll have to act quickly if we want to preserve our freedom. We must fight back!"
Frank immediately began grabbing sticks, rocks, and other random things, and throwing them over the border, into Denmark. The war had begun.
After three hours, Frank had thrown most of his nation's supplies over the border at the enemy. Their supplies were dwindling.
"Frank, this war is foolish!" said Louise, as Frank brandished a stick angrily at Denmark in general, "Let's go back home and I'll make a pie."
"BLASPHEMY!!!" screamed Frank, "You speak of abandoning our good nation in her time of need!"
"I don't like you being leader," she said, "It's my turn!"
"NO IT ISN'T!"
"Yes, you've been leader for hours! I want a turn!"
"I founded the nation, Louise, so I get to be leader! DUH!"
"Well, I'm founding an opposition party. We want to end the war!"
"THAT'S UNPATRIOTIC!!!" screamed Frank, "Ending the war without crushing Denmark and asserting our independence would mean doom for us all!"
"I've had enough of this!" screamed Louise, slapping her brother.
"OUCH!!" he said, pointing at her furiously and drooling with anger. Or perhaps I should say drooling with rage. Or perhaps I shouldn't say that he was drooling at all. After all, that would be kind of farfetched. No, he wasn't drooling. But he was angry. He said, or rather screamed, or said loudly: "YOU TRAITOR!!! I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN YOU'D BETRAY ME AND JOIN DENMARK IN THE END!!! YOU'D RATHER GO BACK TO DENMARK AND EAT APPLES THAN SIT HERE IN OUR TREE!"
"HOW DARE YOU?" screamed Louise, and she attacked her brother. Well, perhaps attacked is too strong a word. No, I think it's relevent here. She attacked him.
They fought for several minutes, throwing dirt in each other's faces, trying to toss each other out of the tree, even smearing sap from the tree's bark in each other's hair. Meanwhile, it has started to rain, and all the writing on the tree that Frank had done was starting to wash off.
"WHY IS IT WASHING OFF?" said Frank as he tried to write on the tree with one hand, and shove his sister with the other, "It's almost as if the natural world doesn't CARE about our petty squabbling!!!!" Then, all of a sudden, the author of the story remembered that this was illogicopedia, and the story was becoming far too much like some sort of perverted political statement. The author decided that in order to avoid the danger of the story becoming too political and losing the nonsensical randomness it had at the beginning, he decided to complete the third part of the story in a completely different way.
Part Three: Exactly 8.67 times!!!!
Suddenly, the rain stopped, and the tree spontaneously flipped upside down, so that its roots were facing upwards and the branches were now in the ground.
"What the hell is going on?" said Frank, looking perplexed.
"UMGPH," said Louise, whose mouth was full of mud. She spit the mud out, and said, "I have no idea."
"Neither do I!" said the large, purple panda that had just spontaneously appeared next to them, "Now come with me, and I'll take you on a magic ride!"
"Huh?" said Louise.
Then, the Panda exploded, and a giant tissue box appeared in its place.
"I can talk, even though I'm a tissue box!" said the tissue box. Then it exploded, and the panda appeared again.
"I am a panda," said the panda, "And you are Margaret."
"No I'm not, I'm Louise!" said Louise.
"Oh yeah!" said the panda, "Shoot! I'm just so perplexed by the international tension and economic strife that has gripped our post industrial society!" The panda then melted, leaving a puddle of strange, brown liquid.
"Interesting," said Frank, reaching out his hand to touch the liquid, but it evaporated just before he could touch it.
"Let's go back home," said Louise, "Quickly, before anything else bizarre happens."
"What was that?" said Frank, "I couldn't hear you, because this squid on my head had stuck his tentacles in my ears." Frank removed the squid, and drop kicked it.
"I said, let's go home!"
Frank and Louise walked back along the pathway to their house. "We can have apple pie for dinner!" said Louise, but she caught site of the bucket where she had left the apples, and she realized that all of the apples were covered with baby squid.
"That's not particularly appetizing," said Frank.
"No," said Louise.
They both sat down and thought. Frank sat on the cat, and Louise sat on the goldfish. Finally, Louise got an idea.
"Let's eat the tree!"
And so, they both grabbed the tree, uprooted it, folded it up, and baked it in the oven.
"Mmmm...this is really good, Louise." said Frank.
"Thanks, Frank," said Louise. "I'm so glad we bought this summer house in Denmark."
"Wait a minute..." said Frank, "...Denmark? I thought you said the summer house was in Poland!"
"Oh yeah!" said Louise. "I wonder whose house this is! We should probably get out of here!"
Frank agreed, and the two of them scuttled out of the house and off in the general direction of Poland.
Part Four: The End
This actually isn't really a part of the story as the other parts were, it's just a cheap way for me to give this story a table of contents by having it have four chapters. I know it's lazy, but give me a break. I have a cold.