“The Cat Restaurant”, A Story for Cats and Children / Memorable Fancies #1493

[A scene from The Seventh Effect (Melange Publishers) – available on Amazon] As I promised her, after dinner I told Catspaw her favorite story, “Cat Restaurant.” Sometimes she went to sleep when I started telling the story; that showed how much she really liked it. But this time she looked wide awake. “Once upon a time,” I began, “all the cats in the neighborhood got tired of complaining to each other about the lousy food the people were feeding them, and decided to do something about … [Read more...]

“The Conteur – II” / Memorable Fancies #1475

The conteur, a wandering teller of strange tales, has imagined a new story, a lively yet profound story that is his best yet, one that is sure to make his fortune. But the story escapes from him, and in the next town he visits, the people say they’ve heard it before, and better told at that. The tale precedes its conteur to every town he goes to, ruins his acts, reduces audience gifts to a few pitched pennies. Eventually, the poor man kills himself in despair. But word of that, too, was … [Read more...]

“The Conteur – I” / Memorable Fancies #1474

It was an ancient time, with wandering minstrels, conteurs and their astonishing tales. Into this serene and picturesque civilization, marred only by constant bloody wars of religion and ambition, came a story, a tale. Where it came from, and where it began, were lost in the graveyards of time. Some people said the tale always was, or had come from the darkest parts of our minds, or was told to God by a hanged man strangling on a rope. The tale was whispered from realm to realm. At first, it … [Read more...]

“The Dream-Prizes” / Memorable Fancies #746

    There were weekly competitions for the most interesting dreams, or the most daring. Prizes were awarded. Several weeks in a row, Sylvia Norton won. There were jealous rumors that Sylvia was making these dreams up, hadn’t really had them, that her dreams were all fiction and sounded suspiciously like the latest popular novels.        Officials were appointed to look into the matter. They dreamed that she’d made them up, and disqualified her. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you … [Read more...]

“Heroes” / Memorable Fancies #689

      It is a rare honor for a young man such as I to be here, where the old men sit around the fire and tell stories of our nation’s heroes: Olaf the Bold, Harald the Dane-Slayer, and others.       When it is my turn, I tell them how I just this week vanquished the savages of Groen-Land despite overwhelming odds, and with the loss of no ships or men.       The old men nod their heads vacantly. Then one says “Another story of Olaf the Bold begins like this...” <END> THE TUESDAY … [Read more...]

“Traveler’s Tale” / A Memorable Fancy #206

I told them what I saw – a sandy wall of huts against a hill, I, in rags, robbed by camel-thieves, stoned by their urchins. The tribe kept me in chains where chieftains lived on loot from travelers lost like me. But I escaped, left a guard for dead, dug with my hands for desert’s wet, reached home, related simply what I saw, then slept and bathed for days. And then I heard from clacking jaws and flicking tongues that I had seen a golden tower shining high upon a diamond hill, centaurs and … [Read more...]