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Friday short story time: "Monkeys Vs Pigeons"

This week, in the traditions of such high-concept stories as Cowboys & Aliens, Pride & Predjudice With Zombies and Pirates VS Lib Dems, I have done Monkeys Vs Pigeons. It is slightly shorter than some of the Friday stories because, let’s be honest, there isn’t that much mileage in the joke.

And yes, this is some light relief after last week’s thoughtful look at mortality. You can read the archives here, and I might consider something more serious next week.

Monkeys Vs Pigeons

By Nick Bryan

In the last twenty-seven minutes, Ted had seen dark things. His friend Ed had been walking along, pecking seeds and knocking his own head into walls, before being snatched up by a huge, gangly orange arm.

Then Ned, more confrontational in his style, had charged beak-first at a rustling sound in a bush, only for it to burst out, covered in black fur, and crush him underfoot.

So Ted was alone, bewildered and lost in the forest. It was difficult being a pigeon under this stress. They weren’t built for being hunted by unseen enemies, for one key reason: if the enemy remained unseen for longer than ten minutes, Ted was likely to forget the whole thing and start slowly ambling along, gazing at the floor.

He wasn’t sure how he’d been separated from his friends, because once again, he’d simply been distracted for a few minutes and the rest of them had gone. It had just been him, Ned and Ed, until the other two had been picked off by monkeys.

Suddenly, Ted realised he could fly and slowly buzzed up into a tree. It was a jungle out there, and a strangely literal one at that. Hadn’t they been in Regent’s Park a moment ago? Where the biggest threats available were being kicked by a child or unthinkingly walking into a lawnmower.

And now they were in some humid hell. Ted fluttered to a higher perch, and was rewarded by a hurled grapefruit splatting against the bark next to him. Before he had time to stick his beak into the pulped remains, another one hit even closer and he tried to fly for safety.

And as he reached a higher level, trying not to look down, a tiny monkey with an enormous tail jumped onto the same branch. They eyed each other nervously, Ted trying to stop his eyes twitching, until the tail flicked out at him. Ted, surprised, jumped backwards, but unfortunately there was little space to manoeuvre on that tiny branch.

So he fell downwards, only just managing a few wing-flaps to slow his descent. On the ground, two enormous monkeys awaited, waiting to pulp him like they had his friends. Ted had no idea what he’d done to earn this rage, he’d never even seen a monkey before, and was pretty sure they didn’t have to compete for the breadcrumbs from the tourists.

Sulky hairy bastards. A huge orang-utan arm slapped him aside and Ted flapped his wings pointlessly as he went into a tree. He was dazed and wandering in a circle, which made him feel like everything was finally back to normal, when the huge black gorilla tried to seize him in a fist.

Hopping from one spindly leg to another, he sidestepped that, only to meet yet another backhanded slap from that gangly arm. Did the orange monkey know nothing else? Apparently not, as another slap followed seconds later. Avoiding it by a feather, Ted suddenly had an idea hit him full on in the face. Which, at least, was better than another monkey-hand.

Quickly, before he could forget his own plan, he tugged his dented wings into motion and hovered in the air directly in front of the gorilla’s face. And it was a little slow to react as ever, because the orang-utan let off yet another slap first. Employing reflexes he barely knew he had, Ted hurled himself to one side, letting the flailing orang-utan blow crack into the hard cheeks of the gorilla.

And then, of course, monkey infighting erupted. Ted, lost in the jungle, fled for his life, hoping to god that he had just wandered into the wrong part of a zoo.

Copyright me 2011, please don’t steal, I know it’s tempting to rush off and make a movie, but email and ask first, yeah?


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