Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A 26-Line Story I'll Write As I Go

by Nathaniel Jahosophat Wilson

Chadwick von Prenderbottom loved to see people fail.
Donovan Thistletwist loved to drink coffee.
Every day, Chad and Don met at the Coughie Shoppe, where they could do both.
Failure practically lived there.
Girls got orders wrong, and misspelled names every few minutes.
Hopeful scribes sat, uninspired, unable to overcome writer's block.

I should mention: The story's 26 lines include its title, byline, and any asides.

Just before 11 am one Tuesday, Chad noticed a disquieting trend.
Kismet, fate, or perhaps dumb luck had brought only success all morning.
Lattes and espressos had been delivered to customers without a single complaint.
Mice clicked and keyboards clacked non-stop as authors typed up a storm.
Not one person had tripped, jostled each other, or even grumbled.

Oh, by the way, my middle name isn't actually Jahosophat, but imagine if it were.

Perturbed by this turn of events, Chad decided to do something about it.
Queerly, every attempt only bred further success.
Ranting about politics prompted one woman to write a brilliant op ed piece.
Shoving an elderly man put his spine back into proper alignment.
Throwing hot coffee on a barista led to Don getting her number.
Utterly disheartened, Chad left his friend and went home.
Very strange things happening today, he thought.
Wednesday will be better, he thought.
Xanax might help, he thought.

You may think there isn't enough story left to have a satisfying ending, and you'd be right.

Zero failure, though, meant everyone had failed to fail, which made Chad happy again.


  1. Love it! You should do another for the A to Z Challenge. :)
    Does the Coughie Shoppe serve Robitussin frappes? Because I could use one right now.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I wasn't planning to have anything to do with the A to Z, but if I can knock it all out in a single post...

      Though to answer your question, the Shoppe only serves Ricolattes.