Monday, 8 July 2013

A Very Short Story

It was one of those August Sunday evenings in which, by merely looking out of the window, one could tell that it was seven o’clock. There was a light breeze from the West, which tickled at the leaves on the trees and gave a comfortable break from the formidable heat of four hours ago. Arthur sat, half asleep, under the shade of a huge oak tree, with a sealed envelope resting on his knees. Arthur had been in this position for almost half an hour, and as a result, his buttocks were rather sore. But this was one of those evenings that would have left even the most industrious person feeling slothful, so Arthur had no intention of shifting position. He also had no intention of opening the envelope, for he knew that its contents carried news which, to Arthur, was not news at all. So, Arthur remained like this for almost another hour, before his manservant came to him with urgent news. Again, this news was not news, for Arthur knew exactly what the manservant had to say before he even opened his mouth to speak. Arthur was very clairvoyant. Indeed, he had been a legend among the Clairvoyancites, the secret society established by clairvoyant men. Arthur was the only remaining member of the Clairvoyancites. All his comrades had been murdered by the Clairvoyantettes, members of the secret society established by clairvoyant women, who were incensed by their non-inclusion in the Clairvoyancites. The letter in the sealed enveloped carried the news of the murder of William Le Château, an Clairvoyancite, who was unfortunate enough to have his lawnmower flip over on him. The coroner’s verdict was “accidental death by an accident prone lawnmower” but he did not know that the lawnmower was made accidental prone by the Clairvoyantettes.
Arthur’s manservant carried the news of the death of Morgana, the leader of the Clairvoyantettes. Arthur did not need to exercise his clairvoyance to find this out; he had organised the murder of Morgana. He had had her murdered to avenge the death of Le Château, who was murdered ten minutes after Morgana was, in revenge for her death.
The sun was beginning to sink behind the hills and long shadows were thrown eastward, giving benign objects devilish silhouettes. The late evening was filled with birdsong and the smell of flowers hung thickly in the air. In the distance, the sound of traffic was dissolving into a peaceful quiet as the long day came towards its end. The sky was now washed with soft pinks and oranges and the last of the birds were retiring to their nests.
Arthur did not need to look up to know that the approaching footsteps he could hear belonged to his wife. Even a Desclairvoyant (someone who was not a Clairvoyancite but painfully normal) could attribute those footsteps to Lady Voisseur; her twenty stones were present in every step she took. She was remarkably dissimilar to her husband, who was almost half her weight. However, if one could look past the many chins that adorned the lower half of her podgy face, one could see that Lady Voisseur was inconspicuously beautiful. Her pale skin accentuated her small blue eyes and her fat lips wore a perpetual half-smile. It was a shame that Arthur could not see past the many chins that adorned the lower half of his wife’s podgy face. He would habitually complain that Lady Voisseur had more chins than a Chinese phonebook. Arthur and his wife were remarkably dissimilar indeed.
Whereas Arthur was quick-witted, clairvoyant and popular, his wife sat, with great difficulty, on the other end of the spectrum. This lack of compatibility was responsible for Arthur’s ongoing affair with Victoire de F’Lâte, who so happened to be an Clairvoyantet.
Arthur knew why Lady Voisseur was stomping through the garden towards him. Earlier on, his Clairvoyance had told him that Lady Voisseur would soon discover his infidelity through their next door neighbour. So, Arthur placed some of Victoire’s lace on Lady Voisseur’s dressing table, so that when she came to confront him of her discovery angrily, he replied, “darling, if I was, pardon my blasphemy, unfaithful to you, do you think I would advertise it as you are suggesting?” Satisfied with this answer, Lady Voisseur slept soundly and when Marie Foucher, the Voisseur’s neighbour, informed Lady Voisseur of Arthur’s infidelity the next day, Lady Voisseur dismissed the ‘accusation’ with a wave of her chunky hand. Arthur was very cunning indeed. Sitting, with great difficulty, on the other end of the spectrum, Lady Voisseur was very vacuous. Arthur took advantage of this.
One day, Lady Voisseur had returned home early from a shopping excursion into town and found her husband making passionate love to Victoire on the kitchen floor. After she had exhausted her lungs screaming vile insults at the pair, Arthur destroyed her doubts over his fidelity by saying, “darling, if I was, pardon my blasphemy, unfaithful to you, do you think I would advertise it as you are suggesting?” Thus convinced that she was hallucinating and her husband was faithful beyond any doubt, whenever Lady Voisseur happened to come across Arthur and Victoire making passionate love on the kitchen floor, she dismissed this hallucination, with a wave of her chunky hand, as the work of Lucifer, whom she knew to hold a grudge against Arthur.