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Story - Little Jack Horner

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The Newspaper

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Little Jack Horner by Emanick

 

 

 

I sit in the soothing dark, listening to the quiet murmur of the dishes around me. We whisper of times before and after The Darkness, when we were first made, and what we know of the outside world. I tell my friends, the bowls, of my birth in a warm iron pit, and they listen with great interest. In turn, they tell me of their forging on a great wheel, and of that first moment when they felt the sticky substance they were formed of harden, and how they felt a mixture of pride and regret. Pride, that they were now as hard as everything they had known but the Wheel itself, but regret that they were no longer the soft, light pieces of putty that they had been, but a firmer and colder thing, useful at last but moldable no more.

 

The darkness we are in intensifies. The noises we have heard from beyond the Wall subside. It is night, and the bowls are silent. The platter I rest on gives a sigh of contentment followed by a quiet little clatter so we know that it is resting. On the left side of me, the side closest to the thin part of my crust, are the plates. Unlike my friends the bowls and I, these fellows are old, months old. I am but newly made, and I know little of the outside world. I can hear the plates stirring, making low, hollow sounds as they twitch, so I know that I can speak to them without disturbing their rest.

 

“My good plates,” I say softly. I see nothing, but I hear the china in question swivel as they turn to face me. “I am but a young pie, but I have longings to know more of the world beyond these wooden walls. Many a time, I know, you are taken from this chamber into the world of light and sound beyond. What lies beyond the brilliant light that often penetrates our dwelling?”

 

There is a long silence, deeper and heavier than the preceding one. I wait patiently. Finally, the top plate answers, his voice grave and worn with sorrow. “Please do not speak to us of such things,” he says. “It is a cruel place, filled with unspeakable doings. The last thing we want to do is pass knowledge of what takes place in it to those most susceptible to its ills.”

 

“He’s got a right to know,” says the plate two below the top plate. Her voice is sharper and quicker than her leader. “Sheltering him will only make it worse when he is called for. Is it Christmas yet? Does anyone know the day?”

 

“What is a day?” murmurs a teacup from the corner. Part of it has broken off, and the sharp edges jutting from its frame have marked it for permanent exclusion. The plate who is now speaking ignores it and speaks again to me, this time even more quickly.

 

“The thing you have to understand is that the hands that take hold of us three times per day are part of a greater and more sinister being than any mere food article like yourself can comprehend. Bowls and cups are good at seeing inside themselves, but only a flat plate such as me can see all around her. They are merely instruments to transport us high above the earth at the whim of a great gaping Hole that has consumed countless creatures like yourself — food articles, in other words. No one knows what is —”

 

“Stop,” I say. My breath has been taken away. “There are more things like me? I thought I was the only being that was made from crust and fruit! Have there been others before me? Am I not alone?”

 

“Others?” laughs the plate darkly, speaking even more quickly. “In my time, hundreds of unwitting youths like yourself have been placed here, only to —”

 

“Be silent,” demands the plate on the top. “You’ve poisoned the mind of this pie enough. He doesn’t need to know the details of the horror world outside yet.”

 

“Everyone deserves to know his fate,” snarls a plate at the bottom of the pile.”

 

“It’s all lies!” squeaks a bowl from the top of one of the stacks. It has been awakened by our raised voices. “I have seen the world myself, between my times spent with plants within my rim! It is beautiful! A green-and-yellow checkered pattern hovers six feet above me at all times. A great warmth comes from the side of the room, with light dancing on the pattern above me! Other than that, I see nothing!”

 

“You see what you wish to see!” hisses the second plate to speak, the one who has told me the most frightening tale of my short days in this world. “Your walls blind you to the outside world! I, on the other hand, see the truth in all things! And it is horrible!”

 

The bowls I see are trembling with agitation. Insulting their perception is the most offensive thing that could ever be done to them. One of them launches itself off the stack with a loud rattle. We all watch, half-stupefied, half-horrorstruck. None of us have ever moved half so much as this one bowl is doing now.

 

It flies high over me, crashing straight into the third-from-the-top plate, she who claims to sees the truth in all things. The bowl bounces off of her and falls to the floor below with a deafening crash. He splits in two, as does the plate he has struck.

 

My own platter has awoken. Horror-struck by the carnage he has seen, he pulls himself towards the Wall, no doubt hoping for a little light of day to relieve the panic this night has become. He is not a good judge of time, I think, until I remember that he was slumbering and cannot be expected to know how much time has passed. The scraping sound he makes as he moves rattles my nerves. We have never made half of a quarter so much noise as this before. I hear soft thumps and an unintelligible, booming voice from beyond the Wall. What is happening?

 

The Wall flies open before me. We all freeze as a small fragment of light pours into our chamber. A great hand reaches in and feels around. It is smoother than others I have seen, and smaller. Suddenly, I feel its touch on me. It grips my crust. I wiggle to get away, remembering the cryptic words of the plate who has passed beyond our sight. A second hand grips me! I am unable to move, and slowly I am pulled out, past the Wall. Back to the side where I was created. Hope rises in me as I think of this, but it vanishes when I behold the massive thing that has me in its hands.

 

The hands that grip me are connected to long, spoon-like appendages that are attached to a great body, higher than I am wide. Two knifelike sticks hold this body twice my diameter from the ground. I look down in fright. If I fall, I will perish.

 

Then I look up. Long, curly yellow wires hang from around a round-shaped pale blob. From the blob two orbs point at me. A red lump twice the size of any of my fruit sits between these. And below this is the Hole. I see in it and fear. It is enormous!

 

The thing grips me as it moves me swiftly across a great open space, one thousand times the size of my shelter. I tremble violently but cannot break free from its grasp. We head for the convergence of two great Walls, higher and stronger by far than the one that now separates me from all that I thought I knew. I make one last effort to break free from the thing’s hands. It fails. The thing reaches the convergence and lowers me as well as itself. What is going to happen to me? I wish I didn’t know so much about what was going on, but I couldn’t take my knowledge back.

 

Then a hand reaches straight into me! My whole body is on fire as my crust parts and the fruit inside me bubbles out. I feel the hand distending my very structure. It will not reach my heart before the worst has come. But no! It has found the plum at my center and is tearing it out through my insides. I am falling apart. With a great wrench, my plum breaks out of me and disappears into the Hole.

 

As I pass into whatever comes after Piehood, my mind transcends all boundaries and I understand the world and everything that goes on in it. I can comprehend the thing’s speech and know its name. As I leave I hear it say “What a good boy am I!”

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Lawl i read this 3 times... i didnt understand it the first 2. Then i realised you were talking about cutlery.

 

I thought you were talking about something else... :P

 

Nice work eman, it was good ^^

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