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Print at May 23, 2019 3:48:29 AM
|Posted by wuppypuppy2 at Apr 30, 2013 8:19:27 PM|
Re: [ENTRY THREAD] Piratical Pourquoi Storytime! [Deadline April 30, 2013]
Why Parrots Stay
By Wayfarer of Meridian
Long ago on the Malachite ocean lived an old alchemist named Corros. He lived in a shack by the waterfront, alone apart from his many pets. Although he was happy with the lively yipping, mewling and hissing of his companions, he desperately missed the sound of a human voice at night. During the day, he got by listening to the comforting pleasantries of his customers, but every evening, he left it all for the loneliness of his little shack.
His loneliness weighed heavily on his health. He developed insomnia, and came to his shoppe every morning exhausted. He became cranky, irritable and unpleasant, and soon even his most loyal customers took their business elsewhere. He became lonelier and lonelier as business grew worse and worse. One day not long after the last customers stopped shopping there, Corros nailed boards to the door and windows of his apothecary, deciding to close for good.
That evening, something inside him shifted, and he began talking to his pets and to himself. "I'm just so tired of being alone," he confided to his rabbit Bunbun. "No offence, but rabbits just aren't the same as pirates."
Bunbun hopped away.
This went on for months. Corros remained unhappy, but having creatures to talk to did stop his health from deteriorating further. His pets grew to accept his one-sided conversations, and would sometimes even whimper or purr in understanding. He took to pampering them, in gratitude for their companionship.
One morning, after baking his puppies some biscuits, he tossed the crumbs outside. Almost immediately, a bright green-and-red parrot flew down from a nearby palm tree to peck at the crumbs he dropped. Out of habit, Corros greeted the bird. "Hello, birdy. Good morning."
"Hello," it squawked in reply, not looking up from the crumbs.
Corros must have jumped ten feet in the air in surprise. "You understand me?!" he exclaimed. "You can talk?"
"Understand," it replied.
The look of exuberance on Corros's face was absolute. "Could you stay with me?" he asked excitedly, leaning closer. "I have no one to talk to."
"No talk," it parroted, hopping away.
Desperate, Corros lunged for the bird, but it flew away, squawking angrily. Corros straightened miserably, watching the parrot fly away until it disappeared from view entirely.
The next morning, Corros baked again, just to have crumbs to feed the parrot should it return. It did, though it squawked at him mistrustfully when he stepped too close, so he backed up, watching the bird thoughtfully. "Hello again," he said after a minute. "I'm sorry about yesterday."
"Yesterday," it repeated.
"Anyway, I wanted to tell you that if you came to live with me, I'd feed you every day. You'd never have to go hungry. How does that sound?"
"Never," the bird squawked.
Corros's face fell, and he went back inside, lonely as ever.
That night, his insomnia struck worse than ever. The sound of another voice had rekindled something within him. He tossed and turned; nothing felt comfortable. His loneliness was overwhelming.
By the wee hours of the morning, he'd grown angry. "Stupid bird!" he cursed at the darkness. "Stupid scuppering bird! I was okay on my own, but now-- now it's all wrong!" His pets skittered away from him, frightened. The darkness around him churned, inspiring darker thoughts. "If only I could capture it, somehow... Then I'd never have to be alone again." He rose from his bed, all thoughts of sleep abandoned, and began to pace.
By dawn, inspiration had struck, and he raced to his apothecary to begin. He tore the planks from the door and windows, and flung the door wide open. With shaking hands, he measured out ingredients for his concoction. He worked long and hard, boiling, mashing, stirring and straining until late into the night.
As midnight struck, he held the vial to the lamplight, grinning victoriously. "The strongest glue in the world!"
He closed up shop and walked home in darkness, cradling the vial close to his chest the entire time. Every noise set him on edge, from the rustling grasses to the crash of the waves.
When he arrived home, he baked again. His dog Daphne padded over to him as the cookies baked, and he stroked her head, murmuring to her soothingly. "By tomorrow, girl, we'll have a new family member. Won't that be nice?"
She whimpered and wagged her tail hesitantly before leaving.
The cookies finished baking and he crumbled them into bits before stuffing the crumbs in his pockets.
Then, patiently, he waited for dawn.
He emerged from his shack as the sun was rising, allowing himself plenty of time to prepare. Sitting, he took fistfuls of crumbs from a bag in his pocket and scattered them in front of him. He then proceeded to scatter a trail of crumbs on himself, leading up to his left shoulder. Finally, he poured some of the glue on the same shoulder.
It wasn't long before the parrot arrived. At first, it stayed around the periphery, pecking hesitantly at the crumbs farthest from Corros, but soon enough it hopped closer, and closer, until it was on Corros's leg.
He could hardly contain his excitement; he almost shivered with glee, but managed to quiet the urge by grinning maniacally.
Finally, it hopped onto his shoulder.
"At last!" Corros screamed. "A companion!"
The parrot squawked and flapped its wings, but couldn't loosen itself.
"You'll never fly free, birdy, this is the strongest glue in existence."
"Free, free!" the bird called, but it was stuck fast.
Corros slept soundly that night, for the first time in months.
Soon, with the aid of a voice in his ear, Corros recovered from his insomnia and became happier. He even reopened the apothecary. When anyone asked about the parrot on his shoulder or his new, happy outlook on life, he pointed to a new shelf he'd hammered into the wall, which advertised his new product: UltraGlue.
He lived happily ever after, until the parrot pecked him to death in his sleep, by which time UltraGlue was a household name and there was a parrot on every shoulder.
Wayfarer of Meridian
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