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The Allegory Stupid of Jacob Starfish

Jacob Starfish pursued the brown-haired woman through the intersection. Cars honked. "Wait," he called. "I don't care about the bird, I just want--I just want to talk to you!" Still running, she turned, and he saw her right eye. She turned away immediately and jumped across the hood of a Honda Civic, her calf making a quick squeak as it slid across the metal. Her feet touched the ground and she resumed running.

Sprinting, Jacob thought for a moment about taking to the air, but was afraid of losing her on the crowded street. Also, he thought about naming the woman. "No," he thought. "In a minute I'll either catch her or lose her. She can tell me her name if I catch her, and if she gets away, I'll have plenty of time to make up something."

He had no time to be satisfied with his flawless reasoning! A giant business card for Rogers' Plumbing had somehow inserted itself between Jacob and his quarry! He hurtled towards it at a very fast speed! He turned invisible, and slammed hard into the side of a plumbing van!

He lay on the pavement for a moment, stunned. The pop of the van's metal skin returning to its original shape startled him back into his situation. Involuntarily, he returned to visibility. Through the traffic he saw the woman, who was staring at him, nearly concerned.

"Hey, buddy--can I HELP you?" A man in a blue shirt got out of the van, brandishing a pipe wrench.

"I'm fine, thanks," said Jacob, shuddering to his feet. The woman, perhaps seeing that Jacob was at least superficially okay, took off again. Jacob followed her down into the subway.

She jumped the turnstile. Jacob had been getting his MetroCard ready from the time she had started down the steps. With one deft motion, he swiped his card, rammed his stomach into the locked turnstile poles, and flipped forward onto his back, landing on the subway platform.

He coughed, then staggered to his feet a second time. Bright hissing filled his head. Down the platform, Jacob could see the woman standing there; no reasonable place to run. "Please," he said, shuffling toward her. "I'm sorry I chased you. I just--"

The screaming of the F train drowned him out. The woman called something back to him, but her words were similarly drowned out by the vibrations of the train's brakes. He felt dizzy. She boarded the train, three cars ahead of him. Jacob threw himself on board and began to make his way forward.

God appeared to Jacob. Right there, right in front of him. Blocking his path.

"Hello," said God.

"I sure didn't see this coming," said Jacob.

"No one expected you to," replied God, punching Jacob hard in the stomach.

Jacob fell to the floor, unconscious. Also dead. The train sped on to Coney Island.


Date Written: March 23, 2004
Author: Jacob Starfish
Average Vote: 3.3333

03/23/2004 Jacob Starfish: PART III
03/24/2004 Jacob Starfish: PART V
03/24/2004 Jacob Starfish: PART I
03/26/2004 anonymous (3): Green Prostitute : action : lvl 3 Curse. Green Prostitute Curses. GOD takes 15 dmg. Green Prostitute : 10 exp!
03/26/2004 anonymous: Yes, I guess I know where you're coming from. Shouldn't have tried breaking up this story into five parts. They don't make any sense this way. Would anyone even have started to read a 2100 word short?
03/26/2004 qualcomm: author, you shoulda just made this 5 or 6 different shorts and changed the names of the characters. that would have been more gratifying.
03/26/2004 anonymous: Huh. That's an idea. Gratification and the lack thereof is definitely an issue here, The thing is, all five parts fit together in the end. My mistake was in thinking that chapters III and IV (and V, I guess--yeesh) would stand on their own as shorts. That was really stupid. Oh well.
03/26/2004 John Slocum (4): I like this one better than the other 3. I and IV stand well on their own.
03/26/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum (3): Really, Slocum? I definitely like the first two better. I don't know if it's just the law of diminishing returns....yeah, maybe that or some other law.
03/26/2004 John Slocum: Jimson: just re-read all episodes. Agree with you about I, but still like IV better than II or III. This last sentence could have been about zeppelin.
03/27/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Don't listen to them Pony. You have a dream. Live it! Maybe you just have to move to acme longs, or something. Sometimes things aren't realized in the first four pages of a short story, you know? And one page is a very short story. Paragraphs are extraordinarily short stories. I was always under the assumption that short stories were one to fifteen pages long. But then again, do you know where you're going with this? Or is it just made up as you go along?
03/27/2004 Jacob Starfish: That's just it, old friend. This forum is maybe not the best way for this thing to unfold, is all. Is Acme Longs next to Acme Safeway?