They couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
But it was quite obviously a work of genius. It had to be. Everything edgar touched turned to literary gold and his final work would be no exception. Everyone was sure of it. Now if they could only figure out what it meant…
After 65 years of producing masterpiece upon masterpiece, after reshaping the grammatical standards of the English language, (after all, capitalizing one’s name was nothing more than a self-indulgent manifestation used to appear more grandiose than one actually is…surely you agree) edgar now lay dead– face down in what looked to be two day old pancakes, smothered in canned peaches and what smelled to be some sort of hot sauce.
It was a travesty to be sure, the world had lost its one true voice, but a small glimmer of redemption was soon found in a neat stack next to his writing desk. On chancing upon this discovery, edgar’s editor benita together with his assistant blu, forgot all pretenses of proper mourning etiquette as they launched themselves at the treasure trove of edgar’s final words. Their joy was soon replaced by uncomfortable confusion, and ultimately to flat out frustration as they sorted through the sixty or so pages.
Each line of each page they found contained no more than a few words. Sometimes the words would make sense, while others hinted at some impenetrable meaning that perhaps mere common folk, such as we, couldn’t possibly hope to understand. To show you what I mean, a sampling of edgar’s swan song can be found below:
Literary authorities from around the world each took their turn attempting to interpret edgar’s final words, and while they all agreed quite unanimously that it was impossibly brilliant, not one of them could bring any real understanding… at least that could be grasped by the rest of us poor sots. No matter; any true work of greatness is expected to outstrip our grasping attempts at definition, the authorities claimed, and therefore the pages must be published immediately and shared with the masses. And so it was.
Heralded as the greatest work ever to grace the page, edgar’s pages, as it was eventually dubbed, sold out worldwide almost immediately. It was soon considered a classic and quickly became a mandatory read for all high school juniors. To this very day, more than 378 years later, it is considered to be the standard to which all other works are measured (and ultimately fall short).
Incidentally, it was soon discovered that edgar was in fact murdered by his cantankerous neighbor who’s squabble with our poor edgar centered around the theft of lemons from the prize tree on his property. Years earlier, when asked about his hankering for swiping the fruit, edgar would merely shrug his boney shoulders, carefully remove his glasses and only after meticulously cleaning them on the cuff of his silken sleeve and securing them once again to the bridge of his beaklike nose would he answer- “I wanted lemonade”.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the follows tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Throughout my day I am required to compose various professional letters, emails invitations etc., and many times the word I want to use evades me. When this happens I have the habit of opening a fresh Word document, typing a synonym of the word I am looking for and launch the thesaurus function to find the word I want. At the end of the work day, as I close down each application on my computer in order to log off for the day, it is not uncommon for me to find this untitled document with an entire series of words that I have looked up that day. I’m fascinated with words and the English language and to my mind this string of random words paired up or sporadically typed on one page ends up looking like poetry (very fragmented poetry, but to me, that’s all the better).
Fun fact, the words used in the story are actually word pairings that I have collected over the years…that’s right, I jot them down and save them. Like I said, I love words. Total nerd.
TWO: Today I decided I wanted to make a batch of fresh lemonade. I have a tasty recipe (found online of course) and was craving a fresh, cool beverage… nothing else would do. Unfortunately, I am low on lemons. Ah, but my neighbor has a lemon tree that is ever so close to my backyard fence. And low and behold, there hanging in yellowy perfection with sunbeams winking off its plump skin is the biggest lemon I’ve seen this side of the Mississippi (don’t you just love sayings like that?). So on go the shoes, and up goes the Sam onto the fence. Of course the lemon is just out of my grasp and as I’m teetering over the edge of a sadly dilapidated fence, I am struck by the absurdity of the situation. Me, now a 30 year old, stealing lemons. For shame! So I gave it up (made a smaller batch, like a good little girl) and decided to write about it instead.
THREE: The number 378 is a number I kept running across today. Just thought I’d add it.
So, how did I do for my first story? Comments welcome.
Love & Squirrels.