Feb 7, 2012

Magpie#103

This week's prompt from Willow Manor is a striking though sombre picture.


"Ah! There you are, Simpleforth. Tuesday 11a.m. Should you not be in a physics class?"
"I'm doing physics, Sir. And should you not say 'Here' rather than 'There' you are?  I am after all here, rather than somewhere over there."
"We talk about you in the staff-room, Simpleforth.  More lip than the rest of the Sixth Form put together.  So - before I haul you back into School - what is the nature of this physics you claim to be doing?"
"I'm listening for coffins. You see, Sir, these days -"
"You're listening for WHAT?"
" - lots of people want to be buried with their mobile phones in case they weren't really dead when they died."
"Weren't really dead!  Of course they were dead. This is a cemetery. Everyone's dead."
"You aren't dead, Sir.  I'm not dead.  And some of these (he points down) might not be. Then they need help. We really should try to unbury the undead. That's why I'm listening."
"You're listening, but I can't belive what I'm hearing.  Please explain - the big red crystal, the car battery, those headphones and that somewhat disgruntled TV antenna."
"The signals from underground are too weak to be decoded by a mobile phone above ground. I've tried with mine, Sir, and never heard anything. The underground is a radio blackspot -"
"You never got any calls from underground on your mobile phone in a cemetery? Should you be surprised? Should I be surprised? Of course not. Nothing about you surprises your teachers anymore. This has ceased to be funny, Simpleforth."
"But sir, if you were accidentally interred because some imported doctor who couldn't speak English said you were dead and the family agreed, wouldn't you want someone to be listening when you started knocking on wood, so to speak.  So I'm setting up a sort of giant crystal-set to see if I can pick up their distress signals.  If it works I can hire it out to the recently bereaved so they can be on the safe side."
"Simpleforth! If you were to be numbered amongst the undead, I'm not sure I'd want to be on the safe side.  Some people are better off d . . oh, never mind. Now. Back to school."
(Master seizes Simpleforth by an ear and starts to haul him away)
"Sir!  Sir!  Stop!  I think I'm picking something up! From right below our feet . . "

30 comments:

  1. I've been so many other places rather than blogging these days that I forgot how much I enjoy reading your works! :)

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  2. You have such an imagination, Doctor! Always a pleasure.

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  3. How I wish you'd write the next chapter! Hehehe! Though tales of being buried alive might furnish a whole book, never mind a chapter...

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    1. For Hamlet, buried alive was one of the "consumations devoutly to be desired." (With Ophelia, of course.)

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  4. I enjoyed the dialogue. A very creative response to the prompt. Thank you for sharing this.

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  5. Your dialogue always rings true for me. Love it.

    Pearl

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  6. That’s actually quite unsettling - but a damned clever idea - where can I get one?

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  7. Don't stop! This is also really silly!

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  8. Conjures wonderful mental images for me of a cross between Monty Python and Sean of the Dead! You're a real hoot Doctor!

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  9. admirable job.

    I am amazed that you have the patience writing a story that is full of plots!

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  10. This is sad realy, that poor boy so misunderstood by his teachers...The agony of his existance must be almost unbearable!

    http://wanderwithoutbeinglost.blogspot.com/2012/02/grave-so-fine.html

    Wander

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    1. He has an enquiring mind and therefore represents a threat to his teachers, for teachers ask only questions to which they already know the answers.

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  11. Isn't that why wakes were held, to be sure that the body really was dead before it was interred?

    Dear me, no peace, even in the grave . . .

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  12. oh my- so silly- what would Poe have done with cell phones....

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  13. I for one am glad that there are still enterprising young Simpletons around..you never know..is that a phone ringing??

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    1. Thanks Lyn. But young Simpleforth is no simpleton.

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  14. Ha! You have a definite handle on the Pythonesque! And I love how you transmuted the image into something silly. One quick typo--last sentence, I think you mean "our" feet--

    K.

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    1. Thank you, K. I will fax the tpyo right new! (Or something like that)

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  15. This is just brilliant! I enjoyed it tremendously.

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  16. loved this...this was so much fun. What a great story. I really am liking Simpleforth

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  17. I've had similar thought of being buried alive. It used to happened and I'm sure can still.
    I've decided that creamation will solve theproblem of waking up under ground.
    rel

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    1. Fun- and yet not of course if it happened to someone...
      radio's, well, the battery would eventually die- but it would outlast the air in a coffin! thanks.

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  18. Loved this post! Really a great story and like others commented, wish you could continue this story...

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    1. I will. I will! Watch this space.
      (There are other Simpleforth escapades below . . . just keep scrolling down!)

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  19. I want to be buried with my cell phone...just in case...

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  20. I have an ap on my Smart Phone that will dig me out in the event of my misinterpreted demise.

    love the story. Simpleforth ain't so dumb.

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    1. Smart phones were designed for smart arses!

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  21. Love Simpleforth . . . keep 'em coming!

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