Never Get to Work Too Early

Jasper was a man of action. It was in his blood. From sunup to sundown he was doing. It was how he’d managed to build a business and keep it successful for almost forty-five years. And he’d done it with his own inimitable flair. He fancied himself in the light of Moore County’s other most famous resident, Davy Crockett.

But Jasper was bad with numbers. Smartly, he always made sure to keep close by him assistants who weren’t burdened with that handicap. Lem, his favorite nephew, had most recently stepped into the role of bookkeeper as Jasper gradually began to relinquish the daily duties of his business. Still, at the age of sixty, Jasper was always there to greet the first employees arriving for work.

On one typical morning, Jasper was alone at his office doing the weekly paperwork. Some of the reports he needed weren’t at his desk so he got up to retrieve them from the safe. Leaning over the dial his eyes glossed over.


For ten minutes, the dial clicked left and right as Jasper tried every possible combination but never came the sound of the bolts.


Jasper checked his pocket watch. Still another half hour before Lem arrives. He kicked with all his might against the lock. Somewhere wrapped within the hollow thud of boot against steel was a crunching sound, his big toe shattering into tiny pieces.

“Confound it!”

Precisely thirty minutes later, Lem arrived.

“You okay, Uncle Jack?”

Jasper never saw a doctor.

The blood poisoning set in rapidly.

On October 9th, 1910, Jasper opened his eyes and requested, “One last drink, please.” Jasper “Jack” Daniels, master distiller, passed later in the night.

There are several lessons to be learned from this tale but only one of them is a first cause.


The Avatar

Little Sathya was a happy and extroverted child. He loved candy and he was chubby. He loved to dance and to sing and to pray. And he loved being generous, especially to the numberless poor that surrounded his village of Puttaparthi in steamy southern India. All of the villagers loved him back. The cowherds and the beggars, the young and the old, the wise and the feeble-minded, his parents grew perturbed at the flow of visitors to the door.

Despite his popularity, Sathya was still just another boy. He’d done nothing remarkable and nothing remarkable had happened to him in his thirteen years. Nothing, that is, until sunset on March 8, 1940.

Sathya was walking with some friends along the crest of Serpent Hill when he suddenly shrieked in pain. His friends turned to find him hopping up and down, holding his foot.

“A black scorpion stung my toe!” Sathya screamed before an abrupt faint took him to the ground.

Some of his friends ran for help while those remaining searched and searched for the culprit. They never found it. It had simply vanished. None had seen the scorpion, none but Sathya.

Over the next two months, Sathya’s parents desperately sought a cure for his newly strange behavior. A line of physicians and exorcists could offer no results. He stopped eating. The once active and boisterous child had become still and silent. His comatose-like meditations were broken only by spontaneous hymns of Sanskrit poetry, a language which he’d never been taught. His recitations of Hindu verse proved flawless and encyclopedic.

When his father became frightened at the boy’s materialization of objects from thin air, he raised a stick to him, “Who are you?!”

“I am Sai Baba,” he answered.

Sai Baba would later reveal himself to his followers as God-incarnate.


My Theory Stands

"Not" writing for a weekend continues to garner more "followers" than when I post regularly. Thanks and welcome to SixWordFractal!


Forty-Seven Days

Sam turned his one good ear towards the woman, “Run that by me again, miss."

It was a crowded day and rather noisy for the Museum of Modern Art. A group of school children was moving by, so Genevieve had to lean in close to the security guard for him to hear. “It’s the one down at the end!”

Sam stared off into the ether and Genevieve wasn’t sure if he’d heard her this time either. She began again, “I said it’s...”

“I heard you,” Sam said, suddenly coming back to the moment, “I ain’t deaf.” He still didn’t move from his place along the wall.

She was a New Yorker and fairly accustomed to rudeness but Genevieve reddened and raised her hands at her sides.


The old guard gave a slight whine and looked at his watch.

"All right, it’s gettin’ on my lunch break anyway. It’s right by the cafeteria you say, right?”

She nodded and maneuvered her way down the hall. The line for the cafeteria was long and it stretched out past the sign that read “The Last Works of Henri Matisse.” On the wall near the cash registers was a painted cut-out of a sailboat. She went up to it and held up a catalog.

Sam squinted at the catalog and then at the painting and then back at the catalog again. “You the artist?” he asked.

Genevieve Habert reddened for the second time, “No, but...”

“I can’t imagine we’d make that kind of mistake here. See, we can’t be responsible for the printers, miss. ‘Sides, how do you know what’s up and what’s down?”

It was December 4, 1961, and Henri Matisse’s “Le Bateau” had been hanging upside down for forty-seven days and not a single soul, including Matisse’s own son, had noticed.