The Naked Flagpole

My first prose fiction in a while — I’ve been spending my time on scripts and music (and preparing for After, Life) lately. And while it’s time to get cracking back on Exile Issues, this isn’t from it. Instead, it’s a completely hypothetical unnamed young adult novel. We’ll see how that goes. But it has Terry Pratchettian footnotes, so that’s something.

The feel of the wind was the first thing I noticed when I woke up. It’s weird, looking back, that that would be the case. The wind wasn’t really all that important in the grand scheme of things. It was just a symptom of the real issue, as my mom would say. She’s a doctor and probably the reason I’m such a nerd, but you’ll meet her later. Back to the important things.

Well, not really. The next thing I noticed was the sound of the wind. It wasn’t loud, really. More concave. Like something that isn’t really there was pushing out the static quiet that should have been. That’s not a great explanation, is it? Try walking sideways with a glass over your ear and you’ll get what I mean.

Of course, that’s just another symptom too. The real issue only hit me in third place: That I was falling.

“Fjord,” I muttered inwardly.*

I technically felt the softness of the grass next, but since the grass was only about an inch above the hardness of the ground, that’s what wound up dominating my senses.

I looked up and saw the flagpole from which I’d been hanging, and felt that the wind had died down (or, more accurately, that I had stopped moving through the air–thanks, Mom). The eerie lack of sound disappeared too, as cheering wooshed in to replace it.

It was only then that I discovered my complete nudity**.

*1 Let me make something clear. I didn’t say “Fjord.” I screamed something, and it was the kind of thing that makes old southern ladies fan themselves. But I’m also entirely willing to sacrifice factualness in the pursuit of fame and wealth. You see, I want this book in every school, library, and day care center in the known universe. But there are parents out there whose hobbies include going through the books in schools, libraries, and day care centers looking for so-called naughty words, and making a big fuss about how they have to protect the children by removing them. I don’t want that to happen, so whenever there’s some cursing, I’ll use a whimsical, understated alternative. It’ll be our secret, eh?

**Okay, we’ll have to give up on the day care centers.


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