Mr. Tiggles FleasBy Norman Turrell
Marg examined the fleas she collected in an old jar of raspberry jam. She had removed the jam and put it in a jar of lemon curd. The lemon curd was moved to orange marmalade. The marmalade sat in bowl waiting to be moved to a pot of honey, which was at the top of Thursday's shopping list. She didn't like sugary foods.
She stroked Mr. Tiggles, an ultramarine, cadmium yellow and brick red striped cat as he eyed the sickly orange goo on the table. He knew Marg wouldn't allow him to eat it as it was wrong to do so. It hadn't been wrong to dye him such a strange colour. As a cat, he always found difficulty with the application of meaning to moral propositions, so he decided to purr instead. It is absolutely good to purr.
Marg was trying to decide what fleas ate. It was getting depressing to restock them from Mr. T's supply, even if it was inexhaustible. She lifted him to his cage and applied a little pat before clamping the heavy duty padlock in place and throwing a jet black cover over it.
In the darkness, the cat curled up on his cashmere pillow. He purred again, for his pleasure and the practice, because practice makes... something. A divine intervention interrupted the thought. Life did seem very complicated today, he pondered as he went to sleep.
Marg looked in the kitchen cupboard. Chocolate, cocoa powder, jellybeans, and caramel-coated popcorn. She shook her head and moved the popcorn in front of the chocolate and then moved it back again, undecided as to its correct position.
Nope. No joy here. Fleas are too small to eat sweet things because they are black and it was eleven thirty in the morning. Marg looked very serious as she passed their death sentence but approved of the law for the guilty.
Realising that time was running out for everything, she scurried back to her chair and switched on the radio. She loved the way it chose just the right program for her at any time of day. She loved it with a passion, a free devotion, an infinite bliss fulfilled. Exactly the same as that deep engorged, spewing energy of hatred that enveloped her during the wait for the old valve set to warm up.
She snuggled up, hugging her mug of tea. The mug read 'I'm a teapot' in bright red letters over the picture of a smoldering pipe.
"Good evening. Do not adjust your set. I'm sorry, I'll read that again. That again. Thoughts Dave?"
"Not at the moment Alan."
"Good. In sport today we saw the end of the 200 years injury time extension in the America versus The Universe tiddly-winks final, due to the War that broke out over a technical foul. America squidgered their way to a resounding victory with a blitz of all six winks and 20 million dead."
"Quite a show that was Alan."
"Indeed Dave. America went on record stating that they were pleased with their Carnovsky on the last wink, and could not see any point in the inanity of MAD."
"I think they have gone a long way to resolving that issue with such stunning devastation, don't you?"
"Your vocabulary and insight are picking up a bit, aren't they Dave?"
"Ah yes, an inevitable progression of awareness and understanding gained through experience."
Marg switched off the set with a heavy thump on the oak wood casing. She liked Americans. Marching to her bureau, she retrieved the warranty for her Gismo Radio insurance. Scouring the 5000 page document under a microscope for many hours revealed a sanity clause. She thought the sanity clause was only valid in December, but it seemed not. Sighing, she looked at the jar of fleas. At least they were happy.
This page was amended on 01/12/2011
Loved this story made me giggle I envisaged a beautifully eccentric mature woman. I giggle because I have lived next to a few Margs in my life and grown to love them as my friends. I felt the author found the character of Marg so much so that I could picture her and felt endeared.
Great piece of work loved it