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The Vase: A Short Story


TheLizard

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There once was a species of creatures called men. Men were a bipedal group of animals capable of speech and what they called “rational†thought. Men were born, then they would grow, then oftentimes they would assist in the reproduction process, and then they would die. Men were not sure why they did any of these things, but they did them all the same.

One of these men was called Andrew. Andrew was an average Caucasian (meaning light skinned) man who lived in an average Caucasian (meaning upper-middle class) town. Andrew had not yet assisted in the reproduction process.

Andrew owned a car. It was a blue Volkswagen Beetle. From far away it looked like a little blue dot.

Andrew had a job. He was an accountant in

a small office building. The building was designed by a man (whose name, coincidentally, was also Andrew). This man had decided that it would be nice to paint the building blue. From far away it looked like a little blue dot.

Andrew’s town was in a state called Kansas in a country called the United States of America on a planet called Earth. Earth was a nondescript, yet life-form sheltering planet which orbited an average star situated in an outer arm of the Milky Way galaxy. From far away it looked like a little blue dot.

One day, Andrew decided to go for a walk. This was unusual for Andrew, who, like many men in his town, disdained physical activity. However, it was a day that can only be described as “lovelyâ€, so Andrew went for a walk. Andrew walked aimlessly until he came to a small, relatively ancient shopping center. A shopping center was a place men went to obtain things they wanted. In this shopping center was an antiques shop. Andrew felt the urge to enter, so he did.

The urge pushed Andrew to a dusty corner of the shop, where, sitting on a table, was a blue vase. Andrew had never seen anything as beautiful as this vase. He stared at it for what may have been a second, or may have been an eternity. Time was an illusion as long as the beauty of the vase was within his grasp.

Eventually, an elderly biped asked Andrew “Are you going to buy that?†Andrew was startled, but regained his composure in order to ask how it costs. Nobody is sure how much the elderly antiques man stated, but it is certain that Andrew did not have enough money (small metal discs and larger rectangular pieces of paper that men used to obtain goods and services), because he dejectedly walked away.

The next morning, Andrew woke up and knew he had to see the vase again. This time he took his blue Beetle to the antiques shop, because he was in a hurry, and cars were faster than walking. Once again, he stared at the vase for a rather long time. He knew he couldn’t have it, but that made it all the more beautiful. Sadly, he had to wrench himself away from its spellbinding vision, for it was time for him to drive to the blue office building.

Andrew was supposed to think about numbers while he was at his job, but he could only think about the vase.

“Why do I love that vase so much?†Andrew wondered.

“Maybe part of me thinks it could help me impress a woman,†Andrew thought. A woman was another type of biped that completed the reproduction process. There was very little that men wouldn’t do to impress a woman.

“That can’t be it,†thought Andrew. “It could be that I want it to improve my standing in life, or perhaps I could sell it myself to get more money.†Class and money were two things that some men would take as many or more drastic measures for than they would for a woman.

None of this reasoning really satisfied Andrew, but he still knew that he wanted that vase. It was his, after all, he thought. He was the only one who appreciated its beauty, he was the one who could love it, he was the one who could give it the respect it deserved. The more Andrew thought, the angrier Andrew became. He ranted and raved throughout the house, kicking furniture, breaking plates, and otherwise causing a mess.

Andrew resolved to steal the vase. Stealing was taking something without leaving money for it. Most men considered stealing to be a bad thing to do.

That night, Andrew set out to commit the deed. It was very easy, really. The windows were thin, there was no alarm system, and nobody ever stayed around that part of town at night.

Grinning with euphoria, Andrew grabbed the vase, and escaped in his Beetle.

“You poor thing,†Andrew said to the vase as he drove back to his home. “You were shoved in a corner where nobody loved you, nobody knew of your beauty. I know how that feels, you know. We’re not going to feel that way any more. We’re together now.â€

Andrew pulled into his driveway. He carefully lifted the vase out of the car. He was so excited to find the perfect spot for the vase in his house that he ran to the front door. He did not notice the step leading to his porch. Andrew tripped. In order to save himself, he let go of the vase. He heard it crash to the ground. Andrew looked down. Through his tears, all he could see were little blue dots.

Edited by Guest
Made the paragraphs more distinguishable
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I like this work a lot, Tim. Well thought out and executed. My interest was sustained throughout.

There were a couple areas easily corrected:

Andrew was supposed to think about numbers while he was at his job, but he could only think about the vase.

At that point Andrew is in his office ...

“Why do I love that vase so much?†Andrew wondered.

... still in his office ...

“Maybe part of me thinks it could help me impress a woman,†Andrew thought. A woman was another type of biped that completed the reproduction process. There was very little that men wouldn’t do to impress a woman.

...still in his office (?) ...

“That can’t be it,†thought Andrew. “It could be that I want it to improve my standing in life, or perhaps I could sell it myself to get more money.†Class and money were two things that some men would take as many or more drastic measures for than they would for a woman.

... where is he now ...

"None of this (indicates present tense - we haven't lost any time) reasoning really satisfied Andrew, but he still knew that he wanted that vase. It was his, after all, he thought. He was the only one who appreciated its beauty, he was the one who could love it, he was the one who could give it the respect it deserved. The more Andrew thought, the angrier Andrew became. He ranted and raved throughout the house, kicking furniture, breaking plates, and otherwise causing a mess.

... then Andrew is at home breaking plates. Since all movements were so precisely choreographed before, this sudden shift in location seemed awkward to me. Perhaps somewhere prior to this paragraph you could write a transitional portion about Andrew grousing about the vase, as he drove his Beetle home OR he is kicking OFFICE furniture and breaking his calculator machine.

One other awkward area was a sentence that could use a rewrite:

Class and money were two things that some men would take as many or more drastic measures for than they would for a woman.

After reading it through a couple of times, I got it, but as easy as the rest of the story was to grasp, this sentence threw it slightly out of tempo. Try something like: "Getting class and money were two things for which men would take measures more drastic than the measures for getting a woman."

I feel you did an outstanding job with your word economy and the illusory world you created through imagery, Tim. Congraulations!

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... then Andrew is at home breaking plates. Since all movements were so precisely choreographed before, this sudden shift in location seemed awkward to me. Perhaps somewhere prior to this paragraph you could write a transitional portion about Andrew grousing about the vase, as he drove his Beetle home OR he is kicking OFFICE furniture and breaking his calculator machine.

You're absolutely right, somehow I completely overlooked that.

One other awkward area was a sentence that could use a rewrite:

Class and money were two things that some men would take as many or more drastic measures for than they would for a woman.

After reading it through a couple of times, I got it, but as easy as the rest of the story was to grasp, this sentence threw it slightly out of tempo. Try something like: "Getting class and money were two things for which men would take measures more drastic than the measures for getting a woman."

Yeah, I hated that sentence, but I just couldn't fix it. I'll use your suggestion, I like that much better.

I'm glad you liked it overall!

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