Thursday, April 15, 2010

A RUBBER DUCKY'S LAMENT (flash fiction)


Props to my bud Tim Twelves for posting the sketches you see below on his Facebook page. It bummed me out so much, that I figured I'd spin a yarn about it.

Bert would give anything to go back to the time when their apartment was alive with love and friendship.

It's been all too quiet for three years now and God, how he missed Ernie's verve, his laugh and spirit. He left so suddenly and to this day Bert grieves as much as he did as the day it happened. His friends from 'The Street' -- more like family members, really -- have urged him to open up about it, but Bert's still unwilling to talk. It hurts too much.

Making matters worse, the dreams have started again. It usually hits around 3 a.m. and in them, Bert would see him, illuminated, and exclaim, "Ernie, you're back. I have so much to tell you!"

Ernie would hug his dear friend and then simply vanish. The cold sweat usually stays with Bert until morning as he lies shivering in his darkened room, unable to fall back asleep. The vicious cycle kept him awake nightly during the witching hours of grief and asleep when the sun shined through the apartment windows.

And even after these three long and painful years, Bert still can't bear to get rid of Ernie's bed or belongings. And sure, in an attempt to make it easier, Bert would try to remember the things that Ernie did to infuriate him - and boy, there were many - but it was usually futile. The wretched grip of melancholy was planted firmly on his neck, ensuring that the lump in his throat would go nowhere.

The memories would keep coming. Every time, he entered the bathroom, Bert would remember how much he hated that song Ernie used to sing yet would easily welcome his ghost to sing it just one more time. And yes, even after three years, he can't even seem to get rid of that goddamn rubber ducky who just sits, perched on the tub, waiting for his old fried.

In a way, it looks even sadder than Bert.

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for that! Seriously.

    I know it's been a long time, but it still hurts me too.

    Gonna drink a drink tonight in memory of fallen muppets.

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  2. Anthony, Bert and Ernie were just great and so was that little tale. A top write and the cool sketches added to it.

    Thanks, David.

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  3. sniff, I'll be hoisting one for em too.. nice write ant and great sketches by your pal..

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  4. Fucking Great Tale man, great and I mean it. The Pictures added another dimension. I'm sorry Ernie had to go away.

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  5. This reminds me of the old rumor that in the African edition, Bert contracted and died from HIV/AIDS.

    Sad and cute. The sketches are great, too.

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  6. Whooooah - Ernie died?! :-(

    The piece goes really well with the drawings, I'm quite upset now!

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  7. another great one. love the sketches. being a man who still can't get over sesame street, it really hit home.

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  8. Excellent story, Ant, and you're right about the sketches. They're downright heart breaking. Poor Bert. Poor Ducky.

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  9. You spun that yarn and smoked it too, teehee. I love seeing cartoon characters in 'real life' settings.
    Great sketches.

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  10. Sometmes life stinks. But this story doesn't. Great revamp of our old friends.

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  11. WOW. Great tale Ant! Loved it.

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  12. I always knew they were special friends...



    Great artwork, a gem of a story to go with it...

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  13. Aw, I miss them already. I just read a story with these two to my daughter the other night. Rubber ducky indeed. Great tribute, and the sketches are fabu. peace...

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  14. Beautiful Tale, Great one, I loved it.

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  15. Singing the alphabet and counting paperclips doesn't cut it. Friends are friends.

    Ernie (and that damn rubber ducky) is dark without Burt's light. You played this well.

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  16. Ohhhh.... I actually teared up. I want to hear the whole story. Seriously, I loved that. And yes, the sketches are fantastic too.

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  17. The story and the sketches go so well together. Nice work.

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  18. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this. I may even come back and tell you again just to make sure you really, really, know how wonderful this is. The images are fantastic (fantastically sad!) but the piece stands on its own.

    "It hurts too much." Effin' brilliant.

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  19. When I read this story (and I read it three times), I don't see Bert and Ernie (in spite of the beautiful drawings), I see my step-mother after Daddy died. The lament could well have been hers. It is heart-wrenching.

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  20. Thanks everyone for reading! I truly appreciate it...

    I think Madame Z hit the nail on the head. I wrote this piece more as an exploration of grief ... as told through these great sketches.

    Poor Bert... ;)

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  21. So Bert died in this scenario? That's awful! Couldn't you have sent him off to Disney with a promotion and more money?

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  22. Ernie was the one who passed away... Bert is mourning

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  23. How can a story about two puppets from Sesame Street tug at your heart strings SO much?
    And the drawings... unimaginably good -- frameable!
    Such an odd little pitch to knock so far out of the ball park. Great stuff!

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  24. How did I miss this one? I'm more of an Animal or Cookie monster person myself, but this was a great exploration of grief.

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