– SHORT STORY –
Cretinous the Third lived up to the family name. He suffered with a severe inverse ratio between the amount of legs on his body and the number of brain cells in his head. Luckily for Cretinous, he possessed more than two legs.
His two “legs” were separated into elongated “trunks” of 500,000 individual strands made of fine porcelain-like bone. Half man, half millipede, this was not the most interesting thing about Cretinous the Third.
As his name suggests, he was the third Cretinous, and one of eight siblings. His father, the eldest of three sisters and two brothers held the auspicious post of Lead Speaker of the Ocean Cave Parliament, and commanded an impressive arsenal of super-violent space dogs, capable of treating any planet within the nine systems like a Saturday afternoon chew-toy. Unusually, Cretinous the Third waited two years whole years after his father’s death, before he commenced his campaign to occupy the still-vacant position of democratically-elected Lead Speaker. Unfortunately for Cretinous, The Ocean Cave Parliament ruled effectively without a Lead Speaker for two years. With huge support from the voters, they presented a far more dangerous rival than they would have, had cretinous begun his campaign shortly after his father’s death. So, why did Cretinous wait two years before campaigning to become Lead Speaker?
When his father died, Cretinous felt he was close to breakthrough in understanding the nature of the universe. Whilst he was learning how to ride a two wheeled, two peddled bicycle, which required full command and complete control over each of his one million porcelain-like “leg” strands simultaneously, Cretinous entered a deep meditative state. He saw coming towards him a figure riding on a bicycle. It was a vision of God in Cretinous’ image, displaying complete mastery over exactly the same challenge as that which he had never overcome. God used His one-million legs to control the cycle and rode confidently toward Cretinous, at speed. The deep meditative state and the vision of God on a bicycle lasted mere seconds, because that’s how long it took for Cretinous to fall from his bicycle and be torn from his meditation. But, those seconds had a profound effect on the milli-ped because in those seconds he saw God, perfect and beautiful telling, no showing him there was nothing that could not be achieved without dedication and commitment. Cretinous devoted every hour of every day to mastering the bicycle. It was before a mass congregation of fervent followers and curious naysayers that Cretinous demonstrated to everyone of the Ocean Cave what he’d achieved, thanks to the lesson God had taught him. Religious fervor of the previously war-like Ocean Cavers brought Cretinous to victory on a landslide. The capable members of Parliament resigned and Cretinous ushered in a new age of religious dominance.
One of the most most ambitions state-funded project under the leadership of Cretinous III was a bicycle that could be ridden by any creature whilst in a meditative state, thus allowing the rider to learn their own lesson, or metaphysically cycle to God.
Eventually, Cretinous went mad with power and broke over one hundred legs trying to prove he could ride a unicycle. His off-spring, Cretinous the Fourth, is so-far unique in not living up to the family name.
The above was taken from my ongoing attempt to “do” a Hitch-Hikers Guide-like story of my own. I think everyone knows what I mean by that. I, like so many before me, am attempting to ape the style of one of the wittiest writers of the 20th Century. And what’s wrong with that? Ape the style, sure. But not the content, which many have tried and failed to do (whilst being ridiculously obvious, not to mention unimaginative and dull).
My attempt features a teddy bear who eats worms, a jam sandwich on a mission and a spaceship that manufactures hologramtic crew members to complement whatever kind of self-inflicted neurosis afflicts the captain. I’ll finish writing it one day. Then you’ll be sorry.
As usual, all written material is copyright of Martin Gregory.