A simple premise; a bold promise
To present one story per day, every day—providing exceptional authors with exposure and avid readers with first-rate fiction.

Today's Story by Gabriel Bellman

From what I hear, there is a great wooden leg manufacturer in the Northeast.


Dear Babette, when I heard that you had lost your bicycle, I was torn up inside. I felt like a pack of wild hyenas laughed and chewed my insides out. I know how much your sweet, sweet feet loved to pedal on that bicycle, and I am sorry to hear that it is gone.

Babette, I wrote as soon as I could. I was saddened to hear about your toe-sprain. Toe-sprains are abominable creatures. It was not your big toe, I fear, for that is absolutely the worst. I know how much you loved your lovely, lovely toe. It pained me like a rock to the forehead to hear. Speedy recovery.

Babette, I am so sorry to hear the latest. When I heard that you had your foot run over by a lawnmower, I was devastated. I felt like somebody had taken my head and replaced it with a pot of steaming feces. Your ankle was such a precious, precious thing to you, and to think of it all smashed and crushed like hamburger meat really put me on a downward trend for the day. Hope you are well soon.

Babette, when I heard the last, I wrote immediately. From what I hear, there is a great wooden leg manufacturer in the Northeast, who uses only maple, which is not supposed to rot as quickly as some of the other woods. I know gangrene is a prevalent problem in the world, so I hope you do not feel to alone. I know you were so very, very fond of that leg. To think of you hopping around brings me no pleasure, I can assure you. I half-expected to put my finger in the ass of a mule, just so he would kick me in the head and I might join you in suffering. Please get well.

Babette, I had been on a trip so I didn’t have a chance to write sooner. You must have been devastated. It came as news to me that a pack of wolves could do such a thing. From what I understand, they devoured your left side entirely, taking your side, your arm, and what was left of your stumpy leg. I guess wolves do that so that they can retain the other half for later. I think we should be happy you were not eaten entirely, but it is a bittersweet happiness, like the joy of a sunset when one’s ice cream is almost finished. I know you must be taking it quite hard, for you felt so wonderfully, wonderfully proud of your left-half. At least you won’t have to worry about any more teasing for being ambidextrous. Please try to keep your spirit up.

Sweet Babette, when I heard about the latest news, I practically ran in from the back, where I was chopping wood. It is such a joy to be out in the fresh air, using one’s body and sweating. It pained me like an elephant was stomping on the bottom half of my jaw to hear about your latest problem. It must have been terrible to lose your only working limb, your arm, in that freak accident. I have always been wary of blenders, myself. And then, to hear about the head lice, well, I can only imagine what that itching must have been like and with nothing to scratch it with, as you only have half your trunk and your head, oh beautiful, beautiful Babette. At first I felt like it was a travesty to lost that other arm, but look at the bright side- at least now you are balanced, eh? Just a little joke, my daffodil, for whoever is reading this to you and probably rubbing ointment in your hair for the head lice. Try to think happy thoughts, will you.

Well, Babette, I cannot say I am surprised. When they wired me to tell me of your latest predicament, I practically expected it. What is it with you? Are you so desperate for attention now that you have only a head and an artificial lung that you must try to shock me like this? This is the first time I have heard of a woman’s torso and neck being chewed up by bugs, but with you, what surprise is there anymore? You were always a little on the edge, and now see what has happened. I guess all those years of stomping on insects has finally come back. I know you must miss your body, for it was so terribly, terribly lovely, but I cannot say I have any more sympathy for you. I was told about your habit of laying in the middle of the floor complaining how you couldn’t move, before the bugs chewed you up. Babette, even for you that is embarrassing. Try to move on with your life. I hear your head is kept in a saline- solution, and there are wires connecting to your iron lung, and tubes connecting you to a dialysis machine. At least you do not have to eat, Babette, think of what you can do with all your spare time! As you have lost the ability to see or hear inside the saline solution, I am told that the nurse keeps you busy by tapping on the side of your jar. You really should show her more appreciation, Babette, you know as well as anyone how difficult you can be to care for. Anyway, I doubt I will write anymore, as they have informed me of a less than 4 percent chance that you will survive until next Wednesday. So, try to keep your spirits up, Babette. You’re not the only one in the world who has problems.


This piece was read as part of a production of “Action Fiction!”, sponsored by Fiction365 and Omnibucket.   

Read more stories from Action Fiction! productions.


To comment on this story, visit Fiction365’s Facebook page