Archives for category: story

 

I’m a rollerball pen and I’m rude and so bored.

You must play with me. I will not be ignored.

You will draw me a circle inside a huge square

Or I’ll draw in your nose a long curly hair.


Time’s up!


What is this that you drew? Do you think I’m a fool?

Oh! You used a big Square and you drew a big pool

And you painted a Circle as a shiny red ball.

Not that bad. It’s because of my skill after all.

 

—-

 

I am a rollerball pen and I’m rude and need food.

I must eat something yummy or I’m up to no good.

You must feed me a Circle from out of a Square

Otherwise I will smudge lots of ink on your chair.

 

Time’s up!


Let me see what you drew now, you wily old fox.

Ha! You used a fat Square and you drew a fat box

And out of a Circle you made a sweet pie

It is mine! It’s all mine! There’s no need to ask why.

 

—-

 

I am a rollerball pen and I love to be rude.

So be nicer to me or I’ll paint in the nude.

You will cut me a Circle from the edge of a Square

Or I’ll pee on your clothes. You’ll have nothing to wear.

 

Time’s up!


Let me see! Let me see. Do we have matching styles?

So you used some flat Squares and you drew some flat tiles…

And then out of a Circle you made a deep sink?

That’s so rude! I am leaking! I ran out… of… ink…


The Letter R and the Number 4 bumped into each other in front of the same box in a crossword puzzle.

The Letter R wanted to get into the box.

But the Number 4 would only let the correct letter into the box.

“Arr! I’m the letter R and I’m the rowdiest letter of all. This box is super-duper perfect for me. I’m jumping right in!”

But the Number 4 was not willing to let things get out of order.

“I’m the Number 4 and I’m guarding this box, because this box is the fourth box. Only if you are the fourth letter in the word I will let you in.”

“Well… the word is ‘FOUR’ and I’m the Letter R, so spell ‘FOUR’ and see if I’m at the right box.”

“I’m… I’m… I’m… a Number. I can’t spell.”

“How sad… Now, can you move aside so I can get into the box?”

But the Number 4 did not move.

The Number 4 did not let things get out of order.

“If you spell ‘FOUR’ then you ‘ll see if you are the fourth letter.”

“Only then I will let you in.”

“I’m a Letter. I don’t do counting.”

“And I’m a Number. I can count but I can’t spell.”

“Arrr! If you knew how to spell ‘FOUR’, then we wouldn’t be sitting here forever!”
“FOUR”
“F…”
“O…”
“U…”
“Arr!”


“Well, I like sitting here. I like counting over and over. It’s quite soothing…”
“1”
“2”
“3”
“4”


“Arr! Arr! Arr!” yelled the Letter R in frustration.
“F..”
“O…”
“U…”
“Arrr!”

“1”
“2”
“3”
“4”
And suddenly…


The Number 4 had an idea.

“How about you spell ‘FOUR’ and I count at the same time?”

“I ‘ll stop counting when you say ‘R’.”

So the Letter R said, “OK. Let’s start.”

“F…”

              “…1”

“O…”

             “…2”

“U…”

             “…3”

“R…”

             “…4”


“Arrr! So I am the fourth letter in the word ‘FOUR’ after all!”

“I believe this is correct,” said the Number 4.

“Arrr! Arrr! The box is mine!” said the Letter R and jumped inside the box.

“This is the greatest box ever.”
“Too bad you’ll never have a box of your own, Number 4.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“How about you look OUTSIDE the box?”


“That’s good.”

“A bit more…”

“Very good”
“Just a tiny bit more…”

THE END

“We need to catch one of these viruses and …” but before Daena could form a plan, the big hungry monkey head with the twisted sharp teeth started approaching them.

“DannyBot, this Ugga Ugga seems to take an interest in us. We should head back and reevaluate. I’m not in the mood for drama.”

They turned around but another Ugga Ugga virus blocked the exit.

“Dannybot, without being too dramatic I think we are …”

The virus zoomed at them, mouth wide open.

“DOOMED!”

But the next instant the virus was caught by a lasso made of DNA coming out of … DannyBot’s body. The lasso wrapped the virus around the mouth and body tight as a squeezing tentacle. Once Daena realized they were safe she headed to the exit, DannyBot and their new prisoner behind her.

“If I were not under the shock of a near-death experience, I would be impressed. Dannybot, I didn’t know you could do that.”

“It’s quite a basic function I’ve been designed for. My lasso makes bonds at the molecular level with the object so the object is unlikely to escape,” said DannyBot as if he had lassoed a harmless-looking water molecule.

They dragged the Ugga Ugga prisoner to the closest White Cell headquarters, at the tonsils.

DannyBot constructed a message from DNA, asking for permission to see the Warden and gave it to the nearest guard. It felt like a lifetime until the gate opened. When they found the Warden he was floating around his office, eating random proteins. He looked quite well-fed in fact.

“What can I do you for, Miss Daena?” asked the Warden.

“First of all, it’s DNA Detective Daena. Second, you ‘ve been infected by a genetically engineered virus. As proof, I brought a sample right here into your office.”

“He don’t look so dangerous to me. Just a monkey face. We ‘ll take the prisoner from here. Off you go now.”

The guards escorted them out of the headquarters.

“I assume the mission has been completed. Shall I set course for the extraction point?” asked DannyBot.

“Nothing would cheer me up more, but I have a depressing feeling about this. Let’s just wait out here. How much time left?”

“There are three hours left to total infection.”

It felt like forever until finally the gates opened. At first, it looked like the Warden coming out of the gates. But as he moved out of the gate and into the light, he didn’t look as white as before. He looked dark and ugly and had twisted sharp teeth. Like an Ugga Ugga virus!

The two guards at the gates tried to swim away, but before they could escape, a hoard of hungry monkey faces stormed out of the gates and brought an end to them.

“Eat my children. Eat and multiply!” said the Warden as the monkey heads swarmed the area. Then his eyes fell on Daena. He started eating his way towards her in a steady pace.

“This doesn’t look good. DannyBot, let’s hide before more of these monsters realize we are here!”

“Don’t go Missy. Come and feed me,” said the Warden, and then gulped down a couple of his children.

They zoomed away from the tonsils and went into hiding behind the nose. “The Warden might be slow, but his children are multiplying. How much time left, DannyBot?”

“We have entered the last hour.”

Daena sighed. This was all very stressful. She wished she was back inside her vial even if it was not near a window, even if had to look at the same sticker all day:

-The recipe of life and death lies in the DNA-
The recipe lies in the DNA, she thought. Her mind drifted off to her first class at the detective academy and the principle-of-life rule they all had to memorize:

The DNA recipe is written with 4 letters.

What are they?

T, G, C and A.

And when DNA splits in two

Each half is called RNA

And every letter T is replaced by a U.

“That’s it!” Daena jumped with excitement. “I figured out how to kill the Ugga Ugga virus! The recipe of life and death lies in the DNA. Get it, DannyBot?”

DannyBot blinked.

Daena sighed. “Ugga Ugga’s DNA contains the recipe for making an Ugga Ugga virus. It’s like when you read a message written in DNA language using the T, G, C and A 4-letter alphabet. Only the message is also the recipe. Do you see?”

“I don’t see how this helps us defeat the Ugga Ugga virus,” said DannyBot.

“Well, here is the missing puzzle piece. DNA doesn’t make the Ugga Ugga directly. It has to first split into two RNA strands, and in the RNA alphabet T is replaced by a U.”

“I don’t see how this helps us defeat the Ugga Ugga virus,” repeated DannyBot.

“Don’t you get it? What’s the code name of the Ugga Ugga virus in RNA alphabet?” said Daena as if explaining the concept to a hydrogen atom.

“U-G-G-A-U-G-G-A,” said DannyBot.

“Can you search your data for the U-G-G-A-U-G-G-A sequence in the Ugga Ugga virus’s RNA?”

A few moments later DannyBot said “I searched. I found the pattern.”

“Great. I want you to synthesize the same RNA strand but replace the U-G-G-A-U-G-G-A pattern with the G-A-G-A-G-A-G-A pattern.”

DannyBot synthesized the mutated Ugga Ugga virus strand. One by one he glued together A’s and C’s and G’s and U’s until he had a full RNA strand.

“The sequence is ready. But I don’t see how this helps us defeat the Ugga Ugga virus,” said DannyBot.

Daena closed her eyes. She wished she had a hydrogen atom for a partner.

“Because if we get the Warden to eat this mutated Ugga Ugga strand, then he will use the wrong recipe to make children. His children will be Gaga Gaga viruses instead. Then the Gaga Gaga viruses can fight the Ugga Ugga viruses. I think it’s time to pay a visit to these depressing monkey faces.”

They zoomed back to the tonsils with the Gaga Gaga strand in hand. The Warden eyed them with a hungry look.

“Bring them to me, my children!”

Before Daena and DannyBot realized what was going on, they found themselves wrapped by DNA lassos from a bunch of Ugga Ugga viruses.

“My calculations tell me he means to eat us,” said DannyBot.

“You depress me.”

“Miss Daena. Why so gloomy? You should be happy, because you’ll make a tasty snack,” said the Warden and opened his mouth.

“Wait, wait! You don’t want to eat me like that. I’m more tasty if you eat this first as an appetizer,” Daena waved the Gaga Gaga virus strand in his face.

“You ‘re a real lady,” said the Warden and he gulped down the Gaga Gaga strand. He burped and said “Missy, that was really yummy. Remind me to get the recipe after I eat you.”

He came closer to Daena, opened his mouth and was about to close it over her head, but instead he grew and grew and grew until he… burst and a bunch of Gaga Gaga viruses came out of his body.

Soon a war begun between the Ugga Ugga and the Gaga Gaga as they started eating each other. Whenever an Ugga Ugga ate a Gaga Gaga, it gave birth to Gaga Gagas.

But, whenever a Gaga Gaga ate an Ugga Ugga, it gave birth to Gaga Gagas. Soon the Ugga Ugga’s were wiped out.

“He should not have eaten the Gaga Gaga strand before checking it, but I didn’t think it was a good idea to tell him,” said DannyBot.

“DannyBot, you are learning. Yet you still have ways to go to before you understand the genius of my scheme that killed the Ugga Ugga virus.”

“There was nothing to understand. It was based on a pair of positive and negative feedback loops. It is quite a very elementary and primitive principle of life,” said DannyBot.

“You really depress me.”

-The recipe of life and death lies in the DNA-

Daena sulked as she looked at the message on the sticker of her vial.

“I’m depressed. I haven’t been assigned anything interesting since I graduated from the Detective Nanoengineering Academy and placed into this horrible tube in this horrible lab. I was voted the most beautiful nanoengineered virus in the Nature Journal. They could have at least placed us near a window to get some sun. Don’t you think, DannyBot?”


“I don’t see the importance of sunlight radiation,” said DannyBot.

“Are all nanobots as entertaining as you are?”

“Nanobots are robots made of DNA strands. We are not made to entertain. We are made to decode DNA, to synthesize DNA, to take apart DNA…” DannyBot went on and on about his functions.

“Booooriiiing. What’s the point of using DNA, if you can’t build something to have fun? Look at the humans in the lab. They are made from DNA like us, but they get to work on interesting things and laugh and go out. Why not us?”

“Because we are not humans,” said DannyBot.

“You depress me.”

Daena decided to swim around. She was kicking a bunch of floating aminoacids, when a human moved towards the vial and squeezed a drop of liquid into it. A DNA strand appeared into view.

“Looks like we got a message. Another boring mission I bet,” said Daena.

DannyBot swam towards the floating DNA strand, hooked himself onto it and started reading it base by base like a tape: A, T, G, A… Then he decoded the message.

“Message Start. Detective Daena. The chairman has been infected with a genetically engineered Ugga Ugga virus. The chairman will turn into a monkey in the next 12 hours. If word gets out, the government will close the lab and destroy all genetically engineered viruses including you. Your mission is to locate and neutralize the virus. You and DannyBot will be injected into the chairman’s body. Extraction coordinates have been provided. Extraction will commence once the virus has been neutralized.”

DannyBot spit out the last base of the DNA strand. “Message Stop.”

“I really hope we take care of this virus. I don’t want to end up inside the body of a dumb monkey forever.”

The lights went out as the vial was put into a box. When Daena saw the light again it was at a great speed as she was injected into the body of the chairman.

“We are into the blood stream,” said DannyBot. “Cell analysis shows our location to be the chairman’s butt.”


“That is so humiliating,” said Daena.

“Actually, humility is considered a virtue in some human cultures,” said DannyBot.

“You depress me.”

Daena tightened up. “Let’s go catch this Ugga Ugga virus and feed him to the white blood cells before he spreads. What is the most likely infection scenario?”

“Most likely scenario is airborne infection through the throat,” said DannyBot.

“I’m not looking forward to getting coughed at, but let’s head for the throat.”

They floated inside the bloodstream through the digestive track to the stomach and from there climbed all the way to the lungs and then the throat. When they arrived, the throat seemed normal.

“I do not detect any viral activity in the proximity,” said DannyBot.

“Great. We are back to nothing. DannyBot, how much time do we have left?”

“10 hours.”

“And how long will it take us to search the entire body?”

“21 hours. The math indicates we have less than 50% chance to find the Ugga Ugga virus in the next 10 hours,” said DannyBot.

“Simple math won’t get you anywhere, DannyBot. Set course for the brain’s thalamus, the pain processing center. If the chairman didn’t breathe in the virus then someone forced it into him. We can figure out where if we follow the pain. I should be working with humans. I should be named the greatest DNA detective in the world.”

Daena stretched proudly.

“Actually, you are the only DNA detective in the world, so by definition you are both the best and the worst detective,” said DannyBot.

“You depress me.”

They jumped into the blood stream next to the spinal cord and followed all the way up to the brain. DannyBot mounted on top of a nerve center and waited for pain signals. After a few minutes, they heard one of the nerves scream “Ay!” “Ay!” “Ay!”

“The pain signal appears to be originating from the left eye,” said DannyBot.

“I’m not looking forward to meeting this Ugga Ugga virus, but let’s head for the left eyeball.”

And so they floated from the brain to the nose and from there to the eye. As they entered the eyeball they shook from their horror. Thousands of big fat viruses that looked like hungry monkey heads with twisted sharp teeth swam inside the eyeball. Some would attack and try to eat each other, but most of them attacked the chairman’s cells. Their jaws would grab onto a cell and eat their way into it. Once they disappeared into the cell, there would be a moment of silence. But only a moment. The cell would then grow and grow and grow like a balloon and then explode.

“Bang!” a cell exploded near Daena and out of it came a hoard of ugly twisted monkey heads. They swam towards a bunch of eyeball cells nearby. But one of them, a really big one, turned and looked at Daena…


To be continued…

There was a Dragon in a place far far away and over the thousands of years she had lived, she had gathered almost every known treasure. From gold coins to enchanted weapons, to magical stones and scrolls. The Dragon had it all.

Since she was such a big collector, other dragons often asked her to show them one-of-a-kind artifacts during dinner parties like the Diamond of the Druids or the Sword of the Seven Kings. The Dragon wanted to impress her friends, but her treasure was so vast that she had to search for months and months to find anything. Dragon dinner parties are known to last many days, but even the most patient dragon guests could not wait for a month.

The Dragon  tried to remember spells to help search her treasure faster, but all she knew were dangerous spells used in combat, not in someone’s own dragon lair.

At some point she had hired one thousand and twenty four goblins to do the searching for her. But they turned out to be very unreliable workers (plus they stole treasure). So she breathed fire on them and they ran away (they were not tasty enough to eat).

 

But the Dragon didn’t give up. She decided to post an advertisement on the Magic Network for a wizard. She wanted a wizard smart enough to figure out a way for her to search through her treasure faster.

The next day, a wizard walked into the Dragon’s lair.

“Mighty Dragon, I’m the Great Don Havakloo. I read your ad and I have a very simple solution to your problem. I will perform a My-Treasure-Where-I-Can-See-It Spell.”

“Spellbinding,” said the Dragon. “I’m curious to experience your spell, Don Havakloo.”

And so the Great Don Havakloo opened his copy of Spellopedia Magica, whirled his hands in the air and shouted:

“Treasure oh Treasure piled in far away piles
Move in front of the Great Dragon’s eyes!”

And all the treasure piled up next to the Dragon.

“Now your treasure is closer and you can save time searching for things,” said Don Havakloo.

“Don Havakloo, you really don’t have a clue. It takes me only thirty two steps to get to the treasure but a whole month to search through it. Do you think your spell deserves a reward?”

“Only a hundred gold coins, oh Mighty Dragon. I’m giving discounts today,” said Don Havakloo.

“I’ll give you a hotter reward,” said the Dragon and she blew a red hot flame and burned the wizard to a crisp.
The next day, another wizard walked into the Dragon’s lair.

“Mighty Dragon, I’m the Grand Gobblehalf. I read your ad and I have a very simple solution to your problem. I will perform a Split-My-Treasure-Like-Butter-And-Eat-It Spell.”

“It spells T-a-s-t-y,” said the Dragon. “I’m curious to experience your spell, Gobblehalf.”

And the Grand Gobblehalf opened his copy of Spellopedia Magica, struck his magic staff on the ground and shouted:

“Treasure Pile split in two. One half left and one half right.
And as for my share, I will only take the right.”

The treasure split in two mountains, one stayed near the Dragon, the other next to Gobblehalf.

“Mighty Dragon, now your treasure is half as it used to be, so it will take you half the time to look for things,” said Gobblehalf. “I will take your other half as payment, so no worries.”

“My dear Gobblehalf, since you want to gobble up half my treasure allow me to give you an extra reward,” said the Dragon and blew a red hot flame and burned the wizard to a crisp.
The Dragon was about to give up looking for a fix to her problem, when a young wizard walked into the Dragon’s lair.

The Dragon thought that wizard would be amusing to watch, but she was surprised when the young wizard said “Hi, my name is Thinkalot, what exactly is your problem Mighty Dragon?”

“It’s taking me a long time to find an item in my treasure.”

“Is it because your treasure is too far away?”

“No” said the Dragon. “I burned the last wizard who assumed that was my problem two days ago. It’s because I have too much of it.”

“And what if you gave up some of your treasure to make it smaller? Would that bother you?”

“Yes. I burned the last wizard who tried to take half of my treasure yesterday in fact.”

“And is your treasure organized, Mighty Dragon?”

“No, it’s all randomly piled up.”

The young wizard opened his copy of Spellopedia Magica and searched for the right spell. After a few minutes he said “I think what would help is to use a Sort-My-Treasure-By-Name spell.”


“Sounds like a spelling,” said the Dragon. “I’m curious to experience your spell, Thinkalot.”

So Thinkalot waived his wand and said:

“Amulets and Armors go to A
Bracelets and Broadswords go to B
Charms and Coins go to C”

…and so on and so forth and when he said…

“Zephyrs and Zircons go to Z”

then the treasure divided in 26 piles, one for each letter.

“Now, Mighty Dragon, when you look for the Sword of the Seven Kings all you need to do is look into the pile with the letter S. So, instead of one month, you can find any item in almost one day,” said the young wizard.

“Young Thinkalot, you clearly think a lot. You diagnosed my real problem,” said the Dragon. “You can take anything you like as payment.”

And the young wizard said, “I don’t need a payment, Mighty Dragon. Can I instead come and visit you every week?”

“Sure. Why, Young Thinkalot?” asked the Dragon.

And the yound wizard replied, “Because you have lived a thousand years and I want to learn from your wisdom. Gold is very valuable, but knowledge is invaluable.”

“What Happened Before The Story of the Three Little Pigs”
as told by the Third Little Pig

Everyone says that my two brothers lost to Alfonse “The Big Bad” Wolf, because they didn’t build their houses from bricks like I did. That is true. But, recent rumors on the Internet said that I was able to buy bricks because I had money on the side. That is a lie. These two dummies had money to spend too.

I, Johnny, the Third Little Pig, will now give you an exclusive insider scoop on what really happened before Al Wolf showed up.

It was a hot summer day when our mom told us, “Boys, enough is enough. You are turning my house into a pigsty. You are old enough to live on your own. Here ‘s a hundred coppers to each of you. Off you go!”

One hundred coppers is a lot of money by pig standards. We said our good byes and off we went to Farmer Frankie’s Market. The place has everything a pig needs to make a home (and drink, feed, dress and accessorize).

I was punching random numbers into a state of the art keypad door lock, when I see my brother Benny picking up a pile of straws.

“Hey, Benny. Are you thinking of making a straw mattress?” I asked him.

“No, I’m gonna build me a home with that,” he said. “But now that you mention it, I’ll get some more to make me a mattress, too. Great idea!”

“But, Benny, all this straws will cost you one copper. You should spend some more and get something better.”

“No, I don’t want to. I need to buy myself lots of organic fruits, worms and chow with the rest of the coppers. I don’t want to run out of food.”

“Benny, you don’t need food for a hundred years!” I said, but Benny was already at the check out. And – nobody knows this but – Benny doesn’t really eat organic…

I went back to the keypad lock and tried to remember the last number I entered, when I heard my other brother, Vinny, calling.

“Johnny, how do you like those shades on me, bro?”

I turn around and see Vinny packing a dozen Hawaiian shirts, a huge 5 inch high definition TV, a massage chair, a gold chain and of course the latest Piga Di Farma sunglasses!

“Wow! Vinny, the shades look … expensive. Do you have coppers left to build your house?”

“Sure. I have two coppers left, bro. That’s plenty of cash. Right now it’s important I look good.”

“Only two? Vinny, two coppers can only buy you sticks!”

“Sticks? That’s a great idea. I was gonna buy straws. Thanks, Johnny bro. You ‘re a genius.”

He turned around and strolled away, before I could say anything else. And – nobody knows this, but – Vinny’s sunglasses were not real Piga Di Farma.

I got tired of fiddling with the keypad lock and looked around. There were too many things to buy and I didn’t want to make a poor choice. So, I went to the Pig Public Library and did my research online.

And guess what! I read rumors that the greedy Ratelli Rats were knocking down houses to take over the land in our town.

So I decided to buy bricks for ten coppers and spend another twenty to buy reinforced steel beams and cement for my house frame.  And for ten extra coppers I bought a biometric fingerprint scanner security system for my door. Super advanced! It unlocked only when my little piggy finger touched the scanner, so no need for me to remember any numbers!

So all three of us lived next to each other, happy under the sunshine.

But as you know, Al Wolf, who – no one knows this by the way – worked for the Ratellis, showed up one day and asked my brothers to leave. When they refused, he huffed and puffed and blew their houses away. Lucky for them, “The Big Bad” Wolf likes junk food and TV so much that he ignored Benny and Vinny as they ran into my place.

 

When the wolf came outside my door and I ignored his scare tactics, he huffed and puffed and puffed and huffed so many times that he lost his teeth and his hair and he almost had a heart attack. And – no one knows this by the way, but – he didn’t get angry. All I heard him say was “Those stingy rats ain’t paying me enough for this demanding job. I quit.”

I’m lucky he hadn’t done his research. Because if he had, he would have known that huffing and puffing can’t bring down a brick house. You ‘d need a bulldozer.

Right?

But, you ‘re not gonna tell him that, are you?