Short Story: I Love You, But...

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Written by
Chris Crawshaw

Maria meets an unusual stranger in a bar one Tuesday lunchtime and learns the hard way that a monkey's for life, not just the afternoon.

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Afterwards, when the whole sorry business was over, Maria remembered that the monkey had not been her idea. Not as such, she told herself, he had just sort of... happened. She called him Simeon. A cruel joke really that served only to enhance his ape-ishness in her mind and diminish the human qualities in him that she had once found so attractive. Although, to say it was his humanity that she had loved would be inaccurate as well. In truth it was the animal in him, his brutishness that set her heart on fire.

She saw him first one Tuesday lunchtime, as anyone might have done, propping up the bar at the Firestation on Waterloo Road. He was holding a newspaper, The Times as she recalled, such that it completely obscured all of him but his fingers and toes, and the tip of his tail as it curled in prehensile fashion around…

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Kamran Saeed said "A unique yet weird storyline and a strong, captivating narrative. Very well done! Kamran Saeed"
4 years ago
Chris Crawshaw replied saying "Thanks Kamran, really glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for writing here."
4 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "The first sentence captured me completely and the quality of the writing and the oddness of the tale enthralled me. This was a wonderful, nonsensical piece of fanciful fiction. It was bright and silly and sad and melancholy and totally daft. I really, really enjoyed it. I have to mention again the quality of the writing and editing because in my very humble opinion if it had not been for that this would not have worked half as well as it did. Wonderful - Diane"
4 years ago
Chris Crawshaw replied saying "Thank you so much Diane. I'm humbled myself by your kind kind words. It's been a long time since I've heard anything so positive about my writing, and your views carry weight for me since I know you read a large number of these stories. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks again for reading, and commenting here."
4 years ago
Nik Eveleigh Guest Editor said "I've read some strange stories today but this is a cut above the rest thanks to the quality of the writing and editing of this piece. I defy anyone to read the opening "Afterwards, when the whole sorry business was over, Maria remembered that the monkey had not been her idea." and not want to find out more. Lots of funny moments - the mutual love of Phil Collins and the need to differentiate him from an animal being perhaps my favourite. Good work Chris - look forward to more from you. Cheers, Nik"
4 years ago
Chris Crawshaw replied saying "Again, Nik (see my reply to Adam below) I'm overcome by praise of this kind from such a prominent figure in the Shortbread community. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement."
4 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor said "Despite only having read Kafka's The Trial (America next stop) and nothing of Voltaire I guess I appreciated (even when I could not reference the works) a lot of what was going on at here at, shall we say, a meta level? Funny and funnier and by turn dark and darker this has to find a prime spot on my virtual shelf in the section marked Brave & Original (and bloody good writing) - many thanks, Adam"
4 years ago
Chris Crawshaw replied saying "Noted, thanks! No plans to go anywhere just yet, it's cold outside... And I'll certainly have a look at PK Dick, seems right up my street and, judging by his bibliography, a massive hole in my literary education! More in the pipeline - Chris"
4 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Hi Chris - if you hang around long enough (and I recommend it because this is a diverse place with the some talented people on it) you will know I am not being kind but honest. I was rapt by The Trial and look forward to reading Kafka's shorts. I am back with PKD at present - Voices From The Street - posthumously published non-sci-fi novel from '52 that feels like a catalogue for the works that would fill the next 30 years of his life - I mention all this because Dick is sometimes cited as a poor man's Kafka - a prophet/visionary - I digress - thank you for the above references - I am bit obsessive about sources of inspiration - really look forward to more of yours soon? ATB - Adam"
4 years ago
Chris Crawshaw replied saying "I have to confess I'm a little overcome by such praise, especially from you, sincerely, thank you. The reference of Voltaire is something to do with his stance on human freedom (though, naturally, he says little of apes!) But mostly I saw it as part of Simeon's attempts to improve himself. 'The Hunger Artist' is one of my favourite short stories of Kafka's about a man who travels from town to town to sit in a cage so that people can watch him starve himself. I'd recommend it to everyone. Once again thanks for reading, for commenting, and for being so kind."
4 years ago
James McEwan Guest Editor said "An enjoyable read. At first I thought the monkey was a euphemism for a boyfriend that wouldn't leave, the jury is still deciding."
4 years ago
Chris Crawshaw replied saying "Glad you enjoyed it James. Yes, I intended the story to say something about 'the new gender war', in which I suppose neither of them fares particularly well! Really appreciate your comments, thank you."
4 years ago
Maissa Sadek said "No comment !! Good job ."
4 years ago
This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
Chris Crawshaw replied saying "Thank you Christopher, what kind words! More in the pipeline soon I hope."
4 years ago

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