Continuing a novella I created back in 1991-1992.
Chapter 4: Why The Sky Is Blue
Brandon Bird has always been a fairly common-looking bird. In fact, wherever common-looking birds have flocked, a common bird named Brandon has been present.
In this particular incarnation, Brandon is an Emperor penguin on a nameless beach on the Antarctic continent. Beaches in Antarctica are famous for their lack of human over-crowding. There is, however, penguin over-crowding.
That's occurs because there is no sand. Only ice. Penguins love ice.
The Author's flesh is raised in goose bumps (not related to Brandon) because he was just thinking about how cold the Antarctic is.
In fact, to get the reader better prepared for the following tale, The Author feels it is in his best interest (to avoid any lawsuits) to instruct you on the proper way to protect yourself from my chilling (sorry) description of the Antarctic wasteland that could in any way be responsible for you, the reader, coming down with a cold.
Hi. This is The Editor interrupting The Author. We are quite aware that The Author lacks proper descriptive skills, but what the heck... if it will make him get to the point of this story anytime soon, we will let him try it.
Thanks... now where was I? Man, I hate having to re-read all of my own writing... er, I mean... in order to protect yourself from the coldness of the Brandon Bird story, I want you all to imagine the hottest place possible.
Now don't make it too hot or you'll burn yourself! So forget about a nuclear furnace like the sun. Try Hawaii. Yeah, that's nice. A nice beach that is probably so crowded you can't move, no matter what you saw on Magnum P.I., Lost or Hawaii Five-O.
Don't sweat or else the cold Antarctic winds will turn your sweat into ice making you a ripe candidate for the flu or cold or whatever it is you get when a cold wind chills your sweat.
Hang on! This is The Editor again. This is all quite stupid! Please get on with the story!
All right, all right. But don't blame me if you get a cold. Blame him.
Now, now. Rather than blame the poor old The Editor who has to try and fix The Author's ludicrous writings, perhaps you could have lots of chicken soup. It usually works for me. Thank you. Now, on with the story of the Emperor penguin named Brandon Bird.
Life as a penguin was not all fun and games—not that anyone ever said it was.
Besides having to contend with the cold climate, the hungry-for-a-spot-of-penguin sea lions, and the smelly fish they had to eat, Brandon also hated ice.
He remembered the times before when he could soar high in the air with the others. He remembered the feeling of the wind as it whistled around his feathers as he swept through the sky. He remembered tasting the clouds. He remembered...
He really hated it when he was sent back unable to fly.
Somewhere in a recently vanished blue mist that had been experimenting with industrial spray paint, a grinding of teeth caused an earthquake to make the American State of Arizona little bit closer to achieving its goal of becoming a coastal area.
Brandon looked down from the top of the ice hill and grimaced like only an Emperor penguin could—not very well. Below him, thousands upon thousands of penguins who had once been Egyptians during the early years, played in the icy waters.
He looked out to the west—or was it the east? North? South? No, it couldn't be the south. He was already there—and saw the unmistakable sign of an approaching storm. Dark, ominous clouds.
He sniffed the air and smelled nothing except for fish guts. He hated not having full control of his faculties.
He raised his head high to the sky, shook his wings and then fell over.
The grinding of teeth stopped—sorry Arizona—and the laughing and stamping of feet/claws/paws/wings/flippers/tentacles commenced. Loudly.
Regaining his webbed feet, Brandon squawked a warning to the penguins in the water that a storm was fast approaching. By the looks of it, it would probably dump a lot of snow on them.
But, none of the other penguins paid any attention to Brandon thanks to their overly enthusiastic squawking to each other about the important things in life: ice; fish; how they all looked alike; fish; squawking; and, of course, fish.
Their squawking and the tiny water-logged holes in the head that pretended to be ears, were a royal pain in the butt to Brandon. (Did you get the pun? You see, Brandon is an Emperor penguin... royal pain in the butt... emperor... royal... okay, so it's not that funny).
Brandon began to waddle down the slope to tell the Egyptians to get out of the water before the storm turned everything into a single, continent-wide iceball. If there was one thing that Brandon really hated, it was having to chip frozen penguins out of chunks of ice with his beak.
For Egyptians and birds, these penguins certainly had no clue about their special senses.
Brandon began to move faster down the hill as the clouds gathered closer in a fat, purple pillow case (The Editor's note: I have no idea what that means either, folks, but I do have a purple pillow case at home).
The problem with this, is that penguins are not generally graceful on the land.
Brandon tripped on a lump of ice that was a leftover frozen penguin from yesterday's storm and flomphed down onto his belly, finishing the rest of his journey rolling over and over and over and over again on his side.
There was even more laughing and limb stamping. It was so funny, that even the floor and the white mist had a good chuckle until the grinning 2-Footer pointed out that neither of them had mouths and therefore couldn't talk or laugh. So they stopped. Neither thought to point out that the grinning 2-Footer never opened its mouth either, except to show off its human-like teeth in a constant beam.
Dazed and confused, Brandon lay on the ice trying to recover some of his strength so that he could try and rock himself back onto a vertical position. Unfortunately, while lying there taking a few deep breaths, he was an easy victim for a jaguar—or rather a former-jaguar, that was currently a sea lion with a penchant for penguin tar-tar.
Waitaminute?! You mean that's it?! Where's the pathos? Where's the comedy? Where's the plot?
That was a really stupid story!
Well... maybe it was stupid for you, but it did progress the plot in ways you will discover later. I hope.
Okay... but what about that title? Boy, was that misleading! You didn't even begin to explain that! So tell me, Mister The Author, why is the sky blue?
Because that is the grinning 2-Footer's favorite color. See... even more stuff has been revealed.
Is the color of the sky important to the story, The Author?"
I don't know.
Well... okay then... so what's next, you hack?
Great. I hate France.
Life's funny that way.