Jez Burrows writes ‘Dictionary Stories’. These are very short stories composed entirely of example sentences, drawn from a variety of dictionaries, with nothing added except the odd conjunction or preposition.
I thought I’d have a go. Seemed it could be fun – and it was.
The underlined words are the words I looked up in the dictionary to find my ‘example sentences’. (I used the online Oxford English Dictionary)
Before long the story spread throughout the city of the crazy man who had purchased a dream. His fellow officers regarded him with awe as some sort of genius. He now wants to be the father of the nation, a unifying figure. There’s something very scary about him but I could not turn him away, for he was family. Sometimes being your brother‘s keeper is no walk in the park.
“Good work Jones. We know this Goldilocks character is responsible for the Dumpty murder and the massacre of the Bear family and I’d bet my pension she knows what happened to the Gingerbread Man. All we need now is to find out who her boss is. Anybody with her?”
“Yes sir. The owner of the black car parked out front went up to her room five minutes ago. The car’s registered to a Miss Muffet.“
“Miss Muffet! It can’t be. What the hell is the head of MI6 doing here?”
“Don’t think so George. I’ve had a quick peek up above and there was quite a frost last night. Looks like winter is on its way. You know how the cold gets into these decaying bones of mine. So I thought we’d stay in, make the most of this warm soil left over from those hot summer days we’ve had this year. Might go out tonight.”
“That would be nice love. We could sit on the bench the kids had dedicated to us and watch the stars. Just like we did when we were alive.”
It was while we were clearing out Grandma’s house that I came across her old shoes. Mum had always told me that, in her younger days, Gran had been quite a tearaway. The locals had called her the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’.
To me she was just a sweet old lady, who smelled a little of old mothballs and lavender soap. I smiled, as I remembered sitting on her lap, listening to her tales of strange lands and winged monkeys.
My thoughts were interrupted when mum shouted, “Dorothy, dear, have you finished in there? It’s time we were going.”
I fluttered my eyelashes as Sidney spread the map out on the table. What a bore this man was! Had we only been married three days, it felt like forever. Beneath my practised sweet smile I gritted my teeth and thought of his money.
“Are you sure you’re feeling well enough for this my precious, you look a little pale?”
“I’m sorry Sidney, being close to you my darling always makes me feel a little light-headed. Please go on.”
“I was just saying, my dearest, this is a map. Don’t look so worried, I wouldn’t expect you to understand it or be able to follow it, I just wanted to show you the route I’ve planned for our little excursion this afternoon.”
“Oh Sidney, you are so clever.”
I snuggled up closer and gave him another of my girly looks. Sidney carried on.
“Well my precious, if you look carefully you will see that parts of the map are coloured blue, that’s the sea. This wiggly black line is the route we will take along the coastal path. I’m not going too fast for you sweetheart, am I? You look a little puzzled. Probably best we leave it at that for now.”
I squeezed his arm and thanked him for his kindness.
Stupid man! If only he knew of the hours I’d spent studying this map. I had a clear picture of the route we would be taking. Even more important – I knew exactly where poor Sidney was going to have his fatal accident.
Says he’s leaving, even bought himself a bike so he’d have his own transport, but we both know he won’t. He gets like this sometimes, says he wants a life of his own, tired of following me around. I tell him that would be OK with me, I never asked him to tag along. But, if the truth be known, we’d miss each other if he moved on. We’ve sort of got used to each others ways over the years. I’ve told him though, if he stays the bike’s got to go – can’t have that following me wherever I go.
Would often stand here as a kid, peering through the railings at the big house, wondering what it must be like inside. Used to catch a glimpse of the people who lived there, big flashy car, kids at the posh school outside town. People said the bloke what owned the place was worth millions, made his money from property, or something like that. Apparently he lives there on his own now. Wife left him for someone else, is what they’re saying, took the kids with her. Wonder if I knocked on the door he’d let me have a look round?