23 comments

Funny Fantasy Historical Fiction

Martha, if I knew more than what I was telling you, I would tell you more. I’m telling you what I know, and all I know is what Gosha told me after Saresha told her after Saresha talked to Noah’s wife Na’amah spoke to her about it and told her to bring the turtles.

I don’t know what Noah needs turtles for, but somebody told me--and I can’t say who--that Noah might be building a turtle farm. All turtles moving forward. The occasional salamander, but mostly turtles. Do you believe that? What is he going to do with all those turtles? I asked Gosha and she said Saresha never said what Na’amah told her, but it was something about a pool. A pool or a lake. Or a flood? Was it a flood? No, why would they be talking about a flood. It’s dry as a desert out here. Look at my skin. Like the back of a turtle’s neck, don’t you agree?

Saresha said Na’amah said something about how Noah wanted a male turtle and a female turtle. I asked her if he asked for turtles or tortoises, because they’re different, you know? Saresha asked how and I told her that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. She said Na’amah didn’t say that Noah specified, and that tells you everything you need to know about whether or not this turtle farm of his is going to be successful.

He thinks he can get enough new turtles from one male and one female? You’d need at least a dozen more. Turtles are very picky when it comes to their partners. Just like my sister, Eloysha, may the Lord find her a husband. She’s off every night in the bars down by Brutsutte cavorting with all the other revelers. Never worshipping. Never giving thanks for all her bounties though there aren’t many. I went down there the other night, because I’d been stuck in the house all day, and I heard Rahshem was going to be singing the Story of the Fearful Cow, which you know is my favorite of all the cow stories.

I got all dressed up and when I got there, it turns out, the whole thing was a rumor. Gossip--filthy gossip. Do you believe that? Gosha told me that Saresha told her that Na’amah told Saresha that Noah is worried we’re all going to be smote by the Lord for gossip, and I believe it. It’s a nasty thing to be spreading around the same way my sister spreads around all the harlot’s diseases. Someone--I can’t say who--told me they saw her going into the Fig Hut with Do’tripa even though he’s betrothed to several of Witla’s daughters.

You have to be so careful what you do around here. People just love to talk. Saresha told me that Na’amah told her that Noah’s been working on some kind of shark. A shark like a fish. You don’t know what a shark is? He’s working on raising one, I think. He probably wants to have it at the turtle farm to draw in the crowds. You have to have an eye-catcher, Martha. People have a lot going on. They’re not simply going to come to your turtle farm just because you ask them to. If you’ve seen one turtle, you’ve seen them all, and I have seen a lot of turtles in my day.

I’m just not sure how I feel about living next to a shark. I’m sure Noah will build some kind of containment for it--that’s not the issue. The issue would be all those rubberneckers coming by day after day to look at it. And what is he going to feed it? Fish, I assume. Where is he getting fish to feed a shark? Martha, do you have any idea how much sharks eat? Depending on its size, it could eat up everything in the village stockpile.

Of course, I’m keeping that all to myself. I’m not telling a soul about any of my concerns. I did mention my worries to Gosha, but I swore her to secrecy. Unfortunately, that was after she had already talked to Saresha, and Saresha said something to Na’amah about the shark, and Na’amah seemed very confused, but you know she loves to play dumb when it comes to her husband. She’ll act like she has no idea what you’re talking about and the next thing you know, there’s a Mako swimming around next to your hut.

Someone--I can’t say who--told me that Noah’s sons have all been going around borrowing tools and cutting down trees. I think--and, obviously, I don’t know this for sure, but I think--he’s planning on taking another wife. What else could he be doing if he’s building another hut? Dear me, I hope he chooses to marry my sister. Eloysha would be terrible at managing a turtle farm, but Noah doesn’t need to know that. As long as she can stay faithful to him, then that’s all he should ask for in another spouse.

Now…Whether or not she can stay faithful is another matter entirely, but I would never say that out loud. I’d rather die than say that out loud. The truth is, my sister would make an excellent fifth wife and would probably be perfectly content taking care of a shark, and what more can you ask for in this life if you’re Noah? You and your turtles and those weird signs you keep posting telling everyone they need to pack up their belongings and be prepared for a long voyage. Is he planning on taking the entire village on a cruise of some sort? Because if he is, I’ll need to find my bathing suit. I haven’t worn it since my honeymoon.

Gosha told me that Saresha told her that Na’amah said big changes are coming. You know what that means, don’t you?

God must have told Noah that we’re finally getting that community pool we’ve all been praying for since I was a girl. Why, all we have to do now is build a big hole in the middle of town and God will fill it up for us. Don’t you see those black clouds high overhead? Pretty soon, it’ll downpour and we’ll be able to take a nice dip when we feel dry and overheated.

Won’t that be nice, Martha?

Why, I can already feel the rain coming down now to fill up our pool. Oh, don’t let the storm clouds scare you. It’s just going to be enough rain to fill up the pool and the container that Noah’s shark is going in.

A turtle farm and a community pool all at the same time. How exciting.

And just think, Martha--

You heard it here first.

May 31, 2023 00:01

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23 comments

Susan Catucci
00:14 Jun 05, 2023

I, from a practical (perhaps not useful) point of view, might venture to say that without concrete evidence and first-hand face-to-face encounter, as most benevolent happenings tend to be, the margin for error seems enormous. I'm enjoying all the questions this prompt conjures and makes me wonder what has happened intentionally, tangentially, accidentally or by pure happenstance, luck or misfortune. It all adds up to a gigantic however we got here, deal with it. No wonder the world's such a nutty place. At least, we have great art happ...

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Story Time
16:37 Jun 05, 2023

Thank you so much, Susan. That's a wonderful compliment. Sometimes a good prompt can elicit a lot of fantastic, diverse reading.

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19:44 Jun 02, 2023

I love a bit of biblical silliness and this had me giggling away to myself all the way through. This line: She’ll act like she has no idea what you’re talking about and the next thing you know, there’s a Mako swimming around next to your hut. made me laugh out loud. Brilliant - it's clever and witty and irreverent - what a fantastic combination.

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Story Time
21:26 Jun 02, 2023

Thank you, Katharine!

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Zack Powell
23:52 May 31, 2023

This is classic Kevin Broccoli. A good monologue dish, served with a slice of wacky irreverence and topped with some delicious inside jokes. Love the biblical backdrop of this piece. The title? Check. The characters? Check. The gossip about the ark turtles, which segues beautifully into the punchlines about the shark and the hopeless optimism for the community pool? Check. Super creative direction to take this prompt. Lots of great writerly choices all around. I imagine a lot of takes for this prompt will be dialogue-heavy, so I appreciate t...

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Story Time
23:57 May 31, 2023

Thank you, Zack! Appreciate you reading it :)

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Michał Przywara
22:10 May 31, 2023

Ha! Of course, the title drew me right in :) Somebody told me – and I can't say who – that this is a jolly little ramble :) It works as a monologue. It also works as a dialogue where poor Martha can't get a word in edgewise. Lots of fun gossip and facts getting misheard and distorted, and it hits several prompts at once. Very fun :)

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Story Time
22:58 May 31, 2023

Thank you, Michal!

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Mary Bendickson
00:57 May 31, 2023

Very prophetic.🐢🐢🦈🦈

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Story Time
06:04 May 31, 2023

Heyo! Good one haha

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Amanda Lieser
20:45 Jun 19, 2023

Hi Kevin, As some other commenters have stated the way that you’re a piece meander is a long and creates a perfect response to the prompt was beautiful. I love the way that this story started out with some thing as simple as turtles, and I liked that line that you included that line about turtles versus tortoises because I think it’s a delightful detail. Your story jammed a whole lotta gossip into 3,000 words. Nicely done!!

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Story Time
21:36 Jun 19, 2023

Thank you, it was a fun one to write.

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Marty B
03:04 Jun 09, 2023

What a fun story, and I love how you picked turtles as the animal to focus on. This line to me is lovely- "I went down there the other night, because I’d been stuck in the house all day, and I heard Rahshem was going to be singing the Story of the Fearful Cow, which you know is my favorite of all the cow stories."

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Story Time
19:41 Jun 09, 2023

Thank you so much, Marty!

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Kelly Sibley
00:58 Jun 08, 2023

A turtle farm and a community pool! Woo Hoo! Loved it! Well done.

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Story Time
16:34 Jun 08, 2023

Thank you, Kelly.

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Ellen Neuborne
02:02 Jun 06, 2023

I loved this. Nobody gossiped quite like our Biblical ancestors! And very clever title.

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Story Time
04:10 Jun 06, 2023

Thank you so much.

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J. D. Lair
01:20 Jun 04, 2023

Hilarious! Really enjoyed this one. 😆

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Story Time
04:33 Jun 04, 2023

Thank you, J.D.!

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Anna W
20:05 Jun 03, 2023

This story had me chuckling all the way through! Thanks for sharing; I really enjoyed it!

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Story Time
04:33 Jun 04, 2023

Thank you, Anna!

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- Lavendosaii -
19:42 May 31, 2023

I love how this entire thing is just dialogue.

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