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Short stories

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We decided to hang Alfred. Viv went for rope. Tom went for a chair. I waited and talked with Alfred. We talked about spaceships and spacemen. Alfred was curious if spacemen ever asked, Are we there yet. Alfred was always asking, are we there yet. Tom returned with a chair. It was an old Victorian chair. It had once belonged to Tom’s great-grandfather. Alfred tested the chair. He jumped up and down on the chair. The chair was sturdy. Viv returned with some wool, she could not find any rope. Alfred tested the wool. It snapped. Tom called Viv a bad name. Viv threatened to cry. Before she could fill the room with sobs, Alfred said he knew where there was rope. Viv smiled and hugged Alfred. Viv was very happy. Alfred left room. We need a bible, said Viv. Eliot and Viv’s parents being atheists allowed no bible in the house. I have something in my bedroom, said Viv. We told her to go. Viv returned with Le Petit Prince. We were very happy with Le Petit Prince. I said I would read from Le Petit Prince while Alfred pushed off the chair. Alfred returned. He had an armful of sturdy rope. Eliot being good with knots fashioned a noose. He placed the noose over Alfred’s head. It looked very professional. Alfred rearranged the noose; he was extremely fastidious. Tom helped Alfred up onto the chair. Alfred threw the end of the rope over the chandelier. Tom caught the rope and tied the rope to the doorknob. Alfred pulled the rope to test the rope, it was sturdy, it would hold. Viv touched Alfred on the knee, lovingly. He looked down and smiled. I started to read from Le Petit Prince.

Paul Kavanagh

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