“It’s story time paati”, beamed Jilpasura as he settled into his king sized bed, after a light repast involving several swimming things, a few mountain ranges of rice, a family pack of Arun ice cream and a few red bananas from Kerala.
Jalsa Rakshasi was just getting ready to play Half Life 2. But headcrabs could wait.
“Ok. For a change, let’s ignore our noble (and often unfortunate) ancestors, and let me tell you a story about stories.”
“Hmm. A meta story?”
“Not necessarily, although we could make it recursive, like
Jalsa Rakshasi wanted to put her grandson to sleep quickly so she could get back to playing Half Life 2.
“Let me tell you a story about stories”, she declared.
“Is it a meta story?”, asked the young asura
“Not necessarily, although we could make it recursive.
Jalsa Rakshasi wanted to put her grandson to sleep quickly…
“Hey. Hold. break(). Not allowed. Cheating. You try (story) but I catch (exception). This is too short. I want a longer, non-repeating story”
“Fine. Let me introduce you to a new genre called Science Fact.”
“Science Fact? Wouldn’t that be boring?”
“Of course not. Science Fact is a literary genre that relies on the dramatic tensions that surface when dry scientific facts are applied to sensitive situations to produce potentially interesting outcomes. There’s only one rule – no fantasy science, like time travel or laptop batteries that last more than a few hours.”
“Hmm. Ok. Go ahead. Impress me”
“Dr Kandaswamy was going back to his village after many years. As the first graduate from his village, he was already a bit of a celebrity, but he wanted to use his fame to eradicate age old superstitions that were still keeping the village in the dark ages. He arranged for a projector and called for a townhall meeting. He then went on to explain –
“You see, every one. I am proud of my village, and I cannot tolerate superstition as a man trained in science. I heard that blaming women for giving birth to financially unviable girls instead of dowry-magnetic guys is a common practice. Shame on us. Listen to me, all of you, and watch these slides carefully”
He then opens an OpenOffice presentation and explains –
“In the mangaatha game we call life, the woman puts in an X chromosome, while a man has a choice – X or Y. If he throws in X, the baby will be a girl. If Y, a boy. So all this while, we’ve been burning our daughters-in-law while the real culprit lie elsewhere. So therefore, I propose that from today, we will burn the boy and have the girl remarry till a boy is produced”
“Yay! We agree. Let the boy burning begin”
“Wuh? That was a disturbing story. So are all Science-fact stories like this?”
“Hmm. Pretty much.”
“Um. No then. Tell me something more interesting. Something with more of an element of surprise”
“Hmm. How about Telescopic fiction?”
“Sounds exploratory. What is it, really?”
“Here’s the link. Click on all the orange things. I’m off headcrab hunting now. Good night, and Chakkapradhaman dreams.”
“Hold your gravity gun right there. I’m already done. Not bad, but that was just a snack. I need my main course now. That wasn’t satisfying enough.”
Jalsa Rakshasi saw her chances of killing some Combine soldiers disappear with every moment.
“Oh well. Have you heard of Twiction?”
“Okay. It’s Fiction concocted from Twitter statuses. I saw this a while back and was inspired to do a Twiction version of an O Henry classic. One thing to note though – Twitter statuses are shown in descending chronological order (newest first)”
“Hmmm…Im feeling sleepy now. Thanks paati”
“Yesssss..Good night. Now where’s my crowbar”