Micro/Flash Fiction:The Phrasebook of Lore


He had asked for a phrase book; particularly one acknowledged by many to be inadequate and improperly translated. His thought was to learn some inappropriate phrases without knowing any better, say them as flinging himself onto the pile of strange speech in other people to whatever end and defend his weirdness to both those of the strange speech and the Hindi Speakers by merely holding up the book and the humble acknowledgment of his own real ignorance. During the trip ..and certainly by the time they got back, –if he got back with them– he would have great stories to tell; probably have some friends he would never have met otherwise, might  have brought a smile or two to the face of those who would might otherwise have remained sad and all of it would have happened by accident and on purpose. He snickered at the attempts to learn perfectly correct English by his friends: everyone knows you make friends by mistake and by accident. Obviously if you could do it on purpose, the world would be a different place.

He and Jonathan could ponder the question of free will and determinism with this new widget of experience over a beer. Or two. Having thought it through, he wondered how many other people had purposely used incorrect knowledge incorrectly but accidentally applied to accomplish legitimate goals and began to see the history of everything in a new light.

——

His first confrontation was a bit of half-baked boldness: he had actually, unknowingly, asked for tea in a sack when he had intended flavored tea and compromised when the waiter had smiled and asked in perfect English if he meant ‘to go’; coincidence was the enemy of his planned serendipity. For some reason, he liked the idea of the confrontation more than the actual thing, but found the whole experience deliciously frightening and a wonderful wound to his smugness and the beast of his notions of free will.

Little did he know, he would shortly ignite a fire with the Keepers of Common Sense and only much later did he begin to question the exact mastery over native speech anyone has to actually mean what they say.

Matthew 21:15,16  And when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonders which he wrought, and the children crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David, they were indignant, and said to him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus says to them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

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