Three Fictions
James Grinwis

The Neck Lengthening Ceremony

The machines were rigged up and churning in the square.
By dusk, hundreds of necks had been successfully lengthened.
After the neck lengthening ceremony, the people of numerous mouths walk over to the café. They employ a concentrated effort in order to have the mouths work simultaneously, as well as contain any irrelevant or embarrassing information.
It is difficult to lie when four mouths are moving. It is difficult to decide on one thing.
They take these necks, and they just stretch them! Jimmy liked talking about this. "They get real long, and when they are about the snap, the machine stops!"
A judge comes out, decides which neck is best, and gives the award.

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He sat on his leather perch atop the hardwood pole, surveying the domain, apparently unafraid. There were giant things up there, cruising their nightly range.
For the imminent sign to appear in the sky, such a pole vigil was crucial, and because we were waiting with whitened fists for that sign, we were not going to jeopardize his meditations with our impulsive ways.
If we had any hint whatsoever of that sign, of course, of what it was supposed to be, or how it would look, we would go to the pole and chop it down with the big axes.
Then we'd proceed to the clearing and burn the whole thing, even the putting green.
We are waiting and waiting for the sign to appear.

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She was somewhere in the triangle, tickling the feet of the unknown. A pygmy owl lit on the twig of the highest point. Montezuma had been here, the smell was like coal. There were bits and pieces, torn things drifting along on the breeze.
She lifted a dead bird and started hammering it into the side of a tree. The owl cocked his head to the side. Somewhere in the triangle, she felt a chill bite into her wrists.
The owl did not think it was appropriate to handle a dead bird this way. The owl was quite angry. He took his beak and ripped open the throat of her son.