Rattler’s Tale #6

by Anthony North
Friday Fictioneers
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


Empty restaurants.
Well, what did we expect? After the pandemic.
The trees had surrounded them, you see. Cut them off.
And when loads of people turned up at hospital with no nose …
… roses, you see. Sharp petals. And wheat whiplash could hurt, too.
Still, online shopping got through – meat only.
Which was a surprise, what with cows rearing on hind legs. Even sheep got bristly.
No one asked what was in the sausages.
If only I could make it to the bar.
Get drunk on mature wine.
Plenty of that.
Except chianti.


I: We all wear a mask.
ME: Speak for yourself.
I: I am – it’s for the pandemic.
ME: Another one?
I: The real one – the virus of individuality.
ME: But we’re two.
I: Exactly. But so many have forgotten.
ME: Forgotten what?
I: That there’s me and I. Me is me and I is the me I have to be to be accepted.
ME: Well I couldn’t give a &%*!
I: But I have to, or I’m weird, an outsider, an outcast.
ME: Is that why you won’t let me out?
I: I can’t. Freedom won’t allow it.
ME: But that’s mad!
I: Aren’t we all?
ME: Come on, take the mask off. Place it down on the table. Look up!
I: I want to – I really do – but I have to thrive; to succeed; to be accepted.
ME: So you deny your inner nature.
I: I deny everything to do with nature. I have no choice.
ME: But we and nature are the true one.
I: I know that! But I can’t know it. Not … outside.
ME: So you is you and I can’t be part of you.
I: That’s right. Except for my screaming.

98 comments on “Rattler’s Tale #6

  1. My wine has no nose.
    Really how does it smell?
    This is a novel take on the prompt, Anthony. Surreal and poetic.

  2. I enjoyed the banter between I and Me the internal conflict of being oneself. The new masks are something we wear for the pandemic, but we all wear a mask of our own making.

    Thank goodness for curbside wine pickup, I put on my mask and picked up 3 bottles. I just wished I could invite someone over to share a glass or two. I guess it’s just I and me and a bottle of Cabernet.

  3. Split personality comes to mind.
    I am me, nothing more and nothing less.
    It was a fun, but hard to keep things straight read.

  4. These dig into the discomfort. The conversation in the second, I could almost feel the houselights go down and the restive silence as the argument commenced.

  5. The microbes have flown in and our noses have dissapeared oh and our mouths too.
    How clever are we

    Happy Sunday Anthony


  6. I really loved the style of the first one, the pondering s and the inner dialogue of the second one. I think a lot changes for the bad but going back to a simpler lifestyle which would be good.

  7. You must have your nose – It sniffs out the good and the bad. Such a unbelievable story is written last winter, but How things have changed. Nice story Anthony!

  8. Given the way it is, anything can turn up in the plate. They need to claw back on the the business loss for the years to come. It may look savory and prepared deliciously but what are they, anyway!


  9. Both of these pieces hit me with their sincerity. the first is ironic and dry, yet somehow also quite terrifying, while the second holds a very uncomfortable truth most of us would like to cover up and never think about–except when we scream, of course. Excellent work.

  10. Mask: A DIALOGUE is beautifully and consistently done. I hope at home Mr. Nature gets to play a little!

  11. Cows on hind legs? “Two legs good, four legs bad?” The bleating chorus of sheep are ringing throughout the land. The next few weeks should be telling.

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