Buttons

 Once upon a time there was a very small, very excitable, *very* imaginative — but slightly scared — button.

Every day, the button would work itself into a frenzy thinking about all of the fun things it would do outside of the button jar. It pressed itself up against the glass of the button jar and started dancing! It flung itself this way and that way thinking about how it would fly all over the world outside the jar that contained it on that shelf. The other buttons didn’t like getting jostled around this way and that while the imaginitive button was imagining. They’d say things like “Calm down!” “Quiet up!” “Stay still!” and still other, perhaps meaner, things to our friendly button. Eventually, by the end of each day, our button would give up on its dreams and just do nothing like the rest of the buttons in the button jar. 

One day a small child assembled a staircase out of baskets, chairs, shoe boxes, and other items to climb up to the shelf where the button jar lived. The child reached up to the glass to push the jar out of the way. It was a teddy bear that the child was after that was behind the jar. But the child slipped! The child pulled down the bear in the long fall to the ground. The button jar tipped over and was in danger of rolling off of the ledge on which it rested. A fall could happen at any moment! 

Because of that, our little button — paying attention unlike the others — decided to get out of the jar so as not to fall so far like the bear with button eyes had (those eyes always looked sad to our imaginative button). Our button scrambled out of the jar. It tried to warn the others “Come on! You’re going to fall! This isn’t a warning or a drill! Let’s go!” Alas, the other buttons responded like the always had by saying “Calm down!” “Quiet up!” “Stay still!” (along with other, much meaner, things). 

Because of that, our imaginative button escaped from the jar. It pulled but one other button out before the jar went crashing down to the ground — shattering on impact — and leaving motionless buttons on the carpet far far below. Our button was very very scared. 

Until finally, the button our imaginitive button had saved looked over and said “Thank you, I always thought you were fun, but I wasn’t allowed to talk to you at all. Thank you for saving me.” Our button didn’t know what to do. All of the sudden, the buttons on the floor far far below started to move. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” said our imaginitive button, “Do you trust me?” The other button said yes, and the started a Rube Goldberg-like decent involving magazines, bouncy balls, picture frames, metal wire, spider silk, and other amazing feats. The final decent was on a handkerchief, like a parachute, to the ground below. “You really are amazing.” Our imaginitive button thought about it for a moment, “I really am. I really truly am.” Everyone cheered.

Time

Once upon a time there was time.

Every day, time waited for time to pass.

One day time, again, passed. But this time, time realized that time was passing.

Because of that, time began to worry about wasted time. Time began to think about how much time might be left. What it might be used for. What it all might mean. What it had already missed because of the strictly linear passage of itself.

Because of that, time grew tired and bitter and worried. Time didn’t know what to do with the time it had left. Time didn’t know how to spend time other than by waiting for time to be spent. Time was deeply troubled.

Until finally, time flew. Time stopped worrying and thinking and mourning the loss of itself, the waste of itself, and the thought of itself. Time just was. Time was a concept, not a thing. Time focused on the present, and that made all the difference in the world.

Books

 Once upon a time there was a book. 

Every day, the book sat alone on a dusty shelf. 

One day someone decided to pick up that book and crack its pages open. 

Because of that, the book not only felt useful, but was useful. Knowledge spilled into the reader’s head. 

Because of that, the reader stood up, placed the book back on the shelf, and ran out through the door of the room to the outside screaming “no!” 

Until finally, after the gunshots stopped reverberating off the walls outside the room, all was silent.

Fingers Be Damned

Once upon a time there was a game developer named Jonah. 

Every day, Jonah would sit down at his keyboard and type furiously into his computer — breaking the keys — in order to get the ruminations of his mind into the universe for all to share. 

One day Jonah noticed that his fingers were getting shorter. It was as if the compression he routinely subjected them to was shortening their length considerably over time. Looking at his finger measurements, the length of his fingers would approach zero faster than ever toward the end of next week. 

Because of that, Jonah decided to figure out how to create an alternative method of inputting characters for the purpose of developing games. He started with speech (too slow to function), and quickly moved onto larger arguments involving a rudimentary webcam processing images of a whiteboard in real time and turning the game elements into code from what appeared to be simple flow charts scrawled on the whiteboard. 

Because of that, Jonah began a new golden age of gaming. He invigorated the masses who were largely unable to code, but able to think logically, to create some of the best games the world had ever seen. Eventually, these were no longer being used for games, but were consistently being used to develop ever more ingenious software to solve huge problems by people who had finally embraced the power to code. 

Until finally, Jonah’s fingers were able to be regrown based on an application created by a researcher studying the regrowth of various procedures digitally based on scant amounts of data from a wide variety of research over a number of decades. Fingers regrown, Jonah knew he never needed to code the old way again, but he did it anyway. Fingers be damned.

The Giraffe

Once upon a time there was a very small squeeky toy giraffe. 

Every day, the squeeky toy giraffe squeeked across the floor, through the door, and into the arms of a pudgy little baby named Io, who loved it. 

One day the squeeky toy giraffe squeeked across the floor and into the door! Ouch! The pudgy little baby Io was on the other side. 

Because of that, the squeeky toy giraffe had to think up something clever. It had never needed to do anything put fly across the floor and through the door to get into the open arms of Io. The door had to be defeated, but how? First, our squeeky toy giraffe grabbed hold of the legs of a table and began to shake them. *Squeek! Squeek! Squeek!* Suddenly, an antiquated World Book decended from the highest of heights flattening our squeeky giraffe. *Sqwee-eee-eee-eeek!* The giraffe—in a daze—thought for sure that it would fit under the crack in the door. It shimmied its way out from under the book, but as soon as it headed for the door: *Keeeeuqs!* All the air went right back inside. The squeeky toy giraffe could not fit under the crack in the door. 

Because of that, the Giraffe decided to study the World Book, find a pencil, and learn to write a message to Io. Surely the message would fit under the door! After pages and pages of failures, the squeeky toy giraffe finally produced a message that Io would surely understand: ON THE FLOOR, BEHIND THE DOOR, WAITING FOR YOUR ARMS. The giraffe quickly pushed it underneath the crack in the door to the other side. 

Until finally (after what seemed like hours) the door opened up. A large leg come through the door and something fell on our giraffe friend’s head. The sound of a crying Io was beyond the door. Giraffe removed the sock from its head and quickly ran into Io’s arms. Io’s tears dried immediately. Held tightly by Io, the giraffe did the only thing it could: *Squeek!*

The Toy

Once upon a time a grown man who felt he understood everything in the world and everything beyond it. He felt he understood the stars and the moons, the atoms to the organisms, the core to the crust to the sky to the universe and beyond. People came from all around the world to seek his counsel. All was ordered and well, he felt. 

Every day, the people came to him with questions and feelings and hopes and dreams, problems and conflicts and fears and doubts. He took their concerns, their squabbles, and their battles into account and presided over them with his firm but logical judgement. 

One day he presided over a couple of children who were fighting over a toy. After hearing their arguments he determined that the toy, being the source of their argument, must be destroyed. Both children were heartbroken over the loss of the toy and left their families. The families came seeking resolution and help, only to be broken. The man saw the future, the problems he’d created. The way the children would never grow to solve the problems of the world. How their parents would be distraught, their lineage would be ruined, and his fears for the world realized. 

Because of that, he stepped down from his thrown of wisdom, convinced that he was no longer as smart as he thought he was. 

Because of that, the people went mad with confusion. Anger, war, famine, fever, and fear plagued the people. They sought out their decision-maker for lack of their ability to make decisions on their own. They saw this not as a freedom, but a fear inducing anxiety. Their madness escalated. 

Until finally they learned to decide for themselves. The man, however, decided for no one. Not even himself. He sought the counsel of others who, through their new found confidence, told him decide matters on his own. Seeing that the world had not come to an end as he thought, he walked out of the boundaries of the city and found the toy in the dirt. It was missing its arms, but still had its head. A thought worth pondering, he thought. He decided he agreed with himself.

Astronaut

Once upon a time a man who burnt candles in the dark. He lit them up to shape them, mold them, into newer things they never dreamt of becoming. 

Every day, as the sun set, he sat at his table and waited for the air to cool. Every day, he sat with his back to the sun streaming into the window. His eyes always fixed on the candles before him. 

One day the sun refused to set. No matter how long he kept his back turned, no matter how long he waited, no matter how long he looked forward to working on his candles, the sun simply refused to set. 

Because of that, he had a choice to make. Should he sit and allow the candles to wait or do something about that pesky sun? He decided he’d better do something instead of just waiting around. 

Because of that, he sprung into action. He figured if he could get one clear shot at the sun he’d have that sun beat in a lick. He spent 3000 years developing space travel before becoming the confident man he is today. 

Until finally he realized that fighting the sun was a weird and fruitless goal. He gave up, having become happy enough with himself for solving world hunger and making extended space travel possible.

Bill Murray Bear

Once upon a time there was a bear. 

Every day, this bear ate bread. 

One day this bear ate butter. 

Because of that, the bear became fat. 

Because of that, the bear lost all self esteem. 

Until finally the bear set out to sea to find his lost father played by Bill Murray.

The Fireman

Once upon a time there was a old woman who lived in a tree.

Every day, that old woman would fuss about the branches, and concern

herself with birds, and ignore the passers-by who asked her to come

down.

One day a man who looked strangely like her husband, but younger —

and dressed as a firefighter — asked her to come down. She said “I’ll

think about it.”

Because of that, she did think about it. Could it be that her husband

had somehow returned from war alive? And young! And so handsome? Could

it really be true? Heavens! She almost couldn’t sleep that first night

just thinking about the things that might happen the next day when the

fireman came by again.

Because of that, she woke up early and used a pinecone to brush her

hair. The squirrels helped her with some little red berries to

brighten her lips. She waited and waited with as straight a back as

she could on the lowest tree branch she could safely get to.

Until finally the fireman arrived and asked her if she’d come down.

She said “why thank you” and as she took his hand she saw the people

cheering! Soon enough, their love would bloom.

The Headache

Once upon a time there was headache.

Every day, that headache did its very best to make an ache that was worthy
of the head.

One day the headache strained and strived and fought to make even the
smallest ache appear but failed.

Because of that, the headache didn’t sleep for two weeks.

Because of that, the headache wasted lots of money on the home shopping
network.

Until finally the headache realized that aches and pains magically
disappeared with a little peppermint oil, a foot massager, and a specially
contoured heating pad.