Friday, July 30, 2010

The Rabbi, The Nun, The Talking Dog,
and Everything

In submission to the 7/30/10 Lesser Friday Challenge. EDIT 8/12: In response to feedback, added two -- um, er... stanzas. Hopefully it will make the story a little less confusing. Just a little less, though.

An important man, a powerful man, a not-actually-religious man: The Rabbi. He listens with patiently concealed impatience.

A nobody woman, a desperate woman, a really-quite-loving woman: The Nun. She pleads with barely concealed emotion.

A large sum, a small sum, a requested two-hundred-percent-addition-to-the-regular-monthly sum: $10,000. With it, The Nun will save The Orphanage.

"The Children are our future," she says, "without them we have Nothing."

"I haven't the money," says The Rabbi.

~ ~ ~

A wicked idea, a crazy idea, a worth-a-quarter-million-dollars idea: The Talking Dog. The man drinks with woefully loud regret.

A healthy animal, a friendly animal, an unfortunately-quite-speechless animal: The Talking Dog. It pants with markedly mute happiness.

A paltry sum, a sneaky sum, a potential-for-one-thousand-percent-profit sum: $25,000. With it, The Rabbi will buy The Talking Dog.

"I wasted it all," the man tells The Rabbi. "I sunk $50,000 into this failure. If I could but recoup half of that, I might not end up in the gutter. Watch the beast while I take a whiz, will you?"

"I thought that whiner would never leave," says The Talking Dog.

~ ~ ~

An important man, a powerful man, a pulled-a-few-strings-to-get-here man: The Rabbi. He presents with hardly concealed excitement.

A skeptical group, an impatient group, a willing-to-give-it-a-second-try group: The Board. They listen with slightly hopeful avarice.

An invested sum, a withheld sum, a merely-provide-proof-of-product sum: $250,000. With it, The Board would buy a Talking Dog.

"Come on, boy," the Rabbi tells the dog, "Speak! Speak like you did at the bar! Come on, Speak!"

"Woof woof," barks The Talking Dog.

~ ~ ~

A crafty man, a generous man, a not-afraid-to-bend-a-few-laws man: The Bandit. He walks with jauntily nimble steps.

A nobody woman, a desperate woman, a once-cared-for-a-certain-street-urchin woman: The Nun. She weeps with hopelessly lonely despair.

A nothing sum, an everything sum, a still-leaves-ten-large-for-expenses sum: $15,000. With it, The Bandit will ring the doorbell.

"Special delivery," he says, "Envelope from the trade district. No return address, though a note instructs that it's intended for the Orphanage."

"I wonder who sent it?" says The Nun.

~ ~ ~

An angry man, a chagrined man, a looking-to-rid-himself-of-his-embarrassment man: The Rabbi. He bestows with kindly concealed disregard.

A relieved woman, an excited woman, a saved-by-an-anonymous-benefactor woman: The Nun. She thanks with sincerely sincere sincerity.

A healthy animal, a friendly animal, an unfortunately-quite-speechless animal: The Talking Dog. With it, the Children will romp at The Orphanage.

"I have no use for the pup," The Rabbi says, "and so I figured I'd give it to the Children. After all, the Children are Everything."

"Woof woof," barks The Talking Dog.

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