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The Story of Alphonse
by Kell Inkston

Once upon a time, there was a young man named Alphonse. He quite much loved his work, as he was a simple boy and lived purely on the land with his father. One day, when he became 18, his father said “Take this coming of age story catalyst to help the plot move along. Be sure to be nice to all the creatures of the forest as you travel to the village to sell your ‘cow’, because they definitely have the human intelligence to pay you back.”

And so Alphonse turned away and went down the road with the calf, eager to see what the world has to offer.

Soon enough he saw his first animal needing kindness, a small earthworm caught in the sun after a rain. He reached down and after a small struggle with the tiny creature, took it to a nearby pond, where it was eaten by a fish shortly after. Hans wept for the poor worm, and moved on.

It was not long after that time that he met a small blue bird with a broken wing. He picked it up despite its incessant chirping, and placed it mistakenly in the nest of a falcon. It died too.

After that, he had reached the town and was arrested by the people because everyone knew he was in the middle of a coming of age narrative, and no one wanted that. They threw him in the dungeon, and Alphonse knew no one would help him, because both the worm and the bird had died because of what he had done. He had expected no help, but then, opening the door to the dungeon to get another prisoner was the Spanish Inquisition. Hans smiled, realizing that sometimes help can come from the most unlikely places.

“Hello,” Alphonse said, “Catholics are nerds.”

The inquisitors didn’t much like that, and they pulled him from the prison, and took him to the gallows. His plan had backfired, and Hans was sure to meet his doom, but then Barbarians from the north attacked, and he was freed to spite the fleeing inquisitors. The barbarians did take his cow though.

Alphonse rushed right back home to tell his father all that happened.

“Welcome home, son. What is it that you have learned?”

“I learned that animals are too stupid to be helped and that offending people is the only way to get by in the world, father. I’m going to become a yes man for the biggest, most corrupt company I can find.” And then Alphonse ran away. But now it was night, and he did not see the giant hole filled enormous spikes made out of salt. He died terribly. The end.