Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Centennial

Today marks my 100th daily story! It's been great to watch my pageviews rise and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to check out this blog. Setting a goal to write something every day has certainly kept me from feeling lazy, but it has also been time consuming and a little stressful (especially when I’m banging my head against my desk at one in the morning trying to think of a subject). I’d like to devote more time to work on longer and more refined pieces for submissions, so I’m going to start cutting back my blog updates to 2-3 posts a week. Thanks for reading! —Martin

     Lily walked into her apartment carrying a paper bag full of groceries. Her roommate Marla sat on the couch, flipping through a fashion magazine.
     “Hey Marla,” said Lily as she set the groceries on the kitchen counter. “Do you remember what today is?”
     Marla perked an eyebrow and scanned her memory, then her face lit up and she jumped off the sofa.
     “Oh my god, I can’t believe I almost forgot!” Marla bounced up and down. “It’s the one hundredth anniversary of Franz Reichelt’s death!”
     Without another word, she pushed past Lily and ran into the kitchen. Then she flung open the refrigerator door and began digging through the food inside. A few carrots and grapes fell out and rolled across the floor, but Marla paid no attention to them. Finally, she reemerged with a bottle of champagne.
     “I bought this a year ago and I’ve been saving it just for today.” She struggled to twist the cork.
     Lily watched her from across the room. “Actually Marla—“
     The cork popped and ricocheted off the ceiling. Lily ducked to avoid being hit. Bubbly champagne foamed out of the bottle and spilled onto the floor.
     “Hurry up and get some glasses!” shouted Marla.
     In a panic, Lily grabbed two wine glasses out of the cupboard and shoved them under the pouring bottle. When the glasses were full, Marla took one and held it high for a toast.
     “To the memory of Franz Reichelt, the Flying Tailor! Your peers said it couldn’t be done, but you bravely stood up to them and invented the world’s first parachute suit. Nobody else believed a coat could turn into a parachute, but you sure showed them. We’ll always remember you, Monsieur Reichelt, and the innovative thinking you brought into the world.”
     The two women sipped their drinks.
     “Is there anything you want to add, Lily?” Marla looked as if she could cry.
     “Well,” said Lily, “I just have to say I never heard of this guy and I only wanted to remind you that we have to take the garbage out tonight.”
     “Oh,” said Marla. She scanned her memory again. “Come to think of it, the anniversary of Franz Reichelt’s death was last week. Oh well.” She finished the rest of her champagne in one long gulp and tossed the glass in the sink.
     Lily looked at the mess in the kitchen and sighed. “So this Franz guy invented a parachute suit one hundred years ago? And it worked?”
     “Kind of,” said Marla “He fell to his death from the Eiffel Tower trying to test it. There’s actual newsreel footage of his fall on Youtube and it shows the police measuring the crater he left in the ground. Wanna watch it?”
     The video went viral that night.

Text translation:
As if he sensed the horrible fate that awaited him,
the unfortunate inventor hesitated before making his jump.

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