The Curiously Stunted, Incomprehensibly Disjointed, Perfectly Inadequate Adventures of Nicholas Cornelius Holloway – Episode 48

He read the brochure aloud while she browsed.

“To outsiders people seem inexcusably happy on Disproportionate Island. Like us, the Disproportionates are easily incensed by small provocations, but here even meager courtesies evoke jubilant delight. The visitor accustomed to a more misanthropic worldview inevitably perceives the Disproportionates as philosophically askew.

“The Disproportionates call themselves the Gundawdahaypay – the comparatively-proportional – and call outsiders the Bumbadudbogabawump – the-ones-with-long-legs-and-small-heads.

“Early explorers depicted the Disproportionates as large-headed dwarfs who like to show their teeth. Disproportionate records from the same period illustrate our explorers as hunched noodle-men. We are described as ‘traversing continents with gangly strides burdened by small-mindeded apperceptions evidenced by a pitiful absence of heart-joy.'”

He held the brochure out to show her the pictures. She didn’t look.

“Sounds creepy,” she said.

He nodded, but he stuffed the brochure in his pocket.

The Curiously Stunted, Incomprehensibly Disjointed, Perfectly Inadequate Adventures of Nicholas Cornelius Holloway – Episode 47

He had a window in his room when he was small. He could see across a valley stitched with streets and buttoned with houses. He liked to listen to lawn mowers, smell the freshly cut grass, and stare at a distant hill with trees like broccoli.

He was too young to know some homes are happy and some aren’t. He knew something ached when he looked at that hill. He was moved from that house, but the ache endured.

He returned years later and was taken up the hill. It was part of a hospital campus. Through the window in his room, across the valley, he thought he could see another window.

They buried him under a broccoli tree. The minister said kind words. No one had any trouble hearing him over the distant lawn mowers. They thought they understood the stone. Maybe they did.

“I made it,” it said.