Showcasing creative writing by university students around the world.

Illustration by Gustaf Lord

Published Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Words by

It’s The Thought That Crisis Bites

“Welcome everyone, thank you for your attendance. I hope the representatives that are the focus of our discussion are not here tonight, and have no awareness of our intention to meet?”

They sat, as it was customary to do, around an enormous table. The table stretched from one side of the Grand Hall to the other, with two sitting at each end and dozens sitting along each side. It was laden high with Builder’s Tea and Instant Coffee, Bourbons and Custard Creams, and was buckling under the weight of all the complimentary refreshments. The water cooler hummed pleasantly to itself in the corner, seemingly unaware of the grandeur of the event that was to be taking place that evening.


Chitter chatter rippled across the table, everyone in anticipation of the arrival of their prestigious host. That evening the guests would be taking part in an Incredibly Important Political Debate, one of universal significance, and they had travelled from across the globe in order to attend. Chinese Panda sat contentedly at the table between Bolivian Boa Constrictor and Kyrgyz Mole, all of whom were discussing the current joviality in the Middle East. Down the other end of the table, clustered in Alpine solidarity, sat Italian Bat, French Deer and Swiss Marmot. They were similarly discussing the development of cheeriness between Israel and Palestine, between Iraq and Iran. Only one of the representatives from the vague expanse of the Middle East had been invited to attend that evening, and keeping it a secret from the others had proved to be extremely difficult. Saudi Arabian Pelican, in the middle of it all as usual, had had to be bribed somewhat into silence. His presence was proving a little awkward.


After what seemed like quite a long wait, God appeared.


“Welcome everyone, thank you for your attendance. I hope the representatives that are the focus of our discussion are not here tonight, and have no awareness of our intention to meet?”


Everyone cast a sideways glance at Saudi Arabian Pelican, who grinned inanely and squawked in confirmation of their ignorance.


“Fine” God said, unenthusiastically. He sat down on the centre of the table and absent-mindedly picked up a custard cream. Taking this as a cue everyone else tucked in, ravenous after having stared at the refreshments for such a long time. The tea was lukewarm and the biscuits had gone soft, but nobody seemed to mind.


“Let us begin. If I understand correctly, American Bison, you have called this meeting in order to rectify the recent peace that has occurred in the Middle East?”


“Correct. Due to this new found “friendship”, the American Free Trade Agreement is in ruins. I’m telling you, this so called friendship is the new enemy. This enemy would like to attack America, Americans.” American Bison had risen from his seat, steam angrily billowing from his nostrils. “I have to use hardworking people’s money to help prevent a national crisis. You have sacrificed our longstanding peace and happiness for theirs. You are asking our citizens to change who they are and what they stand for. You,” he pointed an accusatory hoof at Philippine Slow Loris, “you are shattering the American dream.” With that he sat down and furiously inhaled a large mug of coffee.


Philippine Slow Loris blinked twice, shrugged, and settled down for a nap. Somebody coughed awkwardly. German Swan rose from her seat to retort.


“You will find, American Bison, that it is vital to build good relations with everyone that holds political responsibility. A new and fair order can only be built together. It is nonsense to say that Americans are unable to change. Nobody will be abandoned! Nobody will be excluded!” Her wings began to flap wildly and knocked over the mugs of several unsuspecting countries in her path. “It would do you good, American Bison, to remember that whoever decides to dedicate their lives to politics knows that earning money isn’t the top priority.”


English Badger stood up to speak, but in fear of insulting either German Swan or American Bison, he swiftly sat down again and gazed longingly into his empty cup of tea. He desperately needed another, but after the initial rush nothing but crumbs and dregs remained. Some countries had travelled quite a long way in order to attend, and, although they continued to listen to German Swan politely, some attention had begun to wander. Indian Tiger was seeing Spanish Boar in a whole new delicious light.


After hissing out her final grievances, German Swan returned to her seat and Kenyan Bullfrog attempted to command the attention of the room. Unfortunately, Canadian Racoon appeared to be less interested in what he thought of the political discourse, and more interested in what his fat amphibian legs might taste like. In his excitement Kenyan Bullfrog hopped wildly across the table, gesticulating wildly, without concentrating on where he was going. With a final poignant remark, he hopped back unsuspectingly into the open jaws of Mexican Coyote.


For a mere moment, all was silence. Then for quite a long time, all was pandemonium.


Nonchalantly picking the crumbs out of his beard, God sighed. He stood up, picked his way through the chaos and, with a sense of déjà-vu, hit the flood button.

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