If you enjoyed reading the stories of Robert Mynatt from his first book, Illogical Thoughts by Someone Too Young to Think, then you’ll love “Happy Thoughts Make Others Happy”. Following are a collection of sample excerpts from the stories in this book. Please find a link at the bottom to buy either a hard copy or Kindle version of the book. Enjoy!…
“Do you think our future is going to be dystopian?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Well, all those books and movies, they just paint a picture of our future that’s so miserable. I mean, what’s the point if life will only be misery in the future? Why not just end it right now?”
“Those books and movies are just entertainment.”
Daniel and Mark sit atop a billboard, looking out at a desolated city, covered in sand. They can’t see a horizon, only dusk. Daniel flirts with the romantic idea of jumping off, but knows his fall would be cushioned by sand.
Tanya acts. She discovered her talent for acting at a young age, maybe four, discovering that she could easily create a persona and play it out as if she were that actual person with invented personality traits and quarks. Inevitably, she grew to identify with these personalities, and slowly began to lose her actual core identity. Tanya became an empty shell, mimicking the person she thought she was supposed to be in different social situations. She made millions of dollars as a successful actress, but she never actually learned who she was. When she converted to Buddhism, she shot herself.
You can’t fault a person for abusing a time machine. Who wouldn’t? There’s no responsible way to travel back in time and experience events that you weren’t supposed to see. Even if you take every ethical precaution and resolve not to alter the time line, there’s still no guarantee that your actions won’t cause irrevocable damage to the spacetime continuum. Why, you might be wondering, am I telling you this? Well…you remember the Black Plague and World War One? My fault. I didn’t mean to, but just drinking one beer that I wasn’t supposed to causes everything to go wild.
There are two kids in the back, yelling. The woman can see their uvulas vibrating like punching bags. She wants to yank them out with their tongues so she won’t have to listen to their incessant cries and pleas and screeches.
They’re not her kids. She drove them around for nearly fifteen minutes without realizing it. Her kids are back at the school, waiting patiently for their mother. But she has two little brats that want to make a fuss out of a single mistake.
She had to bribe their silence with cookies at the finest Danish bakery in town.
My grandfather and I used to build forts out of his old books. They smelled like cologne and waxy paper. He’d always leave one book out from the construction so that he could read it to me while I fell asleep. I’d dream of the lives of the characters in the books he would read.
I never grew out of that phase. Sentimental, I know. While I don’t build book forts anymore, I still try to live my life as if I were a character in a book. But who knows, maybe I’ll do the same with my grandchild someday.
“We’re living in one giant polyhedron, man.”
“I wish you wouldn’t smoke so many drugs. It really does fry your brain.”
“I’m being serious.”
“As am I.”
“You and I, we’re the same, you know. Sure, we dress differently, but we’re essentially the same person when you get right down to it.”
“Alright, would you kill me just to disprove that hypothesis?”
“Of course not.”
“That’s the difference between you and me.”
Stephen walked out of the room cleaning the last scrapes of blood and saliva from his hands. A slow, faint pulse scurried out the room.
His wicked stepmother came out with a plate of Brussels sprouts with bacon sprinkled on top. Her mouth curled. A series of indecipherable Southern slang slurred out from her tongue. He could barely understand a word she was saying. Something about thankfulness and family and a turkey—all of which were only guesses because it was Thanksgiving.
“Now, come on y’all. Let’s get to ‘atin’!”
“Please, dad. I wish you wouldn’t talk like her. You’re not Southern!”
“Ah, you’re just sore ’cause you be thinkin’ you ain’t part of dis here fam-ly.”
He decided right then he wanted an emancipation.
I am a king living in a music box. I know that might be hard to swallow, but it’s true. I don’t know when I arrived. I’ve lost count of time. In fact, I haven’t seen the sun for what seems like decades. Despite living in a music box, I live mostly in silence. I can hear my own breathing echo against the walls. I learned not to shout for help. No one can hear anything but the music. Every so often, I see a peak of light peak through a crack and music starts playing, and I start dancing.
I live my life through my fingers, walking and breathing with phalanges dangling on every surface imaginable. In fact, I am my fingers. Sure, I might be worn and leathery, becoming slowly arthritic as I grow older, my bones going brittle, but I had a certain amount of fun with my fingers. They trekked the great unknown and then some. Picking up trash and packages, tilling a field, sweeping through hallways, loving women, applauding their existence; I dare say, there’s not much my fingers haven’t done. Well, I guess they’ve never killed a man. They’ve died, but they never killed.
The man called himself Kurt.
“What pirate calls himself Kurt?”
“It’s my name.”
“You mean, your actual name, or a pseudonym?”
“My actual name.”
“What?! As a pirate, you’re given the creative license to come up with whatever name you want.”
“I like Kurt. It sounds inconspicuous.”
“Sounds like you weren’t creative enough to come up with a good pirate name.”
While Kurt may not have been the greatest pirate name, it did not mean a pirate named Kurt could not still seriously injure people like Stephen in the same manner, if not better, than pirates with more assuming names.