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Short Story: The Appalling Annihilation of Articles


Once upon a time, in the mystical land of Grammaria, there was a huge city filled with all sorts of words who lived in nine beautiful districts. The district of Articles was located between the other eight, ensuring order and unity for the city. The Article family itself was rather small, consisting of two sisters (A and An), and one brother (The). They lived a contented existence on this small island that held the city together. But one day, the Evil Lord of Carnage and Chaos turned his attention away from producing reality television and decided to destroy the Parts of Speech, thereby crippling the forces of Order and initiating Global Warming. He sent one of his agents to the English teachers of the world, and his plan began. The Articles were shocked when visitors came calling, the first human guests they had received since Dr. Seuss. The English teachers came with a business proposition. You see, the English teachers had grown lazy and no longer wished to teach nine Parts of Speech. They proposed that the district of Articles be renovated into a Whole Foods, where words could purchase delicious and nutritious foods at amazing prices. There would even be a Starbucks the teachers could enjoy after teaching their students about the modified Parts of Speech.  As the teachers’ ringleader claimed, it was a win-win. But A, An, and The did not think it was a win-win. If they lost their island, where would they live? Nobody could predict how Grammaria would react to such a brutal change. The Articles respectfully declined, sending the teachers off with a basket of cake. This enraged the teachers further. “Who,” they roared, “stores cake in a basket?” The next morning, the Articles awoke to a wholly unpleasant surprise. The teachers had returned with a huge wrecking ball, eager to drive the poor Articles out of their home. Wondering how these lunatics could possibly afford such a large piece of equipment on a teacher’s salary, they were forced to flee in a lifeboat, desperately grabbing any possessions they could as their home crumbled before their eyes. “What do we do now?” they wailed as their small boat floated away. “I don’t know,” the ringleader laughed maniacally, “Whatever floats your boat!” Angry with this disturbance of the natural order, Grammaria retaliated with a fierce storm. Unfortunately, the Articles were caught in this tempest, crashing into the district of Adjectives. Eager to assist their wounded cousins, the Adjectives rushed the luckless triplets to their Town Hall to recuperate. They were shocked when the Articles told their tale.“This is an outrage!” Outraged roared, exchanging an angry look with Angry. Determined to help, Determined and Helpful began a journey to the other Parts of Speech to rally them against the English teachers. Now when the English teachers heard of this, they were terrified. Construction of the grocery store had been going wonderfully, and they hated to see it all go to waste when the vengeful words retaliated. Withdrawing more money from their master’s bank account, they bribed several leading English scholars to speak lies about the Articles. The scholars claimed that the Articles had only ever been Adjectives and that returning them to their rightful place would better the world immensely. Very slowly, the world began to believe them, and the Articles’ true place was forgotten by all but an educated few. They were forced to remain with the Adjectives where they didn’t belong, casting longing gazes across the water at the empty Whole Foods which had been forced to close down. Evidently, it had been an oversight opening the franchise in a metaphysical realm where the majority of the residents were abstract concepts lacking in digestive systems. The Articles’ fate is up to you. Will you believe?

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