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$2,492 pledged of $6,500 goal
By Ryan Shattuck
$2,492 pledged of $6,500 goal

Sample Chapter: "The Turtle Who Needed to Refill His Anti-Depressants Medication"

(There are only 11 days remaining to donate to Moderately Important Fables on Kickstarter. So to celebrate this milestone (it’s not really a milestone when you think about it (or is it? (did you know that if you use too many parenthesis, you’ll go blind?))), I’ve decided to publish another sample chapter, entitled "The Turtle Who Needed to Refill His Anti-Depressants Medication." Enjoy.)

* * * * * * * * * *

There once was a turtle named Gus Martinez. Like most turtles from his ethnicity and generation, his life was ruled by paranoia and cynicism. Gus didn't believe the glass was half-empty; he believed that the glass was symbolic of the void left in our souls after we destroyed God. Turtles can be pretty big drama queens.

Gus was somewhat of a worry-wart, which he suspected was a result of sleeping with a frog sometime in the 90s. (Editor's note: this is purely a myth. Frogs do not give you warts. But they do give you AIDS.) He never seemed happy, and he spent the past two decades in a cycle of religion, therapy, and alcoholism. His favorite movie was Annie Hall. He also 'worked' in social media, which would explain why he was always worried about money.

One day Gus went to his weekly therapy session. After talking about his abusive childhood as a hatchling, his attraction to his deceased step-sister, and his anger management issues over a Carl Jung knock-knock joke, Gus said to his grizzly bear therapist: "I think my wife's cheating on me." He then proceeded to outline his evidence. The therapist stifled a yawn, before replying "Gary, I'm not sure what you want me to do with this information. I'm a therapist, not a private investigator." 

"Well, don't you want to know how that makes me feel?" asked Gus.

"Sorry Gary, it looks like our time is up" said the bear therapist, while checking Twitter on his iPhone.

Gus took the bus home, feeling more dejected than before. He pondered the futility of life's miserable existence as he stared out the window at the rain, when the bus hit a pothole and an African-American swallow spilled her coffee all over Gus' pants. Although she apologized profusely, Gus nevertheless found himself thinking some rather offensive racist thoughts about African-American swallows in general.

Gus got off the bus and walked the three blocks to his neighborhood bar, when it started to rain. The stork bartender looked down his beak at Gus. "Why the long face?" he asked, while placing a drink in front of the very wet turtle. "Make it a double, Stan" said Gus.

"I just can't make heads or tails of life anymore," began Gus, launching into a self-pitying diatribe. "I think my wife's having an affair, the bank's about to foreclose on my home, my hair's falling out, and business is terrible."

"I'm sorry to hear that. What do you do for work again?" asked the stork bartender.

"I'm a social media guru," replied Gus.

"Ah. Is that even a real thing?"

"Not really" said Gus.

The bartender looked side to side around the bar, then leaned in close to Gus. "Tell you what," whispered the stork bartender, "I have a friend of a friend named Terry the Squirrel, who's an amazing life coach. He's kind of pricey, but well worth it; I read somewhere online that he's a wizard at turning lives around."

"I don't know..." said a slightly drunk Gus.

"C'mon Gus. He's like... the Rain Man of self-help gurus."

Gus drained his glass. "I don't know what you mean by that."

"Why don't I get you another drink," said the stork bartender.

Two weeks later, Gus sat down with Beverly, his turtle wife, on the living room coach facing the gaudy Thomas Kinkade painting. He had practiced this speech many times in his head, but was nevertheless nervous to talk to his wife.

"Beverly?" said Gus.

"Yes Gus?" said Beverly.

"I've been visiting a life coach for the past few weeks. But he turned out to be a con man. I lost our entire lifesavings."

"Gus, I'm pregnant" said Beverly.

Moral of the Story: Beware of hucksters.


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