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Let the Monkey Be Your Guide: (A Short Story)

Updated on December 13, 2016
wingedcentaur profile image

The first step is to know what you do not know. The second step is to ask the right questions. I reserve the right to lean on my ignorance.


The good doctor

He walked home from the office happy as a lark. Any minute now he was liable to break out into song, perhaps Broadway show tunes -- if he knew any. He'd never regretted moving out to the country for a moment.

He was dressed in his white lab coat, stethoscope absent-mindedly around his neck. He was pumping his arms as he walked, making a nice workout out of it. Working up an appetite for dinner. Swinging his black bag.

He was an honest-to-goodness country doctor, like he'd always wanted to be. What the hell? He started to whistle the Andy Griffith Show theme when he was stopped by a curious sight.

There was a monkey sitting on a log and the monkey was eating from what looked like a big tin of cracker jacks. When he saw the doctor the monkey looked up and said, in perfect English mind you, "Oh, Hi. Walden Ducktail?"

The doctor paused, startled.

"Dr. Walden Ducktail, I presume? What an odd name.... Walden, like 'Walden's Pond.'"

"Y-yes?" the doctor said.

"Dr. Walden Ducktail of 166 Sycamore Lane?"

The doctor frowned.

"Sure," said the monkey. "How many 'Walden Ducktails' could there be around here?"

"Not too many, I suppose," the doctor said.

"Want some," the monkey said, extending the tin of cracker jacks.

"I'm sorry, but are you a talking monkey?"

The monkey looked down at himself, flexed his tail and looked at it, hopped around and made monkey noises "oo-oo-oo-oo," and said, in perfect English again, "I guess I am today."

"You have business with me?"

"I've been waiting for you," said the monkey.


"I want to talk to you."

"Wait a minute," said the doctor. "you're not real!"

"No?" said the monkey, munching his caramel popcorn.

The doctor remembered. "I'm... I'm in the hospital. I'm in surgery. I"m dreaming, hallucinating."

The monkey said, "You are in the hospital being operated on. You are under heavy anesthesia, but you are not dreaming or hallucinating. You and I really are here, talking."

"I'm having a conversation with a talking monkey?"

"I wouldn't get too hung up on the 'monkey' part, doc. This is the form I'm wearing today. I'll wear a different form tomorrow, an hour from now...."

"You're not a talking monkey?"

"Sorry to disappoint you."

"What are you, then?"

"Your spirit-guide. That's how you and I are talking -- spirit to spirit."

Doctor Walden Ducktail scratched his head.

The monkey patted a place next to himself. The doctor sat down.

"You sure you don't want some popcorn?" said the monkey.

"Spirits don't eat."

"Really?" said the monkey. "Aren't you the least bit hungry?"

Come to think of it, Dr. Ducktail was hungry. He partook of the popcorn.

The monkey said confidentially, "Now, it's like this, doc...."

Gorgeous Tony

She sat outside at the table with the umbrella over it. She was waiting for her lover, Antonio Romano. She called him 'Gorgeous Tony' when they were alone together. He set her heart on fire every time she saw him.

Nothing could stop their love. They had found each other across time and space. And in his eyes were the secrets of the universe.

They had been seeing each other for thirteen months now. Snatching moments. Stealing hours. Craving more. Days. Weeks. Months. Forever. Anxious but also turned on that her husband might find out, if they weren't careful.

Was Gorgeous Tony married? She didn't know. He didn't wear a wedding ring. But it was unlikely that a gorgeous creature like Tony could last thirty years on this Earth and stay single. But he was here. (She crossed her heart).

He knew as she knew that THEY were each other's destiny. Every other relationship had been prelude to this... this.... this......

Gorgeous Tony was smart as well. Sure, he was so-called working as plumber's helper now. But Tony was made for better things. Greater Things. She did what she could to smooth his path. Yes.... she helped him out financially.

But Tony would repay it with interest, she was sure. Soon as Tony went into business for himself. He needed equipment. Time. He was still planning things. Looking things over. Figuring out the angles.

He was patient. So was she.

Tony was all potential. Her husband was old news.

Tony was a young buck. Her husband was 'Old Yeller,' with a broken leg.

Tony was ambitious and going places. And taking her with him. Her husband was content and going nowhere. Actually taking butter, eggs, and cream as payment instead of cash. From those dirt poor, ignorant, uninsured hillbillies he tends to...

She had a feeling Tony would "pop the question" today. There was no man before Gorgeous Tony and there shall be no man after him.

Oh, there he is. "Tony, Tony!" she called out "Over here, Tony."

The Adonis of a man she called out to came over and sat down.

They both reached across the table and clasped hands. He kissed her on both cheeks, European style. They ordered expresso.

A few minutes later Gorgeous Tony came out with the question she had anticipated. She would wear WHITE. The hell with it! As far as she was concerned Walden never even happened!

Tony spoke her name like a lusty caress. She loved the way he said her name.

He spoke her name again....

"Yes, Tony?"

"Do you still want me to kill your husband?"

She closed her eyes and tightened her grip on his wrists. "Yes," she said orgasmically, "Yes, yes. For the love of God, yes, Tony."

He surprised her. Instead of presenting her with a ring, he gave her a lovely bracelet. He put it on for her. Click. Click.

Crime and Punishment

Dr. Walden Ducktail would pull through. He was going to be alright. Recovering nicely.

Nasty "fall" he'd had from the ladder as he was cleaning the gutters.

Horrible "accident" he'd had with car last month. Something had been wrong with the brakes, his mechanic said

Then there had been that case of "food poisoning"...

Well, the monkey had set him straight. Made him wake up and smell the coffee. His wife had been trying to kill him for some time. Probably having an affair as well.

The Trial

Poor woman, the doctor thought of his wife. Try and try as she might, she hadn't been able to get away with it. She had clung to her so-called 'insanity' for dear life. But the court-appointed psychiatrist had prised it away from her.

Too bad for her. She was fully competent to stand trial!

The trial happened. She was convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

When the verdict came down, Dr. Ducktail, sitting in the court room, lowered his head. Despite everyting, already starting to mourn the departure of his wife from this Earth.

For this was a death penalty state.


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    • wingedcentaur profile imageAUTHOR

      William Thomas 

      6 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      I wish I had one to sell you.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I want to buy a small monkey

    • wingedcentaur profile imageAUTHOR

      William Thomas 

      6 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Good Day, akune!

      Thank you so much for commenting on my unworthy hub. You know, I appreciate your remark about your not having to "struggle through thick, syrupy descriptions to follow the plot."

      When I write fiction, I go for the stripped-down approach. You know, there's a very good crime novel writer called Elmore Leonard. When asked for the secret of his success, he said something to the effect of: 'I just don't bother writing the parts people usually skip anyway.'

      I thought (and continue to think) that is very, very, very good advice!

      And so, the "bracelet" thing threw you off at first, eh? Well, the woman herself was mixed up and if I could capture the reader in her mind's confusion, get them to go along with her until it became untenable, then I must have done something right.

      Again, thank you so much for the read and the kind words!

      Take it easy.

    • akune profile image


      6 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

      I enjoyed reading this story. I am a very busy person and I did not have to struggle through thick, syrupy descriptions to follow the plot. Do you know-I did not get the bracelet first read! So come on- I plead she was insane then, if she didn't know what they were...

    • wingedcentaur profile imageAUTHOR

      William Thomas 

      7 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Good Morning, Ghaelach!

      Thank you for being the very first to comment (and so flatteringly too) upon my unworthy hub. I appreciate very much the 'up' vote and the 'follow.' I hope I do not disappoint.

      I am not primarily a fiction writer, as you may discover, though I am getting more and more into it. I have a few stories on HP. Since you liked this one, you may enjoy a six-part novella I wrote called "Circus Madness."

      By the way, I agree with you, Ghaelach. It is pretty dumb to attempt murder in a death penalty state. But then again, criminals are a pretty dumb lot. That's why the jails and prisons are full of them, right?

      In real life, as well, the death penalty is of at least questionable potency as a deterrent.

      Take it easy and thanks again!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Wingedcentaur.

      Now that's what HP is all about. Writing.

      A hell of a story. I just couldn't stop till the last sentence.

      It would have been better to come straight out and tell the Doc about her affair. To attempt something like murder in a state that still had the death penalty was a bit dumb.

      Loved it, written well, voted up.

      Take care and have a nice day.

      LOL Ghaelach


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