The idea for this story was given to me by my sister, who heard my idea-less cries from the depths of cold in the darkness of a Friday morning. I’m not entirely sure how it all will end up yet, but, I’m hoping that someone will tell me.
Gerald Kingston did not like bells. In fact, if he was being honest about how intense was his dislike of the ringing, clanging, jingling and jangling rattles of insistent cheeriness, he might admit that he was deathly afraid of them, and had been for as long as he could remember.
He had no idea why bells where such a sore point with him. People always asked him, as if he could find a rational explanation for an irrational fear. “That was sorta the point of such things,” he thought. “They don’t have, or need, explanations.”
But, everyone was a pop psychologist these days, and everyone insisted there *must* be some sort of reason for every neurosis, phobia, or condition. He didn’t much care for pop culture.
Sometimes, just to get rid of the persistent pain in the pop psychologist, he’d offer some reason for his bell phobia. He’d say “I think it might’ve traced back to the moment when I heard that “whenever you hear a bell ringing an angel gets his wings. That must be it.”
Gerald didn’t care much for angels either.
Matched by his immane hatred of bells, pop culture and angels, was his love for cats. He loved those furry, purry, pouncy pets.
The only problem was that Gerald couldn’t bring himself to even shop for a cat, for fear that the cats might be collared with bells. And what if the shop had a bell on the door that would ring the moment he entered? Then he’d be in a small space surrounded by bells, trapped between a bell and a jingling place.
He once told someone of his dilemma, and the patronizing person told him that “Most cats don’t come with bells. You know, also, the bells can be removed. You do know that, right?”
And Gerald cursed popular culture yet again for fooling him into thinking cats had to have bells.
I, for one, am grateful that Gerald didn’t know you could remove bells from cats, because, if he did know that, there wouldn’t have been much of a story.
immane / eh – MANE / Very great; huge; 2. monstrous in character; atrocious; fierce.