I'm FINISHED. MindTrip is done. Now to let a few people read it, and to get it proofed. If I don't have your email address and you'd like a copy, let me know.
My brain's too tired to think of anything good. I... will simply... post a new old story in celebration.
The people of the village were impoverished and dim-witted, so they were easy targets for con artists and mimes. The town rested on the flatbeds of a small valley. The soil was rich and fertile. Unfortunately, the ignorant folk were unaware of the possible ramifications of agriculture, so they plucked up any stray vegetables that were stuck in the dirt and refused to grow more.
In fact, a small majority of seven families controlled anything even remotely resembling farming. Every winter, Brother Joe would toss out a hand of grain into a field, cackling wildly. Some of the crops grew, but most of them were eaten by birds, who were just pleased that they got so much food.
Crops were few and so everyone pretty much stuck to eating Hostess Twinkies with the occasional Vienna sausage. Folks got their money from stuffing envelopes, an occupation discovered by Jill Anderson when she was surfing the Internet.
So life was happy, even though most of the older people had really bad stomach problems and the smallest children (even little Bob at the tender age of 3) cried for milk instead of Gatorade.
Suddenly, a young sly man strode into the midst of the township. He wore tight blue jeans and a green and red striped shirt. "Is it Christmas?" some of the villagers wondered, but it was not.
No, but this was not an imposing gentleman. He had a silk necktie and a funny moustache that crawled over his face like a centipede making its way up a dogwood tree. His hair was a tousled mass and his nose was normal. His shoes were manufactured by Nike. He looked quite like an older, depraved Bob Saget.
"Lor," he said, shaking his head in a confused manner. "You fellers got any food? I'm hungry."
"Have a Twinkie," said one of the natives, peering at him. "Have a Twinkie, sir."
"No thank you!" stated the gentleman quickly. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name: Seymour."
"Seymour?" asked the town to itself quietly. "Seymour? Seymour."
"And how do you do?" asked Seymour. "I will make a delicious meal if you would like. A delicious meal the likes of which you have never seen!"
"But we are poor," stated a villager. "We are poor and have no food to make a delicious meal."
"Oh, that is fine," said Seymour. "All I need is a big rock and a pot of water. A cauldron, if you have one. That is what is in all the illustrations of the various versions of stories like this, anyways."
"We have a large stone AND a cauldron of water!" cried the fortunate villagers. "But what will you make!"
"It is called Stone Soup," Seymour stated proudly.
Hours later, the rock was cooking up mighty fine. Seymour tasted the soup carefully.
"Blugh!" he cried, spitting out the soup. "I mean, it is not quite done yet. I believe it needs more seasonings. What this soup could use is a nice onion."
"I have onions," one woman said hesitantly. "Several. They grow in my garden."
"May I have one?" asked Seymour.
"No," the woman told him.
Seymour cooked the rock some more. He tried it again, gagging. "This soup could sure use celery!"
"I have some celery," a man told him. "Would you like some?"
"Yes," said Seymour.
"That is too bad," the man told him. "So would everyone else!"
Seymour felt foolish. "Well, does anyone have salt? Or garlic?"
"Yes," said a boy. "I have garlic."
"Hand it here, boy!" shouted Seymour.
The boy handed him a big piece of dirt. "Garlic!" he cried. "Garlic for the stone soup!"
"This is not garlic," spat Seymour, throwing the dirt at him. "I hate you."
Eventually, Seymour got a couple of Vienna sausages and a Twinkie to put in the soup, but it wasn't too good, since no one wanted to give away their food. It took fifteen envelopes to get a Twinkie and twelve to get a Vienna sausage.
The soup wasn't any good and Seymour left the village angrily. Some punks met him on the path and beat him good for trying to trick the good people of the town, and Seymour never ever came back.