Tag Archives: Humor

Lost for Words. Many Monkeys but no Mot Juste


this week the what if writing challenge was – This week I want you to tell us your best story (real or fiction) about being lost.

Here goes, con animato.



Lost for Words.

Many Monkeys but  no Mot Juste.

I was looking for the mot juste but all I found was a monkey.  The mot juste escaped me I couldn’t think. I needed to find it. So I stood up in my living room and walked over to the window, pulled the curtains, then searched the three-seater sofa. All I found was a monkey. In the brightness.

I pushed him aside, told him to go and went to the coal-shed under the stairs. I pulled things out, moved them around, walked right in, but all I found was a monkey. I told him to go and trotted into the kitchen to continue my search for this quite elusive mot juste.

If I had possession of this word, then, the world would be my oyster, I was so sure of it. In the kitchen I pulled the blinds and the early afternoon poured into the cramped kitchen urging me on. I opened a window and fresh air and children’s voices playing football outside on the road blew into the room and pushed at the space.

The presses on the walls, and under the sink, I pulled open, and put my eyes and hands into, but the mot juste remained elusive and forever out of sight. In the tea-towel press, I found a monkey and asked him to leave. In the washing press too, a monkey. He left through the front door.

The cutlery drawer realised a monkey too, this one leaving by climbing out the open window. All monkeys were quite genial, they wanted to stay but accepted their fate immediately and left.

In the bedroom I found a monkey under the bed and in the wardrobe and on each bookshelf too. They all marched compliantly out of the house in droves. It seemed I’d never find the word I was looking for however long and hard I searched, so I went out to the back garden shed as a last-resort sort of a stratagem.

I found yet another monkey, and yes, he agreed to go when I indicated to him my wishes. I stood in the middle of my back garden then and breathed in the fresh windy air tossing my hair about gently. There was a small tree to my left, a cherry blossom. And there high in its branches was the mot juste waiting to be rescued. I couldn’t reach it, too high up. There was no ladder in the shed or in the house anywhere for I didn’t have one. I needed a monkey to reach it. A monkey would be able to climb up no bother and pluck the mot juste for me.Then place it into my hand with a friendly wink and – “You’re welcome mate, anytime. Anytime.” But I’d sent every monkey I’d found in the house and in the shed away.

I searched the shed once again but there wasn’t any monkeys in there. In the kitchen, the living room and all the bedrooms, there were no monkeys anywhere now. I looked up longingly at the mot juste on the highest branch of the Cherry Blossom before going back into the house. I locked the back door and pulled the curtains on the day outside in full bloom. I switched on the electric lights and sat down at my PC. Then I tried to continue without it.