Gary Joiner

3x3x5 is a story written in 3 parts by 3 different people with — strictly — 5 minutes each.

Gary Joiner’s forearms were like blue whales; thick and slippery, and they tapered off to his very capable hands. See, Gary Joiner did exactly what it says on the name, he joined things. Woodchip to mahogany, plaster to marble, aluminum sheet to a resin block.

“You’re so good at this, Gary,” people from all around the village would say. “Not as good as that French joiner, Pierre le Joinerre, but still amazing.” And that remark would drive Gary crazy. “I heard that the Frenchman created a dog out of 9 types of wood and a can of Sprite recently,” said the barber to Gary when they met at the bakery. “And the dog lived!” said the baker. “And it was a Chihuahua,” said some random woman in line. “But you’re a skilled joiner as well, Gary,” added the baker as soon as he noticed a hint of anger on Joiner’s face. But it was too late. At this point Gary was furious. “I’ll show you a freakin’ Chihuahua,” he said, slamming the bakery door. Then came back, grabbed his bread from the counter and slammed the door again.

But Gary would not show anyone anything. For one of the whales would soon leave him. The culprit was a rouge splinter — a splinter in the same way a monster truck is a car. In his rage, in a fit of creation in his garden shed, he had impaled his forearm by mistake. He’d had his fair share of them in the past, and he snapped it off and continued his important work. It became gangrenous. People would say Gary was a nicer man without his arm. They meant without his ego and bravado. He had lost his arm but gained a new life.

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