Published in


What’s In A Word: Stove.

A Series of Short Stories Inspired by Random Words Offered by Others

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Gniyonna suffered an oft-chastised mind as she was curious in a way many others were not. She analyzed problems until overthinking of the solution was the problem. She dismantled tools, lamps, clocks, and other household items just to see how they worked but became bored when she learned of their innerworkings and rarely returned them to an original state. She wondered aloud to anyone who would listen, or pretend to listen, the origins of words and persisted with her inquiry as others frustratingly encouraged her to desist or just walked away in protest. How many lonely conversations she unwittingly had because of this is not known, but it was plenty.

Friends were a premium for Gniyonna (because she never before had one) but, to her surprise, she finally managed to make one. However, rather than revel in her good fortune she examined it to determine how, after so many years, someone might actually enjoy her company. Three days later, following an isolative and sustenance-free existence, she tired of the inquest and decided to spend time with her new (and only) pal.

“Jane,” Gniyonna asked as she ate her apple pie (it had taken her just short of an hour to decide to order the apple pie as she investigated the origin of its ingredients, baking method, and the like), “What are your thoughts on the word, ‘stove?’”

“Stove?” Jane replied with a clear look of confusion.

Without noticing the mayhemic expression on her friend’s face, Gyiyonna continued, “Yes, it’s likely what this fine establishment used to heat this delicious dessert… or possibly your supervisor purchased it from a pie factory and falsely passes it off as ‘homemade.’ Nonetheless, the word ‘stove’ is thought by the masses as a device to heat food yet some think of it as a device to heat a home. You know, a wood-burning stove! And there are some in the political world who have coopted the word- ‘stove-piping’- to describe a process by which intellectual information is provided without context as a means to facilitate a particular outcome. And what about the past tense of ‘stove,’ ‘stave,’ such as ‘a good defense can stave off a counterattack.’ How is that related to ‘stove?’ You can really build on this thought streaming experiment, if so desired,” she uttered excitedly and then annoyingly continued, “How about ‘Stove wood,’ ‘stove house,’ ‘range,’ ‘furnace,’ and so on. I’m assuming when you think ‘stove’ you think of the device that heated this marvelous pie, but it represents so much more, don’t you think?”

That day, that splendid and heartbreaking day, was the last time Gniyonna experienced the joy of camaraderie.”

“Camaraderie, now that’s a fascinating word!”

Author’s Note: this writing, although subsequently revised, was published only on my Medium page on February 28, 2021 before realizing stories could be submitted to publications. I am still a rookie, but learning.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sean F Corbin

Sean F Corbin

What if lower case letters rebelled against Capitalist?