Bright Shiny Things

BRIGHT SHINY THINGS (word count 1950)
By Graham Gillam ©

The little monkey liked the twinkling. He was almost mesmerised by it from where he sat watching in a treetop across the street from the jewellery store.

There were other monkeys around scurrying up and down the street running amok. They were into bananas and swinging off people’s clotheslines. Just ordinary, everyday run of mill, jungle variety monkeys that liked to come into town for a bit of fun. Monkeys, like people after all were curious creatures.

None more curious than the little scamp that sat perched for hours in the tree by the jewellery store.

From when the morning sun graced the store front, till just after midday when the sunshine shifted to the other side of the street the inquisitive little monkey sat transfixed by the twinkles and sparkles of diamond and gold rings as the sunrays danced off their prismatic surfaces.

He began his observation ritual only days ago. What were these bright shiny things that tantalised him so?

The very next day, same time, same tree, the monkey returned as awe-inspired as ever.

Today though he saw a man enter the store. After a few minutes the monkey noticed someone’s arm reach into the window display case and retrieve the brightest of the shiny objects.

Quite human-like the monkey couldn’t help but stare with his mouth agape and was startled from his stupor by the man leaving the store with a small brown package tied with a bow.

Intrigued he followed the man with intent to find out once and for all what the bright shiny things were for. He followed the man around the corner.

After going into another store the man came out again with a large paper item folded under his arm. The monkey was familiar with this item for he had, unwrapped, a paper before to get at food.

The man paused at the curb and waited as several cars went by before crossing. He was a well-dressed man and now entered and eating-place. As he sat down another man approached and after their short conversation the second man left and returned with a drink. The well-dressed man opened up his paper with the pictures on it.

The monkey watched the man intently from across the street. He had seen the man place the small parcel into his coat pocket as he entered the building.

People came and went from the eating-place and after some time a woman entered as the man put his paper down and greeted her with a kiss. She sat at table and also had a drink brought to her. They ate food together and then the monkey saw the man rise from his chair and withdraw the parcel from his pocket.

Oddly the man got down on one knee and presented the gift to the woman. She opened it revealing with a beautiful twinkling of light, the bright shiny object.

It was obvious that the woman was pleased for she threw her arms around the man and covered him in kisses.

This strongly excited the monkey as he observed further, the man, slip the bright shiny ringed object onto the woman’s finger. She held out her hand for the man to see, tilting it to the left and right making it glisten with light.

Enthralled the monkey continued to follow the couple for the rest of the day.

With an instinct that God gave to all creatures the monkey recognised a mating ritual when he saw one. The man, showing his love for the woman with a token of his affection, the bright shiny thing.

The next day when the sun shone onto the window of the jewellery store it went unnoticed by the monkey. The tree across the street was vacant today.

In fact two streets away a woman began to scream as the little monkey tore away her bright shiny necklace.

“Stop! Police! Somebody stop that monkey!”

Quick to scamper down a side alley the monkey was gone in seconds.

Later, the little monkey sat perched on a rusted fire escape opposite an apartment block, spying on a woman removing bright shiny things from her neck and fingers and placing them on the mirrored table.

Naked the woman went into the next room and began to wet herself beneath the steaming shower of water.

Silently the monkey bound his way into the room. As he picked up the items he was suddenly startled by his own reflection in the mirror. He could smell the faint fragrance of sweet flowers. He left just as silently as he had entered.

In the space of a couple of days the local police had been receiving several reports of jewellery theft.

“That’s right officer, somebody stole my rings while I was asleep for God’s sake!”
Another report…

“A monkey came up to me in the park and ripped my earing right out of my ear. This is outrageous. I’m bleeding everywhere…”

After a time the policeman assigned to the case pieced together the information and concluded a monkey was responsible for most of, if not all of the recent jewel thefts. Although this was a serious matter the policeman, Officer Jack Byrne, smiled as the image of a wanted poster with a monkey’s mug shot on it enter his thoughts.

The telephones had been running hot. This was a busy little monkey.

Officer Byrne was no fool. He knew people, who knew people, who might know something about someone that may mastermind a jewellery heist by teaching a monkey to go on a spree. Quite ingenious actually.

A tattooist named Snake Jones had a sleazy parlour downtown and was buzzing away at a tattoo of a large spider that almost covered his customer’s entire back.

“Whoa the cops!” he threw sarcastically at Byrne as he entered the parlour.
“What’s brings you in here man? Did you buy a Harley and now need a tatt to go with it?”

“Very funny Jonesy. You’re a riot. I just want to ask a question or two.”

As it turned out Jonesy provided little assistance to his inquiries.

" There’s no monkey business going on that I’m aware of copper."

An elderly blind man, Black Sammy; a war vet, frequented a corner along the main drag where the flow of pedestrians thronged right into his donation cup, just as much as you can mister.

“Nope, I didn’t see a thang” he laughed.

“Come on Sammy. Who’s doing what? You may be blind and bleeding the poor citizens of their hard earned cash, but you see what you want to see.” Officer Byrne persisted.

“Oh, I hear a lot stuff man, who got dis and who’s doin’ dat, but a circus critter pullin’ down jobs on the street, well I ain’t heard nothin’ ’bout dat.”


The little monkey crawled silently up alongside the counter of the jewellery store. As quietly as he could he crouched watching the jeweller and the moment he turn his back the monkey leapt onto it, grabbing at the mans hair.

The jeweller freaked and fought the monkey off running out of the store screaming for the police.

The monkey was in his glory and with greed getter the better of him he scooped up as many bright shiny things as his little hands could hold and made for the door.

Byrne had no joy with the blind man either. Then just as he was coming around the corner, the jeweller came screaming from his store.

“Police! Police!”

Byrne’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable for just as he ran to the jeweller’s aid the shifty little monkey bolted from the door. In fact the monkey almost ploughed straight into them.

The chase was on. The monkey headed for the clearing at the end of the street.

The jeweller was still screaming…

“There he goes. Catch him.”

Byrne followed the hairy bandit across the clearing and into the trees and bushes. He kept up with the monkey for a short way when he realise that, if he backed off a bit, let the monkey think he was no longer being pursued, that the monkey would lead him to the rest of the missing jewels. After all, the direction was now clearly indicated.

As the monkey continued on his merry way, the cunning policeman followed discretely from a distance of about two hundred metres. A mile or so on, at the beginning of a rather large hill Byrne confirmed that his tracking skills were still adequate. He bent down and picked up a ruby bracelet, which he estimated to be worth thousands.
I’m still coming, you shonky monkey. He thought as he made his way up the hill.

He crouched in the concealment of the tree line as the monkey bound up a final rise and disappeared into a rocky crevice.

Ahh! A cave for a hide out you clever critter.

Slowly Byrne edged his way forward, toward the opening. He stopped, propped and listened. He could hear the monkey’s echoing chatter from inside.

The sun would be going down soon. He had better make his move. He crept stealthily inside the cave.

Cracks and small openings littered the cavern roof allowing ample light and warmth to make this and ideal place for the monkey to hide out for a while.

As Byrne enter further, the monkey caught a whiff of human scent and screeched out a warning to, back off.

“Take it easy little fella.” The policeman soothed.
“No ones going to hurt you.”

Byrne couldn’t believe his eyes.

“What the… You have been busy you little… romantic, you. So, this is the little woman heh! She’s very beautiful.”

Sitting in the farthest reach of the cave on grass and leaves was an adorable female monkey. She sparkled, with diamond rings on every finger; she had on ruby and emerald necklaces, brooches and shiny silver bracelets. She even had a golden earing clamped to her earlobe.

“I see what you’ve been up to Romeo. You’ve been showering your lady with very extravagant gifts, haven’t you?”

The monkey simply watched with an expression that Byrne thought had a hint of guilt.

He took his hat off and placed it on the cave floor.

“Now come on Romeo, you have to give the jewellery back. It belongs to people.”

He motioned toward the hat using sign language as best he could.

The monkey stood firm not knowing wether or not this man intended them any harm.

Just then, the female monkey moved over to her friend and chattered something in his ear. She then kissed him. It was so human-like it was uncanny.

She began by unclamping the earing and removing necklaces. Slowly she moved forward and placed them into the policeman’s hat.

At this, the lovesick monkey began helping her. Together, as carefully as you please, they filled the hat with thousands of dollars worth of jewellery.

They backed away from the policeman.

“Who said, romance is dead?”

Byrne picked up the hat and from the bright shiny pile he took an elegant diamond ring and motioned for the monkey to take it.

The monkey looked up with grateful eyes and accepted the ring.

Before the policeman left the cave he witnessed the most incredible thing he had ever seen…

The little monkey got down on one knee and presented the ring to his girl.

Moved, almost to tears, Byrne clumsily spoke.

“I guess… I guess I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

The female monkey kissed her Romeo as the policeman slipped out of the cave with an amazing tale to tell for the rest of his life.


Bright Shiny Things

Graham Gillam

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

To what lengths will One go, for love?

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  • Donna19
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