Cheerful Charles P. Wiggins the Third

Charles P. Wiggins the Third

Charles P. Wiggins the Third was tired of reading stories with miserable endings.

“Why does every short story require a morbid, twisted ending to be a success,” he wondered.  “What’s wrong with good, old-fashioned happiness?”

He couldn’t recall exactly when happy endings had fallen out of style—only that they had, and that was that.

Happy Reading, Charles P. Wiggins the Third

It seemed as though one evening he read himself to sleep—dozed off to the encouraging lilt of heroism and bravery—and awoke the next morning to the cacophony of The Realists.

Damn Those Realists, Charles P. Wiggins the Third!

“Damn those Realists,” he cursed every night in a British accent as he sat at his desk to conquer his writer’s block.  “Always sucking the life out of every noble plot.  They can turn a love story into a horrific tragedy in less time than it takes to say deus ex machina.”

Being a writer himself, he naturally had to live a double life.  He was not granted the privilege of writing what interested him at any given time.  When the world wanted woeful words, he wrote them their sorrows.  When times changed (as times are wont to do), and people again itched for pleasantness, it was his job to provide it.  It made no difference whether he felt melancholy or cheerful—he was forced to perform when called upon.  As a writer by profession, Charles was cursed with the grave misfortune of living one vast, perpetual lie.

Oh, he supposed he could see the enticement of cynicism—he, himself used to fantasize of being a social recluse…

He dreamed of holing up in some cave or perhaps a cabin—yes, a cabin would do capitally—penning [not writing, but penning, the more tormented verb] his anguished thoughts and depressing the world, like Hemingway.  He would never leave, not even to meet publishers.  Instead, he would tame a wild woodland animal—not a bear [too ferocious], but perhaps a fox or possibly a buck-toothed beaver—and whenever a new manuscript was polished to his satisfaction, he would bind it to the beaver’s back and send it into the city to deliver the prize.

Thoughts of Solitude, Charles P. Wiggins the Third.

Upon publication—for in his fantasy, every word he wrote profited him a pound in his pocket and a mouthful of meat—entire cities would read his work and promptly dress in black and go into mourning for the Sad State of the World.  He would change people that way.  Make them a bit more serious.  Sober them up—it would do them all a heap of good.

He would be God’s gift to troubled souls.

It was all very clever, his antisocial fantasy, but it ended when he realised the world had enough passionate, melancholy writers.  He needed to be unique—apart from the crowd.  By the time he had earned his degree, hermits had become so commonplace, they’d formed entire neighborhoods up in the hills—they had block parties and everything. United in their solitude, the hermits were.

And so it happened that Charles P. Wiggins the Third—always Charles, not Charlie, and especially never Chuck—decided to bear a cheerful disposition.

You're a Master of Your Craft, Charles P. Wiggins the Third

Charles wrote wondrous tales.  He spun magnificent webs of golden days and innocent nights; melodramatic episodes of the most delightful nature.  He concocted vast volumes, chapters full of enchanting…enchantments…and they were always carefully constructed with tidy characters and plots.  He was a master of his craft.

But not a soul in the world cared to hear his happy endings.

Poor Charles P. Wiggins the Third

Poor Charles P. Wiggins the Third—his jolly sagas were out of style and simply wouldn’t sell.  A man can’t very well starve himself to death, and so, by that rationalisation, he was faced with the hardest decision a frustrated writer ever has to make…

Eat, or be eaten.

***Click here to find out what he chooses!***

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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17 Responses to Cheerful Charles P. Wiggins the Third

  1. Andrea Ulmer says:

    Happy Birthday, birthday twin!! I hope that you have a great birthday Ü.

  2. Alexa Mae says:

    Today’s your birthday?? HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DARLING FRIEND!! me and my kids are in suspense to find out what Charles chooses…..they are hoping for a good outcome, no pressure though.

  3. niki says:

    it’s your birthday?! happy birthday!! hope you get spoiled by pk and get to do whatever your heart desires! you deserve it.

    first i must say, i love your cynicism. it’s part of you, not all of you. i’m not sugar cane sweet all the time. i appreciate people like you. i can be sarcastic and cynical at times, myself. i would never stop reading your blog!

    secondly, i love this story. and i love the illustrations. i really think you should try to publish it. have you ever tried to publish anything? i’m dying to hear the ending!

    i’m sending in a children’s story i wrote. i pray that someone finds potential in it and wants to publish it. i had a friend draw up some amazing illustrations for it. maybe if i get brave enough one day, i’ll send it to you to see what you think.

    again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! you are one of my favorite people. and i wouldn’t lie.

  4. bRAD says:

    ***Just a quick philosophical rant about ‘the realist’ ***
    I hate it when people say, ‘I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist.”
    My automatic thought is, ‘No, you’re an idiot.’
    People love to use the realist facade to hide how pessimistic they really are, to others, and I suspect most of all, to themselves.
    The problem with a person claiming that they are a realist is that they assume there is way more objective truth in the world than there is. If a person really were a ‘realist’ they could not make value judgments about the external world, only observations. If you were to punch a ‘realist’ in the face he or she would be sure to exclaim, ‘you punched me and that was bad.’ Good and bad don’t exist in nature the way we like to think they do. All he/she could rightly say is, ‘you punched me, and that is that.”

    (For clarity, I’ll give some definitions. An optimist is a person who always sees only good. A pessimist is a person who always sees only bad. A cynic is a person who would like to see the good in the world but can’t make himself do so. He is the frustrated romantic.)

  5. GRANMAMA says:

    Was this inspired by 9-25-86???????????????????
    Profoundly vivid writing.
    This shows what you are capable of doing.
    Who is the illustrator????????????????
    Feliz Cumpleaños, querida hija mia.

  6. jetro says:

    are you saying, it IS easy bein’ green?

    kermit/hermit. cool.

  7. Holly Janeen says:

    happy birthday.
    i was going to get you something until i realized you got a comment from bRAD… THAT should be gift enough, i would think.

  8. Happy happy birthday from all of us to you! We wish it were our birthday so we could party too!

    Happy birthday friend :o)

  9. Happy Late Birthday to You!
    Happy Late Birthday to You!
    Happy Late Birthday dear Camille!
    Happy Late Birthday to You!!!!!!!
    This story=FABULOUS!

  10. Rachel says:

    Pemblwydd Hapus i chi Camille! Have a lovely day.

  11. TeamHaynes says:

    Since I got on the bday train- Happy Birthday, yesterday. Charles is a cutie!

  12. anna says:

    Apparently you had a birthday. Hope it was dandy.

    I love the drawings, are they yours?

    I say I’m a realist a lot… but I wouldn’t say I’m super negative (I hope not anyway). I don’t think people are either optimists or pessimists because there are too many extremes in both directions.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful allegory for your life. I already know the ending.

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