Ain’t No Guffin like a MacGuffin

“You there! You look like a heroic, adventurous type. I daresay you’re on an adventure right now! Hey, have I got a deal for YOU.”

“Geez, man, I don’t need any–”

“But you DO. You DO need it! By its very definition you need it!”


“Yes, sir and/or ma’am! I have, in my very POSSESSION, a world-class, premium, barely-used MACGUFFIN!”


“A MacGuffin, of course! The very thing you’re looking for. It’s got everything you need!”

“Like what?”

“Like WHAT? Well, exactly what you need to accomplish your goal, friend!”

“That’s not very specific. What goal?”

“THE goal. Your story’s goal! The only goal that matters! This MacGuffin–THIS MACGUFFIN RIGHT HERE–will give you EXACTLY what you need to accomplish whatever it is you must accomplish! My dear friend, I daresay you are WORTHLESS without it. Yes, it’s harsh to say, but it’s TRUE–WORTHLESS without this MAGNIFICENT MacGUFFIN!”

“I’m leaving.”

“Ha-HA! You’ll be back! You have no choice, you know!”

John shook his head at the peddler and walked away. He walked to the end of the block. Then he thought about what he was going to do. He wasn’t sure what that was. But he needed to do something, right? Everybody’s got something they need to do. But what did John need?

He turned around. Scratched his beard. Examined his surroundings. Something wasn’t right. He shouldn’t still be here. None of this should still be here.

Or maybe he did have a goal. He was told he had one. It was his one purpose. Nothing mattered unless he achieved it.

So he returned to the peddler and the peddler’s assistant, which was a very fat bird. The bird burped.

“I need it,” said John.

“How much do you have?” asked the peddler.

John told him. And the peddler asked for it. Not just John’s money. His clothes. His hair. His non-critical organs and body parts. Everything. Because you can’t put a price on the meaning of life. Without it, life didn’t matter. Not to John.

At the end of the surgeries and the withdrawals, the peddler gave John his MacGuffin. And it was exactly the thing John needed.

Today’s three random prompt categories were, “A MacGuffin,” “Everything is for sale,” and, “An assistant.”

We all have a MacGuffin. But only the special ones find it.

Or something. I dunno.

– H.

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