Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Lazy Afternoon

Jimmy had a rare day off. Mommy had some shopping to do, so he’s curled up on the couch, taking a nap. Emily bounces in and tucks herself along his tummy, giving him a peck on his cheek. Sleepily, the chubby arm wraps around the thin shoulders.
 
“Daddy?”
 
A small stir. “Yes, Sweetie?” 
 
“You love Mommy, don’t you?”
 
A single eye opens. “She’s my favoritest girl in all the world.”
 
The little face fell a little.
 
“I thought I was.”
 
“She was here first.” 
 
“Oh...”
 
Brightening up, she chirps.
 
“She likes what Santa brought, doesn’t she?”
 
“Yes, Baby, she does.” He grinned and turned over on his back. “She hasn’t taken it off since I gave it to her.”
 
“Daddy?”
 
“Yes, Emily.”
 
“How did you and Mommy meet?”
 
“She and Grandma moved in the house behind ours when I was ten.”
 
“Did she like you back then?”
 
“She thought I had cooties and I thought girls were silly, so we didn’t play together. 
 
The little face crunched up. “Boys DO have cooties. That is what Riley told me.”
 
Daddy chuckled. “I know we do. We are yucky and gross.”
 
“But how did she change her mind?”
 
Jimmy sat up and pulled Emily up on his lap.
 
“Grandma had a picnic in her back yard for Mommy’s 12th birthday. Cake and everything. Her friend that was supposed to come got sick and Mommy was sad. Grandma saw me over the fence playing with my dog Petey and asked me if I wanted to come. My Mom said it was OK if I took the dog with me. It felt weird at first, because I was a boy. But we talked and played with the dog until after the moon came up and my Mom called me home. That was when I realized we really liked each other.”
 
Emily’s eyes got big.
 
“Did you kiss?”
 
Jimmy laughed and hugged his daughter tight.
 
“No, Honey, that came later. But I did find something I loved so I never gave up. And I never will, either. I think I hear Mommy coming. Let’s see if we can help her with the groceries.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Topic-Nina Nixon
Pic Guesses-We Three Kings, Rock the Casbah, Marketplace, Rawhide, Song of the Magi

Friday, December 23, 2016

A little later.

"Jimmy, you awake?"

He stirred at the soft touch and turned towards his wife.

"Am now."

"I just want to say I'm sorry for acting like a bitch tonight."

A slow smile came across his face. His hand stroked the side of her face.

"I think we apologized pretty well a little while ago."

He softly kissed her. She smiled, then her face fell in doubt.

"Do you still think I'm pretty? I mean, I never lost..."

"...the baby weight?

Jimmy kissed along her muffin top and across her belly button, then went up to the locket between her breasts. Kissing it deeply, he laid his head over her heart. It was beating fast.

"You are more beautiful after Emily. I thank the Lord every day for that child."

Kristy giggled.

"I wonder if she heard us?"

"Probably. She loves 'happily ever after stories', you know."

Kristy held his head tight, kissing the bald spot.

"Well, she got her wish tonight. I love you, Jimmy."

Jimmy's hand slid from her breast down between her legs. 

"And I Love you, too. She needs to make us take naps more often."

That brought a squeal.

"You are so bad, you need a spanking."

"And you need more loving."

"Bring it, Cowboy. Oh! The saddle is ready." 




Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Necklace (Blogophilia 44.9)

..Do you hear what I hear?
 
Kristy turned off the radio. If she heard another carol or hymn, she’d scream. Bah, humbug. Scrooge was right. Happy this and miracle that. It really was just another day to pick your pocket. Looking into the living room, she sighed at the scraggly tree with Emily’s preschool ornaments, Jimmy’s tacky “Redneck Christmas” wreath, and only a couple of wrapped presents. She knew she should be grateful for what she had, but it was too much, the bills, the arguments. Now he’s late from work again. Was he seeing someone else? I wouldn’t be surprised, she thought as she grabbed another beer from the fridge.
 
“Mommy, why did you turn it off?” The little girl asked, twisting her red curls around her fingers.
 
Popping the can, she took a long drink sat down at kitchen table. His plate sat unused across from her.
 
“I don’t know. I’m just tired of Christmas.”
 
Emily rubbed Kristy’s back and put butterfly kisses in her tousled hair. 
 
“But, why?”
 
It was all she could do to keep from crying. She stared at the half finished can. 
 
“Just too much to do, and your Daddy is late again.”
 
Headlights reflected off the kitchen door. Slump shouldered, Jimmy walked in as she took the last slug. Emily squealed and ran towards him. He caught the leaping girl in a bear hug, planting a wet kiss on the side of her face. Kristy slammed the empty in the trash. 
 
“Where you been?”
 
“Wreck on 400.”
 
“You have a cellphone.” She opened another beer. “Your dinner is on the table. We’ve already eaten.” 
 
She wobbled into the living room before he could say anything else.
 
Sighing, he put his briefcase down. and down at the table. Another screaming match. He wondered how much longer they had. He still loved Kristy more than anything in the world, but this work situation was hard on both of them. Months of no work followed by mandatory overtime. He couldn’t tell from one day to next whether he’d be home in time to read to Emily. Nothing he could do was right. How did it all change? Maybe the box in his pocket would bring her around.
 
Emily brought him a glass of tea, then Mommy told her to get ready for bed. With a quick kiss, she tore out of the room. Jimmy smiled. She was her mother’s child, affectionate and quick tempered. Her tantrums were as fiery as her scarlet hair and he loved her even when she screamed the loudest.
He thought about heating his plate, but after a taste, decided it was fine. Eating slowly, he couldn’t help but be grateful for what he had. Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim were right, he thought. Even with the work and money problems, he still had his family and no amount of money could replace that. He wondered if Kristy felt the same way. When he was finished, he rinsed his dish and put in the washer. He wasn’t going to hear that argument tonight, anyway. Opening a beer for himself, he went into the living room to watch TV. 
 
Kristy was in her chair watching some soap opera. She was still upset and probably one wrong word from throwing stuff. Silently, he sat on the sofa and sipped slowly from the can. 
 
The silence was toxic.
 
“You did clean your plate?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“I would think you’d have enough respect to call. I mean, how many times do I have to tell you that?”
 
“Look, Kristy, it’s Christmas Eve. Can’t we at least be civil?”
 
She took the last slug from her can and expertly crushed it flat.
 
“Why? You aren’t very civil to me or Emily.”
 
“Don’t bring her into this.”
 
A little voice piped up from the hallway.
 
“I know a Mommy and Daddy that need a nap.”
 
They both stopped and turned. Emily, her panda pajamas, had a frown on her face. Kristy’s irritation was obvious.
 
“Why aren’t you in bed, Young Lady?”
 
Skipping across the carpet, she grabbed Mommy’s hand and sat her next to Daddy.
 
“You two need to say sowwy to each other. Yelling isn’t allowed at Chwistmas or Santa’s not going to bwing you nothin’.”
 
They looked at each other and then at the earnest little face. 
 
“Now, kiss and make up!”
 
Their anger slipped away. Stifling a giggle, Jimmy leaned over and gave a retreating Kristy a peck on the lips. As she broke free, her hand felt the bulge in his pocket and stopped. What did he spend money on now? She tried to get up, but Emily pushed her back down.
 
“No, Daddy. Give her a mushy movie star kiss. She’s been sad all day. It’ll make her happy.”
 
Jimmy grinned. Just like her mother, always thinking of someone else.
 
“Maybe, I should give her what Santa gave me.”
 
The little blue eyes widened. Kristy didn’t know what to do.
 
“You saw Santa?!”
 
Jimmy knelt down and looked deep into her eyes.
 
“Yes, Sweetheart, I did on the way home from work. He told me that Mommy was such a good girl she should get her present early.” Emily looked at her mommy, sinking lower into the sofa. 
 
“What is it?”
 
“Well, she has to come over here and see.”
 
Reluctantly, Kristy slid over. Jimmy pulled the plain long box out his pocket and opened it. Inside was an inexpensive silver necklace with heart shaped locket. 
 
“Kristy. I know we don’t have much money, but I found this at a thrift store and knew you would like it.”
 
Pulling it out, he opened the locket. Inside was a small picture of the three they had taken at church when school started. Tears sprung up at the corner of Kristy’s eyes.
 
“Oh, Jimmy. Our picture!” 
 
He fastened the chain around her neck. 
 
“When you wear it, we will always be next to your heart. It is where I want to be now and for all time. Now, let’s give our little girl the mushy movie star kiss she wants.”
 
There was no hesitation. Kristy pulled the screaming Emily between them and together they kissed her up and down her face. 
 
 
“Mommy! You’re the one that supposed to be kissed.”
 
Putting her down, Kristy looked into her daughter’s eyes and saw herself. There really was a lot to be grateful for. Kristy then kissed Jimmy like there was no tomorrow, only coming up once to say how much she loved him and how this Christmas was the best. 
 
Emily went to bed, satisfied. As she closed her door, she heard Mommy squealing. Daddy was tickling her. She turned out the light and slipped under her covers. She knew not to ask for a story because they would be making the funny animal noises soon. They always made Emily happy because she knew they were happy, too. 
 
And that was the bestest present of all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Easy Prompt-Use a Christmas Carol (Little Drummer Boy)
Pic Guesses: 99 Bottles of Beer, Redneck Special (in blog), Beer with Jesus, Beer Money, A Tear in my Beer, 12 days of Redneck Christmas, , Red Green Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Email Scams

The script kiddies think we are dumb.

The last few days I have had six or seven notices on the main box saying I have a FedEx message. Here is what a leading security company is saying: FedEX

And even Federal Express is annoyed: Phishing

This is on top of the normal global disaster, porn and get rich quick schemes.

I've been amused at the uptick in crap since the US election.I made mention of it a few days ago. Traffic Scan

Why don't you just purchase the damn personal identifying information on the open market? It's cheaper. 


Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Random

It's been a while since I did a post that was just random thoughts.

Over the last few weeks I have been troubled by my parallel thought train. This is my Walter Mitty life where I am someone else. Lately it has been as a down and out sinner. A sex offender that will never be forgiven, waiting for the next unannounced beating, with the promise that I am beyond the grace of God and the only thing I have to look forward to is the eternal flames. When this happens, I can feel my blood pressure rise. Angry only at the these thoughts, I want to lash out. But I know this would only plunge my physical self into this imaginary world.

The other night I finally called out to God for the thoughts to go away. It took a while, but they ebbed out to sea. But the mind wasn't silent. The replacement was the face of a girl about four years old. She is crying in anger and frustration and her mother is nearing the end of her rope. I reached out and placed my hand on the tiny back and she crawled up into my lap. I quietly hummed a lullaby as she settled into blissful sleep in my lap. The mother took the child and laid her on a bed,

She began to cry and I placed my hand on her back. She cuddled in and whined about the burden of her daughter. I shushed her and sang the same lullaby. As she began to settle, the daughter came back into the room.

"Are you rocking my Mommy to sleep?"

The Mother turned. "Go on back to bed, Sweetie. I'll tuck you in in a minute."

The daughter walked over and placed her tiny hand on my chest.

"Put your head here, Mommy. You can hear his heart and you'll go to sleep faster."

We smiled and I grabbed her up, putting her on the other side. I said"

"Better yet, Mommy on the left side and Baby on the right. You'll both sleep well tonight."

And the sun rose on the three of us, smiling in our bliss.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tides (Blogophilia 43.9)

Tide flows in
Surely as it flows out
Into the black ocean
Heartbeat of the marsh
As the sun sets over my shoulder

Tent perched on a hammock
In the eastern time zone
I wonder
Can you see without eyes?
Can you speak without lies?

Another sip of coffee
As the firelight dies
You thought yourself
The big fish in the pond
But sharks proved you wrong
And I’m
Thankfully
Alone.

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Pic guesses: Splish Splash, Big Fish (in blog), Flipper, Banana Boat, Changes in Latitudes (Changes in Attitudes), Rub a dub dub, Free Willy,

Monday, December 12, 2016

Trip

Rainy night in Bangkok
Sharing Cabernet with no one
Pictures sliding across the screen
Smiling people at Temple gates
No reverence
No meaning
Another bucket list item
Done

Thinking back on the message
You won!
The trip of a life time
Angkor Wat
Intersection of two religions
Half way around the world
Only to find
The same clueless people
As everywhere else.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Topic (You Won)-Irene Melgoza
Picture-Tyler Myrth
Pic Guesses: Top of the World, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Eidelweiss, Ain’t No Mountain (High Enough), Into the Mystic,

Monday, December 5, 2016

Traffic scan

I'm a stats nut, as I mentioned before. I've always found it interesting who finds my little bit of internet heaven. I've welcomed my South Korean readers over the years. Made mention of the Russians, etc.

Speaking of which, they seem to be back using a Czech server. Am I an unwitting DDOS bot? Or are they using me to transmit nasty malware to the unsuspecting. I haven't a clue.

All I do is post mediocre short stories.

Maybe they just like that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Coffee Shop (Blogophilia 41.9)

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” 
 
The man pondered the quote over his coffee. So many of his friends had stumbled into this trap and he had spent most of his life trying to get away from it. But not with success. Alternating between spreadsheets and political discussions online, he felt he was at a crossroads. The world looked like it was ready to crash. More than half of his associates online were cheering it as if it were a show that wouldn’t affect them. He knew better.
 
Waddling up to the counter for a refill, he steps aside for a person of uncertain gender. This was a good example. In the old days, you never saw people that couldn’t make up their mind about it. They either were, or faked being a man or a woman. A certain comfort came from knowing men from women. Now, it seems, people want to play all the roles at the same time. But can’t do that, really. You only can occupy one space physically and mentally at a time. Oh, sure, you can try to change it. And maybe you’ll have some success, but not without major scars.
 
His mind began to race again. Thoughts of imaginary friends he could rescue from imaginary terrors. Fighting imaginary enemies for a few Shillings from an imaginary King, A reward of nights with the imaginary Princess, with a strong mind and even stronger passion, it causes real arousal in front of his real spouse, who can’t understand why he is squirming desperately.
 
The images have been strong. They keep him from sleeping well. What if I lose? My real person might end up in an imaginary prison of my own making. When he comes back to reality, the world still looks the same. He has not grown. The Uncertain Person still disturbs him, even though it is true they are just as much a Child of God as he. And the world still looks like it is going to crash.
 
 
He takes a final sip and realizes, yes, he was the man in the quote. He was another life wasted.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pic Guesses: One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer. Brandy, One More From the Road, Uneasy Rider, It’s a Party, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, Let’s Get Drunk and Screw.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Thanks (Blogophilia 40.9)

Roof over our head
Food on the board
On the right side of the ground
And breathing 
We are blessed.
 
 
After he finished the Grace, the couple sat next to each other at the small table. Martha leaned over and kissed him, city lights glistening though the raven curls. 
 
"That was lovely, Jerry" 
 
"Thank you , my Love."
 
Slicing the breast, he placed one on her plate, followed with the cornbread-apple dressing. Then he served himself. Silently, they ate with their eyes closed. Yves had outdone himself, getting the meal together before he went to Paris to see his family. He might be annoying, but he did know how to manage a house.
 
Plates cleaned of the last morsels, Martha refilled their glasses. Meditatively, she looked at the wine and softly said.
 
"It's been quite a year."
 
"Several years." Came the smiling reply. 
 
"It was nice of Rabbi Kunkel to come down to marry us."
 
"He said at my Bar Mitzvah he should live long enough to do it." 
 
"I almost didn't."
 
Jerry took a sip and was silent for a moment. 
 
"Yeah. That was started me back. I had taken everything for granted,money, fast cars, work, even you."
 
Martha put down her glass. 
 
"I can't say I was much better. My mind was only on patents and client meetings. Nothing really mattered, though."
 
"Kunkel used to tell me: 'Jerry, you are a wanderer. But the path always comes home.' I thought he was nuts. The tradition was stupid and I wanted to be as far away from it as possible."
 
"So, you chased money."
 
"I chased money. Along the way, I met you, though."
 
"Well, you did come home?"
 
"You are my home."
 
"And you are mine, Silly Boy. And I give thanks for that every day."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Topic-Giving Thanks
Hard Prompt-Bring back old characters (Jerry Goldstein, Martha Halpern-Goldstein, and a shout to Yves Milleux)
Easy prompt mention a wedding.
Pic Guesses:
Centerfold
Closer to Fine
Love Stinks
(Baby, what a) Big Surprise
Love is a Battlefield
Runaway


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Clean Out

It was another beautiful morning. Yeah, right. Even after all the of coffee, I was annoyed at being up. How did I get talked into it? I let someone else buy the drinks and I needed the bread. It had been a while since I got fired off my last gig and I still needed to make rent. But cleaning out some dead dame's house? It's creepy, you know? What if she...uh...didn't leave? Jerry said it was easy work and in a nice neighborhood and they would be expecting me. It took two more beers before I said yes.I left the bar with a real uneasy feeling.

I check the address on my phone. Yeah, nice enough neighborhood.I take my time driving over. I even stopped to have breakfast. I almost bailed drinking my third cup of coffee, but it was a hundred bucks. Dragging myself back out to the truck, I went on.

The subdivision was frozen in time. Ticky-tacky starter boxes in various states of disrepair. There was nobody to fix them after the kids went to University, I suppose. The dead lady's house was about halfway down the main street. It was nice enough, a white ranch with pink trim. A dusty Lincoln in the garage hadn't moved in years, but the lawn was neat as a pin. Probably used a yard service. I asked for Nancy like I was told and was pointed to this black girl in the dining room who was surrounded with boxes. She told me their company, Precious Estates, had been contracted to clean out and auction the contents of the home and this woman had been seriously into glass.

She wasn't kidding. I've done a bit of trading, both legal and illegal, in collectibles over the years. But the amount and variety of material amazed me. There was crystal goblet sets, colored cut glass, blown figurines, and other stuff I had never seen before. Some of it had to be valuable, and could be fenced for a quick buck. I tucked the thought away for later. This was supposed to be a one day gig, but if it went further, a little five fingered discount might well be worth looking into. I mean, the lady is dead, right? It's not like anybody is going to miss something.

One by one, I fed her assembly line to her as while she gave me the rundown on the job. The owner was a Mrs. Jennie Lou Mabry, a widow. She and her late husband had bought the house new in early 1960's, and lived happily together until he died about ten years ago. They raised four children: William, who was an lawyer and executor of the estate; Paul, a recently divorced engineer who was drunk for their meeting; Jason, who looked homeless; and Amelia, who looked like some kind of butch musician.

Nancy seemed relieved to have someone to listen to her complaints. In ten years of being in the estate liquidation business, she hadn't dealt with a group quite like this one. Each of the kids would interrupt each other constantly. t was obvious there was no love or trust for William and they felt he was trying to milk the estate. It was all she could do to get through the initial meeting and get the group out of the house so she could work.

According to William, Miz Jennie (as they called her) had been collecting glass since she was a kid in the Depression.William, Sr., the father, would just shrug off each purchase as a quirk. If she was happy, he was happy. After the father's  death, the kids made a few attempts to convince Miz Jennie to sell, but she would pitch fits. Apparently a more than a few pieces were thrown at William's head over the years, since he was the one who wanted it gone the most.

Yeah, I thought. Get it sold and pocket the money. Maybe I shouldn't be judging, since I haven't met the guy. But I've seen my share of greedy kids before. I would have been one, too, if my mom had had any money. But there ain't any money in being a maid, so I had to scrap for my own.

The conversation made the work light and in about an hour, we had packed up all the boxes in the living room. I was sweeping up the debris whebn Nancy mentioned there were a few more boxes left in the attic. If I got them, I could take the rest of the day off with the full pay. That sounded good to me. The ceiling door was half way down the hall toward the bedrooms. With a tug, the door opened and I climbed up.

The blast of heat about knocked me off the ladder when I reached the top.The area was empty except for a stack of three boxes tucked in an eave. I had to stoop  keep from hitting my head on a rafter, But they slid easy enough on the plywood floor. Before going back down, I decided to see if there was anything in them worth my while.

The first box was plain white, but the contents weren't. Inside was a matched set of six Tiffany Christmas tree ornaments, made from high grade crystal. The family names had been engraved with what looked like a diamond tool. They must have cost a fortune new. Mom and Dad's were probably a wedding present and the kid's acquired as each came into the world. A very traditional act for families with aspirations. They would be more valuable were unmarked, though. Too easy to trace.

In the next box was a pretty copper green cut vase, probably from the 1940's. It looked mass produced, but it was clear with no chips. There was  market, but it was slow and steady. Might bring me fifty, but it was too big to move comfortably with Nancy here.

The last one was a mix of Hummel and Swarovski pieces. Much better for what I want. At least two of visible ones were worth $500 retail, my take would be about a quarter. I'll stash it downstairs somewhere, there should be a way to sneak it out. I make my way back down to Nancy. On impulse, I leave the Tiffany with the Hummel in the hall next to the front door, a back up plan if the box upstairs doesn't work out.

Just as I set the boxes down, a short woman with buzz cut black hair and blood in her eyes blows through the front door. Kind of short, she smelled like vodka and wore a nondescript flowered dress. Seeing me holding one of the boxes, she turned to Nancy.

"Why are you people still here? I told you my brother fired you." Then pointing at me  "And who is this...scuzzball?"

Without missing a beat, Nancy sighed.

"Miss Mabry, your brother as Executor to Miz Jennie's estate personally hired us. As I told you before, the contract is with him. If he wants to let us go, he will need to do it personally."

That put gas to the fire. The crazed woman picked up one of the Tiffany balls out of the box.

"Are you calling me a liar, Witch?"

Before either one of could say anything, the ball starts flying toward my head. I reached for it, but it bounced off my hand and shattered on the mahogany sideboard behind me. Buzz Cut then grabbed the copper vase and reared back like the starting pitcher for the Yankee's.

"Get out, all of you! I'm calling the Police."

Just then, two men ran in, one tall and gaunt and the other kind of disheveled. The smell of Bloddy Marys became prominent. Mr.Gauant caught the woman's upraised arm and Mr. Disheveled plucked the endangered vase from her and put it gently on the sideboard. Together they guided Buzz Cut to a chair.

"Jason, go get some water."

Disheveled disappeared stage left to the kitchen.

" Amy! What are you doing? We talked about this at lunch and agreed to wait for Will."

"I don't care, Paul! These...thieves are carting away Mommy's treasures."

"No, they are not. This is only a packing and inventory. We gave you several chances to pick out the ones you wanted and you never would do it. It is time to finish this up."

Coming back in the room with a plastic cup somehow got missed it the packing process, Disheveled spoke up.

"And besides, Sis, The museum was going to pay a lot of money for those christmas ornaments."

Nancy and I stared back is shock, while Amy slumped dejectedly in the chair. I couldn't stop myself.

"You mean the like the one that just flew past my head?"

Paul and Jason looked down at Amy. The question came out in stereo.

"Which one?"

The enormity of hit her. Her eyes grew wide.

"I don't know. I just grabbed one."

"Oh, crap. Mom always said..."

The three crazed kids went to the box and began to dig. Old Gaunt brought out his phone and hit a button. Fidgeting as he waited, the speaker got turned on and soon a soothing low voice said.

"You have reached the office of William J Mabry, attorney at Law. No one is available to take your call right now, please leave your name, phone and case number and I will get back to you shortly...beeep."

"Will, where are you? Get over to the house as soon as you can."

He clicked off, looking terrified, he turned to Nancy.

"That set of crystal ornaments were not from Tiffany's, even though they look like it. The story Mom told us she had them made in some Gypsy shop in New York after Amy was born as kind of a Thanksgiving. She was premature, but came out without a lot of complications. They were expensive and we had plenty of Christmas stuff, but like always Dad just shrugged. All he cared about was Mom being happy."

"There was dispute over the price when they got picked up. Mom stuck to her guns and got them for the price she wanted. But before she left, the owner, a Gypsy Woman that put a curse on the ornaments where if a one of them broke, the person named would die."

Tears began to well up in Buzz Cut's eyes.

"I didn't mean to break WIll. You know I didn't."

"Oh, calm down, Sis. That was some tale Mom concocted to keep us from killing each other. I'm sure Will is alright. He's just away from his phone."

Nancy and I looked at each other. I wasn't taking anything home from this gig. This family was nuts and they probably would find some way to move that so called curse to me.

Mr. Gaunt's phone chirped.

"Hello? Yes, this is Paul Mabry... Is he all right?" His eyes became glassy." Yes. Yes. We'll be right down."

"That was St. Joseph's Hospital. Will was just brought in. The lady wouldn't say much, but said we need to get there right away."

The three siblings blew out the door with the same speed they had blown in. The house was silent for a full minute. I picked up the green vase and handed to her and she mechanically put it in its waiting box and taped it. Then we walked out the door, locking it behind us. Anything else could be done by someone else.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Fiesta (Blogophilia 39.9)

It wass the best time to be in Santa Fe, not too hot or cold. It had been a beautiful wedding, he had to say. The bride was radiant, the groom nervous and the church charming. The Mariachi Band at the reception had been a nice touch. The sister stealing the disposable cameras meant to supplement the wedding pictures could have been skipped. The-off the-cuff testimonial to the couple had gone better than he expected. And he wasn't even that hungover at 5AM when he started the trip back to Albuquerque to catch the 8:30 plane to go home.
At the last minute, a bridesmaid from Los Angeles asked if she could hitch to catch her flight home. Sure, why not. She was kind of cute and it would make the trip little less boring. It didn't work out that way, she slept all the way through the Bernalilo Pass. Oh, well.
Traversing the southern end of the Los Cerillos valley wasn’t much. Dry scrub punctuated with windblown cottonwoods posed as shadows along either side. Probably a good thing it was dark the coming up. Cruise control set a eighty and soft classical music made the quiet snoring in the passenger seat almost pleasant.
A bank of Aspens lit up with golden fire as the sky went from indigo to lavender to blue as the rental car climbed Sandia Mountain. The scenery was incredible. If you had to drive I-25, this is the section and October is time of the year to do it. His mind was split on whether to miss the plane and hike up Spirit Mountain north of town, or just go on back home. The Boss wouldn't like that much. She was expecting him at 5 and he didn't want to deal with the explanation.
Topping the bald at the Pueblo, the long descent into town started. Interesting rock cuts in places where they had to blast the road into place became visible. It was somewhere around he almost hit the guy walking in the middle of the road, wasn't it? The sky had turned an interesting shade of orange tinged with pink. He guessed it was about twenty minutes until full sunrise and his mood lightened. Could he live out here? He'd miss his trees too much, but it was always fun to visit.
The girl in the passenger seat stirred, then jumped and pointed to a winking sunflower that had appeared in the sky.


It seem to float like a dream across the mountain on the zephyr. It was one of those sights when you realize everything's going to be alright, now. Marley was right, as usual. As the car made the next bend, the sky exploded into balloons bobbing across the valley in the annual hound and hare race.


With a jolt, he swerved to miss a slack jawed idiot stopped dead in its tracks. Jesus! Haven't these people seen a mass balloon launch before? I mean Fiesta is quite a sight, but you don't have to cause a twenty car wreck. He'd stop himself, but the plane was still waiting. He judicially slalomed and went on.
He'd have to smell the roses another time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Topic-Dave Coon
Pic-Dahlia Ramone
Pic-Dream (in blog), Balloon (in blog), dream (in blog), future, wish, trip (in blog) in the air, around the world, adventure, hopes, rainbow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Alphabet City (Blogophilia 38.9)

Alley off Avenue A
Taking a break
As the El-Train slides toward Harlem

Apron is sagging
Blouse is dripping
Offal stench mixing with cigarettes

Whiff of the fish market
Clogged sewer in the river
Product of the wealth of our labor.

Cuts bound for the restaurant, the shops
Where patrons take elevators
Unknowing of the struggles of the butcher, the waiter.

This is life
In Alphabet City


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Pic Guesses: Alley (in blog), El-Train (in blog), left behind, underground, abandoned, divan, lonely,

Friday, November 4, 2016

Email

Discreet Hookup Search!

18 yr old girls!

See my pics!

Yeah, right. Plasticized thirty year olds with no original parts.

I rather see a normal 40 yr old, slightly saggy woman that just doesn't care.

I already have a 50 something one here that does. Just need to go a little younger. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Board Meeting (Blogophilia 37.9)

In the Board Room of Devil’s Quill Corporation outside Arlington VA, A special Board of Directors meeting has been called. Lucifer J Beezlebub, CEO, resplendent in a new red suit, approaches the podium.
 
“Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. I’m glad all of you were able to take the time for this meeting on such a short notice. Things are progressing quickly and it is important to bring you up to date on our latest initiative “Nixon Two, Electric Boogaloo.” 
 
As you are aware, I brought Richard on board from Seraph’s Ice Fields because of his unique technical ability in the field of political subterfuge. Well, the sands of time are just about up and I want Richard to detail out where we have been and where we are now.” 
 
Smatters of applause come from around the table as the ashen faced skeletor walks up. Wiping his brow as he adjusts his blue tie, he clears his throat. 
 
“Thank you, Mr. Beezelbub. Nice tie. Thor’s hammer over Prometheus’ fire becomes the suit.”
 
Beezelbub smiles and nods at the flattery. Without missing a beat, Nixon continues.
 
“Anyway, if you haven’t met me yet, my name is Richard Milhous Nixon. When I was on the other side, I built a reputation for political manipulation and character assassination. From the House Un-American Activities Committee, through the tangles with the Kennedy’s and the swindle with the Chinese, I became the man everyone loved to hate. I made and broke many politician’s careers, even mine twice. If it weren’t for those meddling kid reporters picking up on my little burglary, the second one wouldn’t have happened and I would have completed the consolidation of my empire. But things happen and is fire under the bridge.”
 
“Devil’s Quill was tasked by Maker Industries sometime back with subverting the US political system to allow for an opportunity to make some changes in the overall structure of the world. Maker was also very concerned certain elements in the political class had forgotten who really was in charge.”
 
“As previously mentioned, I was actively involved with the project when I was on the other side. During this time quite a bit of progress was made. The last phase we completed started out wonderfully with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the end of the Berlin Wall, which brought about some interesting population migrations. But Ronnie Raygun made a few mistakes that weren’t caught and by the time we realized what happened, they had festered to the point where no sane man wanted to take the till of the project.” 
 
“A few years before I came on board, a raw recruit suggested some of Esau’s descendants could be riled up with a promise of returning to the old days where men were men and women were property. It took a few tries, but a combination of Ronnie’s mistakes and a couple of rogue rich kids allowed Devil’s Quill to make the most of this opportunity. A couple of well placed diversions were designed. They were so good it almost got the first Bush to take the bait, but he backed out. Bill Clinton was a little bit smarter, but we finally goaded him into wasting some time in Bosnia, but not with the result desired.” 
 
“It was at this time I was given the opportunity to transfer from Cocytus. Frankly I was happy to be away from my supervisors, Hitler and Stalin. They bickered all day over who was more evil. They both felt they deserved more than this, while I did the work keeping politicians buried at the right height for their sins. It got quite tiresome. But again, it was more ice under the bridge.”
 
“I started by giving one of the Rich Kids, Osama Bin Laden, an opportunity to work in the Amway system. As you are aware, this is one of our most effective disinformation distribution channels. It allows for evil thoughts to be disseminated through a chain without the people, who we refer to as links, having access to the whole story. Bin Laden took what he learned home and built one of the finest multi-lines ever, spanning multiple countries and several competing sects of Islam. His organization skills were outstanding and I expect to see him called again for projects in the future. With Bin Laden’s work, we were able to lay some irresistible bait for the second Bush, who I knew from working with the family on the other side, was a gullible sap. As predicted, he jumped higher than a trained monkey when the planes hit. There was collateral damage to our agents, but the acidic aftermath set the stage for what we’ve accomplished.” 
 
“The whole purpose of this exercise was to remove all traces of faith in anything the world offers. Whatever the image a man has of something, it will be wrong. If someone is powerful, they are one of us. It has been that way since the sands of time began and most thinking men know it. But for the distracted sheep of all generations, the curtain must be lifted just enough to them to know.”
 
“Over the last two years, my team has engineered one of the largest diversionary attacks ever attempted on the humans. Pablo Picasso, the Denizen of Third Rings, stated it ‘Everything you can imagine is real’ Using their own communications systems, we have foisted two unsuitable candidates while completely obscuring their real backgrounds. Maker Industries has used this technique themselves over the years, most notably at Babel, when it was though humans were thinking too highly of themselves. At this point, no individual can tell whether the man or the woman is a spy for the enemy. Confusion of the masses leads to fear, then to subjugation. We expect over the next few years, our human sorting capabilities are going to be stressed as events play out. But our teams are more than ready to accept the challenge.”
 
“I know our small effort is only a piece in a much larger puzzle that even we, as Demons and Quality Assurance agents, are not privy to. But I can say with confidence, Devil’s Quill will prove itself worthy of anything asked of it, and I am both humbled and flattered that your confidence is still with me.”
 
“Thank you.” 
 
As Nixon steps down, two dancers in Hula garb places leis around his neck. The group dances and swirls down the aisle to the PiƱa Colada song as the brimstone rain begins to fall.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Pic Guesses: Dancers (in blog), Lei (in blog) Hula (in blog), Tropical, Swirling, Souvenir, Kitsch, Tacky.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sexy Posts (Blogophilia 36.9)

“I just had the best night of my life! Alert the media! He was loving and caring and I’m still dragging!!”
 
Yeah, you’ve seen those posts, either on a Tweet. (Or a text where the Butt mis-dialed by one line and your spouse asks “Who is Sheila?” “Girl at work. She told me she had a date.”) People celebrating new found lust. (Can’t call it love yet. That takes more time.) The moans and coos are almost audible. Some of them are explicit enough to make you spit out your morning coffee. You hope they at least got a room. 
 
You are happy for the person, but kind of embarrassed at the same time. You wonder if they are going put up pictures of the event. (Oh, please don’t. I don’t need to see your Kangaroo tied down, Sport.) It is a vicarious thrill in an otherwise boring day. 
 
Of course, there is a bit of jealousy. Why can’t it be you in the fantasy world where dancing on love’s threshing floor has no consequences. To have a moment where nothing matters but your partner that lasts for what seems like forever. Life doesn’t work that way. All actions have reactions, whether it is a child, an angry other partner, or just disappointment it is all over. 
 
But you still have the memories.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Pic-Dahlia Ramone.
Pic Guesses: Pictures (in blog), wall of fame, restaurant, memories (in blog), famous, concierge, room service, tourist info, hotel

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Harry's Black Rain (Blogophilia 35.9)

Hey, heidy and howdy. It's your old moldy oldies maven Harry Handy back on the air here at WOFT. Old Farts radio for all you old teenagers. It's a pretty Sunday morning here in radio land, but all of the media keeps talking about this Climate Change stuff. We need to limit plastic! Stop burning fossil fuels! It's all going be black rain because we keep using up the earth.

It's funny all these people that keep talking about this look like the hippies were were back in the 1960's. Maybe Jimmy Buffett was right..


If so, then Willie Nelson was on to something, especially if we look at our Presidential choices.


Or maybe Johnny Cash


Or even Gregg Allman


In the end, we will need Jerry Lee Lewis said what's going to happen to us in the end.



Not a pretty sight. Makes me glad I am in my Geritol years and may not have to watch it all come down in flames.  But that also means, I won't see it rise again like the Phoenix the Earth truly is.

At least hope that.


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Topic-Diana Jillian

Pic-Samantha Trace

Pic guesses Phoenix (in blog) Aurora, Neon Butterfly, Metamorphosis,  Fractal,


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bread (Blogophilia 34.9)



Dancing slowly around the counter
Sinatra on the oldies station
What music they make.
Apron swaying
To a Parisian dream.

Teaspoon off the rack
Spices sprinkled in flour.   
Beads as liquid joins. 
Dough ball forms slowly. 

Familiar thrill begins 
Love rises, falls.    
Hands quickly knead
Searching the dragon’s face
When love is not madness,
It is not love.

Spirit attracted
To the scent.
To her 
She is the bread 
Intertwined loaves in the oven
Only in the next life,
She knows.  






Pic Guesses-Dragon (in blog), Sauron, Godzilla, Long Journey,
Middle Earth, Knights of old, Tequila dreams, 4 and 20 years ago,


Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday (Blogophilia 33.9)

It's not nice to fool mother nature.


If you are old like me, you remember the Chiffon margarine commercial. Mother Nature is traipsing through the woods and is approached with a tub of something she thinks is butter. Every time she was sold a bill of goods. The product was supposedly so good it would even fool her. All the commercials ended with her coming unglued at the shattering illusion. She would snap her fingers after saying the above statement, summoning thunder, with elephants or tigers chasing the camera.
It was a cute bit. Did everything a good ad should. The catch phrase entered the lexicon, even though the product isn't widely available anymore. But like all marketing and advertising, it was based on a lie: Buy our product and improve your life. 
Being lied to is never a fun thing. You expect one thing and get another. It happens constantly. It is why we are so cynical these days. Nothing is as it seems. Photoshopped, autotuned and manipulated, entertainers are everywhere playing their dog and pony shows, screaming for attention. Nature is co-opted and life is cheapened (at least more than it has been in the past). Nothing is real. And we still buy it.
Then there are the stories of fair maidens meeting studly hands and playing hours long bedroom tennis matches ending in Love-Love, with no consequences. The women are slender and blonde and the men are curly and cut. It's a trope members of our own Blogophilia corps earn actual money from. And more power to them. It is better than slaving over spreadsheets in a cubicle. 
But in real life, we are lucky when passing the peace pipe with our partners lasts two minutes. Wham, bam, Thank you, Ma'am. We are pudgy and balding. We spend time purchasing this cream or that tonic in the hopes we can fool each other one more time, when it would be better to take everyone as they are.
Why do we keep running in this circle? 
Probably because, in our fantasy world, we want to be the image...or the actual manipulators. That is the carrot dangled in front of us. To have people dance to our whims and serve our pleasures. And we silently snicker and cheer when a star is devoured by the human adoration, sparkle by sparkle. They are proven to be human, and so are we with the base cheering of their falls. Admit it. You do this.
The manipulators know this and keep pitching us the image of the unattainable. And we keep buying it, hoping Mother Nature is fooled...again.
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Pic guesses: Elephant (in blog), Dumbo, Issue, Problem, Circus, Junk in the trunk, In the pink,

Friday, September 30, 2016

Opposite Ends (Blobophilia 32.9)

On opposite ends 
She 
Apple, not pear 
He 
Sheep, not bull 
Wait their fate. 

 They look 
Exchange words 
Emotion is contagious 
Enchanted
They head toward the door 

Her car, faster 
His gun, bigger
Hot night 
Shearing each other 
They meet.

Ram finding 
Apples taste sweet 
Apple finding 
It’s good to be ewe
In a pasture Of your own making. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Topic- Dave Coon
Pic Guesses-Little Princess, Oasis, Mirage, Repose, Alien, Body Snatcher, Desert Dream, Earrings against skin so brown, Peaceful easy feeling.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Harvest Moon (Blogophilia 31.9)

Up is down
Right is left
In a world apart.

Rules for the flock
Not the Shepherd
Aren’t what Thou art.

I was kicking around various story ideas for this week and nothing really fit the topic, Full Moon Madness. I sketched out a Harry Handy bit. It didn’t quite work right. Then I looked at Devil’s Quill and how L.J. Beezelbub bamboozles with rules that apply to most people, but not the elite. No. That one didn’t work either. I even thought about bringing Jeremy from “The Bomb” back, now a homeless wreck on the street. 
 
Still didn’t feel right. 
 
But real life came through in the end. We had fatal encounters where Officer Itchy overrode his discipline with the all too common results. There was the terrorist with only half of Jeremy’s smarts building bombs traceable to his home. The Presidential Election quirks with Mrs. Clinton’s health. Locally, we had a well known writer and TV personality let loose a well deserved, no-holds barred barrage of vitriol against her former long term business partner. The Rise and Fall of Sister Louisa
 
And the winning Powerball ticket worth $246 Million was sold at my local Publix, making that shopping trip a pleasure. 
 
Obviously, since I’m posting I wasn’t the winner. It would have been hard to buy ticket coming out of anesthesia, really. While all this was going on, I finally had my appendectomy. It is Wednesday and my back is giving me more problems than the three poke holes used to fish out the offending bit of flesh. Such is the miracle of modern medical technology. Throw me on the lift, use a computer controlled version of an air wrench, and zzzziiippp....all done. I wasn’t even under long enough to dream of a bucolic church with an overgrown cemetery behind it. I promise never to complain about being a piece of medical inventory again.
 
Now that I am back to (sort of) form, I have to pick up the pace on the craziness. I found a replacement vehicle for the Kia that ate its engine, a 2010 Mazda Tribute that came in just a bit over budget. I’m happy about that. Had another recruiter call about a contract (way too early to tell where that will go). Figured out the Indianapolis job went elsewhere (Which is fine by me. I wasn’t interested in moving). 
 
So while the kaleidoscope world spins a bit faster, I’ll keep on this path. You want to live? You take chances. 
 
Right?
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Topic-Dave Coon
Pic guesses: Church (in blog), overgrown cemetery (in blog), rest, final exit, eternal garden, reach for the stars, shining down,