The Treaty

“The treaty is signed,” Jansen said, displaying the document that brought an end to the long running feud.

The two factions remained on their respective sides, but silence replaced venomous speech that had defined the conversation for so long.  Jansen was exhausted.  Peace had taken months to bring about.  Councils were convened, representatives from both sides made demands and promises; nothing had come to fruition until the day before.

Terms were agreed upon and the final draft of the treaty, while full of compromise did make both sides of the battle would walk away from the table happy.  Jansen made it all happen.  His stewardship of the treaty would usher in a new era of progress.  Soon, work and accomplishment would return to the now united PTA of Heisenberg Elementary.


The Mug Shot

“This is public record now, huh?” Mason asked, holding a copy of his mug shot.

“Sure is, kid.  Make better choices now, okay?” Officer Darsen said, handing over the remainder of the recently released criminal’s items.

Mason grabbed a lighter, a coat and a copy of Blues Brothers 2000 he did not remember buying and made his way to his outside, to his very displeased mother idling in a station wagon.

He took the passenger seat and tried to avoid discussion.  He messed up. Bail was expensive. His life was going to get weird and tough as soon as he got home.

His mother did not say a single word on the drive home.  She simply stared at the road and swerved to avoid roadkill on occasion.  The only comment came as the car was turned off and left to rest in the drive way.  Mason watched his mother’s eyes glance to his stack of belongings where, resting on top of the stack, his copy of the mug shot and arrest detail sat.

“I need you to promise me, that mug shot is on the centerpiece for every family holiday gathering from now until I die.  Do you understand? Your punishment is seeing that for all eternity.  When Gramma passes potatoes, it will be over that mug shot.  When your cousin throws corn across the table, it will fly over that mug shot.  This is your promise to me.”  His mother spoke without hint of sarcasm or irony.  Her words were true and to be heeded.

Mason sighed, “fine. I understand.”

Mason would have many regrets in his life.  Chief among them; being arrested at a frat party in clown college.


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Penny and The Great One

Candle light flickered throughout the chamber.  Robed figures stood round a circle and chanted their mystical words in unison.  In due time, the ceremony would be complete and The Great One would rise.

But only if Penny could keep herself from laughing.  She felt like Dr. Stantz at the end of Ghostbusters  thinking of the marshmallow man.  Nothing could stop a memory she hadn’t given thought to in years from being at the forefront of her mind.  Before long, the memory won.

“Penny! Sweet jumping spiders, what’s going on? We can one night in two thousand years to get this right.” Becca said, angrily kicking the stone altar swimming in fresh goat’s blood.

“Sorry, sorry. Let’s try again,” Penny attempted to compose herself.

“Just…keep your focus, okay?” Becca, leader of the high council, ordered.  Penny motioned that she was in control.

Penny was wrong.

“Penny!” Trisha chided as Penny once more broke into laughter.

“Oh golly, my bad, gang,” Penny managed to say between giggles.  The others in the circle had removed their hoods and started to encircle the one ruining the ceremony.

“I can’t stop thinking of our Mario Tennis tournament and the vodka shots for every time Birdo got hit by a ball.  Becca was so gone after that first set,” Penny took in a deep breath, “ah. If our young selves could us now, right?”

The others of the cult exchanged a knowing a glance and Becca made a decision.  “Someone find a VGA cable and fire up the 64, folks.  The Great One can wait!”


My Kid is Spooky

Any house with a resident under three years of age is one of loud noises and exhausted adults.  My tale begins no differently from any such home trying to get standard bed time chores accomplished.  Pajamas, diaper changes, brushed teeth; the whole package.  Standard fair that took a turn for the down right terrifying.

I had a long weekend.  Had to go to work on Saturday with images of Office Space in my mind and accompanied my wife for chaperone duties at her school’s prom, then chased kids on Sunday.  No real chance to catch up on sleep, so this evening I was dragging.  The down side of just barely managing to stay up right is that toddlers sense this weakness.  As no coffee in the world could keep me at top speed, the moment the toddler lost his diaper in that brief time between changes, he ran. Continue reading

Walter’s Late Night

“Walter! Get up and going, man!” Rafi said.

Walter did not move.  He grumbled and ignored his friend’s pleas.

“Dude, we’ve got stuff to do today!” Rafi pushed.

Walter responded with yet another grumble at first, but much to his surprise, found himself capable of speech as well.  “Rafi, buddy, I was up until 1:00am on Friday,” Walter explained.

“It’s Sunday morning,” Rafi pointed out.

“Here’s the thing, kiddo;  1:00am for old folk like me is equivalent to being awake for a week straight.  It will be Tuesday before I feel like myself again.”  Walter tried with all his might to stand up, but failed.

“Being old sounds awful.” Rafi said.

“It isn’t that bad.  The trade off is ice cream breakfasts and TV binge watching.”  Walter said, finally standing up.  His joints popped and cracked and he grumbled some more.  “It’s a worthwhile trade off, young one, really.”

The Interview

“What makes you interested in this particular program, Mr. Dover?” The admissions counselor asked of “Mr. Dover” much to his delight.  No one had ever called him mister before.

“Well, I really feel I was born for the mortuary trade.” Mr. Dover explained.

“Why is that?”

“My first name is Keel.”

“Your name is Keel Dover?”

“I’m quite upset with my parents.”

“You really were meant for this line of work. Welcome to the program!”


The Loan

“I am sorry, Mr. Evilbeard, Bank of Slow Island will not be able to approve your loan,” the banker informed Francis.

“Oh, come on!” Francis exploded.  His fists slammed against the giant desk between he and the banker.  “Country Bank, First Place Bank, Loan-Star Bank; no one has the courage to finance this! Be bold, Hank!”

“It’s just not practical,” The banker explained.

“Do you know what a think tank of evil scientists and engineers could accomplish? Untold innovations await mad science.”

“‘Evil think tank’ is where the pitch goes awry. It’s a PR nightmare.”

“Blast you, Hank!” Francis left.