Fragile Exits

“We’re almost home free!” The gruff and grizzled expedition leader shouted.  The team had evaded monsters torn from nightmares, creatures bent on their destruction, and traps that could only have created by a most deranged mind.

The loot was worthwhile.  Each of the adventurers carried sacks of gold and ancient artifacts that would make them wealthy beyond imagination, and in some way help the general knowledge of human history which was a very nice secondary perk of the trip.

“They ate Jenkins!” The group’s local historian said, finally able to still herself long enough to realize the horrors the temple had unleashed.

“But they didn’t eat you,” the leader said, trying to keep the historian focused.  “Just a few steps more. I can see the doorway out up ahead.”

“There it is!” The group’s hired gun was overjoyed at the site of one final sandstone slab between him and freedom.

The last three stood in front of the doorway and tried to figure out how to open it.

“If I’m reading this right, the doorway says we have to create something so fragile saying its name will break it.” The historian said.

“Oh! Oh! I’ve heard this one! We have to be silent.  Have to quiet as little mice.  Saying ‘silence’ breaks the silence.  We can’t talk.  Everyone shush.” The hired gun said.

The historian and the leader fell quiet and waited.

“It should just take a moment,” the hired gun said a beat later.  “Just have to be really quiet.  Can’t even hear a pin drop.”

The historian cleared her throat, trying to send a message.

“That’s too loud. Be quiet everybody,” the hired gun said.

From down the hallway, the sound of claw on stone echoed.

“We have to be quieter. How can we be quieter?” The hired gun nervously asked.

“Oh for Pete’s sake,” the leader said.  She placed her hand over the mercenary’s mouth and made him silent.

The door slid downward and the three adventurers escaped the temple.


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A Mirage

Theirs was a quest like none that had come before. Four heroes carrying little more than their wits, courage and a healthy supply of rations to carry them through a long journey through treacherous landscapes, had taken to the highways of dirt and dust that connected the whole of their country.  To save their town, they had to save the kingdom.   Not one among them took their charge lightly.

“These roads are growing more and more similar with each passing day, friends,” said the group’s plucky comic relief, Ezzle.

Liem chuckled each time Ezzle spoke, “you speak truth, Jester.  Fret not, we are most certainly moving in the proper direction.  Look up ahead, the evil magician Locadd has placed a mirage in our path to discourage our progress.”  Liem pulled his sword from its scabbard and practiced slicing through the air.

Ezzle, Phree, the archer, and Watch the Witch stopped in their tracks.

Phree spoke, “I don’t believe that is a mirage, Liem.”

“Nonsense,” Liem said, continuing to swing the sword as he edged ever nearer the elephant in the road.

“Seriously, dude, that thing looks mad,” Watch the Witch warily warned the warrior.

“Liem, retreat friend. We shall find ourselves another path,” Ezzle pleaded.

“Stand back and watch, Watch,” Liem charged the elephant.  The elephant charged back.

“I am mistaken, friends! Retreat!” Liem turned and ran to the safety of the dense forest surrounding the road where he found the other three already waiting.

“You know, I have a spell that can just zap us right to where we want to be. You all want to try that now?” Watch the Witch offered.

“I feel it is worth a shot now, yes,” Liem agreed.



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Deck and Amy and the Long Weekend

“You know how I have a pretty tough time saying no when people request things from me?” Amy said.

Deck stopped sipping his coffee, put his paperback on the table beside his chair and looked at Amy wondering exactly what she had done.

“Good, you remember,” Amy said.  She moved to the couch to sit next to Deck.

“Well,” she continued, “we’re going to be house sitting for Mark and Cayla from work this weekend.  They’re going to Baton Rouge and think their dogs will have a tough time at a doggy daycare for three days.”

“That sounds awful,” Deck said.

“It does.  We need to think up ways to make it suck less,” Amy said.

“We could not do it,” Deck suggested.

“Too late for that,” Amy countered, “next?”

“We could pay someone else to take care of it,” Deck was already pulling out his credit card.

“What if we put it on AirBnB? We make bank and someone else is there!” Amy said, giddily clapping.

“We turn it into a haunted house outside of Halloween season. Hipsters will love it,” Deck rambled.

“We paint that snake symbol from Harry Potter on the ceiling and don’t say a word unless prompted,” Amy said.

“We take up the carpet, draw every symbol from Supernatural underneath it and put it back,” Deck said.

“Behind every framed photo or piece of art, we write a seven letter Scrabble word,” Amy rattled off.

Both lost themselves to laughter plotting and pondering how to make a house sitting weekend be less awful. The suggestions flew for another five minutes growing more and more outrageous with every word.  Finally, Amy had had enough.

“We’re going to sit in their house and order pizzas all weekend, right?” Amy asked.

“Oh, that’s a given. Could you imagine actually not doing this to the best of our ability?” Deck said, panic in his voice.

“We’d have to move,” Amy said.




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Answers from the Adviceroy

Dear Adviceroy,

I am currently trying to juggle school, work, a young family and social obligations.  Any tips on how to manage multiple and often competing responsibilities as a full-fledged, real adult?

Thanks in advance,
Adulting in Akron

Dear Adulting in Akron,

Being a butterfly, my only obligations are to pollinate, procreate, and pro-party-iate! That said, know this; responsibility is no laughing matter.  If you are unable to make an event, tell the host in advance.  If you have to bail on a friend, tell them why.  Never be afraid to ask for help.  Other people are very good at many things and often want to share their expertise.

Should that fail, take on more responsibility by leading a double life. Rename yourself Darrel “Yo-Yo” Masters and get a cool hat. Hop on to trains at random.  In whatever town you arrive, sell vacuum cleaners that will most certainly never show up. Then summon yourself an Uber (or go my route and have wings) and make your way home.

Your ethical upper-hand in business dealings will be gone, but you’ll feel great knowing that you accomplished a mini-grift before bedtime.

Trust me, a butterfly, adulting is mostly about taking those little wins when you can get them.

Best of luck, Akron. Best of luck.


The Adviceroy.


Do you have a question for the Adviceroy? Fill out the form below to submit your question and advice will be yours in 3 to 4 units of time.

Common Conversations with My Toddler

Me: Okay, let’s try something crazy. You get to brush your teeth all by yourself! Ready?

Toddler: Yeah.

Me: Front, back, top, bottom; remember? Okay. Go!

Toddler, brushing: This tastes bad.

Me: Well, it’ll go away. Keep brushing, please.

Toddler continues brushing.

Me: You don’t need to brush your lips.

Toddler: No, Dad. I need to make them shiny.

Me: The goal is for shiny teeth.

Toddler, now brushing his nose: I brush my nose too.

Me: You’re getting a new toothbrush.

Dear Future Past Me

Dear Future Past Me,

In a first, I think I have found one of these letters before you! Before I ducked out of a party to write this very note, I looked over at a wall and saw a framed piece of parchment from a trip to 19th century Japan that we’re apparently going to take.  Exciting stuff ahead!  Anywho, the note was a bit weird to figure out, but I thought perhaps giving us an extra bit of warning would be prudent.

The note was written in 1883.  We found ourselves in the fabled American West for a spell before taking part in a trade expedition across the sea.  Now, you’re going to read the note eventually and learn all about the lack of bean-based foods and covered wagons, but I need us to know as soon as possible that apparently there are so, so many packs of wolves wandering about.

The note details a particularly violent encounter that seems sort of “Beast saves Beauty in the snow-covered woods” ish.  In this case, we are Beast and “Beauty” is a crate of beef jerky that winds up being our only food for a trip to California.  The wolves are still wolves though.

I have the memories you have, but you do not have (yet) the memories I have.  In all the memories I have accumulated, I do not recall any training to fend off wild animals during a cross-country wagon trip!  Start training, dude/me! The letter sounds like we get away with the jerky box only because a trapper shows up and starts throwing radishes at the hellhounds.

It is one wild letter.  Please though, start training.

I am heading back to my party now. It is 1923 and we’re in a Speakeasy!  The floors are gooey and everything smells bad.  That part was left out of the movies too.

Happy travels, Us.



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Time, Starts, and Old Originals

I love starting new projects.  There are hope and mystery and bountiful ideas when something new starts up.  There’s also a whole bunch of time that needs to be allocated to the fun stuff.  Time which could be spent say… writing new original content for a blog.

That will not happen tonight.  Nope. Instead, here is some year old original content for a blog!  But it keeps the theme of crazy starts.

Caution Lights

Rodney was no fan of rush hour traffic.  That was hardly a unique feeling, sure, but this morning’s column of trucks and sedans was a new level of annoyance.  When the red brakes lights in front of him turned to yellow caution lights and every single car ahead of his own started moving to the side of the road.

“There are no sirens, why are we moving?” Rodney said.  He followed the lead though and brought his station wagon to the roadside as well.

“Highway parking lots.  This friggin’ city,” he muttered.  “Why are you all getting out your cars?” Without thinking, he too stepped out of his car.

“7:30 in the morning and I’m learning I’m a lemming,” he said, closing the car door behind him.

“Hey!” He called to the driver in front of him, “any idea what’s going on?”

The driver pointed skyward.

Rodney followed the pointed finger to a disc floating above a hill.  It looked like nothing he had ever seen before; nothing in reality at any rate. He had seen similar machines in alien invasion movies.  This morning was not off to a great start.  He opened his car door, grabbed his phone and texted his boss that he was going to be late.


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