Ross Gave a Speech

“Friends, I have gathered you here so you can witness history,” Ross said.  He stood at the head of a ten-top table, the largest in the most popular burrito place in town, and looked over the assembled friends.

Quinn shook his head.  For being Ross’ right hand man for years, he had very little patience for Ross’ restaurant announcements.  As Ross’ speech began in full, Quinn hoped it would not get too embarrassing. Continue reading

Saturday Night at the Parking Lot

Saturday night in a town of fewer than 3,000 residents.  Plans consisted of little more than “meet at the parking lot!” The parking lot referenced in text messages throughout the town sits in front of what was once the local grocery store.  The townsfolk now received their food by drones coming from a warehouse 100 miles away.  The parking lot now hosted town parties.

Jalen’s car parked itself and he hoped out to the sounds of laughter and music.  The whole town was present to welcome the return of warm weather and the end of a school year.  He looked around for friends, cousins and people he cared little for.  Those were the three groups of people in town. Continue reading

The Robot Wanders

The robot wandered.  With each step it took in sights, sounds and, perhaps most curiously, the sensation of the ground around it moving with each passing human step.

The footsteps were like music.  Horribly timed music, but music nonetheless.  The robot had not experienced such splendor, such life.  It was tremendous! The robot followed the beat until it found itself against what it knew to be a street vendor’s stall.

“Hi there little thing!” The vendor said, noticing the tiny robot only after the stall shook ever so slightly resulting in roses swaying.  The vendor knelt to the robot’s level and offered a rose.

The robot’s eyes focused on the vendor’s and its processors moved as fast as they ever had.  Finally, it posed a question, “is…is this love? Have I learned love?”

From a distance, engineer Ry Ryans watched a smile cover the vendor’s face and a single tear run down the vendor’s right cheek.  “Excellent,” Ry said to a voice recorder, “the code appears to be working.  A worthwhile endeavor to program robots to only ask if they are gaining emotion? Probably not, but I’ve nothing better to do.  So very lonely. I could use a rose. And a burrito.  These experiment recordings ramble at the end.  Next week we’ll try exasperation as the emotion word and see how things go. End of recording.”

 

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The Friendship of Palmer and Hal

“Man, we’ve known each other a long time.  We’ve got a friendship like Romeo and Mercutio! In it together all the time!” Hal said with exuberance.  It was not every day friends got to commemorate 10 years of hanging out together.

Palmer’s face warped as confusion overcame him.  “Romeo and Mercutio? Dude, they were in a gang together.”

“Well, you know, they got to hang out all the time and were really there for each other when it mattered most,” Hal tried to explain.

Palmer couldn’t let the analogy go.  “If we were like a modern version of them, we’d be in the craziest dope dealing biker gang run by one of our dads.  We’d literally go around murdering people if they slandered the gang’s name.  We’d have to always be on guard because some other gang trying to be the craziest family run dope dealing by motorcycle group around would show up at random times.  We’d often have to explain why we were flipping them off.”

“Okay, okay, maybe that was not the best example.  Maybe we have a friendship like Butch and Sundance,” Hal offered another comparison.

Palmer shook his head.  “Butch and Sundance also robbed and shot people.  I’d prefer our friendship not be defined by harming those around us.  Do you think we damage people we encounter?”

Hal was annoyed, “why are the best friendships in history and literature based around crime? What if our friendship is more like Arthur and Lancelot?”

Palmer continued to shake his head.  “Have you ever finished that story?” He asked.

“Not exactly, no,” Hal admitted, “why?”

“Best to go with a different comparison,” Palmer offered no spoilers.

“Simon and Garfunkel?” Hal questioned.

“You’re doing this on purpose right?” Palmer asked.

 

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Jerri Hit a Road Block

“Oh crap, folks.” Jerri the Fire Ant was displeased.  Her colony had marched for days across desert sands with little to no obstruction.  Now she stared down a green wall thirty times her size and seemingly impenetrable.  The colony would have to find another way.

“This puts an end to this path.  Let’s camp here for the night.  Send scouts to the north and south, see if this…thing has an end,” Jerri commanded.

“Commander, I have an idea,” Frank the Fire Ant spoke from the column.

“What is it, Frank?” Jerri was open to anything at this point. The column had to move.

“Step aside, sir,” Frank walked to the green wall and did what he did best; ate.  “Oh my goodness it is delicious.”

“Frank, you’re a disturbing genius.  Everyone! Eat!” Jerri ordered.

 

And that is how ants discovered salad.

 

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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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Cassius and the Barn

The night had turned grim.  Cassius, bucked by his horse, was lost in a land far from home.  He knew but two things; first, the approaching storm brought with it a dire time for any caught outside. Second, the dot on the horizon appeared to be a barn.

He ran with all the speed he could muster and crashed through what remained of the barn door moments before hail began to fall from the sky.

“What fortune,” Cassius said, panting against the doorway. Continue reading