The Five Secrets of Harold Cape

Harold Cape was a simple man.  Described most often as honest, loyal and even tempered, he would have made a good mayor or barber.  He craved not the power of local government or the comradeship of a barber shop, though, and instead opted for a career as a craftsman putting together perfectly constructed fishing poles.

His poles were displayed in the dens of wealthy men and women who had never sat at a lake’s shore, but that did not bother him in the slightest.  He took their money and bought himself the boat of his dreams so he could catch a fish or two.  He was a simple man.

Even simple men can be complex at times.  For example, Harold Cape had never told anyone that he had memorized the words of Green Day’s American Idiot.  He was well outside of that album’s target demographic when it was released, but he knew good music when he heard it and now whistles the melody of St. Jimmy while sailing his dream boat and catching fish.

He was no fan of puns.  He once punched a stranger in a bar for making a crude play of words involving the free peanuts.  When his wife picked him up at the police station following a brief holding period, he told her there was an unpaid parking ticket under with his name attached that caused the trouble.  No one, not even fishing buddies, would believe that he once punched a man for something so trivial.

He hated lying about that.  He hated lying in general.  Harold Cape feared lies.  He felt he was too dumb to keep track of the truths he said, how in the world could he keep up with the lies?  This fear made him an incredibly honest person, but he likes to make others believe he is capable of lies.  Usually this amounts to little more than ending a statement with “or is it?” Followed soon with a dramatic ‘bum bum bum.”

His fondness for cake once cost him a winning lottery ticket.  He told the story once to his oldest son and made him promise to never tell his mother.  As he told the story, he was standing in line a gas station when he saw a flash of light from the corner of his eye.  He over reacted initially, thinking the light was sourced at an incoming squirrel or other threat, but when he looked quickly to his right he saw a display of cake and other sugary treats.  His stomach roared and his brained pleaded for the dopamine rush of a sugar binge.  He left the line and went to stare at the desserts for a solid fifteen minutes.

The store sold a winning lottery ticket that weekend at 3:58 pm, exactly one minute after Harold had left the line.  The man behind him had taken home 3.5 million dollars lump sum.  Harold was furious.

It was in his anger that Harold did something he promised himself he would keep secret beyond the grave.  The Monday after he discovered what happened with the lottery ticket, he donned a mask and grabbed a bat.  He ran, he was younger then and still believed running was a thing people should do, to the gas station and robbed the store.  He took a stack of scratch tickets, five Slim-Jims, a pack of M&Ms and a cigar he did not intend on smoking.  Then he ran off to the night.  He was upset with how good he felt after the robbery.

When he was far enough from the scene, he began scratching off the lottery tickets to see what he had won.  He never claimed the seven dollars that showed up over the 200 tickets.

Harold Cape makes fishing poles.  He’s honest, loyal and even tempered.  He put a lot of effort in making sure this is what people think of him.  If his secrets got out, well, by golly that would be devastating.

Regulations State

“Thanks for coming to this safety training.  As leaders in your departments, I want this to be your first takeaway.  First, everybody look at your hands.”  Darrell, OSHA certified safety instructor, started the class.

Fifteen faces stared at thirty hands.  Darrell knew he had his audience.

“Good.  Those hands are important.  Those hands can act if they want to.  If they don’t, no body will.  Remember that.  The opposite is you could act real rude and totally removed and act like an imbecile.  No body wants that.”  Darrell appealed to their sense of power.  He felt the whole safety talk and dance was going well.   Continue reading

Revenge! Of Sorts.

“And now I shall have my revenge,” Yosi said as he moved into the shadows.  Evil laughter followed before he ran into the night and waited for his trap to be sprung.

The next morning he watched the news for an update on his diabolical revenge plot.

“Seven guests at the Regal Hotel off Highway 98 were taken to the hospital last night with what doctors are calling ‘angry goose syndrome.” The anchor said before pitching to a reporter live at the scene.

“Wow, that’s really good timing on my part that they’re talking about the thing right as I turn it on,” Yosi said, wondering if he was somehow controlling all of time and space.

“Angry Goose Syndrome is said to be incredibly rare, but unmistakable,” the field reporter said, “patients first crave bread and when they don’t get any, they go to great efforts to damage person or property with, well, with what one fears when geese fly overhead.”

“That’s very odd,” the lead anchor replied.  Yosi was mildly bothered by the editorializing and wished for journalism to take control in the info-tainment world, but let it slide as they were discussing his revenge plot.

The field reporter continued, “the patients will recover in a day or two.  The whole thing is more a funny nuisance than a life threatening moment.  The real question is how seven people contracted the same rare problem in one night.”

“Sun spoiled deviled eggs in the buffet line!” Yosi shouted at the television.  He laughed a sinister laugh.  “I…oh golly I spent so much time on that and have literally no idea what I was seeking for revenge for now.  Was it bad eggs at breakfast? Only having Coke products?  I thought this moment would feel more complete, more special, more anything really.  Honestly I think I just feel bad for ruining deviled eggs.  Those things are my jam.  Not literally, as jam is jam in that case.  Why am I talking to myself so much? Have I become the soliloquy bad guy of Shakespeare’s dreams?  I’m nothing more than a caricature of evil doing and I don’t do evil well.”

Yosi was feeling the post project crash.

Shooting Star

“Shooting star! Make a wish!” Naara said, clapping with glee.

Jude shook his head.  “Oh my goodness, Naara.  There’s no such thing as a magical wish granting space rock.  If that even was a rock.  Could have been a satellite making dramatic reentry.  My point is, you have to make your own magic in this world.  Nothing will do it for you.”

Naara stared for a moment.  “You know, that’s funny.  I wished for a stupid explanation of how the real world works and got it. Like, right away too.”

“I’ll let you have your fun from now on. Sorry,” Jude quickly apologized.

“You’re darn right you will,” Naara returned to watching the sky.

No Go

“That’s the place, huh?” Wel asked.  It was his first visit to Fort Wayland.

“That the place,” Cacee confirmed as the car sped by a site only called “No Go.”

No Go was a six acre patch of earth surrounded by a barbed wire fence.  A regular patrol duty walked the perimeter.  The patrol was present for the expressed purpose of keeping people out of No Go, but every one knew the real reason was to keep whatever it was at the center of No Go in No Go.

Thankfully, that was an incredibly easy job.

“Why don’t they just blow the creature up and be done with it?” Wel pondered.

“That’s a ballot issue every single year.  The cult that brought it here from wherever it was now has it classified as an endangered species.  They did an environmental study and everything.  Thank goodness those laws exists, don’t get me wrong, but for the reals.  Protecting an Kaiju beast from another dimension is so far from the intent.  So issue never actually gets to be voted on.” Cacee said, unable to hide his annoyance with the annual tradition.

“It still can’t move?” Wel had read that somewhere.  He claimed to have read it in a newspaper, but no one believed him.

“Still trapped in our oxygen rich air like it’s a grape in those weird jello molds full of fruit,” Cacee answered.

“Those poor cultists must have been so upset.” Wel kept his gaze on No Go.

“Yes and no.  Certainly had to be vindicating to be right.  The end goal was the end of the world though.  Now they spend their days in court rooms swimming in litigation.  Which is about the worst end of the world possible.” Cacee said.



Thanks for reading!

Marcia Hears a Pun

Marcia set down her book as her apparently over stimulated husband came running into the house.

“Sweetie! I’ve got it! Our next adventure.  We’re going to open an Aztec themed mini-golf course called Golf of Mexico! Get it! The business plan really writes itself from there!” Ted said.  He was breathless and held his hands on his hips in an attempt to calm his hurting back.

Marcia looked him up and down.  Socks and sandals covered his feet. A wide brimmed, bright orange, water proof hat sat atop his head. His paisley patterned ‘work shirt’ was inexplicably covered in grass clippings.  How clipped grass flew from the mower blade to Ted’s shoulders, Marcia would never understand, but it was now a common Saturday morning sight.

She smiled a wry smile and locked eyes with the person she opted to spend eternity with.  “So should I tell your dad you’ve taken his personality and he will spend the rest of his days in the Body Snatchers pod or will you?” She asked, laughing.

“I’ll do it. He’d do the same,” Ted said, pulling out cell phone.

“I’ll go make you an Arnold Palmer for the cellular phone call there, champ,” Marcia said, jokingly slapping Ted’s shoulder on her way to get drinks.

“That actually sounds delicious. Thank you,” Ted said.

“Of course it does, dear. Of course it does,” Marcia laughed.

Marshall’s Change of Course

“Alrighty, change of plans, kiddos.  We’re playing inside!” Marshall informed his now quite disappointed children.

“Dad! Come on!” The two siblings pleaded in creepy unison.

“Now, now. It’ll be fun.  We can play board games, color, not be eaten by giant menacing birds, and eat junk food!” Marshall said.

“What was that third thing?” Louisa, the oldest asked.

“Coloring books!” Marshall replied, knowing full well he had slipped.

“I don’t think that was i-” Louisa began.

“No, no. It was. Really. Let’s just get away from the door, okay?” Marshall shooed the children away, keeping one eye on the bird.