A Captain and Crew Come to Terms

“Yar,” the old sea dog said, moving a telescope away from his eye, “there be a mighty island coming fer us, maties.”

The crew squirmed.  Feet shuffled and uncomfortable glances were exchanged.  Whispers followed.  The Captain noticed.

“What be ye whispering ’bout, ye scurvy sea rats?” The Captain asked.  He turned to face his crew.

The first mate cleared his throat and spoke truth. “Sir, we just, the crew I mean, we want to talk to you in regard to your vernacular.”

The Captain raised an eyebrow.  “Do ye now? And what about me words of choice has ye so bothered, First Mate Jenkins?”

“Well, and just to be frank here sir, please remember this is a constructive dialog that will help us all be better sailors and that is the real end goal here,” First Mate Jenkins attempted to set the tone of the conversation, “We feel your particular choice of words is a tad old fashioned and cliched for the modern industry that has cropped around the concept of a privateer.”

“Well, shiver me timbers you mutinous bilge rats! I’d be insulted if not for me wooden leg insulating me from emotional damage,” The Captain was horrified by his crew.

“Sir, I don’t even know how to respond to that so will ignore it.  Is it possible to just speak as a typical ship’s captain in the 21st century?” The First Mate pleaded.

“Jeepers, Bob, you’re such a buzzkill.  Go about your regular duties, crew.  Know that if I see anyone playing Clash of Clans before the deck is clean, I will make you walk the plank.  Cliche or not, I will throw you overboard.  Dismissed.”



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Stevens Plays the Hero

“Tend to the wounded!” Sgt. Stevens commanded what remained of the division’s medical troops.  Stretchers entered the room a heartbeat later, injured soldiers moaned and the troops carrying them could not hide their fatigue.  As soon as all three stretchers were safely inside, they were dropped to the floor and the doorway barricade was reassembled.

“Stevens, you crazy maniac, what is going on out there?” Finletter asked.  Through attrition alone, Finletter had come to be the formal leader of this unit that had made a home out of a 12th story suite in a Holiday Inn somewhere outside Chicago.  Their mission began in Provo, Utah but the enemy pushed them east day after day.

“They were waiting for us, Fin.” Sgt. Stevens said, his usually gruff voice had given way to something like sadness.  “Have you heard anything from, sheesh, I don’t know, anywhere? Anyone?”

Finletter shook his head, “communications are down.  Yonkers to the Yukon, I haven’t picked up anything.”

Stevens stood at a boarded up window and tried to look at the street below, watching for enemy movement.  They were everywhere.  He realized in that moment the final days of this war were upon them all and they were on the losing side.

“Then there’s only one thing left to do,” Stevens grabbed for his sidearm.

“Sargent, the only we can do is wait for reinforcements.  The Tomatoes are too much.  We can fall back.  They’ll freeze in a good Canadian winter,” Finletter pleaded with the informal leader of the unit to make a good decision.

“No, boss. You folks get out of here. My path goes elsewhere. I’m off to make ketchup,” Stevens loaded his weapon, removed the barricades from the door and went outside to play hero.


That’s how I’d gritty reboot the crud out of Return of the Killer Tomatoes.


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People on the Highway

I work for a multi-facility company which means sometimes I get to leave work at rush hour from the far side of what amounts to a major city for my region.  The drive home takes forever.  Tonight was one of those nights.  Usually, I’m rather displeased with this as it takes an extra hour to get home.  Tonight was a different story entirely.

Today’s tale: Burnside’s Time Travels Continue reading

Walter Keeps the Pests Away

“This stuff is good at keeping pests away, right?” Walter asked the sales clerk.

“Well, it is called ‘Bug Off’ so you should be set,” The clerk replied.

“Will it work on ducks?”

“Like, will it help ducks avoid pests?”  The clerk was unsure if the question was serious, but played along anyway.

“Um…yeah,” Walter sensed the clerk’s confusion.

“Or do you mean will it keep ducks away?”

“That. Definitely that,” Walter’s relief was tangible.

“I don’t think ducks technically count as pests.”

“They are to me.”

“Well it’s worth trying out then,” The clerk was not curious enough to continue the conversation.

“I’ll take it!” Walter handed the clerk a credit card, made his purchase and left the store.

The clerk shook his head as the strangest customer of the day exited the shop then went back to cleaning the store’s front windows.  As the final swipe of the squeegee ran over the window, the clerk looked out to see a group of three ducks run by the window.  The ducks honked and squawked angrily, obviously running from something.  That something was Walter.

Walter’s maniacal laugh could be heard through the window.  “Yes! Finally! I get a buffer zone from you pesky creatures of doom!”

The clerk watched Walter chase the ducks and spray himself with the pest repellent over and over again.

“That was pretty duckin’ weird,” the clerk said to himself, chuckling.  “Thank goodness no one was around to hear that one.”



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Lenny’s Edit

“Hey, Frank!” Lenny said, bouncing over to his murder buddy.

“Lenny,” Frank said, chewing a bit of discarded bread, “what’s up?”

“I just spent, like, four hours on Wikipedia and discovered some really crazy stuff,” Lenny said.

“Wiki-what?” Frank asked. He was ignored as Lenny began to speak of his findings.

“Did you know the humans call our groups ‘murders’?! Murders. That’s crazy violent. Makes no sense. None!” Lenny said, bouncing with rage.

“That’s enraging! I say we build some device to destroy them all! You know what. As I said it, I heard it. I retract it,” Frank said.

“I’ll update the page to be a Board Meeting of crows and we’ll move on,” Lenny hopped away to make the change.

Yarran, Wizard.

Yarran thought being a powerful wizard living in the heart of the big city would be a lot more amusing than the reality of the situation.  His days revolved around subway rides, finding the nearest outlet to plug his phone charger into and finding at least one restaurant line that did not have a hundred people queued up to order.  There was no pointy hat, cloak wearing battle against the sinister forces of evil that plagued his town.

None of the fun stuff the movies had promised.

There was one big perk that ensured his life was slightly better than that of an average mortal.  With a wave of his wand he could control and direct any number of pigeons.  His visits to parks were wildly amusing.

Maurice’s Speech

“Oh, this is not going well,” Maurice mumbled.  His big speech on corporate synergy and streamlined manufacturing practices was bombing.  Bombing efficiently, but bombing nonetheless.

“Furthermore,” he said into the microphone, trying to regain his footing in a very literal sense.  He was leaning against the lectern and nearly fell.  “My research is showing a 10% improvement in production quality.”

He paused, realizing the room was full of at least 1000 men and women ‘business serious’ dress.   He gulped and continued.

“A 10% improvement in production quality thanks to this one simple trick!!”

Finally, after 15 minutes of failure, he click-baited the audience’s interest.