Phil Looks to the Stars

Their first camping trip together was going well.  Day hikes around a forest of enormous trees, campfire roasted hot dogs for lunch, the tent went up without a hitch.  All in all, a good start to something that had a long story ahead of it.

As night fell and the chirping birds gave way to chirping crickets, Phil started to worry.  Stars dotted the sky and the whole of the galaxy was soon dancing overhead.  Phil stared at the stars with a intensity rivaled only by the pressure occurring within each star caught in his gaze.

“An amazing view, isn’t it?” Max asked.

“Yeah. Yeah,” Phil said.  For repeating one word twice, notes of suspicion and distrust were heavy in each syllable.

“You don’t like the stars?” Max asked.

“I don’t like what the stars hold.  Asteroids, black holes, advanced alien life as of yet undetected by our technology.  Space is a menace we know nothing about and it has us surrounded,” Phil said this while keeping his eyes on the majesty of the spiral arm above them.

Max was dumbfounded.

“I mean,” Phil started, realizing his particular outlook on the cosmos may be ill interpreted at first, “those stars sure are a mystery. Right?” He laughed a bit.

“So we’re at the ‘these are my strange, but deeply held beliefs’ phase now.  Okay. Good,” Max said, nodding, “I feel the same way about the ocean.  We have no idea what lurks in the abyss.”  It was now Max’s turn to stare off in the distance.

Phil was happy Max reacted so well, but now he was afraid of the ocean.  It was going to be a weird weekend.

Frank, the Demigod

“Behold, mortals, it is I the demigod you can call simply, Frank,” Frank said, smiling and motioning for non-existent cheers to simmer down.  “I have returned from three thousand years of exile to help you capture more of the power of the gods.  So, what do you all need?”

A sea of iPhones began snapping photos and soon timelines across the city were flooded with #CrazyGuyOn12th.

“I gave humanity knowledge of milk, written language, and possibly even how to create a boat. I’m in a quarrel with Odinion about who did that first,” Frank pleaded for input from the crowd.

“Can you help solve the student debt crisis?” One member of the crowd asked.

“The wassit?” Frank said.

“How about climate change? Can you help humanity steal knowledge of climate science from the gods? We could really use a hand with that one,” called another voice.

“I was thinking more like communication tools or good bread recipes.  Those are more my wheelhouse,” Frank said, trying to dampen expectations.

“Dude, you’ve been trending for 10 minutes and if your bread recipe isn’t gluten free you’ve got the wrooooong audience here, man,” advised anoter crowd member.

“10 minutes already? It feels like I’ve only been here five. Technology, I tell you,” Frank laughed anxiously.  “Tell you folks what, I’ll leave my email address written in the clouds for a little while.  Shoot me some suggestions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, okay? Okay. Thank you, Downtown! You’ve been great!” Frank whirled his hands and was soon flying to the safety of home.

Wade at the End of the World

If a person could be defined by a sound, Wade could be defined as the rumble of an empty stomach.  People can’t be defined as sounds though, so they are left to be defined by their actions and words.  Wade was better defined as a hunter of prey that probably deserved a head start.

“Would you just stop so I can eat you!” Wade shouted at a very fast chicken. “Dinner for one, to go. Amirite?”

A laugh not his own sounded behind the rubble. At that moment, Wade was defined as the sound of screams on a roller coaster.

Frank’s First Day

via Pixabay

“Any body know what Frank is doing?” Arnie asked.  Frank was new to the flock and the area.  The adjustment was going poorly.

“He’s just acclimating,” Raj said, “he’ll be fine in a few days.  Sarah gave him the tour, Dave showed him the best food, Wendy filled out the on-boarding paperwork.  You remember your first day.”

“Yeah, but this seems…different.” Arnie said.  He and Arnie bounced to where the new guy stood. Continue reading


“I keep hitting the keyboard, but nothing happens. I am finished. The words are ended. My story has come to an end,” Dirk said.  He ran a hand over his head and sighed.

“Dirk, I think I know how to solve your problem,” Jen said.  She sat opposite the frustrated writer and began pointing at Dirk’s desk.

Dirk paid no attention.  Dirk was a jerk.

“Oh you think writer’s block can just be solved? You think the art faucet can just be turned on and off all willy nilly? Like the process is akin to a monkey in a hat dancing with finger cymbals on a street corner?  I assure you this is actual work.” Dirk continued being terrible to his friend.

Jen stood up and pointed, with as great a force as could be managed for simply pointing at something, and reminded Dirk that his problem did have a solution.  “Dirk, your keyboard is a piano!”

Dirk looked down.  “I’m such an awful human,” he muttered.

Team Building

via Pixabay

“Sir, how does this pertain to the business?” Jenkins asked.

“Jenkins, you’re a good employee.  This is a team building activity.” Johnson answered.  Johnson always had an answer at the ready.  This both impressed and exhausted Jenkins.

“I appreciate that, sir, but most companies opt for trust falls or volunteer work.  We are standing in a marsh with shovels and that ‘tour guide’ you hired is obviously reading a treasure map,” Jenkins hoped the comment was not heard as snarky.

“Astute observations, Jenkins. Well done.” Johnson began handing out hard hats.

“So we’re treasure hunting then?”

“Right you are, Jenkins!”

Initials in a Tree Stump

“Barry Miller.”

“Natalie Thorne.”

The couple stared into each other’s eyes.  The tree beside them, the grass below them, the sky above them; all melted away until there was only Barry and Natalie.  They were all they needed in the world.

“I love you,” they said in unison.  Giggling followed.  In one year’s time they were to be married.

“First things first,” Barry said, “we’ve gotta mark Lover’s Tree.”

“That’s a gross word, Barry,” Natalie said.  Barry agreed, but the name was as old as the town.

“BM And NT” Barry said as he carved the trunk, immortalizing the relationship they two had built.

“I can’t wait to spend a lifetime with you,” Natalie said before sneaking one more kiss from her soon to be husband.

“Neither can I,” Barry replied.

65 years later Continue reading