Each weekday morning, for about a year, I wrote the begining of a story. It started while I was working at Klieser Walczak, the producer wanted a daily update on what was working on that day. The imagination took over and the following are the results.
Gallery Bio Contact Writings Home


morning stories
Thu, 30 Aug 2001 17:55:22 -0400
Monk Schane-Lydon <markl@kwcc.com>

The Adventure Continues......

Mild mannered monkey clacks away at his workstation, carefully
dividing up the city of manhattan into usable layers for lighters, prop people and
compositors.... cheerfully he tackles his task, awaiting the next challenge from his arch nemesis the "art Depart." with changes based upon this new creature called "baked camera path"

our hero is ready, his utility belt is charged, as he leaps into the

oop oop ack ACK!


Tis Friday arrrrrrrgh
The wind is kickin up off the lee shoreline, and the tide is crestin,
"Allright boys! times awastin!" If we can finish loadin supplies we'll
be able to make the gulf stream by mid afternoon, and then it's
straight on to Cuba!

ever wake up feeling like a pirate?

The mist hung heavy on the the track, a full safety check was done on
the machine last night to prep for the morning ride. A couple twists
on the throttle and the beast burbled to life... she sounded throaty,
like I sound before speaking to anyone in the morning. The air was thick,
cold and dense.... perfect. The canyon run was waiting.

This is the third time this week that the livestock has gotten through
the fence, it seems that one of the critters has figured out how to
pull the wire without feeling the low voltage shock. I can never catch
them doing it, and I don't think that kids are responsible, I will just
wake up and find them in a field that they don't belong...

The memory is an old one, a battle long since lost. Our home planet
destroyed and floating in a belt of cinder and ore. We all landed here
after we killed each others home land, and sometimes you can see the
war raging in the eyes of our enemy, yet they don't remember why they are
angry... it was thousands of years ago..

She called my name softly as the alarm buzzer droned off to my left...
I knew I should have gone to bed earlyer. I knew if I was to catch the
first train, I had to get moving... no one should have to be up at
this time.

The snow guns were running , the lifts were ready.. in a couple hours
the lines will begin to grow as skiers of all shapes and sizes head up
the hill. We have been having a hard time with the double black
dimond trail "switchblade", last springs rains carved a new path down the
mountain, cutting across Switchblade. My initial thought was to leave
it, and let the maniacs experience some real excitement, however the
insurance carrier and my boss disagree. So here I am, on the oldest
snowcat on the mountain, carving.... shaping.... sculpting... I am an

Deep down the old rabbit hole lived a very lazy mole.. he was so lazy
that he let all the other creatures in the woods dig for him. Some
days he would live in the fox's hole, other days he would wait till the
squirels left and then crawl into their home to sleep.

Darjeeling Tea... thats what this land smells like when it is on fire.
We were brought in from the 1550th smoke brigade in Oregon. The
fires in Southern India have brought in smoke jumpers from all around the
world. Rumor has it that these fires were the result of the ongoing
war between India and Pakistan.... personally I don't care who or what
started them, I just know that this mornings rain is going to help me
get home earlier

Sultry... as I lounge on the front porch watching Erl's pickup truck
pass by the word sultry comes to mind. It's one of those soft warm
Savana mornings, this mornings coffee and eggs are sitting just right,
and for some reason the bugs are occupied elsewhere. Sultry.... the
only sound is that of Erl's truck as it hits the pavement up the road
and heads to town... a nice breeze and a few birds laughing at each

Andy did not belive her and she was dying to tell someone. Erica had
kept her secret for as long as she could and she was about to bust.
"Here, watch." she said as she opened the pen that was given to
her by Artimus. She carefully drew on the wall the shape of a door, being
carefull to make it big enough to fit through this time. As soon as the doorknob
was finished the door opened. Erica took notice that Andy had stopped his
"This isn't happening..."
"Oh yes it is, follow me" and with that Erica and Andy entered
the world behind the door. It gently shut behind them and the markings of it's
creation faded....

There was no memory, no recollection, yet the picture of the event was
right there. There I was, smiling like a goof, holding my prize. Prior to
the picture I denied ever doing such a contest or hanging out with people
that would. Honestly, I do not remember this event. The people look
familiar but Ican't recall specific names. The big guy I think they called "Boomer"
and this character here was known as "Mouse", I think.
Mouse. It was so long ago. There's a memory that Mouse and I
were friends, close friends. It was only 20 years ago.........

It's more like an onion than a tree, each layer built up over the next
skin. Soft and fragile, it is easy to bruise. The first five years of life
is the center, then another layer and another till you reach the present
tense. The present is the first to go. Slowly the years are pulled away and
discareded as the next layer is exposed and attacked. The layers beneath stay
vibrant until they themselves are exposed, then they faulter and slough off as a
dried husk. Years peel away, memories of marrige, children, college lead to
memories of high school and grade school. Soon all that is left are the simple
childhood pleasures. Once that layer goes, the heart forgets to beat.

Every morning for three weeks straight he woke up at 3:57. No sounds,
no reason what-so-ever. It didn't bother him at first, but by the second
week he began to worry about it. It gnawed on him. Why? why? why? what does
the universe want him to know at 3:57? Is there some sort of cosmic
message being beamed out and he is not able to receive the whole flow? He did not
dare tell anyone about his nocturnal issues, they would step even further away
from him as he walked down to his cubical. 3:57. What did it mean, and how
long will this go on?

The grey dress followed her closely... almost too closely. She wasn't
planning on being a distraction but it happened anyway. As I sat waiting for
my client to arrive I enjoyed the grey dress. It didn't occur to me that it was
10AM and I was in a coffee shop off of 47th. Not the ususal place to find
someone dressed up so elegantly. Was she prepping for the evening early? Or
was her evening just winding down......

There is a Santa Clause! As the white spray was applied to the beard
and the red hat was placed upon his head, you could see the magic decend upon
the man. No longer was he the average cup of joe. In the eyes of all those who
saw him, he was Santa. The look of wonder as a child stared up and said, "Hi
Santa" was all the man needed to know that volunteering to play Santa for the
daycare center was going to change his outlook on the holiday

When I planted this tree, it was a sapling standing only 2 feet
tall...it's hard to believe that that much time has passed as I stand here
withmy saw. Winters coming and this tree has passed on and is getting
ready to heat the house for the season. There isn't anything sentimental
about this tree, it was just a maple that I moved from one part of the
yard to another. No animals were buried here, no swing, no particular
fondness for it. Yet it was so small once, it grew tall and broad and
now it will complete it's cycle by providing me heat.

After you do this for a while you can begin to think like them, you
can see where the shady eddies are and where the hydraulic of the water
will give them a place to rest. Sit, watch and see how they judge whether
a meal is worth poking at. Make your movements the same. Let it fall,
twitch and struggle then float on the current. Keep the line
upstream, not too taunt. Let them focus on their prize, and you will have
yours. There is something Zen about fishing.... and it isn't the beer..

For 40 years he preached from the pulpit, not quite hellfire and
damnation, but every Sunday he spoke out against people being lazy in
the ways of the Bible. He was tired. It was his deep dark secret to
run away to an island filled with topless native dancers, much like
that artist fellow did, painting women doing their chores. Perhaps a few
days at the convent will bring him around....

Resonant frequency, vibrations... everything vibrates... the hydrogen
atom buzzes according to its number of proton verses electrons, as
does the oxygen atom and every other atom and molecule. Just like a glass
will shatter when the right note is found it is my theory that a
molecule of water will rip apart releasing the energy within. It has
taken years of study and I am sure that I will find the chord to
unlock our future.

The spaceport was exceptionally busy this morning, inter-planetary
trade has increased since the shuttles were now funded by the government.
People can now travel from world to world for free as taxes pay for
transportation. I wondered how it was going to work. One of my old
training school buddies, Bartow, was due to arrive for a little R and
R. He didn't say why he looked me up after all these years, I'm not
going to argue.. It will be good to see him.

She sat at the end of her line, pulling, bobbing, tugging with the
breeze. The wave of guilt that washed over me was immense, I hadn't
spent any time with her at all this summer. She looked at me with her
invisible unkempt eyes and my guilt deepened. "Rosemedre, I'm sorry
we haven't gone sailing", he look didn't change till I pulled out the
bucket and started scrubbing off the grit and bird droppings that had

Bowl. Simple word. Bowl. Say it a couple of times. Bowl, bowl bowl
bowl. A bowl is a concave dish often used for such things as soup or
ice cream. Bowl. Even looking at it in print over and over again I
begin to question its proper spelling. Bowl, bowl, bowl... it is
amazing how loose the fabric of our known world is once you start
looking real close at it. Bowl. It just doesn't sound right......

The train was late pulling into the station, it has been at least 15
years since I saw her last. It was weird, we saw each other in the
grocery store of the town where we both went to grade school. Neither
one of us live anywhere near that town now, I just happened to be
passing through to visit my mother, and she was in town to bury her
father. We decided to have dinner and talk.....

A key on a ring, it meant that something somewhere was locked and this
was it's freedom.... but it's my key ring and I don't know where it
goes. It isn't a house key, and it isn't a car key. I looks like the
key to a fancy padlock, short, double sided with the word "Case" on
one side.... it has been on my key ring for so long, I can't remember what
it locked... what was so valuable to me that I locked it, yet so
invaluable that I can't remember what it is?

Day 37: Kopie and LaLa seemed to be doing just fine with the birth of
their new cubs Wanda and Pip-pop. From behind the observation glass
you could see the two cubs play and tumble, learning how their bodies
bounce and roll. Kopie has turned into the father figure that will tolerate
being bothered for only a short while, before cuffing one of the cubs
and sending it back to play with its sibling. In another week this
family scene will be open to the public and we will see how they deal
with the stress of world exposure....

I'll never forget Wyatt. Wyatt Thundercloud, the first real indian I
ever met. It had to be second or third grade when this brown kid
walked into our class.... here we were in rural New Hampshire, all pasty
faced and white and someone brings in a real indian. My first thought was
that playing cowboys and indians was going to get a whole lot more
interesting.... that was so long ago..

It came to me in a rush. I had heard of past lives and old souls, I
have wondered why we are here.... and then it clicked. We keep coming
back. This is our amusement park. The energy that is the soul loves
the physical that we are here on Earth. The raw joy and emotion that
is felt on this planet is something that many come back again and again
for... just like that line for the roller coaster.....

Gently we banked over the airfield, a smooth arc worthy of any soaring
eagle. I could see for miles. The air was crisp and clear and the
hills of the Berkshires were an explosion of colour. Davis had asked
me if I wanted to go soaring with him and I jumped at the chance... he
knew the past year had been difficult in my life and I guess this was his
idea of a way to get me out of my funk. Wow... when I land I want to
read Jonathan Livingston Seagull again.....

Cell mate 32556789 "Karen". Session 33.
"The dream is never really the same, but I can tell when it is beginning
to go bad"
"How so?"
"For some reason it usually involves a van, a white van, and the brakes
just seem to fade away" Karen has been in Dawson County House of
correction for two years now, this is my third meeting with her since Dr Phillips has retired.
"You mean the brakes fail?"
"Well sort of, it doesn't matter what I do, put it in park, change to reverse, the van just keeps going..... till I go through the guardrail...."

Right now I can hear it, I wear it all day long and it makes the same
sound but right now I can hear it. There must be times that I just
tune out the mundane repetitive noise.... for some reason however the
ticking of my watch wants to be heard. Is it always this loud? How can I not
hear it all day long? What else has my body decided to selectively

I wonder if she sees the same colour I do... I know that we both call
it blue, but does she see it with the same intensity that I do? It is
a question that I will never know because as hard as I try to see things
her way, I will never be able to see through her eyes. I guess that's
why colour blindness fascinates me so. They are on the fringe, no,
they are over the edge and do not see the colours that we see, just as
black and white film changes red and green into the same gray or the way the
eyes of a wolf can see things we can not......

As I sit in his office waiting for him to return, I begin to scan the
books that line the walls. All organized according to size and
colour, neat leather bound and other hardcover's. I wonder if he has really
read all of these books or they are just here for show, or perhaps
they were here when he got his promotion and he liked the look. If I
wasn't here trying to impress him enough to hire me, I would ask him.....

As I walked in the door, I noticed that our new Bull Mastiff puppy has
chosen another one of my possessions to destroy. In the middle of the
living room, shredded for all to see, was the remnants of one of my
baseball caps. I don't have many and don't often wear them but when I
do, I did wear this particular one. It was from a film that I worked
on years ago, one of those nice perks for being on the film crew....
gone, lost forever. It's funny, as I think about that, I think that
the film itself is languishing on a shelf at some video store....
unrented. Maybe I won't miss that hat so much...

As I folded up my old laptop, there was a tinge of sadness.. It worked
well for what I bought it for, and it still did a good job, however
the drawbridge of technology crept up on it and my poor little laptop
could no longer handle the fat bloated programs that were required. I
remember when a meg was a big deal... I mean come on! I used to be
impressed with 128K! I kept hopeing that some Russian programer would
write a new operating system that would bring all of the old machines
back to life, no longer would we need faster processors or 16 gig
harddrives... no.. we would work with efficiency!... shattered
dreams and laptops in the garbage.

As Doctor Phelps watched the reaction through the monitors of the
electron microscope, he thought about the path that brought him here.
If he hadn't been smaller than all the other boys he may have played
football and not ended up in the nano technology lab in the basement
of MIT. If that car that hit him in grade school was a fraction of a
second later it would have killed him... so many ifs and possible
outcomes. Here he is watching a creature come to life that will build
others just like him in an effort to destroy cancer... the world could
be saved from cells gone haywire. All except for Rudy... Rudy was
that one kid that he promised would pay for the abuse in fifth grade....
no cure for him.

I couldn't believe what was happening right before my eyes. As I
stood there, in the time span of ten minutes I watched a tree drop all of
its leaves. From nothing on the ground to all, and I mean all of its
leaves on the ground. It was if it just decided to let them all go at once.
Leaves fell in clumps and as they fell they took more leaves with
them, cascading to the ground... I was riveted to the window unable to pull
away... If it was a different situation I would have felt like a dirty
peeping tom... Ten minutes, start to finish

There are signs posted, the camera's have red lights and the ceiling
bubbles are a constant reminder that you are being watched . Even
this small country store has video equipment watching over the new shipment
of Yo-Yo's on the shelf. As Debbie watched the monitor she could not
believe that the children would still try to shoplift... but here it
was happening in front of her eyes. One child, about 7 years old is about
to grab a Duncan Classic, you could tell he was nervous. ....

It seems that stories are always easy to start, yet difficult to end.
I hadn't seen the warning signs that seem so obvious now. Saul was
screaming for help and the world turned a deaf ear. I don't think
that we did it on purpose, I mean, Saul was always a bit of a complainer
and one of the last guys you would invite to a party. But that shouldn't
matter. Here we stand around the grave site on a chilly March
morning, I guess the ground has defrosted enough for the crews to dig down a
couple feet. Saul couldn't write a good ending to his life. He had
driven his car out to the woods with the intent of shooting himself.
He had lost the nerve and decided to go on for another day, however his
car was stuck in the mire of the fire road. No blanket and evidently not
enough fuel to run the heater all night, Saul died of exposure. I
only hope it was in his sleep as he dreamed he was the funniest person at
the party.....

Doc Gilletto ran the Agway store for years in the hill town of
Chester. It had everything. There were tools and feed for the horses, as well
as shelves of canned goods. Since the arrival of a WalMart in the next
town over, Doc had some extra time on his hands as the stock got dusty
on the shelves. He didn't remember when he started it, but his all
mouse choir was world famous in the circles of small critters......

Highway 10. Southern New Mexico. Hot. The heat ripples off the
pavement distorting the view as if your staring through a shower
curtain. I love this road. It is just a couple of hours out of town
yet millions of miles away. Large broken flows of lava, stranded for
thousands of years cover the landscape as if it were a dumping ground
from some New Jersey highway project... here I feel that I am
sitting in the middle of a Salvador Dali painting and I am about to drip over
the edge of my boots.....

As the young girl sat down looking at her piece of paper, she wondered
where her story will take her. She had read Peter Pan and Alice in
Wonderland and thought that her writings could take her down the
rabbit hole or off to never-never land. As she began to write her first
thoughts were about her cat, Mr. George. Mr. George was a perfectly
normal tabby cat but she knew that he had a secret way of getting in
and out of the house.... and she was going to find it. Her pen took off
as her imagination began to gear up for the adventure of discovering the
hidden world of Mr. George.....

The dream about the splinter jarred me awake, my finger still hurt
from the image in my head. In the dream a long sliver had pierced my
fingertip, entering one side and exiting the other like I had stored
a needle on a spool of thread. I awoke and looked at my hand.
Everything looked ok. My stomach was in a knot from the pain... just to think
about it still gives me the creeps.

Where was it? She knew it was in here somewhere! Erica knew that she
had tossed her roller blades into this closet. There wasn't room in
her closet so she used the hall closet under the stairs. And then she saw
it....out of the corner of her eye. When she looked directly at it
she couldn't see it... but if she turned her head and stared into the
back of the closet that she was digging in, she could see it. It was a
doorknob. Brass with ornate carvings and it was attached to what
seemed like a little door. She snapped her head quickly as if to catch it
by surprise but it was gone. Slowly she turned her focus back to the
darkness of the closet and there it was again. If her eyes darted
toward it it vanished... so she tried staring straight ahead and
reached her arm out to where the doorknob was waiting. It took several tries
but she felt it on her fingertips and grasped the knob. Without
looking she held on to it for several moments before trying to turn it..before
she turned it she looked at her hand to see the knob and it once again
vanished from sight. but it was still in her hand.

When you see your first one you probably ignored it, thinking that it
was something adrift in your eye. But if you allowed yourself to be
open to it, you just may see another. The little blue sprites drift
like dust bunnies in our lives, riding unseen currents through the
world. One moment they will bump into the wall and the next moment
they will pass right through it. Once you see one, you can begin to see
them all, and hear their laughter.....

Zeke loved to tinker, he could fix or repair just about anything and
he would spend long evenings playing with a project till he got it just
right. Zeke got himself the idea to make a microphone to listen to
the ground so he could hear what them damn gophers were up to. Last week
when he twisted his ankle by the barn he had had enough with gophers.
It was time to go high tech on their little furry butts. The
microphone wasn't anything fancy, just some plastic attached to an old stereo
needle stuffed in a piece of pipe... he had read about it in one of
his magazines. The sounds that he recorded that night were not exactly
what he expected...

The frost was thick on the saddle, it was my fault for leaving it out
overnight. Frodo shook her head as I entered the stall, I like to
believe that she enjoyed these morning rides. The trails behind the
barn lead to the state forest and up over the ridge to upper snow
pond. From start to finish our ride is about 50 minutes and in those 50
minutes Frodo and I think and talk about the day. Many of the
critters of the forest have gotten used to our travels and don't even flinch
when we trot by. In many ways she is glad that she is a horse and can
return to the stable at the end of the ride as opposed to heading to work in
town. She has heard about my patients all her life but has never
complained about my constant chatter. I think she has even snorted at
some of the funnier stories. Its good to have a friend you can talk
to every morning...

Four large semis sit in the New Jersey loading dock. Each truck is
clean and non descript with the company logos of large corporations.
Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Anderson Windows and Toys R Us. Each truck has
a destination for it's cargo but it isn't the store it is named for. On
the dashboard of each rig is a map to a bridge or tunnel. The trucks
will never know what havoc they reap and their drivers have not yet
been given the order to pull out of the parking lot. The plan is to simply
drive and get stuck in traffic. When the timing is right the drivers
plan on praying and laying their hand upon the switch wired next to
their seat. A 53 foot trailer holds a lot of cargo......

The tungsten lamps were getting warm. Checking the levels he adjusted
his camera, f stop at 11 to start. He'll bracket the settings later.
Everything is all set for the beauty shot, the colors are approved and
the set dresser did a great job with the theme. The rep will be
arriving in half an hour but before that he decided to burn a roll
with his own ideas. He will hand off the contact sheet with the others and
see what happens. He can just imagine Yankee Candles flying off the
shelf with his photo's hawking the product. They won't even need
text, you'll be able to smell the lavender and pine......

I was impressed that he could keep a straight face. His son had found
a treasure map. It looked old and the print was raised off the paper,
he had found it behind the paneling of the kitchen when installing new
cabinets. Little tommy's mind raced as he went through all of the
scenario's... should he keep the treasure to himself? should he tell
his brothers? should he ask for help? The map plainly showed a
location on their property, so he wouldn't have to bother the
neighbors. He decided to enlist his brothers help during a family
barbecue. Quietly the father watched, it was amazing that he never
grinned, chuckled or cast his eyes in such a way to give away his
deception. The brothers enlisted the wives, and the wives grabbed the
children and started plotting out the yard. The approximate area was
found and shovels were tossed into the ground. I believe it was after
the third or fourth location was excavated that the father stepped
outside to see what all the commotion was about. As soon as the son
showed the map, he could no longer contain his smile. "I made that
about a year ago... I intended it for whomever bought this place.
Figured it would be fun to drive em crazy.." I was again surprised
that no one hit him.

Should I? No, I'll wait... but it has to happen soon. Another moment
goes by. I feel this is it. Three, two, one... wait! Not yet! Deep
breath, in and out, in and out.... be patient. As I collect my
thoughts I calm down. I am ready. Slowly, ever so slowly, I lift my foot.....
I hate getting onto the expressway....

er first essay was published in the school paper, it was a short
story about an interesting tabby cat. Upon her return to the land of
stories she was greeted with a standing ovation as a large creature approached
her. "Congratulations on your first publication!" said the giant
toad. And he handed Erica an object that looked like a pen.
"Use this whenever you want to visit and find more stories, the
directions are on the back of the box. We hope to see you real
soon!", and with that the large toad waddled away and the crowd returned to
their usual duties.
The directions on the back of the box said:"Place red tip in
sunlight till indicator glows, then using the black end, draw a
doorway with a doorknob. Once complete, enter! Doorway will close behind
you. Once activated this key will only allow you in. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO
DISASSEMBLE KEY. Inner workings of key are proprietary and will void
all warrantees. (also there is no guarantee what will happen if you
spill the black matter on clothing)"
"Wow", was all Erica could say.....

As soon as the spinnaker popped to life the boat lifted out of the
water and the rudder began its song. Hyfrodol loves this tempo. When the
rig is balanced just right and we get close to 12 knots the rudder hums
this low tune, its as if she's a cat and we are scratching in just the
right spot. I know that everyone on the shore watching us get up on plane
has stopped what they were doing and wished they were with us.... singing

We are wired for it, just before you really fall asleep there's that
'pop' of the circuit switching over from your world to our world.
External systems are shut down and the internal connections are made.
The spirit, which is your elemental being, starts to send out tendrils
into the network looking for a strong connection. The healthier the
connection the better the transmission of stories. As Artimus went
on, things began to make more and more sense. Of course, that's why
some dreams are more vivid than others! Never again will she allow
herself to run low on vitamins, it isn't just her physical body that
needs the energy, but her being that allows herself to surf the world
of the storytellers needs energy too.....

Flaps, Check, Rudder, Check, Nose wheel, Check.... it was the most
unlikely crew.... Transporting a showgirl and the manager of the
record company to Bravo company for a quick little USO show. It was going to
be a quick hop, but that isn't what bothers me, it was where we were
going and what we were flying in. The locals hate this plane, it's a
Piper Cub, and has been used in at least three wars and I think that
at least every village kid has taken a shot at it. They know when it
starts, when it taxies, and when it is coming... it has become a
local sport.

The dragon snuffled, then shook. The embers of its eyes began to glow
after laying dormant for centuries. "Who has called my name? Who has
found me?" As he began to move the dust and dirt of time shook loose
and fell to the floor of the chamber beneath the lake. It had been so
long since he smelled the air and saw the sun of the earth... but he
must answer the call.

Tranquil, Languid, Peaceful, Solitude, Harmony.... I kept thinking of
words to keep the smile on my face as I loaded boxes of glass bottles
from the pallet lift onto the conveyer belt. Each box had to be
opened, flipped over and placed onto the belt so that the machine could
separate the bottles and the box and send them down their respective path
through the machines. At the other end of the plant the bottles would be
re-united with the box and someone would be reassembling the pallet
that I disassembled. The boxes there would be fat with juice and heavy, so
I am not complaining. A laser eye notices that the layer of boxes has
been cleared and that signals the lift to move up. Six layers of
boxes per pallet, then the fork lift driver comes around with a new pallet.
Bend, twist, lift, rotate, twist, bend, dump, harmony, stand, twist,
bend, Peaceful, lift, rotate, Calm......

While digging through the closet I found the old Furby. Purchased
during the craze of mechanical pets. It was one of the Easter
versions, purple and white. As I pulled him out of the box I remembered going
through the process of "teaching" him to talk and how to act.
Hmmmmm..... I put him back in the box and closed the closet.

It was so easy, no one listened to AM radio anymore. The noise and
superhetrodine whine made people scramble to the crisp clean sound of
FM. A small black box mounted next to the CD player in the studio was
all it took to send the burst transmissions along the sub carrier of
the AM morning show broadcast. 50 thousand watts, clear channel sending
the coded messages to anyone who knew where to find them. We were hiding
in plain sight.......

A folded piece of scrap paper caught in a small wind dervish in the
corner of the building lot. It took me a couple of seconds to catch
it because it seemed to anticipate my every move. I would snatch left
and it would hover high and right. When I finally grabbed it, I paused a
moment before opening it up. It was written on a piece of yellow
paper, similar to what a waitress would use to take an order at a diner.
Unfolding it I found an address, "133 E. Sumner Blvd." written in

I saw the ground coming and said my quick prayer, moments later I was
buried under tons of rubble. I could see in front of me a tiny shaft
of light, reaching out I was able to make the whole bigger. As I emerged
I found myself in the jungle, not in the city I was just in. I wasn't
me any longer, I mean I was still me but my body had changed. There
wasn't a heaven or pearly gates or long line in front of St. Peter, it was if
you had turned the page in a book and started a new chapter. I
wonder how long I would remember the moment before.......

I knew I was up early, but I was not prepared for the sight I saw.
Sitting in the front yard, plain as day, was a squirrel. That alone
was not odd, but the squirrel was smoking a cigarette. The sun was just
rising and the squirrel was taking a break. This was not some sort of
fleeting image. I stared and the squirrel then noticed I was standing
there. You could tell that the critter thought about putting the
cigarette out, then decided not to. Mr. cute rodent looked me right
in the eye and took several drags......

Jamaica Bay, 1973. Long before the ads "Come to Jamaica" hit the
airwaves. The beach was quiet and Sara was all alone. She did not
grow up on the islands, her parents moved here and brought her with her.
Initially she did not want to leave Ohio, but somehow this island
paradise has changed her mind. It was also where she met a young boy,
Paul, an islander who was beginning to show her things that she never
knew could exist....

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a
creature was stirring, not even.....
alert! alert! THE MOUSE IS AWAKE! Scramble! Code Ho Ho AHHHH!
Santa's advance team sprung into action. They have seen this kind of
problem before. Mouse eats a little too much Havarte before bed and
can't fall asleep. This could ruin a night. Armed with a small slice
of turkey and a glass of warm milk they spring into action. No one
can be stirring while the jolly ol' elf is prancing about. Strict orders.
Supposed Santa stepped on a mouse and it was found under the tree,
what would the headlines say then. "Santa Stomper!" "Mouse Mêlée!".......

Cage free organic chickens. Not your average chicken farm, but then
again Karl is not your average chicken farmer. His farm is what you
would call a chicken ranch. Chickens are everywhere. North pasture
and the east field, filled with chickens. No cages or stacks of birds.
There is something hypnotic about a grazing herd of chickens,
something alive, more than the life of the chickens. That many chickens in one
space creates a sort of outlet for the brush of the universe. Looking
out over the field of chickens Karl would see things that he would
never see in the clouds. Quantum equations, football patterns and once the
pattern of a log home quilt........

The Furby lay silent on the shelf. It's battery has long since
departed. The memory of buying the toy still lingers in the back of
the mind. Teaching it to "talk" and giving it the right responses so that
it grew up happy. The way it would chatter if you left it alone for a
moment or two and how it would shout "Boring!" if it sat idle too
long. Now it's battery is dead. I have no intention of putting a new one

Usually Dominic is not much of an opportunist. This time it was more
than any mortal could resist. The stock would be sliding through the
basement tomorrow once word got out that they had been cooking the
books for years. He had about a six percent share in the company and things
on paper looked pretty good. If he sold before the noon meeting he
would be way way ahead of the game. To him it wasn't inside
information, it was simply a rumor, a feeling, divine inspiration.
After all, he wasn't an accountant or anything, he just knew what the
accountant was about to testify too............

If you squint your eyes, the patterns come together. The bold black
line forms the horizon and the red circle seems to fall into place as
the sun. Allowing for some interpretation the remaining black lines
could be movement of people in the city or it could be wheat in a
field blowing in a breeze. The artist does not help the viewer with a
title, it is simply numbered with a 47. Nowhere in the gallery is an
artistic statement to aid the viewer or to guide the thought process.
Listening to others around you hear a cornucopia of opinions "It's like Van
Gaugh's Thresher" "I see Paris" "It's a reflection in a pool, of

The universe is a humorous place. Rob and George were involved in a
deep conversation at the tavern, discussing the beginning of the
universe and the difference between western thought and eastern
philosophy. Looking up to gods or down to earth and centering. More
and more people entered the tavern and the conversation began to
spread down the slab of mahogany. Just as the group began to reach mutual
agreement the television began to flicker with the cartoon "The
Simpsons". People looked up as soon as Lisa Simpson questioned the
Christian tradition of Christmas verses Buddhism......

I can remember thinking, "I knew it!" when I first discovered Gene's
secret. It was classic. Located behind a false panel in the garage
was the machine. Dusty and quiet, it invited me in. I had seen this
device before. Gene had used this as a prop in one of his earlier
productions. The date of origin was still set on its console. 2114.
No wonder he was so freakin brilliant with his ideas of the future,
that's where he was from.........

The mud felt great. It's one of those hedonistic pleasures that you
can't tell people about but everyone knows what your talking about.
The garden had just been tilled last week and the sun had been warming up
the ground since March. After a brief rain shower the garden shouted
out at me. I took the first step into the soil and it squeezed around
me feet and through my toes. If a neighbor had been watching they
would have thought I lost my mind, or at least regressed to an earlier

The wet heavy snow created a magical winter wonderland. One could
wander down any street and the trees seemed to bow down as members of
the kings court. Ambient noise is muffled. Yards with lawn tractors
and dead cars looked clean and picturesque. I look back to where I
had been and felt guilty for leaving footprints in the fresh canvas... but
then again I felt a certain twinge of pride having been the first to
make the impressions, my own prints in front of the Chinese Theatre,
my own private walk of fame.........

I watched the vapors rise off the paper as the ink dried. There it
was, signed sealed and about to be delivered. I had no idea if this was
going to be a good idea or not. The deal was done and he took the
signed sheet from me and glanced over the page one more time.
"Welcome to the U.S. Airforce", he said with more of a grin than I expected. I
looked down and the ink in the pen was flowing from a cut in my
finger, the recruiter had changed from a square jawed man in blue to a grayish
child. I couldn't run and the man with the sword had me cornered in
the hallway. I wanted to awake.......

Hundreds and hundreds of tuning pegs. It was more like thousands and
thousands if you consider that Domonic's family has been tuning
piano's for Steinway and Sons for generations. The room is climate controlled
to keep the humidity and temperature stable so that the piano's stay
relaxed. It also keeps Domonic relaxed because fluctuating
temperatures and moisture create constant tuning nightmares. His nightmares have
been getting worse. Late in the evening he can hear the strings
stretching, taunting him, mocking him. In the morning when he wanders
through the showroom each keyboard is where it should be and sounding
fine, yet at night they laugh.............

Collective thought, that's all I ask for. We have centuries of
information that has been gathered and lost because of how hard it is
to access it. Leonardo knew answers, the Egyptians had clues, all lost.
Authors have written about a collective library in the stars, a
library that we enter every 2000 years. We are in that age and no one has got
the key, they have forgotten the combination......

Three cups of expresso and one tower bagel later Sam flipped open the
help wanted section. He had to be in the right mood to search for
work. It had been three months and the unemployment was running thin.
It would have been great to tap a savings account or some other family
asset but that just did not exist. Cripes, even dishwashers are
getting ten bucks an hour, someone must be looking for a network security

I didn't know who to cheer on. The bird trying to catch the fish or
the fish trying to escape the bird. Here it was a battle royal in front
of me, a mutual of omaha moment of one of natures drama's, and I was
caught trying to cheer on a player.........

The urge to jump. Standing on the edge. It could be the Grand Canyon
or the top of a building. Looking out she wanted to take that step,
to fly. The crash at the bottom did not matter at the moment.
Everything in her body wanted her to step forward... was it insane?

The car is upside down in a ditch beside the road, a country road in a
place that we have chosen for our second honeymoon. Debbie fell
asleep hours ago. Too many mudslides. The marriage ended four weeks after
it began. She didn't love me, she loved the job I had and the union
wages it brought home. I loved her ass and the way it shook down the
bowling lane................

Six boxes of powdered donuts, a bag of cheeto's, and a half eaten can
of sardines in mustard. ......

She was the kind of teacher that you would enjoy watching but never
remember what she said. As Ms Pettit wandered around the room
explaining simple fractions and geometry she would start to flay her
arms and gesticulate. More than once she knocked the hat off Tommy
Bobsoe who sat in the front row. As we filled into class this
morning, there was a curious electricity in the air as we watched Ms. Pettit
bat away at imaginary butterflies...........

"Hello! Can I help you?" was the shout from the other side of the
wall. I was still 15 feet from the door when he started his greeting.
No windows, only the sound of my footsteps coming down the hallway.
Sensei Hedeio was either very sensitive to my presence, or had to put
something away as this stranger came down the hallway.....

The spores grew quickly in the water. It was like watching a time
lapse photography segment as its tail began to grow into the tidal pool.
Colorless, a headless spiral, one of the oldest parasites forming in
moments. The growing end of the tail touched a crab that was also
caught in the tidal pool, in a moment the worm wrapped around the
crab, poking till it found it's mouth. The crab opened its mouth out of
curiosity, thinking it had found an easy meal. The worm rushed in
with such force the shell cracked.......

A field to the left? No no, it has a stone wall and Mr. Bummbledorfs
cabbages. The river coming up? Maybe, but if the herring are running
it could bother Mrs. Fieldstone's catch and give her a cold winter
without food. Further and faster he tumbled down the hill looking for
a place to crash that wouldn't cause any harm. Teddy was a thoughtful
armadillo that had just gathered too much speed.........

While trying to figure out how to answer the question, "what do you
want to be when you grow up", Michelle stumbled upon a solution.
Magazines. She stepped into a large magazine store and gazed upon the selection.
Some she would buy an issue or two of, and some she would subscribe
too. The logic was that if she was willing to read a magazine cover
to cover each month, the subject may hold enough interest to pursue......

It was an old steel bridge. Girders riveted to beams with expanded
sheets creating the roadway. Built in the 1940's it was an
engineering marvel and linked the islands to the mainland. The steel industry was
in full swing and the future was bright. Steel over salt water
estuaries... nothing lasts forever and each step was faith in the
strength of rust.............

That's the fourth pen this week that has met it's maker. It could be
on the counter, in a coat pocket, by the phone, it doesn't matter. If it
is a plastic pen, he wants it. He wants to destroy it as it must
represent pure evil in his mind. Henry, the purveyor of justice,
protector of the clan, executioner of those who have been accused!
The pen never saw it coming, had no idea that it had been judged and
sentenced to total destruction, only the random drops of its black
blood will remain as well as its tangled mass covered in dog

It was perfect, a dinner of pasta with pesto and fresh garlic,
followed by a bottle of wine and great conversation. Sliding into fresh sheets
and large feather comforters they made love slowly like old friends.
No hurry, no agenda. Sharing one last glass of wine they began to drift
off in each others arms. It was perfect. The doorbell

As the couple parked their car in the driveway, I suddenly felt that
my decision was wrong. I didn't want to sell it. I really did and it
was too late to turn these people away, but there was a part of me that
did not want to part with her piano. Lucy had played the piano for as
long as I knew her. She taught, she sang, she gave concerts. I wonder if
it misses her as much as I do. As the couple made their way up to the
front door I secretly hoped they would change their mind and walk
away. They had called to answer the ad I placed in the paper, they were
young and he was looking for a good piano to compose on......

You never notice it until you do something obvious and expect to see a
particular result and are left empty. No mice. It was the perfect
place to find signs of them. Pulling out the stove and peering behind
it, it was clean. No critters had been moving behind the cabinets or
making nests using the warmth of the stove. I had seen a stray cat
wandering around, it just never popped into my head what it could be

The name on her tag said Donna. She methodically scanned items and
placed them in the bag. Nothing seemed to faze her, not the item,
the constant beeping, or even the customer for that matter. It wasn't the
drone like behavior that drew attention however. Her teeth, or lack
there of. Every once in a moment she would announce the total and
right in the middle of her face, where a smile would go, were gums. She had
her eyeteeth and molars from what one could see but all the teeth in
the center were missing, and looked like they had been missing for

Vermilion, the word and color kept popping up in the knights thoughts.
It haunted him, vermilion. He made his way deeper and deeper into the
darkness as his head was being bombarded with ever increasing words
that he barely knew the meaning of. Vermilion, cobalt, crimson, cyan,
indigo, cerulean. Louder and louder grew the words. He stopped and
took in a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves and think about
anything else. Vermilion. He opened his eyes and stepped forward as
the flames from the beast consumed him from the shadows. The colors
were fantastic................

Rule number one, always know where the back door is. As we watched
and waited for the goons to show up I kept that in mind. Somehow Sam had
pissed these guys off and they were coming. I waited by the front
door with Sam, Tom and Dennis. I don't know what we were waiting for but
we would recognize it when we saw it. I saw it first. The fuel delivery
truck heading toward the front door was not slowing down like it
should. I ducked into the pool room just as it raced through the
front door into the lobby. Back door, back door, back door! I never looked

The Comfort Motel, Albuquerque New Mexico. Your standard motel fare;
bed, shower, TV bolted to the counter. I sat on the edge of the bed
and let the long day of driving wash over me. Next to the TV was a
mirror. I looked tired and had a severe case of hat head. The reflection was
wrong. Over my shoulder was a woman seated in a chair doing
needlework. I looked around the room, the chair was there, but it was
empty. In the reflection the woman had stopped her needlework and was
quietly looking at me. Again I looked around the room. Nope, no one
there. Staring at the reflection, I could stare at her. "Hello?" I
said quietly.
"Hi" she replied. The sound came from the mirror, not
the room.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Margaret Atwitter"
"Why can I see you?"
"I don't know, some people can, some can't, I died in this room
about 12 years ago and have stayed."......

Why are they funny? Since the beginning of comedy they have drawn a
smile. Is it programing? Some deep wiring that they touch. Do we
see our parents smile and we smile as well, or are they really funny?
Would an innocent infant smile and laugh at them or be horribly afraid,
scarred for life, damaged. Wind them up, place them down and watch
them chatter and bounce. Chattering teeth. Why?

The assignment was easy. Walk around the city with a GPS receiver in
his coat pocket and push the button to set way points at various
predetermined locations. The GPS stores the latitude and longitude
for each location, it's accuracy is within eight feet. No need to stop
and write or take pictures, just walk and push the button, information
stored. Eight feet of variance from where the button was pushed is
the target area. This is going to be the best scavenger rally he has ever
put together for his co-workers........

Two shining eyes by the side of the road, a rabbit or raccoon or
something. "That's your warning." she said.
"yup, I saw him." Dale and Melissa have a theory, the universe does not want to cause
harm and will send out warnings, you just have to be aware of them.
Dale took his foot off the pedal for a moment to let the speed get
down near the posted limit. They believe that if they ignored the warning,
the next critter they see on the road will be bigger, perhaps a deer.
"There it is" Melissa said as she pointed at the deer in the swale off
on the left of the shoulder......

A ballet, or perhaps poetry, two people walking dogs, parting in the
middle of the street just after a large black and white cat crossed
beside my car as I made the left. The cat set the tempo, a medium
waltz. Up ahead at the intersection, three cars made their moves as
if to the music in my head...

The blank canvas, it can be anything. A landscape, a flower, a play
of shadow and light with oil paints. Color could splash across the
surface or dark earth tones could suggest a sleeping feline. Anger? Despair?
Something to match the living room couch? Is the painting going to be
for sale or no? Would the viewer understand the decision process or
simply glance at the result and judge......

Let them check, it's just a cheap digital camera with a couple of
holiday pic's on it. They can turn it on and look. The memory card
can hold 198 pictures. 16 megs of information. It can be removed from
the camera and installed into a reader for the computer. All the pictures
instantly are available for email. But that's not all. The memory
card appears on the computer as another drive, anything can be stored on
it, anything at all. Approaching customs these thoughts are trying to
come to the front of my mind, the agent will sense something wrong and look
further. It's just a cheap digital camera, with a couple of holiday
pictures on it............

The physical body reflects the mental one. Satiro told the class that
the mind forms the thought and the body carries out the function.
When the mind is weak the body follows, if the mind stretches beyond it's
physical realm the body can perform "unbelievable" things. I had
heard these things before, not from a Japanese master, but from

They show up with their showroom rides, Ninja's, CBR's, Katana's. All
fast bikes in their own rite, some modified with new airfilters and
slip-on mufflers, anything the magazines will sell them. On an
occasional Saturday night I would lope my Sportster to the edge of
town where the "strip" was. A dead end stretch of road intended for an
industrial park that never happened. Flat long and perfect for
racing. No special modifications were made to my bike, the rear sprocket was
changed, larger carburetor and a punched out exhaust. Oh yeah, and
the solid copper sparkplug wires. It was so simple, regular wires were
radio suppression wires, created to keep the noise down. I loved that
noise, my friends could tell I was coming by the garage long before
they could here me hit the street because their radio in the shop would
start to whine. While sitting at a stoplight next to a shiny new car, all
it would take is a simple rev of the motor to make the computer module in
the car next to me stumble and stall. The street racers couldn't
understand why their new machine would falter off the line racing an
old Harley........

Sitting by the door, I recognized him from way back when. That jerk
from high school. The guy who knew everything, drove the cool car and
was so cocksure that he knew he had the world in the palm of his hand.
Look at him. Still walked with the "I'm cool" bounce in his step as
if he was listening to a rhythm from a Doors tape. His hair had grayed,
his hands had the signs of prison tattoo's, and one eye seemed to be
looking for a way out as the other stared at the counter......

Dug deeply. Deep enough to hid the entire body. The spot well
chosen. A common path, used by many. Wait. Wait. The cover to my hideout
allows the sun to peek through and one is able to track the time by
watching the dots on the walls move from left to right. Wait.
Vibrations, footsteps, a pause of a curious onlooker. The spider
bounds out of it's hole to claim another victim.

I honestly don't know what leads to homelessness. To come to a point
where no friends or family will provide shelter. Perhaps they don't
want it. Perhaps they have chosen to live off the land and shun the
"American Dream". Perhaps their mind has entered a different reality
than ours. But what of the dogs they keep? Do the dogs know that
sleeping on the street is strange or perhaps their owners run with a
different pack...............

One, three... five, six! Six undeveloped rolls of film sitting on the
desk. Who knew how old they were. It feels like finding an unopened
present under the couch next to where the Christmas tree was. On
these rolls are items we found so important to photograph, yet unimportant
enough not to develop for months or years. Do I want to

The phone rang late, never a good sign. Adam listened as his sister
Beth gave him the news. She went on about details while Adam's brain
was shutting down. How could this be? She was fine, I just saw her a
couple of weeks ago. It was a drunk driver, she never saw him coming
as his Pontiac Firbird blew off the red light, attempting to jump Salmon
St. He was doing at least 80 mph. She was just coming home from

Dark dirty cars passing up and down the street, and then a couple of
blocks up a bright yellow convertible is making it's way. Against the
backdrop of mud and trees that are still asleep, the convertible is an
early sign of spring. Birds chirp, crickets laugh, the skunk is
mating under the porch! Death to winter! Then the alarm went

She called it a "Shimmer", it looked like a small carved stone but
when you moved your hand over it's surface the air around you would
vibrate. It wasn't perfect but effective enough to create a mirage effect and
the user would disappear in a wave of refracted light. "That's cool!
where did you get it?", she simply smiled and said "A friend".........

He honestly just wanted to get to know her better. She was nice and
they shared an interest in many things, one of which was dogs. They
both happened to have small puppies. It wasn't late, perhaps around
9- 9:30 and the sun was just beginning to set when he met her at her
apartment. He brought Floydd, a Lab Spaniel mix and he was looking
forward to talking more with her and meeting her dog Chester, a pure
black Lab. The apartment wasn't much bigger than a motel room, an
elongated one room jobby with a kitchenette as you first walk in.
The dogs raced around like longtime playmates, looking for approval and
gnawing on fingers when offered. He was enjoying himself and the
conversation was sometimes elevated over puppy yips. When she met him
at the door she wasn't fully dressed, he figured she had just come out
of the shower but during the visit he began to notice that clothing
was becoming more and more of an option for her...................

Cresting the hill, I couldn't believe the view that spread out in
front of me. Fading off North were the Berkshire mountains and even further
you could see the Adirondacks. Looking over my shoulder were more
peaks of the Berkshires and hints of the Catskills. What a road. A hidden
county route that isn't on the tourist map, dotted by barns and
definitely smelling of cows. I closed my eyes and promised to return
for each season to see my home from a new angle.............

[scene: trailer park, mid afternoon, hot. Trailer older 70's version.]
[camera: slow dolly in over shoulder of man, overweight, late 30's,
premature baldness, tank top]
[action: man hunched over yellow lined paper on coffee table, writing
with golf pencil]
Fang, Snag, Ripper...
[Voice Over: "my name's Earl...]
Scratch, Pisser, Scar...
[V.O.: "my girlfriend got me a cat for my birthday...."]
The claw, The shit, The shark bait....
[V.O.: "I like to name things the way people will call them...“Larry's
Pool Hall', 'The Pub', 'Work'...."]
Lupus, Cat, Fucker.....
[V.O.: "maybe my girlfriend wanted to introduce a new smell to my
place.... I must admit, this mint kitty litter does smell kind of
Here kitty kitty, Fluffy, Wanda.........

The computer screen twitched for half a second and the position of the
mouse on the screen shifted to the left. Not a lot. Just enough to
notice. They must be in, my screen and movements were now their
screen. Right now they could be looking at my files, reading my
email, lurking in the background. "Service upgrades" they called it. Some
little back door that allows them to watch me. I feel like creating a
file to snare their suspicions. A web of intrigue to keep their mealy
minds engaged.....

It was a simple essay. Professor Sparks wanted a simple argument
stated and defended. A twenty page report on an established religion. It
wasn't hard to show where the text changed for each translation and
then comparing excerpts to the dead sea scrolls. It was dry and boring
stuff to write but he published it in the school paper. That's when it got
interesting. The church had made some changes to suit them, it was
all about money power and destroying kings. It was clever, but new
evidence reveals the blanket of lies............

Why didn't I think of this before? Call it a hobby, make some time on
the schedule that can't be interrupted, and do it. The calendar on
the wall has time blocked out for all sorts of events and projects. No
where on there is time for my hobby. Time to do what I want. Only an
hour or two blocked out where when the phone rings, someone can look
at the calendar and say, "no, seven won't work.... how about

The fire spread from him along the ground like a grass fire yet the
flame was bluish white. As he walked he pushed the leading edge of
the flame in front of him. No one seemed to notice the fire as it
approached them, nor did they react when the flame coursed over their
body and then moved on further down the sidewalk. I watched this and
could see how the flame changed some people and left others
unaffected. Who is this young man? He looked like a fan of the band Phish or
perhaps a left over Dead Head. He moved as if he was playing a hidden
flute, bobbing left and then right, with the fire dancing beside

Tom and I were out back plotting a path down to the river when we
found it. It must have been left over from the cold war days or perhaps
even older. The door was hidden under years of mulch and roots but the set
of stairs were well laid out in stone. The stairs went straight back
into the riverbank toward the house, fifteen steps down and then a
long comfortable hallway. There were wires and sockets for lights but no
bulbs and we had no idea where a switch would be..........

Dried out gray matter, sticking to the side of my skull. Name's
Harry, Harry Potter. Life has been hell since those kid's books came out.
My father had a friend named Homer and his wife was named Marge, thank
god there last name wasn't Simpson. Dad's name was Robert Potter and I am
his little son Harry. Of course now that I'm fifty seven I no longer
am referred to as "little Potter", but now these damn books and movies
have created a stumbling block for my business............

Reading the script it brought me back to the flight line, as the
starters brought the turbines on line and the rotors slowly started to
turn. The tail rotor had a four to one ratio verses the main blades,
it spun so fast that all you could see were the colors painted near the
tips. We never got to know the pilots training there, they wandered
out on to the concrete as the crew finished the preflight, fired up the
bird, flew it around and brought it back for us to fix. Not even a
pat on the back for giving them a craft that didn't kill them ten minutes
out... however it was that twenty minutes later when the radio in the
shop let us know there was a problem with 1037, Sgt. Ronnie's

It's a reoccurring dream. The van is rolling downhill toward the
other end of the parking lot. No matter what I do, the brakes are
nonexistent. I can see the guardrail approaching in the rear view
mirror and there is nothing between us to hit or scrub to slow the
van. The guardrail felt like it was a momentary interruption as the van and
I enter the black night............

Mr. Twiddles didn't understand why he was there, but he knew if he
wanted to get out, it would take planning. It happened late at night
when his house apes brought him here, and that was weeks ago. There
was a bath and a checkup but soon he began to realize that this was not a
vacation spot. Some of the other dogs were loners, others were
bullies, and a few could actually hold a conversation. The house apes that
wandered the corridor looking at each of them were making decisions,
judgments and conclusions. Mr. Twiddles wanted out.....

Terry was an average cup of joe.... actually, half a cup of joe. At
age 43 he had reached manager status at the Cumberland farms on the
corner of Walnut and Spring. He had his own apartment, no pets, cable
tv, and a subscription to Field and Stream. Occasionally he would buy
Sports Illustrated. Terry didn't care much for the human race, the
whole world was just a bunch of whiny fagots as far as he was
concerned. Then the box arrived. Sitting on the carpet in front of
his apartment was a box. A little bigger than a toaster oven, decorated
with nice flowery paper and bow. It was the card that freaked him
out. It said "To Terry Blanchard, from God." He stared and had no idea
what to do next........

Haven't touched it in years, not since I got my first word processor.
Some would say "They never looked back!" but I like looking back at
it. Rigid frame, exposed mechanical parts, the thick black roller and
the ribbon that has been flipped over and over again. The sound of
the type hitting the paper is similar to the sound of the wind playing
with a chime on the neighbors porch, gentle and romantic. Every once in a
while during a spring cleaning there is a threat to get rid of it, you
never use it, it's dusty. True, true, true.... but....

Every 250 feet down was a station, a sphere of life. Chained
together like a string of pearls reaching to the bottom of the trench three
miles down. They are used as way stations for explorers going into and
coming out of the trench. The dive pod would stop at each sphere, connect,
and the pressure would ease the trip to the surface. It would take a full
week to reach the sun again after being at Echo Station on the bottom
of the trench. Astronaut's have it easy, their ship is trying to pop,
ours want to crush us. One small flaw in the design and three miles of
ocean on top of us would make sure we would never forget it.....

He called it a russian jump, I had never heard of such a thing. There
he was standing in the doorway of the piper cub overlooking the
jungle, the tree tops only ten feet below us. We weren't supposed to be here,
the war was next door, but here he was about to step out. No
parachute, just dive at a big tree and hope that the canopy of the jungle is
thick enough to catch him without tearing him apart. As he left the plane,
he told me to duck, and sure enough as soon as he leapt someone on the
ground started filling my plane with holes. Screw this, I am heading
back to some place that at least if I crash, someone will come looking
for me. I always wondered if he landed ok...................

It must be odd to the makers, putting together little pieces, day in,
day out. This little white piece goes here, then this little part.
When the bins filled with pink things runs low, it is someone's job to
come around and fill it. Snap, click, then on to the woman next to
you. Snap, click, snap, click... On their way out of work for the
day they can see the bags filling with the odd little toys that she helped
build. Chattering teeth, the Americans buy all they make,

1984, late in the year. Collin Richards had just been assigned to his
first Air Force base. He was young and had money in his pocket in a
military town. 2002, March 20th, Lee Massachusetts. When he opened the door and saw
the young lady standing there, he braced himself to say no. No
magazines, no cookies, he didn't care what she was selling, he was in
no mood to have someone knock on his door at 8:45 in the morning. He and
his wife were just finishing breakfast and getting ready to start the
day when they were interrupted. "Mr. Richards?"
"Mr. Collin Richards?"
"look, unless your next few words are 'You have won'; I don't want
"Did you ever live in Albuquerque New Mexico?"................

He wasn't red, didn't have horns but seethed pure evil. Not just bad
thoughts but soul ripping, essence extinguishing , your body is a mere
plaything evil. It was all her fault, she called him and he came. It
was a simple teenage chant she had heard in the girls room. As she
neared the end of the third verse it began to appear on the edge of
the bed. Not much larger than a toddler, gray and shriveled with eye's as
white and bright as the sun............

Owls come when called. We heard the owl long before we saw it, it was
in the trees somewhere toward the riverbank, but with the sun setting
you couldn't make out details in the trees. A friend of mine claimed
he could call it closer. Here I am thinking he is going to go "here owl,
here owl-owl-owl..." like calling a cat. Todd put both hands up to
his mouth to shout and then made a deep "Hoo, hoo, hoooooo" sound from his
throat. I was about to laugh when the owl answered. Todd did it
again. Low, out of the trees flying about a foot off the ground came a huge
barn owl. My next thought was, now what?......

They were always focused on the goal. The finish line. Not Mike.
Mike was more concerned about the way he got there, the path, the process,
the journey. While his friends bought powerboats, Mike bought a
sailboat. He would arrive at the island later. When the guys started
buying muscle cars, Mike started looking at diesels that would run on
the waste oil from the snack shack he worked at. Every week they
would change the oil, 15 gallons of potential fuel. Mike had a certain
courage, it didn't even surprise me when he pulled his next

Like magic things unwanted disappear. Rarely do we see the object
leave, one minute it is there, the next it is gone. No clue where or
who. Depending on the object it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to
a day to disappear but it always does. The lawnmower, 15 minutes, the
couch, a day. No need for classified ads or yard sales, just put the
item on the sidewalk and wait. As soon as you look away, it is gone.
I wonder what other magic the sidewalk can do...........

It had been a long time since he tested someone. A very long time.
The stories were old and fading from people's minds, it was time to test
again. Deciding to test was easy, figuring out who was going to be
difficult. Most people would fail. Back and forth he played with the
idea and then chose Roberto. Roberto was faithful and well respected
in his community. He was the news anchor on channel 11, the local NBC
affiliate. The test began right in the middle of his newscast on
Thursday evening.......

Molly hadn't been in that house in years. About 35 years. One
afternoon she saw a car in the driveway and decided to knock on the
door. After a brief explanation about how this used to be her house
and how she used to play in the back yard, the owner, a woman in her mid
thirties with two kids clinging to her, let Molly in. So much had
changed, the paneling that he uncle Tom put everywhere was gone and
the kitchen was completely remodeled. Molly wondered if her secret hiding
place was still there........

The memories were overwhelming, the fear, the sorrow, the regret. I
could feel the pain. It was not supposed to be this way, I just
wanted to see the sword hanging on the wall in the store, it was one
that I had been looking for, a celtic hand and a half sword with a
leaf blade. The designs were a bonus. The clerk picked it up off the wall
and handed it over. As hands wrapped around the rosewood handle, I
was there. A vivid image of a man of faith running for his life with a
stolen sword...........

Do normal people have a doppelganger? An evil twin looking to undo
everything the other does? Or do you have to be famous. Roger Barns
was investigating his 14th incident with someone famous having
problems with a fan taking on the persona of their subject. Granted, it's
L.A., things are weird here, that's why he moved here. But he began to
wonder if he had someone who would follow him around and untie every shoe he

First night on the boat. It had been a long winter and the boat
needed more preparations than normal, but that doesn't seem to matter now.
Tied to it's mooring it bounces lightly in the breeze, most of the
other owners have gone home and the boats all face the wind. Looking over
the marina it looks like an odd race about to start. Down below the
smell of fresh lemon oil lingers and the sheets smell like they have been
dried by the sun. As I lay down to the sound of little waves slapping
the hull I wonder what took spring so long...........

The keyboard mocked me, it knew what it wanted to say yet I was
unwilling. She was stronger than most, a true powerhouse. She was
going to whip this thing, her children and her church gave her
strength. This was a woman who could ride several horses at once. In
a past life she would have been a warrior, unafraid of the challenge.
She fought till the end. The end seemed too swift. It was like standing
against the tide, the tide will come, and engulf you. We will miss
her and see her face in the face of her children..............

Oliver had walked past these stores for years, he grew up in this
town. The first time he shoplifted was in Dossman's Drug Store. These two
buildings had been around for almost a century. Dossman's and the
First Agricultural Bank side by side. Side by side, tight, butted against
one another, they shared a wall. Oliver knew this, he knew that he may
not be the most observant person on the planet but he knew that this alley
between the two wasn't there yesterday........

Nebus (knee-bus) had taken control of the city using all of the dark
arts that he knew. His armies had pushed the people out into the
wasteland but his armies had weaknesses that the people were beginning
to exploit. He needed more. Carved into the rocks on either side of
the entrance to the great city were the twin gods Castor and Pollux.
Their stone faces lay sleeping in the mountain side. Nebus would
awaken the gods and use them to destroy the army of the people once and for
all. Preparations were made, and the boar was slain as the call was
made to the gods. The rock faces trembled and awoke, Castor and
Pollux stood and observed their kingdom. The armies on both side stopped,
watched and waited........

6:20, like clockwork the dog wants to go out. No problem, we set the
schedule, he adapted and now he needs to pee. It has been like that
for about six months, every day, rain or shine. What amazed me was his
ability to adapt with the change from daylight time to daylight
savings time. He didn't miss a beat. We pushed the clocks forward one hour
and he woke us up right on time. I have to find out how he does

Robert was one of the guys, no one was prepared for his outburst as he
sit at his desk. "God DAMN IT!" It was out of the blue.
"I'm sorry, but, this isn't what I wanted! This was all her idea!" A
few of us guessed what was wrong. Robert just had a child with his
wife Melody. When the average person looked at them together, no one said
that they would make great parents, we usually commented on how much
of an asshole Robert was. Here he was shouting at his desk, and slowly
ripping apart his computer. His circle of destruction was beginning
to widen to Gary's desk. Things were about to get interesting......

What is madness? The delicate balance the human brain maintains to keep an even keel may be more delicate than one thinks.
Earl wrote these lines on the yellow lined paper he pulled from under the front seat of his truck. His daughter June must have dropped it there years ago. He sat in the corner booth of Friendly's ignoring
his Morning Melt.
His writing continued. As I was driving over the Cumberland bridge, I looked over the edge and saw that there was nothing between me and the long trip down to the river. There was a barrier but it wouldn't compete with my old Ford. I don't want to kill myself, I just want to know which world is real......

Round and round and round and round. Up and down in time with the
music. We didn't care who watched or who thought we were out of our
minds. Margaret had always loved merry go rounds, I on the other hand
tended to get motion sickness. However once the eyesight started to
go, that changed and for the past 20 years Margaret and I take time out to
be silly. People may wonder about our blue hair (or in my case,
lack there of) and our slow pace but no one can question the smile on our
face as the merry go round spins in the middle of the park.
Alice watched the lonely old man sitting on the merry go
round. There he was, all by himself, smiling like a fool..........

She wouldn't look at her, she turned her head and tried to ignore her.
Perhaps she would just go away. The little girl was about two or
perhaps three years old. She was holding a dollar that her mother had
given her. The pudgy outstretched arm was persistent. But the woman
sitting on the sidewalk, dirty and tattered, her face tight and gaunt,
looked away. There was a distant, sad look in her eyes. The scene
persisted for a moment more till the girls mother called her away,
still holding the dollar bill. I didn't stay to watch

He was born just a little different, his left leg was a little shorter
than his right and his bill didn't quite fit his face. Honk was
adopted by the grandchildren. It was against my wishes, no sense having a
defective duck running around the yard. Honk must have known he was
different, he started playing with the children and eating dinner
inside. He would always go outside and sleep at night in the old dog
house behind the garage. It was amazing, he would take baths with the
children and swim in the pool and never "relieve" himself in the
water. Yah, Honk was a weird duck. Or odd duck, your choice. He lived about
ten years, growing up with the children who never thought it was
strange to have a pet duck. Honk is buried behind the garage. Yah know, I
miss him.....................

A romantic evening. A bottle of decent wine, the cool southern
breezes and a fire of left over cedar shingles in the chiminea out on the
upper deck. The warm glow from the ceramic fireplace was comforting and
added to the mood. Then the dog barked. The police officer that lives two
houses down, Kevin, asked if everything is alright.
"Sure!" we assured him, wondering if our romance was too loud.
"Ok... um, you got a couple of fire trucks on the way, someone across
the river called in a fire here"
The light from the chiminea made the back of the house glow, and the
occasional lick of flame from the top added to the excitement.
Firemen are big. Large men pulled from card games and their television sets.
Two fire trucks, three police cars, lots of pickup trucks with
flashing red lights. Romance..........

Struggle, drop. Struggle, drop. Struggle drop. Again and again it
tried to move past that spot. Struggle, drop. It did not relent.
Time stood still as it tried again. Much like a penguin trying to take
flight, it would fail to get past this particular point. Quiver,
twitch, drop. I have to replace that battery in the clock, as it's
second hand can't make the trip past the nine..............

Jack was outspoken, you could always depend on Jack to give you an
honest answer when you ask him a question. He had strong opinions and
most of the time they were hard to argue with. Had he gone to college
he would have been one tough debater. It all started after September
11th, Jack started yelling at people. He would stand in the middle of
the street and shout at cars and trucks driving by. To him it was
obvious, it was about our way of life, our consumption, and our need
for oil. Jack would rail against the owner of the Ford Explorer that just
parked in front of the pharmacy, he would mock the guy down the street
for using a leaf blower instead of a rake. Then one day Jack was

The three planets converge over Bethlehem. In a bombed out shell of a
house the story begins again. The religions of the world will never
see it coming till it's too late and the nightly news will crucify
him. May fifth, 2002, the fun begins.
The encrypted note was found in her pocket after her body was pulled
from the river. Dr. Diana Blithe was world famous for her
interpretations of the dead sea scrolls...........

The phone rang. "Hello"
"Good evening Mr. Shoon, I am calling on behalf of the Franciscans, we
are calling all Catholics in an effort to further our missions. Are
you Catholic?"
My mind raced, I thought I heard clicking noises in the background,
she was compiling a list, a list with my name on it. What should I say?
What if they start hunting catholics? What if being catholic is safe
and any other answer is wrong. I wanted to know the right answer
before giving it to her............

She was a great looking woman, men would follow her around wherever
she went. She called them "Fenders". She and I had known each other for
years. I had marveled at her powers to attract men, she handled it so
well. Her body and personality seemed to ooze sexuality. But for me
the stumbling block had always been her shoes. Gwynn loved to wear
clown shoes, big floppy red clown shoes. Black dress, clown shoes.
Jeans? Clown shoes. She had several pairs but the red ones were her
favorite, they were made in Italy. I wasn't afraid of clowns, just
disturbed by them enough that the shoes put me off...............

While pulling up the boards to the porch at my families house it
started. All of the children had grown up in this house located along
the Merimack River in New Hampshire. Things had started to rot and it
was time to do some work on the family "Estate". Sure it was only a
four bedroom bungalow but the view of the river when the leaves change
made all the difference. As the boards to the porch were removed we
started finding things. Carol's old Aunt Beazley doll, Rick's super
ball that was lost in the basement, and a collection of dad's golf
balls and tennis balls. Work came to a stop as we remembered Robin, our old
Lab mix, who, along with some mice, stashed this makeshift time
capsule. I hadn't seen anything of mine yet.........

Roy was a moody Sonofabitch. Some days you could just see the storm
cloud brewing over his head. Those of us in the shop had gotten used
to it, in fact, we had become amused by it. We began to feel like those
pilots that seed clouds, hoping for rain. Of course we personally did
not want to be the subject of Roy's outburst, (Roy could berate a
turtle out of it's shell) but when one of the newbies were wandering the
floor it became sport to get Roy wound up and watch him unleash his mood on
the new guy. It was better than anything on television............

There were three children with the mother at the beach, two little
girls and a small boy. The girls were perhaps four or five years old and
the boy was just learning how to walk. Looking up from my copy of James
Joyce "Dubliners" I watched the children play in the sand. The make
believe world of a child with castles and flying Barbies. Slowly the
two young girls began burying the Barbie dolls and waited for the tide
to come in........

The gear swung back and fourth, it's momentum powered by the coil of
steel. With each change in direction a small hook released a gear
allowing it to progress one tooth. One tooth. Thousands of times a
day this job is done. As the hook is released another gear progresses
one sixtieth of a tooth. A micron of movement uncaring about the
world around it. The gear gets its orders and moves forward. The minute
hand sweeps across the hour........

The flicker of the television shown through the lace curtains.
Walking down the quiet back street in Mattapoisett you can see the same glow
coming from each house. The house with lace curtains belonged to a
Capt. John Wright over a hundred years ago according to the plaque
next to the mailbox. Simple clapboard with brass lamps on either side of
the door. If the walls could talk, I imagined late nights filled with
tall tales of the sea. A sudden burst of laughter joins my thoughts as I
stroll further into the foggy night...........

Jay didn't' want to judge anyone but someone had to say something.
The woman standing in front of him was enormous. Not chubby, not a little
fat, not even a little overweight, she was freaking huge. Jay weighed
about 180 and this woman had to be about 350 pounds. Normal airplane
seats were not built for this woman. Heck, he thought, she wouldn't
fit in his car! What tipped Jay beyond all return was the fact that she
was wearing spandex. Bicycle shorts no less. He stood in line behind a
mound of stretched and well tucked fabric. He had to say something.
I watched in amazement as he tapped her on the fleshy

The lunch whistle blew. Gene gathered his tools real quick and headed
for the parking lot. He had been at Bendix for only five years,
assembling brake assemblies for large aircraft. As he descended the
stairs his determination had solidified. Last night he thought about
quitting his job and walking away. His hands hit the crash bar and
the sunlight from the parking lot warmed his face, he walked past his
Pontiac Grand Am and walked past the front gate. He headed

The great council gathered together one year after the landing and
decided that the mistakes of the past, and the war which saw the
destruction of their world, would not be repeated. All libraries and
reference to the weapons of war would be destroyed. The history of
the battle and subsequent journey would be erased. Those who resisted and
wished to hold on to the old ways would be erased as well. In two
generations the past would be nothing more than myths and stories of
the stars and travels. The council decided to create a god that would
strike fear in those that opposed the new laws. They will treat each
other differently on this new home that they will share with the Inca,
the Akara, and Arens. New lands on this non warring planet called

Professor Alvin Hyde of Cambridge College did not mean to change the
world, he simply wanted to find a growth hormone for the roses in the
Cambridge gardens. By using an extract of peat moss, from the
Scottish highlands, he created a growth enzyme that plants thrived on. A one
inch layer of "Tawny Peat" would grow an entire garden. The school as
a publicity stunt grew a complete English garden on the pavement in
three weeks time. It was the comment by Professor Hyde during the news
report that caught Monsanto and ADM's attention. Hyde proudly looked at his
garden and exclaimed "he could feed the world for the cost of a packet
of crisps!" ............

The wind inhaled, and then exhaled again. Not in the same rhythm of
the surf but slower, more relaxed. The planet breathes, sometimes softly
like a whisper, other times it is trying to blow out the candles of a
million year old cake............

Crossing the street and about to step up to the curb when an older
black gentleman asked me how I was doing. Actually it wasn't so much as a
polite ask, it was more of a shout, "How ya doing today?!"
"Great!, awake and enjoying the day", was the first thing that popped
into my head.
"Very good. Enjoy your planet Earth!" he shouted as I was heading off
down the sidewalk. A part of me wanted to turn around and ask what
planet he was from.............

A moment of clarity, a shaft of light showing the path out of the
woods. Sean looked around and saw things he recognized and people he
knew. "Dorris, have I been sick?"
"Yes dear, you have Alzheimer's disease, you come and go"
"You know I love you right?
"Of course dear, you tell me everyday." It was true, even in his
bouts of pure dementia, when everyone and everything was part of the Junior
high school physics class he used to teach, he would look around and
exclaim, "Love you!" . It wasn't to anyone in particular.
Sean blinked and looked out into the living room. "What time does
Jeopardy start?"
"Soon, why don't you go sit down" She knew that he was back in his
woods, wandering.............

Calm, for the first time I was reaching the stillness that was part of
the teachers requirement. Shutting down all outside thoughts and
breathing deeply, in and out. No longer contained in the skin of the
body but focused on the highest chakra. I had always thought that
this was un-attainable, yet here it was. As I elevated above the room, I
could see the web. Each strand reaching off to the horizon. Focus on
the strand and let it take you. The teachers slow mantra trickled
into my thoughts. The web was alive and the closer I approached the louder
it hummed, it was waiting for me to touch it, I reached..........

It was a scene out of a Japanese painting. There were about twenty
swallows flying above the river beneath the bridge in the rain.
Watching them glide six inches above the water in gentle patterns was
poetry. Western music could not capture the grace and sound of the
falling rain. No bird song accompanied their flight, no playful
chases back and forth, it was a ballet between the droplets from the

Things slow down in an accident. The brain goes into high gear and
the film speed doubles. I watched the guard rail move toward us, it was
sloped into the ground and was going to make the perfect ramp to toss
our Ford Escort into the woods. I had time to turn and look at the
driver. Sound asleep. Looking back at the guardrail I was able to
project our path, up guardrail, quarter roll, front nose in the ditch,
another roll, small tree, roll again and come to a rest in the small
thicket of bushes next to the convenience store...........

The van pulled onto the scene, OPERATIONS printed boldly on the side.
Carol Spatz was the chief operations officer on crime scenes, and she
seemed to have a knack for it. This morning seemed like a rough way
to start a monday, two kids in a diner, one with a gun, both looking for
a way out.
"What's the news"
Sergeant David Blake looked at her, smiled, "Good morning to you too.
Two kids, started off as a simple robbery, Patrolman sitting at the
counter made a move and was shot, his partner was outside buying a
paper. Kids are now scared and the back door was locked. We got
here and have been trying to keep them from panicking."
"Alright, clear the block, we will direct the alpha static charge into
the shop in about a minute. Have everybody asleep, and back on their
coffee breaks in five."
This was just the kind of distraction that Mobius was waiting for,
the brain wave charge makes everyone within a city block nod off for
five minutes, it was an effective device, just not real

She was always happy. She enjoyed the rain, the cold, the wind. She
had one of those perpetual smiles on her face. It's true that I saw
her at the grocery store and her ATM card would not work. All of her
groceries had been rung through and there was a line of grumpy
saturday morning shoppers behind her. Instead of getting upset, she smiled and
apologized, asked if they could hold the groceries for a few moments.
She returned in fifteen minutes with cash and pushed things out the
door. Never once loosing her smile.......

"Morning Cupcake" Hal had called Debbie 'Cupcake' ever since he
started coming into the Victory diner, it had to be at least ten years now.
"Morning Hal, Coffee and breakfast bagel for ya?" Debbie actually
liked being called 'Cupcake' by Hal. He was retired, liked wearing fishing
hats, never complained, and actually seemed to enjoy seeing her each
morning. It made her feel like a little girl again, being called
'Cupcake' by her grandfather.
"Nope, let's try something different. I'm celebrating today, so why
don't we see how the pancakes are."
"Oooo Hal, how daring. Pancakes it is. What are we

Each player bowed their head for the morning prayer. The field was
cold and steam emanated from the heads of those knelt down. Six A.M.
practices start off this way. We gather like tired slugs, put on the
uniforms and trudge out to the field where Coach waits for us. It's
quiet and only the clatter of the helmets and padding break the
silence. Coach leads the prayer, for safety, for sportsmanship, for
victory. Looking over the frost shining on the grass and the rest of
the bowed heads, many shaved, it feels like monks in a monastery,
blessing the day...........

There it is again, the most severe case of deja-vu. But this was a
brand new building and the people I was working with I know I have
never met before. There it was, I could almost mouth the words people were
about to speak. When Randy walked over to me he said, "Glenn, I have
some good news for you.." I didn't let him finish, I said the words
before he did.
"The software is ready"
"...uh... yah. "
"How did you know...", I stood up and said, "phone" and three
seconds later it rang. Randy and I said, "Gee that's freaky" at the
same time..........

There isn't a road for half a mile, no power lines, no quarry, no
logging trails. Just a meandering path in the woods to the balance
rock and overlook. Halfway up the hill, bored into a boulder, is an
eye bolt and cable strain relieve. No explanation, no remnants of industry.
Long since rusted it points to the top of the hill. Memories last
only fifty years around here on some subjects, I'll have to ask

He pushed it out of the barn and my heart leapt. "Not much for this
old jap crap", I let the slur slide.
"Looks ok.." Trying not to fall in love with it before the
bartering began.
"Feh, copying the British steel is what they were doing, If yah
like this look I have a couple of Triumphs you should see". Don took
a rag out of his back pocket, wiped off the seat and grinned. "Original
seat cover"
"Hmmmm." Ok, ok, I loved it. A 67 Honda 160 in original
unmolested condition.
"Lets start it", With that he closed the choke, gave the throttle
a twist, and kicked it over in two kicks. "well... starts better than a
Triumph, take it for a spin around the yard."
Instantly I was Marlin Brando.........

There is a pressure pocket that is pushed in front of the car, the air
is compressed and creates a wave. On some cars the wave is huge and
you can almost see it, on other cars it is a smaller and faster crest.
Toc was explaining this to her daughter Gilder as they sat and watched the
traffic on route 30. The speed limit was 50 mph and the surfing was
great. Any faster and the undertow would kill you. Toc explained
that there are many things a barn swallow has to learn before going out on
her own.....

It's unnerving, I understand the need, but just the same. I hear it
getting tighter and tighter, each turn of the screw there is the noise
of a 'pink' as it resists. Tighter and tighter still she goes. Pink,
pink pink... Through all this she explains that she will have to come
back in a week or so and do it again. A new string on the piano,
tighter, tighter.. almost in tune, tighter still...........

The invitation simply said "Orgy!". Rick and Carol were friends of
ours and we, along with Tom and Susan, David and Donna would play
bridge on Tuesdays. It was great fun and conversation would cover the
full gambit. Carol loved to flirt with Tom and I have known for years
that Rick had a thing for my wife Peggy. Carol did hint that she
wanted to try something different some Tuesday night and I was expecting an
invitation that said "Fondue!" or "Twister!"..............

It was so, so quiet. The absence of sound was great, it was if
someone had just turned off the television and the room was allowed to rest.
Standing on the porch looking out toward the barn I just listened to
the snowfall. No traffic, no wind, all had been muffled by the falling
snow. Shifting my weight I could make the porch squeak but the sound
did not travel past my own ears, it didn't have the energy to compete
with the magic........

Sasha and I hid behind the wall behind the corner hutch. We were
small and the pipe chase that ran to the upper apartments was big enough for
us to hide. We knew they were coming. Sasha started to fall asleep,
she was only 3. I am 9 and poppy told me to watch out for her. We
heard gunfire, they were here. If Sasha fell asleep she could fall
back into the basement and they would find her. I reached to poke her and
a piece of the lath gave way. "They are in the wall" I heard the
officer say, and they started shooting. Sasha was shorter than I. I must
have been shot. I want to ... fall asleep...

It was a long flowing cotton sun dress, pure white without any lace or
fancy fringe. It was so white and crisp it had to be new. She was
walking up the street on the grass between the sidewalk and the
pavement. Barefoot and smiling like an angel that slipped away for a
momentary earthly pleasure....

Returning to a simpler time, horses and buggies, meetings at the
grange hall, Saturday night dinners and dancing. The machines promised us
easier lives, tackling the hard work so we would have time to "enjoy
life" Pah. The automobile and the television has isolated the people
from one another.
I listened as my grandfather spoke his mantra, he missed people
on porches and picnic's in the park.
He laughed at my appointment book and wondered when the last time I
took some time out for ice cream with a dipped cone...........

We had never thought of it, Himbo had been on the farm forever. He
lived there, and worked there and took care of the horses. When Penny
Lake accused me of being a slave owner, I hit her. But then I asked
dad that night. "Dad... is Himbo a slave?"
"Gloria! what makes you ask such questions at the dinner table!",
my mom shouted.
"No dear, it's ok. Gloria, Himbo used to be a slave, we had set
him free about ten years ago, yet he stayed with us. He's family now."
The thoughts were racing through my head, how could we have been
slave owners?! Does Himbo have family? Why did he

Glenn Perrowitz was a retired welder. For years he worked at the
Charleston shipyard welding plates of steel to the hull. The scanner
was his hobby. He used to listen to short-wave radio then got hooked
on police calls and first responders. Lately however, he has been
listening to phone conversations. People forget that wireless phones
transmit to the neighborhood. Glenn had his scanner modified to
listen to cell calls as well. He knew everything about his Southie
Then he heard it. One night, in the middle of all the chatter, he
heard someone say, "Kill him"............

Mushrooms, two concentric rings of mushrooms. Perfect circles in the
back yard for the fairies to dance around in. After the fifth night
of rain the ground was ready to celebrate. I imagined the music and the
lights of the carnival that took place, the dancing along the

The smell is thick and familiar. Books. A library filled with books.
Numbered and stacked in rows upon rows. Close your eyes and imagine
the adventures, the romances, the horrors. The odor of paper, glue and
dust. The sound of soft echo's and quiet whispers of mothers telling
their children about the big red dog. The only other smell similar is
the opening up of this summer cabin, the wood dusty from the winter
and warmed by the spring sun. Whispering Pines is located in the lake
town of Winipisaki. A tourist village with a library in it somewhere. The
cabin has been in the family since the depression. As we open up the
front door and enter the hallway we find ourselves enjoying the musty
odor, what we were not prepared for was finding that the back door
had been forced open............

Missing without a trace. Her minivan was found on the side of the
road with blood on the front seat. No fingerprints aside from her own and
those of her children. She disappeared right before Christmas after a
holiday party at Patrick's Pub. Everything was left behind, her
pocketbook, wallet, the gifts from the party, even the keys were
still in the ignition in the on position. The minivan had been run dry of
fuel and battery...........

We both knew what was going to happen, I saw him coming, he saw me.
We looked into each other's eyes and recognized our fate. In a matter
of moments we would meet. The force of our collision would be great, one
would change direction, one would be left standing. Closer. Here he
"This is fun Dad!" was all he shouted as I pushed him again on the
playground swing.......

The web outside the window does more than catch flies, the Indians
knew that spiders were dream catchers. Thin fibers would resonate with
the nightmares and fantasies of the night. Artimus never judged the
information he collected, that wasn't his job, but he knew tonight's
dream from this house was unusual. His web vibrated violently with
the power of the signal, yet her face was peaceful.......

Page 37 of the swimsuit addition of Sports Illustrated. It was a foot
powder ad. At first I thought it was just my eyes noticing a printer
problem, some smeared ink or something. The border of the ad wasn't a
crisp clean line. I looked closer and saw the rhythms of white mixed
in with the black ink. I knew it. Grabbing my magnifying glass I
focused on the line, which turned into bar-code information, tiny lines that
would contain a message. Now, how to decode it..........

Stepping off the ferry, I felt it. A connection. I had been here
before. The people around me were strangers, but they looked like
familiar souls. The road led to the top of the hill, the way was
clearly marked. The family castle, generations of my relatives have
lived behind these stone walls. I felt I had to go and try the front

She was so proud of herself, "Mommy! I made poopie in the toilet!".
Sure enough, she had used the adult toilet as it was intended. Her
mother was beaming, "This is a monumental event! She has never used
adult toilet before, you can actually flush it!". This was all fine
conversation and I felt happy for the pair, however it really wasn't
what I planned on talking about over lunch...........

The female form, floating gently around my arm. Gently passing my
ear. The lightest touch upon my skin. Carefully, ever so carefully she
touches me. Not wanting to disturb me or break the mood. Don't look,
she seems to say. At first I don't notice, then I feel the tickle,
my head turns as my arm reaches for her. She lingers. Too long. One
more dead mosquito.

The breeze felt like a sea wind, the air was heavy. It felt like a
Nantucket morning. Closing my eyes I could hear the halyards slapping
against the masts at the marina down the hill. I imagined the smell
of coffee and muffins from Claire's Breakfast Nook around the corner.
Somewhere someone was listening to a morning radio show with your
hosts Bob and Samantha.
As the door to the cell locked shut, the guard was about to ask why
1532889 was smiling, but he stopped when he saw the tears......

Her fourth time on the road and all this had to happen. Kate was
learning to ride a motorcycle, a couple of times around the cemetery
to get the feel and then out into traffic as her husband rode his bike
along side her. This was her first trip out of town and it turned
into an adventure. Trying to avoid traffic and high speeds, they took a
side road. Got lost. Then the storm hit. Buckets upon buckets of rain
and lightning. Then her clutch cable froze. A couple of wiggles and it
popped free again. It was dark, she was soaked, it took a lot longer
then planned to get home, and her machine was acting up. When she
finally pulled her helmet off in the driveway, she was grinning from
ear to ear.......

There's a path in the woods that leads to an old stone church, the
roof is long gone and the floor has rotted but you can make out where the
pews used to be and which end was the pulpit. The forest has
reclaimed the churchyard and trees now grow where people prayed. People have
had parties and bonfires here, the walls are now sprayed with graffiti.
What happened. How did this come to be? Where did the faithful

The dog lifted his head off the pillow and said, "You know, she's right."
I looked around to see if I had actually heard correctly.
"She's right", he repeated, "you don't do enough around the house"
I couldn't believe my ears, I must be dreaming.
"All you do is go to work and expect to come home to dinner and clean sheets, you should do laundry once in a while, it wouldn't hurt..."
I was in shock. I stared right at him and watched the words come from his mouth. This was the dog that I rescued, trained and fed! And he was agreeing with HER! .............

He painted each nuance of her figure. He could see her in his mind
and let his brush caress the canvas. The shadow behind the knee, the
glint of gold in her eye reflected from the late day sun. Each morning he
would enter the studio and look upon her. Randy had never been a
great painter, he had sold a few portraits in the park last summer, and as
the tourists went home he returned to his studio and started to paint
'her'. To him, she was perfect, her smile was light and caring, her
long red hair, and the fullness of her lips. He would spend hours
painting, only stopping for the occasional piece of toast or to run an
errand. She consumed him, each stroke of the brush brought him
closer. He began to see her in his dreams and then during the waking hours on
the street he would catch a glimpse of her following him, making sure
he returned home to her............

well, that's it. It has been a year since I started the "Morning!"
series. I hope some of these stories struck a chord and let your
imagination wander for a morning or perhaps a day. I will be starting
a new project in a month. Thanks to each of you for your support.