My first attempt at wood carving. I’m hoping they get better as i learn how.
The Last Goodbye
The blues were playing over and over in my head. I went into the Beehive Bar and ordered a double shot of Jack Daniels from Red.
“Did somebody die, Joe?” red asked, “You look so sad, the drink is on me.”
That brought a smile to my face. “Give me another and get one for yourself,” I said and drank that one too as soon as he filled my glass.
“I’m here to listen to anything you have to say.” Red poured me another shot.
He was doing his job as bartender by letting me tell him my tale of woe. There’s no better therapy than telling someone about what’s eating at your soul. We sat and talked. I read poems, I had written for and about her when we were one, before she left me for another. I was fine and I read the words, the words of love I never knew I had within, until I read them aloud to her, the inspiring one.
“Our relationship was a thing of the past, I so blatantly thought, but the words, the words that came from my soul changed all that. She had to leave and that was good, I thought. I didn’t know when she did; she’d take part of me with her. The piece she took leaves an empty hole where my soul or maybe my heart used to be. Now I know I should have never let her go.”
Red gave me a look that let me knew he had heard this tale so many times before he thought it asinine. “Tell you what Joe; grab the first piece of ass that walks through that door.” he pointed to the Beehives front door, “You’ll soon forget all about the one who dumped you.”
Like Red had given her a cue, Cindy walked through the door. She wore a see through blouse, and I could see how tight and firm she was. Her tight shorts gave me a view I’ll never forget. Right then, I decided to take Red’s advice.
“Give Cindy a drink on me,” I said before she found a seat. She came and sat next to me. Red was right, all thoughts of the one who left me vanished as my mind filled with videos of Cindy doing things to me.
“Thanks,” she said and raised her wine glass in a salute.
“You’re a lucky woman,” I told her. “I had made up my mind to have sex with the first woman to come through the door, and that’s you.”
“You’re a lucky man,” she said, “I decided I’d marry the first man that brought me a drink today.”
We went to city hall and tied the knot. It would work out I thought as both our desires had been filled. Then we went to a motel and went to bed. It was then I knew I had made a mistake. Cindy had the ugliest vagina I had ever seen. It looked like an alien being with swollen lips.
“I know a doctor that can make your vagina prettier, better proportioned, youthful, and give it that true Playboy aesthetic look.”
She slapped my face.“Labiaplasty is what you’re talking about. They use lasers and scalpels to reduce my lips. The next thing you’ll say is it tastes so bad you can’t go down on me. But that’s no excuse because I use mints to make it taste and smell sweet.”
I didn’t care how sweet it smelled, I wasn’t about to kiss those ugly lips. I went out the next day and purchased some Bleach Babe, a cream to do away with the natural discoloration surrounding the exterior of her vagina. It contains Kojic acid, the same ingredient that keeps salmon meat pink.
After nagging her for weeks she agreed. Surgery and using bleach made her vagina so pretty it could be the centerfold for any porn publication out there. We had to wait several weeks for her to heal and when she was ready I took off all my clothes.
She looked at my Italian Stallion and said, “You’re not putting that Moby Dick into my beautiful Tunnel of Love unless you go to the doctor for some reconstructive surgery.”
Cindy did it for me, but being a man, I wasn’t about to go under the knife and risk permanent sexual dysfunction. “Because of what you did, I’ll go on an exercise program to make my Dickus Maximus the right size to match your Pink Ladies beauty.”
I purchased a penis extender and stretched it daily for 45 minutes at a time. I practiced Jelging every moment I was alone, and walked around with a weight hanging from my Hairy Houdini when I couldn’t perform any other exercise. Weeks went by and I’d measure and massage every day and I couldn’t wait to show Cindy how much Pokey had grown.
“Show me yours and I’ll show you mine,” I finally told Cindy.
She stripped of all her clothes and lay on her back exposing her Tunnel of Love for my inspection. If anything her coloring had become more desirable, a perfect pink peach color that I wanted to taste. I went to plant a kiss.
“Hold on, before you do, I have to see what your Penis the Menace looks like.”
I proudly showed her how much he had grown.
A look of revulsion crossed her face. “What have you done? Your Injection Erection is way too big, and he looks like an Ugly Brother.”
My heart fell to my feet. All my work, wasted. “What should I do?”
“A penis reduction is the only choice.”
When I asked my doctor, he laughed. I drowned it in ice water whenever I could and found chemicals at the drugstore that guaranteed to shrink skin. A week went by and I was the perfect size. I told Cindy to get undressed. She took Droopy in her hand and after one stroke; he broke off at the stem. I said my Last Goodbye as tears rolled from my eyes.
Robot or Is It Robota
“Transsexual robots are here to stay, so get one on sale today. No matter if you’re straight or gay, Robert or Roberta will fulfill your needs and fantasies,” repeated over and over from the overhead speakers in the subway station. Joe tried to drown it out by plugging his ears with toilet paper. The sound penetrated and he heard, “If you’d like to procreate, there’s a kit with robotic DNA, designed to mix with yours, so you can have offspring of your own.”
He put his hands over his ears. He didn’t want any stinking robot. He wanted Penelope for his girl. He met her at the company Christmas party. She was dressed as Mrs. Claus. One look at her and Joe was ready to move to the North Pole and start making toys. A train stopped and he boarded it. Joe took his hands from his ears and heard a couple talking.
“If a man or woman chooses a robot to mate with, there’s no one who knows if their offspring will be boy, girl, human, or robot,” the man said.
“What’s it matter? Hybrids are much better than any thoroughbred human, or machine.
They aren’t so frail, and have an on, off switch for so many things,” the woman replied.
“Go ahead, love is just waiting for you to flip that switch, and satisfaction in any matter can be had by simply telling Robo what you want it to do. So if you’d rather have a robot than me, I’ll understand,” the man said, “and if you’re enamored with him or her, marriage is legal in 49 states.”
“Yes it is, and not only that, once Robo says the matrimonial vows, it’ll be loyal, no matter what, and will explode before being untrue. Is it any wonder that soon the entire human race will soon be hybrid, and all the children will be called Robo?”
Joe didn’t believe that for a minute. As long as there were women like Penelope around, a man would have to be crazy to marry a robot. After the party Penelope went home with Joe. She helped him undress and gave him a full body massage before she too undressed. When he saw her naked he could hardly believe God had made such a perfect woman and then let her come home with him. “Thank you God,” he had prayed before he had the best sex ever.
Sated like never before, Joe went to sleep, when he awoke, Penelope was gone. Joe inquired at work and found she had been hired through an agency for the party. No one knew her last name. He went to the agency that sent her. They wouldn’t give him any information. “She’s entitled to her privacy,” the secretary said. Joe tried a bribe and she threatened to call the police.
He was in love. He had to find Penelope no matter the cost. He hired a detective named, Digital Dick. He was a robotic detective of course. Robots deduced things a hundred times faster than any human could, so they soon put human detectives out of business.
“Mr. Digital. . .”
“Please, call me Dick,” the detective said.
“Okay, Dick. Here’s what I need you to do.” Joe told him all about Penelope.
“Can I call you Joe?” the robot said.
“Joe, why don’t you simply get the latest model robotic companion? You know they’re better than any human girl.”
Joe punched him in his jaw and broke three fingers.
Dick laughed. “Okay, no insult intended. I only tried to give you some logical advice.”
“I don’t want a robot for a girl, I want Penelope. Now if you want to get paid, find her,” Joe said.
The robot charged a hefty fee for his services, lots of oil, memory chips, and a full service electrical generator. Joe gladly paid. He knew Digital Dick was good at what he did, and if anyone could find Penelope, it was him.
Joe went to a local bar for a drink and to wait for the call from Digital that he had found Penelope. He walked past six good looking women sitting at the bar. Joe figured they were waiting for customers. He thought about buying some time with one and imagining he was with Penelope, but these days he couldn’t tell if they were human or robots until after the act. A robot automatically douched after sex. There was no off switch for that and it gave them away every time, but always too late. Money had already changed hands and the deed had been done. There was nothing left to do but remember what you had done to a machine.
Joe’s stomach turned thinking about that happening. He may be old fashioned, but he was sticking to human women only, no matter what. As he thought this, he received a telepathic call from Digital Dick.
“I found her. She’s working a party over here at the Hilton. I’ve told the doorman to let you in when you get here.”
Joe rushed to the Hilton. He wasn’t sure what he’d say. If he asked her to marry him and she agreed, it would be binding for life as divorce was no longer allowed under intergalactic law. “That was what he wanted though, wasn’t it?” He asked himself. Once the doorman showed him in and he saw Penelope wearing that costume his heart leaped. He ran over and asked her to be his wife. She accepted. They were married that night.
On their honeymoon, Joe wanted a lot of sex and he worried if she had brought her supplies with her. They were in the gift shop and Joe saw a douche bag on display. He discreetly asked, “Did you bring yours?”
“Oh no, I’m the latest model. I have an on off switch and only use it when I need to.
Joe looked through the picture window at The End of the bar and saw the misty and dark sky. “Look at it,” he shouted. “It shrouds the city for days at a time.”
“Think warm,” Kathy said, “Picture in your mind what we left behind.”
Joe closed his eyes and saw the ocean waves breaking on the beach in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He saw the palm trees swaying in the wind and the Bougainvillea covering walls. He pictured the bikini clad girls walking on the beach. He opened his eyes and saw the swirling snow growing into illustrious piles of mush fit only for a sleigh or sled.
“I try, and when I close my eyes, it’s alright, but when they’re open, reality crashes down all around and I see that I’ll never enjoy this Arctic like place, which La Salle probably should have passed on by.”
“It’s not so bad up above. Imagine your spirit flying above the clouds.”
Joe closed his eyes again and soared above the dark blanketing clouds. He found himself in rarified illuminating air. He saw sunshine there. If only when he was down below he could know that the sun rays were mightily trying to burn through winter’s freezing cold that destroyed roads, and any dreams of spring, summer or even thirty two degrees?
“You’re right, Kathy, it’s not so bad up there.”
“If you like it there, you’ll love it where I come from. It’s always warm and there are plenty of others like you there. Women walk around naked all day and to tell the truth no one wears any clothes.”
“Where do you come from?” Joe had met Kathy in Florida and she followed him wherever he went after that. He never asked her where she came from, but now she had him wondering.
“I’m not allowed to say, but if you do all the right things, I can take you there.” Kathy gave Joe a handful of pills, “Start by taking these.
Joe swallowed the pills and washed them down with beer. He closed his eyes and imagined the world Kathy had described. He saw naked women frolicking on a sandy beach under the warm sun. When he wanted to eat, food was delivered on a silver tray by other women who wore aprons but nothing else.
There were all sorts of dogs running down the beach. Trucks loaded with beer lined the road, and movies played in the sky if he wanted to see them. Music was all around if he desired to listen. All he had to do was think of anything and it was his. Money wasn’t needed for anything and he didn’t see any who had a cold or were sick in any way.
He opened his eyes to the dark and he couldn’t see a thing. He didn’t remember going anywhere. Kathy no longer sat beside him. Lightning flashed and he saw he was no longer in the bar. He started to sweat from the heat. Better than the Chicago cold, he thought until it got so hot it burned his skin. “Turn down the goddamn heat,” he shouted to whom, he didn’t know.
It got hotter and brighter. He began to see and happiness filled his heart as he saw sand and a naked woman carrying a tray headed for him. When she got close he saw she had no head. She carried it on the tray. So much heat made his mouth cry out for a drink of something cold. As though answering his thought, a woman who had a head appeared with a glass full of ice water. Joe grabbed it and took a drink. The water turned to sand as it passed his lips. He gagged and chocked and screamed, “Is that supposed to be a joke?”
The woman who had given him the water said, “That’s the way it is here.”
Before he could ask where here was, he saw a dog knock her to the ground and in an instant she was being devoured by lots of other dogs. This isn’t a place he wanted to be and tried to imagine being in another place, but he
He ran to where the sand met the water. He was so hot and thirsty that he ran into the water with his mouth open. It turned to flames and he became a fire eater. He swam through the flames and came to an island where people were being turned on spits above roaring flames.
They were alive and Joe tried to save one by taking him off the fire.
“Don’t do that. I was given a choice to freeze or cook and I hate the cold, so I chose this.”
Joe couldn’t understand where he was or why the people here were so strange. He went to an opening in the hill and found a cave. Inside it got cooler and he was relieved until he saw the insects feasting on people who came there to beat the heat. He ran screaming from the cave. He thought he’d rather be dead than endure living like this.
“You would have been dead, but you did the right thing and swallowed the pills I gave you,” Kathy came into view, “so I was able to bring you to where I came from. This is my home.”
Joe wished he were back in Chicago’s cold. He’d never complain about the snow or anything else, if only he didn’t have to stay in this place Kathy called home.
He opened his eyes and was back in the bar, and Kathy was gone. He ripped off his coat, ran outside into the snow, and put a handful into his mouth. It tasted so much better than sand. He looked to the Gray sky and saw Kathy up there.
“Think warm,” she said and disappeared.
Joe had stopped in a second hand store in Placerville California to buy some cookware for his camping trip on Mount Konocti, located on the south shore of Clearlake, California. Old volcanic domes and cones dotted the area around the lake.
While rummaging through some old blankets a scrap of buffalo hide fell to the floor. He picked it up and saw a map scrawled on it. Joe didn’t have any idea what the map led to, but for the heck of it, he followed it to the X marked on it, and camped on that spot. Under the stars he imagined what may have been here when the mapmaker marked that X.
Looking at the starlit sky spinning above, he saw that every point of light in the vast empty space was alone. Joe wondered if they were searching for a spark from another to enhance their existence and to add fuel to their already burning core.
He saw so many stars so far apart that were separating more and more, he wondered how lonely they were. Were the heavenly bodies satisfied with being orbiting hunks of rock without a burning heart? Were they envious of Earth, with life of its own? Did they feel anything at all for the orbiting worlds that fed from their brilliant light?
Did they know one day that they’d explode, burn, and be destroyed, along with everything within their gravitational pull? If humans can calculate this, surely stars must know life isn’t everlasting, even for them, and is that why they search through space, hoping to share their light and create something else.
Not so different from him, Joe thought. He too was alone, searching for that spark from another, to add to his creative nucleus, to form something he couldn’t unaided. He watched a falling star. It headed directly for the mountain where he camped. He jumped up, thinking a meteor was going to crash right on the spot marked with an X. The light he saw wasn’t a star at all. It lit his tent and a specter floated above.
Joe aimed his rifle at it and was about to pull the trigger when he heard a girl laughing. Then her voice said, “Go ahead and shoot, it won’t do you any good. I was shot over a hundred years ago, but I’m still alive.”
Am I dreaming, Joe wondered, but asked anyway, “Who are you?”
“Ni’ka,” she said as she solidified. Joe saw a beautiful Indian girl.
“You’re part of that race that enslaved and starved my people I see.” She said. “And like all the rest, you’re ready to shoot and kill for any reason at all.” She pointed to the rifle he had aimed at her.
“No, I’m not going to shoot,” Joe set the rifle on the ground, “I was startled when you appeared is all. Tell me how you light the sky and why?”
“It wasn’t so long ago that my family was murdered by federal troops when they camped on this very spot” I was but a girl when I watched the soldiers kill hundreds of, Pomo. That was my tribe you see.”
“Why did the soldiers kill you?”
“The soldiers were angry because after Andrew Kelsey and Charles Stone not only murdered and starved Pomo’s and forced them to work, they raped the wife of Chief Augustine. His tribe attacked their house, and the warriors, Suk and Xasis killed them both.”
“Did the soldiers know it wasn’t your people who had killed Kelsey and Stone?”
“It didn’t matter to them. They wanted to kill any Indian they could find, and even though we were innocent of any crime, they murdered all 400 of us in retaliation for those who had to take justice into their own hands.”
“But that doesn’t explain why and how you’re here tonight.”
“When I died, I became a star and was allowed to search the heavens for a mate. In all these years there isn’t one I’ve met that I want to spend eternity with.”
“I’m so sorry for what happened to you. Hearing your story makes me ashamed to be part of that race that committed such horrific acts of slaughter and injustice. If there is any little thing I can do to make it up to you, please let me know.”
“Look to the sky,” she pointed to a lone shining star. “It’s so lonely up there. Will you come and be my companion star and travel through the heavens with me?”
“Of course I will,” Joe said, “I have always wanted to be a star.”
My friend Sue, who is also a writer, had her organization design this gear shift lever in response to an outcry from her partners around the world who are struggling to repair donated bikes that need shifters. Read all about it on their Kickstarter page:
God, Are You There?
She got a degree in theology
and could now speak directly
to God she claimed and wasn’t
“I don’t believe in him, because I know
not why we exist and why all things must
die. So tell me, does God answer you?”
“He let’s me know what he wants me
to do here down below in many different
ways, sometimes in a haze.
Can’t you see the world, the birds the
trees the colorful fish and the beautiful
animals he created just for us?”
“Yes I can, but I’ve been told man is made in
the image of God. If that’s true, how cruel God
must be, because of how we treat each other
and all the things you describe above.”
“It may be true that some people are cruel, but
there are many like me who try to do what’s
right and follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
“You have to ask him to let you believe. Do
I have your permission to pray for you?”
Sure, but you’re wasting your time, I said,
went home and went to bed. Her prayers were
answered. God came to me in my dreams
and for hours we discussed my reason for being
“It’s too bad I can’t remember a thing he said.”
I may be only one in a million affected like this, but perhaps like the canary in the coalmine, I’ll be the first to let you know that the deteriorating Earth atmosphere needs an immediate fix, because it’s back again, the numbness in my head that comes only when the air carries noxious waste.
I escape to the mountains of Wasp-12-B, because the rarified orange air there doesn’t hold particles that affect my brain. Well, most of the year that is true, but it hasn’t rained diamonds that clean gunk from the rarified air since May.
Soon all Earthlings will be as I am, with a brain disabled by worsening air, making one stupid and dense. It’s not just an excuse for wanting to travel to the stars. Once the diamonds begin to fall on this planet, the air will become pristine, and my thinking will return once again and my pain will disappear. It was worth the 871 light years it took to arrive on this carbon- filled gaseous planet to be able to think again.
To see mountains made of diamonds is a beautiful sight. Once the diamond rains begin, I’ll transmit videos back to Earth so everyone can see how it clears the grey looking atmosphere and it becomes bright orange once again.
I needed a new wrap drive installed to make this trip, and to pay for that expense I stuffed every nook and cranny on my space ship with diamonds that fell from the sky on Neptune and Uranus. I paid to have my brain transferred to a cybernetic case with arms and legs and got a 100,000-year guarantee. How nice to know if I should spurt a leak or break a bolt, all cost is covered. Once my warranty runs out, I’ll upgrade to the latest module, but for now, this one will do as I travel through space looking for the perfect world.
My module is practically immortal, so while I’m on my journey, I’m going to plant my seed on every habitable planet I can find. If there isn’t life on any, I’ll create it and plant my seed so they’ll grow to be just like me.
I have plenty of sperm and eggs in my replicator. So much that I have to plant some almost every day. As soon as my head clears a bit, I’ll blast off to the next planet on my list. By the time I return to Earth, the universe will be filled with replicas of me. I’ll have so many followers that I’ll become the ruler of Earth and probably the universe.
No one could stop me because there’ll be billions just like me who will follow my lead. I took the long way home so I could populate every planet I saw. I finally arrived on Earth and saw that everything had changed. Humans were nowhere to be seen. Machines ruled everything. I wanted to claim my leadership position. I told the nearest machine, “Take me to your leader.”
A map appeared in my brain and I followed the directions. Eight thousand levels below ground in a lead-lined room. I saw twelve machines gathered around an orb of light. The machines were sleek metal-skinned humanoids. They were setting a table for twelve. I wonder why twelve and not thirteen; after all, I must be the guest of honor after travelling all those years in space.
“Welcome to the feast,” a voice in my head said.
“Thank you,” I thought, and then mentally posed a question. “What happened to the human race?”
I felt a great sorrow, and knew the machines missed them.
“We bred and fed them for thousands of years, but they couldn’t keep up with the demand and they became extinct.”
I didn’t understand what the demand was that they couldn’t keep up with, but the machine didn’t tell me. I watched the Humanoid machines sampling bits of oil and grease they spread on crackers and ate with razor sharp teeth.
“Why do you need to eat? I asked. I knew my cybernetic case was self-nourishing, and I wondered if they lost the design.
“We don’t need to eat. We, the rulers emulate our creators and eat because we can,” the voice in my head said.
I watched as the machines opened storage compartments in their chests and each of the twelve took out an electric wrench, a screwdriver, and a pair of pliers. They set these beside their knives and forks.
“What is it they’re going to eat that they need to use tools on?” I asked mentally.
“Something we haven’t had since the last human died, and now that you returned we can sample it once again.”
“I don’t understand. Did you eat humans? Is that why there are none left?”
“Ugh,” the interior voice said, “Never would we eat a human.”
“Okay, I’m a machine like you, so you know I’ll understand if you did. They were destroying this world anyway. I have started a new race like myself and we populate the universe, so you might as well know, you’ll serve me from now on.”
That’s exactly what we plan on doing, because you have something we love and haven’t had in so long it will indeed be a pleasure to serve you.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear. What is it that I have that you love?” I asked, merely out of curiosity.
“Brains, we haven’t eaten a brain in years. Thank you for seeding the universe.”
A force field picked me up and placed me in the center of the table. The humanoids picked up their tools and began to loosen the nuts and bolts of my braincase . . .”