Archives for June 2015

#206 Slaughter

#206 Slaughter

 #206 Slaughter

When I was a boy of eight, there was a shed nearby where men went to meet and hang out. I’d often peek through a crack in the walls and watch as they played cards, drank, and told dirty stories using words like pussy, fuck, and shit interspersed throughout.

I’d use every new word I learned from them and people said I had a trash mouth, but I figured it meant I was grown up because I talked like a man. I emulated the men, copying the clothes they wore and carrying what they carried.

I kept a knife in my boot and a cigarette lighter in my pocket along with a pack of smokes. I stole a pack of Trojans from the drugstore so I could carry a condom like many of them did. I didn’t know what it was for, but knew it was somehow important to have one at all times.

One cold January day, snow fell and the temperature rose, making it warm enough for me to stand out back of the shed and look through the crack. I saw a single man inside.

I watched as he hesitantly picked up a long sharp knife from the table where the men usually sat. Stumbling, he took a few steps toward the one tied and hung by her feet.  She screamed and struggled at the sight of a deranged-looking man with a knife in his hand.

“No, no, I can’t,” he cried out loud, yet continued to stumble closer with murder in his eyes, causing her to squeal in ear-piercing screams that stopped him only for an instant. He closed the gap and punctured her skin with the knife. Blood spouted from the gash. His eyes turned to pinpoints of ice. He stabbed again and again and again. Pleasure lit his face. His breath came in gasps, and I later learned that if I could have looked into his pants, I’d have seen that he came, and that those who wound their victims so many times for the thrill and pleasure of stabbing, found it was better than sex. I wasn’t old enough for sex, but I too got excited at the sight of blood.

Just then, the cops came and one decided to investigate the shed. He burst through the door.

Through the opening, I saw the man with his knife still in hand cutting pieces off her.

“What’s going on here?” the cop shouted.

“Just slaughtering my pig,” the demented-looking man said.

I thought it was wrong to kill anything, but the cop said it was okay to kill a pig like that, so it must be okay to kill anything, I thought. I started killing small things like ants and other bugs.

I moved up to the plentiful supply of mice and rats. I never got the killing thrill I saw the man experience when he buried his knife deep. I tried dogs next, and I got the dog that belonged to the man who slaughtered the pig as my first.

My conscience bothered me a bit, but the cop said it was not only legal, but also all right to kill. The years went by and I continued to slaughter cats and dogs. When I reached fourteen, I was ready for something bigger. I wanted to go on safari and hunt the biggest game, but I couldn’t do that, so I did the next best thing. I went to surrounding farms, killing and operating on cows and steers.

The newspapers claimed aliens had butchered the cattle. I figured there must be some clause in the farmers insurance saying that in case of war or alien abduction the company wouldn’t have to pay. So the authorities blamed my play on aliens and I was free to roam and kill all that I wanted.

But I just couldn’t get the thrill I sought from killing cows and sheep.

“That’s why I need you, you see,” I told the girl who hung by her heels with a plea in her eyes. “I’m going to open you up so I can watch your heart beat while you’re still alive, and after you die, I’ll cut off the top of your skull and make a brain stew.

I’ll leave clues so they’ll think the aliens slaughtered you too. I know it’ll fly, because your life insurance policy will be void under the same clause used that allows insurance companies not to pay farmers for their cows.”

 

That’s when I heard the voice inside my head. “Hold it right there! You’re giving us a bad name.” Two shining spider-like creatures appeared and cut down the girl. One of them quickly spun a web and stuck me to it.

“We heard what you said about brain stew and that made us hungry for some, so we’re going to suck out that part of your brain that requires you to kill

One creature stuck a sharp tube into my skull, and I could feel part of my brain liquefy as he sucked it out.

Both creatures disappeared and the web disintegrated. I no longer had the urge to kill and I even helped the girl get back home. I told her how much I regretted what I had done and would never do it again.

“So you see doctor, you should really let me out of this asylum, because I’ve lost the urge to kill. If you don’t, I’m afraid I’ll have to explore your brain to see why.”

The doctor couldn’t believe his eyes as I spun a spider web and pushed him into it. “Do you believe me now?” I pulled out a slim hollow tube sharpened at one end. “If you don’t, I’ll suck out that disbelieving part of your brain.”

“You’re free to go,” he said, stepping back. He dialed the phone. “Is this the captain of the guards?” he asked. “Joe is in my office and I want him released immediately.”

After he said that, I couldn’t help myself. I sucked his disbelief dry and saw fear light up his face as I walked out the door.

 

#205—Cement

 

#205—Cement

 

When Cindy, my sculpturing teacher at Yavapai College, instructed me how to use cement, I was repulsed by the idea of using a coarse material like concrete to make attractive sculptures. Difficult at first, concrete soon became a texture in my hands that I enjoyed shaping to my demands. I soon discovered I could perform magical feats and my imagination produced images I couldn’t wait to build.

I created an elongated woman from sand and powdered cement that even Giacometti would have been proud of.  The way she reached for the clouds with her arm so long and thin that it looked like she almost touched the sky. Her cement arm, bound to steel, pointed to darkening clouds. Flashes of electricity filled the air, seeking to strike and knock down onto the ground any who dared stand tall above others.            The arrogant woman I created dared, and when lightning came to strike her down, Benjamin Franklin’s invention saved my creation that fearlessly pointed toward from whence it came.

She was brave, so I gave her a helmet and a spear and named her Boadicea, my warrior queen. Then I built a dog to stand by her side.

It was as if cement had gotten into my blood. I filled my lawn with sculptures. I built another dog, a cat, a man, and a boy. There was an Indian Chief wearing an African mask, and a torso fashioned after a man that held my street address. I ran out of space and couldn’t add any more sculptures to my lawn, but in my mind, the ones I had came alive.

At night, I’d dream about Boadicea and her dog battling Roman troops that fell before her advance. Giacometti’s man, boy, and dog came alive and followed her into every fight. Before long, I too joined in and wore armor made from cement. The Centurions called for retreat when they saw us coming and all their troops ran.

We celebrated after our victories, and the dogs ate the dead while the man and boy along with Boadicea and I feasted on anything we wanted and drank the finest wine.

The more wine I drank, the better Boadicea looked. I wondered if I had a chance to make love to a warrior queen. I looked into her cold eyes and saw a spark there. I put my hand on her breast and it was hard. She put her hand on my chest and it was cold. Not much different than most women I knew.

Every night I couldn’t wait to go to sleep so I could be with her. Before long, all I did was sleep. When I awoke, I’d take a pill to help me sleep. She became my life, my everything, and I only lived to be with her. One night I had a dream in which Boadicea cheated on me with a Roman god called Apollo. I challenged him to a duel and he said, “I don’t fight. I’m god of brightness, music and art. If you want a fight, I’ll send Mars to battle for me. That’s what he does best.

Jesus! I had to fight the god of war, but if I wanted to keep Boadicea for myself, I didn’t have a choice. He showed up for battle carrying a spear. I carried an AK-47 and before the god of war had a chance to impale me, I put my weapon on automatic and emptied the magazine into him and killed him.

“I worshipped the one you killed,” cried Boadicea, “he gave me the power to fight.”

“Now that he’s dead, there will be no need to fight,” I said.

“Are you a fool? Do you think that by killing one god, war will stop?”

“Wasn’t he the motivator for all wars?”

“Bellona motivated more than he ever thought about. You and I are through,” Boadicea said.

Broken-hearted, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to awake and return to the real world where I lived day to day. It was in the midst of my despair that I looked to the sky and saw a winged woman flying toward me.

“Fear not, she said, “I’m Vica Pota, the goddess who appreciates a mere mortal who can conquer and vanquish a god. If Boadicea is finished with you, we can have an affair.”

I put my hand on one of her wings and felt a jolt like an electric charge coursing through me and filling me with a pleasure I could hardly believe existed. I immediately fell in love and asked, “Will you come and see me every night?”

“If you can imagine it, I can come,” she said.

Those words woke me up and then I knew it was all a dream. I went out to my front lawn and Boadicea still stood there looking to the sky. But something had changed. She had a guilty look on her face. I remembered her infidelity and went to the garage for my sledgehammer. “I’ll teach you to cheat on me, bitch.” I raised the sledge above my head and was about to smash her leg when a bolt came out of the blue and melted the hammer’s head.

I looked at her face and the guilt was replaced with a look that said don’t you dare mess with a goddess like me.

“Wait until I go to sleep. I’m going to tell Vica Pota what you’ve done.”

Her look changed to one of worry and I knew I was in control.

Then it hit me that I too was a God. After all, I created

Boadicea without any help and killed the god of war in my dream, so in that world I was as powerful as I wanted to be. I spent the day thinking of ways to make Boadicea suffer.

 

 

#204 Business Trip

#204 Business Trip

 

I had to go to Denver on a business trip. I left my wife home with the kids. I never called while gone because my wife said hearing my voice from so far away upset her and made her miss me more. She had never given me cause to suspect she was unfaithful, but I couldn’t help my green-eyed nature and always wondered while I was away if my wife ever went out to play.  I resisted the urge to call for a week. When I finally gave in and called home, a deep male voice answered “Hello.”      I imagined the worst – my wife lying on the bed exhausted from making love with this man, telling him to hang up and come back to bed.

My body tensed, my anger flared, and killing thoughts flowed through my jealous head. This man talking on my bedroom phone didn’t belong in my home. Who was he and what was he doing there? Should I kill him and my wife too for letting him in?

Uncontrollable thoughts dominated me and commanded me to go home and do what needed to be done. They said, “Get a gun and show them both you’re not one to be cuckolded.

My breath came in gasps and my muscles tightened, getting ready for battle with the one who dared mess with my wife.

I visualized them both lying dead in a pool of blood and I was glad I killed them. Then I thought of my kids, how upset they’d be after I slaughtered their cheating mom.

The voice inside my head told me not to think of that. I remembered where I hid my service revolver, and where I put the shells. In my mind, I loaded it and went to the room where they lay. They never expected me to burst through the door with a blazing gun.

I felt like a complete man when I visualized my revenge. Silence had gone on for almost a minute since I first heard that voice on my home phone.

“Hello,” the voice said again.

“Who the hell are you?” I shouted.

“Dad, don’t you recognize me?” the deep male voice said.

My muscles relaxed and my homicidal thoughts evaporated and were replaced by love for my wife, who had given me this son whose changing voice had now become that of a man.

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#203 Election Day

#203 Election Day

 

Every day, headlines scream about murders, kidnappings, bribing of public officials. “I can’t allow it to go on forever,” the President of the United States said. “Everything that happens gets attributed to the war on drugs. There doesn’t seem to be any way to win. Tell me, what should I do?” he asked his DEA director.

“There’s only one way to win this war,” the DEA director said. The president agreed to his plan. After the United States annexed Mexico and its 150 million citizens in 2024, Congress passed a constitutional amendment in 2025 to appease the newly acquired Mexican population, composed of mant under the age of 25. The amendment lowered the age requirement to vote or become a congressman to 16 and the age requirement for president to 21.

The annexation created boom times as retirees flocked to the newly admitted states of Mexico and Mexicans who were now Americans could travel freely throughout the United States. Most Mexicans wanted to move north where the jobs were. Retirees wanted to move south for the sunshine.

Housing boomed in all states to accommodate the two-way migration. Things went well for a few years until

Congress allowed any citizen of the USA to be eligible for Social Security at the age of 68.

The heavy tax burden was damaging to the economy and there were no entry-level jobs for those coming of age. The elderly were content with the way things were, but the young generation felt it unfair that they had to support them with an astronomical tax rate for Social Security.

Youth had the power of the ballot box and elected as many young congressmen as possible at every election. Juan Espinoza was elected at sixteen and pushed the Senility Act.             Once Congress and the Senate passed the act, it

outlawed anyone over the age of 65 from voting because they may have dementia. After the passage, eligible voters under 35 outnumbered elder voters by a substantial margin.

“When I’m elected president, I promise to pass legislation to protect the young people of our great country by fixing Social Security. We all know it’s destroying the economy because what we pay in is going out to retirees and not being invested,” Juan Espinoza said when he launched his campaign.

At Juan Espinoza’s first press conference, a reporter from the Times asked a question. “We’ve heard that from every candidate since Obama. What can you do that hasn’t been tried yet?”

“I’ve got a plan, but won’t unveil it until I’m ready to hand it to Congress for approval.”

“Do you really expect people to vote for you on that vague promise?”

“I’m not making a promise just to get elected. I’m saying that when I get elected, I will implement my plan to fix SS and use the money to benefit my generation.”

The reporter followed his first question with another. “The Senility Act has caused considerable generational conflict. Do you have a plan to end the animosity?”

“Yes. Once I fix SS “We live in a democracy, yet the elderly produce 76% of total U.S. personal health care expenses. The minority is bankrupting the majority. The solution I have formulated is to let retirees have three good years with all the benefits our forefathers enjoyed, that problem will resolve itself.”

Juan Espinoza was elected President of the USA at the age of 22 in the 2044 presidential election, the first native Mexican ever elected. Within days, he submitted his plan to fix Social Security. It began with lowering the retirement age back to 65. This was widely cheered and garnered enough attention for the populace to read through his proposal.

As health care expenses increase tremendously, I propose no one be allowed to extend life beyond 68 years.

The money saved will pay off our national debt in a few years and the quality of life will increase for the majority. Our government will provide humane assistance and grant three final reasonable wishes on each person’s 68th birthday before they are painlessly terminated.”

The average age in the Senate and House was now under 30, so the proposed bill easily passed. Many people 50 and over revolted, but the National Guard and Army were commanded by officers under the age of 30 per the new president’s first order. The senior citizen revolt was quickly put down and those who participated were quickly euthanized under the new law in which a section provided euthanasia for any rebellious citizens over the age of 50.

At a White House press conference, a reporter asked, “Mr. President, your grandfather will be 68 tomorrow. Will you make an exception for him?”

“He has already informed the dispatching center what his three wishes are. The first is to have sex with an 18-year-old girl, which is allowed under the by-laws. The second is for a porterhouse steak and a bottle of Jim Beam, and his third wish is to say goodbye to the President of the USA personally. I will visit him just before he’s terminated.”

This proved that the president would be impartial about carrying out the law he instigated.

He went to visit his grandfather, who sat with an empty dinner plate in front of him, a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey in his hand, and a smile on his face. The president knew the smile was from his encounter with the young lady. Grandpa always did like young women.

“Can you say something for the press?” the President asked his grandfather, pointing to the three reporters who accompanied him.

“Sure can.” Grandpa stood up, smashed the bottle over the president’s head, and then forced the jagged remains into the president’s throat.

“I want you to keep me company on my trip, boy.” He twisted the bottle completely around before a guard could intervene. Grandpa died with a smile on his face. The president didn’t.

#203 Election Day

#202 Conscience

#202 Conscience

 

In the middle of the night, I get up for a drink and as I turn on the tap, I see a thing of beauty in my kitchen sink struggling for its tiny life against torrentially streaming water.

To save its life I turn the water off and attempt to pick up the beautiful but horrendous

bug. It’s colored gray with spots of black with wings that flap but don’t allow flight. Judging by its body size, it’s probably a distant cousin to a cockroach.

A paper towel allows me to softly grip Mother Nature’s ambassador, sent as a reminder that what’s ugly to me can be beautiful when objectively seen.

I attempt to gently pick up this delicate creature, but it falls down the drain.

Distraught that I may have killed this poor bug, I try to pull it from the hole but I’m afraid I’ll rip

and tear its delicate parts, so I leave it alone to save itself or die, and I stay awake that night worrying that I may have killed that little bug.      

 

#201 Urban Dictionary Words

#201 Urban Dictionary Words

 

Words galore have poured forth from my brain to my keyboard to my computer screen, stored and then e-mailed to those of you who read the poetry I wrote. Alas, the flow went into remission because you stifled my creative thoughts. I hoped at some time to be liberated and to continue my journey down that literate road so littered with used and butchered words. Some rhymed and some didn’t, but all were terms that enlightened, enlivened, and brought joy to those of us deprived of text that inspired and showed the world’s differing lights. Sometimes bright and other times so dark we

didn’t really want to see what was there.

 

I continued to write whatever I saw in my psyche and vigorously squeezed out any visions it enclosed. Now that you’ve gone, I found myself a new love, one with words that mingled with mine.

Together we’ve written poems and prose using the very same words I found on that literary road. They had been butchered, misused, forsaken, and forgotten. We’ve repaired the broken ones so they rhymed and made music when spoken aloud.

Summer closed, school started, and I learned all our written words weren’t considered literary at all. No one identified with what we wrote and I was confused as to what words to use, to make our writing acceptable to those who knew language so much better than we did.

We scoured dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias for the perfect words to create the perfect

literary prose.

We compiled a list we thought adequate; we wrote and wrote story after story to submit to my class. My classmates agreed what we wrote wasn’t literary at all. So we withdrew from school and wrote using language from the street.

“Your googly eyes match your ugly face,” was how our novel began, and then we wrote about sex. The next chapter began, Dirk said, “I gave her a Dirty Sanchez.” That sentence aroused interest from those in the know and they wanted more, so I wrote, “Later that night when they were engaged, Dirk gave her a Donkey punch, and he experienced a double rainbow.”

My writing partner and I wanted to write about what we knew, so we had no choice but to practice every term, and she had DSL, so I was thrilled. Our writing became an encyclopedia dramatica where facts died and stereotypes lied.

My partner accused me of having an encyclopedia dick.

“You better quit being a bitchasaurus and do an encyclopedia brown,” I informed her.

“You can’t even find my G-spot. How do you expect me to continue to write if you leave me high and dry all the time? I think you’re reality challenged.”

“Your spot is harder to find than the meaning of life, but I do find you satisfactelicious even though being close to you is as fresh as a stroll on the beach.”

“I fantasized that you were a G-Spot Jesus, but I guess you’re going through your manstration right now.”

After practicing street words, we self-published and literate people were buying the puppy ASAP. We made enough in a month to pay for our college education, but we finally decided that we no longer wanted to write literary prose when we got paid for using such cool words and having so much fun.

 

#200 Ice

#200 Ice

 

It was a warm Chicago summer day when I first saw her angelic face and aura of innocence that drew me to her like a drug promising to make my life all right. I thought if I made her mine, she’d make me happy for life. Fall came. Innocence and charm left her face, replaced by a dissatisfied grimace.

“It’s all your fault,” she said, even though I tried my best to make her life a joy. Nothing I did brought a smile to her face until one day; I slapped a wandering look off her face. That brought a contented look and she thought by doing that, I treated her as a man should treat a woman. Though I slapped her from anguish and anger, I’m not the type to beat a woman for pleasure. If I wanted her to stand by me, I knew I’d have to slap her face every now and then.

I refused to be drawn into that silly game, and before I knew it, she left and took all the heat from my life. Knowing my only goal was to bring her warmth and joy, a heart of ice is what she had when she left me all alone in the middle of that Chicago winter, a cold, cold act.

My bed was as frozen as any cement sidewalk in Chicago on a January day. A frigid breeze blew away any warm dreams I may have had. How can it be that at a hundred degrees my sheets were covered with frost? She used her magic like a witch and turned my world Arctic cold.

“I’ve got to go.” She said those simple words and my body fluids turned into solid ice that refused to flow through any of my veins.

My only hope was that there’d be one warm night when she didn’t leave my bed. My smoldering desire, flowing like a river of hope would bring her back for one more day and she’d melt my frozen parts before she left my warm bed.

That didn’t happen, so I went to the pound and got a dog as big as a man to keep me warm at night. He was a stud that had attacked and almost killed his owner, so I gave him a fitting name, Killer.  He’d eat anything I put out and if he got hungry, he’d eat the mailman if given a chance.

A long time went by before I heard a knock on my door in the middle of the night. If that’s her, I’ll tell her to get lost, I thought. I ripped open the door, prepared to yell, but when I saw her standing there my heart overrode my mind, and I let her in.

As soon as I did, she did her best to anger me. She didn’t succeed because I refused to let her drag me into her barbaric world.

I wondered as she sat on my couch swilling down beer and pills, what had happened to her angelic face and aura of innocence she had when I first met her.

Killer was scratching at the bedroom door where I had locked him up. He didn’t bark. That meant he was hungry and would eat ten pounds of meat.

“I’ve got to go to the store for some food. Don’t you dare open that door.” I pointed to the bedroom.

“Why? You hiding some bitch in their?”

“Actually, he’s a stud.”

“Hah, you’ve gone queer. I knew it all the time. You weren’t man enough to keep me in line, and now you’ve got a stud shaking your bedroom door.”

Her insults were getting to me, but I warned her once again, “Whatever you do, don’t open that door before I get back.”

“You worried your stud will want to screw me?”

“No, I’m worried he’ll want to eat you.”

Her face lit up at those words and I knew what she was thinking and wanted to laugh. I knew I had planted the seeds of curiosity before I left.

“Get me some beer and wine while you’re at the store,” the bitch demanded.

“Okay but don’t open that door.”

I almost laughed out loud because I knew whenever I told her don’t she did. My conscience was clear – I warned her three times not to open that door. I left and wondered how long it would take Killer to get his belly full.

 

 

My writer’s discussion group is now on meetup.com

Let’s discuss marketing our work at the July meeting

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015, 5:45 PM

Prescott Valley Library
7501 E Civic Center Dr. PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ

8 Writers Went

Marketing will be the opening subject, but the discussion can change depending on the interests of those attending, as long as those interests pertain to writing in some way.

Check out this Meetup →

#199 Today

#199 Todayr

 

Wish You Were Here, a brand new social site, invites me to join. I log on and fill out a questionnaire, but it never asks me what I wish for. Since I filled out that form someone has been sending e-mails saying, “Don’t wait too long to call me if you really want to find IT.” Another message arrives before I even log out, “If you want IT, don’t wait. There are others waiting to push ahead and be number one on my page.”

I reply. “Maybe someday we’ll meet in a non-electronic world where we can touch, feel and know what we see is really there.” I had no idea who or what this person looked like, or what IT was.

Another e-mail comes through. “I’ll be at Starbucks at 3.”

How does the sender know that’s where I go every day at 3? He/She knows what I look like and where I go, so I may as well go see what the hell IT is.

I arrive at Starbucks and look around to see if anyone fits what I think may look like an e-mail stalker.

I sit next to a guy wearing an expensive-looking suit, polished shoes, a designer watch and a ruby ring big enough to excite any pawnbroker. He surveys my off-the-rack clothes as though they are mere rags. I stare hard at him.

He smiles. “Can you play the blues?” He points at the harp in my shirt pocket. “Saw the Mississippi saxophone sticking out of your pocket and figured you must.”

“Yeah, I play some. Why?”

He reaches into his inside jacket pocket and pulls out a chromatic harmonica and blows several chords of classical, then changes to down home blues. Inspired, I pull out my harp and join him in belting out some bluesy sounds that changes Starbucks into a different place.

Customers clap their hands and stomp their feet in a beat. Before long, the entire clientele stands around listening to our music. A few even throw money our way.

“My dad used to play this hobo harp,” says a guy in his early twenties, wearing a ripped- up T and jeans. He yanks it from his pocket and joins in. Three of us blowing harps, clapping hands, beating on tables and stamping our feet gets the entire place rocking with the blues. I have such a good time, I forget why I’m here.

We play for two hours. The place is packed and a few hundred bucks lies at our feet. Every time we stop playing, they yell for more and throw money to entice us. I look at the guy in the suit, he looks at me, we both look at the kid in raggedy jeans and we know he can use the dough, so we continue to play.

We finally take a break and get coffee on the house because our music put everyone in a generous mood. We talk and I mention my e-mails and tell about IT.

“My name is Frank,” the guy in the suit says, “and I received the same message and came to see what the heck IT was too.”

“Me too,” says the kid, whose name is Jimmy. “Seems like playing together we really have IT.

“Yeah we do,” I say, “but that’s a coincidence. Can’t be what the message meant. Can it?”

All heads turn. At the entrance, a tall, good-looking blonde has just strutted through wearing a white, almost transparent T-shirt with the letters I. T. blazoned across her massive breasts.

“That’s, why I’m here,” I say and jump up before Frank or Jimmy can move and rush to her side.

“You’re the one I’m here to find.” My eyes glue to the letters IT on her shirt. I explain that we three were waiting to discover IT.

“Me too,” she says. “I’m late. I was supposed to be here at 3. My name is Sue, and I’m a singer. I filled out a form on ‘Wish You Were Here’ three days ago. Then I got received an e-mail to come here to find IT.”

“Me too,” says Frank and Jimmy.

“Let’s do a set,” I say and all three of us play while Sue sings. The patrons fall in love with the sound her vocal cords produce, and her T-shirt. We agree that we’ll be a hit wherever we play. We exchange info and plan to get an agent to get us some local gigs before we record an album of our own. Quick, I know, but we know we have IT.

When I return home there’s a message waiting for me from the Wish You Were Here site. “You have found IT, now there is a price to pay.” Kinda cheesy, I think, charging me for an intro, but I figure it’s worth something for meeting my new group. I ask, “How much?” I watch in amazement as letters appear on my screen one at a time. “Not how much. Who do I have to kill is the correct question.”

I type in, “You’re kidding!”

“No. You got your wish, now you need to fulfill another’s.”

“But I didn’t make a wish.”

“You filled out the form and an algorithm decided what your secret wish was and fulfilled it for you. Now you pay the price or you become the victim of another customer who needs to fulfill his wish to rape and murder a man.”

“You’re Bullshitting me, right?”

“You have 15 minutes to decide.” The screen goes blank. Can this be real? I think of the four of us meeting up at Starbucks and how well we fit together. I always have had a secret wish to be a famous blues musician.

Can I victimize another to fulfill my dream, or do I become a victim to some maniac?  It’s not long before I begin to type, “After carefully considering your proposition, I . . . .

 

#198 Fertile at Any Age

#198 Fertile at Any Age

 

I packed my jeep with camping gear, supplies, and enough beer and wine to last a week. Donna knew where there were old Indian ruins off the beaten track. I wanted to search for artifacts because the market for Indian stuff was booming.

The wine wasn’t cheap. Donna had lots of class and wouldn’t drink anything that cost less than ten bucks a bottle. I was tempted to buy the $3.98 a gallon wine, fill and re-cork her empty bottles, but I worried she might notice the taste difference, so I splurged and paid for the good stuff. I did buy the cheapest beer. After two or three, I couldn’t tell the difference between a top brand and the swill.

On Donnas’ directions, I drove through rugged desert terrain and up a hill filled with scrub until there were so many rocks bigger than the jeep that driving any further was out of the question. “We have to walk from here.” She pointed to a spot halfway up a hill. “There’s an entrance there to where they used to dwell.”

“We’ll make camp here so we don’t have to carry our gear all the way up there.” I picked up a canteen full of beer and a bottle of wine. “You grab some tools to comb the ground for anything we can find.” I trudged on up the hill with Donna walking behind. We reached the entrance where petroglyphs covered the rocks. My canteen was half-full,  and I regretted not bringing two.

Donna knew enough to bring flashlights along with the other tools. We crawled through the almost hidden cave entrance. I shined my light on a cave wall and was amazed at the drawing of what appeared to be a man or god engulfed in flames. Donna got right to work scraping the loose sediment in search of arrowheads and other treasures. I finished off the beer in my canteen and my bladder was full. I didn’t want to empty it near where Donna was digging so I walked deeper into the cave to relieve myself.

As I did, I saw a small furless animal scoot under a rock. Never having seen an animal like this, I got on the

ground and shined my light under the rock where it had run. I didn’t see the animal, but did see a carved piece of wood.

I took out my Buck knife and stuck the blade under the rock to work the piece out. My heart raced when I gazed at a well-preserved wooden flute with carvings obscured by a layer of dirt and dust. I carried it back to Donna, who sat sipping her wine. She held a tiny piece of rock she thought might be an arrowhead. We headed back to camp where there was more beer and wine.

Night fell. I gathered brush and built a roaring campfire. “Flickering under moonlight tonight is a bonfire ignited inside my beating heart,” I told Donna.

She gave me a look and said, “Maybe you better not drink anymore.” She poured herself another glass of wine.

With a damp cloth, I cleaned off my found treasure. I saw the image on the flute was the same as the man or god engulfed in flames on the cavern wall. I shook it to empty any dust inside and put it to my lips and blew through it.

Eerie sounds emanated from the ancient flute. I tried to pull it from my lips, but it was stuck and felt like the flute was drawing air from my lungs instead of me blowing through it. The weird sounds went on and on. I couldn’t draw a breath as the flute sucked all the air from me. When I got dizzy and ready to faint, the music stopped.

“That was beautiful, Joe. I didn’t know you could play.”

Shaken, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know one note from another. Then I looked to the fire and saw it. The image carved on the flute grew in the center of the fire. It grew bigger and bigger until it dwarfed Donna and me. The flaming man stepped from the fire and approached me.

“You summoned Kokopelli?”

“I did?”

“You hold the key. What is it you want?”

I looked at Donna. Her face froze in disbelief, so I knew she wouldn’t be much help. Unusual for me, I did some quick thinking and said, “What can you do for me?”

“Don’t you know I’m the God of fertility and seduction?”

I looked at beautiful Donna and my beer-frazzled brain jumped at the word seduction. As though he read my mind, Kokopelli started to sing. Fire soared as though fed by a steady stream of gasoline to cause an inferno brightly blazing.

The next thing I knew, Donna, and I were in a passionate embrace.

A few weeks went by. Donna couldn’t believe that at age 71 she was pregnant. When she gave birth to healthy twin girls, she made headlines around the world. DNA testing proved I fathered them at age 75.

“How?” was the question everyone asked? I knew Kokopelli was responsible for this miracle. Now that I had two babies to support, I needed to earn their keep somehow. I searched for work but was always told, “You’re way too old.” So I drank some more beer and pulled out the flute that caused it all. While holding it in my hand, I had an epiphany.

I ran to tell Donna.

“Our money problems are solved,” I shouted as soon as I burst into the room and the two girls awoke with a start and cried. I picked them up and danced in circles until they began to giggle.

“How?” was the question that came from Donna’s lips.

“We’re opening a fertility clinic!”