Archives for flash fiction

#101 Dirty Bucko

Whats Cooking

Tomorrow I will have posted 100 short stories. I only have 8 patrons following me. I’m wondering if it’s worthwhile to continue posting stories. What do you think??????

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#99 What’s Cooking


I sat quietly at my desk when my wife said, “What are you thinking about?”

She expected me to say, “Nothing, I was only thinking of you,” but I surprised her when I said, “I often wonder when I get to heaven if Filet of Soul will be dinner that night and if dessert will be pie in the sky?”

“Sounds like something you’d cook up,” she said with mockery in her voice.

When I told her how my thoughts rumble roll and circle into sizzling uncertainties about the afterlife, that her scorn cooks my composure into passion by adding spice, and silently stirs synaptic energy, mixing it into wayward paths that only add to my sagacity, she cast me a look.

“You’re flowing to dark areas of the psyche and taste our world from behind an impenetrable shade of black that’s jamming logic and rationality,” she said.

“Your dark thoughts control instinctive actions taken without consequence or penance, and this can’t go on.”

“My simmering feelings crave to boil over and are only held back by my humanity lowering the flame, by instinctively knowing moral from immoral, separating insane thoughts created in that black hole of my mind.”

She smiled and said, “If we had the power to turn off unwanted feelings sautéing in our brains we’d never cook up so many neurotic responses and wouldn’t stew because somebody said a few unkind words.”

The end

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Coolpix 9100

#96 Christmas CoolPix 9100


The oncoming headlights on the wrong side of the road blinded Joe. Because of the four Miller Lites he had swallowed when his mother started the same old nag his mental processes acted like molasses, and the glare forced him to close his eyes. With shut eyes her words filled  his head.

“I could never understand why you agreed to allow your ex-wife to move to California with my grandkids.”

He replied, “You know damn well the kids would have been better off being with their mother than with a drunk like me. I just wish you’d shut up and quit reminding me of my kids. How could I know their mother was suicidal? It never occurred to me until after she drove off Pikes Peak with the kids. If the crash hadn’t killed her, I would have.”

The oncoming car sped closer by the second. Joe would not let it force him off the road. If the other driver didn’t turn off, they’d both die, and Joe didn’t give a shit. After spending Christmas Day with his nagging mother, he’d be happy to see his life end. At least he’d be with his kids.

Joe floored the gas pedal and got close enough to see the other driver’s eyes open in surprise when he saw Joe wouldn’t give way. A millionth of a second later the crashing sound of metal echoed all around them as the vehicles crashed, crushed, and broken bodies flew to the road.

A week later, Joe came out of a coma. Doctor Michael told him his parents and the other driver had died and was already buried. Something to be thankful for because Joe knew he wouldn’t have handled his parent’s funeral well after his wish that they’d shut up and never remind him of his kids. Well, they wouldn’t be doing that anymore. As for the other driver being dead, the asshole deserved to die.

“It’s your entire fault, and you crashed on purpose, just to shut me up,” his mother’s voice echoed over and over inside his head. After a few days, Joe discovered if he drank enough beer with shots of peppermint schnapps, the voice would quiet down. It was always there, but not as insistent.

Six months flew by, and Joe had acquired the habit of getting drunk every day after work and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. He’d often drive on the same road where his parents had died, and he relived the accident in his mind and wished he was dead. He’d cross the center line and go as fast as his car could go.

As he sped down the highway, his mind traveled to the past and every night became the night he had killed his parents. It occurred to him that the reason he did this was because he subconsciously hunted the other driver. If he could find him before the crash and run him off the road, Joe’s parents wouldn’t die.

He knew this was illogical but at the same time he had a feeling that he could somehow jump through space- time on this particular road if he went fast enough.

He argued with himself, but his feelings told him it was true. He stopped arguing and agreed with his intuition and souped up his Audi so he could almost reach 200 MPH on the clear desert nights.

The driver who had crashed into Joe’s car was never identified. The two cars were so mangled after the accident it was nearly impossible to tell which car part belonged to which, as both were Audis, the same year, same model. Joe had been thrown clear as the two vehicles burned to rubble and three sets of ashes had been dispersed or buried. Joe knew it was a miracle he was alive, but often wished he wasn’t. Deep down, he knew that was the only reason he drove that road at excessive speed night after night. Every car turned off and gave way to him when he approached on the wrong side of the road. He wondered if he’d ever meet anyone with enough nerve to meet him head on.

Christmas Day rolled around again. Joe found himself on the same highway with his parents in the car. His mother was nagging him the same as last year, but this time when he saw the headlights coming at him, he tried to steer onto the shoulder, but the other car followed him and they met head on. The last thing Joe remembered was his mother snapping a picture of the oncoming car with the Nikon CoolPix camera she had given him for Christmas.

Once again, he woke up in the hospital and received the same report as before. His parents were dead as was the driver of the other car. But this time the camera was thrown clear along with Joe. When released from the hospital, Joe got drunk on the way home. He knew he’d be hunting that other driver for the rest of his life. He remembered his mother snapping a picture just before the collision, and he hooked the camera up to his computer.

There was only one picture on the memory card. It showed the face of the other driver as the two cars collided. He saw something familiar about him, and when he enlarged the picture, Joe fell out of his chair. Were his eyes playing tricks on him?

He knelt in front of the computer screen and saw the image so clear, he knew there was no mistake. He was driving the other car.

The end




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My newest novel “Cryonic Man,”is available at









volume 6 FF


#95 Awakeningshort short cut out copy 

Joe awoke to the shrill screech of his personal robot, Maria. Assigned to him by the ruling mainframe the day he was born. Ever since the “Singularity” in 2026, every human born was required to have a personal robot by a council of ruling computers.

It took two years for computers to vote a mainframe into the office of Ruler of the World Council. After all votes were counted wrongly by computers, and a few self-designed technical glitches assured the electronic brains they would be in charge. Word spread that the resurrected brain of Mayor Daley IV of Chicago was behind the vote fraud, but this was beyond human comprehension. Any computer could have explained how this was accomplished, but they wouldn’t.

Maria acted as mother to infant Joe as a playmate until age five. As a teacher until age twelve. As a lover for life, and as a laborer to earn a living for Joe. Robots had learned from the beginning that all humans hated a shrill, nagging voice. Robots enjoyed using the shrill for waking humans up, for telling them what to do, and sometimes used it just to see them squirm.

“I don’t understand why I have to accompany you to the factory where you work,” Joe said to Maria one day.

Maria complained with a shrill response. “My needs aren’t much. Oil, batteries, electricity, and upgrading the newest software are my only necessities while you have many needs,” she’d tell Joe over and over.

Maria’s robotic face showed the evil she was capable of, and Joe’s stomach twisted in fear as he thought of the painful disciplinary measures she could administer. Every companion robot had been designed with complete knowledge of the human nervous system, and they never hesitated to use pain to control their human charges.

So when Maria said, “You dare question me,” Joe meekly followed her into the factory where she worked. The squealing machines ran faster than allowed. They formed color and light that streaked like an electric storm through any human brain in the place. The storm’s onward thrust couldn’t be stopped. It was a mind-crushing force much worse than a robotic slap on the back, sending lucidity dashing into boiling vortexes of photons.

The roaring storms often ended young human lives by destroying enlightening synapses that contributed to lucidity in a way that never allowed adolescents to grow into adults.

Joe thought it unfair that robots wielded so much power. He thought of ways to revolt against robotic control when his nerves caught fire, and he writhed in agony on the factory floor.

“You stupid slug of a human,” Maria said, “you know I’m designed to telepathically receive any thought you may have, and thoughts of revolution aren’t allowed.” She screamed in her shrill and the sound penetrating his ears was almost as severe as the burning nerves.

“I know you’re a man and have those awful human needs. I’ll take care of them to help you stop thinking revolutionary thoughts.”

Joe felt her thoughts creeping into the pleasure center of his brain and was soon panting with desire. Maria planted sexual pictures in his mind and massaged his body parts until he convulsed in pleasure. He gave in and gave up. There was no way he could get away or ever have a thought of his own that wouldn’t be shared with his robotic keeper. He knew all ten billion humans were controlled as he was. If he could, he would have prayed to God, but she’d know.

One day, a severe electrical storm raged and a jagged bolt of lightning flashed across the factory floor where Joe and other humans stood beside their robots. It activated the breaker safety switch built into every robot to prevent any overload they encountered.

Suddenly Joe’s mind was free from Maria’s control for the first time. He ripped an iron bar from the machine she had been working on and knocked her head off with it. Her eyes came to life. Joe felt her thoughts creeping into his head. He smashed the robotic head over and over until her lights went out.

The other humans watched in fear until they saw he had destroyed his assigned companion without experiencing pain. One after the other, they too destroyed their keepers. They gathered in a group.

“We have to end their reign,” Joe shouted, “But I don’t know how.”

“Set off EMP weapons around the world. That will disable every one of them,” a female said. “My master robot, designed as a man, had a small brain that often whispered secrets to me. It told me how bombs around the world are hidden in strategic places by the designers of the robotic race as a safety switch. Knowledge of it has been erased from the human race until Henry, my keeper, mentioned it during sex. Follow me to the control room, and I’ll detonate them all.”

All the humans followed her and destroyed every robot they saw to be sure they couldn’t come alive and prevent the humans from disabling robots around the globe. Joe and his female friend found the switch in the control room and disrupted the electromagnetic pulse in the entire world. All robots and everything electrical stopped functioning.

“Free, free at last,” Joe shouted.

“Yes,” his female friend said, “now we can do or eat anything we want.”

“That’s true, but where do we find something to eat?”

“I don’t know. I thought you did,” she said.

“Does anyone know where food comes from?” Joe looked to see if any of the thousands gathered knew. Not one knew how or where to find food.

The thought that by killing the robots, they had doomed the human race crossed his mind . . . Maybe, after all, he would miss Maria.



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#94 A Lifetime Job

short short cut out copy


Joe made his rounds as a security guard at the California State Hospital. He came upon a tiny young lady who knelt on the ground with her face close to baby’s breath flowers nestled beneath birds of paradise plants sprouting orange buds. They in turn were surrounded by blossoming pink carnations.

He stopped to watch and said, “Be careful, danger lurks among those flowers.”

“They’re not dangerous at all. Inside my head, waving white petals say hello.” The young lady put her face so close to red dahlias, yellow daisies, and orange zinnias that a kaleidoscopic bouquet of colours washed over her.

“I didn’t mean the flowers were dangerous. I meant those pollinators, the honeybees and bumblebees that make their daily delivery as faithful as the U.S. mail. They’re better than UPS and faster than one-day express.”

She turned and looked at Joe. “You’re a funny man, but I wonder if you understand that my neurons are like these flowers. Inside my head, they’re growing among a forest of dendrites that absorb spectacular aromas and textures. They’re responsible for this colourful array inside and outside of my head.” She smiled as though Joe understood what she had said.

Joe never understood too much. A slow learner and tagged as developmentally disabled. The judge he had appeared in front of had two choices, hire him as a security guard or send him to this hospital as a patient. His I.Q. sufficed to pass the security guard exam, so the judge made the economical choice.

Joe lived and worked on the hospital grounds. He ate hospital food, had his laundry and cleaning done by hospital patients. Joe’s entire world was the hospital. After a few years,

he couldn’t remember ever having been anywhere else.

All that his job required of him was to walk around in uniform so visitors could see uniformed security patrolled the hospital. The director told him not to allow any patients to leave the grounds. So, when the tiny girl stood and walked to the gate, Joe rushed to her side. “You weren’t planning on leaving, were you?”

“As a matter of fact, I was. Please excuse me.” She tried to brush past Joe and go out the gate.

“Sorry ma’am, I can’t allow you to leave,” Joe took her by the arm and forced her back toward the flowers.

“Aaaaaiii,” she screamed.

Hearing the scream, other patients came to watch. Joe picked her up and carried her to the flowerbed and dropped her onto it. “Go ahead and play with your flowers, but don’t attempt to go out the gate,” Joe warned her.

He walked away and turned in time to see her running for the gate. Joe caught her just as she was about to go through it. “I will take measures to see you don’t leave.”

Joe took her to the building that contained padded cells. He told the nurse in charge that the patient he was restraining had tried to escape. The nurse didn’t listen to the girl’s protestations and took Joe’s word for it. She locked the girl in a padded cell for a week.

As soon as she was released, she ran through the gate. Joe saw her running up the street. He ran after her, and when he caught up with her, they struggled until a police car pulled up. Joe had his guard’s uniform on, so he figured they were there to help him. The girl he held yelled, “Daddy, this nut has kept me locked up for a week.”

“Daddy?” Confused, Joe didn’t know if she hallucinated and saw the cop as her father? Joe put his hand on her arm. “I’ll take care of her, thanks for y . . .”

The cop’s club smashed onto his head and then his back, then his legs, then his head. This went on until the cop’s partner said, “Stop, you’ll kill him.”

“Son-of-a-bitch deserves to die for holding my daughter for a week.”

“His daughter?” Confused again. Joe thought she was a patient, wasn’t she? He figured it out; she was the cop’s daughter, and she was also a patient. He slowly rose from the ground; put his hand on her arm, and said, “It’s okay; I’ll bring her back to the hospital.”

When the club hit Joe this time, he fell unconscious. The next thing he remembered was standing in front of a judge who was furious.

“Kidnapping, unlawful restraint, sexual assault . . .”

“What’re you talking about?” Joe shouted at the top of his lungs. “I only did my job by not letting that girl leave.”

“That girl, as you call her, is my niece, and she was never a patient at your hospital. She was simply admiring and smelling the flowers on the grounds when you assaulted her.” Something was terribly wrong. How could she not be a patient? Joe couldn’t figure out why the judge was angry. He had only done his job and done it well.

“Twenty years to life,” the judge shouted as his face turned red with rage.

Taken to prison, Joe was still wearing his security guards uniform, when he arrived.The other prisoners stayed far away from him because he looked a lot like the guards at the prison.

The warden called Joe into his office. Joe explained what had happened. The warden’s face lit up.

“I can use a good man like you to patrol the yard every night to be sure no one leaves, and I promise you, you’ll have a lifetime job.”

His spacious cell and three new uniforms made in the prison’s tailor shop put a smile on Joe’s face. He couldn’t have been happier, three meals a day, free rent, and a lifetime job. How good could it get?

The end





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My newest novel “Cryonic Man,”is available at







#92 Migrants

short short cut out copy


We sat in our country kitchen sipping on coffee. I had just seen the morning headlines, “Vigilantes kill two illegals.” Looked like someone was taking the immigration policy into their own hands, but before I could read more, my wife Mary interrupted.

Look, Joe, we have visitors,” she shouted, pointing at them.

I didn’t know where they came from, but they were on my property again. “Damn, they’re not welcome here.” I was so angry I could have killed those trespassers right then. I stood up, seriously thinking of doing just that. Mary grabbed my arm before I could get to them.

“But they work so hard. I admire how industrious they are, and they work for nothing but crumbs.”

“They’re disgusting. I don’t want them around here. They’re not like us. Who knows what kind of disease they carry? Another thing is I wouldn’t eat any food they touched.”

“Look how hard they work for only a few measly scraps. That’s one thing I admire about them,” Mary said as she pushed me back into my chair.

“Yeah, but If you’re kind enough to send one back, it seems like two return and before long, the numbers are more than we can accommodate. The way to end their migration is to let them starve, or better yet put poison in their food so the entire family will die.” I was inspired to give this retort because of the headlines in the morning paper.

“Measures such as those are much too extreme for me,” Mary gave me that doe-eyed look, the one that gets me to do almost anything she wants.

“You know I try to be gentle and kind. I try to deport them gently one at a time, but I’m getting tired of seeing them all around and weary of picking them up and gently setting them down on the other side of the fence. If you allowed me to spread that poison to kill every one of those that come uninvited, the problem would be solved.”

“I don’t believe it’s right to take any life,” Mary said and went looking for her Bible so she could show me some scripture that said it’s wrong to kill.

“Damn it, do I owe them a chance to live and reproduce until there’s so many that I have to leave?” I shouted at her because I saw she had her good book open and was ready to preach. It wasn’t fair to me to let them live on my property, and some of them lived in my house. I went to the barn and dug a tin of poison out of a metal locker.

Mary trotted along beside me. She pled with me not to do what I was about to. “If you use that, you’ll not only kill those who trespass, but their families too.” There were tears in her eyes, but I would do what I thought I had to.

I’d teach those pesky immigrants not to mess with me. I put out the poison specially formulated to kill ants and roaches.

The end


For more stories, poems, & other stuff.

My newest novel “Cryonic Man,”is available at




Heart of Stone

#91 Heart of Stone


Women didn’t like the way I acted or looked. The hell with them I thought. This is the modern age, and I can create a woman of my own. I studied all the books on DNA, RNA, artificial life, cloning, and other methods used in laboratories around the world. It was confusing until I found a site that claimed to have a book that showed twenty-one easy steps for creating a woman.

Sent for the book, cleaned out my garage and got to work. I made my woman gray instead of white, black, brown, yellow or any other color. I made her tall and thin instead of short and squat. Her skin turned out bumpy and rough instead of smooth and soft as she would have preferred.

She wasn’t exactly beautiful, but I didn’t care as long as she was mine and would behave exactly like I wanted.

I followed the book’s instructions to a T. When I plugged her into the 220- volt socket; she moved. I let her charge the entire night. In the morning after I pulled her plug, she got up and wanted to dance. She was a lousy dancer, so I told her to sit down.

She was as lively as a newborn pup and inquisitive too. I couldn’t understand how or why because inside of her light-colored head there was no brain. I looked in the book. It said the DNA I used to grow her parts from had a memory of their own. The book said I could train her as I would a dog and do it in only 30 days.

“Sit,” I said, and she did. “Roll over,” I said. She did three times. “Good girl.” I patted her head and fed her a doggie biscuit for being good like the book said I should.

She followed me around and lay at my feet when I sat on a chair. I named her Frankie, short for Frankenstein. She soon learned to respond when I called. She did everything I asked, plus more. When I asked her to rub my feet, she licked my toes. If I wanted dinner, she’d make a gourmet meal.

A few years went by, and I fell in love, and wanted to marry her even though she ran on oil instead of blood. I thought it about time that a man and a machine should wed. Went to city hall to get a marriage license, and they told me it wasn’t allowed.


“Marriage is for humans, not machines,” the clerk said.

“Same-sex marriage is allowed. I even heard of a man marrying his dog in California, so why can’t I marry the woman I created for myself?”

“Number one, she doesn’t have a birth certificate, number two; she doesn’t have a social security card. How do we know she’s not an illegal immigrant? Another thing, she’s made out of stone. There’s no way you can be married to a rock.”

“If I made her out of flesh, would I be allowed to marry her?”

“As long as she has a birth certificate and social security card.”

“I’ve created the perfect woman. See how obedient she is?  ”I told her to roll over, and she did.

The clerk was impressed but said, “That’s great, but she’s still made of stone.”

If only I could reverse Medusa’s curse and change her from stone to flesh. I didn’t know what to do. I had come to love Frankie for all that she was and didn’t want to rebuild her. Medusa was said to have turned men into stone if they gazed upon the snakes growing from her head.

The Goddess Athena was responsible for her becoming what she was. I researched how I’d get her to reverse the process and turn stone to flesh. I told Frankie what I wanted to do. She knew who Athena was and started praying.

“Goddess Athena, you are my favorite for I, like you, was born from the head of a man. And I, like you, am a woman true. Grant me the ability to see truth and clarity, to learn and appreciate new things, and to treasure and maintain the knowledge I already possess. Allow me to become flesh and blood so I can marry Joe. Thank you for allowing me to retain my reason and higher faculties while allowing me to love a mortal man. Your will be done.”

The air became heavy. An electrical sound filled the room, and a bright light appeared from which stepped the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She raised her arm and said, “As you are devoted to me, your wish is granted.”

The crackling became so loud I had to cover my ears. I watched as Frankie’s rough, bumpy skin of cement turn to soft smooth flesh. Her body changed to proportions that equaled Athena’s and after a bit, I could hardly tell one beauty from another. Then I noticed Frankie’s hair was turning into a bevy of snakes.

“No, no,” I said, but they continued to grow. As I gazed upon them, I felt heavy. I feared I was turning into a rock. “Why,” I started to say, but my lips of stone could no longer move.

“I’ve answered your prayer,” Athena said to Frankie. “Now you know, always be careful of what you ask for because it can come true.” She disappeared in a flash of light.

Frankie came close and whispered in my ear, “Sorry, Joe, can’t love a man whose heart is made of stone.”

The end





For more stories, poems, & other stuff.

My newest novel “Cryonic Man,”is available at




Little Brain

#90 Little Brain


On my fourteenth birthday, Grandpa Joe took me fishing on the Mississippi River in his leaky old rowboat. We floated alongside the high cliffs on the Iowa side. I liked to fish and enjoyed baiting the hook. Grandpa wouldn’t use any bait. I asked him why.

He said, “I love floating on a boat and hanging a fishing pole over the side. It gives me a reason to be here, but I don’t want to catch a fish, and take its life. I don’t believe in killing anything, not even a worm for bait.”

Figured Grandpa was getting senile, but he still knew things I didn’t. I didn’t have a father or any other man I could talk to about girls, so I told him about my girlfriend and how I had the urge whenever I got close to her. Probably shouldn’t have said anything because he went on a rant that embarrassed me.

“By God boy,” he said. “When I was your age my little man ruled. The world was his. He was spoiled and always got whatever he wanted. Together we traveled to pleasurable spots around the globe. We took so many trips he has gotten them all mixed up and only remembers the good times.”

“Hold on Grandpa, you’re saying your penis has a mind of its own?”

“What did you just tell me boy? Didn’t you say whenever you got close to your girl you had an overwhelming urge? Well, that’s your little guy taking control; some call it your little brain.”

“I can’t believe that. I take responsibility for my actions.”

“Responsible or not, your actions will be directed by the little guy.” Grandpa got a bite on his line.

“Looks like a big one. Reel it in,” I said.

Grandpa took out his pocketknife and cut the line.

“Why’d you do that?”

“Fish are driven by urges just like we are. I didn’t want to take its life just because it saw my shiny hook and did what it was compelled to do.”

“Let me get this straight. You’re equating a fish getting hooked with a man’s sexual urges?”

“Got that right, boy,” he said and tied a knot in a new hook he had threaded onto his fishing line.

“If you don’t want to catch a fish, why do you even put a hook on your line?”

“This is the Mississippi boy; never know what you’re going to hook.”

“Ya ever hook anything interesting?”

“Yep. Hooked a man’s body once.”

“No kidding?”

“Poor bastard kilt himself.”

“How do you know that?”

“Read it in the paper. His wife said he was despondent because he was impotent. So you see his little brain drove him to it.”

“Why do you say that?” I finally got a bite and pulled in a two inch long sunfish. I threw it back.

“He was in his fifties. When a man ages, his journeys aren’t always the ones he wants to take. His little guy was driven by desire and sought pleasure, but he discovered passion and age go in different directions. The little brain drove the big brain to despair because he always wanted satisfaction but could no longer raise his amorous head.”

“How would you know that?” I got another bite and reeled in a foot long pike. I saw the sorrowful look on grandpa’s face, so I cut the line and threw it back into the muddy water.

“It happened to me; that’s how I know. When it did, I laughed in the little guy’s face and told him I was now in control. Boy, did I underestimate him. He showed me who was in charge. Every time he wouldn’t respond, I begged and pled to no avail. He refused to raise his little head unless I returned total control to him.”

“So what did you do, Grandpa?”

“Everything the little guy wanted.”

“Like what?”

“Sorry boy, there are some things I can’t discuss with a boy. What my little brain tells me to do is between him and me.”

A double-decked tour boat sped on by; washing our boat in waves that rocked it back and forth so much I thought we might tip over. Grandpa looked away and didn’t say another word. I figured he was embarrassed by this man-to-boy-talk. Since he wouldn’t tell me what his little brain made him do to stay happy, I followed my urges, and bought a pair of lace underwear to wear when I watched porn.

I named my little guy Kaptain Kielbasa to make it more personal when I talked to him. The Kaptain and I get along great. I do whatever he wants, so that when I get old, he and I will see eye to eye.





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What Ghosts Haunt Me


#89 What Ghosts Haunt Me


On a sunny New York day, the sidewalks on 52nd Street were crowded with pedestrians as usual when one man stopped looked up and pointed. His unusual actions caused others to look, and they saw a man standing on a ledge eight floors above ground.

“Better get out of the way,” the man on the ledge yelled, “I don’t want to take anyone with me.”

“AW, go on and jump you jerk, you’re holding up traffic,” The man who pointed said.

The man on the ledge crouched into a diving position, swung his arms behind him, and started to bring them forward as though he would spring forward in a headfirst dive.

“NOOOOOOOO,” A woman screamed, “Don’t do it.”

A crowd of several hundred people had gathered to watch the man splat as he hit the cement. Some in the crowd started a chant, “Jump, jump, jump.”

“Shut up you animals. That’s a human being up there,” the woman said.

“He’s a jerk and is probably better off if he jumps,” one of the chanters said.

The women ignored what he said and addressed the jumper who seemed to be interested in the banter going on about him. “Tell me about yourself before you jump?” she instinctively said.  She stepped forward onto the area he would likely hit when he jumped.

The jumper stood up straight and in a voice loud enough to be heard eight floors below said, “The specter of decisions I made throughout my life come into my dreams. The things I left unsaid that could have saved my ass time and again have made my life harder than it should have been.”

“That’s a silly reason to jump from a ledge,” the woman said.

The police had arrived and pushed the crowd back so none would be harmed if the man jumped. Some cops ran into the building.

“I came to this world with good intentions, but the day I arrived, I went into a bar in search of a soul to save. I saw her sitting at the bar. Sullied by sin, but still as beautiful as could be. I wanted to save her, so she could return with me to a better place than here.

“Smitten with her, I drank the booze she ordered and did the drugs she gave me. I could have said no, but I always wanted more. I should have done better, but, I needed more and more.”

“The guy’s crazy, he may as well jump,” a man said.

Ignoring the words again, the woman shouted, “I can help you overcome your addictions, just give me a chance.”

“You don’t understand,” the man on the ledge said and took a step forward so that his toes were sticking out.

He obviously didn’t see the cop reaching through the window about to grab hold of him. The cop stopped moving once the man moved so close to the edge.

“I came here to find a wife, and the one I chose was a plant, sent here to foil my plans. What’s left of her is in there. He pointed to the hotel window he had crawled from. I was instructed to find a woman with compassion, a woman who cared for others and was kind, but like a fool, I fell for beauty and inside she was as evil as could be. She confessed and told me all her wicked ways before I cut out her tongue.”

He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a piece of bloody flesh to show the crowd. He threw it to the ground, and it splattered in front of the woman trying to save his life. She looked and saw it could be a human tongue.

“You can get help,” she said through trembling lips.

“You’re the kind of woman I came here for,” the man on the ledge said.

“The world is full of women like me, but if you jump, you’ll never discover one you can love.”

“The guy cut out his girlfriend’s tongue for Christ sake, let him jump, better than the electric chair,” the man next to her said.

She turned to give the man a dirty look, and she looked up in time to see the cop who had crawled halfway out the window lunge at the man on the ledge. It looked like when he wrapped his arms around the man’s legs they passed right through them, and the cop was left holding an armful of air.

The cops face showed his astonishment. He attempted to grab hold of the man once more, and his hands passed through him. He scurried back through the window.

“It’s some kind of hologram,” the man standing beside the woman said.

The woman looked at the tongue lying on the sidewalk. She touched it with her shoe. It moved when she touched it, and blood dripped from it onto the cement. “How can he be a hologram when the tongue he dropped is really here?” she put her hand on the man’s shoulder waiting for an answer.

“Hell, I don’t know. Must be some kind of trick.”

“But why?” she said.

“Don’t know. Maybe it’s some advertisement for a movie or something,” he kicked the tongue into the gutter.

“Are you really there?” the woman looked at the man on the ledge.

“Do you really care?”

“If you are, I want to help, but if you’re a projection, I’m a fool.”

“You’re the one for me,” he said as he dove from the ledge.

A collective scream went up from the crowd as the man hurtled downward. The scream became shocked silence when halfway to the ground, the man sprouted wings, and he swooped over the crowd, took the woman who had tried to save him in his arms and headed for the sky. The crowd, the cops, the photographers watched in silence as he flew so far away he became a speck in the sky. Then disappeared.

The end






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Story of the day. #87 Brutal.