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Showing posts with label English Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English Stories. Show all posts

Picking Up the Pieces

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Intro: Sequal to May Madness.The Detective story continues after three years in an low security asylum
Picking Up The Pieces

It’s been three years, three yearssince that day I watched every member of my team die in cold, cold blood. I spent two years locked up in a damn asylum, popping pills like they were tic tacs, having some idiot in a suit tell me I’m unstable and a dangerto those around me. I spent two years being the only sane personin there, even the staff were crazier than me, beating the sick and stealing meds. I finally was “rehabilitated” and left the disgusting pit, but I can’t live properly anymore, jobs come rarely nowadays and my family have disowned me. How I’m gonna survive is unknown to mebut I have to find that creep, that creep that killed my colleagues.

I walk out the security gates with nothing but the clothes on my back and £70 in my pocket, I whistle a taxi, and you know those taxi drivers who are only talk to you twice, yeah I haven’t get one of those. I got an Indian bloke who never shuts up and always answers the questions he asks you. So I have to spend two hours listening to this joker go on and on about the weather,women and his goddamn family.My ears are literally bleeding as I jump out the taxi, I don’t say thanks, I just chuck him the notes. I look up at the apartmentblock where I’ve been moved too, it’s not much but it’s home for now. I push the grubby doors open, walk up to the receptionist about to talk but she interrupts and tells me my room and gives me my key, howshe knows me is strange but I thank the woman and stroll into the lift. As the doors close my eyes do to, I’m on the 23 rd floorand this lift music is maddening.
Get to my new home, there’s an argument next door cant help but feel I should do something but I know without my badge I’d be breaking the law especiallyif a fight breaks out. I grit my teeth, trying to unlock the door as I push it open the fake gold handle falls off as does the door number. I sigh as I turn on the lights, it would be empty but they have brought my furniture and tried to squeeze it into a onebedroom apartment. I rummage through the boxes, finding itemsthat make me remember that terrible day three years ago. I find a picture of my ex-wife andI clutch the picture with all my heart, I stare into her dark brown beautiful eyes. I still hear here whispers, the sweet nothings she would silently speak into my ears, it used to fill my heart with love and affection but now it just reminds me how much I hate herfucking guts. In a wild fury I hurlthe picture across the room, the glass shatters into several shardsand they stick into the crappy carpet. God I hate this apartment, hate this city, hate this world.
It’s getting late, my eyes are bloodshot with exhaustion, this comedy show re-run is pissing me off. I reach for the remote but it falls off the sofa, I crawl on the floor looking for it when shadows appear outside my doors. I hear some thug like whispers, I hear a slow countdown and before I know ittwo men are bursting through my door. They make no other noise, they are clothed in black suits and black ties but with pure white shirts, they stride over to me with gun in hand. One tries to kick me while I’m satdown but I grab his foot, I wrench it One Hundred and Eighty degrees and both fibula and tibia crack and pierce through the skin and prod into my hand. He screams in agony, he lies on the floor clutching his leg, he rolls around the floor leaving little puddles of crimson blood. I search around for the other and a flailing fists hits me square in the nose and it breaks, blood squirts on his shirt as well as mine, tears stream from my eyes instinctively, I explode in a fiery rage of jabs and uppercuts,leaving no space of his face left unbeaten, one last uppercut to the jaw incapacitates the attacker and considering the crack his jaw made talking is definitely going to be a problem for him. I stumble through the broken furniture, and past the snoring attacker. I grab the crying attacker and start to pull the bone which penetrated his flesh and skin, millimetres at a time, watching him squirm and scream. I press a cold steel blade to his temple and he starts to rabble on, I silence his bullshit with a quick jolt of his bone. I ask him over and over “Who sent you?” each time louder, each time pulling more bone out of the poor blokes leg, I can tell he’s just a mercenary as he starts spewing information about his employer all accept his damn name.
I check him and his colleague for weapons and chuck them away, I pull off a sofa cushion to find my silenced pistol - you never know what’s going to happen - Ipress the pistol to the sleeping mercenary’s forehead and pull the trigger, brain and blood splatters on the floor and blood pools around his head. I grab a spare bed sheets and cover bothand individually place them on the window ledge and push them out onto the bins below. As they both collide with the concrete I grab a coat, and my wallet, phone and keys. I leave my apartment with no hesitation, door slams and I find myself leaving the place I’m supposed to call home, once again I’m on the road, just this time not in a police car.
I check my phone, there’s a voicemail and a feeling of discomfort falls upon me as I listen. It’s my ex-wife, at first I really didn’t care but then she started blubbering and I heard the click of a pistol on her forehead, two slightly distant screams in the background, my children are in danger and its all my fault.

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On The Way To The Airport . . . .

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Intro: As my girlfriend wait in the taxi cab, I return explaining to her what happened, the taxi driver hearing this reacted nervously while driving.
On the way to the airport.


We were dressed and ready to take a flight out for my mother’sspecial birthday party in San Diego. It was a two
hour flight to her. My girlfriend thought that now it’s 1 pm, we have to be at the airport at least by 2 pm and she
quoted that my mom is not getting younger so we should hurry. We turned on a night light, turned the house answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard. We phoned the local cab company and requesteda taxi. The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house. The cat we put out in the yard, scoots back into the house. We didn't want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to eat the bird. We had provided ample food for it to last the weekend.
My girlfriend goes out to the taxi, while I went inside to get the cat. The cat runs upstairs, with me in hot pursuit.
Waiting in the cab, my girlfriend doesn't want the driver to knowthat the house will be empty for the weekend. So,
she explains to the taxi driver that I will be out soon, "He's just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother."
A few minutes later I get into the cab . "Sorry I took so long," I said, as we drove away. "That stupid bitch was hiding under the bed. Had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off, so I grabbed
her by the neck. Then, I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled her
fat ass downstairs and threw her out into the back yard!" The cab driver hearing this looked in the rear view mirror
in astonishment..he hit a parked car.

Also Read The Queen Is Dead: Intro: A husband and wife are caught up in an event of grief vs uncaring humor. Humor, comedy,short story humor,laugh,funny,silly,relationsh...

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The Queen Is Dead

Intro: A husband and wife are caught up in an event of grief vs uncaring humor. Humor, comedy,short story humor,laugh,funny,silly,relationships,marriage,Queen,royalty,miner,paperboy

"The Queen is dead....the Queen isdead" shouted the paperboy as he ran through the streets. Molly gasped...then screamed out of the kitchen window,"Boy...bring me a copy!" The boy turned to her and ran to the porch as Mollyrushed to the front door!
Molly swung the door open and grabbed a copy from the boy's bundle. She flopped the paper upwards in the morning breeze and groaned with a tremble in her voice,"Oh my lord...it is true....oh my lord...our...Queen...is....DEAD!"
"That'll be ten bits of bronze" theboy exclaimed as he held out his left hand." Molly reached in her apron pocket and slammed a handful of coins in his hand. The boy looked at the money and shouted,"Thank you...thank you very much as he ran off with hispapers, shouting the news aboutthe Queen.
Molly thought about what she had just done and shouted for the boy but he had disappeared down the street...fast. She had given him far too much money but the haunting headline quickly took all of her attention as she closed the door.
The kingdom of Pompynuts was buzzing. Neighbors were crying, screaming and consoling each other. Molly sat at the kitchen table...read the story...looked at the pictures while wiping tears from her eyes. She spent the entire day hugging neighbors who were....like her...wallowing in the sadness of the Queen's death.
It was 5:35 in the afternoon when her husband, Freddy came home from work in the mines. Freddy walked in...covered in dust as usual as Molly ran to him,screaming,"Have you heard...the Queen is dead?"
Freddy flopped his lunch bag and helmet on the kitchen counter and calmly said,"Yes...what's for supper?" Molly...with a stunned look on her face, angrily stated,"Supper....supper...our beloved, angelic, her majesty haspassed and you...you ask me about your supper?"
Freddy sat at the table...slumped...put his hands under his chin and said,"Beloved,angelic...you were calling her a stinking whore this morning as you buttered my muffins."
Molly stomped her foot and squalled loud,"She...wasn't...dead...this...MORNING!" Freddy thought for a moment...grinned and said,"So...our beloved Queen went from being a stinking live whore to a dead angel in (looking at his watch)less than ten hours?"
If looks could kill...Freddy would be dead as Molly grumbled,"Get your own damned supper at the pub...most of us Pompynutians have COMPASSION for OUR QUEEN!"
Freddy sighed...picked himself upfrom the kitchen chair and headed out the door. Molly didn'tspeak to him for three days. Freddy endured a silent hell and meals at the pub. She busted a plate in the sink when she heard Freddy talking with his friend, Max on the phone. Freddy was saying,"Yip...thats what it was...amethane explosion in the palace sewer...the ol bat got blew up byher own royal shit." Poor Freddy had gotten surprised by a clump of cat poop...toothpicked on top of his corned beef and pumpernickel sandwich in his lunch the next day.
Molly was determined to attend the funeral procession on Willowy Street. She made Freddy dress in his best suit and go with her.
The sun was shining bright that afternoon as the crowds lined the street to mourn the Queen. Freddy stood next to Molly as she wept when the beautiful, flower covered funeral carriage went by. Freddy began to feel bad for not being more sensitivetowards Molly.
Freddy gently put his arm around her and sofly said,"I should have had more respect for our dear Queen...I'm sorry Molly for being such a rude fool."
Molly sniffled...wiped her nose with her handkerchief and said,"No...no...Freddy...you were right, she was a bit of a stinking whore...but...she was our stinking whore." Molly began squalling in tears!
Freddy, with a blank stare...dropped his shoulders...then head...he sighed and whispered to himself,"Fuck."

Also Read The Invincible Boy!: Intro: My stories got better after this narrator= what seem like a normal day for david wanker no im serious thats his name! well whatever...

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The Invincible Boy!

Intro: My stories got better after this

narrator= what seem like a normal day for david wanker no im serious thats his name! well whatever i will let him tell the story! david= "yawn" im soooooo booooooored! hmmm! hey betty! what are you doing? betty? oh nothing just reading a book david oh... well okay lets see whats outside hmmm? a newspaper? "to anybody reading this would you like to beturn invisible for a free test?" hmmm? a test eh? oh why not? okay now to get my bike from garage sooooooo... is this the place? looks like crap but whatever... "sound" knock knock nick= yesssss! who the hell are you? david= im the guy who applied for the testing nick= oh okay get in david= so wheres the thing that i need to test? nick= its rightover there david= um where? nick= um rightinfront of you! david= oh... well fine strap me in doc nick= now you might feel a small pinchbut thats it! david= just shut up and zap me! nick= fine! um where did you go? david= hello im right here! nick= where? david= are you blind? right infront of yah... nick= this is amazing! my inivisible machine works! hehehehehehe! david= this i great doc! so when does this wereoff? nick= it doesnt! david= im sorry what? nick= yeah did you read the back of the newspaper? it said " ps once you turn invisible there is no turning back" david= oh crap... i don.t wanna be like this for the rest of my life! nick= calm down!look i will make a cure to reversethe effect! david= thanks doc! so how long would it take to make it? nick= oh a few weeks at best david a few weeks! what am i gonna do until its ready? nick= i don.t know the best thing to do now is to go home i will contact you when itsready david= okay doc boy momand dad are not going to belive this... END OF PART 1! Part 2 of Invisible Boy! : David stands,unseen by eyes, thinking to himself-
oh man, how am I going to explain this to my parents? Ah well, I guess there is nothing I can do. I might as well go home until Nick makes that cure to fix me. (start new paragraph) "Um hey Betty." David says. (New paragraph) "What?
David where are you?" Betty asks quite confused trying to find David. (New paragraph) "I'mright here in front of you." (Newparagraph) "I don't see you." Betty says looking disappointed. (New paragraph) David facepalms, while consentrating on thought, but when he simply just can't think of anything he asks, "Okay, how can I make myself visible for you to see ME?" (New Paragraph)
Betty, quick in thought, says,"Hey, I got an idea!" (new paragraph) "What?"
David asks despritely. (new paragraph) "Why don't I get a blanket?" She suggests. (new paragraph) David doesn't like theidea and says to Betty, "Why notsomething that won't fall on theground when I walk?" (new paragraph) Hmmm, why don't you paint yourself so that way it will be easier to see you!"
(new paragraph) "Yes, that couldwork! Then again, it might fail, but what else do I have up to this point?" (np) "Great, I will go get some of my paint gear!" Beatty says excitedly. (np) "Wait,when did you get paint gear?" David asks Beatty curiously. (np)"I got it last week, why?" Beatty replies. (np)
"Umm, no reason just asking when you got it." (np) "Ooh okay, I will get it now," Beatty says while heading to get her gear, "oookay, here it is, I'm ready to paint!" (np) "This is going to suck." David says not really wanting to be covered in paint. (np) Beatty starts paintingcolors randomly on David while saying, "Just add this and that, a little here, and done hehehehehehe!
Well, do you like it?" (np) "Well, I look wierd but at least I can finally see myself. Thanks Beatty!" (np) David's mom comes into the room to see what all the commotion is about.(Np) Huh? David I heard you talking and- what the heck David? How did this happen to you?" His mother says looking shocked and horrified. (new paragraph)
"Well... I kinda got involved in this experiment with this wierd scientist,
anyways he said he'll have a cure for me by two weeks so I can just wait for him to finish it." (np) His mom just stands there and gaps not really believing David and walks away slowly. (np) "Sooo, now what?" Beatty asks.
(np) "I don't really know. I was guessing I could just wait for the two weeks." David replied. (np) So two weeks pass for the painted David. David,
knowing Dr. Nick should be finished by now, heads to his house to get the invisibility cure.David steps up to the door and knocks. (np) "Nick! It's me David, open up!" David shouts. (np) Nick opens the door to see Davidat his door covered in paint. (np)"Ahh, David, you have arrived! Go ahead and come in. Okay, I'm almost finished making the cure except for one thing." (np)
"What?" David asks anxiously. (np) "Your soul," Nick says in a malevolent voice. (np) David screams and Nick starts laughinghysterically. (new paragraph) "I was just kidding! Here's the cure.I hope you enjoy." Nick says while handing him the liqiud. (np) "Yeah, yeah, yeah," David says adding how Nick's joke was definately not funny under his breath. (np) David then drank the cure and finally became truly visible as he once was. In the end, he learned a very valuable lesson- don't ever go to a wierdo's castle at night for entertainment .
THE END!

Also Read FAME

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FAME

Intro: A tale, (following a quotation from an imaginarytravel book), recounting howa young reindeer herder becomes enchanted by the world of the ballet, and determines to enter it.
FAME


"The Oersquuat peoples of Russo-Finnish Lapland live a life of rigorous hardship. During the brief summer they are nomadic, and follow their reindeer herds as they wander foraging across the tundra in search of food.In the dark freezing winters they gather in small settlements and live communally in large, semi-permanent tent-like structures known as 'squarts' beside the White Sea, from whose inhospitable shores they scrape a precarious living bartering walrus products."
Hague Denman-Townsend: "Murmansk and Beyond" (London 1956)
Little Glumbulka trudged throughthe blizzard in her Father's footsteps. It was her turn to help milk the reindeer.
In the fitful moonlight between ice flurries, she caught glimpses of the featureless tundra waste, barren to beyond sight in all directions. She shivered despite the five layers of rough hide shewas wearing, and the rendered walrus blubber her Mother had so lovingly massaged into her skin.
Old Krotsch turned his head.
'Hurry, child. If we do not make haste, our reindeer will suffer from the udder gripe.'
'Sod the reindeer!' thought Little Glumbulka.
Then, as she tripped over another clump of frozen bog-moss, 'Sod the Tundra!'
Was this all life had to offer?
When, much later, Little Glumbulka and her Father returned to the squart, they found her Mother, Floggruppsa, ('Hairy Knees' in the Oersquat tongue), beside herself with excitement. Though she had prepared a nourishing black-ice bean and lemming casserole, she simply had to give the returning deer-milkers her thrilling news before she fed them, She put the skjipperns of milk into the fridgeto prevent them freezing.
The post had arrived - which it sometimes did as often as once a week if the dogs could get through - and Floggruppsa had won a competition.
In last year's sun-months, she had bought a packet of Hornflakes from a passing Manchegorsk sleigh-trader. A panel on the back of the packet had invited her illustrate, in no more than two-hundred Oerstglyphs, the use of her threefavourite reindeer by-products. A major prize (yet to be announced) would be awarded to the squart-frauken adjudged to have submitted the most imaginative selection.
Floggruppsa had waxed eloquent on the versatility if reindeer hide in the constructionof anything from squart cladding to buckets. She had praised reindeer antlers for theiradaptability as clothes hangers, pot holders, digging tools, weapons and objets d'art. The judges, however, had expressed particular admiiration for her advocacy of an ingenious utilisation of dried reindeer dung in the manfacture of thermal underwear.
She had won a 'Winter Wonderland Weekend' for two in St.Petersburg.
'You cannot seriously expect me to go with you.' said Old Krotsch.'The climate is dumplitck -soft down South. Why, the temperature sometimes soars to minus twenty. You will risk the heatstroke.'
'I shall take with me the child.'
'But, mine frauken, there is so much here at home to look forward to. We are but five weeks from sunrise. The sacred rites of the hoof-scraping are almost upon us. Our shamans will dance with the older stags.'
'Nonetheless,' insisted Floggruppsa, 'we will go.'
'With making me alone self-fending!'
'I shall leave for you cauldron of simmering klaubenfletz' (mixed offal and giblets). 'You will survive.'
Reluctantly, Old Krotsch performed the Dongg Danz for the blessing of their journey, and, barely a half-moon later, Little Glumbulka and her Mother took the two dog-day journey to the railhead at Schkunk. Fortified with a sustaining flask of Grandmother Ruptja's ughretch (Narwhal blubber broth) they endured 'The TundraThuderbolt's' erratic journey South.
St Petersburg was so big! So busy! So overwhelming!
And oh! The traffic!
The two travellers clutched each-other tightly in panic.
Little Glumbulka soon overcame her fear, but remained awestruck by The Peter and Paul Fortress, The Winter Palace, The Nevski Prospect, The Peterhoff, The Hermitage, taxis, crisp bed-linen, flush toilets...
On their second and final night in the big city, their host from Hornflakes Inc. took them to the Kirov Ballet.
Never had Little Glumbulka been so moved.
She was spellbound. Surely nothing could ever match such spectacle. Even the extravaganceof the Oersquats' Bjordnerkzt in obeisance to the midnight sun paled into comparative insignificance, and when the prima-ballerina, the great Getcha Legova, performed her famed interpretation of 'The Fading Goose', Little Glumbulka experienced emotions no Oersquat maiden had ever felt before.
The divine Legova danced into her soul.
Glumbulka began to cry.
Great gulping sobs wracked her body, and tears streamed down her swart cheeks. Audience members three rows away turned to shush her, but she wasinconsolable in her ecstasy.
The next morning 'The Tundra Thunderbolt' was waiting to take them back to the realities ofSchkunk station.
Her Mother thought the silent Glumbulka was sulking, but the child's closed eyes and deep frown were merely registering her determination to remember every nuance of every movement made by every dancer she had seen the previous night.
Back on the tundra, Little Glumbulka was restless and ill at ease. She would never again feel at home in her native squart.
Her discontent was palpable.
Her Father carved her an intricate nose-plug in walrus ivory.
The chief shaman offered her the coveted role of 'Keeper of the Magic Mushroom' in the forthcoming Dung Drying Festival.
Her gomforschktnit ('from-child-betrothed'), Young Burpik, gave her a pair of earrings he had himself constructed from the dried testicles of an Arctic fox.
Despite these blandishments, Glumbulka still felt alien and lonely in the now twilit tundra wastes.
Young Burpik spoke to her behind the mating sheds.
'Why so melanclitsch, she-to-be-wiife?'
'I can bide here no longer,' sighjed Little Glumbulka. 'I have seen Legova perform, and can no more rest with squart contentment. I am in yearn for the beauty of the dance.'
'In such case,' said Young Burpik,nobly, 'it must be I carry you to Schkunk.'
As she stepped down from Old Krotsch's dog-sleigh at the railhead, there was a tearful farewell.
Salty drops froze to each child's cheeks and the lead Husky, Yowdlingl, strangely moved, ate one of Glumbulka's mittens.
It was a sad little tableau.
Three days later she presented herself at the Kirov theatre.
'Give job,' she demanded. (Her Russian was quite basic). 'I strong. Lift. Push. Move. Help much.'
The startled management agreedto give her a trial.
She was indeed strong, and proved to be a capable set builder. To anyone who can erect a squart in a force ten gale,the building of Sleping Beauty's castle is a piece of cake.
She soon became a valued member of the stage crew, and, in less than a year, (after the set-gang leader discovered she had been sleeping rough in Trinity Square), she was appointed deputy assastant night-watchperson, and given her very own sleeping shelf in the paint cupboard.
Despite this mark of respect and appreciation, she was still not fully content, Deep in her heart she nursed a secret and fervent ambition.
She longed to dance.
Whenever she could sneak a chance, she watched the corps de ballet at their classes or at rehearsal. Then, night after night, she would creep out onto the huge, dark, empty stage and try to imitate what she had seen.
She would dance, with non-stop exuberance, right through to dawn and exhaustion.
As a special treat, towards the end of her second year at the Kirov, she was invited to attend the corps' Christmas party.
There was much excitement among the boys and girls, for it was rumoured that the famous choreographer and impressario, Digalav, may possibly pay them avisit.
As, indeed, he did.
All the youngsters performed their party pieces in the hope of impressing the great man. They glowed wiyh innocent delight whenever he applauded.
It was late into the night, after many Vodka toasts had been proposed and returned, when Little Glumbulka boldly stamped onto the stage.
'Now I dance you,' she announced.
There was a stunned silence, follwed by a few titters.
'I dance arrangement by me of famous dance from my people.'
And Glumbulka danced a truly astonishing version of 'The Lament of the Seven Elks' - madeall the more remarkable by her accompanying herself with a tuneless but highly rhythmic whistle through her teeth.
Though she had taught herself steps from the girls' routines shehad watched for nearly two years, her sturdy limbs and reindeer herder's muscles fitted her better for a more masculine repertoire. Her leaps, for instance, made even the great Nijinsky look earthbound.
Digalav was enthusiastic.
There is talent,' he observed. 'The child should dance character.'
Within less than a year, Little Glumbulka had become a featured dancer, much respected, much loved by the Kirov's regular balletophiles. She was frequently presented with bouquets of flowers, which, at first, baffled her, since she found them indigestible.
She danced witches, bears, old peasants, robbers, goblins, things that lived in caves.
With St.Petersburg's famous ballet company, she toured the world. Her reputation grew.
She reached the peak of her fame when Digalav commissioned his friend, the composer Musborsgy, to write a piece especially for her.
She performed 'The Troll's Birthday' before all the crowned heads of Europe. She was invitedto dance it at a special gala in Moscow to celebrate a visit fromthe President of The United States of America. (Kruschev is reputed to have danced on the table).
In those heady days, she becamea household name and the toast of her profession.
In the world of the ballet, 'La Glumbaba' was the first and onlyever internationally acclaimed Lapp dancer.

Also ReadFirst Rodent Bank of the USA

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First Rodent Bank of the USA

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Intro: Oscar Rat and friends start a bank to get BailOut money.

My name’s Charlie. Yes. That Charlie. Let me tell you of the mess that rat’s gotten me into.
By the way, besides Oscar, who you already THINK you know, there’s Malodor, a skunk and his wife, and Nancy, their adopted daughter, also a skunk. I'm sure you remember Georgie W. and his Vice, Dickie.
----------------
The other morning, I was awake and having my third cup of coffee when I heard a loud"beep" from the parking lot. At first I ignored it, thinking it was Mr. Edwards from the third floor giving the Meescowski kids a ride to animal school. It can be dangerous for mouse children towalk to the bus stop and, since he drove to work about that time, he usually gave them a lift.
A minute later, what I thought were stones began bouncing offmy partially-open kitchen window. Thinking it was some joker, I finished the coffee and poured another cup. Before I could sit down again, one of the objects hit the table, rattling to astop in front of a butter dish. It was a gold coin.
Now, who could be chucking gold at my window? Hurrying over, I saw a huge foreign limousine parked below. A uniformed chauffeur stood nextto it, lobbing coins from a large bag at me.
"What the hell?" I yelled.
"The master would like to speak to you, sir," he said while stuffing a handful of gold into his coat pocket.
"Who would that be?" I asked, not personally knowing any millionaires.
"Mr. Oscar, sir."
I hurriedly dressed and left my apartment, stopping down the hall to knock on Oscar's door. Nancy, the rat's adopted teenagedaughter, answered.
"Nancy," I told her, "you better grab your Aunt Malodor and get downstairs. Oscar's throwing gold coins around down there."
"Gold? He ain't got no gold." Shehalf-turned, screaming behind her, "Aunt Malodor. Uncle Oscar'sup to something. We gotta stop him."
Malodor came running, fur still incurlers, to see what the fuss wasabout. A skunk in curlers is a sight to see.
"Aren't you going to take those things out first?" I asked.
"Not when my husband's throwing gold or something around out there. Half the time, we can't even pay the rent."
With a skunk on each shoulder, curlers digging into my ear, I hurried down to the parking lot. We were slowed a little by a hyena family coming up the stairs while we hurried downward. They were laughingtheir asses off, but would have anyway -- so it didn't bother us much.
I was out of breath by the time we arrived at the purring limo. The chauffeur opened the door for us. Malodor was first to jump inside the spacious vehicle. Shaking my head at Nancy and the driver, I hurriedly slammed the door. I had only a quick look at my buddy, Oscar Rat, before the door shut with us still outside. He was wearing a pin-stripe suit and smoking a cigar.
"Why did you do that, Uncle Charlie?" Nancy asked.
I shook my head. "If she sprays that sucker, I don't want to be inthere with them."
Nancy didn't hear me. She was busily rushing around, picking up the dozens of coins lying in the grass near the building.
I waited anxiously, keeping an eye on tinted windows while wondering if they'd fog up from the inside. Of course I wasdying to find out what Oscar was doing with all that money, but not about ready to die for real. I fully expected to see a gray streak in a pin-striped suit as he bailed from a deadly skunk-perfumed limo. I'd seen Malodor when she was angry, and shuddered at the memory.
The door finally opened, while I dodged away. A smiling Oscar Rat jumped down to the asphalt.
"Malodor wants you, Nancy," he said, "to go shopping with her."
Whoooo. I relaxed, then realized I still didn't know how he stole that money. The rat certainly didn't earn it honestly. He made a decent living rewriting history at the Rat Archives, but nowhere near that much.
As we watched the limo leave, I looked down at Oscar. "Where did you...."
"Let's go to your place," he said,"and I'll tell you about our bank."
"Okay," I said. Then it hit me. “OUR bank? Hey! Wait a minute. OUR BANK!"
***
Once we got to my apartment, Oscar lost no time in running over and pouring himself a drinkof my booze. He then hopped uponto my favorite chair and took a sip.
"Well, you know about President Obama's policy to help out us bankers, don't you?" he asked.
"You'd better explain this, especially the ‘our’ and 'us’ parts, you rat. Where the hell do I come in?"
"Let me see. Calm down, Charlie, old buddy. You know about my part-time job as Rodent Advisor to the President, right?"
"I heard, but how does--"
"Give me a minute, old bean, and I'll explain. You got any potato chips? Or maybe popcorn? I've been too busy to eat."
I grabbed a bag of chips from a cupboard, tore them open, and threw them at the rat.
"Thanks, old buddy."
I knew Oscar, and all those"buddy"s were unnerving.
"Damn it.
Explain this shit," I screamed at the satisfied-looking rodent, sitting eating mychips and drinking my booze, "orI'll wring your scrawny neck. This looks serious, very serious."
"Okay, okay. You don't have to yell. It'll only be embarrassing when you have to thank me later."
"Give." I brandished a fist in front of his muzzle.
"All right. Don't get physical. With my job in Washington, I had insider information on President Obama's plan to bail out the banks. See? So I made a few phone calls here in town. I called the manager of those welfare projects on the south side. You know the ones. Those huge buildings across the tracks.
"After making an agreement with him, I called some of my government buddies from Georgie's bunch -- the Neo-cons. They're out of work, but still have a lot of political pull. We formed the ‘First Rodent Bank.’ All of us invested a couple-hundred dollars in it, sorta seed money, you know?
"Then, after stopping at an office-supply store to buy a fewhundred standard condominium contracts, the project manager and myself started knocking at doors. We asked each resident ifthey'd like to own their apartment, as a condo and for free. No more rent, was our offer.
"All of them snapped it up, except for the guy in CC-230 who was expecting the Romulons to come from outer space and rescue him any day now. He wasn't interested in earth property. The contract also affirmed that they couldn't pay $500,000 for the condos. Actually, I don't think many of them could -- so it wasn't a lie.
"I took all of them signed contracts back to the storefront we'd rented as a bank, then submitted an application for bailout money. With my Republican contacts and silent partners, it only took a week for it to come through.
"Since we're a new bank, and theDemocrats don't have time to check everyone out. We settled for only 20 billion with no questions or oversight. If we'd held out for more, we might be investigated and who needs the hassle?
"My share, after splitting with the others and taking out the cost of filing for bankruptcy, comes to a lousy 2.4 billion -- notbad for a couple of week's work."
I sighed, trying to make sense out of what he'd said. "And where do I come in, old buddy?" I had to ask, sarcastically, thoughI was beginning to get the answer by my own little self.
"I'll split it with you. Oh, and you'll have some bankruptcy papers to sign. A small matter, since I'm giving you a million dollars to sign them."
"Why me? Why do I have to signpapers, not you and your friends?"
"My partners laid it off on me, and I ... well ... actually, a rat can'tlegally start a business in this backward country, so I -- I, well... used your name."
Which was exactly what I'd been thinking. When they finallygot around to investigating, I'd owe the Feds all 20 billion dollars. But then, that frickin' rat was giving me a million. Jeez! Nice of him, wasn't it?
I reached to grab him by the neck, but he was ready. Jumpingto the floor, that bastard rat ran under the couch. A squeaky voice called out, "Two million?"
When I shoved the couch over, he skitterscratched his way into a convenient rathole, and all without spilling his drink. He didleave a trail of potato chips, though.
"Why are you angry, old buddy?"he called out from relative safety while I was looking around for a hammer or something to break the wall down. "I'm giving you three ... no, four million dollars."
Well, I never did catch him, but did find a key and an address to his ... our ... bank he’d dropped.
***
It was after dark by the time I arrived at the bank and parked down the street. As I angrily approached the storefront, a couple of men walked out of thedoor. They were wearing expensive suits and carrying cardboard boxes piled to the topwith paperwork.
When they saw me, they took off running down the street toward an F-15 fighter plane parked in a vacant lot. The two moved so fast that papers fluttered out and blew toward me.
Since one of them was carrying an all-to-familiar shotgun, I chose not to follow. With a hat pulled down over his eyes, he appeared to be a chubby old guy. The other, clad in spurs anda cowboy hat, led their way intothe aircraft. The small guy must have been a pilot.
As they took off into unfriendly skies, I spent my time grabbing loose paperwork.
The door to the bank was still open. Since the front window, too dirty to see through in the dark, had a magic-marker sign saying, "First Rodent Bank of theUS," I knew I was at the right place.
The “bank” consisted of one large and empty room -- except for a couple of wooden desks, a few chairs, and a long-gun holder hanging on one wall. Onedesk had scratches from what were probably rat claws across the top, and the gun holder sported the initials, "DC", etched into one side. Not very auspicious, I thought, for a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.
I continued checking the place out. In a tiny restroom, I found an instruction book on flying that F-15 I'd seen outside. Inside the front cover was an impression of the Presidential Seal. The bookmark was a$1,000 bill, folded into quarters. There were, in my mind, few individuals that could use such bookmarks.
Ah, but those loose papers were a goldmine. They told the story. A scribbled list gave the names of investors, with the strange admonition to "Please turn this in to O before 3/5." Oscar's name was on that list, as well as mine. My name had been forgedon a number of other papers.
Not knowing what to do, I locked the door to the bank and went home to think it over. I did notice that Oscar and his family were still gone.
In the morning, I called long-distance to Washington to try to get hold of the President. There was no way I wanted to be arrested for stealing billions of dollars in tax money.
Being passed from one secretaryto another, one building to the next, around the capital -- when I wasn't on hold, of course -- I had no luck at all.
Several hours later, I happened to use Oscar's name in an explanation.
"Oh! You're a friend of Oscar Rat's? Why didn't you say so?" the Secretary of Home Defense asked. "Let me see if Oscar's in his office."
"No, I don't want to talk to Oscar. I want the President."
"Is it in reference to our buddy, Oscar?"
"Yes. Yes. It's about Oscar."
"Please hold."
I could hear clicks as telephones switched automatically, along with an occasional mumble in the background. A minute later, I heard. "Hold for the President. I'll see if my husband has a moment," in a sexy voice. "He's in the bathroom. I'll transfer you." Another couple of clicks, and I was talking to the President ... well ... sort'a. A huge fart almost busted my eardrum. I could almost smell it from there.
"Hi, Oscar. What's up, man?"
"This isn't Oscar. I'm his neighbor, Charlie."
"Oh. That Charlie. I'm surprised you can even use a telephone, in your condition, I mean. Hello, Charlie. How are you today, littleman? How are your dollies treating you? Did you pee pee on yourself again? Do you need nice Oscar to clean your little butt?"
"Damn it, cut that out." I froze in shock. I'd just cussed out the President of the United States. "I don't know what Oscar's been telling you, but I'm not a frickin' idiot."
"But Oscar...."
"The hell with that rat. Look, Mr. President, let me read from this list." I explained what I'd learned, and what I'd found. I read him the list of stockholders in the First Rodent Bank, and themessage at the bottom. "What should I do, Mr. President?" I asked. "I want to do the honest thing."
"I'll take care of it, Mr. Charlie. You can go back to playing with your dolls in Fantasyland." He hung up.
Well, last week two things happened. Everyone on that list received Presidential Pardons forany crimes, past, present, and future. Also, I got a call from theIRS, saying I owed unpaid taxes on four-million dollars.
No more meddling in politics for me. Leave that for the big brainslike Oscar Rat.
Now I don't know what to do. Maybe I should call Oscar for help?
Charlie

Also ReadI'm Sorry, They have trashed your House: Intro: This is a true story “I can beat that!” “What, you got something better than my Uncle Walter’s story?” “Better. And true. I have so...

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Permission Granted

Intro: All some people need isthe boss's permission.

"Floor Three, Floor Three," said the tall, young, oriental man at the floor buttons. The people crowding into the elevator, including me, mostly said: "Four."There were a few "Five, please'es" and a "Six" and a"Two." As the elevator glided past the second floor, the two-person yelled: "Hey!" When we stopped at the third floor, only the two-person got out, hissing mad. There were calls for"Four." One man tried to reach past the Operator to press the 4-button and got a karate-chop on his forearm. "Everybody out!"commanded the Operator. He grabbed people by their arms and twisted them out the door, he got behind people and pushed them out so violently that one girl had to grab someone waiting to keep from falling.
When all the passengers were out, the Operator said to the people waiting to go down:"Stairs." Then he abruptly closed the door in their faces.
I lingered for a moment and sawthis operation repeated, with the next arriving elevator, this time by a Hispanic guy. He had a smug smile on his face as the doors slid shut. I then went up the filthy, littered stairs to the widely-advertised, completely-unintelligible exhibit on the fourth floor, where the exhibit guides were unable to answer any questions other than where the stairs and the bathrooms ("You'll have to go up a floor andask.") were.
I steamed with indignity all night, then got up extra-early and returned to the Hospital.
I went to the Hospital Welcoming Desk. I joined two other people patiently standing there. I cleared my throat to get the attention of the receptionists, who were chatting together, laughing over some cute thing a cat did on YouTube. They turned and looked angrily at me. "Are you first?" one said to me. Then I waited while they disposed of the others, who had been urgently called to the Hospital to make last visits to dying loved-ones.
When I finally got their attentionand explained I wanted to complain about a surly employee, one grabbed a stapledbooklet, which fell open to the page she wanted, and said:"You'll have to talk to Mr. Schmidt, our Public Relations Director, but he's out on Thursdays."
"This is Monday!" I said.
She looked at me as if I'd said:"This is a hold-up!"
"He's out on Mondays, too," she said. "Come back tomorrow. Maybe he'll see you then."
Despite two people standing behind me, she turned to the other receptionist and said: "Andwasn't it cute how he ..."
I rushed out of there: didn't want to be late to work. Would catch Hell.
The next morning, after several misdirections, I found Mr. Schmidt's office. He was in there,sitting at his desk, talking on the phone. A glance from him was allI got before he swiveled in his chair to look away from me at some crude crayon-drawings of houses and stick-figure people taped to the wall. From what I overheard, he was talking to oneof his children—maybe a five-year-old? He must have talked baby-talk to the kid for ten minutes before saying: "Oh, Mama says it's bath time? Give Mama a big, soapy kiss for me. Bye-bye, Sweetie." He put down the phone, chuckling, then turned to me. "What the $&@ do you want?" he growled. "I'm a very busy man!"
I tried to explain the problem with the elevator operators."There was a special event on the third floor yesterday," he said, pointing at a red piece of paper on his desk. "The Qperators were instructed by me, personally, to take people directly to the third floor," he snarled.
"Fourth floor," I said, pointing at the sheet.
He looked at the sheet, grabbed it, crumpled it up, and lofted it atthe waste can. "Smart guy, hah? Read other people's memos upside down?"
"The fourth floor," I repeated.
"You got there, didn't you? There are stairs."
"Yes, but ..."
"No 'buts'! Did you get there?"
"No," I yelled, in frustration.
"You just said 'Yes'!" he screamed.
The door to Mr. Schmidt's office burst open and two burly men rushed in. "We been watching at the Security Station, Sir. Out?"
"Out," said Mr. Schmidt, with a smirk on his face.
The uniformed guards wrestled me into handcuffs and forcibly rushed me to the loading dock on the ground floor. Staffers wepassed on the way looked at me with evident hatred. Out on the loading platform, the air redolentof rotting garbage in a nearby dumpster, I was uncuffed and pushed off the diamond-plate steel platform, to fall on my hands and knees on the grease-stained concrete the trailers backed up on. "Out of here!" yelled a guard.
"And we have you on tape, fromMr. Schmidt's office all the way down here and out the Deliveries Entrance a half-mile behind you," said the other.
I had to move fast to avoid being crushed under the wheels of a backing-in semi-trailer.
When I arrived at work, my supervisor, Mr. Daley, was typically furious. (Other workerson my team had said his volatility was why he got the job.) "Late again!" he yelled."What's your excuse this time?" There was dead silence in the team area as he waited, red-faced, foot-tapping, for my answer.
"I was at the Hospital," I said. "I went with plenty of time to get to work on time, but when they threw me out, my clothes got ripped and I had to go home to change. We have to be clean and neatly dressed."
There was a murmur of agreement from the other team members.
Mr. Daley put both hands on my workstation desk and glared down at me. "What were you doing at the Hospital?" he demanded to know, spitting with fury.
"Complaining," I said.
"About their services?" he screamed.
I nodded 'yes'.
"Wait here!" he yelled. "And the rest of you get back to work. You have quotas to fill and Heaven help you if you don't meet them."
About fifteen minutes later, Loralee, the big, big boss's hot little administrative assistant, came to my cubicle and said:"You're to see Mr. Prentiss. Don't keep him waiting." She clattered off, at a brisk pace, on her spike heels, hips in short, tight skirt, waving.
I hurried after her, more to know where to go than to enjoythe sight of her, rushing along.
Whether it was lust or fear that had me panting when we arrived in the large carpeted room, I didn't know. There were huge windows all across one wall. The other walls were painted stark white and hung with huge, unframed canvases of modern art. The ceiling glistened with white lacquer. In one wall was the door we came in by. In another, was an open door through which I could see, if gossip had it right, the satin-covered, heart-shaped, waterbed. In the fourth wall was a huge, paneled mahogany door which Loralee was holding open for me.
"Hurry," she said, looking stern.
She closed the door behind me when I stepped into Mr. Prentiss's office. The room must be fifty by fifty with twenty-foot ceilings. The floor was dark wood. The windowless walls andthe ceiling were elaborately paneled in dark wood. Thin oriental-looking rugs were scattered around on the floor. There was the scent of incense: Icould see smoke rising straight up, then abruptly fanning out, from an incense burner by a wall. A huge dog rushed up to me, his uncut toenails clicking onthe bare floor, a few smaller rugs going flying. Behind a huge,completely bare, mahogany desksat a movie-star-handsome, silver-haired man. "Bill, Bill," he said. "Come over here. Fix the rugs on the way."
The suspicious dog—who lookedas if one word of permission was all he wanted to rip out my throat—and I went to Mr. Prentiss's desk. Mr. Prentiss stood, smiling. I figure he's morethan six feet tall and his suit must have cost more than six thousand. There was no guest chair. "I understand you had a problem," he said, sympathetically.
I told him my whole sorry tale ofabuse.
When I finished, he said: "We'll come up with something." He reached a finger down and pressed a button on his desk. At the soft buzz, the dog, evidently disappointed, skulked to a cornerof the room and lay down. Loralee opened the door and waited for me. As I left, Mr. Prentiss called after me: "Justice will be ours, Bill."
When she closed the door, Loralee looked at me sympathetically and said: "I'm sosorry, Bill. I heard the whole thing." She nodded at a painting, which had slid up to reveal a huge flat-screen TV. "Everything is recorded, for training and quality-control purposes," she said.
It was clear she didn't want me to linger. As I opened the door toleave, she said: "Follow the blue dashed line on the floor back to your team area."
"Some setup for the President ofa local beer-distributor," I thought. "Is this business a frontfor something else?" I wondered.
I was in my cubicle, back to scanning vendor bills into the computer. Mr. Daley walked in and smiled and nodded at me approvingly. He set three small packages on my workstation desk. They were identical, about three inches by three inches by four inches, wrapped in brown paper, taped with strapping tape. Each had a spot about an inch in diameter, marked in black.
"These are time-bombs. Press theblack spot and they'll explode after sixty seconds. Mr. Prentiss has authorized you to use them. You have been granted his permission. Ah, you understand. Good! We suggest you return to the Hospital—after you finish work or in the morning before work—and seek out the elevatoroperator and Mr. Schmidt and the guardroom and apologize for any inconvenience you have caused them. Press the spot and leave a package behind. Oh, and this conversation has been recorded by the camera there. For training purposes only."
It was truly delightful to wait, smiling, after stepping out of the elevator, to hear the last explosion, to see some people in a panic, others as if it was an everyday experience. I went to work, satisfied, fully at peace again with myself. Some people had been killed, assuredly, but I did it with granted permission.

Also ReadLast Seen Heading South: Intro: An American Police Officer goes to Mexico, but things do not go as planned for him. Antonio Jesus leaned his old bicycle against th...

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I'm Sorry, They have trashed your House

Intro: This is a true story

“I can beat that!”
“What, you got something better than my Uncle Walter’s story?”
“Better. And true. I have some serious doubts as to whether your Uncle Walter really had a cockatoo tear up his house. If you ask me I think his crazy girlfriend did it.”
“Yeah, maybe, but it’s still a goodstory”
“So is this. Once upon a long timeago...”
“Seriously !”
“Shut up, I’m telling this tale. Sooooo, it was Mothers Day and we, my Dad and I, were doing the right thing by visiting his mother”
“You mean your Gran? Is she stillalive, or have I missed the happyevent of her passing?”
“Yeah, still alive, or so I believe, besides the point. The point is we were doing our duty in worshiping the old bag when we got a call from the police. Ourshop had been broken into and we had to get back as quick as possible to see what had been stolen.”
“Healey Road or Jarron Road?”
“Neither, Keys Road Takeaway. The original and the best. Anyway, we got out of there fast. “Love you Gran” puke! Dad looked happy to be leaving too, despite the reason.
Back at Keys Road three cops cars sat out front. They must have been having a slow sort of day. It looked like a scene from aTV cop show . The thieves had broken in by chaining the front door, the metal bar kind, to their car or truck or whatever, then driving off at speed, ripping the whole thing out of the wall. A quick blow or two to the inner glass door with a hammer or something, smashed it and then they were in. It really was like a cop show. Although not quite CSI, maybe The Bill, ten years agobefore it got all whiz bang. Or remember Blue Heelers?”
“Yeah”
“Yeah, more like that. There was even one guy going around withthe fingerprint powder and brush trying to lift prints. Dad had a quick look around. Cigarettes and cases of drinks were gone. Everything else was fine. No real damage except the door. No money was left in the till so they couldn’t get that”
“So where was the mess? I thought you were going to tell the ultimate ‘mess’ story.”
“No mess in the shop. Well a lot of broken glass and powder but...”
“That was interesting but it doesn’t beat Uncle Walter’s mess in his house.”
“I’m getting to it. Geesh! Settle Petal. Ok, so Dad says to me, “Go next door and check on the house.” Remember how we had the only house on the street?”
“Oh yeah. That’s right. That was the best party house. No one around after five once the factories had closed. No one around on the weekends. That place was awesome.”
“I know. I loved living there. Andit was right next door to the shop. Very handy for getting to work on time but stop side-tracking me, this is a good story. Where was I? Ok, so Dad says to me to go and check on the house. He kept cartons of cigarettes in his bedroom too and they may have also taken them. He stayed put to deal withthe shop and answer the policeman’s questions. I walked through the car park, jumped our small front fence and headed up to the front door. As Iwas crossing the lawn I started to think what if they were inside? I mean I’m just a girl, they were potentially big nasty thugs, one thump and I’d be out flat. I went up the front steps and reached out to the door...
The door was open!
No way was I going inside! I ran straight back to the police begging them to go in before me. They were the heros. They were the ones who knew what to do if they met trouble. Not me.
I had two officers lead the way back to the house. I waited on the porch whilst they went in tosecure the area. I watched them shuffle through the open door and disappear inside our lounge room. The first officer came back out shaking his head looking all sad. “Sorry”, he said, “but it seems they have done you over. They have trashed your house.”
The second officer joined us saying the rest of the house wasempty and that the crooks had definitely rummaged through our belongings. “Would you please come in and look around and tell us what is missing.”
I followed them both through tothe lounge dreading what I might see.”
“Yeah,yeah, oh God. So what did you see? ”
“Well I followed him real close then once we were in the middleof the lounge I looked around. Than I looked around again. “Sorry.” the officer offered for the second time, but I just started to giggle. “That’s alright,”I said, “this is how our house always looks!” and we all burst out laughing”
“Huh...”
“Think about it...”
“Oh. OH ! No way! Really? Wow.”
“Yep. What the cops thought was a trashed house was just the way we lived on a regular basis. Turns out that the crooks had gone through the house. They took the cigarette cartons from Dad’s bedroom and some money we had laying around. Oh, and a jewelery box of mine that I only realised was missing when I noticed the square of clean space not covered by the thick dust that was over everything else.”
“Ha ha, good story! Not sure it beats Uncle Walter’s though.”

Also ReadLast Seen Heading South: Intro: An American Police Officer goes to Mexico, but things do not go as planned for him. Antonio Jesus leaned his old bicycle against th...

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Last Seen Heading South

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Intro: An American Police Officer goes to Mexico, but things do not go as planned for him.

Antonio Jesus leaned his old bicycle against the garden shed and went to the door to remove the hose. He was twenty minutes late for work, but he was always twenty minutes lateand he knew that his gringo employer would not say anything to him about being punctual.
He liked working for the Santori's. He did not know anything about them, except that they treated him and his housekeeper wife well. He worked for them three days per week and his wife worked two days and they paid well, especially for that part of Mexico.
The gardener found his spot under the big shade tree, turned the water on and placed his thumb over the end of the nozzle. He would spend the next two hours watering the grass, before triming the plants and raking the lawn.
Mr. Santori knew that the gardener was doing the yard work backwards, but he also knew that there was no point in mentioning this to the gardener. He was not trainable.
He never wore a watch, because he did not own one and he always knew when it was time to quit work.
His wife would be at the house that day also. Mrs. Santori had sent her to the local mercado to pick up a few things for lunch.
Joey Santori watched from the upstairs window for a few minutes. He did not bother to ask why Tony Jesus, as he called him bothered to start work in the middle of the day, but he had been in Mexico long enough to know that there was no pointin trying to change the little man's habits.
Antonio Jesus moved the hose to a dry spot and looked towards the highway in time to see a car pull into the driveway. This was very unusual. The Santori's never had visitors, as far as the gardener or his wife knew.
The gardener did not want to beseen, in case Joey Santori wanted him to help with unloading something from the car that was now parked in the driveway.
Since he had worked for the Santori's at their rented house inSan Luis Soyotlan, he had only seen them leave the house together once.
Antonio Jesus became more interested in the car, as he watched a well dressed black man get out of it. He had only seen three other black people in person, in his entire life.
He watched as the black man looked around and then entered the house without knocking.
THe gardener thought that he heard a car backfire, but then he realized that there were no other cars in the area.
He looked towards the front door and saw the black man leaving the house carrying a pistol. Antonio Jesus hid behind the big tree and waited for the car to turn south on the road going out of town, towards Sahuayo.
As the car pulled onto the highway, he heard Mrs. Santori scream. He ran into the house and found Mrs. Santori holding her dead husbands head in her lap. She yelled for the gardener to call the Cruz Roja and the cops.
After several attempts, he was able to get the operator to dial the Cruz Roja. After he gave them the address, he was able tocontact the State Police.
The ambulance arrived ten minutes before the State Police. The cops would have been there sooner, but they were waiting for the tacos that they had just ordered before recieving the call.There was no hurry, the dispatcher said the man was dead.
There was nothing the State Police could do. They waited forty five minutes for the investigator from the Ministerio Publico to arrive and take chargeof the scene.
The investigator was being careful. This was his first murdercase and he wanted to make sure he did everything right. He knew that it was a murder, afterexaming the bullet hole in the dead man's forehead.
The investigator was able to talkto Mrs. Santori, as she could speak fairly good Spanish, although she did have a Puerto Rican accent.
At the end of the day, after taliking to Mrs. Santori, the housekeeper and Antonio Jesus, all he knew for sure was that Joey Santori was a police officer from Newark, New Jersey. He was on a sabatical, as she called it, from his job.
The Santori's had been in Mexico for less than one year and very seldom went out. They did not have any friends in Mexico and she or the housekeeper preparedall of their meals.
Joey Santori had been a private person that spent most of his time reading crime novels, building model ships and listening to the B.B.C. on an expensive radio.
The investigator spent almost one hour talking to Antonio Jesus. He knew Antonio Jesus's uncle and gossiping about relatives took most of the interview.
The gardener was not much help. He did not wear a watch and since he did not drive, he had no interest in cars. He could not describe the vehicle the killerused, except for the color and hewasn't sure if it was dark blue or black.
He told the investigator the direction that the killer had comefrom and the direction he left in.He could not read, so he had no idea what state the license plate had been issued in. It might havebeen a Mexican plate, but he wasnot sure. He did not know that each Mexican state had their own license plates.
He thought that he had seen some numbers on the license plate, but could not remember what they were.
He described the killer as looking similar to the black cop on Miami Vice. The investigator had heard of the old television show, but had not seen it. He thought he knew of a video store where he could get pirated copies of MiamiVice.
The next day, the investigator was glad he had found copies at the local open air market. He and two other investigators were enjoying the the old tv shows, especially the ones that featuredbig booty Trudy.
Eight days after her husbands death, an F.B.I. Agent from the Guadalajara office arrived at the house in San Luis Soyotlan to interview Mrs. Santori.
There was a for rent sign in the grass and the agent found Antonio Jesus sleeping under theshade tree. Antonio Jesus suggested that he telephone the Canadian lady at the real estate office in Jocotepec. He did not have any information for the agent.
The F.B.I. man was glad that Mrs. Santori had disappeared. He had never worked a murder case before and was sent to Mexico from Los Angeles when his senior agent found out that he could not work bank robberies either.
The agent was in luck. He telephoned the Newark, New Jersey police department and was referred to internal affairs. The I.A. detective gave him a number at the State Attorney's Office and he was told that theywould take the case from there.
All the Deputy State Attorney would say was that Santori was under investigation for being involved in organized crime. He thanked the F.B.I. Agent for his time, before hanging the phone up.
The F.B.I. man poured himself another cup of coffee and went back to work on the commendation that he was writing for himself on the Santori case.

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!!!! Traffic !!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

March saw me again in Asia which in itself pleased me, for I love those countries in Asia I have been fortunate enough to visit and I love March. March as a month, perhaps more than others suggests opportunity, proffers hope and distances the horizon. Wherever I may be when Spring finds me, I always get excited about what may be around the corner, what that is now hidden will reveal itself over the coming months and willI have sufficient money to see any of it.
So it was that on a hot and humid Tuesday evening I found myself sitting on the roof terrace of the French colonial Majestic hotel at No. 1 Dong Khoi Street, Ho Chi Minh City. Above me the clouds lay across the sky like dark, heavy blankets; the Saigon River opposite absorbed my gaze, glowering back, quietlybrooding beneath her cloak of traffic.
Running parallel to the Saigon River is Ton Duc Thang Street, arguably the most dangerous, certainly for pedestrians, of Ho Chi Minh City’s many carbon dioxide choked thoroughfares. The traffic was racing in unbroken streams beneath my terrace eerie; a maelstrom of cars, lorries, buses, and cyclos. In fact every form of wheeled or semi-mobile vehicle capable of getting its passenger to their destination with greater speed and with greater risk of death was tearing up and down like a chain of soldier ants.
The insanity unfolding beneath me became exaggerated, almost surreal, yet at the same time wascounter-balanced by the solemnity and grace of the river that like black ink snaked its waythrough the centre of the city. Reflecting the city’s lights like a chain of armour, the river offered the only stillness, the only suggestion of silence amid the chaos of the traffic.
I paid my bill and decided to head out and immerse myself in the evening. I was familiar with the city, yet as I stepped from the hotel I looked forward to its surprises. The air was thick and heavy and threatened rain; a rain that you could have set your clock by during the past week. With patience and a good degree of nerve I crossed the road and stood staring out at the river. On the far bank giant billboards promised me a brighter future, cleaner teeth and four-wheel drive, the reality of which for most of the city’s population is far more distant. These dreams illuminated the riverbank, sending colourful, advertising smiles rippling across the black surface of the water; shimmering opportunities that became more twisted and elongated by the many boats plying the waters with more realistic cargoes. Like giant mechanical lungs these dilapidated vessels attached themselves to the riverbank, inhaling bellyfuls of vehicles before crawling asthmatically to the far side where their load spilt from the hold in a frightening cacophony of noise, confusion and pollution. The traffic, like a single mechanical entity raced towards the opposite banks main thoroughfare and with only the faintest sounds of grinding metal, joined the road as appropriately as a tributary joinsa river or a blood vessel a main vein.
*
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon,capital of French Indochina, lies just 10.5 degrees north of the equator making the weather tropical and oppressive, a climatic quicksand. The city lies between South Vietnam and the Mekong Delta and although second in importance to Hanoi, isVietnam’s economic capital. Like many rapidly developing Asian cities, Ho Chi Minh City is aninteresting contradiction between “western-style” development and a culture steeped in timeless traditions and ancient cultures.
Architecturally the city owes much to its long history of French rule, as can be seen in thecity’s Opera House or the Notre Dame Cathedral. Indeed for86 years this “Paris of the Orient” looked to France for its political and cultural direction.Ceded to the French by the Vietnamese emperor Tu Duc in 1862, it was not until 1945 that foreign administered rule ceasedand independence was declared by Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh Forces.
Today Ho Chi Minh City’s residents are forward thinking yet still thrive on its recent historical past. It was not until 1973 that the last American soldiers left, leaving in their wake a fragmented and broken country. In subsequent years theVietnam War became so well andwidely documented that today, through television and film, bothyoung and old travel to Vietnam to see firsthand a country that was ravished by war, a war some have seen and many “understand”. Now on every street corner, cupboard book shops offer access to this recent past, stocked with countless volumes that document, criticise, praise and even glamorise the Vietnam War,or as the Vietnamese remember it, the American War.
I spent a while browsing in these shops, chatting where possible with the owners to determine the more popular titles. Such outlets rely almost exclusively on the tourist dollar and I thought reading habits would say something about visitors to Vietnam today.
. It wasevident that among the better-selling books on the war were those written from a Vietnamese standpoint and I chose myself such a book – ‘The Sorrow of War’ by Bao Ninh.
I walked away from the river and wound my way up Dong Khoi Street, past restaurants andcafes smelling of France towardsthe Municipal Theatre, where I turned left into Le Loi Street. I had spent considerable time in Ho Chi Minh City on several visits but had not tired of drifting aimlessly through the streets in the evenings. The imminent rain was still caught in thick, low clouds and so I walked for miles to nowhere in particular and with no object of focus. With every sense heightened, I movedanonymously through the crowds, slipped silently through the madness and enjoyed self-indulgently the feeling of calm and solitude that at times I carry as a burden.
With circuitous good fortune I found myself some hours later again by the river, albeit some distance downstream from where I had started. The channelwas deeper and far wider here, providing mooring for great hunks of ships that sat in silenceas tiny figures scurried in silhouette attending to unseen needs. The names of the vessels – ‘Dinoussia Peace’, ‘Fareast Star’, ‘Vien Dong I’ – brought to mind the romanticism of travel and the unknown.
I strolled on and quickly rejoined the madness, was again amid the chaos. The river stared back at the absent onlookers and young couples perched on scooters that lined the bank. Their enthusiasm for what the river represented shone in their eyes, reflecting the lights of the boats that captured their vacant gaze.
*
When I first began visiting foreign countries I possessed this urge to see everything; every church, temple or mosque would be paid reverence to, every museum dutifully visited, every mountain, beach or field enjoyed, acknowledged, photographed and left as it was found. For weeks before departure guidebooks would be pored over, timetables examinedand plans drawn up. Now I find Iplan less and as a result perhaps see less, certainly of the physical.But perhaps I now learn more, take more away with me metaphorically and rely more on instinct, frame of mind and the weather to dictate what I do or do not do and less on the recommendations of others.
As in many of the Asian countries I have visited, where there is activity, there is an audience and Ho Chi Minh City is no exception. I recall during my first trips to India, marvelling at the ability in so many to take such vested interest in things so apparently mundane. I in turn would sit and watch as they themselves watched others, a chain of voyeurs entranced by the activity of the everyday. I find now that my own objects of interest and curiosity have shifted down a gear. I can very happily now sit for an hour or two on a street corner watchinga game of Mah-jong, or watch laden tugs drag tonnes of sand up the never-ending river, as I found myself doing.
The rain was beginning to fall in large warm drops that were sucked into the hot earth as quickly as they landed. I made my way towards a large tree in a quest for cover, at the same time deciding on a drink, so instead stumbled blindly througha stream of traffic and into the nearest bar.
The rich, fat man sat sweating behind his even fatter cigar. The smoke bulged from his mouth just as the fat bulged from his creased nylon suit. I made my way past him and took a seat at the end of the bar, ordering a beer as I did. A strange mix of people hung like jewellery from the rich fat man, accepting his loud and vulgar comments as graciously as they accepted the dollars he threw from his fists. Beautiful girls, drunken ex-patriates, lost tourists and prostitutes all lent an ear to his raucous ramblings, he their overweight idol that sat presiding over the night.
The sound of the traffic outside joined us briefly as a new customer walked into the bar, the noise and heat slipping silently in on the tail of this new thirst. He acknowledged the bartender and moved slowly to a dark corner, ignoring the strange group that were growing increasingly drunk and bored. I ordered another beer and watched as the rich fat man gestured to the barman, who in dutiful obedience, stopped wiping the bar with studied intent and moved enthusiastically to the wishes of his stagnating friend. The rich fat man drained his drink and shifted his bulk, moving to the edge of the seat. My unaccountable interest in this group of lives was lessening however and noticing the rain had eased, I likewise moved from my seat towards the door.
Outside, the city steamed and struggled on; the roads were stillthrowing vehicles in all directions, dark figures shuffled through the night – everything was moving. The heat and miles had tired me so I turned to the direction of my hotel and walked on. I was flying to Hanoi the next day but for the time being there was still ground to cover.
The rain had stopped and in dark corners of the sky the clouds had lifted revealing bright, sharp stars thatwinked down at the mayhem unfolding below. I soon found myself nearing Dong Khoi Street and slowed my pace. Everything around me was still going and everything would continue to do so. I took a final look around and as I stepped into the hotel heard the river sigh quietly behind me.

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Murder for Love.: Nobody could ever imagine that Mary could commit murder. I only heard such kind of stories on radio or watched them on TV,but this day I saw...

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!!!! Blue Monday !!!!

Intro: A weekend journey proving bad weather does not spoil a break.
Monday morning and back at work.
Staring at this screen and unable to appreciate the semi-literate emails facing me. Oh, hang it! Putaside the daily chores and open the memory.
The sky outside my window is a vivid bright blue, more than I can say for my mood at the moment.
So, I will stick with moody blue, although somewhat leavened bymy weekend away at the seaside.
Enormous skies and long desolate beach, good company (at least in part) and a little too much food and wine. A refreshing and rejuvenating sojourn, only from Friday night to Sunday afternoon but at leastthe cobwebs have been comprehensively blown away by the clean, cold, piercing Welshsalt sea air.
Living as I do, in a semi-urban environment allows me to appreciate dark nights and silentcountryside to an extent I could not do when I lived in the country. The downside was being awakened by the farm's cockerel at 4am but he had the decency to return to his slumbers after a few desultory but piercing 'cock-a-doodle-doos'.
And, the juvenile within has been satiated for a while at leastby the journey, along empty highways and lonely Welsh mountain roads, with my friend's Italian convertible in faithful company astern. Can onehave a convoy of two cars? Maybe not but we kept in close convoy, afraid to loose contact in the swirling mists, unable to put the top down due to rain forthe first 80 miles and then densefog - or more accurately low cloud - for mile after mile of moorland roads.
Driving in fog on desolate roads can be enjoyable. One has a feeling of intimacy and cozy isolation, cocooned in the low confines of a sports car's cockpit, lit only by the orange glow from the instrument panel and the backwash of light from the headlamps. The sounds of the tyres swooshing on the wet tarmac and the engine growling in a low gear, frustrated by the slow speed, unable to clear it's lungs in a mad, howling blast towards the horizon.
After what seemed like hours but in reality only half an hour of creeping along in the gloom itwas a relief when we eventuallydropped down out of the cloudsand immediately in to an unpronounceable Welsh town, allgrey dripping stone and windingalleys, seen fleetingly in the dim and misty lights. Coasting through the saturated streets we saw not a single soul. Maybe they were all early to bed in the traditional Welsh non-conformistway. Or maybe they just do not like getting wet!
Leaving the empty ghost town we run out into dank countryside. Down, down, downwe rushed, swooping along the open fast sweeping roads, the rain and fog lifting clear away and the visibility improving mile after mile. Eventually the road falls, almost with relief out of stone walled and narrow lanes on to toe open and fast coast road, zooming along the estuary,to arrive at our haven huddled between silent forest and silver estuary.
Looking out of the window and unfocussing my gaze I can still see the shining vastness of the cold Celtic scenery, hear the gulls shrieking as they chase away a lurking, predatory buzzard, feel the thin wind scouring away theurban tiredness and filling my nostrils with it's salt bite.
That is enough for one Monday. Save some memories, store themlike a miser with his hoard of gold to enjoy for later.

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The Ghost House.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Intro: Cross-dressing, murder, and the ghost of his grandfather.
The Ghost House
I
It was Monday and my wife wasyelling and the kids were in the car in the driveway. She called me a faggot and slammed the front door on my toe. The big one. The toenail ripped back and blood flowed on to the door rug.The rug had fishes on it. It was her mother’s. I let it run on to the rug. I watched her walk to the car with that skinny ass. She slammed the door and yelled at the kids and then drove off to Ben. Ben is rich and good lookingand has a big one. She told me, and then she called me a faggot. Last year after the kids had beenswimming in the pool and I had been drinking beer then rum andCoke I walked up to our bedroom. My wife was asleep in the guest house and the kids were in the pool. I looked through her dresses in her closetand took out my favorite. I took the clip-ons from the box beneath on my side of the bed and fixed my self up. I looked at myself in the long mirror like usual and my legs looked good that day. Just when I was getting to the lipstick she walked in.
“What the hell Harry?”
I sat the lipstick on the dresser and sat down. That is when she started with the faggot talk and when she started doing Ben. I am not a faggot, nor am I too fond of women. I like to dress like them. I like the way my legs look and I like the way my package looks in a good thong and I don’t mind the string in theback.
I stood there. My heart pumping blood out of my toe and the fishes were red and Ben was probably making dinner for my kids.
II
3days later
I awoke with a serious headache. I was missing an earring, and my blouse was covered in vomit. I struggled to remember the previous night. I had been drunk since the day my wife ripped my toenail off. I got myself to together enough to get out of bed and hug the wall to the bathroom. I put my lips to the faucet and drank the cool water. I looked in the mirrorand that’s when I saw the blood.I felt myself, but the only pain was my in my head. Looking in the mirror I heard a noise from the bedroom. I thought maybe being drunk, I had brought a woman home, but then I looked in the mirror. My mouth covered in lipstick and I wore only one earring. I was in my favorite skirt. A cute low cut black one with sequins that hugged my ass, and a nice thick belt that wrapped around my waist.
“Harry” the man yelled from the bedroom.
I stared into the sink, dizzy, nauseous thinking of having sexwith a man, having sex with anyone. I hadn’t had sex in six years. I wiped my mouth and stuck my head out of the bathroom door. He sat in the white rocker in the corner next to the tall ottoman. The chair squeaked. He was perfectly dressed. He had a full head of black parted slick hair and a nicely starched white collar, and a perfectly tied tie and the bathroom light reflected off his shoes as he rocked.
“Harry. Are you ok?” he asked me.
I walked over and sat down on the bed.
“Did we have sex?” I asked.
The man laughed.
“Do you not remember last night?”
I rubbed my head and my toe was throbbing.
“No, and look man I don’t know what we did but I’m not gay. I mean look everyday I drink and Iput on these dresses and its the only thing that makes me feel anything anymore. My wife is off fucking some attorney and he has a big one and my kids likehim, they say he cooks these elaborate meals and big deserts and I sit here looking at my ass while my kids fall in love with the god damn cupcake king.”
I couldn’t stop rubbing my toe.
“Well…” the man said. “We discussed this matter at length last night and I told you who I was and you were quite frightened. I guess I didn’t realize the severity of your alcoholism.”
“Alright man, but I really do think it is best that you just leave and we call last night a mistake and that’s that” I said standing with my head focused on the carpet trying to make it the bathroom. I made it to the toilet and sat down on the side of the tub and held my hair back.He came to the door and looked in.
“Maybe you will take this better sober than drunk, but I am afraid you might not be so happy with some of the decisions you made last night” the man said standing in the door.
“Oh man, come on. I told you I don’t want to know anything else.” I started to yell gripping my hair in my hands. “It was a goddamn mistake! I told you I am not a queer and I think it’s best if you leave!” He walked over to the tub and sat down beside me and my head was throbbing.
“Do you know how you got thisblood on your blouse?” he asked feeling the silk between his fingers. I sighed and rested my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands. “No” I said speaking through my fingers.
“It’s your wife’s blood.”
I rubbed my eyes and sighed. The hangover was too much. I couldn’t think.
“Harry.” He put his hand on my knee and his left hand guided my chin up to his and we made eye contact for the first time.

“We killed her Harry. It was your first wish, and so we used a rope and we strangled her and Harry I’ve got to say you enjoyed it. You really did. I knew you were crying because you loved her, but I could tell you were enjoying it.”
I thought of myself strangling my wife with a rope, me wearing a dress and earrings and lipstick and drunk and I imagined what the cops would have thought if they would have seen me like that. I knew the man was right. I remembered. I remembered the rain. As he spoke the memories rushed in and the fog lifted into the previous hours as a thin literal fog had lingered in the floodlights shining on the pool and we laid on our sides my wife with her back to my stomach my hands wrapped tightly around the rope and the rope wrapped tightly around herneck I pulled tight and the man in the suit stood behind me in the fog listening staring into therain and then she died. I remembered her body sinking tothe bottom of the pool and the blood and hair on the rope and the light red blood mixed into the water and she sank.
As I sat next to that man I beganto cry, and I sobbed and buried my face into his shoulder and heembraced me and he rubbed his hand along my back.
“Now now there son. It’s going to be ok. No one saw you. I made sure of that. I was watching.” At that moment I remembered his face. I remembered every detail. His picture had hung on the wall of my father’s study throughout my entire childhood. His name was Henry. His hair was the same. He had on the same suit with that perfect tie, and those eyes. That is what I remembered,those eyes. They had stared at me in my father’s study as I sat waiting for my father to finish typing because he said he wouldthrow the ball with me, but he never got around to it and so I stared at those eyes.
I pulled my head from his embrace and looked at him. He was my father’s father. He died at thirty seven of a gunshot. One night he got in his pickup and drove out into a field. My father told me about it one nightwhen he was drunk, and I was just a boy. My father was lying on the couch nodding off drunk his heel resting on the armrest, his foot tapping as if he were keeping time in his sleep.
“You know son.” My father said.
“You know that road I used to take you and your brother downto?”
How could I forget that road? I thought.
“Well that’s where he did it. Theysay he drove out there one nightdrunk.”
III
I sat looking into the man’s eyes.Those same eyes. Images from the previous night flashed in mymind connected with blank slides of white and I saw her sinking to the bottom and the blood and the rope and my dressand my earring.
“It was your wish” he said.
The doorbell rang. Henry looked at me. “It’s Ben” he said.
I scrubbed the lipstick off my face and took the earring off and took off my cloths and wrapped myself in the bathrobe.Going down the stairs I looked at the rug with the fishes and the blood and I thought of her skinny ass. When I got downstairs he had made his way around back near the pool and was knocking on the glass at the back door. I took a deep breath and opened the door. He walked in.
“Where is she?”
I sat down at the kitchen table. I tried to look out the window to the pool but the sun shined too bright through the windows.
“How should I know? Your fucking her aren’t you?” I stood up and walked to the coffee maker and took the coffee from the cabinet.
“She said she was coming over here last night. She said she felt guilty about some things and that she needed to talk to you, and so I let her go. She never came home.”
I poured the water into the coffee maker and it began to hiss. I brushed my hair back and leaned against the counter and looked at him. “Maybe she’s fucking somebody else buddy, but it sure ain’t me. I am a fag.”
He sat down at the table. “Look Harry. I didn’t mean for it to come to this. I didn’t know she was married. Honest. I wouldn’t have done it if I would have known she was married. I followed her the other night. Shesaid she was coming over here to get some of her cloths that she left, and so I tailed her, but she went to a bar and met up with some guy. I sat outside andwaited and a couple hours later they came out drunk together and had sex in his car. And so I acted like nothing happened andI felt I needed to tell you about it.”
I walked over to the window. I held the cup of coffee up to my lips and looked into the pool. It was clean. I sighed and my shoulders fell.
He was still talking.
“She didn’t really say she was coming over here last night. I just didn’t know what else to say.” The doorbell rang.
I walked through the living roomand opened the front door.
“Were just letting you know were here. We should be done inabout an hour or so.”
I said ok and shut the door.
“Who was that?” Ben asked.
“Pool guys” I said.
I stood at the window thinking about my morning looking in to the clean pool.
I grabbed two beers from the fridge and walked outside and Ben I stood looking at the pool.
He bent over and picked it up.

“Is this yours?” he asked.
My face reddened and I shrugged. “Old habits.”

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

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!!!!! Future Shadows !!!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Intro: The real criminal mind wears a filthy robe...made of hair...soaked in the blood of those who wish to be free.
I went to visit her to make one last effort towards her freedom.I put my right hand on the scanning screen and the guard behind the Plexiglas let me in themassive gray metal door. I walked down the long corridor to Holding Area 44. A female guard told me to wait in a small room for my cousin to come out.Lana had been incarcerated for more than three months now. I saw her coming down the hallway as I peeked from the doorway.
She had been such a voluptuous beautiful young woman. Now...she was skinny and lookedso worn down. She walked slowly with her hands zip tied infront of her. The dirty beige jump suit she had on made her look even worse. I stepped out...she gave me a half smile while asking the male guard,"May we go outside sir?" The guard was a large man...dressed in black with dark green straps on the shoulders ofhis shirt with brass medals pinned on them.
He smiled....patted her ass and said,"Yeah...you got 20 minutes." As we walked down the hall and out a door...I asked her,"What the hell was that.....why was he touching you in that way?" She gave me a hard look and said,"I gave him oral sex to get to be outside in the cross court." She walked a little in front of me andsaid,"I have three choices here,"Suck, get raped or die."
I felt sick when she said that....I wanted to vomit. She sat at a white painted picnic table and asked me if I would tie her hair back. She handed me a small piece of red yarn and I did it for her. Her brown hair that was once perfect....was now more like dried corn silk. As I tied her hair I said,"Lana...I pulled some strings...I can get you out of here if you just do what they say."
As I pulled the bow loops, she said,"We have been through this shit before Thomas...I told you on the phone...I can't give them what they want...it would be an insult and the worst kind of betrayal to those who have diedfor the cause." I finished tying her hair back and sat down facing her. I reached to hold her hands...grabbed them and she moaned in pain. I then saw they were both swollen at her wrists. I asked,"What the hell happened."
Tears welled in her eyes and she said,"They broke my hands when I refused to let them fingerprint me....I was raped four times the same night...they loved twisting my hands...making me cry in pain as they had their fun." Tears began welling in my eyes and I begged her,"Please Lana....you can be free today...you can walk out of here with me...please?" I looked in her eyes above the dark circles beneath and saw such determination as she said,"I am far more free than you my sweet cousin, Thomas.....you are in a far worse prison than I.....theprison of fear."
I stood up and said,"Dammit Lana....I had to conform for my wife and childrens sake....I warned you about writing thosearticles and attending those events!" She hung her head, saying,"Thomas, Thomas...don't you see...I am here because I believe in freedom...what future will you, your wife and children have without freedom?"
As she said that....the sun came out from behind a gray cloud and cast a shadow of the razor wire across my arms, Lana's left side and the white table top. I felt so ashamed of myself as I looked at her bruised and swollen wrists. I asked,"What can we do Lana....they have all the power?" She leaned forward and said,"They have nothing.....they can torture us, rape us and murder us but they can't touch the freedom of our thoughts...that's what they hate the most."
She smiled at me then, saying,"I'm not afraid Thomas...go on back to their world...it is their world you know....we only have a few moments left." She laid her hurting hands on top of mine and softly said,"I love you my sweet cousin...I love this country...the land, the people....all that we had and let slip through our fingers...I would rather die inhere than live in fear...I hope youcan someday understand what I mean."
The guard came to the doorway and snapped his fingers, shouting,"Times up trash!" As I walked beside her...my heart was breaking. She gave me a kisson the cheek and disappeared in the darkness of the dim lit hall way. I went straight to the Prison Commander's office and raised hell about how she was being treated. The Commander quietly listened to me and then leaned back in his black leather chair saying,"She has it easy compared to most...she is our little Soldiers of the Constitution celebrity."
He went on saying,"We give them copies of the old documentfor toilet paper...you can bitch allyou want...to whoever you want...it's been done a thousand times before....the fact remains...we do as we wish to the fucking terrorist insurgents."I shouted,"My cousin is not a terrorist!"
He just smiled and said,"Perhaps we should look further into yourbloodline....it is in the blood you know....I can make such recommendations.....go on back to your life sir....keep your mouth shut or we will open another trash can...
.if you know what I'm saying?" I turned and left without saying another word. I walked out of Lana's prison..... into mine
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Murder for Love.

Nobody could ever imagine that Mary could commit murder. I only heard such kind of stories on radio or watched them on TV,but this day I saw it with own eyes. Zach lied on the ground as if taking a rest on a sunny day. I could not believe that what I was seeing was a corpse. He haddied, gone for good. Never will we hear his voice again or see him at the basketball coat with his many stylish basketball skills. I looked at my watch; it was exactly 5 o’clock PM. The murder had taken place at 4 according towhat the doctors were saying. Agun shot. Why Zach? This was the question that everybody asked and nobody ever seemed to have that Mary could commit murder. I only heard such kind of stories on the response for it.
Women were crying, hitting their bodies to the wall of the room manifesting their feeling of sadness and loss. I kept quiet, remembering what my grandpa used to tell me… ‘A man never cries, crying is for women and it is a sign of weakness’. I tried to control my tears but all of a sudden they found their way down my face. I tried to be a man but to no avail and thus I joined the women in crying. Zachwas my close friend and I couldn’t believe I would never see him again in my life. I was filled with rage and resentment for who ever had killed my friend.
Mzuzu was very cold in nineties, and every day we used to go to Katoto play ground for ‘bouncing’ as we used to call it meaning to play basketball. A group of young boys would appear and show off their stylesof basketball. If you were a learner that was not your place, you had better joined your fellow learners in a different place in order not to be humiliated. But that was not all. Apart from playing basketball, Katoto was also a place where young boys came to show off with their girl friends. As if attached to each other, boys would hold their girls tight leaving no space between themselves. It was a place for love and everybody wanted to show off how beautiful their girlfriends were. The girls too, would dress so good to make the boys salivate. They would put on their sexy dresses that would expose whatever was necessary to make a man admirethem, not only that but they would shake their behinds and joke that it was their birthright to do so. We would laugh, make fun and make new friends. That was Katoto. For the guys, being a good basketball player was an added advantage to hook good looking girls. Girls would flock to you if they knew that you played well. That was exactly thecase with Zach. Which girl did not know Zach? Everybody knew him. His dribbles, dunks, lay ups… made him rank top among all of us. Most of all Zach never missed a shot.
But all this would be history now. Zach was no more. The story was complicated. Love, hatred, jealousy and then murder... This is how it happened:
Zach had been in a relationship with Mary for a long time. The two loved each other and everybody thought that they would tie a knot one day in theirlives. They behaved like husbandand wife. Everyday Zach came tothe basketball coat Mary was beside him. She would keep his clothes, wrist watch and a bottleof water as he shined with his skills. As we played we approached him with care because he would practice his latest skills on you. He would dribble you and everybody would laugh at you.
Being a star made it hard for Zach to avoid many other beautiful girls who came watch us train. Each new day Zach had new friends. It was because of this that Zach bumped into this girl. Her name was Catherine. We used to call her Cate in short. She defined beauty in both her appearance and behavior. Nobody would shut his mouth to utter a compliment if Cate appeared. Cute, gorgeous, beautiful…sweet words of appreciation never distanced themselves from her ear. She was a doll. The first time I saw her I had developed hots for her.Believe me I was not the only one…Cate had just that thing that makes a man approach a woman; she was a magnet.
Zach had known Cate for at leasttwo weeks now. One could already observe that the good news was in process; he was going to grab her in no time. They say stars never lack good things. That was the case with Zach. To everybody’s expectation rumor spread that Zach had succeeded with Cate. Zach was now going out with Cate. Not that Mary was not beautiful or had done some odious thing to Zach; the truth was that Cate’s beauty would automatically make a man forgethis woman for her. Zach was even taking Cate to Nkhata-bay for weekends. Nkhata-bay was popular in the northern part of Malawi for its splendid beaches which never lacked noise during weekends. Many people would go there to have fun. Newlyweds, old couples, everybody…
Mary observed a change in Zach’s attitude towards her. No more daily texting, they no longer flirted the way they used to do, no more window shopping together for the latest clothes in the Pep’s store and no phone calls. Something must be going on. When she called, cannot be reached was the response. Too unusual of Zach.
He had completely changed. Its normal in relationships, once in awhile people forget each other. But this time it was too much. When she tried to visit him at hisplace, Zach was always not available. He has gone with his friends, was Zach’s mum response every time she visited.
Schools had started and everything secret came to be revealed. Mzuzu university campus was too small to play games on two girls. Zach could no longer hide but confess that she was in love with Cate. This baffled Mary. She could not believe what she was hearing from Zach. ‘So what about me?’ she asked. ‘That’s my prob……….’ Zach responded while avoiding her face. She slammed her little soft palm to the wall in annoyance. Tears flowing from her face in large quantities as if they would no longer flow againfor the rest of her life. Zach triedto hold her arm but she resisted and uttered a strong ‘fuck u!!!’ that resounded into Zach’s ears as she walked away on him. She went straight to her room and drained from herself more tears.
Her performance in class went low. Lack of concentration triggered by depression accompanied her up to the end of the semester. Come results, she would be at the bottom of the class. D’s or D- would be her highest grades. Indeed when theresults came out, she was called to the academic advisor’s office. Her low marks were very unusual of her. When asked what was wrong she never told Dr Mark about her problem. As the academic advisor, Dr Mark did not hesitate to advise her to rewrite the two courses she hadunderperformed.
A week after rewriting the examination, Mary became terribly sick. At hospital they did not find any problem with her. The doctor presumed it was study stress and advised her to meet a counselor. She did not welcome the doctor’s advice convinced that counseling was for the mentally ill people. The whole country needed some education on counseling, because many people did not understand what counseling was all about. After a lengthy cajoling, Mary gave in for counseling. Her first session was not profitable, characterized by prolonged moments of silence. Anyway silence was also important during counseling sessions.
Time for holidays came. Mary could foresee already how boring the holiday would be. A holiday without Zach! A man whom she had dedicated her whole heart to. It pained her more and more when she tried to remember her past moments with the man who was no longer in her hands. Men are heartless! Her heart burnt with anger as she pictured Zach’s face. Something must be done.
Two weeks after the death of Zach, Mary rang her counselor. ‘It’s urgent, I can’t contain it anymore’, she said while sobbing. Availability is one of the qualities of a counselor. Mr John quickly arranged for an encounter with Mary. At least onthis particular Monday he did nothave many clients and therefore 2:30 was set for a session.
As she said tears kept on flowing, unfortunately, the carton which was on the table did not have any serviette inside, instead she used the sleeve of her blouse to wipe the tears away. Confidentiality is a prime rule in counseling. Yes confidentiality, but with some reservations. Mary had killed Zach out anger, jealousy, and love. He didn’t want to lose him. He wanted to live with forever. She had gone to his room. And as they caressed and kissed, she punctured his head with a bullet.
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