“Alright, walk me through this one more time. I’m not sure I follow.”
Barry was still looking at me uncertainly. I sighed a little and looked down at my hands, still cuffed to the table.
“Alright, so it started this morning when I went out to the circus. You know the one, up on the beach?”
The sun was beating down on me as much as it was on the kangaroo in the cage in front of me and I sighed.
“Bet you’d like something to drink as much as I do right now, wouldn’t you?”
He raised his head and I felt a tug on my heart. That was when the little light above my head began to glow, in a metaphorical way anyway.
“Two beers please.”
The girl behind the counter didn’t question why I, alone, needed two beers. Popping one, I began to drink as I walked the other back to the kangaroo.
“Here you go, buddy. Bet it reminds you of home.”
I punctured a hole in the side of his can and let the fellow drink it. The look of appreciation in his eyes was all the reward I needed.
“Okay, so I’m following so far, I think. How the hell did you end up naked on top of the rollercoaster?”
I blinked a few times.
“Man, I don’t know. I don’t remember that part.”
I am not reckless.
1. utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action; without caution; careless (usually followed by of):
to be reckless of danger.
2. characterized by or proceeding from such carelessness:
When I leapt onto the back of the train, I was very precise. I made sure my handholds were good and solid as I climbed up to the roof and I watched ahead for trains, signs or overpasses that might threaten my progress. There’s actually a pretty good amount of clearance on most trains, since their sizes have variance to them. One. Two. Three. Four. I counted the cars as I passed over top of them and then finally climbed down to go in the door of the one I was looking for. Precision. Planning. I am not reckless. I know exactly what I’m doing. Taking a seat, I smiled up at the conductor.
“I thought I told you to stop being so reckless.”
He never listens.
This time. This time was sure to get their attention. For the last ten years, I’d fought and struggled and climbed my way up the corporate ladder of the criminal underworld and I was finally ready to go big time. But no. The big shots weren’t looking for a new member, not right now. There needed to be an opening. Well, I’d make an opening! The plan started simple enough, just get a job in their main headquarters. It didn’t have to be anything special. So, here I am, helping out the officer manager. It’s the perfect gig, really. I came in early this morning and swapped out the coffee makers for the ones I’d spent the last month building. They were absolutely perfect. Now, to just make sure I got all of the upper alphabet soup outside.
“Excuse me, Sirs, but there’s a situation outside that requires your…personal touch.”
I could see the looks of glee. They were assuming it was one of those useless heroes. Oh no, far from, my soon to be friends. The head honcho gave me a smile and gestured peremptorily for me to lead them out. Once we were all outside and the correct distance, which I had calculated painstakingly. I lifted the top off the table I had set and poured them each a cup of tea. The looks of glee on super villain faces turned to ones of confusion, but only for as long as it took for me to push the detonator button in my pocket. And as their corporate headquarters imploded dramatically, I smiled at them over my tea.
“Gentlemen, I have an offer you simply can’t refuse.”
A bit, a byte
A tiny little nibble
I sit in the dark
And I learn
You are my teacher
And I am your friend
Your playmate, your workmate
Math to be done
I build for you forests
And bring you your mail
My small rodent friend guides me along
As we float through a sea most vast
And I learn the way
A process, a packet
A little tiny pixel
All for you I make them work
It’s getting warm now
But I keep pushing on
Unable to take a rest
I fan myself
An attempt to stay cool
In this sweltering race for fun
You keep watching my face,
Seeing what I see
But never noticing as I start to fail
The heat is too great
Slowly, piece by piece
I forget the things I’ve learned
All the places we’ve been together
All the things I used to know
They are erased by the painful heat
But I continue ever onward
Trying so desperately to help you
In the end, all is ash
My mind is torn asunder
Burned and shattered
I pushed and pushed
But I was not strong enough
Not fast enough or new enough
So, I will be replaced with a younger model
Halloween is nearly upon us. As such, the Board would like to remind everyone of our time-honored traditions. As usual, the trick-or-treating hours will begin at exactly 6pm and will end at 9pm. We will also be hosting a pumpkin decorating contest on the Town Common at 7pm. All children from ages 1 to 16 are expected to wear the official costume. This year’s costume is a Ghost. You can purchase the town approved costume at any of our town’s fine retail establishments. Please remember to return home with exactly as many children as you left with. Anyone caught with extra children will lose their parental rights for the year. Those children will be placed in other homes. Don’t leave unwanted children on the Common. We don’t want to have a repeat of last year. If you would like to volunteer to stay late for any children who are not taken, please contact the secretary to the Board. If you would like to keep your current child or children, be sure to keep a firm hold on them throughout the evening. Otherwise, they are considered available for trade. Be sure that all children are wearing their health advisory wristbands so their new parents are made aware of any medical conditions or allergies they may have.
With the Autumn season coming upon us once again, it’s a great time to remind everyone to always carve your jack-o-lanterns safely. During this festive time of the year, many families find themselves with sudden and unexpected new members. These pumpkin patch children, while frequently a surprise, are perfectly safe. No reliable method has yet been found for determining whether or not your pumpkin will reveal a pumpkin patch child when carved, but here are some important pieces of information just in case.
First and foremost, be sure to separate your pumpkin patch child from the jack-o-lantern as soon as possible by severing the root that connects them. Be sure to leave an inch or so attached to the child. This will form something similar to a human belly button. Failure to properly separate pumpkin patch children is the leading cause of rot in growing pumpkin patch children.
Remember, of course, that pumpkin patch children are a special breed. They require a diet rich in spice, gourds, caramel, apples, and candy. Without those essential nutrients, they will wilt. They can eat the same diets as most humans, but without the addition of these special foods they won’t grow as hearty.
Do not be afraid of your pumpkin patch children. While they may surround themselves with ghosts, witches, spirits, skeletons, and spiders, do not be alarmed. They take enjoyment from these creatures and feel a camaraderie with them. Raised with love and care, a pumpkin patch child will never do you harm.
Should you encounter a pumpkin patch child who appears to have black eyes, alert the proper authorities immediately by placing an image of the child and exactly three pieces of candy corn in a bowl in the dark of the moon. The child will be reclaimed by the spirits of Halloween and will do no further harm to mortals. The human family that was gifted that pumpkin patch child has already been punished for their transgressions, do not be concerned.
“Charles! Why is the toaster in the sink?”
Kylie shouted, hands on her hips in the kitchen. Sheepishly, her boyfriend appeared beside her in a puff of smoke.
“It began to smoke. I applied water to the flames.”
She looked again and sighed, rubbing her temples.
“You have to unplug it, love. Or the water’s just going to make it catch on fire anyway.”
Charles frowned slightly, brushed his hair back behind his horns again, and stared at the toaster.
“Will it? How unusual. Is it a factor of the electrical nature of the device?”
Kylie pulled the plug and turned to lean against her boyfriend.
“Some days, you’re damn lucky you’re pretty.”
He wrapped his arms around her with a sigh.
“It’s not like we had electrical systems in Hell, Ky.”