Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The following short story is another venture into a different genre for this Blogger. This is the third and final installment of three previous chapters published the past two Tuesdays. You will want to read, if you haven't already, the first installment of 10/17/06, and the second installment of 10/24, before continuing.
.... With Halloween fast approaching, I give you this tale of trick-or-treating gone horribly wrong.
Joan was shaking. She began taking long deep breaths to suppress the pent up anxiety. "Damn!" she exclaimed. She had been barreling through the town limits at eighty miles an hour. Slowing down to a more manageable forty, she tried to concentrate on the song that was playing on the car radio.
....She was haunted by the past. No matter how hard she tried to suppress them, the memories of Halloween in 1985 continued to percolate from her subconscious mind. She had been reliving them ever since she had torn the September page from the calendar. There was something else, some other memory lurking beneath those that had resurfaced, but she couldn't quite raise it from the murky depths.
October 31, 1985
Grandy was too heavy. They couldn't lift his body high enough to remove the swing chains from his neck. The body, clad in a gorilla suit was lifeless. The poor guy had hung himself, no doubt guilt laden with what had happened at the Johnson house.
....They could hear voices shouting amid the wailing sirens of the police, ambulances and fire engines. It wouldn't be long before someone began scouring the area looking for the perpetrators and any evidence that might have been left behind.
...."We can't help Grandy," said Andy breaking the morbid pall of silence. "We have to get our asses out of here - now!"
...."Wait a minute!" Joan exclaimed. "Shouldn't we go over there and tell them what happened?"
...."Are you crazy?" Andy turned and faced her. "Chief Gibbs is over there. He's running the show. He'll lock us up and throw away the keys! Remember that picture? Remember? He swore he'd get the bastards. We signed our name on the damned pictures!"
...."That's right," added Sandy. "I'm all for getting the hell as far away from this place as fast as we can run."
....With that, the group dispersed into the night. Candy and Randy watched as they separated, each taking a different route out of the park. Too stunned to protest, Candy allowed him to lead her away from the park.
Joan jerked the steering wheel to the right and swerved onto the parking lot of a convenience store. Throwing the shift into park, she hopped out of the car and began to pace back and forth. Counting on her fingers as she silently recited the names of The Eerie Eight, she muttered "Brandy! Where was Brandy?"
....She replayed the scenes after the fire and after they'd found Grandy's body. Try as she might, she could not place Brandy there. In fact, she couldn't remember seeing her at all that night. Maybe she hadn't shown up that night. Or maybe she had just kept on running when the shots and explosions occurred.
....As an after thought, she began to count and recite their names once more. She was there the following Halloween when they'd met for the last time. They'd all shaken hands and had agreed to never meet again - all six of the surviving members. That was the last time she'd ever seen any of them. True to the end, each of them disguised, they'd maintained their vow of secrecy. It was an assumption based on faith only, she thought. Perhaps some of them had revealed their faces and real names to each other for all she knew.
....One thing she was sure of, was that none of them had revealed themselves to her. Likewise, she had never made her face or identity known to any of them. Suddenly she was overcome with anxiety. She was struggling to breathe. That deep dark secret she'd been trying to resurrect exploded behind her eyes. Then everything went dark and she collapsed onto the pavement.
....Randy led her to his car and suggested that they should take a ride just to get away from that park and all the activity that would soon be happening there. They had only driven about two miles when Candy suddenly broke down. Ridden with guilt and scared, the events of the evening had caught up to her.
....He pulled over into a secluded area and placed his arm around her neck to console her. She cried for several minutes until he placed a finger under her chin. She looked up into his eyes as his face moved nearer to hers. Their lips touched briefly.
...."That's the second time you kissed me. Why?" she whispered.
...."Because ... I wanted to. Because ... I want to kiss you ... again."
....He raised the cowl of his Captain America costume and smiled. Then he reached over to remove the mask that covered her eyes and she did not resist. Beneath the bough of a large elm tree they made love.
Joan awoke to the rustle of a gentle breeze through the tree tops. She crawled to her car and pulled herself to her feet. She felt calm, calmer than she had felt in years. Back behind the wheel, she sighed. The memories of their intimacy soothed her. It was almost as if had just happened only minutes ago.
....Just as quickly as the calm had settled over her, despair began to enter her thoughts. They had been together only that one time, that one night. It was the following February that her worst fears were realized. She was pregnant. While her parents had supported her, the relationship became strained over the years. They'd never forgiven her for the decision she had made.
....She had left town for a year to stay with an aunt. No one, other than her parents and her aunt had ever known or suspected that she'd been carrying a baby. She never held the baby. In fact, she'd never even seen it. The adoption had been prearranged. While she lay in the hospital bed recovering, her daughter was taken away to a new life with new parents who would love her as if she were their very own.
....She felt the tears starting to well up in the corner of her eyes as she remembered that final meeting in 1986. That night was the final piece of memory that she had been suppressing for all of those twenty years since. She had been waiting for another chance to see Randy. She had a lot to tell him. She was certain that he would have comforted her and eased her guilt about the baby.
....Joan knew, as she replayed that fateful meeting, that that night had been the defining moment, the source of all the guilt and mental problems she'd been harboring ever since.
....Randy, however had been cold and had shown no interest in her problems. When told of the baby and its subsequent adoption, he simply said, "Oh, really?" He might as well have hit her with a hammer. After they had agreed to never meet again, he'd turned and disappeared with the others into the night. He'd never even said "Goodbye."
Joan started her car and frowned with hell-bent determination. She was going to face whatever awaited her in that park. She was not going to suffer through another October ever again! She floored the gas pedal and sped off to her destiny.
...."God help that bastard Randy if he's there!" she swore.
....The gloved fingers had been tapping on the steering wheel of the hidden vehicle from the moment Candy had fainted onto the pavement. "It's about time! Now, let's get this party started!"
As she approached the monument she saw a lone figure leaning against it. She slowed her pace as the man turned to acknowledge her arrival.
...."Candy?" he inquired. It was ironic, that even without costumes they were in affect disguised.
....She was momentarily stunned and stopped. It had to be Randy, only Randy had ever seen her face. Yet, he looked entirely different than what she had expected. Sure, twenty years had passed, but he'd changed so much!
....He reached out to hug her but she pushed away. "You, you bastard! You dare touch me after what you did to me! You showed no sympathy that last night! Then you just walked away like I was so much ... trash!"
...."What are you talking about?" he implored of her. "I wasn't here that last night!"
...."What?" she screeched. "What do you mean you weren't here?"
...."I'm telling you, I wasn't here. I couldn't make it. Something came up..." he said matter-of- factly.
...."Randy, you're a God damned liar! What kind of fool do you take me for?"
...."It's true," he said spreading his palms, "I was out of state. My mother passed away the morning of October 31, 1986."
....Joan stood her ground and shouted at him, "You stood right here and you showed no interest in our baby!"
...."Baby? What baby?" Randy asked in stunned confusion.
....There was a sudden echo of approaching foot steps. The two of them tried to gather their composure as someone appeared out of the shadows. Randy, still looking dazed saw Joan wiping tears from her eyes.
"I'm afraid he's telling you the truth, Candy," the man said. "I know, because you were having that talk with me. Randy never showed up. Until now, he never knew about your little bundle of joy."
...."What ... Who ... are you?" Candy asked in shock.
...."I was so disappointed he never made it. He messed up my plans."
....Randy stepped forth, "Would somebody tell me what in the hell is going on?"
....The man raised a gloved hand and slowly peeled the glove off and then methodically began to roll up his shirt sleeve. In the dim light they could see the scars of an emaciated limb. He then strode closer to them and as his face emerged from the shadows they both let out a gasp. Half of his face was scarred like his arm.
...."It was I who arranged to have those calling cards placed your mail slots. I was prepared to wait until Halloween night if I had to. What the hell, a party's a party, no matter what night you throw it."
...."What are you talking about?" Randy protested. Who are you?"
...."You don't recognize an old friend? Think ... Ninja Warrior!"
...."What? Jim Dandy? Impossible!" said Candy.
....Randy added, "He died in that fire! I saw the roof collapse with the two of them inside the house. No one could have survived that. Not Mrs. Johnson .. not Jim Dandy..."
...."You underestimate a Ninja, my friends. After I found the old lady, already dead - I ran into the basement and then crawled out of a cellar window. I was gone long before the sirens started."
...."Why didn't you come look for us?" asked Candy. "We could've helped you!"
...."Oh, I looked for you. When I found out that the lot of you had abandoned me, I sure was pissed! I was in a lot of pain. My whole right side - head to toe was burnt badly.
....Then I saw Brandy. She didn't see or hear me coming from behind her. I don't know if she even felt that big rock that I used to bash in her skull."
...."You ... you killed her? But ... but why?" sobbed Candy.
...."Like I said, I was pissed. I was in pain and I reacted in a blind rage." He looked at the two before him before continuing, "I would have killed everyone of you that night ... if I had found you!"
....Randy stammered, "But ... we thought you were ... dead!"
...."Maybe so," Jim Dandy snarled, "But it doesn't really matter now, does it? All I wanted that night was ... to get even! Unfortunately, I was only able to get two of you. If I hadn't been burnt so bad, maybe I would have gotten more of you."
...."Two of us?" Candy whispered nervously.
...."Ah, yes. I stumbled across that fat-ass Grandy sitting on a swing. Can you believe it, the lard ass sitting there eating a fuckin' candy bar? With all that was happening ... all he could think of was stuffing his jowls with candy!
....I just kept wrapping those chains around his miserable neck until his feet were off the ground. I watched him squirming until he stopped moving!"
...."But, Jim Dandy," Randy said, "But you did such a heroic thing ... rushing into that burning house!"
....He folded his arms across his chest and looked Randy in the eyes, "You would have done the same thing ... if it had been your mother in there!"
....Tears were welling up in her eyes as Candy spoke, "God! I'm so sorry. But how could we have known? Remember, none of us knew who everyone was. We knew nothing about each other."
...."Oh really?" he said. "I think you two knew each other a little bit better than you let on. Mr. Captain America there didn't knock you up by correspondence, now did he?"
....In an attempt to change the subject Randy asked, "Then how is that you knew where to find Candy and me?"
...."Inside information, my friend. My old man had the addresses of everyone in town in his office. It wasn't hard to get access to his files."
...."You're father ... Chief Gibbs?" inquired a shocked Randy.
...."Well, I don't claim him. The philandering son of a bitch got my mother pregnant. He threatened her to keep the father's identity secret. He did, I must admit, take responsibilty for his mistake. Every week, there was an envelope of money delivered in the night to my mother. I was fifteen years old before she ever told me who my father was.
....It's ironic, isn't it? He didn't want his reputation ruined. I got the biggest kick out of it the night we put up that picture all over town. Served the bastard right!"
....Randy raised his hands and asked, "Gibbs ... your father must have investigated the deaths. He never found a ... suspect?"
...."Oh yeah, he was pretty smart, I gotta give him that. He took his job very serious. When he found me ... I had passed out near the swing set ... he "knew" I had something to do with the fire. He assumed correctly that I also had something to do with the two bodies."
....Candy was stunned, "You mean ... that he covered up everything?"
...."He covered up having a son, didn't he? You don't think that he was going to let that fact come out? His reputation was far more important than solving a case of arson and two murders.
....It was easy enough for him to pass off Grandy as a suicide. He had no trouble convincing everyone that Brandy must have tripped and hit her head on a large rock while fleeing the scene."
....Randy opined, "Of course, the rest of us weren't about to come forward."
...."No matter, kids. He eventually found out who everyone was. I'll let you two in on a little secret. He was watching you two that night. He saw you doing the dirty deed out there in the woods. Remember? You took off your masks, and ... ahem ... everything else."
....Candy gasped and regaining her composure asked, "Then why did you show up a year later pretending to be Randy?"
...."Well, I couldn't very well show up as Jim Dandy, now could I? I'll never forget the look on your face when I acted indifferent to the news about your baby. It was priceless."
....Candy wanted in the worse way to hurt him, but remained silent. Randy was obviously fuming, his fists clenching and unclenching.
....Almost laughing Jim Dandy pointed to Candy, "I must say, Candy. You sure have one great body - especially when you're naked!"
...."What!" she exclaimed.
....She was mortified as he related to her the details of his visitation to her bedroom window. "Yes, I saw everything through that little crack when you opened that window ... just enough, thank you."
...."You perverted bastard!" she shouted at him.
...."Be nice, Candy," he said shaking a finger in her direction. "That wasn't the first show you've put on either. Remember that night at the monument, dear Wonder Woman?"
...."You're one sick person," Randy said.
....Jim Dandy suddenly pulled produced a gun and aimed it at Randy. "It's like this, friends, you're the only two left. So, after I waste you, Randy, there'll be just sweet Candy and me."
...."What are you saying, man? You're gonna shoot me in cold blood?" Randy moved toward the man but stopped when he heard the gun being cocked.
...."Candy, after I wax Captain America here, I'm going to have some well deserved fun with that body of yours. I've been waiting a long to get into your pants. My revenge will be complete then!"
...."Please, Jim Dandy," she pleaded. "You've got to get some help. The killing has to stop."
....He ignored her and added, "You're the only ones who are in need of help. It's like this, Candy, while I'm screwing you, I'm going to have my hands around your neck. And when you are about to climax, I'll start squeezing and squeezing." He chuckled and said, "What a way to go, huh?"
...."Goodbye, Randy." Without warning he pulled the trigger, striking Randy in the chest. He watched in morbid fascination as Randy's body slumped to the ground at Candy's feet.
...."Randy!" Candy screamed.
The gloved hand cocked the pistol that had been aimed at the three on the other side of the bushes. The figure stepped out of hiding snapping a branch afoot.
....Still holding the gun, Jim Dandy whirled around, "Who's there? That you, daddy dearest?"
....The figure responded by firing the gun. Struck in the forehead, Jim Dandy was dead before his body hit the ground.
...."You're no son of mine!" Gibbs walked past the body and stood before Candy who'd knelt by the fallen body of Randy.
...."Sheriff Gibbs," she sobbed. "You've got to help Randy. He's still alive."
...."Alive?" Gibbs said coldly. "I thought that bastard of mine was a better shot than that." Having said that, he raised his gun and shot the fallen man in the head.
....Paralyzed with fear, Candy beseeched the man, "Why ... why did you kill him? You ... you're supposed to be the law!"
...."Not anymore, little girlie. I lost the next election after your gang's little joke with that picture. I was ruined. I had to leave town like a dog with its tail tucked between its legs," he growled at her.
....Candy looked up him and queried, "We deserve to die because of a practical joke?"
....He roared, "Do I look like I'm laughing?"
....Inexplicably he pulled back the hammer of the gun and pointed it at her. "I vowed to get even with you punks. But, I had to work out a plan first." He paused and gestured at Jim Dandy's body, "Then I found out that this useless fruit of my loins had gone stark raving mad. He was killing your little club off with his own agenda. So, I let him do all the dirty work."
....Candy's tears were flowing profusely, "But ... why did it have to come to all this ... killing?"
...."Reputation, my dear, reputation." He didn't flinch as he pulled the trigger. Candy cried out in pain as the bullet lodged in her shoulder.
....As she was writhing in pain he raised the gun at her chest. "I have to keep my hands clean. The deaths here today will be reported as a case of attempted rape. You managed to grab the gun and shoot one of the attackers after you'd been shot once in the shoulder. Then the other one shot you," he gloated. "Then I came along and took out the other one. It's going be one neat open and shut case."
....He cocked the gun, "Now Candy, or should I call you Joan? Take off your clothes!"
...."No! I won't. You'll have to kill me!" she exclaimed defiantly.
The gloved hand clutching a revolver pushed the branches away and came into Candy's view. She tensed, trying not to alert Biggs.
...."Drop the gun, asshole!" The female voice came from behind him somewhere.
....He spun around, his own pistol ready to fire at the unexpected arrival. "Whoever you are, come out where I can see you. I've worked too hard ... come too far for there to be any witnesses."
....Three shots suddenly rang out, splitting the silence.
The figure moved out of the shadows, revealing the personage of a young woman. She stopped before the body of Biggs and fired two more shots into his lifeless form.
....Candy, struggling to her feet was emotionless as the woman approached her, still holding the gun.
...."Well," said the young woman, "It looks like it's just me and you now!"
....Trembling Candy was too weak to answer. She didn't know how long she could resist.
....She took hold of an outstretched hand and tried to steady herself. She looked into the young face and said, "Yes. Just me and you. It's finally all over."
The young woman dropped the pistol beside Biggs and surveyed the carnage around them. "So much death. But it was all ... necessary."
....She placed her arm around Joan's waist and began to lead her away from the scene.
"Let's go home ... mother."
Monday, October 30, 2006
Men Are Just Happier People
What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can be President.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
A tux rental is $100 (wedding dress $5000).
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
Your belly usually hides your big hips.
One wallet and one pair of shoes ---one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.
DAMN! No wonder men are happier!
I received this in an e-mail from my wife. (I added the image.) You don't suppose she was trying to tell me something, do you?No.785
Sunday, October 29, 2006
LONDON, England (AP) -- Duran Duran announced that guitarist Andy Taylor has quit the veteran rock group.
Duran Duran said Taylor quit last weekend but that the remaining four members -- singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor -- plan to continue recording and performing as a group.
"We have reached a point in our relationship with him where there is an unworkable gulf between us and we can no longer effectively function together," the band said Thursday in a statement on their Web site.
Duran Duran apologized to fans for not making the announcement sooner, saying they realized that speculation had been running high about Taylor's future.
The band, led by Le Bon, were a big act in the 1980s but later faded from popularity before regrouping five years ago.
"Although obviously disappointed and saddened about this, we are excited about the next chapter of the Duran Duran story and look forward to seeing you all soon," the statement said.
....Meanwhile, Taylor has returned to his North Carolina roots of Mayberry, where he once served as Sheriff.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
It Occurred to me ... (Now where have I heard that before?) ... Ahem, anyway, it occurred to me that Halloween has become as popular as Christmas when it comes to decorations and yard displays.
Christmas, however, has one thing that Halloween does not - carols. Far be it for me not to try to remedy that oversight. Not being in the slightest musically inclined, I had to resort to "borrowing" the tunes from some well known Christmas carols.
Said the mummy to the little gnome,
Do you see what I see?
Way up the street, little gnome,
Do you see what I see?
A ghost, a ghost, dancing in the street
With its eyes cut in a sheet,
With its eyes cut in a sheet.
Said the little gnome to Snow White,
Do you hear what I hear?
Crying up the street, Snow White,
Do you hear what I hear?
A scream, a scream, carried in the breeze
With a voice as scary as can be,
With a voice as scary as can be.
Said little Snow White to King Bush,
Do you know what I know?
In that house over there, King Bush,
Do you know what I know?
Candy, candy, awaits us in that house,
Let us go and ring the bell,
Let us go and ring the bell.
Said King Bush to the people everywhere,
Listen to what I say.
There will be peace, people everywhere,
Listen to what I say,
Over there in Iraq, cross your fingers tight,
I will bring us peace and end the war,
I will bring us peace and end the war.
Said the people to mighty King Bush,
You listen to what we say!
We'll put Democrats in, mighty King Bush,
So, listen to what we say.
A change, a change, with no more tricks,
He'll bring us candy and treats,
He'll bring us candy and treats.
Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight, folks! Of course, you can do like I do - wait until I get up and do it tomorrow.
Friday, October 27, 2006
You might be a computer nerd if ...You have forgotten the difference between e-mail and snail mail.
You might be a computer nerd if ... everything that goes wrong can only be the computer's fault.
You might be a computer nerd if ... you show little patience when downloading.
You might be a computer nerd if ... Your bookmarks, lists of favorites, and Blogrolls are dangerously close to exceeding the capacity of your computer's memory.
You might be a computer nerd if ... Your computer is broken, you find a way to get it up and running.
You might be a computer nerd if ... You turn on your computer in the morning with a cup of coffee in your hand and you aren't even dressed yet.
You might be a computer nerd if ... You are up late reading this blog post.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
This will be probably be my last post for a while - a long while!
I can't believe it, I've been recalled to active duty!! I'm being shipped off to the Persian Gulf! God damned Bush and his friggin' war! I have only two weeks of civilian freedom left! Two weeks!
I don't feel like posting much more right now. I'm too upset - too angry! I have scanned and uploaded the letter I just received today.
Department of Defense, U.S. Navy
Greetings Michael W. Ashley,
Service Nbr. B-20-17-32
Rank DC 2nd Class
You Have Been Recalled to Active Duty
The US Navy has recalled you to Active Duty.
Because of the current shortage of military personnel, you will be
receiving orders calling you to active duty. The DOD has decided that your
services are needed on board a newly commissioned patrol ship to operate
in the Persian Gulf, so you will be joining your shipmates in the next
couple of weeks.
This will be tough duty for an elderly man like you, but, in the face of
the present manpower shortage, you must answer your country's call to duty.
You will receive orders in a few days, directing you to your home port in
time to meet the ship, which will be returning from shakedown training.
They are a ragged and scurvy lot, rather young and rough; no doubt they
will need extensive training.
Best wishes for a very rewarding cruise.
I have attached a photo of your new crew
After some careful thought, I have decided that it is an honor to serve my country!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
" The best place in town to take a leak."
Speaking of signs:
"Rear End Specialists"
(Auto mechanics or Proctologists?)
"We Fill Holes."
(Plasterers or Gigolos?)
"Who's Your Daddy"
(Music Store or DNA Testing Clinic?)
"Come In For A Piece"
(Cat house or a Pizza Shop?)
It's just a matter of perspective....
I just added a music player from here to my sidebar. So if you'd like a tune or two while you're here, feel free to turn it on. (Click on "select a station" and then "Pointmeister's Station.") I only have a few songs set up so far with some Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkle, Neil Diamond, Queen, U2, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, and Sly & the Family Stone.
....(I know, that sure is a strange mix!) Don't like my selections? Hey, I had pick the ones from the list that I actually knew!
Even with music, It's a matter of perspective...
....If you have any suggestions for songs you like to hear, I'll set up a "Commenter's Station," and the songs if they are available at the site.
Speaking of perspective:
I relented since I never broke one hundred-ten.
My wife said she'd leave me if I went fishing more;
Just as well, never caught the big one I was wishing for.
My wife said she'd leave me if I bought the big screen TV;
It's okay, the way my team's playin', it's mustn't be seen TV.
She said she'd leave me if I played Texas hold 'em;
I never won anyway, I'm always having to fold 'em.
And she'd leave me if I didn't throw out my old chair;
Alas, I sit in it outside - besides, I love the fresh air!
Then she said she'd leave me if I went out drinking;
I don't like hangovers, so it got me to thinking...
That if she ever said she'd leave me if I posted this blog,
I'd help her pack and hold the door for her and the dog!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
.... With Halloween fast approaching, I give you this tale of trick-or-treating gone horribly wrong.
Joan thought she caught sight of a figure walking hurriedly down the street before disappearing around the corner. She supposed that it must have been some joker who'd rung her doorbell and then took off. Closing the door, she noticed what looked like a small envelope at her feet.
....As she was tearing it open, she noticed that there was nothing written on the envelope. She suddenly froze and nearly toppled backwards. She was having difficulty breathing. She realized that she was hyperventilating. She managed to stay on her feet until she felt the couch against the back of her legs. She all but fell onto the sofa even as the attack of anxiety began to overcome her.
....After a few minutes her breathing became even, but she was sweating profusely. She dared to raise the hand clutching the contents of the envelope. The object of her distress was nothing more than a hand-made card. The image of a pumpkin bearing the the face of a human skull was all too familiar to her. When she turned it over to look at the back of the card, she almost fainted. Scrawled on the back was simply the numbers: 1985.
October 31, 1985:
As she had done the previous four years, Joan made her way into the park. Despite the fact that she had blossomed into womanhood, she was looking forward to their annual Halloween meeting. At seventeen she was fully aware that she turned many a man's head when she passed them. Tonight was no exception. She was proud of the fact that she more than did justice to the Wonder Woman costume she had chosen this year.
....The annual gathering of The Eerie Eight had gathered more momentum with each passing year. They no longer went trick or treating. They had outgrown the childish side of Halloween. Their get togethers had evolved into trick-or-tricking. Each year they challenged themselves to come up with bigger and better pranks each year.
....They had gained an almost cult-like reputation. Benjamin Gibbs, the Chief of Police, however, did not subscribe to their popularity. His mission to nab them was not rooted in a deep sense of upholding the law, but rather he was hell-bent on revenge.
....It was on Halloween of 1984 that they had pulled off the prank that had nearly ruined his career. A year later, he was still the brunt of many a joke. As a result he had developed a short fuse, and in a word, had become a blatant asshole in the eyes of nearly everyone in town.
....It was Grandy, the most laid back of the group, who had snapped a photograph of the illustrious Chief of Police in a very delicate and compromising position several months before Halloween. Sandy had volunteered to produce a hundred copies of the photograph, and on that night they had been stapled to nearly every tree all over town. In living color, the picture had captured a well known local woman with a reputation kneeling before an obviously aroused Chief of Police. Across the bottom of their elicit pamphlets they had signed it "The Eerie Eight."
That was last year she thought as she neared her destination. The statuesque woman stopped before the Veterans Monument in the center of the park. She sat down upon the edge of the pedestal that supported the bronze tribute to the town's war heroes. She slipped her fingers into the front of the tight bodice to retrieve her calling card that she had placed there for safe keeping. She became frantic as her probing fingers could not locate it.
....Cautiously she stood up and looked around. Once she had scanned every direction and was certain that no one was around, she relaxed. Assured that she wouldn't be seen, she yanked at the top of the uniform until she had pulled it down and off her breasts.
....The gloved hand gently pulled a branch away that had been shielding the drama in front of the monument. The figure began to breathe heavily as Wonder Woman's ample breasts burst from the restraining bodice. Only ten feet away from the unsuspecting woman, the figure's tongue begain to moisten quivering lips.
....Joan had finally produced the paper object, it had slipped below her breasts into the uniform. She held the calling card at eye level studying the image of the grayish skull superimposed upon a pumpkin. She double checked the back of the card to make sure that she had written her code name Candy there.
....She knelt down and tugged at a loose brick at the base of the pedestal. Pulling it aside, she reached into the recess that had been hidden by the brick. She removed the two calling cards that had already been left there. She was pleased to see that Randy's name was on one of them. She noted that Grandy's name was on the other before she returned them along with hers into the recess and replaced the brick.
....Candy leaned back against the cold bronze edifice and placed her hands behind her head. She was not the only one who had filled out since their intitial meeting back in 1980. She had been admiring the manly physique Randy had been developing over those years. Dreamily she lowered her arms and began to fondle her still bared breasts. She was unaware that her performance was playing to an unseen audience.
She opened her eyes to watch her hands as they gently squeezed and massaged her breasts. Gone was the Wonder Woman garb, replaced by her open bath robe. Disorientated, she began to cry. She was certain that her anxieties and depressions were a result of those events that had happened on that Halloween night in 1985. It was 2006 - why was she still being tormented by the tragedies of so long ago?
....She felt the crumpled paper clenched in her fist and sat up. How and why was the calling card left at her door? Not one person in that group had ever known her real name. After that fire in 1985, they had met only once more the following year and had agreed to disband. She had had no direct contact with any of them since. She was still connected to them however, even if it was only within her tortured mind.
....She wasn't sure why, but she knew that it was imperative that she had to go to that monument. Throwing off her bathrobe she rushed into the bed room and grabbed a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. Once behind the wheel of her car, she turned the key to the ignition and waited a few moments to ponder. Did she know what she was doing? Or why?
"Candy? Is that you?" She was startled by the voice coming from the other side of the monument. She hastily pulled the bodice of her costume over her breasts. She was still tucking herself into the tight top when Captain America appeared before her.
...."Randy?" She inquired in her best demure tone. She felt her heart beating rapidly as she looked upon the blue clad figure. She tried not to stare at the bulging muscles of his tall frame. She turned her head to avoid looking at what bulge might be seen below his waist. She was certain that he was trying to divert his eyes from her body, especially her cleavage. She found that she was hoping he had seen her before calling out to her. The thought that he might have been watching excited her.
...."Candy," he said disturbing her naughty thoughts, "We've got to help them!"
...."What do you mean? Help who?"
....He grabbed her hand and pulled her along. "I'll explain on the way. Hurry!"
....Struggling to keep up, she listened in stunned silence as Randy related the events of the last hour. He explained how he and Grandy, in a gorilla suit, had been the first to show up at the monument. They had then heard what had sounded like gun shots and an explosion. The two of them headed in the direction of the blast to see what had happened.
...."When we reached the top of that knoll we saw the old Johnson place on fire." He paused and looked at her oddly before continuing. "This is going to be a tough test of your loyalty to The Eerie Eight, Candy."
....She was startled by the frank nature of his comment. "What ... what do you mean?" she implored.
....He stopped just as they reached the foot of the knoll he'd mentioned earlier. There was a strong odor of smoke in the air. He turned and faced her, a stern serious look upon his masked face. He bent forward and placed a gentle kiss upon her lips. Just as abruptly, he turned away and continued the account he had been trying to tell her.
....She gasped as he told her that Raggedy Andy had taken it upon himself to egg the Johnson place. For some reason, the others had joined in on the fun. Suddenly, there was a second gunshot. Then there had been another explosion. They could only guess that one of the shots must have hit a propane tank.
....They had reached the top of the knoll and stopped there to see the entire house engulfed in flames. They were too late. The others had apparently scattered and disappeared somewhere into the park.
....They could hear the cries of sirens racing to the scene. She didn't need to be coerced this time. She followed him down the other side of the knoll away from the conflagration.
....Eventually they had met up with four members of their group. They were scared silly. They avoided eye contact with both Candy and Randy. Finally, Mandy spoke, "You'd better sit down. Something just awful as happened."
...."No shit!" Randy exclaimed. "A house just burned to the ground. Yes, I'd say that was awful!"
...."They're dead, Randy!" cried Andy. "And it's all my fault."
...."Who ... who's dead?" Candy queried in disbelief.
...."Old lady Johnson..and..and.." Sandy managed to utter before succumbing to trembling sobs of dispair.
...."And Jim Dandy.." said Andy his head hung low. "He ran into the house to try to save her. Then the roof collapsed. Neither one of them made it..."
...."Oh my God!" Candy screeched. "What in the name of all that's holy have you done?"
....Randy stood up and looked over the group. "Anyone seen Grandy?"
....His query was answered by their silence. He began to pace in front of his frightened costumed friends. "I hope he's okay," Sandy offered to no certain ear.
...."Aw, shit! Holy shit!" They all turned in the direction of Andy who had walked a few paces away from the crowd. They rushed to his side and followed his pointing finger.
....What appeared to be a gorilla was hanging from a swing set not a hundred yards from where they stood. One of the chains had been wrapped several times around his neck. He was not moving.
Joan shuddered as that image lingered in her thoughts. She shifted the car into gear and stepped on the gas. She didn't know who or what was waiting for her at that monument, but she was convinced that the calling card was intended to draw her there.
As she drove out of sight, a gloved hand patted a bulging object under a dark jacket. "That's a good girl, Candy. That's the last calling card you'll ever see."
To be continued....
Click here for Part 3 and the conclusion
Monday, October 23, 2006
Spanning the globe, for the news that reputable newspapers won't print. While the world sleeps, the Editor-in-Thief sits in comfort with a supply of hot coffee, scouring the Blogosphere for the news you won't find anywhere else, whether you want it or not.
The unwarranted success of Brokeback Mountain has had a dramatic effect upon not only the way Hollywood views the Old West, but how the lives of the real cowboys have been impacted. Case in point, the cowboy vernacular:
It has been rumored that the same production crew has been looking at some classic films for their next project. One such picture is It's A Wonderful Life. Retitled "It's A Brokeback Life," imagine the outcry when fans of the original learn that Clarence is looking for more than his wings.
....In their version of The Sound Of Music, the hills will be alive with more than music! They have a war epic in the works also. Ever wonder what happened to all those soldiers while they were pinned down by enemy fire on The Longest Day? I wonder how film lovers will react when they hear the last word of Citizen Kane is ..."Rosebutt."
For the ladies, there are two new products due to hit the market soon for your pleasure.
Probably the most innovative cell phone ever produced, the new Nokia-brator will allow today's modern woman to take phone calls while taking care of other important matters at the same time. Of course, the phone will feature a silent vibrating ring tone.
....Just in time for Halloween, the new Cornbrator is sure to give new meaning to Trick-or-Treat! Forget about those candy-leeching brats ringing your door bell, you spent the candy money on batteries!
Technological advancements are also reaching out to the Redneck segment of the population. Why go hunting on two feet, when you can stalk your prey in comfort? The Redneck Segway (see picture below) can traverse all kinds of terrain and will not tip over, no matter how many Pabst Blue Ribbons you've had!
The Pointmeister Gazette was on the scene when new drawings and notes that once belonged to Leonardo Da Vinci were discovered in a basement in Venice, Italy. Famous for his art masterpieces and many technical drawings, this latest discovery of his works has the computer world turned upside down.
....There are sure to be charges of patent and copywright infringements as the ramifications of the discovery are weighed. The authenticity of the documents are sure to be called into question.
....Until proven otherwise, the world will have to accept the fact that Da Vinci invented Photo Shop.
THE ANIMAL WORLD
Scientists have recently noticed a decline in the oyster population off the Eastern seaboard. After several months of study and observation, scientists have dismissed the notion that local Rednecks had been raiding the oyster beds because of the alleged powers of the oyster as an aphrodisiac.
....However, they did make an alarming discovery during their investigations. It seems that the local turtles in the area have gained a taste for the once abundant oysters.
The clothes you wear are a reflection on you. Designers have long borrowed from the animal world when creating fashions. It appears that there is a new breed of designer making a statement. These new age designers are lending to the animal world!
The costume is great, but if you have a body like this, the staff of The Pointmeister Gazette implores you ... please, please wear a mask! When dressing sexy for that Halloween party, the idea is to turn heads, not stomachs.
....To this publication, this girl is neither a trick nor a treat! They don't make enough bags!
Remember ... If you're looking for the news that you can't find anywhere else ... If you're looking for the news that no other paper will print ... If you the news that no one else is reading ... Be sure to read the
Saturday, October 21, 2006
....I'm not really a big fan of memes, especially as a
....This one, however, intrigued me enough to at least consider it. This meme requires one to answer nine questions about reading books. The tenth item, was of course, the obligatory request to tag five others. (You don't have to hold your collective breaths, I'm not going to tag anyone.) I suppose I could have tagged Peter, but [sic] he participates in these things way too often.
....If on the other hand, you do wish to try this meme, (or already have) I'd like to read your responses. (Wink-wink!)
1) One book that changed your life: ( Right out the gate, this meme goes for the jugular!) This is a real tough one, let me tell you. There are a lot of books that have had an impact on my life, so it would be difficult to single out just one.
....So I won't. Instead, I'll single out the author as well as his books. The picture at the right is a clue. Both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) made impressions on me in my youth. Probably because I spent a lot of time on the banks of rivers, I could relate to those two characters.
....Moreover, it was the author himself that had the biggest impact on me. From the first time I read those books, I've had an affinity for humor and satire. I owe my fascination with science fiction, especially when it deals with time travel, to probably one of my most favorite books of all time, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court.
2) One book you'd read more than once: I'm gonna cheat here. (Lazy?) Pick any one of the three cited in 1). I can't think of any book that I haven't yet read, that I'd want to read again. (Ha! Ha!)The last book that I read a second time was Cyborg by Martin Caidin. For those who don't know, it was from this book that the TV program "The Six-Million Dollar Man" was adapted.
-----"Lists of books we reread and books we can't finish tell more about us than about the relative worth of the books themselves. - Russell Banks
-----(I'm switching the order of numbers 3 and 7)
3) One book you wish you'd never written: This one, as it is stated, is easy. Since I haven't written a book, I haven't had one to regret writing. In all fairness, I'll change it to "One book I wish I'd never read." This one is a no-brainer; hands down it would have to be Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. I've never been able to determine if this book was a tangled web of nonsense and gibberish with no plot or content, or if it is the only book that has ever come close to being or describing just what a dream is. No single book I've ever read before or since has ever messed up my head like this one.
4) One book that made you laugh: Trying to answer this one, I'll be doing injustice to some books I cannot think of at the moment, but any title will suffice I suppose. I'll have to go with I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said by Yogi Berra. You gotta love this man's witticisms.
5) One book that made you cry: I'll admit that I cried at the ending of the movie "Old Yeller," but I never read that book. (Was there such a book?) As a rule, I don't read the kind of books that might make a person cry. I would have to go with one that maybe brought a tear to my eye, but I know it saddened me. That would be the first of Joy Addams' trilogy, Born Free.
6) One book you wish you'd written: If I were to ever write that elusive so-called "great American novel," I would want it to be an allegory. The greatest allegorical book of all time, bar none, is Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.
7) One book you'd want on a desert island: This choice will explain why I switched the order of numbers 3 and 7. I figure that if I were stranded on a desert island, I'd probably have little to do and one hell of a lot of time on my hands. Chances are that I'd probably go out of my mind being alone too. Here's where Finnegans Wake would ever get a chance for me to ever try to read it again. If I'm going to be alone and going nuts, let me try to figure out WTF Joyce was trying to say in a setting that would justify my madness.
8) One book you're currently reading: As a gift I recently received
The More Than Complete Hictchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams. This book contains "all four" books of his funny and famous trilogy. (Now when I finish reading this, then all four of them would be the response to number 2.)
9)One book you're meaning to read: Once again my response is going to reference a trilogy. I saw the movies and I loved them, but I am a bit ashamed to say that I have never read J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings, or the other two parts of the series. While I am partial to Science Fiction, I never really cared for its cousin Fantasty. However, since I have seen and very much enjoyed the movie adaptations, it's about time I got around to reading the books.
10)Tag 5 others: As I stated above, I'm not going to tag anyone. I will, however, offer an alternative to number 9.
....Let's call it "One blog post you've been meaning to read."
I have written another short story, this one with a Halloween theme. It is in three parts. The first installment of Helloween was posted on 10/17 with my post number 774. Part two will be posted on Tuesday 10/24. The concluding third installment will appear appropriately enough on Halloween night, 10/31.
....To get yourself up to date on the story, if you aren't already, you can either scroll down to the posting or click here to read the first installment.
....(No one should be surprised by now at my proclivity to shameless self-promotion, but I want more people to read my attempts at original fiction.)
Friday, October 20, 2006
You propositioned the reverend's wife.
Any of your fantasies involve Wal-Mart.
You had to take gum out of your mouth to kiss the bride.
You think hors d'oeuvres are those girls at the intersection downtown.
Your wife would rather fish off the bridge than shop for clothes.
You whistle at women in church.
Any of your children were conceived at a traffic signal.
You give your marital status as "often."
You met your wife through the personal ads in Bowhunter magazine.
You think a sex change means trying the backseat.
Two of your weddings made America's Funniest Home Videos.
You took your honeymoon photos to Show-and-Tell.
You've ever lost a wedding ring in a poker game.
You learned the facts of life by watching dogs.
Proposing to your wife included the words "when I get out."
Winn-Dixie catered your wedding.
Your mother genuinely admires your girlfriend's tattoos.
You've ever had to move a baby seat to make love.
You practice "safe sex" by putting on the emergency brake.
You've ever used lard in bed.
You've ever opened a beer while making love.
The stripper at your bachelor party was your fiancee.
You've used food stamps on a date.
You delayed your wedding because of hunting season.
You taped WWF wrestling over your wedding video.
Your wife owns a camouflage nightie.
You think a Volvo is part of a woman's anatomy.
Your wedding reception was a tailgate party.
Your wife sleeps on the couch every time you eat at Taco Bell.
You go to the laundromat to pick up women.
Some of your wedding gifts came from a flea market.
You and your wife compare beer bellies.
You consider dating second cousins to be "playing the field."
You've ever lost your wife in a poker game.
You honk your horn during love scenes at the drive-in.
Taking your wife on a cruise means circling the Dairy Queen.
Your wedding invitations say, "Same time, same place."
You honeymooned in the pop-up camper in your parents' backyard.
You've ever slow danced in a Waffle House.
You've ever used a duck whistle to call your wife.
Your wedding colors were hunting orange.
Your wife has a drip-dry wedding gown.
You keep a spittoon near the bed.
You've ever bought a wedding ring at a yard sale.
You had to postpone the wedding night because the feds were on the porch.
You knocked a hole in the bedroom wall during a romantic moment.
You first saw your wife on an Internet video.
The bride's bouquet had some poison ivy in it.
You use Saran Wrap when you practice safe sex.
You proposed to your wife at a dirt bike race.
The bride wore coveralls to the wedding.
You met your wife when your kids set you up with their truant officer.
You got bitten by your dog during a romantic moment.
Any of your wedding gifts came from the Army Navy store.
You saw Deliverance in a sex ed class.
You have to air out the bedroom after a romantic night.
The bride had a liquor flask hidden down her cleavage.
The bride's relatives brought a gun to the wedding.
You've ever told a woman you were a gynocologist.
The bride's relatives brought a bluetick hound to the wedding.
The photographer for the wedding photos also took your DUI mug shot.
You set a cage of pigeons loose after the wedding ceremony.
The tables at the reception were decorated with inflated condoms.
Some of the wedding party got lost on the way to the church.
You postponed the wedding because the federal agents broke the still.
Those three little words you whisper to your wife at night are "Pull my finger."
The only test you ever passed was the pregnancy test.
Your wife's great-great grandmother just had her sixtieth birthday.
You drove a tractor on your first date.
You signed the marriage certificate with an X.
You had to take the tobacco out of your mouth to kiss the bride.
Your kid made the wedding ring in shop class.
The prenuptial agreement mentioned a set of socket wrenches.
You gave your dog a turn on the vibrating bed.
You wrote your wedding vows on your rap sheet.
Your definition of "getting lucky" is finding a lottery ticket in your wife's jeans.
You met your wife on The Jerry Springer Show.
The most romantic moment in your life was captured on a security camera.
You think rug burns are a sexually transmitted disease.
Your wedding reception was a tailgate party.
If you've ever given your date flowers you stole from a cemetery
You've ever french-kissed within five feet of a dumpster.
You had your anniversary dinner at the food court in the mall.
In preparation for a romantic evening, you stop by the grocery store for a bottle of Mr. Bubble.
You've ever hot-wired a motel vibrating bed.
Sex education at your school included advice on avoiding the steering wheel.
You have to roll up your sleeve and look at your arm to spell your wife's name.
You've ever spray-painted your girlfriend's name on an overpass.
Your honeymoon hotel advertised "Truckers welcome."
You're making "rabbit ears" behind the bride in your wedding photos.
You dated your daddy's current wife in high school.
You carried your bride over the threshold in a fork lift.
You got a new set of teeth as a wedding present.
Your current girlfriend was the midwife at the birth of your child.
Your wife puts candles on a pan of corn bread for your birthday.
A dating service matches you up with a relative.
You proposed while watching a football game out of the corner of your eye.
You've ever accepted an invitation written on a bathroom wall.
Your favorite pickup line is "Dang, are those things real?"
There were dogs in the church on your wedding day.
You had a prom night and a wedding night, but not in that order.
You remember the entire NASCAR schedule, but can't remember your wife's birthday.
For laughs, you watch your wife's delivery video backwards.
Your current wife was a bridesmaid at your first wedding.
You've ever celebrated your wife's birthday in a tree.
You've ever used ketchup in the bedroom.
Your brother-in-law played the Wedding March on a kazoo.
Your wife can drink a gallon of hooch quicker than you can.
You confused shaving cream for whipped cream and didn't notice until morning.
You view the upcoming family reunion as a chance to meet women.
Your wedding reception was catered by your previous wife.
Your will states your wife can't touch your money until she's 14.
At the wedding, you and your wife Instant Messaged your vows.
When people talk about the Big Easy, you think they are referring to your ex-girlfriend.
You proposed to your wife while working under your truck.
Your definition of "getting lucky" is passing the emissions test.
The last time you fought with your wife was on The Jerry Springer Show.
Your favorite sex position is "awake".
You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
You're making payments on more than one wedding ring.
You took your honeymoon photos to Ripley's Believe It Or Not.
You've ever asked a widow for her phone number at the funeral home.
You have to reschedule your wedding because the alimony payment was late.
The most romantic moment of your life was captured on a security camera.
You've ever flirted over a drive-thru window speaker.
Your bed is held together with baling wire.
Your belt buckle cost more than the wedding ring.
You go to the Jiffy Lube to pick up women.
Your wife ever had to use her Bear Spray on you.
Your wedding reception was catered by Hooters.
You refer to the van as the "Love Machine."
The first time you saw your wife in lingerie, you had to pay a cover charge.
You've ever had to hide a bra before you make love.
You've ever had sex in a satellite dish.
You wrote your girlfriend's phone number on a bathroom wall.
You met your wife when she came to repossess your pickup truck.
The menu for the wedding buffet included possum.
The champagne fountain at your wedding was full of beer.
Your favorite sex position is on all fours.
You can't remember what name you used on your marriage license.
You scheduled your wedding during a conjugal visit.
You hit on the midwife while your wife was in labor.
You married your wife for her socket set.
Your favorite cologne is Deep Woods Off.
You think "showing a girl a good time" means letting her bait the hook.
You gave your wife a glue gun for your anniversary.
You've ever won a wedding ring in a poker game.
Truckers tell your wife to watch her language.
You had a marriage license before you had a driver's license.
You've ever told a bride, "You clean up pretty good."
Your prenuptial agreement mentions chickens.
You and your wife stay married for the sake of the dogs.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Howdy folks. This here is Barney Snodgrass comin' to you live on WYUK, 600 on your AM dial with 700 watts of power blastin' atcha! As y'all know, we usually talk about matin' ol' Bessie with a stud bull, or gettin' the most use outa cow manure, and such stuff that matters to y'all thats a-raisin' critters out there.
....Well, our sponsors done decided that we's been a-spreadin' too much manure lately. Harley's Seed Company would like us to talk 'bout people for a change. I don't rightly know if we can change any of you people out there what's a-listenin' to my show, but since Harley's is a-paying to bring you this broadcast, I reckon we should do 'er.
....So today, I up and gave an invite to my cousin Cletis to come on the show and sit with us for a spell.
Barney: Howdy, cousin Cletis. Welcome to the show.
Cletis: A howdy-do to you too, cousin Barney.
Barney: How's your lovely missus, Cletis?
Cletis: I see you still never went to that eye doc to get your eyes checked.
Barney: Aw Cletis, I happens to know that woman of yours is one of the purtiest girls in all of Appalachia.
Cletis: When's the last time you ever took a gander at the women folk around these parts? Ain't none of them so purty.
Barney: Well, they sure do purty themselves up for Sadie Hawkins Day, don't they?
Cletis: Ain't that the truth, cuz. That's how I come be married to my wife.
Barney: You mean to tell me she caught you? How did that happen, Clete? I been a-knowing you since we was knee-high to a hooch jug, and they wasn't nary a sole who could run faster than you, much less a girl.
Cletis: Well that depends on whether a body wants to get caught or not caught.
Barney: You means to tell us that you wanted to get caught?
Cletis: Well, it's like this you see, I had me a good plan. I done let her catch me, but I picked a real good place to get caught so's nobody would see what I was a-plannin' to do.
Barney: I'm sure the audience is a-holdin' their collective breathin' just to hear 'bout this plan of yours.
Cletis: Well I made a deal with her as she was a huffin' and puffin' tryin' to catch up to me. I made durn sure that she was real tarred before I slowed down 'nough for her to get her paws on me. I said to her, I said, "I'll slow down some more so's you can catch up."
Barney: It looks like that plan of yours done worked, coz you two done got hitched.
Cletis: Now, I wouldn't say that. Things didn't go quite as I planned it. You see, I told her that I would let her catch me on one condition. On account she was a-gettin' tarred, she figured she would hear what it was I a-schemin'.
Barney: I hope you menfolk out there are a-takin' notes on this.
Cletis: Well suh, I said to her, I said, " If I let you catch me, I'll marry you tomorrow, but only on the condition we have our honeymoon right then and there in the woods where nobody was around to watch when she done caught me.
Barney: Darned if that ain't a brilliant plan there, Cletis!
Cletis: I sure thought so at the time. Anyways, she agrees to do it. and you know what?
Barney: Uh ... you did it.?
Cletis: Yup. Say, how'd you know? Was you there a-watchin'? Aw, don't matter nohow anyway. Well, when we was finished a-rollin' in the hay for a spell, I was a-schemin' the rest of my plan that I done planned to do before I let her catch me. 'Cept she didn't know 'bout the other part.
Barney: Sounds like you had the situation well in hand.
Cletis: Whoa, cuz. Wasn't you a-listenin' to anything I been sayin'? We just finished doin' what you supposed to do when you gets nekkid, 'cept maybe when it's time for your monthly bath. Now I was just with a woman, why in tarnation would I need to be holdin' it in my hand?
Barney: Sorry, Cletis. I didn't mean to speak out of turn.
Cletis: S'ok. I knows you was just joshin' while trying to entertain those folks what's out there a listenin' on the radio. Anyways, I was a gettin' dressed in my bib overalls and all the while I was a-plannin' to take off runnin' again. And I wasn't gonna stop until I got to the next county.
Barney: Aha! So your plan was to get what you wanted and run like hell!
Cletis: Damned if you don't think like me, Barney! Yup, that was my master plan for sure. I reckoned she was both too tarred and too nekkid to chase me anymore that day. By the time the sun done set, Sadie Hawkins Day would be done past and all bets would be off!
Barney: That sure was one clever plan there, Cletis. But hold on a minute there, son. You both done got hitched anyway. So what went wrong?
Cletis:Well, the next day her Paw showed up at my door a-totin' that double-barrel 16 guage of his. I'll be damned if she didn't go and get pregnant!
Barney: Uh-oh! Bad luck there, son. So's you two done got hitched under one of those shotgun wedding situations.
Cletis: Sure 'nough that's the way it happened. It wasn't until nine months later when she didn't have a baby that I wised up to the fact that she went and tricked me as payback. You have to get up awful early in the mornin' to pull the wool over ol' Cletis' eyes, let me tell you.
Barney: So she never was pregnant?
Cletis: No sir. She done went and faked being pregnant. I always wondered though who the real father was that she didn't fake with.
Barney: Huh? But, Cletis ... uh, never mind.
Cletis: So there you knows it all. We's been living a fake marriage as I sees it. That reminds me ... just wait til you hear this. I just found out that all along she's been a-faking her orgasms too.
Barney: Wow! That's one ruthless woman you got there, Cletis!
Cletis: Ain't no never mind, Barney. I've been a-fixin' her wagon. I done took up to fakin' them too.
Barney: Tell me, why do women fake orgasms anyhow?
Cletis: Hell, all women do that, don't they? Look at this way, if she goes and makes a fella thinks she's satisfied, then he won't be tryin' to do it again. And my wife, she ain't a-goin be doin' it twice in the same month.
Barney: Maybe you should try foreplay. You ever try that?
Cletis: Tarnation, cuz! "Course I play with it - before we start.
Barney: I meant, does she ever play with your .. ah, organ?
Cletis: We ain't got no organ. Ain't got no room for one. But I did catch sight of her trying to play with my banjo the other day.
Barney: Cletis, you ain't got the sense God give a billy goat! I was talkin' about your pecker. Don't your wife ever reach down there and grab a hold of it when you're a fixin' to make love?
Cletis: Now that you mention it, damned if she didn't one time.
Barney: Jest one time?
Cletis: Yep. And once was enough for this ol' boy. She damned near yanked it clean off!
Barney: Now why would she go and be so rough? Don't she know that that's a delicate 'pendage what's a hanging down there?
Cletis: Well sir, she done caught me in the barn over yonder with cousin Barbara Jean.
Barney: Aha! She done caught you a-cheatin'!
Cletis: Cheatin'? 'Tweren't no cheatin'. I was a-doin' it the right way. And if you don't believe me, then you can go ask cousin Barbara Jean whether I was a-doin' it right or not.
Barney: So your wife up and grabbed your pecker whilst you was a-doin' it with Barbara Jean?
Cletis: Damn tootin'! She grabbed a hold of it and then took to draggin' me a-kickin' and a-hollerin' all the way back to the house. I mean it was so sore and raw after that, that I had to resort to lettin' my ol' houndog lick me for a spell so's it would stop a-throbbin'. I tell you, I sure learned a real good lesson that night.
Barney: So you stopped a-messin' 'round with Barbara Jean?
Cletis: Barney, you ain't been a-payin' 'tention to what I been trying to tell you. A good piece of tail like cousin Barbara Jean don't go a-growin' on trees, you know.
Barney: Aren't you afraid of gettin' caught again?
Cletis: I can see that you are no conniesewer of love like ol' Cletis. I said I learned my lesson. I learned it so good, that me and Barbara Jean took to rollin' in the hay in her Daddy's barn.
Barney: Well folks, that's about all the time that Harley's Seed Company is a-goin' to be payin' for. I guess we didn't wander too far our usual programmin' after all, did we? Whilst a-talkin' with Cousin Cletis we done ended up a-talkin' 'bout animal husbandry after all.
Cletis: That's right, cuz. Now all your listeners knows jest what an animal this husband is like.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Joan shivered as she tore what had been September from the calendar. She backed away from the new page on her kitchen wall. The bold letters spelling out OCTOBER appeared almost three dimensional, growing larger with each step backward.
....She knew it was only a matter of time before her nightmares would return. Soon she would be slipping into a state of psychosis, just as she had for the last twenty years. Overcome with attacks of anxiety and bouts of deep depression, images of that Halloween night so long ago would be dominating her mind's eye.
....She sat down at the table and began stirring a teaspoon of sugar into the steaming cup of tea. She stared, a blank paleness coming over her countenance, at the swirls of cream left in the spoon's wake.
...."What's become of them?" She pondered aloud. "Do they have nightmares too?" She closed her eyes. A kaleidoscope of colors appeared, coalesced and began to take the shape of things past.
October 31, 1980:
Joan was only twelve years old. It was Halloween. This Halloween was special. It was the first time that her parents had allowed her to go trick-or-treating without them in tow. She had fought with them over that issue during the days leading up to that night. She had proclaimed herself to be too old to be ushered through the neighborhood by her parents.
...."What good is a costume?" she had argued, "As soon as they see my parents on the sidewalk, they know who I am!"
....Her argument had been convincing enough that her parents had conceded. Her victory, however, had not been without sanctions. If it wasn't bad enough that they had restricted her to the immediate neighborhood of four square blocks, but they threw in the crushing caveat that she would have to wear the costume they'd already purchased. She took consolation in the fact that her parents had for once let go of the leash. After bearing the gauntlet of taboos like avoiding groups of older kids, accepting unwrapped candy, and visiting houses they didn't know, she set off cheerfully into the night.
....She silently vowed to herself that for next Halloween she would choose her own costume. At twelve years old, Snow White was hardly a fitting outfit for that night of all nights. Halloween was supposed to be filled with witches, ghosts, hobgoblins and monsters. As far as he was concerned, cutesy cartoon characters had no right to be out walking around with mummies and werewolves.
....It was that night that they had all gotten together for the first time. It was that night that they had formed their secret alliance that they would later call The Eerie Eight. Joan had not been the only one who was experiencing his or her first solo night of trick or treating. She was not the only one trapped in a juvenile costume. It was only natural they would have gravitated to one another.
....It must have been a curious sight to passersby who happened to chance upon the group that night, and they heard the jokes and laughs at their expense. Of course, it was the kids in the good costumes who gave them the most grief. So it was, that Snow White formed a bond with a cast of characters comprised of Cinderella, Raggedy Ann and Andy, G.I. Joe, L'il Orphan Annie, Prince Charming and a rather plump Mickey Mouse.
Joan glanced at her watch as she snapped out of her reverie into that distant past of twenty-six years before. As she made her way to the bathroom she couldn't help but smile thinking about that fateful Halloween meeting, and how the eight of them had managed to keep the pact they'd made for the next six years.
....Stepping under the hot stream of water, her tensed muscles began to relax. She closed her eyes and let the cascade of water caress her.
....It was Raggedy Andy who had suggested that they should get together in that same spot in that same park on the following Halloween. Joan herself, had come up with the idea that they should keep their faces covered and never reveal their identities to each other.
...."Then how will we know each other?" asked G.I. Joe.
...."Yeah," interjected Raggedy Andy, "If you think I'm wearing this thing again, you're crazy!"
....L'il Orphan Annie exclaimed, "I know! Let's use code names. No matter what costume we wear next year, we'll know each other by our secret code names."
....Joan shook her bag of treats and announced, "I'll be .. Candy!"
...."I might as well be Andy ... just as a reminder of this stupid Raggedy Andy get up."
....It was strange, Joan thought, just how vivid her memory was of that night. She was forever misplacing her keys, and yet she could remember a discussion among eight kids so long ago. She could remember pointing at Prince Charming and dubbing him Jim Dandy. She could almost hear Raggedy Ann noting that the first few names had rhymed, and as such choosing Brandy for herself. The other names taken included Mandy, Randy and Sandy.
....She stood before the full length mirror and gazed at her reflection. For a woman of thirty-eight years, she didn't didn't look half bad she thought to herself. She pirouetted to admire her still youthful figure.
....Then she remembered the last member of their group - Mickey Mouse. He had been forcing a One-Hundred Grand candy bar into his mouth when Jim Dandy had said, "...And friends, meet ... Grandy."
....In hindsight Joan realized that perhaps that was a cruel name for that chunky little guy, but he hadn't seemed to mind. He was was probably happy just to be included in a group of friends, any group of friends. She reminded herself that all eight of them had thought of themselves as outcasts that night. They had all shared the same embarrassment, namely those costumes that were meant for much younger kids. That was why they had pledged their dedication to secrecy by each of them placing a hand upon a plastic treat bucket shaped like a human skull.
....Although they had only come in contact once a year, they had in a sense, grown up together. Through it all they had maintained their vows. They had never seen each others faces. They had only know their friends by those secret code names. She wondered how long the traditional Halloween meetings would have continued had it not been for those two horrid tragedies.
....Naked, she strode shamelessly into the bedroom. After raising the window about an inch to allow the autumn breeze to seep inside, she lay spread eagle on her back atop the sheets. Bathed in the glow of the morning sun shining through the mini-blinds, she closed her eyes. She wished nothing more than to remember the happiest times of two decades ago.
....She moaned, imagining that it was his hands and fingers playing upon her bare body. Soon she was writhing at the electricity that only his touch could generate deep within her. The release was sudden, too sudden, wracking her entire body with sensations that she hadn't felt ... hadn't felt since that one particular night. She rolled onto her side and fell asleep.
....It was a fitful sleep. Fragmented memories drifted from the subconscious graveyard of her mind where she had buried them. There were the chains wrapped around the neck of a gorilla dangling from the swing set. There were the flames dancing from the dying bodies of an elderly woman and a Ninja warrior.
The figure crouched before the window for a few minutes longer. She hadn't sensed that she was being watched. She couldn't know that her simple act of cracking the window had afforded someone an unobstructed view of her and of her activities in that bed. She couldn't have known that her actions had led to another's climax.
....Still panting from the sexual intensity of the last few minutes, the figure arose and slipped around the house keeping behind the large laurel plants. There was a sudden movement ahead. Someone was approaching the house and walking up to the front door. Still hidden in the shrubs, the figure watched as a gloved hand slid a small envelope through the mail slot. As an after thought, the hand hovered a moment at the doorbell before finally pressing a finger upon it. The caller abruptly turned and hurried away.
....After a frantic but stealthy retreat, the figure once again knelt before the narrow crack of the bedroom window. She had stirred and was swinging her lithe legs to the floor. Momentarily dazed, her eyes fell upon the window. As she approached the window, the figure was about to duck out of view, only to be rewarded with a closeup of the woman's charms. The figure's eyes widened at the features that formed a panorama from the woman's smooth abdomen to the apex of her thighs.
....Joan grabbed her robe and quickly closed the garment over her nude frame and rushed to the door. The voyeur let loose a gasp at the thought of nearly being caught, before finally slipping unnoticed away from the house.
....Barely audible, the figure muttered, "This is only the beginning, Candy. Soon enough, I'll have that body. Then when you are begging for more, I'll wrap my hands around that lovely neck of yours ... and I'll squeeze ... and I'll squeeze."
To be continued...
Click here for Part 2