Monday, May 31, 2010

Future Leaders of America

It's a scary thought that today's students are tomorrow's business leaders and politicians. This fact is accentuated by the following random answers to high school test questions:


Friday, May 28, 2010

Butterfly Dreams (18)

(A sequel to The Strange Story of Mr. Black and Ms Gray.)

They had died when helping thwart a plan to undermine the government of the United States. Now Ben and Susan have returned from the dead and they must bring that government down. Standing in their way are Michael Black and Michelle Gray, the bodies of whom they now occupy.
-(The Story begins HERE)-
Talking To Ourselves

I climbed into the passenger seat of Michelle's car as she was inserting the key into the ignition switch. She didn't turn the key right away but looked at me with raised eyebrows. Her lips quivered and parted but no words escaped.

I wasn't surprised, for both of us had been stunned by Brock O'Day's call. As if his having Ben and Susan in custody weren't enough, they had refused to talk to anyone but us. It was both perplexing and troubling. Our mutual silence to that point was underscored by the tumultuous emotions coursing through our thoughts.

A little over a year had passed since the transmutation of our minds into our current bodies. It had taken nearly that long before we had finally come to terms with whom we had become - with what we had become. Then, in mere minutes, the professor had thrust us once again into soulless ambiguity.

Yet, there was no time to dwell on those tortured thoughts. A greater dilemma awaited us across town. We had no choice but to steel ourselves for the impending confrontation with the resurrected Ben Bering and Susan Parsons.

I nodded to Michelle and broke our quietude, "This is going to give new meaning 'to talking to ourselves.' Are you ready for this?"

She replied by starting the car and pulling away from the curb. Stoic determination was apparent on her countenance. I need not have asked.

I was certain she saw it too, but she drove on through the intersection past the HumVee idling at the light. I tensed and looked over my shoulder, but the large vehicle did not follow.

Along the way I spotted three nondescript sedans bearing tell-tale Federal license plates. I noted to Michelle that for some reason they seemed intent on not following us. Espying a fourth such vehicle she suggested that since they had been seen along our route, they had no need to follow us. They knew exactly where we were headed.

I grimaced at the realization that what she was suggesting was more than likely correct. To acknowledge as much I placed my hand on her thigh and squeezed. Placing her hand atop mine she purred, "Careful, lover. Let's not be starting something we can't finish."

My fingers feigned a more intimate route before receding and sliding up to her waist. I removed the cell phone from her belt holster and said with a sheepish smile, "I know, this isn't the time or place." I winked and added, "Rain check?"

"Only if it's redeemed tonight," she cooed as I flipped open her phone. She became serious and asked, "You're calling O'Day?"

I raised my thumb in response and listened for the beep at the end of the recording of O'Day's answering machine. At the tone I shouted, "Brock, Michael! Pick up!"

"Michael, where are you? My ... ah ... guests are getting antsy," came the reply.

"Brock, don't talk. Just listen. The whole thing is a set up. I don't know why, but they are trying to get us together. They want Ben and Susan and Michelle and myself together in one place."

"What do have in mind?" he asked.

"I'm thinking of a place with a little more atmosphere than a police station. Remember that little casino?"

"Casino?" he queried. There was a moment of silence before he spoke again, "Oh, yes. We gambled there not too long ago."

"I'll make the arrangements now. I'll see you there," I said breaking the connection. Glancing at Michelle I could tell by her grin that she had figured out my cryptic phone conversation. Moments later while we were stopped at a red light, my next phone call left her baffled.

"May I ask why you made reservations for five fares on the next flight to Las Vegas?" she queried. "When you mentioned the casino to O'Day, I was sure you were referring to the Gates family cottage in New Hampshire."

I grinned and replied, "I was. Brock and the two of us know that the Gates' cottage is near The Casino nightclub at Hampton Beach. Anyone tapping into our phones wouldn't know that."

Michelle giggled, "You threw them a curve! They'll think we're on our way to the airport." She was lost in thought for a moment. "Las Vegas? Why not Atlantic City or Foxwoods?"

I cleared my throat and replied, "At its closest point, Route 66 passes near the Nevada border. It's about a two hour drive from Vegas."

She grew pale and nodded, "Oh, my recurring dream."

"I think we both know," I said with a solemn sigh, "that your dream is being influenced, if not caused by some outside source. There is something about that Rt. 66 location. Somebody is trying to lure us there."

Her head bobbed in concession, "So you figure, why not let them think we've taken the bait?" She forced a mock laugh, "I like it!"

She maneuvered the car into the right hand lane and flipped the directional to indicate a turn onto the next street. Looming ahead of us was the exit to the entrance of the Ted Williams Tunnel which would take us underneath Boston Harbor and emerge in East Boston with access to Logan International Airport.

Bypassing the exits to the airport we proceeded in the direction of Revere and points north of Boston. Depending on the traffic it would be only a short time before we reached Interstate 95, which in turn would lead us into New Hampshire.

I was hopeful that our adversaries, whomever they were and if they were in fact monitoring our actions, would concentrate their efforts at the airport. The reservations I'd arranged were for a flight scheduled for a departure time two hours hence.

"Knowing Brock," I said, "I figure he has already put into action an endgame of his own. I estimate that we'll arrive at the cottage about a half hour or more before him and his two guests."

Michelle placed her hand on my upper leg, and unlike my actions earlier, she moved her hand and fingers to my inner thigh. She cast a winking glance at me and cooed, "That will give us plenty of time for you to cash in that rain check."

( To be continued ...

Ben and Susan, Meet Ben and Susan)


Monday, May 24, 2010

They All Look Alike To Me

A good friend, Cathy, sent me the following in an e-mail. Some of these are uncanny.

This one's scary!