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|Lost in Dark Shadows
Tonight brings the weird connections of New Year's Eve, a blue moon, and the request for a loony story. Therefore, this best of all criminal minds is going to psych you out with a tale that is truly mental. I hope you will be charmed.
Ted, the cleaner, showed up to the castle in his spiffy dark blue uniform with a white collar. Being a family guy, he usually stayed at the office crunching numbers. But his boss, Mr. Colbert, reportedly had had too much sex, and the city insisted that he go to the ER to be checked out.
Ted whistles as he scrubs, and this usually makes him thirsty. So after 60 minutes of work, he went in search of the cold case of beer he had seen upstairs. Downstairs, on the way, he came upon some bones, evidently part of the owner, Mr. Gray's anatomy,. "Mercy!" he exclaimed, and he was the last survivor of this dynasty." Since Ted was a believer in law and order, he immediately called CSI. Finding their phone routing choices to be royal pains, he called a private practice, who was the closer of the two anyway, and they accepted with glee.
The employees, some desperate housewives (who were raising the bar of their humdrum lives) arrived soon after. But the remains had vanished without a trace. "Looks like we need more than science now," one said, "we need Monk." Another approached me. "Would you lie to me?" she asked. Needing some leverage, I pulled out the saving grace of an alibi. "I was at home when this happened," I said.
Unfortunately, at that moment, Ted remembered his camera, on which was recorded what was to him one of America's funniest videos: Ted himself, in plain sight at my house, and me nowhere to be found. "Let's make a deal," I pleaded. "Sorry, you're going to need Perry Mason." As they led me away, I was hit by a flash forward to myself as the biggest loser, and I thought, "I'd be better off Ted."
© 31 december 2009 m. hale
A spring thunderstorm lacks tact. No "little cat feet" for this pompous fellow. Like an overweight buffoon, he rolls in bellowing and belching, and without so much as a "beggin' your pardon ma'am," strikes a match and blows a black cloud of cigar smoke over your party.
All activity stops, and attention centers on his drenching monologue. With gusty gasps of wind he assails you with unwanted truths and unshakable dogma. You wonder whether his own hearty roaring has made him deaf, and you fear for the delicate china.
At the end of the evening he rises coughing and sputtering, slaps his weary listeners on the back, and crashes out the door. As he calls his final retorts over his shoulder you survey the debris and dab a towel at the scattered spills.
Imagine your surprise when morning brings a note from your blustery guest. It is written elegantly on pale green stationery with red flower buds and a hummingbird in the corner, and says, "Thank you for your hospitality. I enjoyed myself ever so much."
© 1986 m. hale
|One Rainy Day
The late summer afternoon is still, napping. The whisper of rain hesitates as a sleepy, colorless sun winks through, withdraws. An Eastern pewee awakens, his sigh drifting in the drowsy coolness. The wind tiptoes by. More drizzle.
Wait. Amid the grays, greens and browns of foliage is a flash of red, and there is stealth about. A low drone plays in the air, betraying an intruder. A small craft is hovering behind nearby brush, attention turned toward the splash of bright color.
A decision is made, and the craft darts to the prize. But it stops short, turns, perhaps remembering that it is trespassing. Suddenly there appears in the sky a second craft, emerging from perfect quiet camoflage, and racing to defend treasure and territory. The two zig-zag, circle, impossibly close, then buzz out of sight. Moments later the defender returns, scans the area, and comes to rest at the look-out post.
Below the flower glows red. Competitors are out of sight. Her leaf-perch dripping from the gentle shower, the ruby-throated hummingbird begins to bathe.
© 1985 m. hale
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