Category Archives: fiction

Meandering With A Purpose

 

Sometimes it feel like I’m falling down a hole

… other times it just feels like I’m lying in a pipe.


I guess I shouldn’t take the shortcut through the construction site on the way home from the bar.

 

note: abandoned construction sites usually have new buildings on them.

double note: holes appear naturally, it makes no sense to dig them.

triple note: usually when I lie in a pipe … it’s about how I got in the pipe.

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Today #138

Today I’m finally watching “Withnail & I“. “My thumbs have gone weird.” … I like it already. Thanks S. Le!

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Lemmings

 

 

It’s not true what they say about lemmings.

It’s just a myth.

They don’t taste like lemons at all!

… more like limes actually.

 

 note: “Take us to your leader.”
           
“Follow us!”

double note: if I was a lemming, I’d go to Acapulco, Mexico and make my fortune cliff diving. … but I’d only do it once.

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Today #97

Today I came home to 3 degrees Celcius interior house temperature. It’s a balmy 9 degrees now. Thanks for asking.
I think there are going to be a lot of “todays” like this for a while.

Same Ship, Different Day

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My little book “Same Ship, Different Day” is now in print!

I think most of you have seen most of this stuff already in a little different form on WordPress already, so I would really like to send anyone and everyone on my blogroll a free copy to say thank you for reading and leaving comments on this blog.
My e-mail is: hey_ross@hotmail.com

Your names are at the back of the book as well! … if that is any incentive.

You can preview the entire book for free by clicking on the link below. Leaving a comment over at Blurb would be greatly appreciated as well.

 

note: a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Erica Pannen, Jan Kennedy, and Nancy Roberge for proofreading and offering constructive criticism.
… and a BIG THANK YOU to Kelly Pettit for doing the front and backcover up so nicely.

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notes to myself #199

We get tired of writing notes to ourself, so we end up putting something else down at the bottom of these posts after notes to myself #199.

C-Quelling

 

I’m glad not every popular book spawns a sequel.

Some books are without equal … or sequels.

 

I’m glad to live in a world without:

Vegetable Farm

1985

Pitcher in the Rye

Slaughterhouse-Six

Off the Road

The Executioner’s Song (extended remix)

In Warm Blood

Two Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Oliver Shout

The Adventures of Tom Seenyer (possibly Tom Seeyer as a prequel)

To Kill a Bunch of Mockingbirds

The Deaf Assassin

Johnny Got His Bigger Gun

Moby Harry  (possibly Moby Tom as a prequel)

The Sun Also Sets

Humble and Accepting

The Razor’s Twin Edge

Atlas Gets Two For Flinching

The Last of the Mohicans: The Next Day

Stranger in a Strangerland

.

note: who was this Ernest Heming anyway?

double note: yes I know there was more than one Tom Sawyer book, but it was such an easy one!

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notes to myself #137

Graham Greene the author is dead. Don’t keep looking for more books by him.
Graham Greene the actor is still alive … I don’t know if he’s written any good books though.

Creative Writhing: The Taking of Orders Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, it’s here.

 

Somewhere in the American Unorganized Territory 1850

 

It was easy to catch the thread of Rankin’s story as it unravelled.

He pasted the floor as he spoke: I was already glued to my chair.

“I was riding Of Course to Whitey the blacksmith with an ax to grind when a few trees knocked me off Of Course and he ran off at the mouth of the river.

The trees put up a pretty good fight, but I went all out on a limb with the ax and left them pining and kindling for better days. I was hunting around for my horse Of Course when the bushes bushwhacked* me. I whacked back, but soon found myself on thin ice … which I fell through.
I managed to pull myself out of the river further downstream, get out of my britches before they froze, and came here.”

Rankin had been lucky.

A similar freak event had happened to me a week earlier.

I had walked slowly in to some quicksand and quickly found myself over my head and grasping for air.
I would have been a goner for sure except a passing goat fancied my hat and tried to grab it as it floated on the quicksand’s surface. I grabbed on to the goat’s neck and it pulled me out.
I’ll always think of it as my personal escape goat.

Nature was against us for some reason.

Rankin and myself had been spared so far; our younger brother Otto hadn’t.

 

to be continued …

* S. Le‘s contribution to this amazingly saggy saga

Creative Writhing: The Taking of Orders Part 1

Somewhere in the American Unorganized Territory 1850

 

The dog days of winter.
It was so cold I had to start a fire to warm up my wood before I could start a fire.
I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee from my only cup; I’d heard having more than one cup would keep me awake at night. Being awake in the daytime was bad enough these days.

Looking out the window I saw a figure coming out of the horizon vertically.
It was Rankin Order walking in the snow away from the distance toward the cabin. He must have burnt all his britches cause he was in his underwear.

I’d recognize him in any wear anywhere.

He was tough as snails and as cruel as a cucumber. He was rough like a sanded table top with sand on it. He was as hard as a soft boiled egg cooked for too long. If he hit you, you’d squeal like a stuffed pig and probably run around like a cow with its head cut off.
I’m sure walking a smile in his boots would produce a frown or a sneer as I can tell.

He was Rankin to most, but to those close to him, he was just Rank.

He’d always been Rank to me; I was his brother.

As he came closer to the cabin, he called “Justin! You in there?

I answered “no“, but that didn’t fool him.

When I opened the door I asked, “What happened to you?

Got ambushed” was his reply.

By who?” tumbled out of my mouth.

More like ‘By what?’    By bushes!

 

This may sound strange, but I didn’t disbelieve him for a second.

 

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The Questionables: The Brief Case Of The Missing Half Eleven

The Case of the Missing Half Eleven

 

 Violet sat at her round table at the very back of classroom ‘Dandelion 3‘ in the Happy Rainbow Kindergarten. Her teacher Miss Sasquatch was dealing with an emergency. Well, not really an emergency …  unless emergencies happen every other day or so … an involve a mop and clean underwear being pulled out.

Violet was noticing notable things in her two meter sphere of influence until she lost her concentration and saw the clock on the wall at the front of the classroom.

Graham, look at the clock.” she said while nudging the boy in the next chair who seemed to be pre-occupied with something in his pocket … or possibly an imaginary something in his pocket.

Where?” he replied.

Where the clock is. It’s missing half of the eleven.” she stated.

Which half?

I don’t know.” she muttered.

Usually Violet knew the answer to everything, so her uncertainty made Graham stop concentrating on the real or imaginary something in his pocket  and start concentrating on the missing half a number.

Maybe elevens have become ‘stinct like the railing on my bed. I can live without elevens; less to remember. Do you do anything important at eleven?” Graham asked in a non-curious way.

I’m either sleeping or … . I don’t remember anything I do at 11 o’clock!” Violet said in a voice like a lightbulb turning on.

Not listening to Violet, Graham added thoughtfully, “I hope they keep twelve though. That’s lunchtime and I wouldn’t like not having lunch.

When their teacher reappeared, Violet stuck up both hands and called “Miss Sasquatch!“.

My name is Mrs. Kwatch, Violet. Do you have a question?

Miss Sasquatch had an annoying habit of stating her name everytime Violet had a question, but Violet was a patient child.

Why is half of eleven missing from the clock?

Miss Sasquatch reached up, pulled the clock down, and examined it.

One of the ones has come unglued and fallen off.” she said while putting the clock back up on the wall.

Which one fell off?” chimed in Graham.

The left one” Miss Sasquatch answered.

This didn’t really satisfy Graham who had his shoes on the wrong feet, but it was time to fingerpaint; so everything was okay.

 

 

note: it’s all pre-elementary I guess.

 

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Walter’s Wish

Walter's Wish

 

This is the story of Walter when he was turning 10 years old and wasn’t very rottenish any more.

On his birthday Walter was expecting all the things he’d wished for and had blatantly hinted hints to his parents about since his last birthday … or at least since everyday between Christmas and his birthday.

He opened the first present with high hopes: a skirt with colorful butterflies on it.
The next present was a book about veterinarians.
After that things just got worse and worser: a beadmaking set, strawberry scented stationery, a boy band poster, …

The last thing he opened was a birthday card with a $50 bill inside.

He didn’t know why he’d received such strange presents; but being a not so rottenish kid, he thanked his parents, phoned and thanked his grandmother for the skirt with the colorful butterflies on it, and then put all the presents in his closet … except for the $50 bill which disappeared into his authentic genuine velcro replica SpongeBob SquarePants wallet.

The selection and inappropriateness of the presents was a mystery, but he reasoned “nobody can give great presents all the time“, and shrugged it off as an isolated incident.

As Christmas approached at its usual approach speed of “almost unapproachablely slow“, Walter wished very hard for video games, a slingshot, and remote controlled stuff.
He made daily subtle hints to his parents like “I want video games” and “I want a slingshot” and even covertly suggested sneakily in a loud voice “I want remote controlled stuff”.

On Christmas morning he awoke to  an EasyBake Oven, rainbow striped knee high socks with individual toes, a Little Mermaid diary with a little mermaid lock on it, a My Little Pony pony or possibly a short horse, and more boy band posters.
The only thing that saved Christmas was another $50 bill inside a Christmas card.

Disappointed but still putting on a brave face, he thanked his parents, phoned and thanked his grandmother for the rainbow striped knee high socks with individual toes, and then put all the presents in his closet with the other ones … except for the $50 bill which disappeared into his authentic genuine velcro replica SpongeBob SquarePants wallet.

As his 11th birthday loomed very loomingly in the distance, Walter hadn’t forgotten about the very strange presents he’d received over the last year.
For a whole month before his birthday, Walter wished for one thing and one thing only.
Every waking hour he wished and rewished for the same single solitary thing over and over again repeatedly and re-repeatedly.

On his birthday he opened all his presents: a curling iron, trolls, a crocheted Hello Kitty handbag, a candle making set, a book about fairies and unicorns, and more boy band posters.

Walter's closet

A $50 bill was tucked inside a card as usual too.

He feigned enthusiasm for each gift, thanked his parents, phoned and thanked his grandmother for the crocheted Hello Kitty handbag, and then placed the new presents alongside the others in his closet.

While he was disappearing the $50 bill into his authentic genuine velcro replica SpongeBob SquarePants wallet, the phone rang.

Hello” said Walter expectantly.

Hello. Is this Walter Penny? My name is Penny Walters. It’s my birthday and I just got a t-shirt with your name and phone number on it.” said the girl on the other end of the line.

Walter smiled to himself; his wish had come true.

Walter and Penny eventually met and exchanged all their birthday and Christmas presents, and promised to meet again if this strange “wish mix up” continued.

Walking away Walter guiltily wondered why Penny had not mentioned the $50 bills.

At the same time, Penny guiltily was wondering why Walter hadn’t mentioned the $100 bills she’d been receiving inside her birthday and Christmas cards.

 

note: I’m off on holidays and driving down to Kobe and Hiroshima. I’ll see you in a week or so. Have a good week! Feel free to  wander or wonder around the blog.

 

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Theo’s Thoughts

Collected Thoughts

 

 This is the story of Theo when he was eight and not so rottenish yet.

Theo thought he needed a hobby; actually, his parents insisted he do something other than skulk around claiming he was bored all the time.

All his friends had hobbies: sports cards, stamps, coins, trainspotting, advanced robotics, …

One of his friends even collected teeth; but his father was a dentist, so that was only mildly disturbing.

Theo decided to collect his thoughts.

He would put them in jars, label them, and keep them in a bookcase that was really doing nothing except holding a bunch of  books.

He thought about all the thoughts he thought in one day …or at least thought about all the thoughts he thought he thought about in one day … and realized he had too many thoughts to collect all of them.
 He only had 35 jars, so he decided “happy thoughts” might be a good start.

Over the next few weeks he collected and organized all his “happy thoughts” about finding money, ice cream, toys, running through sprinklers, …

In no time at all, all his jars were full!
Surprisingly, 3 jars were exclusively filled with “happy thoughts” about ice cream!

It was a very fine collection of thoughts.

He soon realized that since all his “happy thoughts” were bottled up, labelled, and stacked away; he had a very large number of “sad thoughts” floating around in his head.
With no “happy thoughts” to chase the “sad thoughts” away, they just lingered.

This made him sadder.

Theo decided it would be a good idea to free all his “happy thoughts” and start collecting his “sad thoughts” instead.

He refilled his jars with “sad thoughts” about broken bones, no dessert, vaccination needles, dropped ice cream cones, dentist visits …

Other Collected Thoughts ... and some asparagus too

 

It took him a whole month to fill up all 35 jars. 

He concluded that “sad thoughts” were more difficult to trap  than “happy thoughts” because they didn’t like jars.

With no more “sad thoughts” in his head, Theo thought he’d be really happy: but he wasn’t.

Without any “sad thoughts” to balance his “happy thoughts“, his “happy thoughts” weren’t as strong or happy anymore …  kind of like appreciating being healthy a lot more after being sick … or how a cold Winter makes Spring’s arrival so much better. He needed both sadly, or happily.

Theo decided to release his “sad thoughts” and resolved  never to collect his thoughts ever again.

He used the 35 jars to catch colds instead.

 

note: The jar of asparaguses on the floor is not a “sad thought“: Theo just dropped it accidentally on purpose while walking by the bookcase on the way to the dinner table. He had a “happy thought” right after he did this for some reason.

 

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The Measures

The Weights and Measures 

The Measure family lived a half mile out of town in a semi-detached house on a quarter acre lot in the “Wuthering Heights” subdivision. Some people thought the area was named after the nearby heath and cliff; others, thought it was given the name because it was boring like the book.

Mr. Measure was a surveyor and Mrs. Measure a pharmacist. They had one child together named Milli.

Milli Measure

Since her parents had been married once or twice before, Milli had three half-brothers which she collectively called her one and a half brothers. She had a step-sister she referred to as her quarter sister; and she had an adopted sister who was one eighth something, so she called her Susan.

Many times the siblings were divided on issues, but they usually met each other halfway.
All the children were loved equally by their parents and often Mr. Measure would proudly exclaim, “When it comes to our family, there are no half-Measures!

They had a pet quarter-horse that was half thoroughbred and half whole grain, named Raisin; but the children called it Edward Furlong for some reason.

Edward Furlong  a.k.a Raisin

The Measures had a yard sale to raise money for their favorite charity, ” The Halfway Green House for House Plants” which grew house plants and promoted “Being Green Around The House” and wished to combat dehouseplantation because deforestation was too big to combat with only one greenhouse and limited funds raised from the charity box at their onsite gas station.

A big turn out turned out for the Measures’ yard sale.
Their wares included: square shoes for square feet in various sizes; half pants with a few holes in them and whole pants with half as many holes in them as the half pants; antique coffee table spoons; uncletique half pipes for snowboarders; old games with missing pieces and missing pieces for old games; weigh scales, piano scales, and alligator scales from Alligator shirts made in China; and garden metrognomes.

garden variety metrognome

 

They also sold: half slices of pizza and watermelon, quarter cupcakes, full half cups of coffee, and hamburgers that they had no idea how much meat were in them!

Mr. Measure went around shouting half orders to everyone and by the end of the day most of the Measures were going half out of their minds and were half fed up.
Eventually half of everything was sold which was almost everything because everything was pretty much half to begin with.

The Measures raised enough money for “The Halfway Green House For House Plants” that the charity was able to build another greenhouse and change their name to “The Wholeway Halfway Green Houses For House Plants And Semi-Tropical Ferns“.

 

note: I’d mention their neighbors “The Weights“, but that’s a heavy subject.

Mr. Weight waiting

 

 

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