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IT’S A DOG’S WORLD

IMAG1131_1Funny name these humans gave me. “King” It sounds rather nondescript; what is a king? From my point of view, I must be a big deal. I feel important for some reason. They slather me with praise, always telling me I am highly qualified for this title. “Good King” I heard the hairy one say to me.

The tall, leggy one with the tail in the back of its head… she looks lost in this place. Apparently, my kingdom does not suit her, and the point is moot to her. She seems to be miles away as she stand right there. And that other animal they have… they put in down to play with me. But I am as afraid of it as it is of me. And it smells funny… a cross between baby oil and poop. If it needs to go out, they should let it out.

And what is it about my tail that fascinates it? Always pulling me backwards. Let me voice my opinion just once, and they bring out that rolled paper thing and tell me I’m a “Bad King”. I think I’m getting the hang of this “Good King/Bad King” thing.

But there’s a lot of activity today. It looks festive. A day fit for a… a… well, King! A day fit for … ME! It smells good in here, and I’m getting hungry. Let me get up here and get a closer view! Such a nice spread, I’m glad I stuck around and not followed that poodle to God-knows where. At least I get to keep what falls off the edge.

“HEY, GET THOSE BRUSSELS SPROUTS OUT OF HERE!”

The King is fed. Long live the king!

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THE HISTORIAN

PencilpageShe held her ledgers closely, as if protecting their contents from prying eyes. But how can history stay hidden? She wanted the world to learn what life had been before the conflagration. But she had forgotten one important fact. A far as she knew, she was the only survivor.

They had called her “Historian”. That was a name that carried great import. And since the Great Truth Purge, Reconstruction history was punishable by death. Little did that matter now, but the Historian held ethics in high regard.

She had a sudden pain in her head, a stirring of thought in the guise of a memory. It needed to be recorded. She went to the case mounted on the wall. Sliding the glass panel to the left she exposed the object of her office. It was a primitive instrument unearthed in the battle. She held it in as much reverence as the ledger clutched to her chest. She had found mention of it in the earliest pages. It was referred to as a “pencil”.

She handled it gingerly; the tip of the nib was fragile. She knew that once it had deteriorated beyond usefulness, all history would cease. She was frugal with her words. She was not ready to die.

A SHOW OF SIGNS – DEMON DESCENT

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image courtesy of Digital Blasphemy

The Warrior knew.

Armageddon was at hand. Hell be damned.

He had seen the mark of Man left behind when He had descended, for this battle needed its Supreme Commander. Hell would be damned for sure. But not without a fight.

The agents of evil had infiltrated the gates, posing and passing as obedient servants of He who is to come again. The temptation is strong for those who are not prepared. Thankfully, Michael’s sword cut swiftly to separate the rebels from the Defenders.

The Warrior had been a Defender. He still was actually, But his “assignment” had been changed. He was to wait for the Coming and the Downfall. The mark of Man had affirmed the Arrival of Him. Now, the Warrior awaited the descent.

He remained vigilant; a sentinel charged to protect all that was Holy. His eyes were trained on the horizon. Tranquility took residence briefly, but he knew it was a matter of…

A thunderous rumble reverberated in the distant sky. A cacophony of screams and explosions; cackles and war cries. The sky became inflamed with the brightness of a million stars released from hope, each star a fallen soul discharged from the multitudes to avenge their infiltration. Plummeting to earth, scorching all that surrounded their impact to stand erect and strong; a combatant in the name of Darkness. The Warrior unsheathed his weapon; it’s glistening a signal to all.

The battle had begun.

The Warrior knew better this time.

Heaven and Hell be damned.

***

This is a continuance of one of my earliest FLASHY FICTION pieces. From “A SHOW OF SIGNS” (https://wallegories.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/a-show-of-signs/) Posted at FLASHY FICTION on 19 Jan 2010

UP WITH THE SUN

…her long dark tresses, spraying the sand with her seductive “rain”.

Rob Caruso had given up all hope. He was far removed from the shipping lanes. No chance of rescue remained. He had been gone for three years. He was REALLY late for his last appointment. As a matter of fact, that’s how most people referred to their friend now. He was the late Rob Caruso.

But hope has a second face. When you give up hope, you actually open yourself up for any possibility. As he emerged from the thatched hut he caught a glimpse of all that was possible.

There she stood, a curvacious silhouette in all her natural beauty. She was Toostana. The name means Tuesday which Rob saw as ironic, since he found Toostana on a Friday. The native cleansed herself in the teal blue lagoon waters tossing her long dark tresses, spraying the sand with her seductive “rain”.

Rob scratched a hand through his disheveled hair and sighed. The thought of being alone becomes less depressing when shared with one as ravishing as Toostana. The thought of clothing also becomes less relevant when all that tanned flesh is the most stunning outfit one could “don”.

The sun crept slowly over the cliff…

The sun crept slowly over the cliff, illuminating more of the shore and bringing every trace of Toostana’s beauty to bare. But Rob’s paradise held this one fact. Who needed the sun to creep slowly over a cliff when Toostana was baring her beauty quite nicely on her own? All he could do was pray for midday!

HEADING TO GREENVILLE

“every shade of crimson and orange and umber filled her with wonder”

The trip had been planned for months, there was no turning back now. Even though the Weather Service has been predicting tornadoes throughout the Midwest, Hank and Emily were finally getting the opportunity to get away from things for a while. The farm had been left in capable hands, and this would be the honeymoon that they had never taken. Forty-three years in the making, there was no turning back now.

Emily loved to travel, always wanting to go where the four winds would take her. She wanted to be “a bluebird”; just sprout wings and fly. Across the plain, above the river; under bridges and over rainbows, she was finally getting the chance. Emily rationalized that this certainly wasn’t flying – Henry didn’t drive as fast as he used to.

The colors always intrigued Emily. The vibrancy of each tint and hue made life at home feel very monochromatic. It paled in comparison. But every shade of crimson and orange and umber filled her with wonder for One who could so create such beauty. She declared He was a wizard when it came to foliage! Henry smiled and drove on.

A few miles down the road, the skies started to take on an ominous cloak of darkness, muting the magnificent colorings. Henry followed the road, having a hard time keeping the car on the pavement on occasion. The pall of the storm gave a strange amber accent to the asphalt. Henry hadn’t noticed over Emily’s screaming.

The tail of a twister just seemed to lift out of the ground, sweeping across the road and levitating their automobile into the eye of the swirling behemoth. Emily’s screech was a continuous din now. Henry gripped the steering wheel tightly; his knuckles were ashy white. And then, just as suddenly, the storm released the vehicle and it spun to earth with a muted thud.

The road looked different, certainly not the route that Henry’s GPS had calculated. The car sat crosswise in the hub of an intersection of country roads bordered by cornfields. Henry rolled down his window and asked directions of a farmhand who stood in one of the fields waving away the crows from the lofty stalks.

The couple thanked the man and continued on their adventure. They were unaware of the little girl dressed in bloody gingham and her crushed dog who lay in the road where their car had landed!

CARIBOU CORNERS

“I have been handed the mantle of this day from sons of Christmas…”
Photo: SantaRob

Caribou Corners.
A lifeless tundra as some might see it.
Barren and cold. Hundreds of years old
and aging fast. Every last woman and man
born as raised in this place will defend her beauty
as their undying duty to God and this gentle land.
Coming into the light of a bright Aurora Borealis night.

We get busy around here once Labor Day comes around. And I know, it doesn’t help getting everything done in one night and sitting with my feet elevated until the Autumnal Equinox. It isn’t all that great for my waistline, but hey, it’s a part of my charm, although my back hurts. But I can’t worry about that now. There’s much to do between now and the Solstice. That’s when it’s “Showtime”!

The scene is astounding as the snow is mounding,
providing a hiding place for every small face playing;
the little ones, gloved hands and half frozen cheeks,
peek around the corner, pulling back just in time.
All work and no play makes for a dull day, or so they say.
But their work IS child’s play! Fun and games, by any name,
will bring as much joy as any hand-made toy.

Out of my big picture window, I see the glow reflecting off of the new fallen snow. It adds to the mood and that’s good. It’s hard to gear up for the best day of the year when the skies are clear and sunny. It’s funny, for a warm and fuzzy guy, I’m not a big fan of the warm and sunny. Heh, go figure! The diminutive ones are catching a good game of snowball. There is no fight up here. It’s just a game of back and forth. So what if once in a while you take one in the “moosh”! They’re having fun for now, but later today we will get serious (but, not too) and put our work on the front burner.

The breezes freeze the lake, preserving its serenity,
offering certain sanity in its perfection. From any direction
you can hear the sounds of icicles forming, their chime
performing a symphony in harmony with all of nature.
And those of small stature add their voices, soft lyrics
of an unknown, but haunting melody lifting in song,
as a throng of caribou comes closer to add their flair proudly.

Oh, it appears that the games have ceased. It sounds so peaceful out there. I can see handshakes and embraces, happy faces and traces of a wistful  nature. I think they know the time for play is over until the “Big Day”. I love this part, where they gather near the frozen pylon holding hands and singing their songs. Beautiful renditions of all the Missus’ favorites. I love all of these carols as well. Ha ha, look over that ridge! The reindeer are coming home to begin their preparations as well. It’s a swell time to be alive and I am glad for the reminder that this season is more than just shopping battles and commercialism. Peace and goodwill should be a daily ritual. But, I’ll keep working toward that end.

“WoooHoooooooooo!” the lumbering trumpets blare loudly.
“WoooHoooooooooo!” the response from behind the stables.
The call drips with familiarity, which is a rarity for these parts.
Hearts torn apart; old friends, lost loves, familial ties that bind
not unlike the leather strapping that harnesses their power.
From my chair nestled near the hearth of comfort and longing,
I smile inwardly. Warming me. A knowing nod and smile.

The beasts have join in the song. Loud and powerful, their wail tells the tale. It’s time to begin. Much like the factory whistles, it calls all present to be accounted and the small groups are mounted on the reindeer backs to carry the elves back to the Grand Hall for our meeting and “Get Re-Acquainted Soiree”. The first of many for the season. As I’ve said, “all work and no play…” It keeps the spirit fresh and the morale never sullies. It is so warm near the fireplace, I had better get moving before I start to nod off. I hear Mama in the kitchen clattering her pots and pans; her not so subtle reminder that the time has come.

The while I spend in unending service
for the nervous and the innocent,
is quite reminiscent of the hours spent at my father’s knee.
The fountain of knowledge and truth was he: mentor and teacher,
a preacher of the spirit that has run through my ancestry
like a common thread woven into the fabric of my life
and all the lives it has come to influence!

I get quite reflective and slightly melancholy at these moments. I recall many people who have gone on to the “Big Workshop in the Sky”. So many people who had carried the spirit of Christmas with them three-hundred sixty-five days of the year. And whether they were from Calcutta, India or Buffalo, New York or Liverpool, England, they all perpetuated the spirit and made my job so much easier to perform. I have been handed the mantle of this day from the sons of Christmas wiser than I. I’ve done the best I could and hope I’ve made them all proud.

For in the confluence of this charming hamlet, the gamut is run.
Charity is the everlasting gift. Given in a spirit based in pure love;
given from Him above. It beats within each of us; a joyous thrill.
When everything is still, you can smell the peace and goodwill.
The evening saunters homeward, the little ones retire,
burning with desire of this their hallowed homeland, Caribou Corners –
a pleasant little knoll. You know it best as the North Pole!

This place puts the biggest smile on my face. It is home and I am surrounded by my “family”. Every last person in this charming villa has become a part of me and my appointed task – that of making Christmas the best of times in this sometimes insane world. Unadulterated by the trappings of avarice and greed, each having what they need to live a happy life. Just like me and my wife, we are happy to call Caribou Corners…er, The North Pole our home. And do me this favor. Keep the spirit alive in your heart for all your lives. It is the fuel of this joy. And also remember. I’m watching!

I am Santa Claus!

NO ACCOUNT

Hiram Fletcher had a seemingly impossible task. Even as the dust settled on the city of his birth after the unspeakable horror of two airplanes explosively hitting the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Bureau of Information had assigned him to get an accounting of the victims.

Oh, there were people getting the names of the fallen and the First Responders who bravely went in to the buildings as other hurriedly rushed out. An easier task than befell Hiram.

He couldn’t figure out why the information he sought would have any bearing or historic significance on the tragedy. Fletcher needed to find out what political affiliation these people held.

When he hit the streets he saw the devastation. And the depression and the utter disbelief that something so illogical could befall New York City and reverberate throughout America. But he had an assignment and his duty to his superiors drove him onward.

“Excuse me, Sir?” Hiram approached a gentleman clutching a photograph of a woman with two children. “Have you lost someone?” he absent-mindedly asked.

“Are you with the government?” the man started holding out his portrait. “My wife? Have you seen my wife?”

His tears fell. His words coming in thick sobs.
His friend and partner. His wife; the mother of his two children. Nowhere to be found.

“No sir, no I haven’t seen her. Could you tell me something?” Hiram said almost afraid to ask. “What was you wife’s party affiliation?”

The man looked at Hiram incredulously.

“Wha… my wife’s par… YOU SON OF A BITCH! FUCK YOU!”

The man stormed off glancing back at Hiram briefly before continuing.

Hiram felt the piercing thrust of the man’s painful daggers gouge out a piece of his heart. He went in search of another survivor.

A woman stood motionless. A blank stare filled her eyes. Looking for the towers of that impressive landmark.

“They’re not there” she mumbled. “The towers… they’re… gone!” she turned to Hiram. The pain that resided upon her face made Hiram move on to find another person.

He found a firefighter, dust encrusted and composing himself for another foray into the mire.

“Can I help you sir?” the First Responder asked.

“I’m… um, with the Bureau of Information. Can I… um, ask you…” Hiram started as the young man rose to stand.

“Look, I’d love to answer your questions, but right now I have to get back there. My brother is missing. I have a lot of “brothers” missing here.”

“Just one question? Your brother was he affiliated with any political party?” Hiram blurted.

The Responder exhaled deeply. “Buddy, let me give you some information for free. Don’t go around asking that question of too many people. People have died here. Friends, and brothers and wives; husbands. Fine people all! Does it matter if they were Republican or Democrat or whatever? Leave it be!”

And he walked away.

Hiram proceeded to perform his job finding much truth in the firefighter’s words. He walked all afternoon meeting the same resistance. Fletcher’s report would be a surprise to his supervisor.

There were no Republicans killed in the tragedy. No democrats fell silent. The number of Conservatives and Liberals were equal. Zero.
His breakdown was very brief and spoke volumes.
The people who died were Americans.

Attached to the report, Hiram Fletcher included his resignation. What did it matter?