Stories And Some Verse



Behind His Eyes

I loved everything you’d do

Resilient, how diversified

So many personalities

Yet, I felt concern

What went on behind your eyes?

A sense of dread

Seeing ease with every change

Frightened I thought

Could anyone get close?

Could anyone know you?

I’m guessing no



Being treated for

How do you treat a state of mind

Telling you to die

And it makes sense to do

Now there’s peace

But I can’t shake this pain

Soul deep

As the black dog walks alongside me

My guardian angel t’would be

Till I reach that divide

Now ends my ride

As what remains becomes seed


The Wayside

I saw the moon full and bold
Walking early before it was light
A golden hue it threw off as
Clouds drifted by
I detected their dark against waning night
Was that a face, are you watching?
I couldn’t help but think
The man in the moon’s not a child’s tale
As he turned his head, looking around at me
Perception of the early hours, how interesting, so free
A straggler car to interrupt, but no traffic yet
Snow dotted here and there now gone
Landscaped in greens, sculpted rocks and trees

I look up again, is he watching me still?
But by our favorite witch-dramas we’ve seen
Orangey-autumn sky surrounding him
Lending a film of gold as the sky lightens
Has significance to those who can read it
I can’t recall, was it an omen, trouble coming?
There isn’t blood viscously
I’ll not worry at all

I look back once more as I walked on by
I thought “hello moon”, then “morning moon”
But for you what’s right, for me I’ve just risen
I should say good night
But the moon doesn’t sleep; it doesn’t care
What’s going on here for that matter where
That expression doesn’t change
Never shows the darkness, always keeps a glow
As phases begin, now waning in space
But the man, he smiled at me!
Well what do you know.


Winter’s Tale: Style Of The Time

When I knew I was older with each coming year,
Meaning I knew I had maturity way beyond my time
That each birthday confirmed of course
I had the energy and fire to stand up and defy
Someone acting appalled concerning my mini
The style of those times that became mine
Wore it year round
Deterred not from winter
It was made from the finest wool I could buy

Those were the days long hair was new
For boys I mean
Ridicule and mockery abounded alive
From men and women professional or not
Giving birth to a question ‘are you a boy or what?’
(Not that anyone couldn’t tell whose gender was who)
It wasn’t that long ago men wore wigs
But comfort zones were threatened
As if an unwelcome change

Strange the way some people behave

At least two feet of fabric to cover, there were
That could no way keep unfrozen my thighs,
Covered with tights, thick hose never warm enough
Turning deep red I waited, I waited for the bus
As so many cars drove by, didn’t even wave
Bundled from the bottom up
Wool coat, gloves, earmuffs and scarf
Unlined boots, fashionable that my feet froze too
That’s what I’d do.

I remember a biker who punctually rode past
All the seasons always high on the ride;
With a smile and face glowing
Were his cheeks red?
I didn’t notice
But as he passed in my heart I was going
It struck me ‘so cool’
No pun on a freezing day
But I knew he was my kind of guy.

These days I could never doubt
With all the years past
How to be young, to be vibrant at least
And at best, there’s wisdom enough left
Although plenty still to learn
But save the spittle I guess
No longer a need to defy
Serves no purpose in another one’s eye.

Energy and fire still blazing abright
Though I remain seated, keep relaxed
Or just walk along calm forever in light,
I know who I am, with that is no qualm
Cantankerous, most likely
Could be brilliant too but for you so surprised
Had you asked I’d tell you that’s why
I glance down at a melted snowy reflection
Breathing in a soft drawn-out sigh


In The Spirit Of Maleficent: Everyone Hates Telemarketers


10 March 2010
Dear Diary,

The first time I was given a “verbal” warning I was told by the M.O.D. “I know I’m just being anal about this” – I don’t remember what – “but I’m writing you up as giving you a verbal warning. I’m having an anal day.”

That’s the gist of it. The impact is I’m off the phone at minimal wage and losing ground in the paypool. On more than one occasion I’m taken out of a campaign that I’m very successful with to be put on a campaign that’s got so many pledges already there’s no way to make headway. WTF?

11 March 2010
Dear Diary,

A woman claimed the telemarketer (not me) was arguing with her so she said she had to go. I promised to call her the next day. (12 March 2010) She accepted my apology for the incident and contributed one last time although I was instructed by her to remove her name from the list.

More 12 March 2010
Dear Diary,

While calling for DSCC a man said, “I’m not interested.” The request was simply made. I cannot say if he’d hung up on me or not but with this incident in mind I politely conceded the call although I considered “should I say something?” Normally a response that final we don’t refute. I was written up on two forms, one verbal warning and one write-up sheet that I’d bailed on a call, which I did not, not interested is not interested, and also written up for not asking for credit cards even though the 3 men I spoke to were opposed to using their cards – 2 wouldn’t give unless I mailed a pledge card and one was driving his car. I seized the opportunity to secure the contribution as opposed to losing the pledge. In telemarketing, and we can add the DSCC to the list, this is bad business. Badgering is the way.

On the supposed “positive” side I was written up as “one who is right on for listening to the donor and knowing exactly how to respond as well as speaking clearly and concisely.” How is it I bail on calls if I’m so intuitive?

A potential donor I contacted through New Acq hissed at me that the Democratic Party consisted of fascists.

It comes across as true. Or at least the DSCC is.


A Scrap Of Paper – Not Sure When, 2010 And Certainly Not Fortune 500


Waxing Poetic


My co-workers speak in low tones

So no supervisor hears

“You sound good, don’t listen

You’re doing a good job”

But I was asked to leave before my time was up

How will I survive?

“Don’t worry” my friend said

Yet on the weekend a manager who likes Hitler is in charge

Or is it Chairman Mao


“You’ll find there’s not much difference in managers here”

I was told more than once

“Yeah, I’m noticing that” I whispered back


Breathe It In


Italian men sit wine in hand
At a table next to me in the café
Makes me wish I spoke Italian better
As they converse they look my way
What can I say?
A quiet smile I avert my eyes
Together we watch football
European style
A gentler sport I’ve not seen
It will forever amaze me as they play
Both sides of the fence teams of great gams
It can keep my attention all day

The waiter brings my Prosecco
I sip and enjoy the platter complimentary
Cheeses and meats
No matter how late I leave
It’s safe to walk the streets
Until the game ends I’ll stay
A darkness so peaceful
Many stars shine so bright
Nowhere in the world have I seen them
But here casting off such a light
I link my arm in night’s
Together we stroll away

The next day cappuccio
My favorite place above the Funicular
A balcony overlooks all beneath
Then a walk to a Saint’s place
Balanced on a pinnacle
A sundial names all the mountains so high
They surround me, air so crisp
I’m held steady in their arms
The roads wind back
I descend as clouds happen by
Filling the streets like eerie mist
Such scenery
I’d never want to miss
I can get used to this

Maybe down to the market
For food so fresh
My crustaceans crawl from the crate
A bottle of wine, maybe two
Prosecco of my own
Or pizza at the pub with a Belgian
More football to see
What’s the time, I don’t know
Not a care to me
Monday rolls around, there’ll be work to do
Cappuccio served with brioche just baked
Could start off the day
Life is important
And just for you

At day’s end back to the mountains
Up from the lower city
Back to the café
Or maybe the pub this time
Is it closed, is this the day?
Taken off from the week
Doesn’t matter
Pour my whiskey drink
Tonight I’ll write
Lively, noisy little place
People walk by, some come in
Nighttime active as day, I sit back
Tomorrow more work
My head on night’s shoulder
Linked arm in arm
“I’ll see you home”
We stroll, together again



 Running Out For Sugar Wearing Pajamas And Elbow Length Gloves


Find something to write

My first thought today

What did I do, what can I say

Minuscule snakes, very tiny you see

Laid out on concrete

I walked overhead, or to them it seemed

Birds chirped, “Time to eat”

Silly you might think

But it’s what came to me

Fragrance of flowers everywhere

Not one to be seen

Where’s it coming from then?

Geese honking on

They visit then swoop

Minuscule snakes gone

Slight belch in the air

No worry, no care

Gravel across a walk

Washed away

Thanking monsoon rain

Landscapers rejoice

Hear their voice

More work to do

Businesses weep

All lament

Repair money is spent

Weather symbol casts doubt

On the laptop I’m talking about

Lightening, clouds, means electricity out

But the sun’s shining through

As I write this to you

It could happen still

Later on we all know

Nature’s lack of discretion

When it comes to her show



If You Understand You Will Not Taste Death


I’m growing old, they squawk, then I’m told

Your age is this great number accept it

Not how it used to be, that’s passed

Soon catching up to Methuselah

Passing him by too, concede your fate

Can it be what’s said is true?

Worry not, my heart sighs, so you’re no longer three

Keep wearing what you do, you can pull it off

Keep your hair long and keep your diet strong

You know the thing that’s best for you always have

Though white now crowns with silvery grey

Deep brown lingers beneath not giving up its hue

It’s part of your mystique, unique

With underlying Bride of Frankenstein streaks

Looked cool in the past and remains now too

The ocean continues to beckon as it’d done long ago

I’ve ridden its waves, swam as one with mermaids

Singing the song we called to each other and to you

And yet I still do through to all future days

Until my last breath, this is dignity for a number

Ageless sage one forever the white crests and me

Well, TS Eliot remembering the days

Salty chambers and tides of the sea my home

I linger there still wreathed in seaweed’s colors

As other voices rage on to choke and hold me

To disturb my dream the sea forbids them

It won’t let me drown, life together we’ve found





You inherited my darkness

Along with his genes

(Ain’t talkin’ pants)

Mine is depth and soul

Under most circumstance

But what have we done

In taking this chance?






Coming over a hill


An actual hill in MO

Admiring the haze

We should keep building


Get out at the light

Up the street’s a café

Cappuccino to go

Wander to work

Nice and slow

Sipping, savoring

Time to spare

Apartments in the village

Guess that could be fun

Though by university students

T’would be overrun





“Do you have any coin”, she asked.


“There might be some in my back pocket.”


“Back pocket! An unusual spot to keep it. Why the change?”


“Well, I thought it’d be good for a change, not that I want it to happen, if a pickpocket tries to grab what’s back there he’ll get a surprise that it’s not a wallet or bills. That couple of seconds might be all it’d take to subdue him. Getting caught by surprise instead of getting away with it wouldn’t be something he’d see coming! You know, a citizen’s arrest instead of by donuts. The police?”


“Something different”, she smiled. “I’d like to see someone get close enough to try.”


“I might let it happen just for fun.”


“We’re not going anywhere a pickpocket would be.”


“Are you sure?”


“What are you up to?”


He finished smoothing his new outfit and turned for inspection.


“No tie. That’s a refashion-statement for you. You look good.”


“Getting back to something different. We’re going to switch”, he said, “instead of the usual place we’re going to the casino and having dinner on board. What do you think?”


“That could be interesting. Why?”


“Just trust me this time around.”


“I always trust you. What made you decide on that?”


The cab dropped them off at the pier and he reached into his front pocket for the loose bills he’d always kept but weren’t there. “Did you take all my money?”


“Yes I did, rendering it unnecessary for you to switch the contents of your pants pockets. Must’ve been distracted by our riveting conversation. How about I pay the driver… just for a change.”


He laughed. “Change is in the air! Thank-you Madame.”


They walked away arm in arm laughing about the cabbie’s suddenly contorted expression when he’d said Madame, the remainder of his silver jingling in her purse. He stopped her just before the rope bridge that led from the pier to the boat. Shall we transform into something a little more comfortable?


“Well that’s more like it but what are you up to?” She looked deep into his eyes.


Before his countenance began its metamorphosis he said, “I told you I might let someone get close enough… just for fun.”


She threw her head back shrieking laughter.


They watched each other’s eyes reshape and their irises bleed new color while below them the ground disappeared as they leapt and soared into the night sky. Their clothes, as always, had been reduced to a pile of shreds.


A news van pulled up to the pier and two cameramen with a reporter jumped out. A bride-to-be and her bridesmaids had been standing at the change machine just outside the entrance watching the couple as they evolved, without warning, into what they weren’t sure. If they could’ve gotten a good look they wouldn’t’ve known what to say about it anyway. Still speechless, leaning heavily on each other they staggered toward the van. Halfway there the bride doubled over then rolled onto the ground. Her bridesmaids gathered round her one by one dropping and breaking into hysterical laughter. “This beats Vegas.”


“Get rolling”, the reporter ordered. “Get the lights working. There, over there.” She ran to the pile while one of the cameramen zoomed-in and after changing out some wiring the other threw the switch for floodlights. She grabbed what looked like a handful of rags then dropped them. “Looks like someone changed in a hurry”, he said. “Those are some expensive rags” she retorted. “Yeah, shredded Armani. Was that a Gucci?” “They were here; I got a call saying they were here.” She grabbed her cell and hit the green receiver button for redial. There was a ringing sound at her feet.


Brushing clothes away the reporter picked up the cell as she gasped. She stood staring at it as it kept ringing, her name lit up above “incoming call”.


“Listen to your cameraman for a change. Hang up. Autumn, your cell. Disconnect.”


“That’s strange.”



I came home from shopping unlocking my door

The kiwis were tap dancing down on the floor

A football leapt so elegant in graceful pirouette

While oranges sat eating my chocolate bars

This is going too far, but wasn’t the half of it yet


My shopping list pencil lunged straight in the air

Unlike what the football did right over there

And dove in the cat’s milk in the corner I swear

The cat wore a bonnet and a tattered silk dress

My kitchen, my kitchen was in such a mess

I started, I shouted, “What’s going on here!”

As a six-pack of cola sprayed foam in my ear

“I knew I should have put you away yesterday!”

And I gaped in dismay at the whole disarray


“I’m going outside and then I’ll come back

You’d better be in your places, kiwis get on that rack

Or I’ll cut up fruit salad, hey oranges do you hear

And football I’ll let out all of your air, a flat pancake you’ll be

Would you like that, we’ll see

You’ll live outside forever”, I said to the cat

“I’ll fix all of your wagons, now just think of that”

And I walked out in a slam, heels tap, tap, tap, tap, tap!


In bed I jumped up, heart pounding, “Could it be?”

As I crept down the stairs extra quietly to see

The state that my kitchen could possibly be

I pushed the door open so quiet and slow

As it creaked toward a twilight lit room

Where the cat slept curled up, the fruit basket was full

And the candy was all in the jar near the broom

The cola was stacked so neatly on the floor


And I thought, “There’s no mess at least not anymore

Not dreaming, had a nightmare, don’t like them they’re worse”

I turned and I left but as I crept up the stairs

There was a stir and a rustle so slight

Kiwis giggled, an orange burped, the cat broke into a grin

As she tucked her silk dress neatly under her chin

The cola cans bubbled and a mouse with a squeak said

“Cool party, had a great time, see everybody next week.”




I’m going through a depression

Again I can feel it

But I can’t let it win


I sense I may get lost

Not write anymore

Which would be a sin


I don’t want to sin


I can play cool and tough

But it’s all exhausting and not enough

Making itself plain it’s a battle I can’t win


It’s hard most times to keep chin up

(To keep up my chin?)

To hold interest in myself

To care one way or another


I want to care


I can’t say I saw any of it coming

As perceptive as I can be

I’ll leave it there as words fall away


I want wonderful to happen

Be happy and rise above it once more

Have my center of peace that I’m free


I love feeling free


I’ve lost all hope.

Does that mean everything or just this?

Maybe now I’ll stay out of hope’s way

(Out of the way of hope?)


The door is open for it to happen.

Does that make sense?

It seems right-on to me


Do I sound like a dope?


“The door is open for it to happen…” mulled through Jeremy’s mind. “Open door” but it was locked, well, he couldn’t come up with anything else to continue writing with. He sat at his laptop thinking about what else he could add. He wasn’t much of a poet, didn’t like poetry as a rule but he liked the way this had turned out so far. Even though it wasn’t sing-song rhyme it had a flow, was a different, what was that word, a different template, layout, format – that’s it – a different format than the shape of boring paragraphs and it made sense. He thought of Elliot and Keats, “Did they always rhyme, did they ever? Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme.” He decided not to throw in the towel just yet and come up with a few more lines.


As far as I can see

The door’s smooth as a wall

A pure soft color surrounds


My mind has no bounds

What is hope anyway?

But the beginning of life


Life works for me


Each day I awake

Hope is within my reach

But I want it inside me


Son of a beach…


Jeremy began to laugh and couldn’t stop, causing him to topple over and roll side-to-side on the floor. Tears streamed down his cheeks. “Why did I decide to be a writer…”? He sat back up and wished he could wipe the tears away but his hands were fastened to his side. He didn’t bother to struggle. The clock was high enough on the wall he couldn’t reach it standing on tiptoe biting at it with his teeth; besides, it had a protective mask over it. He imagined a team of clocks playing ice hockey. It’d make a great children’s book. “I’d really like to get out of here. I hope they get this thing off me so I can type my stories down before I forget them, before they… vanish like smoke. Type stories down, write stories down, and write with a typewriter.” A projected image manifested in the center of the room. “Good morning Jeremy. Please stand. We’ll be taking your restraint off today. Please be very still.” There was a slight buzz and tingle and the vest dropped to the floor. Jeremy raised his arms in a stretch then bent to touch his toes. “Please step back.” He straightened up and stepped back until he reached the wall. It was cushioned and comfortable. He watched as the vest dissolved, or at least that’s what it looked like it did. In its place a pair of jeans, shirt, jacket, undergarments, socks, and boots materialized. “That’s something you don’t see every day.” Another whirring-buzz sound and part of a wall separated revealing a shower stall. “You’ll find everything you need in the shower Jeremy including a toothbrush. I’ll be back in 45 minutes” and the image vanished.


45 minutes later showered and dressed Jeremy watched as the wall became a wall again, his white pajama-scrubs dissolved on the floor and the image said, “You’ve done well. We’re sending you home. Your assignment has been placed through the mail slot of your apartment.” Another place in the wall separated into an opened door.


He decided on taking the subway, “What an ordeal…” he shrugged to himself as his thoughts wandered. It took no time before he’d nodded off and was fast asleep. “Sir? Sir? Sir, sir, sir, sir, sir, sir, sir, sir….” Jeremy reached for the alarm stop button then snapped into an upright position. “What was that”! His pencil and notepad dropped to the floor. He’d fallen asleep writing and scrambled to pick them up. “I’ve got to get this down.” There was a whirring-buzz as an image manifested itself at the foot of the bed. “We trust you’ve slept well?”



Stories And Much Ado About Storms


An ode to over 50 that is nothing to do with me

Read on, you’ll see



The clocks moved forward saving daylight once again

Thank-goodness for that

I walked in the morning an hour later than I should

It felt good

It’ll be dark light now, greet the day later on

Though always with mace

Disturb my peace then be warned

No need for pain in another face



Yes I digress



The snow is melting, thank you fifty-two degrees

Curbside rivers are running free

I have sidewalks again

As I stomped snow into streams

Watching ice float away I played

Spring is here and winter begone

Do you hear me, begone

Seeing you in December wouldn’t be wrong

I could wait until February should you need more time

Stay in the Bahamas concede to a tan lightly browned

Baked Alaska remains still frozen inside, no worries

That’d be fine



But the very next day winter had something to say



Winter strikes back at spring

Windy mist sting with

Glassy ice splinters unseen

Passing under a streetlight

Across the way

They gust by uncloaked

To everyone but me

In rainy spray frozen

Under a morning night sky

Sharp pinch on my lashes

Flutter over my eye



Yet I’m not worried you see



Grumble on if you will

Numbered are your days

Stay here and argue

Soon to be a summer breeze

The Bahamas would’ve been a smarter play

But I win either way


Out Of Her Mind

Ruth was in her ninth month. She’d come back home to live with her folks at the insistence of her grandparents who didn’t want her living alone with a baby in the city. Although she had the apartment upstairs, being so close to her due date and for her own safety that included everyone else’s peace of mind so she wouldn’t have to manage the stairs while in labor, she began sleeping in the living room on the Castro. She hated being in that room. For the past couple of nights she’d sensed a presence, an uneasiness like fear nipping at her heels as she was falling asleep, and this night that sense was intensifying but she wanted to ignore it so it’d go away and just let her sleep. She thought she heard someone come in.


Ruth jumped up immediately and stood at the foot of her bed but when she turned toward the doorway she saw herself still asleep. “How… was it that intense it forced me out of my body?” She became aware the sensation of fear was gone, “This is great!” She saw her father standing at the bedside watching her. “Am I breathing?” Delight shot through her as she ran up to him then leapt backward, ran up to him and made faces, and ran up to him a third time waving her arms. She looked at him intently, “Boo”! He turned looking in her direction more or less as if he were trying to distinguish something. Did he see her? Delight shot through again as she began to chant, “You can’t see me, you can’t see me”! He seemed startled all of a sudden then turned and left the room in a hurry. “Ha, ha, there’s nothing you can do” she thought as she watched him leave.


The next morning she was up to the sounds of the coffeemaker timer beep on, the sizzle as coffee began to drip creating the aroma that used to beckon her to a cup but now made her sick. At the table she was temporarily distracted from her gag reflex as she quietly mused about what had happened, but she was alive. “Want a cup,” her mother asked. “I’ll throw it up”. “You’ll drink it again”. “I can’t sit here, the smell’s too strong”. Her mother laughed to herself remembering those days all to well. Ruth was her oldest and she’d had four more after her. Morning sickness ran the full nine-month gamut all five times like it was doing now for her daughter. “It’ll be over soon enough,” she whispered after Ruth had hurried into the bathroom, “Any minute now”.



Talking To Owls
I undressed to shower, after work it was I think

Left my towel, though conscious of the fact

Entered the cubicle anyway the water came down

As the door closed with an automatic whshhhhh

And began to move forward

Not in time but in space to another place


Like an elevator


The doors opened to people there

In a large open room they mulled about

I peeked out and asked a woman seated

A receptionist maybe but lucky for me

She gave me two towels to wrap myself in

The doors closed moving me forward again


At least I was covered


The door opened this time I stepped out

People were surprised I nodded to calm

“If I hadn’t gotten a towel,” I lightly joked

“I’d be naked right now, that’d be a tight spot”

Friendly and understanding I was given a place to wait

As one took note in deep appreciation, “you have legs”


“Well sure” and thought “women always wear pants”


A second one said similar so I acknowledged a “thanks”

I got comfortable waiting to see how I’d get back

Another came by who loved how I was

Just simple delight nothing more so we spoke

His arm around my shoulder my hand round his belt

“I wanted to take a shower” I said “Didn’t expect all this”


I was covered quite well


The towels became comfortable and full

As if wearing clothes I didn’t have to hold

Feeling completely at ease we sat

Continued to talk about this and about that

I was happy and relaxed while waiting to see

How my dilemma would be solved so I could get back


Then I woke


“Well what was that?” I thought as I rose, “I wonder

I’d decided on a comedy to watch before I went to sleep

Not a bad thing” as I grabbed sweats and a sweater

To put myself together and jot down my visions

Before they turned to smoke, “I hope I don’t forget them”

Splashed water on my face, “I guess it was science fiction


T’would be the first time with that genre that I remember

Somewhere it has its place”



Lest I’m Accused Of Being A Saint

Lillie rose to use the bathroom and caught sight of her shadowy companion from the corner of her eye. Before she took her first step it vanished behind the doorway of what used to be her bedroom where her soon to be ex-husband slept. She’d seen it before when she’d change positions on the couch barely opening her eyes. The shadow would peek as if it might step out, duck back, then peek out again. If she’d sit up and try to focus it’d duck back and not manifest anymore. It wasn’t her future ex playing games. The shadow was there even when he wasn’t home.


When she’d finally left her husband and had moved back into her family’s home, she glimpsed it a couple of times after her son was born. Using the same M.O. the shadow’d peek from the doorway of her bedroom and duck back again. One night she saw it was at the foot of the bed and on a following night she came to consciousness from the sensation her infant son, who was sleeping along side of her, was being pulled away. She started, snapped her arm over him holding him tight and with her heart pounding slowly opened her eyes. Seeing nothing she turned on an end table lamp and that’s how they slept the rest of the night. After that there were no more visitations.


She tried to explain it to her father who told her the name of the manifestation, that it was something that saints experienced or people who were on the right path and getting close to God, which at the time not believing she was on any kind of path at all confused her but made him proud. Her father’d since passed and it was recently she’d been thinking about those days, when her now almost 40-year old son had been an infant, how although those times were bad and she was pregnant she loved sleeping in the living room amidst her houseplant jungle that was like a protective womb for them both, and that strange shadow she’d always see.




She’d been playing in the yard. It was the same size as everyone else’s on the block. Her Uncle and Grandfather had built a brick barbecue grill at the end of a walkway, already there when they’d bought the house, which made a path from the large patio into the grass. There were link-fences separating them from their neighbors with grapevines that intertwined their way through and a clothesline strung from the back door to the garage so her Aunt could stand on the stoop and hang clothes. The clothespin bag was on the line nearest the door and as Maria followed the line with her eyes she stopped and gasped. In the center was a dragonfly as big as a monster, perched and looking straight at her.


Maria fiddled with the bottom button on her blouse pretending to be afraid. She didn’t want Dragonfly to see the button was a device like secret agents had that would cause the barbecue to silently slide to the side revealing a passage as the ground formed stairs leading down. Thinking Maria had no escape, Dragonfly’s antenna began to rise. Using lightening reflexes she leapt in a perfect dive into the opening and somersaulted to her feet on the fourth step as the grill slid back into position before his deadly stream of fire could reach her so that it instead lit the coals, stacked by her Uncle earlier, in the fireplace.


Her Aunt came outside to hang a few clothes and heard it crackling, “Thanks for getting the fire going Jim, I’ll bring the chicken out as soon as I’m done.” “Barbecue is lit…? Sure I’ll cook…” Maria’s Uncle Jim came to the window. “Did Maria do that? She really should have someone stand with her. The coals need to burn down a little more, I’ll be out in a second.” Aunt Angela snapped the clothespin bag shut. “Hmm? Did you say something honey?”


Dragonfly, a real dragon that could be any shape it chose, assumed its camouflage of an insect and remained alighted on the clothesline. She had escaped him for now but Dragonfly knew Maria would return. The swings were behind the patio. She’d have to walk beneath him to get to them.


Maria’d found her way to the secret underyard room where she kept her weapons, put on her sweater of invisibility and armed herself with a swatter-fly-gun she’d made herself. Roots of the bushes that framed the side of the garage nearest the yard wrapped themselves around her arm and moved her along toward a second flight of stairs that’d formed to lead her up to the small patch of earth, off to the side of the concrete driveway, where her grandfather’s tiny garden was planted. They let go as Maria began ascending to the ground. “Thank-you for your help” Maria called back, “I’ll water you later with the garden hose when everyone’s outside.” As she came up behind the fig tree, the earth closed itself around the exit. Invisible now so no one could see her, she walked toward the yard. “I’ll make it into my room and hide my sweater and swatter-fly-gun under the bed.”


Dragonfly wouldn’t try anything when adults were around. For now she was safe…



Eyes Swimming In My Head

Walking in unseasonable warm

Kissed by the sun

Pale rider no more

I fear no cold

Its days are through

Snow on the lilacs

It could happen that’s true

Yet bright yellow dresses

Pretty pastels and straw hats

Baskets as purses

White gloves and shoes

Will not be deterred

With rising new life

It doesn’t stand a chance

Cold you lose


Skulking Around InThe Dead Of Morning

He sleeps so peacefully

And so he should

Natural organic

Medicine laced with honey

Take your toll

Breathing gently

He makes barely a sound

Either will I

As the dishwasher hums

Its waves spray around



Decision, behavior were his

     Genes not his control


     Blended, nonetheless sacred ground

     Why he is brought to the light

     Woman fated, forever

     To prove what is worth

     A presence, strength undeniable

     A battle to be seen

     As life rages on



A Place Between Sleep And Awake

They’d gone shopping. After the grocery store it was the video store then the promise of burgers and fries at the Friendly’s across the street.

Nikki backed the stroller out of the store while her son followed behind with his nose in the bag of loot they’d just bought. On the sidewalk she looked out at the busy rural route that was more like a highway. Cars were flying by although flanked by restaurants and shopping centers with driveways directly to the street as opposed to ramps for merging. Didn’t anyone realize they had to slow to pull in and should yield for other cars pulling out, never mind paying heed to the light they’d have to stop at? It used to be more of a country road in a country town but since 9/11 many’d moved away from the city to places just like this one. The population had increased, summer homes that dotted the lake were being turned into permanent residences and on the whole the culture was changing.

As they stood there she saw a semi coming up on the light too fast and right in front of it was a compact car no higher than the front tire. The light changed to yellow, the smaller car began to slow, the truck was still moving too fast but now they both had to come to a stop. Under any other circumstance if a car is rear-ended it’s the other car’s fault but in the case of an 18-wheeler ramming a compact it’d be fatal. Nikki didn’t realize her son’d been watching until, as the truck was rapidly reaching the slowing vehicle, he cried out as if there were a way to stop the 18-wheeler by commanding it. In the look of horror she saw in his eyes was distress at a more-than-likely outcome, urgency and concentration. The truck’s breaks squealed, released a gust of air, and it suddenly slowed as if it were no larger than the other cars on the street. Both vehicles came to a stop without colliding, without a scratch.

She looked down at Percy and bear-hugged him. “Good job kiddo. Hungry?”

Ciao, ciao.



The stars are in alignment

The planets and signs are right

Will the Titans be released?

My luck it wouldn’t surprise me

I hope not

I know not

Falling asleep to wild things

Fast-forward my mind nodding-awake

I felt his kiss soft and gentle

Opening my eyes I thought his name

My heart ached for his pain

To define the line that is darkness I’ll say goodnight.

Cruel Muse why do you make me rise again?

I laid down my head and the floods began

I didn’t want light to disturb the peace, the quiet dark

The arms of sleep

Your boney hand grabbed my wrist and held fast

Get up again, do what I ask

I will not type but write by the light of the screen

If there’s a moon I wouldn’t know

Leave my thoughts till daylight

We will sit together then

Keyboard make its sound

Let me rest


Contemplation’s Art

Up with other contemplatives

Beginning to feel the chill

From weeding through my words

Creating new expression

And sitting here not moving

So still

I could lie back down

Bury deep in blankets

Snuggle in and drift away

I could make a hot drink

Come back here to sit again

To stay

My thoughts now are which way

As cold fingers hold my shoulders

Ripple tingles I wrap my arms

Sit up erect and shiver

Sweater vest with hood slung on the chair

Put it on

I feel its cold from hanging there

Fulfill your destiny for me

A little warmer I ask to be

While slippers complement indeed

I’m torn between sleep and awake

Let’s see

I could lie down just as I am

No difference soon to be awake

I have to if but for others’ sake

Another day begins time ticking

I haven’t moved yet otherwise

Still thinking

Buttocks getting stiff from sitting

Too long in thought and being still

Yawning lips feel dry don’t crack

Emollients soothe and cool

Neck and shoulders crackle stretch

Lean back

I could fall asleep right here

Mellow feeling taking hold

Alluring dizziness calls to bed

What will happen let it unfold

I close my eyes as breathing slows

Coffee instead



The knife was still in her hand. He’d swung at her after she’d thrust at him slashing the air knocking her against the wall and out. “I missed him.” She got to her feet then stopped. He was on the floor, blood’d pooled under him and he was very still. “Look at him. Just like a plastic army figure at the ready. Lost the battle and war Sgt Tool? Huhmph. Guess I’ll ‘Shout’ it out.”


We Relate

Broth and bread ends I have to eat

He likes the middle, take out the noodles

We get along just fine

And agree when it comes down to this

Each and every time

The same with cake, the icing he’ll take

And gives what’s left to me

I can’t see a problem with how we relate

I’ll have it with coffee, the best it can be

For the both of us you see

Let’s continue on with yet another

Delightful surprise it’s true

We didn’t plan the way it goes

This something that we do

Small things in life weigh-in special too

Those cookie middles I care not about

He craves centers I like the crunch

Handing over the cookie to me happily

I twist off the top, and pass it back

Knuckle-tap it we both munch

Our relationship’s agreeable give and take

Fascinating as it unfolds

Sublime, not at all

Just practical, no waste

Little man and me, we rest our case



Thoughts In Poetry 

I’m a particular junkie when it comes to verse

As aforementioned you can see

I doubt I could ever explain why

I don’t like sing-song-y, sappy too soft

Subjective to me but to you might not be

A Hallmark card can bring a tear to my eye

But not the way you think it should

I want it to stop

Its beauty I don’t have to read and that’s good

I make it cease and move on


I must think of what I’ll say next

As I scoop more cheerios

Before they’re too soggy

You guessed I’m eating cereal

Honey-Nut are the best

Anyway, what to say, ah yes

I know if I’ll like it as I read

If it grabs me and holds me close

If after a few lines I raise my eyes

And start skimming

We’re done it’s no longer a go

If it’s way too abstract

I sit back and say ‘huh’

To a jumble of words

I just can’t find a flow

I’ve done it myself this I know

Back I go to revise

More than I can say for some

What good will it do if you scratch your head too

If my picture is sloppy and streaked

Undeterminable images what is this what is that

What good would it do

If Picasso I’m not

Who would hold their chin and study enthralled

My name means nothing at all

Clear as possible I have to be

What was the question at hand

But to share what we see as poetry

As I said to another in a prior response

I never assume I’m writing poetry

Just because I write some words across

And then a string of them down

It can be assumed mathematics

A course I never took

Or some canted architecture

I know nothing about

But if you say it’s true yes that’s poetry

The Player bows in acknowledgement

Appreciates the encouragement

And thanks you from toes up the line

A particular junkie has always been me

The poetry I like is just fine



No winter sun anywhere to be found

Clouds occlude and surround

Not anywhere I can see

It’s there it won’t go

Something in my life that won’t leave


My locker is filled with warmth

Remember that other poem

I’m distant a locker of ice

My solitude, dense cold, there is no key

You’re stuck there should you dare

Enter with me


Now covered every facet

The mystery of silent snow

Fine flakes they swirl and settle low

Well, that’s gravity

Windows finally insulated

It could happen who’d believe

With no winter breezes blowing through

To the apartment behind

It makes it so pleasant

Two more rooms left though

Hopefully before spring

Is the best bet for efficiency


Utility bills with numbers low

I smile big and watch it snow

Ciao, ciao

Talked myself into more espresso


Those Were The Days Fiction Shortie

  An Adaptation: ‘Not So Surreal: A Very Short Story’ From A Notebook Of Stories

       Nela had been a princess in another life. She knew it. As she stood on all fours or when she trotted taking dainty steps she pointed her toes with those elegant long toenails. She carried a very sweet prissy expression on her face and had expressive eyes unusual for a dog. When she got tired of walking she expected to be picked up and carried, after all, when she was a tiny puppy her person would carry her all the time, in fact she’d get tucked into a jacket or coat if it were too cold outside to protect her petite body from the harsh elements. Nela missed those days. How things had changed.

She was curled up listening to the conversations of the humans surrounding her concerning her needs, what she liked, should have and didn’t mind. As if! How could they possibly know? No one had asked her. Now fully grown, Nela weighed in at twelve pounds and it was of fury make no mistake about it. She knew her animal nature as it is destined being a Rat Terrier, her purpose was chasing Rats, hence the name’s origins – duh, not being stuck in the house all the time and at the mercy of that new person they called a toddler. True the one who watched him kept him away from her, but Nela didn’t have the temperament for patience besides she was designed, genetically prone to take down small animals. This one presented a little more of a challenge but what fun it could be. “And they didn’t even euthanize me, what’s it called – being ‘put to sleep’- like I’d be waking from that, after I snapped at him” ran through her mind. Nela held back a smile as she remembered darting across the couch as he was trying to pull himself up, snapping her jaws in a ferocious growl to mark her territory. The person taking care of him now used to take care of her. She was the star then. That person would always be hers whether or not he or they liked it. There was no reason that anything should have changed. “I thought that’d be offense enough for some kind of action. At least then I’d be in heaven (yes reader, we go to heaven too, that film was based on fact) looping around cloudy fields chasing more rodents than I could count, (well, what do you think about that – I can count – horses don’t hold the market on this one, pawing the ground – hah – in fact, I’ve always been partial to finite math) but instead, I’m living in apartments with no yards being walked on a leash twice a day as if bodily functions worked on cue. If they’d at least give me away, it’s a risk, but I’d have a chance winding up at a home that had a yard; then I’d be able to have a little fun… Oh, no; the baby’s awake!”

Nela’s thoughts were interrupted by sounds from the futon opened on the floor where the toddler had been asleep. She jumped off the couch and darted toward the kennel on the far side of the dining room table. She just didn’t feel like dealing with any of it right now. “Whew… made it!.”


Another Cappuccino?

      “Finished?” “No, haven’t ordered. I was waiting for you. See anything strange on the way? You walked right?” “Yeah, no sense in trying to drive just yet. People are still jamming the streets. Wonder where they think they’re escaping to.” “Maybe those rocks mentioned in Revelation, you know, where all the business men, leaders and yadda, yadda are supposed to hide under and plead for their lives.” “Maybe, let’s order. What’re you having?” “My usual. I’m opting for someone to make an authentic cappuccino because it might be the last good deed they do that’ll get them right into heaven.” “Phuh, yeah! Anything goes in an Apocalypse.”

“How is it?” “Not bad. I guess it’s true coffee got better after Mark skipped town when all this started. I’ll bet he beat out the traffic. The assistant manager’s still here and the baristas who’ve stayed absolutely love working with him. Mark was such a misuse-of-power horse’s ass anyway… wow, look at that.” Jenny and Steve both looked out the front window of the Arbor Boulevard Starbucks and watched the smoke rise from what used to be the University. They felt the ground rumble but the location was far enough away not to get the worst of the aftershock. People in the café looked up, watched for a moment and then got back into what they were doing: talking, writing, sipping coffee and enjoying toast or a pastry. “No more homework. The University had a lot of control in this town. It’s funny and by that I mean scary strange that aftershocks are concentrated around the university while the outer parts of town aren’t as severely hit,” Jenny sighed and looked over at Steve. “Not enough control, it couldn’t stop that from happening,” Steve gestured at the soon-to-be-available space and inhaled his white chocolate mocha. “Ahhhhhh… this smells great. Feel like a bagel?” “A scone for me without icing, please.” “Sure.” Jenny glanced in the direction of the interstate that right now resembled a parking lot. “Lucky you, this one just came out of the oven.” “Oven! Starbucks bakes?” “Yeah, they can’t get shipments as often thanks to facilities closing, transportation problems, and other apocalyptic issues.” “Well, I’ll just have to keep coming to this one then. Thanks.” There was another rumble and rising smoke. “There went the stadium, football practice cancelled,” Jenny removed the lid from her cup to sprinkle four packets of sugar-in-the-raw over the froth. “Need another packet?” “Oh, my son turned me on to this when we lived in Italy, the land of real cappuccino, anyway, he sprinkles a couple packets of sugar over his froth. It’s good.” “How’s he doing?” “Surprisingly well. There’s not as much trouble in Turkey these days. Those people have had their share and now it’s calmed. Figures it’d take an apocalypse to whip their politicians into shape, nonetheless this last guy who just got voted in’s a good one. If there’s an EU left after all this, I’m sure the country will finally be welcomed. Right now, currency, investments, these things are on the back burner. Family, community, offering refuge and praying are tops on the list.” “How about your daughter, how’s she faring?” Jenny sat back. “Needless to say the medical profession isn’t going to catch a break. Not as many go to the doctor, a few of the doctors skipped of course, but those remaining still need one. She walks to work for now, gets a couple days off a week, my grandson’s care is free and she’s still paid enough in appreciation for not abandoning her post.  We hope the whole world isn’t going to be destroyed. I just keep feeling it doesn’t have to be. After all the chemical warfare, governments that used starvation to control their people and the sickness that caused people have changed, y’know, become more conscious and active about what should have been done from the beginning. That’s got to count for something.”

Two men on horseback came up the hill. Jenny and Steve instinctively looked in their direction. “I can’t remember the last time I saw police on horseback around and never this far from downtown.” Steve nodded. Neither of them could take their eyes off the horses. As they got closer, they both realized one of them was a strange color. “That poor horse looks like he got caught in the middle of a Frat party. Is he green?” Steve’s face blanched. “He is, a pale green. At least the police haven’t lost their sense of humor but it’s not in very good taste.” Jenny blindly reached for Steve’s forearm. “It’s not a cop. Neither of them are cops. Look at the other one.” It was pure white and the rider was wearing a gold cap. He had a bow slung over his back. She glanced back at the pale horse. Something about the rider gave Jenny a feeling of dread. “I’m getting that Poe feeling in the pit of my stomach.” Steve nodded. “Men on horses, horsemen, Jen they’re Horsemen of the Apocalypse!” Jenny couldn’t speak. The Horsemen stopped at the Starbucks window and looked directly at her. In an instant she knew as if she’d heard it spoken, “there will be survivors.” The one touched his cap in a slight tilt. “Did you get that … Steve?” Jenny forgot about others in the café, right now it was just the two of them. “Survivors … yeah.” Jenny nodded back. As the Horsemen continued on, protruding from the rump of the pale horse was Mark’s head, his eyes wide in confused alarm, his lips sealed shut, trying to look from side to side. “That’s … So much for pleading for your life …” “Yeah.” Finally the Horsemen were out of sight. Jenny and Steve looked at each other. “I … ah … huh … hmm … well, another cappuccino?”


Sea Biscuit & Me

      How I wished the ATM would spew out 20s above and beyond my withdrawal like I read about in the paper! What gets me is the number of people who return the money to the bank. It’s insured; relax. I see it as a stroke of good luck. You’ve heard that saying, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth”? I wouldn’t. C’mon Sea Biscuit!

Pipe dreams aside, I went out to window shop one gorgeous warm day caught between those cooler spring-might-be-coming-but-winter-doesn’t-want-to-give-it-up days, seizing my gift horse to get outside. As I sauntered along the sidewalk, a newly opened electronics store advertising sinful discounts on everything but the door and glass front caught my eye. I made an immediate left passed a slightly disfigured iPod-in-cubicle-charger made of clay, sculpted by a local sixth-grader, holding an array of polka-dotted balloons that managed to spell out “Welcome” and entered into a gadgets wonderland. I was instantly captivated and readily succumbed tossing several items into the mini cart. Registers were bountiful with cashiers and baggers; mine, a very pleasantly muscled young man. I carried on conversation with the woman in line ahead of me, pleasantly muscled and my cashier as my cart was loaded, and then floated back out to the car. While loading the hatch I remember thinking there seemed to be too many bags for my order, but I slammed it shut anyway and drove home.

I pulled into the driveway, stopped, got the mail and began thumbing through the envelopes. There was something there from the government. My fleeting thought was, “what could this be” as I got back into the car, parked and went inside. I threw the mail on the table and began unpacking. I’d been right that one bag wasn’t mine at all. It had an expensive DVD player in it and a bank envelope with cash and a receipt showing a balance I could only wish were mine. I realized it must’ve belonged to the woman whom I was talking to in line, knew I wouldn’t want to be her, which didn’t stop me from gleefully thinking to myself, “it can happen” as I took out and counted the cash, put it in my wallet, put the envelope and receipt in the paper trash, set up the player, then took boxes and paper trash to the empty drum in the backyard for ‘burnables’ and lit the fire. After it had burned down enough that the fire didn’t reach over the rim, I walked back inside.

I put a DVD in the player, sat down and with one of my favorite childhood movies as background, opened the mail. The government had sent a social security check. I was stumped. “I’m not old enough for social security just yet”. When I finally focused on the name I realized it wasn’t mine anyway. The check itself was for just over two grand so I decided to see whom it belonged to. With my movie still going on in the background I grabbed my laptop and began the search. The woman was recently deceased. I’d figured I’d have to give it back because it’d be too risky to deposit and hope no one’d realize it, but her being dead changes things. I couldn’t help but muse about keeping the name alive for a while. I stopped what I was doing and drove to the ATM. Looking over my receipt I thought, “Well, it’s not as much as my buddy from the checkout line had but I can live with it. What a great day!”

That night I dreamt I was in pain that kept intensifying, I wanted to jump up but I was trapped. My body jerked awake tingling as I opened my eyes realizing it was morning. Throwing back the covers I saw a large brown mark on my right shin. I hadn’t bumped into anything that I could remember, shouldn’t it be black and greenish-blue? I staggered into the living room and glanced down at the laptop that’d been left on. “What’s with me, I don’t normally do that!” There was my newly deceased friend’s obituary. As I was skimming through, sighing a “thanks” for her contribution, I saw she’d been cremated. “Must’ve missed that the first time.” The service had been held at Brimstone Canyon Funeral Parlor a couple of states over, then her ashes were brought back here to be spread over the ground surrounding a willow tree in her front yard. Her home had been left to a couple who’d taken care of her and the house when she fell ill. She’d also left them a considerable amount of cash, which instantly quelled the twinge of deceit that’d crept up on me. “The check won’t be a loss. Don’t know if I’d want to live with her ashes.” As I moved the cursor to close the window I glanced down at her picture. The eyes seemed to be looking straight at me. A shudder ran through me. “What am I doing!” I closed out the window, emptied the cache, closed out of the internet, and logged out. “That was creepy.” I plugged the laptop back into its charger and left to walk down to the Atomic Café, unique for its interior design inspired by an old fifties movie where in the future, the 60s no less, couples could pick out their baby at the local drug store. After pressing a button and turning a couple of dials, he or she slides down a chute into the happy couples’ arms. The café had a game that dispensed prizes, stuffed animals and dolls, by means of a chute. Crazy.

Focused on the menu I placed my order. “Anything to drink?” I looked up and was startled. “Ma’am?” “Oh, uhmm… oh, water’s fine.” There was something about her eyes, the way she was looking at me.


The Checkout Boy

     You see, it didn’t start out as a poem. I went to the store, innocent enough and my cashier was thrilled I was on his line because he recognized me. Don’t ask me how or why, I’d never seen him before that’s for certain. He couldn’t contain himself as he told me he knew who I was from that movie oblivious to my purchases. When I got home I had to write down my experience and came up with a short story that became an elongated version.


One day I went to the grocery store

I needed half  ‘n half, chips and ¼ lb bats’ lips

Yes, I’m serious about the chips

I love ‘em with dips, the kind that I make

I stood in the checkout line with customers behind

My turn soon, I approached

The checkout boy beamed excitement

With the happiest face

Looking away from other customers right at me

I was confused needless to say

It was my turn

He could no longer contain

He blurted at last “I know who you are”


“Yes, you were in that movie!”

“What movie?”

“That one with the witch! You’re that witch!”

“That witch” I thought “Not a princess, not a handmaiden but a witch

Now why would he think that?”

He told me the name of the movie

And I knew

I drolly mentioned the actress

My voice dropping

Then the character’s name, “you think I’m her”

I turned to the couple behind me, ruefully shaking my head

They tried not to laugh, not a very good attempt

He just wouldn’t quit “Yes!  It’s you! It’s your hair!”

“She has to have hers fixed to look like I do

It could be a wig

Mine grows this way

I’m not her” I shook my head no

This is so not fair…

He became serious, and nodded

As he rung my order, a proud smirk on his face

He just knew he knew my secret

I wanted to keep it that way so I could shop free, unknown

I knew he’d tell his friends he’d met an actress

I took my bag and went home

As I put bats’ lips in the blender

I heated half ‘n half and poured espresso left standing

From the morning, stagnant and strong

I mixed lip frappe, cream cheese, onion soup for chip dip

I put everything on a Libra-zodiac tray

And told the broom, mop and bucket to take care of the kitchen floor

They didn’t budge, didn’t stare back, but just leaned

Against the utility closet door

I looked around at the mess, later on then I guess

I got comfy on the couch

Shot a glance at the fireplace, so still, so cold

It lit

The button control in a floor panel near where I sit

“That’s much better I must say” as

I watched centipedes that crawled stone crevices scurry away

While I watched a classic movie

My mind began to drift

“Imagine him saying I was that witch

Where would he get such a notion?

People think the strangest things

An adage but it’s true

Like it or not I made his day

Ah, what can you do”?

Then a warlock blacked out streetlights

Just because he could

“Good trick but a waste”, I thought

“There’re better things to do

An actress of the big screen he says

No, it just wasn’t true”



The Checkout Boy and The Witch

One day Jill went to the grocery store to pick up half n’ half, potato chips and bats’ lips. After she’d found all the things she needed, Jill stood on line at the register as other customers lined up behind her. It was a very busy day. As she got closer and closer to the checkout boy, he became excited in a very happy way and kept looking away from his other customers over at Jill. She was confused.

When it was her turn at the counter, the checkout boy couldn’t contain himself, “I know who you are.” She said, “Me?” He said, “Yes! You were in that movie.” She wondered, “Movie?” She asked him, “What movie?” “That one with the witch”, he said, “I can’t believe you’re standing right here right now. I have it on VHS and just watched it yesterday, you’re that witch!” “That witch”, Jill thought disregarding the fact he still owned a VCR, “Not a princess or a handmaiden, but a witch.” She wasn’t hurt by his remark but wondered why he thought she was a witch. He told her the name of the movie and she knew what he was talking about. “Latriana”, Jill said, her voice dropping, “you think I’m Latriana.” She turned her head toward the two people standing behind her shaking it. They tried not to laugh. “Your hair”, he said, “yes, it’s you!”

She said to him, “the actress who plays Latriana has to have her hair fixed to look like this. It might even be a wig. My hair grows this way. The actress’s name is Tabitha Morgan. I’m not Latriana.”

The checkout boy tried to look serious as he nodded at Jill in acknowledgement, but had a smirk on his face as he rang up her order like he knew a big secret he was more than happy to keep for her. He just knew she would want him to keep it quiet so no one else would know who she was so she could shop without having to sign lots of autographs. Jill took her things and went home. Later he told all his friends he’d met Latriana, which kept him happy for a very long time.

At home Jill took the bats’ lips and put them in the food processor. As they were being chopped fine, she heated up half n’ half in the microwave and added espresso she’d made earlier. As she sipped her coffee leche, Jill mixed the ground lips with cream cheese and onion soup mix for dip. She put chips and dip on a zodiac tray, told the broom, dustpan, mop and bucket to take care of the kitchen and keep it quiet while she watched a Kung Fu Theatre movie marathon on TV.

“Imagine him thinking I was that witch” Jill thought to herself. “Why on earth? I’m no actress that’s for sure. People think the strangest things.”




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