A Sticky Situation – Friday Fictioneers

This story is much later than I usually post it, but it’s been a crazy week in a lot of respects. For one thing, I just got a new job, so I’ll be moving to Iowa very soon. Hopefully, soon thereafter things will finally get back to normal here at the Green-Walled Tower. I also have a bonus story today: my 6-year-old nephew Henry saw the picture and wrote a story for the picture. He has a great imagination.

copyright Madison Woods

copyright Madison Woods

A Sticky Situation

“. . . and that’s why I’m carrying two tons of powdered sugar, the burnt remains of 8000 Pikachu plushies, and assorted donkey organs across the desert at night.” My palms were sweaty as I finished my convoluted, yet totally accurate explanation.

The cop who had pulled me over stared at me and then his face slowly cracked into a smile. He began to laugh until tears were streaming down his face and he was pounding the side of my car.

“So . . . we’re all good?” I asked tentatively.

“Yeah, but you’ll still have to come to the station. They’ll never believe me otherwise.”

 

The Sticky Man

by Henry

There was a person who stepped on it, and then the sticky goo floated up into the air and the person floated up on it. Up, up, up.

And then it went down and smashed into pieces and then everything disappeared and turned into monsters, even the sticky goo turned into monsters. Then it turned back into earth, and then into monsters again.

Then it jumped way up and went into space and hit into Earth and broke into pieces and saw a castle and went in and there was a dragon inside, and it was a king dragon.

 


Truck Reborn – Friday Fictioneers

Copyright Roger Bultot

Copyright Roger Bultot

Truck Reborn

The state fair was abuzz with the news: a boy had grown a truck for his 4-H project.

“How did you do it?” the judge asked.

“I planted part of the chassis and watered it with motor oil, infused with Miracle-Gro,” the boy said dully. His was the only unexcited face in sight. “It doesn’t matter: it didn’t work.”

“What do you mean? This is a miracle! You took a wrecked truck and brought it back to life.”

“But I did it for my dad.”

“Ah,” the judge said. “Where is he?”

“He was in the truck when it wrecked.”

 


Dear Mr. Jackson – Friday Fictioneers

copyright Jan Wayne Fields

copyright Jan Wayne Fields

Dear Mr. Jackson

Dear Mr. Jackson,

I am writing to inform you that

 

Hey Travis,

How are you? Listen, you remember that concert a few months ago when

 

Travis, you bastard! You ruined my life and now you’re gonna

 

Travis,

I really need you now. I feel so alone. I can’t tell my parents and

 

Hey babe!

I got some big news for you!! I’m so excited and

 

Dear Prick,

I know it’s hard for a colossal douche like you to understand but

 

Travis,

I’ve got something to say. Please, please don’t be mad but

 

Travis,

Please call me. We have to talk.

 


I Woke up on Monday as a Dog

I woke up on Monday as a dog—a sloppy, tangle-furred St. Bernard who had grown up on the streets. Everyone in the neighborhood knew me and as the sun peeked between the brownstone houses that lined the east side of the street, I set out to discover breakfast. A few people called out to me, but I just barked and kept going. People around here might know me, but no one ever fed me.

No one except Mae, my adopted mother. She was blind—poor thing—but loved me no matter what. She fed me the same fare regardless of my form, sometimes with terrible results. There was a freezing day in February where I came to her as a goat only to find she had saved a steak just for me, cooked to medium-rare perfection. It repulsed me and as much as it hurt me to reject it, I could not touch it.

Mae was sitting on the porch steps when I bounded up. She could always tell when it was me. “Good morning, Harry. Come sit and talk to me for a while.” I barked at her and she nodded. “Maybe another day then.”

I wolfed down the bacon and eggs she had set out on the steps and lapped at the water next to it. The rest of the day was spent running around the streets and tearing into the garbage bags behind the McDonalds, searching for abandoned scraps and running away from the shouts and threats of the workers. It was a glorious existence.

On Tuesday, I woke up as a man and the grimmer reality that came with it. I ran a hand through my greasy hair, tried to straighten my clothes, and shuffled over to Mae’s where I ate with fork and knife and we talked about the weather and the arthritis she was getting in her knees. I brought my dishes in, washed them and the rest of the pile there, then took out her garbage. I was walking over to the park to sleep when I heard a shout.

“Harry, come here for a second.” It was a cop. I don’t know which one: I’m not good with faces, or names. He waited until I had approached the car, then kept looking at me until I was thoroughly unnerved.

“Some people complained about you urinating on the street yesterday.”

“Aw, Officer, I wasn’t myself yesterday,” I said. “You don’t arrest other dogs for marking their territory.”

The officer sighed and looked down. “I gotta take you in again, Harry. You know I hate to do it.”

“For what? What did I do?”

“You want the list?”

I went quietly. Violence is not what I’m about. I sat in the corner of the public cell but the other prisoners seemed to know me and left me alone. Luckily, the next day I woke up briefly to find that I was a sloth and then slept most of the day. When I did wake, it took half an hour to get over to the can and back to the bunk. At the end of the day, an official came in and talked to me privately but I was too sleepy to hear much. I caught the words “psychiatric” and “trial” but it didn’t concern me.

The next day, I woke up as a dragon.

The shock of sudden strength after a day as a sloth was electrifying. I had only been a dragon once before and that was when I had a horde to protect and I had spent the whole day sleeping on it. But not this time. I sat hunched on my bunk, eyes closed but flexing the muscles in my limbs and wings, feeling the deadly power in my claws.

“Harry, it’s time to go,” I heard someone call. I didn’t move. “Just go get him,” someone else said. “Cuffs but no shackles. He’s not a high risk.” The tip of my tail flicked back and forth in anticipation.

The cell door open and I sprang with a roar. I caught one look at the shocked expression on the guard’s face before I was on him, raking my talons across his face. My tail slammed him against the bars and I was free, my huge bulk crashing through the next room. It was pure exhilaration and I reveled in the power that I suddenly possessed.

I smashed through one room after another until suddenly, I was outside and then I was airborne and flying over the city. But where to go now? I couldn’t visit Mae—the weight of this new form would crush her house. I could not retreat to the subway system like I often did, not with my huge frame.

In the end, the form that gave me freedom caused my downfall. A dragon cannot hide well and they found me and netted me and brought me to another facility. A man came and talked to me, but all I could do was roar at him. It was his own fault for trying to talk to a dragon.

Today I woke up as a cat but they still guarded me as if I were a dragon. It’s a shame and I suppose I’ll never get out of here unless I turn into something stronger than a dragon, something strong enough to bend steel and smash concrete. I look out my window and see the beautiful blue sky. A perfect day for a cat to go exploring—a beautiful tabby cat with golden eyes who’s never hurt a person in his life.


Home, Sweet Home – Friday Fictioneers

Today I have a double feature for you. I only wrote one though: the other story is by a guest blogger, author Sheila Stewart, who is also my sister. She wrote a Friday Fictioneer story but doesn’t have a blog so I said I would post it for her. Our two stories go together but could also be taken separately.

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Home, Sweet Home (Part 1)

by Sheila Stewart

I found a body on my back deck today. It wasn’t the oddest thing I’d found back there, but it was a bit annoying. Bodies stink and leak. At least I could use the old clothes and blankets people tossed down. I could mend the broken furniture and decorate with sculptures made from various odds and ends I couldn’t figure out what else to do with.

I’m not sure how people got the idea that my house was a garbage dump, but I’m not complaining.

Not usually anyway.

Except now I need to go bury the body with the others.

Home, Sweet Home (Part 2)

by David Stewart

“I just love this to death,” Alice gushed at the hot real estate agent. “The view, the veranda: it’s perfect.”

Chris rolled his eyes. “It’s a bit pricey and this slope looks prone to avalanches. Plus, what’s this MCMG at the bottom of the paperwork?”

“Legal mumbo-jumbo,” the agent said quickly, flashing a grin. “You wanna see the jacuzzi?”

Alice was slightly concerned three months later when she dug up a tibia in the garden, but after she found two skulls, Chris studied the title. On the last page, in 4-point font was the note:

MCMG: May Contain Mass Grave.

 

 


The Physics of Angels – Friday Fictioneer

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

The Physics of Angels

“Mommy, how does the plane fly?”

“Sweetie, remember that word ‘migraine’ I taught you—”

“But how?”

“Angels. Angels keep it up.”

“But how does it go down?”

“Well, when they want to go down, the pilots start swearing a lot and it makes the angels drop us . . . slowly.”

“But you said a bad word before when you spilled your coffee and it didn’t go down then.”

“Oh that? That kind of word isn’t going to do anything. The pilots have to say really terrible, sinful words.”

“Like what?”

“Are you kidding? If I told you, you’d crash the plane.”


Spheres in a Pool

glowing water

Spheres in a Pool

I sat on the edge of the luminescent pool, trying to will myself to dive again into that horrible liquid. Far below the surface lay the spheres piled and jumbled together. Those tiresome, vital, detestable spheres.

“Damn them,” I said. I never wanted to see another one as long as I lived. But in them, in one of them at least, lay the key to my escape from this concrete hellhole.

My cell was smaller than a college dorm room: a concrete cube with lichen growing on the walls. At one end was a locked gate and the way of eventual freedom. It led out to a hallway lined with similar cells.

I went to the gate. “Hey Jerry, you okay?” Jerry, the man in the cell across from mine, was lying on the floor. He raised his head and nodded.

“Just tired,” he said. “I might not pull up any spheres today. You want some bread?” He sat up and threw me part of a loaf of brown bread. Jerry had a friend somewhere that sent him bread down the chute in the corner of his cell. It was the only way things came into the cells; I received nothing beyond my basic rations from mine.

“I need to get at least two spheres today,” I said. I took a deep breath, again willing myself to go in.

The problem was that the liquid in the pool was not water. It was slimy and burned after long exposure. My first day in the cell, I had pulled out eight spheres. I did not pull another one for a whole week, as I lay with screaming, inflamed skin, red and raw from whatever the liquid had done to it.

Finally, I took a deep breath and dived. I did not dare open my eyes but felt around to where I had seen a red sphere. Someone, long ago, had scrawled on the wall, “Reds are the best bet” and I followed that advice.

I felt the sphere and heaved it upwards. It was light enough in the liquid, but slippery and hard to handle. I couldn’t get it the first time and had to surface for more air, but I got it on the second dive. I hauled it out onto the floor of the cell and began the process of cracking it open.

The reds had a tougher shell than some of the others and I used to spend hours prying one open with my hands. But then Jerry (who really had the best of friends somewhere above) slid me over an extra knife he had gotten and that helped a lot. I cut open the sphere, but of course it was empty.

Jerry tried for yellows. He had gotten a tip somewhere that they were the best bet. But I stuck with reds, because even if there was no reason for it, it was nice to think I had my own system.

I pulled another one out before I stopped for a rest. I sat with my back against the wall, fighting despair and panic. The worst thing about the whole situation was that I had put myself there voluntarily. I had been happy enough where I was—that life of low risks, low responsibility, and low pay. But then I heard word of an Opportunity. Some people called it a lottery, or a contest, or a competition. It seemed easy enough and the rewards on the other side were amazing. Just pick the right ball and you’re out, they said. You have all the time in the world to do it.

The reality in their words mocked me now. All the time in the world. All the time in the world. Fifty-nine scratches on the wall marked the number of spheres I had pulled out. I finished eating the bread from Jerry. I was tempted to give up for the day; two spheres was pretty good, but I decided to get one more, any color. I dived and grabbed the first one I felt, wrestling it to the surface.

It was a green one, slightly smaller than the reds. I cut it open and my heart almost stopped when I heard a clink as my knife hit metal.

It was a key. A real key after all this time. My hand was trembling as I fitted it into the lock. But a moment later, my elation changed to confusion and then fury. The key wouldn’t turn. I reached out and put it in from the outside but still nothing. It was the wrong key. I yelled and swore and kicked the walls until Jerry finally shouted at me, asking if I was okay.

“It’s the wrong key!” I shouted. “I got a key but it doesn’t work.”

I worked at it for another twenty minutes until I finally gave up. It wasn’t going to work. “Throw it over here,” Jerry said. “Let me play around with it for a while.” I threw him the key; what did it matter? He put the key in his lock and a second later, Jerry was standing in the hallway, a free man with a look of shock on his face.

“How did you do it?” I asked.

“Just how you did it,” he said. “Here, let me try again.” He put the key in my lock and wiggled it back and forth, but it wouldn’t budge.

“It’s not fair,” I said, beating my forehead against the concrete wall. “It’s not fair.”

“I’m sorry,” Jerry said. “I’ll go see if there’s a mistake. Maybe I can get them to get you out too, since it was you who found the key.”

“Do what you can, I guess,” I said. “And don’t be sorry, Jerry. I’m happy for you.” He smiled and we shook hands through the gate and then he left, glowing with happiness.

The next day, a loaf of bread and a new blanket came down my chute, wrapped in a plastic bag. On it was scribbled a note: Don’t give up. You can do it! – Jerry

So he was up there now too. “Good for you, Jerry,” I said. “And thank you.” Then I turned back to that hideous pool and prepared to dive again.

 


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