I know I’ve said this before, but this story is a little weird. Let me know what you think.
I know I’ve said this before, but this story is a little weird. Let me know what you think.
The Man with the Basilisk Eyes
I tow my stone dog carefully up the ramp in front of Precinct 45, the rear wheel of the red wagon squeaking with the weight. A woman holds the door, trying to smother her amusement.
Squeak, squeak, squeak. All the way to the desk sergeant.
“Hey Sarge, I want to report a crime.”
He peers over at me. “You don’t say? How old are you?”
“Ten. What, ten year olds don’t have any rights?”
“Touché. What’s the crime?”
“A man in the park turned my dog Scruffy to stone. I was playing fetch with him and Scruffy ran over by this man with real yellow eyes, like a basilisk, like in Harry Potter. Scruffy gave a yelp and ran back, but he started running slower and slower like he was caught in molasses. By the time he got back, he was like this.” I tap the stone dog in the wagon.
“So . . . you want me to arrest this ba-zo-lisk eyed man?”
“Of course! He killed my dog. Ain’t petrification a crime?”
“Here’s the thing.” The sergeant leans over. “My buddy over at Precinct 28 told me a kid came in last week with a stone dog and the same story.”
“Well, if you can’t get justice one place, you go somewhere else,” I say, but it’s clear I’m getting no sympathy there. I wheel ol’ Scruffy out to where Brad is waiting.
“Any luck?” he asks. I shake my head.
“Let’s try 51. I hear the sergeant over there is a fantasy nerd.”
“Okay,” Brad says, “but let’s hurry. Mom’s going to be pissed if she notices her lawn ornament missing.”
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.
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
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.
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.
Standing on the Edge of Realities
“I’m such an idiot! I walked through that arch, back to this world, and I find her sleeping with my co-worker. I came back—gave up paradise—all for her! Stupid! I can’t go back now—the magic’s all gone—and I’m stuck forever in this tepid modern world. I just want to belong somewhere: I’m only an outsider now.”
The cop was having a heck of a first day on the job. “That’s terrible, sir. Really. If you’ll just step back from the edge of the bridge, I’ll buy you a coffee and you can tell me more about it.”
I admit it, I’ve been in a weird mood. Maybe not more than usual, but more consistently. For those of you who like my saner stories, they’ll be coming, but this isn’t one of them.
The police asked me about the smoking gun in my hand.
I said it had been smoking since before I met it, but it was trying to quit.
They asked about my red hands.
I said I’d been doing a craft project with disadvantaged youth.
They asked about the head in my freezer.
I said I was running a highly specific cryogenics experiment.
They wished me luck with my experiment and left.
Just as well. If they’d left the freezer door open any longer, it would have ruined everything. Now, I have to go wash the paint off my hands and go pick up some nicotine patches for my gun.
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