The diamonds that Yuri stuffed into the volleyball were priceless.
Lost in transit, said Fedex.
Years later, Yuri read: FEDEX EMPLOYEE FOUND AT SEA
After watching Chuck Noland deliver a package to some ranch, Yuri learned he had spent all that time on the island talking to Yuri’s volleyball.
Where was it?
Yuri turned on the news, sighing.
Chuck was being interviewed. Again.
“My friend just floated away,” mumbled Chuck.
“Who?” asked a reporter.
“Wilson,” said Chuck. “He was a volleyball that had a-”
Yuri switched off.
Should have used Airborne, he thought. Those Fedex employees are nuts.
Buddy Lee grew up.
Nobody expected him to, but as with all little boys, he did.
And he grew up fast. He outgrew his dungarees quickly, and the company no longer needed him as a spokesman.
He hit the streets hard, All those years of getting knocked around made him angry.
They made him crazy.
Buddy roamed the world, looking for people wearing those dungarees.
He swore an oath that if there was anything left of his victims, they’d be buried in them.
That’s why I wear a kilt. Buddy ignores kilt-wearers.
And I’ve got the knees for it, too.
I’ve got two cans of gasoline in my trunk for the job. They’re awfully light, though.
In fact, they’re… empty? How?
Didn’t I fill them up today?
I run back to the offices. The only way to build new ones is to burn the old ones. Otherwise, you have to wait years for the plans to get approved.
This is madness. I can’t go through with it. I won’t do it. I-
But someone’s beat me to it. Another torch-job, perhaps?
The flames light up the night sky.
What kind of madman does such a thing?
And where’s my lighter?
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt,” said Abraham to the crowd.
“What if you just make silly faces?” said a carpenter.
“Um,” said Lincoln. “Er-”
“Or if you roll around in the street and chew horse manure?” said a lady with a broom.
“Well,” said Lincoln. “I mean-”
“Standing in the rain naked is foolish!” shouted a child.
Abraham stopped and stared.
I’m supposed to win the war with these clowns?
Man, he thought, I’m screwed. Let someone else run in 1864, I’m going the hell home.
There’s nothing left to eat but soup. Everything else went bad while I was out.
I put the least-dirty pot on the stove and light the burner.
No electricity here, so the electric can opener is useless.
There’s a manual can opener in the drawer. Looks a bit rusty.
What the heck. It’s worth a shot.
Or not. It breaks on the lid. And there’s no pull-tab on the lid, either.
I put the soup can on the back yard fence, draw a bead on it, and squeeze the trigger.
Chicken and noodles everywhere.
I’ll be eating out today.
Every week, Chang pulled a business card out of the fishbowl and the winner got a free lunch at The Happy Dragon.
Every so often, another hand would dip into the fishbowl and draw a business card. But they never got a free lunch.
They found Mary’s body in the dumpster the next day. The same with Steve, Lynn, Arthur, and Jose. Sixteen in all.
One day, the killer reached into the bowl and got his hand wet.
No business cards. Just a goldfish.
Sure, there is such a thing as a free lunch, but it’s not worth the risk.
Abraham smiled and leered over his old enemy Senator Douglas.
“So, will you be my friend now?” said Lincoln.
“Never!” shouted the bloody-faced Douglas. “I will never yield!”
Lincoln kicked Douglas in the ribs, and Douglas howled in pain.
“Friends?’ offered Lincoln, reaching down to the bloody and ragged Senator. “Please?”
“Never!” wheezed the wobbly Douglas.
Lincoln hit him with a chair, knocking Douglas out.
Lincoln had him dragged back to the dungeon.
“Rest, my enemy,” said Lincoln. “We begin fresh tomorrow morning.”
Sure, you can destroy your enemies by making friends of them, but where’s the fun in that?