Braided

Fear is a horrible thing,
First one disappearance. Then two.
Then half a dozen.
No bodies were ever found.
The police put out a warning:
The kidnapper only stalked women with braided hair.
Women rushed to the salons to get their hair cut short.
One woman defiantly refused. She had her hair done up in pigtails.
“What’s he going to do?” she said. “Kill me twice?”
She disappeared the next day.
Vanished while jogging.
She was the last to disappear.
Some said that she was the kidnapper.
Others say that she was an accomplice.
Still, nobody braids their hair anymore.

The Puppy

Cassie saw the injured puppy by the side of the road.
It had been hit by a car.
She bundled it up in her purse and took it to the vet.
The vet mended the puppy’s wounds.
They bonded instantly, Cassie and the puppy, and from that day on, the two were inseparable.
Eight years later, Cassie backed out from her garage and ran over her dog.
This time, there would be no rushing to the vet.
The dog was dead.
Cassie was inconsolable. She wept for days.
The neighbors complained, until one got a shovel and buried the dog.

Statue

They say that you should put a beautiful woman high up on a pedestal.
And that’s where I found her.
Because she was statuesque.
The most beautiful statue in the world.
Absolutely perfect.
And I wanted to make her mine. Forever.
At the auction, I tried to buy her.
But I was outbid.
“You will never own her,” said the agent.
If I can’t have her, nobody will.
So, I picked up a crowbar from her crate, and smashed her.
And I ran.
I haven’t completely lost her.
I still have her hand.
And a ring to put on it.

Three Coins

They say that if you throw three coins in the Trevi Fountain, one day you’ll return to Rome.
The Great Bambini had a magic trick where he’d throw three coins in a fountain, and he’d vanish, only to reappear in the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Nobody could figure out how he did it.
Camera tricks? A stunt double?
Bambini never told anyone how. He took the secret to his death.
How did he die?
Well, he performed the trick on a day when a maintenance crew was cleaning the Trevi fountain, and Bambini broke his neck on the hard stone.

The Tub

Tom was a drunk and a hitter, but Cindy had nowhere she could go.
“He’s good to me,” she would say.
One night, while Tom was asleep, Cindy sprayed the bathtub with soap.
She figured that Tom would slip in the tub and break his neck.
Or maybe, he’d figure out that it was a trap, and he’d beat her to death.
A sickening crack woke her up, and sure enough, Tom was in the tub, his head at a strange angle, and not breathing.
The tears were genuine as Cindy dialed the emergency number, not from sadness, but relief.

Frozen Pizza

I walked to the corner store for Powerball tickets.
I had a twenty in my pocket, but I only bought ten bucks worth.
That way, if nobody won, I could buy ten bucks worth for the next drawing.
I didn’t want to seem like some kind of gambling addicted sucker, so I bought an ice cream cone.
And some M&Ms. And a candy bar.
Oh, and a frozen pizza.
We’ve got some frozen pizzas at home, but I figured might as well get another.
We’ll eat it eventually.
Unless we win, of course.
Then I’m not eating frozen pizza anymore.

The Weather

Please stop accusing me of working for The Global Elders of Zion.
I only work for the Local Elders of Zion, and when I file reports about how I’ve controlled the local banking system or the weather, they escalate those reports to the regional office for review.
Rarely do they advance those reports to the global headquarters, because those guys are too busy controlling the global banking system and the weather and everything else.
They send down their orders, and we here in the local office carry them out.
I wish they’d ask for “Sunny, seventy-two degrees” more often, though.

Doctor Odd and School

When Doctor Odd first went to school, he was bored by the lessons in spelling and rudimentary mathematics.
So, when faced with the laughable challenge of adding 1 and 1, he didn’t settle for just writing down 2.
He pulled Bertrand Russell’s Principia Mathematica from the shelf and worked through the proofs necessary to lay the foundations of existence, basic number sets, and addition.
From there, Doctor Odd dug deeper, tearing a rift in the fabric of space-time which consumed his house.
Exhausted and bruised, he crawled his way to school.
“The homework ate my dog,” said Doctor Odd, collapsing.

Art Monsters

I watch children run around the museum, playing tag.
Their parents sitting on a bench, tapping their smartphones.
Instead of reading the signage, teaching lessons from the past.
Keeping them from destroying all in their path. Nasty things.
Their little grubby fingers, pawing the glass.
God forbid we leave something out unprotected.
Velvet ropes mean nothing to these little monsters.
Every time you see a notice that an exhibit is on loan, it’s really in the basement for repairs.
Because of these nasty creatures.
But worst of all, for all the damage they do, we let them in for free.

The Snowflakes

Little snowflakes are so fragile and beautiful.
They fall so gracefully and melt so easily.
Innocent and harmless? No.
When too many of them come down, they pile up.
And the wind piles them higher.
You get snowed in and trapped.
Maybe the power lines break.
Huddle up, hide under a blanket, and try to stay warm.
Is there anything left in the pantry?
Murderous, evil little snowflakes, trying to kill us.
Not so innocent and harmless at all.
But worst of all is when someone picks up the snow and packs it tight.
And throws it at your face.