Whenever someone says that dead men tell no tales, it’s obvious that they haven’t ever been to Necropolis, Kenya.
Not only does Necropolis have a population boom problem, but they have a severe shortage of paper.
The ruling elite came up with a brilliant solution to both problems: write everything down on the skin of people who have starved to death.
Okay, so the dead really aren’t telling any tales, and it’s dead men and women.
Plus, they’re all black, so it’s kind of hard to read the ink, even on the light-skinned ones.
Let’s just ship them some Kindles.
It has been five months.
I am haunted. I cannot let go.
When I walk outside, I look for you.
Around corners. Under bushes. Along the fence.
You’re not there. You’re never there.
I search the pet rescue sites, chasing your ghost.
Every black cat, young or old. It doesn’t matter.
No, this one is a kitten.
No, this one has green eyes.
I will never find you, because you’re not out there.
Gone is gone. And nothing will change that.
But I will keep looking.
And I will keep searching.
Because I am haunted, and cannot let go.
If you wait for me on the other side, I will join you eventually.
After all, time is an eternity. And it’s only a matter of time before my time comes.
Wait for me. I’ll be there soon. You won’t have to wait forever.
I’ll be older. Maybe much older. You might not even recognize me, but I will recognize you.
If I can remember. Sometimes, I forget things. Important things.
Nothing is as important to me as you are. But what if… what if I forget?
Then I suppose you’ll need to remember for us both.
See you soon?
Ted is a lion-tamer with rage disorder.
So, every now and then, when he throws a tantrum, the ringmaster calls for the lion-tamer tamer.
No, he doesn’t come in with a chair and a whip. Nor is it some hot chick in a low-cut blouse.
It’s actually Gus, the security officer for the circus. He’s a good shot with a taser gun.
“You want to go get a coffee, Ted?” says Gus calmly.
Ted charges, and Gus is forced to zap him.
The crowd applauds and cheers, and then screams as the pack of lions tear Gus and Ted apart.
Everybody loves The Edna Copperpot Mysteries.
Except the author: Dame Lilith Wilmington.
Sure, Edna had made her fabulously wealthy and famous. Books, movies, and television series kept the royalties rolling in.
Despite the success, Lilith was tired of Edna. She wanted to try something new.
She wrote poetry, and the critics brutally savaged her.
Lilith blamed Edna. So, Edna needed to die.
Lilith finished the final chapter and smiled. And as she hit “Send” her heart gave out.
After the funeral, the editor cleaned up the ending. The publisher loved it, and made the editor Edna’s new writer.
He called himself usfur duri, the sparrow.
He tried to set off a bomb on a school bus.
It took six men to bring him down. He was still trying to trigger it.
To murder. To kill.
He sat in his cell and didn’t say a word.
FREE THE SPARROW, the Amnesty International posters said.
No mention of the bomb. The children.
He called us evil during the trial.
Guilty. Thirty life sentences.
Years later, he was on the prisoner exchange list. A “goodwill gesture.”
He laughed at us.
We wrapped him in a poster and beat him to death.
I know that Jim Varney died of lung cancer a few years ago. He’s the guy who played Ernest in those movies and commercials. You know, the ones where the hillbilly pokes in the window and shouts HEY VERN!
If you think about it, we’re all Vern. Ernest is shouting all this stupid crap at us, over and over.
But if we were Vern, wouldn’t we lock our doors? Or latch the windows shut?
Sure, Ernest was an idiot, but letting him back in over and over, what does that say about us.
Maybe Vern left out packs of cigarettes?
“A book can take you places,” my uncle said. “Wonderful places.”
You see a stack of fresh notepads and unused pens. I see stories that are waiting to be imagined and written.
So many places to discover and explore, then commit to the page. With each revision, the story becomes clearer, and the reader comes closer to actually being there.
I hold a notepad in my hand, pick up a pen, and remember my uncle trying to teach me to write.
But I couldn’t. I didn’t have the gift.
I close the rolltop desk and lock it.
Stories, lost forever.
What if two people who died on 9/11 had the same name?
When the annual memorial event organizers read the list of names in alphabetical order, would they say the same name twice? Or just once?
And when they made the memorial, would they engrave the name twice or just once?
It would be embarrassing to go there to make a charcoal rubbing of your loved one’s name, only to find strangers standing there doing a charcoal rubbing of your loved one’s name?
Or, I suppose, release chickens with the numbers one through nine on them, minus the seven.
When I go to sleep, I play camping sounds on my phone.
Crickets, a crackling fire, owls, and frogs fill the air.
It helps me to dream of when we’d go camping long ago.
Back at Crystal Lake.
Yeah, there was this Jason kid that we harassed and drove into a homicidal fury. He put on a hockey mask and chopped up a bunch of hot teens.
Thank goodness I was a pimply nerd back then. Jason just passed me by without a single look. Dude just snickered. Jerk.
I still came down with poison ivy. Man, did that suck.