Monthly Archives: July 2013

Chester, The Wonderful (short fiction)

Daily Prompt: Pat on the Back

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

Chester woke up and really felt good. Before leaving the apartment for work he smiled in the mirror and patted himself on the back. “Some days are just better than others. Some days I’m just better than me. Some days you’re just so full of yourself you want to spoon some of yourself out to others. Some days there is just not enough of me to go around. I‘m going to spread a little of me around.”

On leaving the apartment Chester decided to walk rather than take the bus.

“Look, a panhandler,” he said to himself.

“Isn’t this a wonderful day,” Chester said.

“Is it one dollar wonderful or five dollar wonderful?” The panhandler said.

“It’s more than that, it’s hope. Things will be wonderful for you the rest of the day.” Chester said.

“Huh?” The panhandler said.

“You have met wonderful me and I give you hope,” Chester said.

“I’d setter for a quarter,” the panhandler said.

Chester walked on.

“Ah, my favorite coffee shop and my favorite barista,” Chester said.

“The unusual, my dear,” Chester said to the barista. “With a quad-shot, if you don’t mind. And here’s a dime for the tip jar.”

“Wow, what got into you today?” The barista said.

“I’m happy to be me, so I want to give as much of me as I can to everybody!” Chester said.

“At a dime a crack of much of you is left?” The barista said.

“Plenty, plenty. A dime of me is better than a dollar of anybody else,” Chester said.

He walked couple of blocks to a busy intersection.

“There’s an old lady trying to make it across the street,” Chester said. “Don’t worry, Ma’am, I’m here to save the day. I’ll hold traffic if need be.”

“Bless you, sonny,” the old lady said.

“Now, straighten up, don’s slouch, take nice long strides; embrace life!” Chester said.

“Is your clock winding down?” The old lady said.

“Remember, age is just a number,” Chester said.

“I’m going to see Maggie at the laundry,” Chester said.

“Are my shirts ready?”

“No, not until tomorrow,” Maggie said.

“I knew that,” Chester said. “I just wanted to come in and tell you life confined to a wheelchair is not all that bad, at least you have your life.”

“I appreciate that, sir,” Maggie forced a smile. “There’s a gun store owner, two doors down, has a leg missing. He’d probably like to here from you.”

“Maybe next time. I’ve got to get to work.”

Chester looked at his watch and noticed he was running late. He hoped on the bus. It traveled a couple of blocks and stopped.

“There’s a train on the track,” Chester said. “What an opportunity.”

He stood at the front of the bus. “Hey everybody! Let’s sing a song! Anybody know High Hopes? Just join in on the chorus, ‘Cause he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes, he’s got high apple pie in the sky hopes.’ Look! The train is moving. Aren’t you all glad I came along.”

Finally Chester arrived at work.

“Good morning, Mr. Bromwell. May I say it is a pleasure working here and especially having you as my boss. I like your management style, decisive.”

“Chester, you‘re late.”

“Yes, Mr. Bromwell, I know.”

“You’re fired.”

Chester walked out on the street and screamed. “Ahhhhhhhhh! This is the worst day of my life. I should have known, it started out too good.”

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Water (He Said She Said; Very Short Stories)

“Can I buy you a drink?” He said.

“I drink water only, thank you,” she said.

“Can I buy you a bottled water?” He said.

“I’ll have to think about that one,” she said.

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Filed under He Said She Said, Short Stories

Quarterback Comeback (short fiction)

images[9]Daily Prompt: Drawing a Blank

When was the last time you walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.

It was the early 90’s. Things were good for Steve. He was a car salesman and a darn good one. He had offers from every dealership in town. His sales manager, Don, invited him to lunch at a restaurant.

“Steve,” Don said. “I’m glad we could have lunch together.”

“Me too,” Steve said. “I left my wallet at home today. All I got is a quarter in my pocket. I was going to have to bum a couple dollars from you anyway.”

They ordered and ate.

Don was not his jovial self during the meal. Something was on his mind.

“I wanted to speak to you about something,” Don said.

“Fire away,” Steve said.

“Some of the other salesmen say you are not taking customers in rotation,” Don said. “You’re running out to greet people before any of the other salesmen have had a chance. In fact, they say you wait near the front of the lot and grab them just as they come in.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Steve said.

“It’s not fair to the other salesman,” Don said.

“Life is not fair,“ Steve said. “If they want it to be fair they should get off their lazy carcasses and greet customers as they come in like I do.”

“Look, Steve,” Don said. “I want to create a relaxed atmosphere for the salesmen and customers and the way you do things is creating tension for both.”

“You look, Don,” Steve said. “When a customer comes into our lot the dealership wants to sell him a car. Who is most likely to sell them one? Me. I sell to over half the people I greet. The rest of those salesmen only close a third of the people they greet. You should be talking to them.”

“Steve, I’m going to have to insist you stay in your office and take customers in rotation,” Don said.

“I can leave here and in ten minutes have a job at a half-dozen dealerships just like that!” Steve said snapping his finger. “I just had a call this morning from the Ford dealership and a job offer.”

“I’m sorry, Steve,” Don said. “But that’s an order.”

Steve pushed away from the table and said abruptly, “Thanks for the meal. You can take this job and shove it!”

“But, Steve,” Don said. “We’ve been friends for a long time. We can’t leave things like this.”

Steve reached in his pocket, pulled out a quarter, and tossed it on the table. “Here’s a quarter, call somebody who cares.”

**********************************

Two months later Steve walked into Don’s office. Don rose and extended his hand.

“Steve,” Don said. “It’s good to see you.”

“Same here,” Steve said.

“What brings you by?” Don said.

“Ya know,” Steve said “I should not have left on such a sour note.”

“Let’s not dance around here,” Don said. “Do you want your job back?”

“Yeah, Don,” Steve said. “I really liked working here.”

“That was kind of foolish what you did a couple of months ago,” Don said. “Don’t you agree?”

“Yeah, it was,” Steve said.

“If you remember,” Don said. “You told me you only had a quarter in you pocket that day and you flipped it on the table.”

Steve chuckled. “I had to walk back to the dealership and get my car.”

“Steve,” Don said. “I heard things aren’t going too good for you. In fact, I heard the bank repossessed your car.”

“How did you know that?” Steve said.

“It’s on the lot,” Don said. “The bank asked us to sell it for them.”

“Well,” Steve said. “I guess you really know I need a job, now.”

Don reached in his pocket, found a quarter, and flipped it to Steve. “Call yourself a cab.”

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Filed under Business, Daily Prompt, Short Stories

The State of Me is Better Than the State of You-Know-What

"M y fellow bloggers, things are okay. See you in a while. Thank you.  Whose ever last one out, turn off the lights."

“M y fellow bloggers, things are okay. See you in a while. Thank you. Whose ever last one out, turn off the lights.”

Daily Prompt: State of Your Year

Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post. 

The Daily Prompt started on February 1st. It has stimulated me to write more and with some sense of direction. It’s given me a target for which to aim.

I’ve tried various structures to my blog, mainly for myself. Folks could give two hoots and a holler for how I do things.

On Monday’s I post something about Boise State football. I enjoy looking for what is not obvious and exploring it. Sports allows for that. It is a challenge to find the important things and separate them from the mundane. Many sports writers invent what is important. I try to discover it.

Recently, on Wednesdays, a feature has been posted entitled He Said She Said; short dialogue meant to tell an entire story in as few words as possible. As a writer, this is really enjoyable. It’s like a cat toying with a mouse. You sit and play with a few lines of dialogue until it finally submits and dies.

Fridays I have been trying my hand at a satirical look at life and news in Boise. The problem with satire is that at times you can appear sarcastic. People may take offense and that is the furthest thing from my intent. Some ideas are tossed aside. It’s better to be thoughtful and sensitive than hurtful and funny.

Sense the first of the year my novel, Galapagos Man, has taken form and is now nearly complete. I’m near the end of the final edit. Here is something I just finished:

Alex felt the warmth of sun and heard the cactus wrens chirp and watched them flutter and swoop for insects. He studied the map. Once he crossed a river just ahead of him there was about a mile and half of curved road and then about ten miles of straight road.

He stood the motorcycle and drove a short distance and waded across a calf-high water. He putted slowly along the dusty road leading from the river. He looked ahead to a dusty desolate road. He had at least one hundred and eighty miles to go. It would be like taking a ride in a hot grill. It reminded him of westerns where the cowboy trudges a hundred mile desert that no one has ever accomplished, along the way were bones of cattle and human failure. He looked to the rear and the river he just forded. A car slowed to cross. It was a green Chevy Malibu.

“They are motivated,” Alex said and gave the motorcycle gas and fishtailed away. “How did they find me?” he mumbled. “Where is a good bazooka when you need one?”

All and all so far so good .

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

No More Moores From Prosser, Washington After This Year

Kirby gets a snot-blocker from Fresno State; looses his helmet, but not the ball.

Kirby gets a snot-blocker from Fresno State; looses his helmet, but not the ball.

Kirby Moore is about to finish his final year at Boise State.

He is not the fastest receiver on the squad. He doesn’t make the quickest cuts. He’s not a great leaper. He is the guy open on a third and twelve for a thirteen yard gain. He catches the ball, gets hammered, and holds on. He snatches the ball thrown behind him. He snags the ball before it hit’s the turf. He twists and turns to catch the ball. He tiptoes and drags his foot to stay inbounds long enough to make a reception. He’s made impossible catches during his career.

He is an unsung receiver.

Kirby did not get to Boise State on his brother’s shirt tails. He was a premier high school receiver holding a national record with 95 career touchdowns.

Last year he had 36 catches for 368 yards. Not a bad year; second on the Bronco squad.

Just as it was amazing for brother Kellen to come to Boise and make a name for himself on the national scene from the little town of Prosser, Washington, it has been the same for a wide receiver Kirby to shine as a part of one on the most successful college programs in the nation.

Kirby waiting for the snap; not flashy just tough.

Kirby waiting for the snap; not flashy just tough.

He is a good mid range receiver who knows when a play breaks down and knows when and where to go long and when and where to come back toward the quarterback. Intelligent receivers are the guys who keep drives alive and find an open spot before the quarterback gets sacked.. To say it is instinctual would be deceptive. He sees things and processes them at lightening speed. A smart receiver knows the play is busted shortly after the quarterback sets up. It is then that the receiver does his magic. And time after time Kirby Moore has been that receiver.

Moore is capable of a 70 to 80 reception year. The question is; will the offense be able to accommodate all the receivers. There are enough good receivers for Southwick to have a 4,000 plus year in passing. Much depends on how the offense will be ran this year. If defenses key on Boise’s top receiver from last year, Matt Miller, look for Moore’s numbers to increase.

It would be nice to see Kirby’s final season one to really remember.

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Filed under Boise, Sports

My Computer Is Very Fragile And Emotional

Angry-computer[1]Daily Prompt: Life After Blogs

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

So here I am trying to imagine what life would be like without my computer.

I’m thinking back to a thousand years ago; a guy runs into a small village. He’s excited. He tells of their Army’s victory in a distant land and many young village men will return as heroes. It seems in his excitement he exaggerated a bit. Many lives were lost in the victory and the victory was really a truce.

Soon people saw the need for a Town Crier who could read factual reports. It was later discovered he could read in such a way as to put emphasis on what he found appealing.

Community bulletin boards and newspapers would replace Town Criers. Yet, the emotion, prejudice, and disposition of an editor, publisher, or reporter could shade what was printed.

Emotions, no matter what, come into play.

The world in the past 175 years has gone from the telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and the internet. Information speeds to our home in nanoseconds and yet it is no better than the emotion of the guy who ran into the medieval village to report a distant war.

We are still ruled and guided by the same emotions of a thousand, two thousand, three thousand years ago. The computer should not change who we are. It should tell us who we are.

The last few months I have followed the George Zimmerman trial. The media and special interest groups did much to distort or hide facts. Everything was revealed in open court. Evidence, testimony, and arguments were presented. A verdict was reached. Yet emotions prevail.

It’s caused me to do some extra research and thinking on my own.

I’ve come to this conclusion, news is best reported by those who were there, after a long walk home. Otherwise it is fueled with emotions and inaccuracies. Likely what happens a month ago and a thousand miles away will have little or no effect on anyone.

Much of our life is ruled by our own emotions, so we need to be careful not to be led by another person’s emotions.

We, ourselves, need to slow down before we hit “send” or “enter.”

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Friendships Take Time To Germinate

Daily Prompt: A to Z

The Daily Prompt did not come today at it’s usual time. It looks like somebody fell asleep at the keyboard. In yesterday’s post I wrote a list of all my teachers. I thought about a friend from the first grade, a friend I never knew I had.

In my mid twenties I became friends with a guy named Dave. For nearly sixteen years we saw each other several times a week. Our families did things together, we fished, we helped each other with home projects, had meals together, went to amusement parks, and most of the time just hung-out.

We were the same age having a lot in common: music, Vietnam War, and knew some of the same people. We went to different high schools and for a period of time hung out at the same teenage hang-out, but our paths never crossed.

“That’s something,” I said to him one day. “That we never saw each other when we were teenagers.”

What was even amazing about our lives was that for the first six weeks of school in the first grade we went to the same school.

“Where did you live?” I asked him.

He told me.

“We lived only a mile apart!” I said. “We had to have been on the same bus.”

“We were,” Dave said and went on to tell me where I got off the bus. “I remember you.”

“That’s been over forty years ago,” I said. “You’ve known that all along and never said anything?”

“It just never came up,” Dave said. “I remember watching you every day. I wanted to be your friend, but I was too shy. Suddenly you were gone; your family moved. I knew we would become friends someday.”

It is likely we all have friendships we just don’t know exist. They are waiting for us to discover or rediscover them. There are people who want our friendship and perhaps have been friends longer than what we know.

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