Near 500 words: TW and His Friend

Episode #25 of The Writer

TW (aka The Writer) left Christine Baxter’s office late. He looked at his watch. It said 6 p.m. As he got into his car, he realized that he was starving. When had that happened?

The time he had spent in Dr. Baxter’s office had passed way too fast. As they discussed the postcard and what it revealed, the two of them came to the conclusion that they had to get together the next day in the library to continue their research. Where it would lead neither knew. But they knew it would lead somewhere unbelievable. They were on the edge of a major discovery. All because of a postcard.

There was a steak in the freezer. He’d thaw it out and throw it on the grill This was the first time he’d wanted to eat since Cat died. What had she gotten herself into and what had happened to the postcards?

He veered to the right, barely missing a pedestrian. Get your mind on your driving. You can think about Cat and the postcards and Dr. Baxter’s information after you get home, he told himself.

He turned into his street and saw Buddy’s car parked in his driveway. Good. He would have a chance to discuss the recent events with Buddy. He pulled over and parked on the side of the road because there was no room in the driveway behind Buddy’s car.

Then he saw the body. It was Buddy.

He jumped out of his car and ran over to see Buddy lying on the grass. Buddy was shaking his head.

TW kneeled down to see if Buddy was okay.

“Give me a hand,” Buddy said.

As TW lifted Buddy off the grass, he asked, “What happened?”

“Damned if I know.”

TW waited till Buddy cleared his head, then he helped his friend inside. Buddy sat down on one of the dining room chairs. TW went into the kitchen and poured water onto a washcloth and took a bottle of water out of the refrigerator.

Sitting across from Buddy at the table, he listened as his friend gave him the story. “I had some papers to give you. They’re from Dr. Hollings. As I got out of my car, I saw two men leaving your house. I dialed 9-1-1. When the dispatcher picked up, one of the s.o.b.s slugged me. Where’s my phone anyway?”

“I’ll get it.”

A minute or so later, TW laid the pieces of Buddy’s phone onto the table.

“Shit,” Buddy said. “I just got that phone too.”

“Why don’t I take you to the hospital, then I can call the cops.”

“Guess that’s best. I sure have one hell of a headache.”

A half hour later, TW was talking to the doctor. “Is he going to be all right?”

“I think so. But it’s best he stay overnight and we do some x-rays in the morning.”

“Can I see him?”

TW walked into Buddy’s room. “You’re going to be alright. I just saw the nurse who’ll be taking care of you. Maybe I could get hit over the head and she’d take care of me.”

“You’re not going to steal–Damn this head.”

Buddy’s chin dropped to his chest.

TW rushed out into the hall, yelling, “Nurse, nurse. Someone.”

 

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Sun, yellow sun

Sun, yellow Sun
Chase the dark away
Open the morning curtains
Give us another day

Sun, yellow Sun
Part the sea of clouds
Flowers bend hello
The oak stands unbowed

Sun, yellow Sun
Bright above our heads
Your children, the robins
Their songs sunlight fed

Sun, yellow Sun
Pass the noonday line
Shadows on your trail
Done with morning’s climb

Sun, yellow Sun
Sinking into bed
Day closed behind you
Your footprints orange and red

Sun, yellow Sun
Asleep for a time
Slip off into dreamland
Let Moon complete the rhyme.

Near 500 words: Library Work

Episode 24 of The Writer.

Librarian Buddy Grady had been a colleague of TW’s (aka The Writer) for fifteen years. In that time, they had become close friends. Maybe the only one TW had at work. Now that TW was taking a year off, Buddy wondered who he would talk to about all his women problems. Two divorces and he was still looking for that perfect woman that would bring paradise to his life.

These thoughts went through his mind as he searched the archives for a thesis on Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. It was called “The Old Man and the Big Fish.” The author, a former graduate student of Dr. Morale’s, argued that Ernest Hemingway’s novella was actually his Moby Dick. The old man was Captain Ahab; the boy was “Just Call Me Ishmael”; and the fish was the White Whale.

After doing a half hour search in the archives, Buddy didn’t see it.

“Dr. Grady,” Seymour called.

Buddy looked up. “Yes, Seymour,” Grady said to the sad sack of an intern.

“Dr. Hollings is looking for you.”

Grady straightened his tie. He never came to work casual but always wore a tie. To prove that he was serious. Not only to others but to himself. Though he was a competent librarian, Dr. Hollings always intimidated him. Grady felt the director didn’t think he was up to being a “real” librarian. Little did he know it but the director made all his staff feel that way as he talked about the way libraries used to be back in the days of card catalogues.

And it wasn’t enough that Hollings wanted him to take up the slack for TW, but now he was going to make Grady his personal whipping boy. It was five p.m. and he wasn’t up to any more distractions. He had several other orders from faculty to fill before he could head home.

Dr. Hollings stood beside Grady’s desk.

Standing at attention, Buddy asked, “How can I help you, Dr. Hollings?”

“I’ve got some paper work to be signed.” He passed the papers over to Grady and asked if he would get TW’s signature.

“Of course.” Grady let out a sigh of relief and took the papers and slid them into his briefcase. “I’ve been meaning to get over and see him anyway. I have several books he asked for.”

“Good.” Then Dr. Hollings smile his satisfaction that he had again put the fear of the Lord into Buddy He turned and began whistling as heheaded toward the front door and on his way home.

The paperwork was as good an excuse as any to leave for the day. He’d get back to the faculty requests the next day.

On his way out, he stopped and flirted with the new librarian. Just out of college, she was what was known as “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.” He gave her one of his boyish smiles and she returned with a smile of her own.

“Would you care to go out for a drink Saturday night?” he asked.

She hesitated.

“Oh, it’s okay,” Buddy said. “Don’t want to date a co-worker.”

She laughed. “It’s not like that.”

“Oh?”

“You see, I,” she hesitated, then her voice dropped to a whisper, “I like women.”

Buddy Grady laughed. “I’m so sorry. I just got a divorce and I’m only now getting up the courage to date. Well, goodnight.”

As he opened the door and stepped into the late afternoon, he said, “Too bad.”

On the way over to TW’s, the radio played “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” “Yeah, right,” he said.

He drove up to TW’s house and pulled into the driveway. TW’s car was not there, but two men came out of the house. “What they hey,” he said and jumped out the car.

The two men saw him taking out his cell  and punching in 9-1-1.

Before the dispatcher could answer, one of the two tackled Buddy. The other grabbed his phone and smashed it against the concrete.

What’s it all about?

After watching the final episodes of “Game of Thrones,” I have done some deep thinking about the whole darn thing. Several questions come to mind. Just what the heck was all that precious time devoted to? Would it have been more suited to watching “Seinfeld” episodes for the one-hundred-and-tenth time? Was that eighth season as bad as some fans say? Was it as much a disappointment as, say, the final episode of “How I Met Your Mother”?

Last things first. It was not as disappointing as the “How I Met Your Mother” fiasco. We can all rejoice that Cersei got her just desserts. Poor Jaime, he deserved better. Unfortunately he couldn’t resist drooling every time Cersei walked into the room. But I got to say that she wasn’t that bad with her clothes off. And I’ve seen her with her clothes. In fact, there weren’t any of the main characters I didn’t see naked.

And I came up with a good answer to the question, “What was it all about, Alfie?” It was about furniture. One particular piece of furniture. A chair. The iron throne. Was all the killing and sexing and hanging out with dragons worth it? After all, who would want to sit on the darn thing?

There’s a rumor going around the television channel that gave us “The Sopranos” that everybody who sat on the darn thing was given combat pay. After all, Joffrey could not sit down for a month after a couple of hours sitting his tush on it. Only Cersei could take the difficulty. That’s because everybody in the kingdom called her “Queen Iron Butt”.

As I considered the “Game of Thrones” dilemma of what was it all about, I came to some other conclusions. One of them being that the thing most super villains pine for is jewelry. Just look at the list. Sauron wanted a ring. Sure it wasn’t just any ring. But still it was jewelry. And Thanos, what did he want? Gems. Which is another word for jewelry. What did Lex Luthor want? Kryptonite. Which was just some green jewelry. Maybe he should have gotten in touch with Green Lantern.

Then there are the fairy tales. Just think Cinderella. All she wanted was a new pair of shoes. She ended up with a prince with a foot fetish. And talking about shoes. If Dorothy had surrendered those ruby reds, she would have avoided beaucoup amounts of trouble.

The Big Bad Wolf was a real estate developer trying to evict the Three Little Piggies. And Little Red was out for Granny’s real estate as well. But Big Bad got there first.

And what can you expect when you ask a Mirror who’s the fairest in the land? Fake news. The fairest may not have been the Queen. But neither was Snow White. That honor went to Sleeping Beauty. After all, she had Hollywood’s Best doing makeup when she won Miss Fairy Tale 2018.

As you can see, our heroes, our villains and our fairy tale folk are all after the same thing we ordinary mortals want. Furniture, clothes, real estate and beauty pageants. Why else do we play the lottery?

 

Near 500 words: TW and the K’lggsh

Episode 23 of The Writer.

TW (aka The Writer) nodded his head. He would leave Dr. Baxter’s office. He held up the card once more, staring at it, trying to force the text back under Sylvia’s signature. The light through the window lit on the postcard in a certain way. TW saw the script.

“Dr. Baxter,” he said. “You have to look at the card again. The text is back.”

“I really don’t have time for this. Leave please.”

TW realized he had to do something. Otherwise he would be the laughing stock of the campus and lose what chance he had to get help. Right then and there, he decided he did not want to be seen for a fool. So he did the only thing he could think of.

He walked past the professor, turned, took her wrist, and spun her around, her back facing him. Then he held her with one arm, while his other hand placed the card at an angle in front of her face. The light shone through it, and the text appeared.

“What,” Dr. Baxter said, her body stopping its resistance. She took the card from him and stared at it. “This is K’lggsh. Oh, my God, this is K’lggsh. I don’t believe–this is K’lggsh.”

TW let go of her and she dropped into a chair staring at the card. The script disappeared.

Two security guards grabbed TW from behind. TW resisted, then realized it was no use. They had him pinned.

“You’re coming with us,” one of the guards said. “We’re turning you over to the cops.”

Dr. Baxter woke from what seemed like a hypnotized state. She stood up. “No, no. It wasn’t him.”

“What?” the guard asked.

“Yes, he stopped the intruder. The intruder ran down the hall and out the back stairs.”

The two security guards turned and ran down the hall, chasing a phantom.

Dr. Baxter raised the card to let the light hit it. The script returned. Then she laughed. “This is K’lggsh. Amazing.”

“K’lggsh?”

“Yes. Let me show you.”

She went over to the bookcase and pull down a large book, her hands shaking. She dropped it twice before she was able to set it on her desk. Then she rifled through the pages until she found what she wanted. She pointed to a picture of a fragment. “Here. Read this.”

She reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a magnifying glass and passed it over to TW.

TW looked through the glass. He saw a fragment of a brown scroll of script. On the scroll were a partial group of words. What might have been incomplete sentences. Some of the few words half erased.

“K’lggsh,” Dr. Baxter said, her voice overjoyed.

TW stared at the photograph, then looked back at Dr. Baxter, then back at the fragment. The script looked similar to the script on the postcard. Not the same but similar.

TW sat down on a chair at the side of the office, shaking his head. He recognized one of the words in the fragment. It was one of the scripts on the card. “What does this mean?”

“That fragment in the book,” Dr. Baxter said. “That’s the only thing we have of the K’lggsh language. And now this.” She signified the postcard.

She turned the card over and saw the woman dress. “No. It can’t be….This is–“