Ian’s reality check.

April 23, 2017

“I’m proud of you, Ian,” Ron beamed as he walked alongside his son Ian during their stroll around the block.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” Ian replied.

“No, seriously. Look how you turned your life around during the past 5 years. You went back to school to finish your degree and then you started training to take my job at the office. Now here I am, retired and visiting you and your family at your new house. I couldn’t be happier myself. And to think all it took was a little motivation on your part to get your life going.”

“Yeah,” Ian sighed. “I know.”

Ron could detect a hint of uncertainty in Ian’s voice.

“Something the matter?” Ron asked.

“What if all this is just a dream?” Ian wondered.

“Do you want it to be?”

“Well, no.  But I’m almost expecting something scary to happen that’ll wake me up and put me back where I started, back before all this happened.”

“Nonsense,” Ron replied. “You worked hard for your new life and you know it.”

Just before Ian could take comfort in those words, he heard a spooky laugh from behind him. He spun around only to find nobody behind him.

“What’s the matter?” Ron asked.

“Did you hear that?” Ian said. “I thought I heard laughing.”

“Probably some kids down the street.”

Then Ian heard the spooky laughing again, this time louder. He stopped walking and turned around in another attempt to locate the source. There was nobody there, only the sidewalk running past the rows of houses lined up along the street. When Ian turned around to face his father, he gasped. Ron too had stopped walking and was standing there with his back facing Ian.

“Poor Ian,” Ron spoke in a sinister voice, his back still facing Ian. “You just proved to yourself what you can do with a little motivation and now you wonder if it’s all a dream? How could you hurt yourself like this?”

“Dad, what’s going on?” Ian asked, his voice shaking with fear.

“You just worked the hardest you ever worked to get to where you’re at and now you’re expecting to wake up only to realize that none of this ever happened? Are you sure that’s what you want?”

Ian was too frightened to respond.

“You finally got my job so I can retire, you got married and moved into a nice house and you gave me a grandson. And you want all this to go away?”

“N-No, I don’t,” Ian stammered.

“You don’t sound like you want this new life. You’d rather be back home with us, unemployed and unmotivated like you’ve been all your life. If that’s what you really want…”

“No, I like this new life I have. I’ll keep it.”

Ron let out a sinister laugh. “You’ll keep it? Not a wise choice of words there.”

“Dad, why do you keep talking with your back facing me?”

There was a long pause.

“So you want me to turn around?” Ron asked.

“Yes, please.”

“YOU GOT IT!”

Ron suddenly spin around, his face as white as death, his open mouth full of yellow, sharpened teeth and his bloodshot eyes twice their size and bulging from their sockets. Ian let out a terrified scream.

Ian suddenly sat up sweating and panting, awake in his bed in his room at his parents’ house, back to his old life in progress, back to being unemployed and unmotivated as he had been all his life.

The worst sentence of all.

April 23, 2017

The courtroom was packed with spectators for the sentencing. They were all seething with fury at the man who was just convicted of a crime so hideous that it had everyone wishing the worst for him. They could only hope the judge shared their wrath too.

Then the judge entered and everyone rose to their feet, pleased with the angry look on the judge’s face when he eyed the convict who was now at his mercy. After the judge motioned for everyone to sit down, a tense silence began to hang over the courtroom.

“Nothing I can do can punish this man enough,” the judge announced. “Therefore I must depart from the usual sentencing process and condemn this heartless criminal to a punishment of which this world has never seen.

“I hereby sentence this man to be ground into powder to be mixed with clay for making wall tiles for a public restroom.”

“No!” the convict protested loudly.

“Right next to the toilets.”

“NO!”

The convict had to be restrained during his tumultuous exit from the courtroom, his screams masked by thunderous applause.

Raining on a Sunday.

April 23, 2017

It should be illegal
To buy mulch
When it’s raining on a Sunday

Thoughts on “Zombie Flower Pickers”.

April 23, 2017

My poem “Zombie Flower Pickers” is the reason why I keep a notepad and pen next to my bed. My mind tends to wander as I fall asleep and that’s when the ideas start flowing. I get ideas for new melodies, stories, strange names, unusual quotes and yes, new poems. All I have to do is grab the pen and jot the idea down before it dissipates forever. It’s a little tricky to do in the dark by the light of the alarm clock but once it’s written down, it’ll still be there in the morning.

“Zombie Flower Pickers” started out as images of women wearing long, flowing dresses, and then I imagined them standing in the field picking flowers. When I saw their faces, they appeared gray and lifeless, as if they were zombies. That’s when I jotted down a few words in my notepad so I could write the poem later. I like how it turned out.

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Zombie flower pickers.

April 22, 2017

The women stand
In the spacious field
Their long dresses flowing
In the apocalyptic breeze
Their elegant bonnets
Shielding them
From the dying sun
Slowly they gather
Fresh blue flowers
From endless rows
Filling their baskets
To add some cheer
To their undead lives

How I lost my job.

April 21, 2017

Today at work I was involved in an accident on the forklift that destroyed a customer’s car. I was bringing out a pallet of rocks when I foolishly decided to elevate the load so I could see where I was going, in fact I had it elevated some 30 feet above the ground. I was so distracted by how high the load was that I failed to notice that I was fast approaching the customer’s car. When I slammed on the brakes, the forklift toppled forward due to the unbalanced load and the pallet of rocks fell to flatten the customer’s car.

Needless to say, the customer was infuriated and demanded to see the manager. When the manager came outside and saw the flattened car, he too became upset and fired me on the spot. And here I am, unemployed and looking for work once again.

Funny, I never knew grocery stores sold pallets of rocks.

Nightmare Chaser.

April 21, 2017

Ian looked up in response at the opening door, and in walked his doctor into the examination room. After a brief greeting, the doctor sat down to commence the appointment.

“So you’ve been having nightmares, eh?” the doctor asked while thumbing through his notes.

“Yes,” Ian sighed. “I have them every single night.”

All the more to keep me strong.

“Interesting,” the doctor replied. “It could be any one from a set of given factors, such as poor nutrition, stress, or lack of exercise.”

Actually, it’s none of the above. Are you sure you’re a real doctor?

“I’m sure it’s all of those.” Ian said.

“We’ll remedy them one at a time, starting with your diet.”

That does it. I’m going in.

Suddenly the lights went out as an eerie blue glow illuminated a sinister looking man entering the examination room. He was dressed entirely in black, his hair slicked back in a ponytail and his face partially concealed by the sunglasses on his rugged, goateed face.

“What are you doing?” Nightmare Maker snarled.

“Sorry,” Ian whimpered. “I’m tired of these nightmares.”

“What, so you think you can go to your doctor for treatment? That’s a serious violation of our partnership, remember?”

“Partnership,” Ian chortled.

“Yes, partnership. I make the nightmares, you make the fear that feeds me. You’re in it for life, bub. By the way, if this treatment of yours causes me to disappear in any way, I’m taking you with me. No way am I going alone!”

As if on cue there was a shrill scream from nowhere that jolted Ian awake, much to the annoyance of his doctor.

Burp.

A punny thought.

April 21, 2017

Never insult a story.

April 15, 2017

Bob and George were at the bar enjoying some ice cold beers while pondering the bizarre events of the last two posts of this blog.

“Can you believe it?” Bob asked. “People drowning in slime and getting torn to shreds by butterflies just for insulting various forms of poetry.”

George shrugged. “Can’t be any worse than being in a story as dumb as this one.”

Suddenly George vanished into thin air, leaving nothing behind but an empty chair at the counter. Worse, his departure went unnoticed by everyone at the bar, including his friend Bob who continued drinking his beer as if nothing happened.

For you see, George suffered a fate worse than drowning in slime and getting attacked by butterflies.

George was written out of the story.

Never insult a haiku.

April 15, 2017

the butterflies came
and tore his body to shreds
in the morning breeze