Friday, April 28, 2006

Resolution



Brought to you by Tracy Lynn

MB Campfire Story Part IX


Harry inched open the crawlspace door, revolver at the ready. Anika tumbled out, waving a knife. Harry managed to stifle the reflex to fire, sagging with relief. The next thought was overwhelming joy.

Anika was alive!

She was a wreck, but Harry didn’t care. They fell into each other’s arms, sobbing at their good fortune. Danger lay all around, but for this precious moment, they were both alive, together.

“I thought you were…” Both began. “And then you were…” They stopped again, flustered. Finally both burst out with, “I have so much to tell you!”

The stress of their ridiculous circumstances were too much. They collapsed in a fit of giggles.

Harry recovered first, pointing to the dead man on the floor. “That’s the man from the party last night.” Harry said, bending over the fellow to expertly rifle through his clothing. “Jack something…D’Antonio.” Harry finished, reading the New Jersey Driver’s License.

“Bob told everyone he drugged that girl last night, but the paper this morning said he was arrested for killing her!” He looked up at Anika to see how she would take this news.

“He didn’t kill Jane.” Anika said, taking a deep breath. “I did.” Harry just stared at her. “Jane was going to tell you…about my former life. I’m not who you think I am. My name’s not even Anika.”

“You mean about you being a prostitute?” Harry asked, not even remotely flustered.

Shock on Anika’s face. “You knew?”

Harry nodded. Well, you showed me yours, he thought ruefully to himself. I guess it’s time to show you mine. Aloud: “When I met you I was undercover, working a sting.”

“You’re G?” Anika asked incredulously.

“Something like that. It’s complicated. I want to tell you everything. I want no more secrets between us.”

They talked. Harry was precise, to the point, like bullets from a gun. Anika meandered in her version, like a pianist lovingly playing all the keys. The conversation wound down, “And when Jack showed up here, I thought I was a goner for sure…” She trailed off, exhausted by the tale.

Jack stroked Anika’s hair and kissed her forehead. “Darling I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this. I’m going to make things right, but right now I think we should get out of here, before any more visitors show up.”

Quickly they made preparations to leave, grabbing essentials. Harry retrieved his cache of weapons (two hand guns, a Mac 10, tear gas and a smoke grenade), and then asked Anika about the derringer.

“It’s missing.”

Harry blinked. “What is it?” Anika asked.

“The paper.” Harry answered. They said Jack,” Harry nodded toward the body on the floor,” killed that girl…’Jane,’ with a derringer. I think you’re being set up.”

“But who would do that?” Anika wondered. They both looked at each other, and once more in unison, “Bob!”

Harry looked grim. I believe it’s time to pay that man a visit.”

As they were preparing to leave, Harry had a thought. “What is your real name?”

“Anne.”

“That’s a beautif…” Harry stopped dead, suddenly remembering.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Gino…I mean Walt called you Anne.”

“The man from the alley that you…?”

“Yeah.”

The penny dropped for Harry. “I think my troubles and your troubles might be connected.”

Bob was the key. The got their coats and grabbed bags, ready to go. “Harry,” Anika asked, “What’s your real name.”

For the first time Harry no longer looked sure of himself. Looking down, he mumbled, “Orson.”

Anika suppressed a giggle. “That’s…nice.” Diplomatically she added, “To make matters easier, at least until this ordeal is over, how I think we should stick with Anika and Harry.” He nodded with relief.

As they headed out the door, Anika suddenly started. “Oh! I can’t believe I almost forgot the thing Sal wants. After all that, to almost leave it!”

“Where is it?” Harry asked.

“In the piano.”

“I’ll get it. Bring the car around front.”

As Harry opened the back of the piano he saw the small Crown Royal bag. Remembering when they’d bought it one Christmas, Harry smiled. How innocent they were both then, trying to start a new life together, each trying to run from their pasts. Harry was glad he had told Anika everything. Well, almost everything. Harry thought about his brother, and realized there are some secrets you can never tell.

But that was behind him. Time to deal with the here and now. Harry stepped into the hallway and heard music. It took him a minute to figure out it was the cell phone of that man he’d clubbed. Harry’d ignored it the first time, but now he pulled the phone out of this pocket. The LED gave enough light to see the Caller I.D.

“Bob.”


Part IX brought to you by

Up Monday:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

MB Campfire Story Part VIII


Anne’s eyes had not yet grown accustomed to her dark surroundings. The dust was making it hard for her to breathe. It was quiet now but she dared not move.

How did it come to this? Anne thought to herself as she sat in the cramped, dusty crawlspace. She was a mess, her dress was torn and covered in blood. She clutched the butcher’s knife as if it held the key to her survival.

My poor Harry, look at the mess I’ve made of our lives. We had a nice life here. She’d have to tell him the truth now. This frightened Anne more than what had just happened in the kitchen. It wasn’t my fault. she told herself. I didn’t have a choice. I have to protect Harry.

Her thoughts turned to last night….

*****

Anne recognized the leggy brunette at first glance. Jane was another of Sal’s girls. The two had often worked parties together; Sal’s top earners. Her “companion” was Jack, one of Sal’s bodyguards. Jane locked eyes with Anne and smiled sweetly. There was nothing sweet about her. She whispered something to Jack, and walked towards the patio, her eyes motioning Anne to follow.

Anne began to shake and she leaned closer to Harry. “Do you feel ok, darling?” Harry asked.

“It’s just a little warm in here.” Anne answered. “I think I’ll go outside for some fresh air.”

Beside Anne’s drink was a small hammer, somebody’s discarded weapon of choice. She slipped it under her wrap.

Out on the patio Jane smiled again. “It’s been a long time, Anne. You look great. The straight life agrees with you.”

Anne babbled. “Why are you here? How did you find me? You and your goon can tell Sal that I won’t go back. I won’t.” She clutched the hammer tightly under her wrap, calming herself.

“Sal went nuts looking for you. It made me kind of jealous. I always thought I was his favourite. But it wasn’t you he was missing, was it?”

Anne felt the colour drain from her face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She tried to regain her composure. “I left to start a new life with the man I love.”

“Ah yes, dear Harry. Wouldn't he be surprised to know that his lily white wife was not so pure after all? I'm sure you keep no secrets from your husband, do you ….. Anika, is it? I prefer Anne, it’s easier to pronounce.”

Anne squirmed and she felt the tears welling up in her eyes. Jane was loving this, and continued her taunt. “I think I'll go introduce myself.”

“Don't!” Anne cried.

“You know what I want.”

“I don’t have it.” Anne was crying now.

“Do I look like a fool?” Jane said angrily. “Fine, you leave me no choice.”

Jane turned around and started to walk back to the party. In desperation Anne raised the hammer and swung.

Jane fell to her knees, swayed and then slumped onto the grass. Anne raised her hand to swing again but a hand caught her wrist and another covered her mouth. The hammer dropped harmlessly onto the grass and Jack whispered into her ear.

“Sal said you were beautiful, he never say you were deadly.”

Pulling Anne down with him, Jack bent to check on Jane. There was no need. He turned back to Anne, his voice a rasp.

“Sal’s not going to be happy about Jane, but if Sal gets what’s Sal’s, he just may let you live your nice quiet life here. Capiche?”

Anne nodded her head.

“Get out of here. I’ll take care of Jane.”

Jack loosened his grip and Anne stepped back from him. She looked down at Jane; her eyes were open but lifeless. Anne felt tears running from her own eyes.

Jack was unsympathetic. “It’s too late for tears, baby. I want you to meet me at the Petite Auberge tomorrow morning at 11. Bring it with you. If you don’t show up….” Jack’s eyes swept from Anne over to the party, where she could see Harry talking with Bob. “Capiche?”

Anne nodded.

“Good. Don’t disappoint me. Now scram.”

*****

A loud crack startled her back to the present. She heard something fall to the ground with a loud thump. Oh my god, it’s Sal. He’s looking for me. She tried to be still and quiet. She was sure whoever it was could hear her heart racing. The footsteps were getting closer. The tiny door to the crawlspace creaked as it opened slowly. Anne held the knife over her head........


Part VIII brought to you by





Up next: Hyperion

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MB Campfire Story Part VII

Harry froze. Anika had chained the door after him, hadn’t she?

Harry continued up the stairs. The only reason he had shot Gino was his threat to turn Anika into a heroin gallery whore. Wrong thing to say. Heroin was the whole reason he was in this mess. The Bureau assigned him to Waco because black tar heroin smuggled in from Mexico was getting routed through Waco on its way to Chicago. The DEA was worried about another “Plano, Texas” incident, the result of which was a bunch of dead teenagers who had no idea that “chiva” was actually heroin.

With his mob ties in Chicago, it wasn’t long before he was plugged in. The name he had taken when he first went undercover helped, too. “Harry Lime.” Right away people in the business recognized it – it seemed to give him instant credibility. What he didn’t like was civilians recognizing it, like that guy at the party last night. It just pounded home the fact that he lived a double, no – triple – life. How had he let himself bring Anika into this?

He stepped out onto the roof. He couldn’t call for backup even if he wanted to – his cover might be blown, but other lives were still at stake. He had to get Anika and make it out of here alive. If he was captured they would torture him; they’d find a way to make him talk.

The fire escape was a metal staircase and it went right past the bathroom window of his apartment. As he descended the stairs, stepping as carefully as possible to avoid shaking the rickety structure, he could see that the window was a sort of glazed, smoked glass, opaque from the inside. The window was cracked and he could see that the door was only open by a foot or so, and the fan was on. Perfect.

Harry tried to ease the window up, but it wouldn’t budge. Pulling upward as hard as he could, the window began to jerk up in awkward fashion, the result of friction from too much congealed paint. He climbed in, stepping onto the toilet, and as he quickly moved to stand behind the door he saw through the mirror a man standing in the hallway.

The man had a shaved head and he was wearing a black suit. He was facing the other way and talking on a cell phone. Harry guessed he was 10 feet from the bathroom door. Not knowing how many other men there might be in the apartment, Harry realized he couldn’t use his gun. He needn’t to make this quick and quiet. The man looked to be at least 6’2”, and easily 220 pounds. He wouldn’t be able to do this with his hands, despite his training.

Harry surveyed the bathroom’s interior: plunger, cleaning products, safety razors – nothing that could be used as a weapon. Then his eyes settled on the porcelain top of the toilet tank. Harry eased the top off and hefted the heavy slab several ways to figure out how best to grip and swing it. He tapped the door softly, just enough to get it to swing open an inch. Another tap. Again. The man was still on the phone, oblivious to any approaching danger. The carpeted hallway masked Harry’s steps. CRACK! The porcelain top exploded as the man crumpled to the floor.

Revolver in hand, Harry looked into the bedroom. Empty. He made his way to the living room – it too was bare. The house was silent. Entering the kitchen, he immediately brought the barrel of his gun up to aim at the body on the floor. Lying face down on the tile was a young blond male, who looked to be in his early 20’s. His hair was matted with blood and next to him on the floor was the roast leg of lamb that Anika had taken to the party last night, still frozen. Anika was nowhere to be seen.

Harry knelt beside the body and noticed that the leg of lamb had blood on it. She must have swung the frozen meat like a club! Wasn’t there a Roald Dahl story about this? He didn’t have time to contemplate the literary analogy, or to consider the irony that each of them had used their mock choice of “weapon” from the previous night. He had to find Anika.

Harry’s mind was racing. He began thinking of the places they might take her. But something was tickling the back of his mind, like an inchoate thought he just couldn’t describe. Something was wrong, aside from the chaos and carnage that the morning had already seen. What was it? Then it hit him: this morning, Anika was dolled up and wearing makeup and perfume at 8:00 o’clock, yet she never mentioned having any plans. And she had tensed up when he had mentioned the man from the party who was in the paper this morning.

Just then music began to play. Harry walked toward the hallway, where the sound seemed to be originating. Just as he thought: the sound was coming from the cell phone lying on the floor next to the man Harry had just knocked unconscious.



Part VII brought to you by

Up Next: Dragon

Pibgorn

I've been reading Brooke Mceldowney, the cartoonist, for years now. He has a fantastic narrative sense, and I really enjoy both his strips.

He just started to do a 1920's version of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. It's fantastic. He publishes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

You can check it out at Comics.com.


Tracy Lynn

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hallelujah

Go HERE.






Reverend Tracy Lynn

MB Campfire Story Part VI

At the end of the alley a car backfired. Walt's head snapped around at the sound, giving Harry the opening he needed. In a matter of moments, Walt was a broken heap next to the dumpster, and Harry was once again moving purposefully through the crowds on the street, mind racing.

He had to get to Anika. With his cover blown, he had to resort to emergency procedures, and Anika was in the dark about everything.

When he met her at that party, he had been working deep undercover. He knew what she was doing there. It was his job to know.
But for the first time in his life, he had wanted something so badly that he had done something he had sworn he'd never do. He had brought an innocent person into his dangerous life.

He had tried to protect her, tried to keep her in the dark, even though it caused fights between them. But what she didn't know, they couldn't beat out of her. It had seemed to be the best way.

But now she had to be told everything, because they were going on the run.

Constantly checking to make sure he wasn't being followed, he circled through the city, moving ever closer to the apartment.

If the Family knew his location, how many others knew where he was, his current identity? And Bob...yes, Bob was going to have to be dealt with and sooner rather than later. There could be no loose ends when they left. And now that Bob knew his identity and his connections to the Family, he was a rather large loose end. It was just as well. He had never liked Bob anyway.

He turned onto 7th Street and walked up to the apartment building, surreptitiously checking for lookouts as he did. He didn't see any, but strived to look carefree as he entered the building, even though his adrenaline was crashing through his system, and every nerve in his body screamed at him to RUN!

He made his way up the stairs, taking them two at a time, moving faster the closer he got to home, until he was there, at his front door, and as he reached out with his key he saw it.

The door was ajar.

Brought to you by Tracy Lynn
Up tomorrow: Philogynist

For your listening pleasure...GREAT BIG SEA

This band is gifted and entertaining. I highly recommend checking them out. I just got home from their concert and WOW!!!!! Read more on my blog (including a pic from tonight) http://laineslair.blogspot.com/ and visit their site too http://www.greatbigsea.com/.


For your listening pleasure brought to you by...
Dominique
!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Off Season

MB Campfire Story Part V (for Vendetta... or... uh... Fivetta)


Harry was still fuming, a few blocks from his office, when an old but very familiar sensation prompted him to quickly cut into the alley he was passing. He was a little rusty moving his hand up to the small of his back, removing the item there, and raising it to its accustomed position; shoulder height and steady as a rock.

The man who rushed around the corner was not, as Harry expected, thickset, greasy, and wearing a cheap suit. The thin man was well groomed and wearing something normally found on Seville Row. Thin Man smiled as he stared down the barrel of the revolver. “Looks like not all the skills have faded, eh Harry? It is Harry now, right?”

Harry simply cocked the hammer back in reply.

“We could have killed you twenty times between your front door and this alley this morning, Harry.” continued Thin Man.

Harry hissed his response through clenched teeth. “Should have taken your shot then, Gino.”

Thin Man smiled. “Actually, its Walter. Walter Johnston. I’m a cousin. By marriage. And we waited until now so the civilian down at the end of the alley with the camera could get this all on tape. The video, at least. So when the Fibbies get a copy, it’ll look like maybe you saw a guy who might recognize you, panicked, and murdered him in cold blood. So if our guys don’t get you first, you’ll wind up strapped to a table waiting for the potassium chloride.”

“You’re making a piss-poor case for your own survival here, Walt. I don’t imagine surrendering to you will improve my chances any.”

The thin man shrugged. “They’d improve the chances for that little lady you’ve taken up with. Anne?”

Harry’s lip curled. “Anika.”

“There are six guys in the hallway outside your apartment right now. If this goes badly, before she winds up working as a nickel whore in a heroin shooting gallery somewhere in the ghettos of Detroit, or L.A., or Shy-Town, or New York, they and every Family man will know her as intimately as her best friend, priest, and gynecologist put together. Capishe?”

The gun didn’t move. “Like I believe you’d go easy on her if I decide to play nice.”

Another shrug. “She doesn’t know who you are. Lord knows we offered enough money to anyone who could get us a line on you. Turns out one of your co-workers likes to vacation in Atlantic City. Also turns out he doesn’t really read the percentages very well. And once his money was gone, he started using some of ours. After that, you know how it is. He would have sold his own mother into that shooting gallery to get out from under. Turns out someone had one of your old clippings on the wall of his… office. Your boy Bob sees it, spills, and is allowed to go on his merry way. Unlike you.

Bob, thought Harry. Bob is now the top of my list. “What, I give up, you take me back to your uncle, a quick Moe Green through the eye, and all is well?”

Thin man shook his head. “No Moe Green for you, Harry. Unc, he’s got a fricken theme park of pain and unpleasantness set up for you. But the girl lives. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky. Get your hands on a gun, kill us all, and escape to South America with the girl.”

Harry’s teeth clenched again, and his eyes squinted down. He felt a bead of sweat run down his wrist as he made his decision. “Does this appear to be a lucky day to you?”

Tune in next time as Tracy Lynn answers the question: Does Walt feel lucky?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Point Of View




















I'm just sayin'.
Tracy Lynn

Late Response to Ajax




A few days ago Ajax had this interesting post about what part of the chocolate bunny you'd eat first. I meant to respond last week, but, well, you know: I suck.

Imagine it's still last week, and this will be funny.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Once I met Gil Gerard....in the primordial ooze

I know Schrodinger's not one to toot her own horn, so I'll do it for her. Over on her site she has a really great post about celebrities she has run into there in L.A. (Including a drunken pass at a Quaid!)

I think you should check out the story.

Ulterior Motive time: I have a great response in the comments, which is why I really want you to read, but you have to read the story first. (It's good. I couldn't have left a great comment if there wasn't a great story to begin with.)

Hyperion

Crypto Kids

I don't even have the words to describe how strange this is.


Mutts Comic Strip

Friday, April 21, 2006

MB Campfire Story Part IV

Anika stared at the hiding place the Deringer had been, her fingers absently tracing the indentation in the book where it should be, her mind whirling through the events of last night:

She had been inspired by an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' to take the roast as her favorite weapon, and Harry, wanting to be original, took the heavy porcelain top of the toilet tank. At the party, she had been disappointed to see that two other people had brought some sort of frozen meat as their weapons, but there was also a clever assortment of power tools, office supplies, and kitchen gadgets to be found. Just as the host was about to give an excellent bottle of merlot to the man who brought the most original weapon (which was an accordion), the last guest walked in the door.

The tardy guest had brought a leggy brunette with him as his weapon. The host was delighted at this. "Love as the ultimate weapon!" he cried, and declared him the winner of the night (much to the disappointment of the man with the accordion).

But Anika had recognized the brunette, and as the back of her throat filled with the long-forgotten metallic taste of forced desire and ruin, she knew that it wasn't love that was the ultimate weapon. It was knowledge.

Anika had been tempted to tell Harry the truth about her past the moment she met him at that party so long ago, but as the night had progressed and she saw the bashful flush of his cheeks, she knew that if she wanted to be rescued by his shy man she never could. And she wanted, longed, needed to be saved before she surrendered that last bit of her soul to the men that frequented her bed at night and paid her for the forced smile on her lips, her deft fingertips playing Bach on their skin.

She never could remember how she fell into prostitution, could never remember the name of the man who had violated her smooth, pale flesh the first time. She had lived in exclusive boarding schools for years, but then her parents died and the money was gone and she found herself alone in the city. Eventually her talent at the piano brought her relative safety from the streets and a few rich clients who kept her well and liked to show her off at parties. And then she met Harry.

She sighed and gently closed the fake book and slid it back on the shelf. She had thought that marrying Harry and moving to this small town would help erase her memories of the past, help her move on and forever bury the things she kept from her husband. But when she saw the brunette she realized that she'd been a fool, and that she'd go to any length to keep the truth from Harry. And there had been so many weapons lying around...



Part IV brought to you by Sea Hag
Up Monday: Ajax

I get to pay property taxes!!!!!!


I'm so excited, I could burst! I put an offer in on a house tonight and it was accepted.

I'm sure I will come crashing down when I get my first set of new bills, but, until then ........ I'm so excited!







(this is not the actual house)

xo,
Dragon

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another riddle for you clever people


What is once in a minute, twice in a moment, and never in a thousand years?

Leave your guesses in the comments and I'll let you know who wins.












xo,
Dragon

MB Campfire Story Part III

She was looking at him wildly, reminding him of their first time together. How smooth and sweaty they’d gotten…

SLAP

“Harry!” Anika whispered harshly. He absently rubbed his cheek as she shook him by the shoulders. “Snap out of it. What should we do?”

He grabbed her wrists and threw them aside with a cruel chuckle. “Now you ask my opinion of what we should do?! I told you we shouldn’t go in the first place, but you wanted to go. I wasn’t enough company, you wanted to go make nice with those freaks.”

“You’re always at the office here… this move was…”

“This move was also your idea, Darling. You liked the idea of the money and prestige. I told you openning a new branch would mean longer hours for me.”

THUD

They both turned and looked out over their garden. “Did you see that?” Harry questioned, cautiously moving to the French doors.

“You mean the bird that just hit the window?”

“And a figure ducked behind the fence.”

She ran to him and threw herself around him. “Oh Harry, whatever should we do?”

The feel of her soft trembling body against his. The scent of her perfume. Her doe-eyes looking up to his on the verge of tears. A lion within him roared. He grabbed her tighter and calmly said, “We’ll act as if nothing has happened for the time being.” He felt her quiver and he absently rubbed her back. “Until we know more, we have no choice.”

He ogled her butt as he let her go and slipped into his jacket.

“You’re just going to leave?!?” She stood glaring at him, her fists poised on her hips, ready for a fight.

“Acting as if nothing has happened means I have to go to work,” he said to her through a grin, turning his back to the patio. He grabbed her tight and whispered in her ear, “you still have that Deringer I got you?” He felt her warm breath on his neck as she went to answer and he quickly said, “just nod your answer.”

She nodded slightly.

“Good. Get it and keep it on you, and loaded.” He kissed her forehead before breaking the embrace.

“I’ll be home on time, have that roast ready,” he said heading to the door.

“At a time like this you're hungry?”

He walked to her and held her even tighter. “Remember what you took as your weapon last night, Dear? Cook it and serve it. I’ll take care of mine before I get home tonight.”

He kissed her passionately, feeling her desire. He broke from the kiss and left before she could stop him again, pausing only monentarily at the car. They’d not been passionate sincethey moved here…just why was she looking so good this early in the day?

Anika chained the door. Watched her husband get into his car. Then ran to her nightstand for her gun. Unfortunately, the fake book she kept it hidden in was empty.


This Part was brought to you by
Dominique



Up next: Sea Hag

Go on to Part IV

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

LJS question of the hour

Y'all remember INXS? Before Michael Hutchence died...before they sold their soul to Mark Burnett? I'm enjoying an underappreciated album "Welcome to wherever you are", my favorite song from the album is "Questions" and I always enjoy wrapping my head around this one.

How do you heal someone who doesn't want to heal?

Also, on the LJS channel, I explore if ninja and pirates can peacefully coexist. Stay tuned, I may have a candidate for Monkey #13...Hyperion willing.

:) LJS

Ajax's QotD: Weapon of Choice...

The Set-up: After reading the campfire story this week I was tangentally thinking about the scene in Pulp Fiction where Butch is sneaking out of Zed's pawn shop, and he stops, slowly trading his way up a series of weapons he finds in the store until he settles on the samurai sword before heading back downstairs to rescue Marsellus.

The Question:

If you had to free a loved one from imprisonment, torture, and death, using a standard household item as a weapon, what would you use?

I've been a fan of the two-slot toaster ever since I saw the movie Suicide Kings. It makes for a sweet bludgeon, and can also be swung (and presumably thrown) by the cord.

MB Campfire Story Part II

Through the doorway stumbled none other than Bob. At first glance he was still suffering the effects from the previous night’s bacchanalia, before the ordeal turned sour. His eyes were haggard, but there was a focus in them. The same focus he had seen in so many eyes last night.

“You really ought to bolt your door tighter,” he said. “A lot of… passionate… people live in this town.”

Harry quickly got to his feet, putting himself in between the man and his wife.

“I don’t know how you found out where we live, Bob, but you better leave before I notify the authorities.”

“The authorities? That won’t be necessary.” Bob replied. “Not today, at any rate,” he added with a sneer. “Besides, do you think they would believe you were innocent bystanders?”

“Bob, please,” pleaded Anika. “I didn’t intend for any of that to happen last night. I thought it was…”

“…just a joke.” Bob finished her sentence. “Yes, I heard you last night, dear Annika.” The mispronunciation was intentional, and Anika winced all the more. “You don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into. Everything is a game to people like you.”

Bob had a hard time thinking it wasn’t—that the entire affair wasn’t just some cruel joke played on newcomers, like the hazing he had experienced in his fraternity at Princeton. Only now did he begin to realize the full ramifications of that day when his employers had decided to transfer him to Waco. As for Anika…

“I still don’t understand!” she said loudly. She was bordering on frantic. Sweat beaded on her forehead. “We really only thought it would be funny.” She would have to redo her makeup.

Bob glanced over at the piano, then looked back at Anika. “That is as much of a weapon as any knife.”

He spun around to leave and took a step, then stopped and spoke over his shoulder.

“Mark my words. The true ‘authorities’ are not who you think they are. And you will be the ones to answer to them, not I.” Then he strode out the doorway and down the stairs.

For some time the two stood there in stunned silence, the smell of bewilderment slowly fading, being replaced by fear.

“So it really did happen.” Harry whispered softly. “It wasn’t just a dream.”

“Harry, what are we going to do?” Anika said.



Today's part was brought to you by:








Up Next: Dominique

Go on to Part III

Notes

I just noticed that the Monkey Barn ad as of this writing (at least on the right side) was for weight loss. I couldn't figure out why, until I realized that Ajax mentioned a 400 pound man. Thanks a lot, buddy. Don't you know that all the Monkey Barn readers are perfect looking, and need no diets!

Special thanks to Dragon, who managed to put the Archives in a drop-down box (I have no idea how she did that), and who added our past "theme" days. The pictures are the most striking, but all of them are worth a look.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Where have all the good liars gone?

I was talking to a guy yesterday. Shrek is 20 years old, and looks like... well... a troll. A big beefy balding farmboy with zero life experience. Now from previous conversations he has claimed to have been a famous bar bouncer in both Edmonton and Westlock (many shooting and stabbing stories, in addition to detailed accounts of him punishing unruly bar patrons are supposed to butress this). Now, however, he's a delivery boy where I work. That said, apparently this weekend he:

1. Returned to Westlock to visit his family for Easter weekend.
2. Was told by his sister she had been raped.
3. Was told by his sister she hadn't told their folks or the cops because 'they wouldn't do nothing'.
4. Was told by his sister he was being told because she knew he would 'do something'.
5. Was shown a picture of the raper by the sister in her yearbook, as they are both in grade 12 this year.
6. Went to the Westlock bar.
7. Found the raper drinking there.
8. Approached the raper and began a conversation about the sister. The raper then completely trash talked the sister without recognizing Shrek.
9. Shrek introduces himself as the brother of the sister, and procedes to trash-talk the raper.
10. When the raper grew tired of the trash talking and turned to leave, Shrek sucker-punched him in the back of the head, laying him out on the floor, and restoring his sisters honor.

Shrek then went on to talk about how he had started dating another model after he left his parent's place and returned to his own domicle.

I mean where do you start?

What bothers me most, I think, is Shrek's notion that I'm continuing to buy the story, even as it gets more and more conspicuously stupid. Its like listening to a six-year-old with ADHD and some sort of white-knight syndrome.

Any thoughts or ideas when dealing with exagerrators who border (or cross-borders) on delusional? Especially when they're six and a half feet tall, and approach 400 pounds?

MB Campfire Story Part I

Welcome to the Monkey Barn Campfire Story Time Extravaganza Party Jamboree.

Remember when you used to sit around the campfire, taking turns telling the same story? That's what we're going to try to do here. Each day a different one of us will pick up the story where it left off and take it to strange exciting new places. I was picked to start, and decided to get us going by taking inspiration from a painting by Edward Hopper. (Thoughtfully provided by Schrodinger, with my thanks.)

I hope you enjoy this, and make sure to leave lots of nice comments, as most Monkey Barn Contributors aren't writers (so they're kind of nervous).

Pace.



{click on the picture to see it in larger detail}


Part I

Harry and Anika sat there tense, trying to pretend they were no such thing. Last night had been truly awful. Three months in town and still no friends, they had jumped at a party invitation. The instructions to “bring your favorite weapon” were odd, but Harry assured Anika it was just small town humor.

Nothing at the party went well. There was a film noir buff, fascinated that Harry should have the same name as a character in some famous movie. ‘Harry Lime,’ the man had repeated all night, infinitely delighted.

Anika didn’t fare much better. Again and again she’d had to tell people, no, “Not like Star Wars. That was Anakin. I’m Anika.” The message didn’t seem to come through.

Then at the end of the party that…thing happened. Small town or not, Anika couldn’t stand it, and she told Harry to take her home. Angry words were spoken. The hide-a-bed unfolded.

Now they sat there, uncomfortable. Harry tried to read the paper, his mind on other things. He was dreading work today. What must his coworkers think of him? After Bob invites him over for a big shindig, Anika embarrasses him like that. Harry knew he needed to speak to her about it, but confrontation made Harry queasy.

Out of the corner of his eye Harry saw Anika playing silently, her fingers an inch above the keys. She used to love to play; a delicate touch and a flair for combining the most incongruous. The first time Harry ever met Anika was at another party. She was effortlessly melding Chopin’s Nocturne and the theme song from “COPS” together. Harry fell in love with her at first sound.

Anika hadn’t played once since they moved here, and Harry wasn’t quire sure why. Oddly, he noticed she was a little too dressed up for a Tuesday morning. Anika always looked lovely, but it wasn’t even 8, and already she had her makeup on, her hair done, and was that a hint of perfume?

Harry was going to mention it to her when out of the corner of his eye he saw the article with accompanying picture. Was that the guy? From last night? That they…..? Blood drained from Harry’s face as he soaked in the details.

“My, God, Anika, you’re not going to believe it. I know who that man was now.”

“What man?” Anika said casually, but Harry noticed her fingers had quit whatever music had been in her head. Did she know something?

Harry opened his mouth to tell her, when a knock came at the door behind them. Both looked up sharply at the sound, then eyed each other, nervous.

“You better see who that is.” Harry said hoarsely.

“Yes.” Anika answered faintly. I suppose I must.”

Anika began to rise, straightening her dress. Harry opened his mouth to tell his wife something important, but just then the door burst open, and whatever thought Harry had fell plumb out of his head.

Today's Part was brought to you by :
Up tomorrow: Bear

Go on to Part II

What About Brian episode 2


{I just noticed that the woman in green is not in the show. I guess they re-cast her. How embarrassing to not only get fired, but everyone knows it.}

I watched my second episode of "What About Brian" last night. This show is going to drive me crazy.

One of the couples is trying an "open marriage." Forget those late-night shows on HBO and Showcase: that does not work!!!!! Plus, if your wife brings this up, she's not trying to give you the "gift of an adventure" (seriously, that was the line she used), she wants to bang the yoga instructor.

And men don't escape my wrath, either. First there was the infamous yoga instructor. When the wife asked him if he assumed all women wanted to have sex with him, the man replies, "I don't consider it sex. I consider it 'healing.'" My sister was watching with me, and she threw a pillow at a TV.

Then there's Brian. In love with his best friend's fiance, he's trying to move on with "Lisa." After spending the night he wakes up and takes a shower in her bathroom, only to "accidentally" meet the roommate, also named Lisa. (I can see two girls with the same name living together, but supposedly Lisa #1 hasn't had sex in like 6 months, and Lisa #2 has no qualms about meeting a naked man in her shower, with her half naked as well. ARRRRGH! I hate bad writing like this. Worse, I'm wasting time writing about it!)

Predictably, Brian likes Lisa #2, which Brian's friend tells him to go for, because it would be "2 in 24," also the show's title.

What kind of idiot is he? Already in love with a woman he can't have, Brian is now going to attempt to date a woman he can't date? (Although: if he did attempt to date them both, at least he wouldn't have to remember their names and who was who.)

I can't believe I watched this show a second time, and I really can't believe I'm counting the days until next Monday. What is wrong with me?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lady Jane's new e-home

I have updated my blog, woohoo! The pic...is like totally realistic of me too.
:) LJS

Hef's nightmare


Playboy magazine's premiere issue in Indonesia was protested in Jakarta last week.
Indonesian police asked Playboy on Thursday to stop publishing its local edition in the capital out of fears it "could inflame Muslim anger", the head of magazine's Indonesian publisher said.

I'm not sure it's funny that people are rioting over Playboy, but the specific verbage 'inflame' gets me giggling.

And I hear on good authority that Hef's a dork anyway. Discuss amongst yourselves....

-Schro

What About Brian?

Tonight is the premiere of JJ Abrams's new show What About Brian. (Abrams is the creator of Felicity, Alias, and LOST.) For reasons I can't begin to explain, the first episode was last night. (Not the premiere, mind you, but the first.)

So here's the basic plot: Barry Watson (the rogue older brother from Seventh Heaven) is Brian. All of Brian's friends have relationships, some with kids, but for some reason, Brian can't seem to find the special someone.

Actually, Brian does have a girl, Marjorie, who sadly happens to be his best friend's girl. [Side note: why is it we see so many movies and TV shows these days where a guy is in love with a girl who's with the world's biggest jackass, and she's a wonderful girl in all other respects, but just can't seem to figure that out? Oh yeah, I remember now. Women SUCK at picking men. And no, I'm not a sexist. Men suck at picking men too.]

By no means was the first episode (the pre-premiere, maybe?) great or spellbinding. Several of the plot devices were so...."TV" I yelled at the screen, and could only be calmed down by my sister and her army of Easter Peeps. That said, there were enough compelling side-plots and interesting characters where you could see this developing into a Grey's Anatomy kind of 'Shipper Drama.

And yet, even if it sucks, I think I'll watch it. Why? Because I related so damn much. Almost all of my friends are married or getting married or are in heavy relationships. I'm not even sure I believe in marriage, but I often find myself looking around at all of them and thnking, "What's wrong with me?"

What about Brian asks the same questions, and if you're in that boat or ever had been, you might relate too. If you're planning on watching tonight and want a blow by blow send me and email and I'll tell you all the details to catch you up.

What about Hyperion?

Non Sequiter

There were two guys who used to come into the Elvis Room when I worked there. They were like Penn and Teller, but with Goth instead of magic.

Tracy "Snippets" Lynn

Ajax's QotD: Clip your string, Chatty Cathy...

The Set Up: Hasbro is making a G.I. Joe-style doll/figurine (if you're a girl, its a doll. if you're a boy, its a figurine or an action figure) of you, twelve inches tall with kung-fu grip included for both boys and girls. It also includes a microchip that will allow the toy to speak up to three sentences, separate or all at once.

The Question: What would your doll/figurine say?

Mine would say:

The Teletubbies are touching me in my bathing suit area.

My batteries are running low, so pardon me if I don't care.

and finally,
Please take me out of your mouth, I'm rated way, way above your age bracket.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

I had to work today, so for Easter I brought a bag of chocolate Easter eggs to work to share. There's nothing quite like watching grown men and women see a bag of chocolate Easter eggs and yell "CANDY!!!!" and stuff a few in their mouths.

But what I didn't tell them was it was sugar-free. Mwah ha ha ha!

Love, Sea Hag

Friday, April 14, 2006

It's like she saw into my soul......

Have you visited the Carnival of the Mundane yet? You really should, and shame on all the Monkey Barn Morons who haven't yet.

Anyway, it's set up as a party, and here is how Daisy describes me:

You’ll notice that Hyperion arrived coatless and smelling slightly of cheap hootch and unwashed flesh.


Does she know me or what?


Aitch

How Many Surrealists Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?

Answer in comments.

Tracy "I Couldn't Help Myself" Lynn

Tiggaz 4 Life!


I had to post this. (I stole it from a comment Tracy made on Schrodinger's site)

One of the funniest things I've ever seen. Even the banner on the top left corner cracked me up.

Do yourself a favor and become a rapping Tigger.

Hyperion outsmarts Google and other funny stories

A couple of funny things I noticed in the last day, and I should warn you that they are a tad risque, so if you're one of those pansy New Englanders, feel free to skip to the next entry.

Chemists from Montreal (no, really) have been helping me try to target my ads so they get a better response rate. Google targets the ads too, but the just "read" the site for key words.

Best example: Hyperion-X. In fact, go over and take a look. It's okay. I'll wait.

Just cracked me up. My last post there was an analysis of what it might be like to sleep with various female chracters from Disney movies. It's a pretty good post, if I do say so myself.

Well, Google, in all of its wisdom, has stuck ads there promoting family vacations to Disney World!

Is that not fantastic?

Here's the other thing that about cracked me up. My stat counters tell me from what website people come from immediately before they hit one of mine. Occasionally I go there to see if there was some link to me or something, or if that site is worth reading. Anyway, one of the sites yesterday was nymphogirl.blogspot.com (which I ADAMANTLY recommend you don't go to, especially if you're at work).

I only mention this becuase her "motto cracked me up so much I almost made it my Quote of the Day. Sadly, not even I am that brave.

Here it is (with strategically planned asterisks for plausible deniability):

I like sex. I like it in the pu**y, in the mouth, and in the a*s. If my ear canals were wide enough, I'd like it in the ear. Read here my adventures as a young woman of today with a sex drive of epic proportions and an exhibitionistic streak a mile wide.


You got to hand it to the girl (or maybe not, seeing what she might do with it): she knows what she likes.

I do need a new Quote of the Day, though. I know, I'll take one from Schrodinger about Winnie the Pooh.

Quality Family Time

The following conversation actually took place between my mother and me.

MOM: I’m going to tell you something, and then you say ‘that’s bad.’ Then I’ll tell you something else, and you say ‘that’s good.’ And back and forth.

ME: Mom, you’ve done this one before.

MOM: Oh. (Looks crushingly disappointed)

ME: (Sigh.) Let’s do it again.

MOM: Okay! A Man fell out of an airplane.

ME: That’s bad.

MOM: No, that’s good.

ME: Why’s that good?

MOM: Because he had a parachute.

ME: Oh, that’s good.

MOM: No, that’s bad.

ME: Why’s that Bad?

MOM: Because his parachute didn’t open.

ME: That’s bad.

MOM: No, that’s good.

ME: Why’s that good?

MOM: Because There was a field with a big haystack for him to land in.

ME: Oh, that’s good.

MOM: No, that’s bad.

ME: Why’s that Bad?

MOM: Because there was a pitchfork in the haystack.

ME: That’s bad.

MOM: No, that’s good.

ME: Why’s that good?

MOM: Because he missed the pitchfork.

ME: Oh, that’s good.

MOM: No, that’s bad.

ME: Why’s that bad?

MOM: Because he missed the haystack too.

ME: Oh, that’s bad.

MOM: I can’t remember what comes next.

Still, she’s happy. I felt I had to do my part too, so I reached back to my childhood and said,

ME: What’s grosser than gross?

MOM: What?

ME A pile of dead babies.

MOM: Ugh!

ME: What’s grosser than that?

MOM: (Tentatively) What?

ME: A live one at the bottom.

MOM: (Says nothing, but throws a wash rag at my head)

ME: What’s grosser than that?

MOM: I don’t even want to know

ME (not perturbed in the least) It’s eating it’s way to the top.

MOM: Hyperion!

ME: What’s grosser than that?

MOM: (Cringing) What?

ME: It’s going back for seconds.

Remember folks, it’s not so much quantity time that counts, it’s quality time!


Ajax's QotD: In nomine bunny...

Question:

When eating a chocolate easter bunny, do you start with the ears, or the tail?

I've been an ear man since I was little. Though every once in a while I fantasize about starting with the tail. Someday, I'll try two bunny's at once, one on the ears, one on the tail... Hmmmm. Hey, are we still talking about easter candy?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My Not Really Humble At All Opinion

I don't care what anyone says, pirates are TOTALLY cooler than ninjas.

We have a theme song, a drink and we pillage for booty. We even have a flag, a sure sign of superiority and domination, as evidenced by the British Empire's domination of India by the use of flags, despite superior numbers on India's part.

I'm just sayin'. Pirates are cooler.

Tracy "You Heard Me" Lynn

Tiger Woods a spaz?

Apparently if you say 'spaz' in the UK its's like saying 'nigger' in the US. Tiger Woods used the 'S word' and all of the British papers are going crazy about it. I'm sure he didn't mean to offend anyone and the word just got lost in translation as it crossed the Atlantic, I mean who do they think he is Fuzzy Zoeller? If I ever make $315k for 4 days work you better bet I'll be using all kinds of words people don't like.

KOZ

While Supplies Last


Quick!

There's a price reduction on Cat Cloning - limited time only. $32,000!

With guaranteed health and resemblance! Can't beat that!

-Schrodinger

Vegan Conundrum

Okay, so I was watching "Starved" last night, (which is a whole post in itself, but another time). Anyway, this guy started dating a vegan. She wouldn't let him kill cockroaches, and made him nurse one back to health he'd injured.

It got me to thinking: how hot would a Vegan have to be before I'd date her.

For me, intelilgence comes first, but obviously since we're talking about Vegans that's out of the question, so all we're left with is hotness.

(Note: I have no problems with a Vegetarian who does so for personal reasons, as long as she/he doesn't preach about it, but Vegans are just cracked.)

Anyway, so how hot would she have to be. I ask you, Barn

I've joined the masses by popular request.

Okay. Fine. It only takes a piano to fall on me twice to get a point. For a while now I've been getting the "nudge" to do my own blog. I figured the Barn was enough. It is quite satisfying and a tremendous honor. LJS in particular has nudged (ha! who's known a pirate doc to merely nudge - I'm being nice here) me on multiple occasions to do it. This from the one holding out on getting the HCL! I digress. I have given in and started a blog of my own. It's in the lines of Ferris' stop and look or you'll miss it quote. It's not that the Barn isn't enough any more or any great desire to share the location of the holy grail on my own and take all the glory. Nope. My Sister now has her own blog! I'm on here WAY more than she is and is more up to date with blogs and cyber land. It's not that I want what she has or am jealous - not at all - I am proud of her doing it - but it's like driving a 'Stang and being passed by a minivan! http://laineslair.blogspot.com/ If you're so inclined, take a gander. It appears from comments that our very own (& great) Hyperion has already been there.

Oh & big hiddy-ho welcome to all the new posters - you must be something to get our dear Hyperion's attention and invite. To our readers - thanks for reading, come back frequently, and comment often (you'll just stir us to write more the more you comment).

Sunshine and rainbows to all - I'm off to pack for Savannah!


Oh one mroe thing, Happy Easter all - eat loads of chocolate. OOOoooo...question - how do you eat your chocolate bunny - is there a certain part you eat first or a system??? For me, it's the tail then ears.

This message has been brought to you by the letters L, B; the number 21; and Dominique!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Word of the Day

Just for you academics out there, check out today's Word of the Day from Dictionary.com

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Impressed yet?

Fact o' the day:

The first lighthouse to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty in 1886.

Thank you snapple.

A riddle for you.

What do these words have in common: age, blame, curb, dance, evidence, fence, gleam, harm, interest, jam, kiss, latch, motion, nest, order, part, quiz, rest, signal, trust, use, view, win, x-ray, yield, zone?

Click on comments for the answer!

xo,
Dragon

Rocky Horror Picture Show


Which Character From Rocky Horror Picture Show Are You?




Your Columbia! Broken hearted twice. That's okay your very sexy when your angry.


Take this quiz!








xo,
Dragon

It's an honor just to be nominated....

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls... prepare to experience the most amazing marvel the world has created. Step right up. Now showing for the first time: Schrodinger the miraculous, thirty two years of age, has for these thirty-and-two years been sleeping -- night and day -- without a break. Before your very eyes, Schro will awaken from his death-like rigidity. Step right up. Step right up. Ladies and Gentlemen, Schro will now answer any question you like to put to him. Schro knows every secret. Schro knows the past and can see into the future. Come up and test him for yourselves.

Holding an envelope to my red turban:
A: Kitchy-kitchy-koo.

Ripping open envelope:
Q: What do you call a military coup led by General Kitchy Kitchy?

Thank you, and goodnight! I'll be here all week! Enjoy the Veal! Please tip your waitress.

-Schrodinger's Kitten

AH HA!

Finally a new forum in which to continue my experimentation on the denizens of the net, in an effort to expand my influence and achieve my goal of..wait, is this thing on? Oh.
Really. Hmmm. Well, Ok.

Hi! My name is Tracy, and I'm new here. I'll just be posting a few things, and hanging around, so don't mind me.

Ajax's QotD: If ever a Wiz there was...

Question:

Who was your favorite character from the movie, 'Wizard of Oz'?

Me, I'm all about the Scarecrow. There's lots of people wandering around the world without a brain in their heads, but here's a guy that not only recognizes the problem, but he actually wants to do something about it. That and the fact that you have to love a guy who's so inherently combustible.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I was just wondering...

Is the plural for computer mouse still mice or is that one mouses?

I'm big in Germany, really!

Are y'all ready for the Hoff? I'm not liable if you overdose on awesome, as the link forewarns you might.

A pirates' contest!

I am shamelessly advertising my blog here, and I am holding my first ever contest! The prizes are...well, of course....a bounty of pirate treasure! Ahoy! :) LJS

GNOME-BE-GONE


http://www.uncommongoods.com/item/item.jsp?itemId=14503

Makes me wish I had a yard.

Easter Links

A couple of Easter links to get you going.

First, for the kids, Make an Easter Bonnet

For the adults (don't get these two confused) The "Real" meaning of Easter.

This guy will piss you off (how could he not when his site is called datejesus.com?), but from my own knowledge and research, there is nothing in this article that is inaccurate. You may not like his point of view, but at least on this page, he's right on. (You're on your own if you wander.)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

Recently I came to the realization that I have to move. My lease is up at the end of April and my search for people to replace my current roommates has not been successful. So yes, now I have to pack up and move to a new place. I've had to move a helluva lot in my short lifetime (my dad was in the military, plus my own personal opportunities) so it's not really that big a deal, but damn it sucks to have to transport all your things to another place. I don't even have that much stuff, but I'm annoyed at the prospect of just having to move my couch and bed, not to mention I also have to unhook all my computer stuff and set all that back up, and you know that's a huge pain in the ass. Plus moving maybe 300 books. Ugh! So here's a question for you: All other things being more or less equal (rent, space, etc.), do you move into a place with one of your friends, or do you move into a place with someone you don't know and could be a serial killer even though you might get a free 32 inch HDTV out of the deal? I guess if they threw in a PS3 I'd have a reason to need an HDTV. Chances of that are slim since it's not even out yet and will probably cost a kidney and two fingers anyway. *sigh* I better get packing.

Jackpot city, here I come

You'll notice one other thing on Monkey Barn that's totally different.

Ads.


I have always been uncomfortable with ads on a site, but I also need to change my economic model if I'm going to be able to continue the volume and quality of content the Hyperion Institute has. I thought this might be something that would help. If it works I may roll this out to the other sites. In other words, you're guinea pigs.

I am precluded from asking or begging you to click on the ads, although it would definitely help my cause financially if you did. I do know that repeated clicks from the same person are grounds for termination in the project, so if you are trying to help me out by clicking (which I am precluded from asking you to do, although it would help me out financially), don't click on any ad more than once or twice a day. They get suspicious that way.

And if the ads bother you, please let me know. I have other means by which you can become a patron of the Institute (more on that next week).

Campfires...we're talkin' good times here






Starting next week, Monkey Barn is beginning a brand new project. For two weeks we're going to take turns telling a story.

It's kind of like when you were a kid, sitting around the campfire. One person would start the story, and then it would move to the next person, the next and the one after that. Each person could take the story and do whatever he wanted with it.

That's what we're going to do here. Now, I'm not going to say that this project will unite the world and bring peace.

But it might.

And, if you read the last post, you'll see that Hyperion has decided to let some fresh blood in. Our brand new members will get to participate in that. So write if you want to be a part.

Ajax's QotD: Because future visitors need an explanation for that South Pole Statue...

Question:

If you could put any one of your current belongings into a time capsule for future generations to discover and examen, what would it be?

Quasi-related additional question:

If instead you could choose to put a hand-written note of 25 words or less into the capsule, what message would you impart to future generations?

I have a framed picture of my wife Darcy, my son Caleb, and myself from Christmas. Its my favorite picture, not entirely because it makes me look quite slim, but also because it was our first Christmas as a family.

For my message:

Martin Scorsese: 0, Three 6 Mafia: 1