Poop Goes the Pigeon

“Gather ’round, my good friends,” he said. One by one, they flocked to the fire.

Word quickly spread, the city was tearing down all the statues, and there was going to be organized outrage. #OccupyMarble began.

Organization was hard with this group, most of which were prone to distraction by stray trash swirling nearby the fire.

Luckily, a leader had emerged. Werble was young and plump with a Master’s in Public Speaking. He knew how to unify the masses.

“Quool! Quool!” Clearing his throat, Werble got everyone’s attention. “Friends, many a feather is ruffled today by the…”

“…developments that going on down south,” he began. The followers wobbled in agreement. “But let us not let that stop us!”

Towards the back of the huddled mass was a drum-pigeon. Banging horribly off-beat in 2-3 step. It threw off Werble’s cadence.

A murder of black crowes began circling overhead, casting wicked shadows on the flock below.

The leader of the crows, Chris, looked at the mass below and began thinking aloud, “they are going to be Hard to Handle”

Chris watched as Werble’s out-of-step eyes were drawn to the sign: “World’s Largest Outdoor Car Show in town today.”

And there it sat, there in the parking lot…everyone’s favorite car. The top target of targets…

… the 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than 100 were made. It was the town’s love, it is the town’s passion. It was…

…the stupid human’s fault he didn’t park in a garage. “Let’s make a statement, boys!” shouted Werble. Protesters took to sky…

…circling. One big, giant blog of gray feathers. “When I give the signal, you know what to do!” yelled Werble.

All of the sudden a wild pack of Honey Badgers arrived. They looked hungry.

Werble paid no attention and forged ahead, signaling with his claw, mangled from a barbed wire incident, three times. The flock…

…descended from the sky emitting an eerie shriek. That noise was deafening to the stupid humans below. Suddenly and without warning

A gale force wind picked up and blew the flock off course. But this formidable breeze was no coincidence.

A huge crow shaped spacecraft emerged from the overcast sky. In the pilot’s seat was

Meryl Streep, the self-proclaimed leader of the International Bovine Transmology Debate Team.

At her side, Cee Lo Green, the self proclaimed Prince of….

…St. Luke’s Presbyterian Medical Center, raised his fist. “Arm the torpedoes!” he shouted, pointing at…

The Boston Billionaires Retreat was being held at the D-Luxe Inn. A veritable hodge podge of the richest peeps in the land.

Meryl, channeling her character from the recent hit, Labyrinth 2: Back to da Maze, raised her crystal necklace to the sun

She and the Occupy group had hated the BBR Club ever since they’d bankrolled the Land Before Time franchise.

The crystal’s power would certainly settle the score. It had the power to…

incite the black-toed dirtybirds to recite the most diabolical of chants.

“If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me…

…for I must be traveling on now,” chanted the flock. The BBR Club stood no chance against Freebird and retreated to the Inn.

Which is exactly what Streep, Green and Werble wanted. The flock attacked, unleashing enough droppings to turn the blue sky white.

The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California sat there helpless to the onslaught.

Splat! Squish! Bam! The car had no chance. Werble’s eyes got bigger as he swooped in for the kill shot, landing on the hood.

He took a moment to adjust his bowtie. Flashed a smile at Meryl, then let loose.

That poor, poor hood.

THE END

 

Funny story this week. Werble and the pigeons staging a protest. And with the help of Meryl Streep and Cee Lo Green, they were able to show those rich, stuck up Boston Billionaires a thing or two. If only our government could learn a thing or two from a bunch of pooping pigeons. But I guess there’s still time.

Thanks to all the writers on this story – @RobotStephe, Chrisa_Hickey, @MojoEnvy, @TonyPawela, @AZHockeyNut, @MusicAdamT, @Guert, @paulmtracy, @courtcan and @hwtibbs. You guys were great, even despite Twitter continuing to mess with tweets in the timeline.

As an aside, I think this is probably my last story. I’ve been doing this for about a year now, and it feels about time to wrap it up, take what we’ve collectively written and do something with it. When I started, I had no idea what this would become. I was hoping to get a few short stories here and there. But because of all of you, it exceeded my expectations. So thank you. And don’t worry – when I’ve decided what to do with these stories we’ve all written together, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Thanks.

-Josh

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The Two-headed Monster

 

“I’m hungry,” said Wally. “Too bad,” said Pauley. This two-headed monster sure loved to bicker.

Pauley & Wally were laying on their master’s property, knowing that soon enough they’d receive the call to action.

After months of training, it was time. But with their constant disagreement, no one was sure they’d be able to execute the plan.

It was hard for them to execute anything as Pauley could only look left, and Wally could only look right.

But the one thing they both could do–and very well, I might add–is hatch a scheme. And hatch they would.

On the north side of town, the feed store manager, Dolly, was busy with year end accounting. She didn’t notice the sirens until…

…Collie ran inside and uttered the phrase that struck fear in Dolly’s heart: Timmy fell in the well.

And now it was go time. Wally jumped up first, but Pauley’s heavy head pulled Wally back down. They came crashing to the ground.

Meanwhile, Timmy was splashing around in the well. Dolly was pacing. “When are Pauley and Wally gonna get here?”

Collie wasn’t bright, but he sensed Pauley & Wally would never get there on their own. Collie had to take matters into his hands

Or rather, his paws.

He trotted over to Wally and Pauley’s to find them bickering. “It’s time to go!” yelled Wally. “No it’s not!” screamed Pauley.

Collie had heard enough. He grabbed Wally & Pauley by their scruffy twin necks and drug them out the door.

Collie dragged Wally and Pauley across the muddy field, up a cobblestone hill and through a sizable patch of tall grass to the well

“Well?” Collie demanded.

They still couldn’t agree. Pauley wanted to help. Wally to sleep. And the longer they took, the longer Timmy was down in the well.

Collie knew if the pair couldn’t come to an accord, things wouldn’t end well at all. But Collie had one last trick up his sleeve.

Dolly. Her ample size and bleach-blonde fur scared the living daylights out of Wally & Pauley. They would not cross her.

“Dolly,” Collie said, “help me get these pups straightened out.” Dolly drew a breath into her ample chest and began to…

sing. “Hey Wally, hey Pau-ley. You neeeeed to help us out. Hey Wally, hey Pauley, right now. Right now right now right now.”

That got their attention. They were huge fans of “Singin’ in the Rain” and Gene Kelly. Now, they were ready to save little Timmy.

Wally and Pauley grabbed spelunking gear and started down the well. There was this keen determination in all four of their eyes.

Then the usual argument began. “Why do I always have to go 1st?” cried Pauley. “YOU? It’s ME who always goes 1st!” Wally shouted.

Dolly couldn’t stand it anymore, so she just pushed them over into the well. They had no choice but to save little Timmy now.

Especially since Timmy had been submerged under the pair after their fall.

The strange anatomy that was Pauley & Wally helped liberate Timmy. Thus, proving the old adage—two heads are better than one.

Timmy was able to climb out to safety, stepping on the pairs’ heads to do so. And now, it was Pauley and Wally who were stuck.

Amazingly, Wally & Pauley worked together like their life depended on it. Which it did. They followed Dolly’s pitchiness to safety.

And thus, when it came down to it, Wally and Pauley came through. Everyone lived happily ever after. Despite the bickering.

THE END

 

Sorry for the delay in getting this story up. I know all of you were dying to read it. So now you have your chance. This was a weird one – lots of name rhyming, and it didn’t have that many twists and turns. It was kind of matter of fact. Someone fell down a well, then he got saved. Oh, and a little Dolly Parton mixed in.

 

Thanks to @Chrisa_Hickey for supplying the photo. I believe they’re her dogs. And thanks to @nella22 @chrisa_hickey @ShesAllWrite @MojoEnvy and @MusicAdamT for writing with me.

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Bieber Fever

He came and went as he pleased, jumping in and out of our lives. But who was this masked man?

We were all starting to feel nervous, because he’d pop up in the strangest moments. He seemed to be able to read our minds.

He was always around during birthdays and July 4th. Other events were unpredictable, yet it was always considered good luck.

His dress was unremarkable. Though he had appeared at so many celebrations, no one could ever remember what he wore.

This man, he went by the name…

… Reaper. Justin Reaper. He was the prettiest picture of death the world would know in modern times.

He was no man at all, but a manifestation of all four horsemen of the apocalypse: Social Media, Pop Music, Teen Crushes.

But the irony was with Justin Reaper, he hated death, to kill, to extinguish life. But that’s his job and it was killing him.

… and Teen Parents Living Vicariously Through Their Children. His presence meant the end times were upon us. And then the snow…

The snow led him to contemplate the lives he’d ruined, each like a single flake falling to the ground and melting into oblivion.

It was a time of reflection, of looking inward, and Justin Reaper hated what he saw. “I hate what I see,” he said to his friend…

…Jayden Blue Ivy Cent, the muse of teeny-bopper pop music.

“So change,” said Cent. “I can never change,” retorted Reaper. “You’re always saying ‘Never say never,'” said Cent. He had a point.

“Why do you say that, by the way?” asked Cent. “It’s the most oxymoronic phrase ever.”

Reaper shrugged. “Someone told me to.” With that mindset, no way he’d change. Jayden Blue Ivy Cent needed to stage an intervention.

Cent wracked his brain for an intervention specialist. He flipped on MTV and found… @DrDrew.

And he needed to gather all of Reaper’s friends. Which was no small task considering his mere presence meant imminent death.

Maybe it would be wiser to pick the friends already passed on. Cent called Tupac, Biggie and, for another point of view, Andy Gibb.

The intrepid trio suggested calling upon 140-year-old Dick Clark to help them on their quest – find the greatest song about death.

And then the first faint notes of Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear The Reaper broke the intrepid silence.

Reaper sensing what was going on, gestured crudely, yelling “haven’t I given you all more than enough damn cowbell?!”

“Sometimes a guy just needs a hug, a happy song and a nice cheese platter to share with his friends.”

Music hath charms to calm the savage beast. Reaper’s was infused with the peal of cowbell. A small, fatalistic smile lit his face.

And with great glee the Reaper shrieked, “No more cowbell!” It was the day the cowbell died.

And there was much rejoicing. But there was still the matter of Reaper’s job satisfaction–or lack thereof.

“You know there’s a gig bagging groceries open at the Piggly Wiggly?” Andy Gibb offered.

Cent stifled a giggle at the name. Piggly Wiggly. But Reaper’s eyebrows raised. “Tell me more, Andy,” he said.

Andy gazed past Justin Reaper, past Jayden Blue Ivy Cent, past Biggie & Tupac, even past Dick Clark. “The Pig,” he whispered,” is…

…ON TWITTER! Reaper paused, envisioning a nest full of rabid followers, favoriting and retweeting his (or The Pig’s) every word.

“Screw bagging groceries,” Reaper declared. “I can reign down death on shoppers everywhere via social media!” His grin widened.

Somewhere in Silicon Alley, a self-proclaimed social media guru scrolled through his Twitter feed…

He read the notification out loud, “Piggly Wiggly followed you”…

“I think I’m gonna like Twitter,” Reaper hissed, slyly drumming his fingers on his desk.

Justin Reaper handed his scythe to Tupac. “No need for this anymore. All I need is a smartphone and unlimited data.”

“Like I care. I’m already dead,” Tupac answered, dropping the scythe. But Jayden Blue Ivy Cent shuddered at what he’d enabled.

Just when all appeared lost, Andy Gibb piped in, “It’s cool, man! @ATT no longer offers unlimited data! Shadow dancing…yeah…”

Startled, Justin Bieber woke up sweating. His mom was bedside. “You’re okay, Justin,” she said. “You just have a fever.”

THE END

 

Interesting story. Not sure how I feel about contributing to Bieber Fever, so I guess the fact that he was actually responsible for killing people in this story makes it a little more tolerable. We should have had him kill himself. And his music. Then we’d all be happier. Well, except for the group Teen Parents Living Vicariously Through Their Children. They’re a force to be reckoned with. Okay, so this story went all over the place, but I was completely fine with it. I had already come up with how everything would end this afternoon, so I was just letting it go. Until it stalled. Then, BAM – Bieber fever. Get it?

Thanks to @kschaffs for supplying the photo. It definitely got people writing. And also, glad to have you involved. Hope next time you write too.

Thanks to all the writers – @nella22, who’s good for supplying the second line to a story about 89.7% of the time, @Robotstephe, whose sense of humor fits well with mine, @ShesAllWrite and @Chrisa_Hickey, who were having a personal back and forth toward the end, gabesphone_com, who was a first-time contributor and added a hilarious line right in the middle of @jsetlak’s patented triple-tweet that had me stuck on how to make it all make sense, @jsetlak, who triple-tweeted, @MusicAdamT and @MojoEnvy, who helped me kick Twitter and get it to work when their tweets weren’t showing up, and my old co-workers @TonyPawela and @elderberryjam, who humored me and wrote because I asked them to help out. Fun.

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Explosions!

It arrived. Finally.

It rode in atop a silver snake-train behemoth, clinging to its scales like a virus, headed for…

…the Mexico border. This package had been through a lot already, but it finally made it to Tijuana.

It sat now propped up against the ticket agent’s dusty kiosk, a corner bent up as if someone had peeked at its loathsome contents.

But what was inside?

A small compass, a map, a train pass that was one zone short of its destination and a note.

But not just any note. It was written in…

Sanskrit, in gold ink. Parts of the ink had flaked off during the parcel’s journey.

Paolo recognized the large flourishes and was able to intercept it before Lester, the world’s preeminent Sanskrit translator, did.

Paolo had to move fast. He’d seen Lester making his way through the terminal. Now that the parcel was safe, he’d have to leave.

Lester, having arrived at the baggage claim, was outwardly serene when he saw the parcel was gone. Inside, his temper flared.

Flanked by his cronies, he strode over to the phone bank and called M. “Elvis has left the building, M. It’ll be a Blue Christmas.”

Mesmerized by the parcel in his hands, Paolo absently twirled the package and silently mouthed, “All things must pass.”

Lester was a huge fan of The King. Rumor had it the two used to party together back in the day. Elvis’ death left him all shook up.

Paolo ducked into a nearby restroom, silenced his iPhone and took 3 photographs of the flaking note, then emailed them to himself.

Meanwhile, M hung up the phone & sprung into action. First, he called N. Then N called O, who dialed P & Q. Paolo wouldn’t get far.

He knew he had to contact Sarf. She would know what to do next. She was the Chosen One, so he trusted her. Or so he thought?

Paolo put the note and the phone in his breast pocket, flushed and washed, then left the station on a wave of oblivious travelers.

But the Alphabet Crew were hot on his trail. They knew he’d go to Sarf next. How? She called O and told him. She said, “…

“…O, Paolo is coming to me.” O thanked her for the intel, then dialed Lester. He was in the middle of translating Sanskrit.

Lester headed to Sarf and waited for Paolo. The parcel, and its contents, were about to be his.

If only the package wasn’t set to implode upon itself at

11:15pm.

POW! BANG! BAMMO! The package imploded upon itself. The contents wiped out the entire world.

THE END

Until suddenly the package implosion exploded, then re-imploded and re-wiped out the wiped out world. THE END, again.

Wow – lots of fireworks at the end of this story. Dramatic ending. But would you really expect anything else with the Alphabet Crew involved? I definitely wouldn’t. Poor Paolo, Sarf and Lester – they all died when the world was wiped out. Although I guess everyone did. So poor everyone.

Thanks to @rookiephenom for supplying the photo, as well as for jumping in and adding a line in the story. And glad to have a couple of new writers – @MojoEnvy and @ShesAllWrite – hope you both had fun and you join me again. And last, but not least, the stories wouldn’t be the same without my stable of regulars who write on every story. For this one, that was @FeliciaCago, @MusicAdamT, @hwtibbs, who pulled out the triple-tweet, @nella22 and @swanieson. Thanks all.

Addendum – @talkingmonkey contributed with a late line, which I’ve added to the end of the story. It completely changes things.

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Thriller, Thriller Night

This is the story of Wendy.

It was hard on Wendy, being a single, undead gal in the big city.

And her job at the Pumpkin Peeling Plant wasn’t fulfilling.

She was sick of it. So Wendy got dolled up, doing her hair and make-up, then set out to find a new job.

As the train rattled towards Vicksburg, she grasped her purpose in life. “I must

bring an end to the unethical farming and consumption of humans. It’s terrible for the environment.”

Wendy had recently become a member of ZETH – Zombies for the Ethical Treatment of Humans. ZETH was committed to…

…passing Prop-Hu23 in Congress, requiring farms to raise free range humans, thus abolishing the cruel conditions of the day.

Wendy got off the train at Vicksburg and immediately went door to door, spreading the word, getting signatures.

… and the occasional shotgun blasts from the homes of humans who had been hiding out, waiting until the inevitable …

6 hours, 8 signatures and 3 Human Gorditas later, she realized she needed to do something that would have a bigger impact.

Luckily, Wendy was also an accomplished singer. So she went to Vicksburg Plaza, where white collar Zombies took their dinner breaks.

Waiting for her cue, she peeked at a menu. Arm Tartar. Brain a la Mode, garnished with toenail. Intestines & Chips. She shuddered.

She cleared her throat and sang “Free The People Before We Eat The People” at the top of her lungs just outside Hüm restaurant.

The audience called for an encore & more brains, wanting her to sing yet again. This time she’d sing about the new law.

She’d prepared a doo-wop for this performance. “Anyone know how to harmonize?” she asked. Everyone just stared at her, zombie-like.

“I doo–” but as soon as Jacob said that, his deteriorating mouth fell off but…

…he kept singing anyways. He couldn’t enunciate. It was awkward. Fed up, Wendy leveled a shotgun at the crowd. “Now listen up!”

Suddenly, a squeaky voice from the back called out, “I do!” The sun blinded her she could not see his face.

So she pulled the trigger. Buckshot severed Danny DeVito’s right arm, but that wouldn’t stop him from harmonizing.

He had trouble holding his notes, though, because of his constant wincing. And that just made Wendy even more irate.

So she instead broke into an interpretive dance. It was magical.

She moved her arms back and forth, up and down, sideways. It was no surprise that the other zombies followed suit. It was Thriller.

As the Zombies did the Thriller dance, Danny DeVito and the rest of the humans saw this as their opportunity to escape captivity.

Danny and the others made a run for it, but the zombies didn’t budge. They were, well, in a Zombie-like trance.

The group of humans reached a field. DeVito looked over his shoulder, seeing Wendy one last time. “I always…

“…wanted to see her dance,” he said. “It was on my bucket list.” He kept running, surprisingly limber for a short, round old guy.

Like a fullback on the Packers he barreled through a field of zombie secondary dropped like bowling pins on a Saturday night.

DeVito and the rest of the humans kept running and running until they reached Mexico. They crossed the border, free at last.

THE END

So it’s been a while since I wrote a story, and I forgot how fun they are. I mean, we had zombies, the Thriller dance, shotguns and Danny DeVito. Too bad Rhea Pearlman didn’t make a cameo. But good for DeVito to escape and finally be able to live a normal life, albeit in Mexico. But hey – it beats living on an organic human farm. Right?

Thanks to everyone who jumped back in and wrote with me. I really appreciate it and hope you had a good time. @Chrisa_Hickey, @officerpupp, @hwtibbs, @Pawela04, @MusicAdamT and @melmo3 – you all are great. And a special shout-out to @AZHockeyNut, who wrote with us for the first time. Hope you join us again. Oh, and for those wondering, I took the photo myself on Halloween on my way home from work. He/She scared the crap out of me.

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Black and White

“He’s been here,” one of the detectives said, pointing up. And there it was – the Devil’s silhouette.

Chester’s skin tingled with anticipation; this meeting was the first of many to come. He’d finally meet the man behind the mask…

He’d been close so many times. There was Tulum in the summer of ’98. And Hoboken in the winter of ’04. And Odessa in ’08 and ’09.

Paddling with greater intensity, the canoe neared the entrance to Satan’s Cove.

Chester explored the rock, finding ashes amidst the seagull droppings. He scraped it away and bagged it to take back to the lab.

Chester was an expert in his field of forensic paranormal metaphysics.; an oxymoron to be sure.

One of many in his life. His last name’s Black but he’s white. He expects the unexpected. And his favorite appetizer? Jumbo shrimp.

Chester’s concentration was broken when he became aware of an increasingly strong presence of brimstone in the air.

He paddled away, certain he knew where to go next.

The cove at the far side of the island had been billowing smoke since the expedition started. It was there he would find the….

He would continue his journey far across the sea—to the land of the 1000 trees, in search of the White Lady.

For only she possessed the power to intercept this ungodly work of the Man in Black himself.

The evil Johnny Cash. Composer of great music. Destroyer of Earth. And Chester’s deceased nemesis.

Chester donned his plasma electroscopic lenses. Yep, it was Evil Johnny. He could tell from the

ring of fire.

The fire that burns, burns, burns.

June Carter slowly crept behind Chester. “Hello C, it’s been too long, we’ve been waiting for you.”

Chester’s mouth dropped. “What for, Ms. Carter?” he asked.

Chester had a thing for June. Even though she was just a ghost. Perhaps that’s why Johnny had resurfaced after Odessa.

June was in all white. And Chester put it all together. “Are you the…” he started. “The White Lady?” she interjected. “Yes. I am.”

Of course June was the only one who could control the Man in Black. She took Chester to see Cash and the burning ring of fire.

But when they got there, the ring was gone. And so were all signs of Cash, except his black coat. “Thwarted again,” cackled June.

A furious Chester continued the search, adding the Land of 1000 Trees in ’11 to his list of close encounters with Mr. Cash.

THE END

 

The Devil, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. And Chester, the oxymoronic detective who was in love with June and hunted down Cash. And June – always looking out for her Johnny, even when they’re ghosts. She kept Chester at bay just enough for Johnny to disappear. Again.

Thanks to everyone who wrote – @nella22, @paulmtracy, @hwtibbs, @graphics_diva, @swcouture and @_Benny_K. Special shout-out to @graphics_diva, who’s a new contributor. I promise I’m normally a lot faster in getting these stories up.

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John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

He was banished to the corner. Again. Seems to be the story of his life.

But he refused to wear pants, and they couldn’t force him, even with…

…bacon on the brain. Thoughts not wavering and with a skillet in tow…

…he stuck his finger up his nose and lamented his sad state of affairs.

Since being banished John Jacob had been trying to figure out

just where his life was headed.

At the same time, upon attempting to find bacon and pants…he heard a sound. Or a bang.

Or even possibly, a clang. It had a distinct ring, but not like a bell had rang. It was definitely not a ding.

The source revealed itself as the chef-shaped kitchen timer, which had fallen onto the floor as its time expired.

John Jacob was relieved. He thought it was his German half-brother, Jingleheimer Schmidt, coming back to finish what he started.

You see, Jingleheimer was a big confectioner. And John Jacob preferred savory. So he shuddered whenever his brother baked.

It’s not that he was bad – no, wait. It was. He put Aleppo Pepper in everything. Including the Chocolate-Dipped Spice Twists

that were ready to be taken out of the oven. The timer had been ringing for 22 minutes. But Jingleheimer was still on his run.

“Let the baking BURN!” said John.

And it did. John cackled, then coughed, in the corner, watching the smoke billow out of the oven. But where was Jingleheimer?

And why, pray tell, did he not put on pants before entering the kitchen this morning? The Inpsectors™ were coming by!

He wasn’t the baker in the family, and the last time he took something out of the oven, it was a disaster. His scars proved it…

John reinserted his finger in his nose, his go-to posture for deep thinking.

John probed his sinus cavity for ideas, trudging through lost notions and manic whims before striking a subterranean concept.

“What if Jingleheimer’s hurt?” John thought. He pulled his pants up and made his way through the smoke to go find his brother.

He found him passed out on the floor overcome by the aroma of burnt buns still clutching plans for Jingle’s Bacon Bun Food Truck.

John grabbed Saran Wrap, put it over Jingleheimer’s mouth, poked a hole, and began CPR. (You never know where a Schmidt has been)

While Schmidt was a terrible baker, he was a masterful flirt. It seemed no woman could resist him.

…and into the black Lincoln Town Car he had been using for his burgeoning limo service.

En route to the hospital, Schmidt stirred from the back seat, a low chortle reverberating in his smoke-filled lungs…

“Who’s this freak?” asked the rich lady with the long black veil that John had forgotten was his fare in the back seat.

“And why’d we stop in that driveway?” she continued. “And now where are we going?” John rolled his eyes, then raised the partition.

“Terribly sorry, ma’am, but we’ll have to make one more stop before taking you to the opera. I’m sure we won’t be…”

Saved by the partition. Jingleheimer would have to deal with the lady’s nagging. John turned the radio up. His favorite jam was on

…the dashboard – strawberry, what was left of his lunch. And now it was nearly dawn. “Man, I’m hungry. Wish I had a…

…piece of toast. Or one of Jingleheimer’s Chocolate Dipped Spice Twists.” As if on cue, there was a knock on the partition.

It was Schmidt. He surreptitiously pulled something from his pocket and flung it at john while the lady was on the phone.

John ducked instinctively, and when he did, he yanked the wheel left, crashing into the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile in the next lane.

The Weinermobile immediately burst into flames. “One dog, well done,” muttered John. He could hear Schmidt & the lady yelling…

…in excitement over the prospect of free hot dogs. John Jacob quickly realized his good fortune as well, and he started yelling.

Everyone was yelling happily. John Jacob, Jingleheimer Schmidt and the old lady went in for a group hug. Then for hot dogs.

THE END

 

“John, Jacob, Jingleheimer, Schmidt.” I used to love that song growing up. So I was psyched at the possibilities for where a story about these two brothers could go. And despite their differences, when it came down to it, John Jacob had his brother’s best interests in mind. And they ended up with hot dogs! So lucky!

Lots of new contributors on this one. Thanks to @swcouture for the photo. And to new writers @rookiephenom, @MusicAdamT, @swcouture and @martinbihl. And of course, thank you to regular contributors @FeliciaCago, @Chrisa_Hickey, @swanieson, @Robotstephe, @nella22, @Pawela04 and @hwtibbs. That was a fun story.

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

“The pot of gold must be on top of that red brick building,” she thought. And the hunt was on.

“But how can I get there before Maggie,” she whined, “when she’s a giant and I’m so small?”

Not to be deterred, she grabbed her Ziploc® of loose change, and headed out the door. Cab would be the best way to get there.

“A cab, a cab, who called a cab?” Up pulled Mike the psychic cab driver.

“I did,” Margie said. “Take me to -” “I know where – and we’re racing against Maggie!” Exclaimed Mike as he sped off.

Maggie though had decided public transportation was the way to go and was stuck behind a stroller pushing mother.

The streets were full of vendors, stray dogs and, a camel. All of this was slowing the cab down. Margie was losing time.

Maggie was having problems of her own on the magenta line. Babies were everywhere!

Margie jumped from the cab and lept onto the camel in one swift movement.

However, at a point later in the story, Margie will realize that she left her Ziploc® bag in the cab. This does not bode well…

Since in addition to nickels and dimes the bag contained a gps tracker she had planted on Maggie.

While Margie was camel-leaping, Maggie was having troubles of her own. $4.46 for a medium latte? This city is getting ridiculous.

Margie drove ever-forward in the camel, nestled lovingly between the two humps. Inching closer to the red building.

Meanwhile, the pot of gold was shrinking because

of the hole in the pot, which Lloyd the Leprechaun bought second hand at a garage sale.

“You get what you pay for,” Larry muttered to himself. Not realizing…

…that he referred to himself as Larry instead of Lloyd, it became apparent to others that Lloyd might have a split personality.

Larry-Lloyd spoke those words to himself, but Maggie thought he was speaking to her. Finally, a bright spot in her day.

Meanwhile the camel, who’s name was Manfred, started running toward an oasis filled with rice milk.

Meanwhile, across town…

The real story was unfolding: Leprechauns in Lakeview. Not just there for drinks at Berlin, but apparently hiding gold on rooftops.

Neighborhood gossip placed at least one leprechaun working in the back at Cheesie’s Pub & Grub – specializing in potatoes.

Of course, the inevitable drunk Irish jokes are bound to come out when they hide gold so close to 1000 Liquors.

One leprechaun noticed Margie and her camel at the rice-milk oasis. “How much for the camel?” he asked.

“Not for sale,” said Margie. “No, I mean the one behind your ear,” he replied. “I could use a cigarette.” Margie loved her Camels.

Maggie trudged forward in her Converse® All-Stars. She never played basketball, but loved the green plaid design.

She got to the rooftop but the pot of gold was gone. Margie was already off in Mexico enjoying her riches. And cigarettes.

THE END

 

Anytime Leprechauns, booze, cigarettes and gold are involved, it’s impossible not to have a good time. This week’s story was all about greed, and Margie managed to outfox her sister Maggie. Poor Maggie. Maybe she could go get a drink with Lloyd-Larry at Berlin. Or they could just go get a handle of some Irish whiskey at 1000 Liquors and wallow in their sorrows.

The way these stories unfold always crack me up – stuff like when Lloyd the Leprechaun became Larry the Leprechaun and the use of the ®. I’m grateful for everyone who writes these stories with me. Collaborating on this one were @Robotstephe, @Chrisa_Hickey, @swanieson, @paulmtracy, @FeliciaCago, @Guert, @jsetlak and @officerpupp. Thanks all.

 

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Grayscale Gary

This is the story of a grayscale man in polychromatic world.

His name is Gary.

He didn’t always look this way. He once was filled with color. He had blue eyes.

And red hair that was envied the world over.

But one day his hair started to lose its color, suddenly what was red had become gray.

And it wasn’t just him, it was his entire perspective. Once colored, full of life, now dimming, each moment grayer than the last.

Even though the perspective changed, he could always see the color in her…

…presence. Her hair, eyes, even her laugh. She was the bright spot in his failing eyes. His doctor suspected grayscale glaucoma.

It was likely hereditary, as his father, T. Inman, had also lost color perception when he was around Gary’s age.

Poor Gary. Thinking about his father just made him blue. Figuratively, of course.

Though figuratively blue, he actually would turn red.

Which proved to be a problem since he was living on the corner of a busy street since…

…the city added that new red fire hydrant. Whenever Gary got blue, turning red, dogs mistakenly peed all over him.

The constant smell of urine made Gary realize that there were worse things than being grayscale in a polychromatic world.

THE END

 

Okay – so this was a short one. But it was a good way to get back into things since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a story. Anyway, onto the recap. Poor Gary. The only way he changed color was when he felt sad. But even that sucked for him – he just ended up being peed on.

I saw this guy on my morning commute walking amongst the rest of the robots heading into work and decided to snap a picture. And thanks to @officerpupp, @Robotstephe, @swanieson and @hwtibbs for helping me get Once Upon 140 back up and going after the little hiatus.

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The Mythical Maudfish

“Whoaaaaaaa!” At the last moment, she leaned to the side, holding on for dear life.

She’d been riding this ship for the past 15 hours and her legs were getting tired…But she NEEDED to hold on to the

magic potion that would return her to her normal self. Now she needed to find a safe place to

hide the potion from Lord Stickywic, who needs the potion to cure his own ailment

of sticky warts. Everything he touched stuck to him like glue, which was very frustrating because he worked at

Wal-Mart. And Wal-Mart sells everything.

The townsmen always thought it a little weird that a Lord worked at Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart hires everyone, so they got used to it.

After all it beat when he worked at the currency exchange and they were never getting the right amount of money.

Maude began to clamber down to the raft she’d prepared. “Stickywic will never think to look in New Zealand,” she thought.

“In New Zealand I will hike the highest mountains to find the perfect place to hide from him & complete my own transformation.”

But what was Maude transforming into?

Slowly she realized her feet had started to develop a webbed appearance.

If only she’d had webbed feet *before* rafting to New Zealand. Would’ve made the trip easier. The hiking, not so much.

She expected more of a spiritual transformation. This physiological change was making Maude nervous.

She pouted her lips as she thought this, inadvertently making that “duck face” so many girls make in pics on social network sites.

Maude began to notice her legs coming close together, and hair getting longer. Was she turning into a mermaid?

Maude rushed to dive off the peak of the mountain into the water below. Perhaps she

could avoid turning the catfish that was her destiny from birth.

She dove. As she fell through the air, she noticed Sir Mortimer Reginald IX in his combustible airship headed toward her.

Sir Mortimer was a part of a crew of combustible airship pilots who routinely searched for divers throughout New Zealand.

Tales of Maudes turning into catfish had circulated amongst the pilots for centuries, becoming long-lost lore of drinking ballads.

“A Maude into a Catfish, a Maude into a Catfish, a Maude into a Catfish,” they’d sing cheerily, glugging from their steins.

Never did Mortimer imagine that he’d be the one chosen to catch the mythical Maudfish.

And now here he was, almost face to face with the Maudfish. He pulled the throttle, knowing this was an opportunity of a lifetime.

An opportunity that was coming to a screeching halt because he forgot to gas up before leaving.

His combustible airship began sputtering. “Uh oh,” Sir Mortimer lamented.

He was going down.

Maudfish had other plans though. Seeing Mortimer’s boat going down

and where was Lord Stickywic? The potion is almost done for & he gets called in for the closing shift at WalMart!

It was too late. Mortimer’s plane crashed before Maudfish could get to him. And Lord Stickywic never got the potion.

THE END

Ahhh, the mythical Maudfish. Never before seen. Until finally, Mortimer gets his eyes on it. But of course, the old “he’s out of gas” storyline had to rear its ugly head. And Mortimer crashed. Poor guy. I bet the rest of the airship pilots are singing ballads in his honor.

Thanks @brianpinkley for supplying the photo. It’s pretty hilarious. And has nothing to do with the story.

And thanks to @nella22 @brianpinkley @lesliestaysup @melmo3 @swanieson @officerpupp @jsetlak and @Pawela04 for writing again with me. Special shout-out to @mscileppi, a new writer! Yeah, Maria! Hope you enjoyed it. So glad you jumped in.

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