Category Archives: @hwtibbs

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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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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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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Monkeying Around

There was no announcement, no warning, nothing. One morning, it was just there. But why? And what was it?

From a distance, it had the appearance of a grotesque gingerbread house, one that would haunt the dreams of kids and adults alike.

It was too late. The abstract structure was not art, it was an ad. USP’s had been seeping into their brains.

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” sang Igor, in a trance as he walked by.

With the sequence of words the structure started to come to life.

Roaring to life, sugar stalagmites punched up from the ground, and the unmistakable smell of confection surrounded the passerby.

Igor has longed to officially change the lyrics to, “two all beef patties special sauce, special cheese”. Now was his chance.

As Igor sang his revision of the classic, his James Earl Jones-ish voice began to shake the sugar walls of the structure.

As small cracks covered the structure, a haze of sugar crystals rose, filling the clearing. Igor found himself unable to see the

large statue of

the Chief Monkey. Igor knew that 80% of monkeys had never even seen this statue. It was a special day.

With complete reverence, Igor approached the statue. But, as he got closer, the hairs on the back of his knuckles started rising

at the sight of the group of monkeys quickly approaching.

He didn’t recognize them and signaled to Tango, the other sentry on duty. “Tango, head back to the village and find Marrick.”

80% of those monkeys had never even seen a person. Igor was getting nervous.

When Igor got nervous he tended to eat. Unluckily for him all he had to eat was

pie. He always carried a tin of French Silk. As the silky chocolate mousse slithered through his teeth, Tango arrived with Marrick.

“Can I have a piece?” asked Marrick. Tango was none too thrilled, considering the fate of the whole monkey population was at stake.

So Tango reminded Igor and Marrick what they were truly fighting for,

which is their right to manufacture and market their product “Anti Monkey But Powder®” to humans.

With it, they thought, they could change the world. But the statue had other ideas. No way was it going to

stop now. The statue has plans of its own and Igor’s teeth tingled, a sign of danger. But why now?

A earthquake earlier in the week apparently had woke up sleeping monkeys.

The earthquake was so large that it knocked over a chair. Scientists believe this is what caused the monkeys to wake up.

Mango Mama arrived. She had a pot of bok choy, tofu, scallions.”Dinner, dig in!” she yelled. Food smelled good, salty.

Igor, Marrick and Tango started eating, forgetting about statues and monkeys so they could enjoy a good meal. Meanwhile

sugar crystals started to melt and the monkeys want to learn to make fire

Mango Mama stomped in the room, yelled “Clear the table. Wash the dishes.” She whisked the pot away,emptied it.

Mango Mama worried, “Storms coming. Skies are angry.” A clap of thunder roared. Lightning lit the horizon.

As Mango Mama left the kitchen and Igor decided it was time…He knew it from this morning. Today was the day a monkey would

meet a real human. Igor was prepared and had read all about their habits. He quickly went to his room, he needed to warn

the others. But the other monkeys were too busy trying to learn how to make fire. “Guys!” Igor yelled. “What’s with the dancing?”

“Dancing?” Mango Mama began. “Is that all you see? Must you always be so duo-syllabic?”

“Duo-syllabic?” Igor retorted. “Must you always be so quinto-syllabic?” Igor was always good for a snarky comeback.

A shock rippled through Mango Mama’s mohawk. She reached behind her petticoat, and pulled out a tall

glass of pina colada.

She took a sip and offered Igor some. But he was too busy patting Mango Mama’s mohawk, wondering what else she might have in there.

With a unicorn holding the glass with its horn & a glowing rainbow mane hawk. At last!

Yes. At last. Igor had finally found the glass-holding unicorn with the glowing rainbow mane. He had been searching for it since

yesterday. It may be only a day to humans, but to monkeys, it’s more like 3650. Roughly. We never said monkeys were good at math.

His daughter asked him to look for it while she was watching Pokemon.

He lost the glass in a drinking contest to that damned unicorn. Who knew that lone horn would be the difference in flippy cup?

Beer pong was always his game to lose. If only he could convince

Mango Mama to partake in a game. He was certain he could avenge his flippy cup loss. He ran to his home and got some Silo cups.

Then 80% of the World’s monkeys showed up thinking it was a videogame pong contest.

Silo cups were unfortunately in short supply due to the jello shots made earlier that day.

The statue, watching all this happen, contorted. In the center arose a pristine, long wooden table with 10 cups on each side.

Igor went to one side of the table, Mango Mama to the other. Marrick played ref. “Game on!” he yelled. Mango threw the first ball.

She missed. Igor’s turn. He tosses his ball, and it goes right in the back corner cup. 1-0. Mango Mama chugs that cup’s beer.

Bbbbbbllllllllllllrrrrrrppppppppphphphphphppppppp.

She finishes chugging, slams the cup down & wipes her face. Mango Mama’s up. She tosses her next ball. Bam! Right in the front cup.

Wait a minute… Where did all the monkeys go?

The monkeys look on in anticipation as Igor chugs the beer.

Wait a minute… Where did all the monkeys go?

Mango Mama & Igor trade shots. He hits one. She hits one. He misses one. She misses one. And on until they’re down to one cup each.

The monkeys are riveted. Mango Mama’s up. If she hits this shot, it’s over. Igor will never be able to face his daughter again.

She takes her shot. It’s a high arc-er. The ball moves, almost in slow motion. Right at the cup. Is it going to go in?

With a plop it goes in. Igor hangs his head in shame until it bounces back out.

Apparently one of the jello shots made it to the beer pong game.

Igor didn’t care. Because now it was his turn. For all the marbles. Errrr…glass cup. Make this shot, and he can go home.

He throws his ping pong ball. It’s right on target. Could this be it? Could this be the shot that avenges his flippy cup loss?

As an extra surprise the winner flies home on the Unicorn with the rainbow mane.

And the ball misses! Having lost again he flips the table, downs the jello shots and walks away a sore loser.

THE END

So this story brought back memories from college. Monkeys, unicorns, crystals…wait. I mean beer pong and flippy cup. Yeah, that’s it. Our friend Igor could have had a happily ever after, except he sucked at drinking games. Too bad for him. Guess he shouldn’t have been so confident in his abilities. And the photo wasn’t too key in the story. Oh well. I tried to loop it in a little at the end, but let’s face it, beer pong playing monkeys are way more interesting.

Thanks to myself for providing the photo. Ha!

And thanks to all of today’s writers: @Robotstephe, who wrote early and late. @kevinegan80, who made a surprise appearance. @swanieson, who turned Igor from a winner into a loser. @hwtibbs, who brought Tango and Marrick into the story. @Guert, who has an infatuation with 80% of the world’s monkeys. @Pawela04, who jumped in earlier in the day, then came back with the sound of Mama Mango chugging her first beer pong cup. @AnalystQueen, a new writer (we love new writers!), who introduced Mango Mama into the story. @kvpops, another new writer (we love new writers!), who, despite the time difference between here and India and the cultural nuances was able to contribute. @nella22, who writes pretty much every single time, and helped keep the story moving when there was a little bit of a lull. @vnarvasa, who claims she was sober when she wrote her first tweet tonight, yet it made no sense. @1god, another new writer (we love new writers!), who made Igor have something to play for. and @rickmurray, whose MO seems to be to jump in late with a tweet just before going to bed, and this time, he brought college drinking games into the mix.

Good stuff. Thank you all. Like I said, I can’t do this without you guys.

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God Almighty

It descended upon the city, slowly swirling in, high above even the tallest buildings. But what was it?

Marcel looked up and noticed that these clouds were different then the ones he’d been studying. These clouds…weren’t clouds…

It was smoke. Taking another drag on a gigantic cigar, Zeus furrowed his brow at the city.

And then he blew.

But nothing came out but a small gust of air.

Having smoked cigars for many years Zeus’ lungs weren’t all they were in his younger years.

Zeus re-dragged and re-blew with success. The tallest towers disappeared and Marcel knew that he was to blame because

he dared Zeus the night before to explain the weight of smoke. Zeus employed a method learned from Sir Walter Raleigh long ago…

Sir Walter Raleigh – whose exaggerations were legendary – once told Queen Elizabeth I that he could determine the weight of smoke.

Weigh cigar. Smoke cigar, ashing onto scale. Weigh ashes. Difference between weight of cigar and ashes = weight of smoke.

Why a mortal like Marcel was daring Zeus to do anything was a mystery. Marcel forgot that Zeus had a sick sense of humor.

Had Marcel remembered the story of Leda and the Swan, he’d know not to give Zeus any excuse to interact with mortals directly.

But it was too late. The sky was now “thundering,” but Marcel knew better. It was Zeus, with his deep, bellowing, smoker’s laugh.

Zeus had called his bluff, clearly proving his cosmic superiority. Marcel, undeterred, shouted up to the clouds. “I’m not…

“…deterred!!!”

Zeus was clearly willing to do anything, but Marcel was a man of his word. He paced back and forth, thinking of what to do next.

Eventually he decided to call the fire department. “I need the biggest ladder you’ve got,” he said.

Not the type that took kindly to loaning out equipment, the Chief politely told him to eff off. But Marcel, undeterred as usual,…

Pulled out the yellow pages and looked up

“Ladderrific! For ladders to Zeus.” He dialed the number and heard a recording on the other end say: “You…

doofus. The only way to reach Zeus is via the Unending Escalator, located in…

the 7th stall in the 4th floor ladies washroom of the Marshall Field building. Thank you for your inquiry.” Marcel was elated.

But the elation quickly died down, replaced with skepticism. “God, that recorded voice sounded familiar,” he said aloud.

that swan. “There were so many things I didn’t know about her,” Marcel said before making his way to the Unending Escalator.

A mythology professor from the University of Chicago,

his children, all eight of them, all boys, except one, one girl, one little girl who was the key to this big plan

stood on the sidewalk, watching. “Hey you,” Marcel shouted to the U of Chicago professor. “Can you and your daughter come with me?”

“Either we all come or none of us do,” said the professor. Marcel had no choice. “To the Unending Escalator!” he yelled.

Off they marched to Marshall Field’s, Marcel leading the way. Briefly, a group of tourists followed, thinking it was a guided walk.

In time these tourists fell back, captured by the alleged allure of the American Girl store. At State St., the group realized…

they needed a suitable tribute for Zeus. “A virgin? Gold?” asked the professor. “No,” said Marcel. “Zeus has that. We need…”

They had been walking the wrong way for 20 minutes. Marcel thought, “Is the unending escalator even worth it?”

But he trudged on. “We need…,” he stammered. “We need…we need…What exactly do we need again?”

“The list is clear!” screamed the professor. “We need a Ginger, 7 daisies, and a Hellenologophobic. Zeus loves irony.”

The little girl held on to a plush Alf doll, which Marcel grabbed. “This orange mess of ginger hair works. Surely Zeus has no Alf.”

They then passed a Sbarro, spotting Daisies Fuentes, Duke, Irani, De La Hoya, Foote, Duck and Ms. Daisy having their weekly lunch.

“Our seven daisies!” screamed Marcel as he stopped the group in their tracks. “Someone get them!”

The Daisies jumped up and tried to run for the door. In the commotion, they forgot the exit was a pull door. 7 Daisies, check.

“Ay dios mio,” yelled Fuentes, “my triple cheese slice fell on the floor!” Duke, meanwhile was hollering for her cousins Luke & Bo.

The last thing they needed was a Hellenologophobic. “Be on the lookout for a Hellenologophobic, everyone,” asked Marcel.

“What IS that?” asked the girl. “It’s someone who’s afraid of logos with Hellen in it,” said Marcel. “Duh.”

Marcel thought, “distractions.” All of the sudden the sky changed & it was a massive haboob.

He was mistaken. “Actually, it’s someone afraid of Greek terms,” the professor chimed in. “So like a Roman?” asked his daughter.

A roman or things like aeropostle or anthropology.

As they got to Marshall Field’s, a prison bus drove by. “Look!” screamed the girl, pointed frantically. “It’s Roman Polanski!”

“That’ll do,” said Marcel. “Stop that bus!!” Ms. Daisy, trailing a little behind the rest of the group, jumped in front of the bus.

The haboob was gaining strength & Marcel was the only one who showed concerned.

Thankfully the bus stopped as there is nothing worse than a smushed Daisy! Out stepped the elusive Roman

as the professor guarded his kids. “Stay away!” But Marcel needed a Hellenologophobic, aka a Roman, so Polanski fit the bill.

“Come with us Mr Polanski and all will be well,” said Marcel.

The haboob kept building as Marcel tried to get the ginger, the 7 Daisies & Roman the Hellenologophobic to the Unending Escalator.

Oddly enough the escalator had moved to just inside the door so no one was able to escape its clutches.

First up was Roman, then Alf, a few Daisy’s the professor and the kids.

Then the rest of the Daisies, and bringing up the rear was Marcel.

Ms. Daisy was confused. “Where are we going sir?” she asked Marcel. But Marcel didn’t answer. He kept shoving her up the escalator.

When they reached the top waiting for them was

Zeus. “I’ve been waiting for you,” he said. He exhaled deeply, parting the haboob. “These are for you,” said Marcel, sheepishly.

It was as Robert Plant imagined. A Stairway to Heaven. But to what end? A bunch of flowers in a dust storm hardly seemed worth it.

Zeus looked around. “Ginger, check. 7 Daisies, check. And Roman Polanski??” he asked as he put the Stairway to Heaven record on.

“Damn right,” said Polanski in between Plant’s chorus. Marcel tried to shut him up so he could explain Polanski’s relevance.

“He’s our Hellenologophobic,” explained Marcel. “You know, because he’s ‘a Roman’?” He used air quotes for emphasis.

Suddenly they all started singing along to the song.

“…And she’s buying a stairway to heaven,” Zeus, Marcel, the professor, his 8 kids, Alf, the 7 Daisies and Roman Polanski crooned.

And off into the mist they all went.

THE END

 

Ha! That was an amazing story. It was so funny. One of the better ones we’ve written, and we’ve written some pretty good ones. I’m really happy for Marcel – he made Zeus happy. And let’s face it, if you’re given the option of making Zeus happy or making Zeus upset, you probably want to go with making him happy. So good for him. And good for the 7 Daisies. I’m kind of jealous of them getting to go to Sbarro’s for weekly lunch. But the person I’m definitely NOT jealous of? Roman Polanski. He served a purpose.

 

Thanks to myself for supplying the photo. Just kidding. Kind of. And thanks to all of the writers. You guys really brought it. @nella22, who almost always is one of the first ones to jump in and always makes me laugh. @officerpupp, who’s a newb but acted nothing like one. @FeliciaCago, who tried as hard as she could to end the story after 4 lines, but we wouldn’t let her. @swanieson, who stuck with me all the way to the end to wrap things up. @jsetlak, owner of the triple-tweet, who this time came through with the quintuple tweet. @hwtibbs, whose obscure references has me googling stuff all the time. @Chrisa_Hickey, who’s great at cutting right to things. @_Benny_K, who’s getting more involved each week, which is awesome. @jimmydoestea, who can tweet all pronouns and I’ll still laugh. @vnarvasa, who scolded me for not giving her a heads up that I was writing a story. And last but not least, @rickmurray, who snuck a line in right at the end that led us to a different story ending.

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Star Crossed

“Why you gotta be frontin’?” she yelled as her friends and ponies tried to hold her back.

This was starting to irritate Luna, who had been living w/ this pressure for the past 5 years. Running into Star, her stomach turned

beneath her purple dress. But she couldn’t let Star know that. Instead, she kept yelling, puffing out her chest, acting tough.

“Take that nasty ass blonde weave outta my face. You ain’t foolin’ no one, biatch,” she continued.

Luna lunged at Star, grabbing her hair. Pony, the pink pony, tried to separate them. “My hair!” screamed Star. “Give it back!”

Luna waved the weave defiantly as Star watched in horror, hairless. No one knew why Luna was livid, just that she was.

“Who did you sleep with to get to model the ball gown?” Luna whined. She was stuck in a jumper that was more appropriate to Skipper.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” sneered Star. “Yes I would,” responded Luna candidly. “That’s why I asked.” Star was caught off guard.

“You always think you’re so much smarter than everyone, Luna,” said Star. “But if you’re so smart, how come I’m in the ball gown?”

Mother knocked on the door. “Star, honey, please open up. Maybe you should put the dolls down and come to dinner with us.”

“My precious… my precious unicorn ponies,” Star mumbled incoherently. Then, louder, “Coming, mother. Just a second.”

Star’s mother worried about her. Star didn’t leave the house much, and she was always trying to shave Luna, their cute Pomeranian.

In fact, ever since she’d fallen asleep while watching a Jem marathon, Star hadn’t been the same. Ears raw from the many rounds…

of ear pulling, she’d taken to walking around the house in bejeweled stirrup pants. Her homework was signed Jerrica Benton. It…

reminded Mother of her Aunt Jeanne, upstate in a sanitarium. Poor Jeanne – half Carol Burnett, half Ethel Merman. Mother wasn’t…

about to let another daughter end up like Jeanne, not again, not again…

Not after she already lost Astor, her oldest. Most days, you could find her staring at doors, trying to open them with her eyes.

“Kids!” Mother yelled. “Time to go to Olive Garden!” Mother and Star went outside, but Astor stood still, staring at the doorknob.

Astor petted Luna. “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.” Mother gave up and promised bread sticks.

Star came back inside to get Astor and dragged her away from Luna. But when they got outside, Mother was nowhere to be found.

They searched for her inside and out, noticing her car was still in the driveway. Where could Mother have “flown” to this time?

Luna heard Star mumbling to herself, “mommy in the can… mommy… the garbage.” Luna’s eyes widened in horror. She runs towards

their garbage can, behind the car. Tears are welling up, in her eyes as she reaches to open the lid. She gasps, shocked by what she

just realized – Luna, the Pomeranian, not only understands what humans say, but can move around like one too. Star’s jaw drops.

Hiding inside of the garbage can, was her mother, Luna always feared this day would come. Her aunt Jeanne had the same

…fate. Star is stunned. Like a robot she starts tweeting feverishly instead of calling 911. All of the sudden…

she gets a DM from her father, who had been in prison for the past 10 years and was now…ON TWITTER?!

Luna can’t help noticing the perplexed look, on Star’s face. What’s wrong with her; and why hasn’t she called for help? Then

without any warning their mother jumps out of the garbage can, tears all of her clothes off, running down the street screaming…

…”I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!” to which Luna (now human form) and Star looked at each other and shrugged. Meanwhile, Father was

contemplating, as he braids his lover’s hair. Should I tweet her? Such a delicate child; but she needs to know, I’m in love with…

in love w Ricky Martin… He bangs, he bangs! Here we go! Closet drummer, too. He starts to tweet her &…

then gets distracted by THE HONEY BADGER! Like the Honey Badger he said, “I don’t care. I don’t give a sh*t!”

“Whoa watch out, says that bird (from a bird’s eye view). Star still hasn’t heard from her Dad, but she starts to hear drums…

not just any kind of drums but a super clean drum line. Snares, Tenors, Bass. The whole shebang. Well it is that time of year…

Luna looks at Star & says, “Is today a holiday?” Rounding the corner, on their street, is a fully dressed marching band, led by…

Mother, in marching gear. “What happened to the bread sticks from Olive Garden you promised?” asked Star. Astor was dumbfounded.

“In a minute,” Mother yelled in between the first and second verse of Poker Face. Star and Astor sang along, drawn in by the beat.

Star didn’t notice mom leading the band w/breadsticks, in hand. After the final verse, she threw the bread sticks at Star saying…

What a day… we need to get those bread sticks from the Olive Garden and get ready for Shark Week. Tired, they hugged &…

peeled away from the marching band. They jumped in the car, headed to Olive Garden, & ate unlimited salad and bread sticks.

THE END

 

Whoa. Just whoa. I don’t even know what happened in this story. It was really hard to follow, and normally I’m pretty good at keeping the storyline on track. What started out as a fight turned into a kid’s imagination, which then turned into a streaking Mom, a human-like Pomeranian, Ricky Martin and unlimited salad and bread sticks at Olive Garden. I could barely keep up. All I know is Astor and Star are two lucky girls for finally being able to chow on those delicious, garlicky logs of heaven. I’m jealous.

Thanks to @kikiandkyle for the photo, which started this wild tale. And thanks to all those who wrote. The vets – @nella22, @Chrisa_Hickey, @jimmydoestea and @hwtibbs – you guys always make me laugh. And we had a bunch of newbs – @_Benny_K, @javilabbe, @vnarvasa, @honey_badger_, @Guert – which is awesome. You guys carried the end of the story. Hope you all contribute again next time.

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Doin’ Time

“Man, those look so good,” he thought. Anything would. He hadn’t eaten in days.

4 days exactly, since arriving in prison. Chaz didn’t mind being called Mr. Fluffles, but the pebbles they offered him to eat

were not of the fruity kind like he was expecting but instead were of the garden variety and laced with some sort of foul tasting

butter. Chaz loved butter. But butter didnt go with pebbles. Butter went with toast. He’d do anything for buttered toast. Anything.

Up to and including pouncing on an unsuspecting Dougie the bread delivery man who lives next door.

Chaz still couldn’t believe that mousy lawyer of his couldn’t beat the rap. Guess he should have stuck with the rat,

Feral, they said! Really? “How could I have possibly kept my mane this pristine if I was wild?! Unless they knew about

the membership he had to the Cat Beauty Club for Convicts.

CBCC included daily milk baths and all the mackerel he could eat. Great for the coat! And weekly hairball extraction.

Chaz paid dues for the membership in cigarettes. It’s what you do in prison. He had a guy on the outside who’d smuggle them in.

Though when you pay with candy cigarettes it takes a lot more of them.

Hence the poofy mane. Looks good & helps hide the stash of cigs. It’s a vicious cycle, really. One that Chaz was looking to break.

He’d tried 12 step programs to overcome his candy cigarette hiding addiction. If only there had been warnings on the packages.

So here he sits. Jonesin’ for that high only street candy can give. Those big yellow lollipops out the window calling his name.

If only he never hid candy cigarettes in his fur. If only he didn’t join the CBCC. If only he never robbed that bank. If only.

After a while they turned from lollipops to resemble the heads of this siblings, whom he hadn’t seen since…

Since who can remember, with the candy jones clouding his feline brain. He was so hungry now, he could eat one of his siblings.

“Cats with the poofy mane are always up to something, but never taken seriously.” He thought to himself. I need to break out.

Suddenly Chaz had an idea that might shorten his sentence. Design packaging for those evil candy cigs w/pictures of decayed teeth.

He could also alter his identity with a haircut. “Hey Rico,” he yelled to the resident inmate barber. “You still got a 4:30 open?”

“Not if you want another permanent wave,” Rico yelled back.

“I need to look like someone else,” he thought. “No, no,” he replied to Rico “I’m thinking a mullet will do the trick.”

“Business in front, paaarrrty in the back,” cooed Rico. “Of course he digs that,” said a voice from solitary. “He’s a hairdresser.”

Behind the bars the face of Chaz’s favorite hellraiser Jack Murphy appeared, grinning in his familiar half-crazy way.

Jack Murphy though was the one that got Chaz into this whole conundrum in the first place.

If only he hadn’t raised his prices for mullets and got Chaz hooked on the imported milk bath.

“Hey Rico,” yelled Murphy. “You think I could borrow those scissors when you’re done?” Just then, Officer Friendly came by.

Friendly’s name was a misnomer, as he was anything but. It was rumored he’d killed a man during a cell search. Chaz was very…

…tall for a beagle. Don’t let those cute little ears fool you. He was no Snoopy. As he walked by, Chaz whispered….

“The cat flies at midnight.” Friendly smacked his billy club on the wall. “Shut it, you cat, or Beagle, or whatever you are.”

Friendly had trouble identifying criminal animals, aka crinimals. He was always confusing himself, a Beagle, with Chaz, the cat.

It’s why Friendly left the camaraderie of the police force for the isolation of the criminal system. The ridicule bruised his ego.

Chaz looked anxiously at the clock, pacing back and forth. “It’s 4:20, Rico” he yelled. “We’re still on for my 4:30, right?”

“Yes,yes, the mullet,” Rico answered. “But why do you need my scissors?”

“I don’t,” said Chaz, now with a mullet. “He does.” He pointed to Jack Murphy in solitary. “Ahhh,” said Rico. “That makes sense.”

But it didn’t make sense to Jack. He’d been told by Friendly to get them away from Rico. He just couldn’t figure out the reason.

He suspected it was because of the increasing number of inmates with mullets. In their uniforms, it was hard to tell them apart.

That explains how Dax escaped during the annual football game. He went long down the sideline & kept going, unnoticed into freedom.

And with this year’s game tomorrow, Chaz had similar plans. But he needed help. Someone on the inside to unlock the gates.

Lucky for Chaz he had a sympathtic fellow inmate that had been working on an escape plan and was willing to spring Chaz for the sum

of 22 candy cigarettes. But Chaz still needed help on the inside. If he could just talk to that quiet new guard Dempsey.

Dempsey had a thing for kitties (he always used that “p” word) and Chaz was sure his knowing Dempsey’s secret would sway him.

Dempsey’s quiet and unassuming demeanor was a facade to cover

the fact that he spent time in the joint when he was younger. He had sympathy for the inmates & was dying for one to approach him.

Chaz approached during lunch, putting up a front to seem tougher than he was. “Psst. Word is you got a soft spot for cats like me.”

He tried really hard not to laugh at his “cats” pun. He bit his lip & furrowed his brow, waiting to see how Dempsey would respond.

Dempsey growled back “scat cat” but slipped him a piece of paper.

It read: Doors open fur game at 11:30. Doors open fur u at 12:40. Chaz winked, then yelled,”I ain’t no scaredy cat.” Again, a front.

He was shaking in his non-existent boots and dropped the paper as he walked away.

Moments later, Warden Raton, making his daily rounds, happened upon the slip of paper.

Thankfully the warden was slightly dyslexic and read it as game is at 3:11 and the doors open fur you at 4:21.

The clock was approaching 12:30 and Chaz made his way to the outer lock.

He spotted Dempsey walking away from the doors, and he knew it was only minutes until his freedom. The clock struck 12:27.

Hearing the hum of the locking mechanism beginning to open, Chaz tightened his spine; ready to spring.

12:30. As Dempsey promised, the doors opened. Chaz sprang out to freedom, just as the inmates scored a touchdown on a flea flicker.

Chaz was running free, past the yellow flowers. The guards paid him no attention. They were in a dogfight on the football field.

And Dempsey was right behind…remember, he had a thing for kitties!

And so Chaz was able to safely run free to meet up with his long lost family.

And the two ran off until they became dots. Chaz after his family. Dempsey, the horndog, after Chaz.

THE END

Whew! That was a long one. (That’s what she said.) I’m really happy for Chaz. He deserved freedom. He deserved to break free from his candy cigarette hiding addiction. He deserved a new ‘do from Rico the prison hairdresser. Not so sure he deserved Dempsey, but hey, what can you do?

Thanks so much to you all for contributing to this story. Thanks @lilmissjen for the amazing photo, which I believe you snapped in a window in New York City. We had a new writer today – @Sean_Heffernan. Thanks for joining, and I hope you enjoyed. And thanks to all the veteran writers – @LundieP, @swanieson, @paulmtracy, @elderberryjam, @jsetlak, @ParkRidgeDDS, @courtcan, @adelamiz, @Sean_Heffernan, @Chrisa_Hickey and @hwtibbs. This one had deep character development, so an extra thanks to @swanieson and @paulmtracy for hanging in at the end and helping me finish.

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