Gustav

There once was a rather large goose named Gustav.  He lived on a very sunny pond surrounded by little houses and bushes and trees.  The pond was full of ducks and geese to keep things lively, frogs and crickets to sing all night long, and fish that liked to jump high out of the water just so that the sun would shine off their backs.  It doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Gustav’s life would have been quite perfect except for the fact that Gustav couldn’t fly, and so he was stuck on the pond forever.  You see, Gustav had been born with a bad wing.  It wouldn’t move like it was supposed to; it hung down almost to the ground, and it was a little ragged around the edges.

Gustav didn’t mind the wing terribly.  He liked the little pond and didn’t particularly want to leave and besides, if he turned just right, the loose wing blocked the wind and kept his feet warm.

The biggest problem with the wing was that it kept Gustav from really fitting in.  The other geese on the pond didn’t ever stay long.  They flew away before Gustav had even gotten to ask each member of the flock their name, and Gustav could never tag along on their winter vacations.  And to be quite honest, they weren’t very interested in Gustav either.  They kind of ignored him, all because of his silly old wing.

And Gustav didn’t quite fit in with the ducks, either.  At bathtime, they always looked like they were having so much fun and Gustav wanted to join in.  So, to get their attention and let them know what a fun-loving goose he was, Gustav would cannonball right into the middle of their bathtime party.  However, Gustav, as I said, was a rather large bird and the waves that his cannonball created half drowned most of the ducks and sent the rest of them sailing down to the other edge of the pond, where they would gather together in a tight knot and cluck at him suspiciously.

Winter time was the quietest time around the pond.  All the animals and fish and insects left or went into their burrows or deep under the water.  Each little family or flock could keep each other company, but Gustav was stuck on his own.

It wasn’t that he didn’t stay warm.  He had made himself a lovely little nest in the bushes on the far bank of the pond, and he could curl up in there amid discarded feathers and crunchy fall leaves, wrap his loose wing around his feet and sleep quite warmly and comfortably.

But he did get bored.  On a rather warm day one winter, while he was trying to amuse himself, he decided to see if he liked living in a burrow like some of the animals.  So, while his neighbor Barnaby the Badger was out collecting some extra padding for his hole, Gustav decided to crawl inside and see how he liked it.

Unfortunately, Gustav got quite stuck.  Poor Barnaby came back to goose tail feathers and wildly flapping webbed feet sticking out his front door and had to spend two hours digging Gustav out.  He didn’t get mad, but he didn’t share any of his soft moss with Gustav either.

Gustav limped his way back to his own nest and settled down to let his ruffled feathers relax.  He was feeling a little sad.  What would it take to be really, truly happy?

to be continued.

The Wrong House

“His face haunts me to this day.” These words were written on a cocktail napkin in purple ink. I stared, mesmerized by the droplets of blood that stained the suicide note. The old lady, missing the right side of her head, was slumped over the desk. What the hell have I gotten myself into? I was a semi-professional thief, and this had looked like an easy score. One old lady. No family. No problems.

A gold watch caught my eye. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I slipped the watch off her wrist and pocketed it. I hesitated at the nine-millimeter berretta. I had a pistol; I didn’t need her suicide weapon.

This was going to be easier than I thought. I walked down the hallway and into the kitchen. I grabbed a Pepsi from the fridge and took a sip. Damn, that tasted good.

AGHHHHH!

I dropped the Pepsi and fell to my knees at the sound of the scream. What the hell was that? Reaching under my shirt, I slipped the Glock out of my waistband.

AGHHHHH!

Damnit, someone else must be in the house. I crawled across the ceramic tiles, stopped at the edge of the island bar and peeked around the corner. Nothing moved. I crept to the hallway wall, stood up and risked another peek. The only light shone from the room where the dead woman was. Run like hell, man. Can’t, damnit, I gotta pay rent with this score. 

I turned into the hallway, pistol leading the way. I slid against the wall and stopped at the edge of the room. No distorted light shown or any other indication that someone was in the room.

 I jumped into the doorway. My eyes caught some movement, and I yelled, “Freeze, mother fucker!” A translucent figure floated in front of the old lady. He cocked his head to the side and showed a mouthful of black teeth. I squeezed off three shots. The first one busted out the window behind him, and the following two caught the dead woman in the back. What the hell?

His laugh echoed throughout the room. I spun out the doorway and ran to the end of the hall. Dropping down to one knee, I aimed the pistol at the doorway. What the hell you gonna shoot, dumbass? Your last bullets went through the dude. I laid the gun down on the tile then wracked my brain for an idea. How do you fight a damn ghost?

If that priest from the exorcist was here, I bet he’d know. Wait a second, that’s it. I need a Bible. Maybe if I hit him with a Bible, some type of supernatural energy would release and take out the damn thing.

The figure floated into the hallway, looked around, and spotted my position. His eyes glowed bright green. Where the hell would she have a Bible? Old people usually kept an oversized Bible on the coffee table in their living room. That’s exactly what I needed, the bigger the better. I dove across the hallway, rolled, and popped up like a fucking gymnast. Frantically, I searched the room. Damnit, where is it? I saw the Bible on top of the entertainment center, next to the television.

 Hands grabbed my neck, jerking me away from the Bible. I reached out behind me and came up with nothing but air. Fighting for breath, I grasped the side of the entertainment center, and attempted to pull myself out of Ghost-man’s death grip. I couldn’t loosen his hold. Allowing my body to go slightly limp, I planted my feet on the floor and bent my knees then shoved off with all my strength pulling on the entertainment center at the same time. He lost his grip, and I crashed to the floor. Dazed and gasping for breath, I looked up in time to see the fifty-two inch flat screen slam into my face.

I opened my eyes and immediately closed them. Why me, God? Opening them back up, I stared into the faces of two ghosts. One held a can of gasoline, and an old lady flicked a lighter. A heavy chain pinned my body against the trunk of a tree. I struggled against the chains as the recently deceased woman floated toward me, but they had bound well. She leaned over and lit the bottom of my Levis. As the flames spread up my body, I glanced at my murderer and damned if she wasn’t laughing at me.

 

Yesterday and today’s daily 500 minus 250 I edited.

“His face haunts me to this day.” The words were written on a cocktail napkin in purple ink. I stared, mesmerized by the droplets of blood that stained the suicide note. The old lady, missing the right side of her head, was slumped over the desk. What the hell have I gotten myself into? I was a semi-professional thief, and this had looked like an easy score. One old lady. No family. No problems.

A gold watch caught my eye. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I slipped the watch off her wrist and pocketed it. I hesitated at the nine-millimeter berretta. I had a pistol; I didn’t need her suicide weapon.

This was going to be easier than I thought. I walked down the hallway and into the kitchen. I grabbed a Pepsi from the fridge and took a sip. Damn, that tasted good.

AGHHHHH!

I dropped the Pepsi and fell to my knees at the sound of the scream. What the hell was that? Reaching under my shirt, I slipped the Glock out of my waistband.

AGHHHHH!

Damnit, someone else must be in the house. I crawled across the ceramic tiles, stopped at the edge of the island bar and peeked around the corner. Nothing moved. I crept to the hallway wall, stood up and risked another peek. The only light shone from the room where the dead woman was. Run like hell, man. Can’t, damnit, I gotta pay rent with this score. 

I turned into the hallway, pistol leading the way. I slid against the wall and stopped at the edge of the room. No distorted light shown or any other indication that someone was in the room.

 I jumped into the doorway. My eyes caught some movement, and I yelled, “Freeze, mother fucker!” A translucent figure floated in front of the old lady. He cocked his head to the side and showed a mouthful of black teeth. I squeezed off three shots. The first one busted out the window behind him, and the following two caught the dead woman in the back. What the hell?

His laugh echoed throughout the room. I spun out the doorway and ran to the end of the hall. Dropping down to one knee, I aimed the pistol at the doorway. What the hell you gonna shoot, dumbass? Your last bullets went through the dude. I laid the gun down on the tile then wracked my brain for an idea. How do you fight a damn ghost?

If that priest from the exorcist was here, I bet he’d know. Wait a second, that’s it. I need a Bible. Maybe if I hit him with a Bible, some type of supernatural energy would release and take out the damn thing.

The figure floated into the hallway, looked around, and spotted my position. His eyes glowed bright green. Where the hell would she have a Bible? Old people usually kept an oversized Bible on the coffee table in their living room. That’s exactly what I needed, the bigger the better. I dove across the hallway, rolled, and popped up like a fucking gymnast. Frantically, I searched the room. Damnit, where is it? I saw the Bible on top of the entertainment center, next to the television.

 Hands grabbed my neck, jerking me away from the Bible. I reached out behind me and came up with nothing but air. Fighting for breath, I grasped the side of the entertainment center, and attempted to pull myself out of Ghost-man’s death grip. I couldn’t loosen his hold. Allowing my body to go slightly limp, I planted my feet on the floor and bent my knees then shoved off with all my strength pulling on the entertainment center at the same time. He lost his grip, and I crashed to the floor. Dazed and gasping for breath, I looked up in time to see the fifty-two inch flat screen slam into my face.

I opened my eyes and immediately closed them. Why me, God? Opening them back up, I stared into the faces of two ghosts. One held a can of gasoline, and an old lady flicked a lighter. A heavy chain pinned my body against the trunk of a tree. I struggled against the chains as the recently deceased woman floated toward me, but they had bound well. She leaned over and lit the bottom of my Levis. As the flames spread up my body, I glanced at my murderer and damned if she wasn’t laughing at me.