Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Phantom Children

Hello All:
It's been some weeks since the Kim Kardashian butt pic shocker was released. I think it might have been around Thanksgiving that we were bombarded with images of the glistening, naked flesh of her double-pumped butt. Now, almost Christmas, it's officially old news and the world has moved on.
But recently, the Kardashian publicity stunt was brought up during a discussion in which I happened to be nearby.
I added my two-cents. "I'm actually disappointed in the picture. I mean if Kim Kardashian is going to show off her prized naked butt, does she have to lather it up in (what appears to be) petroleum jelly?"
Actually, I've made this point in a few Kardashain discussions with people in recent weeks. And the response I get from people is confusing to me. You see; they don't get it! They don't understand my complaint. What could I possibly mean by being disappointed that she lathered her ass up in petroleum jelly?
Well, you see, I'm the sort of guy who enjoys the sight of a simple, naked ass. And I'm sure Kim Kardashian has a beautiful ass. But greasing it up (to me) defiles that Heavenly glory of a woman's ass. Check out the woman’s beautiful ass in this photo. See how plain and simple it is? You can see it for what it truly is. Gorgeous...
***
Today's featured writing is a brand new story. I never so much as hint to what the phantom children are. I don't think that even I do. What's your theory?

Phantom Children
Dawn spoke with her senior citizen mother on the telephone, Friday afternoon, while listening to the whoas and silly problems that the elderly typically encounter.
“I turned my TV on and all I could see was static.” explained Mother. “There was no picture. So I called the TV people and they sent some guy out to look at it.”
Dawn interrupted, “The TV people? You mean the cable company, Mom?”
“Yeah, them.” she answered. “Anyway, there’s some box that sits on my TV. I guess it wasn’t on. He turned it on, and now my TV works.”
“That’s called a converter, Mom.” informed Dawn. “Yes, that needs to be on so your TV can receive cable.”
“Well what’s cable?”
Dawn sighed. “It’s the service that you pay for each month to get good reception on your TV.—remember?”
“Oh, yeah… right… So I need to keep that box on for it to work?”
“Yes Mother…” Dawn silently reminded herself of how thankful she was that her eighty-six-years-old mother could still live alone and get around. Having difficulty understanding modern-day technology wasn’t anything to get too concerned about. But then there were those other problems that Dawn couldn’t take so lightly. You see, Dawn’s mother was a victim of regular neighborhood harassment.
“And those darned kids kept bothering me last night. I could hardly sleep.” continued Mother.
“Oh no!” answered Dawn. “Why don’t you call the police?”
“Oh I have! It’s just that by the time the police get here, the kids are gone. The police say that they are going to watch my house at night, but they never see anything.”
“And you’re sure you are just not dreaming, Mom?”
Mother laughed, “No, they keep me awake. I hear them. They started last night by ringing the telephone. Of course I had to answer it. I mean what if it was you trying to get a hold of me? But as usual, they hung up once I answered. All I could hear was the dial tone. I lay down and slept for about an hour. Then all of the sudden someone was ringing and ringing the door. It scared the living daylights out of me. I was thinking, ‘What in the world is going on?’ And as usual, by the time I got to the door, they were gone—the ding dong ditch.”
Dawn suggested, “We should really get some security cameras installed for you, Mom.  This has gone on far enough. I would really like to catch the little brats who are doing this.”
“Oh… I suppose…” commented Mother.  “But it might be just something extra for me to worry about. I mean I can’t even work my TV these days.”
“You wouldn’t have to worry about the cameras, Mom. We would take care of that for you.”
“Really?” asked Mother with a note of surprise. “You mean I wouldn’t have to operate them.”
“Nope!” reassured Dawn.
“Well, maybe you and Dan could come over some time and set them up.” Then Mother continued with her relaying of last night’s events. “And you’re not going to believe what else they did!”
“What? What did they do?”
“I lay back down, and someone was suddenly knocking on my bedroom window.”
Dawn gasped.
“I turned the bedroom light on and went over to the window and told them to go away.”
“Mom, I don’t like the sound of this. I mean that could be someone trying to break into your house and rob you. Are you sure you’re going to be okay by yourself?”
“Oh, I’ll be fine.” reassured Mother. “I really think it’s just a bunch of kids messing around with an old lady. It just bothers me. It interrupts my sleep at night.”
“Well, Mom, I think the time has come for us to put up some security cameras around the outside of your home. We can show the video footage to the police, and they will be able to identify who is causing you all that grief.”
“That sounds like a great idea. Maybe we can do that this weekend.”
***
Several hours later, Friday night, eighty-six-year-old, Bernice, nervously patrolled her house. She made sure all the windows were locked and that the garage door was shut. She really looked forward to Sunday when Dawn and her husband would come over to install those cameras. For now she would have to endure the shenanigans of the neighborhood kids. But tonight was different. Tonight was a night that she would finally take matters into her own hands and beat those pesky kids at their game.
Tonight, Bernice did the most unusual thing. Rather than lock her front door, she simply closed it without engaging the lock. Then she put a broomstick near the front door to be used as a weapon. Whoever kept coming to the door, night after night, to play ding dong ditch surely would not expect what the old lady had planned.
Bernice followed her usual ritual of turning off the lights and going to bed. Then she waited; waited for all those shenanigans from the neighborhood children to begin.
A half-hour passed: no harassment from the kids. An hour passed: Bernice fell asleep. Then, about half-past midnight the telephone rang.
Bernice rolled out of bed, staggered over to the telephone in the kitchen, and answered it. “Hello?”
There was only silence.
Bernice knew there was someone on the other end—probably the kids—and used the opportunity to issue her warning. “If you kids think this is going to be another night of the usual shenanigans, you’ve got another thing coming. You’re not going to like what’ll happen, tonight.”
Whoever was on the other end apparently hung up. The harsh dial tone could soon be heard.
“That’s right…” mumbled Bernice. “Keep playing around…” She staggered back into the bedroom and crawled into bed.
But no sooner had she done this, the doorbell rang which was followed by aggressive pounding at the door.
Bernice sighed. “I warned them…” she slowly got out of bed, and staggered through the darkened hallway until reaching the kitchen to the location of the back door. In nothing but pajamas and in her bare feet, Bernice quietly stepped out into the backyard, and cut around the side of the house until reaching the front. With the main entryway finally into view, she spotted a hoodlum, perhaps, no more than twelve-years-old on the porch. His back was turned to her, and he apparently learned that the door was unlocked. The boy actually had the door opened a crack!
Outraged, yet equally terrified, Bernice tiptoed up to the porch until reaching the boy. By now he managed to have the front door open just enough to slip through. He was about to quietly shut it, but Bernice pushed the door open and shoved him inside.
“Ah ha! I’ve got you, you little hoodlum!” She closed the door, backed him into a corner and seized him. “How dare you?” she shouted while shaking the living daylights out of the boy.  “How dare you cause so much trouble like this? Back in my day, kids who got into mischief were severely dealt with. And seeing that your parents obviously don’t care what you do, I’m the one who’s going to deal with you.”
Bernice quickly reached for the broomstick that she had set in the corner before going to bed.
Backed into the wall, the boy had no choice but to turn and hide his face. He was trapped against a wall with a stark raving old lady who had every intention of using a broomstick as a deadly weapon.
The broom made a loud whooshing noise as is stuck the boy’s behind, which was followed by a painful “WHACK…! WHACK…! WHACK…!”
The angry blows shocked the boy with so much pain that it made it difficult to breathe. He gasped and struggled to suck in air while squirming and reacting to the beating.
“WHACK…! WHACK…! WHACK…!”
In a desperate attempt, the boy turned and held his hand out to defend against the strikes. It was his intention to try and grab the broomstick from the old lady. But she knew his plan, and quickly dodged the boy’s effort; then struck him low at the side of his knee. It must have been a serious blow, for he fell to the ground and buried his face under his arms.
 “WHACK…! WHACK…! WHACK…!”  The old lady continued to beat the boy with the fury of Hell.
“Take that! And that! And that! You rotten, little hoodlum; I’ll make so your friends have to carry you home!”
“WHACK…! WHACK…! WHACK…!” On the last blow, the broomstick broke in half. The old lady threw both ends on top of the boy who only lay there motionless.
“Now get up!” Bernice ordered.
The boy didn’t move a muscle.
“Get up!” she kicked him in the ribs.
The boy remained still, lifeless.
“Do you hear me?” Bernice bent down and pulled the boy’s hair at the back of his head to lift his face. Then she released and his face hit the floor. “Are you alive?” she asked. “You’re not dead, are you?” Bernice placed her finger under the boy’s nose and soon realized that he was not breathing. She wrapped her fingers and thumb around his neck to feel for the jugular vein, but there was no pulse.
“Oh no…” Bernice cried out. Only moments ago, Bernice was a stark raving lunatic with the fury of Hell. Now she was regretful and deeply saddened. “He’s dead… I killed him… Oh no… Oh no… Oh, dear, what am I going to do…?” She paced the floors back and forth with hands folded near the chest. “What am I going to do? I can’t call the police or the paramedics. They’ll lock me up. I’m too old to go to jail… Oh, why didn’t I just let them have one more night and let Dawn and Dan set up those cameras?”
Then, an elaborate and gruesome plan was quickly hatched that would make it possible for Bernice to cover the horrible crime she had committed. It happened all so quickly. Maybe it was leftover from the rage that now combined with dreadful worry; but she suddenly had the ability to lift the boy’s legs in the air and drag him across the tiled floor, into the bathroom. She wrestled, lifted, and flung the boy’s lifeless body until it was completely in the bathtub. Then the old lady dashed out into the garage for the hand tree saw that hung on the wall near the landscaping equipment. Moments later, she leaned over the bathtub and sawed the boy’s arm from his shoulder.
She sawed and sawed, likened the act to cutting the leg from a Thanksgiving turkey. And when the arm was completely severed from the shoulder—puddles of blood running down the drain—she moved over to the other.
Blood continued to run down the drain. I dare not describe the horrific and gory mess that lay in that bathtub. But at some point while the old lady hacked away at the boy’s leg, he actually came back to life!
The boy cried; tried to scream but was so weak from the incredible amount of blood loss. His arms were both severed from his shoulders. He kicked with his legs… barely.
“Now, now…” began Bernice. “I’m really sorry for doing this. But you leave me with no choice. Night-after-night you kids tormented me and wouldn’t leave me alone. I really didn’t expect to beat you to death… Well at least I thought I did, but I was apparently mistaken. I’m too old to go to jail. And really you kids weren’t being very nice. If you ask me, you get what you deserve. Now it’s time to accept your punishment.”
Bernice continued to lecture the boy as she hacked away at his legs. At some point he lost consciousness—probably died.
Oh… what is that you (the reader) ask? What was Bernice planning to do?
Well, after she had all the boy’s limbs severed from his body and further cut in half, she went out into the garage for a couple of storage bins. She padded the bottoms of the bins with newspaper, and then wrapped the remains of the boy’s limbs in paper towels. These were placed in the storage bin—lid closed—and then carried down to a closet in the basement. Afterwards, she struggled with the boy’s upper torso and dropped it into the second storage bin. It was slid across the tiled floor, to the stairwell and then dragged down where it was stored with the other bin. The closet in the old lady’s basement was now the burial of a twelve-year-old hoodlum who once enjoyed tormenting her.
“Hopefully those kids will take this as a warning…” said Bernice before turning off the lights. She staggered back upstairs and finally went to bed at around 3:30 in the morning.
***
It was Sunday mid-morning, over twenty-four hours since Bernice murdered the boy and stored him in the basement. At around 11:00; her daughter, Dawn, and her husband entered the house.
“Good morning!” the cheerfully greeted.
But Bernice stood there with a deranged look on her face and appeared terribly distraught.
“Oh, Mom!” cried out Dawn. “You look awful! Did those kids keep you awake last night?”
“Listen…” began Bernice. “I need to tell you something, and I need your help.”
“Sure what is it?” asked her son-in-law.
“Okay… On Friday night, those kids were pestering me again. One of them managed to get in the house. I used a broomstick and beat him. I beat him so hard that I killed him.”
Both Dawn and her husband gasped. “Oh my gosh! Did you call the police? What happened?”
“No, I wouldn’t call the police!” snapped Bernice. “Instead, I dragged his body into the bathtub. I cut his legs and arms off with a tree saw. At one point I found out that he was still alive because he came back to life. But I kept sawing him apart until he was finally dead. Then I laid his parts in storage bins and put them in the closet downstairs.”
Down broke down and cried, “Oh, Mom! Why did you do that? Why didn’t you call us for help?”
“But it’s gotten even worse!” continued Bernice. “Last night I could hear him moving around down there. I think he’s come back to life… I KNOW he’s come back to life! And all of his friends were knocking on the windows; trying to break in and rescue him. I went down in the basement this morning, and could see that he was no longer in the bins. There’s no blood or trace of anything ever being in there.”
Poor, old Bernice broke down and knelt on the floor while sobbing. “You have to help me! I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what they’re going to do to me when they come back!”

The End

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (yearly TV Christmas special)

Hello All:
Countdown to Christmas: we now have ten more days until Christmas eve. By now I'm sure you have your decorations and tree up. Here in America, Christmas is a major holiday. We do not wait until the 24th of December to put up the tree. We want as much Christmas as we can get!
I thought I would share with you my favorite outside decoration. Check out our inflatable polar bear that sit, patiently, next to a post that (cannot be seen in the photo) says North Pole. I guess he's waiting for some winter weather and snow. I'm thinking we won't be having polar vortex weather like we did last year. We might not even see snow. Sorry polar bear...
***
You know Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?
The annual Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer recently aired on TV. In response, I traditionally post my yearly review of this classic show. We give it 5 stars, of course! But, I have a few problems with the special!
 Review of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (yearly TV Christmas special)
         You know Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. For centuries, Santa Claus has used these reindeer to navigate the world on Christmas night and deliver all the presents. But on one Christmas, Santa Claus was faced with the possibility of not being able to deliver his toys because the winter storm was so heavy. If it weren't for Rudolph who has a glowing, red nose, Christmas would have been canceled that year. He immediately became a hero for saving Christmas and is every child's favorite reindeer. When children look for Santa Claus in the sky, they often look for Rudolph's glowing, red nose. I remember doing this and would often mistaken air planes or water tower lights for Rudolph.
            But he wasn't always so popular. As the yearly TV show goes on to describe, Rudolph immediately brought shame to Donner (the reindeer who is Rudolph's father). And when Santa Claus came to visit the new reindeer, he was horrified to see that it had a bright, glowing, red nose! And Santa Claus said the most horrible thing to Donner. He said, "Donner, you ought to be ashamed of yourself!" And that's when I immediately had a problem with the story. I couldn't believe that Santa Claus would insult someone just because of a red nose. It made Donner throw mud on Rudolph's nose to cover it up.
            One of the shocking things that my kids point out to me is the fact that Santa Clause is so skinny in the animation. Santa Claus is supposed to be fat and round. And worse yet, Santa Claus is grumpy in the special. Which brings another good point made to me by my kids: Why is everyone so grumpy and mean in the North Pole? It's supposed to be Christmasville when everyone is happy.           
            Take for example; Santa Clause was given a preview of the new elf song for Christmas. But when it was done he totally criticized it. This caused the foreman boss to yell at Hermes the Elf for not being at Elf practice.
            The animation continues to tell the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It shows when Comet was coaching the new reindeer and declared that Rudolph could not join in any reindeer games because of his red nose. But that is, after-all, a main part of the story from the original song. If you think about it, the cruelty that this reindeer and Hermes the Elf experienced could only take place in this bizarre, parallel universe where the North Pole is a not-so-friendly place. So really you can't blame the producers of the animation for making us scratch our heads when watching it.
            But the unlikely environment of the North-Pole isn't the only problem I have with the animated special of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I wasn't too comfortable with the way Sam the Snowman discussed Yukon Cornelius. Since a young boy, I always saw Yukon Cornelius as some guy who had a passion for searching for silver and gold. It wasn't so much his actual quest for the metals themselves, but his adventure for searching for them. But then Sam the Snowman makes this statement, "So what do you think of our friend Yukon Cornelius? It seems like the only thing he cares about is silver and gold." I never agreed with Sam the Snowman.
            Even worse is the song Silver & Gold that Burl Ives (voice of Sam the Snowman) sung. The start of the song seems to illustrate that silver and gold is useless, but then Sam the Snowman points out that it certainly wouldn't be Christmas morning without all the silver and gold decorations on the tree or pretty silver and gold bows on the packages. So what was his point? The song totally contradicted itself. But there just might be a crucial part to the story that many of us have never seen.
            I found out that at the end of the story, Yukon Cornelius found a peppermint mine which yielded an epiphany for him that he was actually in search of peppermint. I know, many people have never seen this part of the show because TV stations pulled the scene to make the allotted time slot. But it's a crucial part of the story!!! Big mistake for the TV stations! Recall that he often tasted the ground for silver and gold but was never satisfied. So I guess in some symbolic way the special was indicating that the magic of Christmas is not something that can be seen, only "tasted" or felt in your heart. In this light, silver and gold is useless because it doesn't taste as wonderful as peppermint. And perhaps this gives clarity to the contradictory song Silver and Gold. Oh, for decades the ending of the story which featured the peppermint mine was omitted from the yearly broadcast. It started to appear again in 1998, but many broadcasts still leave it out. In my opinion, it should stay in because it makes sense out of the silver and gold thing.

King of the Island of Misfit Toys: Who gives him the right?

            The remainder of the story is pretty much predictable. Although a brief stop at the Island of Misfit Toys is an interesting twist. My kids now point out that some of those toys would be really cool to play with. My daughter would like to have a cowboy that rides an ostrich or a spotted elephant. And a water gun that shoots jelly might be a humorous toy as well. Perhaps those kinds of toys were thought to be defects back in the 1960's. But now they would be big hits (ignoring the video games).
            But I have one question about the Island of Misfit Toys: Who the heck is this lion that searches the world every night for toys that are no longer loved? And who gives him the right to take them to a frozen waste-land as punishment for not being loved by a child?
            Rudolph comes home after running away and Santa asks him to lead the sleigh in the snow storm. He rescues the misfit toys and everyone lives happily ever-after. But what about the lion? Now he's all alone on the Island of Misfit Toys. :-(
            

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ace of Clubs--the communicator

Hello All:
In Wednesday's story, fifteen-year-old Melanie received a dream visitation from her Gypsy lover in which he instructed her to construct a magick portal that uses an ordinary deck of playing cards, a bowl of water and a candle. Be sure to read this story if you haven't done so already. I've included links to all the previous Pias the Gypsy stories in case this is your first time visiting.

1. Gypsy
Today's story begins on the morning after his dream visitation. Melanie must now get busy and begin constructing that portal if she wants to pull him from the dream world and into reality.
But there's a little set-back--some drama at home that momentarily distracts Melanie. Will she be able to build her cartomantic portal?
Cartomancy, in case you are unaware, is the art of fortune telling with a deck of playing cards. But Pias the Gypsy apparently has knowledge of more uses with this art. He shares with us an occulted facet of his Gypsy culture.
***
Have a great weekend! And keep those Gypsy secrets a secret!
Ace of Clubs--the communicator
Melanie’s dream visitation from her Gypsy lover, Pias, occurred on Monday night—actually the wee hours of Tuesday morning. And upon waking up for school a few hours later, Melanie created a list of items needed to create her cartomantic portal.
She tore a blank sheet of paper from her social studies notebook and wrote in pencil:
1.    deck of cards (need all 4 aces)
2.    clear bowl from kitchen)
3.    bottle of water (enough to fill bowl)
4.   candle
Then she folded up the sheet of paper and slipped it under the drawer of her desk where the knife was kept. Mother could not find the list because she would surely ask what the items were for.
Melanie had a fresh, never-been-opened deck of playing cards in one of the boxes of her closet. Before selecting an outfit to wear for school that day, she reached in box and found them. She removed the seal from the package, pulled the cards out, and then quickly sorted through them to find all the aces.
“Come-on… Ace, ace, ace… Ah, there’s one!” she flipped the ace of spades on her bed and continued.
“Ace, ace ace…There’s another!” she flipped the ace of hearts on her bed and continued sorting through the entire deck until all four aces had been found.
“I might need this deck in the future. Pias might be showing me more.” She slipped the cards—minus the aces—back in the package and put it in the drawer of her desk.
Nearly an hour later, while standing at edge of her driveway and waiting for the bus, Melanie reached in her inner jacket pocket to remove the ace of clubs card. It had to be ready to present to the bus driver. Melanie cleverly chose the ace of clubs because Pias referred to this card as the communicator. She wished to give the bus driver the secret message that she had received the instructions, last night, in her dreams.
Some minutes later, the bus could finally be seen in the distance. As it neared Melanie's driveway, the flashing lights were activated. The stop sign was extended to warn motorists that a child was boarding the school bus. The door opened and Melanie climbed up the stairs.
"Good morning!" greeted the bus driver.
“Good morning!” answered Melanie as she inconspicuously presented the ace of clubs in her mittened hand. Students sitting in nearby seats who didn’t understand wouldn’t have noticed the card. But the bus driver saw it. Melanie could see it in his eyes. Surely he knew what it meant.
Melanie took a seat while stuffing the ace of clubs back in her inner pocket. The bus rolled off for the next stop. While traveling, the driver momentarily glanced at Melanie through the rearview mirror with his mysterious Gypsy eyes. Upon returning his gaze on the road, he began singing one of his mysterious Gypsy songs that—just like all the others—were in an unrecognizable language. But just as with all the other songs, Melanie knew it was directed at her, and even knew the meaning. The message urged Melanie to be careful with her new knowledge. Just like all facets of Gypsy culture, this mystical knowledge needed to be kept a secret from others. And she had to be careful. Working with the unknown could sometimes be dangerous.
***
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday passed as Melanie slowly collected the necessary items to construct her cartomantic portal. She found a small, clear bowl in one of the kitchen cabinets. She filled up a large, Ziploc freezer bag with water and planned to dump the contents into the bowl on the night of her Gypsy ritual. As for the candle; an actual candle would have been impossible to use for Mother and Father would surely smell either the matches, or the actual candle burning. Melanie’s solution was to sneak downstairs to the basement, into the storage room, where the Christmas tree and decorations were kept. In one of the boxes, Mother had a collection of artificial candles that glowed and flickered like the real flame of a candle. That would have to do. And the battery of the particular candle she brought back to her bedroom still worked! All of these items were safely hidden under the desk drawer of her room, where the knife was kept, so that Mother would not find them.
By Friday afternoon, Melanie came home from school and expected the usual harassment from Mother as she sorted through her book bag and bombarded her with questions about school. But today was different. Today, Mother greeted Melanie at the front door with a grave expression on her face.
“Come in the kitchen and sit down.” ordered Mother.
Worried, Melanie entered the kitchen and took her seat. Did Mother find the hidden items in her room along with the stolen knife?
“I want to talk to you about something very serious, young lady. And I want you to be honest with me, understand?”
Melanie nodded, “Yes…”
Mother began, “Stacy called me...
At the mention of Stacy, Melanie’s face turned flush and her ears became warm.
“She said that she is missing something from her dining room. It was kept in her curio cabinet and was supposed to be given to someone as a gift. Well, it’s not there anymore. And the only suspect she can think of who might have taken it is you. Would you have any idea as to what I’m talking about?”
“No…” answered Melanie as her heart rate increased.
“Well why do you look nervous?”
Melanie shrugged her shoulders. “I’m not. I’m just upset that Stacy would blame me.”
Mother gave her daughter one, final warning. “Melanie, I’m not going to ask you again. Don’t make me mad. Did you take that knife out of Stacy’s curio cabinet? She says that you were the only person who sat in that dining room all week.”
Melanie cried out, “Mom, I didn’t take it!”
“You’re lying!” screamed Mother. “I can’t believe this is happening!” With that, Mother got up from her chair, stormed out of the kitchen and up the stairs into her daughter’s bedroom.
Melanie quickly followed. When Mother wasn’t in sight, she grabbed the knot in her stomach and took a few, deep breaths. She wished with all her heart that Mother wouldn’t find the knife, or the items collected throughout the week to build her cartomantic portal. Surely this was how Pias felt many years ago when the police came looking for the girl he abducted. Somehow he managed to control the fear while continuing to hide his secret. And surely countless other Gypsies who stole items, only to be nearly caught, must have endured the same. They all learned to mask their anxiety while keeping the stolen valuables occulted from those who searched for them. Melanie had to learn how to do this.
“Where is it?” Mother shouted from the bedroom as Melanie ran up the stairs. “Tell me now! I know you have it!”
“I don’t have anything, Mother!”
By the time Melanie entered her bedroom, Mother had all the blankets, sheets, and pillows torn off the bed with mattress and box spring overturned.
“I will find it! And then you’ll be in big trouble!” warned Mother. Next Mother opened up the top dresser drawer and threw all of Melanie’s undergarments on the floor—one by one. When the drawer was empty, she moved to the second drawer and threw each sweater on the floor. Summer clothes drawer, t-shirts drawer and pajama drawer; every item was tossed into a heaping pile on the floor until the entire dresser was empty.
All the while, Melanie wouldn’t dare think of what she feared most. Mother might read her mind and follow through with it. But as far as Melanie could see, the drawers weren’t being pulled out. Hopefully the same would hold true with the desk.
In a crazed frenzy, Mother rushed over to the desk and began throwing items out of all the drawers. Pencils, paperclips, old notebooks, small toys, old homework assignments and books; they were all thrown near the heaping pile of clothes.
When Mother reached the final desk drawer near the floor—the drawer that Melanie had been pulling out to hide things under—the most sickening fear and adrenaline could be felt. She almost fell weak at the knees and collapsed.
“You’ve got so much junk in this drawer that I can’t even open it!” yelled Mother. But if she knew the truth—the fact that her daughter had been pulling it out of its track throughout the week—she would realize that this was the hiding place. Instead, Mother threw each item out on the floor and then slammed the drawer shut.
“You will pick all of this up when I’m done!” informed Mother. “Now where is the knife?”
“I don’t have it, Mother!
“You lie!” screamed Mother while rushing over to her daughter. “Do you know what they do to thieves? They put them in jail where they belong! How did my daughter turn into a thief?” In an uncontrollable rage she grabbed Melanie at the sides of each shoulder and violently shook her. “I ought to shake the living daylights out of you!” And when she grew tired of shaking her daughter, Mother hauled off and smacked Melanie across each cheek.
Melanie cried from the pain of being smacked, not to mention all the drama overload.
To wrap up the investigation, Mother went through each, individual pocket of Melanie’s pants, blouses and jackets that hung in the closet. She pulled each box off the shelf and overturned the contents on the floor—games, collector’s items, stuffed animals and the likes.
“You’re grounded, young lady! No dinner tonight! And this room will be cleaned before you go to bed!” Mother stormed out of the bedroom and down the stairs.
Grounded? Melanie’s entire life was nothing but grounded. What else was new? And it seemed Mother had in mind to starve her child by not allowing her to eat dinner on a regular basis. She’ll just have to sneak downstairs and steal some food when Mother and Father were sleeping.

To be continued…

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cartomancy

Hello All:
Here in Chicago-land, the Illinois Tollway has graciously constructed and opened an exchange ramp that runs from the I-57 to the I-294 and vice-versa. I'm a big fan of this new addition to the highways as it saves me much time in my daily commute.
I believe the word that is used to describe such a ramp that runs up and over one highway to eventually merge is called a "flyover". And the word, flyover, certainly applies in this situation. Check out the video I recorded of my cruise on this flyover. We are taken up in the air and twisted through a nice curve, then brought down again where we go through a tunnel. I also appreciate how we are not fully merged onto the I-294 until--perhaps--a quarter of a mile of traveling.
Great job Illinois Tollway! I give the 57/294 exchange five stars. We've been waiting for this for a long time!

Today's featured writing is a brand new installment to our Pias the Gypsy series. In case you have just dropped in and this is your first time visiting, I've included a list of the Gypsy stories in their order with links to access them. That way you can catch up before reading today's featured writing.
1. Gypsy
Cartomancy
Late at night was becoming Melanie’s cherished alone time. She would go to bed around 9:30, and then awaken some time around 1:30 in the morning. By then, Mother and Father would be sleeping. Melanie’s bedroom door was always closed which made it easy for her to creep out of bed to just look out her window at the stars—or at least of what she could see of them through the thick forest in the backyard. Sometimes she’d think about the previous day, and the problems she encountered at school or with Mother. But her problems were a million miles away at that time. It was the dead of night, and no one was around; just her and the thick blanket of night.
Lately Melanie has been doing nothing more during her quiet time than sitting in the comfy armchair next to her window, and thinking about Pias the Gypsy. Her thoughts have evolved into fantasies and wishes to finally be abducted by Pias and turned into his Gypsy bride. She would never have to see Mother, her school teachers, or rotten classmates again. Why didn’t Pias just abduct Melanie like any decent Gypsy man does?
While sitting in the comfy chair and thinking about her Gypsy lover, Melanie suddenly remembered the item she had stolen earlier that evening. The incident served as her rite and induction into Gypsy-hood. Recall that Mother had taken Melanie against her will to Stacy the hairstylist’s house to cut a few inches off her beautiful, long, Gypsy hair and then style it up. But while there, Melanie noticed an antique, sterling silver switchblade inside of a curio cabinet. She fancied it to be her much anticipated Gypsy knife. Because of this, Melanie reached into the curio cabinet and pocketed the antique switchblade. It now lay under one of the drawers of the desk in her bedroom. And what a perfect time for Melanie to pull the knife out from hiding and inspect it!
Under the dim light of her bedside table, she quietly pulled the drawer out from her desk and reached for the knife. Once in her hand she carried it over to the window, and then pressed the button to release the blade. She hoped that Pias the Gypsy might have been hiding outside and could see that she had it.
“Well done!” he would probably say if seeing it. “You’ve stolen your first valuable item and passed your initiation as a Gypsy woman. And it’s a knife! It’s time for me to teach you Gypsy knife fighting!” But Pias wasn’t there. And as for calling him on the radio, Mother and Father would overhear this now that it was late at night.
Melanie poked the knife at an imaginary person who stood in front of her, about abdomen level. “Take that you rotten bitch…” she quietly whispered. “It’s what you deserve after making me get this ugly hair cut.” Then she sliced the blade in midair at an imaginary target. “Oh, you want to slap me across the face, you bitch? I’ll cut your fucking arm. There, now you can bleed all over the floor. Now get out of here.” Melanie poked the blade once more about abdomen level. Of course it wasn’t true Gypsy knife fighting, but it was a start. By the time Pias finally started to train her, he might even be impressed with how well she could handle her knife.
Melanie sat down in her comfy armchair near the window and carefully inspected the knife. She gently poked her hand with the tip of the blade while marveling at how sharp it was. She closed the blade and then pressed the button to release it. It was probably the greatest thing she could ever have, and Mother could never take it from her.
It was getting close to quarter-after-two, and Melanie began to feel drowsy. Soon she would return back to bed and sleep until the alarm clock woke her up for school. But before she stood up from the chair, Melanie actually dozed off. And wouldn’t you know it? In those few moments of sleeping, she had a dream in which Pias the Gypsy came to visit her.
“You can pull me from your dreams any time you like.” said Pias while standing over Melanie. “Would you like to know how?” he asked.
“Yes, of course.” answered Melanie.
Well I want to start teaching you some of the mystical aspects of my Gypsy culture. There is something called cartomancy. Surely you’ve seen me pull out this deck of ordinary playing cards from time-to-time to tell people’s fortunes.” Pias pulled out his deck of cards. “Well it’s an art that I learned from my mother. Cartomancy is similar to tarot and actually evolved from this some time around the 1600s. Of course the artwork was different than that of the ordinary playing cards that we have today. But by the 1790s, the legendary Madame Lenormand actually used her cards to inform Napoleon of his tragic downfall.”
Pias paused for a few seconds and then asked, “Do you have a deck of playing cards handy?”
Melanie nodded, “Yes…”
Pias continued, “Okay, I want you to sort through them and find all the aces; ace of hearts, ace of clubs, ace of diamonds and ace of spades. Then lay them down in clockwise fashion to make a circle.
Lay the ace of hearts at position 12:00. This card is called the homemaker.
Lay the ace of clubs at position 3:00. This card is called the communicator.
Lay the ace of diamonds at position 6:00. This card is called the ally.
Finally, lay the ace of spades at position 9:00. This card is called the transformer.”
Pias next reached over for a clear bowl of water and a small candle. (Remember; this was a dream, and items can suddenly appear out of thin air in dreams.) “Place the clear bowl of water in the center of the cards, and then set the small candle behind the bowl in such a way so that the water and glass glow. This is another mystical aspect of my Gypsy culture called scrying. Many Gypsies use crystal balls, but in this exercise you want to use water in a clear bowl. Why? I’ll show you…”
Pias stood over the glowing bowl, closed his eyes and then set his fingertips in the water. “With your eyes closed, imagine me standing before you. Touch the water, and reach for my hands. While doing this, concentrate on pulling me through the water so that I can be with you, here, in the physical world. Go ahead, try it.” Pias stepped aside to give Melanie her turn.
Melanie stood over the bowl, closed her eyes and then stuck her finger tips in the water.
“Now slowly move your fingers through the water while reaching for my hands. At the same time, imagine me standing in front of you. That’s it… slowly… reach for me hands and pull me through…”
Suddenly, Melanie could feel a gravitational pull that reminded her of a black hole out in space. It spun her round and round like hands on a clock. And then came the frightening carnival music that one would hear while riding a carousel.
“Pull me in… pull me in… pull me in…” Pias chanted.
Melanie woke up in her chair. It was now nearly three o’clock in the morning. She put her knife away and went back to bed. As for the cartomantic portal that Pias taught her, Melanie would have to do that soon. Would it finally pull her Gypsy lover into reality?

To be continued...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Death Update

Hello All:
We visited the Sprint store over the holiday weekend and purchased some new phones--upgrades--for certain members of the family. You see, after a couple of years, phones no longer work as well as they used to. It's necessary to purchase the latest model.
While at the counter, I mentioned to the salesperson the secret "death update" that is unfairly pushed onto older model phones. I'm sure he wondered what this was.
How about you? Do you know what the "death update" is? I'll let our friend, the Cableman, tell us all about it.
Death Update
Although one of the coolest jobs one could ever work, the salary of a cable man is nothing to brag about. Oh, it pays well. And it’s possible to be comfortable if living within your means. This is what the Cableman has been accustomed to most of his career. He spends his money wisely, and looks for the best deals.
Take for example; rather than purchase a vehicle for himself, the Cableman cruises around town in his cable TV van, even after hours and on weekends. Of course if he’s got a hot date with his newfound Pleiadian girlfriend, Tina; the Cableman charges up his homemade flying saucer and then whisks over to her place to pick her up.
How about clothes? Well, the Cableman has a few nice threads in his closet. But he usually wears his studly Cableman uniform. Even if he’s going out for the evening or attending a party; he showers, shaves and then changes into a fresh pair of Dickie’s work slacks with a company polo shirt. Remember; the Cableman makes that uniform look good! Aside from that, he gets his laundry done for free (minus the underwear and socks) by turning his uniforms in each week for the company to wash.
As for residence; the Cableman rents a modest, one-bedroom apartment. And since he works for the local cable company, his TV, internet and phone service is 100% free.
And what about his smart phone? It seems nowadays that people have the latest and greatest Apple, Samsung, or LG. But the Cableman doesn’t bother himself with owning the latest and greatest. He’s had his iPhone 3GS for over four years! That’s right; while the American population is willing to sell their own souls for the iPhone 4S, 5S and now the 6S; the Cableman is content with outdated, legacy technology. How odd for someone who works in the media and technology business.
But then came a day when the Cableman was forced to purchase a new phone. It was shortly after his outdated iPhone 3GS received a death update from the network provider.
“Death update?” you might ask. “What in the world is a death update?”
Well pay attention, and you’ll find out.
***
It was an early Tuesday evening as the Cableman stood outside on the deck of his apartment and finished grilling up a thick, juicy steak with some mushrooms.
Yeah… see? When you watch your spending and live within your means, you can eat good like the Cableman!
Anyway, the Cableman flipped over his steak and then took a few guzzles of beer before removing the iPhone 3GS from the front pocket of his Dickie’s work slacks. He checked Twitter for any updates. (Did you know you can actually follow the Cableman on Twitter?) Then he checked Facebook. (Yes, you can follow him on Facebook as well!)
“Nothing going on…” he said to himself before taking another swig of beer. Then he recalled the strange people who he noticed moving in the unit next door to him earlier that afternoon. It was three individuals; two men and a woman who were dressed in dark business clothes and wore dark sunglasses. They all had short hair, and acted almost inhuman.
The Cableman tried greeting them, “Hey there! Welcome to the building.”
But so unfriendly; they ignored him. There was almost something military about them.
While recalling the incident earlier that afternoon, the Cableman glanced at his steak and mushrooms on the grill. “Maybe a few more minutes…”
There are ways in this technologically-driven society to uncover information about mysterious people. The Cableman knew this. He opened the Wi-Fi menu on his iPhone 3GS and scanned for anything new.
“They look like the special sort of people who have their own networks and routers.” commented the Cableman.
And right he was! Coming in with full signal strength was a secure network titled, “CAA—FEDERAL USE ONLY”.
“Hmm… Weird…” said the Cableman. Then he opened the Bluetooth menu and scanned for nearby devices.
A new device was found titled, “‘Agent Lynn’s Laptop”.
“What the…?” exclaimed the Cableman. “Did federal agents move in next door to me?” The Cableman gulped the remains of his beer and then removed the steak and mushrooms off the grill. He wanted so badly to call his ex-girlfriend, Melissa, and tell her what he found. She was really into things like that, but probably wouldn’t care if the Cableman called her now. The only other option was his new Pleiadian girlfriend, Tina.
As the Cableman set the plate with juicy steak and mushrooms on the kitchen table, he pulled out his iPhone 3GS with the intention of sending Tina a message.
But what was this? A notification flashed on the screen, “System Update! Do Not Power Off!”
The Cableman threw the phone on the table, “Awe man! I hate when they do that!” You see; whenever the cellular network provider pushes system updates, it makes using the phone impossible for the Cableman as it runs terribly slow until the update has completed. All the Cableman could do, now, was start eating dinner.
While eating, he thought about his strange, new neighbors and the discovery he made. Why did federal agents move in next door to him? Were they watching him? Was there something more to this over-the-edge lifestyle of acting out the role of space brothers and sisters? For many months his ex-girlfriend, Melissa, had inducted and familiarized the Cableman with a society of earth people who claimed to communicate and rendezvous with interstellar beings. The Cableman recently met and spent time with an individual named Orthon who could very well have been a space brother. This Orthon even provided the Cableman with military clearance to use a secret, underground network of pneumatic tunnels for purposes of traveling long distances in a short amount of time. And let’s not forget that the Cableman’s new girlfriend was most-likely an incarnated Pleiadian. Yes, there were many reasons why federal agents would have moved in next door to the Cableman just watch him.
After finishing dinner and cleaning up, the Cableman checked his iPhone 3GS to see if the system update had completed. Apparently it had as the phone was now completing the reboot sequence until reaching the home screen.
“Finally!” exclaimed the Cableman as he selected the messaging icon. But there was now a problem with the phone. It was necessary to wait several seconds just for an app to open! “Come-on! What’s wrong with this?”
It took forever just to choose to compose a new message and then select Tina as the recipient. Typing the message was frustrating as well. There was nearly a one second delay for the desired letter to appear. One simple sentence, “I think I have federal agents that moved in next door to me.” took nearly two minutes to compose!
Then the Cableman pressed the send button.
“SENDING… SENDING… SENDING… SENDING… SENDING.... SENDING…” It would apparently take forever for the Cableman to send his Pleiadian girlfriend, Tina, a message.
***
The following day, a Wednesday, about quarter-to-noon; the Cableman sat at Naugles and took his remaining bite of a Macho Green Burrito. Recall from the previous stories that the head cook, Tito, converted this particular Naugles into the Temple of Sirius. Tito is an incarnated Sirian who recently received an alien implant in his ear canal. It apparently triggered memories of his past life on one of the moons of Sirius B that inspired him to convert the fast food restaurant into an interstellar temple.
Not only has this particular Naugles been converted into the Temple of Sirius, but it also happens to be the place where is current girlfriend, Tina, works. Tina is an incarnated Pleiadian with a serious case of ADHD—Attention Dialed into a Higher Dimension. She and the Cableman hooked up shortly after he was dumped by his ex-girlfriend, Melissa. Melissa left the Cableman for Tito.—yes the head cook at Naugles who converted the restaurant into the Temple of Sirius! Melissa is an incarnated Atlantean who has had detailed memories of her ancient life on Earth when the Sirians landed from the stars.
And if you think that this arrangement of the Cableman eating at a restaurant that is managed by a man who stole Melissa to be peculiar, then you you’ll really be thrown for a loop upon learning that Melissa still rendezvous with the Cableman on the Arcturian starship Athena, each night, in the astral realm where she continues his training and instruction in space brotherhood.
No wonder federal agents have moved in next door to the Cableman!
With burrito wrappers crumpled up into the bag, the Cableman took a sip of his diet RC and pulled the iPhone 3GS out of his pocket. He selected the Facebook icon and then waited… and waited… and waited… and waited...
“Come-on, man!”
The restaurant was currently void of any other customers. Being that she had a few minutes to spare, Tina came over to the Cableman’s table. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s my phone!” answered the frustrated Cableman. “I received a system update last night, and now it works REALLLLLLLLYYYYY SLOOOOOOOOWWWWW!”
Tito overheard the Cableman’s histrionics from behind the counter. “Hey, what’s going on over there?” he asked.
“The Cableman’s phone is really slow after a system update.” shouted Tina from across the dining room.
Tito came out from the behind the counter and rushed over to the Cableman’s table with a concerned look. “He got a system update and his phone working slow?”
The Cableman sighed before answering. He didn’t, exactly, hate Tito for stealing Melissa. But he wasn’t entirely comfortable with him, either. “Yeah, some system update they pushed last night; now my phone doesn’t work right.”
“Whoa! Mr. Cableman, I think you received the death update.”
“The death update?” asked the Cableman with a queer look.”
“Yes, the death update?” answered Tito
“What’s the death update?”
“You mean you never heard of the death update, Mr. Cableman?”
“No; enlighten me.”
Tito began, “So what kind of phone you got there? It looks like the iPhone generation one from 2007?”
“No, it’s the iPhone 3GS.” answered the Cableman. I’ve had it for four years and it’s worked great until now.”
“Exactly!” pointed out Tito. “See, they don’t want you to have that anymore. They want you to buy a new one. Did you ever hear the expression, they don’t make things like they used to? Take for example your grandma and grandpa’s refrigerator. They’ve had that particular model since the 1950s. Something breaks on it, and the appliance repair person comes over to change a chiller element or a motor or something. But if you buy a refrigerator today, it’s only good for about five years. It’s loaded with firmware and computer hardware that is actually designed to break down so that it’s un-repairable and you have to buy a new one. Companies pay big money to make sure that household appliances, automobiles, and electronic goods break down and no longer work after x-amount of years.
Now, as for your cell phone, Apple created it. The phone was an earlier generation that was supposed to last. It works so well, in fact, that there are many people out there like you who see no reason to buy the next model. You could use it for the rest of your life, right?”
“Of course!” affirmed the Cableman.
“Well if they allowed that to happen, Apple wouldn’t make any more money. So Apple pays all the network providers to send out what is known as a death update. It’s disguised as a system update, but it forces your outdated phone to run terribly slow. Keep using it, and you’ll discover that it’ll have further difficulty in accessing networks; even your Wi-Fi at home. There’s nothing left for you to do but buy the latest iPhone.”
Tito patted the Cableman on the shoulder. “Don’t take it so hard. It happens to all of us. That’s just capitalism in America.”
***
And so later that evening, the Cableman walked into the local Sprint store where he was approached by a salesperson.
“Can I help you, sir?”
“I need an upgrade…”
“Whoa!” exclaimed the salesperson. “I can’t believe you’re still using that old dinosaur!”
He left that evening with the new [written December 2014] iPhone 6.

To Be Continued…

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Black-Leather Gloved Hands Mystery--story two

Hello All:
I recall as a boy watching 1970s prime-time suspense on TV. While watching, I couldn't help but notice that whenever a crime was being committed, a pair of black-leather gloved hands would perform the sinister deed. They would reach up on a telephone pole to cut the only line of communication that a victim had to the outside world. They would punch through glass and sneak through a window to the inside of a darkened house. And when assaulting a victim, it was often the black-leather gloved hands that would do so.
We are now in story two of a brand new flash fiction mystery series that has suddenly manifested itself. I suppose I've resurrected my boyhood fascination with devious, black-leather gloves, and allow them to commit bizarre acts. It would appear that these mysterious gloves are subjecting a beautiful, weak and frail housewife to the terror of being stalked.
Let's slip those black-leather gloves on and enjoy the crimes that we have and are about to commit. In case you have just joined us and wish to catch up, be sure to read the previous story in this series.
Story One: The Black-Leather Gloved Hands Mystery--story one: A gruesome gift is received from an anonymous sender. Who would do such a thing and why? http://bit.ly/15wxJrO
***
Have a great weekend! Continue the great feast of the Thanksgiving holiday. And if you drink, please use common sense and stay off the roads!
The Black-Leather Gloved Hands Mystery--story two
Recall from the last story in our Black-Leather Gloved Hands Mystery that forty-eight year old housewife, Krystal, received a shocking package from an anonymous sender. It was a box wrapped in gift paper that when opened contained nothing more than a pair of panties with butcher knife stabbed through the crotch. To imply the gruesome effect of blood, ketchup had been poured all over the crotch of the panties as well as the knife.
Krystal was home alone on that Thursday midmorning; her two kids away at college, and husband working. Surely receiving such a gift would be enough to disturb anyone. But Krystal has an anxiety disorder and can be terrified, easily, to the point of paralysis and dysfunction. This is why she called her husband, George, home from the office.
***
He stormed into the house about fifteen minutes later. “What? What is it? What’s wrong?”
By now, Krystal's panic attack had subsided to the point of being able to stand up. “Go look on the kitchen counter!” she cried out. “It’s awful!”
He did as requested, and then froze for a few seconds upon seeing the gruesome art lying in the box. “What the…? Where the hell did this come from?”
“The UPS man delivered it about twenty minutes ago.” answered Krystal. “There’s no name of a sender on the box.”
“Well who the hell would send something like this?” further probed George, trembling with a blood-pumped face of outrage brought on by his sacred adrenaline and testosterone. At fifty-two-years-old, the man is an aggressive tiger. Highly successful in his sales job—a real go getter earning a salary deep into the six digits—he prided himself as being athletic, and the sort of man you wouldn’t want to get messed up with. If he wanted something, he got it. And if you stood in his way, look out!
“I don’t know!” cried Krystal. “I don’t know who would have done something like this?” Tears ran down her face; a frightened, weak and frail deer who needed the support of her strong husband.
It was George’s cue to rush over and embrace her. “Shh… It’s okay… Don’t get yourself too upset. We’ll get to the bottom of this and make this person pay. It’s just someone playing a sick joke on us.”
But who could it have been? Who could have been so sick-minded as to send Krystal a pair of panties with a knife sticking through the crotch and drizzled with ketchup?
“Do you have any customers angry with you?” asked George.
Krystal shrugged her shoulders while blowing her nose. Mascara ran down her pretty face. “The only one I could think of is Mrs. Dimpson. She promised to have some money the next time I visited to pay for cosmetics I had delivered. But she never paid. I had to turn her over to a collection agency.”
“How about the Larry and Jeanine across the street?” suggested George. “Remember a couple years ago when their son got into a fight with Billy? I went over there and shook things up; threatened Larry and got kind of physical with him. Well maybe he didn’t like that. Maybe this is his way of getting even with me.”
“I don’t know, George.” answered Krystal. “This comes from a really, sick person. I mean I can tell that whoever did this has some malicious intentions and really wishes to do harm.”
Was it one of George’s business colleagues? Sales can be cut-throat, and it’s every man for himself. There was Steve who George recently stole a deal from. Steve is the office rookie who really needed to land a deal to prove himself in the company. But George slipped in at just the right moment, took over and won the sale. Really, George didn’t need the money. He simply did it to feed his ego; prove to himself that he could snatch something away from a young guy and make his life miserable.
Or maybe it was the owner at the local coffee shop. Since its opening last year, Krystal would go there every morning for her daily java jolt. And it didn’t take long for the owner—a handsome, young guy—to strike up some casual and friendly flirting with Krystal. It seemed harmless at first. But eventually, he made a serious move on her. When learning she wasn’t interested, he declared Krystal to be nothing more than cockteaser. That was the end of Krystal’s daily visits to the new coffee shop in town.
“I don’t know who it is, George. I’m just scared.” Then she made an impossible request. “I don’t want you to leave for you business trip, tomorrow.”
“What? I can’t!” declared George. “I just can’t tell my boss I’m not going on this trip. The company is counting on me.”
“George, I’m going to be all alone! Billy and Frankie are away at college. What if something happens?”
“Look, you’ll be fine. We’re going to report this to the police, and I’m going ask them to keep an eye on the house while I’m gone. I’m good friends with the commissioner, remember?”
***
It was Saturday night as Krystal sat in the family room, alone, and caught up on her recorded episodes of Dance Moms. By now she had been without her husband for over twenty-four hours. And she noticed that the police had driven past the house a couple of times throughout the day. She was much calmer than on Thursday morning, and finally believed that whoever had sent the disturbing package was merely playing a sick joke.
But that didn’t mean Krystal wasn’t fearful while undressing in the bathroom to take her shower. Shower time when home alone can be a frightening ordeal for a woman who’s a victim of stalking. Fully naked and displaying her thin, naked body with small breasts and tight ass; she adjusted the water in the shower and then stepped inside. At least she didn’t have to fear of what was on the other side of the shower curtain. There were glass doors that enabled Krystal to view the activities outside the shower and in the bathroom.
This also made it possible for someone dressed in dark clothes with a ski mask and black-leather gloves to climb up tree just outside the bathroom window and watch Krystal in her most private moment. This mysterious person had been outside and hiding in the tree for a couple of hours. The black-leather gloved hands now steadily held a smart phone with video camera activated and recording every precious moment of Krystal’s nudity. It recorded every twist and turn which exposed wet, naked breasts and buttocks. It filmed the sensual moments when Krystal closed her eyes to let water run down her soapy hair.
And whoever did all of this thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.

To be continued...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Welcome the Winter Sky--2014

Hello All:
Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to our annual publication of Welcome the Winter Sky. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the winter holidays. And if you step outside in the evening, you can immediately recognize the beautiful, winter sky. That's why tonight is the perfect night to dust off the telescope or binoculars and head outside to see what the sky has to offer.
I've noticed something while reading some of the past issues of this series. For some reason, the planetary forecasts have gone only so far as reporting where the visible planets will be on Thanksgiving night. What about the remainder of the winter months? To answer this, I now forecast the journey of the planets through March. Take for example, Venus and Saturn. They will not be visible tonight. But Venus will return in the evening come January, and Saturn will make a predawn showing by New Year's Eve.
***
Happy Thanksgiving! If the weather permits, do step outside to check out the winter sky.
Welcome the Winter Sky--2014
If you follow and observe the Moon, it will be a waxing crescent on Thanksgiving with about 30 percent illumination. Visible from twilight until about 10:00pm when it sets; the Moon offers little-to-no light interference while viewing celestial objects on Thanksgiving night.
Step outside around nightfall, and look low in the southwest for a glimpse of Mars.  For best viewing through a telescope, it is strongly recommended that you do this early in the evening--just after nightfall--before the planet sets further. Images of planets low in the horizon through the glass can be distorted. If you miss Mars on Thanksgiving night, don’t worry. The planet maintains this nightfall position throughout the winter months, and then gradually transitions to a predawn object in the spring and summer months of next year.
For a good challenge on Thanksgiving night, set down that turkey drumstick and see if you can find the planet, Uranus. To do this, scan the southern sky in the constellation of Pegasus. Locate what is commonly known as the square of Pegasus, and find the bottom, left star. From there, move a slight distance out towards the star, Delta Pisces. Uranus should be just below that. Again, be sure to look early enough in the evening. Although Uranus sets around 2am, the best viewing is when the planet is higher in the sky. For optimal viewing of this gaseous giant throughout the winter months, don’t delay. The planet sets earlier and earlier as the weeks pass, onwards into the spring. From there it becomes a pre-dawn object.
Can you wait a few minutes before eating more stuffing or having a slice of pumpkin pie? If so, take on your next challenge of viewing the planet, Neptune! In November, Neptune is found in the constellation, Aquarius. Just like with Uranus, you will need to look south. It might be a bit difficult to accurately locate the planet. See the image of Aquarius.
Throughout November, Neptune should pass within the region in the outlined square. Just like Mars and Uranus, Neptune will be a predawn planet by spring of next year.
After your Thanksgiving nap following that drunken holiday feast, bundle up and go back outside to check out the king of the planets,
Jupiter. It rises around 10:00 and should be found in the east near the constellation, Leo. Really, you don’t need star maps or tricks in help finding it. Just look for a bright star in that direction. Yup, that’s it! Viewing the planet through a telescope is always a treat, due to the multi color bands and the great spot (if your telescope is powerful enough.) But don’t forget to take note of the four, surrounding moons which can be seen even with a modest pair of binoculars. As the nights pass you can view their ever-changing positions.
Is 10:00 too late for you? Will you be passed out for the night on Thanksgiving? Well don’t worry; by December, Jupiter will be rising earlier and earlier.
Planet Nibiru: Did the theoretical planet speculated as being a brown dwarf actually disintegrate into the Sun last year? Recall that on Thanksgiving of 2013, the world nervously watched as comet Ison made its dangerous journey close to the Sun. We all hoped and prayed it would survive. Unfortunately, poor comet Ison saw its end. But perhaps this was a good thing. Perhaps comet Ison was the dreaded Nibiru (planet X) with dramatic, elliptical orbit. It was supposed to smash into the Earth. Maybe, now, we are safe.
Venus is not visible on Thanksgiving, but may be visible by
Christmas--definitely returning as an evening planet in January. Saturn will be a predawn object by New Year’s Eve, and will gradually transition to rising in the late evening by late March of next year.

By late December, Mercury will be visible in the twilight. If you are in the city, or a place where there are a lot trees, you might need to relocate to an area where you have a clear shot of the western horizon. Mercury travels so close to the Sun, that it's only visible in the early twilight, and just before the sun rises.
Don't forget the Geminids meteor shower that will peak on the night of December 13th. The Geminids are created by the "comet-like" orbit pattern of asteroid 3200 Paethon. You see; 3200 Paethon is a very, special asteroid in that it travels close to the sun. Its traveling dust is responsible for the annual meteor shower in December.
If you live in an urban area, you might not get much meteor action. That's okay; you can still listen to the meteors enter the Earth's atmosphere at Space Weather Radio. Meteors are always entering the Earth's atmosphere. You might even hear some right now. LISTEN LIVE! Imagine what you will hear during the Geminids!

There is still time to left to see the Summer Triangle!
If you get outside early enough--say around 9:00pm--you will find yourself in the very center of the autumn and winter sky with the famous Summer Triangle in the west and the winter objects in the east. The Summer Triangle is a beautiful right triangle in the sky that is formed by the stars  Altair, Deneb, and Vega. You can think of the Summer Triangle as an "unofficial" constellation as the bright stars belong to the individual constellations of Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra. But how nice of these borrowed stars to be joined in a right triangle whose hypotenuse is formed by the vertices of  Altair and Deneb. Be sure to bid this beautiful, celestial summer shape goodbye as the sky will soon be dominated by the objects of winter.
In the east, the first thing you will probably notice are 3 bright stars with a patch of light underneath them.
As most people are aware, these belong to the constellation Orion as the belt. Take a look through your binoculars at this patch and you will be amazed. This is the Orion nebula, or what some people call it: the stellar nursery. At this moment millions of stars are being created and migrating their way out of this nursery. Our sun came from the Orion nebula.
Unfortunately you will not be able to see the intense red color as seen in the photograph. You will see however a hazy cloud surrounded by stars.

Now scan around the Orion belt. Above the belt and slightly to the left is the star Betelgeuse. You can recognize this as the star that glows with a dull red. In the opposite corner of the constellation, to the southwest is the star called Rigel. This is the brightest star in the constellation and has a mass estimated to equal 250 of our suns. The most recognizable feature of Orion is, of course, the three stars ( Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak) which form the belt.

The famous Horsehead Nebula is immediately recognized by the striking resemblance of a horse's head as formed by a dark shadow. Not much further south of Orion is this famous nebula that might be a challenge to see in a telescope or binoculars  Of course the red color isn't seen from Earth. Long-exposure photography must absorb this light to reveal it--so beautiful.
Look for the recognizable, small patch of stars called the Pleiades. Sometimes beginning astronomers mistake this group of stars as the Little Dipper. It is not the Little Dipper, but it yields a spectacular view in binoculars. The Pleiades are a network of young stars which were formed together and still travel together. We know that they are young as evidenced by their blue color. One day they will change color and eventually through billions of years go in their own directions.
Looking above the eastern horizon is an unusual looking star that catches the attention of many people later in the evening. It appears to have a fluorescent glow when rising and is very bright. This is the star named Sirius and is the main star in the constellation Canis Major. Actually there is nothing out of the ordinary about Sirius. The only reason why it is so bright is because it is closer to us than many other stars. It is so bright, that star maps use it as a reference to compare large objects to. There is something interesting about Sirius. It has a small companion (invisible to Earth) that orbits with it. This star is called Sirius B and it plays a gravitational dance with the larger.
 There are so many objects to entertain us in the winter sky and we could never get to them all in one edit. If you do not go out on Thanksgiving night and look at all of this, at least venture out some time this winter and see what I am talking about.