LinkExchange Member Free Home Pages at GeoCities


Author: Lisa Cousins
Lisa's Bio
Posted: August 17, 1998

Zygote and Little Red

i am afraid to find the mirror, but i have no fear of death. little red ridinghood is calling

"ZYGOTE! ZYGOTE!"

but i am not fertile. i am no home for the unseen. i am only a needle that has lost it's chance to stitch . . . my slit . . . is a gap between my conscience and a portal of near reality confines. if you want me to be subject to visitation rules, you must first

DIAL A ONE

to show me. no bullshit. no mind games. clarity's pendulum has skipped to me. make me a whirlwind of mantel pieces and hood ornaments. promise me forever.

EVEN IF YOU ARE LYING

demensionless hands call from sheets of sex, and they ask

"WHY DO YOU NEGLECT?!"

my answer is impertinent, but perhaps it is manifesting in front of your tongue. this is why little red screams of embryos and zygotes.
and this is why the wolf has decided
PORK
tastes better anyway.

Author: J. Abercrombie
Posted: August 17, 1998

The Hottest Summer in 600 years

Have you ever come to end of a long hard day when everything you did went wrong? When all your customers that day seemed cross? The summer heat was bearing down and the guy on tv said it was the hottest summer in 600 years. Well right at closing time you take one more call and its a customer in New York City, Her bed , that you spent 200 hours making, got there and was busted all to hell, by the folks that drive those big ugly brown trucks. Then, in a language ,only slightly resembling southern English . tells me how she feels and in such a rapid fire rhythm I was just barely able to decipher. New Yorkers don’t like to slow down or repeat what they said. and I kept saying huh. Well the little conversation succeed in transferring her hostilities to me . and now ,I was wanting to say ugly words and talk fast as a gattling gun. But I locked the store and sat down and opened a icy cold Co-cola, Tried to dry my tears and pull myself together for the drive home.

Now I done told you it was the hottest summer in 600 years,, which was caused by my truck leaking freon into the sky, which the government said had warmed the whole globe.. Well thank God the airconditioner in my truck was working again, after I spent 1200 dollars fixing it. You see freon is taboo and anything that taboo is very expensive . From 99 cents a can to 99 dollars a can, where is Greenspan when you need him. If you don’t understand, let me tell you how it works. If the air in you car quits and you want to get it fixed , You go to big dealer ,right ? So I did. He put 200 dollars worth o freon in the truck and I started licking my lips ,thinking about the cold air blowing across my sweaty face.

Wrong dude !! Its got a leak and its gonna cost you 800 dollars more to fix it. Well , Hey Jessie James , just forget it . I ain’t no sucker . I bought freon for 99cents a can not too long ago. Now this guy was a fancy dude dressed in a long white coat like a doctor, clean as a pen. This was not some slimy highway-man., This guy was a citizen of the town in which I reside. Well said the fancy uptown dude, I will have to remove the freon .The government said so , if its leaking I got to take it out. I said do it and he said that will cost you 50 bucks more . I said huh! You got to take out the freon I paid 200 dollars for, and then I got to pay you 50 dollars more to do that. Then you get to keep the freon.. Hell I wanted to fight , But my wife won’t let me fight no big dudes, But I ain’t scared you see. Now you think that guy was lying to me about the government and the freon right/ You are wrong , trust me , I looked it up, you are wrong, just like me, its the law sent down from Washington. The government said I had to pay or burn up. Now the fancy man in the long white coat said I should buy a new truck because mine was getting old anyway. Now that little bit of advice calmed me down a whole bunch.

So I paid th 250 dollars and left to find an honest man with some tools to fix this turkey.

I soon learned that guy was telling the truth , The government decreed that I am gonna burn up from now on. Well after a long calm discussion with my sweetheart and wife of 46 years, about the merits of paying for freon again and letting the second dude fix it. I decided (on my own ) to pay the 800 dollars to get it fixed. But at least its fixed. Now back to the story. I am prepared for the hottest day in 600 years , I am still hurt from the names that lady in New York called me , but I try to forget and get in my truck , crank that baby up let it idle for a few minuets, turn on some real soft music ,real low and soothing to my jangled nerves, and head for the house. Now I don’t have the heart to finish this story, The air was not cold. The air was not warm , the air was hot as hell. 1200 dollars and it only lasted a week.

I t’s times like this that try men souls. I decided to suck it up, hey Grandpa didn’t even have a truck.I told my self. So I rolled down all the windows and that is when it hit me. I was passing by the worlds largest, I mean the very biggest, ever, of all time, in the history of man Skunks have not been seen within 50 miles of this place in 20 years. The smell ran off the buzzards, Maggots won’t come here to eat dead stuff. Those beautiful hills of Habbersham , and the streams weaving their way to the sea ,and the whispering wind through the trees that have been here for hundreds of years. The scene from a poets pen, All destroyed by the terrible , terrible stench assaulting my keenest senses. Poloution of a terminal degree. Lord its true , a pore man is gonna burn up and die from the smell. And I for one would like to thank you folks in Washington, for helping us home folks out like you have.

Author: Ahmed Seif El Nasr
Posted: August 18, 1998

The Painful Responsibility

The thing that always occupied my mind and made me sorry was " Why doesn't not understand any body your pains if you tell him about it even if that person is a very close friend of yours." The first time on which I satared thinking about this issue was not long ago and that was because I only had a friend that can be considered to be a true friend about three years ago .I was at my office, and I happened one day to start talking with my (best) friend who was also working in the same office with me about a dreadful and unforgettable memory that occurred to me when I was a child.

" How can I forget a hideous encountering as the one that I faced long ago, it was a sunny day on which I convinced some of my colleagues at school to go to the beach to play and swim the whole day, but when we reached there the waves were high so one of the group said that he didn't want to swim because the waves are not stable and because he is not very good at swimming he might not be very happy, but I told him that he should have courage and tried to calm him by saying that we wouldn't go too far , so we all threw ourselves in the water and began to play and laugh loudly but ……. To our bad luck we were all surprised and to see the sea turning upside down and the horrible view we saw was much extraordinary to all of us and what made my confusion doubly confounded was the losing of my conisounce, that is why I hadn't seen all of them again till we had reached the shore, but we were not the same number as before, one of us was…dead, it was him. I forgot about everyth! ing, all that I thought about was him I started crying coarsely, I looked at his face and saw the foam coming out of his lips, I told him that I was responsible for his death, and asked him to forgave me, I didn't know what I was doing I shouted at the top of my voice to blame myself and all of them for being selfish, nobody thought of him although we were sure of his unawareness of swimming."

When I had finished telling my story to my friend I found tears in my eyes as if I was standing by the person whom I have the responsibility for his death and what a painful responsibility it is, but to I was bewildered when I heard my (best) friend saying " I am hungry, aren't you going to eat." and even while I was narrating the story I saw an impression in his face as if he wanted to tell me " Aren't you going to stop telling me this nonsense." He didn't feel my pains, " If is impression I gained is from a friend whom I think of to be my finest, then what impression am I going to have from my!!!

Author: Ahmed Seif El Nasr
Posted: September 3, 1998

An Unexpected Meeting

It is obvious that all of us had faced many embarrassing experience in our lives, I myself had faced an experience which when I remember it now I keep on laughing at it.

It was two years ago and I was supposed to travel to ALEXANDRIA on important business .My train was to leave at 8.20 AM, when I entered the train station it was eight o'clock in the morning, it was so cold and the breezy air that met my face gave me a great pleasure. But there was still twenty minutes left for my train to depart, " What am I going to do now?" I asked myself.

I thought that the best thing to do was to go to the café and have a cup of coffee, and to my luck I met an old friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for a long time. His name was MOHAMMED, he was my college at university, oh how a great talker he was, his mouth didn't seem to stop talking as a spoilt machine, if you have a conversation with him you will be very lucky to speak a couple of words with him. I was very happy when I saw him, as I was sure then that he would make the rest of my time pass quickly. He insisted on inviting me to have a drink, then we started talking about the good old days and how we used to see each other daily but now because of the stress of life and occupation of our work for most of our time we meet accidentally " By the way, what is the reason for your coming here." I asked him.

His answer was that he had come to meet his wife and children who are coming from PORT SAID after spending their summer holiday there, and I informed him that I was travelling to ALEXANDRIA for a Important business appointment.

Suddenly, I looked terrified at my watch to be shocked when I knew that there was only about two minutes left for the departure of my train. I quickly said good bye to MOHAMMED wishing to see him again and hurried out of the café.

Fortunately, I was able to reach the platform in less than minutes with a non-stop running and get into the train just as it was leaving. I thanked God and went to the second cabin on my left hand, which was indeed beautifully furniture, and the curtains on the windows were very nice with It's blue color. Feeling tired, I decided to have a rest.

It seemed as if I had slept for a whole day as I was awakening is the train conductor who came to check my ticket. While he was checking the ticket I had I looked out of the windows but to my surprise I saw a different view from that which I see when I travel to ALEXANDRIA, but my amazement didn't last for a long time because I was informed by the conductor that the train was heading to ASWAN and not ALEXANDRIA. ' Are you sure that it is not going there?" I asked him. " Ofcourse I am, and if you don't believe me, the train will reach the station in an hour and you will then have no doubt of what I am saying.

The surprise I had made me unable to determine wether I was gloomy or glad but missing the important appointment I had caused me a lot of trouble later, and this was because of the unexpected meeting with my dear friend and spending my time in the café, however, the experiences we face should teach us much!

Author: Lisa Cousins
Age: 20
Lisa's Bio
Posted: September 21, 1998

Think of Pink

Author's Notes: sitting in front of a garden, comming to terms with my extreme hatred and fear of the colour pink. it was the tulips. got to have been them damned tulips.

a veritable plethera of pink coloured petals rolls in the wind before my eyes. taunting me with its simplicity and fooling me with its magnitude it prays to the gods of deception. but like the folly of a blind man, i see what i want, what might not be there. the tortured and sickly petals hide in camoflouge with the shadows and the green growth. they are like closet psychos, revealing themselves when you finally thought you had grasp on a thread of truth and trust. brandishing needles of purple and red dementia and striking with malice - cold as dead blood. even after a disrupting dawn of reality, it is still a masquerade ball. a fools gold prism envelopes you still and fogs your eyes with possible and plausible reasons for the hiddeous happenings of the night before. allowing only a contaminated oxygen to flow through your pores, your breathing becomes controled by an unseen force. full lung capacity becomes foreign to you. a music of harmonious chaos stings your brain waves and you think that you can finnally discern reasoning behind mass murder and pedifeliac rape. pictures of phychotic geniuses are imbeded behind your pupils. hitler becomes beautiful - not for his intelligence or sick cunning - but for blood thirst and thick disturbing hunger for death. you fly into a warp zone of crazies and animal fuckers, and establish a could - be haven of empty tortured happiness. maybe that is just me. and maybe that is what i think of pink.

Author: William .R. Sokol
Posted: October 5, 1998

A Diary Entry

"I was to rule the earth" I thought to myself. But look at me now. A fool. I am Satan! And look at my army. I few punks who think satanism is "the shit." And they just get the shit kicked out of them at school. Look at one of my speakers, Marilyn Manson. He is just a fool and a but of many people's jokes. My old armies killed, stole, and made all life hard for all others. I have nothing except the hope that there will be a nuclear war. But there is a no chance to that becuase the world is full of pussies. They fear everything. There is no evil in the world anymore. There are mean people but evil is something that is truely a awesome force. When you kick a cat's head in a piss in it's eyes for scratching your leg thats mean. If you do that for the fun of it and then go masturbate about the Virgin Mary that is evil. I used to have diseases but now the humans are discovering something new every day. I had almost won with the plague. God is so sure that humans !

in heart do the right thing but if so why when someone is going to jump from a building people scream "JUMP!" Thats becuase being evil is fun. Is having one wife better than two? No, thats why people commit cheat. Who wants to fuck one when you can get two for your money. The only fun in life is commiting sins. True evil thinks thoughts about the pope that were not meant to be thought. I think true good exists in all man, but who wants to help an old woman accross the street when there is drugs, sex, and violence. God may still be winning but I am slow and gradually winning without people noticing. It is ok to swear, hit people, talk of sex, lie, and steal on television. Now all these things are accepted. Eventually we will win. We almost had if I had chosen a better leader for Germany in World War 2. Hitler was so bent on the "perfect race" he forgot about winning the war. Now that we have nuclear weapons everyone wants to say " I'll use it, I realy will" but t!

hey never do use those nukes. If they instead used the human mind for good imagine how far the human race would be by now. Look at the heroes of the earth. Sports stars. Doctors who save lifes or scientists who work to make life better for all life are not the heroes, oh but Mark Mcguire hits a ball over a fence and he is ready to get the medal of honor. Rebels are looked at as heros. Look at the movies now a days. The are filled with sex and violence. If you want a good movie kill people, have sex with many women, swear alot, and sit back and make millions. Maybe I am winning the war. Evil lurks inside all men in the deepest spaces, oh you can't see it but it's there and it always will be and when you look at history evil has been there since before time even started and will be there after time ends.

Author: Renee L Wine
Age: 16
Renee's Bio
Posted: October 5, 1998

A Bitter Sweet Memory

I don't know how long I sat there the cheap wood of the tree house numbing my butt and my emotions being thrown around in the raging thunderstorm outside. A solid knot of pain grew from the pit of my stomach and radiated throughout my entire body. The pain was caused by a recent memory that I had shoved so far back into the depths of my mind. It couldn't possibly be true like a book I had read a long time ago and was just now remembering.

My older brother Elijah was 17, I 15, and my younger sister Amerhinne was 8. Elijah was driving us to the mall to shop for our parents’ twentieth anniversary present. We had all the windows rolled down in Elijah's 88 Ford Tempo. Puff Daddy's tribute song to the Notorious B.I.G "I'll be missing you" blaring from the radio. Amerhinne and I stuck our heads out the window and let the moist warm air wrap its tantalizing self over our faces and through our hair. The song ended and Elijah changed the station. Amerhinne and I pulled our heads in as "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by the Verve came on, my all time favorite song.

I looked out the window and saw three robins flying towards our car. The next thing I knew Elijah screamed "Oh crap" as the car ricocheted off the guardrail and sent us sailing through the guardrail in the other one. The car somersaulted three times before it landed on its wheels in a small crick. The entire time I heard my brother, sister and myself screaming, I felt like I was on the outside looking in. I heard metal crunch like tin foil and glass shatter. Thousands of little needles pricked at my skin. I rolled over and over each time bashing my head on some hard, unknown surface. I heard a snap and my little sisters mouth shut forever.

When the car landed my left leg was twisted under the passenger seat with the rest of my body mangled on the floor, smashed under the dashboard. I heard my brother cry from somewhere -- it sounded miles away -- "Isaiah, Amerhinne help me. There is glass in my stomach". I tried to open my mouth to talk, but I noticed the red syrupy liquid all over me and on the floor. Instead of calling out to my brother I started laughing. "Hey Lijah someone spilt red paint all over your car." But I only laughed for a minute because it soon turned to bawdy shaking sobs. I wasn't dumb I knew I was dying. I knew that coughing sound was my brother coughing up his own blood. I knew that snap had been my sister’s neck. I knew that my legs and probably my spine were broke and the blood oozing out of my legs meant I was bleeding to death.

Then the oddest thing happened. The radio crackled and then came on with the ending notes of "Bitter sweet Symphony". Maybe it was my imagination or just God playing a trick on me but the last words were "Bitter Sweet Memory" and that was what we were. Wow what an anniversary present for mom and dad.

My eyes fluttered open for a moment, and I saw the three robins flying away as the thick curtain of death fell over my eyes shutting out the light.

When the curtain hung still I stood up and crawled out of the car. Elijah and Amerhinne were standing there waiting for me "Come on Isaiah it's time to go" my brother extended his hand to me. "Hey Lijah you don't even have patience when you're dead." "Haha aren't you just the comedian" A magnificent silver light shone down from the sky Elijah took Amerhinne's hand and she reached for mine, but like a fool I turned to look at the wreck. I don't know what probed me to do it but I just had to see those bodies. I turned back in just enough time to see my brother and sister slip away and the silver light vanished from the sky.

There I was left standing staring at the bodies so bloody and mangled I almost couldn't tell where one ended and another began. The wail of the sirens grew. I finally realized that there were people standing by the road. A million thoughts turned cartwheels in my head. Was I dead or alive? Why wasn't I with my siblings? The paramedics arrived a pleasant looking middle aged lady with dark hair and oval shaped eyes reached through the window and put her hand on my neck "This ones dead." She reached in and touched Amerhinne and Elijah's neck also "They're all dead."

That's all I can remember I don't know how I got in the tree house or why. But I'm here, I haven't figured out if I'm dead or alive. A strange tingling started in my feet and worked its way up to my neck. My body gave off a silver light; I knew what I had to do. I walked to the window ledge and climbed out to sit on the window ledge. One story below our dog Argos was barking crazily. I waived goodbye to him and then jumped off I only fell for a brief second when my wings spread and I soared away to be with my brother and sister in all eternity.

We are a Bitter Sweet Memory.

Author: John Douglas
Posted: November 4, 1998

Our Friend Steven

The Summer of 1959 was an eventful one for the three young boys about to enter the sixth grade. All of them were at Jeff Wyman’s house enjoying the last day of summer vacation, and all were admiring Jeff’s baseball card of Mickey Mantle who was the New York Yankees hot new star. Jeff stood at the side of his bed as his friends Steven Ellis and David Mahler continued to look at the small image of the New York Yankee. Steven looked at Jeff and said “okay, I will give you Al Kaline a Norman Cash and a Whitey Ford; a generous offer especially when Kaline and Cash were Members of the hometown team of the Detroit Tigers. But Jeff could not be swayed to trade Mickey Mantle. Steven viewed Jeff’s determination and said “ okay, I know you won’t budge.” Dave spoke up “ hey guys its the last day of vacation lets celebrate.” Jeff replied “ Yeah, Ill go see if dad will take us down to the Avon Dairy.” Mr. Wyman approved and drove the kids to Downtown Rochester Michigan, a small rural community about thirty five miles north of Detroit. The boys sat by Mr Wyman at the counter of the 1950’s ice cream joint with the juke box blasting and the pin ball machines clanking in the background. The boys talked about going back to school the next day and were a bit apprehensive about entering the sixth grade. As the boys continued to talk of tomorrow Mr Wyman noticed the counter girl and a few patrons looking at Steven, who was a bi racial child half Black and half Caucasian. Mr Wyman returned the stares as if to say “knock it off”. But Steven was used to such stares. growing up a bi racial child in a small conservative town in the late 50’s it was almost a daily occurrence.

Page one
The next morning on the first day of school the boys met in front of the Saint Ambrose Parking lot talking about how the day would evolve. Father Garner came out and instructed the students to line up according to the grade they were in and they were all led to their respective classrooms. Upon entering their classroom they saw Sister Marie sitting behind the desk and Dave whispered to Steve and Jeff “ Hey! I guess it could be worse but not by much.” The class was instructed to find a temporary seat and then be seated. The students knew this meant sitting down facing the front of the room without talking and folding your hands on the desk. Sister Marie dressed in her Dominican Habit, her chubby face and brow protruding from the tight habit around her head appeared menacing to the young sixth graders as she began to speak. “ When you hear your name called and I touch the desk you will be sitting in come take your seat and the person who is sitting in the seat go to the back of the room until your seat is called.” Jeff hoped that Steven or David would be seated close to him wherever he was to be seated. The first row by the windows was filled without any of the three called. Then David was seated in the next aisle three desks from the front and Jeff was seated two seats behind him. Jeff hoped that Steven would be seated next to him in the third row, or if fate would have it to be assigned to Susan Martin the Blond blue eyed beauty of the sixth grade. As the seat next to him was about to be assigned Jeff held his breath and crossed his fingers, Sister Marie then blurted out “Vinnchenso Minchella.” Jeff thought”No, No not Vinnie Minchella.” Vinnie was actually an eight grader who had been held back twice. He failed the fourth grade and the sixth. Vinnie was one of the biggest kids in school and considered one of the toughest, his five foot ten inch 170 lb frame and jet black greasy hair combed back in a D.A. sat down in the desk to the side of Jeff. Page two His black leather jacket reflecting the florescent lights from the ceiling. Jeff looked at him briefly and said in a shaky low voice “ Hi Vinnie”. Vinnie did not speak he just gave Jeff a brief blank stare as if to say “Don’t talk to me you worm” Jeff thought “ I hope this semester goes by quickly.” After a few days things appeared to be settling in. One morning Sister Marie asked the students to clean the erasers during recess and each student in the class would then smack the small felt erasers together to get the chalk dust out of them. After Sister Marie passed the erasers all out she began to teach the math lesson, David who sat a few seats in front of Jeff patiently waited for sister to write the math problem on the huge chalkboard in front of the room. As soon as Sister Marie faced the chalk board and began to write David turned around and tossed one of his erasers at Jeff”s head striking him in the forehead. Jeff wiped the chalk from his head and picked the eraser up and as Sister Marie continued to write Jeff threw it back at his friend David, but the throw was high and the eraser continued on and hit the nun right in the back of her black veil leaving a square chalk impression on it.

Within a split second Jeff thought “what am I going to do?” To talk during class was a misdemeanor to get caught chewing gum was a felony, but to hit sister with an eraser is the death sentence. Jeff frantically searched his mind to find a way out before sister turned around and looked for blood. As she turned around with her fists clenched and her face as red as could be Jeff opened his mouth, opened his eyes wide and looked over at Vinnie Minchella as if to say “Vinnie did it.” Sister caught Jeff’s expression and centered on Vinnie and yelled, “Mr. Minchella, stand up and come with me out in the hallway.” Vinnie replied, “Sister, I didn’t do it.”

Page three
Vinnie had witnessed the whole scenario of the eraser throwing and he also saw Jeff looking at him with his “pointing the finger expression”. Sister Marie then replied to Vinnie, “If you did not throw it then who did?” Vinnie stood mute, he had a code of not tattling on another kid even if that kid had thrown the blame at him, and all the other students said nothing not daring to interfere in Vinnie’s decision. As Vinnie walked away with the enraged Nun, Jeff thought, “I am dead, dead, Vinnie is going to kill me the first chance he gets.”

Jeff knew that he would have to face the music but he thought that taking his lumps would be better than having his parents find out that he caused trouble in the classroom. At recess Steven and Dave talked about Jeff’s predicament and tried to help him find a solution, Jeff told them, “I want to get this over with as soon as possible I hope by the end of the day.” “ I’m sorry” ,said David, If I hadn’t thrown the eraser in the first place and this wouldn’t have happened.”When the boys came back from recess they passed Vinnie in the office, he gave Jeff the death stare as they walked by. Vinnie was no stranger to the office, however, he usually was in there at least twice a month for not doing his homework. Vinnie was not a bully or trouble maker in the traditional sense and he was not ignorant, he just found school boring. He was a hard worker and helped his Father in his grocery store. The day went by without incident as Vinnie was kept in the office for the rest of the day. Jeff would get very little sleep that night and his father noticed his quietness at the dinner table but did not pursue the matter. Steven called him and said “I talked to Dave and we are going stay by your side all day tomorrow. We are not going to let our friend get hurt, he will have to take on all three of us.” Jeff felt a bit better but did not want his friends to get hurt for something he initiated.

Page Four That night as Jeff lay in his bed he knew that the coming day would be the day of reckoning and he hoped he could get through it without dying.

The following morning the boys arrived at school, as they got off the bus Dave said “we are not letting you out of our sight.”The boys then looked at the bike rack at the end of the parking lot and Vinnie’s Schwinn Flyer was not there. Jeff said “ I gotta use the bathroom so all three went in and Steven said to David, “stand outside, if you see Vinnie coming warn us as fast as you can.” Steven and Jeff then went into the lavatory and Jeff used the urinal, Steve stood a few feet from his friend ready to shield his friend if Dave came running through the doorway with the alarm.

Steven looked around the lavatory and thought it strange that no one else was in there, as Jeff zipped up his pants and went to wash his hands Steven noticed that one stall was occupied, as he began to bend over to peek inside to see who was in there the door of the stall flew open and out walked Vinnie. Vinnie had hid his bike and told the other students that if Jeff or any of his friends asked that he arrived in school that the answer had better be no. As Vinnie moved toward a startled Jeff Steven was ready to pounce, their friend David was still on guard outside unaware what was going on inside. Jeff’s face went pale and speechless as Vinnie moved towards him and grabbed Jeff’s jacket collar, Steven then jumped on Vinnie trying to hit him as best as he could, Vinnie pulled him off and held him under his right arm as he held onto Jeff’s collar with his left hand, then he said “Why did you act as if I threw that eraser?” Jeff replied in a shaky voice, “I don’t know Vinnie I was afraid that my parents would find out and I would get into trouble.”

Vinnie replied “and you think your not in trouble now?”

Page Five
Jeff gasped figuring he took his last breath as Steven struggled to loosen himself from Vinnie’s grasp to no avail. Vinnie continued, I sat in that office with sister Marie Yelling at me calling me a delinquent and worse and I didn’t tell her that it was you, now I have thought of pounding your hide into the ground but that wouldn’t give me any satisfaction, this is what your going to do. You are going to come down to the grocery store at 10:00 am this coming Saturday, my Dad says he wants me to clean and scrub the whole back room. He said that I could even get someone to help me and he would pay them ten dollars for the day so you are going to do all the scrubbing and cleaning and when you get your ten bucks you give to me, do you understand you little weasel?” Jeff replied in a blubbering voice “I understand” “and don’t you ever mess with me again.” Vinnie then let go of Jeff and Steven and left the Lav. Steven ran into one of the stalls to get some toilet paper so his friend could dry his eyes. David who was still standing ath the door of the lav. Was shocked to see Vinnie leave, he ran into the lav yelling “what happened.” Steven then told David the whole story and David said “”He’s going to work your butt off but it’s better than taking a beating.” All the boys were glad that it was over and glad that Vinnie valued the money more that beating up Jeff. David and Steven told Jeff to tell his parents that he would be with them Saturday so he could have a cover story for what he really had to do. That Saturday Jeff arrived at Minchella’s Grocery Store and true to his promise Vinnie made Jeff scrub the walls the sinks and every nook and cranny in the back of the old building. Mr. Minchella came to the back room to do the final inspection he couldn’t believe his eyes. He said “ Hey Vinnie, you and your friend did a good job here.”

Page Six
He paid Jeff his ten dollars and went back out to the front of the store, as soon as he was out of sight Vinnie turned his palm up in front of Jeff’s nose and Jeff put the ten dollars in Vinnie’s hand. Vinnie said “ now that were even, you can go.”

During the rest of the school year Jeff avoided any contact with Vinnie. The three friends spent the rest of the school year doing what most eleven year olds do, going to the monster movies, carnivals and playing combat on weekends. One warm spring Saturday Dave rode his bike over to Jeff’s house, then they both rode over to Steven’s, when they got to Stevens driveway and heard yelling coming from the house, as they listened they heard Steven’s Step Father say “everything would be fine if it wasn’t for that half animal bastard of yours.” Jeff and David looked at each other and knew that Steven was going through hell.

Steven’s Stepfather was tolerant of him when he was sober, but when he drank it was another story, and today he drank heavily. The two boys never felt so helpless as they sat on their bikes waiting for Steven to come out. Within a few minutes the Stepfather staggered out of the house, he saw the two boys on their bikes and gave them a brief glazed stare before he got in his yellow and white 1957 Chevy and sped away. Both of the boys knew that the man was abusive when he drank but this was the worst incident they have seen. They heard Steven’s Mother cry and then heard Steven trying to console her. The two tried to regroup their emotions as Steven finally came out. David noticed a red mark on Steven’s left cheek yet Steven acted as if nothing had happened he went and got his bike, rode over to the two and said “you guys ready?” They rode over to David’s house to play combat, as his yard was the biggest of the three boys, his parents owned an eight acre parcel on the south side of Rural Rochester next to a square mile of open fields and woods.

Page Seven
David and Jeff initiated the play of combat where the boys would play soldier trying to build forts and each tried to invade each others fort and make believe machine gun each other, and as the boys played the earlier traumatic episode was temporarily put aside but would indeed burn a dark memory into their young minds. Stevens Stepfather sobered up and was even apologetic and would stay that way until his next episodic drinking binge. The rest of the school year was pretty uneventful until the second to the last day of school. It was now June and the three boys were running around the huge fifteen acre schoolyard during lunch break, they walked to the side of the of the school to take a breather when an Eight grader named Tim Murray, a tall mature looking fourteen year old and his two buddies came up to the three. Tim stood directly in front of the three while his buddies stood on each of his sides forcing the three younger boys against the wall of the school. Tim said “Hey Steve how are you doing?’ He did not give Steven time to answer when he said “Steve I always wanted to ask you something, you are a pretty dark kid I just want to ask you before I graduate just what in the hell are you?” Jeff and David caught the drift of that Tim was trying to do and that was to humiliate their friend. Tim continued as he stood towering over the three his piercing hazel eyes and crew cut looked intimidating to the younger boys. “You know what you three look like with Steven in the middle, sort of a reverse oreo cookie, vanila outside and chocolate inside. “Tim’s friends chuckled. Tim spoke again, “you know Stevie I gotta come right out and ask he sixty four thousand dollar question, are you a Nigger?” again Tim’s friends snickered. Jeff spoke up and said “Leave him alone” and then attempted to push Tim, He was quickly punched in the stomach and doubled over on the ground. Steven tried to help his friend but was also punched in the mid section and collapsed on the ground. Page Eight Tim then said “You are gonna tell me boy, I’ve seen your mom and dad and they are both white I want to know where in the hell you came from?” Steve and Jeff were still on the ground doubled over gasping for air, Their friend David was held by the neck against the school wall by Tim’s buddy on His left. As the boys continued to gasp for air on the ground they heard a loud “WHACK” and then a huge thud. They looked in front of themselves and to their amazement lay Tim Murray knocked out on the ground his mouth open his eyes set in a unconscious stare. The boys wide eyed and in disbelief looked up and there in all his glory stood Vinnie Minchella, with a blank expression on his face rubbing his knuckles of his right hand with his left palm.

Vinnie looked at Steven for a brief second and then looked at Jeff and gave him a brief cockeyed smile and then walked away. David who saw the whole thing told Steven and Jeff what happened. Dave said “ while you two were on the ground bent over Vinnie was at the side of the building sneaking a cigarette and peeking once in a while to make sure Sister wasn’t around. He saw us over here and came over to see what was going on, when he heard Tim say that stuff he pushed Tim’s buddy Ryan, the guy that had me pinned against the wall, out of the way, Then he smacked Tim on the right side of his head and as soon as Tim was hit he hit the ground. Ryan and Ed, Tim”s buddies ran back to the front of the school when Tim was hit.”

The rest of elementary school passed quickly for the three friends as did high school and college. The world changed dramatically during that time and eventually the three friends had to part.

Page Nine
Jeff, now over fifty still calls his friends Steven and David once in a while, he also remembers when they were kids and that this was one of the happiest times of his life. And to this day when Jeff sees on the news or reads in the newspapers about an isolated incident of racism he remembers that time many decades ago in that school yard in Rochester, Michigan when David and himself stood by their friend Steven and experienced the disgusting evil hand of racism, and then he remembers Vinnie Minchella and he smiles.

The End

Author: VLKamikaze
Posted: November 4, 1998

The Intimidator & the King

The pair stands apart on pit road of the Daytona Superspeedway watching a few cars warm up for their time trials. A small “STP” logo is printed on a pocket of the button-down, cuff-and-collar shirt one is wearing. The other is dressed in a fire suit, “Goodwrench” and a few smaller names are stretched across his chest. Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt are surprisingly from two entirely different stock car racing eras, but both carry the regal air of seven-time Winston Cup champions.

Known to the NASCAR racing world as “the King”, Richard Petty has been retired for years. He holds a stopwatch in hand and writes down the lap times of the car he owns as hen-scratched notes on a clipboard. Over a two-way radio he asks his driver how the tires are and how the car feels. Racing isn’t what it used to be. When he took his first Winston Cup championship, then known as a Grand National Championship, back in 1964 there was nothing “high-tech” about the sport. The cars he had raced to seven Daytona 500 wins started out as not much more than stripped out streetcars with a bit more horsepower and possibly a roll-cage. Today, he needed help from high-priced sponsorships to pay for the materials needed to keep his team running competitively. Mechanical failures back then were not all that uncommon. Having the fastest car meant nothing if a driver could not nurse it a required distance. Also drivers of his time often had to worry about the rutted dirt tracks of the! Deep South, not to mention the high banks of Daytona. Years ago when he took his two-hundredth-career victory, the sport was finally getting its feet set in the world. Its popularity had grown substantially, and fans were paying attention. Races were making their way onto television screens and drivers were on T-shirts. Driver’s could earn enough money to live on by competing. An owner complaining about a change to spoiler height, which affected his team, steals Petty’s attention from the track for just a second. He turns back to the track, wiping a bead of sweat from under his signature cowboy-type hat. Everything sure has changed. “Petty Enterprises”, a few friends and a few beaten Chryslers they had built up, had been the most successful team of his time. Now teams with as many as five cars exist under one owner. He checks his watch then tells his driver to bring the car in, they have a sponsor-pleasing public appearance to take care of. The King slowly descends ! from his perch on top of the team toolbox and sighs. It’s going to be a long day.

College graduate, Larry McReynolds, leans closer to the ear of seven-time Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt to report over the roar of practicing cars how the Fords are doing. The “Intimidator” nods his head, understanding the information, and the crew chief replaces his two-way-radio headset. Dale had already been out for practice and he does not care for the way his car is handling. NASCAR had announced only a week ago the spoiler-height change that was to be put into effect for the race three days away, and that did not leave the team much time to test a car. His owner, Richard Childress, has been angrily marching up and down pit road all morning complaining about it. Earnhardt has never won the Daytona 500 and is not at all happy about the change himself. That was not the only thing upsetting his state of mind. Earlier in the week he had been caught up in a tangle with a rookie, which had damaged his best Daytona car. The car he has to run now is a back up and no! t nearly as good as the previous car. Earnhardt knows he is one of the original “trading-paint” boys, bumping and banging his way to the majority of his forty-one career victories. That style was behind him now, but unfortunately his rough way of racing defined many racers after him. A few fans wave to the Intimidator as they walk by. He smiles and waves back even though most of that crowd is wearing shirts that define them as fans of that rookie from the wreck. They cannot see what he is thinking behind the reflective “man with no eyes” sunglasses which have become a part of his identity, and will believe he is happy to see everyone. Unconsciously he scans he crowd for shirts baring his logo. They’re out there, he knows it. Back when he took his first championship in 1980, the fans had enjoyed seeing him. Since that time the popularity of his black and white Chevrolet had grown and declined. Suddenly there is a call for him from further down pit road. The team he own! s is having trouble again. Earnhardt sighs and pulls a Goodwrench baseball cap farther down on his head. The glamour of owning a team is nothing like driving for one, or so he has realized.

The Intimidator tips his hat to the King who is climbing down from a toolbox. The two champions walk side by side down pit road for a few strides. Neither speaking and both hardly seeming to notice the other. On their minds are the problems with their cars. Petty has only one to worry about, while Earnhardt has two not to mention the forty he will have to fight against come race day. Their careers and lives have had impacts on racing history and their names will never be forgotten. They are heroes to hundreds of thousands of fans who fight for seats in the track stands and crowd anxiously around televisions or radios on race day. At the time, neither is thinking about the legacy they will leave behind because racing is still very much a part of them. Both of them have sons who are establishing themselves in the racing world. The Petty’s son, Kyle, has won quite a few times at the Winston Cup level. Earnhardt’s boy, Dale Jr., is still working his way up the ranks, hopin! g someday to race against his father. The pair slows their strides for a second or two in order to avoid an up-and-coming driver as he recklessly cuts across their path. The retired King turns off and sees to his driver. The Intimidator stops at the pit stall of his team to give aid in solving a problem. Both give a quick glance to that young driver as he continues on, jogging towards his pit still farther down the line.

Once again their lives are worlds apart, separated by no more than time and space, like their careers which had merged only briefly. After 1994 the King’s and the Intimidator’s careers became tied together forever in racing history by two sets of seven trophies.

Author: Jaque
Age: 18
Posted: November 4, 1998

Nothin’s Gonna Stop the Flow

“Yo, do you like these?” I asked Damian. He was sitting on my bed, disinterestedly watching me model half my wardrobe in front of the mirror.

He shrugged, tendrils of smoke creeping from the corners of his mouth.

“I guess.” As he spoke, a huge plume of smoke leapt from his lips, filling the room with a sweet smell.

“Lemme get a hit of that,” I gestured towards the glass pipe. He handed it to me, and I quickly lost interest in finding the right pair of pants.

“You like this?” I asked him, nodding towards the stereo speakers. Jungle beats were pounding from them.

“Yeah. Did you mix this?”

“Nah. Chris made it for me.” I returned the colorful bowl to him. My hands, now empty, began to flow in sync with the music. Soon they were dancing in circles around me as my feet led the way. I watched myself in the mirror, satisfied with my body’s response to the music.

Damien watched approvingly, moving his head in response. “You gonna go to Burst tonight?”

“I’m waiting for Chris. He’s supposed to spin later, but if he doesn’t call me, I think I might just chill on the corner over by Nick’s.”

“Well, I’m gonna go pick up a 40 and head down to the park up on 218th in a little bit if you want to come along.”

“Nah. I’m gonna hang around for Chris for a while, but I might stop by later.”

“Alright, cool.” Damien stood up to leave. “Later,” he said offering me his hand.

“Later.” I joined hands with him and patted his on the back as he made his way to the door. I returned to the mirror almost immediately.

I continued to dance in front of it, completely stoned, for what seemed like only a few minutes. By the time the phone’s ring interrupted my movement, I was already starting to sweat.

“Yo.”

“What’s up?” It was Chris.

“What’s up?”

“I’ll meet you on the avenue in twenty minutes, and we’ll jump on the bus.”

“And then take the 7?” I asked.

“Yeah. That’ll leave us right by Palladium.”

“Alright, later.”

Chris and I hung up. I picked a brightly striped shirt off of the heap of clothes on the side of my room and flung it over my sticky shoulders. I pounded down the stairs, ran into the bathroom, and squirted a gob of gel into my hair. Blond spikes poked up in all directions. Perfect. I grabbed my wallet off of the television in the living room and sauntered into the kitchen while tucking it slyly into my back pocket.

“Dad?” He was sitting at the kitchen table, going over some papers from work.

“What?” He reacted sharply, as always.

“Can I borrow, like, twenty bucks?”

“Twenty dollars?” He questioned me as though I had asked for a thousand.

“Yeah.”

“Where are you going?”

“Chris’ house.”

“And when will you be home?”

“I don’t know. Whenever.”

“Hmm, I see.” He paused. “And why do you need twenty dollars to go to Chris’ house?”

“I owe him money.”

“For what?” The questions were killing me.

“Dad! Can I have the money or not?!” I threw my arms out at my sides. He got me so frustrated, I couldn’t help shouting.

“My wallet’s on the television.”

“Alright,” I sighed, relieved that our conversation was over. I walked back into the living room and located his wallet above the stereo.

Unfolding the worn leather, I counted the bills inside. Forty-six dollars. I plucked a twenty and two tens out of the creased material and tucked them into my pocket. He’d never notice. “Goodnight, ma!” I shouted upstairs. She was probably asleep anyway. She had a lot on her mind these days.

I walked outside and was greeted by the sounds of my neighborhood. Police sirens wailed nearby, I could hear the baby next door screaming, and the barking of dogs could be heard coming from every tiny, chain-linked yard on the block. I walked quickly down the street and ducked into the bodega on the corner. I picked up a 40 and walked up to the avenue while discreetly sipping the cheap malt liquor from a moist brown bag. I met Chris at the bus stop. We talked little during the ride. We took the 7 train after the bus trip, and we didn’t end up at Palladium until almost an hour after we had gotten on the bus. “Public transportation sucks.” I complained to Chris.

“Whatever. We’re here now, right?”

We got on line behind kids in big pants and drag queens with pink high heels and shiny makeup. Oversized brightly colored clothes, multi-colored hair, tight mini-skirts, exotic headgear, and freakish clothing marked the eclectic mix of individuals. After a few minutes of standing on line, I neared the ticket booth situated at the main entrance. From the door, I could hear the bass pounding like industrial machines in a factory. I paid fifteen dollars and joined the party.

As I entered the vicinity, darkness devoured me. I was greeted by chaos. The bass shook my body. Teenagers swarmed about. Some danced, and some screamed to each other in an attempt to talk.

I could see kids sniffing little bumps of powers off of their hands and swallowing colored pills. Smoke wafted about, drawing surreal pictures in the air. I knew what I needed.

I saw a tall guy in the corner slipping things in and out of his pockets and shaking hands with kids he didn’t know. He was the man. I made my way through the crowd to him. “How much?” I asked.

“Forty.”

I slipped the three crumpled bills I’d stolen from my dad into his hand as he dropped a bottle of clear fluid into my outstretched palm. I nodded and turned away.

With my drugs tucked safely into the folds of my pocket, I decided to voyage upstairs. I felt like I was entering some foreign galaxy as my feet floated up the lighted stairway. As I climbed, my body became illuminated. I was brought back to reality when I reached the second floor and stopped to investigate the scene. Before me, throbbing with lights and sound, was the main dance floor. The massive floor was dotted solely with pulsating lights. They were organized into specific color combinations and swayed hypnotically to the mesmerizing music. The floor looked artificial, yet it was incredibly beautiful. I admired the dance floor for a while, but then I proceeded further upstairs to find Chris.

“What’s up?” I shouted over the music. He was sitting down, and I chose a seat next to him and joined him.

“What’s up. You get the shit?”

“Yeah, yeah. Some guy downstairs had tons of stuff. Yo, he’s gonna get busted. You remember when the took Mike into the back room that time?” I asked.

“Yeah, they took all his money and stuff. That was so fucked up.”

“I know. They busted me for selling K one time at Vinyl, too.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. But they didn’t do nothing. They just, like, told me not to sell anymore bags. And I was already done anyway.”

Pausing, I relaxed into the chair and looked around. I noticed that the top floor resembled a movie theater. The seats rested on an incline and faced two screens in front. Psychedelic images were being projected onto the movie screens. “Look at the screen. That’s crazy.”

“Whadaya think I’ve been lookin’ at while you were downstairs?”

Chris asked. “And look down.”

Looking down, I noticed our feet were immersed in darkness. Toward the side, I noticed that we were directly above the main dance floor and we had a spectacular view of the mechanical functioning of the lights. “That’s dope.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Wanna smoke now?” I reached into my jeans and pulled out the corncob pipe I had grabbed from my room earlier. I handed it to Chris. He packed a dust bowl and returned the empty bottle to me.

He raised the pipe to his lips and sucked in a mighty breath as he held a flame near the top of the bowl. His cheeks caved in and his eyes widened as his chest expanded enormously.

“Nice hit,” I said as he handed the pipe back to me. I raised the pipe to my mouth and struck the lighter. Almost simultaneously, Chris exhaled a plume of smoke. The smell of the dissipating cloud was eerie and unnatural. I took a huge hit. I was instantaneously lit.

I looked at Chris and uttered, “Whoa.”

He just nodded blankly.

All of a sudden, the chaos that lurked about violently infiltrated my brain. I was perplexed by the simplest of notions. My body grew numb, time ebbed slowly, and space became distorted.

The screens in front caught my eye once again. An elliptical mix of disturbing images that included sex, cartoons, and computer-generated graphics dashed by. Pictures would quickly flash on the screens in rhythmic coordination with the booming bass.

I had to get up. I had to move. I was already making my way downstairs when Chris looked up. I’d find him later. I headed towards the dance floor. By this time, it was congested with people. The crowd bounced up and down in rhythm with the heavy electrical beats. I heard sounds that I had never heard before and was put into trance. I found an open spot and joined the waves of bodies. The music engulfed me. I was cut off from everything. Though I could see the crowd, nothing else existed besides the electronically produced beats and me. I could see them and taste them. They were juicy. Every distorted beat I grabbed, I pulled toward me. They soothed my body in a way that was somehow therapeutic. I was surrounded by music. I reached out to touch the sounds, and they moved me. My environment was ill-consorted and my body became ill-contorted. I tried to produce a visual image with my body for each new sound that I heard.

I became digitized. Quantum light flew by me. I flowed between it. Bursts of energy shot from my body. I became electric. Lasers produced by the high tech lights shot all around. A massive wall of televisions at the front stage flashed computer graphics. Data flashes blasted around the dance floor, and, occasionally, the stroboscopic lights took control of my body. After an hour or so of dancing, reality and fatigue slowly leaked into my mind and body. I exited the dance floor overheated, dripping in sweat. The drugs were finished, the money was spent, and Chris was nowhere to be seen. The night was over.

Author: Anita Sibley
Age: 33
Posted: November 4, 1998

A Little List

Fiona looked critically at herself in the mirror and thought about what she should put on her list. Not bad for 33, natural blonde hair, big blue eyes, slim build, could do with a little more height. She was a sensitive Lancashire lass with a raucous sense of humour and now lived in Wales with two children, three horses, a dog and a cat. No man graced her life, and in the small Welsh village of Llanurda she was known as the merry widow.

She thought about her husband Keith, computer specialist and father of her sons Alistair and Fraser. It had now been two years since Keith’s death. His sudden departure resulted in Fiona suing successfully for medical negligence even though she had her degree Nisi at the time. Keith had two ex wives was diabetic, alcoholic and a serial wife beater. Despite everything, Fiona had truly loved him. When Keith died his drinking debts died with him and the insurance company settled her mortgage. The financial icing on the cake was the £250,00 she received for medical negligence. Had Keith lived she would have been fortunate to retain her sanity let alone her possessions.

The pink painted wisteria clad farmhouse she now owned nestled amongst 200 acres of rolling farmland and was bordered by Welsh hills. Rhos House belonged at one time to Billy Fury, a long deceased rock and roll star. Fiona owned five of these two hundred acres. The outbuildings consisted of two barns, two stables and a bird watching tower. Billy apparently was very fond of birds and constructed the tower so that he could secretly view the feathered kind.

Beyond the stables were a field and beyond the field a purpose built menage for schooling Fiona’s five-year-old chestnut Hannovarian mare that had just bred a beautiful black foal. Khalua the mare and Felix the foal were kept company by Rose, an imposing Trakhener/Thoroughbred cross that had been served by a eighteen hand HIS Premium stallion named Little John and was presently in foal. Rose’s only claim to fame since coming to live with Fiona was chewing through a three foot supporting wooden beam in the stable block threatening the safety of all its occupants.

Her attention returned to the reflection in the mirror. This time she saw bulbous thighs, insignificant breasts and a stomach that resembled a cat close to parturition. The thighs had evolved from a lifetime of equestrian activities, the stomach from the birth of her two children and the small breasts were inherited from her mother and maternal grandmother before that. Liposuction for the thighs, a tummy tuck and implants for the breasts is what she decided to put on her list.

Darcy the black Labrador, affectionately known as wiggle-bum, interrupted her thoughts by parading his bounty around the bedroom, a pair of knickers raided from the linen basket. Fiona lunged at the dog to retrieve her underwear, but he was too quick and darted from the bedroom. Dressing quickly in her ‘whites’, she ran down the stairs to the treatment room to prepare for Mrs. Roberts’s leg wax. Mrs. Roberts resided at White House Farm Estate, and carried the status of the first lady of the village. She was a matriarchal figure in her seventies that ruled by fear and wealth.

As a qualified beautician and aromatherapist, Fiona’s skills were in great demand in LLanurda, where adultery was the main preoccupation and gossiping about the adulterers the second. In the cloistered privacy of the treatment room, serenaded by whale music and soothed by a trickling fountain, clients relaxed and the conversation flowed. Fiona’s clients viewed this room as a two-way confessional box.

Darcy’s barking and the scrunch of gravel on the driveway heralded Mrs. Roberts’s punctual arrival. She parked her car next to the small hay barn and Fiona watched as the scrawny upright woman with the purple rinse walked purposefully into the house via the kitchen. Mrs. Roberts declined Fiona’s offer of coffee and indicated that she wanted to get straight down to business. Immaculately dressed in her Edinburgh Tweed suit and sensible shoes Mrs. Roberts followed Fiona to the treatment room. Fiona tactfully turned her attention to warming the wax in the wax pot whilst Mrs. Robert undressed and lay on the treatment couch. Deftly she covered Mrs. Roberts with the soft white towels that she had warming on the radiator. Mrs. Roberts, as always, refused to lie flat on the couch and used the pillow provided for support so that she could supervise the proceedings.

Fiona folded back the covers and glanced at the task that lay ahead of her. Thin, horrifyingly pale legs with no muscle tone littered with a profusion of blue and mauve veins. Mrs. Roberts’s legs also boasted a forest of black hair. Fiona thought it strange that the permed, sparse hair on her client’s head should contrast so sharply in colour and in texture with that on her legs. She made a mental note to warm some more wax this could be a long job she thought.

‘Just the usual half leg wax please, Fiona dear’.

Fiona sighed inwardly and reminded herself of how the rich got richer. Mrs. Roberts’s half leg wax reached to the part of her legs where her lisle stockings and suspenders usually lay and often included a bikini line that knew no boundaries.

‘This may feel a little cold but I’ll just quickly wipe the area with surgical spirit ‘, said Fiona as she worked evenly and efficiently down the legs. She patted Mrs. Roberts’s legs with talcum powder and used a wooden spatula to apply the warmed wax. Lastly she lay paper strips on top of the wax. Then came the bit Fiona liked best, she ripped the strips off the legs and with it came the wax and most of the offending hair. She watched as Mrs. Roberts’s black eyes darkened. Fiona then proceeded to rub and pat the legs before applying soothing after-wax lotion. Mrs. Roberts’s recovery was swift.

‘I’ll have that cup of coffee now please dear, and then we’ll discuss my son Russell’.

Fiona plucked furiously with her tweezers at any last remaining hairs hoping that her concentration on the task would nullify Mrs. Roberts’s words. She was saved, albeit briefly, by the door of the treatment room being pushed open to reveal a triumphant Darcy who would have smiled had it not been for the knickers in his mouth. Fiona grabbed at the offending underwear, but again the dog escaped. Darcy however was no match for Mrs. Roberts as she neatly snatched and speedily disposed of the article by placing it on the trolley alongside the discarded wax strips.

Mrs. Roberts seated herself at the head of the long wooden table dominating the huge room. The refurbished kitchen was Fiona’s pride and joy and boasted an Aga and custom-built units in distressed pine. The obligatory Welsh Dresser crammed with blue and white china stood on the flagstone floor. It epitomized the romantic notion of what a farmhouse kitchen should be, but in truth never was.

Brown or white sugar?’ Fiona asked Mrs. Roberts. ‘Two brown please Fiona dear, and don’t you think it is about time Russell found himself a wife?

Fiona busied herself with the coffee making and thought of Russell.

Russell, unmarried, eldest son and runt of the litter lived in the shadow of his mother in the hope of eventually inheriting White House Farm Estate. His two brothers had married farm bred Welsh women and had successfully produced sturdy grandchildren. Russell’s only rebellion was the large pipe that he continually puffed, filling every room he entered with the overpowering smell of St. Bruno. Despite being in his early forties, he had already adopted the stance of a sixty-year-old. He had a good head of dark hair that was only slightly specked with grey, and his body, like his mothers, had not turned to fat in middle age. Fiona suspected he was dentally challenged and mused as to whether Polygrip was securing his teeth or that awful pipe. ‘I think you would make a suitable wife for Russell’. Mrs. Roberts’s words almost made Fiona drop the coffeepot she was carrying to the table.

‘You mean me marry Russell?’ Fiona gasped. ‘Why not?’ ‘Admittedly he’s no oil painting, but once you’ve produced a son he’s not likely to bother you much, and in all probability he will inherit the White House Farm Estate. You would like to marry again wouldn’t you?’

Fiona gripped the coffeepot and drew herself to her full 5’5 inches.

‘Actually Mrs. Roberts I would dearly love to remarry’.

‘Well that’s settled then, I’ll speak to Russell at dinner this evening, the vicar tomorrow, and let’s hope that Priory Lodge can fit you in for the reception. No point hanging around at your age’

Fiona drew her shoulders back and spoke, ‘My deceased husband Keith often laughed at the little lists I made, but I always found that they gave me focus’. ‘Lists? Oh I see. I always knew you were a practical kind of girl, no sense in getting six toasters and umpteen vases, a list is a very good idea, ’ ‘Actually, I wasn’t thinking of a wedding list, I was referring to a list that I made before you arrived,’ ‘What list?’ questioned Mrs. Roberts?

‘Oh just a self improvement list, a list that I made so that I could ensure getting the best possible choice of a future husband. A list that included certain items of cosmetic surgery such as a tummy tuck, liposuction and breast implants, Soya I think, not silicone.’

‘I wouldn’t waste your money Fiona dear, Russell is excellent at assessing a cow’s conformation, but he hasn’t a clue about a woman’s physique. You’d be much better spending that money on a decent boarding school for Alistair and Fraser once you are married’.

Fiona averted her glance from the resplendent sapphire and diamond ring that adorned the matriarch’s bony finger and looked directly into her piercing eyes. ‘My sons, Alistair and Fraser belong here with me and will never be sent to a boarding school. Furthermore, thanks for the offer, but I will never marry your son Russell,’ said Fiona firmly.

Mrs. Roberts bristled momentarily and rose regally from the chair. ‘You’ve made yourself abundantly clear. It may be more appropriate for me to use an alternative beautician in future. I’ve left five pounds on the table for the leg wax. Good day to you.’

‘Please wait a minute Mrs. Roberts, I think you have misunderstood,’ said Fiona.

‘Misunderstood? There’s nothing to misunderstand, please be brief I have pressing matters to attend to.

‘Please wait you have misunderstood. The price of a full leg and bikini wax is fifteen pounds, not five’. Fiona couldn’t resist smiling.

An hour after Mrs. Roberts left Fiona fed the cat and went out through the courtyard to fetch the horses in from the field. She could hear childish laughter and the squelch of muddy Wellingtons as Alistair and Fraser having finished school for the day made their way up the lane. Darcy bounded off to greet them, this time he sported an array of wax strip papers as well as the knickers. Fiona stopped what she was doing and surveyed the scene. Lists she thought are silly things. What’s the point of making them when you don’t need anything?


© 1996-2000 Justin Zak (irotsoma) Click here for Legal Information