A Thanksgiving Text

I wrote this story in text form to a friend back in 2015. He was looking for ideas to make a 30 second movie short. I was on a four hour drive and my mind was wandering. It was around Thanksgiving, which explains why I went Native American. I don’t remember where the musician thing came from, though. Maybe it was a stipulation for the short? Who knows? Either way, I hope you enjoy!

Ah ha ha! Where’s the horror flick about a budding Native American musician? Last year at Thanksgiving his crazy old Aunt gave him his recently deceased Uncle’s guitar. He’s been practicing every day, and now he’s sitting in the kitchen, playing along in time with the microwave numbers as he reheats a plate of turkey and stuffing. As it always does, his mind begins to wander as the numbers continue their rhythmic countdown. His fingers explore the ancient instrument, coaxing out notes and chords he wasn’t aware he knew.

As the numbers impassively approach zero, he imagines he were playing side by side with his Uncle. Their steady plucking is backed up by a chorus of hand drums that forms a heartbeat to the rhythmic melody. A group of figures stand eerily motionless around a flickering fire as their soft chanting is lifted on steady notes of song into the night sky. The words are all the more menacing for being foreign and half heard. His Uncle slowly turns to him an– BEEEP!!

A discordant note escapes the guitar as the microwave’s alarm shatters the melody. The sweating musician draws a deep, ragged breath and a knowing smile slithers across his lips. In his eyes can be seen the reflected light of a dancing fire surrounded by motionless figures.

Sick Day

My office has come to expect verbose, ridiculous stories from me. The following correspondence is the result of my coming down sick. I had missed the previous day and wrote in to tell them that I was still too sick to work. Enjoy!

Me – 
Hey guys. I was hoping this wouldn’t happen, but I am unable to work today. I’m very sorry.
Office – 
How dare you call in without some outlandish excuse! Make something up like a meteor struck my house or you were abducted by aliens and heavily abused. Something!
Me – 
Ha ha ha! It’s true. I guess I do owe you an explanation. See, when I left my circus troupe in Nepal, it wasn’t on the best of terms. The thieving and conning we performed from city to city had begun to wear on my conscience. So, one overcast evening, I packed up my meager belongings and disappeared into the night.

For the next three years I traveled alone, wandering from town to town, losing myself in the mundane. I performed odd jobs to survive. I relied on my finely honed acrobatic skills and deftness with sleight of hand to make me valuable to employers. Eventually, though, the questions would start and I would move on.

I thought . . . no, I hoped I had left that life behind me. I hoped, but I never really believed. You see, on the night that I slipped away, I tipped off the local constables to the larceny that was to come. They raided my troupe that very evening. In my travels I would hear rumors. The troupe had resisted. Some had died. Some had been captured.

Now, an ocean away and a lifetime later, they have found me. My day today has been a montage of chasing and fighting. As I lie here now, tears of regret for the fallen, for my one time companions, roll down my cheeks. They mingle with the drying blood stains. Much of it is mine. Too much of it isn’t.

Is this the end? Is it finally over? Will I be able to live in peace and go to work tomorrow? I always hope, but now . . . I dare to believe.

Word Ninja

I received the following e-mail from my office requesting details about a job I had recently completed:

Any chance you can whip up some fancy verbiage for whatever bad ass ninja skills you dropped on this job??? 😉

The job basically consisted of drilling a 2 1/4″ hole in the side of a counter to allow electricity to be run to a new cooler, but that’s boring. Also, the e-mail DID mention bad ass ninja skills. So I responded. I hope you enjoy.

Ooh . . . I get to word ninja? Sweet! Well, as always, the most effective way to complete a job like this is without the knowledge of the store employees. The Happy Valley crew was rather diligent, so this job required an extra long stakeout and more smoke bombs than I’m accustomed to.

Once I was inside there was a lot of skulking, slinking, and hanging between ceiling beams above people. None of this was actually required. It simply makes the montage scene more exciting.

Eventually I made my way to the left side of the counter behind the cash wrap. This was the only viable place to install the cooler. I verified that there were available outlets within 6′ and drilled a hole through the counter. Next, I swept up the mess. Finally, I installed the lil’ grommet thing with some silicone to hold it in place. Now for the exit!

My adversary approached with a smooth, confident stride. A self satisfied smile flirting along the curve of her lips. That’s when I noticed the movement on the edge of my field of vision. I’d been careless and allowed them to surround me. I closed my eyes and focused on keeping my breathing even.

“This won’t be as easy as Portland,” she sneered, “I wo-“

Her words caught in her throat as my eyes snapped open.

“No.” Her eyes darted around the cash wrap. “What have you done?”

Click.

A light blue gas began to spew forth from several floor vents. It swirled frantically in the air conditioned building, spreading much faster than I had expected. The shouts began immediately.

I could hear her minions attacking the shelving, each other, anything within arms reach. The manager took a step toward me, eyes ablaze. Her smoldering fury stoked to a blinding rage by the gas she’d breathed in.

The unlucky man that attacked her bore the brunt of that rage. I’d have to thank Telin again for that gas. In the ensuing chaos I slipped away. My prize, a 2 1/4″ disc tucked comfortably in my pocket. No. This hadn’t been as easy as Portland, but it had been much more enjoyable.