David Archives

May 11, 2007

David: Red Fern

A peculiar pair of trees grows in the backwoods of North Carolina. They’re normal enough most of the time; roots in the ground, a trunk, branches high above. You know, the usual.

But every year, in mid-spring, these trees behave in a wholly bizarre fashion. They reach their branches toward each other, intertwining like lovers until it becomes impossible to tell which part of the canopy belongs to which tree. The effect is startlingly beautiful.

Biologists studying the phenomenon have concluded this behavior to be a unique method of pollination. Locals and tourists just call it the May tree arch.

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May 14, 2007

David: Coming To Theaters This Summer

A man wearing a shoulder holster and a badge looks over the scene of a grisly murder. He taps out a cigarette and lights it. Medium close-up as the word “Smoke” appears bottom center.

Another man with a badge walks up next to him. “What do you think, partner?” he says.

“I think it’s time we make Boss Malucci disappear.”

The second man puts on a pair of highly reflective sunglasses. The word “Mirrors” appears under his close-up. “It’s magic time.”

Announcer: “In a city rampant with crime, two cops are cleaning thing up like magic. How? Smoke and Mirrors.”

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May 15, 2007

David: There's Always One Guy Like This

“’At long last, Lord Norrington, your rule of tyranny ends tonight.’ I step in from the balcony, my silhouette cut from the darkness outside.”

“Okay. Lying on the floor, Norrington turns at the sound of your voice, wincing with pain. ‘So, Scarlet Avenger. It comes to this.’ He struggles to rise. ‘Or should I say, “Duke Finchley?”’”

“I smirk at him. ‘How long have you known, tyrant?’ Also, I approach, looming over him.”

“Norrington coughs, spilling blood onto the floor. ‘Long enough, traitor.’”

“I pull out a wedge of cheese and stab Norrington.”

“The hell? What? How?”

“It’s sharp cheddar.”

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May 16, 2007

David: Private Sector

The interviewer asked, “What can you bring to the ConHugeCo family?”

“Well, I’m a decent improvisational tinkerer,” replied the applicant.

“I see. And what does that entail, exactly?”

“I’ll show you. Gimme your cell phone.” He also borrowed the interviewer’s stapler, a ballpoint pen, three rubber bands, and one big binder clip. “Now… I undo this… bend that like so… wrap this around here… and done! One fully functional GPS receiver.”

“My phone already has a GPS receiver.”

“Oh. Well, if you turn that part there to the right, it’ll open your garage door.”

“Thanks for coming in, Mr. MacGyver.”

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May 18, 2007

David: Second Guess

I sat at my desk, waiting. No, not anymore. I’d made the decision at lunch; I couldn’t go back now. My partner should be back from questioning the Chesterfields about the murder any time now.

I wasn’t cut out for this. Jake was the detective; I should have remained the money man and kept my nose out of the gumshoe biz. But I wanted the excitement. Yeah, six months of stakeouts punctuated with bullets in the shoulder. I was done.

The phone rang. “This is police detective Heinraker. I have some bad news about your partner.”

Okay, Jake. One more.

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May 21, 2007

David: Practical Astrology

“It’s a blue moon,” he told her, pointing toward the large glowing object above. “Depending on who you ask, it’s either the second full moon in a month, or the third of four full moons in a quarter of a year.” He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her tight.

“Some legends say nights of the blue moon are magic, that any couple who kisses for the first time under its light will be bound together forever.” He bent toward her and brazenly kissed her.

Afterward, she said, “I think that’s a billboard.”

He sighed wistfully. “I know.”

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May 22, 2007

David: The Secret History

Admittedly, the fire got a little out of control.

The maidservant had the family trapped upstairs. She must have knocked some candles over because the smoke’s stench mixed with the maid’s pounding on the door, driving everyone into a panic. We managed to get out the window and across the narrow alley to the next building.

We considered calling the fire brigade, but instead merely watched our home burn, the maid flailing in the flames. By the time we roused enough to alert authorities, the fire had spread to nearby buildings.

At least we stopped the 1666 London zombie outbreak.

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May 23, 2007

David: I Think I Owe Ray Bradbury An Apology

The last woman on Earth heard a telephone ring. The back of her mind considered just how much of a sci-fi cliché she had become even as the rest of her ran through the halls of the apartment building, listening at each door, trying to pinpoint the ringing.

She found it. With strength borne of desperation, she kicked in the flimsy pressboard door. The interior of the apartment was dark; whoever had lived here had pulled the curtains before he died. She dashed in and scooped up the receiver.

“Hello! Sat-TV Corp is currently running a promotion in your area….”

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May 24, 2007

David: The Harsh Light

“I got a job, okay? Is that all right with you? This is my uniform. I’d rather not talk about it.”

“But, Gerald… Captain Cluckers?”

“They were hiring.”

“You have an advanced degree! Why stoop to food service?”

“I have a philosophy doctorate. Not a lot of major philosophical conglomerates are advertising job openings these days. I took what I could get. Plus, I can eat free on shift.”

“Chicken, Gerald? We’re vegans; we agreed.”

“I’ve already sold out professionally. It would be hypocritical not to eat what I’m feeding other people.”

“But… your family is rich!”

“Yeah. Funny story….”

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May 25, 2007

David: Enduring

I lounged on the fainting couch, listening to the scratchy old recording. It was of my first show, my big break on Broadway. The overture swelled, and I recalled my nervousness at knowing my entire career hinged on that night.

I became a star. Plays led to movies, which led to television. I’d spent my life in the spotlight, always looking forward. I'd seen the world, and every person I met loved me.

I’d only had to make one small sacrifice.

The doorbell rang. Outside, an old man was clutching a pamphlet. No, it was a wrinkled, yellowed playbill.


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