Jim Archives

April 27, 2007

Jim: Senus Fugit

The sun hung like a hot, molten orange against the desert sky’s blueness while small desert creatures slept, panting in their burrows, except for those who were scurrying around from rock shadow to rock shadow trying to pry small seeds - shriveled dry – off of the few brown plants sprouting from the shifting sand.

With his shirtsleeve, Jacob wiped beads of sweat from his wrinkled brow and grimaced down the straight highway to the horizon where it vanished in shimmering waves of heat. He suddenly grinned and retrieved a pistol from the truck’s wreckage.

A car would pass by soon.

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May 2, 2007

Jim: Celestial Signpost

Grampa squinted, following my pointing finger. “Oh, that!” he grinned. “That, my boy, is a comet.”

“A comet,” I whispered reverently. It’s wispy tail shone clearly in the indigo sky of early dusk. Then, “What’s a comet, Grampa?”

He continued to stare at it while we walked side-by-side up the stony trail. “Mostly a giant ball of ice,” he explained. “The sun makes them melt.”

I stopped walking. “Uh. Grampa?”

He plodded ahead, eyes fixed skyward. “Folks used to think they were evil omens,” he mused. “Harbingers of Doom, they were called.”

Without looking down, Grampa stepped off the cliff.

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May 3, 2007

Jim: Below Exhaust

“Nope,” I said, looking up from the catalog and shaking my head. “These aren’t what I want.”

The jumpsuited clerk looked at me wearily. “Then tell me again what you want.”

I sighed. “Okay.” I nodded at the people in the waiting area. “Most of those folks are tired.”

He nodded.

“While you guys,” I pointed at the clerk and his buddy behind the counter, “Are really tired.”

He nodded again, slower this time.

“And I want to be really, really tired!” The next page I flipped showed monster trucks. “Here!” I shouted. “These are the Firestone tires I want!”

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May 4, 2007

Jim: One Night In Martinique

She forced her eyes open. A chicken and a crow hung from the thatched ceiling, both decapitated and dripping blood in a steady rhythm that matched the throbbing in her head. She vaguely recalled sitting in a bar… having a drink…

A dark woman’s face leered down at her. “De job is done,” the woman said in a singsong Caribbean accent. “De debt is paid.”

A man’s voice asked, “How long until she starts… you know…”

“Rotting?” A toothy grin. “A few months, maybe.”

“Come, girl!” the man ordered. Wordlessly, she slowly rolled to her feet.

But inside she screamed.

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May 16, 2007

Jim: No Resume Required

The knight rose from his bow, his thick-jawed face all leather and steel. “I am Sir Englehert, Milord,” the knight’s voice boomed. “Slayer of dragons and all things evil.”

Even though the dangling sword seemed well cared for, Edward noticed rusting armor under the tattered tunic. “So why have you come here, Sir…er…Eaglehurt?”

“I seek the honor of ridding your realm of monsters.” Then Englehert leaned forward. “And whatever rewards come from such a service,” he rumbled.

Sweat sprang coldly from Edward’s scalp. “No monsters here, Sir Angleheart,” he chuckled weakly. “But we may have an opening in Accounts Receivable…”

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May 17, 2007

Jim: Noteworthy

He read the note again; long, white beard shaking sadly.

Dear Father, the letter began.

I’m writing this out because I didn’t know how to tell you in person. I’ve given a lot of thought to working with you in the family business.

Don’t misunderstand. I really appreciate your offer of full partnership and the benefits package is awesome!

However, I met this girl and she isn’t very keen on some of the more difficult tasks you’ve set for me. So I’ve started work in her parents’ bakery.

Twisting loaves is bound to be easier than that whole crucifixion thing.

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May 18, 2007

Jim : I'll Tell You Why

The first step to quitting is admitting you have a problem.

How many times had he heard that? How often had he told himself that he could stop whenever he wanted?

Like all compulsive behaviors, his had started small. He had snuck into a house to watch the children sleeping. No touching…nothing creepy like that. Just watching. He’d even left a few toys to mitigate his conscience.

He was eventually caught and chased into the wilderness. But that didn’t stop him.

He knew word would spread and one day the world would curse the name of the pervert Santa Claus.

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May 21, 2007

Jim: La La Lala La La...

Several hundred Smurfs sat around the bonfire, all eyes focused on Brainy standing on a small dais. Empty bottles of smurfberry wine littered the ground.

“Once again,” Brainy began. “We meet to discuss our future.”

“Six hundred Smurfs with only one girl,” Dreamy yawned with one droopy eyelid raised to peer at Smurfette. “What future?”

Jokey giggled, “Our faces ain’t the only things that tend to be blue.” Papa Smurf guffawed and fell off his stump.

“Plus we’re inbred to the point of having a single surname,” harrumphed Grouchy.

Brainy grimaced. “I meant fighting Gargamel!”

He really hated drunken Smurfs.

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May 22, 2007

Jim: At The Visitor's Center

At a height of thirty feet, the bronze statue overlooks the grassy square in front of City Hall. Even on this scale, the subject, a balding man in a rumpled two-piece suit, appears to be small and nondescript. You see his kind scurrying from building to building dozens of times a day without ever noticing.

The plaque, bronze on marble, celebrates Timothy L. Warden. It states that, on April 12, 1985, Mr. Warden single-handedly saved the city from bankruptcy by catching multiple gross errors in the Treasurer’s accounting journals.

The rest of the city is even more boring than this.

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May 23, 2007

Jim: Just Another Brick

Each ring - well, more of an electronic echo of a ring - seems interminable. How long have I been away from her? Five weeks? Six?

Another unanswered ring. Is she okay? Of course she is!

Maybe she is out shopping. She loves to shop. And, I told myself, the steady withdrawals from our bank account prove she’s doing well.

But she’s all the way across the ocean. God, I miss her!

“Hello?” a man spoke into the connection.

“This is United States calling,” the overseas operator said. “From Mr. Floyd to Mrs. Floyd. Are we reaching Mrs. Floyd?”


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