There Are a Hundred Stories in the Naked Forest…


This post is part of the April 2011 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s prompt was “dead bunnies”. It is also my first attempt at a blog chain prompt….

There Are a Hundred Stories in the Naked Forest…

“That bunny was trouble, I tell you. Trouble from the very beginning.” Simon Pigg was pacing up and down between the rows of desks in the police station.

Detective Fox snorted and squashed his cigar on the ashtray. “Tell me somethin’ I don’t know. And sit the hell down. You’re making me dizzy.” He didn’t add hungry. Something about all that bacon on the move made his mouth water. But if he ate one more witness, it would be his badge. Funny, the chief didn’t seem to mind him eating the perps.

“Well, you need to find the killer, and pronto. It’s bad enough publicity for the god-damned Easter Bunny to die a week before the Big Day, but what if we replace him with one of the understudies, then find out the understudy did it? We’d never get over that one. My company stands to lose millions!” He pulled out a handkerchief and mopped his portly brow. Fox nearly stood on tip-toe to get a whiff of the resulting porcine perfume.

He composed himself and gestured for the businessman to sit down. “Now, tell me about these understudies.”

“Bunch a dopes, every one of them. Every year, they come out of the woodwork, show up for auditions wearing them stupid bunny ears and clucking. Clucking, I tell ya. Like it doesn’t say ‘b-u-n-n-y’ right there in their copy.”

“Well, what did you expect them to say?”

“I dunno, they should be able to ad-lib something. Not that he ever gave them much to work with. He was the strong, silent type. You know, like Gary Cooper. Only with a cute little cotton ball tail. The dames went wild for that tail. He was always off with the dames.” He stopped. “Hey, maybe it wasn’t one of the understudies. Maybe it was a dame.” He snapped his fingers, no mean trick what with all the fat on those piggies. “Yeah, one of them dames musta gotten jealous and decided to stop all his canoodling. Or one of his bunny-mommas decided she was tired of waiting for child support. He musta had fifty kids.”

“Who was he seeing? Do you have a list?”

“Nah, but he was a busy boy. A busy, busy boy, if you get my drift.” Simon winked broadly. “He wrote all his dates down in his planner there – so you might get a list of the recent hotties from it.”

“Hotties?”

“Well, you know dames, always going for the celebrities.”

“So, how come you know so much about his business, Pigg?”

“His business was my business. Pigg’s Perfection Confections. We’ve been making the candy the Easter Bunny peddles for sixty years. He’s our trademark, our spokesbunny. But the brains behind the bunny? That’s all right up here.” He tapped his forehead with a smile. “I’m the brains, he was just the pretty face.”

Detective Fox leafed through the planner and looked up. “You say he’s been your spokesman- er, bunny, for sixty years?”

“Yep.”

“Then I’m afraid I’m putting you under arrest for the murder of the Easter Bunny.”

“What? What are you talking about?” As Simon Pigg stood up, too shocked to run, he knocked the planner to the floor. It fell open to the day before the murder and the checklist scrawled in the margin, next to the doctor’s appointment.      

  • Develop a food plan. 
  • Develop an activity plan. 
  • Start taking meds.
  • Check on health insurance.

“You don’t have anything on me.” Simon shrieked. “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

“I think we’ll find, after we finish the autopsy, that the Easter Bunny had just found out he had Type II  diabetes. And I think that when you found out, you were afraid it would be tracked back to all those years of eating your candy. You didn’t want the bad publicity, did you?”

“I want my lawyer.”

“It’s too bad, because you could have spun the diagnosis into a new healthy campaign, based on moderation.”

“Moderation, are you kidding me? This is chocolate we’re talkin’ about here. Chocolate. You don’t know the cravings.”

Detective Fox took one more look at the quivering mass of ham hock that was Simon, and shook his head. “You’re wrong buddy, I know just as much about cravings as anybody. You just need to practice self-restraint.” And he gestured for one of the other cops to take him to holding. But as the rookie took hold of the struggling swine, Fox stopped him.

“I’ll take him myself.” he said, grinning. “After all, I’ve got more experience with perps. The chief will understand.”

~~~~~~

Please take a minute and visit the other participants of this month’s blog chain, for some really good stories.

orion_mk3   *  Ralph Pines   *  kiwiviktor81   *  Nissie  *  SuzanneSeese   *  pyrosama   *  Bogna  *  dclary   *  randi.lee   *  julzperri   *  Penelope   *  AFord   *  Araenvo   *  areteus   *  magicmint   *  writingismypassion  *  Joliedupre  *  whiskey   *  Tomspy77

Friday Love Letters – The Japanese People


Each Friday I’ll write a love letter to someone or something that has made my life better.

Friday, March 30

A week has gone by and I find that Japan is uppermost in my thoughts again. I wonder if it made such an impression on me because of the age I was when I lived there. Was there something more open about my spirit when I was 10, 11, 12? Perhaps. But maybe it was the time we were there. We arrived in 1963, a few months before I turned 10. Half a year later, November 1963 happened to the American psyche.

“What were you doing when you heard about…?” Conversations start that way about the Challenger disaster, 9/11, deaths of celebrities, and if you are a boomer – President Kennedy’s death. In Yokohama it was Saturday morning. I had gotten on a Special Services bus to go to a judo lesson, and I was for some reason the only person on the bus that morning. I remember I sat up right behind the driver, and when he got to the gate to go on base, he didn’t get waved through as usual. Hurried whispers, them guard and the driver looking back at me. The driver turned the bus around and took me back to the housing complex, not telling me what was going on other than the judo lesson was cancelled. I remember seeing how empty the street were, sensing something was wrong, and not knowing what.

At home, my mother was crying as she vacuumed. I can still see the tears running down her cheeks as the roar of the vacuum cleaner drowned out any other sound. When she told me what had happened, I felt how terrible it was without even understanding why. I had no frame of reference, but I could feel the emotions. It was an odd, disconnected kind of grief.

But that evening we dressed up in our Sunday best, my mother and I, and went down to the Catholic Church in Yokohama. We weren’t Catholic but my mother had heard there was going to be a service for the president, and so we went.

And it was there that I first got to see the Japanese people as a whole. It’s one of the most bittersweet memories I have of Japan.

The church was packed. And the people who were there were overwhelmingly Japanese. There were a few Americans and here and there you could hear English, but overall these were Japanese people mourning an American. They would try to speak to us, but I only knew a smattering, what I had picked up in Japanese Culture class in school. My mother knew even less. So these people would try to say something to us, finally giving up and murmuring “sorry, sorry” with tears rolling down their cheeks. The votive candles in the stands flickered in unison as the crowd sang and prayed. It might have been in Japanese, it might have been Latin. It definitely was human sadness, like a language of its own.

After we had been there for a little while, there seemed to be a push toward outside. I remember it as a raised balcony of some sort, but it may have just been the steps to the church. We went with the crowd, one old woman taking my hand and bringing me toward the front of the crowd.

In the cold night sky there were fireworks. Not the cheerful exuberant fireworks I loved about Japan, but cascades of white chrysanthemums exploding and trailing away like shimmering tears, themselves.I looked up at these people around me, who seemed as close as family there in the dark. I watched the tears on their faces illuminated by the fireworks and felt oddly loved. Adopted.

Do Something


I have never liked do-gooders. Do-gooder to me was defined as a busybody, a ‘holier-than-thou’ person who dispensed a liberal helping of judgment along with whatever ‘charity’ they were giving. I don’t know if my definition was the prevailing one, or some warped after-effect of my upbringing.

But, either I need to review my prejudices and admit I’ve been wrong, or I need to help change the definition. Maybe both. Because I, along with everyone else in the world, need to become do-gooders. It doesn’t matter if we can’t afford our car payment, there is someone who can’t buy shoes. We lost our house, someone else has lost their house and their marriage.

I can feel crappy because I have no job, and have to scrape by, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Or I can take what little I have and give part of it to someone who needs it more.

I’m not saying anything new or profound here. I’ve just figured out something I can do to help.

I make things, I write stories. I am going to begin taking a percentage of my sales and give them to someone in need. Call it non-denominational tithing. Maybe they’ll be able to do the same someday, maybe not. But I’ll feel better. I’ll know I tried.

Because you buy the things I sell either here, or Smashwords or at the Farmer’s Market, you should have a say in where the money goes.

So, for everything I sell in April 2011, I will be giving 10% of the gross sales to one of the following charities. I have a poll here on my blog for you all to choose which you would prefer to see the money go to. And I will repost a choice in April for sales in May. And, please click on the links below to go directly to the charities themselves.

Grameen Foundation

Supports microfinance, commonly known as banking for the poor. Microfinance provides small loans, savings, and other financial services so poor people can launch businesses. GF’s work has helped families across Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

Injured Marine Semper-Fi Fund

The Semper-Fi Fund provides financial aid and quality of life solutions to: marines and sailors as well as members of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard who have served in support of Marine forces, when they become injured in post 9-11 combat or training.

Maine Sea Coast Mission

The Maine Sea Coast Mission, founded in 1905, provides assistance in coastal and island communities from mid-coast to Downeast Maine. Programs and services include: emergency financial assistance, addressing immediate needs such as heat, electricity, and other emergency circumstances; food pantries; Sunbeam Island Health Services; and a thrift shop.

Published!


I am published on Smashwords!

Devil’s Daughter is a romance set in the early days of Georgian America. The post-revolutionary world of Boston society seems to be easy pickings for Henri Du Mont and his daughter, Angelique. But, while they think Boston is the perfect place to find their next dupes, one girl stands up to them, risking everything.

Here is a link to order my book.

The Devil's Daughter always gets what she wants...

Friday Love Letters


I have been toying with the idea of having themed blog entries ever since I started my blog. I like them when I tune in to other people’s blogs. That said, I didn’t want to do it ‘just to do it’. I wanted it to mean something to me, or it wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else.

I am going to start Friday Love Letters. Each Friday I’ll write a love letter to someone or something that has made my life better.

Friday, March 23

I love Japan. I haven’t set foot on the island of Honshu since 1965, when I was twelve years old, but it formed a part of my childhood. I spent about three years there, that’s all. But I can shut my eyes and see the sun setting over the Ginza in Yokohama, turning everything warm and molten in the golden light. I see the old Japanese women hurrying home with their parcels stuffed into the sleeves of their kimonos.

I can still smell the spicy smells of the marketplace, the salty fish and bags of rice, the candy and the sandalwood scents of the incense.

Japan was simultaneously horribly crowded and peaceful, safe and mysterious. I never felt as safe in my life as I did there, in that time, but I was also aware that many of my friends fathers didn’t want a gaijin in their homes. I don’t blame them. Americans can’t really imagine life as a conquered nation, and these men, when they had been young men, had probably fought for their country. I couldn’t say I wasn’t gaijin, but I would pull my eyelids down with my fingers looking in the mirror, trying to imagine being really Japanese.

Of course I had to leave, although I cried for a month before I stepped aboard the ship and six months after. I kept believing that if I prayed hard enough, something would happen and I could stay.

Now, I am well past the halfway point of my life. I’ve raised sons and daughters, one of whom is as enamored with Japan as I was, even though she’s never been there. As I sit at my desk adorned with my statue of the Goddess of Mercy and a tiny Kamakura Buddha, I can see that my voyage across the years hasn’t really taken me so far, not if I can shut my eyes and still see the torii in the distance.

Itsukushima Torii

Spring!


Spring is really here in Downeast Maine.

Several days of temperatures in the high sixties/ low seventies, and even once (I admit the car was sitting in the sunshine) it hit 81!

Now, Friday, it’s a little more of what you would expect for this part of the world, 60 and breezy. And you can smell spring in the air.

We took a trip to Campobello Island yesterday, it was simply beautiful at Herring Cove Provincial Park. And we discovered a new (to us) lighthouse at the far end of the island. Evidently if you hit the tides just right, you can walk over to the lighthouse, but that will have to be next time.

The Head Harbour Light on the northern end of Campobello Island.

So I didn’t get much writing done, but, boy oh boy, did I ever recharge my creative batteries. And maybe we should all give ourselves permission to do that once in a while.

Web Presence – Part Two


There is a lot of great advice out there about creating a web presence. But I don’t see a lot about the transparency of the web. It may be for as simple a reason as few people realize what a fishbowl we have created for ourselves.

As we craft an interconnected presence, we forget on some level that it is all viewable by everyone. For the first time in human history, you can’t easily have different faces you show to different groups.

My father was evidently a hardworking cheerful man at work. A real go-to guy. No-one at his job knew (I don’t think) that black demons of depression and rage overtook him when he walked in through his front door every night. He would sit and smoke and drink in the dark, and woe be to anyone who annoyed him.

No one knew what went on behind closed doors.

Today, his behavior would have been harder to hide. Perhaps he would have gotten help for his self-medicated depression, perhaps he would have been fired or something worse. But people would probably have known he had “issues”.

Now our friends, our coworkers, our love life is becoming interwoven in a big broth of HERE I AM. I don’t think we are made for such openness. Thousands and thousands of years of privacy have lulled us into thinking we can be one thing to one group, something else to another, and yet something else to a third. We see it trip up 0ur politicians, we hear the random story of Facebook comments seen by the wrong people, but it will happen more and more as time goes on.

We have yet to learn the lesson of watching our words, and I think it will become more and more critical. What do you think?