Sunday, August 14, 2016

Edgar and the Midnight Visitor

Once upon a midnight bleary, while I nodded, drunk and cheery.

“No, no, no, that’s no good.” Edgar mumbled to himself. “Gads—this poem is dreary work.  I’m so tired of it.  I really should get off to bed.” 
He took his quill pen and crossed his writing out. 

"Hmm…dreary…weary." Edgar pondered.  "Maybe my poem should be about that."
Suddenly, there was a tapping at his front door.

“Oh, for the love of—!”  Edgar stopped short of swearing. 

He had promised Lenore he wouldn’t swear anymore.  He hastened to straighten his night cap and gown.  Lenore was asleep, and he was afraid that whoever it was might get impatient, and rap louder than before. Then, he opened wide the door.

“Edgar!  You scoundrel!” Devin said, stepping into the candlelit room uninvited, “pack your bag.  I’m leaving town and you’re coming with me.”

Devin was dressed in traveling clothes and a cloak against the damp night air. Edgar straightened to his full height and looked down at his diminutive friend.  “And, pray tell, from whence to hence will you be taking me?”

“Foulness is afoot Edgar!  A boy's gone missing. We're going to Bogshire Cemetery to unravel the mystery.”

Edgar stared at his friend, and lifted one eyebrow.  “Let me get my coat. Wait here and be quiet. Lenore is asleep.”

On their way to the cemetery, Devin explained what had happened—

“It occurred a fortnight ago, at the crypt of the mad Duchess.  The groundskeeper heard sound coming from inside of the crypt; scratching, as if someone was trying to get out, and wailing, as if someone was calling for help.  But when the groundskeeper opened the crypt, there was no one there. 

Word of it spread and Thomas, the young village fool, went out that night to hear the sounds for himself.  According to friends brave enough to go with him, Thomas entered the crypt, though none dared enter with him.

Next, they heard Thomas cry out, and then all was quiet except for the rattle of the trees in the wind.  His friends called out his name. There was no answer.  They waited until daylight to enter the crypt, and when they did, Thomas was gone."

 The night air was damp but pleasant and the horses made good time. After several hours they saw the cemetery sitting high up on the hill, its crosses and gravestones silhouetted against the moonlit sky. Stunted trees were bent over, shunning the sky, as if cowering before God.

Their horses grew nervous, neighing and bucking, backing away from the entrance to the cemetery. They refused to enter through the iron gate.  Edgar and Devin dismounted and they walked through the moonlit night to the crypt.  Icy coldness gripped both men.

“Well Edgar, what do you think?” Devin asked.

“I think Thomas was a fool to come here. Do you have a pen and paper, Devin?"

"I do. You have a plan then?"
"If we are to find out what happened, perhaps the best way is to simply ask."

Edgar wrote on the paper and then rolled it up and placed it, along with the quill and bottle of ink, in Devin's travel bag, He tossed it far into the crypt.

"We'll return in the morning to retrieve it." Edgar said.

The following morning Edgar and Devin returned and they entered the crypt. The travel bag lay on the ground in shreds, as if some wild animal had torn it apart with its sharp claws. The quill and ink bottle were missing, but the piece of paper lay intact on the ground. Edgar picked it up.

"Last night I wrote two questions on this piece of paper and someone, or something, has written two answers." Edgar said.

He gave the paper to Devin

It read:
Who are you?         I am the Duchess of Bogshire.
Where is Thomas?  Thomas is no more, he belongs to me now.
Devin shuddered when he read the answers.

"Herein lies evil." Devin said.

"Call for a stone mason, Devin.  We must wall off this crypt.  The mad Duchess of Bogshire must be stopped once and for all." Edgar said.

"And Thomas? Can we not save him?"

 "I don't see how, Devin. The best we can do is to make sure she kills, nevermore.”


Friday, July 22, 2016

E-Z Portal 9000

You can’t change the past. Until now!

Introducing the brand new E-Z Portal 9000!

Why waste your time and money on old remedies like therapy that simply doesn’t work? How many times are you going to have to apologize for your mistakes?  Have you ever wished you could go back in time to change things but didn’t know how? Now there’s a way to wash away your sins with the E-Z Portal 9000.

Let’s watch as John demonstrates how easy it is to use the new E-Z Portal 9000. There he is out in his backyard mowing the grass, the same grass that he’s mowed over and over again. He regrets the thousands of hours he’s wasted over the years cutting grass that he knows is going to grow back again anyway. He’s fed up but what is he supposed to do? There has to be a better way!

Watch as John removes the E-Z Portal 9000 from its attractive carrying case, included free at no additional charge. See how he places the Portal on the grass and before you know it, a tunnel appears right before your eyes leading to your past. You can go back as far as you like. You pick the date and time! That’s right, with the E-Z Portal 9000  it’s never been easier to go back in time and fix whatever it is that ails you.

John looks through the tunnel and sees himself when he was a boy, cutting the exact same grass over forty years ago. If only he had known then what he knows now!

“Burn the damn lawn!” John yells out to a startled little Johnny.

CAUTION: Read all instructions before using. Side effects include sudden heart failure and possible jail time.

John was able to wash away over forty years of wasted time cutting the grass in the blink of an eye. And you can too! We’ll even include with every order the pocket-sized Demon Extractor at no additional cost. Simply pay separate handling and shipping charges.

Is your cat possessed? Does it attack and claw defenseless furniture for no apparent reason? The Demon Extractor can stop this unwanted behavior. Simply attach the Extractor to your cat with the enclosed reusable stick pads and your cat will start behaving differently the very same day.

But wait, there’s more! Order in the next ten minutes and we’ll double your order!

You heard that right, order now and you’ll received two E-Z Portal 9000s for the price of one! Just pay separate shipping and handling.

So what are you waiting for? Call 1-800-GET-PORT. That’s 1-800-GET-PORT. Operators are standing by. 1-800-GET-PORT.

Must be 18 years of age or older. Portal cannot be used to go back in time to cancel your order. Other restrictions apply.


Thursday, June 16, 2016


          Father Ryan rolled to a stop in his rusty light-blue Chevy, fifty feet from the prison’s main gate. He peered out through the dirty windshield as thick fog swirled upward in a mix of light and dark shadows. Dark gray trees were barely visible far off in the distance.
     Guard towers rose up as black sentinels on each side of the main gate into the dull gray sky. The dark silhouettes of two guards walked rhythmically back and forth high up along the wall. The scene was surreal. It seemed like all color had abandoned this dismal place. Father Ryan prayed that hope had not deserted it as well.
     Inside the prison dank cold chilled the air and Father Ryan felt life's warmth being sucked out of him. The lime colored walls were dirty and peeling. He was taken to a small, bleak room where he was directed to sit on the left side of the table.    
     Into the room two guards escorted a prisoner shackled by heavy chains. They sat him on the right side of the table, and they padlocked him to the cold stone floor. One guard remained in the room when the other left, standing along the wall by the door.
     “Ryan, thank you for coming.” the prisoner said, “Or should I say Father Ryan now.”
     The prisoner tried laughing but choked and coughed instead, a prolonged cough that left him shaking afterwards. A tube led from his nose to an oxygen tank, helping him breathe. He looked too old to be such a young man, but living life hard had caught up with him.
     “Hello Eddie.” Father Ryan said. “How are you doing?”
     “The doctors give me six months to live.” Eddie replied. He doubled over again and coughed. “Did you see her? Did you talk to my mom?”
     “I saw her. She looked well.”
     “What did she say? You didn’t tell my dad I contacted you, did you?”
     “I didn’t see your dad, just your mom. She told me to tell you—“
     Father Ryan paused. This was hard for him to say.
     “She said she can’t come to see you. That you died to her a long time ago. She said her heart can’t take anymore heartache and sorrow. I’m sorry Eddie.”
     Eddie bowed his head, and the chair creaked mournfully underneath his thin, wasted body.
     “Well,” Eddie finally said, “that’s that.”
     “Eddie, you wrote to me instead of your mom. Why?”
     “I figured she wouldn’t read a letter if it came from me. You treated me right in high school, even after I treated you wrong. Now you’re a priest and I figured she might listen to you.”
     “Write to her. I’ll deliver it.”
     “It’s too late.” Eddie said.
     “You have six months to make things right. Tell her you don’t blame her for what your father did to you. Tell her you know it wasn’t her fault.”
     “I don’t know.” Eddie said as he looked down at the floor.    Father Ryan sighed. The chair creaked.