Dirk’s Destiny

Dirk strode up the driveway, past the cat sunning itself in the front window, tail sweeping back and forth in slow motion like a conductor in a symphony only he could hear. On the porch, Dirk thumped the front door several times with his fist. He cocked his ear, listening for signs of life inside. His stomach rumbled with nervousness. He fiddled with the empty computer bag slung across his torso.

Around the back of the house, his buddy Jim would be checking for a possible entrance into the house. Dirk’s little nondescript pickup with the camper cover sat in the alley, tucked in next to a bush to keep it from view of the street. Today could be the day.

The phone in Dirk’s pocket chirped. He pulled it out. It was the all clear from Jim. Time to meet his destiny.

Jim kept telling him the big haul was their destiny. Dirk wasn’t so sure, but didn’t think Jim would lead him astray. Thoughts of being used because he had a vehicle fought with the desire to be part of something for once in his life. Dirk focused on the door willing the thoughts to shut up and go to their own corners of his brain.

After a few minutes the front door opened and Dirk slipped inside. They did a quick check of all the rooms to make sure no one was home.

Jim pushed open the door to the master bedroom. Dirk’s breath caught in his throat. There in the chair by the window was an elderly lady. Eyes closed. Perfectly still. They watched for a few moments until Jim crept slowly over to the chair. He poked the woman’s arm. Nothing.

coffer-281253_1280_CC0“The old broad is dead.” Jim crowed the words and moved into the walk-in closet. “Bingo, I found the safe. You get the jewelry. I’ll get this sucker open.”

Dirk went to the dresser and lifted the lid on the jewelry box. The heavy wood was inlaid with a single rose. It reminded him of his grandma, God rest her soul. She’d be so disappointed in him.

Jim’s voice came from the closet, “I can’t believe we got lucky enough that she’s dead. Who knows how long before anyone realizes we cleaned her out. By that time we’ll have made our fortune.”

A shiver prickled the skin of Dirk’s neck as he grabbed a handful of rings and necklaces and dumped them into the computer bag. The sooner this was done, the better.

Behind him a whisper of movement grabbed Dirk’s attention. Before he could turn he felt something hard pressing into his back.

“The old broad’s not dead, but if you don’t get your paws off my jewelry, you will be.”

Fear mixed with the smell of denture cream and talcum powder. Dirk tried to suck in air, but the world grayed around the edges. As he slipped into darkness he heard her crackly voice, “Sheesh, I didn’t even shoot you, coward.”



Today’s story is a continuation of Party of One.

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A rap on the window drove Becky’s heart rate even higher. She rolled down her window. “Tapper. Thanks for coming. Get in the car.” She watched as he went around the car and dropped into the seat next to her.

“What do you want, Becky?”

“Tapper, I need your help.”

“My help? Since when do you need my help?”

“Yeah, I need your help. You have to help me get Matt —”

“Becky, Matt don’t want a girl like you. He likes dimwitted women with no substance.”

She thrust the door open and stepped out of the car. “You’re so mean, Tapper. Always have been.” Becky stomped across the parking lot and sat on the bus bench on the corner. Stupid Tapper. She should have known better than to call him.

Tapper got out of the car and followed her over to the bench. “Becky, I’m just trying to help.”

“By calling me fat. Is that your way of helping? I wanted your help, but not by telling me why Matt won’t ever like me. I wanted you to kill him.”

“Whoa, slow down. Kill him? I can’t kill him. What are you thinking?”

Becky turned away as tears poured down her face. “No, you’re right. I can’t kill him. I love him.”

Tapper scooted closer to Becky and touched her shoulder. She looked over her shoulder at him. He handed her a hanker chief which she took and wiped her nose.

A lone car on the dark street sped by, kicking up water from a puddle on the street. As droplets pattered down around them, Tapper cleared his throat. “Becky, why do you love him. He’s not good enough for you.”

“What do you care? You think I’m fat. Look at you. The only six pack you have is in the fridge.”

He shook his head. “No, I never said that.”

“You said Matt only likes women who have no substance like the girl at the party. Fat women have substance.”

Tapper put his hand on her arm. “She has no substance meaning she has no personality. She’s thin and pretty, but there’s nothing behind the veneer.”

She turned to look at him.

“You, Becky, you’re beautiful. And smart. And funny. And loving.” He raised his hand to her chin and lifted it until he was looking into her blue eyes. He inhaled a deep breath. “Becky, I know how you feel about Matt. Because I’ve felt the same way about you since high school.”

A smile played at Becky’s lips, her heart fluttered. “You do? Why — Why didn’t you ever tell me? I always thought you were mean because you never talked to me.”

“You were always so hung up on Matt. And I’ve always been just Tapper. I didn’t think you’d love someone like me.”

Lightening split the sky and thunder roared as fat rain drops soaked the pavement. Tapper grabbed Becky’s hand and pulled her to her feet, dragging her toward the car. “Run before we get soaked.”

Wet and dripping, they sat. Quiet filled the car. Tapper cleared his throat. Becky peeked at him from behind a lock of hair covering her eyes. “So, if you still want to kill Matt, I don’t blame ya, but I can’t do that. It’s not in my nature.”

“No, I guess that was a dumb idea.” She whispered barely audible over the rain pelting the car.

His hearty rumble danced with her dainty giggle as they held hands and looked at each other.

“What’s your real name, Tapper?”

Tapper brushed the wet lock of hair out of her eyes. “It’s Randy.”

“Randy. I like that. Can I call you that instead of Tapper?”

He nodded his head. “Yes, I hate Tapper.”

“Why do they call you Tapper?”

“In high school, freshman year, I went to a party. I heard a bunch of the guys making fun of me as they tried to get the tap into the keg. I hated being the butt of their jokes, but I knew how to tap a keg, so I went over and did it for them. It was a valuable talent to have and they kept me around. They still make fun of me, but they let me hang out, so I ignore that.”

Becky put her palm on his cheek. “We both should have been braver sooner.”

Randy brushed a soft kiss across her lips. A sigh whispered her approval.


Photos courtesy of Pixabay.






Magic Moments

A flash of green sparked in the growing dusk, then another. Ellie inhaled deeply of the night air, the sweet undertones of mowed grass mixed with the heady perfume of the pale pink roses growing along gazebo. As the sun disappeared, replaced by the pale grayness of oncoming night, the heat from the day also waned. Fireflies blinked on and off, more with each passing moment.

image courtesy: suphakit73 at freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy: suphakit73 at freedigitalphotos.net

Ellie stuffed her purple painted toes into her Keds. She smiled as fireflies continued to beckon with their pulses of light. This morning when she woke, Ellie knew tonight she would follow the magic trail of twinkles into the forest. As mother and daddy settled in for the night in front of the TV, Ellie sat in the gazebo waiting for just the right time.

Daddy said there wasn’t anything special about the lightening bugs, they were just bugs whose butts lit up, but Ellie wasn’t so sure. Those small lights in the night called to her of adventure and excitement. The full moon tonight added to the excitement.

Skipping through the grass, Ellie made her way to the edge of the woods. She stopped at the first tree and peered into the darkness. Moon beams skimmed across the top of the forest, sprinkling pale shoots into the darkness below.

“This is it, girl. Time to cowgirl up and see where the magic leads.” She wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but she’d heard the upper class girls at school say it and it just seemed right.

Ellie stepped into the woods. A twig crunched under her foot. She cringed and looked back over her shoulder. The house sat solemnly in the clearing. Peering back to the narrow path ahead of her, Ellie watched as fireflies blinked on and off along the way. Cicadas chattered into the night, telling stories of the disappearing day that only they could understand.

The path wound through the trees as Ellie moved forward into the growing darkness. Somewhere in the night an animal cried it’s plaintive plea. Goose bumps danced across her arms. The heat from the day barely warmed her now.

A loud crack, Ellie stopped, listening. Silence followed by a smaller thunk.

Was someone following her? What animals prowled the night forest? Ellie didn’t know, she’d never been this far into the woods. Her heartbeat thumped in her chest. Should she go back?

No, she couldn’t do that. She’d run into whatever was there. The only choice was to go forward. Drawing a breath deep into her lungs, she stepped forward. The fireflies lit the way along the path. Magic wrapped around Ellie again and she continued along the narrow trail.

The darkness gave way as the woods opened into a clearing. Water cascaded over a boulder into a pond. Moonlight flooded down and twinkled off the pool. The waterfall’s melody mixed with the cicada concert. A thick patch of honeysuckle dispersed it’s aroma into the night.

Ellie whispered, “So beautiful” as she slipped out of her Keds and dipped her toes into the cooling water. After the muggy heat, the water washed over her feet in pleasant little waves. She stepped back and slipped off her shorts and t-shirt and threw them on a rock next to her.

The water cooled her skin as Ellie walked into the pool. She leaned back and floated, watching the moon above. The peace of the night swept down and she giggled. All these years this magical place had been right here and she never knew.

A movement in the woods caught her eye. She dropped her feet and stood in the water. Chills ran down her spine. Whoever it was stood just beyond her sight, hidden by a bush. There was nowhere for her to go.

“Shame on you Ellie Marie Smith, you know better than to go into the woods by yourself.” Ellie’s mother walked out onto the edge of the clearing.

Ellie’s breath came back in a deep gasp. “Mother, you scared me. Why didn’t you tell me you were following me.”

On the bank of the pond, Ellie’s mother slipped off her summer dress to reveal a swim suit. She ran into the water, splashing Ellie as she came.

“I wondered how long it would be before you found my secret spot. You were so quiet at dinner tonight, I was pretty sure tonight would be the night. I didn’t want to spoil the magic for you.”

Ellie pushed water back at her mother. “You knew about this place?”

“I’ve been coming here since I was a girl about your age. On a night like tonight with the full moon and the fireflies, it just seems like another world.”

“Oh Mom, it’s beautiful.”

A deep sigh whispered out of her mother. “That’s the first time you ever called me mom.”

Ellie giggled. “This is the first time I realized you could be my friend as well as my mother.”

The women floated, holding hands, not speaking as the moonlight, music, and magic surrounded them.

Party of One



Becky surveyed the table. All the same potluck foods lined up in a hodge-podge of a mess. Sweet and sour meatballs languished in crock pot nestled next to a platter of celery stuffed with cream cheese. Really? Who brings something like celery to a party?

There really were other places Becky could be tonight. Like home. With a book. In front of the fire. The thrill of parties had long since died in her, but this one was different. This one had possibility. Homecoming weekend always drew the old classmates back to the fold.

A group of guys bumped the end of the table. An apple fell off the top of a basket and plunked into a bowl of red Jello. A blob flew up and landed on Becky’s white sweater.

She threw a distasteful glance at the men, and her breath caught. There he was. Matthew Holland. Warmth swept up her neck and into her cheeks. His Polo cologne mingled with the tangy aroma of the meatballs and danced around her nose. Her mind drifted back to the few dates they’d had in high school. When Matt kissed her on the front porch that last date, Becky thought her life was set. He never called again. But he was busy getting ready for college so she didn’t worry too much. If she waited patiently, surely he would one day remember and come back to her. She moved closer to his end of the table.

“I’m just saying, Dallas is all in this year. Be surprised if they didn’t go all the way.”

“I disagree, man.”

Ugh. Football talk. What was it with men and football? Becky looked down into an empty silver platter, frowning at her reflection. The red blotch on her sweater glared at her and she dabbed at it, smearing the mess even more.

Matt patted Rick on the shoulder. “You can disagree, but that doesn’t make you right.” He shuffled to the right and stabbed a meatball with his fork. “Oh hey, Becky. How are you?”

Becky smiled. There’d better not be any spinach in her teeth from the dip. “I’m great, Matt. You look fab—”

“Matthew. It’s so good to see you.” A redhead approached with her arms open for a hug.

Matt set his plate on the table and swooped the woman into his arms. Her giggle jingled across to Becky. “Rachel. Oh my gosh. How are you? We had so much fun the other night. We should go out again soon.” He continued to hold her tight as she whispered in his ear.

Becky’s smile dropped off her face. She turned away as tears formed. People jostled all around her. Lady Gaga blared from the speakers. The room felt oppressive and sweat popped out on her temples. Becky pushed through crowd until she reached the front door. She found her coat in the closet, and slipped out before anyone could see the tears that now ran freely down her face.

One day he would remember, he had to.

Therapy Can’t Help Everything

Marta pulled her skirt taut and lowered into a chair across from her patient. She crossed her legs and tugged the blue material down over her knees. Her patient watched every movement as if trying to capture them on film. She watched as his eyes made their way down her calf to her ankle. The whole thing unnerved her.

She raised her hand, clicked her pen. The patient’s eyes snapped up from her ankle. A slight smile wavered over his face.

“Tell me Mr. Culicoidea, what brings you to my office today?”

He settled himself deeper into the plush brown couch. “Please, call me Joe.”

“Okay, Joe.”

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“Well, doc, life is just tough. I thought by this time in my life things would be different.”

Marta stifled a yawn behind her hand. Really? Another client in a midlife crisis? What kind of career had she built for herself if this was all she got? She should have gone into obstetrics instead of psychiatry.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Culicoidea, I missed what you said.”

“Agh. How hard is it to remember to call me Joe? I’m just a simple creature. I just want to do my job, get some respect.”

Joe rose from the couch and flitted nervously around the room. “I am so tired of being hated. Doc, that’s what I need you to help me with.”

“Well, why don’t you sit down and tell me why you feel everyone hates you?” Was this hour over yet?

The patient hovered in front of her. He stared. She stared. Finally she blinked. Ugh, what was with this guy.

“I don’t need to sit down.” He stared down at her calf again. “Why don’t you tell me, Doc. You seem to have developed the same distasteful look that everyone does when I’m around.”

Marta rose from her chair. She threw her legal pad and pen on the chair. Moving to her desk she grabbed a card and turned back to Joe. “I don’t think I’m the right doctor for you. Let me give you a referral to my partner, Dr. Black. You’ll be much more comfortable with him.”

She turned back to Joe. Anger flowed off him in waves. The look on his face caused her blood to pound in her temples. He moved right up to her until they were eye-to-eye.

“You’re dumping me?”

“No, I’m suggesting you see someone who will be better able to help you.” She took a step back.

“I disgust you, don’t I?”

“No, I wouldn’t say —”

With a quick dip, Joe sank his proboscis into her upper arm.

Marta sucked in a breath. “You want to know why everyone hates you? Because you do stuff like this. Try being nice sometime and not sucking everyone’s blood.”

Joe looked up at her. “I’m a mosquito. What did you expect, a nice little handshake?”

“You greedy little pest.” With that Marta slapped her arm, squashing her client. Guess I won’t be getting paid for this session.



Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

What’s Behind the Locked Door?

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Life has been a little busy these days, and I didn’t get a story finished for today.

But, I’ve had lots of questions about my story from last week. It seems inquiring minds want to know…

…what was behind that locked door in the rental house!?!

So, let’s hear it…what do you think?

Since I didn’t get a story done for this week, I decided to run a little impromptu contest. The rules are simple…

  • Post a comment telling us what you think was behind that door
  • Make sure you comment between now and 11:59 pm Mountain Time on Friday, July 17th

On Saturday morning, I will randomly draw one lucky commenter and send them a $10 Starbuck’s Gift Card.



The Locked Room

You know…there is nothing more tempting than a locked door.



When I moved into the house, the door to the extra room was locked. I tried to pick the lock with a hair pin to no avail. I know, you’re wondering, why a guy like me has a hairpin, but that’s not the point of this story.

I called the landlord. “So, the extra room is locked. I can’t get the lock opened. Can you bring me a key?”

“You don’t need a key. The room will remain locked.”

I ran my fingers through my hair, blew out a breath. “Look, I rented the house. I should have access to the whole house. I’m going to have a locksmith come out and change the lock on that door.”

“No, the contract is for a two bedroom house and that’s what you got. The extra room is of no concern to you. A locksmith can’t help you.”

The dial tone thrummed in my ear.

What the heck was this guy’s problem? I rented a house, I wanted all the rooms. I dialed the number of a locksmith and waited while the phone rang in some business a few blocks away.


The locksmith peered at the door knob. He scratched his head. “I only seen sumptin like this once before and it weren’t good. I can’t help you.”

“Seriously, dude, you’re a locksmith. I just need you to remove the door knob and put a new one in. One that I have a key for.”

He dropped his flashlight into his bucket full of tools. “Sorry. I just can’t help you with this one. I’d advise you to leave it be.”

“You know what, just get out of my house.” I pushed him towards the door.

“Don’t go gettin’ pushy on me. I’m leaving. If I was you, I’d leave also. Find a new place to live.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” I yelled the words as he made his way down the walk.

When he was gone, I closed the door and returned to the locked room. One way or another, I was going to get in there.


The next day, I dialed the landlord’s number again as I stood in front of that locked door.

“Listen. This is stupid. Just unlock the door.”

His sigh whispered across the airwaves and tickled my ear. “No. Let it go.”

“Fine. Then I want out of my lease. Give me my money back and I’ll move out today.”

“Well, now, we have a contract and that says if you break it, you’re responsible for full payment of the complete year of payments.

“But I signed a lease for a house and you won’t let me in all the rooms. You’ve broken the deal, so I can leave without paying you.”

“Well, if you read the paperwork, you’ll see that room isn’t part of what you rented, so I haven’t broken anything. Move out if you want, but you’ll owe me for all the monthly payments plus you’ll lose your security. I’ll take you to court.”

I threw the phone across the room.

“If you want to play that way, I can play along.”

In the garage I found my old ax in a box marked “outdoor tools.” The heavy ax head swung slightly by my side as I went back to the room.

Taking a deep breath, I swung the ax against the wood grain of the door where it stuck. A few wiggles back and forth released it from the door.

“Take this you ornery old coot.” I screamed the words knowing the stupid landlord couldn’t hear me, but the feeling of success warmed it’s way through my core and I put the ax in the door again.

After a few good swings I was able to push through the door and grab the handle on the inside. I turned the knob and pulled the door open.

I felt my jaw drop open. A scream bubbled up in my throat, but caught on my Adam’s apple.

The old man was right…I should have let it be…



An obnoxious blaring rang out in the night. Elizabeth jolted awake, heart beating wildly. Heat surrounded her, enclosing her like a wool blanket. She opened her eyes, but an acrid smoke stung them and she squeezed them shut again.

She reached out to turn the alarm off, but the cacophony continued. Nothing was making sense. Why wouldn’t the alarm stop?

In the hall, a loud crack resounded. Putting her feet on the floor, she peeked around the door frame into the hall.

A scream caught in her throat.

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Flames danced on the little landing between her room and the stairs. Fear bubbled up in her stomach. She pulled back, grabbed the door handle, and released it as the metal burned her palm.

Her eyes welled up with the noxious smoke that swirled around the room. A little voice in her head whispered to her, “The good air is low. Get down.” Isn’t that what the firefighters had just told her first graders last week?

Obeying the voice, Elizabeth dropped to the floor. She’d have to try to get down the stairs. The window looked out on the parking lot, a two-story drop to the hard asphalt.

Please God. I need some help. Send me an angel.

A lot of good that would do. She hadn’t trusted anyone since her parents died when she was 10. Where was God then? Probably the same place he was right now.

Absent. Unwilling to help someone like her.

No, if she was going to survive, she had to do this herself.

The carpet scraped against her knees as she inched into the hallway. She stopped to make a plan. She’d have to get up onto her feet and try to step over the flames that were eating away at the top step.

Inhaling a deep breath brought smoke into her lungs instead of the burst of courage she’d hoped for. Coughs racked her body and she dropped flat on the floor.

Just give up. The fire swirled and taunted her. You can’t win against me. I’m too powerful.

No, she wouldn’t give in. Pushing up off the floor, she grabbed the banister. The warm wood didn’t burn as bad as the metal door handle. A large step forward and she was able to put her right foot on the second step.

Fire swirled around her left ankle and seared her pajama pants. Elizabeth swung her foot up and over the flames to land both feet on the step. Smoke whirled around her, tickling her nose.

Elizabeth turned to face the nightmare on the landing. She put one foot on the next step behind her, then the other, and then dropped her hands to the step above her feet. She’d have to go down backwards to keep low enough to find fresh air.

She reached her foot back, toes slipping past the edge. She tumbled backward. Head over heels, her body bumped down the stairs.

With a thump she hit the landing at the bottom. She could see the front door wavering in and out in front of her. If she could get to the door everything would be okay. Her lungs ached from breathing the smoke.

Wonder if this is what mom felt as she died in that car?

Get a hold of yourself, Elizabeth. You need to move.

She reached a hand toward the door. The rest of her body refused to respond. Tears flowed down her cheeks. Please God. I need help.

Darkness folded over her mind. This must be what it feels like to die. Her hand dropped to the floor.

Out of the darkness a hand reached out to her.

Elizabeth felt her body being lifted off the floor.  Within minutes she felt the cool night air washing over her. She was laid gently on the grass. Her rescuer pulled his mask off and she saw him for the first time.

“Are you an angel?”

“No, ma’am. I’m Emmanuel. I’m a firefighter.”

“I thought God sent you. I should have known he wouldn’t help.”

“Dispatch sent me. Sometimes God works through Dispatch.”


Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

Do It!

A splinter pinched the back of Pete’s thigh as he shifted on the bench. Twisting his toe into the dirt, a small cloud of dust poofed up and settled over his cleat. The crowd stomping their feet in the bleachers pounded in his skull, rattling his brain.

Pete stood and stretched his hands up to run his fingers along the roof, then leaned forward against the rail of the dugout. Eye level with the field, he focused on the Dragons pitcher. Had to give it to the guy. Mark’s form was impeccable. Pitching hand resting behind his back as he planned his pitch. Never letting the batter rattle him.

Shifting his view to the catcher, Pete watched to see what pitch he recommended. There it was, the sign for a low, inside ball. Mark’s signature play when he was nervous. Pete chuckled. Same old Mark from high school ball.

“Hey, Petey, how’s it feel?” Matt spit his chew into the trash at the edge of the dugout and bumped his shoulder against Pete’s.

“How’s what feel?” Pete turned in time to see the smirk on Matt’s face.

“Pitching against your old teammate? Didn’t he recently steal your girl?”

“Shut up.”

The umpire’s voice roared from the field. “Strike three. You’re out.”

“That applies to you, too, Matt.” Pete grabbed his mitt and followed Matt onto the field.

Matt stopped and punched Pete’s arm. “I can see why she chose him over you. Dude’s a beast. If it were me, I’d bean him next pitch.”

Pete clenched his jaw. He pushed Matt to the ground and stalked to the pitcher’s mound.

At home base, Mark dug his toe into the dirt, setting his stance. He swung the bat up to his shoulder.

“Bean him. Right on his pretty little head. Teach him and her both a lesson.” Matt hissed the words as he trotted past the mound to first.

Pete shut the words out of his brain. He shuffled the ball in his hand until the threads rested beneath his fingers.

“You got this, Marky Baby! Knock it outta the park.”

There she was. Pete’s heart beat a rapid rhythm against his chest. How dare she wear the pink sweater he bought her? The soft fabric molded her curves. Her brown hair swung in a ponytail. Stop it, Pete. Let her go.

Mark blew a kiss to April. He turned back to Pete and geared up for the pitch.

I ought to wipe that smile off his stupid face. Sweat dripped from Pete’s brow, stung his eye. A vein pulsed in his temple. The threads of the ball dug into his fingers.

“Do it!” The words wafted over from first base.

He’d given April everything she ever wanted. Took her the places she loved. How could she dump him for that loser?

The crowd chanted. “Do it. Do it. Do it.”

“Come on, Pete. Whatcha waitin’ for?” Mark yelled.

“Do it.” Matt yelled.

Pink flashed up in the crowd. “Home run, Marky Baby.”

“As soon as he does it, sweetie.” Mark tossed the words over his shoulder.

Pete bellowed.

Wound up.

Released the ball.

Dropped his glove and walked off the field.


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Hindsight is 20/20

The day I died began as any other day.

In the wee hours of the morning, a hot wind blew over me. Birds chirping in the tree tickled my ears, dragging me from dream world.

Once my eyes opened, I couldn’t close them again. The sun peeked over the horizon, threatening the day ahead with unseasonal heat. Might as well get up and get the day started. A siesta during the sultry afternoon would be a great thing if I could get my work done early.

On the patio, I found my breakfast had already been set out. Good. I hate having to wait for a meal, especially with my stomach roaring like it did that morning. Having good help makes all the difference in the world.

With the fuss in my belly settled, I headed out to work. Really, I should have known better. I was distracted by how the day was warming up already. I shouldn’t have thought the yard across the street would have anything better. I’d hit the jackpot with the yard I was living in. Old man Smith always kept the feeders full. The extra walnuts and grapes on the patio were icing on the cake.

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Hind sight is 20/20.

But sometimes a guy gets an itch. He thinks the grass is greener over there, if you know what I mean. So, that morning I followed my greed and stepped off the curb without paying attention. Never saw the trash truck rumbling down the road.

As my life drained onto the asphalt, my tail twitched. I heard Merv and Gloria.

“Bob? Is that you?”

“I always told him he needed to look both ways before crossing the street.”