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The prim middle aged woman perused the merchandise in the department store in the local mall She was shopping for holiday gifts for her family and close friends. She smiled as she hears the Christmas music. The decorative flashing red, green and yellow lights, wreaths, many Santa’s its such a festive time to her Her heart goes pitter patter as she smiles joyfully with the colorful festivities that surround her.
Lady Lynda’s resplendant white teeth were as bright as a thousand stars as she watched with glee the boys and girls runnng toward Santa Claus. Lady Lynda sighed with delightr as she remembered how the Christian kids acted so gleefully when ever they saw Santa in a mall.
Auntie Carol’s colleage suddenly noticed a little boy straggling from behind. It was not hard to figure why. He was wearing a leg brace. She grimaced as she felt a pang in her heart as she sympathetically watched the boy struggle to keep with the other kids.
The woman presumed the children with him were his classmates. She winced as she saw how the other children barely socialize with him. She forlornly remembered how she was odd girl out in grade school because she was so bashful She fondly recalled too when she took special speech lessons because of her difficulty in pronouncing certain consonent sounds. She felt much pride in the fact those speech lessons were the impetus of her making speeches throughout the US on the importance of good etiquette
Toze’s spouse smiled and her eyes sparkled when she observed one of the little girls slowing down to help the crippled boy. Mrs Toze beamed as she witnessed the girl helping the lame boy. She deliberately didn’t think of any jokes on being crippled because she thought that was way too lame. The woman felt pity for the wee small crippled boy His pathetic condition tore at her heart She wished she could do something about his dire plight. ished she could somehow make his Christmas bright. If only there was a way she prayed with all her might. Give him joy this magical night.
Lady Lynda felt a tear slowly drift down her right cheek as she ever so reluctantly reminded herself there was no official connection between her and any of the sprites in front of her. Her eyes became even mistier when she thought of how there didn’t seem to be any way she could bring holiday cheer to the dear urchins. If only there was way she pined.
Suddenly in the corner of her eye, Lady Lynda saw a gleam of section in the doll section. There were dolls that resembled boys and girls with physical disabilities. One such doll wore a knee brace on his left leg. He was made of a soft cuddly material with the sweetest of expressions on his face He looked to be the perfect gift for the physically disabled boy.
Now the issue mused Lady Lynda was how to give the toy to the boy. She thought too that issue was so much nicer, much less threatening, disturbing word than problem. Just then she thought of an even better word, challenge. Yes it certainly would be challenging to give a gift to a child who was a total stranger. How in the world would she overcome this hurdle?
Lady Lynda thought long and hard. If only she could find a way. She started to pray. Next thing she heard was the store was sponsoring a toy drive. The LORD works in mysterious ways i am so overjoyed He answered my prayers.
Toze’s better half was befuddled on where the direction of the voice on the loudspeaker was oming from. She gasped as she saw the little urchins about to leave the department store. She swiftly concluded there was no time to lose. If only she could find where that voice was. It seemed to her it was such a mysterious voice that sent shudders down her ample frame. It was a message she told herself. Now it was her duty to track down where it was.
Auntie Carol’s friend and colleage thought of how so much she wanted to give that little crippled boy that doll. But unfortunately she groaned not being capable of finding the source of the disembodied male voice keeping her from her goal.
The woman reminded herself that it was the winter holiday season and she so much wanted to give some sunshine to some worthy child. A child who would treasure the toy she would give him and play with it as if it was new member of his family.
“Yes I know he’d love that cripple doll. A soft cuddly boy that was just like him Lady Lynda hoped and prayed there was enough time to find that voice before the store closed. Time was getting short. She gasped as she saw on her cell the store would be closing soon. There was absolutely no wiggle room.
Lady Lynda ran at her top speed through out the halls of the first floor of the dept. store. She dashed through both the women’s and men’s clothing department including the juniors and plus sizes for female clothes. She gulped in disgust as the plus sizes reminded her of how miserable she was at reaching her weight goal. She huffed as she moved as swiftly as possible on her five feet two body with size sixteen frame. Well at least all this running was good exercise for her fitness goal she sighed.
The woman dashed through every department on the first floor. The shoes, handbags and other fashion accessories, jewelry section, the small appliances. the exercise equipment. Seymour Toze’s wife sighed as the machines reminded her she needed to be more active.
She hoped she could forgive herself if she didn’t find the source of the loudspeaker announcement before the children left, especially the crippled little boy. If only she could find where that voice was coming from?
Then as Lady Lynda was breathing heavily from exhaustion and about to give up she suddenly saw there in the center of the store a man talking over a loud speaker. There, that’s him. That’s him That’s him she yelled excitedly. Now she could breath a sigh of relief. She felt liberated . Her dream come true. Now she would walk on over and ask where to pick up the toy. Lady Lynda beamed. She would be in the true spirit of giving in the Christmas Hanukuh, Kwanzah , every other holiday celebrated in this holiday season.
Strange Things are Happening at the Roof Top Bar
The strange atmosphere was so thick at the hotel roof top bar one needed a butcher knife to cut through it Tonight was the yearly Halloween party. The bohemian patrons talked glibly among themselves. They chatted mostly about
Hallowed Eve. One of the guest,Auntie Carol mentioned she believed in reincarnation. That she was in a past life a Titanic victim
That notion she confided in her friend made her think of herself as being utterly fearful of even putting her toesies in the Atlantic Ocean at the shore. This was the evening the guests believed was the eve where the spirits were set free. That anyone could sense a spirit of something not quite right. Virtually everyone including the young personable bartender was conscience that this was no conventional night. The bar was filled with practically every square foot with bizarre knickknacks. One of the strangest was a set of four brass hands on the wall with a light bulb in the palm. The fingers reached out to whoever was there. As if one wasn’t careful they would grab you and never let go.
There were a number of deer heads, organ grinder monkeys twisted in grotesque positions Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol wondered why they picked such an eerie place. The ladies smiled with delight as they saw the many patrons visitors in their Halloween costumes. Some women were dressed as vixen witches and men as sexy warlocks. Others in a number of colorful costumes. The forty-something couple dressed so stylishly in the height of style in the era of the Titanic caught their attention the most The woman was dressed in a silk high waist bodice and flowing skirt. Top part of her evening gown to the bottom of her breast was done in the most intricate brocade that resembled songbirds all a flutter On her neck were 1910s style diamond necklace with chunks of jewels of white brilliance. Attached to the necklace were more diamonds with one of them dangling centrally down. Her pearl hued elbow length fancy gloves went well with her dress. Her curly hair was in a topknot that showed off her soft dove like eyes. Her features pert. Her male companion was the height of fashion for that era. On his head was a black stovepipe hate. His hair was dark brown, parted in the middle. His “Arrow” style starched collar complemented so dashingly his vested suit and matching navy with white pin stripes suit. The Titanic couple seemed to Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol rather out-of-place being dressed as the expression goes to the nines in this unseasonably warm weather. It looked as if authenticity was the couple’s first priority
The mood at the chic rooftop suddenly grew quiet. If was as is the guests there was anxiously waiting for a quite important announcement “We’d love to shake everyone’s hand here….to show our hospitality to you all.”We’ll start with these two women dressed in the latest 50s fashion”
the woman announced. Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol gushed with pride. As the two friends and colleagues shook the partner’s hands they immediately felt cold clammy flesh. Toze’s wife and Herman Emma’s partner explained the coldness as a sudden drop the drop in temperature. At least she hoped that was the reason. The two women nervously perused their surroundings. The lounge furniture, the bohemian retro knick
knacks, the glam chandeliers seemed the same except for the sudden icy cold gust. Next moment the two dressed to the teeth in the height of 1912 fashion perused the room. As they did so lights suddenly flickered. The fingers of hands with the bulb in their palms made grasping movements. Many of the patrons including Auntie Carol, Lady Lynda screamed screaming. Virtually every heart leaped. Some tipsy guests wondered if they only imagined
what was happening to them.
The cassette tape played the 50s song “Little Demon” by Screaming Jay Hawkins. The chorus of nonsense syllables sent chills down the listeners spines. Hawkins with his high pitched shrieks and sudden moans sounded as if he was summoning demons. “Hard as a rock, dry as a bone… Big or little, know that I will take you home. I really don’t like it…ain’t nothin’I can do. I really don’t like it… I’m leaving it to you.” The song fit perfectly the spooky milieu of the rooftop bar.
The customers rushed toward the elevators. Just then Auntie Carol as she ran to the elevator noticed the hypnotizing cluster of jewels on the Titanic women’s wrist. Their power overwhelmed her. She strove to escape but soon realized it was futile. They were calling and she must do their bidding. Auntie Carol was compelled to follow the ghostly woman. “If you follow me you I’ll give you a surprise that you’ll never forget.” the ghost woman told Auntie Carol. Lady Lynda’s friend and fellow etiquette expert was intrigued yet nervous. She was silent trying to see how she should react. Especially when she no idea what to expect. It could be a trap she skittishly thought. She felt her skin getting sweaty despite the cool temperature of the room. All she sensed she could do was to wait and see. She stood there staring at what she understood as the abyss. She cautiously reminded herself that she was in the realm of the unknown and it was best she’d be careful. This was real. It wasn’t a dream.
Lady Lynda watched helplessly in horror as she saw her friend follow the ghostly couple. The scene reminded her of children’s fairy tales where the innocent little girls and boys are lured by monsters disguised as sweet friendly creatures. She observed the spirits softly cooing like canaries at Auntie Carol to come hither with them. She noticed too the man pretty much stayed behind but still holding hands with his partner. “I know where you are taking me” Auntie Carol said in a hypnotic tone to the couple. Hearing what her colleague said made Lady Lynda feel in deep bad humor. Her heart began to palpate. It was too early to tell what would happen next. Where were they leading her? Could she escape in time? Soon within minutes Auntie Carol found out. The female apparition pointed to the clock. “The time will quickly pass. You will find yourself as if surrounded by cold icy water. Then there will be peace. Then you are going to be as before but with a knowledge you never knew. The woman closed her eyes for a moment. She relived her incarnations Titanic drowning. And then she opened them and the couple was gone. There was a sense of peace. The visions were gone never to come back anymore. “Auntie Carol” my poor dear. What happened?!!! Auntie Carol gleefully replied. “ My nightmare is finally ended. I’m free from a burden that affected me all my life. I finally faced my fears. Free at last. No more nightmares of the Titanic as Poe would of
said” for ever more.”
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It was an unusually hot June.—The sun shone feriously over Erasmus Nutley. His slow deiberate walk reflected his single mindedness. How he’d give Dan D. his justdeserts. The man mood slightlyy perked up. His tall, bony body was clothed in thriftshop wear . Discount store clothes were too extravagant. His steps were slow , deliberate, as he trudged along the pavement and streets. Daniel Delbert walker and ultimately proving Lady Lynda Mae Hoffenfetter Toze was a reprehensble fake. His lanky arms swung back and forth clockwork like The curmudgeon constantly pursed his thin lips. He grasped his wooden cane tightly to make certain it supported his frame. Tje ongbirds chirpinggave him a splitting headache.
“Out of my way, you squirrels, you stray dogs. Don’t you know you’re in my way. Nutley snapped wildly flinging his arms and his cane as he tried his best to swat the pests surrounding himk “You dumb creatures. Keep away from me you toads, you gnats, you flies before I swat you with my pine knot cane Get awat from my path you low down dirty critters. None of you are going to stop me from my goal of directing my wrath with Lady Lynda and Daniel D. Walker. You varmins can just fade away. I didn’t walk such a long way for nothing” he snapped.
Her eyes opened wide in disbelief. He finally reached his goal. The man felt hs walking stick wobble as he suddenly lost his balance and fell rather ignomiously on his keester. Yet even with this ignoble fall he simply dusted his hand me down clothes, got up and breathed a short sigh of contentment. That was the extent of his expression of joy.
Across the street was airport gate. Now all he needed to do was to find the air traffic controllers office. With new found but guarded optimism the man marched a few yards until he saw a checkpoint. He read the sign “Check here first before entering” Its the law”
Erasmus Nutley groaned as he noticed those words. “Harummph Goverment red tape. Oh one more example of putting the ogre in progress. ” I detest beauracracy” But what can I do except do what it says Its worth it if I can show up Lady Lynda for what she is. A damn fool”
Nutley walked up to the checkpoint on his best behavior. He tried to fake a sincere smile but as he tried his face began to feel like it was cracking. The man wiped his brow as sweat poured down his forehead. He tried to remember the comic Fred Allen quote “If you can fake sincerity you got it made” At least he figured if he got it wrong it was close enough.
Finally, shaking like the last leaf on a tree, Nutley stood his ground. He put his entire weight on his sturdy cane. The man looked straight into the eye of the young whippersnapper of a female attendent. He told her in no uncertain terms to let him in.
“Glory be !” she cried, as she leaned her elbow against the sill of the opening of her stand. Whiie she tried to bes to stifle a guffaw, her left hand wiped her brows. “Look here. LIke I’m supposed to let you enter just because you want me too. Tou need to ID. Whatcha got on ya? ”
Erasmus felt his mood sunk as low as a seashell at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Here was the one place he could challenge Dan D. and Lady Lynda but now he needed to reach into his pockets and produce identification. Oh the unfair beauracracy he mumbled to himself. He loathed goverment red tape
“Don’t look at me sir with that scowl. I don’t make the rules. I just enforce them. Security is very tight here with all the rash of airplane passenger terrorism. ”
Erasmus Nutley shut his eyes to filter out any distractions so he try to come up with a plan. . He pointedly pointed his cane at her as if it was a deadly weapon. The woman in the booth immediately began to signal other members of security.
The man quickly let down his walking stick. He told her he was frustrated by their stupid rules. All he wanted to do was to see a certain cointroller. He didn’t mean any harm to her or anyone there. Was there a way to show who he really was?
The young woman thought for a few minutes. Then she asked was there anything he could show that proved who he was?
Nutley then pulled out his pocket a electricity bill. The woman accepted and let him enter.
The codger greatly relieved continued on toward the controller section
“This wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be” complained Nutley as he walked on. He was tired from his walking but there was no time to rest. He came to far to back down. His goal he reflected was far to crucial to ever give up It was late in the afternoon with the first signs of darkness but no matter what time it, no matter how dark it was , he come too far to turn back. He would make his way and that was all he needed to know.
He was thankful there was no rain. The man constantly looked both ways as he continued his path. Once he confronted Walker he could sleep soundly. He would be at peace….at last.
He passed through several airline company hangars until he noticed the air traffic controller office. It was like it was calling him. The misanthrope shook his head in disbelief There it was directly in front of him His chance to give D.D. Walker his comeuppance.
Just then from the corner of his eye Erasmus Nutley glaned a tall tawny skinned , slender woman. At first it looked as if she was merely passing through. Then not far behind wa s Dan D. Walker shuffling his feet to his own persoinal beat. .Erasmus signed him over but he kept on dancing and happily smiling.
He closed hus eyes, reached out his hand, and shook Dan D’s hand. Walker instantly noticed how cold Walker’s hand was. If was like the coldness reflected the iciness of his heart The Texan immediately knew Erasmus was up to no good. Dan D.’s mood plummeted.
“What are ya here fer. Bet its not to give me good news. The cotroller cackled. “Ah senses its something none too pleasing to me I may be gettin’ old but I still can sense when somethig is up. You know what ah mean?”
Erasmus stomped his feet like an overgrown elf who realized how happy he felt that he realized the realization of what he came for. Here was proof that he, Erasmus Nutley was right. Now the only thing left to do was to give this cracker controller the bait.
Then Nutley went on, swinging his cane side to side like a methodical pendulum. The way his steady glared stared through to D. D. it felt to the other man Nutley was looking through him, clear throgh from his front to his back and beyond. At last his intermineble stare came to an end, Erasmus Nutley propsed a wager to Walker He told the controller he’d grease his palms with silver. Dan D. Walker told he was concerned the silver would make his skin blue. He said he knew of a man who become permanately bluish because he used colloidal silver.
“I can’t believe how idiotic you are.” sneered Erasmus.
“Can’t believe you’d take me seriously. I was joshing you… Seriouslys” retorted Dan D.
The codger stood there for a few minutes thinking of what to do next . He thought of calling the numbskull’s bluff but he tried to think of other options he could try too. Clearly Walker was bluffing him.
“What the heck Nutley You took the trouble to track me down. So what are ya askin fer? I kin tell you’re not exactly ready to praise me”
Nutley vigorously shook his head side to side. Then he stomped his left foot to emphasis his distrust and rage. The very next moment he was completely silent and motionless. His expression was as hollow as scooped out kayak
Erasmus noticed there was a slight grin on the Texan’s face. The old codger dismissed the expression as another example of the simplemindedness of the clueless air controller. It was clearly nothing to worry about.
“You are a hoot Erasmus. You are the rootin, tootinest hoot my eyes ever did see. I know what you’re trying to do to me. Well I got your number and your numbers are counted. You went here to show me up. Well its not gonna be workin fer ya. Its been over a year since I was here and I ain’t never got any airplanes into even the most minor of mishaps. Mah accent I realze sounds strange to ya but my boss thinks I speak clear enough. Ain’t never no got any complaints. So you can shoo on right along. Maybe ah ain’t as sophisticated as you but I do what I need to do here and that;s good for everyone here. ”
By his triumphant expression Erasmus Nutley knew he was licked.