All good deeds

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75-08-august-31st-2014I sat at the desk and stared at the stack of unpaid bills. I thought about all the worry, the stress they caused. The checkbook was laying out in front but the news it held was just too much to handle.

Klak, Klak, Klak

The empty change jar seemed almost to be laughing, mocking the family. The words past due were contained on multiple letters and envelopes. In the corner the empty pill bottles were stacked. The post it notes attached read “prescriptions ready. Pay?”

Klak, Klak, Klak

The more I stared at the desk and the stress it contained the more I smiled. I was happy I could help this family escape all this tension. It felt wonderful to have done my good deed today.

Klak, Klak, Klak

I reached down and picked up the knife, wiping off the excess blood. It was time for me to move on, there were more good deeds to be done. Tomorrow was another day.


Short story written for the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.

Dr. Madfunny2 and the start of the Robot Apocalypse

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It had been a while since I had seen or even heard from my strange uncle Dr. Madfunny2. I couldn’t help but wonder what he had been up to that had kept him occupied recently. I decided it was time to find out and make sure he hadn’t gotten himself into trouble again.

I headed over to his place a bit hesitant. When it comes to dealing with a mad scientist you never know what to expect. I had already witnessed a few explosions, a barrage of clones and a revenge attempt with a remote controlled forklift that went completely wrong, so I knew this could be a weird day.

I knocked on the door but there was no answer. This was nothing unusual. If the good Dr. was in his lab he would be too involved to hear or care about visitors. I reached down and turned the knob until the door opened. You would think someone who was always experimenting with dangerous objects might need a security system, but the Dr. couldn’t be bothered with safety.

As I entered I noticed metallic parts and supplies everywhere. There were boxes and boxes stacked along the halls and in the front room. What was the Dr. into now and why did he need all these parts? It looked as though there were several boxes that contained batteries, a few with computer boards and lots of wire.

I headed further into the house and figured I would have to make my way to the basement. Since no one was around upstairs the only other place the Dr. could be was where he usually was, his basement lab. Weird thing was as I walked down the steps I couldn’t hear the music he usually played while experimenting. I never understood how Madonna’s Like a Virgin album got the creative juices flowing, but that was the Doc’s favorite. Today though, all was quiet except a slight beeping.

The lab was darker than normal but I noticed a light coming from the storage room in the back. As I walked across the room I saw what the parts upstairs were being used for. There in the middle of the room was the most awesome robot I had ever seen. It must have been charging as a wire was plugged directly into the fuse box and I realized that was where the beeping was coming from. It looked complete and I found myself intrigued at it’s design. It appeared to have all the attributes that could make it useful. The hands, legs and arms were human like but the head was squared off and looked to contain quite the advanced computer system.

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Laying on the table in front was some type of laser. Was the Dr. planning to add weapons to this robot? What did he have planned now where he needed a weaponized robot? This could not be good. It might be lucky I decided to check on him before he does something stupid, again.

The door to the storage room was locked which was weird. I used a screwdriver from the table to pop the flimsy lock open figuring the Dr. probably locked himself in the storage room and had been stuck there a while. I was at least partially right. He was sitting in the corner of the room, tied to the wall with electrical wire and his mouth covered in duck tape. I ran over and pulled the tape loose.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Ouuuch. hat damn tape hurts! Hurry, untie the wire and get me out of here before it finishes charging.” He replied.

“What? The robot did this? Why?”

“It’s a long story we don’t have time for right now. We need to stop it from finishing the others first!”

“The others?”

“Just help me up and follow me”

We headed out the lab past the robot that seemed a bit more menacing now. Up the stairs and out the back of the house until we reached the garage.

“You need to help me get the robot shells out of the garage. We are going to pile them in the pool and then bring out all the extra parts from inside the house. I will take care of the rest.”

He opened the garage door to reveal rows of robot bodies. There must have been fifty or more lined from one end to the other. He grabbed the hand truck and began hauling them one by one to the empty pool, piling them inside.

“Start bringing out the parts from inside. Make sure to get all the computer boards first. We need to destroy it all.”

I didn’t question him. I ran in and began grabbing everything I could hold and returning to the pool, dumping it in. After fifteen or more trips the house was empty and the pool was full.

“Now stand back. This might get messy.” he said as he tossed in what looked like a grenade.

There was a quick flash that nearly blinded me, but there was no explosion. As I gained my sight and looked back I realized the pool was empty. The bottom was scorched, but other than that there was no sign of the robots or parts.

“Whew. That was close. Thank you. Now let’s get back inside to see if we can take out CHOCORO.”

“CHOCORO?”

“The one inside. He started all this and trapped me in that room. I created it as a CHOre COmpleteing RObot to help me around the lab, but I gave it too much of an identity. I should have known not to include artificial intelligence on such an advanced shell. Oh well, you live and learn. Let’s go.”

When we went back into the lab we knew something was wrong. The place was empty, no sign of CHOCORO. We searched the house, the back yard and surrounding area with no sign of the missing menace. After a couple hours the Dr. said it was over.

“Over? But the robot? Won’t he keep trying to create more and maybe destroy us?”

“Yeah, probably. It’s someone else’s problem now though. Don’t worry about it. I’ll send an anonymous email to the army. It won’t be the first time I had to warn them about a threat. “

“Wait, what. What else have you done?”

“Oh it’s best if you don’t know. Want a soda? I’m thirsty and need to get the taste of duct tape out of my mouth.”

We went inside and had that soda. It was actually a fun evening after the initial bit of excitement. We hung out and watched TV until late and I headed back home. Just another day when you have a mad scientist for an uncle.


Written in response (sort of) to today’s Daily Prompt: You, Robot you’ve been handed a robot whose sole job is to relieve you of one chore, job, or responsibility you particularly hate. What is it?

 

 

Amassing phrases

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yada-yada-222767_640I looked out only to see it was raining cats and dogs. Getting my brother to run me over to Steve’s house was going to be like pulling teeth. He was going to expect an arm and a leg in return. I knew I would owe him big time and eventually he would be coming to collect, but there was no time to worry about it now. I would just have to tough it out.

Steve had been down for the count recently and could use a little cheering up. So far I was drawing a blank as to what to do, but I was determined to address the elephant in the room. I had always been told every cloud has a silver lining and it was time to find one for Steve.

I needed to go for broke and just hope for the best. It was time he knew just how head over heels in love with him I was. I was going to be swinging for the fences and hoping he would be on the same page. Even if it meant the worst case scenario, I was determined to cut to the chase.

When I arrived I realized it was down to the wire. Sally was over and I knew she had the hots for Steve as well. She was barking up the wrong tree and about to get on my bad side. I was just going to have to burst her bubble and hope she would get the picture, Steve was off-limits.

She had always been the type to make a scene, but I wasn’t going to play games. She would find herself stuck between a rock and a hard place because I always play for keeps. I was going to knuckle down and wait for just the right moment to strike.

I was taking it all in when I noticed something that had been right there under my nose the whole time. Steve was wrapped around the finger of Sally. He was a man of few words, but he was sharing them with her. I was getting the short end of the stick again.

It seemed the jig was up and I had to face the facts. I was always jumping the gun and getting myself into hot water. This was my wake up call, maybe I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. I needed to quit being so quick on the draw and remember there are other fish in the sea.

Hopefully one day I would be happy as a clam, but for now I needed to keep my eyes peeled and my options open. I couldn’t take many more hits below the belt. I was about to leave when Steve’s brother Shawn came into the picture. He was returning home after a hard day’s work and as soon as I saw him I began foaming at the mouth.

I guess maybe I will never learn my lesson. It’s just not my cup of tea to take a back seat. I always needed to be front and center but maybe it was best to start back at square one. It was time to get back to the drawing board and Shawn would be a great way to break the ice.

One thing for sure I was no longer planning to beat around the bush. There was no need to cry over spilled milk, I just needed to buckle up and get back in the saddle. After all, I couldn’t really expect falling in love to be a piece of cake.


Okay I admit I was at a loss for a post these last few days and I had been thinking about writing a story from phrases for a while. What did you think? It was fun to write it. I hope you enjoyed. Maybe you want to try your own?

Key to evil

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73-08-august-17th-20141The young man laughed when he looked at the three

They seemed silly there at the base of the tree

He spoke, saying “What are you supposed to be”

And added “A trio of goofs is all that I see”

He was surprised fully expecting them to flee

Instead they were still, as still as still could be

He thought maybe they could not hear me 

But then something felt wrong, a bit scary

The ground shook as the evil broke free

“The worlds in trouble” a hoarse voice did decree

“You have opened my cell, you were the key”

“How was I, I’m just little old me”

“But you broke the rules, one, two and three”


Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt and inspired by the photo above.

Suzie asks so I answer – Questions community experiment

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Suzie from Suzie81 Speaks is conducting a new experiment. She has asked the wordpress community to answer a few questions about themselves and their blogging. I haven’t done a post like this in a while so I figured I would give it a go, especially since the questions are some great ones. You can join in with your own post or answer in the comment section of hers so get to it, after you browse around my blog of course.



dance

I can’t dance but I give it my best shot. Same way I blog, with reckless abandon.

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

I originally started my first blog Okay, What if? based on an idea of making every post fall into a what if. I was just having fun and figured I could explore almost any possibility. It worked great and still does, but did limit me a bit. Eventually I decided I wanted to answer some prompts and write a few stories without the what if tag. I choose to start up a new blog and named it JED’s Playhouse because I felt it was my personal space to play with my writing and hope others would enjoy. So far, so good.

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

There is no need to be a fantastic writer. If you enjoy what you write others probably will too. Have fun and stay true to yourself.

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

While working in retail I once watched a woman threaten a fellow employee over a ten cent difference in her bill. Even when the employee offered to pay the ten cents herself the lady just got worse. She eventually had to be asked to leave but she screamed the whole way out, telling my fellow employee she was going to have her fired.

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

Thank you. It can make all the difference in the world just to hear those two words when you want to be appreciated.

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

There are many places I can think of, but one I would really enjoy would be my parent’s wedding. After losing my dad this year it made me truly realize how important my parents were in my life. Seeing them when they were young and first in love would be wonderful. A plus would be seeing other family we lost or lost touch with over the years and a few like my Grandpa who I never had the privilege of meeting. He was gone before I was born.

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Maybe something like super or amazing or uncanny. Incredible, astonishing, spectacular…. well you get the point. I might even need a cool costume made of spandex. I would need to go on a workout binge first though.

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

Amazing misadventures of a man called JED. The adventures will make you laugh, smile and sometimes cry… but you will mostly laugh.

Observation room – Finish The Story #4

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Part one of a story from the Matticus Kingdom. His prompt asks us to finish what he has started.


Light filters through the cascading waves of shadows running down the high canyon walls.  Shining fingers reaching down from the heavens to highlight the beauty of the world, you notice the warm spots of rock and water where the light touches and you smile.  The constant hum and crash of the river at your feet adds the symphony accompaniment to the play being acted out for your enjoyment.  Time slows and races with the rise and fall of the orchestra, and your heart follows along.

Stepping to the edge, you set your balance and brace your feet, then let the fly taste the air as you whip it once, twice, three times over your head.  The line pulls against your finger as you release it and for a moment your world is reduced to the flight of the fly and the whine of the reel.  As it splashes down, and you are pleased with its placement, the roar of the river rises back up to a near deafening volume, and you begin to coax the fish out of hiding with a delicate dance of pressure and movement.

A flash of silver deep within the rolling blue and white, as a trout breaks cover beneath the rocky bottom, and there is a small tug on the taught line…


Now for my continuation, a bit of a turn in the story for part two….


Immediately you hear the splash as the water begins to open revealing the path to a secret bunker below. You had always hated fishing and wondered whose idea it was to make entry rely on it. Luckily this time you had caught the release switch on your very first try.

The ground begins to rise until the doorway stands in front of you. It opens and you step into the portal, placing your palm on the secure pad. Soon you are being rocketed miles below the surface. You are met at the final entrance and led straight into the observation room.

The place is in panic mode after the latest development. Everyone seems to be scrambling, searching for their purpose. You walk across the room and up to the large screen that fills the entire wall. You press the buttons in sequence and watch as the screen returns to what it was when you left for vacation just a few hours before.

You turn and speak to the room “Okay folks, settle down. Nothing is wrong and we are not under attack. Please return to your normal duties and you will be notified if anything changes. Thank you.”

You begin to leave, planning to spend the remaining evening in your room. You knew a vacation was a longshot, but you had hoped to at least get away for a full day. It looks like it’s not going to happen this month. The young man who had been brought in to help maintain the facility while you were away was standing in the doorway looking frazzled.

“Sir, what did you do? Where are they and how do we know their intentions? I was about to send out a destroy team.” he said in a rushed tone, visibly frightened.

“Young man it seems someone has been fiddling with the screen settings. Do you know anything about that?” you ask, already knowing the answer.

“Well, yes sir. I took courses on the technology and I was attempting to focus the zoom capabilities when I spotted the intruding forces.” he states with a youthful pride.

“Well from now on please do not attempt any modifications on my equipment. Also when you get a chance you may want to pick up a copy of the Star Trek television series. You may notice the invading green woman in the desert look very familiar.” you say, holding back anger but also a little laughter. You must remain professional you keep repeating in your head.

“Sir. Are you saying we were just watching a TV show? But they had laser weapons!”

You walk away ignoring the statement. As you leave the observation room you begin to think about how you can write up the progress report for today. How do you call a room full of geniuses the biggest idiots you have ever had the privilege of meeting without it sounding demeaning?

The demon we keep inside

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A demon lives in everyone’s soul

Just waiting, hoping to take control

There are moments in each day

We fight, trying to keep it away

We hope it can always be defeated

What happens when our fight is depleted

How do we survive when we lose control

Knowing chaos is the demon’s only goal

Who can we turn to for a helping hand

How do we attempt to make a final stand

What if this battle we know we will lose

What’s the best path for us to choose

The pain inside might be ours alone

But the effect to others cannot be known

We won’t, we can’t, let the demon escape

No one else will suffer from our mistake

The only way to keep evil penned

May be for us to make this the end!



I am still saddened by the news of Robin Williams passing. I have no way to know, no clue to how his mind worked or how he could choose to end a life that had brought joy to so many, but I was inspired to write a poem.

Thank you Robin for making me laugh, wish you didn’t make me cry…

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I got home today and started my internet surfing when I found something that just floored me. The workday had been a busy one and the news of the day had never been a topic. I found the information that sent my head spinning while flipping through my followed blogs and the posts of the day.

According to reports Robin Williams took his own life today.

Photo courtesy wikipedia

Photo courtesy wikipedia

The actor, the comedian, the man who was Robin Williams has passed. A life spent in the pursuit of making others enjoy theirs a little more ended in a most tragic way. He was easily responsible for millions, possibly billions of laughs over the decades he spent as one of Hollywood’s elite.

There are very few people today in the world of entertainment that I would get giddy about meeting, but Robin Williams was somebody I would include among them. I would have jumped at the chance to have dinner or just hang out with the man.

Some of my earliest memories include watching him as Mork. I would lay on the floor in front of the TV and laugh even though I wasn’t always sure what I was laughing at. The stories that unfolded week to week were some of my first introductions to the world of fiction, sci-fi and how it could be funny.

There were many movies over the years where Robin made me laugh and a few where I shed some tears. I think I enjoyed his performance in Good Will Hunting most of all. Maybe it was the references to Red Sox history that make it stand out. The scene where his character tells the story of missing the 1976 World Series game six to be with his future wife is one of my favorite moments in any film. I remember after watching it asking my dad about his memories of those Red Sox years. It was a great bonding experience for us and even helped me find out things about my Grandpa I didn’t know. It seemed he had been an even bigger Red Sox fanatic than I am.

Robin’s films were always a great way to spend time with family. Most would be considered suitable for any audiences. The stories were good if not great, the laughs abundant and his characters memorable. The thought of him suffering while bringing others so much joy is hard to comprehend.

I never knew anything of his personal life or his struggles. To me he was only an actor, just another face on the screen. He was someone to make me laugh when I needed it, someone to make me think and someone to enjoy watching do the job they were meant for. The thought of it all being over truly saddens me.

For everything he was and everything he did I want to say a huge thank you to Robin Williams. You were a true master of your craft and will be missed greatly. The laughs you created and the memories made will be cherished forever.

The ending was too soon and feels wrong. It feels tarnished and out of place. How can it be true? I don’t want to believe it, I keep hoping it’s only a hoax.

RIP Robin. Thank you for the life you shared with us.

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