Let me tell you a little story…

Kiril of sneakeasysjoint sent in this next entry for Sudden Fiction which is definitely a must read. Please forgive my being late with this post but the sushi has really gotten the best of me.



There is a corner of Elbie?s Bar & Grill where even some of the heartiest, and most daringly creative minds have feared to tread.
A few have, and gone on to greater things, but others, and the number is Legion, have faded back into obscurity.
The audience is varied from night to night and even has a steady cast of regulars. It can be kind, and it can be harsh, but it is always honest in its appraisal, of that you can be sure.
No-one can remember how many months it?s been since someone last ventured onto its hardwood floor, but it is the year 2002, the dawning of the 2nd year of a new age of mankind?

And so, as the lights are dimmed and a spotlight is trained on center stage?
A dark haired figure dressed all in black approaches the microphone and with a bow in the direction of Polo, the Bartender, and to the Proprietor, sitting with her child on her lap, he quietly begins to speak?
?Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am no singer or stand-up comedian, just a weaver of tales. They are stories of hopes, and dreams, and fantasies, of comedy, drama, and horror. Of what won?t be, could be, or even will be. Who can tell?
My friends call me Sneakeasy, and this is my story for tonight?
It is the story of THE ZORRO OF LOVE: Shape-shifting cousin to that prankster Cupid, but no mere shooter of arrows up peoples rear ends, while hiding behind bushes, is this being?
And so clear your mind of all clutter, and listen to my tale??
It is a lovely spring evening along the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, and heading south is a handsome devil of a soon to be 42 year old bachelor, riding his bike and admiring the view, when suddenly from out of the bushes leaps what appears to be Mae West in a smashing black dress, cape, and mask outfit!
The figure dashes up to the man and slashing an L across his heart with her sword whispers seductively, ?Why don?t you ask her out, big boy?? and points down the trail.
Dazed and bemused the man gazes down the trail, then turns around, but the figure is gone?
Meanwhile, heading north along the trail is a beautiful young woman. She could be 25 or 39, it?s not important.
She is pedaling absent-mindedly along when suddenly Rudolph Valentino, looking dashingly romantic in black with a cape and mask, leaps into her path and slashes an L across her heart with his sword.
He silently smiles and winks, then pointing down the trail with his sword, disappears from whence he came?
And so the 2 lonely riders continue on their separate ways, approaching, from opposite ends, a dark tunnel beneath a nearby highway?
A couple of seconds after disappearing into the tunnel there is a crash and the sound of startled voices are heard, then silence?
20 minutes passes?
Zorro, standing on the highway above and looking over at the bike trail, is pleased to see a couple of disheveled bike riders, 1 male, 1 female, emerge from the tunnel below.
They are walking their bikes and holding hands and smiling at each other as they head off into the sunset?
Zorro smiles?
He just loves happy endings, or, is that, promising new beginnings?
As the Storyteller ends his tale, the light on center stage fades to black, then, after 1 minute, the light comes on again to reveal an empty stage?


Word has spread of someone courageous enough to tread upon the fabled stage of Elbie?s, and for the 1st time in months the place is standing room only, and the atmosphere is electric with anticipation and curiosity.
Normally those who perform stand in the center of the dance floor, and only the brave or the foolhardy mounted the stage.
Until the other night it had been months since anyone dared?
And so, as the lights are dimmed and a spotlight is trained on center stage?
A dark haired figure dressed all in black approaches the microphone and, with a bow toward the audience begins to speak?
?Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am a humble weaver of tales. They are stories of hopes, and dreams, and fantasies, of comedy, drama, and horror. Of what won?t be, could be, or even will be. Who can tell?
My friends call me Sneakeasy, and this is my story for tonight?
It is a sequel to one of the most loved fables of your childhood?Red Riding Hood.
And so clear your mind of all clutter, and listen to my tale??
It was a dark and stormy night unlike any other sixteen- year old Red could remember and as she stood under the tree in the forest, shivering and soaked, she was very annoyed.
Annoyed that she was missing a chance to visit a web site on the Net that her classmates said she just HAD to visit.
Annoyed that her Ma still made her go to Grandma?s house when it might rain, and that she STILL had to even make the trip! Couldn?t her younger sister, Livonia, do it now? She was old enough and, besides that, her bike had 2 flats!
Annoyed that Grandma, after all these years, and no more trouble, had decided to move to another part of the forest for crying out loud!
Annoyed at the sound of howling wolves echoing through the forest, their cry a haunting melody in the stormy darkness???
Red shivered as the howling died out &, just as suddenly as it had begun, the rain stopped. Looking at the sign at the crossroads she took the directions her Ma had given her out of her pocket?
Now what was she to do? The ink was washed away and she couldn?t tell whether to go left or right?
Suddenly she heard the startled cry of a child and, looking around, she saw a little girl, no more than 5 ? years old, looking at her?
?Are you lost?? asked Red.
?My name?s Beatrix and, no, I?m not lost, just scared by the storm,? said the child.
?Where do you live?? Asked Red.
?In the clearing,? said the girl, pointing down the left path, ?Oh, you are wet, like me! Come meet my family! We?re having a gathering. I?m sure Mommy, Daddy, & CT would be pleased to have you for dinner.?
Red thought a moment and, deciding that she needed to dry, and WAS hungry, told the child to lead the way and, as they arrived at the cottage in the clearing, the beauty of its surroundings amazed her.
The child called out so many strange names in waving to the people sitting near the porch that she couldn?t keep them ALL in her head?
Names like Denali, Lon, Kipp, Canis, Blake, Willow, Jack, and even one called Fang, who winked at her and smilingly said, ?I ain?t THAT big and bad a fellow, once you get to know me, ya know.?
The child took her by the hand and led her into the cottage, past a man with a camcorder, whom she called Daddy, and finally to a woman on a couch?
?Mommy, Mommy, look who I found out by the road!? the child cried. ?She?s wet and everything, just like me! I knew you?d be pleased to have her, I mean, can she stay for dinner??
As she looked around the room and saw the paintings of wolves hanging on the walls, the odd turn of phrase, used again by the child, slowly registered in Reds? mind.
?Why, yes, dear child, we certainly shall!? a booming voice full of laughter said from the kitchen, and Red watched as a large man wearing an apron, and holding an old little dog lovingly in his arms entered the room.
?The oven?s just about properly heated, ? he said, looking (was that hungrily?) At her?
?Oh goody, CT!? the child cried with pride and glee and, looking at Red, said, ?See I told you they?d be pleased!?
Red suddenly noticed that the subject of the painting with pride of place looked frighteningly familiar, and she caught he breath in shock?
She turned to the door, and tripped over a hissing cat, and a voice growled, ?Down Hokie!? as the cat slinked away into the shadows?
As she gathered her wits about her, face down on the floor, CT continued, ?I see young Red that you noticed Aesop. You DO remember Aesop don?t you, my dear??
And it all came flooding back to her, as if 6 years had only been yesterday?
?No!? she screamed, as she opened her eyes, ?You?re lying!?
There, before her unbelieving gaze, were 3 adult wolves and a young eager cub.
She turned and dashed outside only to be surrounded on all sides by a howling pack of big hungry wolves.
Wondering where all the people had disappeared to, Red moaned and sank helplessly to the ground as she realized the awful truth?
CT padded out of the cottage and, standing before her as a man again, spoke through a glistening smile?
?Come now, child, you didn?t think we?d forget now did you? Such pain was caused by the defeat of one of our own. He was something of a maverick but he was still one of us, and made us proud.
We watched and planned for this night, and knew you were making a visit to your Grandmas new home, so sent the child out to play in hopes you would meet.?
The last thing Red saw on Gods good earth were a pack of werewolves closing in for the kill, and the last thing she heard was the voice of CT?
?We are so very pleased to have you for dinner, my dear??
As the Storyteller ends his tale, the light on center stage fades to black, then after 1 minute, the light comes on again to reveal an empty stage?
And as one, the audience releases its collective breath too stunned to do more than stare at the spot where he had stood just a moment before?


The denizens of Elbie’s are murmuring among themselves. Rumor has it that THE STORYTELLER is going to depart from his normal routine, if ever so slightly, and tread, very delicately, into the territory of the Bar’s resident, and established Poets (everyone furtively glances toward NORRIN, especially) this night…

The voices still as the lights dim and a spotlight is trained NOT on the famous stage…

But on the chair behind the Golden Microphone on the speaker’s stand in the, just as famous, Poet’s Corner…

A dark haired figure dressed all in black is sitting in the chair, and standing, he reaches for the microphone, nods toward the audience & begins to speak…

“Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a humble weaver of tales. My name is Sneakeasy, and you have enjoyed my stories in the past and have probably wondered where I’ve been in recent months.

I have been on a journey to take up residence in a new land. A land of fresh beginnings, and one, I believe, that will provide me with new ideas for my storytelling.

Tonight I wish to depart from the stage and take a chance with the 2nd of my 2 offerings.

But 1st, let’s begin with the familiar…”

And with that, the Storyteller walked over to the soft drink dispenser along the wall.

“Dispensers of goods of various types have been a part of our public spaces since before many in this room were born, I’m sure, and we all take them for granted.

They are there and we pay our fee to receive whatever the machine has that we are interested in.

But for some folks, and for some machines, there is more involved in this relationship…

And therein lies a tale… one I call


The storyteller fades into the shadows, and a staple of modern life takes the spotlight, as a voice fills the room…

She’s a Coke Machine
And that’s ok,
She takes your money,
And dispenses her favors all day!

There she is in all of her beautiful, 6ft., glory!

With that warm exterior, her Soft Drink outfit beckoning you invitingly to partake of the pleasures she has to offer, you simply cannot resist!

Classic Coke
Dr. Pepper
Diet Coke

She’ll even give you a Squirt!

All hours of the day or night, for the right price, she will give you pleasure the likes of which you never dreamed of.

And, so it is hard to believe she is so cold inside, and can be so cruel.

She refuses to take dollar bills, no matter how new, or unwrinkled.

Coin only, if you please, and be quick about it!

Sometimes she will refuse to dispense with her favors, and even, on occasion, take your money as payment just for soliciting her.

No matter how much you beg and plead for her forgiveness for whatever you had done ( was it the buffalo head nickel I used on Monday? or the 1925 dime on Thursday?) It was an accident, I’m sorry! Please forgive me!) that displeased her so, she ignores you and coldly sits and stares.

A week goes by and, trembling, you approach her yet again to seek redemption and fulfillment.

On bended knee, you hold out your open wallet and remove 3 shiny, new, 2003 quarters and, with a gentle caress, present them to her in hopes that she will look favorably upon your offering and dispense with a Classic Coke….

The suspense builds as she takes her time and contemplates the look of remorse on your face, and gages your sincerity…

Finally… she relents, and you happily gather her favor into your arms, and go scampering joyfully down the hall back to your apartment, crying out for all to hear….



And the light fades slowly, slowly, to dark….


The audience lets go of its collective breath and stares at each in the darkness…

They whisper amongst themselves about cigarette, candy, and condom machines of their acquaintance, and how someone they know ( not them! )…

Then the light returns and the Storyteller is there at the podium holding a beautiful red flower to his nose.

Nodding toward the great NORRIN, and the other poets in the room he begins to speak…

“Roses are red
Violets are blue
To the many great poets in the room
I hope this meets with the approval of you…

Mother Nature is an amazing woman, her wonders to behold. The catalog of plants from beautiful to ugly, from tiny to giant, is seemingly endless. There have been and still are many that man, in his curiosity, and obsessiveness, has yet to discover and catalogue.

Many cures have come from plants, and many are yet to be found, but one day will be.

This is the story of one such plant…


There never was a weed so odd,
so pretty, and so big,
as the curious plant called
The Dandyfosilthiselwig.

There it was, by itself,
in a square patch of dirt,
Surrounded by fencing as if in a brig,
the lonesome Dandyfosilthiselwig.

With a stem round and sturdy, and a skin course and wrinkly,
It rose toward the heavens.
What others thought it gave not a fig, this,
the proud Dandyfosilthiselwig.

It began as a seedling dropped by a bird.
Its natural instincts subverted by cat pee and turd.
Spring roots sprouted, and began to dig.
Thus did the new kid on the block, the Dandyfosilthiselwig.

Yellow at birth, green in its youth,
it gave off a smell that was most uncouth.
But as the seasons changed, and it climbed to the sky,
Indications were seen that this was no mere twig.
The budding Dandyfosilthiselwig.

A triangle-shaped flower emerged at the top,
its color that of long curdled slop.
One had to wonder why God gave it this gig.
The weird looking Dandyfosilthiselwig.

Then came the fruit, all blue and white spotted.
About its benefits the scientists became besotted.
Beautiful and tasty, past opinions were soon judged hasty,
as it was discovered to be the cure for a Prig.
A glorious freak of nature, the Dandyfosilthiselwig…

The light fades and, a minute later, returns only to find the rose alone in the chair of the Poet’s Corner.

2 thoughts on “Let me tell you a little story…”

  1. It’s that time, Again

    I feel like crap — think I’m getting that loverly virus that I’ve been hearing so much about. There’s a giant balloon in my head and a running chain saw in my throat. Other than that I’m, good. How’re you?…

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