otherwise known as
Alien Crime Syndicate.
otherwise known as
Alien Crime Syndicate.
My Collection of The Macabre:
( click the pic)
a Macabre ‘toon
When Your Done With The Toon
a strange history of Rainbow Beach
There’s hand painted tin sign hanging behind the Soda Fountain at Nixie’s in Rainbow Beach.
! Drink Nixie’s Root Beer !
“soothing to the nerves, vitalizing to the blood, and refreshing to the brain”
and in fine print under that:
Nixie’s….Everything you need for Health’s Sake
That’s where people from The Bow went when something ailed them…and somethings never change.
Not matter how somethings may appear.
The night Alona Darelyn walked into Rainbow Beach she headed straight for Nixie’s.
She didn’t slow down to look at the house she grew up in, she didn’t wonder where everyone was.
Instead she walked down the middle of the street she had roller skated down as a child, she crossed over another street she rode her bike on as a teenager and right there in front of Nixie’s where she got her first traffic ticket she put her bags down on the faded blue bus stop bench and she told herself she was home.
And that it was time to go into Nixie’s to find a cure for what ailed her.
Nixie’s was empty of course- the soda fountain was gone, the cases that once held the penny candies was gone, the lighting fixtures where gone- everything was gone.
Nixie’s had been stripped to the bone.
But that didn’t really matter because the thing that made Nixie’s the place to go to find a cure for what ailed you was always there- if you knew where to look.
And of course Alona did.
It was down on the floor, just in front of the place where the Soda Fountain once stood, a dusty circle of tiles colored blue and green and red.
Alona looked down and tried to scoot the mess off the tiles with her foot and when that didn’t work she sighed.
She went to the back of the store, where Miss Nixie, whose father was the town’s pharmacist back in the late 30’s and early 1940’s used to make and tonics and medicines.
When Alona walked by the radio on Mr Nixie’s desk it clicked on and buried in the static was a song about what a little Moonlight could do. Alona put her finger to her lips and said, ” shhh ” and the radio clicked off.
And then she started to open doors.
She opened one door which turned out to be a closet that held four white coats hanging from wooden hangers and the second opened up into a little washroom .
Alona found a bucket under the sink and then she turned on the faucets and grimaced as the bucket started to fill with thick rusty water. When the smell from what was coming from the tap hit her nose and started to make her eyes water she turned her head and looked out the door back into Mr Nixie’s workroom
Through the door on those very shelves is where Miss Nixie was supposed to have collected the powders and liquids that she mixed into the Soda Water behind the fountain.
That was the soda water she spent all day Friday and into Friday evening mixing into the drinks of everyone who stopped by before and after the movies and she used it to mix into even more drinks for everyone who was either on their way to or coming home from the Friday Dance at the Palace By The Sea Dance Hall on the Pier.
By midnight, over 200 people were dead and Miss Nixie was nowhere to be found.
But what Miss Nixie started that night in her Soda Fountain didn’t stop with the deaths that night- for some reason people took it into their heads to try to finish off the people who drank from the fountain and didn’t die.
For instance- people like Alona’s Grandparents.
Though right now that was water under the bridge as far as Alona was concerned and with that she turned the bucket upside down and the water hit the floor.
Only it didn’t pool or spread the way it should have.
Instead it ran around the tiles and then then it was gone.
” More. ” something whispered from under Alona’s feet.
Alona kneeled down and smoothed the still dusty floor with her hands. ” No.”
” Give you anything….”
Alona kneeled and brought her face to the floor and her lips touched the mold and rot and she said, ” You’re going to anyway Miss Nixie.”
Alona looked up and in a dark corner was a spinner rack with rusted claws that held a neat row of postcards.
They weren’t dusty and moldy like everything else in Nixie’s.
They were brand new.
Each was a light green card with simple block letters that read:
Admit One For Free
The Newest Addition To
The Clawson Museum of Anatomy
For One Thin Dime Extra
our amazing collection of
Curiosities and Monstrosities
collected from far and wide.
One Night Only
Alona took the card back to the tiles she let it drop to the floor.
” You didn’t.”
The dust rolled away from the tiles at Alona’s feet and the rough outline of a woman’s face was looking up at her.
” I did. “
” I’m going to find Kanden, Miss Nixie…”
” I don’t doubt that Alona Darelyn.” Miss Nixie chuckled
” And then I’m coming back here.”
” Of course you are.” Miss Nixie’s laugh bounced off the walls and shook the floor.
” And of course you know that when I do the moon will be full…and by morning, Miss Nixie, I will be too.”
The dust and mold reached up from the floor towards Alona’s throat and then it fell back down again and covered the tiles on the floor.
” It’s a date then.” Alona said.
Alona reached down and picked the card up from the floor and then she folded it and put it in her back pocket.
When she left Nixie’s Fountain the radio in the backroom switched back on and the Spinner rack in the dark corner turned slowly for a few minutes.
And then it stopped.
a strange history of Rainbow Beach
On the night Alona Darelyn walked into Rainbow Beach the sign at the Starlight Drive Inn just outside of town started to glow.
One might think that the sunlight hit the sign just right and gave the illusion that the bulbs had flashed on and then off and then back on again- and one could say that it could have just been the lengthening shadows that looked like cars and people moving around the parking lot and concession stand and if you really put some effort into the thought you could tell yourself that the hissing an crackling sounds you were hearing weren’t coming from the rusty speakers on rusted metal poles…
of which there were still a few left in the Drive Inn’s weed filled lot.
But the truth is every night after Sunset the lights go on at the Starlight and you really can smell the faintest hint of popcorn and pizza. You can hear phantom tires drive over phantom pavement. Towards the back of the Drive Inn if you stand where the bigger cars and trucks and vans used to park you will see a wood paneled station wagon with a seven year old boy sitting in the back seat by himself pulls up along side another wood paneled station wagon with an eight year old girl in the backseat.
The little girl has black hair and black eyes and when she sees the little boy in the next car she waves and throws herself over the front seat and starts pointing to the screen and more specifically to the swing sets and Monkey bars under it.
The little boy sees the Mother shake her head and the little girl oozes back down onto the the back seat and disappears from sight.
A few minutes later he sees her feet- clad in giant pink rabbit slippers start to dance upside down in the window.
” That girl lives next door to us. ” the little boy who was Kanden says to his Mother.
” You actually met someone today? After two months of living here you actually left the house and talked to somebody? ”
” No.” Kanden says ” I heard her Mom yell her name when she fell off the roof…”
” What?” his parents shouted.
” The roof, I saw her. She climbed out her window and I think she was trying to get to the room next to her’s but she fell.”
Kanden’s parents turned around and looked at the upside down rabbits dancing in the window and then back at Kanden.
Kanden took a breath because Kanden only ever said about two dozen words a week and the thing is- he wasn’t used to talking. ” It was okay though. She landed in the Rosemary Bushes.”
” Uh- huh” his parents said together.
Anyway…when her Mom came outside I heard her yell, ” Alona Darelyn for the love of God how many times have I told you to use the stairs like a normal person.
So I guess that’s her name.”
Kanden looked over to the car and the rabbits, free of the little girl’s feet, were having their fuzzy faces mashed into the passenger window.
Kanden forced himself to look up into the front seat because he had to get something taken care of right now…something very important.
Something that had to be resolved before the show started.
Kanden asked his Father. ” There aren’t any Oompa- Loompas in this movie, is there?
” No. There are no Oompa Loompas.” Kanden’s Mother told him.
” Ar you sure?” he asked.
” Because I hate Oompa Loompas.”
” We know.” they said together.
” I still have nightmares about them.” the little boy said ruefully.
His parents didn’t answer.
” So is this isn’t a scary movie, right?”
” It’s about a boy and horse.” Kanden’s Mother said quietly.
” It’s Oompa Loompa free Kanden. Do you want any popcorn?” his father asked and before Kanden could answer he was out of the car and walking towards the concession stand with his hands jammed into his pockets and his head down.
Kanden slid down into his seat and his mother asked if he wanted to take his seat belt off now and Kanden shook his head. “The car might roll” he whispered and his mother started to rub her eyes and then she leaned her head against the window and sighed.
Kanden’s father came back and he didn’t even look at him as he handed Kanden his popcorn and Kanden- who didn’t like popcorn but guessed he’d better stop talking for awhile kept his mouth closed.
The movie was about a boy and a horse and Kanden, who liked horses but didn’t like sitting in the dark looked over into the next car and the little girl was looking right at him.
She held one of her rabbit slippers up and pointed at it.
And then she pointed at the back of her father’s head.
Kanden thew his hands against his window and whispered, ” No!”
” It’s not that bad Kanden, look at him that boy fell off his horse and he’s getting back on- did you see that? ” his mother asked.
The little girl nodded and she was laughing.
” Don’t do it.” Kanden said a little more loudly.
” If he doesn’t get back on Kanden- he’ll be afraid to ride for the rest of his life.”
Kanden looked into the front seat and then he said, ” sorry.”
His parent’s looked at each other and Kanden didn’t need light to know that his parents may have been looking at each other but that they were really looking at him.
The little girl waved again and this time she pointed to her eyes.
She rolled them up into her head and then she peeled her lids up.
” Yuck.” Kanden said, but he kept watching and when she pulled her lids down and looked at him again…her eyes almost looked orange.
” Oh Wow.”
” I’ll say Son. ” his Dad agreed, that was pretty brave of that boy wasn’t it?”
The little girl pointed to her teeth and then she covered her mouth with her small brown hand and when she took it away..her teeth were much brighter and pointier then they had been before.
” Oh boy.” Kanden yodeled.
Kanden’s Dad turned around and he was actually smiling at him.
” You know son, if you like horses this much we can see about riding lessons- I mean, you won’t get on a bike with training wheels- hell son if you like horses this much- damn son- I’m impressed.”
Alona pointed to her ears and Kanden could see that they were pointed at the top now and almost reached to the top of her head.
” I am too! ”
Kanden’s parents were talking about the stables just outside of Rainbow Beach and Kanden’s Mom was sure they gave lessons there and then from the Little Girl’s car they could hear her Mother yell, ” Damn it Alona stop showing off and watch the movie or we’re leaving right now!”
They heard a little girl yell back ” Alright! ” and when Kanden looked back over to the car he saw not one but three sets of dark orange eyes glowing in the dark.
And they were looking straight at him.
Then Kanden did something he had never really done before.
There’s one thing I just can’t admit to people I know- I actually like some of Woody Allen’s films. I don’t know why, because I shouldn’t like them.
My brain isn’t wired to like movies with brittle shrill characters who couldn’t find their own back sides if you gave them a map, a book called “Backside finding for Dummies” and a Backside Finding Search and Rescue team to help them out.
I like movies with Pirates and Ghosts and Demonic kids that stuff babies into wine caskets and Mad Scientists that drip honey on people while they sleep and then turn bugs loose to devour the victim alive.
That’s me, that’s what I’m all about, and though I won’t cop to liking “Hannah and Her Sisters” I will say without a moments hesitation and lots of enthusiasm that one of my favorite movies of all time is Donovan’s Brain.
I like it for the ending.
At the ending of the movie the brain escapes from it’s tank and flies around the lab, chasing the mad scientist and his friends. The best part is Donovan’s spinal cord is still attached to the brain and the spinal cord is whipping around the place just like the creature in ” Alien ” would end up doing with it’s tail over 20 years later.
All kidding aside, I liked Donovan’s Brain because somebody had a story and they told it and exactly the way they wanted to tell it. They didn’t pretend it was anything other then a story about a killer brain that could fly.
That’s real story telling and that kind of story telling takes guts.
I keep that in mind when I write my own stories.
Donovan’s Brain- food for thought.
Here’s a neat toy I enjoyed as a child and if you come to my blog on a regular basis I’m guessing you did too!
PS thanks to Imogen for sending this clip to me
a strange history of Rainbow Beach
Years ago out on Kilgoar Road- the only road that leads to Rainbow Beach- the story about the tragedy and the strange history of Kilgoar Cemetery is woven into the bark of a tree.
That’s the tree where Gaddelin and Watson found the sign announcing that the “Borden’s Circus Of The Curious” would be coming to town for a special engagement.
The boys, who were 12 and 14 at the time, were amazed that anyone let alone an entire Circus would come to a little nowhere town like Rainbow Beach.
Amazed but not surprised because odd things were always happening at The Bow.
For instance odd things like those signs- they were all handwritten and they started turning up in strange places all over town.
They were turning up inside of library books, underneath canned goods at Brody’s Grocery Store, inside of linen closets and floating down the old logging roads people stopped using in favor of the new highways that had gone in a couple of years before- that would have been back in 1926.
Watson had collected dozens of them and when he had a nice little stack he took them to school and started to put them in desks and he folded them up and put them inside of jackets and in the the Teacher’s desk
” What are you doing? ” Gaddelin asked- he had walked into the coat room and thought he saw Watson taking something out of Wendy O’Hara’s coat pocket.
Then Gaddelin saw the folded square of paper sticking out of Wendy’s coat pocket and he went over and pushed it in.
He asked his brother again, ” what are you doing Watson? “
And Watson shrugged and said, ” I don’t know. “
Curious, Gaddelin thought and then he let the thought go.
For a little while.
The Circus finally came to town.
Both Gaddelin and Watson felt a little foolish that they were part of the “Circus Flier Scheme” because the ” Borden Circus of The Curious ” was like all of the other Circuses that made their way around and through those small logging towns in the Cascades.
There were rides, and lions and bears. There was a carousel and a Ferris wheel and a tents that you had pay extra to get into.
The Sideshow was exceptional both boys decided because you didn’t have to pay extra to see it. The Conjoined Twins were walking around eating popcorn and playing ring toss like regular paying customers, there was a man who was over 7 feet tall that took in the Magic Act headlined by a woman called ” The Amazing Benandanti” with about 40 residents from various towns in the County. Plus the Circus’ Little People were waiting in lines for the rides with everyone else.
Finally Gaddelin asked the woman who told Fortunes ( she was waiting in line for the Carousel ) ” Ma’am, what’s so Curious about this Circus ?”
The Fortune Teller held her hand out and said, ” My name is Saterlee Chapel.”
Watson reached out to take Saterlee’s hand and instead of shaking it Saterlee turned it over and glanced at it and smiled.
” I can see into the future…can’t see into the past.” Saterlee looked up and shook her head ” That has kept me back from being an honest to goodness headliner.”
” Uh-Huh” both boys said.
” Well, when we were down in Seattle I was working with my crystal ball when suddenly I see a burning wheel and a hundred hearses driving into an empty cemetery.
Now, what do you suppose that means? “
Both boys shrugged and Saterlee Chapel Shrugged too and when the Carousel came to a stop she said, ” Curious isn’t it? “
And both boys agreed.
They watched Saterlee choose a place for herself on the Carousel and when the music started they both turned and walked away and as they did they both decided while they were here they might as well have some fun.
Watson Kilgoar reached into his pocket for some money and instead of pulling out a handful of change he pulled out a handful of little squares of tightly folded paper
Watson showed them to his brother.
In his hand were the fliers.
Gaddelin Kilgoar reached into his pocket and pulled out a little box of matches.
Then they stood by the Ferris Wheel for a very long time and watched it turn far into the evening.
Finally they got on.
You could see the flames for miles.
this is from my journal…if anything it’ll give you some insight to the ‘map’ I follow when I write my stories here at the Bridge.
When I was a kid, I lived on a neat street.
The kids were neat and the parents were neat and all the kids were in Scout Troops or took swimming lessons at the pool.
They all went on camping trips and had barbeques during the summer and during the winter they all went skiing.
Except for me, of course.
When we first moved to this neat street my parents used to try and force me to play with the neighbor kids and I wouldn’t- I said they were Zombies and that I was pretty sure they’d eaten the last kid who lived in our house.
I remember the way my Dad looked at me the first time I said that. He just shook his head and I’m not sure but I think it was weeks before he said another word to me.
I was nine at the time- so I could be off on that by a bit.
The problem was I wasn’t a neat kid, I was that weird little kid that didn’t have any friends and never got invited to parties and I got kicked out of Blue Birds because I forgot to bring the treats when it was my turn to do treat day.
Actually the Blue Bird Leader’s daughter kicked me out- I didn’t care because they never got treats that day-, which still makes me laugh when I think about it.
I may have been a weird kid, but I wasn’t a dumb kid and I made it a point to never be with any of these kids alone- or with their parents who smiled too much.
In fact, I used to have nightmares about those kids and their parents and in my dreams they were running me down with their station wagons.I still have those dreams.
Over the years I ran into some of these kids- I drove one to their final resting place in a hearse, a friend of mine arrested one for molesting his children and another is in prison for killing her stepson.
After I kept hearing these stories I decided to take a drive down that Neat Street.
I saw the Neat Parents- they were puttering around their lawns or checking their mail or talking to their neighbors (just like the old days, it’s true some things never change) and I was horrified at how they all looked so worn out and old and tired and I realized those weren’t the Neat Parents-
I was looking at the Neat Kids.
I slammed my brakes on and pulled visor down and looked in my vanity mirror and checked my face. I don’t know what I was looking for, but it was awhile before I felt calm enough to drive away.
From the backseat I could hear that nine year old Anita who used to be say,
“ Told you, they’re Zombies. Now let’s go home.”
And that’s exactly what I did.
The Fork In The Road is a diner- the only one in the town of Five Corners and it’s done up to look fisherman’s shack complete with white sand on the floor and sea shells and starfish hanging from the walls and ceiling.
The owner is named Mr Darkmouth and when Alona walked in dripping wet he didn’t look surprised or even a little annoyed at the mess she was making.
He didn’t even flinch when she dropped one of her bags to the floor and little jets of muddy brown water sprayed the counter he was sitting at.
” Does it ever, even for a minute stop raining around here? ”
” Can’t say it ever has.”
” Really? It never stops raining? ”
Mr Darkmouth shook his head and he smiled…just a little.
” Well, that sucks. Look, I’m headed out to Rainbow Beach, which is the best way to get there?”
Mr. Darkmouth sat there in his cold dark Diner and he didn’t answer right away.
Eventually he said:
“Most of the time when people come in here asking for directions they ask for the fastest way, or the safest way out of Five Corners to Rainbow Beach. Sometimes they ask for the quickest way back home.”
” And I’ll bet you don’t just tell them what they want to know for free…I’ll bet it costs something doesn’t it?”
” Indeed it does.”
Alona left her bags and she said as she walked up to Mr Darkmouth sitting on his red bar-stool in front of his now mud splattered counter, ” I’m not paying for anything Mister …”
” Darkmouth- Mr. Darkmouth.”
” Mr Darkmouth it is. I’m out here- Mr Darkmouth- to retrieve something that was taken from me.”
Alona stopped inches away from Mr. Darkmouth. ” Rainbow Beach. The best route- I want it.”
” Have you asked yourself-”
” Miss Darelyn.”
” Miss Darelyn why someone in your condition is willing to go to a place like Rainbow Beach.”
Alona looked over her shoulder out the window and up into the cloud filled night sky. ” All the more reason for you to get me out of here Mr Darkmouth.”
Mr Darkmouth stood up and from his apron he pulled out a little notepad and asked her, ” Rainbow Beach is quite some distance from your home- isn’t it? And I don’t mean the miles. No. Nothing as simple as that. I mean it’s far away from the kitchens and gardens and those soft sweet smells coming from those little drawers in our safe warm homes where we like to hide our special treats. ”
From the behind the dusty starfish on the walls Alona could smell peaches and wafting up from below the floorboards she could smell warm cornbread and coffee and as she dripped more water on the floor she asked herself-
exactly how much more wet and cold and alone could she possibly get then she was right now?
The Diner got a little warmer and Alona was about to sit down when Mr Darkmouth was at her elbow and pulling a chair out for her. ” What’s up at the Beach Miss Darelyn isn’t for you.”
” Not for me. ” She said slowly.
” Heavens no- someone like yourself Miss Darelyn is intended to know adventure. To chase life down and make it your own. A creature like yourself is intended to be in the light- isn’t that right?”
” I- I think so. No you’re right. That’s what I do.”
From the kitchen behind the counter came the sounds of chopping and cutting and the warm smell of garlic and onions frying together in butter.
” The Beach and what’s there- well now common sense will tell you that belongs to the Night Miss Darelyn. It’s always Dark out there- darker since the tragedy of course. You don’t belong there.”
” No he doesn’t.” Alona said.
The sounds of chopping stopped and the smell of peaches faded- just a little.
” Excuse me? ” Mr. Darkmouth asked. ” Don’t you mean….”
” I mean Kanden. He doesn’t belong there. He’s always been afraid of the dark- he has been since we were children.”
The warmth golden smells coming up from the floor were replaced on a breath of cold air by the smell of wood-rot.
Alona’s dark eyes reflected the cold blue light of the diner back towards Mr. Darkmouth.
” I want that route .”
Mr. Darkmouth smiled and from his parted lips came the smell of fetid water. ” No.”
Alona dropped herself into a chair and scooted up to a table. ” That’s just fine. But you know Mr. Darkmouth, someone in my- how did you put it- oh yes, condition is always being followed. I’m sure you know that. I’m also very sure that if you can’t smell them by now you can most certainly hear them. And I’m sure you are fully aware that the things that those things that are following me-”
Alona smiled a bright smile.
” Well…if they can’t have me, they’ll take you. Why not? You’d make a somewhat exotic trophy yourself.”
” Get out.”
” The route Mr. Darkmouth.”
Mr. Darkmouth grabbed one of the paper place-mats from out in front of Alona and then he wadded it up and threw it in her face. ” Take it and go. Don’t think I’m not getting something out of this Miss Darelyn. The one thought that will make me a rich man- that fill me with absolute joy, with pleasure, is knowing that you will die out there Miss Darelyn and it will not be an easy or a painless death.”
Alona reached down and smoothed out the wadded piece of paper. And then she took her time folding it when she was done she put it in her bag next to her postcard.
” You better hope that your wish comes true Mr. Darkmouth. Because if your luck turns on you I think I’ll be stopping back in in for a bite.” Alona opened her mouth and in the darkness her jagged pointed teeth glowed.
When she was sure Mr. Darkmouth got the point she snapped her teeth together.
Alona smiled, shook some of the water from her hair and then reached down and picked up her bags.
And then she started out for Rainbow Beach.
” Woven “
is coming soon
This is from a writing project I’m doing at
That’s where Alona Darelyn was going.
There was no doubt about it.
It said so on Alona Darelyn’s bus ticket and it was printed on the blue and green tags that were secured to the handles of the bags she had carried on the bus with her when she boarded it four days ago.
It was also written in faded blue ink on the postcard that had arrived in her mailbox three weeks ago.
The postcard showed one of Rainbow Beaches up and coming attractions- though the attraction that was featured had long since arrived and went years ago.
It was a picture of Sideshow.
And it promised you would meet a Congress of Living Freaks.
” Hope so.” Alona told the card.
The postcard was old, faded and worn and it smelled like mildew and spices and Alona guessed that maybe someone had found it in one of those bookstores that sold vintage postcards and posters with girls clutching Coca-Cola bottles to their shapely chests.
Or maybe, Alona thought someone had found it in an old address book that used to on her grandmother’s writing desk.
She lifted the postcard to her nose and sniffed.
And then she turned it over again and read her own name and address on the right hand side of the card and on the left was printed:
Alona traced each letter and then she put the postcard back into her bag and watched the sun start to set and sometime during the night the bus came to the little town of Five Corners, the last stop before Rainbow Beach.
Alona took her bags out from the overhead rack and she got off the bus and as she watched the bus glide away into the night- out towards Rainbow Beach she guessed she wasn’t in a hurry.
Rainbow Beach and the Kanden were up there.
Waiting for her.
The Fork In The Road
is coming soon.
I think this is the funniest story I have ever written.
I think it is.
Alstona Kamacho’s clock is an Doomsday clock- that’s what she told everyone at her office. She also told them on the first day she brought it in that if the clock stops the world will end.
So for the past 20 years everyone she works with goes out of their way to make sure Alstona’s Tacky Ticker doesn’t wind down.
At first it was fun to find a way to make it first to avocado green clock with the pink feet and the silver mushroom bells sitting sideways against face so that you could be the one turn the little silver key and save the entire world
Then it got to be serious.
When Alstona’ s six co-workers heard the little gears slowing down and just before second hand made this pop sound when it skipped past the glow in the dark five they’d already be pushing and shoving, tripping towards Alstona’s desk.
One year Barnell Bloss fractured right arm when he tried- and failed to clear Fales Digby’s desk to get to Alstona’ s Armageddon clock.
Of course he didn’t clear Fales’ desk because Fales was sitting at it and when Barnell raced by it was more the Fales could stand.
He’d reached up and slammed Barnell down and Fales had been the one to save the world that day.
In any other office on the face of the Earth that stunt would probably have ended in some sort of legal action.
But Lonsdale and Mead’s wasn’t like anyplace on the face of the Earth- there wasn’t anyplace else on the face of the Earth that had an Armageddon clock sitting on an employee’s desk.
Delia Wing was a Courier from All City Express, she had won the Lonsdale and Mead stop in a lunch time card game at All City.
But that was nothing new- drivers at All City had been known to pay each other cold hard cash just for one trip because everyone in the city of Mayweed knew the L & M staff were a bunch of whack jobs.
What can you say? Nothing broke up the day like getting the chance to see a bunch of desk jockeys beat the snot out of each other to get to this cheap and nasty windup clock first.
As you’ve probably guessed by now Mayweed was short on entertainment venues.
Delia’ first trip into L & M was on a Friday and there they were- all seven of them sitting at their desks, working on the phones and doing data entry and the entire time they all had at least one eye on the Receptionist’s Desk.
At least that one eye looked alive and alert because the faces they were housed in were pale and all of the worker’s hands were twitching and shaking.
Delia decided right then and there she didn’t want to go back to L & M- all of those people looked like they already had one foot in the grave and she was afraid whatever they had might be something you could catch.
But first Delia had a job to do.
She went over to the receptionist’s desk where the clock was sitting and cleared her throat, ” Package for you. “
Alstona looked up and reached for small box a in Delia’s hand.
” So that’s the clock. ” Delia said.
” That’s the clock. “
” So, if you’re sitting there how come they….” Delia pointed to the rows of desks behind Alstona ” race to wind it up? Why don’t you do it yourself?”
Someone said from the back of the office, ” because she doesn’t care anymore…she wants the world to end.”
From a little closer to where Delia and Alstona were another voice said, ” she’s nuts “
And everyone agreed.
Delia never actually saw the L & M people racing to the clock but on some days she thought they looked more nervous and pale then on other days and she figured that must have been at about the time the clock was probably starting to wind down.
Then one day, even though she had nothing to drop off and no one had called in a pickup Delia went into the Office.
” Nothing to pick up? ” she asked Alstona.
” No. ” the Receptionist said.
Delia didn’t want to leave and she didn’t want to be there but for several nights Delia would wake up to the sound of ticking and she’d have to bite down hard on her lip to keep from screaming out loud.
So she decided to get this over with.
” It’s a joke…right? ” Delia asked.
” It certainly is ” a woman who sat directly behind Alstona said. She had heavy dark circles under her eyes and her blouse was inside out. ” It’s the funniest joke anyone could have ever come up with and I’m sick to death of it.”
Then a man said, ” I say we let it go…we just let go.”
Alstona turned around and she said, ” didn’t I say it would come to this?”
The six staffers nodded and Alstona looked up at Delia and nodded, ” it’s a joke and I’m going to end it. “
Then Alstona reached over picked up the clock and smashed it against her desk over and over until her hands were cut and bleeding and the clock was mashed flat.
” It’s over, right? ” Delia asked. ” The joke is over. “
Alstona said quiet as a Cemetery at Midnight, ” it certainly is.”
Outside a dark cloud crossed in front of the Sun then the ground shook just a little…
And that was