Mannequin fights are never fun. “Banging Plastic” is what it was called in the back rooms of clothing stores. While humans could heal, mannequins never did. Also, losing your head was not just a quaint expression.
The headless horseman was a fearsome character that got his own story. Jay the men’s section mannequin from Buy More For Less would not. His plastic nose lay in the middle of the store aisle even though nothing else would ever be found..
“I swear if anyone mentions humpty dumpty I will bust out your nose,” security guard Carl barked. “Somebody count the mannequins.”
Alexa had a nearly terminal case of envy. Since she was a pre-teen is was always about having what others had no matter the cost. Her dad was fortunate to be the director of the local bank and had the job that allowed him to satisfy his only child.
Alexa’s mom warned her husband they were setting her up for failure as an adult, but Alexa knew how to work her dad, getting whatever her heart desired.
Then along came Lenny, the one who captured her heart. Lenny was a grease monkey with barely five pennies to jingle in his pocket. Alexa wanted Lenny in her life, but Lenny had no hopes of providing the life Alexa desired. When they visited the Hexadome Complex in Stuttsbury Alexa was enthralled. This is where she wanted to live.
“I’m sorry Alexa, but the math just doesn’t work,” Lenny told her.
Three months later Alexa slid her hand into Abe Benton’s, Abe was the owner of the Hexadome and the only one who could give her this desire. Her mother’s prediction had come true.
The girl behind the counter suppressed her smile as the young boy returned, huffing and puffing from his latest sojourn to find a portable version of a black light. His friend Hardy told him that the girl, yes, the one he had pined for all year had left her phone number on these bottles. She was a puzzle aficionado, and loved the mystery of figuring things out. If Bart was going to win her heart he had to be able to match a challenge of minds.
What he did not know was that the spunky blonde wearing the name tag that read Christina was the best friend of his dream girl, Holly and wanted Bart to find the number. She agreed to Holly’s demand to make him work for it, but she was willing to assist any way she could. She never uttered a word during his search, but used her eyes and subtle audible gestures to guide him.
Bart looked at the prize in front of him in the form of seven digits. His hand shook as he punched the buttons on his phone. He thought his heart might stop as the phone rang once, twice, three times and then she answered.
“I’m not moving it,” the Virginia highway worker said.
“Nor am I,” his Tennessee counterpart insisted.
The trouble was the large boulder had come to rest on the state line and neither man saw a majority of the rock in their jurisdiction. Had there been a noticeable portion in either the decision would be simple.
“We can split it in two, then take care of our half,” Virginia said.
“Not with my tools,” Tennessee nodded negatively.
“You’re not suggesting I use mine?”
“Well someone must,” Tennessee stated.
“Let’s call the feds. We can claim interstate commerce or something.”
This is inspired by a city nearly twenty miles to my west called Bristol. Running through the middle is the state line between Virginia and Tennessee.
It had been five days since anyone had seen The Man from Barleyfield. Everyone knew him, oh yes everyone. He was the one who handed out $100 bills on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Some said he was a billionaire real estate developer from the northeast, others though they heard him speak of Gulf of Mexico shrimping boats while still others were sure he owned big timber operations in the American west. Wherever the money originated he seemed to have plenty.
Every morning the crowds gathered by the Penley River channel to watch the dragging operation. His little white rowboat still bobbed on the water anchored in place where the authorities believed The Man from Barleyfield was last seen. Before long the crowds began to diminish. The excitement of the free money soon ebbed away and people talked about The Man from Barleyfield less and less.
On a train platform in Seattle a man in a worn sport coat set a old hounds tooth hat on his head, straightened his tie and set out on his right foot toward a new adventure. It took almost seven months to get rid of the $30 million he had swindled from First National Bank in Fargo, but now that it was gone he was ready to begin his life anew.
“County Hotel, really?” Metzer said chomping on his unlit cigar. “Who do they think they foolin’?”
“I dunno. I guess the way this backwards country runs the citizens don’t question it. But I ain’t getting crap with this parabolic microphone. There is definitely shielding going on.”
“That means the boss is inside there. How we extract her from there without getting all of us killed or captured is going to be rough.”
“It’s a good thing I brought the heavy armor,” Louis grinned.
Ten minutes later they had their gear in hand, ready to make their attempt. The reconnaissance reports told them their boss would be on the eighth floor. Eight floors with who knew how many trained killers awaiting them. But Carlie Benson wasn’t just any boss. She fought to keep these two, her best spy team together even when everyone up and down the organization screamed for their heads.
There was another special reason they were willing to risk their lives. While they didn’t know it they were both risking their life to rescue the girl they loved.
“You know Louis, you are the only one I could count on to do this,” Metzer said.
“Right back at you buddy. Let’s get after it!”
For Al’s weekly adventures based on the photo supplied by one of the locals. I had to go this way when I saw the phot0, perhaps because I am reading a Mitch Rapp book, but it just seemed the way for me.
“Now that’s what I am talking about!” Kirby declared pounding his fist on the desk. “Let little Miss Bleeding Heart get a load of that!”
He slid the dolly underneath and wheeled the two boxes around so they fully blocked Lizzie Hardy’s office door. She would struggle all day to navigate the impediment.
The next day all the office staff gathered at the request of their young boss.
“I’m not sure if you know this but I wholly support the environmentally-friendly recycled toilet paper industry and thank you so much for the gift left outside my office door yesterday!”
For those who don’t know how this works and think I have lost my mind, this week Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch introduced me and possibly others to a company from Australia that is a pioneer in the environmentally-friendly recycled toilet paper. I am not sure I want to know any more about the process, but it was the prompt for this week!
“So let me understand you King William. You want me to rally the Knights of Canterbury so we can make a five day journey to the opposite coast just to sacrifice ourselves for your pleasure?” King Wallace asked incredulously.
“I assure you King Wallace, the sacrifice is not without it’s merit, but no, I expect you to defeat the Black Knight before you reach the coast. If you do not and he reaches Echolfield to merge his army with the Count’s we are all lost!”
“No, no, no that’s not it at all!” Mrs. Cuddy said as she walked into the center of the U shaped tables where her teenaged cast of the spring play rolled their eyes again. This was the eighteenth reading attempt and this was the furthest advance before she stepped in to give her critique. At this rate they would never get a chance to perform the ninety minute full version.
“Drew your voice has to be commanding! King William is supposed to be inspiring.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Cuddy, I just can’t stop thinking about drinking what’s in that cup!” Drew said.
“The skull cup? Oh silly boy that is just tomato juice.”
“Oh, they said it was real blood from a goat!”
The room erupted with laughter and Drew’s face turned crimson.