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Bee Cause Célèbre

“Catastrophic Colony Collapse Threatens America’s Economy” was the screaming headline that greeted the early morning readers taking tea and scones at Boulangerie on the Boulevard. Ignored by the bourgeoisie and misunderstood by the proletariat, the Wall Street Journal’s front page story nevertheless signaled a shrugging of Atlas unlike anything foreseen by Ayn Rand and her…

Swampland

Swan Vee considered her options. The ink was barely dry on the sheepskin before her mentor banished her from Swamp Logos. Her home since birth, the swamp represented the womb of familiarity, the hearth of confidence and the shield against the unknown. Now she was ready to deal with the landscape beyond the Perimeter. She…

The Cracked Mirror

Detective Ragbone shook a small amount of graphite onto the frame, while marveling at the unnaturally uniform craquelure of the forged Venus in the Mirror. Having momentarily forgotten the gravity of the current scene, he quipped, “Even Rubens knew better than to daub a perfect crack.” “Ragbone! Decorum, please.” Inspector Wiggins coughed into his hand.…

Grave Error

She couldn’t place the accent; it was thick, yet, undefined. Tasting the noxious brew again, Tilde Tittle decided the tonic had all the flavor of an undercooked umlaut and realized that she could never present such an inferior libation to her cavillous husband, Mark. Perhaps the shaken concoction of raspberry vodka, Sprite soda and DeKupyer…

The Zombie-maker

“Come on, angel, don’t make me bust your gourd open. I just want your purse!” The green, slimy, shuffling assailant had a death-grip on an elderly woman’s handbag. “Go to hell, you vile old bastard!” The silver-haired granny had an equally tight grip on her Louis Vuitton. “Been there, done that. And I ain’t so…

Une Perdrix?

The bough broke. Down came the partridge: scarf, cap and all. Jamie swore. “Dammit, Kirsten, I told you to get a fir tree.” “Don’t swear on the eve of our Lord’s birth. I thought you said ‘pear’ tree and this was the closest thing I could find.” “Why would you think … ? Oh, that…

Xenia Gets Got

Tonight, Xenia intended to enchant her ugly-ass boyfriend, Harold. She only put up with his broomstick-thin, Jack-o-lantern gapped-tooth goofiness because his bank account balance had an alarming number of zeroes on it. Plus, in five weeks, they would be husband and wife, at which point, she would finally move into his spooky old mansion and…

Awesome Business Opportunity

So, I decided to go to Yet Another Ground Floor Once-in-a-Lifetime Make Money Fast Pyramid Scheme. As I walked into the auditorium, I took note of several things. First, the greeters outnumbered the guests two to one, and they appeared to be swarming, hovering and buzzing around the hapless visitors. Second, a befuddled young man…

Three Drunks and a Funeral

A farce in one act A judge, a baker and an anthropologist are sitting in a jazz lounge. The unlikely trio are old college mates, gathered for the sad occasion of their professor’s passing. The funeral had been held the day before, at St. Thomas Episcopal. The men are sipping drinks, languidly discussing the incongruities…

Alienation

Martians had no concept of prejudice. Their brains were wired like lobotomized slugs: each experience was new. Yet, their transcendent race had accumulated the wisdom to recognize xenophobia as it applied to them. I blanched at the unusual combination of smell and terror-inducing hisses emanating from my tour guide. “Plack manu frobbish, Gia?” What are…