Alligators Episodes 5 and 6

Episode Five

Joel Jenkins was not having a very good day. The morning started off badly when Joel first opened his eyes. The first thing that he saw was that his alarm clock radio read 7:50 AM. Joel was supposed to start his new job at 7:00 AM. Arriving late on his first day on the job was not going to make a good impression on Joel’s new employer. Joel was very fortunate to have been hired for this job. Ian, his sponsor in NA got him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Sam Bradley was also being sponsored by Ian. This was not an opportunity the Joel didn’t wanted to lose.

Joel was given the alarm clock by Ian as a gift when his sponsor informed him that he was able to get him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Joel thought that he had set the alarm clock correctly the night before. Obviously, he had not. The alarm clock was a newer, state-of-the-art timekeeper that included all the latest bells and whistles. He could even set it to wake him up to the sound of his favourite CD. The problem was that Joel had a difficult time with modern technology, mostly because he didn’t own any modern technology. At present, Joel didn’t even own a PC, a laptop, a cell phone or even a tablet. For the last three years Joel had spent all his money on drugs. He’d been clean for almost six months but couldn’t apply for work until he had completed both his detox and rehabilitation programs. He was fired from his last job when his substance abuse severely affected his job performance and on numerous occasions his ability to show up for work at all.

Joel had to come up with a damage control plan fast. Ian had given Joel, Sam’s cell phone number. Joel called Sam right away to let him know what was up. He let Sam know that he was going to be late and was calling a taxi to take him to work. Sam told Joel that he was presently driving a truck in downtown Manhattan and due to the heavy traffic would probably be stuck in that location for likely up to half an hour. Sam told Joel to have the cab drop him off near the First National Bank.

Sam Bradley was a bit of an entrepreneur. He got into the salvage business after his brother-in-law agreed to let him have his old Ford pickup truck if Sam agreed to pay him $200 as soon as he made some money in his new enterprise.

Sam had a very checkered job history with a backlog of bad references from past employers. This being the case, Sam felt he had no choice but to become self-employed entrepreneur.

Sam Bradley was a very creative man. He was an artist with a broad range of interests. He loved the arts and had taken a stab at most forms of artistic expression including outdoor photography, sculpture and pottery. He found out that he was not particularly talented in all his artistic pursuits, but Sam had the attitude the one didn’t know if they had an aptitude for something unless they had given it an honest concerted effort.

Through his efforts Sam discovered that he was more than skillful in the areas of writing and music. He became skilled enough on guitar to play in a local band called Rocky Raccoon. That’s where his problem with addictions began.

Episode Six

Sam had been burning the candle at both ends. His ambition to write novels was almost equal to his desire to become a great lead guitarist. To date, he had self published two science fiction novels. He used the Amazon platform to sell his books and was enjoying moderately good sales. Unfortunately, he required other sources of revenue to pay his bills. He acquired a part-time job teaching creative writing one night a week at a local community college. The rest of his income came from his cut of his band’s performances at various bars in Manhattan. With these three streams of income, Sam could usually just squeak by paying his monthly bills.

Sam Bradley lived in a small bachelor’s apartment in East Manhattan. He had been fortunate to find an apartment complex that had rent control. Even with this advantage, Sam was often hard-pressed to stay afloat financially and because of this, he was almost constantly stressed out.

Sam worked hard at all his endeavours. He was not a naturally gifted musician, so he practised his guitar playing daily for at least two hours. He applied an equal amount of dedication to his writing and did an admirable amount of preparation for his creative writing classes.

To add to his issues with stress and anxiety, Sam was becoming chronically fatigued. One night during one of the Raccoons’ breaks, Sam told his bass player Glenn Williams about his exhaustion. Glenn was very willing to help as they were also close friends. Glenn offered Sam a couple of little white pills. Sam asked what they are and Glenn informed him that they were Dexedrine tablets.

Glenn Williams also had to work hard as he had to pay his ex-wife a hefty amount of alimony and child support. He had to hold down a full-time job is IT technician. The small amount of money he made as the bass player for the Raccoons allowed him a little bit of spending money for himself.

Two months ago, Glenn went to see his family doctor and complained about excessive daytime sleepiness. His doctor recommended that Glenn try taking Dexedrine to see if that would help boost his energy levels. It worked like a charm and within a couple of days Glenn was totally dependent on stimulants to get him through his long days and evenings.

The Rocky Raccoons basically played classic rock and as they worked hard as a unit over the last few years, they had become a very good band. The Raccoons were well known in the bars of East Manhattan. They knew their audiences well and what music they wanted to hear.

What was popular varied somewhat depending upon which bar they were working, but they had built up a standard set of universal favourites. The Rocky Raccoons found they could never go wrong with songs like You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. Other sure crowd pleasers included songs such as American Woman by the Guess Who and Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive. They learned these two songs from their rhythm guitar player, Kevin Watts who was a transplanted Canadian born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Sam and Kevin would sit down and write some original material whenever they got the chance and sometimes the band performed a couple of the original compositions during their performances.

The Rocky Raccoons were so popular that they had a group of fans who followed the band from bar to bar across East Manhattan. The Raccoons’ followers where nowhere near the size of the Grateful Dead’s famous Deadheads, but for a local band they had an impressive number of followers, both male and female. A couple of their female fans were groupies. The Raccoons’ groupies besides providing the band with the obvious favours and benefits were valuable for another reason. Two of their groupies also serviced the famous bands when they played concerts in New York.

Alicia and Trixie would always put in a plug for the Rocky Raccoons when they talked to the famous musicians and bands. They would also speak with the band’s managers and promoters and encourage them to book the Raccoons as an opening act on the band’s concert tours.

Occasionally, a well-known manager or promoter would drop by a local New York bar to see if the Rocky Raccoons were as good as Alicia and Trixie made alligators 9

Alligators in the Sewers Episode 4

alligator 4

Episode Four

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Mark Kennedy woke up to the sound of his parents having an animated conversation about Donald Trump. Mark’s father, Michael Kennedy was a die- hard supporter of the controversial Republican candidate. He was an obese, but physically strong construction worker. He had been the shop steward for his union local for a long time, but over the past two years he had become disheartened with the lack of power of his local union to improve the wages and working conditions of his fellow construction workers. At the last local union meeting that he attended, the workers national representative was pushing hard to encourage the union’s local membership to vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in the upcoming presidential election. Not all workers, including Mark Kennedy were impressed with Hillary. Several members had taken notice of the recent campaign speeches by Donald Trump and were beginning to think of him as the politician most likely to aid their cause.

His wife, Laura Kennedy was a strong woman. Some may even have described her as being a fierce woman. Laura hated Donald Trump’s guts and her perception of how the Republican presidential candidate mistreated women. As Mark was in the process of greeting the morning, he overheard the heated political discussion going on between his parents.

Mark could care less about politics, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. He needed to call his friends right after breakfast as Mark wanted to invite his buddies out for a game of touch football. Mark was a big fan of the Oakland Raiders and his favorite player was the Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr. Mark usually played quarterback during Saturday’s traditional touch football game. When he was making a long pass mark Mark would imagine that he was the real Derek Carr in the process of leading his team to a fourth-quarter comeback.

Mark joined his family for a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.

“So, what are you going to do today?” his father asked.

“After breakfast I’m going to call up some of my friends to organize a touch football game,” Mark answered.

“Are you going to play quarterback this week?” Michael Kennedy asked.

“That’s my plan,” Mark replied.

“Can you throw passes like Brett Favre?” his father asked.

“No. Brett Favre is retired. I want to play like Derek Carr,” Mark answered.

“That’s okay. That Raider kid is pretty good. I’ve got admit,” Mark’s dad responded.

After he helped his mother do the dishes Mark went to his room and started making the necessary phone calls.

After his father gave Mark a ride to the local school grounds that included a football field complete with two sets of both goal posts at each end zone. After he got out of the car Mark saw to his two best friends, Curly and Red throwing a football around.

Both Curly and Red came by their nicknames honestly. Curly was obese but his long thick brown curly hair was his most prominent feature. Red was a tall, skinny kid who suffered from a serious case of acne. He was glad that his nickname, Red, a description of his mullet styled, shoulder length, fiery red hair. Red’s family ancestry was Irish. When he got old enough to grow a beard it was almost certainly going to be a flaming red color that would complement the hair on his head.

Within the next ten minutes, nine other boys arrived. These kids were all grade six students at Birchwood Elementary. Once the members of the two teams were selected, Mark’s team won the coin toss and elected to be the receiving team for the first half of the game. Mark was unanimously chosen to be the starting quarterback for his squad.

The first play that Mark called in the huddle was a down and out pass pattern to the right. Red was lined up as a tight end on the right side of the line of scrimmage.

It had rained heavily the night before and the field was still damp and slippery. As Mark backpedalled and tried to get himself into a comfortable throwing stance, he slipped on the wet grass just as he let go of the football. He was attempting to pass to his intended receiver, Red.

The football floated high over Red’s head and landed somewhere in a bushy area to the right of the football field. Red volunteered to search for the football in the brush. He was starting to get all scratched up from the thorn bushes that were prevalent in the bushy outskirts on the right side of the football field. A few feet away Red could see the overthrown football. It was neatly enmeshed in the grasp of a thick, thorny bush.

As Red took a few steps in the direction of the object of the search, he also spotted what appeared to be part of an animal’s leg protruding from the thicket. The part of the leg that was visible was pearly white in color, approximately a foot-long and looked bumpy and scaly. This sight of this frightening apparition almost instantly froze the blood in Red’s veins. He was unable to move even though he desperately wanted to run away as far as possible from the object that was causing him this terror was burning inside him.

After a few minutes, he heard Mark calling for him.

“Red, are you okay in there? Did you find the football?”

There wasn’t any response to Mark’s questions. Curly came up behind Mark.

“Ah, Red’s probably just taking a leak in the bushes,” Curly said.

“No. I don’t think so,” Mark responded. “Red’s been in there too long and it’s getting me worried. I’m going in. Are you coming with me, Curly?”

“Why not? Red’s probably just hasn’t found the football yet,” he answered.

A few other boys overheard Curly and Mark talking and offered their assistance to find out what was going on with Red. As soon as the boys pushed through the thorn bushes, they were stopped in their tracks. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. They saw Red crying

Revised Version of Alligators in the Sewers eps. 1, 2 and 3

Alligators in the Sewers A Novel by Ken David Stewart

Russ Bridges was enjoying a long, restful nap on his new black leather couch. He was startled out of a deep sleep when he heard a loud pounding on his front door. Russ had just turned sixty-six was enjoying his first year of retirement as the former superintendent of sewers for the city of New York. It was 2:05 PM on June 11, 2020. He had been reading the novel It by Stephen King. It was not unusual for Russ to fall asleep on his couch while reading in the mid-afternoon. Stephen King was Russ’s favorite author and It was his favorite novel by the most popular horror writer of the century. This was usually how people defined Stephen King as a writer, but the author hated this limited, restrictive view of his writing.

As the pounding on his door became louder, Russ managed to lift his substantial bulk off the couch. When Russ opened his front door he saw Sean Webb, the new superintendent of sewers. Sean took over Russ’s position when he retired. Sean looked very anxious when Russ opened the door for him. “Can I smoke in your house, Russ? I’m all stressed out and I need to talk to you.”

“Sure. Come on in, Sean. Yeah, you can smoke in my house. I gave up smoking about ten years ago.

“Thanks for seeing me on such short notice or rather no notice should say,” Sean said as his trembling hand reached into the front pocket of his shirt for his pack of Marlborough Reds cigarettes.

“I have a serious problem at work and I really need your advice, Russ. Have you ever heard or seen anything to do with alligators in the New York sewer system?”

“Yeah, I know quite a bit about the problem, but I haven’t told anybody about it. Before I retired from your job, I had to sign a bunch of documents swearing me to secrecy concerning that topic,” Russ answered.

Episode Two

“Why don’t you find a place to park yourself in my living room, Sean?”

“Where did you find an orange easy chair, Russ?

“On eBay. It’s a rare color for an easy chair but don’t ask me how much I paid for it. Would you like some coffee to go with your cigarette?”

Russ reached over to his fireplace mantel and took a very weird looking ashtray from the top of it. The ashtray was a beige color shaped like an alligator. Russ placed it on the glass coffee table in front of Sean’s chair.

“You are starting to freak me out Russ. This ashtray looks a lot like a white albino alligator. This is like a foreboding symbol of why I’m here to meet with you,” Sean said.

“What do you like in your coffee?

“Some coffee creamer and Sugar Twin would be great if you have it.”

“You’re in luck. That’s exactly what I put in my coffee. My favorite flavor is hazelnut. What’s yours?”

Sean managed a nervous laugh. “What a coincidence. That’s my favorite too.”

“My wife gets on my back quite a bit about using Sugar Twin. Ruth’s a nurse and she never fails to tell me that artificial sweeteners cause cancer. I told her that I don’t worry about that because I want to die before she does. I’m being serious, too. I don’t know how I would manage without my wife.”

Russ hated the aging process. He didn’t like the fact that he could not do all the things that he was able to do at age forty. Russ had been somewhat of a high-energy freak of nature when he was younger. He was still trying to make a difficult adjustment to his new life as a senior citizen. This was not an easy transition for him. Since his retirement he had put on about twenty pounds that he did not need that were causing him to slow down in his daily life activities. Russ found that with each passing year he seemed to either reduce or had to eliminate one of the activities that he had enjoyed doing the year before. Life isn’t fair. A man of Russ’s intellect and drive could not understand or accept the inevitable fact that he was being forced to slow down in his senior years.

Russ wasn’t very happy with his life now that he was retired. It bothered him that he no longer knew how much time he had to live. His father had passed away at age forty-two after suffering a massive heart attack. This really shook Russ up, and he started thinking about his own longevity.

Russ had a lot of regrets even when he was in his prime. He had a poor self-image. He knew that he had excelled in his work for the city of New York, but felt that, in most areas of his life, he had been a failure.

Sean’s hand was still shaking as he took a long way drag from his Marlboro cigarette. “I’d sure like to hear any information you have, Russ. I feel like I’m going crazy. Sure, I heard some stories about alligators in our sewer system, but I thought it was just an urban legend. So did most of my coworkers until they started claiming they actually saw alligators while they were performing their sewer maintenance duties. At first, I didn’t believe them when a couple of my staff told me about their encounters with these reptiles. I just figured that seeing that I was their new supervisor they decided to tell me these stories as a sort of an initiation prank.”

 

Episode Three:

Joshua Jacobson could best be summed up as being a nerd. He was seventeen years old and attended Manhattan Central High School. Joshua’s level of intelligence would be close to the genius level. He excelled in all his grade twelve subjects, but he liked his math and science classes the most. Joshua was an intellectual in every sense of the word. Although his great desire was to be a famous scientist one day, he was also a voracious reader with interests in a wide variety of subjects.

Joshua read nearly everything he could get his hands on. Although his parents were on the lower strata of the annual income spectrum, and neither one had earned a high school diploma, they were very aware and were very proud of Josh’s intellectual accomplishments. From an early age they had a sense that God had given their son and amazing brain for a reason. Although Josh’s parents were poor, they used what little extra money they had to further Josh’s ambitions. As Josh enjoyed reading and conducting research so much, his parents paid for his monthly subscriptions to Audible Audiobooks, so that their son could choose a new  audiobook to listen to each month. They also invested in a subscription to Scribd, a website service that allows its subscribers to read an unlimited number of books on a wide variety of topics. Science fiction books had always been Josh’s favorites.

Attending high school was at times pure hell for Josh. Senior years schools have long been known for bullying students that did not fit the predetermined criteria of what was considered normal. The social aspect of high school was based on cliques. Every high school student ended up in a clique that was defined by possessing certain, identifiable physical and mental attributes.

There was some overlap, but generally all high school students received a mandatory designation that they were in some group or clique. There was sometimes some overlap, but rarely was a student integrated into more than one or two defining groups.

The first category was known as the brains. This entity consisted of all kinds of all the students that were known for getting the highest marks in all subjects on the secondary education curriculum. The brains were usually not very popular with the rest of the student body. These academic high achievers were either disdained, ignored or were used by their peers. The brains could be helpful to their less academically gifted counterparts in certain situations. Brains came in handy when one needed to cheat on a test or exam or copy yesterday’s homework assignments. The trade-off or you can say. the upside for the brains was that some of their fellow students who required their services offered the brains protection from other students who would bully them, steal from them or threaten to beat them up.

The second clique was known as the jocks. This group consisted of all the star athletes in the school. A third group was labelled as the stoners. This group of students were known for regularly ingesting a wide variety of both prescription and illegal drugs. The brains and the jocks rarely had anything to do with the stoners. Stoners were not known for doing well in their academic studies because they were, as their name implied, usually flying high on some psychoactive substance that would interfere with their cerebral ability to concentrate on their schoolwork.

There was a subgroup of students within the stoners who were talented musicians. The ones that played in a band were generally held in high regard by almost all the student body. The jocks envied the artistic talents of the musically gifted stoners and were very pissed off by the fact that student musicians who played in local bands often had more groupies than the jocks. The jocks could never conceive how these scrawny, dope smoking rockers didn’t need to have any respectable physique to attract females. The jocks never grasped the concept that these musically gifted stoners needed to practice their guitar licks just as long and hard as the football team had to practice their passing, blocking and running drills.

The last high school clique were the most unfortunate ones. This group was cruelly referred to as the nerds. The nerds presented in all shapes and sizes, but their most prominent distinction was that they all presented as being weird in some way or another. Some were morbidly obese, some were tall and lanky and had faces that were crated like the surface of the moon with acne. Many of them offended their peers and teachers because of their strong repulsive body odor.

The nerds were mostly shunned by the vast majority of the student body and faculty. On rare occasions, a student that was considered normal would attempt to befriend them or at the very least try to strike up a conversation with them. Those few nerds that received these acts of kindness were often forever grateful for even the slightest sign of attention and acceptance. The few students who displayed this kind of compassion often found that the result would be that the few grateful nerds would cling to them and wouldn’t leave them alone for at least a semester.

 

green reptile

Street Dreams Episode 48

Episode forty-eight of Street Dreams 

When Herby Schultz awoke on the morning after the jukebox party at Harold Peyton’s house, he felt an emotion that he had rarely experienced in his life. It was somewhat like joy or even euphoria. Being an analytical person, Herby was grateful for this positive feeling, but was also worried and confused. The more that Herby sat up on his bed and thought about it, the more Herby became concerned that he was feeling a sense of hope. 

Herby could hardly think of a time in his life when he was where a feeling even slightly optimistic about his future. For so much of his life, Herby Schultz felt only an enormous, overpowering sense of heaviness as if he was carrying a thousand pounds of concrete around with him. 

He felt lighter today. Some of that heaviness started to lift. Herby concluded that his new state of mind was largely due to last evening’s visit at Harold Peyton’s house. There were such a sense of peace in Harold’s home and Herby marvelled at the apparent ease with which Harold had turned a potentially situation filled with negativity and even ugliness into a time of calmness and joy. 

Herby did not have any close friends other than Tony Barrows and he certainly did not have a father figure in his life. There’s just something about the charismatic personality of Harold Peyton. 

Herby had learned to be very sceptical of adults, but there was something genuine about Harold. Due to his low self-esteem, he had a difficult time imagining why any adult would accept him at face value and even take a sincere interest in him. 

Harold had displayed a very sincere form of interest in listening to Herby. Harold was not just not being polite, he was truly interested in what Herby had to say at the party last night. 

If one looked at Herby’s time spent with Harold, superficially, one could reasonably ask what was so special about the jukebox party. Harold and his very young guests had simply had fun playing a game and later listen to each other’s share their stories. 

Herby became accepting of the fact that whenever he went somewhere with Tony there would certainly be alcohol and drugs involved. Perhaps, some illicit sexual activity and an almost inevitable physical fight would be on the agenda of the evening’s activities. There’d been none of that at Mr. Peyton’s house yesterday evening. Herby thought this was the only time in his life that he’d experience what was known as good clean fun. Like a very addictive drug, Herby now craved more of this positive experience. Did he dare phone Harold to see if they could get together for a one on one conversation? Herby did not want to impose on Mr. Peyton today. He would wait another day to see if he could get the courage to call this elderly charismatic man. 

 

 ogopogo-33

Episode 45 of Street Dreams/Tony Spills His Guts

Episode 45 of Street Dreams 

When Tony and Harold had brought their refreshments from the kitchen and placed them on Harold’s glass coffee table, Harold settled into his white La-Z-Boy chair and Tony found a place on Harold’s orange and white leather sofa. 

Tony took a few seconds to glance around Harold’s living room. He could see many things that were of interest to him. 

Last night I was having so much fun playing jukebox with you guys that I didn’t pay too much attention to my surroundings. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your possessions?” Tony asked, biting off a sizable chunk of his extra-large oatmeal and raisin cookie. He added a sip from his coffee cup. Harold poured Tony’s coffee into a Motorhead coffee cup. Tony was amazed at how well the coffee and cookie combo tasted. 

Harold also sampled this morning’s culinary delights and experienced the same sense of joy that Tony was experiencing. 

“Wow, I didn’t know how well Whisper could bake cookies,” Tony said. 

Harold looked Tony Barrows straight in the eye. 

“I will gladly answer your questions about my possessions after we have a chat about other things,” Harold answered. 

“When you get to be my age, Tony, I think one becomes much more proficient at reading people. In other words, you become much more observant and skilled at drawing inferences,” Harold said. 

Tony started moving his fingers around in a nervous manner. He was hoping for a conversation about deep things, but he was surprised that Harold delved into that realm this early in the conversation. 

“Tony, which artists created those two pieces of artwork that I’m pointing to on my wall?” Harold asked using his forefinger to point to two different paintings on the wall across from Tony. 

“The one to your immediate right is by Jackson Pollock, the second one is by Picasso and if you’d asked me about the third I would say that it was done by Salvador Dali,” Tony answered with a look of self- satisfaction on his face. 

Harold got caught in the middle of a laughing spell and spewed out a sudden spray of coffee and partially chewed cookie. This incident also caused Tony to laugh and had the effect of putting them more at ease. 

“You just proved my point, son. You’re either self educated, partially educated or have a university degree,” Harold said. 

“I don’t know how you figured that out, but you are right. I spent two years at the University of Manitoba. My major was economics. I also read a lot on my own if that’s what you mean by self educated.” 

“I, too, do a lot of reading on my own, listen to audiobooks, watch Fox News and do a considerable amount of research on the internet. Why haven’t you finished your bachelor’s degree?” Harold asked. 

“That’s kind of a long and sad story. Just after I finished my second year courses, my girlfriend died of a drug overdose. Two weeks later, I get a call telling me that while my uncle and his girlfriend were driving on a trip down the highway, their car got squashed by a semitrailer. My uncle died immediately and his girlfriend was pronounced DOA when an ambulance took her to the closest hospital,” Tony answered. 

“That’s horrible,” Harold said, as a tear slid down his left cheek. 

“Were you close to your uncle?” Harold asked. 

“Yes, very much so. I only lived with him for about a year and a half, but he was the closest thing to a father figure I ever knew. I worked for him as a plumber’s helper any he gave me a love of reading, writing fiction and participating in intellectual discussions. He was the one who inspired me to attend university,” Tony answered. 

“Something here doesn’t add up. Why does a smart young man like yourself end up throwing his girlfriend out of his truck on a cold winter day?” Harold asked. 

Tony’s face reddened and he hung his head towards the ground in shame. 

“Somewhere along the line I didn’t develop a good sense of morals, but I think that I lost my temper and snapped when I decided to push Whisper out of my truck,” Tony explained. 

Do you lose your temper often, Tony?” Harold asked. 

Harold moved from his La-Z-Boy chair over to the white leather sofa and sat right next to Tony. Harold put his arm around Tony’s shoulder.Tony began to weep and tried to stop what was turning into a deluge of tears. 

“I’m sorry, Tony managed to say in between the falling of his tears. I have so much rage inside me that it scares me to death. I’m afraid I’ll kill somebody one of these days if I don’t learn how to control my temper.” 

The two men just sat in silence for close to five minutes while both of them wept. Tony raised his head and looked at Harold. 

“I can’t remember the last time I cried like that,” Tony said as he finally began to regain his composure. My biological father died from cancer when I was just five years old and my mother was an alcoholic who never wanted me. Still, there is no excuse for what I did to Whisper or for the other people I’ve hurt in my life,” Tony said as he gave Harold a quick hug. 

the chronicles of narnia book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Episode 40 of Street Dreams Novel/Jukebox

Episode 40
Ricky had been living with his stepdad and Whisper for about three weeks now. During this time, the three of them had been getting along well. Harold was overjoyed that Ricky was now living with him. Harold had never felt comfortable living by himself, but now he had both his son and Whisper around to mitigate his loneliness.
Last week Whisper had a You Tube app open on Harold’s Amazon fire stick. She went to the YouTube search engine and typed in Guns N Roses. She found her favourite Guns N Roses song, Sweet Child of Mine and started to play the track. Harold was sitting in his prized, white Lazy Boy chair. He was reading the novel, Cujo by Stephen King. Ricky was sitting on the couch across from his dad. He, too was reading his own paperback copy of the same book about the rabid St. Bernard. A cute little puppy was sitting contentedly on the floor at Ricky’s feet. Ricky had named the dog Buster and about a week ago asked his dad if he could keep the puppy. Buster had been sitting on the back steps of Harold’s house. The little pug was trembling in the cold and was whimpering with anxiety. Ricky had just returned from Pals, the corner convenience store when he saw Buster. In spite of the fact that Ricky had problems with his behavior, he had not lost part of his childhood innocence. Deep down, he was still a sweet kid who loved animals and little children. When Harold and Clarissa were still together, they took in an old stray tomcat that they named Beater. Ricky had loved the big old tomcat who was now staying with his mother, Clarissa. Unfortunately, Ricky had a very strained relationship with his mother and rarely visited her so he didn’t get to see Beater too much now.
Buster, like most puppies, was very lovable and had already grown very attached to Ricky. The dog liked Harold too, but appeared to have established a stronger bond with Ricky. This was likely because Ricky would take him for walks on a daily basis and would also play fetch in the backyard with Buster. Buster was a very cuddly and affectionate puppy would often come to sit in Ricky’s lap and beg to be cuddled. Ricky would often think the dog’s life was much easier and happier than the existence of their human owners. When Ricky petted and stroked Buster he would kind of be in effect be enveloped by a beautiful trancelike state where parents didn’t get divorced and no one had to go to jail.
Ricky turned towards Whisper and asked, “Do you want to play a game?”
“What game?” Whisper asked.
“It’s a game I just invented. I think I’m going to call it Jukebox.
“Howdo you play it?” Whisper asked.
“I’m making up the rules as we go along. You actually gave me the idea for the game, Whisper,” Ricky answered.
“Gee. Could I play too? Do you think I’m too old for this game, Harold asked with a grin on his face.”
“No, of course you can play, Dad. Actually the rules are very simple. One player uses the search engine on YouTube to find either the name of a song or the name of a band. Meanwhile the two other players go to the kitchen and listen to the song that has been selected. The first player to yell out both the name of the song and the name of the artist who performed it wins and is awarded either one or two points. You score one point for the name of the song and one point for the name of the performer. If the player is right on both counts they are awarded two points If you only get one of the answers right the player gets one point. Time is up at the end of the song and no points are scored,” Ricky explained.
“Hey, Ricky, this game sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Harold, I thought I saw a whiteboard in your office downstairs. Can I bring it up to the living room? We could use it to keep score.”
Harold sat up in his lazy boy chair. “Do you mean the whiteboard I used to use when I was active in Amway. I would take the whiteboard with me when we were showing the plan to prospects. Yeah, I believe there is still a pack of erasable coloured markers in my old desk to the left of the whiteboard. If I remember correctly, there is also a whiteboard eraser and cleaning spray in that old desk too. Why don’t you both you guys go downstairs and bring the game equipment up to the living room. In the meantime, I’m going to put a bag of popcorn in the microwave.We’re going to have ourselves a little party this evening,” Harold said.
When Ricky and Whisper brought the whiteboard and the supplies upstairs and got themselves comfortably seated once again, Harold asked another question.
“Can I add a new rule to the Jukebox game?”
“What’s the new rule?” Whisper asked. The sweet aroma of popping kernels was now drifting into the living room.
It’s more like an amendment or a rider placed on the original rules. Here it is. The song that is selected can only be chosen if it falls between the decades of 1950 up to the decade of 2000. You guys probably know a lot of the old songs, but I stopped listening to contemporary music when the Seattle grunge pop era ended sometime during the nineties,” Harold explained
“I think that Whisper and I can agree to that stipulation,” Ricky answered.” She and I discussed our tastes in music one day last week when you were out running errands. The funny thing is that neither of us likes the current music scene either and we both like old-time rock ‘n’ roll music from the 50’s, 60s,70s. 80s and the 90s. We even like several of the same bands such as Led Zeppelin. the Beatles, Motorhead and Bob Dylan. The list goes on and on.”
“Thank you guys. It sounds like we may have a very interesting and competitive game of Jukebox starting shortly. The microwave popcorn should be ready in under a minute,” Harold said.
Both Ricky and Whisper hadn’t seen Harold look so happy in a long time They gave each other the knowing nod.motorhead band picture 2

Roswell 1947 Play and Podcast Part Three

Act Five Scene Two:

Narrator: Zeke, the hospital custodian, runs up to General Kane.

Zeke: General, the guy I locked up in the store room broke the window and escaped!

General Kane: Enns get in the truck. We’ve got to catch that rancher before he starts shooting his mouth off again.

Narrator: Enns and Kane start driving down the back lane. They stop when they see two dogcatchers climbing out of the dumpster.

Private Enns: Look, General. The city makes those poor dogcatchers hunt for dogs in the dumpster.

General Kane: I doubt that Enns. Roswell city employees have a union.

Private Enns: Maybe the dog catchers aren’t included in the union contract.

General Kane: What the heck are you guys doing in the dumpster? Just look at you guys all covered in garbage. You’re a disgrace to the uniform!

Private Enns: I thought city employees made good money. You guys shouldn’t have to scrounge around for food in the dumpster.

Hoss: We’re not looking for food. A large Rottweiler chased us into the dumpster.

General Kane: Men, it’s your job to catch dogs, not run away from them!

Harvey: Well there’s a whole other side to this story. You tell them what happened, Hoss.

Hoss: Well, it’s kind of a strange story. We were sitting in the truck having our smoke break when we saw this guy stumbling down the back lane.

Harvey: Yeah, this guy tells us this goofy story about escaping from the hospital. He said two military guys kidnapped him and threw him in the back of a truck with a bunch of aliens.

Hoss: Ha! ha! ha! And then he says something about a nurse giving him a shot of horse tranquilizer in the backside.

Private Enns: They’re talking about Mick, General.

General Kane: I know! So where’s this guy now?

Private Enns: Yeah. And don’t you guys have a truck or something to put the dogs in after you catch them?

General Kane: They don’t need one. The dogs chase them into the dumpster. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Harvey: Look General, this is no laughing matter. The guy drove off with our truck.

Private Enns: I don’t get it. There’s two of you against one of him.

Hoss: Well, it’s kind of a long story. You tell them, Harvey.

Harvey: Well, while Hoss and I were trying to pull this guy into the truck, the keys fall out of Hoss’s pants The guy grabbed the keys and let the Rottweiler out the back of the truck.

General Kane: Now let me guess, and then the dog chased you guys into the dumpster.

Hoss: Yeah, that’s pretty much the way it happened.

Private Enns: You guys are hilarious. You’re funnier than Lloyd the Barber on the Andy Griffin Show. You guys should go tell your story on Rick and Dwight’s radio show.

General Kane: I have a feeling that’s where Mick is right now.

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episode 37 of street dreams a novel

Episode 37

After about a fifteen minute ride Kerry and Hartley Popovich could hear Aleister trying to speak. At first, all Aleister could manage was a few garbled words. His two friends were now starting to hear some words and phrases that were decipherable. Aleister attempted to say a few things that sounded like:

“Where am I? I’m in pain. I need help.”

Kerry turned around and said to Aleister, “We were just at a party. You got the crap beat out of you by a big dude that you were arguing with. Someone called the cops so we picked you up and got you into Hartley’s car. The grey interior of the old Ford Tempo was stained with the blood from the wounds in Aleister’s head. The good news was that the blood coming from Aleister’s head was now starting to coagulate.

Hartley was now doing over 110 km/h when the car skidded on a snow-covered patch of ice and fishtailed off to the right shoulder of the of Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

About thirty meters behind them was a red Ford Taurus with Harold Payton driving and Whisper Willows riding shotgun.

“Hey Harold, look to your right. There’s a car on the shoulder up ahead. Looks like they’re going to need help,” Whisper said.

Harold and Whisper were just returning from getting a late night supper at Pizza Hut. The driving was hazardous tonight as a heavy snowfall had just begun.

One of Harold’s personality traits was both a blessing and a curse. He was a nice guy. Too nice a guy. Whenever he encountered someone in trouble, he wouldn’t hesitate to try to assist them. No matter how much trouble a stranger might be in or how dangerous this intervention might prove to be, Harold would jump in to help them without any reservations. Harold Peyton could be very impulsive and perhaps even a bit self-destructive if he felt that the situation warranted it.

Harold drove his car right behind Hartley’s car. He and Whisper got out of the car and trudged through the snow toward the white Ford Tempo. Whisper could make out a bumper sticker that read, ‘Crash and Burn’. Harold approached the driver side door and knocked on the glass. He called out, “Are you people all right? Do you need help?”

Hartley was still in a bit of a daze as he hit his head on the steering wheel causing the car’s horn to go off.

“Yeah, we need help,” Hartley answered as he lowered his shoulder and banged the front door open. The passenger side door was old and rusty making it difficult to push open. The light in the interior of the car came on so Harold could now see inside the vehicle. He could see another young man occupying the passenger seat. He could make out a third young male who was trying to prop himself up in the backseat. This individual gave out a shriek of pain as he tried to move himself into a sitting position.

Whisper opened the back door of the car and made a quick visual inspection of the man who was in obvious pain.

“How do you feel, dude? What the hell happened to you?” Whisper asked Aleister.

Whisper could see that the injured man had bloodstains on his beige Slipknot T-shirt. He also had some bruises on his forehead. She asked Aleister to turn the back of his head towards her. Whisper noticed three small places where blood had previously been flowing from Aleister’s head.

“Whatever you do, don’t touch me, lady. My neck and back are killing me and I feel like I just got run over by a semi- trailer,” Aleister said in a low pained voice.

Kerry spoke up, “Don’t try to talk now, Aleister. Save your strength.”

Then he turned towards Whisper and Harold and said, “Look we just came back from Boogy’s Sports Bar. We were watching a wrestling pay-per-view and having a few beers when we noticed that Aleister had been in the washroom for a long time. Hartley went into the men’s room to check on him and found Aleister slumped on the floor. There were bloodstains on the wall behind him. Hartley and I got Aleister out of the bathroom and into our car.

Harold Peyton moved closer to Kerry, “Hey, my name is Harold and this is my friend, Whisper. Back in the day I was a medic during the war in Vietnam. Can I check on your friend’s condition?”

Before Kerry could answer a police patrol car with its lights flashing pulled up right behind him. Constable Bill Noble and Constable Melissa Parks got out of the patrol car. Constable Bill took a quick check around the area to see if there was anything dangerous around the scene that he and his partner were about to investigate. The wind had picked up and Bill’s ears were getting cold. Hartley panicked and placed his car key in the ignition. Constable Noble saw what Hartley was trying to do and snatched the car keys out of his hand.

“What’s your hurry, Bud? Are you trying to get away from us? Let’s see your driver’s license and registration.”

Hartley remembered that he had put his bag of drugs in the glove compartment. He knew the cops were going to search the car. He gave Constable Bill a shove and was tackled from behind by Constable Parks. She quickly and efficiently put the hand cuffs on Hartley. 20180924_100134

Episode 37 of Street Dreams, a Novel by Ken David Stewart

Episode 37

After about a fifteen minute ride Kerry and Hartley Popovich could hear Aleister trying to speak. At first, all Aleister could manage was a few garbled words. His two friends were now starting to hear some words and phrases that were decipherable.Aleister attempted to say a few things that sounded like:

“Where am I? I’m in pain. I need help.”

Kerry turned around and said to Aleister, “We were just at a party. You got the crap beat out of you by a big dude that you were arguing with. Someone called the cops so we picked you up and got you into Hartley’s car. The grey interior of the old Ford Tempo was stained with the blood from the wounds in Aleister’s head. The good news was that the blood coming from Aleister’s head was now starting to coagulate.

Hartley was now doing over 110 km/h when the car skidded on a snow-covered patch of ice and fishtailed off to the right shoulder of the of Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

About thirty meters behind them was a red Ford Taurus with Harold Payton driving and Whisper Willows riding shotgun.

“Hey Harold, look to your right. There’s a car on the shoulder up ahead. Looks like they’re going to need help,” Whisper said.

Harold and Whisper were just returning from getting a late night supper at Pizza Hut. The driving was hazardous tonight as a heavy snowfall had just begun.

One of Harold’s personality traits was both a blessing and a curse. He was a nice guy. Too nice a guy. Whenever he encountered someone in trouble, he wouldn’t hesitate to try to assist them. No matter how much trouble a stranger might be in or how dangerous this intervention might prove to be, Harold would jump in to help them without any reservations. Harold Peyton could be very impulsive and perhaps even a bit self-destructive if he felt that the situation warranted it.

Harold drove his car right behind Hartley’s car. He and Whisper got out of the car and trudged through the snow toward the white Ford Tempo. Whisper could make out a bumper sticker that read, ‘Crash and Burn’. Harold approached the driver side door and knocked on the glass. He called out, “Are you people all right? Do you need help?”

Hartley was still in a bit of a daze as he hit his head on the steering wheel causing the car’s horn to go off.

“Yeah, we need help,” Hartley answered as he lowered his shoulder and banged the front door open. The passenger side door was old and rusty making it difficult to push open. The light in the interior of the car came on so Harold could now see inside the vehicle. He could see another young man occupying the passenger seat. He could make out a third young male who was trying to prop himself up in the backseat. This individual gave out a shriek of pain as he tried to move himself into a sitting position.

Whisper opened the back door of the car and made a quick visual inspection of the man who was in obvious pain.

“How do you feel, dude? What the hell happened to you?” Whisper asked Aleister.

Whisper could see that the injured man had bloodstains on his beige Slipknot T-shirt. He also had some bruises on his forehead. She asked Aleister to turn the back of his head towards her. Whisper noticed three small places where blood had previously been flowing from Aleister’s head.

“Whatever you do, don’t touch me, lady. My neck and back are killing me and I feel like I just got run over by a semi- trailer,” Aleister said in a low pained voice.

Kerry spoke up, “Don’t try to talk now, Aleister. Save your strength.”

Then he turned towards Whisper and Harold and said, “Look we just came back from Boogy’s Sports Bar. We were watching a wrestling pay-per-view and having a few beers when we noticed that Aleister had been in the washroom for a long time. Hartley went into the men’s room to check on him and found Aleister slumped on the floor. There were bloodstains on the wall behind him. Hartley and I got Aleister out of the bathroom and into our car.

Harold Peyton moved closer to Kerry, “Hey, my name is Harold and this is my friend, Whisper. Back in the day I was a medic during the war in Vietnam. Can I check on your friend’s condition?”

Before Kerry could answer a police patrol car with its lights flashing pulled up right behind him. Constable Bill Noble and Constable Melissa Parks got out of the patrol car. Constable Bill took a quick check around the area to see if there was anything dangerous around the scene that he and his partner were about to investigate. The wind had picked up and Bill’s ears were getting cold. Hartley panicked and placed his car key in the ignition. Constable Noble saw what Hartley was trying to do and snatched the car keys out of his hand.

“What’s your hurry, Bud? Are you trying to get away from us? Let’s see your driver’s license and registration.”

Hartley remembered that he had put his bag of drugs in the glove compartment. He knew the cops were going to search the car. He gave Constable Bill a shove and was tackled from behind by Constable Parks. She quickly and efficiently put the hand cuffs on Hartley.

punk 2 - Copy

Episode 36 of Street Dreams

Episode 35

Aleister hated going to school. He wasn’t like the other kids. He often chose strange clothing to wear and a from his teenage years onward, Aleister came to the conclusion that the world is not a nice place to inhabit. He came to the conclusion that most people were mean and nasty. They seemed to enjoy hurting people that were a little different and could think for themselves. Aleister had an artistic temperament. He was quiet, sensitive and possessed an incredible imagination. He struggled in math and science classes, but received decent marks in English and history class. Aleister would skip the classes that he didn’t like very frequently, but he didn‘t leave the school. He would go to the school library as this was kind of a safe haven for him. The library had small private reading rooms where a student could either sit in a standard chair next to a little desk or lean comfortably against the wall on one of the room’s oversized cushions. Aleister preferred the large soft cushions and especially liked a pillow that had a picture of the cartoon character, Garfield, decorated on it. Aleister usually had the room to himself as the other students in the school thought he was weird and didn’t want to get too close to him.

Aleistair was very careless about his personal hygiene and after several days without taking a shower or bothering to change his clothes, he started to reek of body order. Aleister preferred being left alone. He did not want any distractions from others. He needed his own private space, with the accompanying peace and quiet, in order to enter into his own internal world. Within Alister’s personal realm, he was the only person that was allowed in. There were exceptions, of course. These were the characters that he read about in his favourite books. He chose books in the genres of true crime and mystery, science fiction and horror novels. His favourite author was Stephen King. He’d read all of King’s work at least once and there were several books that he had read two or three times. The Stephen King titles that he loved the most were, the Dark Half, the Stand and Pet Sematery. If Aleister could escape notice from the library teacher and or the library tech, he would remain in his literary, fictional, safe haven for two hours and occasionally for half the day.

When the school alarm sounded to signal class change at the end of every period, Aleistair would grab a few oversized cushions and a blanket that was available to the students and hide behind them for at least five minutes. He learned that the school staff usually only checked the private rooms during the class changes.

After Aleister’s parents separated when he had just turned fourteen Aleister began to act out at school. The dissolution of his family unit caused Aleister great emotional distress. He went through the standard stages of grief, but his anger was what got him in trouble at school. His anger towards the world and its human occupants turned into a burning rage.

Prior to his parents splitting up, Aleister had not committed any acts of school vandalism. When Aleister could no longer restrain the angst churning inside him, he would engage in acts of vandalism at school. Aleister got a pleasurable adrenaline rush from acting out and after he finished creating havoc, a beautiful sense of calm would envelop him.

There were a variety of malicious stunts Aleister liked to enact, One of these was to grab a handful of paper towels in the boys washroom and plug the toilets to the point where they would overflow when anyone pushed down the handle. On one occasion, he took out a cigarette lighter and started a garbage bin on fire. Aleister took great pleasure when he saw the fire trucks arrive and watched all the teachers and students scramble to evacuate the building. Aleister chuckled to himself when it was -30°C and he could see all the people outside the school shivering and jumping around in a vain attempt to stay warm.

These malicious acts pleased Aleister to no end, to cause a disruption in the school that he hated, and best of all, he was in control and held all the power.

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