Episode Five of Winter Dreams by Ken David Stewart

Episode 5:

After his family had finished supper Rick told them about his plans for the evening.

“I met two very interesting people today, a couple named Peyton and Sabrina. Peyton plays guitar in a local rock band and I was invited to see them play tonight at Maplewood Community Center. The doors open at 7:30 PM so I have to leave right now to make it there on time.”

His parents told him that they hoped he would have a good time this evening. They were pleased to hear that Rick had made some new friends as Rick didn’t socialize very much. They often worried about the amount of time Rick spent on his studies at school and his hockey obligations. His parents were becoming concerned that Rick might crash under the pressure.

Rick walked the five blocks to Maplewood Community Center. As he was in good physical condition from playing hockey, he was able to keep up a fast pace. When he arrived, he saw that there was already a crowd of about ten people waiting for the doors to open. Rick concluded that Peyton’s band, Winter Dreams must be very popular.

When the doors to the club opened, even more people had arrived to see the band. Many young people were already lighting up their first cigarette of the evening. The houselights were still up while Winter Dreams set up their equipment. While checking how his Gibson Les Paul guitar sounded plugged into his Marshall amplifier, Peyton turned around to see Rick in the audience. He waved at Rick and said, “Hey man. Glad you could make it. Sabrina’s helping set up the canteen.”

‘Thanks for inviting me. I love to hear live bands. I’ll go over to the canteen area and say ‘Hello’ to Sabrina.

After a few minutes Peyton gave a thumbs up sign to the community club custodian. This was the signal to dim the house lights. Within seconds the community club’s halls, walls and floors reverberated with the heavily amplified sounds emanating from the band’s Marshall amplifiers. Winter Dreams lead vocalist evoked the sensual moan that opened Whole Lotta Love, the first track on the second LP released by Led Zeppelin. Winter Dreams lead singer Vance Chessler was blessed with the same physical attractiveness and sexual appeal of Led Zeppelin’s front man, Robert Plant. He also possessed a voice that was eerily close to Plant’s. Peyton was a very proficient lead guitarist and had easily mastered the basic guitar riff to Whole Lotta Love. Some of the audience were already dancing or otherwise moving their bodies in rhythm with the pounding repetitious beat that was greatly enhanced by the deep thundering notes played by bassist Chevy Raines. The group’s drummer, Pick Harding tried hard to simulate the sonorous beat maintained by his hero, drummer John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

For many of the students of Maplewood Collegiate the weekly canteens were the highlight of their weekends. There would sometimes be a house party or two to attend after the community center closed at 11:30 PM. Some of the attendees would imbibe a couple of drinks and maybe share a joint before the canteen opened.

This evening was no exception. One young male was already intoxicated when he arrived at the community center. As he staggered backwards, he almost knocked over a burly looking fellow who greatly took exception to this action. The big, heavy-set dude landed a perfect shot to the chin of the inebriated teenager who had accidently bumped into him. The altercation ended right there as the victim of the assault was too drunk to get up and defend himself.

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

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

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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