I Now Remember Why I Stopped Having Children & 027 A Literary Mystery: Who is Melissa Hickson? (Agent Amanda Story)

Good Morning Ted and Jody:

Lunch with Sarah, Ger and Grandma Ernie was late getting started.  While Sarah tuned over a new leaf and arrived early, Ger had some pent-up energy that needed to be drained.  So, he got it all out at once and took a fall on some steps.  They were less than two miles from a hospital emergency room.  Sarah held it all tougher until Nancy and I arrived.  Then she cried.  We did inform her that we were not the responsible adults she remembered from childhood and Granma Ernie disclaimed any knowledge of how to fill that role (apparently, Ernie gave it up for Lent {some 35 years ago}; one of those tried that, didn’t like it things), so Sarah got a grip again.20170304_143814 email.jpg

When Nancy and I arrived, Ger was on an emergency room bed with a pretty nurse attending to him (the things boys will do to get close to pretty nurses.  I remember one time . . . but I digress). He was handing it very well.  He was not crying like a 3 ½ year old kid (and that, by the way is his age).  He was not making unreasonable demands (not once did he insist upon a double martini with extra olives or a twist).  20170304_145148 email.jpgHe was sitting there calmly with his device (those damned things are miracles at acting as distracters even when not driving). Some one, I don’t remember who asked if he had an “owie.”  He replied, “No, I have a boo-boo,” and pointed to his gaping wound.  I asked him if he wanted to see my scar.  He was intrigued.  While Nancy keeps telling me the knife wound in my back is getting better, Ger put a different light on it.  “We got hurt the same day.”   I rather suspect in his mind we became brothers in pain.  However, his “glombing” on to me could have been because we were surrounded by women—pretty ones to be sure, but women none-the-less (and none of them were man enough to get a boo boo yesterday with us).  But since I only understand adult English and baby talk and not toddler, I can only surmise what he was thinking.

After our 95 to 120-minute side trip to the emergency room we finally got to lunch. At lunch Ger instructed me on how to use his device (Grandma Nancy and I sent him one for Christmas.  It has only been replaced once since then.  Two year warrantees are useful).  The women chatted about, well, I don’t know.  Between having only one hearing aid, restaurant noise and having to pay close attention to Ger’s instruction for using his device, I can only surmise it was about women things.  Ger’s children’s meal came with desert.  The words “ice cream” are securely stitched into the fabric of his vocabulary.  However, he is a man of tast for when asked whether he wanted chocolate or strawberry syrup on his ice cream, he declared “Both.”20170304_170834 email.jpg20170304_170911 email.jpg

Needless to say, I slept in this morning.

Warmest regards, Ed

027  A Literary Mystery: Who is Melissa Hickson?

Fiction in 868 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017


Special Agent Anderson Fleishman had just finished a conversation with his brother-in-law, Walter Janson and, as always, after talking to Walter was a tad bit confused. ‘Walt wants me to arrest a woman named Melissa Hickson who doesn’t exist but steals his work before he does it,’ he summarized in his mind.  ‘My wife steadily maintains he was not dropped on his head as a child.  That means the fall was more recent.’  Special Agent Fleishman chucked out loud as a picture of Walt in diapers falling off a couch at his age, and banging his head on the floor in anger came in to mental focus.  Special Agent Fleishman laughed out loud.  “Computer connect me with the person calling me from the whatchamacallit data bank of children’s books.”


Sheena Carwood programming Director of the Technical Division, Accumulated Writings Data Base, AWDB, appeared on his screen.  “Ah, I see my request for temporal investigation has finally gotten to someone who does the actual work over there,” Director Carwood said.

Special Agent Fleishman had training in tact.  Tact, it turns out solves more cases than any actual investigation.  Usually a polite question, framed in a non-accusatory manner get to the root of most things.  However, having just suffered through a conversation with his idiot brother-in-law, Special Agent Fleishman returned to, shall we say, pre-tact training conversation skills. “Oh, you directors know about people like me?”  He instantly regretted he had said it, but there it was a response to the bureaucratic stupidity from above. ‘Perhaps she will not notice,’ he thought.

“You, personally, no.  But your title betrays you work for a living,” she replied.

“Yes, I have been caught out,” he replied.  “Despite the fact that work is a four-letter word, I enjoy it.  Indeed, I enjoy it immensely. So, what can I do for the ADWB?  My director was a bit fuzzy about the assignment.”

“AWDB,” said Director Carwood. 

“Right, sorry. My brother-in-law tried to tell me and talking to him is like reading a children’s book back to front.”

“You’re Walter Janson’s brother-in-law?  He said he had someone over there.  Did you really take him to a frost fair in Jolly Old England?”

“It was sanctioned and a gift to my” sister.  What she sees in that fellow is beyond me.  She always has a streak of the four-year-old I used to read bedtime stories to.  Perhaps it is the children’s stories he tells her.  But yes, I took them for an afternoon on the Themes’ Ice.”

“How does one go about getting a time trip like that?” asked Director Carwood.

“Ask the computer for an application to take a time trip,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.

“I will,” said Director Carwood.  “Now, what we need to discover is who is publishing children’s books as Melissa Hickson in the first quarter of the 21st Century.  Is she a real person?  Is she temporally local?  And, is she plagiarizing material from our age retroactively?”

“From here and now, 2000 to 2025 looks very small.  But when you are there it is rather, shall we say, large and spread out.  Now, it helps if we can focus on starting points like a day, a specific time and place to start an investigation,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.  “A while back I had a murderer to track down in a 30-year swath of that time period.  If he hadn’t conveniently splashed himself on a sidewalk from 8 stories up, and then had his photo published in a newspaper I happen to read, I would probably still be looking.  So, what points of time and place can you give me?” asked Special agent Fleishman.

“No actual places, unless you go to the publishing houses and see where they send the money for royalties,”  replied Director Carwood.  “As for time, it might be best to go to the last day of the year as copywrites for a year can be made at any of the 365 days and we never know which.  But the last day, they are all done.  But, you are the investigator who claims to like work, so you figure it out.”

“Royalties? “mused Special Agent Fleishman.  “That would explain why Walt is a Royal Pain, but, I never knew how that worked.  How does it work?”

Director Carwood looked confused as if she thought it was a simple thing that everyone knew. Finally she attempted to explain the obvious, “Publishers pay authors a percentage on the sales of a book depending upon the amounts and contract terms, it varies; but they deposit funds in the author’s name and the author has funds.”

“So, ask Melissa Hickson’s publishers in the 21st Century,” summarized Special Agent Fleishman.

“Yes, you have it.  When can you get started?” she asked.

Special Agent Fleishman laughed out loud.

Director Carwood’s face on the screen took on a look of concern.  “What did I say that is funny?” she asked.

“I do apologize.” Replied Special Agent Fleishman.  “But in my business, I can give you three answers that say exactly the same thing: Yesterday, tomorrow, or it is already underway.”

Director Carwood said, with a very faint smile, “I get it. Time is relative.” She disconnected.


About democratizemoney

Retired University Professor
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6 Responses to I Now Remember Why I Stopped Having Children & 027 A Literary Mystery: Who is Melissa Hickson? (Agent Amanda Story)

  1. beetleypete says:

    I am enjoying this time-travel stuff a lot more since I got my head around, it after struggling sometimes with Amanda 7. I would also like to go back and see the Thames Ice Fair. Have you got Fleishman’s number by any chance?

    Talking of time travel, I don’t think you have ever seen this post from almost three years ago.
    Play along, and let me know your two choices. When you have time of course. (Pun intended)

    Ger’s head looks like a cracker. Was it glued, or stitched? It will probably hardly be noticeable when he’s older. But if it is, he can invent a tough-guy story about it, and appear to be cool.
    (Seeing the positives again…)

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      I haven’t seen any evidence of numbers for Time Travelers or residents 600 years into the future. Rather in that time period when they are not near a screen they open communications; I am guessing it is an implant or some such. The fastest way to have Special Agent Fleishman contact you is to put an ad in the Times saying “I found Melissa Higgins” and leave your phone number.
      Yes I read your piece after I started following you. I thought it was cool at the time. My choices are 1: About 12,000 years ago, to the valleys in the Zagros Mountain range, at the border between Iran and Iraq, too watch the agricultural revolution get started. 2: About 70,000 years ago, to see the beginning of cognition in our species. 24 hours may not be long enough, but it would be worth a shot.
      Ger was glued. One of the grandmothers said “He’ll be scarred for life.” The nurse practitioner who glued him together said “Not a chance. In two years he’ll not be able to prove it happened.” I thought “Pity, scars are useful conversation starters.”
      Warmest regards, Theo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ger is a cuteypie even with a hole in his head. Sometimes not being able to hear women talking is a great advantage. Looking forward to Agent Fleishmans investigations and the coming together of the gang 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      I think he is a cutie pie too; but, then he is my great-grandson and I may be a tad bit biased.
      Yes, sometimes the hearing aids are a blessing (one can turn them off and no one is the wiser).
      Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eddy Winko says:

    Catching up after a few days away, lucky me having two instalments to read. At last I know what I want to be when I grow up, now to find the small ads application for The Times!
    That’s a corker that Gur has, well done him for not crying. He has the look of a ladies man already 🙂
    Having just spent time with friends with two children about the same age, not forgetting our ‘little angel’ I too will be sleeping in in the morning, not to mention the early night tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Eddy:
      Glad you made it home safely. Since you are going to bed early and sleeping in; I’d say you must have had a good time (if not, do what I do and fake it 🙂 ).
      If you figure out which add in the Times works, let me know.
      Ger is a trooper. Today his mother took him to Snoqualmie Pass where they had snow (I think that is where the snow bandits sore the stuff they stole from us last night) and the kid played on 10 to 15 foot high piles of snow. So, no apparent slowing down from the emergency room stopover on Saturday.
      Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

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