Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday evening I walked next door to pay LJ for his weekly trash hauling. (LJs mother thought it would be a good idea for him to have responsibilities and she volunteered him to take out trash the 300 feet to the curb. I thought, a job would be more appropriate for a 9-year-old than being forced to volunteer, so until he can get out of it, a job he has.) I noticed a cool breeze from the east. This struck me for two reasons. First, it was 90 degrees out not an hour before. Second, we seldom get the wind from the east. This morning I put it all together and realized that the Summer we had for 36 hours is on sabbatical. However, the first of next month we should be back in the 70s with only a slight chance of showers.
Yesterday I drove down 11th Ave. in Longview. On 11th Ave, there are several places that help the homeless and those people we commonly say are ‘down on their luck’—a community house, the Salvation Army and an unmarked place with lots of people sitting around. For some reason the way some of the men and women sitting on the ground next to black plastic bags, backpacks, and even boxes looked at passing cars, it was as it they were silently asking “are you the one that can help me out of this?” Or, “are you here to save me?” Am I making a false assumption that these are people who have no hope? I realize there are many stories. If one asks one will hear a story that one wants to hear about something that that person did to cause their own status in life. However, I am not prone to believe what I would hear, for the myth that ‘we make it on our own,’ is a fairy tale that allows too many of us to decry the help we got from family, friends and countless strangers along the way and pretend we own our success to our own efforts. Yes, we had something to do with our success, but not nearly as much as we would claim. I rather suspect that until we find a way to give everyone the same help we had, we will continue to impose suffering on those “down on their luck.”
I trust his finds you happy, healthy, wealthy and wise.
Warmest regards, Ed
033 The Plot Thickens
Fiction in 981 Words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Wilbur and Walter Seams shifted nervously on their feet while waiting for the man sporting the goatee with a scar over his left eye to turn his attention to them. They had been ‘spoken to’ about interrupting and they were not sure what the man was capable of when irritated. They had discussed this when in the attic apartment over their mother’s garage and had tentatively concluded that since he gave them time travel powers that his powers must be greater. Finally, the man turned to them and with a bright smile said, “Ah, there you are. I have a little chore that should be right up your alley, gentlemen.” He beckoned to them with his forefinger and said, “Come closer, I want to show you something on the map you secured for me, err, us.”
As the two brothers approached the table, they could see the large vellum map that they had retrieved from the picnic table after Becky’s father had laid it out. The man with the goatee and scar over his left eye pointed to a cross on the map and said, “This is where Blackbeard buried one of his treasure chests. You will find two bodies buried with it. What I want you to do is dig it up, leave the two bodies where they are, indeed, cover them with dirt again, and move the treasure to this spot.” He pointed to an unmarked spot equidistant between two reference points on the map. “Be sure you put the treasure chest three feet down and smooth over the surface so it is not obviously a newly dug hole.
Walter asked, “Did Becky get home?”
The man with the goatee and scar over his left eye said, “Don’t worry about Becky. If you left her where I told you to, she will be home soon. Now go and do what I told you to do.”
“Why do we have to do the digging, dumping and all the heavy work?”
Whined Wilbur Seams as he stuck his shovel into the sand. “And, he never seems to move from that chair.”
” Maybe he can’t,” replied Walter Seams.
“What do you mean can’t?” Asked Wilbur.
“Did you notice that when we move his eyes don’t quite follow us?” Asked Walter Seams. “And have you noticed he flickers sometimes, just ever so much the unless you are staring at him you wouldn’t notice?”
“No kidding,” said Wilbur with his eyebrows raised. “You are telling me he is a hologram or some kind of 3-D projection. Well, that’s why he points but never hands us anything. I thought that when he disappeared he was doing this time travel thing we do. Do you think he is not real? I mean not physically real?”
“If he’s not real why does he need the money he gets from the things we do for him?” Walter Seams asked his brother.
Wilbur thought for a moment and then brightly smiled. “I’ll bet he needs it to pay for the electricity. If he’s not real that means he needs electricity to stay alive.”
“If he’s not real how can he be alive ?” Asked Walter Seams.
“He’s alive in a computer some place,” replied Wilbur Seams. You know like the guy in the movie we saw who was virtual and did all sorts of evil things and they played he’ll to get him out because he kept switching from computer to computer.”
“Get real, Wilbur. This is real life and not the movies,” replied Walter.
“Help me lift this chest, Walt,” said Wilbur.
“Use your brain,’ said Walter. “Let’s dig the other hole first and then move it the easy way.”
The two brothers moved to the spot they ha pre-marked and started digging. “This one should go faster as we don’t have corpses to watch out for,” said Walter.
“I wonder why Blackbeard buried those two guys with his treasure chest?” Wilbur missed.
“If I were burying treasure, I wouldn’t want two guys who knew where it was,” said Walter Seams looking over his shoulder.
“What are you looking for, Walt?” Asked Wilbur.
Walter Seams pointed to the hole they had just finished digging and the exposed corpses and a treasure chest. “I would just as soon not end up like those two.”
Wilbur Seams looked around nervously. “Do you think he will pop out and do us like that when we are done?”
“If it were me, I would wait till we just about have this one filled in. Then I would only have a few shovels full of dirt to cover our bodies.” Pointing to the hole with the corpses and treasure chest Walter said, “Just like how shallow those two fellows were.”
Wilbur Seams looked around quickly and said, “Thank Gog there ain’t no one else here.”
Walter Seams said. “Look at me, Wilbur.”
When Wilbur looked at his brother in the eye, his brother vanished only to immediately reappear and say, “The man doesn’t have to be here now to be here later to do us like they were done. He could bide his time.”
Wilbur Seams’ lips were quivering when he asked, “What are we going to do?”
“Stands to reason since we both know where the treasure is buried that if just one of us is here when the man shows up he won’t kill the one that is here. That would still leave one of us knowing. He wouldn’t want to frighten the live one off.”
“Let’s flip for who stays to finish and who goes to keep us alive,” said Wilbur Seams.
“No. Momma would never forgive me if something should happen to you,” said Walter. “You go. I’ll finish. If I don’t meet you at Mommy’s house, don’t go back where the man can get at you.”
Wilbur Seams vanished. Walter Seams looked around, muttered, “screw this,” and vanished.