Join Date: Nov 2009
I write short stories. Here's one for you to read as the bow dips deeper into the waves. royster
by r.andrew stokes
Andrew was not adverse to shaking things up, where ever he went. He would whack a hornet's nest, then stand there, waiting for the angry critters to emerge. He'd point in the direction the culprit went, and after thanking him, the hornets would fly off into the distance for revenge. Andrew would smirk his dimpled smirk, and...to rouse any late sleepers...whack the nest again. Things always seemed to work twice, for him.
Maybe it was that smile that let him get away with it. One time, in sixth grade, he crammed a potato up the exhaust pipe of the principal's Ford Falcon. Biding his time, he made himself available, in close proximity to the parking lot at precisely 3:12 pm, to hear the "RR-RR-RR-POW!" and witness the spewage of starch on the asphalt. But he hit a trifecta, that day; the spud hit the pavement, bounced up...seemingly in slow motion...came down on the janitor lady's Rambler roof, and proceded to land on Tricia Evans' head. In the course of ten seconds, you had the befuddled look on the principal's face, the wonderment of projectile monitoring (evidenced by the head movements in unison) and the defiling of the snobbiest girl in school. Satisfaction is expressed by the yellow canary feathers hanging from the cat's mouth, and Andrew upped the ante with a dimpled smirk. You cannot get fingerprints off a potato that NASA has used as an experiment.
This is not to indicate a life of crime; his practical jokes were statements for the general population. Other than a tuber honoring Tricia Evans and her fine array of emptiness, Andrew had no harm in mind; he just found deep appreciation in shaking up the status quo.
In his senior year of high school, the most daring thing he had done to date was about to be trumped. He had placed the empty box in front of the print shop, with bold letters stating "DO NOT MOVE! REWARD IF FOUND!" The police actually sent a bomb squad out to deal with the matter*. When it became obvious to him that this joke wasn't going to pan out, he walked over and picked up the box, much to the police department's horror. They put his name on record, and the old fart that spotted the package in the first place shook his finger at Andrew. That smirk emerged, and melted that old man like butter on a Delta afternoon in August. What a harmless joke, and how duped you were.
His wedding night was full of stifled snickering, as his wife had gone off to pee. He made himself as small as possible in the wad of blankets she had tossed to the side, and when she got back into bed, he crept his hand up the small of her back, prompting several Hollywood horror flicks in her mind. Oh, how she loved that trickster, and when you are finally on the inside of the joke, what fun.
Andrew had a passion for framing things outside of their natural habitat; this was emphasized the night he snuck into the church Nativity scene, and put a deer salt lick in the plastic Jesus cradle. They never did find the plastic Jesus, but something wonderful happened the next morning, and it put everyone at wit's end.
There were seventeen deer, that Sunday morning, and at first, everyone thought what a great job the church had done at providing animal props. But they weren't props; they were living animals. Twenty hunters, from that church congregation, were forced to deal with the Devil. And with deer. The deer won. Interestingly, the sermon was about "Thou shalt not kill", and at least twenty humans, perched on oak pews, wrestled with their conscience. At ten-thirty, when the doors opened, and people oozed out toward the parking lot, deep dark eyes watched in wonderment; how do they walk on two legs? And people, some for the first time, saw the beauty of these Earth creatures. It was perhaps the finest thing Andrew had ever done for humanity. And he got his laugh.
It was the crop circle incident that blew the meaning out of his sails, and to this day, his wife tries to prompt those dimples, but something deep inside him was carved away forever.