Friday, December 06, 2013

Dree RainCave Has a Plan

     Dree RainCave took his backpack from That Damn Stan.   "Thanks Stan.  See you and Kenneth in Philly tomorrow night." 

     Kenneth clapped Dree on the back, "We'll be in touch as soon as we know anything about Honey.  Please try not to worry too much.  We've got Tor on the case." 

     "Who's Tor again?" 

     "He's the fellow that is defending some of the PayBack 13.  He knows many of the locals," Kenneth said. 

     "He said he will call in a few favors," Stan said. "Maybe
we will bring Honey with us tomorrow." 

     Stan gave Dree a bear hug and then pushed him towards the waiting van.  "Don't do anything wild in Philly.  My cousin Artesia is a decent sort even if she is an odd bird." 

Dree grimaced, "Oh I know, I know.  Don't get high and stay off the fucking Internet."  Dree got into the van.

     "I'm The Preacher," the driver told him.  "But you can call me Preach."

Dree looked over the scruffy man.  Straight black hair down to his shoulders and a longer startling red beard. 

     "Okay Preach," Dree said, "Just as long as you don't preach to me."  He fastened his seatbelt and smiled briefly at the
dancing bears festooning the glove compartment. 

     "Hold on, Buddy.  You're in for the ride of your life.  I hope you're hungry.  We'll be stopping for pizza at this funky joint I know in Delaware."

     Dree RainCave had little time to think about his worries or about the promised pizza.  The van ripped through the traffic on the Beltway and then headed north.  The sign that welcomed him to Maryland whizzed by. 

     "Damn," Dree broke the silence, "Aren't you afraid of getting pulled over by the cops?" 

     The Preacher laughed and pointed to something on the dashboard.  "I'm a U.S. Marshall," he said and laughed some more.  "I don't get tickets."

     Dree clutched the armrest fiercely.  "Reassuring-- NOT," he said after the van buzzed by a toll plaza. 

     For an answer, The Preacher shoved a compact disc into the stereo unit.  The sounds of YT Cracker screaming a song about being a hacker blasted the air. 

     "Fancy speakers," Dree remarked. 

     "I'm a hacker too," The Preacher confided. 
Dree drifted off to sleep in spite of The Preacher's driving.  The Preacher continued the wild ride onward.  He passed several troopers.  One of them waved to him as the needle crested ninety-five.  Doing ninety-five on I-95.  The Preacher laughed maniacally.  There was a huge cloud hanging over the landscape on his left.  It's like velvet night, he thought.  As he rammed the van hard into the exit for Newark Delaware, the cloud burst
and a hard rain slicked up the road.

     "Wake up, Dree!  It's pizza time!" The Preacher yelled gleefully. He parked the van into a parking space right out in front of a fire hydrant.  The Preacher flopped the visor down so the sign
reading "CLERGY" was plainly visible.  "Come on now.  The pizza waits for no one."

     Dree yawned and then tumbled out of the van.  The pizza place was a small storefront and it was packed. 

     "Always," explained The Preacher.  "It's a hangout for the local hackers."  Dree opened the door.  There were spider plants and  day-glo posters.  "Retro," he remarked. 

     "So are you," The Preacher laughed.  He strolled to the only table open, in the back corner.

     "My table," The Preacher explained. 

     A waitress in a tight pair of blue jeans and red flannel shirt cut short came up to them.  "Hello, Preach," she said.  "The usual?"

     The Preacher nodded.  "But no beer.  I'm working."

     She glanced at Dree.  "None for him, either," The Preacher said. 

     "What is 'the usual?'" Dree asked. 

     "A garbage pizza with everything on it.  I hope you like
anchovies.  If not, you can pick them off."

     The Preacher consumed pizza at a rapid rate, all the while greeting various customers and talking about electronics and leaks.

      "Your support system," The Preacher told Dree.  "They all know who you are but they are too savvy to say so."

     Dree grabbed his third slice from the pan.  "It's great pizza.  I could get used to this place." 

     "Don't," cautioned The Preacher.  "I don't know where you are going to hide out after Friday but it won't be here."  

     Dree said nothing.  He had plans of his own.

                                                       ~ uh...~

sapphoq n friends saysDear Reader:  Something changed during the writing of this Ed Snowden/Dree RainCave Serial FanFic.  On November 13th, I decided to write a first draft of a novel in a month.  This became part of it.  I am up to 40K words so far and expect to be done by December 13th.  After some re-writes, I will be publishing the digital novel with the fanfic included as an essential part of it.  I will let you know when it is available.  Up the Rebels!  sapphoq

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

...Not As Stupid As All of Us Together

     November 5th was the scheduled day for the Million Masks March  in D.C. and all over.  Dree received notification via That Damn Stan's Law Office that he was invited to testify at a Congressional Hearing regarding government surveillance of its' citizens as well as people and countries all over the world on the 6th.  Dree RainCave, that Damn Stan, Honey, and Kenneth arranged to meet in D.C. at their hotel in the lobby on the first.

     After a glorious reunion with Honey, the young couple set off for a subway ride to the mall and then a shopping trip.  The two men settled in their rooms and then rendezvoused at the bar for lunch and drinks.  "It's great to see Dree so happy," Stan remarked.  "He's been a bit moody and restless.  He is currently learning several languages and reviewing two more."  Kenneth laughed as he knocked back some gin.  "Most hackers have some sort of A.D.D. don't you know?" he told Stan.  Stan told Kenneth the
story about the hacked bamboo transformed into a fence.  The two friends both noticed an older silver-haired gentleman in a suit across the bar.  He appeared to be picking at some fries and pretending to drink a beer.  "t-r-o-u-b-l-e-?" Stan fingerspelled.  Kenneth nodded and took his glass from the bar.  Stan followed as Kenneth led the way to his hotel room.

     "I've checked already.  No bugs here," Kenneth said as the two settled down in chairs around the desk.  "Something about the Million Masks March and the pardon bother me,"  Stan confided.  "What if it's a set-up?"  The question hung in the air.

     "That bothers me too," Kenneth said.  "Several of the ninjahs were tweeting warnings about how 'one of us alone is not as stupid as all of us together.' And there were several bloggers sounding the alarm about some specific Fed informants who were expected to be at the March."  Stan drained the last of his beer.  It had been
getting warm.  "Hate that," Stan said, indicating the temperature of his beer.   "So let's strategize, shall we?"  That Damn Stan and Kenneth spent several hours  doing just that.

     Dree Raincave and Honey returned to the hotel just in time for dinner.  It was Kenneth who phoned them and asked them to come to his room.  "Yes, I've thought of that too," Dree confided.  "The pardon seemed a bit too convenient and so did the invite to testify.  Some days I think I'd be safer if I migrated to Russia."  Honey cringed but said nothing.  Together all four of the rebels went over the plans and contingencies.  Stan and Kenneth would spend some time over the weekend at the bars where senators and congress folk tended to hang out, wanting very much to pick up any scuttlebutt about the pardon or just what the President might have in mind for Dree RainCave.  Dree RainCave and Honey agreed to memorize a map of the march route along with nearby street names.  This was not their first direct action so they knew about kettling and teargas and hired agitators.  Honey spent some time carefully increasing the size of the eyeholes on the Guy Fawkes masks that the four of them would wear for the Million Mask March.  "Peripheral vision,"
she said when inquiries were made.

     Stan and Kenneth did spend a bit of time at the politicians' hotspots but were not rewarded with any news of illicit plans regarding Dree RainCave.  They certainly got an earful regarding a dozen Fed informants who were pretending to be Anonymous
members being sprinkled throughout the Million Mask March.  "Fuck the pigs!" Stan remarked as he and Kenneth stumbled back to the hotel on Sunday night.  "Up the rebels!" came an answering Anonymous voice downstreet. 

     Monday morning came around.  Dree and Honey were off to somewhere or other.  They refused to tell Stan and Kenneth what they were up to.  Stan and Kenneth spent the day scoping out the route of the March, making note of any undercover police vehicles nearby.  There was already a heavy police presence, much greater than usual for D.C.  Dree RainCave and Honey met them for dinner at a small local dive.  "Look," said Honey.  She showed off an antique wedding band.  "We did it!"  Stan raised his eyebrows.
"Congratulations!" Kenneth said.  He slapped Dree on the shoulder.  "You lucky dog.  Make sure you treat her well.  She makes great rhubarb pie you know!"  Dree chuckled.  Honey looked over at That Damn Stan.  "I won't be able to be forced to testify against him now in court, Stan."  Stan recovered himself a bit too quickly, "Yes, that's right Honey.  Wonderful!"  After dinner [yankee pot roast, carrots, mashed potatoes with thick brown gravy], Stan retired for the evening.  Kenneth wrote up an article for the paper.  Dree and Honey were in their room doing what lovers do.

     Tuesday the fifth of November dawned bright and clear.  After a group breakfast, Honey's altered masks were donned along with wigs of long black hair.  The quartet were dressed identically in black sweatpants and black sweatshirts, black sneakers, and black
socks.  They milled around the meeting area and soon the March began.  Everything was peaceful at first.  One of the marchers broke out some marijuana.  "Nooooo!" That Damn Stan hissed.  The joint quickly disappeared.  A scuffle then broke out behind them.

     Dree RainCave noticed the kettling first.  "Must go," he told the others.  They began walking backwards through the crowd and then snaked down an alleyway to the left.  At the back of the alley was a van.  "Anon Family Mobile" read the sign on both sides.  Music was blaring from inside.  Dree thought it was one of the albums made to benefit Free Anons.  He recognized White T. Cracker.  "Nerdcore!" he said happily and began to dance with the music.  He stopped suddenly.  "Oh shit.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit."  "What's
wrong?" asked That Damn Stan.  "Honey just went into that van," Dree said, watching her back disappear escorted by a large blond woman.  Kenneth held Dree back.  "Let Stan go in," he said.  Dree nodded but his face wore a troubled expression.

     Stan stepped into the van and very quickly backed away.  "Run!" he yelled.  Stan and Kenneth caught Dree RainCave by the shoulders and yanked him into going with them.  "But Honey--"  "Later," Stan commanded, "Keep going."  No one appeared to be following them.  The trio arrived back at the hotel.  Kenneth's room was becoming the favored meeting place.

     "Trap," Stan said after seizing the glass of ice water that Kenneth offered him and downing it in one quick gulp.  "Damnit," Dree RainCave muttered as he paced the  room.  Kenneth pulled the curtains and turned on the television.  The news made a
good backdrop.  "I'll go look for Honey after I change into my attorney clothing,"  Stan said.  "Kenneth, you call the friends we talked about.  Dree, you are to stay here.  In Kenneth's room, even if he leaves.  Got that?"  Dree said nothing.  "Answer me,
Dree."  Dree looked at That Damn Stan, "Yes," he said savagely and then resumed his pacing of the room.  "I'll stay here but only in case Honey comes back here."  Stan nodded.

     Stan departed for his own room and his lawyer suit.  Dree paced.  Kenneth made a few  phone calls and then laid down for a nap.  Dree paced some more.  Kenneth woke up at five o'clock and ordered room service.  "Pizza," he told Dree RainCave.  "All
hackers eat pizza."  "Whatever," Dree groaned.  "Whatever."

     Just then, a worn and weary Stan knocked on the door.  Kenneth let him in.  "Well?" demanded Dree RainCave.  That Damn Stan flopped down on the bed.  "Honey's been arrested--"  "For WHAT?" Dree exploded.  "Disturbing the peace, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, resisting, harboring a fugitive-- that's you Dree.  She is being held without  bail." Stan said.  Dree glared at Stan, "I must go see her."  Stan shook his head no. 
"Too dangerous.  And I think your 'pardon' is a ruse to flush you out.  Same as Honey's arrest."  Kenneth picked up the phone, "I'm calling for a car," he said.  "Dree, you've got to get out of here."

                                                             ~ to be continued ~

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The "Pardon"


                                                                ~ yesterday ~
That Damn Stan let out an Indian war whoop.  "Dree," he was practically screaming at him, "You're free!  You're free!"  Dree got up from his desk and ventured out into the hallway.  That Damn Stan kissed him and pulled on his shirt.  "Dude, you're all over the news."  Dree followed him into the living room where That Damn Stan was busy hunting down the local news.

Dree stared at the teevee.  "Wow," he said.  he slumped into the recliner and closed his eyes.  "That's it?" That Damn Stan demanded, "Just 'Wow?'"  Dree groaned.  "What are you going to do now?" That Damn Stan inquired.  Dree shrugged.  "Testify in front of those idiots in Congress, maybe spend the summer in Newark."  That Damn Stan raised his eyebrows.  "See if Honey
will marry me.  Then go live in Germany or somewhere for awhile." 

A picture of Dree Raincave flashed on the screen.  "You're going back to Newark?  I thought you hated it there," That Damn Stan mused.  "Yeah, in the slum and without Honey.  I'd like to give Newark a second chance.  Maybe spend a few weeks helping to clean up after Sandy.  That hurricane was a bitch," Dree RainCave said.  "Can I use the phone?  I'd like to call Honey."  That Damn Stan nodded.  "Help yourself, Dree.  You've earned it."

                      ~ to be continued ~

Saturday, October 19, 2013


"You speak German, Japanese, Chinese--"

"Mandarin," Dree Raincave interrupted That Damn Stan.

"Yes, okay.  French, Italian, and Spanish.  Any others?"

"I can read Portuguese and I understand bits of Farsi.  I want to learn some more Farsi.  And I want to learn Tagalog."

Stan nodded.  "Anything else?"

"I like languages.  I'm good with coding," Dree stared wistfully into space for a few seconds and then sighed heavily.  "I'd like to create my own artificial language.  Not now.  After things settle down."

Stan sensed that Dree wanted to create a programming language but he left that alone.  "Alright then.  I'll see what I can do.  My mother has some friends in a language club who meet for lunch once a we--"

Dree groaned.

"Not all of her friends are addicts."

Dree nodded.  He wasn't crazy about meeting any more of That Damn Stan's mother's buddies.

"I think I can pick up some language C.D.s and books for you."  At my own expense, Stan thought silently.  The library is a piece of shit.  Nothing much there anymore.  I'd have to use an assumed identity and bit coins to get a hold of Farsi learning materials.  The Government and I don't see eye-to-eye these days on much.  Because I defend unpopular relatives of terrorists in court.

"I said 'F-ck the Pigs' in court," Stan told Dree.  "Three times."

Dree smiled.  "I've said worse in Sunday School.  Being agnostic in Carolina made me the dangerous man I am today."

That Damn Stan indicated a pile of Japanese anime comics on the living room coffee table.  "There ya go, buddy.  Stay out of trouble today.  Mom and I both have to work."

Dree Raincave smiled.  He snatched up the comics eagerly-- noticing that they were in Japanese and not English produced a smile that brightened up his whole face-- and retreated down the hallway to his bedroom where Majestic waited.

"Thanks, Stan.  You're alright."

Crap, Stan thought.  How am I going to tell him that I have to go to the City for a few weeks to attend to my law practice, and then fly off to California for the PayPal 14 case?  I hope my mother doesn't frighten Dree into a petrified stump while I'm gone.

                         ~ to be continued ~

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


"Stan, did you see what Dree did?"

"No, Moth--"

"We now have a bamboo fence on the back of the property.  Some
  of the bamboo is still in the ground and he wove it right into the

"Do you like it?"

"I'm astonished.  I've never seen anything like it!  I had a good 

Stan said nothing.

Dree RainCave, followed by Majestic, stalked into the kitchen just then.  He poured himself a cup of coffee and then sat at the table.

"I'm done," he said.  "I'm not going to anymore open doper meetings and I'm not going back to CODA either."

That Damn Stan's damn mother glared at Dree.

"I'm not an addict.  I'm an atheist in case the two of you haven't noticed.  I don't relate to them.  And you can't make me go."  Majestic jumped into Dree's lap and hissed.

Stan nodded.  "We'll all atheists here, Dree."

"How do you put up with that Higher Power shit?"  Dree sucked down half of his coffee and slammed the mug down on the table.
"And 'everything happens for a reason."  What bull!"

"Now you listen to me, you ungrateful foul excuse of a human being!  We are hiding you out from the feds at our own peril.  I wanted to keep you busy so you stay out of trouble, young man."

"I do and do for you kids and this is the thanks I get,"  Dree retorted in a sing-song.  "Get a grip.  You can't control me.  I'm a hacker."
He pushed his chair back and stalked down the hallway.  A minute later, Stan and his mother heard the back door slam.

His mother went to get up.  "Leave it be," Stan said wearily.  "How do you put up with all that god talk at those meetings anyway?"

             ~ to be continued ~


Monday, September 30, 2013

She Who Must Be Obeyed

"Roger Dodger says Dree is not an addict, Stan.  But damn, that boy is a mess."

"He's a hacker, Mom.  The lack of something to hack is driving him nuts.  And his woman is in Philly--"

"Blah, blah, blah.  So give him something to hack then.  There's that wild bamboo in the corner of the lot.  Let him go obliterate that."

"Not the same thin--"

"Dree!  DREE!"

Dree came out of the bedroom where he had been giving Majestic the first of many daily kitty head rubs.  He adjusted his glasses and blinked in the early morning sunlight.

"Yes Ma'am?"

"There's an axe and a saw in the gardening shed.  Take whatever other tools you think you need too.  You know that wild bamboo in the back corner?"

Dree nodded.

"It all has to be rooted out."

Dree nodded again and headed for the backdoor.

"You've got to keep him busy, Stan.  Or he will go nuts inside his head."

Stan sighed.  It was no use arguing with his mother.  Once she got a notion, she didn't let go of it ever.

                             ~ to be continued ~

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm Not An Addict

                   ~Several Days Later~

Dear Honey,

     It was wonderful to talk with you the other day.  I'm glad to hear that your pregnancy is progressing smoothly.  How I wish I could see you and hold you and feel the baby kick inside of you.  Our son!

     I'm not sure that I want to name the baby Stanley Kenneth.  It's awkward to say.  I'm not sure I like that damn Stan too much.  He won't let me near any computers.  And his mother keeps dragging me to "open" meetings of dopers.  I kept telling anyone who would listen that I'm not an addict.  I had a bad time when you left me in Newark.  I didn't know you were pregnant and I didn't know it was mine.  Finally, some old coot named Roger Dodger cornered me and took me out for coffee one night.  I told him the whole story-- that damn Stan and his scary mother both said I ought to.  Apparently he swore an oath or something.  Oh, that's right.  He is a priest.  Seal of the confessional or something like that.  I don't ever want him to babysit little Eduardo.  Only kidding about that part.  A bad joke.  Rodger Dodger is an Episcopalian priest and he lives with his lover.  And no, he doesn't like kids in that way.  Well, the point is, Rodger Dodger carefully explained to Stan and his mum that I'm not an addict.  Even so, that damn woman insists on taking me to open Narcotics Anonymous meetings.  "Shut up and listen," she told me, "Listen to learn and learn to listen."  A couple of times a week there is a meeting of families and friends of dopers at the same time.  She insists I go to that too.  And they got me all the literature.  I've read all the N.A. stuff plus all the C.O.D.A. stuff too.

     I've been calling the baby Eduardo in my head.  It's Hispanic of course.  Good with our cover when we get back together.  You can pick out the middle name, how's that?  Just not Stanley or Kenneth, okay?  (And not your dad's name or my dad's name either).  I think it will be safer for our son if his name is not connected to these two men that are helping us out.  I haven't figured out why they are doing all of this.  Just that they are.  The really good news is that damn Stan says I cannot return to Newark.  I never want to go there again.  Ever.  He said sometime after the baby comes we can settle in someplace for awhile.  The bad news is that I cannot ever show my skills at computers again.  We'll see about that.  I think I can run off of a fingerstick with a vpn and a proxy with a Linux OS.  Naturally, I'd have to have a different alias and all.  I need to hack.  That damn Stan and his mother just don't get it.  It's something that's inside of me.

                             Love Always,


Monday, September 16, 2013

Ringing Phones

    *We left our hero fast asleep in a bed just as a phone rang.*

"Hello," said Stan.
"Hey Stan.  Kenneth here.  How goes our rebellious charge?"
"Settling in.  He seems to be quite afraid of my mother."
"I'm afraid of your mother, Stan."
"Most people are, Kenneth.  Most people are.  We've had a workout in the garden and then Mom carted Dree off to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting."
"Honey is doing well.  She's settled in to a small apartment and has been going at her legal assistant studies with gusto.  She's been quite a help in the office here."
"Glad to hear that.  How's the bambino coming along?"
"It is a boy, according to the last ultrasound.  Doc has prescribed the usual collection of prenatals.  Honey is very careful about her diet.  She immediately imposed a smoking ban at our staff meeting the other day!"
"She's a feisty woman."
"Yes indeed," said Kenneth.  "She came over for dinner last night and was a hit with the family.  Brought over a homemade rhubarb and strawberry pie to die for, marvelous conversationalist."
"Excellent," Stan nodded.  "I don't know yet if we will have to send our fellow off to rehab yet.  Roger Dodger will be helping with that decision."
"Wait till he finds out--"
"-- who works there!" Stan finished.  
The two friends rang off.

                     ~ to be continued~

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Garden of Misunderstanding: Dree RainCave fanfic continued

     "Young man, hurry up now!" Stan's mother yelled in the direction of Dree RainCave's bathroom where he had gone to hide from gardening for as long as possible.  Not even ten minutes.  "Yes Ma'am," he replied to the doorway silently gritting his teeth.  Majestic head-butted his human.  "I'm going, I'm going," Dree mumbled.

     She was waiting for him in the hallway.  "Here, gloves and a hat," she ordered.  "I don't wear hats," Dree said before he could stop himself.  "You do now, Sonny," she told him.  "What kind of a name is Dree.  Don't tell me you're one of them hippie types.  Up the rebels and all of that."  Dree didn't answer back.  He was.  "Come along," Mrs. Stan's Mother ordered him.  "The bees and the humidity will not be waiting for the likes of you."

     Dree was given a few well-taken care of hand tools and a wheelbarrow.  "Weeds," that Damn Stan said.  Dree bent to his task.  The hours flew.  Lunch came.  Soon enough, the sun began to sink behind the trees.  Stan showed Dree how to clean up the tools and where to put the weeds before the three of them went in to eat.  "Take a shower first," Stan directed.  "Dinner will be in a half hour."

     Dree found a starving Majestic in the bedroom, a stinky litter box in the closet, and a fresh pair of jeans and t-shirt in the bathroom.  This time, the t-shirt was brilliant red and proclaimed loudly in white letters "My lawyer can beat up your lawyer."  Dree took care of Majestic and his stink, then he showered and changed.  He noticed a new pile of books by his nightstand.  He'd examine them later.

     Dinner was actually pleasant.  Dree was too hungry to talk.  He nodded at whatever Stan and his mother were talking about.  It seemed to be a discussion about foreign policy.  Stan's mother had whipped together potato and cheese pierogis, beets and onions, and there were bowls of chilled strawberries for dessert.  Without being asked to, after dinner Dree rinsed off the dishes and stacked them into the dishwasher.  Stan's mother made a pot of coffee then and set three cups on the kitchen table.  The phone rang.  Stan excused himself.

     "You're coming with me tonight," Mrs. Stan's Mother remarked offhandedly to Dree.  Dree nodded.  He knew that it was in his best interest to do whatever the woman told him to.  After the coffee was gone, Dree followed her obediently out to a car in the garage.

     Dree was afraid of That Damn Stan's Mother.  Within the last twenty-four hours he had learned that she would not hesitate to rat him out if he got high, that she didn't like "hippies" very much except for her son who had redeemed himself by also being a top-notch lawyer, and that she could work circles around him in the garden.  He soon found her speeding along the back roads like Mario Andretti.  He clutched the dashboard.  "You nervous, Sonny?"  "No, Ma'am," he lied.  "Yeah you are," she told him directly, "You'll get used to my driving in a few weeks."  Dree hoped to be dropped off at another location yesterday.  He wiped at beads of sweat collecting under the red baseball cap that had been left with tonight's clothing.  The car lurched into a driveway and banged into a parking spot.  Mrs. Stan's Mother opened the driver's side door.  "We're here."  Dree RainCave wasn't sure of where exactly "here" was but he got out of the car and followed her into the basement of a church.

     "Sit," she told him.  He sat.  She disappeared then, leaving him to observe the people filtering into the room.  They were a noisy bunch, cursed quite a bit, and formed into little knots of conversations.  Mrs. Stan's Mother returned and thrust a Styrofoam cup of coffee at Dree RainCave.  He took it. 

     Mrs. Stan's Mother went up to the table in front and banged a gavel.  She began to read some words off of a card.  More words were read by different people.  Oh shit, Dree thought.  She's dragged me to a bloody meeting of dopers.  I just smoke a bit of weed.  I don't have a problem.  He had little choice.  He had to sit through the meeting or face her certain wrath later on.  He sat.  He said nothing.  Ninety minutes later, the room stood up and linked arms.  Dree figured he would go along with it.  Whatever, he thought.  The group chanted some words that he didn't know.  Then the meeting was over. 

     Mrs. Stan's Mother did not appear to be in any hurry to leave.  A group of guys surrounded Dree and asked him stuff.  How long have you been using?  Did you go to treatment?  Are you in Drug Court?  How long have you been clean?  Dree blinked at them and said, "Huh?"  One old guy patted Dree's shoulder.  "It will get better," he said.  "Here's a meeting schedule and some phone numbers.  That one is mine," he indicated his name-- Roger-- with a grimy fingernail, "Call if you want to talk."  Dree mumbled a hasty thanks.  Mrs. Stan's Mother swooped down on him just then.  "I see you've met Roger Dodger," she said warmly, winking at him.  "Good to see you Roger.  Come on Sonny, time to go home now."  Dree nodded in relief.  "Bye," he said as Mrs. Stan's Mother pulled him out of the room.

     The ride home was worse.  It was dark.  There were no street lights on the back roads.  "Someday, all of our tomorrows will be yesterday," Mrs. Stan's Mother intoned mysteriously after cresting a hill at eighty miles per hour.  "But not yet," Dree said while clutching the dashboard.  "He speaks!" Mrs. Stan's Mother laughed.  But she did not slow down.

     Back in the house, she bid him a good night.  He stumbled into the bedroom.  The books were waiting on the nightstand.  He glanced at the titles.  Narcotics Anonymous.  Sponsorship.  Living Clean.  "But I'm not an addict," he told Majestic as he sat on the bed.  Majestic meowed loudly and sprang off the bed into the closet.  He came back with a small green mouse toy and deposited it into Dree RainCave's hand.  Dree swung his legs up onto the bed.  Majestic hissed at him.  Obviously, Dree would have to throw the mouse for Majestic to fetch a dozen times or so until the cat tired of the game.  Majestic deposited the mouse at the foot of the bed and curled around it.  Dree shut off the lamp by the bed and was asleep with a quickness.  He did not hear the phone ringing a few minutes later.

                              ~ to be continued ~

Snark Tags...because we do not always have to play nicely

I have observed lately on Twitter that a certain butthurt woman is now claiming that a buddy of mine from Ireland is a pedophiliac.  Certain butthurt woman has an established history of claiming that people who refuse to buy into her revisionistic history of her histrionic reactions to reality are aiding and abetting a giant pedo ring in the state of Maine which chiefly involve a daughter that she has lost any parental rights to-- by her own doing-- and that daughter's half-sister.  Those who need to know are aware of the drama.  If you don't know, count yourself fortunate that you remain untouched by the rantings of a raving lunatic.

These snark tags were created in order to encourage my Twitter buddy and cohorts to remember that bad behavior on the part of one butthurt individual says way more about her than it does about the rest of us.

                         Chins up.  Troll on.  Sail strong. 

If any of the rest of you want these, right click to save to your computer. 

sapphoq n friends

And to the people who do not understand copyright, I made these from pictures that I took.  So go away.  I hate you.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

That Damn Stan is Enraged

The truck suddenly stopped and a garage door descended.  Majestic head-butted the prone human sleeping among the rotten foodstuffs.  Then he bit him on the arm just below the elbow.  Hard.

Dree RainCave groaned.  Just then That Damn Stan came round back and opened the gate.  "Fruit, Stan?  Worse than the laundry."
"Shut-up!"  That Damn Stan hissed.  "Get in the house.  First bedroom on the left is yours.  We'll talk in the morning.  And don't wake up my mother.  She'll kill you."

Majestic bunched himself up and took a flying leap, hurling himself through the air and landing on the step leading to the kitchen.  "I see you brought company.  There's a litter box in the closet."

Dree RainCave extracted himself from the moldering pile of rottenness.  "Thanks, Stan," he mumbled.  Stumbling, he followed the cat to the bedroom that was to be his for the night.  He collapsed on the bed.  He didn't hear That Damn Stan setting out the litter box or bringing in fresh water and a cat bowl full of food for Majestic.  Majestic took a giant dump in the litter box, gulped some water down, and then made himself at home on Dree RainCave's pillow.  The cat was soon asleep, encircled around his human's head.

                       ~ the next morning ~

"Get up!" That Damn Stan yelled at Dree RainCave.  "And take a shower.  You stink.  Clean clothes are set out for you in the bathroom."  The door slammed shut.  Dree RainCave squinted at the early morning sunlight streaming through the window.  "Too early for this," he whispered to Majestic, scratching him behind the ears and then rubbing the cat's chin.

The shower was steamy.  It loosened the knots in Dree RainCave's muscles and swept away the dirt from The Abandoned Field that had become part of him.  Dree RainCave dried off and inspected the clothing that the lawyer had set out for him.  Not bad, he mused.  Faded blue jeans, sandals, and a t-shirt.  The t-shirt was white and had a picture of a rat with a hockey stick emblazoned on the front.  "Albany River Rats," he read out loud.  "Never heard of them."

The smell of fresh coffee, eggs on a griddle, and hot corn muffins led Dree RainCave to the kitchen.  An attractive older woman nodded gruffly to him.  "I'm not a maid," she informed him.  "You want something to eat or drink, help yourself.  Washer and dryer are down the hallway.  While you are here, you will not make a nuisance of yourself.  Got it?"  The woman stared at him.  Dree RainCave studied her for any sign of humanity.  She was an attractive woman, maybe in her early fifties.  Athletic.  With silver hair and piecing green eyes.  "Did Majestic bite your tongue?  You will answer me, young man.  This is my domain.  Stan may have brought you here but I will kick your ass out in a heartbeat."  Dree RainCave walked over to the coffee which was located in the opposite corner of the woman.  "Yes ma'am," he said.  He grabbed a mug sitting near the big coffee pot and began pouring.  "And don't go smoking any of that marijuana stuff here.  I will call the cops on you if you do," she told him sternly.  Dree RainCave brought his coffee over to the table and sat down.  The woman stalked off down the hallway.

When Dree RainCave judged that it was safe [meaning that the woman was gone], he got up again and went over to the griddle.  He scrambled up three eggs, put them on a plate besides two corn muffins and sat back down to eat.

The corn muffins were quite good, he thought.  There was some kind of trick to them.  They seemed to have three layers instead of one.  A coarse corn meal sort of bottom, a creamy middle layer which tasted vaguely of bran, and a crusty top layer browned just right.

That Damn Stan came in then and got his own breakfast.  Dree RainCave said, "G'morning" and then ate in silence.  "I see you met my mother," Stan said.  "She's off-limits to you."  "Huh?" Dree RainCave protested. "Off.  Li.  Mits." Stan repeated himself.  "Oh stop.  Don't even start in about your Honey leaving you for some guy named Kenneth.  Honey is pregnant."  Dree RainCave looked up, startled.  "Yeah, probably yours," That Damn Stan continued.  "And no, Kenneth has no designs on your girlfriend or ex or whatever she is to you now.  Honey called me and I called Kenneth.  So quit feeling sorry for yourself."

Suddenly, That Damn Stan exploded.  "What were you thinking?  Smoking pot, trying to grow pot, and collecting parts for a computer.  Listen to me very carefully.  You must stay off the internet.  Period."  "But--"  "I don't want to hear it," Stan continued, his fury gaining momentum.  "You are jeopardizing yourself and everyone who is working to keep you from getting arrested.  This isn't a one-man operation."  Stan was practically screaming.  Veins bulged from his neck.  "If you get drunk or use drugs, you are out of here.  You won't be the first that my mother has set up for arrest.  She despises stoners, drunks, and junkies.  You will help her around the house while I am gone to work everyday.  You will not leave the property.  If I catch you with any electronic parts, I will make you disappear myself.  You are not some grand hacker guy.  For a smart guy, you really don't use your intelligence.  Quit being led around by your gonads for crying out loud.  You have first world problems.  Next time you mess up, I just might have a yen to drop you off in a Chinese village.  Or in a rehab."  Dree RainCave thought to argue but then thought better of it.  He nodded.  "I'm your friend, Dree.  Probably one of your truest friends.  Fly right, shut up, and you just might live free.  Now eat your breakfast.  I'm off today.  The three of us will be working in the garden."  That Damn Stan gave his attention over to his plate.  Food was serious business.  Seeing that no more conversation or lecturing would be forthcoming, Dree RainCave did the same.

                                ~ to be continued ~

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Newark, Two Weeks Later

Part of Majestic's Story:

     It was a Monday morning Down Neck.  Dree RainCave woke to the thunderous insistence of the object of his allergies kneading him somewhat impatiently in the gut.  "Dammit, Majestic!" Dree groaned.  Majestic rubbed his massive head just under Dree's pointed chin and then eyed the kitchen furtively.  Dree knew any hope for more sleep was doomed.  Over the last two weeks, Dree discovered that the cat's internal schedule dictated breakfast at five a.m.  Majestic was no pussy.  He was determined to train this new human properly.  

     Majestic had known seventeen other humans in the tenement over the course of his nine years there.  One of those humans had experienced the profound consequences of what happened when a thought to mistreat the feline Master of the household became action.  Majestic had gone Majestic on him in a big way.  That one's decaying flesh occasionally still fluttered on the breeze from The Abandoned Field two blocks west of here.  The male in charge of the humans who had come here to hide-- Majestic had heard various ones refer to him as That Damn Stan-- barged his way in one morning, said something that sounded like "oh shit" and a few other things that sounded like Yiddish curses, and had left in a hurry.  That Damn Stan had returned at midnight with two burnt out stumble-bums and some shovels.  

     The newest lump on the newest cheap mattress was rolling out of bed now to Majestic's satisfaction and scurried over to the cat food kept now in a bottom cabinet near the kitchen sink.  Majestic wound around Dree's legs happily.  Dree deposited some food in the cat's dish and changed the water bowl. 

     Majestic crunched happily on the cat food.  With one eye, he watched as Dree RainCave stumbled toward the bathroom for a piss and a shower.  The woman Honey had fled in the night  a week ago Friday.  "I can't do this," Majestic heard Honey say to Dree.  "He's going to give me a job as an assistant until I decide what to do next," she told her now ex-beau.  And off she went to Philly with someone that she called Kenneth.  He came in a broken down Lincoln  borrowed from a friend, no questions asked.

     Dree had cried that night long and hard.  Majestic stayed close to him.  Like some felines and many canines, Majestic knew that to allow a human to pet him was a privilege that somehow healed up a bit the broken places in that human.  The first thing Dree had done upon waking up alone The Morning After Honey Left was to check the bathroom.  The six houseplants were still there.  Her toiletries were not.  Dree sighed, put the six houseplants in a box, and had set the box down in the park by the fountain.  The second thing he did was score some marijuana from a pimply-faced kid by the fountain.

     Majestic knew that Dree RainCave had begun smoking the weed because of the sickly sweet odor it had emitted.  He also knew that Dree had combed through the baggie and shaken it until the seeds were separated from the rest of it.  Carefully, Dree had sorted the seeds.  Some of them he had placed in boxes which were filled with dirt-- Majestic recognized it as dirt coming from The same Abandoned Field that now held the remains of the cat abuser-- and then astonishingly left them in a sort of closet with lights that he had built himself.  Dree was over by said closet now.  Majestic watched him check the boxes and then gently close the door as if he was afraid to waken a sleeping child before its nap was finished.  Silly humans.

     Dree was back in the kitchen now making coffee on the stove.  It wasn't coffee exactly.  It was wild chicory root which Dree had found in The Abandoned Field one morning.  Majestic wished that Dree would find some catnip in The Abandoned Field and smoke that instead of the weed.  Or at least allow Majestic to roll in it and get high his own self.  Dree poured some cereal into a bowl, added a bit of milk, and plodded it and a cup of chicory-coffee on the table.  He sat down then.  Majestic immediately jumped into Dree's lap and began head-butting Dree.  Dree was responding well to the training and scratched Majestic in All Of The Right Places and muttered endearing phrases to him.  Majestic purred in response.

     Dree fiddled with the hanger he had attached to an old radio he had confiscated from The Abandoned Field.  W-BAI came in, wobbly at first but then clear.  Majestic snuggled in Dree's lap.  He was a musical cat for all of his fight and prowess.  He loved the sonorous sounds coming out of the radio.  Dree listened to the news and then got up.  He left the radio on much to Majestic's secret satisfaction.  "Later Majestic!" Dree called and he left the apartment.  Majestic heard his steps crunching through the glass and litter of the alley.  Majestic headed over to the sofa for his morning nap.  He wasn't exactly sure what Dree did on his morning rambles.  Since The Morning After Honey Left, Dree's clothing smelled increasingly of dirt and marijuana.  Some days Dree would stumble back to the apartment empty-handed.  Other days he was barely able to unlock the door to the apartment, his arms laden with wires and parts of things that Majestic-- being a cat born Down Neck-- had no idea what to make of.  

     Dree was building something.  Of that, Majestic was sure.  Some of the others had been tinkerers as well.  But this thing that Dree was building was more complex than anything that Majestic had watched the others build.  There was an old fish tank-- two other inhabitants had tried keeping fish-- but no water and no tasty fin snacks came to inhabit it.  Dree had ordered Majestic to stay away from the wires protruding out of various little boxes and things.  He hadn't said anything about the fish tank.  Majestic crept off the couch and waltzed over to the tank now.  It was hiding behind the couch just under the window.  Majestic settled in for a nap.

     Something woke him that Monday.  It was mid-afternoon.  There was a noise like a scraping first.  It persisted through the dream that Majestic was having of running through The Abandoned Field in the glorious sunlight.  Majestic opened one eye.  Two shadows had entered the apartment.  He felt the vibrations of their padded footsteps on the old wooden floor rather than heard them.  Damn.  Majestic cautiously dislodged himself from the fish tank and sauntered over to the edge of the couch.  The two shadows were carefully rummaging through Dree RainCave's laundry which was, truth be told, laying in a heap just outside the bathroom door.  One of the shadows placed something in the corner as the other grunted and said, "Nothing here."  The grunting shadow stood in the bathroom door then and said "Holy shit" as he stared towards Majestic's litter box.  The other shadow had reached for the door to the closet that held Dree's dream-- a successful marijuana business started from seedlings.

     Majestic became incensed.  These murky shadows had a smell about them.  Some primitive memory dislodged itself from his feline brain.  He growled then and sprang for the shadow by the closet door first.  He latched on to the backside of the shadow, digging in with his ragged neglected claws.  The shadow cursed and swung around in fury.  Majestic bit him in a tender part of his neck and then dashed over to the shadow still staring at the litter box.  The shadow turned around and attempted to kick away the husky enraged feline.  Majestic aimed for the shadow's nuts.  His teeth sunk in through the material of the subject's pant material.  A satisfying crunch and then Majestic wove his way back to the shadow with the bleeding neck and back.  Both shadows had drawn their guns.  Majestic had prior experience at being target practice for a small gang of young thugs at the park and he knew what to do.  He twisted away and danced around his two opponents, swiping and biting whenever the opportunity presented itself.  

     "Oh fuck," screamed the shadow with the now lopsided balls as Majestic aimed for a second and a third strike.  "I'm done!"  Both shadows made for the living room window.  Shattered glass heralded their departure.  A van with tinted windows pulled away from the curb.  Majestic watched it go and laughed a silent cat laugh.  He then positioned himself on the window ledge and remained awake, waiting for Dree RainCave's return.  He hoped Dree wouldn't be high today.

                    ~  evening, that same Monday ~   

     Majestic heard the lock of the back door.  He knew it was Dree RainCave.  He ran over to him, meowing loudly.  He herded Dree toward the freezer where the cell phone had its residence.  He screeched every time Dree endeavored to detour to the living room.  "Want some food, Majestic?"  The cat hissed at him and bit his ankle.  Majestic sensed that he wasn't getting through to Dree.  He began shoving him toward the broken window in the living room.

     Dree spotted the window.  "Shit," he said.  Majestic jumped on the sill and hissed loudly.  Then he ran over to Dree's laundry and hissed loudly again.  Then he ran to the closet with the pot seeds and hissed a third time.  Majestic repeated this routine three times.  Dree walked over to his dirty clothing.  Majestic head-butted him until he was looking at the wall.  He found the bug.  "Shit!" he said.  And then, "Shit!  Shit!  Shit!"  Dree hurried to the kitchen freezer and grabbed the cell phone.  He then left the apartment, banging the door loudly.  Majestic watched from the broken window.  Dree was at the park fountain now.  Majestic reappeared at the fountain in front of Dree who was talking excitedly into the phone.  Majestic caught enough human speech to understand that Dree was talking to That Damn Stan.  Suddenly, Dree slammed the phone on the fountain ledge, breaking it into pieces.  He picked a slender rectangular part out of it and left the pile of black plastic there.

     Dree took a breath.  He headed over to The Abandoned Field.  Majestic trailed behind him.  Truth to be told, Majestic had begun to love this human.  He didn't want to take his chances with whoever the next strange tenants of the dwelling would be.  Dree reached the field then and pretended to look down through the stubble.  In a few minutes, the ramshackle old truck that had delivered Dree and Honey to their brief sanctuary Down Neck pulled up.  Dree didn't have to be told what to do.  He climbed over the back gate and burrowed down among the bags of rotting fruit.  He felt something large and heavy thud down next to him.  Majestic purred then just a little bit.  "You can't come," Dree whispered.  For an answer, Majestic bit him in the nose and settled in next to his human.  The truck pulled away.  Darkness came and then sleep for the two stowaways.

                               ~ to be continued  ~