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Hey, Hey, Hey – It’s World Elephant Day! Trumpet About That!!

world-elephant-day-2018

So, there is no question that the world needs more elephants. The more the merrier, say I.

On the loose and living the good life.

Tanking up on fresh food.

Swilling up at the water holes.

Getting  a mud bath on the muddy shores,.

Getting a dust bath in the dust fields.

And making a hellova lot more baby elephants.

And those elephants still alive (and – alas- they are getting easier to count) should be left alone by the vicious human beasts who slaughter them for fun and ivory.

An Elephant stampede would come in right handy.

Now, I’m partial to Elephants, having written a book of short stories where an elephant holds his own in conversations with God.

Yes, God gets a good talking to, though the Almighty does manage to give as good as He gets.

So, I’m all for WORLD Elephant Day.

In fact, I’d give them a whole Week.

Nay, a whole Month.

Alright, a whole Year!!

They’re BIG animals. They can handle it.

(Image)  https://www.wildlifealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/World-Elephant-day-2018.jpg

 

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When Murder Stalks The House Where You Live

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As fodder for a writer, I have had the good luck to have two murderers as neighbours. Well . . . almost. One committed his murder a month before he was to move in, the other committed his murder years after he moved out. But, still – it’s the spirit of the intent.

Murderer Two lived in the apartment directly across the hall from me many a long year ago, and committed his murder last year. With a knife. The other murderer used a knife, also. Small world.

While living across the hall from me, Murderer Two was often a cause of disruption. He was prone to parties with unruly and uncontrollable guests. I arrived home one afternoon to an event of screaming proportions occurring across the hall. I was within minutes of phoning the police when someone else did so. Police cars and vans appeared on the street and in the driveway. Ten to a dozen officers entered the raucous apartment. People in various states of inebriation and addiction were taken away. Murderer Two was found hiding in his closet. He did not return.

Last year Murderer Two was charged with the murder of his room mate. No party, though they were both drunk. He claimed self-defence, though the victim was stabbed twelve times. It was established stab number nine was the death blow. He was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Murderer One was a month away from moving into the apartment across the hall from me. He was going to replace one of the occupants moving out. One evening however, he visited the apartment past mid-night. He arrived in a taxi. He had a dispute with the taxi driver (over what, was never clear, but probably lack of payment). From the back seat he slit the driver’s throat and fled the scene. A couple of hours later other drivers of the taxi company were searching for him. His cab was spotted at two in the morning. The engine was still running.

I awoke at six to the sound of a huge engine on the city street. I looked out my front window and saw a police mobile investigation vehicle, engine running. Police cars and vans and an ambulance and a fire department vehicle were all present. Out my back window – in the driveway, was a taxi, police officers, and a body under a tarpaulin. The man had been killed four or five metres from me. I had heard nothing. The investigation took hours at the scene. The body remained. Mid-afternoon it was removed. The taxi was towed away. The fire truck was used to hose away the blood.

I had seen the murderer a few times before, visiting his friends next door. He was arrested in a restaurant kitchen where he worked as a cook. He reportedly had been drunk, had problems with a girl friend. But the exact reasons he was there that night, or why he murdered, were not revealed. He also was found guilty and sent to penitentiary.

II no longer live in that apartment house – but not by choice. It caught fire and was eventually torn down.

(Image)https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5217/29885646575_62806c67c9_b.jpg

Trump And An Elephant Walk Into A Bar

~ *Trumpet*

~ You calling my name?

~ *Trumpet*

~ You blowing that horn at me?

~ Getting your attention while I can.

~ You going to complain about the tusk thing?

~ It is rather personal.

~ Ivory. Ivory. Gotta love ivory.

~ We do.

~ Don’t be selfish.

~ It’s our life.

~ God wants Man to have His bounty.

~ You think this is God’s will?

~ Sure it is. Trust me.

~ Thou shalt do no murder.

~ Aw – that’s open to interpretation.

~ Dead is dead.

~ Shiny ivory, though. Polish it up.

~ It has other uses.

~ Give it to the ladies.

~ Wipe the blood off it first.

~ And my boys will be boys.

~ These are not childish things.

~ A little death for a little fun. Fair trade.
~ You’re turning us into canaries in a coal mine.

~ You’re just the elephant in the room.

~ I won’t be much longer.

DE

The Mask Of Death Leads To Sundry Places

[Death Mask of the Duke of Wellington]wellington-death-mask

My two gals, Alison Alexandra and her friend, Amanda, are on a sea voyage. A voyage via a freighter, and not a cruise ship. They stop in the ports where the freighter stops, and they take visits of the town if they so desire.

On one of their times on shore, they decide to visit a Police Museum. One of the exhibits is a Death Mask of a hanged murderer. They take great interest in this, noting the repose of the face.

This incident is based on an event in my own life. I melded parts of my experience into my characters afternoon visit during their day ashore. This had not been on my mind when I started this particular chapter.
I once taught a workshop on Supernatural writing. For my workshop I took advantage to take my students on a field trip to see the death mask of a historically known poet. The death mask was conveniently on view in a display case in a near-by building.

None of them had even heard of ‘death masks’, let alone seen one. I invited them to

incorporate the idea into their writing exercises. Some did, some did not.

However, it’s possible this visit to Death elicited the following story from one of my students.

My student and her husband had purchased a new house. Cleaning and renovations eventually took them to the back loft area, which was piled high with decades of accumulated detritus from a long life.

They cleared out beds, and boxes and newspaper piles, and magazines, and bundles of clothes, and on and on. Near the end of this process, my student noticed a “clump of something” on one of the wooden beams of the loft.

Getting ladder and flashlight, her husband climbed to see what it was.

It was the end of a number of knotted bed sheets.

DE

Fire And Murder: “Darkroom” Screenplay Excerpt

daed1c987a5d1f31ab274950fb878c2e

An agent from California is contemplating my novel manuscript for Darkroom. It is a first-person novel about Norman, a psycho serial killer who likes fire.

Oddly, the last agent to be interested in this novel was also from California. He made many suggestions, which I took. I also, from that interest, wrote a screenplay that I had totally forgotten. So let’s let Norman have a bit of action.

DE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

INT. DOOR – NIGHT

INT. SMALL ROOM – NIGHT

One dim table light is on. NORMAN sits huddled over the desk. Norman is a slenderman in his early twenties. He is humming “What’s Love Got To Do With It” as he works at the desk.

INT. DESK TOP – NIGHT

Norman is ripping rags and letting them fall into a pail at his feet. As he looks up and turns toward the door he rubs his finger over his bushy Hitler mustache. He smiles and nods and grabs more rags.

NORMAN
No one sleeps long tonight.

Norman tears additional rags, but now arranges them more carefully in the pail. He takesa can of lighter fluid from a desk drawer and puts it on the table. He looks at his watch.

NORMAN
Norman gives them another forty minutes.

Norman starts to unwind a long piece of wire.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

INT. LARGE ROOM – NIGHT

The lights are out with every bed filled. There is breathing and snoring and the creak of bedsprings.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Norman tiptoes along the hall. He holds the pail carefully in front of him.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

Norman takes the bottle of lighter fluid, and the wire, out of the pail. He squirts lighter fluid into the pail then drops the bottle into it. He carefully ties the wire at ankle height across the top step, winding it around the banister. He lights a whole book of matches and throws it into the pail.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Norman runs back to his own room.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

Flame erupts from the pail and smoke starts to billow.

 

(image) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/da/ed/1c/daed1c987a5d1f31ab274950fb878c2e.jpg

When Your Neighbours Are Murderers

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Recently, for an out-of-town guest, I was asked to recount these tales from some years ago. So why not share the wealth.

As fodder for a writer, I have had the good luck to have two murderers as neighbours. Well . . . almost. One committed his murder a month before he was to move in, the other committed his murder years after he moved out. But, still – it’s the spirit of the intent.

Murderer Two lived in the apartment directly across the hall from me many a long year ago, and committed his murder last year. With a knife. The other murderer used a knife, also. Small world.

While living across the hall from me, Murderer Two was often a cause of disruption. He was prone to parties with unruly and uncontrollable guests. I arrived home one afternoon to an event of screaming proportions occurring across the hall. I was within minutes of phoning the police when someone else did so. Police cars and vans appeared on the street and in the driveway. Ten to a dozen officers entered the raucous apartment. People in various states of inebriation and addiction were taken away. Murderer Two was found hiding in his closet. He did not return.

Last year Murderer Two was charged with the murder of his room mate. No party, though they were both drunk. He claimed self-defence, though the victim was stabbed twelve times. It was established stab number nine was the death blow. He was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Murderer One was a month away from moving into the apartment across the hall from me. He was going to replace one of the occupants moving out. One evening however, he visited the apartment past mid-night. He arrived in a taxi. He had a dispute with the taxi driver (over what, was never clear, but probably lack of payment). From the back seat he slit the driver’s throat and fled the scene. A couple of hours later other drivers of the taxi company were searching for him. His cab was spotted at two in the morning. The engine was still running.

I awoke at six to the sound of a huge engine on the city street. I looked out my front window and saw a police mobile investigation vehicle, engine running. Police cars and vans and an ambulance and a fire department vehicle were all present. Out my back window – in the driveway, was a taxi, police officers, and a body under a tarpaulin. The man had been killed four or five metres from me. I had heard nothing. The investigation took hours at the scene. The body remained. Mid-afternoon it was removed. The taxi was towed away. The fire truck was used to hose away the blood.

I had seen the murderer a few times before, visiting his friends next door. He was arrested in a restaurant kitchen where he worked as a cook. He reportedly had been drunk, had problems with a girl friend. But the exact reasons he was there that night, or why he murdered, were not revealed. He also was found guilty and sent to penitentiary.

II no longer live in that apartment house – but not by choice. It caught fire and was eventually torn down.

DE

(image) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b2/63/98/b26398bb7be81c0e3a6149a31ac129ae.jpg

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