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The Little Things (part V)

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(continued)

Anacortes, WA

December 3rd, 2018

Linus looked at him and then the store, “Don’t you have to stay for the store?” he asked in a meek voice.

Todd shook his head, “Albert’s there, he can run it while I take you home. Is that okay?”

“What about him?” Linus asked, nodding down Clinton. The other man had lost consciousness after the heavy hits, but where he’d landed has been cleared away and it revealed something that apparently only Todd could see at the moment, as he was about to reach down and get it however he was aware of two things.

One of them was Linus saying, “Uh-oh,” and the other was the hard slap that came raining down on the back of his head as he straightened up quickly, his fists already coming up to defend as he expected to see one of the few thugs around town that Clinton called a friend. Instead it was someone that made him instantly ashamed of what he’d done and for daring to raise his fists in her presence.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” Maple yelled at him as he backed away a step. “Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?!”

“He’s drunk,” Todd replied, hating the way the words sounded in his mouth as they emerged, “and he was trying to take Linus home.” Oh yeah, that made it all better, he thought sarcastically.

There was no secret that he had a bit of crush on Maple, but if she’d ever felt the same she hid it very well. She knew all about his past and his present and didn’t want anything to do with it, though Linus had relayed that she enjoyed watching MMA at home. Whatever it was between them however it wasn’t anything other than animosity as she believed he was a bad influence on her brother, no matter that he was the only man that Linus had ever seemed comfortable talking to.

“And so what if he was?” she almost shouted, “Clinton is my, well, he’s staying at our place, and I, I need him to help with Linus now and then.”

He noted the careful word usage but didn’t dare say anything. The slap across the back of his head hadn’t hurt that much but it had surely stung thanks to the ring she wore on her index finger.

“I was just trying to help,” Todd said with a shrug. Clinton was starting to come to, though the look on Maple’s face in that moment suggested that she was anything but happy about it. Looking back to Todd however she sighed in what could have been annoyance or mild acceptance of his words.

But then she turned back to Linus, “Come on Linus, let’s go home.”

“Are you mad at me?” he could hear Linus say as they walked away.

“No buddy,” she replied, “I’m never mad at you, I promise.”

Clinton seemed to have been forgotten for the moment.

(to be continued)

The Reader’s Assumption

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A lot of people have pet peeves about what they do and how people absorb it. One of mine has to do with the assumptions that are made by readers when they pick up a book and try to divine the author’s mindset and how it affected the story. It’s very obvious at times, especially when the author comes out and says so, how that individual was feeling when they were writing, and what they might have been going through. Yet some readers will take it further still and inject their own bias and way of thinking into a story to make it out to be something completely different from what author intended.

Is this bad?

No, no not at all. In fact it’s only a problem if the reader decides to think that this means they know the author’s mindset better than the author does. It’s a dangerous assumption that they work with that can eventually lead to inspiration of their own and possibly an idea that they can run with. But it’s also possible that it will become an obsession that will steer them down a road that has no happy ending. Readers that assume they know the author better than the author knows themselves tend to be those that simply don’t understand how to enjoy a story for what it is. They ascribe so many facets of the world around them and their interpretation of it that they miss the point entirely. A story is meant to entertain first and foremost. As for anything else, at least try to ask the author what they meant by one passage or another.

Those that take things too far can become a bit scary.

Remember back to the book Misery and think upon what that particular fan believed was true. She had no idea what the author was truly thinking and couldn’t fathom why he would do such a thing to his own character. People that are this invested in the story are great, so long as they don’t step over that line between fiction and reality without looking back. Authors do this continually, we’ve learned how over the years and tend to know our way back as we straddle the line on a constant basis.

But those that read for enjoyment and do so in an attempt to escape can and sometimes do get lost, and their assumptions concerning the story and the author become a dangerous mix of paranoia and delusion that doesn’t often allow for a stable mindset. That this is possible is bad enough, but that it could become a very real story is even worse.

As a reader just know that you don’t fully understand the author and possibly can’t unless they reveal their secrets or you happen to speak with them and get the reason behind their writing. Don’t go thinking that you know everything about the reason an author writes, at least not without having tried to do it yourself. If you succeed then by all means you’ll have learned what it’s like. If not, then crack a book and enjoy, but please, keep your assumptions to yourself.

Why Fanboys are a Joke

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You heard me, I said it, and I won’t take it back. Fans are great, they build up franchises, they enjoy the various stories that are brought out, and most of all, they accept a lot of mistakes and continuity issues but keep moving on with them so long as the franchise they care about is around. It’s not a matter of learning every last serial number of every weapon and piece of machinery used in a film or a TV show. It’s not about small details that no one save the creators of the show or film will think about. It’s not even about the idea that one franchise is better than another. Fans will gladly joke about this and enter into minor ‘feuds’ while citing facts and opinions that mean something to them. But there’s one big thing that all fans can agree upon

IT’S FICTION.

Fanboys give fans a very bad name sometimes.

Now let’s agree, or agree to disagree however you might see it. Fanboys are not all bad, just as all fans are not good. But those fanboys that take things too far are the worst example as they’ll argue over a fictional hero, villain, or story as though it’s based in the real world and is something that fate of the universe hinges upon. They typically watch every episode of a favorite series, memorize where every Easter egg is, and know every little detail down to the name of the person that worked the grip in their favorite movie. Why? They’re obsessed with their favorite film and/or show and have to know EVERYTHING.

This isn’t a bad thing really, until they take it too far. This usually means getting into an argument with them will be more painful than slamming your head into a brick wall a few dozen times. They will argue until their throat is raw because NO ONE’S opinion othe than theirs will matter.

Keep in mind they’re not all like this, but those that are, yikes.

What’s the biggest difference between a fan and a fanboy?

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Fans will enjoy a story, a movie, a game, whatever it happens to be, and so will a fanboy. But a fanboy will gladly take any and all criticisms of whatever they like and target the person that dared to speak against it in savage fashion. Talking to a fanboy about whatever they liked in a negative way is sure to start an argument, and an ugly one no less. Even if you decide to concede that they’re right they will continue to lord it over you and remind you just why they’re right and you’re wrong. Even if you happen to agree with them it’s more of a headache than it’s worth as a fanboy will at times affect a superior attitude and act like “of course I’m right, I know everything.”

When it comes to their favorite medium it might be true, but their arrogance is a bit off-putting, not to mention very telling when it comes to their knowledge of other matters throughout life and entertainment.

So, in essence, fans enjoy, fanboys obsess.

The Spirit Will Endure

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The fact is that America needs a president. Despite the irony of placing all the power into the hands of one person yet again this country cannot be run by Congress alone. The squabbling, the infighting, and the total collapse that would come would be disastrous. America was not founded on a system that would be ruled by governmental bodies, but was placed in the hands of one man, perhaps one day one woman, that could accept the responsibility of handling a nation and guiding their people into a new era.

The presidency is not meant to be one’s personal playtime.

That seems a bit harsh and even churlish, but it also seems as though the current POTUS has taken several important matters far too lightly and played fast and loose with others that require his utmost attention. He has done some good for the country, yes, but his reputation has been sunk due to his highly visible trips that end up costing the taxpayers millions of dollars and the possible ties that other countries must even now be thinking of severing if they’re to keep any kind of self-respect.

Think that sounds far-fetched? Perhaps, but the idea of the leader of the free world berating world leaders that are his allies and cozying up to another world leader while throwing his own country under the bus is not the best look for an American president.

The president doesn’t need to be penitent, but a bit of humility goes a long way.

Unfortunately this POTUS does not happen to understand the meaning of the word “humble” and proceeds to assert his authority no matter where he goes, even if it is over foreign leaders in their domain. One doesn’t need to bend and scrape to anyone to show respect, but it pays not to act like a rude and inconsiderate child when in the presence of other world leaders.

Right now the country is severely divided, and while it is not entirely the POTUS’s fault, he has done little but fan the flames.

The POTUS needs to be as impartial possible when in office in order to hear his people and to react in a way that is conducive to resolving whatever issues he can. He won’t attain a perfect track record in putting out all the fires to to speak, as there will always be someone with a different idea of how things should go. But instead of fixing problems within society or even trying, our current POTUS continues to fan the flames by the words he speaks and the actions he takes, or doesn’t take.

At this point, the spirit of America is still intact, but the nation itself has become an uncertain thing.

At this point the POTUS is a big part of many problems, but he needs to listen to the people, the people he SERVES as well as leads, in order to discover just what is needed, rather than he thinks should be used to solve the problem that he fails to understand. Comprehension of what must be done within this country to pull people together rather than continue to tear them apart is what is needed, yet further confusion is all we seem to get as Trump continues to turn a blind eye to his people, muttering over their cries of indignation with half-hearted denials and bold claims of what he can do, instead of what he will do.

The nation may be in tatters by 2020 (let’s hope not), but the spirit will endure.

The Little Things (part IV)

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(continued)

Anacortes, WA

December 3rd, 2018

“Don’t talk to him like that,” Todd said, standing in front of Linus as he saw Clinton approach. The other man was nearly as tall as he was, but he certainly walked like he was a foot taller, his chest puffed out and his jaw lifted just a bit as though he was trying to act tough. Todd could easily imagine that this was how he acted around Linus back at Maple’s apartment, but he wasn’t going to stand for it here. Judging by the way he was walking Clinton wasn’t in the mood to take any lip either.

That was too bad.

“What’d you say? This isn’t any of your business man so get on back to your ho-hos and ding-dongs. Everyone knows you love a good ding-dong. This retard,” he pointed at Linus, “knows why he’s in trouble. His big sister told him to stay put and he decided to go for a little walk when I was in the can.”

“You mean when you passed out from drinking,” Todd said. Normally he tried to make peace with Clinton despite not liking him a single bit, but not today. Usually he would keep his mouth shut and just let things be since Clinton had never dared to hurt Linus or Maple. A single call to the police would mean a third strike on his record, and he’d be going away for a very long time. It was hard to believe that Maple kept allowing him back into her life after the first two convictions, especially since she’d sworn him off after he’d gone away for his last two-year stint in the Monroe Correctional Complex. Of course he wasn’t too surprised, Clinton had a way of being just charming enough to get what he wanted, especially early release from prison and the women that regretted ever knowing him eventually.

“I’m sorry? Did you say something? I don’t speak bitch. Come on Linus, get your sorry ass back to the apartment.”

Linus actually started to move, but Todd stood in front of him still, motioning for him to stay.

“How about he goes back and you find somewhere else to be right now?” Todd asked. His eyes were more in a telling mood, but he knew that Mr. Alpha-male Clinton wasn’t about to let it go at that.

“How about you mind your own business you mat-thumper and let me deal with him?” He sounded a bit perturbed at the moment, not really pissed, but Todd was about to change that. He didn’t want Linus going back to the apartment with this guy, especially not after getting a whiff of whatever Clinton had been drinking. It was a bit of a surprise why it had taken so long in the colder weather to smell, but now that he did, Todd could also see that the other man’s eyes were bloodshot and he was listing to one side just a bit.

If he’d been driving then Todd’s answer would have been a resounding “hell no” to letting Linus go with him. But even just walking, and knowing that Linus’ home was just a couple of blocks down the street, he wasn’t ready to trust that Clinton wouldn’t do something stupid and then find a way to blame it on Linus.

“He’s going home Clinton,” Todd said, his voice deadly serious, “just not with you.”

Clinton sighed, slumping his shoulders as though irritated, and Todd already knew what was coming before Clinton went low, aiming to grab his legs and take him down. He knew just what to do and he did it, spreading his legs out wide, which was kind of a risk with all the ice around, and widening his base to make it harder to pick him up. Even as Clinton tried to pick him up Todd was dropping a heavy elbow onto the back of the other man’s head, neck, and shoulders, getting in three solid strikes as Clinton suddenly crumpled, landing in a heat at his feet.

Yep, he was drunk.

(to be continued)

Bring the Paine (part IV)

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(continued)

Pacific Ocean, 201 miles off the Oregon coast

May 12th, 2019

You know the fun thing about being able to cruise around a tub like this for as long as you can? You get to find every little nook and cranny that an imaginative mind can discover. Take for instance the boat I’m on now. It’s got more hidden passageways and nooks and crannies to hide in than most homes I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve seen a few. Of course as I listen to the kid stomping his way down the stairs my mind isn’t on hiding, uh-uh. If I did that this little game of tag would be over too soon and the company we were subbed out by would take one look at the solid bar on my life monitor and fire a cruise missile at this heap.

It’s nice to know that someone is willing to give me a chance. Plus, those missiles don’t come cheap I hear…

Ah crap, he’s down and entering the main galley, but at least I’m on the other side of the wall, in the living space. That doesn’t mean much since there’s only a partial wall with a big cutout that he can look or leap through whenever he wants to. But that’s where the next part of my plan comes in. As he’s stomping around looking for me he sees the rope dangling just off the port side as I was hoping, and it distracts him just long enough as he bounds out to the side deck, looking up as I’d planned. I didn’t mention I had a few other items on my person did I?

Well to be honest when I was listing my weapons I didn’t happen to include a nifty little device called a mace gun, which is essentially like a flare gun but modified to shoot a steady stream of mace from about 20 feet out. I’ll be a little close just for the hell of it, but the stuff I’ve got in here is a special blend I put together on my own. Aside from just burning it’s going to have the effect of knocking him out for a moment if I’m lucky. Pepper spray of course affects a person in a big way, but this kid is jacked up in ways that make him a lot tougher than the average crackhead. I’m hoping this stuff works, or the game of tag could end right here.

As he looks for just another moment up the rope, as though expecting to see me peer over, I creep a little closer, hiding near the inner wall as I crouch down. I can hear him sniffing, and there’s no doubt that he’s caught my scent, but I don’t hear anything else until the glass breaks above me, showering me with shards as I instinctively aim the mace gun upward. Even as I’m doing this I feel his hands come through the wreckage of the window and try to grab me, but all he gets is a few trailing hairs before I squeeze the trigger.

I rise with my finger still squeezing, rolling to the left as I keep my finger on the trigger and the stream on his face. It hits him dead center, right on the bridge of his nose, and immediately goes in his mouth, his eyes, and perhaps even splashes up his nostrils. All I know is that my one shot is gone. Thankfully he falls away with a howl of pain as the stuff clogs his nose and mouth in that instant. And I’m up and running for the next stage of my plan.

Even as I’m climbing on the counter to access the secret panel just above the cupboards I can hear and then see him crawling into the main galley, shaking his head like a wounded animal. Thankfully he doesn’t look up as I hoist myself into the space above and then slide the panel back into place behind me.

The game is still very much on, for now.

(to be continued)

My Books (Of Light and Shadows)

https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-End-Light-Shadows-Book-ebook/dp/B01H0WIHCS/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532055232&sr=1-6&keywords=tom+foster+of+light+and+shadows

On That Day….

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On that day don’t look for me there, I’ll have gone ahead.

I’m making a place at the end of the path,

I’ve helped to blaze the trail that you must tread.

Don’t look for me where I was, you won’t find me there anymore.

I’ve moved along to the clearing instead

I’ve gone beyond this shore.

If you want then look to the sands, look to the surf and the sky.

I’ve done my time in this world I can’t do anymore,

That time has passed me by.

Look to the sands and look to the surf, remembering where we’ve been.

Don’t be sad, and please don’t cry,

On that day we’ll meet again.

To everyone that’s lost someone this year or long before, those loved ones are waiting at the end of the road, ready for us to join them again. On that day, they’ll welcome us home.

 

 

The Friend Zone

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So let’s clear up any misconceptions at this point when it comes to the dreaded “friend zone” which does exist and is hell for anyone, male or female, that’s ever found themselves in it.

  1. No one is expected to put out just because you happen to like them and want to show them in one way or another. People are allowed to like and to love who they choose. If that’s not you, then tough luck, move on.
  2. Being in the friend zone is not the end of the road for you, it’s simply a detour that gives you other options. So the love your life doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, they’re not the only man or woman in the world.
  3. Grow up, the friend zone does exist, but it’s a far more comfortable spot than many give it credit for. There’s less expectation when it comes to keeping that person happy, you can be yourself around them, and you can treat them as you would any other friend without thinking that they’ll ditch you the moment they find someone better.

Does all of that make sense so far?

The friend zone does exist, but at the same time it’s a trap that is what you make of it.

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Too many people make too much of a big deal about being ‘friendzoned’ and have thus given this train of thought a lot of negative connotations that can lead to very negative feelings and discussions about men and women when they decided that you’re simply not enough for them when it comes to what they want in a lover. Keep in mind, the object of your affection doesn’t owe you anything. Men and women should never be expected to dish out sexual favors or love that they don’t want to. Just because they see you as a friend doesn’t mean your life effectively ended at their word.

They still value you in some way, just not the way you want. So hitch up your big boy, or big girl underoos and move on. Always keep a friend, as good ones are hard to find sometimes, and realize that physical attraction is not always the same as mutual attraction. There’s someone out there for everyone. You’ve just got to have the courage to look and to talk to people. That means put the phone, the tablet, the whatever device you’re holding down and actually move your jaw up and down while opening those two fleshy things on your face called lips to form words.

If you can get that part down, then the friend zone, real as it is, has no hold over you. Word to the wise, when feeling trapped, always look for a way out….or make one.