Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Donald Trump Versus the Dinosaurs

The following chapter is excerpted from the satirical novella "Dinosaur Ghost" which answers the  age-old question, "What would happen if dinosaurs came back from extinction and started eating republicans?" The updated novella will soon appear as a stand-alone eBook as well as in the print edition of the humor collection "There Are Sneetches in My Breeches."

Donald J. Trump removed a solid gold driver from his golf bag and proceeded to shank his solid gold Titleist into a nearby lake. "That's a hole in one," he said to his caddy. "Score that as a hole in one."

"Whatever you say, Mr. Trump," said former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. "But are you sure you want to continue using the gold clubs instead of the titanium ones?" He held up the driver that was now twisted like a pretzel. "They're getting all bent up."

"Why shouldn't I keep using solid gold clubs?" Trump asked. "Everyone knows gold is the best kind of metal. Besides, I've made nine straight holes in one."

"Of course, Mr. Trump. How could I have been so stupid?"

"Because you are stupid," Trump said. "Now punish yourself."

"What's that?"

"Punish yourself for your mistake."

Chris Chrisie sighed and then proceeded to take off his shirt. Whenever he made a mistake, Trump liked for him to strip down to his underwear and shimmy about while singing 'I'm a little teapot," while Trump shouted, "Dance, Tubby! Dance like you mean it!" and threw nickels at him.

But for some reason, Donald's heart wasn't in it today. He felt a sudden wave of melancholy. But why? He should have been happy. Earlier that morning he had succeeded in using government regulations to put an elderly couple out of their home. Now he could bulldoze their property and none of the members of his golf course would have to look at their ugly house.

Perhaps it had something to with the fact that three of his companies had gone into bankruptcy that week, putting a damper on his latest press release which stated only that he was "The greatest businessman in the history of business."

No, that wasn't it.

Could it have had something to do with the media backlash surrounding his retweeting of racist messages and images originating from the Ku Klux Klan?

No. All publicity was good publicity.

"What is it then?" he asked, but Chris Christie could not answer because he had fallen into a sand trap.

Trump shook his head. He knew the answer to his rhetorical question. It was those damned dragons from the news. It didn't bother him that they were eating all the other republicans. The problem was that they were taking attention away from him.

Some journalists were even speculating that he wasn't conservative enough to be eaten by dinosaur ghosts. Maybe, they said, he was getting a pass because he never bothered to figure out what conservatives were supposed to believe according to the party manual. "But how could I read the party manual?" he asked no one in particular. "That thing was like twelve pages long."

An aide standing nearby looked around, but there was no one else to whom Mr. Trump could be talking.

"Absolutely, Mr. Trump. Twelve pages is much too long for anyone to read," he said.

"A little help," said Chris Christie from the sand trap.

"Screw those dragons," Trump said. "I'm conservative. I'm the most conservative person who ever lived."

A low growl emanated from the direction of the sand trap. Trump looked over and saw the shimmering image of a Tyrannosaurus rex chewing up the remains of Chris Christie.

"Hey, who said you could eat my caddy?"

The dinosaur just looked at him, then looked over his shoulder at a stegosaurus who was happily munching from the rough.

"Hey who let that lizard eat my gold course. Was it you?" He shot a look toward his aide.

"No sir, Mr. Trump. I think it was Governor Christie. Shall I call security?"

"Yeah, I can't have these ugly things on my beautiful golf course. I want 'em out of here!"

While the aide called security on his walkie talkie, the tyrannosaurus roared to the stegosaur.

The roar roughly translated to, "Should I even bother to eat this guy? He's doing far more damage to the republican party than we ever could."

The stegosaurus shrugged its shoulders.

The tyrannosaurus stared at the Donald with a mix of curiosity and revulsion.

"You know, you really are a stupid-looking dragon," Trump said. "I've never seen a dragon that looked so stupid. Puff the Magic Dragon is scarier than you."

The aide step forward and whispered into his ear. "Sir, that's actually a dinosaur. Dinosaurs are different from dragons."

"I don't think that's right," Trump said. "Dragons are green and scaly and they breathe fire." He pointed at the dinosaur. "That's definitely a dragon."

"I don't think it breathes fire," the aide whispered.

"What kind of dragon doesn't breathe fire?" Trump walked around the side of the dinosaur before offering a dismissive appraisal. "Pathetic. I should have you deported. I should build a wall around you so no one has to see how ugly you are."

"Hey," said the dinosaur in a hurt-sounding way. At least, it kind of sounded like hey.

Trump looked up at the dinosaur, who stood three stories tall.

"You aren't so big," Trump said. "I'm just as big as you." He backed up against the dinosaur. "Let me ask you something," he said to the aide. "Who's taller? Me? Or this dragon?" He put his hand on his head like a measuring stick and then lifted it up to the dinosaur's knee.

"Um..." said the aide. "It's pretty close. I think maybe you're taller, Mr. Trump."

The tyrannosaurus looked at the aide and made a noise which roughly translated to, "What are you talking about? I'm clearly much taller than this jackhole."

"I knew it," Trump said. "I'm as big as a dragon."

At this point the tyrannosaurus had had enough. He proceeded to eat Donald Trump just to get him to shut up. He was a hard person to swallow, and the dinosaur was tempted to spit him out, but a gulp of lake water helped wash down the putrid taste. If the republican party could swallow him, then so could he.

Later, he and the stegosaurus took turns wearing Trump's orange wig while doing impressions of him. They laughed deep into the night.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please share it with others via social media. The eBook version of "There Are Sneetches in My Breeches" is available for preorder at Information about the print edition of "Sneetches" is coming soon. The original draft of Dinosaur Ghost is available as a free down load at

Cover art by Christiana Helgeson.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Publishing Projects

I have two ebooks coming out this summer. My collection of humorous book parodies (cover above) is due out August 7th. I'm also expecting to publish Split, a collection of three weird horror stories, by the end of this month. Details to follow.

Cover art by Christiana Helgeson

Friday, May 27, 2016

Blood Cries Chapter 37

This is the last chapter in the first draft, and will give you an idea of the direction I will taken in draft two. I'm taking one month off to gain perspective and work on other projects. I will then begin posting the second draft. CV


Melvin looked across the desk at his interviewer and paused for a few seconds before saying, “That’s it.”

“That’s it?” I asked. “How can that be it?”

“That’s it,” he said, “because that’s all there is to the story. Louella Harper never published another book.”

“But she still has a manuscript,” I said. “I don’t want to start work on this thing, only to find out that she’s been holding on to this manuscript all these years and is finely ready to publish.”

“If you don’t write this book,” Melvin said. “No one will.”

“What about Ernie Smith? Is he still around?” The truth was I didn’t want to get killed.

“He died about ten years ago. Heart attack, I think. And anyway, as far as I know, he became a legitimate businessman.”

“That doesn’t seem very likely.”

“Well, he never got caught then. All I know is I never had cause to represent him after that. He was a smart man, though lacking in scruples. He ran his funeral home until about 1980, when the building burned down in an electrical fire. Luckily, no one was hurt.”

“Who collected the insurance on that?” I asked.

“He did. I’m told he used the settlement to help finance his retirement.”

“What about Lester Woods?”

“Well, he went into the state psychiatric hospital for a week or two. He went through “the revolving door” as Henry Russell used to say before he died of cancer. Lester moved up to Ohio and started driving trucks again. His wife called me up a few years ago. She wanted to see if things had cooled down around here, if I thought any of the Reverend’s people would come after him, or if the sheriff might try and pick him up. I told her people around here had forgotten about that case a long time ago. I didn’t see any reason for them not to come back.”

“She was worried about Lester. She said he still had nightmares, sometimes about Vietnam, sometimes about being chased by the Reverend. She said one time he woke up screaming, and ran through the house with his rifle in his hand, saying the Reverend was after him. She wondered if bringing him back home would settle him down or only stir up more nightmares. I heard they came back about six months ago. He lives over in Johnson’s Gap. You should probably go talk to him.”

I did go see him a while later, but not before sending a letter to Louella Harper. I needed assurances that she did not plan to publish a book putting me on the losing end of a competition, but I think what I really wanted was to receive her blessing.

Of course, I had no way of asking her. I had no address or telephone number. The people I spoke with who did know her refused to give out any personal information. One person told me, “The reason I’m friends with her is because I don’t give out that kind of information. If I did, I suspect, I wouldn’t be friends with her for very long.”

As it happened, I managed to get a letter to her care of her sister’s law firm. After years of splitting time between New York and Alabama, a stroke caused her to move south full time. Within two weeks of sending the letter, I was surprised to receive an envelope in the mail bearing an elderly woman’s scrawl.

I ripped open the envelope and removed several pieces of card stock bearing her monogram and a response to my inquiry. This is what it said:

Dear Christamar,

Thank you for writing to me and stirring up memories I had almost managed to stifle. When I set out to write a book about Reverend Baxter all those years ago, I intended to write straight journalism—the thing I sought was the truth.

What I found was something different—a collection of individuals seeking to trade their accidental proximity to a serial killer for fame and fortune. People would walk up to me on the street and ask me when the “movie” was coming out, and could they be in it? The Reverend’s next-door neighbor followed me around town like a puppy dog offering to sell me his story. Everyone I met either wanted to broker a deal, exchange an anecdote for cash, or have me somehow bestow upon them a place in history.

Then there was the Reverend’s lawyer, a man who viewed himself as a cross between Gregory Peck and Robert Redford. But if you are looking for a hero, keep looking, because his main interest is in his own self-glorification.

The truth proved elusive, even back then when the bodies were still fresh in their graves. Here are the facts as I know them: The man, Reverend Baxter, did kill at least four of his relatives, and the motive was nothing more than simple greed. He had an accomplice for at least one of the murders, and possibly more. His accomplice was man who ran criminal activities in town. You would be surprised at the number of people on whom those two men took out insurance policies.

Other than that, I am afraid there isn’t much I can tell you. If you go down there, as I did, looking for the truth, I suspect you will find little more than the memories of old rumors. If a novel, is your intention, good luck finding a hero.

In either event, I trust you will brace yourself for the many frustrations that will soon be heading your way. Consider yourself warned.

Louella Harper

END of draft one