Writing Assignment #1: The teacher showed us pictures of four men. The assignment was to craft a story where one or more of them die (not necessarily killed).  And stories go where they will go. Let it be noted that I actually got along with my father (after I moved out).

Josh licked the blood off his knife. A metallic salty sensation filled his mouth and a sweet scent permeated his nose. After wiping the knife off on his pants, he drove it into his father’s chest, twisted and pulled it out slowly. Scraping off the bits of lung tissue, he licked the blade. Same tang. Blood from distinct parts of the body tasted the same. That was important.

In the kitchen, Josh used a dishcloth to clean his hands. He didn’t approve of paper towels. They’re wicked for the environment. His father never understood no matter how many times he told him to use the dish cloth. It’s so simple, why couldn’t he understand? Josh thought his father flaunted using paper towels to spite him. “You’re only 18, what the hell do you know?” Fuck him.

He slid the Yanagiba knife back in its black velvet case with the other Japanese cutlery. So many blades, each carefully designed to cut something specific. Did they expect him to use each one? Would the other knives be disappointed if he had a favorite? They were yelling at him. Josh needed to calm his mind. Refocus. Only five hours ago his father had him locked away upstate in the ‘sanctuary’, as his father called it. Josh preferred to call it a penal colony because the guards were dicks. That’s when he needed some blades. That’s when he needed help. Thoughts coming too fast. Catching a raindrop in a thunderstorm. Josh shoved the screwdriver into the electrical socket. Electricity is clean. Unlike his father.

The pain brought peace. Now he could reflect. The guards pushed him around every day, but the orderly didn’t hassle him. He was nice and gave him extra jello on special days. But it was dumb of him to bring a metal steak knife. Josh had no regrets about killing the orderly. His father taught him bad decisions beget bad consequences. Basic social Darwinism. Best, he got to test Hispanic blood.

Dr. Abrams wasn’t as nice as the orderly. He asked annoying questions and never gave him jello. Josh couldn’t understand why he had to be so irritating since he was so smart. He sounded like Morgan Freeman. Black doctors sounded like Morgan Freeman or Samuel L. Jackson. Or maybe James Earl Jones if they’re going to perform a scary operation. A black doctor with a Kevin Hart voice would be silly. As intelligent as he was, Dr. Abrams didn’t taste any smarter than the orderly.

After Josh had tested Dr. Abrams blood, he rearranged the papers on his desk. The doctor kept his office organized and it was only polite to respect the deceased’s wishes. Even if the person was mean.

His father’s blood was the same as the doctor and the orderly. Black, White, Hispanic. Different on the outside but the same on the inside. Fuck those dumb Nazi posers, there isn’t any difference. Josh figured he’d solved the whole racial thing. He knew not to get too far ahead of himself but once he worked out how to scale up, blood tasting would stop all this racism bullshit.

Time to celebrate. Josh felt guilty breaking into the liquor cabinet, he’d be in big trouble if he got caught. But today was special. Ignoring the Johnnie Walker, he picked up the decanter with Glenfiddich. Josh sat in his father’s chair and sipped the whiskey with a Monster chaser. He’d show them, he would amount to something. Change the world. But an unsettling thought intruded. He’d only tested men. He put down the Glenfiddich and stole the keys to the Porsche.

Josh had to go see Mom.

The Jester Goes Back To School

For some inexplicable reason, The Jester decided to take a writing course at the Oregon Coast Community College. A real course with credit, not the continuing education type designed to enrich the lives of senior citizens. Or keep them out of bars. Whichever applies.

It’s been a long time since The Jester has been on this side of the table and it’s a little scary. I mean there’s homework. Over the last few decades, I’ve had assignments, tasks, output, milestones, summaries, action plans, workplans, papers, abstracts, memos, more memos, impact statements, mea culpas, recommendations, position descriptions, reviews, and reports. But homework, damn that’s harsh. I’ve started having those dreams again where I’m running naked down Times Square trying to turn my homework in on time. Of course, in those days Times Square was populated by hookers, pimps, and dealers so running around naked waving pieces of papers was no big deal compared to the current Anderson Cooper/Kathy Griffin (rest her soul) New Year’s Eve era where you’d probably get arrested. Or freeze.

And though it galls him no end to admit it, The Jester has ‘stuff’ to learn. We read a story about a wife’s reaction as the husband devolved to an ape then to a turtle and then other forms of aquatic life. The Jester fixated on the screwed up evolutionary sequence – how did a turtle get in the evolutionary chain? But one of the students astutely pointed out the story was an allegory about the breakdown of the relationship, how the two were drifting apart. Which might explain The Jester’s divorce from Wife #1 when he grew copious amount of hair on his back.

I could go on, but I have a homework assignment.

Too Much Self-Esteem? Take Up Writing.

Editing software can’t make you a Hemingway or Michael Crichton but it can help clean up your bad writing.  There are several alternatives (options, choices, selections, substitutes) reviewed at I’m using ProWritingAid, which is like a nag in a can.

Note: The Jester is not paid by or associated with ProWritingAid. But they are free to contact me with an offer.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child. When I’m a warlock, I talk smack

We all have fantasies most of which we outgrow. One of mine was a Porsche 911 GT2 RS (about $350K all tricked out, 0-60 in 2.7 sec.). Another BEFORE I met Mrs. Jester were the Asian Twins, Fire and Ice. With their thigh-high leather boots and black fingernails filed to a point. But I digress. My current unachievable fantasy is to publish a novel based on Styr-Leng, the fair to middling warlock. I have been putting the warlock’s adventures on the New Age Jester blog ( as they were drafted. Then I looked up SF/Fantasy publishers and they frown on potential works being previously published in any format. So, Styr-Leng will have to take an extended vacation from the internet world while I continue to work on his adventures at an excruciatingly slow pace (which is why I haven’t posted on other topics). But to keep you up to date, here is the developing pantheon of characters:

Main Characters So Far:

Styr-Leng: A warlock not without some magical talent or charm.

Bob Zimmerman: There is more than meets the eye to our part-time barkeep and up-and-coming poet/bard.

Vander Wanderwood: A sanctimonious, ill-tempered paladin, but what can you expect from someone who wears Underpants of the Holy.

Secondary Characters So Far (Will they become more important?):

Axel: Rather dim-witted logger of the Alder Tribe.

Utrich: Crabber who’s always trying to run out on his bar tab.

Thomas A’Pinus: Loves to narrate bar brawls.

Jesus: A guest appearance courtesy of THE HOLY TRINITY, INC. (THEY required that THEY be in all caps.) Perhaps HE’ll come back. People say it’s hard to keep a good man down.

Edgar the Ball Scratching Troll: What more can I say. Actually, there’s about 1000 words more, but you’ll have to read the story.

Nicodemus: Bob’s black cat (and what other color were expecting for a night cat?) who’s always trying to get into Styr-Leng’s magical pouch.

Druantia: Celtic tree goddess. One of Styr-Leng’s deities with benefits.

Taylor Swiftness: The singing witch. Who knows, perhaps she’ll compete with Druantia for Styr-Leng’s attention. Perhaps she and Druantia will get it on. Who knows?

The baloi ba bosigo: The Night Witch. No one’s friend and no benefits.

Characters On The Horizon:

Styr-Leng’s Mother: A retired witch. Does she have a husband? Perhaps four or five exes, I’ve been told that very smart people are hard to live with.

The Vandals: From the North Country comes ominous sounds of heavy metal thunder and that little metal ball rattling around in the bottom of spray paint cans.

Fiona The Nose Picking Troll: Edgar’s more refined sister.