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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:08 pm


Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Hoagland, IN, USA

It was 1962. Dreadful Albert had been left out in the sun again, like a bad apricot. He was only 17, but he'd been in love with Mary Sue McGinty for over 65 years, and now, his own personal Nirvana had exploded into the late summer sacrifice, leaving him with a man sized hunger, and an informative swagger.

Few people liked Dreadful Albert, and skinny Stanley Sumberville was certainly no exception. Stanley had spent months on his Science Fair entry, an electron scanning microscope powered by nine AAA batteries, and a hamster. Stanley's microscope could magnify to the infinite, which was not only unprecedented, but completely impossible.

"Yo, Stanley!" shouted Dreadful Albert, but Stanley was pretending he didn't hear him, "hey, how's it going, buddy?"

It was too late, of course. Large groups of three inch tall shadow warriors descended listlessly through Stanley's overactive imagination, plodding through his consciousness with the grace of a dejected football team after a particularly embarrassing loss, and bruising the turf clinging to his tired mind.

"You going to that big party tonight?" asked Dreadful Albert, putting his arm around poor Stanley's shoulder.

"What big party?" asked Stanley, who was never invited to anything.

"There's a big party in the cornfield by Stagger's," Dreadful Albert intoned, wheezing just a bit, "and I hear Mary
Sue broke up with that loser."

"Loser?" laughed Stanley nervously. Mark Bowens was the captain of the football team, the three time fencing champion, and had taken Stanley's lunch every day from third grade until last year, when Stanley started bringing onions every day, and slathering them in mayonnaise, saurkraut and mustard.

"Yeah, the guy's a loser, allright," said Dreadful Albert, thinking of that time he saw him kissing Mary Sue right in front of her parent's house!

"So you gonna make a play for her?" giggled Stanley, knowing full well just how far fetched the scenario really was.

"I don't know," said Dreadful Albert, hesitantly. He had the feeling Stanley was making fun of him, and he took a moment to admire Stanley's strange bravery, before going back to feeling hurt, angry, and just a little bit violent.

"So what'cha doin' now?" asked Dreadful Albert, unaware of the menacing grin on his face.

"Uh, nothing," said Stanley, twitching slightly, "I've gotta pick up some stuff for my mom, and then I've got a lot of work to do..."

"Oh yeah, you're working on some kind of telescope, or something, aren't you?"

"Yeah, well, no, well kind of, I mean, it's a microscope..."

"So you like seeing stars, do you?" chuckled Dreadful Albert, slapping him on the back almost hard enough to bring some.

"Stars, well yes, but..."

The two made their way to Preissgood, which was a clever name for a store, if you were as uncreative as George Preiss, who'd said since he was a child he should have a store by that name, and Dreadful Albert had a ball making fun of Stanley as he bought sewing needles, lace doilies, and yarn.

"Why don't you go over to Dell's and get a couple of chocolate shakes for us?" asked Stanley, suddenly. There was no way in Hell he was going to get nylon stockings and tampons with Dreadful Albert along. Stanley would've paid much more than the two dollars he was putting in Dreadful Albert's sweaty hand to avoid that humiliation.

"Nah, I don't feel like ice cream, but I'll take the two bucks," laughed Dreadful Albert, snatching the bills away, and wadding them into his pocket.

"Hey look at that guy!" shouted Dreadful Albert, suddenly, "hey, I think he's comin' in here!"

A scruffy young man, wearing scraggly clothes made his unkempt way to the counter, demanded cigarettes, and threw two dimes on the counter, where they bounced, and jangled to a stop.

"You need a haircut," taunted Dreadful Albert, making scissors motions with the same grubby hand that had appropriated Stanley's money for the week. Why had he given him two dollars? He had forgotten what time period he lived in again.

Was Stanley from the future? No. He was from the past, of course, having been born some seventeen years, six months and two days earlier, to an obsessive, overprotective woman and her little slave of a husband, who had slipped away in the night like marshmallows on baked yams.

It was a tasty story, reasoned Stanley, as the scruffy young man showed Dreadful Albert his middle finger, and smiled from ear to ear.

For no reason Stanley could understand, Dreadful Albert let it go. He didn't even look mad. That was good, very good.

"You can take your vulgarity somewhere else, young man," said Mr. Vincent, who worked the day shift, and probably wasn't paid much for it.

The scruffy young man said nothing, disappearing into the amber light of the late afternoon.

Dreadful Albert followed him outside, and Stanley thought he'd be able to get the sensitive items for his mother's disgusting shopping list after all, but just as he made his way to the counter, Dreadful Albert was back in the store, staring at the box of Tampons like he'd finally been given a reason to live.

He didn't say anything about it, much to Stanley's surprise, and simply bought a football with Stanley's two dollars.

He walked alongside Stanley, as they walked the catatonic streets back to Stanley's house, looking far away, and thumping the football into his free hand as he walked.

Stanley was surprised Dreadful Albert was capable of doing both at once. This was precisely the type of thinking that kept getting Stanley into trouble, but would he learn? Not today.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 1:12 pm


Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Hoagland, IN, USA
Part II

“Well, I better get to work,” said Stanley, more than happy to leave Dreadful Albert outside.

“Oh yeah, right, well, can I use your can?” asked Dreadful Albert, innocently enough.

Stanley should’ve known better than to show him to the downstairs bathroom, with the sink shaped like a seashell, and the rusty bathtub ring, because only a moment later, Dreadful Albert yelled “go out for a pass,” and lobbed his football towards Stanley’s antique model car collection.

It was a perfect spiral, and it had all the intention of taking out a 1932 Bentley, that had taken Stanley three months to complete, but the unathletic Stanley managed somehow to deflect the pass, which was ruled incomplete as Stanley crashed to the floor, tasting blood.

“I didn’t know you were a Free Safety,” remarked Dreadful Albert, “you should try out for the team!”

“I fear I would only be useful at protecting cherished projects,” Stanley said modestly, eyeing the poker sitting next to the dusty fireplace. He envisioned himself bludgeoning Dreadful Albert to death with it, and then couldn’t help but wonder when the last time was he saw a fire down here.

“So where’s this telescope you’ve been working on?” asked Dreadful Albert, a sickly grin on his face.

Stanley was in a quandry. He didn’t know if he should explain, for the tenth time that day that he was, in fact, working on a microscope, or if he should get out his NuScience 500 reflector telescope, that he had made 983.2 times more powerful, and could easily use to see Uranus, thus sparing his precious Electron Scanning Microscope the dubious distinction of Dreadful Albert’s looming presence.

“Listen, I really have a lot to do, OK?” pleaded Stanley, trying to sound forceful, and then wincing as the words fell onto the concrete floor and scattered like peanuts in a bar.

“Right,” said Dreadful Albert, “just show me the telescope, and I’ll be on my way.”

Angry, Stanley led him to his workroom, and showed him the NuScience 500.

“How do you like it?” asked Stanley, who wasn’t much of a liar.

“What do you think I am, stupid?” replied Dreadful Albert, “that’s not a telescope.”

“It’s not?” marvelled Stanley.

“C’mon, cut it out,” said Dreadful Albert, “you don’t wanna make me mad.”

Dreadful Albert walked over to a closet door, where there was a skull and crossbones, and a sign with glow in the dark lettering that said “Mad Genius at Work.”

“You know what I think?” leered Dreadful Albert, “I think your telescope’s in there!”

Stanley turned whiter than usual.

“Now show it to me, or I’m gonna do what I came over here to do,” threatened Dreadful Albert, who definitely meant it.

With his heart in his throat, Stanley wheeled out the table and pulled back the cover to reveal a strange metal cylinder with a slot in the side, towards the bottom, and a tiny eyepiece sticking out of the top.

“Cool,” said Dreadful Albert, who was genuinely impressed, “what does the Hamster do?”

“He runs in the wheel, and turns a magneto, which helps minimize the battery drain,” said Stanley, “it’s kind of complicated...”

“And I wouldn’t understand, because I’m too stupid, right?” challenged Dreadful Albert, suddenly, “I should just pound you right here, but I’m not going to, because you’re gonna let me look at something through there.”

Stanley picked up a scalpel, and stepped towards Dreadful Albert, who assumed a fighting stance.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing with that?” said Dreadful Albert.

“Relax, I just need to scrape a tiny piece of your skin,” answered Stanley, finally feeling as though he had the upper hand for once. He scraped a piece of skin from Dreadful Albert’s elbow, taking just a bit more than he needed, prompting Dreadful Albert to pull his arm back, and shoot Stanley a nasty look.

Nonplussed, Stanley put the skin on a slide, and slid it into the slot towards the bottom of the cylinder. Dreadful Albert pushed him out of the way to look into the eyepiece.

“I’ve got to focus it first,” said Stanley, as Dreadful Albert looked at a big mess of nothing.

“Be my guest,” said Dreadful Albert, stepping aside.

Stanley focused the microscope, as the Hamster chugged along merrily, and motioned for Dreadful Albert to have a look.

“Wow!” said Dreadful Albert, “do all those little bugs live inside me?”

“Actually many more live inside you,” replied Stanley, “those are just the ones living in your skin.”

Dreadful Albert stood back, and shivered. “That’s kinda creepy,” he told Stanley.

“It’s just nature,” said Stanley, who didn’t have much of a problem with it.

Dreadful Albert stood there, for what seemed like a very long time to poor Stanley, and then, to Stanley’s surprise, he walked out towards the door.

“Well, I’ll leave you to get some work done,” said Dreadful Albert, “thanks for letting me see it.”

Dreadful Albert walked out the door with absolutely no idea why he hadn’t thrown the football into the closet, destroying Stanley’s beloved science project. Something inside of him had stopped him, so he threw the football at a passing car, causing some delightful brake squealing, if only for a brief, wonderful moment.

He would deal with Stanley in his own time; in his own way.

Right now he had a party to get ready for.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 1:20 am


Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Hoagland, IN, USA
The McGintys lived in one of the nicest houses in the entire neighborhood. Each morning, throngs of worshippers would throw themselves on the front lawn, praising the beautiful horticulture with everything they had, at least in Mr. McGinty’s avid imagination.

No one in the history of this little corner of suburbia had ever successfully crossed buttered scones with the Alabaster plant, and Mr. McGinty was no exception, but he did have the loveliest Tibetan Roses this side of Tai Pong. His dog could remember close to half of the symbols from the table of Periodic Elements, but nobody knew. This was not the only time that what they didn’t know didn’t hurt them.

“Mary Ellen, where are you going tonight?” asked a strangely nosey Ethel McGinty, holding a plate of steaming chocolate chip cookies.

“How do you get them to steam like that, mother?” asked Mary Sue, surprised her mother had gotten her name wrong.

“Never mind the damned cookies, just tell me where you’re going,” snapped Ethel McGinty, throwing the plate to the floor, and bursting into tears.

Mary Sue McGinty rushed out into the street with the force of a wayward barnacle, slamming into the flagpole, and chipping a tooth. She let out a stream of curse words that would frighten a left handed sailor on a good night, and then began to cry herself.

How lucky, then, for Dreadful Albert, to be walking by on the sidewalk at this exact moment.

“What’s the matter, Mary Sue?” he asked, genuinely concerned for the most beautiful woman God had ever created, although she was going to need some dental work.

“My mother is having a nervous breakdown, and it’s all my fault,” sobbed Mary Sue, her mighty bosom heaving just enough to send Dreadful Albert into a hypnotic trance.

“Must... save... Mary Sue’s mother...” his dazed mind echoed, as a million violins played “There’s No One Like You,” by the Scorpions. Dreadful Albert was certain that was the most romantic song ever composed.

Without thinking, which wasn’t unusual for Dreadful Albert, he ran into the house, where he found a dazed Mrs. McGinty sitting on the floor, chattering to nobody; something about the quality of brooms.

Dreadful Albert massaged the soles of Mrs. McGinty’s feet, and told her stories about magic deer, and Mary Sue could see the feeling of calm wash over her strung out mother. Mr. McGinty had been watching from the doorway, and Dreadful Albert motioned for him to come and take over, which he did.

“Thank you, Albert,” said Mary Sue graciously, as they stood outside the house a moment later, “my mother’s been going through some rough times lately. She’s been pretty shakey ever since the wasp attack, I guess.”

Dreadful Albert couldn’t think of anyone else who just called him “Albert.” He had to marry this woman if his life was ever going to amount to anything.

“Are you going to the party tonight?” he asked her, just a little nervously.

“Why yes; are you?”

“Umm, yeah, I was thinking about it,” he answered, missing his chance to ask her to go with him.

“Well, I’ll see you there,” she said, smiling.

Dreadful Albert knew his exit cue when he heard it, and he heard it. There was nothing more for him to say, and as he walked off into the last dying rays of the late afternoon sun, he could hear Mary Sue’s little brother Bobby yelling, “that boy is on the phone again.”

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 7:55 pm


Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Hoagland, IN, USA
“That boy is on the phone... that boy is on the phone... that boy is on the phone...” Bobby’s young voice rattled around inside of Dreadful Albert’s head as he walked dejectedly away from the McGinty’s house, and out into the vacuous horrors of suburbia that stretched endlessly in all directions.

What boy? Was he speaking of Mark Bowens, the perfect boy? Dreadful Albert was counting on Bowens being out of the picture. Without even knowing what possessed him, he found himself walking towards Third and Maple, and up the sidewalk of a grey, split level with brown shutters, garnished by a generous helping of Kuwati Bushes.

“How’ve you been, Albert?” gushed Mrs. Bowens, who Dreadful Albert was certain hated him passionately, as she smiled from the front door, stepping dreamily out onto the porch, like a Calico Cat.

Dreadful Albert took a moment to read some of the more perturbing nightmares skating merrily across her brow, laughing at the notion the she believed herself anything less than transparent.

“What’s funny?” asked Mrs. Bowens, who wondered what this horrible boy wanted with her more than perfect son.

“You know what’s funny?” asked Dreadful Albert, as his smile turned into a leer.

“No, what?” asked a perplexed and bored Mrs. Bowens.

“Me neither,” said Dreadful Albert, “is Mark home?”

“Aha!” thought Mrs. Bowens carefully, “now we’ll get to the bottom of this!”

They wouldn’t, though, as Dreadful Albert himself didn’t even know what he was doing here.

“Dre..., ah, Al?” said Mark Bowens, poking his head around the corner from out of the kitchen.

It was Mark and his surly jock friends who had saddled Dreadful Albert with his dreadful nickname back in the third grade, and it had stuck like a bedsore to a diseased politician ever since.

Mark looked very upset, and it occurred to Dreadful Albert that he had, most likely, been crying.

“What a wonderful day in the world, when a guy like Mark Bowens is crying,” Dreadful Albert thought to himself quietly, “it’s like I’ve won the lottery, or something.”

Dreadful Albert didn’t know it, but in his pocket, there was a slightly wadded up lottery ticket that was exactly one number off from the prizewinning ticket cashed in exactly 17 seconds later in a small convenience store in Harloton, bringing one Debra Fischer $3,145,297.83 after taxes. He would never find out, nor would anyone else.

“What can I do for you, Al?” asked Mark, convincingly.

“I didn’t come here so you could do something for me,” said Dreadful Albert, smiling just a little too much, “why don’t you grab a football, and meet me out back?”

Mark was puzzled. Dreadful Albert had the football skills of a North Asian Sea Urchin, and almost always got hurt. Why would he want to play catch with the school’s star quarterback?

“Go deep,” said Dreadful Albert, lobbing the ball towards the chain link fence Mark crashed painfully into, in his attempt to stop the ball from smashing through his neighbor’s window. The ball thudded harmlessly off the flowerbox below, only rattling some daffodils.

Mark opened the gate, and retrieved the ball.

“She’s seeing someone else, you know,” lamented Mark, as he threw a high one, that Dreadful Albert had little chance of getting under.

“Who?” asked Dreadful Albert in mock innocence, tripping over a lawn chair, and banging his head into a concrete birdbath.

“Oooh, that had to hurt,” sympathized Mark, his face feeling a bit better.

“I don’t know who he is,” said Mark, sitting down on the ground next to Dreadful Albert, “I only know that he ‘says things’ to her, ‘things I couldn’t possibly understand,’ and that she doesn’t want to see me anymore.”

Dreadful Albert was reeling. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go at all. He’d seen a chance, and now the door was closing, and he hadn’t even been smart enough to stick his foot in there.

“Do you know what I think?” Dreadful Albert asked a forlorn Mark.

“No, what?” asked Mark, hopefully.

“I think you’re screwed, bud,” said Dreadful Albert, patting Mark on the shoulder as he got up, and strode off, into the gathering twilight.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 8:30 pm


Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Hoagland, IN, USA
The sidewalk was rich and porous in the burgeoning twilight. At first, Dreadful Albert had trouble getting a handle on just what was going by in a blur, as vitamin deficiencies kept his eyes from focusing. He would’ve been far better off if he hadn’t always eaten Ho Ho’s for lunch, instead purchasing the nutritionally balanced garbage ladled out by the bluehairs at the school.

A band-aid. Gum. A big rock, which Dreadful Albert had kicked on the way over here, only losing interest when he’d found a really cool rusty beer can. Now, he would kick the rock all the way to his destination, and nothing could stop him. Dreadful Albert was not at all amazed to have happened upon the same rock again. It was a good rock, and made a very satisfying scattering sound as it clicked and bounced its way along.

Dreadful Albert had discarded the beer can in the Bowens’ swimming pool, once he realized it was only a Grain Belt, which he already had, and in far better condition. Mark’s brother, Dave, would be blamed. Mark was never blamed.

Dreadful Albert didn’t care, though, and he rambled his way along the street with the precision of a stapled Loon, which you almost never find these days.

“Careful,” shouted Winey, or Alfred P. Wineburger, III, as Dreadful Albert called him, as the rock bounced under a bridge.

“Give me back my rock,” said Dreadful Albert, disgusted by Winey’s foul odor, and bad teeth. He couldn’t see the bad teeth, of course, but he knew they were there.

“What are you doing down here?” complained Winey, “it’s almost dark.”

“It is dark, Wino,” said Dreadful Albert scornfully, “now give me back my rock.”

“I don’t have your rock,” said Winey, who didn’t, “and I don’t know where it’s gotten to, but it bounced off my left cheek on it’s way there.”

“Geez, that’s too bad,” chuckled Dreadful Albert, “guess you won’t make the fashion show, after all.”

“You’re a funny kid,” said Winey, “I’ll save you a spot down here, for when you get kicked out of school.”

“I’ll give you a kick,” replied Dreadful Albert menacingly, reminding Winey who was sitting and who was standing with his threat.

“You know, you really make me feel a lot better about one of my biggest regrets,” said Winey, standing, and brushing himself off a bit.

“Oh yeah?” leered Dreadful Albert, “and what would that be?”

“That I never had any kids,” said Winey, carefully moving out of Dreadful Albert’s immediate reach.

Winey’s name wasn’t really Winey, of course, any more than it was Alfred P. Wineburger, III. It was just one of those regular old names that somehow finds itself sliding off into obscurity, like the Mongo Poala, which was one of the stupidest dances Winey could remember, which wasn’t saying much.

“I’d beat you to death right here,” said Dreadful Albert thoughtfully, “but I’d mess up my clothes, and I’ve got a party to go to.”

“Who would invite a despicable little varmint like you to a party?” asked Winey in complete disbelief, “what, is the Marquis de Sade in the neighborhood today?”

“Shut up, you stinking drunk,” said Dreadful Albert, far more hurt by Winey’s taunts than he’d even admit to his therapist, many years from now, “nobody cares what a worthless loser like you has to say.”

Dreadful Albert stormed on down the street, forgetting about the rock, and forgeting about the stupid alcoholic vagrant under the bridge. He could think of nothing else but seeing Mary Sue McGinty in the cool moonlight of a late, late summer night.

After a time, Dreadful Albert heard voices. He didn’t know what they were saying, but they were floating like ghosts over the field behind Baker’s Swamp. Like ghosts, they swirled around in giddy excitement, and then dissipated into the darkened sky in a mist.

Obviously, people were already here. Dreadful Albert made his way through the storm culvert, and out onto a wide path that led to the field.

Once he got to the field itself, he saw what he’d been dreaming of all his life.

Mary Sue McGinty, her hair floating just enough on the evening’s breeze; just enough to make her more than a flesh and blood woman; a legend; a love goddess.

Dreadful Albert would’ve adopted Winey as a brother, and fed him homemade biscuits and gravy night and day if he thought it would give him a chance with Mary Sue, and for this one, brief shining moment, she was all his.

He and she stood suspended in time; reaching out over the great abyss of broken dreams like the bride and groom of hope for all the human race; as every man woman and child on the planet Earth would sing of love and perfect harmony.

Dreadful Albert stood staring at her, and neither moved for sixteen weeks, as the seasons passed, and the world went on, but he and she were wrapped in the winds of luxury together with one single, sidelong glance.

And then sixteen weeks become 1/16th of a second, which is the amount of time that had actually passed in the real world, and the unkempt boy who had given Dreadful Albert the finger at Preissgood, earlier that day, kissed Mary Sue on the lips, and to Dreadful Albert’s shock, surprise, hatred, awe, contempt, disappointment and dismay, she wrapped both her arms around him, and kissed back.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 9:25 pm


Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Hoagland, IN, USA
Dreadful Albert walked briskly over to the scruffy boy, and cut his head of with a large curved sword, like the Arabs used. The scruffy boy’s head rolled a ways, and then stopped face down in a puddle, where mud mixed with blood, making little swirls.

No, he didn’t. He thought he did, or he kind of thought he did; well, actually he was just sort of daydreaming for a moment, and he really hadn’t done anything at all. He was just standing there, slack-jawed, watching an ugly beatnik kiss the most beautiful woman in the entire world.

Dreadful Albert felt as though he were about to cry, and that made him very very angry. He wheeled about, and started to walk back down the path he had just come from, but he stopped.

Instead, he walked over towards where many people were milling about, laughing, drinking, and pretending to be having fun. He decided he would do the same, and laughed a little too hard at a story Scott Lowell was telling, prompting panicky looks from the little group he had gathered.

Dreadful Albert decided to continue drifting, making his way from clicque to clicque, until he saw one lone boy leaning nervously against a tree.

“Stanley?” Dreadful Albert couldn’t easily contain his excitement, “wow, you actually made it!”

“Yes,” Stanley replied, trying his hardest to turn invisible, “this sure is a great party!”

“Look, there’s a stage,” said Dreadful Albert, “there’s gonna be some rock and roll!”

Dreadful Albert was always excited to hear rock and roll. Maybe they’d play some Crickets. Dreadful Albert liked the Crickets.

“Let’s get a beer,” Dreadful Albert said, suddenly the polite host he’d never been.

“I’m with you, buddy,” said Stanley, surprised he’d just called Dreadful Albert “buddy.”

The two walked callously towards the large tub of ice where Eddie Ferarro was pouring foam into plastic cups.

“Hey Stinkweed, we need to get another keg,” he hollered at Norm Stinakowski, who was slow dancing with an unknown fat blonde, to the tinny blare of an AM radio playing “Earth Angel.”

“Man, I’m already lit,” said Norm, “take my keys. You go.”

“I ain’t goin’ nowhere,” said Eddie, contemptously.

“I’ll go,” said Dreadful Albert.

“I’m gonna need to see your license,” leered Eddie.

“Here you go,” smiled Dreadful Albert.

“Hey, is this a fake?” snarled Eddie.

“What do you care?” asked Dreadful Albert, who must have had a point, as Eddie told Norm to give him the keys, which he put in Dreadful Albert’s hand.

“How you gonna get a keg, kid?” Eddie asked, scrutinizing Dreadful Albert and Stanley dubiously.

“I’ll get one, that’s all,” said Dreadful Albert, with a certain contrived nonchalance.

“I’ll get one, that’s all,” mocked Eddie, in a girlish voice, “be back in half an hour, or we’re callin’ the cops, and reporting the car stolen.”

“Get in,” Dreadful Albert said to Stanley, indicating the ‘58 Chevy they had walked toward, as if in a dream.

It was all a petrified Stanley could do to get inside the car, and close the door.

“What are we going to do?” asked Stanley, once he had stopped hyperventilating for a few seconds.

“We got a ride,” asnwered Dreadful Albert, “let’s have some fun.”

“Those guys will call the police!” said Stanley, in his most panicky voice.

“No they won’t,” said Dreadful Albert calmly, “they’re having a keg party in a field. Not only do they not have a phone; they’re drinking illegally.”

“Oh.” That seemed to calm Stanley just a bit.

“Let’s go get your telescope,” suggested Dreadful Albert.

“Wha -what for?” panicked Stanley again.

“We can look at the stars, and the planets! It’ll be cool!”

“I’ve been working on my project for months!” snorted Stanley, “and besides, you can’t look at stars with it!”

“Not that telescope,” growled Dreadful Albert, “what, do you think I’m stupid?”

Then he laughed.

“No, I suppose you DO think I’m stupid,” he smiled at Stanley, “I’m talking about your NuScience 500 reflector telescope.”

Stanley was a bit taken aback.

“So you know the difference between a telescope and a microscope?” he asked meekly.

“Who doesn’t?” replied Dreadful Albert, “one’s for looking at stars, and one’s for looking at mikes.”

The look of utter confusion on Stanley’s face was priceless.

“I’m just kidding,” said Dreadful Albert, “that was a joke.”

“Oh,” laughed Stanley nervously, and then he paused for a moment and added, “but it wasn’t really very funny.”

“No, I guess it wasn’t,” agreed Dreadful Albert for the time being.

Dreadful Albert pulled the Chevy into the driveway of a medium sized blue house, with shutters, and a gas lamp.

“Where’s this?” asked Stanley, as Dreadful Albert shut the engine off.

“Don’t worry about it,” answered Dreadful Albert, and for no reason he could understand, Stanley followed him around to the back, where the door led into the basement.

Once inside, he saw a musty brown room, with sports trophies, a bunch of stuff with a tarp over it, and a metal box with a tap sticking out the top.

“It’s a kegmeister,” said Dreadful Albert with pride, “do you think it will do?”

“Is it full?” asked Stanley, surprised.

“I think it is,” answered Dreadful Albert.

“But how do you know?” Stanley asked, very nervously.

“I just know, that’s all,” said Dreadful Albert, “help me get it into the trunk.”

The two loaded it into the trunk without incident, careful not to break the tapper.

“OK, let’s go get the telescope, and get back to that party,” said Dreadful Albert, as the backed out of the driveway, and headed off down the street.

“How did you know that door was going to be open, and that there was a kegmonster inside?” asked an almost delerious Stanley.

“It’s a kegMEISTER,” said Dreadful Albert, “and it was easy.”

“It was my house.”

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 9:32 pm


Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Hoagland, IN, USA
“It’s about time you girls got back with my car,” leered Norm Stinakowski, his breath clearing up several of Stanley’s pimples.

“What were you drinking, paint thinner?” Dreadful Albert laughed, having the time of his life, at least for the moment.

“You got the keg, or what?” scolded Eddie, sorry he’d allowed these two pukes to ruin the evening.

“I’d look in the trunk, if I were you,” said Dreadful Albert, “c’mon Stanley, let’s go.”

“Hey don’t leave yet,” said Harold Pedunkis, as the two walked towards the row of trees at the edge of the field, “the music’s about to start.”

“Music?” said Dreadful Albert, “where’s the band? I only see one guy.”

“Good evening everybody,” said the scruffy boy, from the stage, “I’d like to take just a moment to reflect on those out there who are dying for the cause.”

The partygoers grew quiet.

“How about YOU?” he shouted, and without having the first clue what exactly the cause was, the entire place went berserk.

Dreadful Albert liked that, but he didn’t like the scruffy boy. He was dirty, and he was a fake, and he was uncouth, and he used bad language in front of ladies, and he most likely was a communist, and he probably didn’t even use soap at all, and he was mean, and he was rotten, and he was horrible, and worst of all, worse than anything else at all, he had done something Dreadful Albert would never forgive him for, and that was kissing Mary Sue McGinty, and Mary Sue McGinty kissing back only a few days after she had broken up with that stellar jock, Mark Bowens, and Dreadful Albert had seen yet another window of opportunity slam shut like the sliding glass door on the Filbert’s patio after Dreadful Albert had made their son Clarence eat dog poo.

A voice in his head was telling him that no one with the word “Dreadful” in their name had much chance at all of hooking up with a hottie like Mary Sue, but this was many years before the WWF found the commercial success of its later grossness.

In the meantime, our hero had found himself standing transfixed before a hated boy with a guitar, whose only sense of poetic or philosophical purpose appeared to be the wanton destruction of Dreadful Albert’s life dreams, and who was now warbling strange cries on a pleading harmonica, and summing up the general mood of the crowd in an occasional well planted, slightly off key universal truth.

He was winning them over with his easy charm, and strangely ambiguous lyrics, which always seemed to indicate someone needed freedom from something, but you just couldn’t put your finger on who, or where. Many of the party’s patrons had left any such speculation to the rank amateurs and oddsmakers one found under the seventh street bridge on Tuesday mornings, but not Susy Von Daggel, who now understood her mistake in mixing with this unbelievably common element in a common town.

She tried, in a convincing manner, to measure the exact distance in both English and Metric standards how far these people were beneath her, but had simply never been comfortable with numbers that large.

“There’s no drums,” complained Dreadful Albert, “and you can hardly even hear that guitar.”

No one was listening.

“Where are his amps?”

The horrible boy had introduced himself once again as Avery Freeman, which Dreadful Albert strongly believed to be a stage name, and he would have been surprised to know that Freeman’s parents had a strange sense of humor, and had named him Avery Wonsa Freeman and laughed themselves silly, which is why you shouldn’t get drunk on wine right after having a baby.

“I don’t get what these songs are about,” whispered Stanley, in the wavering air, “who exactly is being oppressed?”

“It’s you and me, man,” said Steve Belzner, “it’s about all of us coming together, you know?”

Stanley was afraid; very afraid. He suddenly though of the NuScience 500 reflector telescope, that he had made 983.2 times more powerful, and could easily use to see Uranus that he had been clutching under his arm all this time, and realized just how uncomfortable all these people made him.

“Can we get outta here?” he asked Dreadful Albert, quite sure he was leaving either way.

“Hey guys!” greeted Eddie, “can you get us another keg?”

“Yeah, that’s what we came to do,” said Dreadful Albert, slapping the obviously drunk Eddie so hard on the back he almost fell over.

“What’s wrong with Stinkupthehouseski?” laughed Dreadful Albert, as Norm Stinakowski sat hunched over, puking into a big cowboy hat.

“Hey don’t make funna my friend Norm,” slurred Eddie effortlessly, “hezha good man.”

“I’m sure you’ll be very happy together,” sympathized Dreadful Albert, as he and Stanley got back into Norm’s ‘58 Chevy, and coolly drove away.

“Now where are we gonna get another keg?” asked Stanley, pessimistic as always.

“We’re not,” said Dreadful Albert.

Stanley decided right then and there not to ask any more questions about such things. Instead, he decided to pursue another line of questioning that had been puzzling him.

“What was that guy singing about?” asked Stanley, perturbed.

“Nothing,” said Dreadful Albert, “nothing at all.”

“He sounded like he was singing about something,” replied Stanley.

“OK, well, if he was, then what was it?” asked Dreadful Albert.

“That’s what I asked you,” observed Stanley, “and you said ‘Nothing.’”

“It was nothing that sounded like something,” explained Dreadful Albert, pleased to be explaining something to Stanley for once.

“See, there’s a whole lot of people listening to folksingers these days, and some of them probably are singing about something, which is cool, although I prefer rock and roll, but this guy, he isn’t singing about anything, because he doesn’t believe in anything, because he’s got nothing.”

“Nothing except Mary Sue McGinty,” taunted Stanley.

“You shut your mouth right now,” Dreadful Albert threatened, “he doesn’t ‘have’ her at all. She just thinks he’s the next Bob Dillenger or something, and she’s acting all star struck.”

“Bob Dylan,” corrected Stanley, who’d read a story in the Village Voice about it. His uncle had sent it to him, but not for the Dylan article. There was a story about a New York taxidermist who had raised the dead, and forced them to perform slave labor for him, perfecting a miniature aqueduct system that ran under the quite impossible process of perpetual motion. If Stanley’s uncle could prove it, he would be the richest man in the world, not to mention quite popular with the ladies.

That was the last time anybody had heard from Stanley’s uncle, and it was presumed he was either dead, or had gone so completely insane that he was most likely working as a clerk at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Dreadful Albert turned from the road into another field, and up onto a high hill.

“This looks like a good spot to set up that telescope,” he said. Stanley was impressed. They were far from the lights of the city, and the sky was as clear as diamonds.

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