Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Old Home Week -- Part One -- A "Theme Thursday" HALLOWEEN Post

"I see dead people," said Mark.

One really couldn't blame Jack for laughing at the cliché. He was still laughing when Mark continued, "I'm serious! The other night, I got a little visit from the ghost of a whiny, depressed guy in his mid-forties named Marty."


"Or Matty. Something like that."

"It musta been a dream. Maybe somethin' you ate?"

"Stop being a jackass."

"It's Jack Mac, not Jack Ass."

"Why do I bother?" muttered Mark, walking away.

"Hey," Jack called after him, "How's the training coming?"

Mark stopped, and turned around. "Fine. I have to admit, you were right about my so-called 'talents' branching out with the proper..."

"Ta-daaaaa!" trumpeted a female voice. Jack and Mark both looked toward the doorway of Jack's study/library -- a room filled mostly with collectible comic books and magazines -- and saw Jack's daughter Shari, proudly displaying the home-made Halloween costume her daughter, Sierra, was wearing.

"Good Lord, honey, that's gruesome!" Jack said, enthusiastically... and approvingly.

"What is she?" asked Mark.

Jack shook his head disdainfully as Shari replied, "She's a zombie."

"She... She looks like a corpse!" said Mark.

Jack laughed. "No kidding. Zombies are dead, dummy!"

"Oh," said Mark. More dead people, he thought, making a mental note to revive the subject of his unnerving ghost sighting with Jack as soon as it was remotely convenient. Dealing with the matter at hand -- Sierra's costume -- Mark tried to conceal the fact that he thought the outfit was too macabre for a little girl who'd just turned three on October 20th. "Why is there fake blood all around her mouth... and on her chin... and on her dress?"

"Cuz zobbies eat peoples!" shouted Sierra gleefully.

"Okay, okay. Let's go trick-or-treating, baby!" Beaming with pride, Shari led her daughter away from the study.

"Speaking of costumes," said Jack, after closing the door, "Isn't it time you got into yours?"

"You didn't expect me to put it on here, did you? In front of your family?"

"Sure, why not? It's Halloween, ain't it?"

"Even so..."

"Look," Jack interrupted, "I gotta drive you to see Howard -- and his cameraman -- as soon as you're ready. So get ready. You sure as heck won't get to change once we're on the move."

Reluctantly, Mark nodded, carrying a large paper bag with him as he exited the study and headed toward Jack's bathroom.

* * * * *

Two towns away, local TV commentator and features reporter Howard Enz waits for his colleague-of-sorts, Karen Magarian, to arrive with the mobile TV crew from her own station, based about an hour's drive away in Boston, Massachusetts. Howard's wondering whether he should have given up his agreed-upon "exclusive," even for a friend.

* * * * *

In a far-away state, an inmate in a psychiatric hospital ambles toward the Community Room, never suspecting that the TV program he's about to view will literally change his life.

* * * * *

On the western coast of California, one day earlier, two Jews are in a bar... (And that's not the beginning of an ethnic joke!)

* * * * *

Finally, on Halloween, in yet another bar, much closer to Jack Mac and his friend Mark, a pair of casual acquaintances with the unlikely names of "Don" and "Phil" are watching a syndicated sitcom on a wide-screen TV... although both are wishing they didn't have to put up with the drunk in the far corner of the bar, playing the damned piano...

* * * * *

To Be Continued... This little teaser intro -- incredibly brief by my standards -- is the beginning of the first multi-part story I've done in quite a while. And if you've been reading this blog for a considerable length of time, most of the above characters will be more than familiar as this story progresses.

(To learn more about Jack Mac and Mark Arthur, click here, fellow babies!)

Thanks for your time.


  1. Can't wait for the story to unfold. I've missed your sequential stories.

  2. So have I, Ronda. ;-)

    Seriously, I can't wait until everybody starts figuring out what's happening in the big picture here.

  3. nice you have scattered the curiousity in some really random lines there SF. cant wait to see how you pull them together.

  4. OH Crap! Nice attempt to encourage readership. It works!Time's short! Good job there's a weekend on the way

  5. Ah that is great!Can't wait to read the rest!Still got to read "My Island" too!
    Nice one,I've been missing your little stories!

  6. Nice teaser! You cut me off just when I was getting interested. How clever of you!

  7. Okay, I'm totally hooked and waiting for more. So glad my show's closing this weekend so I'll have more time to read it.

  8. Great story...can't wait to read the rest. Happy Thursday!

  9. Horray for the multi-part story. It will keep me comiing back for more. (not that I need any encouragement,lol).

    Happy TT

  10. This is so much fun, and with all the hooks, I'll be back too!

  11. Well....I am disappointed...that was only a tiny little smidge of a teaser...will look forward to the next installment.

  12. @Jill: Sorry for the brevity, honestly. I usually post much longer segments, but didn't want to waste the time of anyone who came here for Theme Thursday alone and might have felt I was trying to manipulate them into reading a multi-parter.

    @everyone else: Thanks for your encouraging comments, and I can't wait to see the reactions as my regular readers realize what I'm doing here.

    (Too bad Skip won't be along for the ride... *sigh*)

  13. David,
    A few paragraphs down in the story, one of your characters says "zoobie." Did you mean "zombie?" Just being picky...cousin saul

  14. You are a tease. I am ready for more my friend. Will there be pumpkin seeds in it?

  15. Cousin Saul: Not "zoobie," "zobbie." ;-) She's three years old. Tough word for her.

    (Heck, at least I didn't have her speaking phony Superbaby baby talk like "Me am going trick-or-treating," which no real kid ever said.)

  16. Since today was admittedly just a teaser, y'all, in Part Two things will start happening and... Coming together?

    Hint: All roads lead to Massachusetts, figuratively speaking.

  17. The teaser teased me alright! Now i want the rest :)

    Happy Halloween

  18. Can't wait for the next chapter :)

  19. A very engaging tale! I'm curious where it will lead...

  20. Hey...I hate these cliffhangers! More, please! LOL!

  21. little teaser ... incredibly brief....abbreviated little teasers in different direction that are incredibly brief. Intriguing start. Looking forward to the string. -Jayne

  22. Ok I was want more! Holloween is here. Happy zombie day! I can't believe my word verifcation was lagrave.

  23. Ooh. I can tell this is going to be a great ride and I LOVE the cliffhangers. Of course, I now get to charge right on to Part Two. So it was just a brief dangle over the cliff for me. Here I go! Up, up, and away!!!!

  24. I'll meet y'all -- I hope -- in Part Two, posted earlier today. Be there or be square, fellow babies!


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