A. L. Meade
Tomorrow is my tenth anniversary with my girlfriend, Sara. We meet at the same spot every year on November 1st, even when it’s biting cold outside- which it usually is. I first saw Sara at the lake when I walked over there for my lunch break. It never occurred to me how shy I really was until she approached me and asked to share my picnic table. I stumbled over my words, cursing myself inside, but she laughed at me, she called me cute. The way she looked and smiled at me- I knew we were going to be together forever. We fell in love immediately. Love at first sight. We share a love that people ask me about to this day.
It had been seven years since Steven went fishing. He didn't really know why he hadn't gone in so long, he just hadn't. It struck him one day as he was cleaning out his garage and found his old fishing pole swaddled in cobwebs. He cleaned it off, admiring it, and that's when he realized it's been seven years. His house wasn't very far from Lake Profonde, he often walked out there in the mornings to sit near the shore and watch the birds. It was always so quiet and serene out there. The arthritis in his knees was getting worse as he got older but the walks seemed to help. Steven always enjoyed fishing so he decided this weekend he would rent a canoe, buy a big can of worms and head out on to the Profonde. He had never been on Lake Profonde, always enjoying it from land, he was looking forward to this. Steven wished his wife, Elaine, was still here to go with him. She died almost seven years ago to the day. Seven years.
Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! He’s the ghost with the most, babe. It’s Teddy! Teddy here is dressed as the one and only Beetlejuice, and this was halloween circa 2018. Let me set the scene for you, it was a beautiful day and I had just gotten off work on a Friday at 2pm. I picked up my daughter from school and we quickly ran home to pack the car up, Teddy joining us in the car last, riding shotgun. Teddy doesn’t mind car rides so he usually just sits there like a good boy in the passenger seat. So we are hitting the road. We’re driving through town, we have almost three hours to go to get to my dads house and suddenly, out of no where it seemed, there’s lights flashing behind me. I pulled over and the policeman walks to my window. Teddy is going absolutely ballistic. He is furiously barking at the police man, he’s snarling his teeth, he’s growling and I’m embarrassed and trying to push him as far into the passenger door as I can get him to go. The officer is asking me if I know why he pulls me over and I apologize because I really didn’t know. He explains that I had accelerated too quickly leaving town and I’m still apologizing as Teddy is trying to literally try anything he can to get to this cop outside my window and rip his face off (figuratively, of course). I’m kind of laughing and trying to apologize and trying to explain that no, my dog isn’t really this mean, he’s just really protective and he’s actually really nice, I swear. My daughter Coda asked to have her window down to say hello to the policeman and so I put the window down and he says hello to her and asks Coda if he should give me a ticket. To which she replies, “Yes!” I am now even more red faced and my arms are exhausted from trying to hold back my 41 pound Australian Shepherd in the passenger seat acting like a 100 pound Doberman trained in the K9 police academy. The officer at this point is laughing too and let’s me off with a warning and we finally hit the road for the Halloween party. There are so many treasured memories I have of that Halloween. And I always love that my dog acts like a giant crazy, malicious, psycho because he is just protecting me and my family. If there are proper introductions all around he immediately stops barking and rolls over for tummy pets. Teddy is all bark and no bite. I was so happy to get to my dads house. What a day it has been already. I couldn’t wait to try Teddy’s outfit on him. I remember I had just gotten it in the mail the day before and hadn’t gotten a chance to try it on him yet. There is a matching Beetlejuice wig that went with this charming black and white striped suit, complete with the tie, but Teddy quite literally flipped his wig. Teddy is a very picky boy and will not let anything be on his head and I am honestly surprised I was able to get him to wear this suit for an hour or two even. But WHAT IS that? Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!! There were TWO of us! That’s right! Teddy and I had a matching couples costume! I was twinsies with my doggo. We were a hit at the party that year and everyone got such a kick out of Teddy and I matching. Everyone was even more surprised that my dad had let Teddy join us. I got more comments about that almost. The really scary part of this story and that particular Halloween was honestly my dad in the end. He is somewhat like a real life super villain because get this- He doesn’t like dogs- and he’s always made that very clear to me my whole life. This Halloween party in 2018 was almost more of a giant victory for me because he had agreed to let me bring my dog along as I didn’t have anyone to watch him that weekend. He told me he strictly had to be in his kennel but that very night when I had arrived at his house, just as I anticipated, I pulled out our matching costumes and told him we had an extra guest coming to the party. I tried very unsuccessfully a few different times to secure the wig to his knobby little Shepherd head but he was just absolutely not having it. The suit and tie combo went a little more smoothly because it’s easier to wrestle a dog and get him into a suit than to wrestle a dog and get a wig on him. You would swear that that dog had hands as fast as he got that wig off. I couldn’t even get one picture with Teddy in the wig. It was a super cute Beetlejuice wig too, it was grey and crazy and it would’ve been so fun but we managed without and everyone still knew who Teddy was supposed to be. The Halloween party of 2018 was a lot of fun. It took me atleast an hour to do my makeup and another hour almost to do my hair. Surprisingly when we were at my dads house he did kind of pet Teddy sometimes and he let him be out in the house out of his kennel. Maybe his heart isn’t that spooky after all. Teddy has not dressed for Halloween since that year sadly. Two years ago I got him a pair of bug wings to wear and he wrestled right out of those immediately. The Halloween where Teddy was Beetlejuice was the most memorable because I don’t think I’ll ever get my dog into another Halloween costume again!
There was a beat in my head. It was maybe a song, but at this point it was more of a hammering and I was starting to feel sick. I pulled my hair up into a pony tail and switched my desk lamp off. I sigh. A long, audible sound that makes the cat open her sleeping eyes and blink at me once, twice. She went back to sleep. I sat in my chair for a long time until I got up and went to the medicine cabinet.
The Kitten From the Sea
Long ago there was a kitten born on a boat. His eyes shone bright and blue like the sea on a sunny day. He has a curly white coat with an orange nose and an orange tail. This kitten had brothers and sisters and many feline friends to spend his days with if he chose, as the humans on the boat were not particularly pleasant. Each day the kitten climbed high into the sails, up to the skies and watched the boat journey on and on through the water. The kitten was not very fond of water he came to find, so being up high in the sails was his favorite spot to be. This kitten, who was later to be called Kimchee, became tired of the life at sea at a very early age. He just couldn’t get used to it. He was tired of hunting rats and mice to eat and never feeling completely satisfied if he could even catch one at all. He wasn’t that good at hunting. He was tired of raging sea storms that rocked the boat and sprayed cold, unforgiving sheets of water on to the decks. Kimchee often became seasick and lonely. He was thin and always very dirty. His brother and sister cats on the other hand, loved being on the boat. They had a sailers intuition just like the people down there did. They were gruff and tough and usually stayed below deck in the shadows. From the sails in the sunshine Kimchee watched the other cats as best he could. He watched the people, too. They all wore big heavy boots, striped shirts and had mean, tough voices. They were loud and wretched. One man had a hook for a hand, another wore an eyepatch and one time Kimchee even saw one of them force a man off of a plank. Yes- walked him straight off the plank with the tip of his big, shiny sword. Yes- this was a pirate ship. And a pirates’ life was NOT for Kimchee. The other cats loved the pirates and wanted to be just like them. They were independent and were one among the pirates. But Kimchee wanted the life of a house cat, which he had heard many tales of before late at night when he and his brothers and sisters were very little. He never forgot those stories of the house cat. He imagined himself a house cat. He dreamed of being a house cat. Eating as much food as he wanted at any time. Sleeping whenever and where ever he wanted. Getting his claws and whiskers trimmed gently because they were curly, as he is a high maintanence boy. Getting his hair combed out, for it was also curly and easily became course with snarls if neglected. Sisal scratching posts with high towers and beds on top of each post. Tiny little toy mice with little bells that smelled like cat nip. Even little toy tacos with fish inside. Fish tacos. Stuffed fish and not those that swam through the deep sea. And a seperate embellished, light blue plate for wet food only. And a different flavor everyday. A fat house cat life was the life for Kimchee. Oh, yes. But alas, that really is the life of Kimchee. He has never been out of the house except for occasional trips to the vet. He is a spoiled, rotten baby and everyone loves him. He really does eat as much food as he wants and sleeps anywhere and everywhere, usually on the nearest human chest he can find. Kimchee has always been an inside cat, he is a Selkirk Rex and he has the personality of a dog and a temper of an old and cranky man sometimes. He has one big tooth left in his mouth and a meow that sounds like a very quiet hawk. He is ten years old, and he is one good boy that perhaps dreams of pirates in his spare time, but probably, definitely, dreams of eating wet food instead.