The Ornery Old Fart: A Short Story

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What if wishes were not the beginning of dreams?

Thanks to Sam, Tina, Xzavier, Kairi, and Kiana for being good grandkids. Thanks to my brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews for allowing me to stay crazy. Thanks to Grandma for giving Grandpa the time to lose his mind and putting her special touches on the process. And a special thank you to everybody who said that I belong in a nut house, and didn’t turn me in!
Thank you to the meticulous copyeditor Lucia Zimmitti of
No less of a thank you to the gifted cover artist Duncan Long of

Grandpa aka Uncle Tom aka Oldman
And of course, the Ornery Old Fart

P.S. A special thanks to Miller Lite®
In early childhood, a psychotic
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She heard “pants on fire,” and Katy snickering at Ruth’s mess.

The Teacher sat Ruth down to get her words to take hold. Ruth glared in defiance and gave a shoulder so cold.
“Ruth,” the Teacher said long and slow. She was hoping lies were something which Ruth would outgrow.

“Wasn’t me,” Ruth said with a practiced stare. She shifted into her defensive stance of “don’t care.”

So for the zillionth time . . .
The Teacher told Ruth that little lies grow.
Lies must be fed or the lie will show.
Little fibs take on a life of their own.
So don’t tell them and give fibs a home.

The Teacher knew her words were not sinking in. Truth needed a little help to win. To prove her point, the Teacher gave Ruth an old canvas sack. The sack was a home for Ruth’s lies, to carry on Ruth’s back.
Ruth went to recess and ignored all of her classmates’ teasing. She told them that she hadn’t gotten in trouble, and it felt quite pleasing.

“Aaah,” came from inside the sack.
Ruth took the sack from her back.
She looked at the monster inside.
The monster was a big ugly lie that called itself
“Ruth’s Pride.”

“Feed me or you will be eaten,” the lie said to Ruth’s
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To him hypertension was the norm.
Bewares and dares were got through, and all so old-hat that they were worn to the scorn.

Clair lipped off to the Teacher, and by the lip he was dragged.
To the corner with a screecher that even made his ears sag.

The Teacher left the room to go outside. She had to cuss, and that was something she had to hide. The Teacher wanted to spit and had only the classroom floor. So once she was outside, she flung one for a new top score!
It wasn’t that the Teacher didn’t love children. She was at the end of her rope and imagining their little necks in the proverbial noose. So she let off some steam, all the way to her caboose!

Naqi took advantage of the situation in a payback of long overdue duration. She crept up behind Clair and poked him in the derriere. When Clair turned in anger, he didn’t see Naqi hiding behind the mirror. “Glare this!” Naqi said with her lips making the sound of a not-so-sweet kiss.

Clair squinted in a glare unrelented and out of the side of his eyes he saw his insides and realized his turmoil was from within and oozing out.
His lungs were sagging and he couldn’t shout; he was melting into a blend and the world melted with
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