Category Archives: Original Stories

Happy Memorial Day

Norwich’s largest Civil War memorial can be found on the Chelsea Parade of the “Millionaires’ Triangle.”

Here in the United States it is Memorial Day. For many, it is the unofficial start of summer and a day off work and school to gather with family and friends for picnics and barbecues. The true intent of the day is to reflect on the lives lost defending the United States in times of war.

This is my first Memorial Day in Norwich, Connecticut, my new home. We are one of the oldest cities in the country dating back to 1659…founded 39 years after the Pilgrims landed just up the coast in Plymouth, Massachusetts. My walks are steeped in history. Native Americans and English settlers fought wars here against each other and against other tribes. This city was active in the American Revolution. The Sons of Liberty met at a tavern that still stands to discuss strategy and foment revolution. America’s great general and even greater traitor Benedict Arnold was born here. And, yes, George Washington once slept here.

The men of Norwich have been represented in all of our wars. The city’s greatest tributes go to the men of Norwich who fought in the American Civil War. Norwich was as Yankee as they come. Norwich began the process of outlawing slavery before America was a country in 1774. The city was a critical hub on the Underground Railroad. The city was surprisingly unified in abolitionism, and Abraham Lincoln even spoke here during his first presidential campaign. City Hall still has the banner from his visit preserved for all to see. There are at least three Civil War memorials in the city, commemorating the lives of Norwich men who served and/or died so that others could be free and the nation reunited.

Here lies a Union soldier who died a prisoner of war at the horrifying prison camp in Andersonville, Ga.

Our cemetery is the most poignant memorial, as you can visit the actual graves of some of those men who were transported home after their final battle and lain to rest. The most powerful tombstones are those of the 9 soldiers brought back from mass graves dug at Andersonville, Georgia. If you are not familiar with Andersonville, it was the prototype of a concentration camp 80 years before World War II. Run by a German immigrant for the Confederacy, tens of thousands of Union prisoners of war were trapped in a confined prison yard with no sanitation, barely any drinking water and even less food. Photos of the men who survived were walking skeletons, skin stretched tightly over their bones.

About 15 soldiers from Norwich were known to have died at Andersonville. Norwich sent a man to retrieve all of their bodies the minute the war officially ended. He discovered 10 and was able to return 9 to our graveyard. The 9 are in a circle surrounding a flag pole and parrot gun (rifled cannon used in the Civil War). Surrounding them are dozens, if not hundreds of Civil War veterans who lived through the war and chose to be buried with their comrades who perished decades earlier.

Given Norwich’s abolitionist history, it can be little doubted these soldiers were mostly intent on freeing the slaves. Perhaps some even wanted black Americans to have the same rights and equal standing as white Americans. It was not an uncommon idea among 19th century abolitionists. Others might have fought to restore the union and deal a blow to the “states’ rights” argument that didn’t start gaining a lot of traction until after many southern states had already seceded from the Union under a pro-slavery banner.

The Civil War ended 157 years ago, and, yet, issues of equality have not been resolved and “states’ rights” sentiments have grown strong–along with voter suppression efforts–in the past 22 years.

As I reflect on this Memorial Day about those who gave their life for this country, I especially wonder what the ghosts of Norwich’s Civil War veterans would have to say about our modern society that is actively roiling in the issues they might have thought they resolved with their sacrifices so long ago.

Pen World: Defining Vintage Part 2

The sequel to my story in Pen World Magazine is now on news stands. Click each photo to read each page of the story. We have permission to reprint it here from Pen World editor Nicky Pessaroff. Be sure to subscribe to Pen World to read this and many other great stories about pens.

Click the image to better read the story.

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Pen World: Defining Vintage Part 1

Just what is it that makes a pen vintage? Many people are asking that question these days. As time advances, are the old definitions of “vintage” and “modern” really holding up? My article in Pen World Magazine is the first of a two part series. In Part 1, I put the question to 4 legendary experts who helped to build the pen collecting hobby into what it is today. In part 2, I will put the same questions to a new generation of collectors and users. Yet, for now, here is Part 1, reprinted here with permission from Nicky Pessaroff, editor of Pen World Magazine.

To better read each page, click the individual images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decameron 2020: The Headsman

EDITOR’S NOTE: I wrote this story in 1995, at the age of 19, for my creative writing class in college. At the time, the term ‘fan fiction’ hadn’t been coined. And, you couldn’t turn on the TV or go to the movies without a serial killer somewhere in the story. I’ve been downsizing my life a lot lately, as I settle into a new house with my fiancée. Yet, when I found this old story, it made me laugh, and I thought you might get a kick out of it, too. I’ve always been a little off kilter.

This moonrise over the Rhode Island shoreline has nothing to do with this story, but it is a pretty photo.

Ted’s muscular six-two frame hovered over an unconscious, naked brunette who was lying on a floor covered in newspapers. After taking a minute to appreciate the shine on his new hacksaw blade, he knelt down beside the woman’s neck.

Leveling the blade on the center of her throat, he began to cut, squirting blood into his graying hair. As he hit her spinal chord, his mother walked into the room—interrupting his insidious laughter.

“Theodore J. Greelak!” she yelled. “What in tarnation do you think you are doing?!”

Ted looked dumbfounded at her with his puppy-dog brown eyes.

“How many times do I have to tell you? No decapitating women in the living room! Hell! I bet you’ve only got one or two layers of newspapers to soak up the blood, too.”

“But, Ma, I thought it would be enough. Besides, I’m thirty-nine years old. Don’t you think I know what I’m doing by now?”

“Don’t, ‘But, Ma,’ me. Who’s going to clean up that wall with all that spattered blood?!”

“I’ll clean it up like always, Mothhhhher,” Ted hissed, trying to keep his temper.

The pudgy, short woman in her sixties just stood there in her fuzzy pink bathrobe, with her white-gray hair up in soup-can curlers, looking very indignantly at her son.

“Okay, okay,” Ted relented. “I’m sorry, Ma. I won’t behead anymore women in the living room. But won’t this one make a great addition to our collection of heads in the ‘fridge? You know, right next to the pickle jar.”

“Apology accepted,” she said, and then with tears of pride, “Oh, Teddy, you make your mother so proud. If only your father could be here to see this. Bless his soul. Yes, she’d be perfect next to the pickle jar.”

Ted smiled. He always wished his father, The Zodiac Killer, could have seen his great accomplishments before he died. He hoped his father was watching from wherever he was.

“This time, don’t hide the body so close to your work,” Ted’s mother advised. “The cops might be suspecting you. In fact, I think I heard on TV that they had a new suspect in ‘The Headsman’ case.”

“Okay, Ma. I’ll start watching my back a little more closely.”

•••

Sunset at Uncas Falls is pretty, but it also has nothing to do with this story. Just wanted to share some photographic art with you.

Ted lit up another Marlboro and took a swig from his beer. As he looked up at his friend Ron, he asked, “Do you ever have doubts about the integrity of what we’re doin’?”

“What do ya mean?” his younger friend inquired.

“Well, I mean, in all of your years of strangling, disemboweling and necrophilia, do you ever stop to wonder why? Why bother?”

“Naww, man. This is the ’80s, and we’re alpha predators at the top of the food chain. This is the life,” Ron declared. “You know what your problem is? You never have sex with the women you behead. That’s half the fun of it.”

“Yuck, man, they’re dead,” Ted stated in disgust before asking, “What’s it like, anyhow?”

“Haven’t had any complaints,” Ron dryly quipped.

They had a long, hard laugh, and Ted ordered another round.

Ted then turned somber. “Ya know, I’m thinkin’ of turning in the ol’ hacksaw and movin’ on.”

Ron looked at his friend with concern. “You’re serious, aren’t you? You really think you could give it up?”

“It’s just losing its spark. I mean, picking up a woman at a bar, clubbing her unconscious, ripping off her clothes and cutting off her head just doesn’t do it for me any more,” admitted the disgruntled serial killer.

“Yeah, but, you’ve held this town under a 20-year reign of terror. EVERYONE fears ‘THE HEADSMAN.’ No one can utter your name without somebody shuddering. You can give all that up, just like that?” Ron snapped his fingers to emphasize his point.

Downing half his beer, Ted tried explaining the situation further, “It’s like this, Ron. I’m about to turn forty, still live at home, have a go-nowhere job at the train station and have killed 125 women with no positive recognition. No dinner at the mayor’s. No parades in my honor. No accolades. The only respect I get is from the killer community. Hell. I’m not even the FBI’s most wanted.”

“I hear ya, but what about the integrity of your art form?” Ron lamented. “No one can saw off a human head the way you can.”

With a determined look on his slowly aging face, The Headsman knocked off the rest of his beer and made a decision. “That’s it. Tomorrow, I’m packing my trusty hacksaw in mothballs, quitting my job and moving tooooo…Baltimore.

“You are my best and only friend in this town, Ron, and I will miss you a lot, but this is something that I just have to explore.”

“Okay, but why on earth would you want to go to Baltimore?” Ron asked, with a befuddled look on this face.

“I’ve been pondering this one, myself,” Ted settled into a story. “I’m beginning to believe that fate sometimes just steps in and takes your hand. You see, this whole retirement from killing has been playing on my mind for quite some time, and then Mary-Kate, my last victim, helped me decide.”

“Why,” Ron asked. “Was it before she realized you’d kill her?”

“Oh no. She was already dead when she helped me,” Ted explained. “I was picking up her headless body, about to carry it into the bathroom to let her drain into the tub, when I noticed a peculiar ring of blood around a job listing for a sales job in Baltimore.

“Since I studied sales and marketing in college, I gave them a call. After a couple interviews over the phone, they gave me the job!”

“Congrats,” Ron offered. “But I wish you would stay. Death, murder and mayhem in this town won’t be the same anymore without you.”

“I’m sorry,” Ted said. “A serial killer has got to do what a serial killer has got to do. In my case, that is to grow up.”

ONE YEAR LATER AT A POWER LUNCH WITH HIS BOSS

The site of the former Mohegan Campgrounds on the Yantic River. This, too, has nothing to do with the story.

“You know, Ted, it looks as though you are going to be the salesman of the month for the third time in a row,” congratulated Ted’s boss, a polished young man in an expensive suit. “You’re a real cut above the rest, Mr. Greelak. You have a killer instinct that I have never encountered in our other salesmen. We are considering making you a junior partner, if you keep up this good work.”

“Thank you, Mr. Morrison,” Ted said, a little awestruck. “That would be very generous of you and the company. I would appreciate that very much.”

“Just keep it up, and you will have earned it,” Mr. Morrison explained. “May I ask you personal question?”

“Sure.”

“Why did such a cut-throat salesman, such as yourself, wait so long to get into this business?” Mr. Morrison asked, taking a sip of his scotch. “If you had started fifteen years ago, at your rate, you would be running the company by now.”

“You really think so?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Although I am ashamed to admit it,” Ted confessed, “I was sort of obsessed with women.”

His boss gave him a knowing smile and leaned back in his chair. With admiration in his voice he said, “Ahhh. A sales shark and a lady killer.”

“I guess you could say that,” Ted smiled before changing the conversation. “I’m also a little embarrassed to ask, but, does our insurance cover any psychological assistance?”

“Yes, why? Is everything all right?”

“Oh, its nothing really,” Ted half lied. “It is just that I’ve met this really special girl, and I am concerned  about juggling the stress of an important career and a relationship.”

“No problem,” Mr. Morrison said with a devilish grin. “I will see to it personally that you get the best psychiatrist in town. Can’t let my best salesman get avalanched with stress. I’ll have the number on your desk by morning.”

“Thank you, sir.”

ONE WEEK LATER

“Ya know, Doc,” Ted explained while lying on a psychiatrist’s couch. “For a while there, I thought I had it licked.”

“Please tell me more about it,” instructed the doctor in his late 50s.

“Let’s see. I guess I didn’t start killing for about seven months. I was and still am rising through the corporate ranks, in spite of my late start and cross-country move. Then one day it just happened.”

“Go on,” encouraged the doctor. “What, ‘just happened’?”

“I met this fox of a woman named Joanne in a bar,” Ted relived the moment of attraction. “She had thick red hair in one of those chic short haircuts and brilliant blue eyes. Her lips were bright red contrasting perfectly against her pale white skin. I would have killed for her.”

“And you did.”

“Yes,” Ted enthused. “I started telling her I was a serial killer and about my deranged obsessions like it was a strange pick-up line. She fell for it. Pretty soon I got her back to my place and began a new head collection in my fridge. She’s still there in my most honored greens and vegetables drawer.”

“But don’t you think you are regressing back to the way your life was when you were originally killing?” the doctor asked.

“No, no. It’s different now,” Ted elaborated. “Then I felt as though I had to continue my father’s legacy. Now I’m at one with myself. I’m living on my own and am becoming an important business man. I’ve established my own person. My murdering is now for my own personal pleasure.”

“You’re a very fascinating man, Theodore,” the psychiatrist acknowledged. “I would be interested in getting to know you more personally. Why don’t join me this Friday night for dinner? We would be having liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

“Yummm. Dr. Lecter, that sounds delicious. I’d love to join you.”

The End?

Decameron 2020: Mr. Hobbs Revisited (Finalé)

Preston, Connecticut, is home to several abandoned asylums for the mentally deranged. They make Arkham look like a pleasure zone. This story has nothing to do with asylums but it is an awesome photo for Halloween.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, this shall be Art Cerf’s last “Decameron 2020” story. Perhaps he will come up with some more great stories for us in the future. For now, he’s hoping to take a break. Better known to me as Dad, it is wonderful to write with and entertain with him on this blog. Thanks, Dad, for all of the wonderful fun.

Mr. Hobbs Revisited (Finalé)
By Art Cerf

We end this series of stories by flashing back to the very first, the tale of Mr. Hobbs. In that one, he was a ghost in real life and a ghost when life was over.  It seems Mr. Hobbs needs a bit of an update.

He lost his father when he was four and so became very close to his mother. Throughout his life, he had no love affairs, not even a girlfriend. But don’t blame Mom. She was always encouraging him to meet new people, find friends, date a girl. But Hobbs was an introvert and very shy and he felt he needed no one but his mother.

Looking back upon his life, he remembered one young woman in particular.  Her name was Sarah Montgomery and she was a teller at his bank when he was a young man. She wasn’t fat or thin, tall or short, not a beauty but not ugly either…just an ordinary-looking lady.  Except for her eyes…how they sparkled with interest about everything around her, including Hobbs.

Sometimes, they’d lunch out back together and she would prattle on about anything and everything and he would answer “Yes” or “No” or offered a three-to-four word reply.

How she loved swing music…Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and the like, even if their moment had been 30 years earlier.

Anyway, she would have been more than willing to go out with Hobbs but he never could muster the courage to ask her. And within a year, she moved onto another job.

Decades passed, and then one day he ran into her at the grocery. Her hair now was grey but her eyes still sparkled with enthusiasm. She recognized him immediately and they spoke for several moments as the cashier’s line dwindled. No, she never married and the young man with her was her sister’s grandson.

Finally, they exchanged numbers and Hobbs never felt better…and never would.

That night he suffered a stroke and would be dead within a month. Sarah saw his obit in the paper and shed a genuine tear.

Decameron 2020: God of Carnage

Peanut

Scurrying into the town of Mouseville, a little grey traveler named Erasmus visited in hopes of seeking shelter from the rain.

Yet, on the streets Mouseville, between the basement and first floor of a century-old Sears Craftsman home, all was not well. Oh sure, there were the happy signs of chewed on wood debris and droppings everywhere, but the residents of Mouseville were in a nervous panic.

“What is wrong?” asked Erasmus, when he encountered a larger brown-and-white field mouse named Esther. “Why is everyone so upset.”

“It is the God of Carnage,” the trembling mouse replied. “He killed Aloysius early this morning.”

“Forgive me,” Erasmus said. “I just came to town. I have never heard of a God of Carnage before.”

“What?! How can that be?” asked Esther. “His savagery is epic. He is huge and vicious. He has large white fangs and razor-sharp claws. He is so terrifying that he doesn’t even camouflage. He wears a coat of tan fur, and his pale green eyes look right through you as he tears you to pieces.”

“Does this God of Carnage have a furry tail?” Erasmus asked.

“Yes,” replied Esther.

“Does your God of Carnage make an ear-shattering cry of death that sounds like this, ‘Meow’?” Erasmus asked.

“Yes,” Esther said. “You do know our God of Carnage.”

“I think it is just a cat,” Erasmus explained, confident his big city mouse experiences were more than these simple country mice were used to. “It is not a god, though they do think highly of themselves. Cats are just predators who happen to feed on mice and birds. They are pretty predictable, really.”

God of Carnage

“Mark my words, Stranger,” stated Atticus, who was a sleek black mouse that overheard their conversation. “The God of Carnage is no mere cat. He has never eaten a mouse. He is fed by his gargantuan servants, whom he himself has trained, something called Fancy Feast. It is a vile meat purée whose sickening stench alerts us to when he is near.”

“BUT,” nervously squeaked Wilhelmina, “Once he has consumed the Fancy Feast, he is sleepy and less apt to torment us.”

“Guys,” Erasmus laughed. “I’m even more convinced now that this is just a cat and not a god at all. They are pretty common. Trust me, I’ve encountered many in my travels.”

“Would a cat hold you down by the tail and slowly stick his claws in you, just to listen to you squeal before you die?” asked Esther, trying to trip up Erasmus.

“Yes,” he replied.

“But then he wouldn’t eat you…just leave your corpse in the shoe of one of his servants who must have displeased him,” Esther probed further.

“Yep. That’s pretty catlike,” Erasmus said, rolling his eyes at their simplistic nature.

“Would a cat play catch with your limp body?” Wilhelmina asked. “Tossing you into the air with his mouth only to catch you and grind you with his teeth until you ceased to try escaping and withered away in his jaws, only to leave you on his servants’ bed to reprimand them?”

“Uh-huh,” Erasmus nonchalantly affirmed.

“What about drowning?” inquired Atticus. “Aloysius did nothing to disturb or offend the God of Carnage. He simply saw a sunflower seed on the floor and raced to get it and return to Mouseville to eat it. Yet, the God of Carnage pounced from thin air and captured Aloysius. As Aloysius begged for his life, the God of Carnage didn’t even bite him. He held Aloysius down in a bowl of water until he ceased to struggle and fight for air. Then he plopped poor bloated Aloysius into the bowl usually left for Fancy Feast and walked away.”

“That does sound unnecessarily cruel,” Erasmus said, “But, I wouldn’t put such behavior beyond a mortal cat.”

“Have you slain such a creature, as you call, a cat?” Atticus asked.

“Oh, God, no,” Erasmus said, losing his patience with these country mice. “They are too big and deadly. I just try to steer clear of them. Haven’t you simpletons ever been taught to practice S.L.R.?”

“We have not heard of your magic,” answered Wilhelmina. “All we can do is pray to the great God of Carnage not to sacrifice us for his amusement.”

“Sniff. Look. Run,” Erasmus explained. “It isn’t magic. I’ll show you. Is that sunflower seed still out there?”

“No, Stranger,” Esther said. “Do not throw away your life. Do not tempt the Great God of Carnage.”

“Look,” Erasmus said. “Cats aren’t that bright. Let me show you how it is done.”

The mice led Erasmus to the hole under the oven in the kitchen. “There lie the bowls of this morning’s tragedy,” said one of the mice.

Erasmus crawled to the edge of the stove’s protection. “First you sniff the air for any sign of cat. Then you look to the left and the right for any sign of cats. When it is all clear, you run as fast as you can.”

Erasmus scurried quickly for the seed he saw on the floor.

Then…BAM!

He felt the weight of the cat flatten him to the floor.

Recovering from his leap off the counters, which his owners would have been angry about if they knew he was on the counters, the cat briefly let the mouse go.

Yet, Erasmus was too stunned to move. The other mice under the stove shrieked and began praying fervently for Erasmus’ release.

The cat held the recovering mouse with one of his back paws, as he used a front paw to lick and groom himself. He didn’t want to appear slovenly for his new playmate.

“Would you like to play with me?” the wheat-colored mini panther asked.

“Play?” Erasmus questioned.

“I’m bored,” the God of Carnage said. “My humans go to this thing called ‘work’ and leave me with nothing to do.”

“I thought you were the merciless great God of Carnage,” Erasmus said, then looked to the other mice as if to say, “Ya see, I told you so.”

“My name is Peanut. What is your’s?”

Erasmus began laughing as he’d never laughed before. It was a deep, uncontrolled laughter.

“What is so funny, new playmate?” the cat asked.

“P. P. Pea-nut!” The little mouse couldn’t stop laughing. “Ya-ya you are.”

The mouse laughed some more.

“Why am I so funny?” Peanut asked, perturbed by this mouse’s laughter.

“Don’t you know what a peanut is, you idiot,” the haughty mouse kept laughing. “It is a diminutive little legume that people eat at baseball games.”

More gales of mouse laughter.

“Why, you nincompoop!” Erasmus kept laughing. “You’re no God of Carnage. You’re a peanut.”

With that, Peanut bit off the impudent little mouse’s head and tossed it toward the cowering rodents under the stove.

The mice began to pray, “Oh, Great God of Carnage, be merciful!”

“That’s better,” Peanut said, strutting toward the sunny couch in the next room. “I’m going to take a nap. Try not to disturb me, or you’ll suffer a worse fate.”

Once Peanut had left the room, Esther said, “Is it just me, or do you think that Erasmus character talked way too much.”

“I thought he’d never shut-up,” Wilhelmina agreed.

“Good riddance,” Esther said. “Two newcomers in one day ought to keep Peanut satisfied for some time. I’m tired of this Kabuki theater. We’ve got some real work to do without him meddling.”

Decameron 2020: Bad Blood

Bad Blood
by Art Cerf

Spring Peepers have nothing to do with this story, but we just like this photo.

Stories about him have been around as long as people have told stories…the undead, Nosferstu, Dracula. Perhaps the origin of the name came from Vlad Dracul…Vlad the Impaler, a man with so much blood on his hands that the Devil himself was impressed and offered Vlad life everlasting…but only by night and only to feast on human blood.

Dracula came to the United States after the Second World War, a refugee from Romania. And things went well in this land of milk and…uh, blood. Until 2020.

In late March of that year, he fed on another human only the blood tasted bad…like spoiled milk. And as the months proceeded, he tasted more and more of these poisoned vessels. He never cared about the news so he knew nothing of the pandemic. And when he finally learned of the plague, people were starting to get their vaccine shots.  And when he happened to bite on the them, it was even worse, rancid butter, rotting fish.

As the days went on, he became weaker and weaker, so few people either without Covid or without the vaccine.

In fear of starvation, he decided he must leave the States and even Western Europe where vaccinations also were ramping up.

Finally, he decided he’d go to a third-world country, poor and overpopulated with plenty to feed on. He narrowed his choice down to either Brazil or India.

 

Decameron 2020: Invasion

Invasion
by Art Cerf

Emerging from a fog, the New London Lighthouse symbolizes all of our emergence from the fog of pandemic.

The troops were nervous but well prepared…insertion at 0900 hours.

Intel had warned the enemy might already be in the area, so they must be prepared to fight from the instant they land.

However, the insertion went well, giving the troops time to examine the entire area, set up defensive positions and locate good ambush sites. They’d need to since they were told there would be no more troops coming for three weeks so they had to hold no matter what!

*************

“Now that wasn’t so bad,” said the nurse as she withdrew the needle from the injection area and placed a bandage on his arm.

“No, not so bad at all,” said the recipient. “See you in three weeks.”

Decameron 2020: Cheating Fate

Cheating Fate
by Art Cerf

Fate travels on the wind and a whim.

Birds are returning for Spring, and we thought you might like this Chickadee, even though it has nothing to do with this story.

It gives a New Jersey auto mechanic tens of millions of dollars in the lottery and a block away, it gives a child cancer.

It favors neither the young nor the old, the rich nor the poor, the red nor the blue, men nor women.

Suzanne LeBouff favors just one thing…Suzanne LeBouff.  She’s a beautiful young heiress with enough money to live in luxury ten times over. She travels the world, buying the best of everything–jewelry, clothing, men or women.

The average person can cheat Fate maybe once or twice in a lifetime. Suzanne LeBouff has cheated it 157 times and counting. If she’s in Istanbul, Fate follows but by the time it arrives, she’s off to the Costa del Sol in sunny Spain. From there, just before Fate’s arrival, she’s in Skagway, Alaska.

For Fate, it’s an irritant, like pebble in your shoe.  It followed her to Patagonia but missed  her by a few hours. The pebble grew in pain like a kidney stone.  Then it was onto Cape Town, Singapore and Perth. By now, Fate was ignoring its job and focused solely on finding Suzanne LeBouff, albeit with a migraine-sized headache.

But finally, it uncovered a tip that its quarry would next appear in Wuhan, China.  So Fate raced there for a final confrontation with Ms. LeBuoff. But after searching the city, she never showed up, apparently changing her plans.

Anger, frustration and pure hatred bubbled over in Fate and there was a toxic, though silent, explosion. And thus was Covid-19 born.

Morale:  Don’t let your anger stay pent up. And, wear a mask!

Our Latest Story in ‘Pen World’

I wrote a story featured in the February 2021 issue of Pen World Magazine. We have been given permission to reprint it here.

Check out the February 2021 issue of ‘Pen World’ Magazine! They loved our blog post about Parker’s Vice President of Foreign Sales Frank Matthay and asked us to write a more pen-centric story about Frank and Parker! Editor in Chief Nicky Pessaroff has given me permission to reprint and post the magazine cover and story here for your entertainment. It is different than the original blog post, and I hope you enjoy this new story. Also be sure to run out and subscribe “Pen World.”

 

Pen World Magazine has given us permission to reprint this story I wrote for the February 2021 issue. Click the image to see a larger, more readable, version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 2 of the story. Click the image to see a larger, more readable, version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 3. Click the image for a larger, more readable, version.