the raise

sir juancho heard a knock on his door.

come in, he called out.

the door opened & in came a young girl o’ 8 with his curly black hair. i hope i not late for this meeting, she said.

you are right on time, madame.

madame juancho stepped in, closing the door ’hind her, & then took a seat & sat down, smoothing out the creases in her baby-blue train pajama pants.

you understand why i requested this meeting, ¿correct?, said the young girl.

while looking thru his papers, sir juancho said, i believe it had something to do with the dinner options we offer here.

madame juancho nodded. yes. now, i understand that removing all vegetables & giving me nothing but oreos is off the table. i understand that we have a certain minimum nutritional quota we must make. but i would like to request that we replace the green beans with spinach & replace the broccoli with brussel sprouts & lean a bit mo’ toward carrots. for the former 2, i would still be receiving the same amount o’ dark & light greens & i think a bit more orange would actually improve my nutrition with better variety. ¿did you see the chart i emailed you regarding the nutritional benefits o’ carrots?.

sir juancho lifted a paper. i did see it. i agree that these changes should have no negative affect on your nutrition & we will look into carrying out these requested changes. we of course do not want dinners to feel burdensome & understand the reality that a mo’ pleasurable dinner than is has good nutritional value is better than the most nutritional dinner that is intolerable to eat. ¿do you have any further questions?.

madame juancho hesitated before finally saying, i was wondering if i could get a 3% raise on my time & get my bedtime extended from 10 pm to 10:30.

sir juancho began rubbing his chin.

madame juancho hurried to add, i think we found in last quarter’s performance review that my grades were above average & you did tell me to bring up the subject later.

sir juancho nodded. yes, i agree. ok, i think i can agree to a trial extension & see how it affects productivity. ¿does this all sound good?.

it sounds great. ¡thank you!.

madame juancho stood & shook sir juancho’s hand & wished him a good evening.


childhood, management, dinner

nationwide sale

Image by J. J. W. Mezun. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

it’s finally here: the blue nation system collector’s edition, a series o’ beautiful countries spanning 1 million km, rich with sharp mountain ranges that become snowy in the winter & are perfect for skiing, lush forests, & fresh rivers full o’ the tastiest fish in the world. ¿looking for a serene vacation spot for the summer? the beaches o’ southern jyalla are the perfect place to sleep or swim.

& you can have this all for only 1 trillion ₧.

but you’ll have to order soon, as this is a limited-time offer: there are only 20 in the blue nation system, & once they’re taken, there won’t be any mo’, ¡so order now! ¡just call 1-800-679-1485 — that’s 1-800-679-1485 — & have your own nation to call your own!


series, nation, system

writ by winners

while the fools slashed sword gainst shield & showered themselves in arrows like people trying to drain the sea with teacups, pepca pekko slunk ’long the curtains after the machine that would drain the sea in a second: while the whole kingdom was distracted with their war, they had left the most important weapon o’ the kingdom vulnerable to the only one wise ’nough to seek it.

& so empty was the chamber deep ’neath the castle where there sat the great tome ’pon which all history had been inked, & ’pon which pepca would now leave her imprint, canonizing her as the next in the bloodline & the 1 ’hind all the public works that the people loved so much. while the neice & nephew swung their swords manually, pepca was now generating a whole army o’ soliders who would swing her sword for her.


history, control, perception

sermon @ the mart

1as the teacher led the student thru the aisle, they said, you have heard it said, ‘a bag o’ pythagoritas for a bag o’ pythagoritas & a jar o’ almond butter for a jar o’ almond butter’; 2but i say to you, do not resist the one who offers you discounts. if one offers to fill a cheek with a free sample, turn to them the other cheek. 3& if you buy a carton of oat milk, get 1 free.

4when the teacher went up to checkout counter, they said to the clerk, truly i tell you, this very day, before we leave this store, your computer will deny my credit card 3 times.

5& the clerk said to the teacher, no, i tell you, sir, that this computer works fine.

6but when the clerk tried to swipe the card, it was denied, & when he tried it ’gain, it was denied ’gain, & when he tried it a 3rd time, it was denied a 3rd time. only on the 4th try did the credit card go thru; 7& the clerk was so amazed by the wonder that the teacher had performed before him that he offered a 15%-off coupon for their next trip.


cheek, shopping, student


lucjan þórketill had trouble describing his condition & why it made it impossible for him to attend his friend’s funeral without causing a worse stir than would occur from his absence. ¿how could he explain, specially when the specific science ’hind it went o’er his own head, how his heart’s beats needed to feed his body with its needed oxygen was powered thru a weird mutation in his nerves by his smile, so that he had to constantly smile to keep from fainting. he didn’t have to smile all the time, but had to smile a certain amount within e’ery hour — too short a time to go thru a whole funeral procession without smiling & causing discomfort for those who had nothing for which to smile.


heart, percentage, expression

the alarm booped

the alarm booped & the students all strapped on their goggles, opening access to the w axis o’ the universe. without leaving their desks in the x, y, & z axis they were able to shift along the stations that held different instruments they would need to use to fulfill their chemistry project, such as the transelementor, or “alchemer”, which could pierce individual atoms &, by spinning a dial, change its elemental composition.

before long the alarm booped ’gain & the students dropped their goggles & scattered out into the hall, all pressing the confirm button that would wipe out the messes they had left all along the stations.


perspective, classroom, property

¿who’s your goduncle?

with his microphone cord slithering round him jack announced to the audience, <welcome e’eryone to “¿who’s your goduncle?”. we have here 3 contestants> — jack pointed to a row o’ men, all in similar modest black suits & wearing indifferent scowls, sitting in steel folding chairs — <who will compete in various activities & afterward our judges will decide who shall be the goduncle. ¡i hope you’re all excited!>.

jack was met with an explosion o’ applause that matched the energy o’ the flashing orange & purple lights all ’long the slanted styrofoam arrows that hung all o’er the set.

& then the lights suddenly went out with the sound o’ sharp gasps.

o no, looks like we have some technical — .

jack was interrupted by blasts o’ gunfire. then, suddenly, the lights turned back on to reveal 2 o’ the contestants splayed ’cross the chesscolored floor, running with red blood, while the 3rd contestant sat back with his legs & arms crossed, scowling up @ the crowds.


goal, uncle, variety

in the depths o’ lost losers

Image by Kev from Pixabay

& so 1 million centuries did konrad rajendra dwell in the depths o’ lost losers, those who could not achieve ’nough to make it to the next round o’ existence. here was a cavern where the only sensations left to its prisoners was the smell o’ ash, the taste o’ plain bitterness on one’s always-thirsting tongue, the sight o’ eternal dimness, the sound o’ droning, & the feeling o’ strained numbness. one could not e’en bring oneself to tears, the relentlessly-dripping stalactites seeming to have monopolized this emotion.

despite knowing that he was not the only one to be sent here, no matter where he wandered thru the murk that seemed to stretch as far as the universe, he saw, heard, & smelled no one else & felt an invisible force — or perhaps ’twas a lack o’ force — keep him from shouting out or making any noise @ all, which was ironic, as he still recalled acridly that ’twas a force he also knew nothing o’ that possessed him to accede to a crime he did not commit. that was the force that had sent him here.


loss, category, length

free admittance

but li’l did agatha jamison know that as she was cooking up her truth serum, her mortal enemy contrived to sabotage it: while she was waiting for the vial to boil, sitting in her living room watching a speedrun o’ tennis, her mortal enemy snuck into the kitchen from the back door & replaced her serum with a serum that would possess its consumer into admitting to any crime incited by it. then her mortal enemy snuck out & peered in thru the window & watched as agatha entered to check on the serum. the blank smile on her face as she stared @ its bubbling bright liquid proved that she didn’t suspect a thing.


entertainment, mixture, assignment

morsel o’ truth

agatha jamison had an inkling who was ’hind the destruction o’ the ladders that had held up their economy & had dried up the rivers that fed the world’s trade & knew just how to test her theory.

she watched for her suspect to visit his usual grocery store & disguised herself as a worker handing out free samples o’ goat cheese, her files showing that her suspect found goat cheese irresistible; & indeed, when he heard her call out, ¡free goat cheese!, & saw her white cubes with toothpicks in them, he hurried his cart o’er & took 1 with a bright, ¡thank you!.

then, as her suspect was leaving the store, she stopped him & asked, o, before you go, ¿can i ask you a question? i’ll offer you mo’ goat cheese.

he looked back @ her with surprise, but said cheerfully, sure thing, madame.

¿do you know who knocked down the ladders that held up our economy?.

without delay, the suspect said with a serene smile, why, i did, before widening his eyes & slapping his hands o’er his mouth as if it were a possessed demon — which to him now it might as well be. but ’twas too late: before he was aware o’ what was happening, he felt cuffs snap o’er his wrists & saw that who he thought was a store attendant turn into an executor o’ law.


sample, truth, maintenance