Paragraph 1 -by Kathryn     1/1/01
  I watched her eat the muffin crumb by crumb.  Literally.
  Why? 
  To savor  each morsel.
   Why?
  To entertain herself.
  Why?
  To save the pain from a  cavity.
  Why?  To mystify me.  To drive me crazy.
  As I watched unassumingly out of the corner of my eye, all I could think was how successful she was.

  Paragraph 2 - by Gregg D.
         "So I need to move on"..."What?" I said. "You
  know, rediscover myself. Haven't you listened to a word I've said?" "Of  course". Of course I hadn't, I was more intrigued by this woman and her ritualistic dissection of  baked goods than my "soulmate" breaking off our two and a half year, make  that two and three quarter year relationship. This definitely was a sign.  "YOU need to move on?" I said. 

  Paragraph 3 -- by Kathryn  
    I wondered if perhaps she might choke on one of the crumbs.  I could only hope.  The incessant picking at each mushy blueberry had left her fingers discolored.  Perhaps the muffin was laced with strychnine.   She was losing blood flow to her fingertips.     Not very nice, I thought.  I am not having very nice thoughts.   Behind Allyson I focused on Barney, dancing
  with several midgets.  Or perhaps they were children.  I felt
  confused.   
  "I need to move on" she repeated.

   Paragraph 4 -- by Steve J.
  But where? thought Allyson.  Where to move on to?  She felt a wave of  revulsion well up inside of her as that damned purple dinosaur chortled out his insipid theme song.  The panic was inescapable,  the reflex  instantaneous.  A stew of semi-chewed muffin and frothy bile suddenly spilled  over the cafe table and onto her shoes. 
  She calmly used my sleeve to clean  her chin.  "I love you.      
  "You love me.   Yeah, right." 

  Paragraph 5 -- by Kathryn 
  Ludicrous! This is absolutely ludicrous! My head was
  spinning as I watched  Allyson laugh nervously.  Would the substance she just emitted stain the new shirt my mother bought me for Christmas?   Allyson laughed again.  She could  read my thoughts.
  She never did like my mother.  She did this on purpose!    "Why do you look  so paranoid?" she asked. 
  She knew me too well.

  Paragraph 6 -- by Pat
  "Paranoid?" I repeated. "More like practical, I think.
  Sometimes, I truly believe you see me as a bizarre sort of science project,   where you just do things to see what I'll do. Like the opposite of sensory deprivation." It's true; she really had a way of changing the rules midway  through a sentence, even. At first, the volatility was invigorating and even  exciting. I felt like we  were continually living on an  emotional edge, keenly in tune with some kind  of  bizarre higher vibration.
  But lately, it was more like an annoying  headache, on the edge of emotional migraine, that makes me as uneasy mentally  as I have ever felt in our two-plus-year careen over uncharted entanglement. "Move on," I said flatly, trying to strip even the slightest veneer of  feeling from the words.
  "Yeah, good idea." Then I smiled, knowing it would piss her off, for a moment at least.

  Paragraph 7  By Kathryn 
  The moment of the silent smile was short lived.
        I was keenly aware of exactly how to push her buttons.  My smile faded  as her eyes ripped into mine.  I watched her pupils dilate within the steel  blue of her eyes.  Her face seemed to distort as she pulled up close to me.   I watched her mouth move, a wild rant erupting --   emanating from every pore  of her body.  Her nostrils flared.  The hair on  the back of my neck stood at  attention.       As her tirade began an odd
  thing happened.  The speaker volume  miraculously increased to a decimal just  under that of a jet airliner.       The song lasted a  full 4.8 minutes.  I looked at my watch the moment  she had begun.  It was an  irritating habit I had developed throughout my  years with her.  I kept a  chronology to see exactly how much of my life could  be wasted as she attacked me.  How much time she ludicrously spend trying to  prove a point.         And here she stood a vision against a background of a very
  strange  children's song.
       I tried to read her lips.  The words were strangely disassociated.
  Time.  Versimitude.  Clothes Rack.  Chrysanthemum. 
  Two.  Zippy Freeze.
  Library.  Monopoly.  Ark.  Kentucky.  Love.  Kinetic. 
  Out. Hydrochlorides.    Donuts.

  Paragraph 8 by   Dorothea
    Finally, as abruptly as it had started, it was over. 
  I tried to burrow  into the concept, to wrap my being inside it.  It was over.  Over.  OVER!   She was gone--gone from the room, gone from my life. 
  Just like that, so  simply.
  What an unbelievable feeling!  Relief, then calm, then a joy like  nothing I've felt since she first made me so indescribably happy, what seemed  like an eon ago.  I knew from experience that kind of ecstasy could not last long;   I'd better ride this wave into something new before I started dwelling  on
  the inevitable sensations of anger at being dumped, or loss, or, worst of  all, loneliness.  I searched the room for my next victim; one was too thin,  one had three little monsters climbing all over her, and the one in the  corner seemed sweet, but I've never been attracted to that type.  Now I was being picky.  Who am I to be picky?  The one who was just dumped because I 
  didn't have the courage to dump her? 

  Paragraph 9 by Kathryn 
   As Allyson exited, the purple creature of the black lagoon crossed over to  her, swept her in his arms, kissed her and then
  carried her out the door. The koolaide and the shock were a bit too much for   me.   "Excuse me," I felt a gentle tap on my hip.   Then, a tiny voice: "You  are  standing on my donut."   "Excuse me?"  I thought the kid just said I  was  standing on her donut.  "Your donut?" "My SPOT!  So you're it!"
  Then, from behind her back, appeared the largest  super soaker that man has  ever created.  She doused me. "You're it -- you shit!"  she squealed, then reeled back and sneered at me;  I could have sworn her head spun on her shoulders.   Then she vanished like a  comet extinguished in the night sky.
  The girl-in-the-corner-who-was-not-my-type burst into a fit of laughter.
  My eyes locked with hers and she abruptly stopped with a snort.
  "Sorry.  But at least I have the courage to do what I  feel.  You have to admit, from my perspective that was pretty damn funny."
  Perspective? "First some woman attacks you for five minutes, then a big purple dinosaur carries her off as his bride, then a demon-child appears from  nowhere and showers you.  Frankly, I'm kind of afraid to stand next to you."
  "It wasn't five minutes." "Pardon me?" " 4 minutes, 8 seconds.  She yelled for 4 minutes, 8 seconds."

  Paragraph 10 by Rob B. 
  "The average song lasts three minutes and thirty-seven seconds.  She yelled at you longer than the average song." She said, sort of sarcastically. "If I  was uninterested enough in what she was saying to time her monotonous drivel, what makes you think I give a shit what comes out of your mouth."
  "Just an observation asshole," she shot at me as if to super soak me like the  kid with the gun. I then realized what I was saying and that it did  sound kind of obnoxious.   But at that moment nothing could penetrate my  shield of euphoria
  and  elation.  A giant, sweaty, smelly silverback had been removed from my backside and I could care less what
  anyone said to me or shot at me.  I  was ten feet tall and bulletproof. I was feeling like more of a man, more  than I had felt in a long time.  Allyson had taken the fight out of me and  suddenly I was getting my second wind.  A  thought
  came into my head at that  moment and I decided to act on it.  I walked out  the door, went to the  nearest bank, changed all the money I had to one dollar bills,  and proceeded  to the nearest strip club to find my manhood.

  Paragraph 11, by Kathryn 
   My pockets were stuffed.  2, 795 one dollar bills. 
  Crisp one dollar bills.   At first, the bank clerk had seemed slightly agitated at my request.   "This is a bank.  That is my money.  I want it in dollar bills, " 
  I felt  purposeful for the first time in years.
  Perhaps it was the lack of sleep.  Perhaps it was the full moon. I hesitated at the woman's name badge.   "Excuse me?" she looked  up at me as I gaped at her ample bosom marred only by  her name tag. 
  Allison. "Well, Allison with an I, you know, Allison with an I or a Y, or   whatever  vowel you want to use -- I don't have a lot of patience for women  who share  your name.  My ex-" She cut me short:  "Most people call me Alli,   the bank printed this up"  she  said counting out the stacks of bills. "Well,   maybe you are different.  Maybe, " after all, it was just a name tag.     I  flashed her the most dashing smile I could muster and noticed her cheeks  begin to glow. "I got a little errand to run, but maybe,"  I hesitated, but  only coyly.  "What time do you get off work?" It has been my experience that  pushiness gets you nowhere.  A bit of shyness  can be a good thing with some women. "Bank closes at 5."  Success. "How about I swing by and we go grab a bite -- " 

  Paragraph 12  by Rachel P.
  "No, I don't think so."  She grimaced.  "I hate to say  this but you smell  like puke and I don't date men who smell repulsive.  A  small quirk of mine."   She smiled and pushed the dollar bills in my direction.  "But, hey," she  added, "have a nice day."      I sighed and  quickly departed before even the bank security guard could  reject me.  I got outside and screamed at the Gods "How many times can one  guy get crushed and stomped on in one day."
       I shouldn't have asked that question.  Immediately I felt a long hard metal barrel pushing into my back.  That's it.  I can't
  take anymore today.   I swung around to face my attacker and......

  Paragraph 13  by Kathryn
     "Barney?"   My mouth had the faintest taste of blood.      The sky in front of me was a queer shade of blue and purple haze.  How  long had I been on my back?    "Jez, you scared me half to
  death.
" It was a joke man" The sun exploded  his face and I squinted into the aura. 
  A blur.    "Bob? Man, what are you doing?"    "I watched that overrated   blonde dis you man, then I followed you out.  I  was just joking-" he raised   his umbrella at me.   "Some joke.  Help me up"       "You must have hit your   head when you tripped over that banana peel.   Real graceful man. 
  What, you practicing for some Stooges movie or  something?"    I'd always been a fan of slapstick.  At this moment, my life was  resembling one big rim shot.
     "I'm real sorry.  Let me buy you a beer"

  Paragraph 14--by Brian P.  
  "Man that's a nasty bump on you head. Do you think we should get it looked  at?"  " Nah -- screw it -- lets get that drink.  I know a good spot and we  can get  rid of the two grand  I got from that bitch at the bank."  The two walk to Meow's strip club on 4th street.  " Let's sit close to the stage so I  can slip some of this cash in some  G-strings" About 20 minutes later and  some shots and beers, a big topped blonde came out  to dance, closer she came to the pair. By now the boy's were feeling no pain  and the day slipped by.  
  Bob look hard at the blonde and turned to his  friend and said. "Look it's  Allyson's sister Tanya."

  Paragraph 15 -- by Kathryn
  Oh my God. I knew Tanya had been moonlighting to get through Med school,   but this  was unbelievable!  My day was looking brighter all the time in the  darkness  of this club. For years I had been beating myself up and off over  this blonde.  If only she  had walked into my life that dark and dreary day. 
  She,  instead of her  sister -- and my life would have been so much different these past years.   Oh. My God.    This can't be happening.  Tanya, dancing for me!  Me! The stage lights must
  have blinded  her, because she didn't seem to recognize me.   I held my breath as she gyrated over to us, then bent  towards me placing her ample breasts demandingly within shot of my dollar  bills and throwing her arms over my shoulders. Suddenly, there we were.  Face to face. My throat clinched "Hi
  Tanya, how about we go out to dinner after your show."  Her eyes widened as they met with mine. I swore that I could hear bells.
Maybe it was  fireworks.
  Maybe it was the  cleavage.
  It seemed to be another blur that I'd been facing all day. "Meet me out back in 5," she whispered, her breath hot and moist in my ear.    "And dump that crazy sidekick." 

  Paragraph 16 by Lori L.F.
  With a whiff of her delicate perfume she was gone-just  like that;I looked  into the wings of the stage for;one more  glimpse-anything, but she was not  in sight. Was this a dream?  There was  something so surreal in all this.  Like a movie shot too dark or a dream  sequence that just doesn't make sense.
  First Allyson now Tonya.  What day this has been not
  like any other. I  turned to my sidekick. My mind churning how toget rid of him.  "So what do you say we call it a night?"  "Sounds good to me. See 'ya on the streets."  And with that he linked his arm around the adorable  redhead next to him and  led her into the corner for some serious conversation. I was now free for  the evening to focus on Tonya. I suddenly
  had the answer where to move on to.

  Paragraph 17 by Kathryn
  "I have a final tomorrow" Tonya said.
  "Huh?  The refrigerator unit bellowed loudly. The key? D flat minor.  Tonya's  luscious lips were moving, but all sound was drowned out "Let's go back to my  place". I wasn't quite sure what she had said.  Something about food, I   think.  "Sure," I was glad for the suggestion. "I haven't eaten all day."
  "Oh, a man who knows what he wants" she winked at me. "I like that" "I think Moe's is still open." she nestled in my arm as we travelled down  the alley.
  "Moe's? Did you say Moe's? Don't you want to go somewhere more private?" "It's late, probably just a bunch a drunken old guys there."
  "I should feel right at home." 

  Paragraph 18 by Lori Leigh
  "Little did I know that 'feeling right at home at Moe's'  had less to do with my  rapid  ingestion of brewskis and shots than it did
  with Tonya's choice of venues.   Moe's was not the burger 'n' booze dump on   the Oakland waterfront that  I  expected we'd visit, but instead, the  freakin' used bookstore on  Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley!   I should've known better.
  After all, Allyson had told me that Tonya was serious  about working her way through med school at UCSF.  Even if she had to do it  by pole-dancing for dollars in the East Bay, she was going to get her M.D.,   and then go for the specialization in psychiatry.   So instead of chowing down on some succulent rare charcoal broiled ground round, accompanied by a  frothing pilsner and a hot babe, I found myself cruising the stacks for gently used neuro-biology texts with an earnest medical student.  How stupid  could a guy be?"
  "I sense you are disappointed with the turn of the evening's events."
  "Uh, gee, not at all, Tonya.  I LOVE going from strip clubs to bookstores.  Especially when I'm slightly loaded.  And hungry.  And  hot for something NOT connected with the brain end of your body, if you know what I mean."
  "Displacing your sexual frustration and anger into  sarcasm is understandable, but unfair.  And I wish you would get my name
  right.  It is TANya, not TONya.  My parents were sympathetic to the  Symbionese Liberation Army, and gave me the same name that Patty Hearst chose for herself when she went radical in 1978.   I definitely do not share a  moniker with a tacky Olympic figure skater.  Get it right, or go away."
  "Fine with me, TANya!  Stay here with your clinical  neuor-biological bullsh?t.  I'm gonna go get some real food and a real
  woman!  And with that, I blew her and Moe's bookstore off, and plunged out into the velvet darkness of a sweltering Berkeley  night.  I had nothing to lose but my remaining dolllar bills."

  Paragraph  19   By Kathryn  
  Believe me, It didn't take long.
  It is amazing to think that a relatively productive  college educated employee can generate a dollar bill in 5 minutes.  A bum on  the street earns four quarters every half hour.
  It's ebb and flow . 
  I don't even remember the exact turn of events which set the course in action.  I believe in Fate.  I do.  I believe in the resonance of the universe.
  I am sure that is why I am still alive.

  Paragraph 20 by Kim B.
  Yet, the mortal man I am, I searched for sustainance.
  Were "Ho-Ho's" at the 7 11 the best I could do at 3  a.m.? Could it get any worse?
  It was Monday morning and I sat hungover in my cubicle.
  OK,yes. It could get worse.
  Was it so impossible for a fairly intelligent, fairly attractive man to find  a woman with brains and boobs? And then it happened. There she was. Fate! Yes  I'm sure it was! Her golden hair resting easily on her shoulder, her shirt open provacitively exposing the most beautiful indent below her collar bone.
  I drank in her skin, smooth like aged whiskey. Our eyes locked and she paused  as if to say something revolutionary. Fate! Yes fate!
  I was jolted from my mid-morning sex fantasy when I noticed the woman standing next to her. "Mom?...What are you doing here?!"
  "Oh, Honey, I was so worried when Allyson called and told me that you and she had decided to move on. I thought you could use a friend. This is Violet."
  Damn it, mom. I don't want a friend. I don't need a  friend. Especially a friend who the first thought I had about her was how to get into her pants.
  "You remember her Honey... your cousin from Toronto?"

  Paragraph  21  by Kathryn

  "Hey!  I need this out by noon."  Foxtrot barked, causing our trio to shift  focus as he strode into the room.
  "Doesn't look like you've got a hell of a lot--" he stopped short as he eyed my mother and Violet.  "Smythe -- what did you do to deserve a visit from  such fine looking ladies?  Did I miss your birthday, or what?"
  "Mom, you remember Mr. Foxtrot, my boss"
  "Your boss?"  My mother flashed him a set of pearly whites that can melt even  the iciest of hearts.
  "Your mother?"  Foxtrot laughed, and a faint glaze came across his eyes.  
  Cupid was out in force this morning, and Foxtrot was mortally wounded.  He wiped his brow and stammered.
  "I was thinking maybe we could take a break for lunch.  Mrs. Smythe, I would  be honored if you would join us."

  Paragraph 23 by Will S. 

  Time stood still.   "... join us for lunch"?  "Did he accidentally invite me  to go along?  Or was it carefully planned? --Get me out of the office long enough for Foxtrot's security team to go through my desk.  What if they found  the listening devices and the miniature cameras I had planted?  I shuddered  at the thought.  I had already been through too many interrogations to
  remember (not that I wanted to).  Milliseconds -- that's what it took for me  to calculate Foxtrot's intentions and formulate my plan.  Let them go to  lunch, I've got work to do.  I never should have left my Glok 9mm at home. 
  It always rains when you've forgotten your umbrella...

   Paragraph 24 by Kathryn 
  I should have felt the breeze of the hurricane as Foxtrot met my eye with a  steady gaze, then offered his arm to the women.  All Hell was about  to break  loose.
"You snooze, you lose".  The ladies laughed, my mother nuzzled against  him. "My son is so lucky to be working for such a funny man" she giggled in a  sickening schoolgirl way.   A bead of sweat  strolled down my forehead as I watched her fawn over Foxtrot. She giggled  again, pressing herself against him.
  I was witnessing the ritual of my mother's flirtation.   "Well, you said you  wanted that memo by noon.  Sorry, ma."
Afterall, my mother was an adult.  She reminded me of this quite often.
  As long as she didn't foxtrot Foxtrot, things would be fine.  After all, he  wouldn't be around for long. "I'll watch after them, don't worry" Violet  offered.    Yes, Violet the Virgin would be a wonderful chaperone.    My  mother kept me informed of the family gossip.   Violet was waiting for marriage.
  My mother, on the other hand, had already been married.  Several times. My  mother pulled Foxtrot towards the door and Violet threw a look over her  shoulder and waved at me.   As the trio of stooges passed the glowing exit  sign,  a woman leaned over my shoulder, into my ear.  Her breath warm:
  "Stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!  You-"

  Paragraph 25 by S. A. Mitchell 
  "You- You- Big stupid!".  What the hell?  As my eyes focused on the woman's  face six inches from mine, I realized it was Allyson.  She never was very  articulate.  "Big Stupid?  What are you talking about?" I asked as I wiped a   muffin crumb from her chin.  "You were supposed to come back for me after I
  dumped you.  Don't you know anything?"  Uh huh, like THAT was going to   happen.  She had that little pouty look she used when she was trying to get  her way. "Look, babe" I said, as I backed slowly away, "I've moved on.  I've  met other Allison's, I've dated your sister, I've contemplated having sex  with my cousin.  There isn't room in my life for a Barney-loving crumb-eater  anymore."  A range of emotions played across her face - disbelief, rage,   sorrow, hunger, but I didn't care, I had to move and move fast.  I was late  for my meeting with the Columbian drug lord...

  Paragragh 26     by Kathryn
  "Hey, I'm late-- would you excuse me?"
  "Late for what?" she demanded.    I spied the blueberry seed between the enamel  of her front teeth.  What had I ever seen in her anyway?    She bent down into  my face and I forced my eyes down to keep from keeping eye contact.
  I smiled, remembering what first drew me to this insane raging temptress.
  My time was running out and I had to get her out of the office so I had time  alone.
  "I have a noon appointment with a Columbian Drug lord"
  "You would say anything to get rid of me!"
  "For once, Allyson, I couldn't agree more with you."

  Paragraph 27  by Matt D.

     "I can't believe you'd be such a prick, since I'm allowing you to come  back to me."
     Allowing me? I couldn't believe the audacity of this sniveling woman.
  Needless to say, I'd lost a lot of respect for the "fairer" sex in the last   twenty-four hours... Was it really twenty-four? Forty-eight? Seventy-two? I had to stop and get focused. I'd be a dead man if I didn't make the meeting on time.
     "I'd love nothing more than to get rid of you, Allyson, but I really do have to go... NOW! If you wish to tag along, and hear exactly why you now  repulse me, when a few days ago I was licking the bottoms of your five inch stilettos, by all means ... tag along."
     "Fine, I will," she replied.
     As we exited the building into the company garage, images of all the  women I'd had throughout the last eight years swirled through my mind... Some better, some worse. I couldn't believe how quickly the number was growing...   28, 29, 30... My god, I am such a whore.
     "Get in or we'll be late. It's not wise to keep Ernesto waiting."
     "Who the hell is Ernesto?"
     "What? Did you think I was lying? Allyson, you have so much to learn."
     So much for Pathos.

  Paragraph 28 by Kathryn  
  The ride was long.  Allyson's breathing sounded like a dying cat.  Of course,  I'd  never seen a cat die before, but were I to witness one's demise, I'm sure it would have sounded like Allyson.
  "So, have you missed me?"  She batted her eyes and threw her head back with a  nervous laugh.
  I sat silent, watching the road ahead until I saw the first sign.   A billboard:  "Not a Snowball's Chance".
  She had seen it too, and quickly grew silent.
  "You know, I have never liked the way you can do that.  It's
  really...creepy." she whined and the echo chilled my bones as I focused on  the driveway ahead.

  Paragaph 29  by Dan A.  
  Ernesto, well Fat Ernie as he was known on the street, was waiting for me on the doorstep of the old split level that was at the end of the long, gated driveway. Fat Ernie thought of himself and behaved as if he were a Colombian drug lord in exile and expected the same treatment from those who associated with him. He was one of those self important people who truly was only important to 5 dormitory floors, 3 fraternities and about a dozen or so near derelicts who depended on him for their supply of ... stuff.

  "Sorry we're late," I lied " it was her fault"  throwing my head in the direction of Allyson, who was uncharacteristically 3 steps behind me. My fading hangover stimulated the thought that Fat Ernie might unleash a hail of bullets that would cut her down in her tracks.

  "Well, it's is so nice to see you keep such attractive company" he replied as he ogled her and destroyed my fantasy. His self styled mix of accent-Italian with a dash of Latin (the jerk was from Fresno!) seemed to actually impress her. He guided her into the study where Allyson oohed and ahhed (was she trying to make me jealous?) over his varied collection of South American paraphernalia while I prepared the plans for his review.

  Paragraph 30...  by Kathryn  
The flow of blood to my right temple seemed to pump to the beat of the music pouring out of Ernesto's stereo.   Tap, tap, tap.   My stomache lurched forward a bit as I caught Allyson leaning over the plans.  Ernesto's eyes fixed not on the paper, but on the objects of my once-long lusting affection.   Empires have collapsed over such impropriety.  My senses tingled a warning as the hair on the back of my neck stood up.  Ernesto was transfixed.   My voice echoed in the canyon between my own ears.   Ernesto seemed hypnotized, blindly nodding in agreement to my requests. 
Allyson  giggled.
Beautiful and Stupid -- such a dangerous combination.   Perhaps she might be my most unknowing of allies in this affair. 

Paragraph 31 ...by Don T.

A knock at the door broke Ernesto out of his lustful thoughts.  He left the room.  Allyson had found a sample of his “product” and quickly rolled up a twenty dollar bill to have toot.   I became aware of voices loudly talking in the other room.  Ernesto was shouting, “You can’t just come in here.  You need a warrant!”

“Oh, shit!”, I ejaculated, “The cops!”  I quickly grabbed the plans from the table, and hissed to Allyson.  “Let’s get out of here.”  She ignored me, and I reached for her arm, but she waved me away.  “It’s the cops, Allie, we gotta get out of here.”

“Fuck off !”, she said, and went back to the line she was bending over.

“The hell with you then, I’m going.”  I raced towards the backdoor.  I ran out the back and up the alley on the side of the building.  There were five police cars in front of the building.  I froze for a moment and peeked around the corner, the cops weren’t looking my way so I slipped out on to the side walk and quickly walked away from the scene.  I felt a pang of guilt about leaving Allyson there, but I had decided to move on, so I did.

When I was about three blocks away it struck me.  What had struck me?  I had no idea, everything just went black.  When I regained my senses, I found myself here.  But just where is here?

“Ah, you’re awake, are you?”  I turned towards the voice that had just spoken.  “You must have really tied one on, buddy.”  The figure that belonged to the voice stepped towards me, he was a tall man with long black and gray hair, that fell around his shoulders.  He had a several days growth of beard on his face, and spoke with a mid-western twang.  “you should be more careful, friend, you pass out on the street like that and you might get yourself tromped or rolled over by a wagon.”

He handed me a tin cup.  “Here, drink this.  It’ll stoke your engine.”  I took the cup and took a swig of the liquid.  “Holy, mother… what the… jeezus, fuck me!  What the fuck is this, gasoline?”  The long haired guy started laughing and said, “Son, it’s just the same corn squeezins that you been drinking all night.  Maybe you’s ready to take the cure, eh?  Your ma
would sure be happy if you was.”

He turned and walked out the door, and I started to become aware of my surroundings.  I was in some sort of run down wooden shack.  I stood up and once I had me balance I walked towards the window that was directly across the room.  It was dark out; and as I squinted through the widow into the blackness; my eyes gradually became adjusted.  I blinked a couple of times, rubbed my eyes, and shook my head, but I still saw the same thing.  This is crazy, I thought, how the hell can this be?

Out in the darkness, I saw the street of a town.  No electric lights, no cars, no pavement.  Oil lanterns, horses and wagons, and a dirt road.  As I tried to make sense of what I was looking at a woman’s voice spoke.  “You are such a disappointment to me, boy.  To think a son of mine would grow up to be the town drunk!  You shame me boy, you shame me.”  She turned away and started to leave, I stopped her by saying, “Excuse me, but who are you, and where the hell am I?”

She swung around violently, she was a small stout woman with gray hair and  very large breasts.  “How dare you use that sort of language!”  “What,” I said, “I only asked…”  She interrupted me by saying, “I heard what you asked.  How dare you lace your talk with profanity.  I don’t care if you are under the effects of alcohol, you will not use that type of language when you talk to me.  I taught you better than that.  When you can speak to me
with a civil tongue, I’ll answer your questions, but not before.”  She turned and left the room.

I stood there trying to make sense of things.  I started to feel unstable on me feet so I went to sit on a chair that was near the window.  As I sat down I saw on a table next to the chair a newspaper.  I reached for the paper and read the banner.  Bodie Free Express.  November 27, 1879.

Paragraph 32...by Kathryn
I'd heard of this before.  The stress of the series of events driving me over the edge.  But if I was aware of being driven to the brink of insanity - could I possibly be a sane?  Perhaps my subconscious had launched me back in time when life was simpler.  No cell phones, e-mail, big purple dinosaurs.

Suddenly the light in the room was blocked by the large breasts of the woman claiming to be my mother.  She was moving upon me, invading my personal space, staring me down as though I had done something terribly naughty.    My mind raced:  Ernesto, the strippers, the blueberry muffin.   "I know everything," she said, gripping me by the shirt collar.  "And boy, if  we ever get out of here, you are going to pay."

Just then, the door to the office flew open.  Are my eyes deceiving me, or have I really lost what little mind I had left?
























BLUE PLATE SPECIAL
A PAPER IMPROV
It’s a game of rhetorical ping pong match with  ever-changing players.
I write a paragraph, then send it out tor the next person to complete the next paragraph.  If you would like to be the recipient of the story, let me know.
Each paragraph should contain approximately 50 words.