VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Jared & Amanda Morningstar

The War on Christmas? (J. Morningstar)

You mean like the war

that poorly-educated rednecks,

with arsenals in their coat closets,

think they can wage to overthrow

their star-spangled government

that has a defense department

gifted with nearly

a trillion dollars a year

by the same politicians that

they, themselves, were responsible

for electing to office?

Someone better tell these

wannabe HollyJollySantaJesus Destroyers

before they go up against

the strange bedfellows that are

AmazonWalmartCocaColaHallmarkEtc

and the mom-and-pop shops

illuminated like the Griswold House

in every downtown in America

that they don’t stand a chance.

It’ll be over before

it even gets started.

Which, of course, it hasn’t.

And it never will.

An Ember’s Lullaby (Amanda Morningstar)

Orange and yellow shimmer back

in the lake; it could be beautiful

from a different angle.

Every night, she had the dream;

every night, her world was burning.

And then she was at school again,

Confusion’s delusions.

And then she was in class again,

at her desk again,

was she in that dress again?

Remembering premonitions

as her world burns down around her.

It didn’t feel like she had been sleeping:

“I had the dream again.”

“But you’re wearing the dress.”

The hallway is full of echoes

as they all scream into the void.

She slams her locker shut

and the voices disappear.

She stares:

Alarm. Warning. Danger.

A call to action. A call to run away.

She waits in the office;

she waits for them to tell her it is all a dream.

“You can’t go home.”

They all refuse to say the words

as the world burns down around her.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Harry McNabb

Mr. Socks and the Giant Bee

I decided, after I had seen a post on social media about “coming out day,” that I would make a pivotal decision about my sexuality for forever or for the time being.

I said to myself that if the boss called me in to his office in the next 30minutes I would announce that I was gay and start looking for a man to have sex with.

I have heard that it is not so hard to find a man to have sex with.

Men want it more. It’s sad if you’re a straight man, but not so sad if you’re a gay man. This was a large part of why I made this resolution.

So, I went back to work drawing pictures of cats and dogs for the military and when the PA said, “Mr. Socks, please report to Mr. Panthershit’s office, I thought to myself, “all right, time to find a man to fuck.”

The PA said for 5 other people to come to the office, too. I wondered if we were all fired. Perhaps, I thought, I would become gay and fired on the same day. That would be a turnip for the books.

Turnip for the books is better than saying turnup for the books because you imagine a turnip being given to more than one book. I imagine smiling cartoon faces on the turnip and the books in my mind when I say it.

I and 5 other men got up and went to Mr. Panthershit’s office on the other side of the floor. I looked at the other men walking with me. “Would I fuck them?” I asked myself.

We arrived in Mr. Panthershit’s office. Mr. Panthershit was a short man with glasses. He had a bucket underneath his chin to collect large amount of drool that was frothing out of his mouth. I did not judge. When I am really hungry, I drool like the dickens. Although I have never used a bucket? I wondered, where would I buy a bucket? I had never seen one at the grocery store. Maybe I just hadn’t looked hard enough for one.

“Gentleman,” said Mr. Panthershit, “I have just seen a creature on the television that I would like to eat. It is a giant meowing bee. It is six feet in diameter, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since I saw it on the news 15 minutes ago and heard the enchanting meow that it emitted into the reporter’s microphone. I have summoned you here because I need one of you to catch it and give it to my cook, Emile. By tomorrow, I want a meal of bee. Please catch it for me and I will give you one thousand dollars. Now, be gone. Time is of the essence. Good day.”

We left.

The workday was a relatively painless piss in the pot, and I went home, wondering about which website I would use to find a man for me to have sex with. At that point, at the end of the day, I was not sure if I did want to fuck a man. I just knew that it would be easy, and I prefer to do easy things rather than hard things like try and get a girl to want to fuck me.

I was caught up in this maelstrom of conflicted feelings when I went onto my balcony to smoke a cigarette. I was smoking my cigarette and wasn’t really getting anywhere when I heard a voice in my head.

Hello! It said.

“Hello,” I said, not knowing who I was talking to.

I have come from Denmark because I am fully grown and want to see the world.

I looked up and saw a giant bee with a big friendly smile on its face.

“Meow,” it said.

“Are you the voice inside my head?” I asked

Yes, sir, the giant bee communicated to me, I can only communicate via telekinesis, sadly with only a small fraction of the world’s population, of which you are one! On the outside, I can only say “meow.”

“Meow,” said the bee.

“Ah, I see,” I said, “well, welcome to America, Bee. We’re pretty fucking dirty immoral people here. I think we should all kill ourselves, frankly.”

Oh no! You are not dirty and immoral at all! I have experienced many kind words and happy smiles from the people of this country! I could never think those horrible things about you at all!

“Well, get a load of this,” I said, lighting another cigarette, “my boss wants to eat you. He saw you on the news and he just told me to hunt you down and give you to his chef.”

That is not something I am comfortable with, but in the interest of good relations between the humans of America and the giant bees of Denmark I would not have a problem with sacrificing one of my six arms because I can regrow them.

“Like a starfish?” I said.

What is a starfish?

“I think you have barely scraped the surface on the wonders of the world outside Denmark,” I said.

I let the bee into my apartment, and we sat discussing the business of the world. I told it many great stories and it was enthralled. I have to say, it’s positive outlook on life and its naivety were greatly refreshing to me, and as I explained the different aspects of the world to it my own appreciation for those things grew.

However, it was getting late. I needed to go to sleep, but I didn’t want it to leave.

You are tired, said the bee, yet you do not want me to leave.

“Well, you guessed it,” I said.

Why don’t you let me stay and show you my wet hole.

“Meow,” said the bee.

“A wet hole? Is that what I think it is?”

A giant bee’s wet hole is a lovely present that we share with all creatures. When we make a person happy with our wet holes, we give birth to thousands of lovely giant bees with their own wet holes. Please, Mr. Socks. Will you try my wet hole?

I really liked this bee. This was one cool, awesome bee.

But I was not used to this, I was nervous. Still, I asked “bee, what is your name?”

XXXEFORfussMeAT30?, said the bee.

“XXXEFORfussMeAT30?, will you accompany me to my bed?”

The next morning, I woke up cuddling the warm fur of the giant bee. I wanted to take it out for a steak dinner that night. I knew, already, my eyes blinking the sleep off of my eyes, that I wanted to do that.

But how would I afford the steak dinner?

A lightbulb appeared above my head.

I could take the bee to my boss, the giant bee would let the chef, Emile, cut off part of its arm and I would get a thousand dollars.

“XXXEFORfussMeAT30?,” I said, “wake up! we need to go to my boss and get that grand.”

Okay, said the bee, do you think your boss will be okay with just eating part of my arm? It does regenerate, but the best meat is in my bosom.

“I’m sure he’ll be fine with it,” I said.

We walked to the bus stop and took the bus to my work. Because of the fact that I had a giant danish bee, everyone we met gave me approving smiles. I really liked this fucking bee.

We went into the office and all my coworkers were impressed.

“Man, you’re gonna make that thou,” they said, “way to go Mr. Socks!”

I was happy to the max.

I knocked on the door of Mr. Panthershit’s office. His chef, Emile opened the door.

Mr. Panthershit was still drooling into his bucket.

“Aha!” he said, “I knew that you wouldn’t let me down! Emile, sharpen the knives!”

“Well, Mr. Panthershit,” I said, “the thing is, you can’t eat the bee. You can only have a piece of it.”

“What?” said Mr. Panthershit, “But I want the whole thing! Stand aside, take your thousand dollars and begone! This bee is mine!”

“I won’t let you kill this bee,” I said, stepping in between Emile and the bee, “it is a wonderful creature! It is the first telekinetic species ever to develop on planet earth.”

“I don’t care if it can turn lead into gold,” said Mr. Panthershit, “I want it in my belly right now!”

“I’m afraid I can’t allow that,” I said, “I have become very attached to this bee.”

“Give me the bee or you’re fired,” said the little man, standing up.

“You’ll have to fire me then,” I said.

“Fine,” said Mr. Panthershit, “fuck off.”

The bee and I left. We did not exchange telekinetic messages all the way down the elevator and into the street.

I am so sorry, said the bee, hovering next to me as I stepped out on to the street, I didn’t want to make your life worse! I am so sorry!

“It’s okay,” I said, “we’re together so it doesn’t matter.”

It does matter, said the bee, I can’t cause trouble for other living beings. I absolutely cannot cause suffering. I must go.

The bee flew off.

“XXXEFORfussMeAT30?!” I said, “no! don’t leave me!”

But by the time I had uttered that sentence, the bee was already miles away.

I looked down at my socks dejectedly.

That’s why they call me Mr. Socks.

I don’t wear shoes. Only socks.

“Well, I guess I’m going to Denmark,” I said to myself.

If there was one takeaway from this sorry business, it was the realization that I was not sexually attracted to men or women. I was attracted to giant bees.

“Wet holes, here I come!” I said.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Marc Olmsted

LIZARD SKIN BLUES

I voted of course

recycled

marched with a sign

as planet boils & species die

& my own blood’s stand-off

w/ gallons of cancerous pesticides

& tons of phony chemical sandwiches

consumed more than half decade

lizard skin where once infected

I am the planet Earth

I am the compost bucket

dissolving bag of turds

plutonium drum rusting

at the ocean’s dark floor

cracked with an angler fish glow

NIGHT OWL PROPHECIES

Nearly dawn

cable TV

The Deer Hunter

Frost/Nixon

Fall of Saigon & post-Watergate

New day for Old America

& impeachment of Trump

prophecies of déjà vu

wakefulness to dream

to wakefulness again

NEW YEAR’S

Fireworks above the suburbs

reflected in dark windows

though several nights ago

the thunder was a pistol

on the wrong end of a drug deal

just a block and a ½ away

3AM in the park of fixes

I heard 2 shots the first pop the second

A cannon boom & a man went out

through the sound barrier crack

that opened the worlds so briefly

& he stepped through

With a red pool

catching the streetlamps

in the wolf hour

Flaming garbage

It was a short week for DFP, after the deluge of two releases and the premier of VOICES FROM THE FIRE…

This week was more the routine I’m going for even though civilian life isn’t exactly normal right now working a job that shouldn’t be demanding with a consistently fluctuating schedule in which one is not allowed to defend themselves when having their dignity assaulted by hostile consumers upset at the failed attempt of a fascist coup…seeking a new source of income in which more kinky fascists twats (see Paul Tanner you’re a positive influence) need to know what you do on your own time in order how to tell you to live to bestow pending employment which still isn’t enough to live due to excessive bullshit jobs endorsing private surveillance, more needless exorbitant salaries and information moving which could even be automated driving up the cost of living, you know like a private tax…

Remember kids, it’s not freedom if it lies beyond open carry and telling someone how to live…added bonus if you can spread a potentially lethal disease…

Art by James Maj original The Grind conceptual cover art resembling jail cell bars

Let’s be honest if that synthetic urine doesn’t work for a subpar warehouse gig, there’s a Bud-Tender and Axe-Throwing Coach opportunity out there, somewhere…how about both?

Spark a fatty throw sharp objects maybe consume a bit of alcohol, what could go wrong?

Which brings me to some semi exiting news…

Dumpster Fire Press is still seeking submissions for VOICES FROM THE FIRE, still a little light, would like to keep going three times a week at least…maybe four.

Poetry, prose, flash fiction, art of any sort, even comics…let’s get zany

Poetry no more than four poems submitted

Ficiton no more than twenty pages

Flash Fiction

Art? I don’t care, whatever you want in any medium

Submit to the point I want to slash my wrists…

Just remember Times New Roman Font, 12pt.

1.15-1.5 spacing at the most

clockworkoomphstudios@gmail.com

We’re about having voices heard, whether those voices have had a chance to speak or not, this dumpster fire that is life burns fierce but can go unnoticed for the most part.

Get published, get noticed, sound off or don’t…maybe get published.

Once a voice arises from the fire on the site, there will be a year end VOICES FROM THE FIRE ANTHOLOGY which I hope becomes a semi impressive tome.

In addition I’ll be announcing three more anthologies which will trickle out during the rest of the year with some pretty intriguing and bizarre themes and I can’t wait for a lot of you to contribute and see who else wants to become a Voice From the Fire.

The about page has info on how and where to submit if your brain has been scrambled from my scribbled typed babbling.

Take it easy,

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Samir Karimo

Diesel Boy

I’m awake.

I’m in a cabaret. In the distance I can see the crown of the Chrysler Building and at same time hear the enigmatic voice of Ella Fitzgerald who seems to speak to aliens who play with my essence. 

 I see some silhouettes in the dark.

I still remember that Marinetti, or Pollak of Light Gang, spoke of a zeppelin that would allow us to escape from this corrupted world dominated by the tyranny of the enemy forces together with the factions of METROPOLIS.

 But there’s still a chance…

When I was a little boy, I was told that I’d be the bridge that would unite all sides in this bloody city.

 I’m a cog in the diesel-shaped machine

. Yes, my blood is not normal, but it’s made of Diesel, the primary substance that makes the Maschinenmensch, the human machinery moves, and the city is renewed at every moment, rebuilding itself at ease.

But if my rare diesel shaped blood is misused it can lead to a stage of drunkenness that could communicate with the cabalistic forces… I’ve got to fire this rocket….

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: J.J. Campbell

running on empty

i started a vision board

for my life, it’s still empty

a lonely saxophone wails

in the back of my mind

yet another empty for the floor

the latest year of death

comes to an end

how many times does this soul

get to escape what it deserves

i had an old lover tell me she

hopes i die alone one day

i told her she should have stayed

longer if she wanted me to feel

misery

penniless

the imagination running on empty

i live in a town near a highway

with plenty of banks

you do the math

i’ve been running from something

for most of my life

i remember first trying to kill myself

at eight years old

the day jesus stopped loving me

also, the day i learned how to smoke

J.J. Campbell

burning through the horizon

another rainy night

drinking away the

pain

yet another broken

soul set into the

hindsight on a

howling wind

any chance for a sandy

beach or one of those

sunsets you brag to

your grandchildren

about faded away with

the first drop of blood

scars add character

they don’t add a

personality or the

ability to be filthy

rich

and sadly, money seems

to be more important than

everything in this world

hell, even the sidelines

aren’t cheap any longer

ashes to ashes

there is already

plenty of dust

a fire burning through

the horizon

my grandmother always

told me hell was somewhere

west of the big river

hopefully, i’ll end up

there one day

without missing a beat

a buddy asked me

the other day if my

father was still alive

what would i ask him

without missing a beat

i said how incompetent

do you have to be to go

to war wanting to die

and not be able to do

so

my buddy choked on

his drink and said really

yeah, stupid fuck went

to vietnam to die and

instead came back home

and gave me all his

fucking problems

he took another drink

and asked what would

you ask your mother

i said she’s still alive

she knows all my opinions

on life-changing situations

at the age of seventeen

he chuckled and said no

wonder you’re a poet

i laughed

yeah, i never had the

patience to be a serial

killer like i always

wanted to be

Midlife Crisis Looming amid Immortal Dreams…

I’m dying…I really am…

Turning forty this week with one foot in the grave and the other one on a banana peel…

Dumpster Fire Press to celebrate presents a special bonus release…The 21 page chapbook by Milenko Županović… IMMORTAL DREAMS

Now let’s get back to that banana and dwindling time pertaining to the void I shall fall into the darkness of the grave…or not…

It’s been a hell of week even with personal stuff and a failed fascist coup both of which I’m not going to get into but rest assured there may be rants of sorts in the future but let’s talk about DFP and what has happened so far this week, what is happening and what will happen possibly…

First off DFP launched the VOICES FROM THE FIRE series featuring one poet, one author, one visual artist each week.

Submissions (hint, hint) are plastered on the “about” page.

Dumpster Fire Press was proud to feature artist Carman Benoit (hey she was the unofficial official previewer), hip-hop artist and poet Roz Washington with three poems, painter James Maj with his painting the “The Death of Herackles” and writing dynamo Harry McNabb with his story “I Want to Be a Pet.”

in conjunction to really kick things off between the Carman’s art and Roz’s poetry the first release of 2021 was the poetry collection by Brenda Christie STRANDS OF STRUGGLE…if you haven’t read the write up, you should it features one of my favorite poems 14 Days and her work can cut to the bone while taking you to a land of dreams where restoration and healing seem possible.

Next up in honor of my birthday or really because I like poetry and this particular poet in general (Happy Birthday to me) I’m proud or rather “we”” as I can actually say now after obtaining various agreements with certain individuals…” present a Dumpster Fire Press bonus release… Milenko Županović’s 21 page chapbook IMMORTAL DREAMS, a grand introduction to such a fine poet and the debut of Dumpster Fire Press artist Dillinger whose work you’re going to say often on a multitude of levels. I look forward to further collaboration between these two fellows and as always a write-up does no justice to the words of the poet nor the art of the artist…

The last apostle

The entire wall

 was covered

 with it

 night was mystical

 as the picture

 that ended

 Monastery

 of Santa Maria

 was decorated

 as the most beautiful

 flower

The apostles

in the picture

Judas is behind them

The artist finished

 his work,

and went to eternity

the lightning flashes

 revealed a mystical work

 they could only see

 the blood flowing

 in the place where

 the reflection it was

 as the presence

 of another apostle

Leonardo  beside

 the apostles

blood on the walls

 of the monastery.

MILENKO ŽUPANOVIĆ, thanks so much for gracing Dumpster Fire Press with your work and allowing myself and readers to enter a realm of esoteric mysticism among the roots of ever evolving cyclitc history which causes one to ponder the nature of redemption and the mechanics of existence as our world shifts from one crisis to the next…

(and thank you Dillinger for the exquisite cover, Dumpster Fire Press welcomes you to the fire)


Last day of 39 going on 40, it’s been surreal and hopefully about to get weirder so I can be adequately pro at this existence thing….

Midlife Crisis looming can’t afford to buy a Corvette nor chase women about half my age, so started a press.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Harry McNabb

I Want to be a Pet

I slept on the floor of the lettuce room.  It was wet.  My pants were wet because whenever my clothes are wet, I shiver out a small allotment of fear-pee.  I had no choice.  My father had given me a knuckle sandwich when I’d said I needed a place to live.  That knuckle sandwich was not a tasty sandwich.  It stunk of mint and was made from the knuckles of an unclean race.

The walls were black.  Made out of the same plastic that they make garbage bags out of.  But they were smooth.  What light there was reflected off the lettuces and into the black walls, where, if you pushed yourself, you could see what should be stars, but weren’t.

I rolled over onto the t-shirt I was using as a pillow.  Why do they think lettuces needed this much water, I thought.  It seemed like a waste.  I imagined that I was on a surfboard lolling in the waves and with a significant amount of trouble, went to sleep.

I woke up to a lady yelling “homeless person!”

“Homeless person!” she yelled.  It was weird.  She was smiling.

“Homeless person!” she shouted again, with a smile on her face.  The people shopping for lettuce seemed more put off by her shouting than by me sleeping under the lettuce trays.  Jacie had forgotten to wake me up.  I was in trouble.

“Homeless person,” she shouted again, still smiling.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, I – “

“Homeless person!” the lady shouted again.

She appeared to really like saying “homeless person.”

I saw my manager, Casey, come walking through the door.  He looked annoyed.

“Homeless person!” said the lady.

“I’m the manager, ma’am,” said Casey, “can I help you?’

“My lettuce is bad!” the woman shouted.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” said Casey, “we have some very fresh lettuce over here that I can show you, I- “

“My lettuce started to go bad when I started coming to this store.  Now I know why,” she said, looking at me.

Casey looked at me too.  The muscles below his eyes contracted slightly betraying the fury underneath his customer service persona.

“Homeless person!” the lady shouted again, pointing at me.

“He is not a homeless person,” said Casey, “he’s been on break and he took it in the wrong place.  I assure you ma’am; he is not the reason that your lettuce has been tasting bad.  But, since you have been having issues with your lettuce, we will supply you with a bunch of our finest lettuce for free.”

This appeared to mollify the woman.

“I’ll take your lettuce, but I’m not coming back here,” she said, “this place is filthy.”

Casey escorted her to a tray of our most expensive lettuce.  I put on the apron that was where I was sleeping.  I put it on and tied it in the back.  I also picked up the t-shirt I had been sleeping on.  I had a massive headache from tiredness and laying my temple down on that wet, hard surface.  I hastened towards the breakroom, through the bright-eyed shoppers who had probably gotten good night’s sleeps last night. 

I came into the breakroom and hid the t-shirt behind the couch.  I sat down and massaged my head.  There was a blanket next to me.  I put it around me, trying to warm up, or at least soak up some of the moisture.  Jacie came in.  She was wearing her overcoat.  So that’s what happened. She was late.  She was carrying a basket.

“Hey,” she said, “I’m sorry I didn’t wake you up.”

“I’m probably going to get fired,” I said quietly.

“What happened?” she said.

“This lady saw me sleeping and basically threw a fit and Casey saw too, so he’s going to be on my case.”

“Casey on your case,” said Jacie.

“That’s right,” I said, brightening up a little, “Casey on my case.  What’s new.”

I looked at her basket.  It was filled with rubber models of whales and submarines.

“What’s with the toys?” I said.

“Oh, they’re my son’s,” she said, “for some reason, when he was a kid, he was obsessed with whales and submarines.”

“Yeah?” I said.

“He would always draw pictures of whales and submarines,” she said, “once he got good at drawing them, he did nothing but draw pictures of cyborg whales that were half-whale, half-submarine.”

“Half-whale, half-submarine.  That’s really cool,” I said.

“Yeah, you’d probably like the drawings.  They’d be right up your street,” said Jacey, hanging up her coat, “these days all he draws are naked men.”

“Naked men?” I said.

“yeah, well,” said Jacey, putting on her apron, “he’s a teenager and he’s gay, so he’s just into naked men right now.  My parents keep pestering me to send them some of his drawings, but I’m afraid to send them these pictures of naked men, so I keep making up excuses.”

“There are plenty of images of naked men throughout art history,” I said, “look at Michelangelo’s David.”

“I know, but he always draws the men masturbating, or sticking butt-plugs up their asses,” she said, “anyway, I’ve got to go tell Casey I’m sorry for being late.”

“I’m surprised he doesn’t draw pictures of naked men sticking those whales and submarines up their asses.”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” she said, “why don’t you spread those whales and submarines around the room, I brought them in to try and brighten up the place.”  She left.

I massaged my head and looked at the basket of whales and submarines.  Even though I felt the pain on the top of my head, I knew that root of the pain resided in my temple.  Rub rub.  Rub rub.

There were some shelves that no one ever used, so I decided to put the whales and submarines there.  The whales stood up on their own, but the submarines fell over when I tried to set them up.  I started thinking of whale-submarine hybrids.  What they would look like.  How they would be able to fire torpedoes. 

Casey came in.

“What you did today just can’t happen again,” he said, “we’ve told you couldn’t sleep here when you asked, and that hasn’t changed.  I’ve talked to Mike and we’re taking you off the schedule.”

I nodded.  I took off my apron.  I wondered why I had put it on to begin with.  When Casey left the room, I took a whale and submarine for myself.  I wished that I could combine them and make a subwhale.  Maybe someday in the future whales would learn how to equip themselves to fight humans and, hopefully, win.

I left the store.  Maybe if I begged my dad, he would let me live with him.  I would eat his knuckle sandwich like crow.

I walked down the street to the bus stop and waited.  When the bus came it was empty.  Except for the driver.  He was a really weird driver.  He was really skinny with slanted eyes and two snakebite piercings below his lip.  The snakebites looked like fangs and his appearance suggested a snake.  He looked at me like I was trash and that pissed me off.

How do those lucky people afford the luxury of viewing other human beings like trash.  We’re all just trying to get along.  Seriously.  I can’t stand those people. 

I went to the back of the bus.

For a few minutes, I slept.  I was going to miss my stop.  I didn’t care.  I would take another bus.  I needed sleep so bad.

I woke up to a sound of whirring electricity.  We were not in Kansas anymore.  The bus was in a nebula of some kind.  A red nebula.  I thought that it must be a dream, but I had the clarity of wakefulness.  Perhaps it was a lucid dream.

The snake-like bus driver was standing in the middle of the bus looking at me.  He gestured his hand towards me, and a gaseous red orb appeared between us.  I got up because I was nervous.  Then I realized I was not the same height as I had been before and that I was shrinking.  Oh lord.  It was like that movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

I shrunk to the point that the bus resembled the Grand Canyon.

The giant bus driver waved his hand again and I found myself imprisoned inside the red orb. 

“You will make a nice pet,” said the bus driver.

“A pet?”  I thought.

Then, I thought: “A pet!”

“Oh my God,” I thought, this was exactly what I needed.

“Thank you,” I said to the bus driver.  “You are about to go on a journey, auxiliary to mine,” he said.  “You will never have to worry about having a place to sleep or needing food ever again.”

“What will you feed me?” I asked.  I didn’t want to eat dogfood.

“You will be able to eat pasta, pizza, hot dogs, and steak,” said the bus driver, “and in the afternoons when I get home from driving the bus, I will stroke you while you nap on me.”

With what felt like electric honey coursing through my nervous system, I asked the bus driver, “can I fist-bump you?”

The bus driver smiled.  “You may,” he said.  And he fist-bumped my tiny little fist. This was the start of something great.