Back in the early 80’s, when I was yet a child of the single digits, the morning show of
CFTR with Tom Rivers and Mike Cooper Brampton radio station CKMW ran a contest surrounding the hit new board game SuperQuiz. (Editor’s Note: Mum corrected me on the station and says she can’t remember the DJ’s name but does remember that he was very good looking! I think it was Russ SomethingOrOther…) My mother managed to get through on a regular basis and became one of the multi-show winners. One of the early prizes, of course, was the actual game. As the contest went on, Mum continued to win as did two other contestants. All three became finalists in one last game held at the centre court of the Bramalea City Centre. The grand prize was a brand new Commodore 64.
My father being a young electrical engineer, this was quite a coveted prize. In preparation, he and Mum spent their evenings memorizing every card and every question in the box. As a result, Mum was indeed crowned SuperQuiz Master and the computer came home with us that day with full fanfare from family and friends. Its arrival in our living room was a grand party – complete with pizza and flowing alcohol. The kids were spellbound and the adults jockeyed for position at the keyboard. I’m sure my sister and I were carried off to bed just before our eyeballs dropped from their sockets. The adults, meanwhile, stayed up learning all about BASIC, floppy disks and that oh so brightly coloured joystick. Everyone had a great evening. Except, of course, for the poor frog; he never did make it across the highway that night.
The rational part of his mind knew that it was ridiculous. Normal people didn’t live like this. Normal people just turned off their lights, locked their doors and left their houses. Every day. Without bringing on the cataclysmic consequences of not checking everything three times over.
Or nine times. Not six, never six, nor any multiple of six. Three was good, even five was okay, but six or twelve…no, then he’d have to start all over again. From the top. No cheating or the house would burn down for sure. Or flood. He’d forget to turn off the tap and come home to find the bread basket floating near the kitchen island like Noah’s Ark. Continue reading
The yard stretched out before me, a barren wasteland of snow and ice. Shadows were gathering in the late afternoon gloaming beneath low grey clouds laden with snow. Tears freezing on my cheeks, I let out another wail.
No good. I could see the flickering of the TV in the living room and knew that Daddy was watching Buck Rogers from his yellow recliner. I couldn’t see her, but figured that Mummy must be upstairs with the baby. They were all warm and dry inside and couldn’t hear me. Continue reading
Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird was startled off his perch in the old oak tree by the approaching rider, taking off with a flutter of feathers and a disgruntled caw. The horseman was dressed all in black leather, gleaming at the seams where snow and moonlight collected. He pushed his steed hard, its breath pillowing about them like fine, spun glass.
At the crossroads the horseman abruptly reined in and the horse skidded to a stop in the middle of the intersection. Standing in his stirrups, the man turned and looked intently in all directions. All was calm to the north, west and east but behind him to the south there was an approaching darkness. The wind bore with it a low grumble, the sound of many voices raised in anguish. Hearing this, the rider spurred his horse to the west and galloped toward the lights of a small village in the distance. Continue reading
Peter stood frozen, his sock clad toes curling against the linoleum. He could hear the hum of the refrigerator and the laugh track of the TV in the living room. Everything else was quiet. No footsteps. But he better not breathe just yet.
He snuck a peek at Bobby. Bobby had also frozen to the spot, his eyes wide and his arm still reaching forward. It looked like he wasn’t breathing either. Bobby’s eyes drifted towards Peter’s as a drop of snot dripped from his nose. Bobby didn’t even move to wipe it away – they were both too scared to move another muscle. Continue reading
Sheila took off her boots and padded to the kitchen in her socks. She plugged in the kettle and turned to the tea caddy. The day was cold and snowy – a perfect day for a strong Earl Grey. She took down the china teapot and strainer from their shelf and added a good measure of leaves to the pot. Continue reading
The snowman grinned malevolently as he watched his prey from the top of the toboggan hill. This was the longest run in town and the children had chosen its peak as the place for his creation. But their building had been clumsy and he despised their lack of skill. His bottom was lumpy. His middle was full of grass. And his head was so large and misshapen it threatened to roll right off his shoulders. But worst of all was his face. Two stones for eyes. A small twig for a nose. And a curl of frozen dog poop for a mouth. Oh, the indignity! Continue reading