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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.

I believe

I believe in the power of humour, love and the written word.  All can conjure magic and all can induce inspiration.

I believe there is order in the chaos.  It’s just that, like any great masterpiece, one must be at a distance to see the patterns.

I believe in the guiding grace of the unseen God.   There are many sacred places on this earth and few of them have a roof.

I believe that Jesus walked the earth – as a male, a rebel and one heck of a storyteller.

I believe in MacGyver, Kermit the Frog and my Poppa.  All three have taught me invaluable lessons.

I believe that Trevor Linden was the best Canuck of all time.  And I believe there are those who should be ashamed that they let him leave for awhile.

I believe that John Denver, Great Big Sea and Matchbox Twenty can quite happily co-exist in a playlist.   Indeed all music, when played from the heart, goes together.

I believe we should bring back lawn darts.  Too many stupid kids are making it through childhood alive to reproduce.

I believe Rick Mercer should run for Prime Minister.  And if he won’t then Justin Trudeau will do.

I believe that stories change the world.  No village has ever followed a leader who couldn’t speak to them.

I believe a whisper will always trump a shout.  Everyone stops listening when one person starts shouting to be heard.

I believe the species we are exploiting will survive to enjoy this world long after we’ve self-imploded.  The only way to avoid this end is to stop the uneducated masses from breeding.

I believe we should be building factories on the Shield and growing plants in the Horseshoe.  You can’t grow a carrot in two inches of topsoil.

I believe the bottled water industry is killing the planet.  Full stop, no discussion.

I believe Paul Gross is the best actor Canada has ever produced.  If you watch his hands on stage you’ll see what I mean.

I believe that truly good lives are short.  Because they do all the right things up front and get picked to the winning team first.

I believe I will write the great Canadian novel.  But I might be eighty by the time I finish it.

I believe in kindness, politeness and in walking gently on this earth.  And I hope you do, too.

The Second Horseman of the Apocalypse

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 “The Second Horseman of the Apocalypse”

Workshop Flash Fiction – Peter and The Plan

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 “Workshop Flash Fiction – Peter and The Plan”