Short story from Santiago Burdon

Bad Example 

My daughter had just turned fifteen the day before and we were celebrating by having lunch and spending the day after together. She was no longer my little girl. Somehow she went and grew up behind my back without me noticing. 
We talked about school and what she had planned for the future. She wanted to drop out of high school, get her G.E.D. and take classes at the community college. 

"High school is more about Social status and hanging with a clique than it is about learning and receiving a good education. You know like; Goth, Preppie, Hippie, Jocks, Stoners you get it."
"Ya I get it."
"I don't fit in with any of them. Now they think I'm stuck up."
" People can be pretty self-righteous, especially teenagers."

I could sense there was something she wanted to tell me but couldn't seem to find the right moment or maybe the nerve. I decided to ask if there was something on her mind she needed to share. I thought it might make it easier for her.
" McKenzie what's up? You appear nervous. You know there's nothing you can't discuss with me."

I've expressed to all of my children to speak openly with me if there was something that they needed to share. Anything, there wouldn't be any kind of repercussions no matter what the problem.   
"This is really difficult for me to tell you. I'm not sure how you're going to react. I don't want it to ruin our day together with you being all mad and pissed off."

What she needed to tell me must be something of extreme importance. I started second guessing my policy about sharing everything with me. Sometimes you're better off not knowing what's going on.
" Okay, let's play, I'll guess and you answer. You know like twenty questions. Sound good?"
"I could give you a hundred guesses and you'd never get it."

"Give me a few guesses. Okay here goes. Are you pregnant?"
" What? I'm not stupid. No, I'm not pregnant. I can't believe you asked me that. You can really upset me sometimes, Santi."
"Well I wanted to get the serious stuff out of the way. Okay, you're Gay." 
" You are such a Santihole. No I'm not gay."
"You got a job as a stripper?"
" A stripper? What in the hell is wrong with you? No! No! No! Okay enough, this isn't fun at all. I'm in love! Okay? I've fallen in love with an incredible guy and he loves me. There it is. Now let's hear what you've got to say."

She'd fallen in love at the age of fifteen. I could tell it took a lot of courage to declare her feelings to me. I wasn't sure where to continue from here. There I was unprepared to offer fatherly advice. I hadn't seen an episode of My Three Sons, Leave It To Beaver or Andy Griffith that dealt with this subject to use
as a reference. I was on my own.

" Do I know this fortunate fellow?"
" I'm sure you don't know him. I'll introduce you to him soon." 
" Okay, anytime is fine for me. Just don't wait until the day before your wedding."
"He needs to work up the courage. You may not know it but you have a reputation. It's not a flattering reputation either."

" What do you mean by an unflattering reputation? I'm a wonderful person. How can anyone think otherwise? That's bullshit."
" See, now you're getting all defensive and worked up. I'm just telling you how people feel about you. You didn't know but there were some parents that wouldn't let their children associate with me."
" Who? Why the hell not? I'll have a talk with them, judgemental bastards."

"Take it easy. It was a long time ago."
" Okay so you're in love. How can you know what love is at fifteen?"
"Why, how old do you have to be to fall in love? Is it sixteen like getting a driver's license? Or eighteen, when you graduate from high school? Maybe twenty-one ? How old do you have to be to fall in love? Tell me please."

Again I didn't have an answer. What in the hell did I know about love? My track record for dealing in such a consequential and precarious emotion was less than adequate. I've failed numerous times but still always answered the bell for the next round.
"Listen to me, please don't fall in love or marry anyone like me."
I was a bit taken back by her quick response. She didn't have to take time to think about her answer.

"You don't need to ever worry about that." She commented.
" You certainly are quick with your answer."
" I don't mean to be a bitch. You're an amazing and wonderful father.
You've been an incredible teacher and great friend.
But I would never want a boyfriend or husband like you.
You were the best bad example 
I could've ever had." 

She continued.
"There were moments you hollered when you were mad. Although no matter how angry you were you never hit any of us. I want you to know that I will always be grateful for your love, encouragement and pride in my accomplishments. But your secret life, the hush hush underground stuff. The thing we were told never to talk about. Two in the morning phone calls. Speaking Spanish, trips to Mexico and who knows where else. The different passports that I saw in the desk drawer. It's not normal."

"It's my work." I answered.
"What kind of work is it that you do? Do you know in school when we were asked to tell what your father does, on Career Day, I didn't have an answer. I had to make something up."
"So what did you…
"A Barber and one year a Florist. I still don't actually know what you do for work. Although I have a pretty good idea."

" It is better you don't know. It keeps you safe not being involved.
" Why is that necessary?"
"McKenzie, I'm not going to explain to you what I do."
" I know you can't say what you're involved in. It just seems like you were gone more than home. I'm sure your work isn't legal and we'll leave it at that."

" I always made time for my children. Always there for you." "That's true,you never missed my birthday, a school activity or Holiday including Christmas.
You were always there."

"Listen mija, I'm not going to make excuses for what I do, but I want you to understand what I do, I do to support the family. And you've had a pretty good life. You were well taken care of, never wanting for anything."
" I understand you say that to make it okay. I'm not asking for you to justify your work to me."
"Hey, we seem to have gotten off course. Let's get back to you being in love."

"So you're fine with me being in love? You aren't going to try to talk me out of it? Or give me a list of reasons why it isn't good for me at this time."
" Would it do any good at all? Listen mija, I've always trusted your judgment more than I do your brothers. Remember this, love can be a miraculous and magical sentiment but it's a double edged sword that can cause the most devastating debilitating feeling as well. Are you aware of that side of love?" 

" Yes, Shauna told me basically the same thing. So I've seen it expressed in movies and read about in stories. I have also been a witness watching my mother experience the anguish it can cause."
"Okay let's change it up. I'd rather not have those feelings dragged over memory's razor blades. So what do you feel like eating? This discussion has worked up a powerful appetite. How about Sushi?"
"Sushi is great. So this is it then? You're not going to make me reconsider my feelings.
"Controlling your life by applying my beliefs is not in my Father Job Description Handbook."

" You're a wonderful father. I may have overlooked some good qualities when I said you were a bad example."
"That may be true." I stated with a laugh.
" So after Sushi I thought we'd hit the Art Museum then check out the second hand clothes shops and thrift stores. What do you think?"

"Sounds wonderful. I love you Santi. I didn't hurt your feelings, did I?"
" No, not too much. I'll get over it." I said laughing.
"But now that I think about it, being a bad example can be a good thing. Love you back. You'll always be my little girl."

*McKenzie was killed in a car accident a year later.*

Short story from Santiago Burdon

    Converse Black Label Gym Shoes 

My mother possessed an arsenal of proverbs, idioms and cliches, which she used to comment on  almost every situation. I became increasingly annoyed with her trite statements that never actually answered a question or solved a problem. Just some pointless remarks that didn't offer a solution.

Let me give you a couple of examples so you have a better understanding.

"Mom, I don't know what to  buy with my birthday money?" I'd ask.

"A fool and his money are soon parted."  She'd answer.

After getting mixed up in some trouble.

"I promise it won't happen again mom. I'm sorry."

"A leopard can't change his spots."

You get the idea.

I think she felt it made her appear educated by using them in conversation. I always respected my mother and loved her dearly.  I just couldn't take listening to any  more worn out, unoriginal and overused sayings that I didn't consider clever or helpful. 

I desperately needed Gym Shoes for my Physical Education class in High School. I had worn a pair of wrestling shoes handed down from my older brother during Junior High School that were two sizes too big. I was razzed and teased by my classmates constantly. The worst part was having  to wear them at dances held in the Gym. No " Street Shoes" on the wood court floor. 

There's a huge disadvantage being the youngest boy in a family with three older brothers. Besides being told what to do all the time, getting pushed around or being pummeled whenever they felt like it, most of my clothes were hand me downs. Occasionally my mother would even sneak underwear my brothers had worn into my dresser drawer.  I became wise to her high jinx and I threw them in the garbage. I seldom received new clothes which didn't bother me all that much because shopping for clothes with my mother was torture. Her fashion sense was trapped in the fifties. There wouldn't be any tie-dyed or paisley shirts, bell bottom jeans or pointed toe shoes if she was buying. I always ended up looking like Beaver Cleaver or Opie Taylor.  

I waited for the perfect moment to approach my mother with my request for new gym shoes. The old man left with my sister over to my grandparent's house.  My older brothers were gone leaving just her and I in the house. I asked if she needed help preparing dinner. She accepted my offer although with a hint of suspicion. 

" Yes, that would be wonderful. Could you cut up some carrots, celery, tomatoes and  cucumbers for the salad? And while you're doing that you can tell me what you've wanted to ask me all day.  Don't cut off your fingers, be careful." 

There was no pulling one over on my mother; she had  honed her skills from raising my three older brothers.

" Mom, I really need gym shoes for P.E. I'd like a new pair of my own that 

fit me. Please."

" What's wrong with the shoes you have now? You didn't seem to have a problem with them in Junior High."

" Mom, they're wrestling shoes, they get dirty real quick and they're two sizes too big. I gotta stuff 'em with socks or toilet paper to make 'em fit. I can't run or jump and do stuff while wearing them."

" Honey, I'm not sure we can afford them right now. I just paid for  your brother's high school class ring. And the dentist bill came due as well."

I expected her to use that excuse and  I had prepared for such an answer.

" Mom, I've saved nine dollars from my birthday and from mowing lawns. We can use that and you can help  pay the difference. Please mom, I really need gym shoes." I whined.

"I don't want you to have to use your own money. Let me think about it and mention it to your father."

" Well I need them on Monday or I'm not going to class. I'll take the demerit and detention.I'm not wearing those wrestling shoes and let people make fun of me. I put up with it all through junior high and am not going to do it again." I screamed.  My anger was getting the best of me. Then it happened, she did the one thing that sent me into a complete raging maniac.

" Listen to me. I cried because I had no shoes and then I met a man with no feet." She preached.

 "Oh ya, well I'd ask the man with no feet for his shoes since he didn't need them." I hollered.  "What  the fuck does that have to do with what we're talking about?"

I had completely lost it. The words just spilled out of my mouth without thinking about what I was yelling. I could see the result of my tirade in my mother's face. 

" What did you say? Who do you think you're talking to mister? Don't you get fresh with me! You will treat me with respect.  Do you understand? I  never want to hear that kind of language out of your mouth again. I don't appreciate your response to my proverb. You know that verse is in the Bible, Jesus Christ said it."

There it was, whenever she needed to validate a statement or fact the Bible was the source from where it originated. Then adding that Jesus had said it meant it was an irrefutable fact.

I wasn't going to contradict her statement although I knew the proverb wasn't in the Bible and Jesus never said it. All it would do is piss her off even more and I was already in deep shit. . It wasn't often when my mother became angry, but when she did the heavens would shake.

"You've really crossed the line Santiago. If I told your father about this he'd make sure you never used that word in this house again."

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell him. Besides I picked up the word from him. It's one of his favorites and he uses it for everything. I'm really sorry for saying that mom. Just lost my temper and took it out on you. Please forgive me. "

"To err is human, to forgive is divine." She lectured.

Did she really just say that? Throwing gasoline on the fire. Now she's got me doing it. No! I was one step closer to insanity.

"Are you finished there? Why don't you go to your room and think about what you did. Go on."

" Mom I'm fourteen years old and you're sending me to my room? Don't you think I'm too old for that kind of punishment?"

"You get to your room right this minute. Don't you start disobeying me. I'll call you for dinner. Now go young man."

Sure I'm a young man and she's sending me to my room. I thought it was ridiculous to send me there with my TV, record player, radio, games and books. What a harsh punishment.

"And no TV,  music or games. Read a book." She hollered up the stairs.

" No wait, no reading books either. I forgot you like that."

"Can I do my homework that's due on Monday?"

" Yes, that's good. Do your homework. I'll call you for dinner in a couple of hours."

" Thanks mom."

"Your father just pulled into the driveway."

"Mom please don't…"

"Don't worry, I'll keep it between us "

" I dashed over to the heat vent connected to the dining room to listen to what was being said.

"Where's Judge?"

"Did you buy them and in the right size?"

"Yes I did."

" He's upstairs doing his homework. And look at you Jocelyn, did you get new shoes? How pretty." I heard my mother say.

My sister got new shoes. What the hell is going on? I have to beg and plead for a new pair of gym shoes that are required for school and my sister gets shoes instead. Of course that sounds about right.

I was thoroughly pissed off but there was nothing I could do about the injustice I was subjected to by this family. Why is everyone so hard on me? I can't get a break.

I woke up to my brother shaking me and slapping my face.

"Get up, squirt, time for dinner."

"Okay, I'm awake, stop slapping me asshole." 

"Let's go. And just to warn you the Dad is in a pissed off mood. So be careful. You hear me?" 

"Ya thanks for the heads up."

I sat down at the table while my mother was talking.

"And Santiago helped with dinner and made the salad."

"Why, what'd he do wrong?" My brother George commented.

"I'll have everything except the salad." My sister said.

Everyone began to laugh.

I had just loaded my plate with manicotti and red sauce when the Old Man started his line of questioning.

"So Judge, your mother told be that…"

She ratted me out to the Old Man after she said she wouldn't. Damn it that just isn't fair. I figured it was best to confess so I'd have a chance to explain.

" It was an accident. I didn't mean to yell and swear at her. I lost my temper and it just came out. I told her I was sorry and would never use the word again. I feel horrible about what I did."

"What in the hell are you talking about? I was going to say I bought you some new gym shoes,  Converse Black Label Gym Shoes. Now what did you call your mother?"

"He didn't call me anything. He used profanity when he became upset, that's all." Mom said in my defense.

" I told you I'd keep it between us and wouldn't say anything. Now you went and opened Pandora's box."

On top of my screw up she had to add an idiom. 

"I don't know what's going on here . But could you at least say thank you and tell me you like them."  The  Old Man said. 

He handed me a shoebox but my brother intercepted it handing it off to the other then to my sister then to my mother. She got up and walked to me with the shoebox.  She gave me a kiss and the whole table erupted in a taunting chorus of awe.

"Sometimes Santiago you are your own worst enemy." She whispered.

"Oh hell yes. Converse Black Label Gym Shoes! Thanks mom and you too." I said looking at the Old Man.

"I'm gonna try 'em on now!"

"Did he say hell yes?" The Old Man asked.

Poetry from Santiago Burdon

Angry Streets

The streets are angry tonight
traffic ignorant of the punishment it inflicts
By driving upon their asphalt backs
Sidewalks click clack with choatic rhythm 
footsteps tapping out a nervous pulse 
the throbbing heartbeat of a city near cardiac arrest
lights grow brighter as night drips darkness
Into a black ocean sky
overgrown foliage hides a concrete park bench
my slumber berth for the night
The cement mattress is harder than I can remember.
Can't find any reason to complain
It's time to pursue an evasive sleep 
Knowing the catch isn't worth the chase 
Left only to wrestle treacherous dreams
The author of a broken rest
Car horns, gunfire and screams  
Sing a lullaby off key 
Bleeding through the chorus of nights lacerated voices
in between brief moments of silence
Sneaks the moan of a lonely saxophone
Crying notes to a tune I've never heard before
Although it sounds strangely familiar

Temporary Sherry

The diamond in her wedding ring has lost its glimmer
Gone is the sparkle that once danced in her eyes
Left with a basket full of dirty laundry
Every memory a thief that has robbed her smile
She stares out the kitchen window
A future now muffled thunder in broken skies
Her conversation with silence disrupted
By the sound of the baby's demanding cry

Sketch from Santiago Burdon

Face Of A New Moon
On A Sunlit Night

We walk together arm in arm, her head resting on my shoulder, the Sun decides to call it a day, permitting the night to spill darkness into a jealous sky, pouting over the star's sparkle obscured by clouds that bullied their way into the empty space left by the Sun, the moon grows larger and brighter as the Earth turns, spinning night’s beacon of light into a brilliant shining white, the scent of magnolia blossoms travel on every breeze, the sweet gum and oak trees appear taller and seem to scratch the sky with their fingered branches, the light from street lamps dance on her brown skin, highlighting the minute almost invisible hairs on her arms, her hair smells of lavender and her skin is soft like the fur of a sable, she possesses a celestial angelic air about her, it draws me to her with a hypnotic charm, there's a distance in her eyes, and if I gaze into them, I become mesmerized as though she had cast a spell, I'd be in a trance, drifting off to a place where the night comes to rest, the dawn tucks in the moon, and the stars go to dream. 

Short story from Santiago Burdon

      Never Take A Mime's Word For It                             

I was invited by an acquaintance I've known for years to speak on the subject of becoming a writer to her High School Creative Writing honors class. I had two books published at the time and I assumed she thought I must know a thing or two about the process.  Let me give you the lowdown. I don't have the slightest idea what it takes to be a writer or being a creative writer.   But she and her husband were a couple my former wife and I had spent a great amount of time with when I was married.  Somehow I felt a bit obligated to help out.

I accepted the invitation but found out she wanted me to give my lecture the next day.  I had no idea of what I was going to say to the class.

The morning raced in as though it was running late for an appointment. I became stressed over what to wear. Jeans with a white shirt, no tie and my favorite tan blazer was the choice.  The outfit I thought gave me the appearance of a distinguished yet bohemian author.

Then I reprimanded myself for being self-conscious about my appearance for a bunch of high school students. 

I greeted the class of unenthusiastic faces with a spirited introduction of who I was. Which did little to affect the mood of the honors class.  After my short bio I pulled out some of my books for the honors students, who seemed quite eager to get their hands on them. I had brought more than enough to gift the entire class of fourteen.

I began my presentation with a question, hoping it would cause the students to participate. A method of capturing their interest I learned from a Marketing Strategies class I took in College.

"Who here intends to pursue a career as a  writer or author?" Four hands popped up.

"That's great. Now allow me to share with you what I believe it takes to be a successful writer. To be perfectly up front, I don't have the slightest inclination about the do's and don'ts of being a writer.

I however do believe if you want to be an accomplished writer, you've got to be a good liar. I'm not talking about slight embellishment, I'm saying you've got to be able to shovel bullshit by the truckload. And the real trick is you've got to spread it so the reader can't smell it. If they get the slightest whiff of bullshit you're done."  

"Wait a second. So you're saying a good writer must be deceptive and dishonest?" 

The bookworm girl in front with thick glasses asks.

"When in the Hell did you hear me say that? Do you believe lying is a deceptive or dishonest act?  Do you know who Diogenes was? He was an ancient Greek philosopher whose writings were destroyed. He lived  in a barrel with his scraggly dog in Corinth, homeless and destitute.  It's said he searched with a lantern both night and day throughout the city, looking to find an honest man. The result was that no such person existed. We all have our own concept of what is considered to be honest. Lying is a common and necessary practice that in some instances has a positive purpose. It's most likely the reason Diogenes is considered the father of cynicism. "

"Now what  you're saying is that being a liar and deceitful is actually a virtuous practice?" "When did you hear me say that? You're misinterpreting my point because of your inability to consider there could possibly be another school of thought pertaining to the subject.  

Tell me, are you an honest person? Are you always truthful? It's impossible to answer yes to those questions. What an incredible contradiction it is that we're given rules and regulations to obey, preached to us by others that know their rules are impossible to follow. It's a study in mental masturbation.  

You mentioned virtue, meaning ethical, moral, or honorable I think?  These are all characteristics  we must have to be considered  ethical human beings. Actually everyone and I mean everyone, is under the impression they've been granted dispensation from following such rules. Yet they expect others to conduct themselves in accordance with the commandment. Are you familiar with the idiom 'Honesty is the best policy?' Tell me for whom? Who does this best policy of honesty benefit?  Is it the one divulging their version of what they believe their truth to be?  Or is it the one being told what they must determine as honesty,  by their understanding of what the word means ?  Everyone has their own definition of honesty. If you sincerely believe you are honest, virtuous, truthful and moral, then you most likely believe in the ridiculous concept of unconditional love.

What  I'm attempting to put across to you is that you've gotta create a story that is interesting and filled with emotion, causing the reader to connect with the world and characters you've created. Make them bleed with anticipation while turning the page.  You've got to grab the reader by their pubic hairs and keep their attention."

"Santiago I think your choice of words aren't suited for a teenage audience. Please keep it PG "

" You're right, what the hell is wrong with me. I apologize class. I had my doubts about smoking that roach on my way here this morning."

A burst of laughter from the students filled the classroom.

I felt a little embarrassed sharing that information. Sometimes words slip off of my Teflon tongue before my brain has a chance to evaluate their implications.

"Please Santiago don't refer to drug use or use any more profanity."

"Of course Mrs. Pillion  My sincere apologies. Now where was I?"

"You were smoking dope on your way here this morning." A voice  from the back of the class shouts.

 Again a chorus of laughter sings out this time including me.   

"Okay traviesos help me out here. You're going to get me busted. Now I've been told there are no new ideas. Accepting that fact to be true, it's necessary to dress your story in different clothes. Give it a new look, a different voice, a new name. Introduce it as if the plot has never been on a date before. However, it doesn't necessarily mean it's still a virgin." 

"Is there any other questionable advice you have for someone wanting to be a writer?"  Mrs. Pillion asks.

"Yes, as matter of fact I do. 

I'd like to leave you with a few suggestions you may want to consider.

1.Make sure you have a mirror available so you can watch yourself starve to death. 

2. Write about what it is you know. 

3.Just because it happened to you doesn't make it interesting.

4. Fuck what other people say. 

5. Don't criticize your work. There's plenty of assholes in the world that will do it for you.

6. When you feel uninspired remember: It could be worse, it could be raining.

7. Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life.

And lastly: Never take a Mime's word for it."

" Santiago please! That's enough for today. Thank you for your insightful information."

I could barely hear her over the thunderous applause from the students and also giving me a standing ovation. I was a hit.

A couple of weeks later talking with my former wife,  she mentioned the consequence of my lecture to the Creative Writing class.

" Did you know Allison was suspended for two weeks by the School Board because parents complained about her allowing you to give your books  to the students. They were upset and quite angry pointing out your stories were disturbing, pornographic and obscene. Definitely not proper reading material for High School students.  They were considering having you charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor."

"So what, you're saying is they didn't like my books?"

"What is wrong with you? You  burnt yourself out on too many drugs. Did you understand anything I said?  Oh ya, there was even a story about your lecture in the local newspaper."

" So they did like my stories! I knew it."

" Santiago, you're a real piece of work."


Poetry and Prose from Judge Santiago Burdon

She Bleeds For Brooklyn
excerpt from Not Real Poetry

She lives with low rent day dreams on no name backstreets. 
Dirty sidewalks made from quicksand concrete, 
There's no yellow brick road.             
In this city like a desert without an oasis.

Hope a disease that breeds in places,
Where God wouldn't go.
In the air there's a stench, the smell of desperation.
lives are stamped with a date of expiration.

The Devil's grip on their souls.
Night crashes down with the sound of a train wreck.
She's on the prowl for love and everyone's suspect,
But they just leave her cold.

A chorus full of sirens singing life’s disasters
There’s no fairy tale ending living happily ever after
Reads like a Sexton poem
She cries with a sound no one can hear

Her eyes lost their voice
Now she can't speak with tears
She wonders about life on the other side of the mirror.
Kneels down for one more unanswered prayer.

But there's no one listening out there.
She bleeds, she bleeds for Brooklyn
She's hemorrhaging lies and alibis.
She bleeds, she bleeds for Brooklyn.

Break free Persephone
Brooklyn left the front porch light on.

Not Real Poetry by Judge Santiago Burdon

I Don’t Believe In Witchcraft

Excerpt from “Quicksand Highway”

When I lived in New Orleans a long while ago, my Dame de Mois at the time, Simone, gave me a Ledbury dress shirt for my birthday. It was magenta with the inside collar and cuffs in a subtle eggshell hue. I was excited to try it on and model it for her. The process of opening a new dress shirt is tedious. I have always been curious as to why they use so many straight pins in new shirts. I began pulling out the pins and putting them in a nearby empty beer can. ” Don’t throw them away!” She screamed. “Give them to me, I save straight pins!” ” Why the hell would you want to save all these pins?” I inquired ” I use them on my Voodoo dolls.” She smiled in a scary sort of way.

“What the hell are you talking about? Are you telling me you’re a witch?” ” I don’t particularly care for the word “witch,” I’d prefer Wiccan, it would describe me much better. Witch has many connotations and has been popularized in books, movies and in fairy tales. Most often we are portrayed in an evil or wicked manner, which is not the case.” ” So you practice Magic, like casting spells and mixing up potions?” ” Well yes but it isn’t sinister like you’re making it sound. Are you familiar with the Wicca Religion and practices?” “Somewhat, but I’m not as knowledgeable as I wish I was now.” “We aren’t evil or Satan worshipers, I’m a good witch not a bad witch, celebrating nature as well as the Moon and planets. ”

I appreciate your attempt to make me feel comfortable, but the good witch, bad witch reference doesn’t help, it reminds me of the “Wizard of Oz” movie. That damn movie caused me a great amount of anguish as a child ; witches, those damn flying monkeys and all those dwarfs, midgets or little people, whatever is the politically correct name for them, it really freaked me out. My mother made us watch it every Thanksgiving back in Chicago and the song “Over the Rainbow” sent me into a panic and state of fear whenever I heard Judy Temple sing it.” ” No Santi, it’s Judy Garland who sang it, not Shirley Temple, you mixed them together.” “See what I mean. A perfect example of how just talking about it causes me distress. ” It was the first and last time I wore the shirt.

Quicksand Highway

His first book “Stray Dogs and Deuces Wild Cautionary Tales” was published in January 2020 by Horror Sleaze Trash Press. His next book is a collection of poems, “Not Real Poetry” published in July 2021 by Steve Cawte, Editor of Impspired Press. Arthur Graham, Editor of Horror Sleaze Trash Press released “Quicksand Highway” more short stories of adventurous mayhem in November 2021. Judge turned 68 last July and lives modestly in Costa Rica.