Samuel Emoto Forgot the Roses

The doorbell rang in Stephen Tedesco’s residence, so he answered the door. Before him was a man casually cracking peanuts named Samuel Emoto. The man had no clothes on except for a censored block between his legs.
“What do you want?” asked the stranger at the door.
Stephen replied, “What do I want? No, what do you want?”
Astonished, Samuel glared at the man for about 7 seconds and said, “No, I live here. What do you want?” Stephen began to question himself. Was he really Stephen Tedesco? After a little hesitation, Stephen apologized and made his way next door.
When Samuel appeared at the door, Stephen’s mouth opened automatically with the words: What do you
Ever since then, Stephen found the confidence he needed in himself. But the confidence could not keep him from choking on a peanut and dying. Samuel attended the funeral, but he forgot the roses.


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Justin Kimberlin’s Purple Thumb




Justin Kimberlin awoke with a purple thumb. He was an insurance salesman with a 10-year excellence pin to prove it. Because he wasted every sick day at home attempting to break his penny stacking record, he felt obliged to continue his workday despite his thumb. So he wrapped his hand with a cloth and managed to fix himself salesman like.

He swung down from the tree house and left for the bus. The sun appeased the clouds. The wind teased the leaves. Though the sound of vehicles felt abrasive, Justin allowed it.

A third of the way to the bus stop, three men in city camouflage appeared behind a lamp post and gazed steadfastly as if Justin were a wounded fawn in Wolf Town. There was Justin and three men, and a post. The rest of the surrounding was boring white space.

“We see you’re wounded,” declared one of the men, pulling a bowstring, and aiming an arrow.

“Trot away and see what happens,” added his partner, and moments later an arrow lodged itself into Justin’s concept of time, throwing him three days behind schedule. The other man kept quiet.




Three days later, Justin walked into work where square shapes dominated. He passed the 7-year old Markie who always greeted him with spitballs and reminders of how he had once again doubled Justin’s insurance policy sales.

“What are you hiding behind your back, Justin?” Markie asked. He put out his clove cigarette under someone else’s desk. Justin floated past him as usual and hoped to do the same to Jack Hammerhead, the manager.

Then a hand grabbed Jack’s arm. It was Jack Hammerhead. His head was as hot as a teapot. Everything drew quiet, even the sound of the computers. The showdown was on. This was Justin versus Jack. Like a wand, Jack extended his finger to Justin, then to the private office. Justin found himself pulled right into Jack’s chamber.

If Jack were a real shark, the office’s desk would have already been bitten in half. “You better have a damn good explaination for this!” Jack flapped his arms like fins. His toupee moved a little to the left then the right.

“Well,” said Justin, staring at the homeless man sitting in the corner, shaking a plastic cup of coins. “If I can recall,” he pulled a little notepad from his shirt pocket and flipped through it, “ah yes, my dog ran away, so I got lost in traffic where my grandmother died last year.”

The dreadful silence of waiting for Jack’s response crept like an uninvited guest.

“Very well, but if it happens again, it’s Charlotte Avenue with you.”

Charlotte Avenue was the time out corner everyone avoided like an ensemble of crying babies. Justin avoided it this time and returned to his desk with as much relief as a Russian roulette survivor. Justin loved that game.




On break, Justin approached his favorite oak tree, the one that looked like a happy salesman. He climbed it, despite his bad thumb, then made himself a makeshift work tie noose.

The deed was almost executed, but then three men interrupted the scene.

“Aaaooooooo aoo oo oooo!”

The Urban Wolves arrived. There was Chain, the chain-rattler, Swing, the club-swinger, and Chop, the switchblade-flasher. Chain growled and stomped his dirty roller-skate. With a halfsmirk, he politely asked, “Good’ay mate, care to spare a tooth ‘r two? You see, there’s this night fairy who–”

“My teeth are attached, gentlemen! How about a pocket of be-gone-before-I-give-you-a-spare-tooth-in-your-neck!” Justin undid the makeshift noose from the tree.

Noticing Justin’s double-sized thumb as he was untying, Chain asked, “’Ey, what’s the big idea with that thumb of yours?”

“’Ey boss, that’s one purple thumb!” Chop shook his head from side to side as if getting a mosquito out of his ears. That was his thing, especially when excitement was near. “He wants a real ass pounding doesn’t he?!”

Immediately, Swing jumped up and grabbed Justin’s legs, only to fall down with one of Justin’s shoes.

“Alright,” said Swing, but if we find you in our tree again, you’ll be gumming your next pork chops.”

“Yeah!” said Chop, “and with a sore ass!”




Back at work, Justin sat down at his desk and unwrapped his thumb. The swelling had doubled. It looked now like a little eggplant with a maggot or two dancing along sporadic pulses.

Markie was observing the entire time, keeping a gnarlier face than when he once walked in on his parents wrestling naked in banana pudding. “Justin, you disgusting fool!” Markie drew his face closer. “Put that thing away!”

In an instant, the chair flew to the side, and Justin ran to the bathroom, concealing his hand under his shirt. Everyone must have thought he had the squirts.

In a bathroom stall was Jack who was reminiscing about the time he tore down a child’s sandcastle with his bare fists.

Justin took another look at his thumb, and a black dizziness overtook him.

“Hey, put the light back on!” demanded Jack. Justin flipped it off in order to dramatize his own reaction to the thumb before him.

Once on, Justin saw in the mirror that the thumb had increased in size yet again. It felt like an elephant’s swollen tongue, licking away semblances of self-control. Already, it was beginning to have a mind of its own.

When Jack came out of the stall, he was greeted with a blow that felt like an angry butcher’s meat slab toss to the face.

“Sorry!” Jack was being jerked about like a mistreated Chihuahua on a leash.

The bathroom door crashed open and the thumb headed straight for Markie, who was close by since everyone was eavesdropping. It got the poor boy right in the gut, and just as another blow was to be delivered, a chain emerged and prevented the attack.




“Leave the poor lad alone, you frothing baboon!” The spirit of the wolf overtook Chain.

“We’ve originally come for your other shoe, but now we’ve come for justice.” Swing gave a slug at Justin’s head as if to take it off completely. Instantly, Justin was knocked cold. The thumb, if it can even be called that anymore, squirmed under Chop’s grasp. When it grew further, Chop felt overpowered. The Urban Wolves stepped back with braced legs and prepared for all-out war. The slab grew.

At this point, everyone but the wolf warriors fled far away. By now, the slab had eaten half of Justin. The three men were but leaving scratch marks on this monster.

Now there was no Justin whatsoever. Like an enormous sack of disarrayed dough, the monster crept forth toward the three men, but then suddenly stopped. A lump began protruding from the center until a hand emerged followed by an arm. In disbelief, the three men found Justin before them.

The dough melted to the ground, and Justin collapsed on his back.




The three men investigated the scene. But when Justin awoke, they were not three men. They were three curious wolves sniffing at his body. The branch had snapped in a forest nearby Charlotte Avenue. The cord was still around his neck, and he was still in his tie with the 10-year pin attached. His thumb ached. He noticed two little fang marks on it.

Television Store

Deedee Poowangle awoke one morning to watch cartoons, but the television broke.

After breakfast, Deedee Poowangle set her mind on buying a new television, but she did not know where. On her way out, she ran into Gingerfinger Wiggletoes, the janitor. Gingerfinger Wiggletoes insited on helping her find the store.

So Deedee Poowangle and Gingerfinger Wiggletoes set out to the store. The two progressed slowly because Gingerfinger Wiggletoes kept sweeping leaves from the walkway before them.

The two entered a nearby barbershop for directions. The barber, Squeegee Squarewaffle, was snoozing on the floor, curled up like a cat. Deedee Poowangle said hello several times while Gingerfinger Wiggletoes poked the barber with the broom stick.

Squeegee Squarewaffle awoke. She knew about the store and insisted on taking them there.

So Deedee Poowangle, Gingerfinger Wiggletoes, and Squeegee Squarewaffle set out to the store. The three progressed slowly because Squeegee Squarewaffle snipped at every bush while Gingerfinger Wiggletoes swept the remains.

Passing by a fire station, Hefferson Greenwagon, a fireman, approached and joined them for no reason other than wanting to go out for a walk with strangers.

So Deedee Poowangle, Gingerfinger Wiggletoes, Squeegee Squarewaffle, and Hefferson Greenwagon set out to the store. The four progressed slowly because Hefferson Greenwagon axed every bench while Gingerfinger Wiggletoes swept the remains and Squeegee Squarewaffle lost herself in the vanity mirror.

Upon a small bridge over a river, Bojenkins Beetlebum, a fisherman, overheard the four. Because the bait shop was next to the television store, he joined them.

So Deedee Poowangle, Gingerfinger Wiggletoes, Squeegee Squarewaffle, Hefferson Greenwagon, and Bojenkins Beetlebum set out to the store. The five progressed slowly because Bojenkins Beetlebum reeled in pieces of trash while Squeegee Squarewaffle snipped at the line and Gingerfinger Wiggletoes put the pieces in trash cans. Hefferson Greenwagon was at the side playing with his fire blanket.

Finally, the five found the store, but the door was locked. A detective, Pingpong Yogurtlips, came by and pulled out a magnifying glass. He concluded that the store was closed.

Jean-Paul Gagnon’s Run

After an hour, Jean-Paul Gagnon succeeded in tying his running shoes, only to then untie them, as he had forgotten to place his feet in first.

Upon resolving the matter, he ran toward the door to resume his daily exercise, yet remained in place. After heated negotiations with himself, he dropped his mime act and ran out the door. So with loosened hinges, the door escaped.

Jean-Paul Gagnon chased after the door. Seeing the door gain speed, Jean-Paul Gagnon dropped the television in his arms that was slowing him down.

The door shifted to a higher gear, so Jean-Paul Gagnon did the same. An officer clocked the two as running 52 in a 35 mile per hour zone, so the cop switched on her siren.

Despising cops, Jean-Paul Gagnon and the door increased their velocities to the broken sound barrier, losing the cop. The two ran up and around obstacles like supersonic ants.

Behind still, Jean-Paul Gagnon increased himself to near light speed, only for the door to match him. The two encircled the globe, bending space-time onto itself. Jean-Paul Gagnon ran in on his earlier self at the moment the door was unhinging itself.

Terrified, he escaped through the window, then outran his physical body. Along the ethereal state, he tripped on an untied shoestring and elbowed a passing angel.