Kings Corkscrew

Bartle and the King’s Corkscrew Collection

The King had an Open Door policy, and no one took greater advantage of it than Bartle. In the Castle, there were several lobbies and halls that were open to the public at all times; and on any given day there were usually other galleries and salons open as well. Bartle was a frequent visitor. He…

Photo: Luke O'Brien

Peril and the Magic Spyglass

Perilandor’s town was in deadly danger from an evil mist that crept into the valley from the north and froze all it touched. He grabbed a few essentials and fled with his father, unable to locate his mother, sister, or brother before the lethal cloud closed in on his home. They scaled the eastern slope to…

Emmanuel

The Exultant Anguish of Being: A Christmas Toast

It’s a tough job being human. It’s a painful, difficult venture, this business of of being alive. I don’t notice that any other creature experiences worry or anxiety like we do; but nor do I notice that any creature experiences exultation or joy like we. Other creatures do not seem as eager to destroy themselves as…

muffler cold shower

Mufflers, Cold Showers, and Gratitude

Years ago, the fleet manager assigned a Chevy Lumina van to me for my work duties. It was a shabby car, and had essentially no muffler. I had to drive that thing about eight miles a day, which was about nine and half miles too many for me. The noise it made was truly miserable, making…

40 parakeets

40 Parakeets

On a recent visit to the bird shop to pick up finch seed, I noticed something unusual. “Wow”, I said to the shopkeeper. “That’s quite the supply of parakeets you’ve got today.” The shopkeeper sighed. “One of my breeders called me. ‘You gotta help me out!’ he said. ‘I went on vacation. My wife forgot…