Two’s Company – J. Walkup

With a hop-holder starchart, that gravy-drinking idiot thought he could find his way around the universe of dreams, but he was mistaken – there is nothing you can read on a hop-holder starchart that will tell you how to get anywhere.
Just ask that old Tumultuous Tooby, the wisher of pigeons.
Tooby held his pigeons in a grand old coop. This was back in the day of much larger coops, however, so for me or anyone to call his coop “grand” really meant something. It was grand. It was lavish. It was clean. It was energy-efficient and (for the most part) politically correct. Everyone wanted to visit Tumultuous Tooby’s pigeon coop. Wouldn’t you?
Of course you would.
(I say that a lot these days.)
Tooby had one of those less-than-accurate hop-holder starcharts, and on a blissful day back in 1979 he attempted to actually reach the stars. He was going to go for all the glory. I was but a tender youth at the time, but I knew a grand coop from a plain one, and I knew what glory that gravy-drinking Tooby would draw upon himself if his outlandish plan would actually work. He would be the talk of the town. The toast of pigeon-land.
Tooby took that hop-holder starchart in his sweaty little fist. He clenched. He squeezed. He dreamed. He went to his happy place. He went to his calm place. He went to his agitated place. He went to his nervous and shaky place. He soiled his trousers. He whistled a German marching-tune.
Nothing happened.
Tumultuous Tooby opened his eyes and wiped the palms of his hands on his stained trousers. He had felt the sweat pop out of his pores like bullets. That is, each little droplet of sweat had actually come to the surface of his skin as a little lump of soild lead – some of them with hollow points or with steel jacketed cores. It was the strangest thing. Tooby listened to the little leaden droplets as they rolled off his pants leg and onto the linoleum floor of his kitchen. He realized that perhaps the kitchen was no place to shoot for the stars and assume that your hop-holder starchart was going to do you any good.
Tooby came upstairs and sat down in his beanbag chair, right next to me in mine. We looked at each other for a brief moment.
“It didn’t work, did it?” I asked him.
“Shut up and give me a bite of your Zagnut,” he replied.
I handed it to him and we turned back to the TV. The hop-holder starchart never worked for Jack Tripper and Mr. Roper either.
Jessica took advantage of our free program for authors. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Share Your Story

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