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Sunday, August 7, 2022

bag of gold, part 4


by nick nelson

part four of four

for part three click here

for part one, click here



delacroix is here.

who?.

delacroix. shifty. the cop from north city.

oh, him. i don’t suppose he told you what he wants.

no. do you want to see him?

i’ll see him. i’ll buzz you if i decide i have had enough of him.

all right.

have a seat, delacroix. what can i do for you?

it is what i can do for you, mr c. you know i have owed you one for a while.

i am very aware of that fact.

i have something that might interest you. it seems like a bit of a long chance, but i thought it might do.

tell me about it, and i will decide if it does.

that cigar looks like a good one.

it is a very good one. if i like your story, i might tell you where you can buy one for yourself.

all right, here it is. there is an old woman living out in the fourth quarter, by the bend in the river,

the fourth quarter, where rich people used to live?

yes.

so she used to have money?

exactly. now she seems to have some goods that she wants to dispose of…

but she has a problem.

yes.

keep talking.

*

i spoke to a policeman, or detective or whatever he was, on tuesday.

we are not the police. we are information specialists.

if you have no official standing, i have no information to give you.

you have information to give us.

i will call the police.

you will not call the police.

well then, as little as it comports with my dignity, i will scream for help.

no one will hear you. the houses nearby are deserted. your maid has gone home, we saw her leave. you answered the door yourself.

a car might drive by and hear me. a vagabond might walk by and hear me. there have been an alarming number of them in the vicinity lately.

we will take our chances on those things. we are wasting each other's time here. we want to know where you got the gold coin you gave the bank. and if you have any more of them.

i told the policeman. a man, a complete stranger to me, gave it to me when i was a little girl. i have no more of them.

we do not believe that that story is true. we hope, for your sake, that it is not.


the end


Saturday, August 6, 2022

bag of gold, part 3


by nick nelson

part three of four

for part two, click here

for part one, click here



fifty years later.

i would like to speak to miss juliana williams, please.

this is juliana williams.

good afternoon, miss williams, my name is harland perkins, and i am an officer of the first bank in wilsonville. how are you today?

i am doing just fine, mister perkins. yourself?

i am doing very well, thank you.

what can i do for you today, mister perkins.

i am calling about the one hundred dollar gold coin you deposited at our branch in pineville.

what about it? is it counterfeit?

no, it is perfectly good. but could you tell me where you got it?

i do not see any reason why i should..

the police are interested in the matter.

really? then i will talk to the police if they contact me.

*
good afternoon. i would like to speak to miss juiiana williams.

who shall i say is calling?

i am detective morris delacroix, of the state police.

oh, yes, she was expecting you. please come in.

would you like some coffee , lieutenant, is it?

just detective, and thank you, but no thank you.. my business will be brief.

and the business concerns the gold coin i deposited in the pineville bank?

it does indeed. perhaps you have had time to refresh your memory as to where you got it.

i remember very well where i got it. i was not inclined to tell the gentleman at the bank, on such short notice, where i got it. perhaps i was getting a little too much up on my high horse. i apologize for any inconvenience i may be causing you.

thank you. be that as it may, where did you get the coin?

when i was a little girl, a man on main street told me i was a pretty girl and gave it to me.

just like that?

yes.

a one hundred dollar coin?

yes.

did he - act improperly in any way?

oh no. there were hordes of people around. i think it was the fourth of july.

and you were how old?

i think i was thirteen, give or take a year.

what did your parents think?

i never told them about it. i just took it home and hid it. for a rainy day.

and the rainy day came last week?

i am afraid it did.

and that is your story?

yes, it is.

and you do not have any more of these coins?

no.

thank you. that is all i need.

are you sure you would not like something to drink? coffee, tea, mineral water?

no thank you. p>

part foor


Friday, August 5, 2022

bag of gold, part 2


by nick nelson

part two of four

for part one, click here




well, here we are. what do we do now?

try knocking on the door.

hey pete - pete? are you in there,

knock harder.

i don’t think he is in there.

look in the window.

it’s dark - i can’t see anything.

you are the one who wanted to wait until dark.

you got any other ideas? that window looks like we could get stuck in it

that door doesn’t look he spent any of his gold on it.

you want to break it down?

what else are we here for?

it’s dark in here. we don’t have any matches.

i brought matches, dumbhead.

look! there’s somebody on the bed! it must be pete!

a brilliant deduction.

is he dead?

dead drunk, probably. let’s look around.

he’s cold. he is dead!

good, now we have time to look around. you aren’t scared, are you?

not me.

*

all right, we got the gold, let’s get out of here.

not so fast. let’s split it up first.

we can split it up later.

we can split it up now,

maybe we should just bury it somewhere. if we start spending it and they find his body the police will put two and two together…

i know all that. but if we just bury it and we both know where it is, how will we each know the other won’t dig it up? or one kill the other to get it all? better to split it up now and we won’t know where the other put theirs.

how are we going to split it?

fifty fifty.

i mean, we need another bag. do you want to look around here for one? let’s get out of here.

i brought a bag. for just this eventuality.

you and your big words.


part three


Thursday, August 4, 2022

sincerity


by walter w johnson iii



all i ever wanted was to meet a sincere person who would accept me for who i am.

*

people write poems about trees and rocks and flowers and clouds and the sun and the moon and the sky and rivers and oceans but who really cares about any of that stuff?

i just want to meet a sincere person.

*
mmm

i hated being a child and a teenager but i was afraid to grow up and have to find a job.

i hate being alive but i am afraid to die.

i guess a lot of people feel the same way.

that is why i don’t understand why they are not nicer and more sincere.

*

a man looked out a window at a tree.

it had been there the day before and the day before that and it was still there.

he decided to make himself a piece of toast and put raspberry jelly on it.

that man was me!

*

but even if i am, so what?

it does not mean people can’t be nice to me.

*

why do people have to be so nasty?

i just don’t get it.

*

a bird flew through the air.

the sky was blue.

then it landed in a tree.

then it flew off again.

a man walked down the street.

he did not have any money.

or any friends.

nobody cared.

a bug crawled across the sidewalk.

the man with no friends did not even see it.

did the bug see him?

the man did not think about the bug because he did not even see it.

did the bug think about him?

did it think, i better hurry across this sidewalk before that monster steps on me?

who is more alive, the man or the bug?

who is more sincere?


bag of gold, part 1


by nick nelson

part one of four




you think you know everything.

i didn’t say that.

but you do,

i didn’t say so.

you won the spelling bee.

somebody had to win it.

mrs williams said you were the smartest kid in class.

she had to say it about somebody.

but you’re just a girl.

that is true, i can't deny it.

you will never amount to nothing.

maybe not.

you will just be a teacher or something, or get married and have kids. you will never build a railroad or make a million dollars.

are you going to make a million dollars?

i might. i know something you don’t know.

you probably know a lot of things i don’t know. like whether you had corn flakes or flapjacks for breakfast this morning.

i know where i can get a million dollars.

right.

i do so.

where is this million dollars? is it in one dollar bills, twos, fives, tens, twenties?

i am not sure. i think it is in gold - a bag of gold.

the plot thickens. where is tis bag of gold? have you seen it.

you know old crazy pete - who lives down by the river?

ha, ha! oh, please.

everybody thinks he doesn’t have any money. but he always has enough for a bottle of whiskey, doesn’t he? where does he get it, tell me that.

who knows? catching cattfish, maybe. have you ever seen this bag of gold?

no, but billy joe willard did!

so why doesn’t billy joe willard steal the bag of gold?

because he doesn’t have the guts.

and you do, i suppose.

i do, i just need somebody to help me. but there is no use asking you, you’re just a girl!

you want me to go down to crazy pete’s shack with you? i will go down to crazy pete’s shack with you.

when?

when it gets dark.

it is getting dark now, it will be dark by the time we get down there.


part two


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

sad


by walter w johnson iii



people are sad

especially if their shoes are untied or their socks fall down and nobody likes them

dogs are sad

especially if they have no human to feed them and they have to make their own way

are cats sad?

kittens maybe, but full grown cats look mostly just bored or annoyed

elephants are sad

in circuses and zoos, but maybe not in the rolling savannas where they can knock down trees and run over people’s vegetable gardens

hippos are never sad

just sitting in the mud

cars are not sad

even if nobody drives them and they get covered in rust, they just take it on the bumper

are mosquitoes and fleas sad?

it is hard to tell, they are so small

is all nature sad? is mother nature sad?

they are not saying, are they?

are aliens sad?

we might find out if they ever get here


Thursday, July 28, 2022

i had a dog


by walter w johnson iii



i had a dog
and the dog had a cat
the cat had a ball
and the ball had a bat

the bat had a belfry
and the belfry had a clown
the clown blew a bugle
and they all fell down

an inspector came
and surveyed the scene
his name was jerry
and he jumped like a bean

jerry the jumper
wore a coat and a hat
he liked vanilla ice cream
and never got fat

he had an aunt named millie
and an uncle named joe
they lived out on the prairie
a long time ago

they had a mule named mike
who ate lots of hay
a tornado came
and blew them all away

the sky turned black
and a sign appeared
of a man on horseback
with a long white beard

his name was bill
and he collected the rent
he drank corn whiskey
and lived in a tent

the tent had a pole
and the pole had a cat
and my story is ended
just like that