A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lou wanted to be something better than a pedestrian crossing sign. Like a flashing red light. Or a Do Not Enter.

One afternoon, a man waiting for the bus placed his sheepskin coat on Lou, covering his stripes. Lou was overjoyed. He wasn't a pathetic street sign any more. 

 That very same day, Bernice Le Grue was walking home with six butter tarts. 

Let's stop a minute and have a look at Bernice. Notice her hair hasn't been brushed for twelve years, and see that sizable pimple at the end of her nose. Regard the three grey hairs dangling from her chin. Do you see the way they move as if they had minds of their own? Or what about those enormous eyeglasses that magnify her beady black eyes? 

Of course, none of this would matter a lick if Bernice were kind. But her heart was a petrified lemon. So Bernice's outside and inside were a perfectly horrifying match.

As she walked, Bernice cursed under her breath because the butter tarts were for her sister, Eunice. Eunice loved desserts and Bernice hated making her sister happy. So when she got home, she planned to poison the tarts with curdled cream and rat spittle.

"That'll fix Eunice's #%&;!@* wagon for good," Bernice muttered. 

She approached the crosswalk where Lou was hiding under the coat and started across the street. 

Screech! Slam! Horrible Scream! 

Can you guess what happened? The ghastly Bernice Le Grue was completely flattened by a car. And so were those lovely butter tarts. 

Now you'd think the world would be better without a loathsome character like Bernice Le Grue around. But you'd be wrong. Because even people with worms in their soul have a place on this planet. 

Lou felt downright horrible for what had happened. He realized that maybe he'd been an important street sign all along. A few days later, someone finally removed the coat. And Lou always wore his stripes with pride. 

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