All A Matter of Perspective

Flatmates Dave and Tony had a simple agreement. Each Saturday Tony would buy a five pack of doughnuts on the way back from his run and put them in the kitchen. Dave was welcome to share them, with the only stipulation being that he leave the last one for Tony. This arrangement worked well enough for about a month. Then, one morning after earlier having two each, Tony went to make a cup of coffee and to have the last doughnut.

“Dave, did you eat the last doughnut?” he shouted irritably.

“No,” his roommate replied.

“Then where did it go?”

“You ate it,” Dave responded.


“This morning at breakfast,” Dave said.

“I never did!”

“Yes, you did. You see, when you brought them in and then went for your shower, I opened the box and reversed the order of the doughnuts. So, you ate the last one at breakfast, and I helped myself to the first one a little while ago. It’s all a matter of perspective.”


Expression Perfection

“I love the celebrations and the way that they light up the sky,” Dale said.

“Why?  Okay, it’s pretty, but it’s also noisy and scares the dogs.  And surely, we could celebrate without having to stay up half the night, and then deal with the traffic jam that follows.”

“So, what do you propose we do instead?”

“Cake!”  It works for birthdays, and weddings,” Tina suggested.


“Why not?  It lasts a little longer than some flashes in the sky and tastes a lot better too.”

“How about cake with sparklers on top?”



Getting Your Goat

“This part if the journey is never easy,” Trenour said.

“Then why do we come this way?  The plateau path is a lot more pleasant than this constant up and down road through the hills,”  Wylder challenged.

“The plateau leaves us exposed.  I would far rather deal with hills than the nomads.”

“Are you telling me that you have dragged us to the back of beyond because you are afraid of a bunch of goat herders?” Wylder mocked.

“Bunch of ‘goat herders?’  They are a bunch of goat herders that overran the Hurnian Empire.  We don’t want to mess with them, especially of open ground.”

“But we have good armour and the best weapons money can buy,” Wylder observed.  “Surely we would have the upper hand.”

“Let’s not find out,” Trenour said gravely.

After about a half an hour, the pair crested a long rise to come face to face with about a thousand goats.  Scattered among the herd were about seventy nomads armed with staves and spears.  Three others approached on sturdy donkeys and began to nock short composite bows. 

“What do you think of our ‘goat herders now?’” Trenour asked, dropping his sword and raising his hands.

“Goat herders?  What goat herders, I only see fierce nomads,” Wylder gulped.



Colin couldn’t quite believe what he had just heard, but he most definitely had to go check it out. According to his brother Hugh, who had heard it from Andre the stable boy, a barbarian warrior had recently arrived in the town, and she, yes she, was staying at the tavern. But to top it all off, she was reported to have bare breasts!

Colin rushed through the streets, and pushed past the throng of young men that had gathered to gawk. He soon regretted his impetuous move, as she reached out and grabbed him by the collar. She dragged him across the table, and began to full-on kiss him, tongue and all.

He squirmed to free himself from her grasp, and fell gasping on the floor. “Bear breath! They had said bear breath.”


Never Return Home

It didn’t take long. Everything was over in less than five minutes. Ellis had bought himself a place on the mail coach and settled in for the journey to the town of his youth. He had been away for twenty years, and now after a career abroad that seemed twice that long, he looked forward to a well earned retirement.

His first awareness that something was amiss was when a tree fell across the path of the coach and it jerked to a sudden stop. Then when four masked men stepped in front of the horses all became clear. A weaselly built man demanded the cash box and the mails, and when the driver took longer than he thought necessary, the weasel shot a crossbow bolt into his shoulder.

It was then that instinct and muscle memory kicked in. Ellis swung open the coach door and rode it outwards, taking a flying roll onto the roadway. Coming to his feet, he loosed to daggers from his belt, piercing the chests of a bandit each. He then drew knife from his boot and embedded it in the forehead of a third.

The weasel was still desperately trying to reload his crossbow as Ellis snatched the throwing knife from third bandit’s skull and adroitly took out the weasel’s throat.

Ellis then went and tended to the driver’s wound and pondered if it was every possible for a mercenary to “go home.”


Giving it a Go


“Remember, everything is possible as long as you have a positive attitude, and truly believe you will succeed. Rest assured, Lads, I am right here behind you!”

“Okay, Sir; so as long as we keep believing that we can climb out of our trench in the face of pre-sighted machine guns, cross one hundred yards of waist-deep mud, shell-holes, and broken wire, and then work our way through an additional fifty yard wide mine field before climbing their barbed wire obstacles, we should take their trench easy-peasey?” Private Grant asked.

“I think that sums it up pretty well, Lad,” the captain replied.

“Well, let’s give it a go then,” Grant said confidently.

You just have to appreciate our education system, the captain thought to himself as he lined the eager replacements up for the assault.



Stake outs weren’t like they were in Dan’s father’s day. Dad used to be gone for days at a time and return home smelling of sweat and stale coffee. No, Dan’s surveillance were quite different with state of the art optics, audible, and sensor arrays. To make it better still it was all done in the station, a mere ten minutes from home with decent coffee, and a unending supply of donuts.


The Real Power In The Office

My boss called me into her office and silently handed me a piece of a paper instructing me to use my position as the office “gopher” to implement some productivity initiatives. First, I was to surreptitiously exchange the French grind coffee in the break room with a generic supermarket grind. This she believed would decrease the number of breaks for refills and also cut down on catering costs. Next, I was to gradually shift the file cabinets to decrease the standing space around the water cooler in order to hasten workers’ returns to their desk. Finally, I was instructed to replace the cushioned two-ply in the restrooms with a coarse paper which made toilet breaks on office time a less appealing proposition.

Well, her predicted results manifested themselves soon enough. But what I enjoyed most was not the sense of power I had in being instrumental in the changes; but rather the lucrative side-business I ran selling first-rate coffee, and plush toilet paper from my mail room trolley.


The Sighting

Waldemar Brandt at Unsplash

“I tell you, I know what I saw,” Hans said passionately.

“You couldn’t have. Everyone knows that these lands were cleared of them years ago,” Dieter replied.

“What are you two arguing about?” Karl asked, sitting down next to Hans.

“Nothing of any importance,” Dieter said.

“That’s not true,” Hans said indignantly. “I saw an Ogre in the wood.”

“If you did, how have you lived to tell of it?” Dieter challenged.

“I was lucky, or downwind, or something.”

“Or something,” Dieter mocked.

“Wait,” Karl interrupted. “In the Fallun Wood?”

“Yes,” Hans said.

“It wasn’t just me then,” Karl said leaning in and lowering his voice. “I found some odd tracks about a week ago and tried to dismiss it, then yesterday I saw something big deep in the treeline. I think we might have a problem here.”

“The problem . . . ,” Dieter almost shouted, before being hushed by the other two. “The problem is my two best mates have gone mad.”

Karl cut him off and whispered, “We need to check this out, but we farmers ain’t meant for such things. We need to have a look, but we need help.”

“What about Otis,” Hans whispered. “He was a warrior.”

“So now you want to get a sixty-year old all caught up in your craziness?” Dieter challenged.

“It can’t hurt to be sure,” Karl said. “If anyone can tell us if we’re fools or not on this, Otis is the one.”

“Fine,” Dieter said. “I can always use someone to back up my opinions.”


All In A Day’s Work

Trevor and Will had spent the morning filling potholes on the Farmington Road. With the job done, Will poured a couple of cups of tea from the flask while Trev looked at the next ticket.

“Looks like another bridge obstruction,” Trevor said, holding the paperwork up for his partner to see.

“That’s the third one this week,” Will reflected.

“I think it got something to do with the season,” Trev said.

“Could be,” Will said taking a gulp of tea.

The pair hitched up the horses to the red and yellow stripped wagon and headed to the bridge.

They stopped about fifty yards short of the structure, and Will opened the tailgate marked “Highway Maintenance” and took out two “Men At Work” signs. Meanwhile, Trevor donned his yellow reflective vest and strode to the bridge. He went about a third of the way over and leaned over the railing to look beneath it. He recoiled a bit and pinched his nose with two fingers before shaking his head and heading back to his colleague.

“It’s smelly down there, and it looks like a type two Ogre.”

Will opened the door of a cage at the back of the wagon, and grabbed the harness of a large goat. “Come on, Gruff, old fella, time to get you a little exercise.”