Author Archive: LeeAnn Rhoden

I am a writer, an editor, a reader, a mom and wife. Sometimes in that order, sometimes not.

Chapter 12: The End

“I wish for ice cream,” Dionne said.

“What?” Elvis asked sitting on a struggling Frankie.

“You said to make a wish. I wish for ice cream.”

“No, you foolish dragon. Breathe fire on Frankie.”

“Then can I get ice cream?”

“Get off me you stupid elf!” Frankie fought to throw Elivs off her.

“Dionne, please. I’m sure Mabel will write in ice cream for you. Just breathe fire on Frankie. I can’t hold her down forever. If she breaks loose she will erase us!”

“But if I breathe fire on her, I’ll be erasing her. Then I’ll be an eraser,” Dionne burst into tears. “I don’t want to be an eraser! Waaaaa! Hic!” Dionne’s crying brought on a case of the hiccups. Her second hiccup came out as a ball of fire.

“Yes! That’s it! Just aim your hiccups this way!” Elvis cheered.

A teary Dionne turned toward Elvis. “What? Hic!”

Elvis dove off Frankie just as Dionne’s fire ball hit square in the center of Elvis’s cloak sending up a plume of smoke.

“Whoa! Those are some hiccups,” Elvis said with a low whistle.

They stared at the blanket. It was scorched but otherwise in tact. The figure underneath was still.

“Is Frankie okay Elvis?” Dionne asked.

The figure below began to move and the cloak slowly slid off to reveal a dazed and confused Frankie. She was dressed in her fairy dress and wearing her wings. She shook her head and flapped her wings. Fairy dust fluttered all around them.

“What happened?” Frankie asked rubbing her head.

“What’s the last thing you remember?”

“I was visiting my sister in her story Summer in Fairy Land when I was hit in the head from behind. How did I get here? What story is this?”

Dionne bear-hugged Frankie sending dust all over. “I thought you weren’t yourself! I’m so glad you’re back!”

More and more words filled the pages. Pages began flipping. Characters returned; confused at first, but happy to be back in place again.

“II think it’s safe to go back to our stories now,” Elvis said.

“How do you know?”

Elvis pointed to the last two words….

The End

Chapter 10: It’s a Secret

Elvis flipped through the pages of the mysterious book. “The only words in chapter 1 are ‘run fast.’ The only words in chapter 2 are ‘erasers are coming.’ We know this already. How is this book going to help?”

“I don’t want to be erased!” wailed Dionne exhaling a wisp of smoke.

“At least you’re not burping fire balls anymore. That’s a good thing, right?” Frankie said.

“Chapter 3 only says ‘they can be destroyed,'” Elvis continued.

“Well, then perhaps Mabel left the instructions in the next chapter,” Frankie said rolling her eyes.

“I have a cousin Mabel,” Elvis said. “I wonder if this is her. She’s a writer of sorts.”

“How can you have a cousin who’s a real person? We’re fictional characters.”

“Yeah, well, that’s complicated. Chapter 5 is more interesting. Listen. ‘The erasers can be defeated. All things in fiction are possible. You must use your imagination to control the situation. Don’t let them get close to you even if you know them. Follow these rules. Step 1: Sprinkle fairy dust on yourself. It will protect you. Step 2: An elvin cloak can be used as wings to help you soar up and out. Step 3: Dragon’s breath – a flame – is a signal flare. Help will be on the way.'”

Frankie and Dionne looked at Elvis blankly. Dionne hugged her tail, straightening and polishing her scales. “So, if an eraser comes I need to send up a signal. But to who? How do we know we won’t signal another eraser to come wipe us out?”

“Like, what….they hunt in packs?” Frankie crossed her arms. “I’ve got plenty of fairy dust, but I don’t have my wings so I can’t fly. If the elvin cloak acts as wings, the writer probably wants Elvis to fly. Dionne, you can fly. Can I catch a ride on you?”

“Sure, I guess so. But where would we go?”

Elvis continued, “This is so cool. The words are just appearing here in real time. The narrator says ‘You fly out of the book and warn others. Spread fairy dust.'”

Frankie said, “Okay, if you’re so smart, Mabel, how do we know who is an eraser and who’s not? And how do we defeat them?”

Elvis read, “‘Shmendrick.’ Hey, that sounds like my cousin! ‘It is your cousin you big dummy. Listen up. Erasers are within you, within all of us. They are the secret desires we have. Destroy the secrets and you destroy the erasers.'”

The sky began to lighten with the opening of the cover. The trio looked up in fear and dread not knowing what was approaching. Just what sort of secret desires could be their doom?

To be continued…

Chapter 8: All Things Are Possible

Mabel stood frozen with disbelief in the recording studio. How? How could this be? How could he be an eraser?

“Mabel, mi amor, stop your silly writing and come away with me. We’ll travel the world as we imagined and see all the beautiful things there are to see.” He tried the door knob but it was locked.

Mabel’s mind reeled. She had to shake off this betrayal this unimaginable betrayal, and think! Think fast! “Carlos, I can’t believe you’re here. I can’t believe this is real.”

“Yes, mi amor, in fiction all things are possible.” He picked up a chair and hit the Plexiglas trying to break his way in.

Mabel put on her headphones and started speaking.

“The door was welded shut and there was no way for the betrayer to enter the room. The glass could not and would not break. He could not reach her.”

And the door was sealed shut, thwarting Carlos’s attempts at entry.

“Why do you keep us apart, my darling? I’m mesmerized by your beauty and can only do as you ask. I will protect you with all that I am and all that I have. I could not bring harm to you.” Carlos reached out with his velvet voice and silken words. His big brown eyes showed a warmth and sensitivity. His broad shoulders and well-muscled form offered comfort and security. 

Mabel wanted to believe him. She longed to be held in his arms and to feel safe. He was handsome, caring, smart and she could tell all her thoughts, hopes and fears to him. He kept her secrets and listened to her without interruption. He shared her dreams of traveling and adventures. He was her hero and… He was her creation. Her dream man. He wasn’t real.

Mabel closed her eyes and spoke again into the microphone.

“The beautiful woman said, ‘Carlos, I no longer lover you. We can no longer be together.’

Carlos clutched his chest. ‘Mi amor, you are breaking my heart. I cannot live without you.'”

Mabel watched Carlos mimic the actions in her narrative. She continued.

“‘Carlos, I cannot save you. I must go on with my life without you.’

Carlos said, ‘I’m dying without your love. I will die and return to dust.'”

And with her final words Carlos fell to the floor, lifeless, and turned to dust. Mabel spoke new words and opened the door.

“In fiction all things are possible. Brilliant!”

Once more Mabel put on the headphones and began speaking into the microphone. “Once upon a time there were wondrous creatures great and small, magical and not. They happily lived in wonderful books teaching lessons and having adventures. One day, a terrible magician appeared and tried to take away the stories. He made evil beings called erasers and sent them out into the world of stories to destroy them and the characters who live there. But one day, the evil magician made a terrible mistake and a narrator learned how to control them…”

To be continued…..

 

Chapter 6: Drawing Straws

Francesca glanced at her two companions Mabel and Bob. “Um, what do you mean by a ‘ritual sacrifice’? Who, or what, gets sacrificed? And how?”

The dark man turned his hooded head toward Francesca. “One character type must be completely eliminated. Make them extinct. The ‘how’ is between the three of you. But know this,” he leaned closer to the trio bringing a chill upon them, “you will do it or you will become extinct.” With that, he disappeared in a puff of smoke.

The trio coughed and waved their hands in front of their faces. “Gah! I hate that. Is he not aware that second-hand smoke is bad?” asked Bob.

“I don’t think he cares,” Mabel replied. “And what’s with you, Francesca? Have you gone completely mishegas? You can’t confront him; you’ll end up being the ‘sacrifice’.

“I just don’t know about this. We were hired to write fiction. New fiction. Now he’s all dark and twisted and smokey and wanting us to rewrite fiction and make characters extinct. And what’s with the cauldron? So cliché.  I don’t get it.”

“We don’t need to ‘get it’ we just need to do it. So, who’s it gonna be? Aliens? Fairies? Elves? Witches? Worlocks? Wizards? Who?” Bob asked.

“Not elves. Those are my people. I have a second cousin who’s an elf. He’s an ass, but still, he’s mishpocheh.” said  Mabel. “There’re a number of inter-species marriages to consider. What happens to the children? If we eliminate fairies and there are half-fairy half-elf children, do they cease to exist too?”

“I can’t believe you all are even talking about this!” exclaimed Francesca. “I suggest we take out the dark and twisty guy. Let’s make him extinct.”

Bob and Mabel looked at one another and then to Francesca. “That would certainly pull us out of our current predicament. Of course, he hasn’t paid us yet for what we’ve already written…. Hey…, I don’t think he’s gonna pay us.” Bob said.

Shmendrick.” Mabel rolled her eyes. “I’m in. How do we eliminate the Dark One?”

Francesca shrugged. “I don’t know. We need to do some research. Let’s go to the library and see what other authors did to eliminate their villains. And, I have a feeling, we’ll need to get some help.”

“Oohh! This sounds like an adventure story!” Mabel said. “My elf cousin, Elvis, was in an adventure story. I bet if we could find him, he would know how to gather people toward one purpose.”

“Yes, we’ll find him and let him do it,” said Bob.

“I said he’d know how to do it. Not that he could do it. He’s an ass with very few friends. But, he could tell us how to do it and perhaps introduce us to a few characters willing to help us not eliminate them.” Mabel answered.

“I forgot about the Erasers. How do we keep our Erasers from following us, or reporting back to ol’ Dark and Twisty?” Bob asked.

“One of us will have to stay back here and keep the erasers busy. Write a story without any characters. Keep making mistakes that will keep them busy erasing,” Francesca said.

“How do you write fiction without any characters?”

“Can we make up some unreal characters and then erase them?”

“No. When you write a character you give it a personality, make it talk, it has thoughts, it has potential even if it only becomes a secondary character or a walk-on character. A character is a person as soon as it’s conceived. Erasing it, would be the same as erasing one of the characters we already know.”

“Then we write a fiction story with only one character – a narrator.”

“But that’s suicide! Who wants to commit suicide?!”

They looked from one to another and fell silent for a moment. Each looking inside themselves for the ability to be the sacrifice, or worse, to be the one to condemn one of their cohorts.

“We’ll have to draw straws.”

To be continued…

 

Chapter 4: The Light

“You can stay if you want, but I’m outta here! I don’t want to be erased,” Marshall said. His buggy eyes grew buggier and his quivering was visible.

“Maybe Marshall is right. Maybe we should go too,” Dionne agreed hugging her tail. She gave a soft nervous burp, emitted a small fireball and ignited a shrub. “Oops.” Marshall gave a gasp-squeak.

“Marshall, what happens if all the characters leave their books?” Frankie asked.

“I don’t know. We had characters coming here in a hurry from all sorts of books. They warned us about being erased and then left too.”

“I wonder, if all the characters leave their books, then the books can’t open again. Maybe that’s what happened to our books. Maybe everyone left,” Frankie said.

“Then how do we get back to our stories?” Elvis demanded. “No offense but I don’t want to be stuck on a playground with an overgrown scaredy cat, a dragon with indigestion, and a fairy in yoga pants. I have standards.”

“Yeah, you’re superior, we get it,” Frankie jabbed. “Seriously, if characters leave books, they lose their magic. Where would they go? Marshall, you said you’re going to your Uncle Mike’s. What book is he in?”

“He’s not in a real book. He’s in a graphic novel.”

“Gah! A graphic novel is a perfectly acceptable form of literature!” Elvis stomped.

“We know. You’ve told us…” Dionne whined. “So what do we do? I don’t want to be erased and I don’t want to lose my magic. Do you know what it’s like out there for dragons? It’s dangerous, that’s how. Everyone wants one these days. I just can’t bear to think about being held captive and being pawed at like a kitten! Roarrrah! Hic!” Dionne’s cry shook the bushes and her hiccup scorched a patch of dry grass.

“Yeah, you’re cuddly,” Elvis complained. “Frankie, you’re smart, think of something.”

Frankie sat on the merry-go-round with her hand on her chin. “How do we even know that the Eraser is coming here? How do we even know Erasers exist? And if they do show up, who says we can’t hide from them?”

The four of them sat on the merry-go-round slowly turning and debating their predicament – stay or go; where to go.  Suddenly, the sky brightened – an indication that the cover was opening.

“Ooohhh! It’s the Erasers! They’re coming! I know it! It’s too late for us! Hide!” Marshall ran head first into the nearest thicket of shrubbery trying to hid his 7-foot frame. His head was hidden but his rear end protruded out of the hedge.

Elvis rolled his eyes. “Great. That’ll fool them. Dionne, save us all and burp on them.”

“I can’t seem to breathe,” Dionne whimpered.

“You guys, maybe someone is just opening the book to read it,” Frankie said. “Has it been that long since you’ve been read? If that’s the case we need to figure out how and elf, a dragon, and a fairy, are in an alien story.”

“But what if it’s not?”

To be continued…..

Chapter 2: Martians on the Playground

Frankie, Elvis, and Dionne moved from book to book trying to lift the covers. None of the fairy books opened. None of the elf books opened either. And to Dionne’s dismay, non of the dragon books opened. They sat on the top shelf as Tucker’s room began to lighten with the coming dawn.

“What are we supposed to do now?” Dionne pouted. “I’m tired and want to go to sleep. Why won’t any of my books open?”

“None of our books open,” Elvis yawned. “Why can’t we just sleep up here?”

“Don’t be stupid. You know why. We have to get into our books and we have to do it soon. The sun is almost up and if we are caught in this world when it rises, we’ll lose our magic.”

“What’s that smell?” Dionne asked burping our a small flame. “I’m so hungry.”

Elvis lifted his nose and twitched his nostrils. “Bacon. I’m sure of it. In my story, Journey to the Ancient Woods,” we had to camp out a lot and we ate bacon. A lot of bacon. It’s good.”

“What was that story about?” Dionne asked.

“Gah! Stop talking about food and plot lines!” Frankie chided. “Do you understand the seriousness of our situation?”

“So, what do suggest? If we’re stuck here we might as well retell stories and exchange recipes.” Elvis said.

Frankie stood and moved along the shelf pulling at various covers. Finally, one opened.”

“Hey! You guys! This one opened! Come on, we have to get in!”

“Frankie, that’s not one of our stories. What is it?”

“I doesn’t matter. We just get into the story, hang out for the day, and climb out tonight. Come on! Hurry, the sun is almost up.”

“How do we know we’ll keep our magic in that book? What if we go into that story, lose our magic, and then can’t get out?” Dionne asked.

“Aarrrgh! Guys! Does it matter? At least if we lose our magic in a story, we’re in a story,” Frankie argued.

“What does that matter? If we lose our magic out here then we can listen to Mom’s stories at bedtime and eat bacon,” Elvis said. “But, just out of curiosity, what is the story?”

Frankie stuck the arm of a stuffed bear under the cover to keep it propped open. Craning her neck around she read the title. “Martians on the Playground. Let’s go.”

Elvis shrugged, “Sure, why not. Martians aren’t too different different from Elves. I’m game. Come one Dionne.” Elvis stood and joined Frankie near the book.

“But what if they want to perform experiments on us?” Dionne said. She hugged her tail.

“Please, Dionne, we are out of time. They won’t try to dissect us. If they do, just burp on them,” Frankie pleaded.

“Okay, I guess.” Dionne joined the others and the three of them opened the cover. They placed their right leg under the cover and disappeared into the book.

To be continued…..

Chapter 14: Good Night Right Byte

“I’m not sure what our next steps should be,” Lucille conferred with Lori. “I think we should get some guidance from corporate before moving on our own.”

“You know what they are going to say,” Lori said picking at a cuticle. “We can’t have any loose ends, loose cannons, wild cards, or dissatisfied clients. She needs to be terminated from the program.”

Lucille approached me with an insincere smile and tried a soothing tone. “Lizzie, dear. We’ve been through a lot together these past few weeks. We’re friends. You can tell me where Casey is. You can tell me anything and everything. We don’t want you to get hurt, just tell the truth. If you do, I’ll get you ice cream.”

“I’ve told you all I know. And now I’d like a hot fudge sundae.”

“That’s it! I’m done!” Lori charged over and snatched Lucille’s phone from her hand. “If you won’t do it, I will. Why did you turn you’re phone off? You didn’t let your battery run down, did you? Gah! Fine, I’ll call corporate and have them do it. Why we we’re limited to controlling just our buddy I don’t know. We need back up.”

I watched Lori look at her phone and it mustn’t have been working either. She flew into a rage smashing her cell phone and Lucille’s. She grabbed my wrist and poked at my Right Byte and nothing happened.

“Something’s wrong. The phones, the Right Byte, all down. Something’s happened.” Lori rummaged through my kitchen drawers and found a knife. She turned toward me. “Lucille, gag your buddy. We don’t want the neighbors to hear her scream when we remove the Right Byte.”

I was terrified! Lucille shoved a dish towel into my mouth while Lori tried to get into a good position to cut off my hand. I wriggled and kicked and bucked my head. I landed a good head-butt into Lucille’s nose which caused her to fall into Lori. The two of them crashed to the floor. When they untangled themselves, Lucille’s nose was broken and bleeding. The knife was protruding from Lori’s thigh.

There was a terrible crashing sound from the living room and much to my relief, I heard Casey’s voice. “Lizzie! Lizzie, where are you?”

Casey ran into my kitchen followed by two police officers. They took control of a bleeding, crying Lucille and a bleeding, maniacal Lori while Casey ungagged and untied me.

“Thank God you’re okay!” we shouted in unison. “I told you it was a cult,” Lori said with a smile, helping me to my feet.

“Yeah, I guess it was. I was thinking about signing up for a yoga class…”

Chapter 12: Dangerous Liasons

Lucille, her beehive, and her smirk showed up at my door earlier than expected. She wasn’t alone.

“Good morning, buddy! How was your run this morning? Let’s weigh in.”

After the morning’s humiliation where I get weighed and measured in more ways than one, Lucille microwaved my “breakfast.”

“I just don’t understand it,” she said. “You’re exercising, your eating the prescribed meals, you’ve stopped trying to thwart our program, but you’ve started putting on weight.”

I looked up from the gray tofu and toast. “Well, I’ve been exercising. Muscle weighs more than fat.” God I hope they buy that. I watched the mysterious second party as she paced around my apartment. She wasn’t even trying to hide the fact she was looking for something. “Who are you and what are you looking for?”

“This is Lori,” Lucille said. The other one stared at me with blank eyes. “She was Casey’s buddy.”

I felt like I was in trouble and not for sneaking potato chips. “I don’t want her here. I don’t want any reminders of Casey right now.” I tried to feign grief. “Go away.”

“Well, she feels badly too. We thought that perhaps the two of you could grieve together.” Lucille’s smile was forced.

Finally, the second buddy spoke. “Where is Casey?”

“What? She’s dead! Haven’t you seen the news reports? How dare you come into my house and be so heartless about my best friend’s murder!” I was pissed. Anger is one of the stages of grief, isn’t it?

Lori looked at me with indifference. “The thing is, the Right Byte is still reading a heart beat from her. We can’t locate her whereabouts, but the biometrics work fine. She’s still alive. We just want to know where. And we think you know where that might be.”

I opened my mouth to protest but right on cue my cell phone dinged and incoming text message. Lori grabbed it and read it. “Someone named Robert says we have worms. What does that mean?”

“Robert is my veterinarian. He’s telling me my cat has worms,” I lied. And right on cue Fluffy saunters into the room. She squints at Lucille, turns to Lori, flicks an ear and hisses.

If I interpreted Robert’s message correctly, the worm was in place and just needed to be opened. I just hoped it wouldn’t happen with these two hanging out in my apartment. I don’t think they’d leave me here alone unsupervised and I didn’t want to find out what they’d do to me if they found out it was sabotage.

“Lori, while we’re here, let me email you that recipe I found the other night for roasted cole slaw.”

To be continued…

Chapter 10: Weight Loss = 150 + 125

I could not believe what Casey texted. What did she mean she wasn’t dead? What car bomb? Who the hell is Robert? I must have had a rise in my blood pressure or a screwy look on my face because my buddy noticed.

“What’s the matter, Lizzie. You seem tense,” smiled Lucy and her beehive hairdo.

“I’m hungry.” I wasn’t lying. The two tiny box meals were unsatisfactory and I felt weak and slightly disoriented. “Why can’t I have coffee?”

“You can. You just have to drink it black.” Lucy turned to answer the buzz of her phone. I was torn. I really like my coffee light and sweet so the idea of black coffee was not appetizing. However, I needed a boost.

“Good news!” she said. Her eyes were bright and beaming. “I just received the numbers for our Weight Loss group. We are down a total of 285 pounds! Isn’t that great?”

“How did the group lose that much in just two weeks? I’ve only lost 4 ounces.”

“Yes, well, every ounce helps. What’s important is that we stick with the program.”

Lucy microwaved my “dinner” and watched me eat it. Then she did a sweep of my apartment looking for any contraband food and when she was satisfied that I was alone with just my thoughts, she left. I waited the usual 15 minutes for her to do her final check on my vitals for the night. I had learned that no matter what I did after 9:00 PM I didn’t receive shocks. As long as I stayed in my apartment anyway. I was curfewed from 9:00 PM to 5:30 AM. And at 5:30 I leave my apartment then and “jog” to the 24-hour grocery where I buy snacks. I hide them in the access panel for the plumbing in the back of my closet.  Any pleasure reading from my Right Byte I tell Lucy is from a work-out high. She believes me as long as I’m complacent while she’s here.

My phone interrupted my potato chip binge. The caller ID said nothing – not even unknown caller. “Helwo?” I said with a mouth full of chips.

“Lizzie?” an unfamiliar man’s voice answered. “This is Robert. I’m calling on a secure line but we only have a few minutes. Casey is fine. She is staying in my cubicle so her tracking device can’t be detected. My friends in the NSA  planted a fake news article about Casey’s death. We are working to get the Right Byte off her. I’ll call again when we know more.”

I stared at my phone with crumbs falling out of the corners of my mouth. That all made my need for chips seem so small. How is the NSA involved with all this? Casey is living in a cubicle? Who is Robert? I started pacing so my Right Byte would register exercise and because I needed to pace to burn off nervous energy and to think. Lucy got a call right after Casey’s car blew up. Weight loss. Casey weighed 125 pounds. I flipped through the texts Casey sent yesterday. Janice Wiloughby, the poor dead woman, weighed 150 pounds. We weren’t losing weight; they were killing us off!

I had to get this Right Byte of me. I needed a plan.

To be continued…

Chapter 8 – Casey’s Story

There are very few people I actually like. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going out with some people and having a good time, but in the long run there are only a handful of people I actually let into my sphere of privacy. Lizzy is one of those people. I think of her like a sister and so I let her come over to my house whether or not the bathroom is clean. I don’t judge her, and she doesn’t judge me.

This whole Weight Clinic thing isn’t for me; it’s for her. She feels like she needs to control the food aspect of her life and I’m there to support her. Personally, I think she gives food waaaayyy too much credit but then my mom’s idea of a home cooked meal was a vending machine sandwich we ate at home. Nevertheless, I signed up to help her with her impulse control. This “buddy” thing is just not for me.

My “buddy,” Lori, was being detained by my office security and my HR department. She lacked the proper and necessary credentials to enter the building. When she claimed to be my “buddy” I was honest and told them I didn’t know her well enough to vouch for her or to authorize a Visitor’s Pass and she’d have to go through the appropriate channels in order to shadow me. These channels were a thorough background check, her employer interview, and a completed “Request for Access” form – which had to be verified and approved. A simple text to my friend Claudia in HR and I’m assured that these channels will take several business days, possibly stretching into weeks for finalization. Claudia also assured me that security would not permit this “buddy” to be loitering at any of the exits waiting for me to leave. So, while I was at work, I was in the clear. My “buddy” did manage to squeeze in a shock every now and then as a reminder that she was still in touch with me. Bitch.

Lizzy texted me the news article on the woman found dead with her left hand cut off at the wrist. We believed her demise and the Weight Clinic were intertwined. I read the article and the updates on the online newspaper. Janice Willoughby, 35, was found in the alley between 3rd and 4th Avenues on Wednesday night. It was confirmed that her left hand had been amputated at the wrist. She lived alone in an apartment on 8th Avenue. She was a professional blogger. The comments were most interesting. There were over 250 in total. Some ranting about the safety of single women at night. Others raving about the body snatchers and that’s why her hand was missing. One woman, screen name Chunky, insisted that the victim’s friend was involved. One man, screen name Marvin the Martian, claimed to have dated the victim and he was sad.

I had briefly dated a guy whose name I forget. I forgot it when we were dating too which is why he broke up with me. I would have been upset but he failed to imprint on me sooo… So, of course I thought I should call him. And after asking the person in the opposite cubicle from mine what his name was, I looked him up in my phone. His name was Robert and he was into computers and hacking and he worked for some cyber security company. Which is why I always thought of robots around him. Robert the Robot.

“Hi Robert! This is Casey. Long time! How have you been? Oh yeah? Married? Really? A boy and a girl? Wow. Two. Well, I didn’t think it had been that long. That’s great! Me? Well, same ol’ same ol’. No, not married, no kids. Yeah, well, I’ll get to my point. I need a favor….” I explained to Robot that I needed the real names and contact information of Chunky and Marvin the Martian.

Right on cue, I received a shock. Bitch.

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