Sunday, August 29, 2010

China Drop - free short stories

“You will never get my forniula. Leave me alone!” Lee slowly backed up on the metal catwalk high above the vats of brewing beer below. Several large grunts, whom could barely fit in between the rails, were closing in on him followed by a smaller smarter looking man that was dressed in a black suit with a matching wide brim hat. He was dressed as if he had just been transported from the 1920’s “Well, if you don’t give it to us we are just gonna have to take it from you, Lee. Why not cooperate and just hand the vial over. It may save your life,” the boss growled with a New York accent. “This formula has been in my family for hundreds of years. It is an ancient Chinese secret. I cannot simply give it to anyone. Do you realize the consequences if this stuff got into the wrong hands?” Lee was quicldy mnning out of places to go and would have to eventually face them. “Come on Lee, we will take care of it for you while you are away. Don’t give us any more trouble.” “Away? I’m not going anywhere.” The grunts pulled out gleaming pistols from under the armpits of their coats and pointed them at the now horrified Lee. Quickly, Lee pulled out the vial and popped off the top behind his back so the men would not notice. “Oh you’re going somewhere all right, whether you give us the forniula or not. Kill him! We don’t have time for these games anymore.” The guns barked fire echoing loudly throughout the entire plant. Searing hot lead tore through Lee’s body perforating it in several places as the brass cases that were ejected bounced about on the catwalk and found their way through one of the holes after a while. Slowly, Lee slid down the support bar clutching the rail as he fell. With his last gasp of breath Lee replied, “I told you... nobody is going to get the formula.” His final ounce of energy allowed him to drop the precious vial into the open beer vat below. Clutching his wounds in horror on the way down, Lee slumped over as his blood slowly drained through the metal catwalk floor. “Damn it! You idiots let him dump it into the beer!” the man in black screamed at his brainless minions. “Search him... Quicldy! We need to get out of here.” The three men rapidly spmng into action checking all the pockets of the dead man for any more possible vials. “Nothing boss,” one of them gmnted. “Come on, Let’s go you fools!” Quicldy, the men disappeared from the scene before the night security guard for the brewery could get to them. As the long black car containing the mysterious men sped off into the night the leader cursed, “If we could have gotten that vial, I could have ruled the world. It is so concentrated that the one vial will probably make the entire vat of beer become active.” “What does it do boss?” one of the henchmen asked. “It gives the user incredible ESP powers you dope head! Now we will have to start over and track down another source. Damn you, idiots!” he screamed slapping one of the large men in the back of the head. Fortunately, Kelly Beer Co. had an excellent public relations manager that kept the death of Lee out of the local papers. Unfortunately, they did not realize that anything was added to the batch or beer. It was canned, as usual, and distributed throughout South Dakota. Hundreds of convenience stores in the region carried Kelly Beer and stocked their shelves unknowingly with the contaminated product. Fred Miller had gotten off of work a little early on Friday. After all, he had to pick up a few items for his gathering that evening. It was the weekly poker night for Fred and all of his friends and this Friday was Fred’s turn to host it. Poker night for the guys always included good old Kelly Beer. After picking up a couple of cases from the convenience store, Fred went home and put out the peanuts in the large bowl that was in the center of the playing table. Seven o’clock finally came and Fred’s friends began to show up to have a little fun after a hard week at work. “0. K. boys, five card stud is the game.” Fred started passing out cards after a quick sip of his beer. Several others had also popped open a cold one as they received their cards for the first hand. Unknowingly to those involved, this would be one of the strangest poker nights ever in history. By the third hand, the effects had begun to show in the men. Fred did a double take as he thought he ‘saw’ through the back of one of his friend’s cards. The face of the cards had flashed quickly in his mind. “Stop showing me your cards, man!” Fred exclaimed to his innocent buddy. “I didn’t,” his friend replied puffing on his cigar and opening his second beer. The cards again flashed in Fred’s head this time staying ‘on’ longer than they had before. “You ARE showing me. All you got is a couple of 3’s.” “Hey man, you got a mirror set up or something? Cut it out. It ain’t funny. I fold,” he said with a restrained anger flowing through his veins. “I’m telling you, you showed them to me. I don’t have any mirrors set up,” Fred said as he tried to defend himself “That’s 0. K. because I see yours too. You have two pair,” his friend replied with a sense of justice. “Hey man, now you cut that out. Nobody tell anybody what cards they have. And don’t show anyone them; this is getting out of hand,” Fred said beginning to get angry because his hand had been prematurely revealed. “But he is right, I can see them too. You have two tens and two fives,” another of his friends blurted while taking another sip of his beer. “What the hell is going on?” Fred asked, “I can see everyone’s now.” “Me too.” “Same here.” “This is very strange. Why are suddenly all of us able to read cards without seeing them? Something is definitely wrong here.” Fred was beginning to get worried about their predicament. “What are you guys talking about? I don’t see anything but the back of the cards,” Jack said while sipping on his Coke. “You mean to say you can’t see through this card, Jack,” Fred asked in disbelief “No, it looks just like the back of all the cards. A pattern of red diamonds is all I see.” “Wait a minute, Jack does not drink alcohol — something must be in the beer that is causing all of this.” Suddenly Jim jumped across the table at Lany screaming in anger, “Larry you sack of s---! I can’t believe all this time my best friend at work has been screwing my daughter right behind my back!” Lany backed up to avoid Jim’s fanatic swings and confessed, “Hey man, I’m sony... she is my age and very pretty. How did you find out?” Restrained by his friends, Jim yelled, “I don’t know. When I looked at you I just saw both of you together and I just knew. It must be this dad burn crazy beer.” “0. K. Jim, calm down. Everyone knew that your daughter was doing Lany. Let’s keep our cool in this situation and think,” Fred said trying to slow the pace of his rapidly expanding thoughts. “Maybe we could use this stuff to our advantage. How much beer do we have left, guys?” Fred asked. “We only have half a case left.” “Well, lets go get some more before anyone else figures this out.” Half a dozen guys packed into Fred’s mini-van and sped off to the store where he had bought the original beer. Unfortunately, when they arrived, several armed military policemen guarded the area as others were loading the beer on to the back of a large green military truck. “Well, I guess we will have to make do with what we have guys. Tiy to think of what we could possibly do with this stuff” The men pondered momentarily and racked their brains to come up with an idea. Then one of the men’s faces lit up, as he was enlightened on a possibility. “I got it! Let’s go to Vegas. We will make a fortune; even if it is only for one night,” Fred blurted excitedly. “Good idea!” Jim exclaimed, “Who is in?” All of them agreed that this was the best use for the leftover beer. They left immediately after noti1,ring their wives and agreeing that they would split the money evenly among themselves. Their weekend trip to Vegas netted 2.1 million dollars. After getting kicked out of virtually every casino in Vegas the men returned home and split up the money. The gang all quit their jobs and lived the high live for a while with their winnings. None of them ever figured out what was in the strange beer that caused them to get rich over a weekend. Never again in all of their subsequent gatherings did the friends have a more profitable game of poker. Don’t Eat the Beans Buddy Wilson had been a bean farmer in a small eastern Georgia town for most of his life. Unfortunately, he was barely making ends meet with his crop earnings. There was just not much demand for beans in the marketplace. It was springtime again and Buddy had gotten his seed crop prepared for this year’s planting. He was examining the planter beans p close one day to see if they were of good quality when one of the beans in the burlap sacks caught his eye. It was a clear bean with a glowing blue center and was radically different from all of the other beans in appearance. While pushing the beans about in the sack it got lost among all of the normal beans. He quickly dug through them until he located the strange glowing bean. It was a weird bean, the likes of which the old farmer had never seen before in his life. Buddy decided to plant the strange glowing bean in a special spot away from the rest of his crop so he could monitor its growth. He dug a small furrow near his house and dropped the bean into the hole. Covering it over with dirt, Buddy then watered it well. He continued with his normal planting and almost forgot about the strange clear and blue glowing bean. After oniy a couple of weeks the bean had sprouted from the earth and grown rapidly. In ffict, none of his normal crop was anywhere near as fast growing as the special bean was. Comparing the plant with the rest of his crop, Buddy estimated its growth rate to be that of twenty times a normal bean. A few thys later it sprouted pods of hundreds of beans. The crop from the one special plant was twenty times that of any of his norntl bean plants. All of the new beans had the same odd appearance of being clear with a blue glowing center. “Wow, these beans grow at twenty times the standard rate and produce twenty times the crop. But, it won’t do me any good unless they taste just good as normal beans do,” Buddy reasoned to himself He took a small handful of the beans into his house to have his wife cook them up as a sample for dinner. She did her best with a light seasoning and the beans came out great. They were twice as tasty as any of the normal beans were she had ever cooked for him. The next thy, Buddy collected all of the gb-beans, as he decided to call them, and planted a special field separate from the rest of his bean crop. As he was riding on his tractor, he noticed he had some internal gas buildup from the gb-beans, but beans had always given him gas and he did not pay much attention to it. After he had gotten all of the beans planted, he had an area about the size of a small backyard garden covered. He watered the beans and treated them as he had done with the original gb-bean. Three weeks later he had a gigantic crop of the tasty gb-beans. This time, Buddy decided to replant the entire crop and make enough to sell for a possible profit. He had never worked so hard during the growing season in his life. He collected the entire precious crop from the plants and immediately replanted them in several of his largest fields. Shortly thereafter, those, in turn, produced a gargantuan crop. The sight of the field was quite spectacular at night. They appeared to be blue Christmas lights strung throughout his property. Buddy decided to market the beans himself under the label ‘Buddy’s GbBeans’. His wife helped him cook and can all of the beans thy and night until they had finished. It took them weeks to complete the entire crop. Buddy sold the beans to all of the local grocery stores and even got a small contract with a larger chain store. He made quite a lot of money off of the deal and planned on growing only gb-beans in subsequent years following his great success. Unfortunately, the gb-beans also gave off twenty times the gas levels of normal beans as they passed through the consumer’s intestines. Many people were ending up in the hospital after ingesting large amounts of the new beans. A few of the customers even had their guts burst from all of the pressure. Almost as quickly as Buddy had gained his new fortune, he began to be sued for not putting warning labels on the cans. All of the money It had made by selling the beans was lost to the defending of the suits against him. The new business of gb-beans was over before it really began to take off Buddy had to eventually claim bankruptcy from all of his bad fortune. After it was all over, I decided to go into another, less thngerous, line of work than bean farming.


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