#noirwednesday: the halfway house

Picture by: Stephen Tanham

If you would take a hot air balloon ride with me over the intermountain valley, the geography below is like a crazy quilt wafting on a clothesline. Bright colours of villages; special patterns of different crops; shades of woods green; aqua of lakes. The cross-stitched thin line of fences, embroidered spider web of roads; lattice work of canals and rivers. The activities of man against the backdrop of a still existing natural world.

As we take our ride, birds salute, farmers’ wives and children wave, wind carries us close enough down to smell the wildflowers. Below us a cacophonous kaleidoscopic landscape. Except for what would appear, in this metaphor, as a 1/2 white 1/2 black square exactly in the middle of our quilten land.

That square represents the Half Way Coffee House – halfway between heaven and hell where God, Satan and their minions meet to discuss matters concerning man.

Visitors from Hell feel at home with the steaming espresso makers and acrid coffee grinds. The hissing and pounding perfect ambience.

Guests from above appreciated the whipped cream Frappuccino’s; slim soya milk lattes, the “do something good for the world posters”

Soft coaches and chairs covered in a discreet black and white check are scattered around the room.Tables are set up for games such as cards and chess as they really do play  for the souls of the dead and all that.

From the out side the Half Way Coffee House crumbling customs house when, in medieval times, the town was two municipalities. The idea was a man in trade going to check on his shipment would pay for the privilege to cross over without getting wet, and pay the same upon return, or only duty stamps that ran in the rain would be affixed. In those days of climate change, it rained a lot. And since money is the root of all evil; giving the way to grace, when the building became available Satan and God signed a monthly pact concerning ownership, behaviour, devils or angels nights out, renting to death metal bands or choirs.

As for that unwitting tourist now that folks from beyond the mountains or visitor from another municipality or burg, enticed by the aroma of coffee wanders in, it all depends upon the door they enter as whether their prospects are looking up or down. It is said only those with a pre-determined date can smell the chia latte macchiato, and go in.

As we float our balloon, just that much closer, I smell . . . is that a caramel Frappuccino?

I need to thank Michael Grogan for creating Wayne and Greg, his denizens of heaven and hell. You’ll find their hilarious stories at his blogsite: Morpethroad. I riffed heavily off his idea! And to Chris de Burg for Spanish Trains and other Stories. And, special thanks, of course, to Steve Tanham for hosting #noirwednesday.

© tale weaver phylor



mlm’s menagerie 21 cardboard angel: is shipping included?

artist: Sarolta Ban

Customer Service. My name is Peter, how can I be of assistance?

Customer: I have a question about item # 45678.

Customer Service: Ask away.

Customer: So EVERYTHING arrives in one box?

Customer Service: Yes, that’s our “glory box”. At a moderate price. It’s a best seller. We’ve shipped 2 million “glory boxes” this year alone.

Customer: Is shipping included?

Customer Service: Yes. It usually takes no more than a week until you receive your package. We do offer express for a small fee.

Customer: Return policy?

Customer Service: Visit our website angelinabox.com to read  the various return possibilities and instructions.

Customer: Then, I would like to order 666 of #45678.

Customer Service: Thank you. Have you purchased from us before?

Customer: Yes, my credit card data is on file. It’s in the name of Beelzebub. Most of the orders have been placed by my assistants. Today, I’m in the office, so I thought I’d call.

Customer Service: Yes, I see your account. Is the address still  666 Hellfire Rd., Satanville, NJ, 07666?

Customer: Yes.

Customer Service: If you become a member of the angelinabox.com’s club, you will get our newsletter, discounts, special offers, notice of the newest angelinabox packages. I just need your “yes” and a confirmation that your email is: devil666@hotmail.com.

Customer: Yes, please do put me in the club. Sometimes the angelinthebox gets a bit singed on arrival. Does that count as one of the reasons for returns?

Customer Service: Guaranteed free return can be added to your account for a small fee. And you can buy a life time warranty as well.

Customer: A life time is too short.

Customer: Would you be willing to take a short survey?

Customer: Not today.

Customer Service: Then, thank you for your order. I hope you have a nice day.

Customer: If I’m lucky it will be foggy or stormy. Weather forecast is for sunny, so my day won’t be so good.

Customer Service: Can we . . .

click, dead air 

written for mindlovemisery’s menagerie #21 cardboard angel