Keys Reef Part 1

            “Doris? Doris! Did you eat my worms and baby shrimp?”

            “You know I don’t like your food choices Larcus.”

            “So, my food just swam away, did they?”

            “Probably. You never pay attention to anything.”

            “I don’t like your tone. When I take over the world you won’t get to talk to me like that.”

            “I always talk to you like this.”

            “Let me guess, you think because I’m a lobster and you’re an alligator that you’re better than me.”

            “Here we go.”

            “Everyone will respect the lobster once I complete my master plan.”

            “And what’s your master plan?”

            “To conquer everything!”

            “And how do you plan to do that this week?”

            “I will melt the ice caps.”


            “The ice caps will melt raising the sea level, drowning millions of humans. Then the sea life will take back this watery rock. Hahahaha!”

            “And you expect all sea life to make you their leader?”

            “Well yeah. It’s my master plan.”

            “Some might resist you.”

            “Then I will crush them in my claws.”

            “Like that time you tried to crush Wallace the sea turtle?”

            “He hid in his shell which is the same as running from a fight. What a coward!”

            “Okay. Assuming everyone goes along with your crazy scheme…”

            “It’s not a scheme. It’s a master plan for world domination.”

            “Whatever. How do you plan to melt the ice caps?”

            “Well…I haven’t…worked that part out yet.”

            “I thought not. Why don’t you brainstorm some ideas while I pop up top for a little sun bathing.”

            “But I can’t think on an empty stomach. That’s why I wanted my worms and baby shrimp. We still haven’t determined whether you ate them or not.”

            “Where did you last see them?”

            “Yesterday right before I…oh. I guess I ate them yesterday.”

            “You are so dumb.”

            “Maybe you could get me some things while you pop up top?”

            “Get your own food.”

            “You never help me when I need it.”

            “Don’t be a dick.”

            “Fine. Leave. But if I starve today, it’ll be your fault.”

Read Part 2.

Yuletide Aviary – Part 5

Read Part 4

            “What do you say we have one more round, Eh?” Jacob says.

            “I’m good for one more.” Thomas says.

            “How do you drink that stuff. It tastes so awful.”

            “With rum.”

            “Lutin? Two more drinks for me and my friend here.”

            Lutin pours another rum eggnog and pops the top off another bottle. The two birds sip and sigh together.

            “Any plans after the end of the season?” Jacob says.

            “Nah, going back home for a bit. Nothing special. You?”

            “Thought I’d take a trip down to somewhere warmer.”

            “Where to?”

            “Haven’t decided. I thought about Florida, but I’m okay with never going to Florida, Eh?’

            “I ain’t going to Florida.”

            “Anyhoo, I’ll find someplace nice and fly down for a couple weeks.” 

            “Sounds nice. Unless you’re just going somewhere to steal eggs.”

            “For Pete’s sake, Tommy, I don’t eat fertilized eggs. It’s like less than one percent of Jays that do that and they’re, you know, coocoo or whatever, Eh?”

            “Damn cannibal.”

            “Well, at least I don’t go pickin’ fights with my reflection?”

            “What the hell does that mean?”

            “It means you’re coocoo for fighting the mirror, Eh. You’d be great at hockey if we put mirrors on the players’ helmets.”

            “I don’t fight mirrors. There was another guy who just happened to look like me givin’ me the eyes.”

            “What eyes?”

            “You know? The eyes. Like he wants to fight.”

            “You always look like you wanna fight.”
            “’Cause guys like that always give me the eyes.”

            The door to the shop bursts open.

            “Good evening…gentlemen.”

            “Ah, jeez.”

            “Welcome back, Ben.” Lutin says.

            “Was I…here before?” Benjamin says.


            “Is Ben givin’ me the eyes!? You better not be givin’ me the eyes!”

            “I should have left after my last drink.” Jacob says.

            “I’ll be passing soon…very soon.”

            “Ah, jeez.”

            And so, it continues every night during our delivery season. A few birds gather in one of our shops as many others deliver toys and presents. These birds and elves who do all the work are the backbone of this holiday season. Most humans give me all the credit, especially the children. But I’m here to tell you Santa has never done it alone. Until next year. Farewell.

Yuletide Aviary – Part 4

Read Part 3.

            “Did you know Lutin was that old?” Jacob says.

            “I don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak.” Thomas says.

            “Old Ben gets forgetful too. He’ll be in a couple more times and say the same thing.” Lutin says.

            They listen to a commercial for sugar plums and gingerbread. No one speaks for several minutes. Even the Hens are quiet. The night outside holds an eerie silence.

            “Hey there, Lutin. Can you switch it to the delivery coverage? Let’s see how everyone’s doing, Eh?” Jacob says.

            Lutin clicks through several channels then settles back into his chair. The Hens move to a closer table. The anchor sits at a desk wearing a red and green suit. He doesn’t wear a hat like most elves do. Behind him is a map with many blinking lights.

            “…and we’re getting reports of an accident North of Johannesburg. First Responder Emergency Elves are on the scene clearing debris and maintaining social distance from humans. Reporter Bella Tink is on the scene. Bella? How do things look down there?”

            Bella wears a green long sleeve dress and a matching green hat. Her brown hair covers her ears.

            “As you can see Stephen, the debris has mostly been collected. There were no serious injuries, but a couple of our birds won’t be finishing deliveries tonight. The remaining packages have already been divided around to other carriers nearby. So far everything is on schedule.”

            “This is our first accident this season which is an improvement over last year.”

            “That’s right Stephen. You may recall the six-bird pileup that occurred in Southern Argentina where we lost two of our carriers.”

            “Let’s hope this is our only accident this season. Thank you, Bella.”

            “Thank you, Stephen.”

            “We’ll return to local news after this short break. I’m Stephen Gumdrop.”

            Everyone in the shop lost interest and the Hens returned to their first table.

            “I remember that accident. One of my coworkers lost a cousin.” Thomas says.

            “Did you know him?”

            “The cousin? Nah, she worked the other side of the factory. She was one of their top carriers.”

            “Let’s have a toast then.”

            “For what?”

            “To good workers we lost.”

Read Part 5