You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. Ray Bradbury said that in 1994, several years before the proliferation ... Read More
Jellybean Highfive sent a servant down to the auction hall to do his bidding. Well, Trevor couldn’t be classified as a servant per se. Jellybean thought of him more as a slave. Servants got paid after all and Trevor was not going to get paid. He had handed Trevor one-hundred American dollars in cash money to take down the street to Action Auction Hall and directed Trevor to bet on the portrait of Fredrick the Great Dane when the dog portrait section of Action Auction’s Active Auction Extravaganza was in process. Trevor, never one to want to stand still for more than a few minutes, took the money and ran. He ran like a running runner with cash and running on the soles of his feet like running shoes in the wind. Like a shooting star of golden glittering sun bombs of light.
Jellybean wondered if he’d ever see that money again. He hoped not, because he hoped it would be spent on a portrait of a dog named Fredrick the Great Dane, or, if he was unavailable or overpriced, one of Duke Hamlet, the greatest of all the Great Danes ever to live in the great nation of Daneland. Jellybean assumed this land of dogs was fictional, but he wasn’t sure. He thought it might be near Denmark, but his globe sat unused on his desk like a now-used thing which has time-travelled forward from the past.
After an hour or five, Jellybean began to worry. He expected Trevor back minutes ago. Something stinked in Denmark, and Jellybean Highfive was persuaded it wasn’t his upper lip. The cream was working. He wanted to cream Trevor, though. What kind of a name was Trevor? It sounded like “Clever,” but that’s where the association stopped.
Then Trevor came in and not a moment too soon. He bore a portrait in his arms. He ran like wind, he jogged like lightning, he tripped and sent the portrait spinning through the air like a rocket star in the night of day. It spinned the span of the room’s air, and descended in a mad rush of angry hurry to the floor. The very earth seemed to cry out, “Oh no!” and “Catch it!” with its very soul, or voice.
Jellybean dived. He got his hand under the corner, softening the impact with his ligaments and bones. The corner spiked his hand like a tent peg and the upper momentum of the painting of the Greatest of all Great Danes came onto Jellybean’s face like a steam engine out of hell or worse. But he was too fast, he thought to himself. He reached his other, non-tent-pegged hand up to arrest the devastating progress of the spinning portrait of the dog hound.
He was unsuccessful. The portrait collided with his hand, his head, his very soul dreams, and went spinning past like a bouncing tire in the road and in this case Jellybean would be like a thing that the tire bounced on and over, unimpeded in any serious way. Jellybean’s hopes crashed like a portrait.
But Trevor, who had not been idle, or paid, spranged into action. He had recovered his legs after his initial fall, and had caught up to to the progress of the portrait as it collided and tent-pegged Jellybean Highfive. He ran along-side the portrait as it emotionally and physically devastated Jellybean and plucked it out of the air like a magician plucking a very large painting of a dog out of thin air, or a card.
Jellybean turned, anguish written on his face in cursive. He saw salvation and his name was Trevor.
“Way to go,” he said. “Way to go, Trevor.”
“Thanks,” Trevor said. “Thanks,” he repeated.
“I knew you had it all the way,” Jellybean said, smile-grimacing at the pain-joy. “Always bet on Trevor is what I always say when I’m betting on people.”
Trevor handed the portrait to Jellybean, who had to set it down because his hand was basically destroyed. He examined the picture. Fredrick the Great Dane stared back at him out of the portrait, over the centuries, over the gap between species, his large dog eyes seemed to awake some kind of hidden something in the wild inside of Jellybean’s mind.
“Trevor,” he said. “Do you remember those ‘Be Your Own Dog’ shirts from the late 90s?”
“No,” Trevor said.
“Me too,” Jellybean laughed. “Me too.”