welcome to the baldie stories blog.

Maybe you're bald, maybe not, maybe you care, likely not; stories here, some funny, some not.

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Stories used for publication of Baldie Stories 1 have been removed from this blog.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Baldie Bistro (reloaded)

(this story appears in "Baldie Stories 1 - now on sale in Amazon, in Kindle and Print editions - buy the book today and see all the stories you won't see here!)

“Sir, are you ready to order?”
“Yes, I believe so.”
“You’ve read the specials?”
“I have, thank you.”
“To start?”
“I’ll try the receding hairline with a bad forward-comb. That comes cold?”
“Cold and humble, sir.”
“Fine, fine. And the thinning bald spot with denial and anxiety?”
“We serve it large around the pate or spread.”
“I’d better have it spread, it’s my first time.”
“Very good, sir. Would you care for soup? Today, we have a wonderful chilled ego, first blanched and then beaten. We also have a hearty but amusing seasonal special: early sunburned scalp with bitterness and swearing.”
“That’s a puree?”
“Yes, sir.”
“I’ll skip the soup, thank you.”
“And for your main course?”
“I was thinking about the heavy, overnight hair loss, but that comes with angst and tantrums on the side, doesn’t it?”
“It does, sir. If you’d like your angst on the side, as well…”
“No, no…it’s the tantrums too delicate. I’m in the mood for something a little more daring.”
“May I recommend the aged, classic balding, with a slow-simmering nervous breakdown?”
“That sounds delicate, as well.”
“Ordinarily, but our chef has it smothered in mortal terror.”
“Does that come with fear and desperation?”
“Yes, sir. Served passive or aggressive.”
“I’ll take it aggressive.”
“Excellent! Will you be having more wine?”
“I think I’ll switch to arsenic.”
“Very appropriate. Would you like that with your main course or early?”
“Is it slow and painful?”
“Very slow, very painful.”
“Perfect! As long as it doesn’t interfere with my fear and desperation, I’ll take it early, thank you.”
“Would you like to leave a last will and testament now, or would you like to wait?”
“Oh, thanks, but I’ve already left one.”
“Very good, sir. Is there anything else I can get for you right now?”
“No, thank you.”
“You’re welcome, sir. Bon appétit!”

Friday, July 18, 2014

Baldie Chops

     A little spittle rocketed off his lip each time he shouted the word into the phone.
     The word echoed across the empty field. The anger in it threatened peaceful gaps in time beneath lavender shadowed trees, trilled the dew in the morning grass, and sent a shiver thorough the two quiet children who had been standing motionless beside the shouting man.
     A sad looking Lab nipped at the echoes and suddenly took down the field to a row of crows that were resting their wings near the end of the world.
     "That's what he said!" shouted the man after a long pause.
     Beyond the end of the world something stirred.
     The boy was lean, blond, and long-toothed. He edged toward me, leaving his sister to shiver quietly near her frothing father.
     "What's your name?" he asked.
     "Skeezix" I said, and nodding to my son, "that's Alfonso."
     "Want to play?" asked the boy.
     The father was ranting and spitting but he saw his son speaking to a stranger and paused for just one guilty moment before picking up the rant once more. "I told him! I said,
You've got to be kidding me!! I'm only thirty-five! Son of a bitch! How could I be going bald!"
     "What's your name?" I asked the boy.
     "Walter," he admitted, weakly. "That's Horatio." He nodded to his sister.
     "Isn't that...."
     "Doesn't she..."
     "We call her Henrietta."
     "I see."
     Alphonso tickled his nose with a blade of grass and sneezed.
     "Your dad's angry huh?"
     "Jeepers..." said Walter.
     "Henrietta looks frightened, don't you think?" I asked.
     "She always looks like that - Hey! Hey Henry!" called Walter.
     Horatio ignored her brother.
     "You want to play with me?" asked the boy.
     "We wouldn't mind," I said, pointing to Alphonso, "but what about Henry?"
     "Oh she's not feeling much like playing, right now," said Walter. "We were supposed to go to the pool. Then dad got mad and now - no pool."
     "That's too bad," I said.
     "Sure is."
     "Why's your old man screaming cause he's bald?!" bleated Alphonso. "What's the big deal?"
     Walter shrugged.
     "My papa's bald, you don't see him screaming!"
     "Hey now, be nice, Alphonso! You just didn't hear my screaming - I screamed plenty."
     "No you didn't!"
      "Sure I did, you just weren't there  to hear it."
     "Well then, you stopped anyhow! That guy just keep screaming."
     Walter frowned, Henry made a little red fist and threw it against her hip.
     "He's mad at his bald because mother didn't like him and she moved out."
     "She moved out because he was bald?" asked Alphonso, surprised.
     Henry finally couldn't stand it. Her father was so deep into his rant that he couldn't fix himself beyond the end of his cell phone and the rage kneading up his lips.
     "She didn't leave because he was bald, you idiot! She left because daddy never stops screaming about it! She said he was a dummy."
    Alphonso pulled the Velcro strap on one sneaker up and down. Then he looked at me and said, "Papa, Mama just says she doesn't like you thats all. She doesn't say bad words."
     "I'm glad to hear it." I said.
     Far off the little spot that was the Lab chasing crows in the field grew larger.
     "What's the name of your dog?"
     "Tick-tock," she said.
     "Why's that?" asked Alphonso.
     "Cause his she's go like this..." and Henry made like left and right with her big brown eyes.
     "That's funny," said Alphonso.
End part 1

Friday, August 30, 2013

Baldie Portrait in Blue

    Baldie Portrait in Blue 
       (in the "Baldie Stories 1" collection - on sale at Amazon.com)

“Papa, I drew a picture of you."
"Is this me, here? Right here with big muscles?"
"Ha-ha! No, that's the tree, silly."
"Oh, I was wondering why I had all that hair!"
"Those are leaves! Leaves on the tree!"
"So where am I? Is this me, here?"
"That? No! Ha-ha! That's a rock! "
"Oh. I thought maybe because..."
"Because it doesn't have any hair?"
"No, Papa. This is you."
"Wow! That's fantastic! I didn't see it at first..."
"Papa, you’re teasing me! This is your little hair, here on the top!"
"Good job! Teasing is a good word..."
"And you have a rectangle body! And I... I forgot to put hands!"
"Are those my eyes, right there by my chin?"
"Yes - ha-ha! You're engabberest!"
"I'm what?"
"Yes, that! And I colored you blue."
"I see that. I love blue."
"Me, too."
"Why am I embarrassed?"
“Ha! Cause you used to have hair and now you only have little hair!"
"You're a funny kid. Ha! But come here; let me tickle you for teasing the old man! And you want to know something?"
"What, Papa?"
"See all this hair on your head?"
"I have a lot and you have little!"
"For now baby, for now! But one day...."
“I know Papa.”
“What do you know?”
“I’ll have more hair, like you did in the old pictures, and your little hair will be even littler and littler and littler forever.”
“Come over here wise-guy. It’s tickle time again.”

The End

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Future Hair

    Future Hair
    (in the "Baldie Stories 1" collection - on sale at Amazon.com)

Capping Aisle G88 hummed.
Wire tests crackled, nose height; blossoms of sizzling points - carbide, magnesium, ozone-fire, yellow and orange-blue, the signifiers of sparkling efficiency in a diode haze within the pure white light shrouding the conveyor.
Crinkle and crackle and a few moans and groans when Alph jammed a finger up his nose with a smirk. Otherwise, follicle replacement and synaptic cleaning, replacement, cleaning - more and more of the same.
"He's on it!"
"One-twenty two!"
"Fiver one one!"
"Hang on, Fred...Fred? Who’sit?! We didn't wire a fiver one one!"
"Short guy, bald....Har! Haha!"
"Haha! You kill me Fred! Seven hundred years later - it still cracks me in half! Bald! Rich! Creamy rich!"
"Five-one-one - Q-zone, section eight-six-six, bank B3-R," suicide, triple - receding hairline: affectation, loss of job, wife, self-esteem, blah-blah-jam a finger up his nose, sniveling loser!"
"No dice!"
Alph didn't look like he enjoyed hearing it. He sniffed, looked about to sneeze but making like over there to a single empty seat on the conveyor, "Jeeze! He's got away!!"
The alarm was louder than it needed to be, just to incentivize, and the LED emergency lamps were digitally programmed to cause muscle spasms. The pulse would take down any living creature with proper electro-synaptic gap junctions. Even with the helmets and glasses, both Alph and Fred did a little involuntary jig down below the knees. A bright queasiness, unknown in the natural world, twinkle-toed in their guts, beneath their privates. Duodenal excitement, adrenal prompts, shots from groin to mouth causing spontaneous lymphatic drainage - shits and drooling giggles.

Scare - from Scary, the rhyming rib of Nary, poetic for Never, which his Mom found amusing and his dad, well his dad was done before Scare was born, done and gone, forward or backward in time, but gone all the same - Scare called himself Scare, but his real name was Never. 
What a name. Never. But Scare? Even worse!
His mother had gossamer hopes for the boy. She wished, white-knuckled and shivering in her birthing bed that the boy would never ever have to feel the pain of unnerving groundlessness that has plagued her life, the life of her parents, and the generations of unhappy souls that came before them. She cursed her time, the discovery of "past-presence," "future-bringing," the models and mechanics that allowed for such witchcraft. 
But Never would, and always prevailed. The universe didn't care much, and Never worked out just fine, in fact better than fine, and better than the future foretold! Mama was nervous about nothing! Ha! Just goes to show.
It was Scare that got loose in the future hair conveyor. Never, who stood up and slid away - bald, anxious, just fine!
Never smiled, one nose-picking stroke away from a good mind-cleanse and a healthy head of hair. 
"Here Baldie-Baldie-Baldie!"
"Alph, my head feels like jelly."
The strobes had been disengaged, capping aisle G88's flow was rerouted to G89, and the locator sensors had a fix on Scary.
"There he is, behind the pallet of styling mousse."
"I see him."
"Five-oner-one," announced Fred, "Mr. Never Ever!"
Alph stopped. "That's his name?”
Fred checked his tablet. "That's it.”
Scary interrupted. "Future-presence shows I'm walking out of here, bald and intact. You guys smell like shit!”
"Security is on the way, remain where you are.”
"You mean future-bringing," Alph clarified.
"No," said Scary, stepping into the aisle to face the two make-over specialists. "I mean future-presence. A bit different, huh?"
"What's he talking about?" Asked Alph."
"I walk out of here, and I will be the first Baldie in seven hundred years to do so. I'll live out my life bald and as fucked up in the head as I can be!"
"He really does need a cleaning!"
"And some hair."
But Alph and Fred both had a strange and uneasy feeling as they listened to Scary. They were feeling reality shifting against its natural course. Scary was in the process of bringing about that shift. Seven hundred years of perfect coifs, spotless attitudes, endearing social graces, and undiminished enthusiasm for the cause of greater good was about to become a part of the real past.
"You feel it! All that hair coming undone one pretentious follicle at a time, one affected and totally brainwashed lock after the other!"
They could hear the Baldie Police at the conveyor entrance, bashing at the sealed security gate. Scary continued.
"I did something none of you thought to do! So simple! I brought past-presence INTO future-bringing!"
"Seven hundred years! Idiots! I took a ride back and brought it forward! It's happening now! Look at yourselves!"
"Alph! Your hair! What's happening?!"
"Fred! You've got a shadow on your chin! Something's wrong with your head! I don't feel well!"
"You'll start feeling real angry in a moment. Ouch! That's gonna hurt!"
"You don't know what you're talking about! That's why your here!"
"The anger you know is controlled, just like all your other emotions and thoughts! Like your hairline! Like your attitudes about everything from what you eat to how you dream! No more! I stuck before, after! Turned always into never-more! Me! Scary Never Ever!"

By the time Baldie security got through the gate there was little left of causal notion. A few drips of adjustment and neatness. Mostly there were angry bald men with no sense, no reason to be, no pretense to righteousness, which was replaced by another false righteousness, the old one, the lousy little one that might be overcome by kindness and compassion.
And then:
The rest followed.
The safe-line lineage of Never-wrecks, the suffering stream one blood relative to the next, knowing and not knowing the past and the future. Scary, finding solace in distress, bringing about the final shift, ending the new horrors and bringing back the old, pressing the reset, bringing despair upon his mother, worse for his father, and the weight of universal clarity upon himself, a bald and insecure Adam in a groundless place. All that and more!

The End

Monday, February 18, 2013

1/2 of Stanley - (complete story)

   1/2 of Stanley
     (in the "Baldie Stories 1" collection - on sale at Amazon.com)

They couldn’t find the top of him so they used an old half a cantaloupe to punctuate the clear run of ruin above his mouth. “How’s he even sitting up like that? You need a brain to sit up like that, don’t ya?”
“I think so, but it’s like that chicken thing; they run around a bit before they die.”
Then it spoke. It put a finger up to the top of it, scratched at the dirty rind, found a half an ear and inserted a finger clear through to where that part of the brain should have been.
“Gettem... gettem here to the spital- ohspital - getteme ospitl....”
“Crap! The hospital! Call 911.”
They led him, on foot into the emergency room. He refused to sit. Even with half a head, he was stubborn. Later, while the surgeons were shrugging around the operating table, the cops were asking questions in a room next to the emergency waiting area.
“I don’t exactly know. We didn’t know him, just saw him there after the car backed up off his head. He must have been drunk. But then he sat up, and it looked...”
“Yeah - it looked like he was going to try to light a cigarette. But the top of his head was gone. Looked like a bowl of old soba noodles. Ick…Christ!”
Two days later he was transferred to a special clinic in Colorado. Two weeks later, he was on a plane for Germany. They’d managed to keep the infection at bay by topping him off with a glorified fish bowl. There was puzzlement all around. Not only didn’t the man with half a head not die, but he seemed to be communicating just fine with a pad and a pencil. Nasal passages worked with some assistance, feeding tube did its job. The major hunk of brain that went missing appeared to be superfluous to begin with.
His family was contacted. They weren’t surprised.  “Sounds like something that joker would pull off” was what his brother had to say. His mother was fine with it as long as they never got a bill for any of the work performed. No one expressed interest in seeing the man.
His name was Stanley. And even with half a head, he was one completely irritating guy.

"He keeps writing that he wants to listen to Beethoven's fourth piano sonata! God damned doesn't have ears! Shit-basket doesn't have a skull to hang ears on! For fuck sake, I quit!"
And that was the fourth personal attendant in five days. Stanley complained about the darkness, the pain in his face, nicotine withdrawal, pissing down his leg, and he wanted soup! He wrote it:
Sopu soupp nou fuker nou!
Stanley's father suggested they drive him to the expressway and let him find his own way home.
"Son of a bitch can still play the piano, he can find his way through six lanes of traffic."
"Why do you hate our son so much!?" They’d paused to take a look. At the hospital's fairly decent upright piano, Stanley is leaning into the tangle of the fourth piano concerto’s first dawn, fish bowl for a skull tucked into a bloody gauze ascot, thumping away as if nothing were at all wrong.
Sidney pointed at the nightmare, wiggled a finger at it. 
"Same reason I hate you so much! You fucked up my life without even trying! Look, at least now he's got some effort into it! No fucking head, no fucking brains, but he’s still ruining my life, one second after the next!”
"Sidney! It's terrible! Look at him - that horrible, horrible thing plugging the rest from spilling out his neck! He's your boy! Your boy!"
"Darlene, you've said it so many times I'm starting to wonder whom you're trying to convince!"
Stanley sensed the discord; the vibrations came to his knees and elbows with the sensitivity of perfectly honed tuning forks. He wrote with two hands on two separate pieces of paper, rarely defining which words follows which, page to page. It was an unbearable torture to decode the double-handed rant.
"Piss off, something, something Else, the. Piss off some more. Lousy parents.... so on. "
Sydney laughed heartily, threw the note on the hospital floor, and laughed some more. 
"This kid is some ball buster. Honestly, no head - chin up, nothing, and he's still telling us what to do."
Sidney turned to the new attendant. "What took you so long? You’ve been on standby since yesterday?!”
“Yes, sir. It’s just...all the shouting. I figured…"
Sidney snarled, “Don’t figure! Look at that! That thing is supposed to be my son! If I started figuring, where’d you think I’d end up? No. No figuring. Unless you figure out how to make this all go away. Then let me know what’s on your mind.”

If Darlene seemed at odds with Sidney over Stanley's condition, his well-being, or the possibility of an emotional tether to their youngest offspring, it was merely the brute force of the maternal instinct hat had overcome the aging mother. 
In fact, when the answering machine took that first call from the police, it was Darlene who said, "Don't pick it up!  If we're lucky he's dead - If not, I don't even want to know."
But later, the curious nature of the condition of their boy, the hints of potential profit that lurked burbling just under the base of his skull: talk shows, book deals, options - hell, they'd been contacted by a major toy manufacturer who wanted to pay dearly for rights for the name and identity of "Stanley The Headless Wonder Doll! " - they found something inside each of them that, when polished by desire, managed to look awkwardly like diffident care, strangulated love, or some other common pathology that passed for familial attentiveness.
"He's the worst of both of us, and nobody's math can add those things together without sobbing at the end of it!"
Sidney winced in the parking lot, "I mean, they'll know we hate him before I hang up my hat!"
But they hadn't counted on Darlene's maternal instinct. 
One look at half a head and it didn't matter how horrible the little shit had been to the world, it was her little shit! Her little shit without a face!
"He wants hair!?" Sidney screamed. He clutched the bed rail and shivered.
"He doesn't even have a brain and he wants hair! He doesn't have eyes or cheeks or a god-damned mouth and he's still telling us..."
The old man quaked. Veins in his neck pulsed and flexed and the flesh on his face jelly-rolled through a rainbow of horrific expressions, colors, ungodly contortions. Then, right before poor old Sidney dropped dead, dead and quivering still - he got out the last couple of words that would finish him for good:
"He wants a new hairdo!?"
The sound of Sidney shattering from the inside out was audible. Darlene had an eyebrow up and the doctor, who looked more intrigued than startled, had to lift his glasses over his eyes to be certain he wasn't seeing things. He nearly spoke, but didn't.
Darlene walked over and nudged her husband’s corpse with the blunt toe of her left shoe.
The doctor knelt down beside the dead man and checked for a pulse, flipped an eyelid, and thoughtlessly thumped a thought out on Sidney's forehead with a pencil.
"He has died," said the doctor.
At that moment, Stanley began to burble. Burble and bubble. He swayed and grasped at the air around him and a thin gruel of bloody matter erupted from the fleshy mess at the top of him.
"What's happening?" screamed Darlene.
"I don't know!" exclaimed the doctor.
"Do something!" screamed Darlene.
"But... but…" stammered the doctor, unsure of exactly what the emergency protocol might be when dealing with a patient with no head.
More blood and phlegm splattered about as Stanley began to swing about, left and then right and then back again.
Darlene screamed some more and then screamed again. She took it all in, dead husband at her feet, her only son - she remembered a moment of pure pleasure, the infant smiling - now reduced to this unspeakable horror...
Her shrieks increased until she found it impossible to shriek any longer. The doctor bounded across the room to upright Stanley and with one hand outstretched, poked a finger into his fleshy blow-hole to stem the loss of blood. Darlene tripped over her dead husband's body and split her skull wide open on the cast-iron lift mechanism at the foot of the bed.
Darlene was dead before the doctor felt the quality of quivering that emanated from the orphaned boy’s body. It was not the quaking distress of choking. It wasn't the flailing of fear or terror - not at all. The doctor withdrew his finger from Stanley's gullet and put a hand on the headless man's back.
"You are laughing?" whispered the doctor, horrified.
"Evil, through and through."
Stanley flailed about until he found a sheet of paper. The doctor handed the headless man a pen. Stanley swayed over the sheet as he wrote. When he was finished he tossed the sheet into the air above his shoulders. The doctor pulled it out if the air.
It said:
‘Greedy people! Hated me. Wished me dead but wanted profit from this horror. Their son...
I want a head. Make me a head. Put hair on it! Don't get greedy.’
The doctor looked up slowly.
Stanley shook with joy. He was feeling better, much better indeed.

The End