Spanish Shoes

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Bavarian Boots had a storied history. Now the elves wanted to change the company name to Iberian Soles.

“We’ve voted to relocate to the Canary Islands.” The elf twisted his beard into a white knot that rested on his collar.

Shoemaker’s father had been right. What a mistake to encourage a union. First it was holidays, then four weeks vacation. Now this. “I’ll consider it,” Shoemaker said.

“When you’re two centuries old, you’ll want a warm place to live,” the elf said. “Visit. You’ll see.”

Shoemaker booked a trip for three days. A month later, the relocation plan was complete.

The Sleepy Shoemaker

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The shoemaker claimed that elves made his wares. It might have been true. Even his wife never saw him working. He gabbed and napped the day away, but all night he cut and stitched. After a television personality interviewed him, business soared.

Success cured him of insomnia. He worked afternoons and into the night, falling asleep before finishing his orders. Still, every shoe was ready in the morning. Puzzled, he kept himself awake drinking coffee and pinching himself when his eyes drooped. Just when he couldn’t keep from nodding, his wife sneaked in.

“It was you,” he said.

“Who else?”

Lorelei and the Big Bad Ex

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I had the worst week.

My boyfriend dumped me. So Goldie, my cousin, got me a house sitting gig. For a hot minute, I had some breathing space.

It got worse.

Spent the better part of my time in toxic negotiations. Absurd things like who owns the Ikea bookshelf. Not that I have a place for it now. He got the rent-controlled apartment. But even Big-Bad-Ex admitted the books are mine. Anyway, he doesn’t need a bookshelf. He’s barely literate. Not even housebroken.

Then, major disaster; the Bears came home early.

What else could I do? I swam for safety.

The Intersection of Three Tales

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The bears were shocked when they arrived home. Their cottage was a mess; broken furniture, dirty dishes, spilled porridge. Clearing the table, Mama found the house sitter’s note.

My Dearest Bears,
	
         A most frightful situation has befallen my grandmother. She was nearly eaten by a wolf and I must stay with her as my cousin, Red, has used all compassionate leave. 
	Another cousin, Lorelei, will house sit. She runs with a careless  crowd. I will cover all damages.

Regretfully yours,
G. Locks

Surprising Mama, a spiky haired stranger streaked out the door, into the river and was never seen again.

He’ll Never Be a Real Boy

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Dick Dern opened the nozzle, turning a spray of water on his classic Cadillac. With a vague feeling of déjà vu, he rubbed the hood with a chamois cloth and talked the car smoothly into the garage. The man was persuasive.

He walked inside to his office, where his wife was shredding papers.

“Honey, can’t we throw this old thing out?” Jane Dern pointed to a manly wooden puppet with a pouting mouth and an extraordinarily long nose.

Dick closed the closet. “No way. That dummy is the most successful campaign prop in political history. I’ll need it again soon. ”

Charming Cindy

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The tag on the salesman’s lapel read Bill Charming. The only customer in the shop, Cindy, had a shoe in mind. A sturdy one, suitable for running.

“How can I help you? Don’t tell me.” Bill opened a gold box. “You’re a dancer. I just know it. And I have the perfect slippers for you.”

Before Cindy could say a word, Bill strapped a dazzling heel on her foot. 

“That’s not what I had in mind.”

But as the second slipper caressed her foot, the world changed around her. She and Bill danced. Around a ballroom. Until midnight’s toll chimed.

Have You Heard This One?

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Two wolves walk into a bar. The first says, “What a day.”

The second buys the drinks.

First one gets to talking. “I install air conditioners. My first job, the place is straw. When I test the unit, the whole place falls down. The pig’s suing me.

“The second house is twigs. I say I’m not doing it. Too dangerous. So he yells, ‘Breach of contract.’

“At the brick house, the guy’s a lawyer. Rants at me about how his brothers are taking me to court. So I eat him. Now I’ve got indigestion.”

The second says, “Have an antacid.”

Equinox

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Eostre surveys the protestors at the Vernal Equinox Picnic. Signs read, “Change the name.” But there’s no consensus. Norwuz, Passover, Holi, Easter, Zhonghe…

Eostre gathers morning light and scatters its rays. It dawns on the participants that there’s better things to do. They discover Eostre’s hares laying eggs. Ashanti boils the eggs and Saraswati prepares dyes to color them. The feathered serpent, Kulkulkan, paints designs across the shells. Soon everyone wants a chance.

Eostre finds the old goddesses, Cybele, Wang Mu Niang Niang, Beorc, and Ishtar. Together, they lead the Rebirth Parade around the world, stopping to toast new beginnings.

Werewolf

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“Hey, Granny,” Red Riding Hood pushed open the rough-hewn door. “Sorry, I’m late.”

She stopped in mid-explanation when she saw something half-resembling her grandmother standing in the kitchen. It clawed to open it’s blouse.

“Oh my,” said the old were-lady, whose cracking voice resembled a teenager.

Without thinking, Red said, “What hairy arms…”

“Not that again,” it said, “The last time, I barely escaped with the hair on my chinny… oh, never mind.”

Red stood with her mouth wide open, cradling a basket of jam and scones.

“Darling, put all that in the icebox. And help me with these buttons.”

Crow

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My wife swore the UFOs had landed because green men were digging in the garden in the rain. But she’s a little daft and not Irish. It was leprechauns, for sure, wearing black boots, work clothes and trademark top hats. The rainbows bring them and the blarney keeps you from catching them green handed with the goods.

So when the rains came again, I made a trap baited with shiny things and kept an eye on the potato field. And I was there to see a big crow fly away, the gold chain I set out dangling from its beak.