Graceful like Fall
By: G Wayne
Copyright © 10/01/07
To become religious grade, Riley needed to have worn the underwear for seven days and nights while seeking enlightenment in a steam cabinet. During these fruitless attempts at spiritual regeneration, the only things Riley would eat were scrambled eggs and worms.

Anyway, people would slowly make their way to the altar, or snack bar when they used the bowling alley. Stinkhorn would open the cooler and remove a plastic bag containing Riley's unmentionables. He would hold them at an arms length and open one corner of the bag and pass it in front of a line of people. They didn't have to be too close because this was powerful stuff. It took at least twenty ushers to catch people as they passed out. They carried some back to their chairs, and helped others into the restroom so they could throw up. Some people would go into comas for weeks, which would be embarrassing to their families, and also expensive. This ceremony was later termed "Skivvie Sniffing", and a law was quickly enacted against it. All violators would be sentenced to have their nose supper glued shut. But did that stop them!? No ... medical Hairfoot clinics sprang up all over, clamming cures for all sorts of illnesses.

Zach and Highlo became concerned when they noticed that Riley was becoming exceedingly depressed. It seemed the more money he made, the deeper he slipped into despair. When he would bother to get out of bed, he would mope around the castle all day not talking to anyone. If anyone would try to talk to him, he would let out a dejected sigh and just walk away. Highlo bought him a dog but it ran away. Zach took him to a psychiatrist but after only two hours of listening to Riley go on about how sad life was, the psychiatrist politely excused himself from the room and committed suicide. Zach was at the end of his rope. He put his hands on Riley's shoulders and Riley could see deep concern and anguish on his friend's face. They stood there for a long time. "What do we do now?" was all Zach said.

~ ================ ~

A touch of the winter winds slipped through the leaves of the trees as the sun set over the castle turrets. They were topped with strange shaped cupolas clad in copper, which had developed a thick deposit of verdigris over the years. It left them gild in an ominous dark green that turned to gray and faded to black at that time of day, when the sun sank away and allowed the darkness to culture all things evil.

After only a short time of being free of contamination and regaining its reputation as a sanctuary for the community, the castle slipped back into the abysmal dismal depths of avoidance. The disease that formerly plagued the castle returned with a vengeance killing all the livestock on the castle grounds. People were immune to this reemergence, but nobody knew this but the Polyps and Riley. And they were not telling. They realized that people were liability and what they got in return was just not worth it. Riley was still considered a deity, but was left him alone because nobody seemed to feel it was worth risking death, just to catch a buzz.

Riley Hairfoot was happier now but he was in pain...from eating too many pork chops from the mass extinction of local livestock.

Highlo and Zach sat arm in arm enjoying another sunset.
"It's sort of quiet lately," remarked Highlo as she gazed over the empty courtyard.
Zach smiled and nodded his head, "Yes it is my dear...could I interest you in some more pot roast?"

Wobble rolled around in the grass. He moaned because he was so stuffed full of food, meat mainly. He was swollen in the middle and stringy on either end, looking just like a jumbo party favor.

Zuzu was as happy as she could be, still enjoying the novelty of being a newlywed. After many attempts at serious relationships, she finally found true love with Riley. Who would have thought?

Oh yes ... everybody lived happily ever after.