The Filing Cabinet

The filing cabinet taunts me. Engorged with unpublished stories, rejection letters, poems meant for only me, clips from magazines that actually bought an article, book contracts, book proposals that never made it. It sits there, asking me – reminding me – that I should see if anything is worth a revisit, see if anything can be fixed.

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An eye

The Frog Lady, 8

Ron bounded out the screen door and leapt through the giant petrified frog carcasses. Fear-induced paralysis seemed to afflict him. His movement stopped. He turned an eye to look back and saw the towering silhouette of Marian McBride against the bright backdrop of the sky.

She bent to look at him on the ground. “Nice froggy,” she said, and patted his little head.

Frog

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A slow one

The Frog Lady, 7

The screen door was open. Ron stretched out a languorous finger and pulled. The aroma was stronger in the kitchen. He felt a strange longing to fall to the floor and do nothing but breathe in.

Marian McBride came into the kitchen. “You’re a slow one,” she said. “Did you get lost?”

She appeared huge, menacing. Ron turned to run.

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Murky

The Frog Lady, 6

Ron smelled a faint aroma. It was slight, yet powerful. He pressed his nose into the narrow space between two pickets. What was it? Not flowers. Something more earthy, murky.

He put one foot on the silvery pipe of the gas meter and vaulted over the 6 foot fence into the frog covered yard. Ron was aware of the touch of clothing on his skin, the sun on his back, the pressure of teeth against his tongue. He stepped lazily among the frog artifacts and followed the scent.

Ron peered through a screen door into a kitchen.

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Pickets

The Frog Lady, 5

The cabby stopped and pointed up the street. “Two blocks that way. That’ll be $14.95.”

Ron gave him the 20. He headed up the alley. Most of the houses had 6 foot wooden fences. He could see through the slots between the pickets. When he got to the McBride house there were frog statues everywhere. There was no order or plan to where they were, nothing to make them look decorative. A shallow pond covered with lily pads bulged with frogs like ants in an ant hill.

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Nope

The Frog Lady, 4

“The frog lady?” Ron asked the cabby.

“Frogs all over the place. Big frogs, little frogs, nothing but frogs.”

“Have the guys you’ve taken there come out. I mean, did you see them again?”

“Nope.”

Ron pulled a 20 from his pocket. “Let me off a couple of blocks before we get there.”

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The money

The Frog Lady, 3

It was hopeless. Ron jumped up. He pushed through people, chairs, desks, and out the door. He looked up Marian McBride on his phone. She was real. She had an address!

He hailed a cab and gave the address to the driver.

“Show me the money,” the cabby said.

“We haven’t even moved yet.”

“That’s the frog lady’s house, mister. I ain’t driving an inch until I know you’ve got money to pay me. I’ve been stiffed by too many guys headed for that place.”

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The club

The Frog Lady, 2

“The police can’t help you.” The cop leaned back and tossed his pen on his blotter.

“You have to arrest her,” Ron said. Ron struggled to remember something that would make his story believable. “She was stuffing 20 dollar bills in my shorts all during my number. I went to her table for a drink after. She must have drugged me. Go to the club and ask people. They will tell you I’ve been gone 2 weeks.”

“What would I charge her with,” the cop asked. “Turning strippers into frogs?”

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Frogs

Green Tree Frog    Litoria caerulea

The Frog Lady, 1

“When I woke up, I was a frog,” Ron told the police officer. “I waited for two weeks before someone came along and gave me a kiss.”

“You are saying,” the police officer said, “that this woman,” he glanced at the report he had half written on his desk, “this Marian McBride, turned you into a frog?”

“Look, I  know you don’t believe it. I didn’t believe it either, and it happened to me!”

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The Pink Aisle

I took a Segway to the pink aisle. I appreciate that the store provided the speedy little wheeled vehicles to help customers get to the distant sections of the store. Everything that was any shade of red – a color recently outlawed by the Supreme Count – was way in the back of the store.

Now that manufacturers were not permitted to create anything using any shade of red, the supplies in the store would slowly disappear. Soon no more would be available. I intended to stock up on . . .

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