Elad Nostaw

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Iin hindsight, it was a day like no other. It started off innocent enough: I was late for work. Waking up has always been a problem for me. Falling asleep was always a breeze. I once fell asleep standing up and at attention in an Army formation.

I was out all night drinking… errr taking orphaned children to the rescue mission in Germany. After performing my Super Hero duties all night long, I returned to my Army base just in time to catch the morning inspection.

“Watson!! What are you doing? You don’t fall asleep in my formation! ” The Sergeant screamed!

“Yes! Sarg. I can explain that.” I offered.

“I don’t want your pathetic excuses. You sleep on your time, not Army Time!” He replied.  I knew from that point on, this day would not be an easy one to get through.

“Take these papers downtown and drop them off at our offices there. Report back to me when you return.” He spouted. Continue Reading →

Tthere are good days and then, of course, there are Bad Days. Now I am not overly prone to bad days but I do feel personally that my bad days are the worst. So, before you say anything, let me tell you how bad my bad days are. (Loosens his collar Rodney-Dangerfield style).

I can tell you I get no respect around here! So listen up and you will be able to go about your wonderful life miserably happy. It all started with the alarm clock; which is to say, was flashing 12 o’clock when I woke up. You know what that means, your already one minute late for work because someone at The Electric Company fell asleep at the controls, and sent power surges thru your electric lines.

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Ssitting there, his knees under him, he stared off blankly into the air. The orderly that was his daily routine came in, stuffed two pills in his mouth and poured a tiny bit of water down his throat.

The reflex of the water going in made him swallow the pills as it had done a thousand times in his three years at the sanitarium. The judge had ordered him there, until they could figure out why he was the way he was.

Outside he was a vegetable but inside was totally different. He stared down the distant hall, the hall that led to his mind.

It was eternal and on either side of it were two great walls. On each of the two great walls, sporadically spaced, were doors, thousands of doors. More doors than he had explanations for, and all of the doors were closed.

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Iit was a rough day, and to make matters worse my ear was bothering me a lot. My girl friend, who loves me very much, insisted that I saw a doctor. What’s with women? Just because your ear is swollen and closed, they freak out and send you to the Doctor!

So, I whipped round to the Clinic and, on entering, they made me take a number and fill out a paper, about four feet long. You know, the one that asks you about all the diseases you once had, and requests your first born as a deposit. I filled it out and, while waiting for the doctor, went outside to smoke a cigarette.

It was then that I noticed the peculiar behavior in the clinic. The blinds were opening in selected spots. Yes, that’s right! The clinic was full of do-good non-smokers, and they wanted him to live forever. Six different window-blind slots, each in different windows, were open, and its occupants were peeping. I felt the eyes on my back as I inhaled deeply, and the rush of the smoke filled my lungs.

I’m sure they were ex-smokers attempting to enforce their will on me. That’s the trouble with ex-smokers; if they can’t smoke, they don’t want anyone to smoke. I drew in the smoke again and pretended like it was the best cigarette I ever had. Hmmmmph! Like they could force Moi, Elad Nostaw, into submission. Once again I drew in the satanic smoke, and blew it against the open windows. Then I put it out, on the palm of my hand, and turned to see all of the blinds closing, as I walked towards the front of the building.

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Aan impending feeling of doom encroached in my bones, as I approached the bridge. It looked as if it had been there for years. It was in a bad state of disarray, and I almost turned back but it was the only way across, and I did not want to go back, and have to make the long trek around.

That would set my journey back days and it was important that I arrive on time. I began by shaking it and as soon as I started, loose boards began to drop. This did nothing for my confidence in the ole fellow. It creaked, as it swayed in the high winds that were predominant in this neck of the woods. As I looked down into the gully below, and what it offered me, a sudden chill over took my thoughts. It was a great ways to the bottom and I doubt survival was an option.

I could barely see the river snake thru the fog, for the distance had the effect of making it look like a tiny trickle, as it meandered, in and out of the patches of mist. The jagged cliffs that dotted its side assured me of one thing: It would take a while to fall and not without great pains. I collected my thoughts and, after much prodding from the side of my subconscious that maintains a death wish, I placed my foot on the bridge.

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Hhe was a quiet man. He hardly ever spoke but the town’s people were used to his way. He was thought of, as quiet but harmless, and well liked. He carved wooden figures for people and was quite an artist. Each little character was full of detail and had love in every piece. He sold them really cheap too. People bought them by the score but since he enjoyed his work so much, he felt guilty asking a lot for them. It was almost criminal, to him, to receive money for something he enjoyed so much.

The counter side though was that he had made a meager living doing it. It supported him just fine but one day he had married, and he needed more to support his new wife. He did raise his prices somewhat, and people bought them by the score nevertheless and that was enough for him. It brought his standard of living up, enough to put them back to where he was before he got married. It was a good life for him: he loved seeing the looks in people’s eyes when they asked how much, and when he replied, they could never believe it. His work was famous for a hundred miles around him, and, in the days when cars were few, that was saying quite a bit.

After a few years his wife started to bug him though. She’d say: “Don’t sell them that for that! Ask this and raise the price some. I can always use a new hat.” He did for a while but she was greedy. She kept wanting more. It was never enough! His business began to fall off and suffer but his wife was unyielding. “More! More! More!” she cried. It began fights at home.
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Wwhen I was an adolescent or maybe I was a bit younger, I knew a man. He worked across the street from my uncle’s cafe. His job was working at a scrap-yard, and on most days I would notice him on the side of the building.

He had a large sledgehammer that he often used. This hammer looked HUGE to me, at my age, and I was amazed he could even pick it up, much less swing it with the brute force he did. His swing was like a work of art, and I would often watch him when I had free time. He taught me many things that I will always remember.

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