Friday, November 14, 2014

Frat Party

"Come On, Babe. Come On. Babe. Give it. Give it to me!" said the sophomore. The bed heaved wildly. Its springs gave off a rhythmic sound. Grunts and moans came from her partner under her. He felt like a rivet being jack-hammered. He heard the funk beat of the loud music playing downstairs keeping time with them. God this babe is hot. What a fucking great party!

"Well Hello, Billy!" said a loud voice. The sophomore screamed as she tumbled off the bed taking the sheets with her. She smacked her head on the orange shag carpet.

"What the fuck, man?!" said Billy. He grabbed for something to cover himself to no avail. He settled for his hands, both of them. The sophomore grabbed her clothes. She ran into the closed door and smacked her face again. She fell over. She got up and opened the door, picked her clothes up, and continued her semi-naked exit with the sheets.

"You browns ARE entirely pathetic!" said the stranger.

Billy tried to focus his blurry eyes. "Whoa! What! Who you calling brown? I'm white, man! She was..."

"Exquisite? Surely, you are not going to insult the fairer sex."


"Black? Oh, no, no, no, no. Black people are from an entirely different planet. You see, she may have been darker than you. But she is not what I would call black, no, not at all. She and you are what I call brown, as in people from this planet."

Billy's eyes finally cleared up.

"Hey dude! You're white. You're an alien?"

"You finally noticed. You are a genius! How do you do it?" The stranger's grin and tone of sarcasm made him somewhat amicable to Billy.

If you wish to read the rest of this story, it is in the free ebook Mel's Shorts. Please read more about it at the Mel's Shorts page.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Old William

Old Mr. William Stellacuston sat listening intently with his eyes closed and his head back. His ears absorbed the digital quality sound from his new personal compact disc player. It was currently playing one of his favorite tunes from the 1950s. He melted in the harmony of the strings, piano, and brass as he played with his wooden compass cane.

A slight breeze swept across his wrinkled face. This caused his eyes to open and look around the park. There was a playground in the distance. A couple of young ladies jogged by in their pastel leotards and leg warmers. He took a peek. No matter the era, the trees and the birds are always the same. How time goes by.

"Say, Old Boy, have you seen my friend William by any chance?" said a familiar voice.
William opened his eyes wide. He was so shocked and turned his head so fast that his lightweight headphones moved around his head. One phone landed on his cheek.

"YOU! You crook! You kidnapper!" said William. "Where's my boy? Where is Billy?" At this point William was shaking his cane at Mel, and his headset dropped off his face.
"Hmm...Let us see. Billy...Billy. Ah! Yes, Billy. Well, last I saw him he was a little boy about yea high running around thinking he was an indigenous native of your land," said Mel putting a smile on the situation.

"NO! You clown! He disappeared years ago in college. His friends described a pale-faced freak with colorful pants and a brown overcoat such as you are wearing now."

"Hmm...I see."

If you wish to read the rest of this story, it is in the free ebook Mel's Shorts. Please read more about it at the Mel's Shorts page.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Prayer

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

Paco ran into the sanctuary. His purple feet smacked the stone floor as he went down the long aisle passing the wooden pews. He got to the votive candle rack. His fingers nervously lit a candle. He knelt near the front of the altar which was in front of the image of a holy Ethereal. The image was made of shiny metal. It was a male in a robe with outstretched wings. It was a magnificent piece carefully crafted by the finest local artist, fitting for any deity. Likewise, the sanctuary's nave was beautiful with its tall adorned columns and painted ceiling. None of that mattered to Paco at the moment. In fact, not even his clothes, or the lack of them.
On his knees he prayed and perspired. His sincerity and excruciating reverence was painfully obvious to any observer, but no one was there. Paco continued to fervently pray. His face was to the floor nearly touching it with his nose.
He felt something. A small breeze blew. It chilled his body. He stopped praying. Fear gripped him. He dared not move. Moments passed. Then he ventured to look up in front of him with the least movement as possible lest he would be noticed. He saw metallic feet and the fringes of a metallic robe.

If you wish to read the rest of this story, it is in the free ebook Mel's Shorts. Please read more about it at the Mel's Shorts page.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dark Community

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

 Paco strolled down the cobblestone street. He strutted like a proud peacock. He came to the Butcher's shop. Juan, the butcher, was standing in its entrance putting on a clean apron with his purple hands.
"Good morning Mr. Juan. A nice morning is it not?" said Paco.
"Indeed it is Mr. Mayor. I have sales today if you like to tell the missus."
"I will indeed sir."
Paco kept strolling down the lane. It curved around the different shops and homes, all made of stone. Villareal was sure lucky to have him as mayor. He kept a shepherd's eye on everything. He had to. It was such a small village that the next police station was a day's travel by carriage.
"Good morning Mrs. Ellena."
"Good morning Mr. Mayor," said a middle aged woman dressed in a black dress that covered her whole body except for her purple face and hands. She had a bucket in her hand having just thrown out some dirty water on the street.
Paco proceeded on his morning patrol. Then he saw a stranger. You had to be careful with strangers because you never knew what strange things strangers would bring or do. Why he just might start a riot or worse an argument. Heaven forbid he would ask anyone questions. That would be just scandalous.

If you wish to read the rest of this story, it is in the free ebook Mel's Shorts. Read more about it at the Mel's Shorts page.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Vacant Planet

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

 Out there in the Universe, Nature went to see a planet.  A planet where two people lived, the Greens and the Purples.  She was magnificently adorned in her green/blue/red dress with long arms.  Her hair was equally magnificent in beauty and also multicolored.  When she got there, she saw that the cities were empty.  She looked high and low, in and out but nothing she found.  She grew sad and shed some tears.  Then she paused and contemplated for a time. Suddenly, she waved her arms in rotating fashion.  The vegetation and the wild animals started take over the cities as she commanded.  When she was finished, she turned around and found Time standing right behind her.  She immediately jumped back.

“Oh! You startled me, Time,” she said.

“Oh?  You must have been busy,” he said.

“What happened here?  Where are all the people?  You have all seeing old grey eyes.  Surely you know.”

“A disagreement happened,” said Time nodding his long grey head of hair.  He held his walking stick next to the white gown that covered his chest.

“A disagreement?  But a disagreement should not result in this!”

“Ah! But it was an unresolved disagreement.”

“How did it start?”

“A few years ago, a Green told a Purple to get off the street.  The Purple said, ‘I don’t want to.’

“The Green said, ‘You must, it’s the Rule.’

“‘Well, who’s going to make me?’

“‘I will!’  With that, the green pulled out a weapon and splattered the Purple’s flesh and blood all over the street.  The Green then left.”

“Tisk, tisk, such violence.  Sounds like it was over then,” said Nature shaking her head.

“No it was not.  You see, the Purple’s got out on the streets and protested the action.  They went up and down the streets mourning as they should.  Then the Green’s in defensive outfits gassed the Purples.  The Purples in turn fought back first with stones, then with knives, and then guns.  Then a skirmish broke out, which led into a battle, which led into battles all over the land.  Finally, it led to war.”

“And this is how it ended? Not a person in sight?”

Time nodded his old grey head and kicked the ground with his old wrinkly feet.  His wrinkly hands clutched his walking stick.  “They all perished.  They used nuclear bombs and such things.  Just now the radiation is dissipating.”

“Was there any sign of reason in this war?  A voice that gave them an alternative?”

“Well, yes.  There were individuals here and there both Purple and Green.  They would yell and try the violence to stop.  Some succeeded for a little while and some were just murdered on the spot.  Those that had some success gave a speech something like this: ‘Greens and Purples, you are brothers.  Stop fighting.  Fighting will be the doom of life on this planet.  We need each other.  We don’t need each other dead.  Look, we bleed the same blood.  My blood is like your blood, blue.  We are the same, you and I.  We must find a way to work and live in peace.  To complement one another and to mingle with each other.  The past is the past.  There was slavery and illicit acts, murders and theft.  Above all there was and is hate.  This hate is silly and illogical.  Do you remember why we are fighting?  Do you even know?  If you care about the future, you will listen and put down the weapons, put down the aggression, put away the hardness of your faces and hearts.  If you care, we need to cry together and mend our mutual hearts, brother to brother and sister to sister.  Let’s build the future and stop tearing down the present.’”

“How did these heroes fair?”

“For a small amount of time the people listened but then went back to fighting.  The heroes, as you call them, got themselves killed trying to break up the fighting anew.  Then….ah…..then there was no hope.  The Purples and the Greens ran quickly to mutual annihilation.”

“If only they were not so petty.  If only they embraced diplomacy and agreement.”

“Indeed.”  Time lowered his grey head again in sadness.  

Nature did so for a minute, but then she raised her head back up and said, “Enough of that.  I don’t care about them anymore for they cared nothing for themselves.  The vegetation and the animals will reconquer their cities and their roads.  Their buildings will crumble and their machines will rust and rot.  In a few decades, nothing will be left of them.  No one will remember them.  And when a people form a different world come, they will occupy this planet and it will know a people that is peaceful and just.”

“Let it be so,” said Time raising his head in new vigour.  “Where will you go next?”

“I have to check on a small blue planet.  I will see if those people are worthy of continued life.”

“What is the name of that planet?”

“The people there like to call it Earth.”

“Ah, yes.  Earth!  So far they have escaped the pitfalls of destruction time and again.  Perhaps they will show more promise.”

With that, Nature lifted her arms straight out and her body lifted off the planet began to travel through space-time.  Time stayed on the planet.  He observed the different animal species and started to see communities forming and expanding.

“Ah.  Here we go again.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Something is in the Shed

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

Billy and Timmy played in their back yard. The yard had grass, a vegetable garden, and a tool shed.
"Bang, bang, ...bang, bang," said Billy yelling after his younger brother and holding a metal six shooter. He actuated the trigger so the toy clicked as if he was shooting a real handgun from the old west. He wore a brown felt cowboy hat with a steer emblem on it. His brown shirt, red scarf, blue jeans, western belt with a big buckle, and cowboy boots made him look like the 'real thing.'
Timmy had a red plastic feather that was kept upright with a adorned plastic strap around his head. He was bear chested with color water based paint on his body and face. He wore blue jeans and authentic leather moccasins. He had a plastic bow and an arrow with a red rubber sucker as an arrow head in one hand. With his other hand, he patted his lips making Indian noises. He ran around dodging Sheriff Billy.
The two brothers had a wild west time in the yard full of laughs and giggles while Billy's mother was in the kitchen talking on the wall phone.
Suddenly, the boys heard some noises coming from the shed. It was so loud that they made a dead stop and listened carefully staring at the blue door. Then there was quiet followed by some more banging and clanging as if someone or something was in there but what or who?

"Why is the door blue and the rest of the shed brown?" said Timmy.

If you wish to read the rest of the story, it is available on my free ebook Mel's Shorts. Read more about it at the Mel's Shorts page.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mere Human

What am I?  I have skin that darkens, and I have hair that lightens.  Could I be equatorial, tropical or polar?  What good is it?  What harsh word will I get because of my looks?  When I look in the mirror, I am me.  Ethnicity is a mere word; a way to differentiate people one from another but to what end?  Surely, it is for nothing good nor pure.   Why am I hated?

Shall I have hair?  Shall I have nappy or curly or flat hair?  What if I color it?  Who will accept me, and who will reject me?  Shall I wear clothes?  Flowing colors, big hats, flamboyant frills should be my venture, or dull and dark trappings that downplays my presence should cover my nakedness?  Can my choice of happy or sad make a difference?

Should I yell obscenities?  Should I bring anyone, who comes my way, low?  Should I say to myself they must pay ... they must pay.  Greeting my fellow person with kind words should cause healing.  It would make whole any person and find solution to any problem.  Why do I not take up kind words?

My fists are clenched.  Should I impact them on my comrades' faces, or is friendship dear to me?  Could it be so dear that I should seek it out among those that know me not?  Seek love and healing from those who look different than me, shall I?  Should I know the tenderness of a cool glass of clear water that was offered?  My body would be lauded with warmth and gifts rather than bruises and bloody slashes.

What are my feat for?  Are they to crush the enemies' heads to pulp?  What enemies do I have?  Who made them enemies?  Should my feat run?  Yes, they should run like the gazelles, deer, horses, and antelopes.  Where should they run to?  Should they take me to battle to cause pain and suffering to others as well as myself?  Should they run to bind the wounds of my fellows caused by folly?  Should they run to get nutrition to those who are in need?  Should they bring life rather than death to this community or this society?

I am a mere human.  Where are the hugs of fellow humans.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Moment Of Choice

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

The house is now quiet.  A truck, a block, a doll, and other toys are still on the living-room floor.  An empty bottle lay not five feet away.  A used diaper is also close by.  Some small dirty shirts and shorts are hanging on the sofa's arm and back.  Other empty glass bottles of several colors lay in the bedroom and in the kitchen.  Dirty dishes are in and around the kitchen sink. 

The front door is open.  The breeze coming in from the door moves an object on the table.  It's a piece of paper with folds and lots of writing.  The words 'notice of' and 'abuse' are seen on it.  It has been read.

She is not inside but outside, just standing there facing the street.  Her hair and nightgown flow in the breeze.  The street is silent now, but in her head the cries, the lowed voices, and her own screams still ring.  She feels numb all over, but not from her drinks but from incredulity at what just happened.  Her two hearts had just been ripped out of her soul.  How can she go on now?  The shame of failure descends on her like darkness.  Are her issues so pressing to not tend to responsibility?

She does not want this.  This is not her desire; this is not her dream.  Life was going to be wonderful, back then.  Everyone would be happy, back then.  Now, 'back then' is gone.  The dream is gone as well.  Scared of by bills, she spouses.  This, but this, is not happiness.  This is death, or worse.

She suddenly sees a drop splat on the asphalt.  Then another, and another.  She bends down.  The rain increases, but she stays there.  The rain intensifies.  The sound of the it muffles her sobs.  Nobody comes out.  No neighborly help is there.  She is alone, as always.

Now she knows what everyone has been telling her.  Sometimes the choices you make make decisions for you.  Then she thinks, what if she makes a different choice.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Valentine Night

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.
Fran takes a sip of her beer at the bar.  It was Valintine's night.  She hadn't been with someone in quite some time.  She wore her cute pink strapped top and put her hair in a pony tail lopsided to the right with a cute pink scrunchy.  Jeans were the bottoms du jour.

"Isn't that dude, like, the bomb?" she said.  Her friend Sam winced her eyes.  Sam was dressed to kill wearing a strapless black lacy top with a pair of Daisy Duke's to show her curves.

"He's, like, totally gay."

"WOW! Like, gag me with a spoon.  How'd you know?"

"See how his butt is, like, totally out there 'n, like, wigglin' 'n all?"

"Totally.  Like wigglin' and jigglin'."

"He's totally gay."

"Well, how do you, like,  get a cute dude here anyway?"

"Like, all you have to do is show a know..."


"Like. Totally."  Sam giggled with a big smile. She adjusted her breasts to get more showing.  Fran tried to push down her blouse to show more but she wasn't as big as Sam.

"Oh God!  Here comes a dude.  He's totally hot, too."

"Hello, ladies," said the man.  He was wearing a nice tan snap up western style long sleeve shirt, a big buckle showing some bucking bronco, blue jeans, and shiny black cowboy boots.

"Hi," Fran and Sam said in unison.

"What lovely flowers we have here today.  Any of you care for a dance with this here old cowboy?"

The girls giggled.

"Oh. Come on now.  Your a strappin' young man.  Let's go!"  Sam took the Cowboy's hand and off they went to the floor with everyone else.

Fran watched them feeling jealous.  She crossed her arms and pouted her lip.  Sam always got the first guys.  What a slut.  Damn, why isn't Frank here?

Fran knew all too well why Frank was not with her.   He had gone to work one Valentine's night.  There was a shoot out.  Some of his buddies got hit.  He saw his opportunity and rushed the perp.  He took a lot of lead but got the bastard.  The funeral was with all out honors.  Uniforms lined up for it, and Fran got a flag.

She remembered it all, like it was yesterday.  She put her hand in her pocket and felt the metal.  She felt every detail of that shield.  Dammit Frank. Why did you go out that Valentine's?  Her eyes started to tear up.  Then, she pulled it out.  The gleaming metal reminded of his smile, his touch, his love.  It was all she had of him, and all that was left of that life.  That was 30 years ago.

Sam game back winded and her grey hair messed up.  The Old Cowboy looked winded as well.  He bent over holding his knees to catch a breath.  His hat fell off reveling his bald head except for some thin white strands of hair on the sides and back.

"Hoo weh! Now that doll knows how to dance," he said with a big smile and using the bar to prop himself up.

"You should have seen me in '87.  I would have rocked your world," said Sam confidently.  She adjusted her top that covered her wrinkly skin dotted with darker blemishes.  "I may not have much on top anymore, but I got it where it counts."

"You sure as hell do, Doll."

"Well sounds like you kids had fun," said Fran forcing a smile on her heavy made up face.  Makeup couldn't hide the years that still showed on her face.  "Shouldn't we get you back home, Sam."

"Yeah.  I guess your right, Fran.  Your always right.  Got a pen?"  Fran pulled out a ballpoint out of her pocket, and the shield fell out with a loud cling.  Sam took the pen and started to write on a bar napkin.

"You still holding on to him, Babe?"

"Never mind it, Sam."  The Old Cowboy picked the shield up and gave it back to Fran.

"I'm sorry for your loss, ma'am," he said sounding sincere.

"Thank you Sir.  But it was a long time ago."

Sam gave the napkin to the Old Cowboy.

"Here's a rain check, cutie," said Sam.  Fran reached along the bar to find a wooden cane.  She grabbed it.

"Ready, girl?"

"Yeah.  Let's blow this joint.  No, really I could use one."

"Let's see what we got at home.  I won't tell your mother if you don't."

The two ladies walked slowly away from the bar towards the exit chattin' and gigglin' as they went.  Thus they completed yet another Valentine's night at the Senior Center.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Visiting the Old Man

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

John stopped short of opening the door.  His hand was on the nob.  He paused.  Some nurses walked passed him.  The room was where the man was.  Where the Old Man was.

John remembered.  How could he forget.  Each sound of each blow made him weak.  The screams from his brother's room causes him to cry. Then the bladder gave in and released its contents.  His brain, then, acknowledged that the situation was serious, too serious.  At the time, John was too young to do anything about it.  The best thing he could do was to remember.  He swore to himself the Old Man was going to reap what he sowed.  The Old Man would never touch him.

His brother, Charles, was never quite right.  Charles had plenty of flaws.  It was not the time for psychologists then.  No.  Psychologists were for those crazy people.  Those crazy people out there.  Not here, not your own family.  John never considered, then, that perhaps some professional help could be helpful.  The Old Man wore a cast on his arm and Charles a large lump on his forehead.

"I'm leaving," said Charles.

"Where will you go?" asked John.

"The City."

John understood he meant Charles was going to be homeless.  Charles was a teen and John was not quite there yet.  Charles left, suddenly and without any more warning.  He came back after a few months, but time doesn't heal all wounds.

When Charles left home for good, John knew it was only a matter of time.  When the time came, he was ready.  He made his plan and worked it.  Invariably, the confrontation came.  The Old Man's anger flared.  John stood fast; looking just as aggressive as his opponent.  The coward backed down.  John felt a sense of empowerment.  He had won.

Years passed and Charles had jobs but could not keep any of them for very long.  What goes around comes around, and Charles ended up homeless time and again.  The crazies had psychologists, but Charles had no one nor did he want any.

John tried to improve himself through the years.  He graduated from High School and College.  He realized he had his own demons and sought out professional help.  He was not going to allow the Old Man to screw him up, not before and not now.

No, I cannot go in.  I cannot let him have the peace he seeks. John stood at the door in the hospital.  His hand was on the knob.  Let him go alone, all alone.  This is the last blow. The war is over soon.  Let him loose with no one.

John took his hand off the knob and it clicked shut.  He took a deep breath and walked away.  He walked into his own life leaving the old life behind.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Game of Witlessness

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

He nearly went into a panic when his name was called out.  His forehead was riddled with beads of sweat. He loosened his tie trying to get more air to his lungs.

"Peter!" came the announcement again.

He got up out of his cubicle.  It was the same cubicle he had for years.  He made it homey with pictures of his wife and kids. Now, he might not see it again.

He slowly made his way to the hallway.  When he got there, it seemed longer than before.  In fact it was getting longer the more he looked down it.  He took steps forward.

It's only a hallway.  What so scary about that?  His confidence slowly was coming back.  He straightened his tie out, combed his hair, and straightened and tucked his shirt in.  Then he reached the door to the conference room.

He couldn't hear any noise.  He opened the door, and what he saw turned his face white as a sheet.  The large conference table was circumseated by the Board of Directors.  The president of the company was at its head.  He was standing.

"Come in, Peter and participate in our inquest."

In the middle of the large table, was a French Revolution style guillotine.  Its red dripping blade was on top ready to fall.  Its neck-rest was covered in blood.  The head basket was empty but with obvious signs of crimson use.  Spatterings of blood was on the table and on some of the shirts of the board.

Peter wanted to instantly flee.  He wanted to flee back to his cubicle and forget this nightmarish scene, but he couldn't move away though his feet were desperately trying.  Two goons in suits had latched on to each arm forbidding him his flight. The goons dragged him forward to a step stool.  He fought every step of the way but to no avail.  His screams of panic didn't make the goons flinch.  The goons forced him on the table and his neck onto the neck rest.  Then they locked his head in with another block.

"Peter!" said the President standing with one foot on his chair, one foot on the table, and pointing to the devise of death.  "You have been found guilty.  Guilty, I say!"

"Guilty," resounded the voices of the board.

"Of being mediocre at your job," went on the President.

"Oooo...." cried the board.

"A crime worthy of death."  The President enjoyed an applause from the board.

"Mediocre?  But I work harder than anyone in my department.  I closed many accounts successfully.  I.....," cried Peter.

"SILENCE!  You have not contributed to the presidential retirement fund.  For this you are deemed mediocre and stubborn, I might add."

"Off with his head, off with his head, off with his head," chanted the board.

"Stubborn?  Given the circumstances, I think stubborn is an appropriate response.  Don't you think?"  Peter had nothing to lose now.

"Your salary is much too high." The President's face offered no sign of giving in.

"My salary is below the national average for people in my position."  Peter thought he may get away with his life if he keeps engaging the President in negotiations.

"Hmmf....How dare you research such things.  Insolence shall be your crime.  Put him in."

"Wait! Wait!" the goons stopped. "What if we renegotiated my salary?" Peter grew desperate.

"Renegotiate, you say."  Peter tried to gather his wits and think while the President stroked his chin.  "What do you have in mind?"

"I'll pay to your retirement fund what I haven't paid plus 5%."  Peter thought that to be tantalizing to his boss though it was still unfair to him.  Hell, this whole thing is an unfair nightmare.  But I got to get away.

"A measly 5%?  I think you underestimate my need, Peter."

"Off with hid head, off with his head," chanted the board again.  The goons started to force Peter closer to the instrument of doom.

"Wait, wait. 10% then."  How much does this creep want?  The goons stopped awaiting the presidential response.

"10% he says."  The President addressed the board.  "How fair is that?  I should have at least 100% more.  Don't you think?"

"More, more, more....," clamored the board.

"Away with him.  I'll use his head to decorate my office.  That's more than what it's doing now," said the President.

The goons put poor Peter's head in the neck-rest and locked it in.  The President got up and pulled the line that released the blade.  It came speeding down its rails as Peter screamed in terror.

The blade hit Peter's neck and bounced off.  It bounced a couple of times before it rested on his neck because it wasn't made of steel but rather foam rubber disguised as steel.

The board laughed and laughed.  The goons and the President laughed and laughed.  The President laughed so hard his stomach was hurting and he had to hold it with his arms and kick his knees up.  Peter did not move.

It was some minutes before someone noticed his immobility.  The President went up to him and shook his shoulder.  One of the goons removed the lock on Peter's neck.

"Peter.  Come'on now you can get up,"  said the President.  Peter did not move.  The goons checked his pulse.

"Peter.  It's all fun and games now."  Still no response.  The goons looked at the President and shook their heads.

"Now isn't that just dandy.  The schmuck just got out of paying my retirement fund.  Put him out.  Bring in the next contestant.  I still need my fund."