Shaved Legs and All: LGBT Pogrom

shattered - By Mizeta Moon 

The pond was nearly dry but the creatures living close by could still get a cool drink on a sweltering day. Shade from the trees was a comfort in such heat and a playful breeze was a welcome companion as he sat contemplating how to avoid disaster. He was tired from being at the all night protest that was to no avail, and now contractors would be rolling in and destroying this serene little corner of the world within hours. He was hoarse from chanting and his eyes still stung from teargas but he had to sit there one last time and commit its beauty to memory. This property had once belonged to his grandfather and both he and his father had occupied the small house there over the years before it burned down and they decided not to rebuild on the site. By then, grandad was gone, and his father was in hospice, so it seemed pointless to fight the county for a permit, knowing they were going to exercise imminent domain if he wouldn’t accept their offer to buy it. He refused to sell, so they stole the land from him.

So many people were migrating to the Northwest that roads and shopping centers were eating up land to provide for a burgeoning population. With the continued escalation of insufferable heat, tornados, and flooding in the East and Midwest, people were leaving those areas and starting over without considering the impact so much new construction would have on the environment. Everywhere he went, apartments were popping up like weeds. What the county had planned for his acreage was a hotel complex with a waterpark and shopping mall due its proximity to the freeway. He told the commissioners that he would give them the land if they’d leave it wild and designate it a park but that didn’t fly because one of them owned a big construction firm that would benefit from the huge contracts.

Tiredness made his eyes droop after a while, so he stretched out for a short nap while birds twittered in the trees and dragonflies flitted across the pond’s surface. Clouds scooted across the sky as his quiet breathing fell into sync with the life rhythm around him. He might have lain there for hours and woken refreshed but that was not to be. It was a distant droning at first, that soon became a roar as a diesel engine shattered the serenity. He could hear the shrieks of birds as trees fell and their homes were destroyed. Smashing, crashing, the machine approached without mercy. The caterpillar was huge and was packing a giant blade when it broke into the clearing and shoved a huge pile of dirt and debris into the pond. The driver wore goggles and gloves as dust swirled and black smoke poured from its exhaust.

Every manner of creatures ran frightened in all directions as the monster spread mayhem in its path. When the driver saw him sitting calmly under a tree that he planned to destroy, he waved at him to move but he shook his head in refusal. The driver scowled as he put the caterpillar in neutral, then climbed down from the cab and stomped toward him. They argued for a few moments but when he sat resolute the driver said “okay, buddy. You want to become part of the landscape, so be it.” When he climbed back aboard and reengaged the gears, the monster plowed its way forward. It was a very close call when he waited till the last second to roll out of its path and jump to his feet.

Later that evening, while he and his buddies were commiserating at the bar, a lifted pickup with giant tires flying a confederate flag skidded into the parking lot and disgorged four ‘good old boys’ who sauntered in like they owned the place. The sign on their truck said Swamp Water Construction. so this had to be the first crew to arrive. There was nothing to be gained by starting a fight but being polite to invaders wasn’t required. Everyone stood and filed out as the bartender shut everything down and told the men he was just closing. The only thing the locals could do from then on was refuse to intermingle or cooperate and slow everything down, thus making costs soar. Spoiling paradise wasn’t going to come cheap.   

At the Memorial - By Mizeta Moon 

As kids, they swapped lies, shared dreams, fought over girls, worked on cars, all the stuff young men do. Over time, they traveled different paths but kept in touch. His personal achievements led to a degree of fame and wealth but that wasn’t the fate of the other two. Tom Gallagher became a preacher raising five kids in an impoverished rural area constantly besieged by natural disasters and awash with illiteracy. Though uninterested in religion himself, he admired Tom’s devotion to establishing food banks, learning centers, and providing care during times of great need. He looked forward to seeing his childhood friend at the celebration of life for the one who never managed to figure it out and get his life on track.

After high school Adam Fitzgerald worked in fast food joints, stocked groceries, and did a plethora of odd jobs without real interest or achievement in any endeavor. He would hear from Adam when he needed a loan or a place to crash but as time moved on those moments faded as he eventually started saying no. It wasn’t that he was cold-hearted or unconcerned with his friend’s welfare. It was simply that he saw the escalation of a parasitic lifestyle and didn’t want to participate. Too many of the locals became involved with drugs and he’d watched enough of them devolve and realized Adam was more willing to party than work.

His career took him to New York and the fast pace of big business. He wound up with a corner office with a magnificent view of the city and a hideously expensive apartment overlooking the river. He never married but enjoyed the company of beautiful women who had their own goals to pursue instead of a life-long mate. His company provided great benefits, plenty of vacation time, and yearly bonuses that swelled his savings. He became an epicure who enjoyed dining in the vast array of restaurants and seldom ate at the same place twice. He often visited galleries and acquired a collection of art that dazzled visitors to his home. Life was good.

Meanwhile, Fentanyl invaded America and people started dropping like flies. Every emergency service in every town became overwhelmed by the epidemic, and relatives grieved at the continued loss of loved ones. Though he occasionally smoked a little weed he’d always avoided chemical drugs and when it came to Fentanyl, he was happy to have never tried that. Dying for temporary pleasure seemed like a lousy tradeoff. Now, he was flying home to bury someone he’d loved like a brother in the early years.

The flight was bumpy. Air turbulence was so severe that the pilot considered turning back but they eventually cleared the weather front and touched down without incident. As he reclaimed his luggage, then ambled through the terminal he dreaded looking into the surely pain-filled eyes of Adam’s family. He wasn’t sure how to deal with that since they’d always been in denial and hadn’t tried very hard to help him find a better path. He didn’t blame them for Adam’s choices as each person is responsible for their own welfare but still felt that with more effort things could have turned out better.

After greetings, hugs, and condolences, he walked down the aisle of the funeral home to view the body before taking a seat. He was shocked at his friend’s appearance. The cosmetician couldn’t disguise the ravages of life-long drug abuse and had he passed him on the street he wouldn’t have recognized his childhood pal. He sat quietly in the back during the service and subsequent funeral. The best part of the day was reconnecting with Tom Gallagher and giving him a check for his food bank, then sitting down with the local social services director and pledging to develop a trust fund to support a crisis intervention/drug rehab center. Hopefully, a few lives could be salvaged from ruination. All they could do was try but he understood that people can’t be saved from themselves. The flight home was both a relief and a time for quiet reflection. He knew that he would never go home again as life always has more to offer to those willing to participate.

Timing - By Mizeta Moon 

Ollie Olavson’s wife Greta wouldn’t let him chew tobacco in the house because she hated the smell. Wouldn’t kiss him for three days afterward, and only after thorough mouth cleansing could he sneak in a smooch. Consequently, he’d taken to walking the back road around Lake Getagrip while indulging. This day, he was standing on the shore watching a gaggle of geese argue with an asylum of loons about whose turf that side of the lake was. The noise was nearly deafening but didn’t drown out the loud crunch he heard as an accident occurred on the road at his back. Hoping no one was injured, he climbed the small berm by the road and rushed to render aid. Being a retired firefighter, he was trained to handle most emergencies and was well-versed in first aid. What he saw when he arrived was more amusing than distressing.

Sven Swendegard had been driving a truckload of apples to the cider press in Goblinville when he had a head-on collision with Rolf Ruthenberger, who was transporting a load of suckling pigs to the slaughterhouse in Scratchbottom Flats. The result was apples all over the road and squealing pigs darting in all directions, although many of the piglets used the opportunity to greedily gobble Sven’s notoriously delicious apples. Oh Golly! He thought as he approached the scene of the crash. By then, instead of chasing pigs and apples, the two farmers were squared off in the middle of the road, yelling and threatening to come to blows. Relieved that neither man was injured by the collision, he scurried in their direction to intervene before violence ensued. He did, however, swoop up a few apples and shoved them in his overcoat pocket for later consumption. Maybe Greta could be sweet talked into a cuddle by bringing treats, or at least, bake a pie.

It took some doing, but eventually he defused the situation by advising Rolf that unless they got busy, all the piglets would run off. His truck wasn’t badly damaged and he wouldn’t lose too much money if they corralled the critters. Meanwhile, Sven was gathering the undamaged apples and putting them back in their crates. Even marred, they could be turned into cider, so his losses would be minimal. As they were wrapping things up, the sheriff came along and assessed the situation. He was reluctant to assign blame as both men were poker buddies, so he took a few pictures and wrote a no-fault report for any future court proceedings to show that he was on the job and showing due diligence. The road was narrow and there were accidents from time to time.

After the two men drove away, Ollie resumed his walk. The geese and the loons were still yelling at each other but had formed flotillas well apart. Evidently, no feathers were going to fly. As he rounded a curve that caused the road to move away from the lake, he heard a plaintive wail coming from a stand of shrubbery on the opposite side of the road. Crossing over, and parting the branches, he discovered a plump little piglet whose leg was broken struggling to free itself from entanglement. At that point he was faced with a moral dilemma. Nurse it back to health after freeing it? Call Rolf and offer to buy it for a sumptuous dinner? Its leg was so badly mangled that odds were it would be crippled for life. As he pondered the situation, he suddenly remembered the apples in his pocket. Unfortunately for the pig, that sealed the deal. Greta was going to be very receptive when presented with such serendipitous abundance.      

Four footed football - By Mizeta Moon 

The annual soccer match between the Elephants and the Rhinos was always a hotly contested event that drew creatures from the plains and the jungle. Birds jostled for prime limbs to watch from and all the predators took the day off so everyone could have fun. The previous year one of the lions got too excited and bit an antelope, so this year they were relegated to a rocky slope well away from the playing field. Their roaring complaints about such punishment fell on deaf ears. Because of his stripes, the head zebra was the umpire (a misnomer–should have been referee but by now it was a tradition to call them the umpire) and because he’d been raised by humans he could enunciate better when it was time to call a foul.

The ball was what humans used to call a medicine ball, (one of the elephants stole it while escaping a circus) covered with heavy duty leather and tough enough for big feet to kick without bursting. As the teams did their warm-up drills it rested at midfield awaiting the pummeling to come. When the sun reached the agreed on point in the sky, the teams took the field as the crowd went wild and yelled encouragement to the team they preferred. The reptiles felt the ump was biased because he’d been stepped on by a rhino as a foal but the monkeys screeched so loud their hisses were muffled and ignored. Besides, the elephants usually won because they were nimbler, but the rhinos put up such a good fight every year the tussle was well worth watching. The rules were simple. No goalie, just kick the ball over a vine laid on the ground at each end of the field. No use of trunks and no goring. Bumping and bullying were totally acceptable.

When play commenced, it felt like an earthquake as the massive tonnage lumbered across the field each time the ball was booted. The birds chirped loudly when the rhinos scored first due to a back leg kick that scooted between the head elephant’s massive feet and rolled over the vine. Trumpeting and snorting, the elephants went all out to even the score and formed a box with their bodies to keep the rhinos at bay. Things got worse for them though when the smallest rhino shoved his way through and stole the ball, then scored with a kick that traveled the length of the field. The baboons got a big hoot out of that maneuver and clapped their hands with approval. This caused the elephants to call time out so they could palaver. While they huddled, the rhinos complained to the ump that time shouldn’t have been granted as it took away their momentum. The ump felt it was insulting for them to question his authority so he gave the elephants a free kick when play recommenced.

As the sun inched its way toward the horizon, the elephants were worried that they might lose when sunset came and ended the game, so they decided to cheat by “accidentally” trunking the ball when any opportunity arose. Unfortunately, though their eyesight was notoriously bad, the rhinos caught on to that ploy and decided there was only one way to maintain their lead. The next time that the ball was launched into the air, the small rhino that scored the first goal stuck his horn straight up and “accidently” gored the ball, which ended the game. The controversy that ensued went on until well after sundown but in the end the ump had the final say. “No ball, no game. No rematch. Rhinos win.” As everyone went back to business as usual on the plains and in the jungle, there was a lot of tittering about the elephants finally losing when their cheating led to a deflating reprisal. The biggest topic of conversation around the waterhole the next day was “where do we get another ball for next year’s match?” Breaking into the circus to steal one became the mission of a young gorilla named Gonzo, but how that went is another story.      

More ‘70s babbling. - By Mizeta Moon 

Storm coast

The fury of the storm I see while looking out my window,

Is mostly screaming, howling winds,

Heard over the clock ticking on the mantle.

As the fire crackles and sputters, we chat in fading light,

But I feel the need for a change of pace, 

From the view of a water-soaked, mud-splattered highway.

I wander toward the ocean, dear mother of raging maelstroms,

Attacking the land with laughing, snarling jabs,

Searing the marrow of gaunt, bending trees.

Jack Pines and trailing vines merge with sandy dunes,

Facing cascades of waves, incredibly furious,

But yet, poetically moving and fluid.

Turning to hissing, crackling whiteness,

Exploding in a foamy line across a beach,

Littered with earthly treasure.

The tremendous surge tossing driftwood about,

Twenty foot logs as if they were toothpicks.

So small one human against this,

An inferno of elements so biologically rational.

Pourings of regenerative life essences,

For souls and spirits on every level of life.

Leading to rebirth when the sun comes to dry tears away,

Reabsorbing excesses upon every surface.

Apollo’s chariot with its shiny disc wheel,

Treads the sky with horses in rein.

I see the spark of him for just a moment,

Before Poseidon unleashes another battery of rain and mist.

Battering, lashing against windowpanes,

As I return to my fireplace and your side again,

Finally whispering so long for now.


First touching

Your perfume clung to me all the way home.

Every place that you kissed, still tingling.

Some hot, others cool, an unfamiliar warmth,

The electricity of your hair, a tactile memory to be cherished forever.

To make contact. To go from fantasy to fact.

All in a heartbeat, but what a pulse quickener.

That breathtaking moment when,

What’s been in our eyes transfers to the senses.



Tomorrow will be too late,

To touch your lips with love.

Today the nectar is sweet,

And I am here to taste,

What may never bloom the same again.


Sharing and caring - By Mizeta Moon 

So, maybe you can’t buy her diamonds and furs,

But you can give of the heart from the heart.

Maybe you can’t afford gold or a new car,

But you can afford to be kind and gentle.

Sharing and caring maintains a good love.

Stop at the store and buy her favorite ice cream.

Slip a note in her pocket, telling her you love her.

Take the extra step to let her know you care.

Being poor isn’t a crime but being lazy is.

It’s easy to become complacent and take love for granted.

It’s also easy to care and share.

Have a few less beers and cigarettes.

Save the money to buy her perfume or go to a movie,

And you’ll be rewarded with her beautiful smile.

She’s the woman you say you love,

But saying is easy, showing is the test.

Let her know how special she is to you,

And that you value her above anything else in the world.

Happiness will fill your heart,

As love streams from her eyes into your soul.

Sharing and caring–Caring and sharing.

In the backyard - By Mizeta Moon 

Thirty people signed up for the annual garden walk where the neighborhood showed off their plants and overall design. No prizes were available but each person on the walk had a scorecard. When the votes were tallied at the end there was a year’s worth of bragging rights to be had. Albertina Bigbottom usually won but this year there were several serious contenders and knocking off Albertina would bring smiles to a lot of faces.

Betsy Bludin was the organizer and tour leader, so she got up early, put on her sturdy walking shoes and overalls, grabbed her sun hat, finished her coffee, then stepped into a beautiful morning. Meanwhile, her husband, Martin, who wasn’t awake when she left, got up, ate a leisurely breakfast, then grabbed his towel and ambled to the hot tub in the backyard. He’d completely forgotten what day it was, and that their house would be the last stop on the tour.

As he took the cover off the tub, he noticed that the latch was rusty and made a mental note to replace it. He’d just slipped into the soothing warmth when their side gate opened and their next door neighbor came through, wearing the skimpiest bikini he’d ever seen. “Mind if I join you?” she asked coyly. “I saw Betsy leave earlier and the way she was dressed made me think she was out for a long walk.”

She was so gorgeous he’d spied on her through the fence several times and even saw her sunbathing naked on a chaise lounge once. “I’m naked,” he replied. “I doubt Betsy would approve.”

She giggled and hopped in. “I’m only staying for a few minutes.” Peering beneath the water surface, she added “I can tell you want me to.” So while Betsy and crew were observing and judging landscapes, her skin kept bumping into his as the bubbles caressed them and things escalated. The few minutes turned into a couple hours that he’d fantasized about but never thought would happen. Betsy flat out refused to have sex in the hot tub, no matter how often or sincerely he begged.

The trysters were tired after their fierce lovemaking, so they spread towels on the deck, cuddled into each other, and promptly fell asleep, unmindful that the clock was ticking. The tour arrived at Betsy’s house fifteen minutes later. Betsy told them to let themselves through the gate and excused herself for a trip to the bathroom. Within a minute, she heard giggles and snickering sounds coming through the open window and hurriedly finished her business in order to investigate. Her face turned red with embarrassment and rage when she stepped out the back door and saw the garden tour group gawking at Martin and the sleeping beauty instead of admiring her lovely garden. Her bellowing MARTIN!! Caused a flurry of activity and gave the tour a legendary ending. The neighbor grabbed her bikini and skedaddled. Martin draped a towel in front of himself and sidled past a sobbing wife, trembling with fury. Pens marked scorecards that were handed to Betsy as the laughing bunch filed out.

The neighborhood newsletter came out the next week. Bold headlines revealed the fact that Betsy Bludin was the unanimous winner of the garden walk due to having the most spectacular sights of that year’s tour. Although slightly mollified by winning, Betsy arranged to have the hot tub dismantled and removed, then told Martin she was filing for divorce. For Martin, the incident led to an unexpected happy ending when the neighbor invited him to move in with her. Rumor has it that they plan to make their backyard part of the next tour. OH! BTW. Albertina Bigbottom has challenged the result but it’s doubtful she’ll get a good result since pretty much everyone wanted her to lose.         

Contestant #2 - By Mizeta Moon 

It was symbolic instead of financially rewarding. A small trophy to set on a shelf as a reminder of earlier days, with a sash and tiara for the photo shoot. The photo shoot was with a well-known photographer and would have cost a fortune, so in a way it was a monetary gain. UGLIEST IN THE WORLD was broken down into several categories, including body parts, overall features, personality, and oratory, to name a few. The stage was filled with contestants on a dreary, uncomfortable day to provide ambiance for an event featuring ugliness. The sky was dark. The stench from a nearby sewage treatment was nauseating. Hovering seagulls pooped on cars in the pothole filled parking lot.

The judges were the opposite of the contestants. Beautiful, spoiled, and wealthy, they sacrificed their senses for one day a year as a way of fulfilling their community service requirement meted out by the court for minor offenses. The more they were repugned by whatever and whomever they were assessing, the better the chances of winning were. Knowing they were mostly opera buffs, the promoters understood that the loud polka music was annoying to most and alternated that with screamo punk.

Contestant #2 was frustrated by the way things were going at the halfway point. She’d entered ten categories and had nothing to show for it. Ugly nose, ugly toes, ugly butt, nope, nope, and nope. She even tried cussing out the judges for the oratory category but a Trump imitator stole the show there. After that, she felt ugliest personality would probably go to the same person. As the day imploded into greater darkness and threatened rain, she became desperate to win a tiara.

She hadn’t seen a dentist in years but her teeth weren’t ugly enough to win. Ugly ears went to a retired boxer instead of the jug-eared country boy. Instead of a sash and tiara, male winners got a plastic top hat and cane. She liked it better when women didn’t compete against men but these days many contestants were transgender so the lines were blurred, thus the open enrollment.

She sang the worst country song she’d ever heard and was even off key like many karaoke participants but that only got her second place. She drew the line at baring her private parts so she hadn’t entered that category but felt she might have stood a chance after viewing the winner’s. Hair? Nope. She vowed not to wash it for a year. As winners were announced in the remaining categories her hopes sank to an all-time low. After being laughed at for her appearance for years it was disappointing not to be rewarded for her suffering. After failing in the last category she sat down to cry just as it started to rain. But it turned out she’d been so focused  on the categories she’d forgotten that all entrants were eligible to be the overall ugliest winner. She was stunned to hear the emcee announce that she was the winner. Her tears of sadness turned to tears of joy as the previous year’s winner draped the sash over her trembling shoulders, then placed the tiara in her ratty hair. She won! She was officially the ugliest girl in the world. After bowing to the crowd, she faced her fellow contestants, raised a fist, and smiled. There was nothing in the world like being the best at something. 


Duality - Mizeta Moon 

By night we build dream castles.

By day we tear them down.

Slip from fire to ice,

Stand up to tumble down.

We go from light to dark,

First left, then right.

Up a while, then down again,

In for a time, then out.

Yin and yang,

Pain to pleasure,

A plummeting ride to safe harbor.

The more we learn the less we know.

To become whole we come unglued.

To one we’re nice, the next gets rude.

A world of duality is the sole reality,

The rest is what we think it is,

And that’s usually absurd.

There is no one without the other,

No truth without a lie.

Separate the something and nothing would remain.

Museum Visit - By Mizeta Moon 

Security was strict due to the value of the exhibit. Bernina Lockhart resented standing in line for an hour, then being searched before gaining entrance to the huge gallery, but finally stood in front of the most beautiful thing she’d seen in all of her years–the last carton of eggs on earth. Their shells glowed as they basked in a cascade of multi-colored light that gave them a jewel-like appearance, and the cardboard container had a raised logo stating that it was made by Bradco for the special occasion. There was a portrait of the proud producer next to the eggs and her portrait was beautiful. Not a photo mind you, but a true masterpiece done by a famous painter from Europe. All of her feathers looked like they would ruffle in the slightest breeze.

Bernina had never eaten an egg because the radiation that caused all breeds of fowl to stop laying leaked from Hanford and spread around the planet before she was born. As existing stocks were consumed without replacements being available, eggs became more valuable than diamonds and gold. The lack of eggs caused the restaurant industry to restructure their menus–eliminating bacon and eggs, hotcakes, omelets etc. Until then no one truly realized how endemic they were to the human diet. Vegans didn’t mind but the average person didn’t want to go without eggnog for Christmas.

Bernina almost got to eat an egg once. A woman who wrapped her chicken coop with lead shielding had been auctioning off everything her hens could produce for enormous profits. The woman accidently left her back door open one afternoon and Bernina snuck into her kitchen and cracked open the fridge. But before she could run away with one of those chicken nuggets, two people came from the other room and caught her red-handed. They called the cops and wanted her arrested because she was perpetrating such a horrible crime but the cops understood her desperation and said yes, she should be punished, but they forgave her anyway and sent her home. The significance of her attempted larceny came to light a week later when the news announced that all the woman’s hens died despite her precautions. Over time, all fowl expired by attrition or were eaten until no clucks remained, and no roosters crowed to greet the dawn.

Being very enterprising, Bradco developed egg substitutes that saved the baking industry, but everyone agreed that nothing tasted as yummy as a real batter made with real, heavy-yoked, fresh cracked eggs. The carton that Bernina was admiring at the museum had been stored deep underground in a heavily guarded vault until the viewing structure was ready to display it. Their fragile nature meant that specially trained handlers with extraordinary balance were the only people allowed to touch them. Even the carton that Bradco designed for the eggs was soft and cuddly inside so they wouldn’t chafe, rub, or crack accidentally.

Suddenly, an alarm sounded and armed guards flooded into the gallery. The crowd was confused, thinking there might be a fire, but when the guards formed a line in front of the display with pistols drawn, they realized something was terribly wrong. As they were ushered out of the emergency exit, they saw the source of the panic. A huge helicopter bearing an IHOP logo sat in the parking lot with rotors turning. A group of commandos were using a battering ram to attack the front door–obviously trying to abscond with the eggs. Bernina was disappointed by having to leave but was thankful to escape the attempted heist unscathed. Later that night she watched the news and was informed that the marauders had been repelled and were identified as mercenaries hired by dictator Frump who demanded there be Eggs Benedict served for breakfast on his hundredth birthday. She was pleased by his being thwarted for a change and fell asleep wondering what egg custard would taste like.