Comedy Short Stories

P.E.R.S.I.A.N.S.

          I have always been of the belief that every living creature could communicate intelligently with one another. I figured that we would interpret these conversations as chirps, moos or meows. As fate would have it, the events of the last week would prove my theory correct.

          

October 26th 2000 - One Week Prior

          

          The irritating buzzer of the alarm filled the air and broke me of my sleep. My eyes parted slowly and thus a brand new day began. My body was still asleep and for a few moments I didn't want to move from the spot. I took several deep breaths and slipped my legs from under the covers to the carpet less-floor. The floorboards creaked beneath my feed as I made my way out of the bedroom and to the kitchen below. As my momentum carried me, I made a mental note to secure the floorboards before the carpet installers arrived the following week. The steps to the floor below repeated the same noises and I noted that they needed fixed as well.

          I reached the kitchen and the decorative light switches and pressed to illuminate the room. The kitchen filled with florescent light and the coffeepot looked intently at me. It seemed as though it was asking, me to brew coffee and fulfill its daily duty. I shook my head in agreement and went to the freezer door to remove the bag of coffee. The gush of cold air hit my face and the crispness of it was refreshing at 5 AM. I retrieved the bag and closed the door keeping the arctic splendor intact for a future surprise. I turned and opened the adjacent cabinet to retrieve the grinder from its shelf which looked like it had been well worn. The clear plastic top revealed a myriad of different types of coffee that had given their lives in an attempt to satisfy their customer. I closed the cabinet door and carried the materials to the coffee pot. I grabbed a coffee filter that stood at attention next to the pot and knew it was proud to serve its one-time use. My mind temporarily wondered to my Uncle and how he would use a filter for an entire week. In my time with him, I normally wouldn't have coffee on the last day of the week in fear of some strange concoction emerging. After shaking the thought out of my head, I began to replace the filter and noticed I hadn't emptied it from the day before. I removed the container and turned to dump it into the trash can that I soon realized was packed to the top.

          I sighed and could hear my wife saying. "You have one responsibility in this house and it is to empty the trash." I sat the container on the counter, removed the trash bag and made my way to the garage. I trotted down the stairs and into the garage and remembered that my trash can had been stolen some weeks prior. I left the bag on the floor and added to my mental notepad to buy a trash can. I locked the door and up the stairs I went where the white trash bag was waiting under the sink to assist in hitting the bottom of the can made me smile in satisfaction. The grinder did a perfect job and the filter was soon filled with fresh ground coffee. I turned to leave the kitchen and soon realized that I had forgotten to add water and proceeded to the sink. I filled the pot and when I tried to pour the water into the pot, the lid was down and filled the counter and floor with a stream of warm liquid. I shook my head as the morning had not gone to plan as it had done so many mornings below. The towel was missing from its spot on the stove handle and the drawer was empty. Another quick trip to the basement to retrieve a towel from the dryer was another delay I didn't need this morning.

          I dried the counter and floor from my morning stupidity and a coffee aroma soon filled the kitchen and it was not much longer before my mug was receiving what I had desired. I filled a second for my wife and she would not be happy as we had run out of creamer. I sipped on the coffee while I made my way up to the bedroom and a long MMMM emanated from my mouth. I soon woke my wife from her slumber and let her know that it was time hit the gym. She wanted 10 more minutes of shut eye, but I replied it was late and to get moving. She crawled from the bed and we were out the door in a flash.

          We jumped in the SUV and as fate would have it wouldn't start. I was thankful that we had taken the less than desirable vehicle to the dealership the day prior and they hadn't found anything wrong. I made some comments about them having rocket scientists as mechanics and the SUV started on the tenth or eleventh time. We went flying out of the driveway and arrived at the gym late which left me little choice of treadmills and I was stuck with the crippled unit on the end. My wife was not happy as all the weight machines were in use by the geriatric ward from the local nursing home. I turned to her and asked if things could get worse this morning? At that moment I heard a loud beeping noise and I woke from my slumber and realized I had been asleep. I stretched and turned off the alarm and as my feet hit the carpet less floor it creaked as I headed to the kitchen below. I started the coffee and unwrapped a breakfast bar from its confines when I heard something unusual from behind me.

          The words good morning were in the air and they didn't sound like my wife's voice. My heart jumped into my throat and I leapt around expecting to see a strange person in the house. To my surprise there was no one there, so I peered into the rooms and then downstairs to the basement. After several tense minutes, I found the house to be empty and figured my imagination had gotten the best of me. I went back into the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee and began sipping on it. At that moment the same voice spoke again. "You are really jumpy this morning." I repeated my jump from earlier and spun to see my cat, Bopper, perched on the counter. I looked at him and said, "Hey buddy, did you hear that?" This question was obviously rhetorical but it calmed me down a bit. As I stared at Bopper, he blinked several times and responded. "I was the cat that said that." My jaw dropped and I wet myself in total astonishment. Bopper sat patiently and then said, "Cat got your tongue?" He then started to chuckle at the obviously stupid question he had posed to me. He stopped his chuckling and said, "That was a joke." I stood looking at him as it was hard to process the situation, but my mouth soon fumbled out with, "My morning just got worse."

          

October 26th 5:30 A.M.

          

          My astonishment continued to overwhelm me for quite some time. I finally composed myself and managed to muster, "You are just a cat and therefore incapable of human speech?" Bopper stopped bathing his back leg long enough to respond. "You think we are incapable of human speech simply because you have never heard us do it before. Our common language is Catamese or what you know as meows and over pronounced cries. The human language is difficult, but not impossible to become fluent." I sat down in a nearby chair and watched as Bopper started to clean his other hind leg and then spoke. "It seems to me that learning English for you would be no different than if I were to master Spanish." I leaned back in the chair and sipped on the mug of coffee thinking about the wild morning. A long meow that turned into a cry penetrated my thoughts and upon looking at the floor I saw Coco looking at me. She rolled on her back as she knew my attention was with her. I tried to pick her up and she darted away each time. As I continued this cat and mouse game with her, my patience was failing. I looked at Bopper and asked. "Can you tell me what Coco wants?" He stopped bathing his tail and looked at Coco. "He already knows that we speak English, so enough with the Catnamese."

          Coco stops and looks at me tilting her head a bit to the side before speaking. "Could you please get the camera and take my picture?" My jaw nearly dropped to the floor as I had two English speaking cats! Bopper looked at me and asked, "Would you please take her picture so that she will stop with the constant nagging?" I regained my composure and asked, "Why do you need your picture taken?" Coco Replied. "I need a quality picture so that I can submit it to the biggest cat magazines, Catnip Monthly and Persians are Models." I got up from my chair and went to retrieve the camera. When I returned Coco looked up at me puzzled and said, "I didn't mean now, I have to go and prepare my hair for the shoot." She then turned and darted downstairs out of site. Bopper looked at me and said, "She is a diva and you just have to roll with what she dishes out." I smiled and Bopper and went to the coffee pot to refill my mug with much needed caffeine. I returned to my seat and heard a high pitched sounds from below. I had accidentally stepped on Moe and looked down upon him. I asked him if he was okay and I reached down and picked him up. Moe leaned forward and began sniffing my nose as I told him, "I didn't mean to step on you buddy."

          Moe only laid in my arms for a few moments as he was ready to get down. I put him on the floor and wondered if he could also speak. "Moe, can you speak to me?" I then heard another voice from behind me say, "Why are you talking to the cat?" I jumped from my chair as my wife entered the room looking confused at me. I quickly thought through the best answer to her question as the truth may well put me in the ward somewhere. I started to laugh and said, "I was just playing with Moe." She shook her head and poured coffee while mumbling, "You are just not right." I smiled at her and replied, "I know I have issues." She left the kitchen and I sighed in relief that I had covered the awkward situation quite well. I would have to be careful when I talked with the cats. I looked at the clock and realized it was 6:30 and the gym was out of the question. I gave Bopper a pat on his head and went to get a shower.

          

October 26th 8:30 A.M.

          

          I walked into the office late due to traffic and the never-ending construction. I was able to weave my way around the cubes and found my home waiting on me. I was a bit disheartened that a natural disaster hadn't destroyed my cube so I could go home. I sat in the chair and removed my laptop from its bag and placed it in the docking station. I realized that my chair was a bit uncomfortable as I was sitting on folders filled with paperwork. I removed them from beneath my rear and looked through the urgent documents. I put them on my desk in the special pile for later. I reached down and turned on my laptop and figured it would be a good time to visit the break room. I grabbed my favorite mug and was soon filling it with creamer, sugar and coffee. I sipped on the hot brew and through through my laundry list of chores I needed to compete today. I headed out of the break room with determination while saying hello to my coworker's. I was soon relaxing in my chair and working through my email.

          After several hours of emails, phone calls and unexpected coworker visits, my mind wandered back to the morning and my discussion with Bopper. It made me wonder if all of my cats could speak or it was just Persians? I opened my computer browser and decided to do a bit of research on the Internet. I began typing in the search when a voice from behind me interrupted. "You should be working and not browsing the Internet.: I closed my eyes and breathed deeply before responding. "I will try to remember that." I couldn't believe she had heard me, but she did have the ears of a hawk. I refocused my thoughts on the task at hand and typed in cats. I hit search and my cursor sat with an animated hourglass for a few seconds. It wasn't surprising to see the results returned were over 10,000. I began to scroll through the entries and realized that I needed to narrow my search. I entered Persian cats and repeated the search which resulted in about 200 results. The first was called the Persian Palace and not knowing what that was, I clicked on the link. The website immediately responded with an over 18 page and I knew this was not what I was looking for. I closed the browser and opened a fresh page to the search engine where I retyped the entry. The second entry in the results was breeding Persians are our specialty. This seemed like a better site to explore and I clicked away. The page displayed with many pictures of Persians in different poses, colors, sizes and personalities. As I looked through the page I noticed a chat forum link and figured that someone else may have had the same experience I had that morning.

          I entered the forum with excitement as there were already ten people chatting away. The users had Persian like nicknames that included smashface and flatface. I logged in as Jaybird and didn't think through the cat and bird relationship. I didn't immediately jump into conversation because I wanted to see what topics came up. The messages appeared to be pretty basic and focused on cat food, litter types, general cat behaviors and catnip addiction. After a few minutes I realized that a direct approach would be my best option and typed the following question. "Has your cat ever talked to you?" I hit return and waited for the responses to come in. Smashface replied, "My cat and I talk every day." A smile came to my face and I responded, "My cat just spoke to me this morning. When did your cat first start talking to you?" I sent the message and waited for smashfaces's wisdom to shine. Multiple messages scrolled by, a post appeared from my new best Persian pal. "My cat has spoken since I purchased him as a kitten." I was fascinated by this and needed to know more which led to the next question. "What were the first words that you kitten spoke?" The message was sent and the response didn't come and after about ten minutes of other conversations, I posed the message again. I then received a message rather quickly. "You are kidding right?" This seemed like an odd response so I replied, "I am not kidding." After hitting send I sat and waited for a response. Smashface replied with, "My kitten meowed at me." I sat and pondered the message and reality struck me in the face. I typed in my last message. "Of course your kitten's first words were meows. I hope that you didn't think my cat could talk to me. Thanks for the chat." I closed the browser and got up for another cup of coffee.

          

October 26th 6:30 P.M.

          

          The TV's illumination of the sports channel was the beginning of my decompression from a long day at the office. I was excited to see a lumber jack competition as the few I had seen in the past cheered me up. I was fascinated by the fact that they could avoid cutting off any appendages. They seemed to aimlessly swing an ax, but yet their accuracy was always spot on. The log rolling competition followed and was a particular favorite of mine as it showed off their determination and ultimate control of balance. The log spinning was entrancing and as I watched, the less skilled man had a misstep and went tumbling into the water. There was a great roar from the five people in the crowd. That is what I call entertainment to the highest degree!

          A commercial about logging shoes was next up and caught my attention as I had planned on going logging in Dayton Ohio that very weekend. I couldn't understand why they had to show commercials for products that had no bearing on that region. It was like selling scuba gear in the middle of the desert and now the company is going out of business due to poor marketing. Thankfully the commercial ends and a preview of the upcoming show gives me a thrill. The TV responds, "The sporting events of the Highlands are coming up next." The Highland events were another of my favorites as it proved the true determination of its contestants. My personal favorite single competition was the Caber toss. The event in a nutshell was that a grown man in a kilt would flip a telephone sized pole one full revolution in the air. I exclaimed to no one in particular. "This is pure genius in its creation and event planning."

          "I would have to agree with you there." The words came from behind me and when I turned around there was another of my cats, Ellie. She continued, "How many people did you tell that we speak?" I hesitated in response. "Well, I only told one person in a chat forum. His response was that I was crazy and in the end I had to play it off as a joke." Ellie's eyes pierced into mine and she spoke again. "Did you really think that anyone would believe such a wild claim? I think that you need to better us before you can convince anyone else." I continued to look her in the eyes and said, "It's just so hard to believe that cats have intelligent conversations with humans." Ellie appeared to smile and responded, "I think that all you can handle at this point is that cats have the ability to communicate. You need to read and piece together the remainder of the truth yourself. I suggest that you start with the tabloid papers." Ellie turns and heads up the stairs ready for dinner. As she disappears from sight, my thoughts are back to the television show and the credits are rolling. Slightly disappointed, I look for the remote to change the channel and notice Katie, our fifth and lastly mentioned cat, looking back at me. I ask her, "How are you doing Katie-Bug?" She responds with a very thick Russian accent. "I am not talking to you tonight." She jumps from the coffee table, squats and pees on the carpet. Katie then scratches the carpet and darts up the stairs in hopes that dinner is ready.

          

October 26th 9:00 P.M.

          

          The headline of the tabloid paper had the following as the lead story. "Man with two hearts has more love to give." I found it difficult to buy the papers, but I wanted to see what other information I could unearth about the secret lives of cats and their communication abilities. As I flip through the pages one particular story about thieves being upended by gigantic furry rats catches my attention. I dive into the story and apparently the two thieves said they were apprehended by five large furry rats. The local authorities believe that the thieves were probably on drugs that caused them to hallucinate the events of their story. The police did say they were investigating on additional lead of a business card found in the pocket of the robbers. The article further described the contents of the business card to have the following listed. "Protect Everyone's Rights using Super Intelligence and Knightly Stature. Knights always take one step to the left." The police were asking for people to call the hot line listed if they knew any further information about the crime. The article concluded and I looked up from the paper and pondered the statement.

          

October 26th 11:00 P.M.

          

          I turned the TV off and headed upstairs to get some sleep. As I got ready for bed I thought about what I had discovered in the tabloid and specifically the strange business card and what it meant. I lied down in bed and pulled a piece of paper and pen from the nightstand. I wrote down the words from the article down the piece of paper.

          

          

          Protect

          

          Everone's

          

          Rights

          

          using

          

          Super

          

          Intelligence

          

          And

          

          Knightly

          

          Stature.

          

          

          Knights always take one step to the left

          

          

          I looked at the words for some time thinking through the possibilities. I pulled out my laptop and tried searching the Internet for any more information on this group. I didn't find anything when I searched all of the words, subset of the words or using the first letters as an acronym. After some time I decided to call it a night and maybe tomorrow would bring me better clarity. I put my laptop away and placed the paper and pen on the nightstand for another review in the morning. As I reached to turn off the light, I glanced at the paper and it dawned on me that it had meaning as an acronym. I pulled the paper off the nightstand again and used the pen to circle the first letters of each word. I then wrote them down and came up with PERUSIAKS and spent some time glaring at the words in parsed my lips in concentration. I thought to myself, what the hell is PERUSIAKS? I jumped out of bed and got my laptop thinking that I could find the organization linked to it. After a few minutes of searching there was no reference on the Internet to this strange acronym. I put the laptop aside and as I looked up the words again and figured I had written them down wrong. I went downstairs and got the tabloid out of the trash to review the business card information. When I got back to bed I put my scribbled sheet next to the listing in the tabloid. My heart sank a bit as they were identical but when my eye caught the word using. It stood out from the other words and upon further scrutiny it was in italics. I thought this was odd that the tabloid would have misprinted the critical information from the crime scene. I wondered if the word was dropped out of the acronym I would get something that made more sense and the word that emerged was PERSIAKS. I repeated the Internet search and came up with no additional leads or information. I was again disappointed that my detective work had been of little use and that is when I noticed the last line on the business card. When I first read the line I figured it was a statement but it now looked more like directions. As I read it one more time it said, take the word Knightly and move it one letter to the left. I did as the line instructed and modified my list to reveal a modified list and new acronym.

          

          

          Protect

          

          Everone's

          

          Rights

          

          using

          

          Super

          

          Intelligence

          

          And

          

          Knightly

          

          Stature.

          

          

          PERSIANS

          

          

          I dropped my pen in my lap and readjusted my eyes several times as I couldn't believe what I had written down. What in the world is going on?

          

October 27th 4:50 A.M. Friday

          

          I opened my eyes to see the clock had not quite reached 5 but figured it was time to get up. I turned the alarm off and quietly made my way out of the bedroom and downstairs. I could hear the sounds of laughing and talking from below. I strained my ears to hear what the voices were saying. "Move, take your spots and act as though you're sleeping." I hear the noise of grinding cement and then a loud sealing vacuum sound. I dart down the stairs and look eagerly into the basement which reveals Bopper and Coco relaxing in the cat stand looking intently out the window. I look to the left and Katie is sleeping on the green sofa with Ellie close by under the table. I hear a pitiful meow and looking down I see Moe wanting some attention. I pick him up and he gives me a sniff on the nose and I reply with a rubbing of his belly, chin and between his eyes. Moe soon finds no more use for me and I put him down. The noise that brought me to the basement was no longer present and I couldn't find anything out of place. I turn to Bopper and ask, "What are you all doing down here?" Bopper turns to look at me and I can swear that he gave me a little smile.

          

October 27th 8:00 A.M. Friday

          

          The DJ on the radio said to stay off the highway but I was already stuck in the lengthy backup on traffic. He then recommended taking an alternate route because of a four car accident going Northbound. I shook my head and wondered where he was earlier before I got on the expressway. Since I had plenty of time in traffic my mind wondered to earlier this morning and the strange sound in the basement. Then my thoughts came back as a loud horn emanated from behind to alert me of the five feet of open space in front of me. I crept forward and gave a nice little wave to my new best friend in the blue POS behind me. I glanced at the southbound traffic and it was moving at a good pace and with an impulse I put the vehicle in four wheel drive. I made a sharp left and cut over the grassy divider and joined the traffic going south.

          I found my cell phone and called the office where I left a message for the boss that I was sick. I realized that the cats would not be expecting me to be home this early and would surely catch them at something. I was soon home and slipped into the house with as little noise as I could. I crept down the creaky stairs and peered around the corner to spy on the cats. I couldn't get a good view of the room so I moved further down and learned against the adjacent brick wall. I could see the cats lounging around the room and they all appeared to be asleep. As I looked around the room my hand found a loose brick. I was curious as to why this was loose and started to examine it further. I began to push on the brick and to my surprise it moved out towards me and dropped down to reveal a push pad with enormous buttons. It appeared that I needed a special code to gain access to whatever it protected. I tried several combinations without any luck and then I had an idea. I moved the brick back in place and ascended the stairs and back out the front door. I quickly ran around the side of the house and peered into the window to see if the cats would investigate what I was doing. I could see Bopper tapping on the same brick and opened up as it had done for me. I saw his paw punch the pad four times and then the wall began to move and I heard the grinding noise from earlier that morning. To my astonishment the bricks moved away to reveal an opening to somewhere. Bopper entered, closed the door behind him and I wondered what he was doing.

          As I stood at the window, I felt an odd presence behind me. As I turned around I was shocked to see Moe behind me looking very unpleasant. He stared at me for another moment and said, "What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be at work?" I was caught off guard for a moment and before I could respond he continued. "I am very disappointed that you would spy on us." I seemed to have found my voice and responded, "I want to know what is going on in the basement and where Bopper went?" Moe shook his head and motioned for me to follow him. We entered the house and I followed him downstairs where he began to open the secret door. He then spoke, "You will soon see what is going on." The door opened and there was an opening going downward that was just large enough for me to squeeze into. I followed Moe further downward and the door closed behind me. We moved down the hall for some time and the room opened up to a well-lit area. As I looked into the room I couldn't believe what I saw.

          Bopper, Ellie, Katie and Coco had lab jackets on and were working at various stations in the room. One by one they looked up and gave me a head bob in recognition. Moe started, "Bopper is currently working on a cure for feline cancer. Coco is working with over the counter anti-aging cream called, I will lose my model looks." Moe shrugged his kitty shoulders and continued. "Katie is working on early warning proximity sensors for the house. You probably thought it was a behavior problem that caused her to come and live with us but that was not the reason. Katie had been in Michigan keeping an eye on several northern militant groups. She was doing a great job until her cover was blown by one of our English comrades." Katie interrupted, "The English are not our comrades as they are idiots!" Moe started again. "Ellie is working on a new formula for genetically enhanced catnip." Ellie looked over at me with big bright eyes and said, "This is some good stuff!"

          Moe walked me through the lab showing me the different experiments and ventures. Moe pointed to a cloth that covered a large object in the corner. "that is our most treasured project." He pulled the sheet off and a miniature pink sports car was revealed. Moe was excited and continued. "We have replaced the electric engine with a 400 horse powered engine, beefed up suspension and oversized brakes. The back of the vehicle has been modified to carry an additional four passengers with quick exit swat style doors. The driver is protected with Kevlar reinforced doors and bullet proof glass. Everything is state of the art." I shook my head in agreement and asked, "How do you pay for all of this?" Moe chuckles and says, "That is why we have an adult website called Persian Palace. We have two thousand hits a day." I chuckled back and said, "This is incredible." I took a seat and watched them work for the rest of the afternoon.

          

October 30th 11:30 A.M. Monday

          

          Lunch had snuck up on me and I was off to fight the crowds for a bite of food. I put my jacket on and headed for my car in the adjacent parking lot. As I crossed the road I noticed at the last minute a van heading towards me. In an instant I found the ground turning to sky and back again. I had apparently been sent spinning through the air. I hit the ground and tumbled to the curb which stopped my momentum. I got up and tried to shake off the stunning blow when I looked up and the van was now backing up towards me. I figured that they were stopping to see if I was okay. I moved around a bit and all of my bones seemed to be intact and not broken. The van stopped, door opened and several things came out and kicked my ass until I blacked out.

          

November 2nd Thursday

          

          I came to my senses and was lying on the floor of a small darkened room with some light trickling under the door. I didn't see any windows and after a few moments I got to my feet. I was a bit unsteady and had to lean against the wall while my head stopped spinning. As time moved forward I could hear faint voices from outside the door. I stumbled to the door and placed my ear on the cool wooden door trying to make out the mumblings. "If we hold him long enough the PERSIANS organization will come and rescue him. And when they show up we will eliminate them." A loud clatter of laughter filled the room outside and then the sounds of bottles tapping in an apparent toast.

          I am awakened by my captors as I must have dozed off against the wall. The captors push and drag me out the door and into a very bright room. I'm not sure what their intentions are but they cannot be good. I prepare myself for torture and as they bind my arms and legs to a chair I wonder if that is all they have in mind. As my eyes finally adjust I see two captors with masks covering their faces made of some cheap material. The taller of the two speaks. "I understand that you like music. We have a few numbers that you should really enjoy. Let's start with some classic elevator music." The music starts and it tears into my ears, eyes, brain and throughout my skin as I begin to scream in anguish. The screaming soon ends as they gag my mouth and they begin to laugh at my torture. Unfortunately the music is getting louder and more vulgar to the human ear. Just when I think that I cannot stand it anymore my captors turn the music off and the room falls silent. My mind comes down from the pain and after many deep breaths I start to calm down. The captors speak again. "This concludes our first hour of classic elevator music. We thought that our next hour would have some Opera." I didn't know how they figured out what music I despised so much but I knew this round would be just as bad. I just finished the thought when the music began again and I found myself screaming into the gag again.

          Just when I start to black out I hear some talking between the two captors and then the music stops. I let out a long sigh of relief but after a few moments I wonder why they stopped the music and when I look at them they are frantically running around. As I try to understand what they are doing a voice from above emanates, "I would like to introduce the PERSIAN organization to you. To your left we have the Big Thug." Then a figure moves from the shadows and I Can see that it is Bopper with a black Ninja suit and miniature baseball bat. The suit is fit snugly to his body causing the fur to bulge out from the sleeves of the shirt and from the ends of his legs. He looks like an orange tabby Teddy bear with a bat. As I soon find out, he is anything but cute as Bopper catches the short captor gawking at him and gives him a shot from the bat. This gets the captors attention, but as he turns to defend himself Bopper cracks both of his knees and he crumbles to the ground. The voice from above continues, "Now we have the gorgeous female feline." The words barely taper from the air and Coco darts from the shadows dressed to the hilt in a long formal dress and high heels. She jumps in the air and lands squarely on the back of the large captor and removes a bottle from her purse. The bottle, which turns out to be mace, is sprayed directly into his face. He starts yelling and stumbling around until he falls to the floor. Coco then jumps to the side and with pure disappointment says, "I broke one of my nails."

          The voice from above begins again. "Now we have a catnip junkie." Out from underneath one of the counters comes Ellie reaching for a pouch on her belt. She pulls out a small bag that appears to be chewing tobacco and removes a bit of its contents. She places this substance in her mouth and after a few moments of chewing her eyes open up wide. she then jumps upon the small captor who had just gotten to his feet and begins to scratch him from ear to ear. Ellie looks like a small tornado carving the poor captor's face into a bloody pulp. Unfortunately his cheap mask proves little protection from the crazed kitty. The captor rears backwards and tries to remove her from his face without any success. His flailing arms lead to him loosing balance and falling violently to the floor knocking him cold. Ellie jumps to the floor and is clearly enjoying her catnip joy.

          The voice speaks. "Our fourth member is our mad Russian." Then from above comes Katie wearing a sweat suit and weighted gloves. She lands on the floor and strides up to the tall man. She gives him a devastating blow and the man collapses to the floor again without consciousness. Katie looks satisfied with her handy work and strolls off into the darkness. As she disappears another dark figured comes into the room and strolls over to me. "Where you impressed by how we took care of the captors?" I am grinning from ear to ear and say, "You definitely have a flair for the dramatic." Moe reaches into his pouch on hi belt and pulls out a business card. He places it in the pocket of the large captor and says. "We need to get ready and depart this facility." Moe looks at Bopper and says, "Get this called into the local authorities." Bopper pulls out his cell phone and dials 911 to report the ass whipping. Moe turns back to me and says, "We are leaving in the sports car before the Michigan police show up." I shake my head in agreement and we dart out of the building. The vehicle is waiting for us and somehow my large frame fits into the back. Moe jumps in the driver's seat and we are off to Dayton which thankfully is only a few hours away.

          After some time on the road I ask Moe what exactly happened. "You were abducted by the same Michigan militia group that Katie's cover was blown. They wanted to strike back at her through you and we all agreed that wasn't going to happen. We were able to track you because I placed a tracking device in your jacket. The rest of the adventure was pretty straight forward and in the end we kicked them hard. My only concern is that they know who you are and it would be pompous to think they don't know where our headquarters is located. That means we will be increasing our security to a whole new level." His words tapered off and I tried to relax for the remainder of the cramp ride home. As we approached Dayton, Moe turned to me and spoke. "I nearly forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday!" Unlike Moe I had forgotten this day was my birthday and was just thankful to be alive and free from captors.

          Moe and the team let me get out of the sports car a block away from the house so they could return separately via secret entrance. I hurriedly made my way to the house and soon found myself entering the house to be greeted by my wife. She started, "Where have you been?" I looked at her and said, "I have been out of town for business." She thought for a moment and said, "That's right and by the way, Happy Birthday!"

          

November 2nd 10:30 P.M.

          

          I turned the TV off and looked at Moe who was sitting on the coffee table. "Thanks for coming and saving me today." Moe responded, "Not a problem." I headed up to bed and he went to the kitchen for some dinner. It had been one of the most bizarre events of my life and knew that things had changed forever. I was proud to know and assist with the Organization known as, Protect Everyone's Rights using Super Intelligence and Knightly Stature (PERSIANS).