© 2007 Hank Quense
The next morning, Frido sat in his office contemplating the complexities of saving the Shore. Last night, Mamzer, embarrassed by his spell casting, had announced a five-year sabbatical and left. Dementia and Gimlet also left the Shore at the same time. The yuks were now unopposed.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae burst into the office.
Frido’s heart thumped in his chest.
“Ya gotta help us.” Freddie Mac’s face contorted in pain.
“Yeah, it’s all yer fault.” Fannie Mae held a hand against one cheek.
Frido frowned as he studied the faces of the two yuks. “You look different.”
“We gotta get our teeth pulled,” Freddie Mac said. “Quick. And all me guys got the same problem.”
“It’s ’cause of that mucky magic.” Fannie Mae grimaced in pain as she spoke. “That sweet stuff rotted our teeth. Please help us.”
Frido felt the hair on the his neck and feet stand up. The yuks needed his help! The salvation of the Shore was at hand. “Why should I help you?”
“It’s the nice thing to do.” Fannie Mae whined and looked like she was about to cry.
“Perhaps,” Frido said, “if we agreed on your construction projects?”
Freddie Mac glared at him. “Dat’s blackmail, ya little runt.”
“Drop the houses. Build just the roads and the casino. No deal, no teeth pullers.”
Freddie Mac started to argue until Fannie Mae punched his arm. “Do it.”
“And I don’t marry her sisters.” Frido pointed to Fannie Mae.
“I’m gonna go bankrupt,” Freddie Mac moaned.
Frido ordered his bailiff to escort the two yuks to the closest teeth puller.
He sat back in his chair and relaxed for the first time in days.
The Shore-shrub, bursting with yellow blooms, sat in a fertile flower bed.
An hour later, the two yuks came back. “How about ya let me put up a few buildings for stories and shops. I gotta get some rent money.”
Frido’s eyes widen in surprise. A few shops would offer more jobs and may even attract visitors to the Shore. Especially with the new roads in place to ease travel. “That strikes me as a good idea.”
“Good. ‘Cause then we gotta way to stop her sisters from moochin’ off me.” Freddie Mac looked pleased.
“What’s that?” Frido asked, perplexed.
“Me sisters’re gonna open fast food restaurants inna new shops,” Fannie Mae beamed.
Frido ran through the names of available doctors in the Shore. The list wasn’t long enough, he decided, to handle an epidemic of food poisoning cases.
Some of the Shore-shrub’s leaves turned yellow.
Next month, the serialized story will be sci-fi: Poetry Power. A space pirate a discovers and new and unanticipated use for poetry.