The Ugly Sweater Chronicles: Unraveled

[A trilogy of “seamy” stories about the lure of ugly sweaters. 3 of 3; see 2]

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Detective David LaFoote, along with his new junior partner, Detective Tobias LaFitte, shoulder their way in through the door. They look around the studio apartment, struck by the multitude of paper types pinned to a big bulletin board on the wall. Beneath all the newspaper clippings, invitation cards, and business letterhead is a large map of the metropolis. Different strands of colored yarn, connected by pins, point to specific locations on the map. Suddenly they hear a gasp and see a man cowering in the corner.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” the man whines. He is wearing a green sweater with a big snowman on the front, grinning back at them. “I’m taking what’s been due me for years . . .” He rubs his nose, as he asserts himself.

“Save your breath, buster. When I was growing up I was told to crochet my own sweater. I got a ball of yarn, while my classmates had their ugly sweaters already made.” LaFoote shakes his head, marveling at how his deeply buried memories so readily surface.

“I’m really sorry to hear what happened to you, but at least you were given some colorful material to knit something new. All I ever received when I was growing up was a picture of an ugly sweater from a mail-order catalog.” The man is now raving on and on.

“Spare me any more sob stories. You’re going down.” Detective LaFoote motions to his partner and speaks with authority. “Book him, Danno–for burglary and grand larceny!”

“Um, David. The name’s LaFitte.”

“Can’t you just be Danno for today? I’m really feeling like the 5-0 right now,” says LaFoote, harkening back to his grade school years of adoring the original “Hawaii Five-0” series on Friday nights.  LaFoote strides away, glad but weary from the long hours of finally cracking open the Ugly Sweater Serial Stealer case.

[To see the first story, see 1.]

The Ugly Sweater Chronicles: Pilfered

[A trilogy of “seamy” stories about the lure of ugly sweaters. 2 of 3; See 1 of 3]

sweaters

Christmas music plays through the tinny speakers in the function room of the once popular downtown hotel. In spite of the worn carpet and faded drapes framing the bottle glass windows, the people getting ready for the Annual Ugly Sweater Convention are happily lining up chairs to create a stage. One of the highly anticipated events is the ugly sweater parade around the room and the judging. The grand prize winner receives an original, one-of-a-kind ugly sweater crocheted by one of the judges.

“I can hardly wait until you show us what you’ve crocheted, Henrietta,” Jody says to the petite woman helping her set up the chairs.

“Tell us the story behind what you’ve created.” Linda, another judge pipes in, as she joins them in getting their stage ready.

“Given that I had a whole year to think about it, I feel as if my hands connected well with my brain, because I just let them both go to town,” Henrietta says, smiling about the experience.

By this time, the rest of the judges have joined them. Henrietta beams at the attentiveness of her four colleagues toward her work. “The setting is classical–a wintry scene with a half-created snowman; that’s because Santa was interrupted by Rudolf the Red-nosed reindeer whose nose had fallen off. The elves are crawling about under a Christmas tree, which happens to be topped by Rudolf’s red nose.”

“How clever. It sounds intricate,” Donny, the only male judge says.

“Yes, I used a lot of different colors to make them all stand out.”

“We better get a move on. People are streaming in. Why, look at that ugly sweater.” The other judges look in the direction she’s gazing. Suitably impressed, they conclude all the sweaters are ugly. They disband and mingle with the crowd.

Soon after the end of the ugly sweater story telling event, the parade starts. About a hundred or so people walk around the room, proudly displaying their frontal artwork to the five judges, each absorbed and taking notes, some murmuring among themselves.

At long last, the judges come to their final decision. As the one who crocheted the prize, Henrietta announces the winner. She wheels in a clothes rack, which has a vinyl garment bag hanging from the top. Eagerly, she unzips the opaque casing. As she takes out the sweater, she gapes as she sees a plain red sweater without the swirls, pomp-poms, appliques, ribbons, and yards of yarn she has applied. She sputters, “This is not the sweater I made!”

One of the judges cries out, “Someone has stolen it!”

Never before in the history of the event has this ever happened. Without much experience in such matters, the Ugly Sweater Convention planners promise the good people that day that they will launch a full investigation. Leading the charge will be the famed Detective David LaFoote, well known in their town as the sharpest tool in the shed.

Hairific: Fried Day

TGIF

Image: Pixabay

A Series of Ludicrously Bad Hair Days, Day 5, see Day 4

 [Poetry dominates short story]          

A man known as Cowlick comes out of the one restroom and raises his voice, “There’s no fire. I, uh, I lit a match because . . . to freshen the air. . .” He scowls at the woman known as Singed, who stands close to the restroom, speaking directly to her. “I didn’t know we have a human smoke detector.”
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Hairific: Turban Thursday

a series of bad haircuts

Image: Pixabay

A Series of Ludicrously Bad Hair Days, Day 4; see Day 3

[Poetic short story]

 Her real name is Theresa and she hides what’s left of her hair under a turban. She sizes the group around her, trying to still her nerves. Maddie nods her head as a cue. She introduces herself, “Hello, my name is Shorned Locks. My desire to be festive got the better of me. It started three weeks ago and came to a head yesterday . . . which is why I’m here today.” She clears her throat for all to hear her sad monologue:

“On St. Patrick’s Day I dyed the ends of my hair green to be in the spirit of things. Alas, I botched it as the shade didn’t have the right sheen. Thus, I went to get my hair cut, which looked like a thatched hut. I had asked for layers to replace my blunt look. Instead, I resembled a beast from a wild nature book.
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Hairific: Wiggy Wednesday

wigging out

Image: Pixabay

A Series of Ludicrously Bad Hair Days, Day 3; see Day 2

[Poetry mashed with a short story]

Rebecca, who is known in their circle as Thin Hair, and Harry, who we know is False Hairy, find a coffee shop near the place of group therapy. They eye each other hungrily, as they feel the heat emanate from their respective chemistries.

“False Hairy, I hope you won’t think me forward, but as an older woman, I tend to get straight to the point. You make my heart beat as I gaze at your face so sweet.”
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Hairific: Toupee Tuesday

another hairific day

Image: Pixabay

A Series of Ludicrously Bad Hair Days, Day 2; see Day 1

[Poetry crashing into a short story]

“My toupee has blown away!” False Hairy screams.

“Everyone, please don’t move.” Maddie turns off the ceiling fan and apologizes, “I’m sorry, False Hairy, for forgetting some of us have hair that may go astray while the fan moves like a schizo UFO.”
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Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (a movie review)

This movie may be considered a fantasy/fairy tale set against a realistic and contemporary setting. The elements of fantasy/fairy tale apply more to the theme and the story rather than special effects or costume. In some ways, it is also absurdist and funny; just not the laugh out kind. It’s funny as in marvelously original and ridiculously funny. Continue reading

#bookcoverguessingchallenge — modified

Thank you again for thinking of me, dear fellow bloggers at bookidote.wordpress.com. I sincerely was going to do the challenge. I went to the library and chose two books with appealing covers. But, when I reread your instructions, I missed the part about the books having to be well-known. What I had chosen were not so well-known. Since it was already late at night and I didn’t want to run into vampires, I decided to make do with what I have — my imagination and the books I checked out. I merged them and came up with a potential bestseller. I also thought since I’m making things up, I’ll alter the popular reviewer, Goodreads, as you will see below. It turned out to be a challenge, just not the kind you expected.

Book Cover & Blurb:
Airplane image from rgbstock/Gary Romin

Airplane image from rgbstock/Gary Romin

ShouldReads: “In one word: harharhar.  I laughed so hard my panties fell down and I tripped and I got a black eye, but I still couldn’t help laughing. Even now, I’m barely able to type this review because I’m wetting myself and I don’t have any panties to contain it. So, I recommend you wear Depends when you read this debut novel. Two very different groups clash like orange and scarlet or purple and yellow. The ultimate revenge thriller, on-the-edge-of-your-seat-trying-to-balance-yourself-on-the-toilet page-turner. Har, har, har!”

[BTW: The books I checked out were A Pimp’s Notes by Giorgio Faletti and The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfield; I don’t know what either books are about because I never read their blurbs. They are back at the library if you want to check them out.]

©2015 Karina Pinella