“The Mighty Have Fallen” by Randy Long

[He’s baaaaaaaaack, again! Randy Long’s last story for the P.E.W. was published in October of 2015. If you’re new here, you might not know Randy. He’s a Pacific Northwest writer who has spent the better part of the last 6 decades exploring the upper left-hand corner of the U.S.A. He writers about strange things like camping, fishing, driving, Mt. St. Helens, out-of-body experiences, U.F.O.s, Bigfoot, and (his particular specialty) SQUIRRELS!

In this story, Randy refers to several of his previous tales:

“Billy the Squirrel”
“Dilly the Evil Squirrel”
“Blue and Squeekers”
“The Day of the Squirrel”
“Einstein’s Revenge”
“Spider Squirrel”
and even my “Dear Diary (1 Apr. 2014)” story, that I reprinted just a few days ago.

You don’t necessarily need to read every one of those stories to be able to follow this new one, but if you want to experience the total, FULL BARREL THRILLS that make up the Randy Long Universe, you’re sure going to WANT to read them!

Oh, and don’t forget, we DO have a Randy Long BOOK available, which collects all of his P.E.W. stories from the beginning of the site through 2014! And now—ONTO THE NEW STORY!!!!! —RFY]

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“The Mighty Have Fallen” by Randy Long

Dilly’s Demise:

The floating ghost seen in front of the house was actually Dilly. Dilly and Billy were fighting on the high wire, far above the road outside the main house. Dilly lunged for Billy and missed, falling to the road, hitting just before a semi, squishing Dilly on the road. Billy tried to reach for Dilly as he fell. Dilly pulled his paws back, laughed, and fell to his death. Billy, being the good squirrel, mourned the loss of his brother, the evil squirrel.

Billy’s an old squirrel now. Most all of the mutant squirrels are long gone now. Things have changed. Blue the Big Dog is gone, and Squeeker the Small Dog quit chasing squirrels. Now there’s a much mightier predator: an owl that stalks squirrels for food. The population of squirrels have been drastically cut to a minimum. Billy, the old and wise leader of what’s left of the clan, only 8 regular squirrels and 2 spider squirrels, Billy the Old Leader has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Billy has called upon the King of the Crows. The crows signal the squirrels by crowing whenever the owl is around. The whole flock starts crowing until the owl leaves the neighborhood. The Crow Clan hates the owl as much as the squirrels do. The owl’s name is KA. The crows have named him the Murderer, and the whole Clan of Crows call his name to warn everyone that the owl is near. When they see the predator, they all call, “KA! KA! Run! It’s the Murderer, hide! KA is here!”

The crows told Billy they will also call upon the nearby eagles. The eagles don’t like the owls. The crows think, maybe, they can get the eagles to attack the owl.

The squirrels used to have 52 in their clan, and are now down to 10 and in hiding. Between the crows and the squirrels, KA is having a much harder time. KA—they call him the Silent Killer. He makes his wings as quiet as possible, and he hypnotizes with his coal black eyes and pounces with his sharp talons, killing his prey. KA’s territory is two to three miles around. He hides in trees and takes over his victim’s nest.

KA seems to be missing. He hasn’t been seen for 2 weeks now, and Billy and the clan have come out of hiding. The crows haven’t seen KA either. For NOW, it seems all is safe.

—Randy Long

[To be continued!?!?]

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“Super Duper” by Richard F. Yates

—Richard F. Yates

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“Stepped on a Tack” by Richard F. Yates

—Richard F. Yates

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“The PUNK School of Art” by Richard F. Yates

I’m definitely from the Punk School of Art, in the sense that I think everyone should make stuff regardless of talent or technical expertise or access to fancy art production tools. If you like art and enjoy making stuff, the DO IT! If your drawing or painting looks distorted or silly, don’t be embarrassed, just LAUGH about it. Not everything has to be a perfect MASTERPIECE every time. Have fun with your art. Enjoy the act of creation.

And you really don’t need expensive paints or canvases or drafting programs or high-tech computer drawing tablets. I’ll draw on anything—receipts from the floor of the car, junk-mail envelopes, newspaper, a sidewalk with colored chalk—if it will hold an image, I’ll put one on it. (Then I’ll take a picture of what I’ve drawn with my phone and color the image using a freeware sketch program…but that’s a topic for a different discussion.) All you really need are some scraps of paper and a pencil or pen or some crayons. I frequently use cut-up cereal boxes and felt pens to make my drawings, and then cheap colored pencils or oil pastels if I want to add color. (You can get a box of oil pastels at most art supply stores for about five or six bucks—and if you don’t want to spend that much, then DON’T. You don’t need them.)

Make MANY things. Whatever type of art you like—collages, watercolor painting, cartoons, doodles, poems, zines—make a lot of them. I’ve done 1,000s of drawings (I can show them to you if you want) and most of them are pretty bad, sometimes FUNNY BAD, sometimes just junky—but that’s okay. You can learn from a bad drawing, learn what doesn’t work and what NOT to do next time. And if you do lots of drawings, every once in a while, almost by accident, SOME of those drawings or paintings or poems or sock puppets will turn out to be REALLY GOOD. (And you can learn from the good ones, too.)

But really, you shouldn’t worry about your art being bad or good. I don’t think very many people are going to be AWESOME right off the bat. The important thing is to have fun creating—YOU ARE CREATING SOMETHING THAT WOULDN’T HAVE EXISTED IF YOU HADN’T MADE IT. Make yourself laugh, then (if you want to, you don’t HAVE to) you can show some of your stuff to your friends and family and make them laugh. (This is a tricky step if you are insecure, and it’s not necessary to the MAKING PROCESS.) If you create stuff and you have fun while you’re doing it, most of the time people will go with you and enjoy your enthusiasm. And if you want to learn how to get BETTER at your art (I DON’T really care about that, obviously) you can check out a How-To book from your local library or watch an online video or two, or even take a class (if you’ve got the time and/or money.) But personally, I subscribe to the “JUST MAKE IT” philosophy. Make LOTS!!! Some will be garbage, most will be so-so, one or two, every once in a while, will make you smile and feel pretty good.

So grab a pen and some junk mail envelopes, look up a picture of your favorite animal or cartoon character—or if you’re brave you can try to imagine something altogether new—and start putting lines on paper. Whether it’s good or bad, FINISH IT. Give it a look (DON’T THROW IT AWAY!!!) and decide what you can do differently next time. After you’ve done a bunch of stuff go back and look at those first couple of pictures and see how your art has changed! (I keep a notebook that I draw in—actually, I have BOXES of notebooks that I’ve saved over the years with receipts and envelopes covered in snakes and bunnies taped inside them…) Keep making stuff, as long as it’s fun. Look at other artist’s art pages. Get inspired to make NEW STUFF! Don’t get frustrated. STAY PUNK! My favorite line about the Sex Pistols is when someone at a concert screamed, “You can’t play!” and Steve Jones yelled back, “So what?” So what indeed… There will always be dickheads out there who will tell you that what you’ve done is BAD, but if you just say, “I know it’s BAD, isn’t that AWESOME!?” and then laugh, they get confused and leave you alone… Now get crackin’!!! And feel free to send your art this way if you want. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it!

—Richard F. Yates

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“Never Alone” by Richard F. Yates

—Richard F. Yates

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“Sleep Now…” by Richard F. Yates

…finally

—Richard F. Yates

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“Doubtful Bird” by Richard F. Yates

—Richard F. Yates

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