More about the autor

Midday Matinee – Tuesday’s Tale: Paranoiburg

January 29, 2013

Midday Matinee

Midday Matinee – Tuesday’s Tale: Paranoiburg

“Who are you?” Steve asked suspiciously.

Victor narrowed his eyes. “Why do you want to know?” (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Blue Light Special, A Jill Graber Story and The Meeting Society Meeting. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….


“Now now,” Rita said, walking out of her real estate office. “Victor is a visitor. He’s thinking of buying a home here in Paranoiburg.”

Steve frowned. “Visitor, huh?”

“Don’t mind Steve,” Rita said to Victor. “He’s one of the gate sentries. They keep us safe from outsiders.”

“Who keeps us safe from the gate sentries?” Victor asked.

“I do,” Nick said as he crossed the street. “I’m the commander of the Paranoiburg Neighborhood Patrol.”

“Uh huh,” Victor said, sounding unconvinced.

Rita smiled and opened the door of her armored personnel carrier. “Hop in. I’ll give you a tour of our lovely town, and show you the home site we talked about.”

“Sure,” Victor said as he climbed in. He grunted as he pulled the two-inch thick steel plate door closed. “That’s heavy.”

“You’ll get used to it,” Rita said. “The obstacle course will get you in shape.”

“Obstacle course?” Victor asked.

Rita rounded a corner and pointed to a series of ropes, nets, zig-zagged logs, walls, and culverts. “It’s the only way to get into the convenience store.”

Victor nodded. “Shouldn’t they call it an inconvenience store?”

“Melvin wouldn’t like that. He owns it,” Rita explained. She waved to a man on the roof of the store, scanning the town through binoculars. “And there he is. Mornin’, Mayor!”


Have fun!

  • addisnana

    Victor asked Rita, “So what exactly was the hand signal that Melvin used? It isn’t anything I recognized.”

    Rita laughed. “I think it is the sign for peace but upside down. You know we are always ready for peace but it’s a rare community that is prepared for the unpeace that’s coming.”

    “The unpeace?” said Victor. “The unpeace? Spare me the euphemisms. I contacted you because I am worried about the collapse of our society. I don’t want to run an obstacle course to buy milk. I want the takers who will be roaming the countryside to have to run an obstacle course to get to me and my family.”

    Rita responded, “Don’t you worry. The mayor and the militia have all sorts of hidden obstacles. If you are serious about joining us, they’ll show you some surprising deterrents.”

  • NCrissieB

    “Don’t tell him where the mines are,” a voice crackled over the radio of Rita’s armored car. “Not unless he buys here.”

    “Roger,” Rita said.

    “You use military radio practices?” Victor asked hopefully.

    “Not really,” Rita replied. “That was my husband, Roger.”

    “Huh?” the voice crackled.

    “Nothing, Roger,” Rita said.

    “Over,” the voice said.

    Rita looked up at Mayor Melvin. “Over, Roger.”

    “Huh?” Victor asked.

  • addisnana

    “We never say what we actually mean over the radio, Victor,” said Rita. “If you pass our screening committee and are admitted we will have to have a code name for you. Victor is a common call signal, you know V as in Victor, Charlie for C, Foxtrot for F. We could call you Vincent.”

    Victor was sure that he had fallen down the rabbit hole. He tried again. “If you are using Roger, what is your husband’s real name? Or is that a secret too?”

    “Well,” said Rita with a smile “When I’m not on the radio I call him Colonel. As in ‘Colonel, dinner is served.’ Here’s the lot we talked about.”