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 Beaned By an Angel and What Thing? 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….

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“What are you doing, dad?” Brandy asked, watching her father pluck a few hairs from his arm.

“Teasing those guys with the cameras,” Merlot replied. “I’ll sneak into their camp and put this outside their RV.”

“Umm, but you told us to stay away from them,” Brandy said. “You said people might kill us or take us captive, so we have to hide and never let them see us.”

He nodded. She was right, of course. His kind had always avoided people. People had no fur and seemed jealous of anything that did, to judge by how they dressed. They also smelled bad and made stupid commercials about beef jerky, which sasquatches didn’t even eat. If the commercial had been about grilled salmon sandwiches on toasted rye with lettuce, tomato, mayo, a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, and a kosher dill pickle on the side, that would be one thing. But beef jerky? It was downright insulting.

“The thing is,” he explained, “to hide well, we have to know where they are. That’s easier now that we can clone their cell phones. But my cell phone died last week.”

“It didn’t die, dear,” his wife Sherry said as she brushed a tangle from Brandy’s back. “You dropped it in the river while you were fishing.”

“And that’s when it died,” Merlot said. “It drowned. Either way, I need a new phone so they can’t sneak up on us. And while I’m there, I may as well leave a swatch of hair. So they come back again. After all, you said we’ll need a new fridge soon.”

. . .

“We’ll put out the motion sensor cameras tomorrow,” Bob said, turning the salmon on the grill. “I doubt there’s anything in these woods anyway.”

“Probably not,” Pam agreed, slicing the tomato as the bread popped out of the toaster. “But people watch, so they pay us to come out here and look. It beats standing in line at a casting call, hoping to get a part hauling logs out of some swamp.”

“You could have got that gig,” Bob said, “if you hadn’t worn your NYU sweatshirt.”

Pam shrugged and reached into her pocket for her buzzing phone. “Hi mom. Yes, we got here fine. He did? Wow, cool.” She covered the mouthpiece with one hand. “My brother just won the regional debate contest.”

“Hey, cool,” Bob said.

“Bob says ‘Hey, cool,'” Pam repeated. “Of course he means it. Listen, mom, I gotta recharge my phone. Call me tomorrow about noon your time, okay? Give dad a hug. Bye.”

“You know she’ll call at least twice more tonight,” Bob said.

Pam nodded and reached into their fridge for the mayo. “Yes, but she thinks my phone is recharging, so I don’t have to answer. We have the night all to ourselves.”

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Have fun!