'Ten Minutes Late for Reality' by Lou Morris (c) 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2015. Eleven:


   "Always remember;
   Never forget;
   Kaye-Boom is his name;
   Fire is his game;
   Beware, you may be his next flame!"

                                 - Kaye-Boom's theme song.

   "But I need some money, Bookie," Mongo chattered to his
best friend, a vinyl bookbag.  "How else will I be able to
buy the stuff?"
   It was part of the plan, an idea devised by both Mongo
and his bookbag; all that was needed was a lot of money and
198 rubber bands.  And ten packs of bubble gum, five tin
cans, two spare tires, twelve pairs of mismatched shoes and
one stuffed rabbit.  Also sixteen broken television sets and
an outdated computer.  Along with a baby rattle, thirty seven
wooden tables, twenty-two large umbrellas, a lot of people
and a parking lot.  Mongo wanted his own flea market.
   Mongo walked along the side of the road, not caring in
the least that he had just passed his old high school.  He
was too busy working something out with his vinyl buddy to
notice it.  He was also too busy to notice that his favorite
pizza shop was now a bank.
   The man that strode out of the bank was too busy looking
at his shiny new checkbook and his new pasta maker to notice
that Mongo was about to walk into him.
   "Hey, watch it!" Your Name Here yelled as he picked
himself up off the sidewalk.  He looked at Mongo... didn't he
look familiar?
   "Are you all right, Bookie?" Mongo screeched with fear.  
He shook the bag ever so slightly to get the dust off.  He
paused a second, staring intently at Your Name Here.  "Jerk!"  
He hit him with his bookbag.
   "Hey, watch it!"  Your Name Here deflected the next blow
with his knee.
   Mongo stopped in mid-swing; "Hey, I know you!"  He smiled
brightly; "You're Timmy!  I remember seeing you in the halls
in school!"
   "And were that stupid tart who fed his bookbag!" Your
Name Here almost said.  "Oh, yeah.  Err, I've seen you around
school, too..." is what he actually said.
   Mongo smiled again, then frowned.  "Jerk!"  He hit Your
Name Here with his bookbag again.
   "Hey, stop!" Your Name Here yelled.  "I'm a rich guy now.  
You should be arrested for assaulting me like this!"
   Mongo stopped mid-swing.  "Rich?"
   Your Name Here knelt down to pick up his black pleather
checkbook.  He failed to pick up the new, slightly dented
pasta maker--a present from the bank for opening an account
or buying a pizza; he hated Italian food and he assumed that
no one would buy it from him (who in their right or wrong
mind would actually buy such a thing?).
   "Yeah, ten million dollars rich!" he said a moment later,
kicking the pasta maker away.
   Mongo smiled broadly.  "I think we found our money..." he
whispered into his bookbag.
   "Now if you'll excuse me..."  Your Name Here turned to
walk away.  He stopped abruptly, though.  He felt something
hard and cold pushing into his back--something he never felt
before.  It was a pistol.
   "Consider yourself mugged."  Giggling into his bag, Mongo
added, "I heard that on TV."
   "Hey, you can't mug me!"  He couldn't, could he?
   "Wanna bet?"
   I guess he could, Your Name Here thought.  "But I'm not
carrying any of the money!"  He held up his checkbook;
"See--it's all in here."
   "Okay, consider yourself a hostage."
   And with that, Mongo hailed Cassville's only taxi (not
hard to do when you jump in front of it while waving a
handgun around) and shoved Your Name Here inside.  Mongo was
about to get inside himself when he unexpectedly slipped on a
dead fish.
   "I'll teach you humans what happens when you kill fish!"
burbled the fish ghost, floating up from the sidewalk.
   With Mongo lying on the sidewalk, mouth wide, clinging to
his bookbag, it was not hard for Your Name Here to convince
the cabby to get the hell out of there.  The station wagon
cab sped off in the distance.
   "What?!" Mongo sputtered, "I shot you!  You're supposed
to be dead!"
   "I am dead, thanks to you!" the fish burbled.  He swam
around Mongo's head like the cartoon birds do when someone
bangs their head.
   Mongo didn't know what to do or say next.  So, being the
nice and peaceful maniac that he is, he shot the fish.  
   "I'm already dead!  You people can't hurt me anymore!  
And I'm going to see that you never hurt another fish again!"
   Mongo was on the brink of running away screaming, but,
holding his bag tightly, he calmed down instantly.  So,
instead of running, he picked up and threw the pasta maker at
the fish.
   He missed the fish (or rather the pasta maker passed
through the fish) however, and hit a police officer instead.