The Little Book of Inappropriate Morals

Stories That Aren’t Helpful At All

AVAILABLE APRIL 4!

We talked for a while, until he stumbled off to parts unknown. I was filled with a new sense of purpose that would not manifest itself until I was older (and stronger).

I never saw the old man again, but I never forgot him. I meant it when I said he was my hero. He still is. Meeting him inspired me to become who I am today.

I made my vow there on the park bench while the old man sobbed into his paper bag.

The short stories in this collection will not teach you anything. They will not assist with moral dilemmas. They will not tuck you in at night. They will not do your laundry or take you to the movies.

Within you will find – among other things – examples of poor role models, romances gone wrong, and fables with morals you almost recognize. Mysteries will be solved (at what cost?) and prisoners will be…well, imprisoned. Obviously.

These stories will not help you – unless what you’re really looking for is a good laugh.

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cover - front

The Latest from Holly Geely

Two things: a new short story available for purchase (murder mystery genre parody) and Which Way is Left? is now available as an eBook.

NEW SHORT STORY!!! SILLINESS, MURDER, AN OLD LADY!!!

Opal Gemima Marigold and the Death of Poor Winston

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opal gemima marigold

When Opal Gemima Marigold hears that her old friend Winston was murdered, nothing can keep her from the case. There is no danger too great nor any detective too stubborn to stop this retired ballon-stretcher/ex-mercenary/part-time janitor/doily-maker.

Time is of the essence as a string of murders follows (naturally the killer didn’t stop at one) and Opal must determine the most important thing:

Who would want to kill poor Winston?

And the eBook:

Which Way is Left

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Olive has nine tickets to the sold out Cylindrical Sludge concert in Nightmare City.  A road trip with friends seems like the perfect way to spend the summer before college, even if she does have to bring her brother along.

What Olive doesn’t realize is that old rivalries, new enmity, and the occasional bout of motion sickness may just ruin the trip for everyone.

Which Way is Left? has a glorious cast of diverse teenagers who poke fun at teenage tropes while also including a spectrum of gender identities.

With extra delightful colour illustrations by Ethaniel Ritchot.

 

Meat Pi

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology The Little Book of Inappropriate Morals, due out in 2017!

It’s March 14, and you know what that means!

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MEAT PI

Upon returning home, little Jimmy was greeted with a delectable aroma. He followed his nose to the kitchen, where his father was pulling something out of the oven.

“Did you have fun playing with your friends?” Dad asked.

“Yup! What’s for lunch?”

“Well Jimmy, March the fourteenth is Pi Day, so we’re having pie.”

“What’s Pi Day?” Jimmy asked.

“Pi is a significant number, and on Pi Day, we celebrate math,” Dad said.

“Aw, not math,” said Jimmy.

“Math is important in your everyday life, son. Take this pie, for instance. If I didn’t know my math, I wouldn’t have been able to measure the ingredients correctly and we wouldn’t be having this delicious lunch.” Dad served Jimmy a slice of the pie, and Jimmy had to admit that the meaty scent made math more appealing.

“Okay, aside from pie, how’s math going to help me?” Jimmy asked.

“Imagine you’re surrounded by ten humans. Five have crossbows and five have swords. What is the minimum number of each you need to stomp before they run away?”

“Gee, I dunno,” Jimmy said.

“You multiply the number of crossbows by the number of swords, and divide by the number of humans. In this case, you crush two of them to death and you crush another lower half, and they run away screaming.”

“Cool,” Jimmy said.

“Math is extremely important for a working ogre. You can determine the number of crossbow bolts you can safely take to the shoulder based on your weight and there’s even a way to calculate degrees of annihilation to a human village.”

“Wow, Dad! Math is cool!”

“That’s right, Jimmy, so pay attention in school.” Dad patted Jimmy’s bumpy head.

“Do humans use math?” Jimmy asked.

“If they do, they’re using it wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the pie,” Dad said.

“How many humans did you use?”

Dad chuckled. “Three point one four, of course.”

While Dad explained the joke, Jimmy ate delicious Human Meat Pie, and they had the best Pi Day ever.

Evelina’s Choice

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology In Poor Taste, due out in 2018!

It’s Singles’ Awareness Day! How about some silliness?

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EVELINA’S CHOICE

“I’m not saying that no is my definitive answer, I’m just saying we should get to know each other first.”

Princess Evelina was being perfectly reasonable, but the prince’s jaw dropped.  He was obviously not used to rejection. She could sympathize; he’d chosen her out of a long list of princesses and he’d traveled from country far to ask for her hand in marriage. It wasn’t his fault that.

“I appreciate your offer, and it might prove beneficial to our countries, but I’m not comfortable marrying a complete stranger,” Evelina explained.

“I have never been so insulted in all my life!” The prince’s face, visible under the lifted visor of his helm, had turned splotchy and red. Evelina did not deny him his anger, but she couldn’t help but notice that it made him less attractive.

“There’s no need to be upset. No offense was intended. Let’s have dinner this evening and discuss politics and country over some meat and wine,” Evelina suggested.

“Dinner?” The prince’s visor slammed shut. “DINNER?” he shouted.

“Yes. The third meal of the day,” Evelina said.

“You are a disgrace to princesses everywhere! You blaspheme the most basic tradition! You have spurned my romantic gifts and ignored my shining armour atop my white stallion! I am a prince, and a knight, and you have rejected the most perfect suitor you will ever have! I curse you, princess! I curse you with loneliness!”

The prince stormed out.

“Goodbye! Thanks for the flowers and chocolates!” Evelina said, because she was nothing if not polite.

 

SEVEN YEARS LATER

 

Broken bodies were strewn about the battlefield. The tip of the enemy’s sword was pressed to Beligan’s throat. He did not cower or beg. He merely closed his eyes, and asked that his death be swift.

“Prince Beligan? Is that you?” The enemy removed his helm.

The beauty underneath contrasted with the gore splattered on the enemy’s armour. She was the fiercest warrior he had ever met in battle – and he recognized her.

“Princess Evelina?”

“It’s Queen, these days. What are you doing in the middle of this war, Prince Beligan?”

“I am prince no longer. My country was overtaken. I have been forced to serve a false leader,” Beligan said.

“That’s terrible! You should have come to me for help. Your country has always been friend to mine.”

“I could not go to you for help,” Beligan snarled.

“That’s too bad. It might have been nice to have a friend. It’s been quiet in my country the past few years, ever since you cursed me with loneliness.”

“I hope you have suffered,” said Beligan.

“Nope, not at all! My country has prospered and thrived. My social life isn’t exactly full, but I keep busy. I adopted a couple of dogs. We hunt together and they like to cuddle at bedtime. Country business is extremely fulfilling…which you’d know if you hadn’t been enslaved, but I don’t hold that against you.”

“I hate you,” Beligan said.

“I bet you wish you’d come to dinner that night, eh? Ah well, I wouldn’t have liked you anyway,” Evelina said cheerfully.

Beligan, infuriated beyond belief, shouted something incoherent.

“No need to lose your head over it,” Evelina said. “Wait – that was a poor choice of words, considering what’s about to happen here…You know what, I’m just going to put you out of your misery. There. Don’t worry, Beligan, there are no regrets in the afterlife…”

*

Why I Never Cook

We use coconut oil for cooking, and if the temperature is too high it gets smoky in the kitchen. This is not unusual. What is unusual is the amount of smoke billowing from the pan yesterday.

“Huh,” I said. “There must be something stuck to the burner, or the pan, or something.”

“COUGH COUGH,” said my brother.

“Sorry. I know the coconut smoke bothers you. The chicken should be done soon,” I said. The pink in the chicken had nearly disappeared, and soon I would be able to package it up for the week’s lunches.

“Should we start the next Murder She Wrote?” my brother asked.

“Yeah, why not?” I said.

“BEEP BEEP,” screamed the alarm.

“What the…is that the smoke alarm?” I said. I went up to check. It was, indeed, the fire alarm. I waved a doily in front of it to clear the smoke that had evidently drifted upstairs. It stopped beeping.

Unfortunately, the smoke had also alerted my home alarm to the presence of “fire.”

“BEEP.” Pause. “BEEP.” Pause.

“Uh, your alarm says FIRE,” said my brother.

In a few moments (a testament of the abilities of the fire department; I know they have to be fast but I was impressed by how fast) fire fighters arrived at my door. I held a struggling and yapping chihuahua while heavily-booted  people tromped into my house.

“I burned the chicken,” I said.

I apologized profusely, but they didn’t seem bothered. They thanked me for calling in the false alarm and I promised I’d never cook chicken again.

why you should always bill your clients on time

Please note that these are not direct quotes.

ME: I received this bill from a consultant for a trip they took months ago. It seems kinda late. Should I send it back?

PROJECT MANAGER: Charge it to Client #1.

CLIENT #1: This invoice should have gone to Client #2. We weren’t involved in this stage of the project.

ME: Should I redirect this invoice to Client #2?

PROJECT MANAGER: Okay.

CLIENT #2: This invoice should not have been charged to us. We were not involved in this project at all.

ME: Who the heck does this invoice belong to? You told me to invoice it to Guy.

PROJECT MANAGER: Guy left Client #2 a million years ago and he’s on his own now.

ME: Wut.

PROJECT MANAGER: Send the invoice to Client #3.

Fingers crossed that this one works!

 

 

Smellton’s Nightmare

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology In Poor Taste, due out in 2018!

It’s Groundhog Day, time to celebrate with some fiction.

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SMELLTON’S NIGHTMARE

Smellton had never been able to emerge from hibernation without a hassle. He knew a few ‘hogs who could open their eyes and start chattering a happy tune, but not Smellton. He had to roll himself out of bed and breathe in some of the spring air up top before he could even think about being awake.

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Petunia Thorgrub’s Declaration of War

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology In Poor Taste, due out in 2018!

It’s national hat day!

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PETUNIA THORGRUB’S DECLARATION OF WAR

*

The smoking hole in Petunia Thorgrub’s top hat was the final straw. She threw the ruined headgear in the dust and whirled on her assailant with all the fury of a long line of Thorgrubs.

She could not see the assassin, but based on the trajectory of the bullet, they were hiding atop the roof of the building.

“Come down from there and fight me face to face!” Petunia cried. There was no response. “Who sent you? Was it Mulberry?” She needed to know where to send the bill for the decimated topper.

A small piece of paper attached to a parachute drifted into the street. Petunia kept her eyes on the roof while she knelt to pick it up.

This is only the beginning. Everything you love will be destroyed.

Petunia recognized Mulberry’s distinctive handwriting. His words were infuriating. She could understand her arch-nemesis having her killed, but to murder an innocent top hat (and, if his threat meant anything, everything she loved – including her precious collection of dryer lint, oh and probably her family), well, to murder an innocent top hat was nothing short of evil.

“Damn you, Mulberry! This means war!” Petunia cried.

The streets remained silent as the top hat sank into the dust.

*

I tried to play Outlast

For those of you who don’t know, Outlast is a gory first-person horror game. (I like the notice at the beginning that warns you about the violence and gore, and goes on to say “Please enjoy.” Extra classy.)

Before attempting to play this game, I prided myself on my bravery, but I’ve never been a fan of the horror genre. I don’t like excessive, gratuitous gore. I do enjoy a good mystery and if I have to suffer through gore then so be it, but gore for gore’s sake does not interest me.

Also it’s gross.

On the other hand, as I said, I do love a good mystery. I figured horror itself might be more enjoyable if I’m in the middle of it. I had fun at that haunted house escape room, right? What could possibly go wrong?

(Minor spoilery stuff is ahead; in summary: I’m a coward)

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How (not) to Trim the Cat’s Nails

Once in a great while, it comes to pass that the cats nails have become so pointy and sharp that there is no other alternative but to make them shorter. This daunting task is confusing and terrifying. Only professional cat owners should even attempt the scenario.

  1. Locate the cat. Make sure it is asleep, or at least comfortable. If the cat is running around or hissing or agitated in any way, abort the mission and hide under the bed.
  2. Gently scoop up the cat. If the cat is distressed or displeased by its new altitude, attempt to soothe it with gentle words. When that fails, wrap the cat in a large towel like a burrito.
  3. Realize you have forgotten the clippers. Put the cat down and watch it escape to freedom. Locate the clippers, and repeat steps one through two.
  4. Hold the burrito cat securely under one arm. If this is not secure enough, add a knee or two until the cat can’t move. It may still struggle, in which case you might have to enlist the help of a friend or family member or Hercules if he’s available.
  5. Once the cat is secure, attempt to trim one nail.
  6. After you have cleaned up your blood, start again at step one.
  7. After two out of four paws have been trimmed, you are entitled to a short break and a large glass of whiskey. Take deep breaths and don’t worry about the way the cat is glaring at you with extreme hatred in its eyes; that is a normal cat expression.
  8. After three out of four paws have been trimmed, you may need to abandon hope until another day. If you manage to trim four out of four without losing an eye, congratulations, you have reached the level of Master.