The Amalgamated Union of Pennames and Imaginary Friends by Leila Allison

literally stories


There may be organizations more useless in the universe than my union, but I’m at a loss to name one. Just this afternoon I was seated at the wrong side of my rep’s desk; and although the gent eventually professed sympathy for my plight, I could tell from his er-ing and hmmm-ing, uh-ing and you-don’t-saying, that when it came to fixing a grievance, he’d be as effective as a chimpanzee pitted against Einstein in an equation smack-down at Math Camp.

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Little Black Clouds

I was ten the first time it happened. One gorgeous Sunday had in the idea of an artificial spring, my brother and I went downtown and had a great day. We are at the Woolworths lunch counter; delicious greasy burgers and Cokes in shaved ice. We went into the photo booth, he still has that black and white strip. It was a happy little time, perhaps not big enough to remember. No event happened, yet later that day, within the anxious long shadows of dusk, a certainty came over me. I knew then that God has no interest in human affairs, and that we are completely alone and must invent pretty lies to confirm our hopes for the future. Thus depression, my family inheritance was born.


via Daily Prompt: Doubt

I doubt that any food has sentience other than Red Velvet Cheesecake (from here, RVC). Dearest Friend introduced RVC to me at a Seattle eatery this Sunday past before we attended a National Geographic lecture. Although the lecturer, the esteemed Kenneth Broad, is a fascinating and accomplished individual, my mind kept drifting back to RVC. This cast doubt on both my intelligence and sense of curiosity. It also caused me to doubt that RVC is simply a passive dish that doesn’t think nor has cherished memories of its wonderful past and high hopes for the future. Moreover, I doubt that God or Nature will eliminate a species capable of inventing and mass producing RVC. I doubt that there is good reason for NASA to gaze into the asteroid belt seeking that similar toxic relationship that had fallen on the dinosaurs simply because T-Rex and the other thunder lizards could not cook.

Spirit Classes

Over the course of the days to come, Yours Truly will post blogs that will clear up all misunderstandings that currently exist between the living and the dead.

I consider myself a Spirit-wrangler, and being such I know that Spirits detest the term “ghost.” They find the G-word offensive because it more than implies a state of being inferior to that of the original article. Spirits also have a great antipathy for the whole “go to the light” thing, and unless you wish to have disembodied voices, which sound like a combination of the “secret messages” tucked away at the end of classic rock albums and the raspy croaks of someone with end-stage COPD tooling around in a Walmart courtesy cart, such remarks should be kept to a minimum.

Tomorrow I will introduce the public to the first of the Spirit classes. The three most common Spirits overthere are the Lippybyte (disembodied voice; sometimes speaks backwards); the Shadowghost (or Shadowperson), and the Felinespy (which is that thing in the wall, and juussst above the back of your head, that Kitty stares at and gives you the creeps). I know that you will be counting the minutes until I post again. how i wish I was you.

Irene Leila Allison






For years in my hometown of Bremerton, Washington (which has a district in it that the old timers still call Charleston), there were two conspicuous senior citizens who took daily walks and who were recognizable to all. One was a gentleman that we called “The Butler.” He resembled the actor who played Alfred on the Batman TV series that starred Adam West. I never learned his name, but for at least a decade this gentleman would pop into my consciousness whenever I drove past him as he took his daily “constitutional.” Certainly past seventy, about six-three, all of a hundred-and forty pounds, he wore a derby, a white shirt, a black bow tie, a yellowing tux shirt, and a flowing gold smoking jacket, which had elbow patches. Sometimes he sported a wild flower or a rose in his lapel. The Butler strolled briskly and displayed no need for the walking stick he carried, which, I think, was capped at the end with either something gold or silver. He wasn’t the sort of person you’d easily forget.

Around the same time “The Beehive Lady” could be spotted crossing the Manette Bridge everyday, no matter the weather. She was probably older than the Butler, and never has there been a more immaculate woman. Her perfectly sculpted bone white hair had a ten inch head start toward heaven, and when it rained she protected it with a plastic veil. She smiled at everyone, seldom spoke, she favored primary colored pantsuits and smelled like Emarude.

These had been eternal creatures who had traveled along the roadside of my life from my teens and into my mid-twenties.  They are gone now, and it had took me almost a year to realize that there had been something missing in my life that I couldn’t lay a probing thought on. And there’s a tiny regret in my heart: every time I had had a chance to speak to them, I instead demurely nodded and kept on going by. Whatever it had been that had motivated these persons to cultivate his and her own individuality will forever be obscure to me. Nowadays the local sidewalks are inhabited by the same old tattoos, public spitters, smartphone junkies and the ghosts of courtly civility and regal unflappability.

Yet my tiny regret is possibly best a thing left unguarded in hope that someone may steal it from my heart. If I had spoken to either of these myths the spell that they had cast on my emotions probably would have puffed away like July morning fog upon the first push of summer sun. It’s for the good that we hold onto the small illusions, and protect them from knowing better.