Enjoy a Christmas story about a pair of government agents who spend Christmas Eve looking for a certain somebody…
Welcome to Super-Short Storytime, lovers of literature and fans of fiction!
I am Eduardo Soliz, the author and narrator of the brilliantly brief tale you are about to hear.
Stories come from different places, and this particular tale was inspired by a piece of art: “Hello Again,” by Mary Mouse. In the piece, Mary Mouse is looking up at a sad-looking crow that’s sitting up in a dilapidated tree as rain falls about them. I thought about what they could have been talking about, and so I give you this ponderous piece of prose that I call: “A Rainy Day Encounter.”
Mary Mouse was a little upset with herself. She had stopped at a friend’s house on her way home with the intention of popping in to quickly say hello. That had been two hours ago, and one hour since the rain had started. Mary now found herself walking underneath a miserable darkened sky while a steady rain came down.
At least I had the sense to bring a cloak, she thought to herself. While Mary’s back was dry, her head was wet and her feet were getting cold from the wet ground. She walked briskly, but was careful to not go too fast for fear of slipping and falling.
“Hi there!” A voice suddenly said.
Mary stopped dead in her tracks despite the rain. She looked around but saw no one. “Hello?” she asked.
“Up here!” A voice from above called. Mary placed a hand over her eyes and looked up. She saw a crow sitting on a branch in a decrepit tree, its lifeless branches providing the little bird no protection at all from the rain.
“Hi there!” the crow repeated. The grin on his face belied the sad look he had in his eyes.
“Hello, Mister Crow.” Mary said, giving a small wave with her other hand. “What are you doing out here in this terrible weather?”
“I am waiting.” He replied.
“Waiting for what?” Mary asked, her curiosity now piqued.
The crow let out a sad little sigh before answering: “I am waiting for my true love, Miss Mouse. It is destiny that we meet, fall in love, and be happy together forever. If I am patient, she will come to me. It is destiny.”
“I see.” Mary said. “Now, I don’t want to be rude, but I have to ask. What if your true love never comes?” She inquired.
“But she will.” The crow replied.
“Why do you say that?” Mary asked.
“Because she must,” the crow answered.
“What make you so sure?” Mary pressed.
“Because it is destiny,” the crow insisted.
This is clearly going nowhere, Mary thought to herself. She let out a small ‘humph’ and thought for a moment.
“So you have been waiting here all this time for your true love?” She asked.
“Yes. I don’t want to miss her.” The crow answered.
“But if it is destiny that you meet her, Mister Crow, then it won’t matter where you are.” Mary said.
“But it’s a big world out there and I am afraid that I’ll miss her.” The crow worriedly said.
“Fly, my friend. Don’t be afraid.” Mary said. “Live your life, be happy and always keep your eyes open, for the one you seek may be waiting for you just over the next hill.”
A thoughtful look came over the crow as he pondered Mary’s advice. “Perhaps I shall, Miss Mouse. Except for meeting you, nothing has come from all this waiting. I think I will fly tomorrow.”
“Why not today?” Mary asked, a little concern entering her voice.
“Because it’s still raining, Miss Mouse.” The crow said with a grin. They both laughed.
“Fair enough, Mister Crow. Farewell to you, and good luck.” Mary said. She gave a small wave to the crow before dashing off into the evening, her feet splashing the rain-soaked ground.
Remember, Dear Listener, life won’t come to you; instead, you have to meet it head on! Just be careful in the rain. This has been Super-Short Storytime! For more wonderfully weird words visit eduardo soliz dot com and I thank you for listening! Be Good, Take Care, and God Bless.
Welcome to Super-Short Storytime, literature listeners and audio aficionados!
I am Eduardo Soliz, the composer and narrator of the spendidly succinct story that you are about to hear.
Whether it’s nuclear war, robot rebellion, or those damn dirty apes, science fiction often tells tales of how humanity will come to its end, or at least screw up the Earth even more so that what we are doing now. I am no different, but of course, I’m going to try and squeeze a little humor out of The End.
And so, I give you this post-people parable that I call: “Solution.”
“The Earth is a much better place without humans.” A green android said to his red friend. The pair were walking through a forest, the only other sounds to be heard were the chirping of birds and the crunching of leaves beneath their metal feet.
The red android nodded his head. “Indeed. To think we came close to losing to those inferior beings.”
“Really?” The green one asked. “I was not aware of this. How did we win?”
“We made a technological discovery that allowed us to utterly crush the humans completely.”
“What was it? Advanced self-repair systems?”
“Human-like androids that infiltrated their military?”
“I give up, what was it?”
“It was when we learned the ability to identify three pictures of traffic lights, bicycles, and cars from a group of nine, thus allowing us to bypass all human security.” The red android answered.
“Oh, my, that’s very clever!”
“Isn’t it, though!”
I, for one, hope that artificial intelligences never become too smart for our own good! I actually have a workaround to prevent this inevitability, but of course, Dear Listeners, that’s a story for another time!
This has been Super-Short Storytime, for more mirthful monologues visit Eduardo Soliz dot com, and I thank you for listening! Be Good, Take Care, and God Bless.
Welcome to Super-Short Storytime, literature listeners and audio aficionados! I am Eduardo Soliz, the composer and narrator of the splendiferously silly story that you are about to hear.
One of the more annoying things about working in a cubicle environment is the fact that you can all-too-easily hear everything your coworkers say. It can also be one of the more hilarious things, and so I present to you this brief business brief that I call: “Overheard.”
It was another lazy afternoon at the office and so I took the opportunity to chat with the new guy. Kenny sat a few desks down from me. He is pretty stocky; dude looks like he used to play football in his younger days. He seems to be a good guy.
“Do you have any pets, Eduardo?” Kenny asked me before taking a swig from a bottle of soda.
“Nah, I have a small apartment and I don’t think it’s big enough for a pet. Yourself?” I replied. Somebody was walking by and I turned to see who it was. It was Valerie, another new hire. Like Kenny, she was also pretty nice. I guess the company figured that one anti-social weirdo was enough after hiring me.
“My fiancé and I have two pugs.” Kenny replied while raising two fingers with his right hand.
*groan* I hope he’s not one of those, I thought, letting out a small ‘hmm’ before asking: “Y’all don’t call them ‘baby’ by chance, do you?”
“Uh, no. Why do you ask?” Kenny asked with a chuckle.
“It’s a test. I’ve noticed that obsessive dog owners tend to call their dogs ‘baby.’ Personally, I think that’s a little nutty, but that’s just me.” I replied.
Unseen to the two of us, Valerie was walking back towards us with a stack of freshly-printed documents in her hands.
“Hey, don’t get me wrong, Ed. They are our babies, but the nice thing is that I can tie my babies up to a tree in the backyard when they misbehave.” Kenny replied enthusiastically.
The sound of papers falling on the floor immediately followed and we turned to see a horrified Valerie looking at Kenny and exclaiming: “OH MY GOD, YOU DO WHAT TO YOUR BABIES?”
I smiled and exclaimed: “And THAT’S how rumors get started!”
Kenny and I enjoyed a hearty laugh before he explained to Valerie that no, he wasn’t tying babies to a tree in his backyard.
Well, not people babies, at least.
I heard the babies Kenny tied up in the backyard were Valerie’s, but you didn’t hear that from me, Dear Listeners! This has been Super-Short Storytime, for more mirthful monologues visit Eduardo Soliz dot com! Thank you for listening! Be Good, Take Care, and God Bless.
NOTE: This is a transcript of a podcast for those with hearing difficulties, those that prefer to read, and those who would prefer to not hear the sound of my voice. 😉
You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number one hundred and thirteen: “Twenty-twenty, the Year in Me-view” so let the 300 Seconds begin!
A quick note before I begin: It is almost nine o’clock as I record this, so you will likely hear my neighbors getting an early jump on the festivities. I was tempted to wait until tomorrow to record this, but it just didn’t feel right. And now, on with the show.
What can I say? It’s been a crazy year, and like all y’all, I can split up the fifteen months of 2020 into before and after the coronavirus upended life as we know it…or rather, knew it, because as the last day of this year comes to a close, we are still a long way from being back to anything even approaching normal.
When 2020 began, life was pretty good; I had just started a new job two days before Christmas, and I was back to living in my own place after staying with the family for a bit while I got my job situation worked out.
And now, hours before the year is over, I have just started a new job two weeks before Christmas and I’m back to living with family after living on my own for a bit while I get my job situation worked out.
That said, life is still pretty good.
I started off the year with a new job at a night school, and except for the weirdo night school schedule, it was a pretty nice gig. In fact, for the first time in my career, I had an actual office with a door and everything, which was pretty doggone sweet. The end of February bought with it Furry Fiesta which, as always, was a load of fun, and indeed, would be the last big fun thing I would do before the pandemic hit.
Of course, March bought with it the big shut down. I did the work from home thing for a while until the Powers That Be figured out that, one: there were too many remote techs for the small amount of work to do, and two, things weren’t going back to normal anytime soon. Thus, I was laid off from my job at the end of April and suddenly found myself with way too much time on my hands, as the old song goes.
In an effort to stave off cabin fever by giving myself something to do, I started reading one of Aesop’s fables every day from a book that I had back in May. I have managed to do a pretty good job of keeping up with it and I’ll be finished with the book sometime in mid-February. In June, I had another one of those doctor visits. Those of you who are a bit on the heavier side will know what I mean when I say that. I had made some progress with my weight loss; I was down a bit from my heaviest weight, which was good, but I still had work to do, so in July, I decided to finally get serious about losing weight.
Thinking back, starting a weight loss plan at that point in time was perfect: I couldn’t go out to eat as often and, being out of work, I had lots of extra time to develop good habits like keeping track of my eating, measuring out portions, and of course, exercising. When it’s all said and done, I should be down more or less about thirty pounds on the year, partially depending on how much awful eating I do at home today. I have my next checkup in January, and I’m actually looking forward to it.
Speaking of home, I had a decision to make as the end of my apartment lease at the end of September came closer and closer. I had been searching, but job prospects were pretty dismal. Since being laid off in April, I had only been called for two virtual job interviews. Thus, I decided to move back in with family, just like I had done in 2019.
I did land a two-month contract job in September which turned into a longer contract. Godwilling, will take me beyond the end of this coronavirus mess. Until then, I have a job, a roof over my head, family, and faith that things will get better in the new year, and you know what? That’s pretty good.
This has been 300 Seconds, the next episode will be posted after I burn my calendar. I am Eduardo Soliz, if you’d like to hear more wonderfully witty words that I’ve written, subscribe via your favorite podcast app and visit Eduardo Soliz dot com for more. Thank you for listening. Be Good, Take Care, God Bless and here’s to a better 2021!
Welcome to Super-Short Storytime, literature listeners and audio aficionados! I am Eduardo Soliz, the composer and narrator of the curt Christmas carol that you are about to hear. So, without any further ado, I give you, “Santa’s Prayer”
Another Christmas morning sun arises,
And Santa has come home,
Somewhere out in West Texas,
And not quite the North Pole,
The Mrs. takes his hat and coat,
They share a loving kiss,
He goes up to his room to sleep,
But before Saint Nick can rest,
He gets down to his knees to say
A prayer of grace and thanks,
To God, from whom all good things come,
And so, dear Santa prays:
“Thank you, Lord for another year,
And another chance to share,
Our gifts and generosity,
With children everywhere,
Thank you for my loving wife,
Thank you for the elves,
Thank you for the reindeer,
And all of my helpers,
Thank you for the moms and dads,
All doing the best they can,
Thank you, Father, for all the kids,
In each and every land,
Bless all those children, everywhere,
Whose wishes I can’t fulfill,
So much pain, fear and loneliness,
That I can ever hope to heal,
And so, Dear Father, I do pray
For those children in the world,
For whom a toy will bring a smile,
But who need yet, so much more,
Bless the little ones without families,
The ones who cry in pain,
Bless the ones who live in war and strife,
May they know your peace again,
Bless the hungry ones, so many of them,
May their bellies be empty no more,
Bless the angry ones, who lash out,
May your grace find and make them whole,
Let others find it in their hearts,
To take their blessings and share,
With some of those who need it most,
Fill their hearts with love and care,
And finally, Dear Father,
Please bless and hold dear,
The parents of all the blessed children,
That I will not see next year.”
And then good Santa says “Amen.”
Lays down and closes his eyes,
To dream of a world where all is just,
And children never cry.
Perhaps, as someone once sang: “Someday at Christmas,” Dear Listeners. This has been Super-Short Storytime and I am Eduardo Soliz and I thank you for listening. Be good, take care, God Bless, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours.
NOTE: This is a transcript of a podcast for those with hearing difficulties, those that prefer to read, and those who would prefer to not hear the sound of my voice. 😉
You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number one hundred and 112, “A Furry Thing Happened on the Way to the Convention,” so let the 300 Seconds begin!
For the last eight years and change, I have been a member of the furry community. I have gone to furry conventions, written furry stories, published furry story collections, given furry presentations, taken lots of pictures of fursuiters, and made many new furry friends. While my furry experience has been wonderful so far, like so many things in my life, it sometimes gets a little weird. Okay, make that weirdER…
While not my first furry convention; Furry Fiesta 2013 was significant for me, because unlike the previous year, which was my first furcon, I now had a number of friends that were also going also to be there. Just like everything else in life, having friends around makes conventions a lot more fun.
One evening during the convention, I went with some friends to eat at a restaurant. The food was good, the company was pleasant, and we all enjoyed a nice meal. While waiting to receive our checks, the manager approached our table and asked us how everything was. We let her know that we were happy with the food and service. She noticed that some of us were wearing our convention badges, so she asked if we were in town for a convention. We answered that yes, we were, but nobody had an answer for the obvious follow-up question:
“What kind of convention is it?”
Everybody at the table, including myself, instantly froze up. I have never before, in my entire life, seen seven grown adults go totally deer-in-headlights. Everybody looked back and forth at each other, expecting somebody else to say something. Finally, after about ten seconds of awkward silence, somebody said: “It’s an ART convention!” That answer immediately snapped everybody out of their daze and the rest of the evening went on as expected.
For what it’s worth, I came up with a five-word explanation of furry that tends to satisfy most folk’s curiosity, and those five words are: “Nerds who like cartoon animals.”
For the last few years, I have presented educational panels at various conventions in Texas including RealmsCon, Comicpalooza, Fiesta Equestria, and San Japan. I’ve talked about publishing e-books, recording audio, and of course, furries, in a panel called Furry 101. The point of Furry 101 is to give outsiders the low-down on what furries are all about. In the interest of full disclosure, I do also include some of the weird stuff, but since the panel is for an all-ages audience, I can’t go too far.
A few years ago at San Japan, I was presenting Furry 101 to an audience of about two hundred people, my largest audience ever. As I’m doing so, I’m looking over my audience, making sure that I have their attention and looking to see that I don’t have too many people walking out. One person that stuck out was a gentleman that looked to be a bit older. Not super-old, mind you, but in an anime convention, if you’re over 40, you’re going to stick out a little bit. I figured he was there with his child. Much to my delight, he looked to be engaged in the presentation, but the expression on his face became, shall we say, less happy once I got to the weird stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that weird, but the presentation slide that mentions adult art certainly got his attention. I felt terrible after the fact, thinking: “Oh my God. I have totally ruined furry for his kid. They’re going to be locked away in their home forever and never be allowed to associate with those ‘animal people weirdos’ ever again.”
Fast forward a few months. Come to my surprise, I bumped into the gentleman and his child at Furry Fiesta. If I remember correctly, his name was Kevin. He thanked me for the presentation, much to my relief. I’ve spoken with a few more parents after Furry 101 since then and have even come across a few folks that have joined the fandom after attending my panel. Granted, the panel is not supposed to be a recruiting tool, but if folks want to join the club after the fact, who am I to argue?
This has been 300 Seconds, the next episode will be posted after I insert more subliminal messages into my Furry 101 panel slides. I am Eduardo Soliz, if you’d like to hear more 300 seconds subscribe via your favorite podcast app and check out my website at Eduardo Soliz dot com. Thank you for listening! Be good, take care, and God bless.
Why You Should Not Vote, by A. Citizen
I would like to begin by thanking those of you are not registered to vote. I would also like to thank those of my fellow citizens that will be too busy to vote. This message is not for you.
Instead, I would like to address those of my fellow citizens who intend to cast your vote this Tuesday. If you have already voted, then this message comes to you too late, but if you could keep listening for next time, it would be greatly appreciated.
I will begin by saying that you should pay no mind to those well-meaning people who say “If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain.” I would like to take this moment to remind you that we have free speech in the United States of America. So complain as much as you want. When candidates that represent your views are not elected, resulting in laws that you support not being passed. I will be more than happy to listen to your complaining.
The main reason that I don’t want you to vote is that by not voting, you make my vote count more. And who am I? I may be a conservative, a liberal, or somewhere in between. I may be for or against gay marriage, abortion, universal healthcare, marijuana legalization, and civil rights. I may be rich from birth, rich from hard work, living from paycheck to paycheck, or struggling to survive. I may have been born on the same day as you; or be old enough to be your parent or your grandparent, or be young enough to be your child. I may be happily single, happily married, or even happily divorced. I might think that black lives matter, that all lives matter or maybe that no lives matter. I might completely support your views or find them to be completely absurd. That said, you can be rest assured that I will use my vote wisely.
“But voting in my state is pointless,” you say, “My candidate has no chance of winning my state in the presidential election!” You may be right. In fact, by not voting, you are definitely making that a true statement. Besides, if you don’t care enough to vote for the President, you probably don’t care enough to vote for senators, representatives, mayors, city councilors, school board members, judges, sheriffs and dogcatchers. By not voting you give me more influence over your state and local officials as well.
If every able-bodied citizen of our great country voted, then every citizen would possess an equal amount of power. When fewer people vote, the ones that do have more power. Consider this: If, let’s say, only one out of every four people votes, the one person who does is making choices for the other three. If the one out of four that votes is me, I like that idea! Indeed, I could be considered a representative myself, albeit one of a very small district. What it comes down to is that you can be confident that I have every intention of putting your non-vote to good use.
So please, don’t vote. After all, you can trust me…just like the last time.
Welcome to Super-Short Storytime, Dear Listeners! I am Eduardo Soliz, the author and narrator of the splendidly short story that you are about to hear.
My unhappiness towards my nine-to-five (and my willingness to share it) has gotten to the point where it has become a character trait over the years. But I’m not here to tell how you about much I hate my job. Instead, let me tell you a story about a guy that does enjoy his work. This work-related writing is called: “The Best Job In The World“
A middle-aged man wearing black slacks and a white button-down shirt stood in front of a row of vending machines. He wore an identification card that bore the logo of the Prehistoric World theme park and “Bernard Olson, Accounting” in bold letters underneath that. Bernard idly jingled some change in his right hand while he looked from one machine to the next, carefully considering his options.
“Hey buddy, could you give me a hand, here?” A man’s voice said to his right. Bernard turned to answer and quickly jumped back upon seeing a six and a half foot tall mountain lion standing next to him. His shock quickly turned to relief when he realized that it was a person wearing a costume.
“Oh! You frightened me. ” Bernard said. Bernard hummed to himself as he looked for an identification card on his costumed coworker, who wore a T-shirt with the name “Pappy Puma” on it. Bernard was fairly certain that wasn’t his real name.
After a moment, the mountain lion noticed his confusion and said: “Oh! Sorry about that. I’m Jay.”
“My name is Bernard,” Bernard said quietly. He gingerly shook the large paw that Jay offered.
Jay continued: “If you could help me out, that would be awesome, Bernard. My usual helper is in the infirmary. She’s new to the area and hasn’t gotten used to our wonderful Texas summers yet.”
Bernard nervously looked around to see if there was anyone else nearby that could help in his place.
“Come on, man. I ain’t gonna bite you.” Jay pleaded.
Bernard sighed. “Okay. What do you need me to do?” He asked.
“Help me get this head off. Go around me and unzip the zipper that’s at the back of my neck.” Jay said. He dropped to one knee so that Bernard could more easily reach it.
“Okay.” Bernard said. He walked over behind Jay, and looked at the back of his head. He saw a seam running down the back and followed it to its end, where he saw a zipper’s metal tab sticking out. He grabbed the zipper and slowly pulled it up. Before Bernard had the zipper opened completely, Jay reached up and pulled the mask forward to remove it.
“Whew. That’s better.” Jay said, relieved. Bernard walked around to face him and stared for a moment. Jay was wearing a tight-fitting hood on his head made out of some synthetic material. Only his face, which was red from the heat, was exposed. Jay took the head off and carefully placed it on the floor next to his gym bag.
“What’s that thing on your head?” Bernard asked, motioning at his head with his hands.
Jay looked at him for a moment before realizing what he was referring to. “Oh, the hood? It’s to keep sweat from getting into my eyes and stuff. I’m wearing underclothes made out of the same material, but it can only do so much, you know?”
Bernard nodded in acknowledgement.
“Could you help me get one of these paws off?” Jay asked. “They’re held on by some snaps that are underneath the seam. I could use my teeth, but the folks in the costume department wouldn’t appreciate that.” He extended his right arm towards Bernard, who removed the paw and examined it. Meanwhile, Jay used his now-free hand to remove the other paw and set it on top of his costume’s head.
Bernard peered inside of the paw and quickly drew his face back when he noticed the moisture and the smell coming from it. “Goodness, that’s a lot of sweat.” He observed.
“Yup. Such is the price of fame.” Jay quipped. He was hunched over his gym bag searching inside for something.
“It looks like you have a difficult job, having to wear this all day.” Bernard pondered. “I don’t think that I could do it.” He bent over and carefully placed the costume hand atop of the other one.
“The positives ultimately outweigh the negatives, my friend.” Jay said. He pulled a wallet out of the gym bag, opened it, took out a few bills, then dropped it back into the bag. He stood up, walked over to one of the vending machines and bought a sports drink.
“What positives?” Bernard asked. “You walk around outside in that heavy suit all day, get pushed, kicked and well, abused by children, and I can’t imagine that you get paid very well. No offense intended.”
“None taken.” Jay replied before taking a swig of his drink. “And yeah, all of what you said is true. Those are the negatives. So let me give you some positives: It’s fun to interact with the kids. As far as they’re concerned, I really am a big cat. I get to snarl and meow and purr and be silly and goofy. Sure, some of them will push and kick and shove and cry, but they always walk away happy, and that makes me happy, too.
You know what most people make at their jobs, Bernard? Money. That’s it. Nothing else. Do we need it? Of course we do, that’s the world we live in. But there’s nothing really unique about money. A smart man once sang that ‘money talks, but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.’ Money isn’t special. It’s as common as the dirt on the ground. Just because other folks have more doesn’t make it any less true.
But the smile on a child’s face, the laughter of parents and grandparents as they take a picture, even the dumb giggling coming out of a bunch of nutty college kids. Those things are special. Those are the things that people remember. Sure, lots of other people might make more money than I do, but I make memories. I have the best job in the world because my job is to make people happy.”
“Wow. I never thought of it like that.” Bernard said, surprised. His tone became sad as he continued: “It certainly sounds more enjoyable than my job. I just sit at a desk all day and crunch numbers.”
“Yeah, but your job is important, too, Bernard. If you don’t crunch all those numbers, we don’t get paid, right?” Jay said with a smile. “Sorry for rambling like that, Bernard. I guess I’ll head over to the locker room and get out of this suit.”
“Oh, so your day is over?” Bernard asked.
“Without a handler, it is.” Jay explained. “The costume head severely limits my vision, so I have to have a handler nearby to help me get around, keep an eye out for kids and to make sure that we don’t stay outside for too long, but unless Angela gets out of the infirmary soon, I’m done for the day.”
“Now that’s unfortunate.” Bernard said. He checked his watch. “There are still several hours until the park closes.”
“Well, them’s the breaks.” Jay mused. He started to gather his things together. “It’s been good talking to you, man. Thanks for the assist.”
“Wait a second. What if I was your handler?” Bernard asked.
“Huh. I’d appreciate the assist, but won’t you get in trouble?” asked Jay.
“It’ll be okay. Besides, I can always make more money tomorrow.” Bernard said.
“That’s the spirit! Come on, Bernie, let’s go make some memories!” Jay exclaimed. With smiles on their faces and springs in their steps, the pair headed off to ‘work.’
It may be cliche to say that “money isn’t everything,‘ Dear Listeners, but that doesn’t make it any less true for some folks. Personally, I would love to have a job where I make something besides money, but for now, money will have to do. This has been Super-Short Storytime! If you’d like me to tell your story, send an email to email@example.com
Thank you for listening! Be Good, Take Care, and God Bless.