Meet Flat Spooky

By Piper Bayard

My writing partner, Jay Holmes, is a senior intelligence operative. He’s also my Underworld Google, and you can imagine the questions that I come up with for him while I’m tapping out our prose. . . . How would the antag kill a man so that it takes around 10 minutes for him to die–not too much blood, but some gasping? How much will our protag think about his wife during a mission, and when? Exactly how would our protag get the captive bad guy to talk in time to save civilization as we know it? Suffice to say that Holmes’s knowledge and experience are comprehensive and unique.

Movie pic Inspector Cleusseau with spy glass

Actual top secret photo of Holmes on a mission.

However, because Holmes is who and what he is, there are times he isn’t available for those questions that come up almost daily in our projects. So I started interviewing for a part-time Underworld Google.

Meet Flat Spooky. You may have heard of Flat Stanley – the little boy who got flattened and now rides around in countless pockets, delivering event and activity reports to schoolchildren across the nation. Turns out Spooky is his cousin. Distant cousin. Twice removed. And even flatter.

 FS SF Born in back seat of Ford focus 5-3-14

Baby photo of Flat Spooky.

Flat Spooky was both conceived and born in the back seat of a Ford Focus in a public parking lot on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. His mother was a Russian honey pot, and his father once played an extra in The Bourne Legacy. Needless to say, Flat Spooky knows he has a lot to live down, and he is ever eager to prove himself a loyal American and a capable spook. After all, he has read lots of Tom Clancy novels, and he’s seen all of the Bond films at least twice.

When Flat Spooky found me on Twitter, he begged to ride around with me in my pocket in the hopes of some day meeting Holmes. He promised to give me his best shot at making up answers whenever I need them for our stories, so I put him in my purse. Little did I know what a personality I was taking on!

 

FS SF driving across Bay Bridge into city 5-3-14

Spooky began his first day on the planet by driving across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco.

FS SF at Coit Tower 5-3-14

He wheedled me to take him to Coit Tower. Turns out, Spooky’s greatest desire is to experience the charms of a lady. He heard me say “Coit” and thought it might be short for something else. He was disappointed to find out I was talking about a building that did not house . . . entertainment specialists.

Frustrated, he convinced me to take him to Ghirardelli Square to redirect his passions. He indulged.

 

 FS SF in box with chocolates 5-3-14

And indulged.

FS with Ghirardelli chocolate bars 5-3-14

And indulged.

FS with two favorite things, America and chocolate

At that point, he was 86ed from the place for getting inappropriate with the merchandise.

Then, Spooky decided it was time to earn his chops as an espionage expert. He snuck up on this bear and swiped his ice cream cone. I pointed out that such behavior did not make him a spook; it made him a common thief or a DHS employee. No national interest was served, and this illegal activity was conducted on American soil. Category “No-No” for a spook. Spooky burped and tried to drag me into the ice cream store. We’ll have to work on those ethical concepts.

FS SF trying to eat ice cream with bear 5-3-14

I thought a bit of education was in order, so I took Spooky aboard the USS Pampanito, a WWII submarine museum at Fisherman’s Wharf. Spooky is now the only “person” to ever board a submarine and think that it’s roomy.

FS SF at CO's door on USS Pompadino 5-3-14   FS SF gazing into meeting room of USS Pampanito 5-3-14

The C.O.’s quarters — about the size of a decent closet, and a meeting room — a slightly more decent closet.

 

   FS SF on bunk in USS Pampanito 5-3-14

Torpedo bay with bunks. There were only half as many bunks on the submarine as there were sailors, and the sailors took turns sleeping.

FS riding trolley with Ninja seahorse 5-3-13

Then we rode a trolley, and Spooky met another flat, sentient creature, Ninja Seahorse. Apparently, Ninja Seahorse rides in the purse of historical fiction author Susan Spann, who writes about a ninja detective in her Shinobi Mystery series. Spooky immediately attempted to recruit this visitor from Japan as an asset by enticing him into a sushi restaurant.

 FS SF Spooky and Ninja going into Sushi restaurant

Bad idea. The chefs thought poor Ninja Seahorse would make a great appetizer, and the two of them had to hide in this spray painting to escape.

SF Spray painting on the street

The next day, Spooky, Ninja Seahorse, Susan Spann, and I went to Napa Valley. Spooky convinced me he was 21, and I let him have a drink. I should have known better. It started with a civilized flute of sparkling wine at Mumm Napa . . .

FS SF Mumm Napa sparkling wine with Ninja Seahorse 5-4-14

but before long, Spooky was in his cups with Ninja Seahorse and an electrical plug of dubious origins who called herself “Polly” at a vineyard that could have been named after a porn star. Susan and I had to drag them out and send them to bed. Without Polly.

FS SF drinking with Polly Plug and Ninja Seahorse at Black Stallion 5-4-14

 The next day, Spooky had his first hangover, made more intense by the fact that his entire body is only a head.

 

FS SF eating hangover toast 5-5-14

Susan and I convinced him to come out with us for a bit of coffee and some hangover toast while Ninja Seahorse curled up in a corner of his aquarium and imbibed salt water. Suddenly, just between threatening to barf and begging the waiter to turn down the sunlight from the window, the love of Spooky’s life walked through the door.

FS SF falling in love with Allison Brennan 5-5-14

New York Times bestselling thriller author Allison Brennan. Spooky froze, enthralled and speechless. Then he threw himself at Allison’s feet and professed his undying love. She politely explained that she is happily married and has five children, but Spooky was not to be deterred. So Allison held him up to her heart for a picture. Spooky fainted.

Now, he’s back in my purse, pining after Allison, eating chocolate, and standing ready to answer any questions I might have for him while Holmes and I write our spy thrillers.

This little guy may be too much for my patience. He’s already filled my purse with chocolate wrappers.

How do you suggest I civilize this little wannabe spook?

Working Vacation

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

We’ll be out this week. We would tell you what we are doing, but we thought it would be much more fun for you to guess.

Not Bayard & Holmes, but it looks like fun.

Not Bayard & Holmes, but it looks like fun.

What other things do you think we might be doing this week?

Cliffside Rose Flash Fiction: And the Winners Are . . .

Two weeks ago, I challenged readers to a contest telling us how a rose would end up atop a desert cliff in the middle of nowhere. Their stories had to include the words “Dixie,” “witness protection,” and “cheese grater.”

See The Cliffside Rose–Flash Fiction Contest

For the last week, readers voted here and at our sister WordPress blog to determine the top three winners of The Cliffside Rose Flash Fiction Contest with the combined totals. With some brilliant entries, this was no easy task, but three entries tied at the top.

And the winners are . . .

Olympic Ring Espionage image from Ebay.com

Olympic Ring Espionage
image from Ebay.com

BrickHouseChick:  Olympic Ring Espionage

Dixie was conflicted about being on The Bachelor, but she wanted the chance to meet her Prince. And that she did. Thor was very CALIENTE and had cheese-grater abs. The problem was, that he was a spy in Russia during the Olympics and they were ‘on’ to him. Putin blamed Thor for the 5th ring not lighting up during the opening ceremonies and was not happy. Thor was about to give Dixie the FINAL ROSE. If she accepted the rose, she would enter the program with him (no TVs allowed in the witness protection program), if she didn’t, she would have to let him go, forever. After much pondering, Dixie decided that she could NOT miss the Oscars, and opted for the RED CARPET rather than the RED ROSE. She kissed him goodbye and ran home to watch the E channel. Thor was devastated and jumped off the cliff.

You want to WHAT? image via Canstock

You want to WHAT?
image via Canstock

Michelle Morrison:  You Want to WHAT?

After six years in witness protection, Diane was free. She moved home and reconnected with loved ones. She rescued a dog and named her Dixie, and they had lovely walks by the cliff near her house.

Diane met Peter. It was love. Peter seemed smitten also. “You’re special,” he told her.

She smiled. “So are you.”

Diane and Peter went for walks by the cliff. They watched the sun go down and threw sticks for Dixie. Peter gave Diane a rose each month.

At the fourth month, Peter gave Diane four roses and said, “I’m sorry, I’ve met someone else.”

“What is this?” Diane asked. “You’re unhappy?”

“It’s not you, it’s me; we can still be friends.” Peter said.

Diane beat Peter to death with the cheese grater she always carried. She left the roses by the body. The judge ruled justifiable homicide and she got probation.

Motorcycle or Death image from Canstock

Motorcycle or Death
image from Canstock

Gry Ranfelt:  Motorcycle or Death?

“You said it didn’t matter.”

Tom flexed his jaw and refused to look away.

“The court cares. Think of our daughter. What life will she lead if you refuse witness protection?”

Dixie swallowed the dry mountain air. Had he brought her to these uncomfortable heights just to tell her to do what she’d refused four times?

She slammed the roses into his chest. They fell to the ground, petals still intact.

“The entire evening was an act so I’d warm up and give in.”

“No, I –”

She turned away. “Take us home.” She hated the thought of wrapping her arms around him on his motorcycle.

His sigh trickled her neck. She stiffened.

“I can’t.”

He grabbed and pulled her towards a waiting car. “Sorry. I’m not letting you get the fucking mafia on us.”

She screamed. She struggled. The cliffs scraped her skin bloody like a cheese grater.

 Congratulations!

Each of you has won a copy of USA Today Bestseller Vicki Hinze‘s clever tale of death and romance, Down and Dead in Dixie.

Down and Dead in Dixie Cover

I will forward your emails to the awesome Vicki Hinze, and she will get in touch with you to send your your prize.

A Big Thank You to all of the participants.

May your remote wanderings never include cliffs

and/or cheese graters.

Cliffside Rose Flash Fiction Contest — Vote Now!

By Piper Bayard

Last week, I challenged readers to a contest telling us how a rose would end up atop a desert cliff in the middle of nowhere. Their stories had to include the words “Dixie,” “witness protection,” and “cheese grater.”

See The Cliffside Rose–Flash Fiction Contest

The Cliffside Valentine

The Cliffside Valentine

This week, we ask you to vote on these outstanding entries. Voting will take place here and at our sister site, Bayard & Holmes, and we will combine the totals. The top three will receive copies of USA Today Bestseller Vicki Hinze‘s clever tale of death and romance, Down and Dead in Dixie.

Down and Dead in Dixie Cover

And the entries are . . .

Olympic Romance image from Ebay.com

Olympic Ring Espionage
image from Ebay.com

BrickHouseChick:

Dixie was conflicted about being on The Bachelor, but she wanted the chance to meet her Prince. And that she did. Thor was very CALIENTE and had cheese-grater abs. The problem was, that he was a spy in Russia during the Olympics and they were ‘on’ to him. Putin blamed Thor for the 5th ring not lighting up during the opening ceremonies and was not happy. Thor was about to give Dixie the FINAL ROSE. If she accepted the rose, she would enter the program with him (no TVs allowed in the witness protection program), if she didn’t, she would have to let him go, forever. After much pondering, Dixie decided that she could NOT miss the Oscars, and opted for the RED CARPET rather than the RED ROSE. She kissed him goodbye and ran home to watch the E channel. Thor was devastated and jumped off the cliff.

Death by Margarita image by Zalmac, wikimedia commons

Death by Margarita
image by Zalmac, wikimedia commons

Shawna Coronado:

Naked, bleeding, trembling, and frightened-out-of-her mind; Dixie teetered at the cliff’s edge with a pitcher of margaritas in one hand and a single red rose in the other. Behind her stands 350 pounds of hate, the stranger who had been stalking her for the last 9 years and who dragged her out of witness protection to bring her here. He says, “One last drink, my sweet, before we fly over this cliff together and crash like cheese grater at the bottom.” As he lunges for her throat she swings the margarita pitcher smacking him hard on his temple. Arms wheeling, he falls screaming over the side, landing with a deafening crunch. She drops the rose and falls to her knees, happy to be alive and rid of her torment. Death by margarita.

Motorcycle or Death image from Canstock

Motorcycle or Death?
image from Canstock

Gry Ranfelt:

“You said it didn’t matter.”
Tom flexed his jaw and refused to look away.
“The court cares. Think of our daughter. What life will she lead if you refuse witness protection?”
Dixie swallowed the dry mountain air. Had he brought her to these uncomfortable heights just to tell her to do what she’d refused four times?
She slammed the roses into his chest. They fell to the ground, petals still intact.
“The entire evening was an act so I’d warm up and give in.”
“No, I –“
She turned away. “Take us home.” She hated the thought of wrapping her arms around him on his motorcycle.
His sigh trickled her neck. She stiffened.
“I can’t.”
He grabbed and pulled her towards a waiting car. “Sorry. I’m not letting you get the fucking mafia on us.”
She screamed. She struggled. The cliffs scraped her skin bloody like a cheese grater.

Tire Iron Freedom Maneuver image from ebay.com

Tire Iron Freedom Maneuver
image from ebay.com

Melissa Borgioli:

THE TIRE IRON FREEDOM MANEUVER

“Shut up, Carol Ann!”
She kept talking. “I can’t believe you got us lost and broken down in the desert! ”
“Shut up, Carol Ann!”
Still talking. “What did you say was busted? MacGyver could have fixed it with a cheese grater!”
“Shut up, Carol Ann!”
“My Mama said not to go to the desert on vacation. She said we’d be all alone out here like we were in the witness protection program. And I said, ” You ain’t just whistling Dixie, Mama! ”
“Shut up, Carol Ann!”
Of course, she didn’t shut up. She never did. A nice whack with the tire iron would do the trick, he thought. He’d bring a rose to this very spot every year on the anniversary of the tire iron freedom manuever.
“Well? Is it fixed? ” Carol Ann screeched in his ear.
His fingers tightened around the tire iron, then relaxed.
“Yes! Now get in the damn car, and for God’s sake, shut up, Carol Ann!”

Valentine Cheese Grater image from houzz.com

Valentine Cheese Grater Surprise
image from houzz.com

MrMeanGenes:

O Cliffside Rose,
My Valentine
Stands here before me:
Hear her whine ?

She dreamt of roses-
But not much later
Wound up with a used
Cheese grater.

Ol’ Dixie made a poor selection:
Orlando’s not a happ’ning Dude-
He’s just a Witness in Protection–
A Baby Daddy-truly crude.

Our Cliffside Rose
Thinks he might shtup her:
Instead, he merely wants
His supper.

Desert Dejection image via Canstock

Desert Dejection
image via Canstock

Kathleenjanzanderson:

The morning sun crept over the distant mountains as Dixie sat next to a tent sipping coffee & dabbing her swollen eyes. Beyond the fire a lizard poked its head over a paper plate and nibbled on a stale cheese grater. A vase of red Valentine roses looked out of place next to the cactus and endless grays & browns of sand & rocks: the only green was on its leaves & the body of her jeep. Ever since she’d entered the witness protection program this was Tim’s & her favorite spot, where they had planned to wed.

“Damn you Timothy Boon for not showing up!”

She leaned and yanked the flowers from the vase, bolted to her feet and to the cliff, stems dropping all the way. Raising her arm she was ready to heave what was left when she noticed a black car winding up the narrow road.

Victim No. 6 image via Canstock

Victim No. 6
image via Canstock

Kay:
Looking over the edge of the cliff at victim number 6, Detective Bayard thought to himself “I have no choice now! I must convince Dixie to go into witness protection before she is the next victim.” His partner, Detective Holmes was busy scaling down the cliff to get what little evidence was on the ledge. Seriously? Another cheese grater? What is the significance of a cheese grater? Just like the last 5, all Holmes finds is a single red rose, a dead female and a cheese grater.
You want to WHAT? image via Canstock

You Want To WHAT?
image via Canstock

Michelle Morrison:

After six years in witness protection, Diane was free. She moved home and reconnected with loved ones. She rescued a dog and named her Dixie, and they had lovely walks by the cliff near her house.

Diane met Peter. It was love. Peter seemed smitten also. “You’re special,” he told her.

She smiled. “So are you.”

Diane and Peter went for walks by the cliff. They watched the sun go down and threw sticks for Dixie. Peter gave Diane a rose each month.

At the fourth month, Peter gave Diane four roses and said, “I’m sorry, I’ve met someone else.”

“What is this?” Diane asked. “You’re unhappy?”

“It’s not you, it’s me; we can still be friends.” Peter said.

Diane beat Peter to death with the cheese grater she always carried. She left the roses by the body. The judge ruled justifiable homicide and she got probation.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

A huge THANK YOU to all of our participants!

The choice is a tough one. I’m so glad it’s yours, readers, and not mine. Please show your appreciation for these creative powerhouses and vote between now and midnight on Tuesday, March 11. All votes will be tallied at that time, and winners will be announced next Wednesday.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTE!

MyPhotos Dixie watching sunset in desert Feb 15, 2014

Flash Fiction Contest — The Cliffside Rose

By Piper Bayard

Since my writing partner, Jay Holmes, is a covert intelligence operative, we often meet and work in remote locations. The day after Valentine’s Day found us plotting our next novel while we hiked up a cliff in a remote section of a desert. Near the top, I noticed a rose. Yes, a rose. In the middle of nowhere. Then another, and another. A trail of four roses that led to the very edge of the cliff.

The Cliffside Valentine

The Cliffside Valentine

I immediately turned to Holmes and expounded on how two lovers quarreled the night before:

Dixie arrived first and watched the sunset from the edge of the cliff, remembering Orlando’s kiss. Just because they had met at a meth lab three weeks ago…Just because they were only sixteen…Just because they were cousins…None of that would keep them from testifying and entering witness protection together before the baby was born. Surely he would make her a Valentine’s bride.

MyPhotos Dixie watching sunset in desert Feb 15, 2014

Orlando topped the rocks behind her and held up four roses. “Check out what I scored from dad’s new girlfriend. Oh, and I got you a cheese grater. Let’s go back to dad’s trailer, and you can make me a pizza.”

Dixie, stunned by his words, numbly took the flowers. “A cheese grater?”

Orlando shrugged. “What else would I bring? Come on. I’m hungry.”

Furious, Dixie flung the roses at Orlando with such force that she lost her balance and toppled over the cliff. The mountain lions rejoiced.

When I finished, Holmes rolled his eyes and said, “Back to our spy thriller . . .”

We agreed to leave the romance to you and to USA Today bestseller Vicki Hinze. So today, we offer you a flash fiction challenge.

Come to the Bayard & Holmes website and tell us your story of the Cliffside Valentine Rose in the comments below. Tell it in 150 words or less, and include “Dixie,” “witness protection,” and “cheese grater.” Click here . . .

Bayard & Holmes

The Cliffside Rose — Flash Fiction Contest

Next Wednesday, March 5, come back and vote for your favorites. USA Today bestseller Vicki Hinze has generously donated three copies of one of my own favorite books, Down and Dead in Dixie, about a young woman who stumbles into the middle of a mob turf war and finds out that to live, sometimes ya gotta die.

Down and Dead in Dixie Cover

“Dixie” and “witness protection” are some clues as to what you will find in this clever, humorous novel. Cheese grater? Nothing to do with Vicki Hinze’s book, and everything to do with a reason to throw flowers at a boyfriend. But that’s another story.

Fun Stuff We Found at Bass Pro

By Piper Bayard

On a recent whim, my family made the trek to the Bass Pro Shop. As always, my daughter DD and I had fun checking out all of the stuff and things. Here are a few of our favorites . . .

MyPhotos Xmas 2013 BBQ Sauces

Now that’s a tough choice.

MyPhotos Xmas DD with Machete

The perfect accessory for every young lady. Move over Machete!

MyPhotos Xmas Hideous Purse w:Cross

No wait . . . Maybe this is the perfect accessory.

MyPhotos Xmas Fish Finders

These are fish finders–in case your worm and expertise aren’t working. Take a look at the price tags. You’re not imagining things. They actually had fish finders that cost over $2k. I’m thinking you could buy a lot of fish for $2k.

MyPhotos Xmas Duck Dynasty Dog Biscuits

Guaranteed to make your dog happy, happy, happy!

MyPhotos Xmas DD Photobomb

Gotta have a DD photo bomb.

MyPhotos Xmas DD on kiddie ATV

Come on, DD. That’s for the three-year-olds.

What fun stuff have you found lately? Come by our Bayard & Holmes site and share in the comments. 

Bayard & Holmes

Fun Stuff We Found at Bass Pro

The Spanking Santa–A Holiday Survival Essential

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

The most wonderful stressful time of the year is upon us. Long lines, visiting relatives, and credit card bills that give bankers a warm, fuzzy feeling in their wallets. But fear not! Bayard & Holmes Holiday Survival is back once more to help you navigate this cauldron of tension without beating anyone bloody with a turkey leg.

A spook and a belly dancer. Not us. Image from The Man with the Golden Gun.

We, a pragmatic author/belly dancer and a spook who solves most of life’s problems with sex, C4, or hollow points, are clearing our schedules so that we can assist you with your holiday survival questions. In fact, we’ve had a few pleas for assistance already.

Sarah Broogenstegler in Research Pod 3, Antarctica, sent us this desperate missive.

Dear Bayard & Holmes:

My husband, Clyde, and I love the Holidays. Unfortunately, six years ago, after a ten-year stint in Joliet Prison for a Ponzi scheme that bankrupted twelve hospitals, Clyde’s Uncle Harry started showing up uninvited on Christmas Day. We tried to be charitable the first year, but he drank all of our alcohol and mouthwash and fell in the punch bowl. It splashed on the Christmas lights and shorted them out. The ensuing fire nearly burned down the house.

Clyde is a pacifist and made me sell my .45 Colt automatic years ago. Rather than reintroduce firearms into our lifestyle to deal with Uncle Harry, we relocated to Antarctica. Last week, though, we got a radio message that Harry had somehow acquired our GPS coordinates and was hitching a ride with Greenpeace activists to get down here for Christmas.

I’m in tears! Please help!

image from Department of Defense

Click on the link below to find out the Bayard & Holmes solution to this holiday dilemma. Remember to subscribe while you’re there. We don’t want to miss you in the move!

Bayard & Holmes

The Spanking Santa —

A Holiday Survival Essential

Frosty the Throwman & Other Tactical Holiday Products

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

In anticipation of the holiday season, our tremendous staff in our Bayard & Holmes Tactical Products Division (us) at the Bayard and Holmes Secret Underground Research Complex (Holmes’s basement) spent this fall ignoring social media memes and developing the tactical products you need to make your holiday season a safer and happier time.

Snowman pitcher schneemann wikimedia public domain

To learn about our Frosty the Throwman Snowball Protection System, Vin de Sommeil Relative Stress Reducer, and Tactical Baby Jesus, click on the link below to go to our new Bayard & Holmes website. Remember to subscribe while you’re there. We don’t want to lose you in the move.

Bayard & Holmes

Frosty the Throwman

and Other Tactical Holiday Products

National Drunk Dial Congress Day!

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Since Congress is out fighting on the playground again instead of doing the job we hired them to do, we here at Bayard & Holmes have stepped in to make sure “essential” duties are not ignored. One of those is the ever more difficult task of keeping up moral in America. To meet that burden, we have declared October 17 to be National Drunk Dial Congress Day.

For those of us who actually have to work to keep up with “essential” matters in life that don’t include the “essential” golf courses and “essential” fitness clubs where you will find our congressmen during the shutdown, we found this delightful web site for you called . . .

Canstock Man in Bar on phone while drinking

DrunkDialCongress.org

Yes, this is for real. Piper checked it out for us. You leave your number at the web site. Within a minute or so, your phone rings. A man’s voice says, “Is this government shutdown making you want to drink? When I drink, I like to tell people what’s on my mind.” Then you will be transferred to the office of a random member of Congress. The rather liberal group Revolution Messaging is behind the site, but supposedly both Democrats and Republicans receive calls.

Piper’s message to her random congressman? “Every one of you yahoos needs a good spanking. Stop putting your parties above the American people.”

We would be honored if you would take a moment to join in the fun and Drunk Dial Congress with us today. Please tell us below what you will tell the random slacker you are sent to during your Drunk Dial Opportunity. Please keep it PG-13, and let Congress be our target, not our fellow commenters or any actual Americans. Let’s band together and recognize the true enemy in this situation — partisan politics.

Breaking Badly

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

Breaking Bad—five seasons of weekly opportunities for the average, law-abiding citizen to ride in the fast lane with chemistry teacher/family man/meth dealer Walter White has finally come to an end. The Albuquerque Journal even ran Walter White’s obituary, and Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse is giving Walter White a funeral in Albuquerque this Saturday, October 19.

Breaking Bad

As Holmes and I look around, we find that we are surrounded by Breaking Bad fans in various stages of the Kubler-Ross grief process . . .

Denial – No. This can’t be happening . . . Oh, wait! I can still watch the first 54 episodes on Netflix. Maybe the movie will be out by the time I’m finished.

Anger – What do you mean there’s no more Breaking Bad? How can they do this to me? *gives collection of Walter White action figures and Breaking Bad Chemistry Set to neighbor and says never wants to see them again*

Bargaining – Let’s kidnap Vince Gilligan like in Misery and tell him he can’t have his freedom until he comes up with five more seasons. *slips in through neighbor’s window to steal back action figures and chemistry set; finds out neighbor sold them to buy weed.*

Depression – Dear God, why live? *curls up in fetal position around TV remote*

Acceptance – It’s real. It’s happening. Breaking Bad is over. I must find healthy ways to fill the void and move on. *pays $2,000 to have name engraved on Walter White’s memorial tombstone at Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse*

Fear not, Breaking Bad fans! Here at Bayard & Holmes, we see your suffering, and we stand ready to help. We have the following suggestions to assist you moving beyond Walter White’s world to begin to live again:

  • Buy our books and obsess over them, instead.
  • Develop a taste for brandy.
  • Set up a telescope in your window and get to know your neighbors.
image from Rear Window

image from Rear Window

  • Stop playing with your household chemicals and donate your gas mask to a local Alcohol Recovery Center thrift store.
  • List all of the blue items you see in your house that have nothing to do with meth.
  • Use Google and find out who the real Heisenberg was.
  • Buy out the Funyons from your local grocery store and throw a party for your friends.
  • Attempt to technically define the word “yo.”

For those of you who simply aren’t ready for closure, for the mere sum of $1999—a real deal next to that tombstone engraving—you can secure your seat on the Breaking Bad Albuquerque Meth Tour.* Enjoy three days of sightseeing while being escorted by hardened ex-cons and “criminal” attorneys through the seediest corners of Albuquerque. Tour activities will include Nerf gun combat in the New Mexico desert and stops in chicken restaurants and law enforcement outposts where people really are selling meth out of the back room. To complete our tour, vacationers will receive one free trip to the University of New Mexico Hospital emergency room where they can see and talk to actual meth heads in their natural migratory habitat while waiting for treatment.

Call now and be one of our first ten customers, who will each receive an autographed photo from a random local high school chemistry professor. Let Bayard & Holmes give you the assistance you need to break out of your fast lane fantasies. Operators standing by.

*Airfare, accommodations, meals, and transportation not included in price of package; however, each vacationer will receive one complimentary piece of fake meth candy made of sugar on a stick and the number to the Drug Abuse Hotline in the state of their choosing.

Where are you at in your Breaking Bad grief cycle?