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Photofictional for June 16, 2008 (317 of 341) <<-first last->> slideshow <-previous next->
He was one fellow you would not want to tassel with (452 views)
Carnival Parade
Photo Posted Monday, June 16, 2008

(2008) 24th Street, San Francisco, California

© 2008 Bryan Costales
Creative Commons License

The man in the mask seemed almost harmless because of the tassels. He was tall and leaned over Brenda Wills a bit too close. His breath smelled of cheap wine and cigarettes. "Gimme a dollar," he said.

"You're not homeless," she said. Her voice didn't quaver.

"Gimme a dollar," the man said louder. A bit of food appeared on his lip. He didn't lick it away.

"Stand up straight," Brenda said in her sternest voice. "Don't lean over me. That's rude."

The man stood straight but wobbled. He lolled his head to one side and glared down at her. "Gimme a dollar."

"I'll give you a dollar for your mask."

He looked at her with one eye closed. "What mask?"

"You're wearing a mask."

"I am?" The man felt his face. "I am!"

"I'll give you five dollars for the mask."

"Okay." The man pulled the mask off his head and handed it to Brenda.

The mask smelled foul. "Just drop it on the ground."

"Gimme a dollar."

Breanda pulled a twenty from her purse and held it out to the man. "Here's twenty and you can keep the change."

The man dropped the mask and tried to seize the twenty from her hand. His aim was unsteady and he missed the first time, and barely grasped it the second time.

The man stood straight again. "Where did I get a mask?" He turned from Brenda as if she had vanished. "Where did I get a mask?"

Brenda pulled a collapsable grocery bag from her purse. She inverted it and used the inside to grab the mask. She remembered once picking up dog poo using the same technique.

The man continued to shuffle away down the sidewalk. "Where did I get a mask?"

Brenda watched him until he reached the corner by the alley. He turned and disappeared around the corner. His voice echoed. "Where did I get a mask?"

Brenda turned to leave. She heard the man from the alley yell, "Oh yeah!"

Brenda smiled.

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by Terry Costales
(108 of 341) Her Bob Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Barbara Roberto, when a child, found a bottle on the beach and inside that bottle a note. That note read, "Having a great time. Wish you were here.
Mail Car (551 views)
by Bryan Costales
(109 of 341) Paula Baystone whispered to her baby, Sally, while touring the old mail car. "Hard to believe," she said softly. "It took four weeks for a letter to cross the country by train. Imagine that." Her
by Bryan Costales
(110 of 341) Rich Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Rob Phlems got mildly tanked nightly at the Sour Barrel on Beach Road. Just drunk enough to drive home, as he liked to phrase it. But on Tuesday night, as he
by David Graves
(111 of 341) Heavy Bob Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Bob the seagull --just like all seagulls-- would eat anything. Fish tasted best, of course. But bread, cardboard, and shiny bits of this and that could be
by Bryan Costales
(112 of 341) Roger Voted Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Roger Evans stood in the voting booth, pen poised and remembered the month before. Like most of his life, the month had been filled with parades, and
by Bryan Costales
(113 of 341) John was a man with three last names. For most of his life named John Lobonski, he now struggled to pull his horse, named Tinfoil, aboard the horse trailer. "Git up," he said. "Come on now. Load
by Bryan Costales
(114 of 341) Thread Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales She missed her dead husband so desperately, she could not let go. The former Mrs. Wendy Franks saw aspects of her husband in all men she passed. A young
by Bryan Costales
(115 of 341) Crime Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Ellen Annsin was bored. The train had been stopped between stations for almost thirty minutes now. She spoke more to hear herself speak than to be heard. "My
by Bryan Costales
(116 of 341) What's A Wooden Indian? Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Young Carl Heplin wanted to fly jet planes. "You'll make a great writer," is what his father always told him. They'd just finished sharing
by Bryan Costales
(117 of 341) On warm afternoons, Hans Ledom liked to sit on the bench in front of his house. There he would lean on his cane and watch the people walking past. Occasionally, a walker would pause and point a
by Bryan Costales
(118 of 341) Leo Buckenwalker Jr. walked his dog peacefully down Bluxome Street when the sirens blared. Behind him, fire trucks roared from open doorways and sped off the opposite way. "Easy," Leo said to his
by Bryan Costales
(119 of 341) Lesson Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Tom Tillywalker lifted his sunglasses with one hand and peered at the GPS held in his other hand. "It looks like we need to walk downhill first, then uphill
by Bryan Costales
(120 of 341) Kelp Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Little Tommy Dangreto was always the preferred target of his two older brothers. Mel, the second oldest, was just plain mean. Andy, the oldest, drew the line
by Bryan Costales
(121 of 341) Safe Life Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Randal Graybeard experienced his first big scare when he was twenty. He was almost killed in a motorcycle accident. He swore off motorcycles and after
by Bryan Costales
(122 of 341) IQ Test Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Too warm in his cotton shorts and t-shirt, Roger Franks sat well back in the unlit patio area and watched the others swim. He'd started with red wine, then
by Bryan Costales
(123 of 341) Today's episode continues yesterday's story Creek Fire and his large dog Pebble rested for a day. The second afternoon a man opened the door and leaned in. "All ready for your next step?" he
by Bryan Costales
(124 of 341) Ten year old Klaus Kaltmann was taken by his mother to view free art. He remembered what his mother had told him just that morning. "Art should be felt. If you look at art and feel nothing, the art
by Bryan Costales
(125 of 341) Hans Greizlig couldn't afford an instrument of his own. So he would spend every night in the basement of Symphony Hall. There, the instruments were free to check out and use. The Symphony Hall
by Terry Costales
(126 of 341) Snapshot Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Alex TheWhistle found the old snapshot behind the rail yard. The picture had been lovingly wrapped in faded pink cotton, and outside that, had been wrapped
Egress To Birds (667 views)
by Bryan Costales
(127 of 341) Wendy Roy exited the Sacramento Amtrak station when an elderly woman in a bright pink sweater just stopped in front of her. Wendy stopped too and a man bumped her from behind. "Don't stop in a
by Bryan Costales
(128 of 341) Julie Renetsil concealed a tiny digital recorder near the base of a thorny tree. She hid it as a class project but without permission from the Conservatory of Flowers. After editing out the awkward
by Bryan Costales
(129 of 341) Six Holes Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Brothers Sam and Larry Stackworthy stood next to each other at the long metal urinal and peed into it. "Odd window," Sam said. "Six holes like a pool
by Bryan Costales
(130 of 341) Diane Fressie shared a lunch with her good friend Wendy. The afternoon might have been too warm, but the patio behind the restaurant was shaded by mature trees. "I remember that last fun morning
by Bryan Costales
(131 of 341) Like A Bone Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales "Only in Berkeley," Duff spit as he said it. "Not a fan of Berkeley I take it?" Fred asked. Duff Cartel and Fred Regale were long time friends that
by Bryan Costales
(132 of 341) On her eleventh birthday, Delta Mellodi's father gave her a single sip of champagne. It tasted tart. Delta celebrated her twenty-first birthday on a Bay cruise with her friends and parents. She
Solace given (435 views)
by Bryan Costales
(133 of 341) Linda McDermott could comfort others. She had this ability for so long as she could remember. A Star Trek fan, she thought of herself as an empath. She could sense the suffering of others, and by
by Terry Costales
(134 of 341) On Water Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Hank and Steve were the brothers Timberlane from Seattle. This was their first nature cruise ever and they were already one sheet to the wind. Needless to
by Bryan Costales
(135 of 341) The old, abandoned hospital was full of operating equipment, chemicals, and powerful drugs. Knives, saws, and cutters of all sorts littered counters, tables and floors. The hospital was a
by Bryan Costales
(136 of 341) Today's episode continues yesterday's story Today, Creek Fire stood on another bridge in another alcove. He leaned over and watched a road underneath. Thousands of huge machines
by Bryan Costales
(137 of 341) His curse was to guard a single stairway. Of course that was over a thousand years ago, long before there even was a stairway. Originally he had been named Wandering Weed because of his height. But
by Bryan Costales
(138 of 341) Joes Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Joe Hamash drove a taxi. After the election he had a low opinion of plumbers named Joe and said so to his passengers. "You heard of Joe the Plumber?" he asked
by Bryan Costales
(139 of 341) Only a few knew the myth, and those few considered it a fact. One such believer was Henry Winkle, a book seller in Karlsruhe, Germany. The long awaited phone call came at three in the
by Bryan Costales
(140 of 341) Minny Regles roamed the Farmer's Market with her mother and oldest daughter. Her daughter, Chicago Dandor, still used Minny's first husband's last name. Her daughter was a thirty-something and still
by Bryan Costales
(141 of 341) The heat that day weighed heavily on old Ben Haad. The sun seemed a hot frying pan in the sky. Ben was bent from age, but felt bent further by the heat. Ben walked up Lytton Street toward the
by Bryan Costales
(142 of 341) Weather ClearEyes emerged from the dark woods into a clearing. Ahead he saw a small lake and, at the edge of the lake, a platform on which to sit and rest. He walked out onto the platform and
by Terry Costales
(143 of 341) Coattails Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales The last known photograph of Lewis Coattails showed him taking a picture of a spider. What was not known until years later was the power of that spider's
by Bryan Costales
(144 of 341) But Instead She Said Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Young Ann Miller liked jewelry. Her younger brother Sam, liked magic. Her mother liked puppets, and her dad liked baseball. Ann saw the puppet
Creepy Crawlies (519 views)
by Bryan Costales
(145 of 341) Dr. Dan Flemmer, or at least he recalled once being a doctor. Dr. Dan Flemmer awoke wrapped in cardboard on the sidewalk under a bright, too bright, mural. "Great God almighty," he said, as he set
by Bryan Costales
(146 of 341) "Yo, that's some green hair. Whatcha gonna do? Smoke it?" Danny Dixon was always such an ass. He stood almost seven feet tall when he didn't slouch. He played on the basketball team, and was
by Bryan Costales
(147 of 341) Ghost Light Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Wendy Linders reported for the Vodont internet channel. Her show was called, "Odds and Ends," and dealt with anything from a two-headed snake to a
by Bryan Costales
(148 of 341) Nancy Freundlich took her two Irish wolfhound puppies, Donner and Blitzen, to all the fairs and festivals. They were just too cute for words, and provided her the means to meet people. That's how
by Bryan Costales
(149 of 341) The Smell Of Coffee Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales The written directions were hen scratches again, almost impossible to read. "Damn Neanderthals and their seniority," the ghost of Jack Fenn
by Bryan Costales
(150 of 341) The Birds Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Wendy tried to forget her last name. She'd filed for divorce from that idiot and immediately set out on a leisurely drive down the coast. Along the way
by Bryan Costales
(151 of 341) First snow fell softly on the crazed group of starving people frantically pulling washed up logs away. Under the rotting branches they'd spotted a section of white wall and broken glass. "A grocery
by Bryan Costales
(152 of 341) Coffee Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Jeff Marcos and his school friend Tom Sibbanski were flying home from the Pan American Triathlon. They had both competed and both lost. A hurricane on the
by Bryan Costales
(153 of 341) Photos Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Sometimes on Sundays, young Jerome Wrinkson would pull open the bottom drawer of the china cabinet and look at old photos haphazardly arranged. He looked at
by Bryan Costales
(154 of 341) "Mommy. That monkey looks like grandpa." "It's not a monkey. It's a marmoset." "It still looks like grandpa. All hairy and small." "How many times have I told you not to talk badly about
by Bryan Costales
(155 of 341) Feeling Good Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales John Wensloda was happy that morning. "Why are you so happy?" his neighbor asked as John locked his front door. John looked across the railing at his
by Bryan Costales
(156 of 341) Frieda Alwerken rode her bike home after a terrible night out. She'd woken in a strange house, curled against the side of a cold fireplace, her blouse crusted with her own vomit. As she peddled she
by Denver Welte
(157 of 341) Let's Go Smoke Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Dean Planzo chewed tobacco but didn't like the way it made his teeth look. Then he tried a pipe, but that made him look like a professor and he hated
by Bryan Costales
(158 of 341) Fussy Bucket Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales His wife called him a, "Fussy Bucket." Dave Manx managed a restaurant and drove his employees crazy. If it wasn't dust found in the most obscure
by Bryan Costales
(159 of 341) Today's episode continues yesterday's story For the past four hundred years Creek had continued to name every child born. But as the humans increased in numbers and as they spread far and
by Bryan Costales
(160 of 341) Almost sunset, almost home. Jersey Framer hitched her collar higher against the fog's cold and watched San Francisco approach. Almost there. If it were not for the children, Jersey believed, the
by Bryan Costales
(161 of 341) Deja Vous Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales The grass was just too damn soft. Or he was just too damn tired from a late night. Rick Jameson couldn't decide. He laid on his back, his hands folded
by Bryan Costales
(162 of 341) Henry Wösig contemplated opening his umbrella in the light but cool rain. He hesitated, because he would just have to fold it again when the trolley arrived. Umbrellas were just a bother. From
by Bryan Costales
(163 of 341) Ellie and her dad liked to dress up resembling the French detective Clouseau. Her dad's mustache was real, albeit augmented upon occasion with black cotton. Ellie's was always fake. She, and a
by Bryan Costales
(164 of 341) Bertha Twingle twisted the key in the lock. With a hard clack, the door unlocked. She swung the door inward and said, "This is an art studio. It's occupied, of course, but I just wanted to give you
by Bryan Costales
(165 of 341) Pickle-terry-ann Copyright 2008 Bryan Costales Karl Gefeltsen liked to visit the art at the airport. He fancied himself a bit of a writer and believed the art inspired his stories. He gazed at a