S2: E5: Holiday Special


“Sir, this is Jack Frost, we have a situation. Carolers have taken over Plaza Pointe.”

“What are their demands?” the chief asked via the walkie-talkie.

“Figgy pudding, Sir, a lot of figgy pudding.”

We’ll return to Play Hard after these messages.


We now return you to Frosty, The Axe Man.

The kids were told not to play on the ancient burial ground, but they didn’t listen. They built a snowman and…

There must have been a curse upon that old hatchet they found.

For when they tied it to his branch, he begun to chase them down.

Oh! Frosty, the Axe Man, was a murderous soul they say.

With a bloody axe and gleeful grin, he’d cut you down to size.


“Where is OtherTime?” asked the girl.

Kevin Kronos pointed out the open window. “Fourth star on the left of Orion’s Belt and straight on till yesterday.”

“But how do we get there?”

“Faster than light travel, of course.”


“Just obsess over a regret.”

“Any regret?” said the girl’s brother. “Like losing the big game?”

“Or yelling at a friend?” said the girl.

“That,” said Kevin, “and some tachyon particles.”


Once again it is time for that timeless holiday classic How The Grump Stole Everything.

Everyone in The City loved the winter fest, but The Grump did not. After years of bullying, mind games, and not being invited to join in the festivities, The Grump decided to steal the festival.

Late at night, The Grump sneaked into everyone’s homes. He not only stole their decorations, food, and presents, he stole their TVs and money and computer tablets.

Once done with his dastardly trick, he took the stuff to the dump to incinerate it. As he reached the dump, dawn started to break. He paused to enjoy their woeful cries. Instead, he heard the sounds of joy and of cheer. It was then The Grump learned the true meaning of the winter festival.

He quickly returned to The City. He confessed to the crime and explained his reasoning. The Citizens thanked him then locked him away—he’d broken the law after all.

To this day as The Citizens sing and shop, you can hear The Grump weep and wail from his jail cell.

The end.


A Dalmatian barked and howled and pointed over the edge of the catwalk.

“What is it, Rexxie?” said the power plant worker. “Did Sammy fall down the reactor well again.”

The Dalmatian snorted out a nod.

The worker got on his walkie-talkie. “We gotta shut down the plant. Sammy fell into the reactor well again.”

A voice come over the radio. “At least, we can plug him in once we find him.”


Once upon a time at the North Pole, there lived a reindeer with a very red nose.

Rudolph was teased endlessly by the other reindeer for his shiny, red nose. However one day, the laughter stopped as they realized his red nose was a symptom of a new strain of reindeer flu. Soon the disease spread across the North Pole, and by Christmas everyone had stuffy red noses.

Thanks to Rudolph, Santa was unable to make his rounds. He had to order and ship everything through a little known online shop. Thousands of packages were delivered by drone to all the children of the world. When everyone saw how much more efficient drones were, everyone started shopping at MasterMart. Rudolph’s red nose kept the business in the black that year. In fact, the company was able to grow and expand.

Rudolph saved Christmas and the global economy. He paved the way for a much more commercial and material Christmas. You really will go down in history, Rudolph.

This has been Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Plague Carrier, a MasterMart production.


I turned off the holo-screen. I sighed. “Why is there never anything good on during Christmas time?”

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Doctors of Devious Schemes

Today, Dr. Daphne Spelling, a veterinarian witch, and I came across the DDS. Daphne, through some clerical error, was invited to Doc Con. It was not a con as in convention; instead, it was a con as in confidence scheme. The convention center was filled with the DDS, or Doctors of Devious Schemes. These doctors got together to discuss—

“Ahem,” said one of the doctors. “Technically, I’m a DMD, Doctor of Malicious Deeds.”


These doctors were sharing tales of all their dirty deeds. However once Daphne and I entered, the party ended. Daphne arrived in her superhero uniform, as did I.

“I told you we shouldn’t have come in costume,” Daphne said through the side of her mouth.

“The invitation said ‘super attire,’” I whispered back.

“Kill them,” said the host.

The host of diabolical doctors came at us with acid mouthwash spray, cavity drills, and laughing gas. Fortunately, we had magic and super-psychic powers on our side.

Once the fight was over and the police were cleaning up, the host turned to his assistant, “I told you to send the invite to Deadlock Sister. You are so fired.”

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Broken by Dawn

During a recent visit with my grandparents in Florida at the Hope Springs Retirement Community, I learned two things. The first was that long ago some non-transbeings grew jealous (some were scared) of transbeings; they attempted to make up for their “powerless” nature by augmenting themselves with ancient cybernetics and some magic. Eventually, a battle between transbeings and these augmented people started. The transbeings won (for the most part) and the augmented people were defeated…mostly killed. Second, I learned that the retirement community is built upon one of the burial grounds for the augmented people…and also the fountain of youth.

“That explains why everyone here is…lively,” I said.

It also explained why every couple years the augmented people semi-return from the grave. They attack the retirement community so they can use the fountain to fully restore themselves.

“They’re zom-bots?” said Sally.

“Or the unrusted,” I said smiling. Everyone glared at me. “Get it? Rust? Cyborgs?” I sighed. “Fine, we’ll go with zom-bots. So, how do we fight them?”

“The same way we do every time,” said Grandpa, “hold them off until they run out of fountain fluids and return to the grave.”

And that’s what we did. I used my gifts and gadgets while The Pack used their gadgets. As for the rest of the retirement community, they used everything from rolling pins to golf carts to the kitchen sink to battle the zom-bots.

Grandpa smacked one off me that was either trying to eat my brains or just claw my face.

“And you guys wonder why family doesn’t visit often,” I said before bashing a group with a nearby trash dumpster.

Grandma hit one with a baseball bat. “They certainly neglected to mention the recurring invading horde of ancient undead warriors in the brochure.”

Finally, the zom-bots time was up. They either fell where they stood (later cleaned up by the gardeners) or shambled back to wherever they rested until their next attempt.

“OK!” said the activities director. “Now that the survival part of this evening’s activities is complete, let’s all head into the main hall for cake and ice cream.”

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

School Rats

A rash of thefts at the high school caused it to be closed…that is when The Pack and I sprang into action. We surveilled the school and spotted the rats responsible, and I do means rats.

Hundreds of rats filled the halls squeaking and chewing. They worked together to move equipment and disable security systems. As we followed the rats, we soon learned the mastermind behind the raid was the Pied Piper, or someone pretending to be said piper. They used a flute to control the rats; the Piper was here to get his back pay. The school promised him the open music teacher position then went back on it.

“They never learn do they?” I said shaking my head. “At least he’s only stealing equipment and not drowning students,” I said.

The piper who wore a more…brightly colored outfit than Danny claimed he was a descendent of the legendary Pied Piper. He said the flute was passed down through his family. Either way, I ended his musical villain career by breaking his flute. The rats scurried away but the Piper did not.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning falls under public domain.

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Whatever Happened to the Monkey

My friends and I were tasked with retrieving the Monkey’s Paw—the same one that grants wishes but at a high cost. My cousin told us my family had it, saying that my family came from treasure protectors—at least one side of my family. We checked in the crawl space under the stairs and soon found ourselves in a cave. Once we emerged from the cave, we were in a city that looked Middle Eastern. Soon we ran into a young Chinese male, who was a modern-ish version of Aladdin. Apparently, we were related. “Only family members could access the cave vault,” he said.

We soon learned that the Monkey’s Paw, which was kept in the palace vault, was the severed hand of Sun Tukong, a sibling to the Monkey King. Sun Tukong was so evil, they cut off his hand, thus removing his powers, and placed the paw in a jade box then buried the box.

Aladdin and his genie informed us that we would have to the steal the paw from the vault. “Only the cave vault can keep it safe,” he said.

The Pack and I succeeded in stealing the paw only to learn that Aladdin and the genie were really Sun Tukong and Wishmaker in disguise. Sun Tukong found Wishmaker’s lamp and “forced” him to help—it didn’t take much convincing.

Fortunately, the real Aladdin and genie arrived to help us. Sun Tukong was captured. Wishmaker was forced back into his lamp. The paw was added to the collection of dangerous relics within the cave.

Aladdin and similar characters fall within public domain.

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The DMV vs Loki

The man wearing the high-end, designer-made causal clothes entered Hunter’s office at Crookman, Chaser, and Faust with the flair that screamed VIP.

Hunter choked on his drink. “Loki?!”

The reincarnation of the Norse god of mischief gave the corner office, including the view that looked over the city like some god with a yet-to-be-decided attitude, a once-over. “I see you’ve done well for yourself.”

“What do you want?” my brother said with the bitterness gained from knowing a troublemaker friend.

“I happen to be in need of a lawyer.”

“When are you not?”

Loki “ignored” his comment with a small noise. “I am being sued by the DMV, the Department of Meme Violations.”

Hunter cocked an eyebrow. “Meme violations? What’d you do? Make too many Marcus Easter jokes?”

Loki sighed with a mischievous grin. “If only it were that simple. I need you and your marvelous silver-tongue. You remember all the fun we used to get into.”

Hunter turned his head to his paperwork. “I don’t do that anymore.”

It was Loki’s turn to cock an eyebrow. “Oh really? And I suppose getting the number of that hot little number at the coffee shop was all because of your ‘smooth moves.’”

Loki put his hands on the desk and leaned forward. Hunter continued to keep his eyes glued to his desk. “Admit it. You miss the thrill of talking people into doing what you want.”

“I don’t.”

Loki sighed as he leaned back into a straight posture. “We were gods once. Giants among men. Now we’re business owners and social media influencers. Thor ruled the lightning and thunder; now, he owns a power company. And I was master of mischievous pranks; now, I create memes. These mortals control us, and we let them.”

“It’s veiled threats like that that make me less interested in helping you.”

“Do it for me.”

“Hard pass.”

“Come on.”


“For old times’ sake.”

“Not a chance.”

Loki’s voice took on a deeper and booming tone. “How about I unleash a plague of frogs upon this firm?”

Hunter finally looked up from his paperwork. “That’s a bit more convincing.”

Copyright Joe Rover. 2022. All rights reserved.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

The Moon vs. The Aliens

My friends from the moon, Number One and Number Two, contacted me. Aliens invaded the moon claiming it as their own. Their plan for the moon: turn it into a giant factory that makes different kinds of cheeses. The aliens planned to sell the cheeses on Galaxy Buy (or gBuy). 

“You don’t need a superhero,” I said. “You need a lawyer.”

Fortunately, my brother, Hunter, is a lawyer. He agreed to represent the two. Thankfully, the aliens decided to settle instead of going through a costly court battle. Earth, Number One, and Number Two retained “ownership” of the moon.

One of the aliens sighed. “I guess we’ll have to go back to harvesting humans for money.”

“Say wha?” I said.

“Humans are a delicacy, much like caviar,” said the second alien. “Humans and cheese. Everyone loves them. If we can’t sell cheese, we’ll have to sell humans.”

“Hmm,” said Hunter. “I think I have a plan that might satisfy everyone.”

The plan was to start up a small factory on the moon. The moon colonists would help run the factory for a share of the profits. In exchange, no human harvesting.

One of the aliens sighed heavily. “But that’ll cut into our profits! A smaller factory means less production.” I bared my canine teeth and growled at him. He swallowed. “Then again, we can work it out.”

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

Making that Climb

“Hey, folks, and welcome back to The Overlord Show!” said the host. He pointed to a digital counter above the stage. “We’re making that slow climb to 6.6k subscribers. Once we reach that goal, the world gets a big surprise! One that’ll change the world. But now, we have a brand-new act brought to you by our most recent addition to the mindless slave, I mean, player theater. All the way from Boise, whether they want to be here or not, is the Glayd Brothers.” The host clapped as he walked off stage.

Two young men dressed in overalls that didn’t look like they fit stepped on the stage. The way the brothers, who did not look similar in any way, moved suggested that they’d never worn the overalls. They started to bounce in time to some music.

“Hey, Jeb,” said one.

“Yeah, Sam,” said the other awkwardly turning his head towards his brother.

“Do you know why Farmer Brown was banned from the Farmer’s Market?”

Jeb turned his head towards the audience/camera. It was a jerky movement. “No, I do not know. Why was he?”

“Because his jokes were too corny.”

A comical rift played while the two danced in slow movements. They looked like animated characters that had their pages flipped slowly.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

Knockout at the Playground Blacktop

The lunch bell rang signaling high noon, but no one was heading to the cafeteria this day. Everyone brought a shack lunch so they were sure to watch the duel between Jeffery “Sheriff” Bunsen and the fastest towel at West Bayville Elementary School, Jimmy Kidd.

A few of the early arrivals got seats on the swings or the slides, some managed spots on the jungle gym or monkey bars; but for most, it was standing room only. The two took positions opposite of each other as a basketball rolled by.

Jimmy spat his gum into a tissue. “I’ve come a long way for this battle, Sheriff—Miss Lilly’s third grade classroom.”

“Anytime you’re ready,” said Jeffery.

The audience wasn’t too sure who to root for as their eyes darted back and forth. The two slingers twirled their weapons of choice. Jeffery went with the ‘93 beach towel while Jimmy preferred the Smith and McGuire dish towel—he claimed it created a louder snap. Once the towels were ready, the two stared each other down. The crowd went silent. The two duelers twitched waiting for the first to show signs of attack.


The crowd gasped. Who’d won?

The two slingers narrowed their eyes. Finally, Jimmy slowly raised his hand and touched the spot on his chest where Jeffery’s towel made contact. Jimmy gave Jeffery a respectful nod before saying, “Nice shot. Best two out of three?”

Jeffery twirled his towel. “You’re on.”

The crowd let out a cheer.

The D-Team

George always suspected that the other shoemakers didn’t like him; that’s why he was surprised when they hired shoemaking elves to help him in the upcoming contest. However, after seeing the D-List elves they paid for—they didn’t know the difference between a sole and a tongue—George was sure the others didn’t like him.