A day shy of a week ago Robotech Master was out on his e-bike when an SUV struck him and drove off. According to the most recent news available, he passed away from his injuries at around 2:00 this morning. I have kept some news up on his user page and, at this point, ask that anyone wishing to leave messages or tributes do so on either his talk page or another page that can be used for such things. His account here and all of the stories he has gifted the Shifti community with will be preserved in memoriam, as we also did for Morgan.

User:Michael Bard/Mowing the Lawn

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Mowing the Lawn

Author: Michael Bard

Saturdays. I always dreaded Saturdays. Well, in the summer anyway. In the winter we could have snowball fights, or build forts, or make angels or angry Snowmen of Evil. But in winter there was only one thing. A thing that had to be done.

My parents made me Mow The Lawn.

Oh, I'd tried various ways to get out of it. Sickness, engagements with friends, homework, school assignments... None of it worked. My parents ALWAYS saw through it. I was getting desperate. I needed a way out!

That was when I saw the add in StormThunderHammerGod #186.

"Do you hate mowing the lawn? Are your parents always on you? Does nothing fool them! Well then, try our patented, guaranteed Get Out of Mowing the Lawn Free tablet. Now only 99 cents!"

So I sent away for it and waited for it to come. And mowed lawns. And waited. And mowed. And waited. And... and then it came!

It was a small unassuming thing. Just a tiny white tablet in a cheap plastic wrapper in a cheap plastic container in an unassuming brown envelope. I read the instructions: "Take with one glass of water the night before. Must be taken on an empty stomach. Side affects may occur."

That night, it coincidently being a Friday and all, I got a glass of water and, at midnight (having skipped supper because I wasn't feeling well') I put the tablet in my mouth.

It was hard, and tasted bitter and cold.

I swallowed water and rolled it around on my tongue and then forced it down my throat. It left bitterness behind.

Then I crawled under my covers and went to sleep. Or tried to. I was too nervous and charged up. I tried counting sheep, I tried counting Sheep. I tried inflating Sheep and tossing him back and forth over the fence. Nothing worked. I tossed and turned for hours, but, I guess, I did nod off finally, buried in a tangled mess of covers and sheets and with the soft cool wind from the window tickling over me.

My dreams that night were strange. I dreamed of my body changing, bending, folding, getting smaller. My arms lengthened, my fingers fell off. I tossed and turned as my bones creaked and shrunk or stretched or vanished all together. My stomach gurgled as my chest rumbled and the things inside moved around and around. Something tickled my skin, and then itched, itched like fire. And I couldn't scratch it. I tried to but my limbs wouldn't move right. I rolled around, trying to scratch the itch. The ground was cold, damp with dew, and the itch covered my body with fire.

I woke up, my eyes blinking, panting from the dream. I was hot, dry, thirsty. I was standing on my hands and legs and my entire body felt odd. I looked down and saw, not hands, but legs, dark legs covered in thin curly wool and ending in dainty little hooves. I screamed, but instead of my normal voice, I baaaed.

Turning to run, I got all tangled up and stumbled and fell and rolled, stopping only when the lesh attached to the coller around my neck tightened and yanked me short.

I'd have baaed again, but then an aroma wafted into my nostrils. An aroma of green wonderfulness. A promise of happiness and plentitude and great and wonderful taste. Against my will my head, I saw that I had more of a muzzle now, stretched out and I clamped my teeth around some of the succulent juiciness and yanked a big clump away with my mouth.

It was good. It was so very very good! I chewed it, letting its flavourful juices tickle my tongue and slide down my throat. I swallowed, and then grabbed more and more! I was in heaven!

"You know Juliet, that was the best $5 we ever spent," said the man on the porch as he looked out over his lawn and the sheep eating at the grass. "We lose our son's whining all summer and in exchange we have a nice cropped lawn and free fertilizer, and a big sheep full of wool to sell!"