Laz was 51 years old, stood exactly 5 feet tall, and always used his indoor voice.

Today, as usual, he naturally awoke several minutes before his alarm sounded.

With a deep breath, “Oh Boy, Mmkay…”, he tossed off the heavy comforter, and peeled his back away from the sweat-dampened bedsheets.

“Umph.” Laz turned to kiss his sleeping wife, Carmen.

Her head was buried under a pillow. He hugged the blanket surrounding her, and smiled, stepping out of bed.

“Well, that’s okay… Whatcha say, Kelsie, should we give her a pass, today?”

The rust-colored mini poodle hopped up to take advantage of the newly vacant warm spot on the bed.

Laz was rushing to gather his clothes and take a quick shower. While searching for his prescription bath slippers, he noticed a struggling roach stuck headfirst under the aluminum threshold of the bathroom door.

Its legs were thrashing wildly, but it couldnt escape. He watched this with curiosity for a few seconds, then kneeled down, to pull it free.

The bug’s brittle body snapped off from its head, at the delicate pinch of its leg.

The man stood back up, his eyes met the wall, and he thought quietly, for a moment.

Laz looked back over to the window

On the far wall.

The Sun was shining brilliantly

Over Carmen’s lumpy blanket mound.

Laz thought to himself,

“How is she not burning up under there?, Geez, Louise. Gotta get this A/C fixed.”

Lazarus Morgan was a nerd. More specifically, he was a biology teacher.

Laz loved children, almost as much as he loved animals.

In the shower, he was meditating on his favorite flightless bird,

The cassowary.

He reviewed the coming day’s lesson plan

In his head.

“The noble, powerful cassowary…

Indigenous to northeastern Australia and New Guinea…

3rd largest bird on Earth. Certainly the most formidable in a fight!”

Laz chuckled to himself in stifled excitement.

“Imagine the sound of its call… the unfathomable speed as it traverses miles, on those massive claws…”

His heart would swell at the thought

Of the strange, almost mystical creature,

Picking rotting fruit from the forest floor.

“To think, there are  cassowaries, rheas, emus, out there, just roaming the wild! Oh, so fantastic… Oh, the kids are going to really go crazy for this one. They have to know all about it…

Laz brushed what little white hair was left on his head, and grabbed his purple lunchbag from the kitchen counter.

Slapping his grey fedora into place, he tilted his head back, calling out to Kelsie, “Off and away, for another swell day, I’m Lazarus Morgan, man about town!”

Yeah, Laz was a nerd. A strange bird.

He couldn’t wait for class to begin.


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