Welcome to our little town, with its own pet crematorium
Welcome to the town of Cinco Bayou, a pleasant enclave amid a sea of tackiness, its tree-lined streets providing access to quaint shops and beautiful homes … and now, in an exciting new development, a pet crematorium.
Cinco Bayou is a destination worthy of local residents and tourists alike. The town probably has more parks per capita than any municipality on the Emerald Coast. Along the shores of Cinco Bayou like Frances and Laguna parks, their pavilions and picnic tables protected by towering pines. Glenwood Park allows visitors to explore a vast wetlands area by way of a sturdy boardwalk. Or, for an afternoon of superheated good times, visitors can bundle up Rover’s rigor-mortic remains and hold a boxer bake at the town’s new pet crematorium!
And fun-seeking visitors have another recreation option. Instead of loitering at Cinco Bridge come sundown to catch a glimpse of the bats pouring out of the bat houses beneath the structure, adventure-seekers can gather on Hughes Street for the 5 p.m. roastatorium! It’s not the Mirage’s volcano in Vegas, but the price is reasonable. Free!
Cinco Bayou aspires to be a beautiful community. For example, the town plans to someday install underground utilities. This will hide those ugly power lines, providing an unimpeded view of the smokestack rising majestically above the exciting new pet crematorium.
Cinco Bayou is also a safe community. A person can walk the streets without fear of being assaulted. And now, off-the-leash dogs can be dealt with swiftly and decisively – violators will be barbecued. Just a pet crematorium humorous aside!
Step anywhere outdoors in Cinco Bayou and you smell the delicious creations of the many restaurants in or near the town. Maybe that mouthwatering aroma is a thick-crust pizza cooking up at Bellissimo. Or a juicy serving of chicken strips at Buffalo’s Wild Wings. A basket of steaming hot wings at Buffalo’s Reef? Or maybe it’s just Muffin going up in flames at the pet crematorium! Mmmm, mmmm! That smells tasty!
Boaters flock to Cinco Bayou to use its generous launch ramp facility. In fact, so many boaters have been using the ramp, the town recently instituted a set of user fees. $100 per year, $5 per launch, or one dead cat. Just throw it in the box!
The addition of a pet crematorium will be a good thing, not only for the town of Cinco Bayou but for pet owners throughout Okaloosa County. For years, PAWS has held a monopoly on pet crematoriums. Now, competition will bring a crispy critter price war!
Perhaps a horror author, maybe even Stephen King himself, will become inspired to write a terrifying novel about singed doggy zombies preying on the luckless inhabitants of the mystical town of Cinco Bayou.
So feel free to drop by Cinco Bayou. A pet crematorium smack in the middle of town is a great idea.
You’ll love the smell of fricasseed chickadee in the morning.
This column was originally published in the May 17, 2003 edition of the Northwest Florida Daily News and is used with permission.
About the author:
Del Stone Jr. is a professional fiction writer. He is known primarily for his work in the contemporary dark fiction field, but has also published science fiction and contemporary fantasy. Stone’s stories, poetry and scripts have appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Eldritch Tales, and Bantam-Spectra’s Full Spectrum. His short fiction has been published in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII; Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine; the Pocket Books anthology More Phobias; the Barnes & Noble anthologies 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, and 100 Astounding Little Alien Stories; the HWA anthology Psychos; and other short fiction venues, like Blood Muse, Live Without a Net, Zombiesque and Sex Macabre. Stone’s comic book debut was in the Clive Barker series of books, Hellraiser, published by Marvel/Epic and reprinted in The Best of Hellraiser anthology. He has also published stories in Penthouse Comix, and worked with artist Dave Dorman on many projects, including the illustrated novella “Roadkill,” a short story for the Andrew Vachss anthology Underground from Dark Horse, an ashcan titled “December” for Hero Illustrated, and several of Dorman’s Wasted Lands novellas and comics, such as Rail from Image and “The Uninvited.” Stone’s novel, Dead Heat, won the 1996 International Horror Guild’s award for best first novel and was a runner-up for the Bram Stoker Award. Stone has also been a finalist for the IHG award for short fiction, the British Fantasy Award for best novella, and a semifinalist for the Nebula and Writers of the Future awards. His stories have appeared in anthologies that have won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. Two of his works were optioned for film, the novella “Black Tide” and short story “Crisis Line.”
Stone recently retired after a 41-year career in journalism. He won numerous awards for his work, and in 1986 was named Florida’s best columnist in his circulation division by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. In 2001 he received an honorable mention from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his essay “When Freedom of Speech Ends” and in 2003 he was voted Best of the Best in the category of columnists by Emerald Coast Magazine. He participated in book signings and awareness campaigns, and was a guest on local television and radio programs.
As an addendum, Stone is single, kills tomatoes and morning glories with ruthless efficiency, once tied the stem of a cocktail cherry in a knot with his tongue, and carries a permanent scar on his chest after having been shot with a paintball gun. He’s in his 60s as of this writing but doesn’t look a day over 94.
Contact Del at [email protected]. He is also on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, TikTok, Ello and Instagram. Visit his website at delstonejr.com .