The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Festival Suggestions

After finishing a project for her history class to modernize an ancient Greek festival honoring Dionysus, she jokingly makes a toast to him and the god appears. 


“Finished at last,” Shelby cheered to herself, alone in her studio apartment. 

Shelby stood up from her two-person dining table where her laptop lived. She stretched her body from the extensive writing session. As a final class project, her history professor assigned everyone to write a report about modernizing a forgotten tradition. She chose the Great Dionysia, which she learned about the ancient Greek festival honoring Dionysus from a video game.

To celebrate, she procured a clean wine class from her kitchen cabinet and poured herself a glass of her favorite boxed red wine. Jokingly, she raised her glass in the air.

“To you, Dionysus,” she toasted. “Hope you like my festival idea.”

She took a sip and then sat her glass down on the kitchen counter. The moment she looked up back at her table, she saw a tall, slender man in a gray suit. She shrieked. The man dramatically spun around like a dancer in an elaborate musical number reveal. His brown, curly hair with a pair of locks rested gracefully on his shoulders. In his hair wear a pair of grape leaves. 

“I love it!” the man praised.

Shelby grabbed the pepper spray attached to her car keys and sprayed the man in the eyes. The man did not flinch. He casually blinked when the spray stopped.

“Yeah, that doesn’t hurt us,” he politely explained.

“Who are you?” Shelby demand with a tremble.

The man’s face brunched up, offended she didn’t know. “You just wrote a report about me.”

Shelby’s jaw dropped. “Dionysus?”

“Ding!” he smiled.

Dionysus sat in the gray armchair Shelby had stationed next to the table. He waved his hand over the table, swirling to life in a blue-green mist, two bottles of wine in the air that gently landed on the table. He took one, drinking directly from the bottle. Dionysus nodded at Shelby and nudged the other bottle toward her in a peaceful gesture to join him.

“How did you do that?” Shelby asked in a hushed voice.

“You know what,” he started and then paused to think how. “I just kind of made them appear. God of wine, et cetera, et cetera. Would it help if I turned into a fox to prove who I am?”

Shelby nodded. Happy to put on a show, he snapped his fingers, and in a poof of purple smoke, he reappeared as a red fox with the same suit top.

“Ta-Da!” Dionysus announced in a charming tone.

Shelby fainted, falling on the floor. Dionysus sighed and snapped back into the human form.

“I was hoping to talk and make a few suggestions for your festival, so I’ll just edit your document while you take a nap.”


This week’s short story brought to you by wine and this writing prompt: “You’re sat alone, with a glass of wine in hand, and decide to jokingly toast the Greek God Dionysus. You did not expect him to appear before you in human form, create two bottles of wine, and take a seat next to you.”

The game mentioned in the story is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which has made me fantasize about putting on a modern version of the festival. Hope you enjoyed this fun little story. 

Story Artwork by Nona Calingasan at Design Pickle. Get a discount off your first month of Design Pickle via this affiliate link, which full disclosure, I earn a small commission as a discount for me as well.

Who Killed the Toymaker Aboard Starbringer II?

Detective Psychon isn’t a fan of working while on the way to a job, but when the ship’s captain threatens to toss him out of the airlock if he doesn’t help solve the murder, he figures he should help.


Detective Psychon wasn’t a fan of working while on the way to a job, but when the ship’s captain threatened to toss him out of the airlock if he didn’t help solve the murder, he figured he was at a good place to put down his book.

“I suppose I can consult on this matter,” Psychon calmly conceded as he sat his book on the table.

“Thank you,” sighed Captain Kára Róta. “My clients are starting to get on my last nerve over this whole situation, and we don’t need more dead bodies from me killing them.”

Psychon didn’t doubt the capability of her frustration. She was a six-foot-tall humanoid lizard with sapphire-red skin and the build of a sprinter. Her wardrobe of black jeans, a black t-shirt with a blue tree on it, and a black leather jacket with a neon blue backlight collar presented her as a rebellious leader. She had a subtle scar over her right eyebrow, which is possible to correct, but Psychon assumed it was some badge of honor from a fight or a tragic reminder or possibility for looks.

Kára led the detective through the hallway and around a corner. The hallway’s soft blue metal walls and strips of light exhibited a style of luxury. The ship was a Class 15, so he knew it wouldn’t be far whenever he was going.

“What do you know about this murder?” Psychon inquired.

“One: the murder weapon was a spoon,” Kára stated. “Two: the victim died of asphyxiation. Three: the cat is missing. Four: the victim’s last words were, ‘Seven is a crowd.’ Five: The Train was early.”

They turned a corner where standing guard in front of an open door was a seven-foot-tall minotaur with red bull fur and muscles that could stop any intruder. Numerous pockets adorned his outfit, from his brown camo cargo pants to his matching brown shirt. The minotaur’s firm posture relaxed at the sight of his boss.

“What do you mean the train was early?” Psychon asked, confused as they were flying in space.

“The Train is the name of the deceased’s business partner.”

“Ah.”

The minotaur stepped aside to let Kára and Psychon inside.

“Thank you, Sinas,” Kára greeted. “Did anything happen while I retrieved the detective?”

“Everyone stayed put in their rooms,” Sinas happily reported. 

“That’s a relief,” Kára chirped. “Anyway, Detective Psychon, meet the deceased and The Train.”

Psychon stepped inside. The room was exactly like his on the ship with deep purple padded walls with a trim of white lights along the ceiling border. Sitting perfectly still on the large purple bed was The Train, a small furry green cube-shaped species known as quadratums. The Train began to speak, but Psychon held up his finger for them to be silent as he continued to scan the room.

On the floor was the victim, another quadratum. The deceased had a large spoon sticking out in their mouth. While The Train wore a formal three-piece black suit, their client had on a paint-stained hooded robe. Surrounding the body were seven different stuffed animals of original creatures.

Psychon let his figure down and gave The Train a look of acquisition. “Tell me about this person and what you’re doing here.”

“His name is Lignite, and he’s a toy designer,” The Train blurted out as he fiddled with his fingers. “We have a meeting on Viophus to discuss a manufacturing deal. We booked separate rooms, but we planned to get together to review our presentation. I was early for our meeting, and when I approached the door, I heard Lignite shout, ‘Seven is a crowd,’ and then I heard a loud thump. I banged on the door, and then I pulled out the backup key Lignite gave me if he locked himself out, which he tends to do. I let myself in and found him dead. I promptly called the captain, and here we are.”

“Found the cat,” a male voice called out from the hallway.

Psychon turned to the young adult human holding a black cat in his arms.

“Need to add a number six, one of these may be a lie,” Psychon commented to Kára.

“Excellent work, Rafael,” Kára thanked, ignoring Psychon. “Hold onto the cat.”

“Actually,” Psychon interjected. “Would you sit the cat down in the room?”

Rafael looked at Kára for confirmation. Kára nodded, and Rafael gently placed the cat on the plush, black carpeted floor. The cat bolted out of the room and down the hallway. Rafael ran after it.

“There’s something in this room that’s bothering the cat,” Psychon pointed out. “Tell me, Kára, can you shut off the fire suppression in the room?”

“Yeah, but why?” she replied.

“Humor me.”

Kára held a finger on her black bracelet. “Yo, Norbit, turn off the fire suppression system in guest room three, please.”

A robotic series of beeps replied over the bracelet. 

“It’s done,” Kára said. “Thank you, Norbit.”

Psychon took off his pointy black hat decorated with an eclectic assortment of patches sew throughout. He blindly reached around inside until he pulled out a red stick with a trigger on it. He gently pulled on the trigger, igniting a small flame from the point. 

“We should honor Lignite’s last request,” the detective proclaimed. “Seven is a crowd, so let’s burn these toys to honor him.”

“No!” plead the stuffed toy that was a cross between a unicorn and a beaver as it sprung to life.

Everyone except Psychon jumped back, surprised.

“A fabrication,” The Train muttered. “I-I just assumed you were some new toy I hadn’t seen yet.”

“That was the point,” the fabrication confessed. “Lignite’s been ripping off my designs, and when I learned he had a big deal coming his way, I wanted to make I got my fair share. When he wouldn’t cut me in, I shoved that spoon down his throat.”

With a crack of a smile on his face, Psychon strolled out with his hands in his jacket pockets. “Mystery solved. I expect my next ride to be free.”


This week’s short story was inspired by these two writing prompts. The First, “Write a detective murder mystery that takes place on a space ship.” The second: “We need you to solve the crime, Detective. What we know about the case is this. One: the murder weapon was a spoon. Two: the victim died of asphyxiation. Three: the cat is missing. Four: the victim’s last words were “Seven is a crowd.” Five: the train was early. Six: one of these may be a lie.”

I got motivated to write another detective story and I wanted to loop in the characters from Starbringer II in this mystery. If you liked this story, be sure to read my other stories with these characters by clicking on the character tags below.

3×10 Relics of the 45th

Inspired by his fortune, Geoff invites Sam to visit with Michael Gonzales at the 45th Infantry Division Museum. The museum’s curator talks about his first encounter and the findings of paranormal investigators who have visited.

Subscribe to new episodes of Tales Unveiled via Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcher, or anywhere you enjoy podcasts. New episodes on Fridays!


Tales Unveiled is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is produced by me, Dennis Spielman. The voice of Sam Saxton is Dennis Spielman. The voice of Professor Geoff DeRoot is Jeff Provine.

We would love to thank Michael Gonzales for taking the time to share his stories with us about the museum. 

If you love what we’re doing, want us to keep being artist owned and patron supported, click here. In return, you can get bonus content, including early access to all my projects.

Behind the Scenes Commentary

Ghosts seem to love the theatre and I’m starting to believe any military related too. After having to reschedule due to the ice storm, we recorded this episode on Tuesday, I edited it yesterday, and finished it up today.

After the interview, we did get a brief tour of museum as in real life, Jeff did have to leave to teach a class. Seeing some of Hitler’s personal artifices was one of the creepiest things to see, especially his mirror. I kind of what to write a story about that mirror.

I recommend going to visit the museum for yourself as the have rather impressive collection. Jeff and I are planning to do one more episode, so we can end the season on Friday the 13th.

Sprinkled Bakery

For Uncovering Oklahoma, I visited the family-owned and operated dessert bakery, Sprinkled Bakery, up in Northwest Oklahoma City. In this interview, Soraya Shadwick and Steve Jatala spoke about how they use the finest quality ingredients they can get, baking in small batches, their best sellers as well as their personal favorites.

They feel that every day here at Sprinkled Bakery is a celebration. There are lots of fantastic treats for you to try, including gluten-free and sugar-free options as well. Sprinkled Bakery is located along Northwest Expressway, between Rockwell and Council. Find them online at https://www.sprinkledbakery.com or in-person at 7640 NW Expressway, Suite 111 at the Silver Springs Shopping Center in Oklahoma City.

Thank you to my supporters on Patreon for their continued support of making Uncovering Oklahoma possible! Supporters get awesome rewards, like early access to my episodes. Big thanks to my superstar supporters: Revolve Productions and the Keller-Kenton Family. Join today!

Profile: Lisa Mullen

Written by me for the Oklahoma Venture Forum.


As a smart truck and trailer movement leader, Drōv Technologies enables intelligent and safe technology in the transportation industry. They’re developing the AirBoxOne, which controls tire inflation and deflation on the trailer dynamically based on the vehicle’s load.

“As the trailer’s loaded, it calculates the optimal tire pressure and adjust accordingly,” explained Lisa Mullen, CEO of Drōv Technologies. “Then, in that same box, we have set an IoT gateway that will connect to sensor capabilities around the trailer. Everything from the door lock, GPS, accelerometer, refrigeration, temperature, wheel-end temperature, light out detection, camera, cargo sensing capabilities, just to name a few of the initial feature sets.”

The benefits of the system include safety and financial ROI. There are fuel efficiency savings that come with standard tire inflation and management. In terms of safety, having correctly inflated and managed tires will prevent critical issues such as blowouts or leaks that lead to that.

“Our system can detect not only typical leaks like when you roll over something, but we can get down to valve stem leaks,” Mullen said. “And diagnose situations that could ultimately, if left undiagnosed, become bigger problems for the fleet.”

In addition to leak issues, AirBoxOne can diagnose if bearings are heating up or if the temperature on wheel ends are getting to a critical level and prevent wheel end fires. The system can alert the driver and the fleet of those issues to avoid situations that might occur if it gets to a critical level.

Mullen’s involvement with Drōv Technologies started when a group of investors and business partners bought the company when it was just a mechanical tire inflation product. During evaluations, they made the bold decision to take all of the previous products off the market and re-engineer the wheel-end componentry.

“While we did that, we took a look at the market and said, ‘There’s all this money going into technology and the truck, and there’s no technology or very little going into the trailer,'” Mullen said. “In addition to that, we had the notion of inflating and deflating on load, but we had a prototype we hadn’t flushed that out. With what was not happening in the market for the trailer side but what was happening on the truck, we thought let’s make this more of a technology solution. We’ve spent the last few years building out a comprehensive technology solution that can lead the trailer industry from now into the future.”

Mullen is excited about Drōv’s position to continue developing the future of trailer technology.

“We’re being challenged and asked about technology that leans towards working with autonomous trucks or say advanced safety features that aren’t offered in the market and the way that we’ve built our platform, unlike anyone else in the industry, is really in an open and agnostic way that we can receive and we can work on those capabilities,” Mullen said. “The future for me is about development and really pushing the industry forward and maybe disrupting processes in the ways that people think about the trailer industry. And then there’ll be an integration into the truck side as well.”

Mullen credits the company’s success to her incredible team of engineers and product people, business people, and an office culture that’s inviting. Mullen wants an environment where people are excited to arrive at work each day.

“You want to work at a place that facilitates a culture that you know you’re doing something meaningful and interesting in your job, but you also really enjoy the people that you work with,” Mullen said. “I think that it’s important to show people that if you’re the CEO, you will go out still and sweep the floor if it needs to be swept or you’ll pack boxes or sort inventory that we’re all in it together. I think that conveying to people that, ‘A, what we’re doing is amazing and you should be proud of yourself, but we’re also proud of you in terms of the work you’re putting in.’ I think a lot of times, people in management positions assume that people know that they’re appreciated because they’re doing good work, but it’s important to remind people every day that what they’re doing is incredible and valued, and they are valued.” 

Lisa Mullen will be speaking at the Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Be sure to register for the online ZOOM event to learn more about DROV, ask your questions, and connect with other entrepreneurs in Oklahoma. 

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