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500 X 38 -Rail

 
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:39 am    Post subject: 500 X 38 -Rail Reply with quote



Here you go, everyone. I hope you enjoy this and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

shadowlight



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Harry
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

H.M.S. Buoyant

Harry Buschman


There it was! The keel rail! Just as it was that fateful August day in 1876!

It was on a Friday. I remember it well. The King, (George of course) the Queen, The Prime Minister, Lord of the Exchequer, the Mayors of London and Plymouth ... and I could go on and on. But in short everybody who was anybody in the Kingdom stood in the Royal box. A gay canopy made of British maritime ensigns hung above it to protect the Queen’s delicate complexion from the blazing sun. Red, whte and blue bunting, flags and regimental insignia were draped about the sides.

The occasion was the launching of the new Royal yacht, The “H.M.S. Buoyant.” Sir Malcolm MacDonald and the London Philharmonic had just struck up God Save The King and Lady Fitzhugh Glasjaw, (standing in for the Queen) had broken a bottle of Pim’s vintage 1874 across her bow. The last chocks were knocked out from under her keel and the magnificent yacht slowly, and majestically glided down the ways. Everyone shouted “Here Here,” and the “Buoyant’s” stern slipped into the waters of Plymouth Harbor. Yes, the very same harbor that Sir Francis sailed upon to meet the dreaded Spanish in 1666 ... or was it 1066? I can never remember.

Be that as it may, the result was one we of the Commonwealth shall not soon forget. The “Buoyant,” for a moment at least, bobbed in the water to the sound of polite applause – then took a definite list to starboard. Then the stern appeared to lower itself into the water. Some concern was evidenced by the dignitaries in the Royal Box.

“I say!”

“Rather!”

“What?”

“Marone!” This from an oboist in the London Philharmonic.

Without further ado the stern slipped under the water and the bow tilted precariously upwards. As consternation gripped the King and Queen, the Prime Minister removed his monocle. The vessel sank to the bottom of the harbor. Only a few bubbles rose to the surface to mark its passing.

It was indeed a memorable day. Other days of a more historic intensity have come and gone, but this one to me will linger longest in my memory. It is interesting to note that the single rail in the old slipway can still be seen. The brake mechanism, which held the ship in place and should have been removed when the chocks were removed can still be seen.

The “Buoyant” was the last ship built here in Brady’s Shipyard. Brady, an Irishman, was never fond of the King – or British royalty in general ... and it has often crossed my mind ...
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Linda
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry wrote:
H.M.S. Buoyant
... Brady, an Irishman, was never fond of the King – or British royalty in general ... and it has often crossed my mind ...


Hmmm....does make you wonder, don't it? Smile Harry, does H.M.S. stand for anything particular?
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Harry
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>does H.M.S. stand for anything particular?<<

His, (or her) Majesty's Ship.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile


Thanks, Harry, I needed that laugh!
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: The Monorail (WC 500) Reply with quote

The Monorail
© Marlicia Fernandez 10-17-06 (WC 500)

The rail, like an accusatory finger, points across the river at the city, or what’s left of the city. Funny how it still looks the same, even all this time; except there’s no cloud cover, no smog, no honking of horns carrying across the water, or planes in the vast blue sky. It looks like a sleeping giant , but even the smallest child knows differently. It isn’t sleeping. It’s awake and watching.

Watching us.

Too dangerous to be allowed to live among normal folk and too valuable to exterminate, they’ve been exiled. Besides, martyrs always make a cause more attractive. We were told it was the only thing to do. Put them all in one place where we could keep an eye on them. Where their ideas couldn’t affect anyone else.

But is it really the wisest choice?

Many have their doubts.

At one time monorails like this one connected us. They brought numerous ‘guests’ to the city for rehabilitation. Those who responded were returned to the mainland. It all seemed to be working until the unthinkable happened.

They infiltrated.

No one knows how. Maybe it started with the monorail drivers, or the guards, or both. Maybe with the doctors and psychiatrists. It had to be some sort of brainwashing of those in positions of power because more and more of the rehabilitated, turned out to be nothing of the kind. By the time we’d realized we’d been duped it was too late. Although almost all last group was captured; they refused to tell us how many others succeeded, or how long the infiltration had been going on.

They were returned to the island and locked away in isolated cells far from anyone else and the monorails, like this one, were destroyed so none could escape. But it looks like too little too late. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. Cracks in our society are already apparent; pockets of individuals, even whole towns, showing alarming tendencies toward selflessness and kindness; tolerance and lawfulness are sprouting up everywhere, faster than the outbreaks can be eradicated. If they aren’t stopped, society as we know it will be forever changed, thrown back to the dark ages when laws restricted our actions, our thoughts and our desires and genuine altruism and good-will guided impulses and behavior. We will no longer be free.

Behind me the crash of another window breaking cuts through a scream followed by gunshots. The money I’ve stolen weighs heavy in the bag I carry, but not as heavy as the fear that is my constant companion. I’m not old enough to remember what law is like. But maybe there’s still time to learn. There has to be more to life than what I’m living. There has to be more than violent chaos. I’ve heard snatches of whispered conversations in the shadowed places of something called peace. What I’ve heard intrigues me, but where to find it.

The broken monorail points like a guiding finger to the city.

[end]

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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry,

I love this. The humor is subtle but it made me smile none the less. An Irish ship builder to the king and queen, who didn't much care for the royals as a rule. LOL I can understand why the narrator wonders. I wonder myself.

Well done sir. Thanks for the smile. Very Happy

marlicia

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Last edited by shadowlight on Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Harry
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true – we can only exist as a society if there is good and bad. A steady diet of either one is unbalancing; that's why a little bit of bad is good for us. I'll bet things are pretty bad back in that city of yours too. Nice dose of philosophy, Marlicia.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One Track Mind

“OK, listen up,” Colleen said into the microphone, “Fifteen clues in fifteen minutes. You can team up or go it alone, but everyone returns in fifteen minutes.”

As Lin watched Colleen at the microphone, she noticed the man standing on the steps behind the platform. He was tall and thin, with streaks of grey in greasy black hair. She tried to remember his name, but the effort seemed worthless. It had been a long year. Her son had left for college, she gained twenty pounds, and now the class reunion. She didn’t want to come, but her husband insisted. Now, they would have to visit after the reunion. She was tired and more than a little depressed.

Lin sat on one of the benches. When Colleen stepped down from the platform, she spoke briefly to the man, then walked to the food tables. Lin watched the boat on the far side of the lake. She was surprised when the man sat beside her.

“Peaceful, ain’t it?” he asked.

“Yes, it is,” she replied.

“I used to hang out here Fridays. After the football game.”

Lin started to ask his name, but he continued.

“I had more money than sense back then. My old man bought me this red mustang. The chicks dug it.”

Lin glanced at him quickly, then turned away.

“But there was this one chick...”

Lin looked at him again. He was watching the boat.

“Her name was Vickie,” he said, “You might remember her. Vickie Richard. She married some lawyer, and moved to New York. ‘Lived happily ever after,’ her sister just told me. Said she ain’t never come to these things.”

They watched the boat a few minutes, then he continued, “I dropped out my senior year—joined a rock group. The group bellied up in the 80’s, my ole lady got fat, and my old man croaked. This is my first trip back.”

Lin could hear the others behind them. The hunt was over.

“Yep, Vickie was a babe,” he continued, “not that I got much ‘gainst the big girls," he looked at Lin and smiled condescendingly, "but she was one fine chick. Long blond hair, baby blue eyes, and one heck of a rear end.” He stopped talking and twisted his face into a regretful frown. “Guess that’s the breaks, huh, kiddo? Well, I gotta split. Maybe I’ll see ya next year.”

Lin heard his footsteps on the gravel behind her, and smiled. She knew his name now and remembered the nights she dreamed of being one of those “chicks” in his backseat. She watched her husband pulled the boat up to the landing.

“Hi sweetie,” he said, “Get enough rest? Ready to go?”

Lin took his hand, and stepped into the boat. They were pulling away from the landing when she noticed her sister waving at them. “Ya’ll coming over tonight?” Colleen shouted over the boat’s motor.

“You bet,” Vickie Lin answered as the boat pulled away. Then she smiled. Life was beautiful.
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry,

Thanks for taking a look at my story and for your kind words. I'm not sure I believe even a little bad is good for us, but I do believe it is an inevitable part of our lives, as long as we're privileged to be alive. Part of our fallen nature and all that. I believe the good will win out in the end...just not completely until that end. Wink I am glad you enjoyed this.

Linda,

I really loved this take on the prompt. I sort of felt the end coming, but I wasn't certain...that's a high compliment, believe me. Wink I think I like this Vickie Lin. It seems like she was lucky in more ways than one. Mr. Red Mustang doesn't seem to be much more mature than he might have been during their school years. Nice description of the curious twists of fate or perhaps the guiding hand of an angel.

Well done,
marlicia

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Harry
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dry-docks are a hell of a place for a class reunion! But who cares – it brought these two together for a moment ot two. She got the best of it if you ask me – she's gotten herself married and fat but she had her fling with the tall dark stranger. Love the happy ending, Linda.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: The Monorail (WC 500) Reply with quote

Thanks Marci, your compliment is deeply appreciated. I also see most endings coming, and it’s always exciting when I’m not sure…I remember studying somewhere that there are only nine (give or take one or two) basic life stories…it’s hard to write something new with that in mind. I apologize for not responding to your story before posting. I thought I had…This is a beautiful story. I loved the young boy (or girl’s) thought process…trained to be bad, but ever conscious of

shadowlight wrote:
...The broken monorail [that] points like a guiding finger to the city.


Harry,

Thanks for reading, and I think you're right, Vickie Lin got the best of the deal.
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DaveR
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda, you painted a nice picture of that guy. He wasn't much of a person in high school, and he became even worse afterward. Vickie grew. Some people never grow.
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