Archive for January, 2013

#VisDare 5 – Obscure

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 30, 2013 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://anonymouslegacy.blogspot.com/2013/01/visdare-5-obscure.html?m=1

Simon was getting frustrated. He’d spent just enough time in 2008 to have gained an appreciation for the amount of information people had at their fingertips, but in 1951, there was no such luxury. He’d spent most every afternoon for the last month at the library, poring over phone books from all the cities he could get his hands on, and reading the limited selection of newspapers the library had, hoping against hope to find some indication of where Emily was. He didn’t see much of Marcus these days, which was probably for the best. After some initial resistance, Marcus had really taken to this time period. He didn’t talk about what he was doing, but it obviously involved making money, as one day soon after they’d arrived, he announced that he’d be paying for their expenses, and soon, five and ten dollar bills had started appearing on Simon’s dresser. Whatever he was doing also involved a gun, a fact he’d been awfully proud about, telling Simon all about his new toy one night at the corner restaurant. Simon knew the gun and the money were all about Marcus reasserting some sense of power in their relationship after what had happened with the umbrella, but there really wasn’t anything to be done about it.

Besides, it freed him up to waste his time trying to find Emily.

They’d been here long enough that the leaves had turned, and his walks to and from the library had gotten not just depressing, but downright uncomfortable. More and more, he’d been using the umbrella for its more prosaic purpose, and he really was starting to dread spending the winter here.

On a particularly unpleasant Saturday evening, he found himself walking through a spitting rain to meet Marcus for dinner in Little Italy. Simon didn’t particularly enjoy these meals, but it kept Marcus civil and it gave him a chance to explore some of the city. He passed the Hull House and some of the homes for single women that had sprung up around it, and once again thought about knocking on their doors to see if anyone had heard of Emily. He shook his head and laughed – he could just imagine how well that would be received – a strange man inquiring about a woman on her own, especially given that many of them women were probably on the run from someone.

The restaurant was warm, and the food smelled wonderful. Marcus might be overbearing and obnoxious, but he knew his food, and Chicago had more than its share of good places to eat. A half-empty bottle of wine sat on the table in front of him, and Simon could tell that Marcus was in a particularly ebullient mood. He sat down, ignoring the stares that they still got – a black man and a white man eating together attracted more attention in this era than it probably would have back in his time.

“Simon. Glad you could make it.” Marcus’ speech was slightly slurred, and Simon steeled himself for a possible confrontation. It had been so long since that last night in Japan that it almost seemed like another life, but the tension came back more quickly than he would have expected. But there was no explosion – just more smiles.

“Marcus, what is it? I’ve never seen you like this!”

“I know. It’s wonderful. Goddamn wonderful. Simon – I’m in love.” Hearing Marcus’ excitement about a woman brought back his sadness at his inability to find Emily, and he had to fight to keep a neutral look on his face.

“Well, that’s wonderful, Marcus. Who’s the lucky girl? Tell me about her.”

“She’s beautiful, Simon. Fuckin smart. She works in a bank just down the street from here, too.”

“How wonderful for you. Is…is she coming here tonight?”

“Yes. Or at least I hope so.” Marcus paused. “To tell you the truth, I haven’t actually met her. She doesn’t look like the kind of girl I could just put my Marcus moves on, Y’know? I mean, well, she’s a white chick. And I don’t want some cracker shooting me for talking to her. But she eats here every Saturday night, and tonight’s her lucky night. You’ll help me, won’t you?”

Marcus looked plaintive, an emotion Simon had never expected to see on his usually belligerent face, and his heart softened a bit at the sight of this big man, brought down by a woman he was afraid to talk to.

“Of course, Marcus. If I can help, I will.”

“That’s great. That’s great, Simon. I know we had some rough moments there, back in the past, but it’s better now, don’t you think – oh, there she is!”

Simon turned to face the door, but all he could see was a rustling behind the curtain that separated the coat room from the main restaurant. He didn’t want to stare, but he just had to see this woman that had gotten so far under Marcus’ skin. A slim arm pushed the curtain aside, and she stepped out.

Simon recognized her instantly.

Come read more about Emily, Simon, and the Time Travelling Umbrella here: https://projectgemini12.wordpress.com/tag/time-travelling-umbrella/.

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A longer version of Monday Mixer, week 9

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 28, 2013 by drmagoo

Emily slipped the lanyard over her neck and sighed, feeling the weight of the keys on her chest. She’d been a vice president of a very large company before she’d Flickered, and now the best she could do was working as a part-time bank teller. Walking up the tree-lined street, past the room she rented at Mrs. Blasingame’s Boarding House for Wayward Women, she thought again of how, in their own way, the people she saw every day would be doing the reverse of what she had done, albeit more slowly. She wondered how someone coming of age in 1951 really felt when they saw a 24 year old woman handing them a resume with the phrase “salary expectations commensurate with experience,” meaning “pay me six figures or I walk.”

Simon probably would love it here, she thought as she turned south on Halsted. She was sure she’d see him again, although it had been four years, and the memories weren’t as sharp as they once had been. Still, she was determined to have as many stories to tell him as she could. Tonight, it was a concert at the Chicago Amphitheater.

Come read more about Emily, Simon, and the Time Travelling Umbrella here: https://projectgemini12.wordpress.com/tag/time-travelling-umbrella/.

Monday Mixer, week 9

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 28, 2013 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://www.jeffreyhollar.com/p/monday-mixer.html

Emily slipped the lanyard over her neck and sighed. A vice president before she’d Flickered, and now the best she could do was a bank teller. She thought again of how the people she saw every day would, in their own ways, do the reverse of what she had done, albeit more slowly. She wondered how someone coming of age in 1951 really felt when they saw a 24 year old woman handing them a resume with the phrase “salary expectations commensurate with experience,” meaning “pay me six figures or I walk.”

Simon probably would love it here, she thought, turning south on Halsted. She was sure she’d see him again, although it had been four years, and the memories weren’t as sharp as they’d been. Still, she was determined to have as many stories to tell him as she could. Tonight, it was a concert at the Chicago Amphitheater.

For more on Simon, Emily, and their travels, come read about the Time Travelling Umbrella here.

#ThursThreads – week 55

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 24, 2013 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com/2013/01/thursthreads-challenge-that-ties-tales_24.html

The walkway opened into a largish room, lit by electric lights of a sort neither Simon nor Emily had seen in all of their travels. Walter was in the back of the room, adjusting the controls on a generator. The center of the room was dominated by a large table covered in books and papers, stacked in very neat piles. Walter didn’t turn around, but his voice sounded stronger than it had back in the cabin.

“I haven’t been down here in a long time. There’s not much point, really, not anymore. When I first came here, I believed that I’d find something – a cure, a solution – something, and then go back. But it wasn’t that simple. I hadn’t done it by myself, and I didn’t know enough to reverse it.” He walked over to the table and picked up a book, idly flipping through the pages, pausing here and there to read something, and then flipping some more. “So I let the umbrella go, and set about the task of being the last man on Earth.

“But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. Not now, now that it’s back and you’re here.” Walter looked up, a gentle smile on his face. “Simon, do you ever feel like the umbrella knows what it’s doing? I think it does. I think that’s why you’re here, both of you, and I think it’s time to do what it wants me to do.”

#VisDare 4 – Steps

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 24, 2013 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://anonymouslegacy.blogspot.com/2013/01/visdare-4-steps.html

Simon talked late into the evening, telling what he could remember about his adventures with the umbrella. There seemed to be no end to Walter’s questions – he seemed to want to know everything, especially about what he and Emily and Marcus had been doing just at the moment of each Flicker. When they got to the story of Marcus’ murder, Walter’s face fell, and he sat back in his chair, staring silently at his drink. The pause grew, until finally Walter spoke in a flat, emotionless voice. “I think you should come with me. I have something you need to see.”

He led them out of the cabin and around to the back. The cold night air was bracing after sitting near a warm fire for so long, and Simon’s heart began to race. He suddenly couldn’t shake the idea that the umbrella had brought them here for a reason, and that reason was something awful. Behind the cabin was a small hill, a heavy wooden door set into the side facing the cabin, surrounded by an archway made of rough stone blocks. Walter opened the door, grunting with the effort, and stepped inside. He disappeared into blackness, and Simon hesitated, unsure of whether he wanted to follow. There was a rumbling noise, and then a faint glow began coming from within the darkness, gradually becoming bright enough to guide their way. Walter had disappeared down a set of hand-chiseled granite steps, leading to a dirt walkway. Simon turned to Emily, his concern clearly expressed on his face. She was calm in a way he didn’t quite understand, and took his hand, gently leading him through the arch and down the stairs.

Five Sentence Fiction – Ringing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 24, 2013 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://lilliemcferrin.com/five-sentence-fiction-ringing/

The crowd flowed down the street towards the temple, the din of cheering and laughter layering over the backbeat of the ringing of the ceremonial bells to envelop Simon in a cocoon of vibrations which drowned out all other sensation. He was way too drunk, out of his time, out of his place, surrounded by strangers speaking a language he didn’t understand, and accompanied not by the woman he had fallen hard for, but by a vulgar and angry man who wanted to take from him his talisman, his reason for being here. Someone bumped into him, and Simon stumbled, unable to catch his balance. The only thing that kept him from falling to the ground and getting trampled was Marcus, who saw his opportunity at last, catching Simon with one arm and grabbing the umbrella with the other. Marcus grinned and tried to move backwards, anger twisting his grin into something horrible as he raised the umbrella to strike Simon.

Monday Mixer, week 8

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://www.jeffreyhollar.com/p/monday-mixer.html?m=1

“Under your cloche, you’ll find today’s theme ingredient species…” It was a rerun, so I turned off the 5D viewer and returned to my fretting. I’d arranged for her to moor at the Chairman’s Dock, even though it had cost quite a bit more than I should have spent. This visit just had to go well, or it would probably be her last. I hoped she’d understand the meaning of the gesture, and wouldn’t let her outdated egalitarian tendencies get in the way of enjoying everything the station had to offer to those with the resources to spend. Of course, when it came right down to it, I didn’t have the resources. I’d had to be at my loquacious best just to get the loan, and if I didn’t repay it – fast, I’d be ending her visit in the mortuary.

Well, they had to get the theme ingredient species somewhere.

Overachiever status!