Julius sighed with satisfaction as he listened to the playback of his latest work. Well, he thought, more like our work. Even now he found it surreal to be part of a “we”. For years he’d spun around the circuit in his 1974 Peugeot. The car was a classic before his music. Oh the bars he’d played just to collect enough money to keep it running from stop to stop.
How could he have ever imagined what he enjoyed now, a bus capable of hauling the sixteen members of his entourage, including the band, back-up singers and crew?
“Hey Julius, how come you never opine about the good ol’ days?” his young drummer shouted over his own rhythmic rattling on a window.
Julius thought for a few moments, drawing a repeat query from the young man who stopped his noise-making, thinking his leader couldn’t hear.
“There was a moment or two,” Julius said with a small smile. “But I like now so much better.”
James knew this would be the kind of romantic gesture Ann would treasure in her heart forever. No amount of begging and pleading, threatening or scheming was enough to convince her mother she should stay in Ireland to be his bride. Her tears had shattered his heart and stoked his resolve.
Scaling the ship in the dark had been a treacherous adventure, especially with the choppy sea around the dock. But now he was safely hidden in the lifeboat, where he hoped he could remain hidden until the ship was too far to turn back for the home port.
Ann finished her impassioned plea with the words ever parents knows, but fears they will hear: “I am old enough to make my own mistakes, if that is what this really is!” With that she gripped the handles on her bags and pushed her way past the last few passengers waiting to board the ship.
As she walked down the gangway to exit the ship she wondered where she should go first to find James.
It took too many years for Wilson to get over the tumultuous result of his last attempt to create the ultimate blockbuster. What he imagined as the film that would be forever loved and remembered instead was the biggest stain on his otherwise remarkable cinematic legacy.
A new young studio head wanted to be famous, so he was willing to role the dice with Wilson. An Egyptian mummy flick seemed the right vehicle.
“This has to be right!” Wilson declared as he set up the penultimate scene, where his hero smashes the Egyptian relic and frees his damsel that was trapped within. “We only have one of these and it would take too long to get another.
“Uh, sir?” Dobson interrupted for the eightieth time today.
“Not now Dobson, let’s do this!”
“But sir!” Dobson persisted.
“I said not now! And . . .ACTION!”
The scene progressed just the way Wilson had it in his mind, complete with a dramatic destruction of the Egyptian artifact. Wilson imagined the feeling of mounting the stage for his first directing Oscar.
“SIR!” Dobson shouted.
“Yes, Dobson, what is it?”
Dobson pointed at the invoice that came with the Egyptian piece. Instead of saying Hollywood Movie Props, Inc it said Egyptian Museum of Antiquity.
“Ladies and gentlemen thanks for joining me for this momentous chance for one of the most misunderstood creatures in nature to speak her mind,” Willard Willis began.
“Just stop right there,” Foxy said. “I didn’t agree to this so you could spout off for fifteen minutes about how you have done this or who you have interviewed. If they are tuned in they know all that. I want to speak dammit!”
“Of course,” Willard nodded.
“What Does the Fox Say? Really? We are one of the most majestic creatures roaming your forest taking care of our God given role and all you can manage is that stupid song? You mouth breathers are supposed to be in charge!
I don’t hear some stupid diddy about the grizzlies or the eagles. They even let a little gecko push insurance. What does the fox get? A stupid song, that’s what!”
“But what about the Car Fax guy?”
It’s a costume, worn by some left over Star Wars Ewok guy! I read for the role, but they said I didn’t “sound” like a fox. Trust me I have been sounding like a fox for a while now.”
“I sense a lot of anger!” Willard said. “Plus we are out of time!
Anna had a complex, but beautiful mind. Unlike the true life story of the fellow with a beautiful mind she was a fully functioning member of society. Her exceptional gift was the ability to solve puzzles, any puzzles. Before she was five she was knocking out the local newspaper’s crossword. The editor of the Beacon Herald scoffed at the idea a kindergartner could solve his puzzles, but when he watched her live a special bond was forged.
After that he found more and more complex puzzles for Anna, but each time her mind adapted swiftly and overcame the challenge in short order. Then the editor heard about something that was an old practice in New England where the turning of leaves is such a celebrated event. His new challenge to Anna sent a surge of excitement through her somewhat bored noodle.
The new challenge was to take a collection of leaves and without laying them on top of each other to blot out as much of the neon red background as possible. Anna’s interest was finally piqued again!
Simon scrambled onto the bridge, searching frantically for her face. He knew she would wait, she had to. But there was no sign of her, only strangers milling around. He couldn’t accept the possibility she would not be here. He felt a surge of optimism when he saw her friend Cassie.
“Where’s Julie?” he asked.
“Yes, Simon,” Julie nodded without emotion. “She gave you much more time than I would have, but eventually everyone loses hope.”
“But I had to get this,”Simon said fumbling in his pockets. Cassie watched as he struggled, but finally managed to fish a small jewelry box from his pocket.
“You want to propose?” Cassie said with excitement rich in her voice.
“Of course! I would be crazy not to,” Simon answered.
“She went to the ferry! You’ll have to be the Flash to make it,” Cassie warned.
“Then the Flash it is!” Simon said before dashing toward the dock.
Baskins found himself in a perpetual conflict. On the one hand he knew the reality, but in his heart he hoped for mercy. Living in Florida provided him with great weather almost the entire year. Sun, fun and easy living were the main draws when he pinpointed the Sunshine State as his home.
But with any good there is just a large a potential for bad. A Category 4 hurricane was beyond bad, it was catastrophic. Especially when the room you rented with all your earthly possessions was barely four feet above the flood plain. More than once heavy rainstorms triggered his concern, but so far none had been a serious threat.
This time the threat was a solid promise. With the addition of the high tide the surge would be 6-9 feet, easily consuming his Fortress of Solitude. If her were Superman he could have executed some kind of dazzling deflection of the storm, but he was a humble janitor and all he could do was wait patiently to put his skills to work cleaning up the aftermath.
There was a lot of money on the race. The guys at O’Peele’s Bar would bet on anything, like the days until it would rain, when the gas price would change, either up or down or when the numbskulls o the drinking club had their annual race through town with whatever moving vehicle they could successfully drive.
There was a new sheriff in town, but even he could not stop this madness once it had begun. His half-dozen cruiser were no match for the surplus tank old man Harper bought to celebrate his glory days. The usual headliner of the Fourth of July parade was every bit as destructive without a working turret, especially when Billy Joe Jones had the steering mechanism.
Billy Joe had no clue how close he was to their agreed upon finish line when he crossed over the high bridge on the west side highway. All he knew was that his bottle was empty and he wanted more.
It was an exact reproduction of her dream, which was impressive . . . and scary. You see she had not shared her dream with anyone for fear of what would follow. It was her mother that was the one with the horrible mental disease, but before anyone saw it Chrissie had endured untold horrors as her mother convinced everyone she had the problem.
More than four years after her mother’s last breath and she was seeing the real representation of the dream where her mother reappeared. Before her were those dastardly tea cups, the one her mother treasured above all. One for Papa, one for Mother and one for Chrissie. Her mother was determined to hold on to that part of her life across the pond she gave up for her love.
Chrissie drew a hard breath as she slowly approached the cups. In her dream there was items from her past hidden in each cup. If that was the case she wasn’t sure what she would do.