Friday Fictioneers – Angel In Disguise

(Author’s note: None. It’s Wednesday. Enjoy!)

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© Roger Bultot

Angel In Disguise

by Miles H. Rost

Tom looked over the large lawn on the British estate that he stayed at. He was about to turn around when he felt soft, silky hands wrap around his shoulders.

“Tomas, come back to me.”
“But I’m right here.”
“For good.”
“I want to, but…”
“But what?”

She spun him around and pressed herself upon him.

“I need to decide, Sandra. Nashville or you.”
“Why not both? You work for my dad’s business, then work with Nashville remote?”

She made sense. Her Spanish accent added another level to that sense.

“You’re an angel, Sandra.”
“In disguise, non?”

He enveloped her.

RIP Earl Thomas Conley (1941-2019)

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Friday Fictioneers – Hot Rod Hearts

(Author’s note: So, to honor the purchase of my first new vehicle (as in less than 5 years old), I am celebrating while writing something related to transportation. Here we go, enjoy today’s fictioneers…involving someone famous!)

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© C.E.Ayr

Hot Rod Hearts

by Miles H. Rost

“Holy…Jan, is that you?!”

His voice rang across the Hollywood lot, as Jan turned around.

“Robbie?”

“I didn’t know you were here!”

Jan gave him that mischevious smile she always gave.

“Yeah, you did. You see me every Monday at 8.”

“Still…I figured I wouldn’t actually run into you at all.”

She stood tall and confident, the same rebellious spirit Robbie saw in her years ago.

“You know, I still have the motorcycle.”

“That old thing? Still runs?”

“Nah. Lots of memories with it. The shot that launched your career. Remember?”

“Yeah,” she sighed, “It got me to WKRP.”

 jan2bsmithers2bcolor2b1966-1

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Friday Fictioneers – It’s Good To Be King

(Author’s note: I have to apologize to all my readers and others who I should be reading. The last couple weeks dealing with the run-up to winter camp left me with little energy to respond, and that’s all on me. I will be doing better, now that camp has started and I have an idea of what’s going on, to actually visit and remark on other people’s stories.

In the meantime, here’s my fictioneers story, and it’s a bit of a historical thing…)

derelict-building-sandra-crook

© Sandra Crook

It’s Good To Be King

by Miles H. Rost

Steve disliked working at the school. It was not something he wanted to do.

He was waiting for news that seemed to never come. Meanwhile, he had to teach these hormonal girls how to write. It was a Sisyphean task.

When he was called to the office, he thought he was in trouble.

“It’s your wife,” the receptionist said, handing him the phone.

“Tabs, what’s going on?”

“Steve, I just got a telegram.”

“Yeah?”

“They’re going to print. They are asking if $4200 is enough.”

Steve smiled. His work about the kids he taught would be published.

Carrie would be unleashed.

(courtesy of Wikimedia)

(Courtesy of the Boston Globe)

Friday Fictioneers – Puttin’ On The Ritz

(Author’s Note: Well, things are about to get busy with me regarding my eventual move back to the United States. Currently whittling down the cities that I may move to, and hoping that I’ll be able to find something upon my return. Otherwise, here’s today’s fictioneers…with a little extra spice.)

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© Marie Gail Stratford

Puttin’ On The Ritz

by Miles H. Rost

“Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to the Ritz?”

“Down two blocks, left one block, on your left.”

The brown-skinned man in the top hat gave him a bow and smiled in thanks.

“Say…haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”

He smiled at the question, thinking.

“Oh, maybe.”

“What’s your name?”

“I am Taco,” he replied, a slight bit of Dutch coming out of his throat.

“I asked your name, not what you ate.”

He laughed, and gave him a salute.

“Look on MTV tonight. You’ll see.”

He turned, smiled, and whistled an Irving Berlin tune.

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Friday Fictioneers – Children

(Author’s Note: None. Just enjoy today’s fictioneers! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms.)

 

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© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Children

by Miles H. Rost

The park was full of them. Each and every one of them a precious life.

It was always this way after the first warm-up of the season. Kids in their sweatshirts and jeans were playing. It was great for us adults to see.

I just turned onto 45th when the sun blazed between the two large buildings ahead. I squinted and got my visor down as quickly as possible.

That’s when I heard the thump.

Then the screams.

I stopped my car immediately, got out, and looked behind me.

She wore orange that day. I didn’t see her.

She was 12.

R.I.P. Roberto Concina (aka Robert Miles)

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Reflections (aka How I Survived…)

Reflections
(How I Survived…)
by Miles H. Rost

(Author’s note: This is a fictional account based on stories relayed to the author by a third party.)

PFC Rocky Andersen was not a happy camper.

He was laying on the ground, grumbling in pain as he waited for help to arrive. The stocky marine had problems with his legs in recent days, and having to climb telephone poles at his base was not a good thing for him to do. Camp Pendleton was the Marines’ West Coast base, and it was also known for being remote in some parts. This meant that help may not arrive for a half an hour or so.

At the medical truck approached his position, his gunny, Gunnery Sergeant Charles “Brick” Brigman, leaped out.

“Andersen! What in the blue hell happened to you?”

“I was climbing the telephone poles, Gunny Brick, and I got blindsided by a bird,” he said, crisp yet with a strip of pain.

“Well, what are you laying there for?! Get up and walk!”

“Gunny, I can’t move.”

Hospital Corpsman Roger Baltrick had run over from the main truck and took a look at the PFC’s splayed legs. After a cursory exam, he looked up at Gunny Brick

“I can tell already that his right leg is broken in two places. We’ll have to look at his left leg back at the infirmary, but I have a feeling we may have a double break.”

Gunny Brick furrowed his brow.

“Well, this is just fan-freaking-tastic, isn’t it?! Andersen, you may have just lucked out. Your platoon is being called to Vietnam! They’re outta here in 2 weeks, and I hope to see you on that flight out.”

Rocky just grimaced, as the threat from the imposing Gunny reverberated through his head.

Two weeks after he arrived back at the base hospital, Rocky looked out the window of the room, his leg still elevated and bound in casts and slings. He looked down at the field, where he saw his fellow platoon mates lining up to head to the airfield at El Toro to fly out.

Over the previous two weeks, various platoon mates with the nicknames of “Grunt”, “Pickle”, “Big Zeb”, and “Sticky” all came by to say their goodbyes and swap stories of what’s been going on. Even on that last day, Gunny Brick even came in to say goodbye, though no one would call it a “goodbye”, formally.

“Andersen! You better get out of those casts and get on the next flight once you do!” he said, looking down with a slight smile on his face.

“Gunny, where are you guys heading for?”

“Our next orders are apparently going to be Khe Sanh. Seems like more of our boys are there right now.”

“Thank you, sir. Drop me a postcard once you arrive.”

Gunny Brick smiled at Andersen, shaking his head as he left.

“Don’t get thrown in the brig while I’m gone, Donut. I don’t want to have to come back to bail you out again.”

Andersen laughed, being reminded of the many times he was thrown in the brig for being UA or being stuck on “weird duty” at Treasure Island.

—-

The middle of February was unusually cool for California. It wasn’t normal for the temperatures to be any lower than the 60s, but it got into the high 40s at night during this period.

Rocky was finally out of his casts, but he was on restricted duty until his legs healed permanently. That means five more weeks of therapy and processing papers, along with such fun jobs as helping in the mess tent or assisting in other tasks. His gunny sergeant for this end, GySgt. Mike Layton, was less abrasive but more of a rules-man. He appreciated Rocky’s work, though wouldn’t always say so.

Rocky was finishing the stamping of important base requisition forms, when Gunny Layton walked in. Rocky saluted.

“Andersen, as you were.”

‘Yes, Gunny.”

“Andersen, I received some news this morning from Cam Ranh. It’s about your platoon.”

“Gunny, sir?”

“Your platoon landed at Khe Sahn. As they were deplaning, they were hit by mortar fire and  snipers. Gunny Brick and about half of your platoon didn’t make it to the terminal.”

Andersen’s blood ran cold.

“What’s left of your platoon is being merged with another in Khe Sanh. You and 5 others who are still here will be assigned to a new platoon.”

“I…understand, sir.”

“Andersen, you can be real with this. You don’t have to hold it in. Ya lost some of your friends, and so have I.”

Andersen used his crutches to move himself a few feet back to his desk, and sighed.

“I was supposed to go, Gunny.”

“Yeah, I know. But, Andersen, you have to realize that things happen for a reason. Gunnery Sergeant Brigman and the others had to go over there. Apparently, someone else had plans for you.”

Rocky blinked, as he sat looking straight at his superior.

“When are they arriving?”

“Within a couple weeks. They will be brought to Oakland from Da Nang, then either families will pick them up there, or we’ll bring them back here for the families to identify and receive. I would like you, if you can, to accompany the ones who will be brought back to Pendleton.”

Rocky sat for just a moment before giving a salute and a “yes, sir.”

“You’re relieved of duty for today. Head on back to the barracks, and you can do what you usually do. Consider this time to grieve.  Be back at this post tomorrow at 0800.”

After a salute, Gunny Layton turned his heels and departed.

Rocky lifted himself on his crutches, and hobbled out the door. The 15 minutes it took him to cover the length from the main base office to his barracks, he though about all of his buddies who were over there…and those who were gone.

He barely made it back to the barracks. Seeing no one around, he collapsed on his bunk. His tears, for part of that evening, were his only companions. And while he felt like he should have gone over with his boys, he yet realized that for him, he was given a gift that many in his platoon did not receive: The gift of being able to live to an older age.

This gift would be borne out in 3 children, who he was able to see grow up and become their own people. He would never forget the contributions of his platoon, as it was his children who were the result of that sacrifice.

(This is your birthday gift, Dad. Semper Fi, and I love you.)

 

 

 

Kyrie (Eleison)

Kyrie Eleison
by Miles H. Rost

A few weeks before it happened, I packed up my belongings. I was to leave my wife, my family, and everyone. The journey from the desert to the sea, to travel to the west, was beginning. It was a 2 week walk and ride to Tyre, where I would pick up a ship that would take me as far as I could go. Thus was the life of a traveling educator.

Educated by the best, a head of a prosperous temple at the time, I felt I was being moved to leave and do more with what I had learned. It wasn’t necessarily because I wanted to leave, but it was because there was nothing left for me to do there. It was going to be very hard to leave behind my wife and my children, but I made sure that my brother, Elam, took care of her in my absence. Elam’s a good man, older than me but still devoted to family.

I was making my way towards Damascus, when I met up with a block in the road. There were men who had said that the way to Damascus was blocked for travelers, and that I needed to go around the city. The caravan I joined up with were reluctant to do so, but after making an inquiry, we realized that there were big things afoot. And, so, we headed south and west. We passed from the lands of Assyria and ended up in deep Roman lands. While I had no quarrel with the Romans themselves, I heard about some of the different things that had happened in the interim.

I heard about this Jewish man, this Jesus whose name as a teacher had even spread to my community. I didn’t pay him much mind, though. The ravings of a lunatic, I once said to my temple brethren. They all laughed with me about it.

We were nearing the end of two weeks, and we stopped short of Tyre. We ended up in a small village about a day’s journey from Tyre. We were close. I had decided, for some reason, to walk outside after dinner in order to clear my head and prepare myself for the next day. The sun was low in the sky, but it had not set when I encountered this man. He was a very powerful person, someone who did command authority. Rugged and everything. He was standing next to the well, looking like he was taking a rest.

“Good eve, sir. Is this well being used?” I asked him.

“I’m just taking a rest right now. You should be able to use it,” he said, with a smile.

While I worked to operate the well, the man continued to look at me. I was starting to get unnerved when he finally spoke.

“Tell me. What have you heard about this Jesus fellow?”

I looked over at him. I didn’t pay him much mind with his scraggly beard which appeared to be unkempt in the darkening light of the evening.

“Jesus? Are you talking about that Jewish guy? The things he’s saying seem to make me think he’s a bit out of his mind.”

I saw a little glint in his eyes, and that is when I knew that I was in deep trouble. He started into a debate with me about this Jesus, whom he called “The Christ”. About how he died so that others may live, and how we were to live by faith and not by sight. I just sighed, because I felt like I was being sold a pitch.

That’s when he threw the curve ball at me.

“He’s still alive. His body was dead. I saw it die. But He’s alive! I saw that, too! By the Sea of Galilee we saw him, and many upon many saw him, too.”

I responded to him that it could not have happened, but in my educated head, I felt like the logic that was in there was failing. I couldn’t explain why, but the idea of bodily resurrection actually seemed to make sense in the way this man was speaking.

“But let me ask you this, my good man. Why would such a man decide to do this for someone like me? Why would he knowingly give up his own life, to save a person like me who doesn’t even believe in his words?” I asked the man.

“Because it’s simple: If he sacrificed himself for all, that means we’re all on His level. We’re all equal.”

I sat for a little bit, to chew on this. One thing went through my mind: “The lunatic isn’t a lunatic at all. He’s the Lord. It makes sense.”

That night, my entire life was changed. I acknowledged all of it, and with the help of the scraggly-bearded man, I later went out to other lands to tell people, to share the Gospel, and to show people how Christ died for them. The scraggly bearded man, the one who called himself Petros, was a good friend to me during that time.

As I gave him a hug before boarding the boat, I looked at the boat and him, and said something I never would have thought of saying in my time back in the small educated area from which I came.

“Kyrie Eleison down this road that I must travel.”

Petros gave me the blessing, and I went on my way. Christ’s death gave me life, and it was certain, I would share it with whoever I met on my new life to a new land.

(A joyous Easter Sunday, and Resurrection weekend to all who read. – M.)