Friday Fictioneers – Paradise

In Korea, today is known as Buddha’s Birthday. While I am not a follower of Buddha, I am thankful that the Koreans gives a national holiday off. Now if only they could give tomorrow off…but that’s asking too much. Here’s today’s fictioneers.

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© Sandra Crook

Paradise

by Miles H. Rost

Brock ran into the portico, looking around quickly.

The vacation was supposed to be a dream. Perth, Australia was to be a dream for Brock Adamson. A dual citizen of France and Canada, he was easily waved into the country on his tourist visa.

And after only a couple days, on the run due to his past. A past that had two men following him and nearly taking off one of his legs.

He ran inside the building, and looked at the receptionist.

“Oui?”

“Mademoiselle, I need safety. I’m being chased.”

“We know. We’ve been waiting.”

*click*

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Friday Fictioneers – Taking This Town (Again?!)

(Author’s note: Hidiho, neighbors! Currently training my replacement in anticipation of a new position coming up. In the meantime, doing my duty with putting a Fictioneers up. This one reuses music that I’ve used before, but I think it’s appropriate. Enjoy!)

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© C.E. Ayr

Taking This Town (Again?!?!)

by Miles H. Rost

 Melbourne.

City of culture, finance, and interest.

The 20 students snuck in overnight, flying into Tullamarine Airport, looking like smiling tourists. They walked past immigration, past the taxis, onto the nearest train platform. They smiled as they got on, and in unison, looked out the window.

As the trains eventually pulled into the Southern Cross Yards, each of the students looked towards a blonde haired girl with Chinese features.

“We have been selected for a great future. We are the future of Australia’s education.”

The train slowed to a stop.

“Time to take this town, girls!”

They rushed out the doors, onto unsuspecting businessmen and college registrars.

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Friday Fictioneers – Walls

(Author’s note: Things have been quite busy this week. Bad experiences abounded, but good things are to come. Week 6 of uni has almost come to a close, and there’s another 7-8 weeks left to go. But, some big stories will be done soon, as I will need time to just sit and write and detox from writing essays. You all may be recipients of the work. Anyhow, here’s today’s Friday Fictioneers, with a bit of Australian flair involved.)

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Walls

by Miles H. Rost

“What’s the number on this one?” Senior Constable Alistair MacKaye asked.
“Looks like this is the fifth one,” his partner, Constable Jacklyn Brandt replied.
“And I’ve been called out here six times in the past month.”
“I don’t understand, is there something about this place?”

Alistair just gazed at his young charge.

“Jackie, do you know anything about icehouses?”
“Nah. Never heard of them back in the bush.”
“It’s a nuthouse. They like the walls. Sometimes they climb them.”
“And then?”
“Some of them fall off.”
“Isn’t that a travesty?”
“Eh, I don’t mind the walls. They keep us safe.”

I Don’t Believe Anymore

(aka Sherry’s First)

by Miles Rost

(Author’s note: Start the music before reading)

The town was stunned.

Parents, teachers, administrators, and students were mystified.

The newspapers didn’t know what to say, at first.

Many of the witnesses could not believe what they saw.

For those who witnessed Charlene Herrera keel over in 6th period Chemistry class, they were in a daze. Some even trying to block out the memory of what seemed to happen.

Sherry Makinami was a witness to what happened. What people didn’t know, and what she was unsure of, was that she may have been the one who caused it.

She read the headline in the morning paperSTROKE TAKES LIFE OF LAKE GROVE SCHOOLGIRL

She remembered everything, and what was happening that day.

A junior at Lake Grove High School, Sherry was not exactly the pick of the litter. She was mostly average. Average height, average weight, and didn’t really stand out. She did her work at school, socialized a little bit, but didn’t stand out in anything. She was not the type of person to be outspoken, as she rarely raised her hand in class. She kept to herself many times.

This made her a bit of a target for some in her grade, including Charlene. 6th period chemistry class, the last class of the day, was always the worst for Sherry. No matter where she sat, there was some form of adversity. She had to adapt to survive, but chemistry was an unadaptable situation.

For most of the day, she was being harassed by Charlene and her entourage. The real events, where it all came to a head, started with a missed question, and an experiment.

The chemistry teacher, Mr. Palachuk, was finishing his lesson before they were to do their lab work.

“Alright, class. As a quick review, who can tell me why the alkali metals are reactive as they continue down the chart?”

Sherry was about to raise her hand, when she felt a solid piece of something hit the back of her head and proceed to plop to the ground. She felt behind her head, and looked at it. She saw what was a remnant of a spitball that was in her hair. Sherry turned around, sighed, and looked back at the teacher.

Someone gave the answer to the question, and he let everyone move to their workstations. The directions were clear, to experiment with alkali earth metals and see what happened.

Sherry moved to her workstation and looked at the metals in front of her. She started to do a little bit of work, when she was bumped from the side. Water spilled across her hands, and she looked over at the rotund form of Charlene’s bottom.

“Oops! I didn’t even see you there!” she said with a sickly and sweet smile, “You should have said something if you saw me coming.”

Sherry just looked at her, and shook her head. She picked up a piece of magnesium ribbon with her tongs, and put one of the ends in the bunsen burner. It glowed brightly, as the white flames slowly traveled down the strip. She was studying it intently, when she spotted someone about to crash into her side.

Charlene moved backwards again, this time pushing Sherry over. She fell with her to the floor. People started laughing and joking.

“Charlene, what are you doing?! That’s on fire!”

Charlene sneered.

“And she finally speaks, only to yell at me,” she said, looking down at Sherry. Sherry got up and put sand on the magnesium strip, while Charlene and her entourage in class laughed.

Sherry looked at her intensely. She felt the anger in her chest beat heavily, threatening to betray the calm exterior by which she stared at her.

I wish she would just go away.

The thought spread across her sub-consciousness, peeking itself into the conscious for just a moment. She turned and looked down at the magnesium, covered in sand. She kept looking down, but pointed her eyes straight in Charlene’s direction.

I want her to leave me alone, she cried out in her mind, I want her to leave everyone alone!

Suddenly, without warning, Charlene winced. A small pain started in the center of her head. She put one of her hands to her head and tried to feel where it was, as it wasn’t a normal headache. As the seconds ticked by, the pain grew.

She doesn’t know pain, she doesn’t know anything, Sherry thought, spitting the words out in her mind.

The pain in Charlene’s head grew. For her, it was like a migraine that just went supernova. She clutched her head and gritted her teeth.

“Char, what’s going on?” one of her friends asked.

“I don’t know. My head is just….owwwwwww.” she cried out, the pain ratcheting up a notch.

Sherry continued with her gaze, not moving an inch and not doing anything. She didn’t seem like she was doing anything except sulking.

Charlene started to scream, as the pain in her head grew to a point. Her brain felt like it wanted to rip her skull open and run away. The pressure grew to be incredible. Blood leaked from her nose, and started to drip onto the floor.

For a split second, the screaming stopped. For Charlene, the last feeling she had was of a pop and a pressure release in her brain.

Her body crumpled like a weighted tent, splaying her on the ground, her head hitting the floor with a sickening *crack*.

Sherry looked over at her lifeless form, and did the only thing she could do.

She screamed, then fainted.

——–

The next day, as she looked at the paper and read the headline, she looked at her family at the table. They were all silent as they ate breakfast.

Her mom put down her butter knife, and looked at her daughter.

“Sherry, I think we need to talk,” she said, plainly.

Sherry looked back at her mom, and tears started to fall down her face.

“Mom? Did I do this?”

Her mom got up from her chair, walked over to her, and put her arms around her daughter.

“That’s why we need to talk. I think I know what happened, and it’s something that you’ve inherited. It looks like we’re gonna have to have ‘The Talk’.”

Sherry breathed a heavy breath, and she started sobbing into her mom’s shoulder uncontrollably.

Man of Colours

by Miles Rost

(Author’s note: For Clinton, my brother, a true man of colours)

I sat downstairs, and watched him as he spent the bright afternoon in the beautifully lighted parlor of his home. The natural sunlight was able to put a unique glow on the work of art he was doing.

As a young boy, I was not as interested in what my uncle did. I didn’t really care much as to why he did what he did. I knew he was a painter, and that he did his work diligently, even if he didn’t actually make that much money from what he did. After my parents separated for a time, it was felt that my uncle would take better care of me for a couple of summers. So at the age of 13, they sent me to his manor in the heart of the West Country.

The first few weeks I was there, I didn’t do much with my uncle. I was still a bit frazzled from what was going on with my parents. But, after those few weeks when I ran the grounds and did so much, I finally was able to take a moment and watch what he was doing.

My uncle Charles was a calm man. He barely ever raised his voice, and sometimes didn’t even have to speak to get his point across. He had a silent air about him, but one that allowed for great things to come forward.

“The creative spirit does not allow for anger to fester inside, but is allowed to be spread throughout whatever you work on. In my case, my anger and frustration is carried across the canvas,” he told me, the first day I became interested in what he did, “If you have passion for something, put everything into it. Anger, fear, love, trust, everything. It will come forth in beauty and love.”

That is what got me interested in his painting, and why I got interested in playing music later on.

I lounged on the chaise in the parlor, looking at him as he took a wider brush to a beautiful work-in-progress. It looked like the start of an outdoor scene, with pastel skies and deep green trees. I looked in wonder as he did his painting, marveling at the brushstrokes and how he was able to make a painting come to life before our eyes.

“Uncle Charles, why do you paint?” I asked him, as he worked.

“I paint because it is what I wanted to do in life. I keep my life in this paintbox. When I speak to this canvas, it tells me what it wants. And I follow what it says, because that’s how I work.”

I sat for another half hour while he changed his brushes around and continued to paint. After that half hour, he had me go into the kitchen ahead of him to get prepared for tea time. Margaret, the maid of the house, kept things organized as much as she could, and made the time for tea quite pleasant.

“Uncle Charles, why didn’t you marry?” I asked him.

“I did. Once. A very long time ago, before you were born. Alice would have loved to have seen you. It was very hard for us to separate like we did.”

“You….separated too?”

“She didn’t want to burden me with her problems. She left at the time of her choosing, and went to get treatment for her disease.”

“She’s dead?”

The old man rubbed his failing eyes, and took a moment to think of things. A small tear glistened on the side of his eye, even though he knew that he should be showing it.

“I am not sure how it happened, or whether it was something like shame or the burden of leaving, but she did pass on half a year after leaving. Her heart just couldn’t stand things, I think.”

I just looked up at him, and saw the sadness in his eyes. It finally hit me that the pain of my parents’ separation was hitting him hard too, because it reminded him of his loss of Aunt Alice.

After tea, we went back into the parlor. The sun was in that special place in the sky where it seems to always be the most beautiful. That’s where his hands and inspiration took it’s flight. By the time the sun went down and the lights came on in the house, he had created what looked to be a beautiful meadow with a lone tree. Three people underneath it, one a small boy, or so as I could see.

“I…I am a man, A simple man, A man of colours. And I can see through the years, see through these tears. These are the tears and the years of a man, a man of colours.”

I never knew what he meant when he said it…but he said it in such a way that it seemed that I would finally figure it out down the road.

The artwork he made was given to my parents. When it was done, he gave it to them and told them to take a day and just look at the painting. He told them to contemplate it, and really get into it.

That fall, my parents came to pick me up. They told me that they were going to see a priest about getting things worked out. They wanted to be together, and not to experience pain like they had.

It has been many years since my uncle Charles passed away. He never remarried, but he made an impact on people that he knew. When we went through his things after he died, we found out that he had almost 200 paintings from when he was alive. 150 of them were donated to various universities and charities. The University of Buckingham even decided to keep 15 of his paintings up as a permanent exhibit. The other 50, according to his will, were to be auctioned and sold. I was to be the beneficiary of the wealth, his will stated.

I don’t think about the money, though. And when I go to Buckingham with my friends from college, we always stop by my uncle Charles’s exhibition. The world appreciated what he did. And I did too.

 

Harbour Town

Harbour Town 

by Miles H. Rost

Across the entirety of the port city of Stewartsport, it was said that when 5:15 came around, the only thing you could hear were the many whistles from each of the 20 terminals in the city. Like a choir opening a Sunday service with a loud start, the whistles blew simultaneously.

It was this signal that the day ended, the night began, and on a Friday night like this one, it would be one humdinger of a night.

Down at Terminal 10, Cha Yeong-Jin had just finished loading a skid of incandescent light bulbs. Affectionately known as CJ, he was someone who finished his job when he finished his job, not when the whistle blew. However, today, he was right on time and was able to leave quickly.

CJ grew up in South Korea, the son of a shipbuilder father. Growing up in the island town of Geoje, the seas were in his blood. However, he was also a traveller, and someone who wanted to see the world. Working as a stevedore, he worked in places like Luzon, Singapore, and Sydney before he ended up in Stewartsport. The longest he stayed was a couple of years, and he left only because he felt too comfortable.

He was in Stewartsport for only two months before this night. As he walked off the docks and out to his small truck, a hand landed on his shoulder. CJ immediately turned around and looked into the big mean eyes of his co-worker, Tarik “Evil Eye” Adadark. Eyes which immediately brightened up, and expressed relief and happiness.

“Ah, CJ. Isn’t it great that Friday night has come?” Tarik chuckled, slapping CJ on the back like an old pal. Which was to say that they were, as he and Tarik were friends since their time in Singapore, and travelled together on the same jobs.

“It is a great thing indeed. I just can’t wait to clean up and hit the town. Since it’s a three day weekend, I want to wake up tomorrow in an unfamiliar room,” CJ responded, his command of English impeccable for a kid who never had any academy training.

“Then I think I know the place to go. There’s a great place just off Chambers that has not only good quality drinks and good quality women. It may just be your lucky night!”

After an hour of cleaning up and getting things ready, CJ and Tarik were dressed up and on the way down to the bar on Chambers.

“You’re doing the blue jean thing, T?”

“Yeah, I’m feeling a bit lucky tonight, too. At least you have the chance to not only catch a woman, but land a good business deal at the same time. Taking tips from Barney Stinson?” he responded, making reference to a popular character on a show that they watched constantly while there.

“Dress to impress, dress for success, do not settle for anything less,” CJ responded, smiling, “My dad taught me that. Probably explains why he had three wives.”

They went to a grill and had something to eat, then proceeded to the bar that Tarik referenced.

Since it was payday, they had a good amount of money on their persons. Knowing how rough some ports could be, there was always a second set of documents on their person just in case they were robbed. Three wallets were the usual with stevedores and longshoremen. CJ knew this, and patted the side of his knee, acknowledging to himself that he still had his most important wallet with him.

They passed by two beautiful women as they made their way to the bar. One was a tall, black haired Chinese woman who looked like she walked out of a fashion magazine, and the other was a striking redhead who seemed have features found in Irish women. CJ looked at the redhead and he instantly turned on the charm as they passed.

“Oh, come on baby! Take a hold of my hand! The fire is burning!” he called out, just after they passed. The redhead turned around and smiled. She gave him a wink, turned around, and kept walking. CJ cursed his current luck.

The bar on Chambers was called “Underworld”, and the owner/bartender was a tall wiry fellow named David. A former Israeli Defense Force soldier, David may have looked like a pencil, but he was able to kill a foe with two clicks of his fingers.

“Oy, Daveed!” Tarik called out.

“What’ll it be, Evil Eye? Did you bring the Korean with ya?”

“Right here, ya nut.” CJ responded.

“Glad to see ya! Care for some Rumple Mintz?”

“Not tonight! Get me a Glen and Ginger Ale, and another shot of Glen 12 Year.”

David acknowledged and made up the drinks for CJ. CJ, in return, gave him a hundred dollar bill and hold him to keep a tab on his drinks.

“Don’t worry about me, let’s just get you a woman tonight. “