Story 16/52: Recap, Repeat, Reprise

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BULLETIN BOARD 5 (4)

PHOTO © R.D. GIRVAN 2018.   ‘RECAP, REPEAT, REPRISE’ © R.D GIRVAN 2018.

 

Rupal Singh ran down the hall, open lab coat streaming behind him like a low-slung cape.

He slammed down the crash bar with both hands, banged through the emergency doors and into the Asylum’s North Wing.

The PA system intoned, “Dr. Singh, please proceed to Room 417 North; Dr. Singh to 4-1-7 North.”
He careened past the main floor “You are Here” map showing the location of the elevators and advising an alternate route in the event of an emergency. He hit the stairs, running hard.

Winded by the time he reached the fourth floor, he stopped, smoothed his hair, fixed his tie.

Can’t have Ruth seeing me so disheveled. Flustered. Discombobulated.

***

Hello, Gang of Glorious Readers, Rhea here.

I am entering stories into contests, some of which do not allow any previous publication or posting of the entries of any kind, even on a blog.

If you would like to read the entire story, send me your email address and I will forward it to you. Also, I could add you to an email list of those who want the whole shebang automatically sent to their inbox.

Best always, RDG

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Story 15/52: White Flags

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storm

PHOTO © R.D. GIRVAN 2018.  ‘WHITE FLAGS’ © R.D. GIRVAN 2018

The Crosstown bus swerved around a crater and struggled back into it’s own lane. Without looking up from his brochure, Jack kept his footing and slung his gas mask over his other arm. The bus clipped the edge of a blast hole, jarring the commuters. He reached up to steady himself, his wedding ring clinking on the aluminium bar overhead.
Jack’s grandfather would have said, “What season follows Winter, in Edmonton? Construction.” Not a lot of construction crews out this Spring, though; most people still standing were on Clean-Up details. Or had joined Removal teams.
The bus strained up a hill. Someone pulled the bell cord and the driver called out the next stop, “176th and Yellowhead Highway!” Jack scrunched down to see out the window. From this height he could see the precision, the efficiency of the Enemy’s bombs. The City’s main railway depot – a carefully engineered, controlled chaos of lights and wires and switches and signals – lay, safe and untouched, behind a moat of tangled, twisted railway iron. The Enemy strikes had pulverized the lines leading in and the tracks leading out. Jack had noticed, though no one else seemed to: they only destroyed the parts that could be easily fixed. All the techy stuff – the finicky, expensive, labour-intensive parts – remained untouched.

***

Hello, Gang of Glorious Readers, Rhea here.

I am entering stories into contests, some of which do not allow any previous publication or posting of the entries of any kind, even on a blog.

If you would like to read the entire story, send me your email address and I will forward it to you. Also, I could add you to an email list of those who want the whole shebang automatically sent to their inbox.

Best always, RDG

 

Story 14/52: Glacier Fagerström

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sun

PHOTO © R.D. GIRVAN 2018.  ‘Glacier Fagerström’ © R.D. GIRVAN 2018.

A muscled mass of grey feathers arrowed past Kai’s left ear through the open window and landed on the kitchen table. Flapping, the owl flounced around and stamped at him, claws clattering on the wood, like it owned the place.

Kai didn’t flinch. He remained in position upon his ladder. The owl was not his target. Shifting his gear, he shuffled on the metal rung, his boots whispering as they slid over the grooves. The ladder rasped against the wood siding, dug further into the layers of lead paint. They were like geologic cross-sections, the twin scars his ladder had scraped into that paint, blue atop yellow over white upon green. The place he had named ‘The House in the Woods’ had worn many colors.

The owl glared at him and then flew past one more time, something brown wriggling in his talons.

This Finnish December day would have 6.5 hours of sunlight. Kai had just spent the last four of them on his ladder looking through this family’s kitchen window. Waiting.

He shifted again, settling in for the day’s final 45 minutes. The wind made chimes out of the holes in the roof, shook rain droplets off pine boughs. Would tonight be the night he succeeded? He visualized them walking single-file through the kitchen, mother leading father in front of son. Silently, he promised them I’m gonna get you!

Warming his cold nose on his sleeve, he eased back into position, one eye closed, the other focused on the kitchen fireplace. He examined the red bricks through the sight, as he had most nights for the last four years, trigger finger resting at the ready.

One squirrel ran away from another along the eaves, the clicking of their knitting needle claws muffled by moss. The trees laid secrets upon swaying boughs and a broken pane of glass rattled in its frame. Another noise intruded, tweaking the tripwire of Kai’s consciousness: the scritching, scratching of his targets shuffling along the dusty kitchen floor. He waited until they were in perfect range. Finally!

Kai Fagerström used the trigger repeatedly, clicking and clicking, activating the remote-control shutter of his camera over and over, for the mother and for the father and for the son.

***

Hello Glorious Gang of Readers, Rhea here! This was a wee bit about Kai Fagerstrom, the award-winning Finnish photographer, and his work “The House in the Woods” based on how animals took over abandoned buildings. Working without a flash, waiting in position for hours at a time – over a four year period –  he captured absolutely amazing images. Best, RDG

Kai Fagerstrom The House in the Woods    Kai Fagerstrom blog

 

Story 11/52: Spring Break

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iced chain link

Dick rubbed the surgical scar that scratched across his chest, straight and true.

Connie kept saying that said he should complete it with a tattoo. “Add some feathers and an arrowhead point,” she said, “like Cupid’s.”

Dick had said, “How do you come up with this shit? Why the hell would I do that?”

Their son Brad had crowed, “Mom, Dad doesn’t get the point!” and the two of them laughed over the stupid pun. Both kids had turned out weird, like her. Weird and weak.
Privately, though, Dick was already considering a tattoo. All the old guys were getting them, using morbid humour to whistle past their fears. Anything to appear in control. Calm, cool and collected, as they used to say in High School. Large and in charge. Chill.

His friend Joe had a tattoo of a zipper, teeth half-open around shiny scar tissue, marking where doctors would slice into his chest to access his pacemaker batteries.  Pretty cool. Not as good as the art Dick wanted, of a skeletal hand flipping the bird, but still cool. Of course, thanks to Connie, he never would receive the benefit of having his batteries replaced regularly with fresh, brand new models. He was stuck with these rechargeable ones. For the rest of his life.

***

Hello, Gang of Glorious Readers, Rhea here.

I am entering stories into contests, some of which do not allow any previous publication or posting of the entries of any kind, even on a blog.

If you would like to read the entire story, send me your email address and I will forward it to you. Also, I could add you to an email list of those who want the whole shebang automatically sent to their inbox. Unfortunately, you will never, ever, be able to unsubscribe from the email list, mwahahaha! Kidding, of course.

Best always, RDG

PS: Never!!!