Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chapter 19 -- On the Coast Road With 235X12

nothing but interior, car window views of ocean, ocean, ocean to the right; hillocks and scrub growth to the left. And too many winding curves along the way to take anything in, for all the
leaning side-to-side to stay upright.

"Slow down", commanded Doctor Y. to his robot driver. But, again, there was no reply.
235X12 was in definite need of an overhaul.

Doctor Y. sat up straighter in the limo's rear passenger seat. There were at least a few yards
of road ahead that did not curve so, and would offer him some few seconds of 'melodramatic

He ruminated briefly about the small, flat box now in the specially lined, lapel pocket of his
grey suit jacket. Its last minute retrieval had been a 'coup', yesss...

But, there was the fact of having forgotten it in the first place.

As his body began to lean again from side-to-side with further abrupt coastal turns, 'Y.'
lost the thread of his 'scheming'. His mind jumped to the yellow paperback he had seen
so briefly. Trying to recall just what he had actually read in the silly book.

No matter. Either malicious or stupid, the local writers. They never get it right.

As if to censure his smugness, the speeding limo suddenly hit a rock, moving on, but causing
him to stamp his grey-polished shoe into the floorboard to avoid sliding off the seat & piling in a heap. Gnashing his teeth and righting himself, he cursed the empty grill head of '235' and the
day he'd ever overseen the takeover of menial tasks by his inventions.

But his own memory was no better. He still wanted to recall the book passage, damn the thing.

And this little road trip never afforded him one chance to analyze his errors. Appalling. To walk out without the box...

For an 'evil genius', he was having quite the memory lapse.

Perhaps, he had on 'the wrong attire'. Didn't the Philosopher(s) say something about selecting
the wrong outfit spoiling the whole of the day's actions?

They were always saying some god damn thing.

Was the robot speeding up?? He hated this road, its ugly views. And unpredictable turns
guaranteed to interrupt all thought and render one an insipid, flaming wreck. Figuratively,
if not literally.

'Doctor Y.' would be glad to get back 'up to something' in his sanctum. Up to speed on his

Verbal commands were useless. Crampton 'rared back' to use both of his long, grey legs.

To kick the back of the driver's seat with both feet, again & again. And joggle some sense into his
mechanical chauffeur before they went careening off into the sea like some sorry
cinematic cliffhanger...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chapter 18 -- The Bridge To Nowhere

the 'tourist hit by luggage' sweated and huffed up the last of the Avenue, alone but for
birds he could not locate and the pfuffling in the stronger wind of the red paper lanterns .

the 'tourist hit by luggage' walks onto the Bridge itself now, nearly exhausted by its steep
curve (and all of the earlier, excessive efforts of the day).

at last, cresting its arch, discovering that it stops dead. cut off halfway in midair.

metal tube bars block further progress of the reckless. Relatively discreet warning signs,
placed so as not to destroy the view, balefully glare their advice in three languages.

staggered, he stares uncomprehendingly at the shoreline beyond, the scarcity of roadwork
on that side, and the lime green stone far on the north horizon.

he continues to stay back, well away from the end. turns to take in the eastward side...

standing on the pedestrian's side path, not even daring to lean on the five foot, heavy cement
wall, he immediately takes in the broad bluenesses of the sky and ocean...

the coast road, (the only road really connecting the two ends of the island), bordering and
enclosing a last lap of low water and soft sand way below.

He still could not decide where exactly he was--what island.

There was the declining business 'district' to the southeast, from where he'd just come, (and
spent so much of his time here already, in dubious pursuits). But, no spire visible.
No cathedral of St. Millicent's.

He recalled only fragments of the lost tour guide. Had some sort of block on the island's name.

He ignored the obvious metaphor of the half-bridge for his faulty memory.

Perhaps, the Bridge had been broken off by a massive wave. A tsunami. Or a 'too-sommy',
as the loud old man on the caravan had called it.

The tourist smiled. (Despite everything).

He felt it more likely it was another unfinished boondoggle. And had a vague memory of the
local papers somewhere calling the useless bridge a "promenade".

He wondered if there were any bars sticking out of the end , but would not walk there to see.

Odd that there was still a connecting road, (tho' it was on a rise), at the end of an inlet or
tidal basin. How the water from the ocean to the west (behind him) could just taper off and
end. Not covering the rise, and effectively creating two islands instead of the one.

He realized he was watching a limousine, running on the very road, (already on the north side
of the inlet). Curving 'near' and away again, at what seemed a slow pace, from this distance.

Taking in more of the land, he watched. Might be quite a clip, after all.

Maybe they left something undone.

There was no fencing up, as on continental bridges. A 'good' place for a melodramatic drop...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Chapter 17 -- Plesch

He put the yellow paperback face down, open to his place, on the restaurant table.
He could barely see well enough to read, anyhow, through the head wrappings.

His teeth still hurt. Perhaps he'd been wrong to order the club sandwich, but it was his first
since getting off of the liquid diet.
The restaurant had not changed...since 'The Accident'. Thankfully.

That is, it had not improved nor gained any clamorous clientele. He preferred the quiet,
dining alone, (especially now it was more difficult), even writing here. Or at least
ruminating about his latest novel.

He still knew all the staff. The dust-ridden artificial fronds reminded him of the Crimble
woman, still missing. But, that could be a good thing. Criminal ambiance.
A union of neglect in not removing the 'plant', and opportunism (he had encouraged)
in trying to keep the local story alive.

'Speaking' of local stories, the paperback...he did not like to criticize his competition,
but he was certain now that Ima had skipped a step. She should have had her killer
wander through the town, in a different chapter, and then reach the Bridge.

Instead, there was an unfortunate abruptness in his fleeing the courtyard, then
so shortly appearing, gazing down at the river. 'Would he jump...?', the triteness almost

Feeling he already knew the answer, Plesch smiled under the wrappings, hurting his
cheeks a bit.

He would have to paper this over with her, cover his technical disapproval with a barrage
of compliments--so well deserved in other areas.

That is if he ever saw her again. Boris Tate had not heard from her in weeks.

Plesch was well aware of police activity in the neighboring buildings. Doubtlessly, he would
run into his friend "The Inspector"; old Winny and his wife had been so very good about
sending him lots of flowers everyday while he was in the hospital.

And they weren't always easy to come by on the island. Nor inexpensive.

He again studied his butter knife, which he would not be needing.

He did not want to move it too soon. His hands felt hot...he wanted to be sparing in how
often he scuffed them about, trying to use utensils with wrapped up hands.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chapter 16 -- "Welcome to Tonnalo"

staring up at the dark green, over sized (four or five times the average human) figure...
not feeling welcomed at all.

he found himself looking at the sculpted and cast monument too critically...nonplussedly...
not knowing for sure how he even came to this spot. A weed grown area in the ruined
courtyard, still green but plainly little-visited.

Hadn't he intended to go in a different direction?

The statue had its hands forward in what was supposed to be a greeting to all the island's
visitors. But, they were both upturned almost like shrugging, drying his nail polish, yearning
to catch some falling heavenly martyr, or, worse yet, waiting for yet another handout from
continents West or East.

It inspired no confidence. Nor, really any feeling at all, save diffidence.

The tourist began to reel with sudden, alternate views of the thing, as though floating
above and behind it's head.

Nauseated, he tried to focus instead on the dark olive, hard-to-read plaque closer to
his actual, standing level. The back of his head was throbbing fiercely.

the name on the plaque was in "bot 'n' paid for" went the local joke.

BO-teen'---the guidebook made strains to emphasize.

He suddenly felt like vomiting. An apolitical vomit that doubtlessly would not be taken
that way were he observed by the wrong fanatic policeman or working class loyaliste.

he only wanted to feel better...and not become known, citywide, as in the caravan tour's final
station, as 'the tourist hit by luggage'.

But could not, in fact, recall his own name...what he, himself, was called.

Somewhere in the ruins a dog barked.