Sunday, January 18, 2009

Los Endos


“Mommy, what’s wrong with that man?”
Joe opened his eyes to see who was speaking. Several faces, including that of a little boy, were bent over him, their features blotted out by a blinding overhead light. He recognised no one.
“Where am I?” he asked groggily. His head felt like the wrong end of a three day absinthe bender. A shadow crossed over him, momentarily blocking out the light. Focusing, he saw it was a young man in a conductor uniform.
“Well, sir, you are presently lyin’ on yer back on the Newton Dee train platform. You took a nasty fall on them icy steps there.” The conductor’s accent was distinctively Scottish.
“Newton Dee? Where the hell is Newton Dee? Am I am in Scotland, for Christ’s sake?”
“Aberdeen, sir. And you’ll be wantin’ ta watch how yer speakin’, what with the wee fella and so.” The crowd had backed off and Joe, now sitting up, could see that he was in fact situated on a train station platform. Newton Dee? He had no idea how he’d gotten here. Nor did he particularly know where here was. His last thoughts were like a fever dream residue; vampires, devils and hideous blackened faces. And dwarves, hoards of dwarves. It seemed like reality, but that of course was preposterous. Had he had some sort of lucid dream after bumping his head? But what was he doing in Aberdeen, of all places. He rubbed his head but found neither bump nor sore spot.
Suddenly a tall, thin man in a dark gabardine overcoat was at his side offering him his hand. Joe took it and pulled himself up.
“Thanks,” he said, dusting the snow off his own jacket. He noticed a satchel by his side. Mine, he wondered.
The man kept a solid grip on Joe’s hand and began shaking it.
“Egidius Owl, medical doctor, in case you should be needing one. That was a bit of a nasty spill you took there. Saw you from the waiting room. I’m headed for London myself. Shall we travel together?”
“Am I going to London?” Joe asked. He neither knew where he’d come from nor where he was headed. How did this stranger know?
“Well, according to the ticket that you just purchased in there, I’d say you were. Unless, of course, you happen to buy and collect train tickets as a hobby.”
Joe felt about in his pockets and extracted a train ticket. Examining it he saw that London was indeed his destination.
“Yeah, I guess. I have to admit I’m feeling a spot of amnesia. I can’t seem to put anything into place.”
“Well then, it’s settled. I shall accompany you. Call it serendipity or perhaps synchronicity, I get them confused, but my specialities are hypnosis and amnesia. Fancy that. In any case, you are in good hands, Joe.”
The train was suddenly pulling into the station. Joe had hardly heard it coming.
“But I didn’t tell you my name, did I?” he said. Egidius Owl took his arm firmly in hand and guided him towards the coach.
“I know lot’s of things, Joe. Lot’s of interesting things. And we have plenty of time to talk.” The two men mounted the coach steps; the door shut behind them. A whistle was blown, the train lurched once, twice and then it was leaving the station. A light snow had begun to fall.
The young conductor took out his mobile phone and punched in a number.
“He’s off,” he said. “I don’t think he suspected nothin’. Right foggy in the head. You shoulda seen him when I tol him he was in Aberdeen. Fuckin’ gobsmacked, he was. Looks like yer Owly boyo knows his shite.” There was a voice on the other end, a woman. “Yeah, bye then,” he finally said; “See ya at the meetin’.” Pocketing the phone he started off across the platform. A glimmer of light caught his eye and he bent down to see if it was a coin or piece of jewellery. Nothing special, just a common brass key. He kicked it out on to the tracks. What’s more worthless than a lost key, he said to himself and, descending the steps, disappeared into the shadows. Behind him the platform quietly gathered the falling snow.

20 comments:

Rowena said...

Exeunt.

Bravo all. Way to go Son. Feels good.

Son of Incogneato said...

This is an attempt. Can be pre-empted at any time another alternative.
Jeg eier ikke stolthet. I hvert fall ikke den dumme typen.

- Son

Son of Incogneato said...

Ok - should read:
This is an attempt. Can be pre-empted at any time by another alternative.
Jeg eier ikke stolthet; i hvert fall ikke av den dumme typen. Tror jeg . . .

-Son

Kate Lord Brown said...

Well done Son ... we're moving.

Misssy M said...

Ah Aberdeen.... a city that needs more reference in literature, I find.

This has nothing to do with the fact I live there, and want to rent out my house to novel adapting film makers...


Well done all. It's been surreal.

Son of Incogneato said...

I once lived in Aberdeen for a couple of months. I’ve never been so cold in my entire life (this said from a person living uncomfortably close to the polar circle). The people, on the other hand, were extremely warm and welcoming.
After finishing this bit it suddenly occurred to me that there is probably no train connection between Aberdeen and London – I remember taking a bus (or do you call it a coach?). Well, that’s why they call it fiction, right?

Kate Lord Brown said...

Ah ... imagine Joe on the train, perhaps a connection to London through Durham and Northumberland ... as he sleeps it off he doesn't notice the bog unicorns grazing on the distant hills, the beautiful women and dwarves frolicing in the snow ..:)

Misssy M said...

I am delighted to say that Aberdeen has been connected to the rest of the world since they discovered a shed load of oil off our coast in the late sixties! There is indeed a four times daily train service between Aberdeen and London Kings Cross- calling at everywhere in between, including Hogwarts!

Rowena said...

All this is fascinating. I didn't know anything about Aberdeen except that it's a cool name for a town.

Bog Unicorns, huh?

I wouldn't be surprised.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Oh yes Misssy - we'd quite often get the Durham/Kings Cross coming down from your neck of the woods!

Couldn't let this go without the bog unicorns wandering majestically across the snowy Northumbrian hillsides(remember John's brill post http://burninglines.blogspot.com/2008/12/blood-of-bog-unicorn.html)

Me being me I'm still hoping for a happy ending ... :) Thank you all for embracing this experiment so brilliantly - (when you look back at the posts ... what a journey!)

Can't wait to see which way we are all heading next Rowena!

Rowena said...

Me too, Kate. I have no idea what it might look like.

I'm thinking I'll start the opposite of the way you started, just to shake things up... or maybe I wont....

Hmmmmmmm.

Son of Incogneato said...

Thank you Kate for initiating and administering the experiment. And thank you to all for participating. It has been a new and exciting experience in many different ways. I also feel that we have created, if only for a moment, a micro-community where physical distance is of minor importance.
Looking forward to Burning Lines’ future, whatever that may be.

-B rian (aka Son)

scarlet-blue said...

Yey!
Sx

Julian Meteor said...

I did NOT like that doctor. He seemed sinister. Like there was some HIDDEN agenda.

Did NOT trust him ONE bit.
Otherwsie a VERY good tale.

JES said...

Son, this is *great*!

I'll confess, when I saw (in Google Reader) that you'd posted an entry, my first thought was, Oh no -- the story's going to veer off into the woods just when it was calming down some...! Congratulations not just on the excellent piece itself, but on the great self-control it evidences. :)

An admin note: I've reserved a Blogger site name (burningarchives.blogspot.com) for the "archives" of past BL stories, which should free up the current one as the active ongoing thread. As mentioned earlier, with your okay I'll copy-n-paste the complete HTML of this story over there at Burning Archives. It won't be as "complete" as the version here -- lacking all the comments, particularly -- but may be of interest to readers with attention spans longer than a gnat's. Heh.

Rowena said...

The new beginning is up.

I don't have a title for it.

But it's up.

Son of Incogneato said...

Ha-ha; veer off into the woods . . . I see my reputation is starting to proceed me.
Strangely enough, I have plenty of self-control. I just can’t seem to remember where I put it. Perhaps in the loft? Anyhow, thanks for your comments.

Being that this appears to be the final entry, if anyone wants to amend or change something, please feel free. I have no personal need to have the final word.

- Son

Btw – has anyone ever noticed how Word Verification in ‘Leave your comment’ produces some weird stuff. I just got ‘ouncies’. I’ve wondered several times now if these are secret messages I should be paying closer attention to.

Rowena said...

Son, I have totally noticed the same thing about word verification. Sometimes it's eerie how apt it is.

Wondering if artificial intelligence will start amongst the word verification programs. Or perhaps it's the universe saying it all really DOES mean something.

JES said...

Burning Archives is up, with the complete "The Way Home" story. (Kate and Rowena tentatively invited to admin as well; let me know if anyone else wants in.)

Son of Incogneato said...

Wow, very impressive JES. It is a wondrous thing to behold. Thanks for putting in all that effort; it much appreciated.

- Son

Secret Word Veri.: turacot

Turacot(n): A small portable bed that one takes with one when traveling to foreign lands where there are are numbers of extremely poisons lizards and snakes.