Tag Archives: Short story

A Personal Note

Standard

Just a note. I have a lot of health problems, terminal cancer being the most serious, and recently I’ve started several alternative therapies that have all helped, some more and some less. They are, however, time-consuming. So I may not write fan fiction as much as a result. I’m not saying I won’t write any, but the posts may be few and far between. I just have to prioritize and there are only so many hours in the day. I’ve had a lot of fun doing this and hopefully its been enjoyable for some other folks as well. And the site will be here for whoever finds it, the stories, for what they’re worth, being new to them. 🙂

And just a thought for all the people out there who think that The Prisoner is just cool fiction at best, and that George Orwell’s “1984” can’t happen, I offer you this …

In times of profound social change like the present, extreme views hold out the appeal of simplicity. By ignoring the complexity of the forces that shape our personal and collective circumstances, they offer us scapegoats. Yet they fail to provide a viable pathway from the cold war to the global village.

Source: It Takes A Village, by Hillary Clinton, p.286 Sep 25, 1996 Be seeing you.

“Many Happy Returns, Again.”

Standard
Disclaimer: I’ve always enjoyed the more humorous aspects of The Prisoner. Aside from “The Girl Who Was Death” these are, admittedly, a little hard to find. So I decided to fill in that gap. This story is a blatant bit of foolishness. You’ve been warned. 😉
~
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Number 2 woke up one morning and decided to, well, have a little fun at the expense of Number 6? I mean, really … 

~

“Many Happy Returns, Again.”
~

Just three more days. He remembered the last one. He’d just as soon not deal with Mrs. Butterworth again but he had to admit the cake had been good. No sense in trying to change things, at least not this thing. He’d let the day come and go.
~
The man watched through binoculars as Number 6 walked towards the woods. Number 6 was heading for his personal gym. He worked out daily at this time weather permitting. Number 6 seemed very much a creature of habit, and that would make this “job” so much simpler.
~
“You’ll need to be careful. He’s very suspicious. Its his nature.” Number 2 was standing at a slight distance from the other man. Near enough to be heard, far enough away that if Number 6 happened to look their way it wouldn’t be obvious that they were together. “Oh, I understand, believe me. I’d never turn my back on him either.” Number 2 began to move away. His last words, “You’ve three more days.”
~
Number 6 opened one eye. The muzak had just come on. “Rise and shine, one and all! Its another beautiful day in your Village. Remember, life is for living!” More muzak. He began his day, all things normal, except … The items in the fridge had been rearranged, and whoever had been in the fridge had made no attempt to hide the fact. Nothing seemed to have been tampered with, just moved around. He sniffed at each egg, each everything. Were they going to drug him … Again? This was a sloppy job of it if that’s what they were up to. No, it was MEANT for him to see this. Why?
~
The man watched the monitor. He saw Number 6 getting ready to leave, probably to have breakfast at the cafĂ© as it was obvious his food may have been tampered with. Ah, he’d broken Number 6s rhythmic schedule. Job well done. But he must work fast now. He bolted out of the control room.
~
Number 6 stepped through the door. He saw it at once. The pillows had been rearranged and the faux tiger rug had been turned around so that the head was now at the other end. He went back out the door, walking quickly towards the Green Dome.
~
“Number 6, I assure you I know nothing of this. And are you SURE?” Number 2 leaned forward with the word “sure” as if to be sure it had its proper impact. “Of course I’m sure! I know how the flat is arranged, I know where things are in the fridge. I’m monitored 24 hours a day along with my living space. If you’re not responsible your surveillance records should show who is. I ought to at least be able to arrange the pillows in the chair to my liking. That’s not to much to ask, is it?!” “I’ll have the tapes checked, Number 6.”
~

They wanted him to see these things. He had reacted in order to play along. He’d trip them up, make them show their hand. And of course the videos would show nothing if they ever allowed him to view any. What was this? Asinine tricks like these weren’t like them.
~
The back door closed only seconds before the front door opened. The man smiled to himself. Perfect timing.
~

Number 6 stood just inside the door. He was looking directly at it. You couldn’t miss it, setting there in the center of the room like that. It was every bit five feet tall and at least eight long. A pink elephant. No, not a real one. Things hadn’t gotten that bad. Yet. This one looked like a big carnival prize, a large balloon. No need telling Number 2. What would he say? “I’m seeing pink elephants?”
~
When he got up the next morning the backdoor in the kitchen was standing open. He went through the flat. Nothing was missing but the blowup elephant. Nothing SEEMED to have been tampered with.
~
“Number 6 I assure you,” Number 2 said as he put his fork down, “I have no idea. Frankly old boy I’m a tad worried. I’ve checked the recordings and while I know you won’t believe me there is simply nothing there.” “You’re right, I won’t believe you even if you show me.” “Alright Number 6. Bring me the pink elephant and I’ll believe YOU.” “Gone out the backdoor during the night.” Number 6 replied. “My, Number 6, how convenient your delusions are. You think I’m playing games with you. I’m quite certain you’re playing games with me. And while I don’t know yet what you’re game IS I assure you I will. Now, if you don’t mind I’ll finish my lunch. In PEACE!”
~
The man had just exited the room. He was very pleased with himself. This was actually very entertaining.
~

Number 6 simply walked past the stack of books and packages piled near the front door. He saw them. Let whoever it was sneak them out the backdoor tonight and store them with the pink elephant. He opened the fridge. Ah, worse than rearranged this time. This time it was empty. They would probably expect him to go to the cafĂ©. He turned to go to the grocers. Of course he realized they’d be expecting this as well. It wasn’t that important. If he played along perhaps they would tip their hand. He glanced at the books. At least two dozen copies of “Crime and Punishment.” Some sort of hint? One of the packages was open at one end. Another copy of the same book.
~
The man smiled at Number 2, “I told you he’d think we’d expect him to have his meal at the cafĂ© and go to the grocers instead.” Number 2 smiled broadly. “Capitol, just capitol.”
~
There was a note on his pillow. It simply read, “Danger, man!” Mind games. Two could play at this.
~

“You heard me. I’d like to look at another flat. Perhaps a change of scenery would clear my mind of these delusions,” his tone was laced with sarcasm. “Number 6, I’m not even sure there is another flat available. And if there is I don’t know that you could have it. We have rules, Number 6.” Number 2 shook his head. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like to see Number 18? He’s very good you know. And you’ve put yourself through great stress during your time with us. Maybe to much stress. Come, I’ll call Number 18 and make arrangements for you.” “I do NOT need a psychiatrist!” Were they really going through all this foolishness in order to make him think himself on the verge of a breakdown? This Number 2 wasn’t that stupid.
~
The phone rang early the next morning. “What do you want?” “Good morning to you too, Number 6,” Number 2 said sarcastically. “Care to look at what might possibly be your new home?” “When, where?” “I’ll be ’round to pick you up in 15 minutes. Be seeing you.”
~
He was playing along. They pulled up in front of a door he’d seen before but as to the building or what was behind the door he had no idea. Number 2 lead the way. Inside Number 6 could not believe what he was seeing. The place was a total wasteland. The carpet was ripped, the walls were covered in grime, much of the furniture was broken. “Well, what do you think? Beautiful, isn’t it?” “Whats this idiocy all about, Number 2? Its an obvious ruse, but its not nearly of the quality I’ve come to expect from you. I must say I’m disappointed.” “Disappointed? In this? Do you realize the trouble I’ve gone to in order to make this available for you? And all because you’re delusional. I thought this might ease the stress and help normalize your mental condition. But you’ll see Number 18 now whether you like it or not, and that for your own good! Come, I’ll return you to your flat so that you can collect a few personal items. I’ve a feeling your stay in hospital may be an extended one.”
~
They stopped in front of Number 6s door. “Good day to you, sir!” He snapped at Number 2 as he climbed out of the car. “Not so fast, Number 6. I’m going in with you. You WILL collect your things, we WILL go to hospital, or I WILL CALL SECURITY!”
~

He walked through the door, Number 2 close behind. At first glance everything looked in order. This time. Then, as he neared the center of the room, it happened. There were fully two dozen of them. They jumped from behind curtains, furniture, doors. Some came from he wasn’t sure where. The din was deafening. Horns and whistles and those clacking noise makers he remembered from his childhood. And all shouted the same thing as Mrs. Butterworth, wearing a badge that had the number 5 on it, stepped forward with a cake covered in candles. “SURPRISE!”
~

“Its not all clandestine operations, Number 6.” Number 2 laughed. “Why all the silliness? Books with packages piled high, doors open, the fridge rearranged, and the blasted pink elephant. Why?” Number 6 asked, honest curiosity registering on his face. “Simple, my dear boy. So long as you were looking at all that, so long as you thought us up to something, you’d be occupied. You’d not be trying to escape and you’d never suspect this. It didn’t really matter what we did, just so long as we did something. And the more disjointed, well, all the better! Ah, and the pink elephant? MY idea.” He chuckled.
~
At the end of the party Number 2 lingered. After the other “guests” filed out he walked towards the door. He turned just before exiting. “Happy birthday, Number 6. And, oh, just a thought. I’m not sure, I didn’t ask her, but the piece of cake Number 5 gave you? It may have been drugged.” And he stepped outside laughing hysterically.
~

English: Traditional Devil's Food Birthday Cake
Be seeing you.

“Crossover”

Standard
The New Number Two

“The Village is VERY cosmopolitan. You never know WHO you meet next …” 

DISCLAIMER (AKA, Why I wrote this.): Sometimes, and I think this may be the result of having way to much time on my hands plus having been raised with comic books and Johnny Carson, I get these really odd “what if” scenarios. You have been warned. And for what its worth, I actually did a little research and the color of the stone, given its effects, is right. Some of my “what ifs” may be pretty weird but they are technically correct.

~
“Crossover”
~

He had  seen him for the first time only the day before. Number 6 had wondered about the strange pendant, a rather plain bit of jewelry with a shard of gold-tone rock embedded in a small circular disk. The man, wearing a lapel badge with the number 5 on it, looked to be in good physical condition. But his actions were odd. Everything he did seemed to take great effort, each movement was an obvious struggle. His physical presence coupled with this weakness of body made him stand out, stand out in a very strange way.

~

Number 6 had watched Number 5 for three days now. He hadn’t gone out of his way. It wasn’t as though he had this person under surveillance. 5 went to the cafe, so did Number 6. He sat at the daily concert, Number 6 walked through the area daily on his way to his private gym. And Number 5 lived only three doors down from Number 6. Just that morning he had passed him, had said to him, “Beautiful day.” And with the familiar salute said, “Be seeing you.” The man had struggled to reply in kind, saluting with difficulty. “And you.”
~

It was the number, five, that had made an impression on Number 6 immediately. Villagers were given numbers according to their importance, as a sort of ranking. Pity Number 413. This man, such an oddity, was obviously important. But important why? Because he was a valuable prisoner, or a powerful warder?
~

Number 6 stepped, with some force, as though having been walking at a brisk pace, around the corner. The two men collided, chest to chest, just as 6 had intended. For a split second, just as their chests met, Number 6 felt a sensation that was indescribable. It was a feeling of physical weakness coupled with mental lethargy and emotional exhaustion. It lasted only a second. “Terribly sorry. I need to pay closer attention to where I’m going,” Number 6 made his apology in a friendly tone. The other man, looking rather shocked at the encounter, smiled weakly, and with a mid-western American accent, replied, “Don’t worry about it. I seem to be in every one’s way currently. Even mine.” The words came out slowly, without emotion, listless. Number 6 asked, “Well, now that we’ve run into each other would you care for coffee? My way of making right our ‘accident’.” He smiled. “I was just thinking of going to the cafe and would be glad for the company.” Company was the last thing he had in mind. Solving this curiosity was uppermost in his mind. He was almost certain, trusting in his sixth sense, that this man was a prisoner and no warder. But, given his current escape plan, and given that this person had seemed to have arrived on the day 6 had made his assessment of the north section of the beach, he needed to be sure he wasn’t a plant of some sort. The ointment was ready. The last thing 6 needed was an unsuspected fly.
~

The breeze was pleasant and the cafe nearly full. Idle chatter filled the air. Numbers 6 and 5 sipped coffee. “So,” said Number 6, “How are you enjoying your stay in the Village? Settling in?” The mans eyes flared. It was weak but it was there. That wasn’t like a Village “employees” reaction to that type question. “I’m as settled as possible, given the circumstances.”
~

Number 6 hadn’t garnered much information. He had convinced himself that this man wasn’t one of “them”. Number 5 was something different. He reminded Number 6 of himself, but with the heart removed. And later he had seen the man trying, in vain, to remove the pendant. It seemed to be too heavy to lift. Number 6 remembered the feeling he had experienced when he “accidentally” ran into Number 5 earlier. The look on 5s face made it obvious that he wanted the thing OFF. It also spoke volumes about his inability to complete so simple a task.
~

Two days later the men met again by accident. Only this time the accident was just that. They both arrived at the Green Dome, coming from opposite directions. “Hello, Number 5. Visiting Number 2?” “I suppose you could call it a visit. I’ve got some questions I’d like answered. This,” and he pointed to the pendant, “is one of them.” “I noticed it the other day. A very different sort of jewelry,” Number 6 replied. “May I look?” And 6 reached for the pendant. “I’ve no idea how they put it on me,” Number 5 blurted out weakly. “All I know is that I can’t lift it off and no one else seems to be able to either. I do recognize the stone though.” Those last few words were whispered, a dread surrounding and holding up the words lest they fall to the ground as a result of his weakness. “You’re a prisoner, aren’t you?” Number 6 put at least some of his cards on the table. “Yes, but it won’t do them any good. They think they’ve taken all my strength and will from me. They haven’t. And they won’t.” There was more force in those few words than any Number 6 had heard from him before. “Lets go talk with our illustrious Number 2 together, shall we?” Having said this Number 6 reached for the bell. “And I’m supposed to believe you’re not one of them, that I can trust you?” There was a bitterness in Number 5s words. “Don’t trust anyone but yourself. I don’t,” 6 said flatly as he rang the bell.
~

“Good afternoon, gentlemen,” Number 2 beamed. “And to what do I owe the pleasure?” “I want answers!” “Ah, my good Number 5. Everything needed will be provided, answers included, in proper order. But I must warn you,” with a stage whisper, “Watch our Number 6. He is a tad, shall we say, subversive?” Smiling broadly at Number 6 Number 2 gave a low, unpleasant chuckle. Number 6 sat on the corner of 2s desk and leaned towards him. “Once again … Whats it all about?!”
~

“Did you really expect answers?” Number 5 looked at Number 6, disbelief clearly written on his features. “No, not honest ones. But you never know what might slip. And so long as you’re not the one making the slip it’s always worth trying.” Number 6 looked Number 5 in the eye and continued, “We’re people, not numbers. We won’t give them the satisfaction of being ‘mutual’ as they say. We WILL be who and what we are in spite of them!” He thrust out his hand. “My name is John. And yours?” Number 5 smiled weakly as they shook hands. “Clark, my name is Clark.”
~

Number 6 had made his normal rounds for two days now without having seen Number 5. Number 5 had seemed to be getting steadily weaker. A visit with Number 2 seemed in order.

~

“Where is Number 5?” Number 6 didn’t ask, he commanded. “The gentleman in question is no concern of yours, Number 6. Be content in knowing he’s well cared for, as you are, and let it go at that.” Number 2 spoke absently, his mind somewhere else, his attention on some sordid Village detail and not on Number 6. “WHO is Number 5? Why number 5? Who is he that he’s so important and WHAT is that pendant?!” Number 6 never gave up easily. Number 2s attention was now focused on 6. “WHO he is doesn’t matter. And the pendant, did you notice the small piece of yellow stone?” He laughed and he smiled as though he knew a secret worth more than all the yellow gold in the world. “Its a bit of meteorite. We’ve been bombarded with such for decades. Our scientists think they’re the left over bits and pieces of a planet, who knows from what part of the galaxy. The planet seems to have disintegrated. The meteors, all with the same basic atomic structure, come to us in a variety of colors. The colors seem to be the result of various types and dosages of radiation. They have peculiar properties.” Number 2 laughed riotously at this last part. “And now that I’ve shared all this, and I realize you’ll think I’ve lied whether I have or not, you know precisely how much more than you did before? I mean really? And the information helps you how? Number 6, questions honestly are a burden to others and answers ARE a prison for oneself. You always question, don’t you? For any answer you may come by, are you FREE?!” This last word Number 2 spat out like caustic.

~

“Where’s your friend, Number 6? Haven’t seen him about in weeks now.” The waitress at the cafe queried idly.”Who? Do you mean Number 5?” “Yes, Number 5,” and she brightened up a little. “You know,” she leaned towards him, her voice lowered, and with a sly smile she said, in her best conspiratorial tone, “He told me once that he was a newspaper reporter from some American metropolis.”

Drabble … “A Man’s Best Friend is … “

Standard
Man's best friend has an undeniable kindness

Man’s best friend has an undeniable kindness. Pity it doesn’t go along with the name.

“A Man’s Best Friend is … ”

~

He’d seen it for only a moment. Large, white, gliding across the water. And then it seemed to sink. Gone. It looked like a downed weather balloon. But the sinking wasn’t like a balloon filled with … ? He walked along the beach, hoping to get another glimpse. He saw water surging, bubbling up, and then … Nothing. A family on a day’s outing was enjoying the sun further on. A boy played with his puppy. He strained to see any more evidence of the “balloon”. John Drake walked on. He heard the boy calling, “Rover! Here boy!” A boy and his dog.

Drabble … “Welcome to The Village.”

Standard
Drabble … “Welcome to The Village.”

“Welcome to The Village.”

~

“Welcome to The Village! May I help you?” “Why do you call it that?” “The Village? We thought it comforting. Customers are number one here.” Odd name for a book shop. “Are you looking for something? I’ll help if able. Including,” he put fingers together and ran them across his lips, zipping them. “A still tongue makes a happy life.” “A guide to Italy.” “We have this. One pound even.” He took the book. “Yes,” and he opened his wallet. “Thank you. Enjoy!” “Thanks.” The clerk said, “Be seeing you!” “And you.” Extended holiday. But first to tender his resignation.

 

English: A part of Portmeirion, the real-life ...

A part of Portmeirion, the real-life filming location for exterior shots of the Village, the fictional setting of the 1960s UK television series The Prisoner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)