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FFF - July 6, 2012

Verse_Artiste

first registered 29.06.10

last online 46 mins ago

Yes! Yes! Yes! It's that time again. The FFF thread is now open for business.

Post your stories here before Saturday 5pm,

THE RULES: 1000 words or fewer, any topic, theme or genre.


SUBMIT!


Posted: 05/07/2012 06:43:51

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Verse_Artiste

first registered 29.06.10

last online 46 mins ago

Bump.

Posted: 05/07/2012 13:19:49

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Verse_Artiste

first registered 29.06.10

last online 46 mins ago

Submit...Wink

Posted: 05/07/2012 14:12:20

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Rob Lawrence

retired user

Yes! Yes! Yes! It's that time again. The FFF thread is now open for business.

Post your stories here before Saturday 5pm,

THE RULES: 1000 words or fewer, any topic, theme or genre.


SUBMIT! <nolink>close quotes</nolink>

Hey, I'm first Open-mouthed

Hamlet

Hamlet made his bid for freedom when the Orang Baju (people with clothes) guards slept after their lunch. The river, at the end of the dry season, was low. He overcame his fear and waded the shallow water but Ophelia's fear was too great to overcome hers. Even though the water was barely waist-deep, she knew one slip and her body mass doomed her to drown. Life was life and she had the baby she carried within her to consider. He argued that death was preferable to the living hell of the consentration camp to no avail.

“You go,” she insisted. “The Orang Baju won’t hurt me. Go, my husband, go. Find somewhere away from the them where we can live in peace: away from the logging, the burning and the killing.”

For three days he travelled east towards the distant mountains before he had found what he was looking for: an outlier of the central highlands, a place where plantation and logging ended. The rainforest was untouched: its slopes too steep to make it attractive to the Orang Baju. The day was nearly spent by the time he reached the top, climbing the trees that clung precariously to the thousand-foot high cliffs.

He spent the following day exploring the plateau. Fresh water and food abounded: fig, durian and cempedak. Above all, there were no Orang Baju and no tigers. He had found their home. The next day, he would begin the long journey back to rescue Ophelia.

- ۩ -

He spent a miserable sleepless night sheltering in a Palm Oil plantation: the foliage unsuitable for him to make a nest. The smell of Orang Baju filled his nostrils. The plantation contained nothing nutritious to eat and he had to make do with ants and sickly Palm Oil nuts. They filled his stomach but also made him feel nauseous. Overhead lightening flickered across the night sky and thunder filled the air. The rains had come.

Hamlet sat on his haunches, motionless in the thick scrub vegetation fringing the river watching the camp on the opposite bank. He made little effort at concealment. His russet hair and charcoal face rendered him almost invisible to the Orang Baju. Only a sudden movement would draw him to their attention. He sniffed the air: durian. Somewhere in the jungle behind him was a durian tree laden with the irresistible fruit. But he must resist: Ophelia needed him.

He could see her on the feeding platform, shunned by her fellow inmates: his erstwhile companions. After the rain the toffee-coloured river was both deep and wide. He was too late. But it was never too late. Death was preferable to life without Ophelia. A loud chattering woke him. He must have dozed off and he chided himself. He watched the Orang Baju heap fruit on the feeding table. Ophelia made a move towards it but was beaten back by the alpha male: the usurper to his throne. Whatever the risk he had to break back in. From that point the choice was stark. Either he had to persuade Ophelia to escape with him or he had to remain within the camp and resume his status as the alpha male. She needed him: their unborn child needed him.

He watched the Orang Baju. Soon they would have their lunch; soon they would sleep. He studied the river and its banks. He noticed a fallen sapling brought down by the rains. It was about the right length. If he stripped it of its branches he could use it as a pole to vault the river.

That would get him in. But how could he get Ophelia out? She could never vault the river: she simply wasn’t strong enough.

It might just be long enough to make a bridge.

He studied the banks on both sides of the river and the overhanging branches. He saw a vine hanging. Yes a bridge might work. If he used the vine to steady himself, he could cross. He was twice as heavy as Ophelia; if it took his weight it would comfortably take hers.

He settled back on his haunches once more and waited.

- ۩ -

He heard the deep soporific snoring of the Orang Baju beneath their attap shelter. Quietly, with barely a rustle, Hamlet moved along the riverbank to the fallen tree. Before picking it up, he stripped it of its branches. As he reached its top, his heart dropped like a stone. Its tip was too slender. Disconsolate, he sat back on his haunches and stared across the expanse of water.

There HAD to be a way.

He studied the banks of the river: soft mud. He picked up the sapling once more and rammed it with all his strength into the opposite river bank a few inches below the surface of the river. He dug a pit for the base of its trunk and repacked the mud. The span shortened and the water taking the weight of the sapling itself, it should now take his weight. Either way, death was preferable to life without Ophelia.

Using the vine to steady himself, he stepped onto the makeshift bridge: the water ankle-deep. He felt it sag. Slowly he inched further. It was holding. Foot by careful foot he edged ever further into the river and, suddenly, he was standing on the opposite bank.

The temptation to run for Ophelia was almost overwhelming but he settled back onto his haunches and called softly to her: an altercation with the usurper would awaken the Orang Baju. She heard him and softly replied. She slowly knuckle-walked towards him, stopping every now and then and settle back on her haunches to ensure that neither the Orang Baju of the other orang-utans noticed her movement towards the river.

“I have found the perfect place!” he proudly announced.

“But the river…………..”

“I have built a bridge below the water from here to the other bank. See the marks in the bank where I dug. If it will take my weight, it will certainly take yours! Hold onto this vine to steady you. If you slip, cling to the vine and I will come and rescue you but don’t call out! I will follow as soon as you are safely on the other bank: the bridge won’t take the weight of both of us.”

“If you are sure, my husband.”

“I’m sure.”

- ۩ -


Posted: 05/07/2012 14:45:26
Last Edit: 05/07/2012 14:54:15 by Robert Lawrence

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Verse_Artiste

first registered 29.06.10

last online 46 mins ago

More submissions please.

Posted: 05/07/2012 16:58:41

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William Holt

first registered 19.10.09

last online 55 mins ago

Worms

Have you ever noticed how something you can't see, like the exhaust from an automobile, can still cast a shadow on the pavement in bright sunlight? When I see this phenomenon, I remember my high school friend's funeral.

Sixth period biology. The dissecting pans, one for every two students, held one large dead earthworm each. Mr. Burns said, "Today we're doing a basic dissection of Lumbricus terrestris. You have a scalpel, scissors, forceps, and pins. Please try hard to avoid cutting into the intestine, and be ready to make a drawing of your completed work. Each of you is responsible for his or her own drawing; you may divide the actual cutting and pinning any way you wish. Steady hands, now." And he sat down, leaving us to our task.

Jerry Grant, my partner, was more interested in girls than in biology, but he set to work with a delicate touch, and soon the worm was open from stem to stern, its digestive tract unmarred. Suddenly he turned, distracted, and said, "What's she doing here? She's gorgeous!"

I saw no one. But he continued to stare at an empty spot in the room. Then his head tilted back and he sighed with pleasure--just before collapsing to the floor in what appeared to be an epileptic seizure. We all cleared a space for him, and Mr. Burns called the school nurse, who evidently summoned an ambulance, since I heard a siren approaching fast just as Jerry's spasms started to lessen.

When he could speak, he muttered, "Something got inside me when she kissed me. It felt like a worm."

He grabbed for his groin. "It's in here," he muttered.

But then he writhed around and put a hand on his lower back. "It's moving up!" he said, sounding panicky, as paramedics arrived with a stretcher.

Then Jerry was clutching his head, his face gray and his breathing labored.

Once at the hospital, Jerry got steadily worse, the grayish pallor suffusing his whole body. The doctors in Intensive Care could do nothing for him, nor could they diagnose his condition, though one suggested a psychosomatic reaction.

His words were worse than his physical deterioration. Pointing with a quivering finger, he rasped, "She's right here. Don't you see her? She's here in the corner of the room! Help!"

My friend died at four the next morning. The funeral took place two days later. Throughout his graveside service, a girl shaped shadow moved on the grass. I watched, hardly able to look away, and I wonder still if anyone else saw it.


Posted: 05/07/2012 21:27:35

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Verse_Artiste

first registered 29.06.10

last online 46 mins ago

SUBMIT.

Posted: 05/07/2012 21:34:42

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DDickson

first registered 28.06.09

last online 26 mins ago

Well at the moment there is a wind whistling through the space between my ears but I'll see what can be achieved.

Posted: 05/07/2012 21:38:05

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Verse_Artiste

first registered 29.06.10

last online 46 mins ago

Well at the moment there is a wind whistling through the space between my ears but I'll see what can be achieved. <nolink>close quotes</nolink>

I'm sure you'll find something.Smile

Posted: 05/07/2012 21:53:54

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William Holt

first registered 19.10.09

last online 55 mins ago

Whistling wind--I think there's a story in that.Tongue out

Posted: 05/07/2012 23:21:18

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