<![CDATA[The Odd Man Speaks                                                Tales of the Odd Unusual, and Unexplained - Studio 30+ Stories]]>Sun, 31 Jan 2016 02:39:56 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[A  Big  Man]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 22:48:44 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/a-big-man                                                

           "We're not losing time. Time ran away without us decades ago. "
    That's what the old man said. The big man lay on the bed. Tired. His face showed years of living.His Skin was stretched in places wrinkles, age spots littered his body.   His hands showed the decades of hard work.
      "Here , come look at this,"  He slowly managed to straighten up on the old bed. The room seemed as old as he was. The pictures on the wall where faded, and a few were torn, and wrinkled.  He indicated a picture hanging off to his left.   Moving closer to him, I smell him. But it's not the smell of a old man. It's the smell of fear, of time running out. The picture is old. Very old . "Take it down." he instructs. So I gently take the picture from the wall. The wall behind it it is three shades lighter from not being in the sun for decades.   I step back a bit.
"What is it?" I inquire tentatively as I try to find good light in the dark room to really look at it.  Blowing dust from it, wiping cobwebs from the edges, I finally manage to get a clearer idea of the old picture.  By now he had managed to get himself sitting upright on the edge of his bed. Even at his old age, with a world beaten body. Sitting there on the edge, it occurred to me how tall he still was.  Several clever remarks ran through my head, But I quickly dismissed them.   The picture was big probably two feet square.  In a black frame. It was dark red on the top half, the bottom showed a flat landscape.  The ground seemed to be in a shadow.  Then it seemed familiar. I'd seen the picture before.  Then I recognized the cloud centered in the top two thirds of the picture.   It was a mushroom cloud .  Turning it over Printed on the back in neat handwritten  block letters, Hiroshima, August 6, 1945.   I glanced back at the old man.
"I was there." He reported, upon seeing I knew what the picture was.  "I was there for  the death and destruction . I barely missed being killed by the radiation .  Look at it son, Look close."  He got up with surprising agility   Coming over to me. He looked down at me. Even at a hundred plus years, he still towered over everything in the room.  "And this,"  walking past me to the display case. Opening, the glass door. He  reaching in he picked  up a small jewelry box.   He opened it. Inside was a yellow tooth. I walked over to see what he had in the little box. In the light of the display cabinet , I saw the tooth.
He carefully picked it up. He glanced over to the picture still in my hand and back to the old yellow tooth.  Looking close at him in the light I could see the years had taken their toll on him. He body was bent, and warped by the years, and arthritis and many aliments I'll never know about.  
    "They found thousands of them. Teeth, That was all that was left of thousands of people. A few bones, and buildings  leveled or close to it."   He picked up the old yellow tooth, and looked at in the light, Then put it back in the box.  
He turned to me. Looking down on my small frame, he stared for a minute.  Finally he spoke. It was low and drawn, as if he'd been considering the words he had to say.
    "Son, we're in a hell of a Predicament. If our nation doesn't do what is necessary now, Than in all likelihood the  enemy will use everything in their arsenal to destroy us. And Yes, I believe that they  have atomic bombs. I have no doubt that they'd hesitate one second to use them on us."  He paused for effect.
"Well, Mr. President, What you going to do?"
I turned back to the wall behind his bed. There scattered across it were pictures of the world at war. Images from WWI, WWII. A lot of them. Fewer from Korea, And handful from Vietnam.   Turning back to the display cabinet;  Medals and ribbons were neatly laid across the top shelf.   I noted several large campaign patches and medals . On the lower shelf were at least a half dozen written citations . The bottom shelf held several old gns. One I recognized immediately , a Colt 1911 Pistol.  It was old, holster worn from spending  many months riding in his holster . The finish was gone in all the places it should be for a service weapon. Somehow it made my brand new 1911 seem like a toy. I knew it would never see the kind of use and live the life hs old pistol had.  All of this flashed into mind as I went on to notice the captured German Luger, and several other foreign weapons of war.  
    I turned back to the old man. He had retreated back to his bed.and now sat  on the edge of the bed, sipping on his lukewarm coffee. He looked over at me. Even sitting on his old bed, he could still look me straight in the eyes.  Suddenly he seemed old and tired again.  His question came back to me again. It echoed in my mind. ”Well, Mr. President, what you gonna do?”
    He was right. It was up to me. I had come to him to seek advice about the war that was brewing. My advisors had  told me not to bother seeing the senile old man.  But I knew better.  He had been a friend of the family for many decades. He had served under four presidents, served with Eisenhower, at D-Day. Been with MacArthur in Korea, and countless other wars, and police actions for many decades. The wars and battles he won, were the stuff of legends. And he’d been a friend of mine since I was a kid.  I grew up listening to his stories. I was there when he retired as a four star General, decades ago.  And Now. And now he was tucked into a dingy little house on the outskirts of Washington. He had served his country for most of his life. And this was how they rewarded him.  It made me mad to think about it. I put the anger out of my mind for the moment. It  had taken me a long time to find him, after he just dropped out of sight. Now I’d found him. I vowed to myself he wouldn’t be living in this dump anymore.  But first things first.  Two Secret Service agents waited discreetly outside while I talked to him.
     I pulled up the old chair and sat down in front of him.  “General. You have any ideas, about what to do with the mess we’re in now ?” I asked quietly and pointedly. It was clear he knew what was going on in the world.  
    “Son, you must be prepared to act fast and ruthlessly . To take to war to them. Before they’re ready for it.  Look at World War II, Take the lessons from the  great generals of the time.  You must have commanders who will push their men and demand they do more than they ever thought they could.  Above all. Son, you must strike first and hard. And decisively . There must be no question about if you will win, but only how you will win.  Like D-day, the cost will be great, But you must prevail, or we’ll all be doomed. “
There. He’d said it. Exactly what I was thinking. He had put into words thought and feelings I’d had for the last couple of days.   
     “Thank you. Thank you General for saying what I was feeling.”  
I said my goodbyes.  I talked to his nurses aid. I informed him that people would arriving later in the day to help him move into a retirement home for Veterans, and that everything he owned here would be taken with him, from the pictures to the display cabinet, I also told him, There would no problem with his guns and other collectables,   I gave him the number to my private secretary. If there was any problems or questions; They were to call and they would be fixed immediately.
I said goodbye to the General one more time.
That evening I went on national TV and declared war.


<![CDATA[A Small   Man]]>Sun, 20 Dec 2015 22:01:47 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/a-small-man           He was a small man. He had always been a small man. Small in every way. He'd had small dreams, A small life. A small job.
     People ignored him, when he was a kid, he was the one everyone picked on .       In school, the teachers never picked on him, because he didn't stand out in the classroom. They seemed to feel that because he was small, he wasn't smart. They ignored him, when he called on being wrong. Being small he had taken a lot of abuse. The end result was he was small, he thought and dreamed small.
     Than he looked in the mirror one day. He was suddenly tired of being small. Being naturally small he'd pretty much let life run over him. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had slowly realized that it was his fault he had a small life. It was time to reinvent his life.
 That started with his wardrobe. He went through his closest.  Except for a very few pieces he really liked everything else went to the Goodwill.  The next stop on the way to the men's cloths store was the barber. There he had the barber give him a while new look, When he left he sported a nice flattop haircut, nicely trimmed beard.
     He spent the rest of he day at the cloths store.  There he selected , a completely new set of cloths, and a new style. He went back to the basics, classics.  He topped it off with a new fedora hat, and trench coat.  The bill was huge. But he didn't care.  
     For the first time in his life he didn't feel small.  His next stop was his work.     The looks he got when he walked in wearing the new outfit were priceless.  In all the years he worked there, he had never been in anything other than a very old, ill fitting suit, and crappy old hat. all of which should have been dumped decades ago. 
     He walked into his boss's office. Laying his new briefcase down on the desk, took off the new hat.
His boss barely glanced up at him. Then he did a double take. 
The look on his boss said it all. In his wildest dreams he never had seen him look that good.
     "Mr. Connery. I want a raise. I've been working here for almost twenty years, I've been doing mine and your jobs and sometimes even more than that. For all of those years you've taken me for granted. and pretty much ignored me, unless you needed my help, and me to bail you out of a mess. That stops now.  
You give me a raise, double my current salary, and a promotion, A promotion, I might add you promised me several years ago."
     Mr. Connery, just sat looking up at him. He was speechless for a second. He barely recognized the small man  standing before him. He  tried to think quickly. He realized everything he'd said was right.
     "You want what?" he asked sarcastically. He  decided to make a show of standing up to him. He really wasn't sure how to take the new version of his old employee. 
    "Its really simple you start treating me as a equal, and giving  me the respect I deserve, Or I leave. I start my own firm, and take all of my clients with me. After all the years I've been here, I know where all the bodies are buried , so to speak, I know how much you've skimming off to your off shore account.  And about you and Mrs. Lewis. " He paused a moment to let it sink in.  

Mr. Connery  sat back down his his chair. Suddenly the man before him looked ten feet high. He knew if he  pushed him he'd do exactly what he said he would do. 
     "By the way I quit.  There will be a letter in the mail going to the proper  authorities  detailing all of the things I've just mentioned. and more.  And I am taking all my clients with me.  I've already talked to them and they've agreed to move with my to my new firm. 
 He turned and walked back through the offices. He went to his desk, There he plugged in a thumb drive. started downloading all his files. While that was working he cleared out his desk. collecting all his papers, and every little thing he had.  The computer beeped. He unplugged the drive from the USB port,  Putting it in his pocket. With all of his papers and files and other stuff in his new briefcase. He took one single piece of paper, and wrote on it "I Quit" With the whole office staff watching, including Mrs. Lewis, and Mr. Connery, he walked out the door. 
     He was never a Small Man again.

<![CDATA[Going Home  On Halloween]]>Sat, 24 Oct 2015 23:26:22 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/going-home-on-halloween                   Old houses have this effect on me. I need to to see them.      I can't not go and investigate an old house when I find them. It calls to me. This particular old house on the outskirts of  town had been calling me for quite some time.  Finally I had the chance to go and see it.            As it, was, it would  be October 31st.  Halloween. The  perfect time to go prowling  around in a old abandoned house. 
     Upon arriving, I found the old wrought iron gate hanging open. It swung in the breeze.  It was hard to tell where the rust ended, and the iron left off.  The brick pathway up the porch was  almost nonexistent. What few bricks that were still there, were broken or pushed out of place, grass and weeds had pretty much taken over the whole path and lawn, Judging from what I could see of the lawn in the moon. Mostly weeds.
    Reaching the porch, I Found it to be about what I expected.  The steps where crocked from sinking into the ground, and when I finally arrived at the top, I found the planks were worn, and  and mostly bare wood.  The paint had long since been wore off by traffic and weather. many of the planks that were still there were also rotted to their center.  All in all the porch was dangerous place to be. How the roof of the porch was still standing was mystery of its own. 
     After carefully making my way across the porch, I found the front door. With my powerful flashlight I looked over the door, At one time it had been a handsome door. Complete with stained glass and brass hardware. Now the glass was gone, save a few pieces around the edge. The brass doorknob hung loosely in the door.  Jiggling it a bit, I managed to get it to sort of work.  
     With several loud creaks and moans it slowly swung open to the inside of the house. Dust and cobwebs assaulted me as the door moved.  Eventually, it swung all the way in. Standing in the door frame, I waited a second. Using the flashlight I  looked around the room before stepping in.  Satisfied it didn't look immediately dangerous, I carefully took a step into the room.
    Entering the room was essentially stepping back in time.  As I started to look more carefully around the room. The furniturings  were of the late 1800's. Victorian, as near as I could tell. As a begun to get a little more comfortable being in the room, and started walking around, I  started feeling at home in the room.  Then I seemed to feel a presence with me.  Looking around behind me.  I find in the hallway entrance,a gentleman standing there.
     He was old. The suit was formal, almost to the point of being a tuxedo.  He stood  tall and stiff. as if he'd been standing like that for decades. 
     "May I help you Sir?" he  inquired tersely.
Whether he was surprised to see me or not I couldn't tell. But I was surprised to see him standing in a old abandoned house. 
    "With your permission, sir, " he said quietly as he turned on the oil lamp on the table. Upon the light coming on, I could now clearly see the rest of the room. I was right, It was a typical Victorian house. Complete with a english butler. 
     "Will you be spending the night here, Sir ? I'll turn down your bed ."
It was if he knew me. and was not at all surprised to see me in the parlor. Even at this late hour.
I was still coming to grips with the proceedings.  Much less with the whole idea of having a butler. 
     "If I may ask, What is Your name? I seemed to have forgotten."
     "Arthur, Sir,  He replied unfazed at my question or response to him.
    "Arthur, Do you know who I am?
    "Yes sir, Your  Lord Edward Nelson. The owner of this house."

    "Arthur, when was the last time you saw me ?"
    "This morning sir, as you were going into town on some business."
Arthur seem unmoved by the whole turn of events. It was normal for him to have his master appear at midnight.
    "Arthur, one one question, What is today's date?"
    "October 31, 1895 Sir." Arthur answered all my  questions without so much as blinking an eye in surprise.
    I had wasn't sure what to think or  do, My name is Edward Nelson.  And I seemed to remember that I did have a grandfather who was a british lord.  A british Lord, who had come to the states about the year he said. Looking around some more, I saw I portait of of a very distinguished gentleman
    "Arthur, Who is that?" I indicate the portrait.
    "Thats you sir, " It was me, looking down on me.
Returning to the front door. It is exactly as it should be, beautiful and the window is filled with stained glass.  What I can see in the moonlight looks completely different than it did when I entered the old house. The porch is now perfect, and what little I can see of the lawn is in perfect shape.  I had a sense of familiarity  and calm slowly come over me.
    "Yes Arthur, I believe I will be spending the night."

<![CDATA[A Fairy Tale Behind a Fairy Tale]]>Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:27:26 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/a-fairy-tale-behind-a-fairy-taleThe Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day;
The knave of Hearts, he stole the tarts,
And took them clean away.

The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
And beat the Knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And vowed he’d steal no more.

                                          The story has been told many times though the years. Everyone knows how the Queen of Hearts made some tarts on a summers day, The tale goes on to say how the Knave of Hearts stole them.

What they don't say is the Knave of Hearts was supposed to steal the tarts. The queen and Knave of Hearts were lovers. She told him to steal the tarts so she could  give them to him without the King of Hearts finding out the Knave of Hearts was blending  more then the title with the Queen Of Hearts.

          This piece was done in response to a challenge on a another site,
Fractured   Friday  The Challenge was Who were the tarts for?

<![CDATA[Selfie]]>Sun, 27 Sep 2015 19:38:38 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/selfie                                One of the first things she did was take a selfie. Standing outside the store, she had a odd feeling like people weren't seeing her. She stood and watched people walk by for several minutes. They seemed involved in their own little worlds.  As she stood there a  empty feeling came over, like she didn't exist. Turning around she looked at the picture window behind her. Expecting to see herself staring back at her.  All she saw was the inside of the store. Reflections of people walking past her, behind her. But she saw no sign of herself in the window. it was like she didn't exist. At least not to the window.  She turned sharply back to the sidewalk.  She had to know . If she was invisible. A young couple came along not too far out into the sidewalk. Waiting until the last second before they passed her, She jumped out in front of them. They looked right through her, and kept on walking as if she wasn't there.  They walked right through her. She was not only invisible, but had no substance. 

     The physical sensation of being walked through was  electrifying . She felt the static electricity from their bodies go through her body, and for a very brief second, she felt like she was on fire. Than just as quick as it started, it was gone. she turned around and watched the couple continue on as though she was never there. She stood there in shock. The rest of the world seemed to be going by without her.

     Slowly she retrieved her new smartphone. Pulling it out she examined the opening screen. Time and date were there alright. Then she looked in the gallery where the picture she'd taken a few minutes ago was stored.   There she was staring back at her. But the image didn't seem right. As she watched it for several minutes, transfixed on her eyes, she realized the image was very slowly fading. First the background seemed to be melting into a  gray haze. Then her image itself seemed to the be melting. The edges of her hair, appeared to be getting blurry, and before her eyes they seemed to fade into the gray background.  She quickly closed the  app, and returned to the home screen.   At first she didn't notice anything . Then she glanced at the clock . Instead of being 3 minutes later then it was when she opened the gallery to look at her picture, It  was 3 minutes earlier.  She had just lost 3 minutes of her life.

     Looking around she found a  bank clock, that displayed the time and temperature.   Sure enough her phone was 3  minutes behind the clock. .  Opening the camera app on her phone again, she looked around for something to take a picture of . Finely she spotted a discarded pop can sitting on a bench in front of a store. 

She raised the camera, noted the exact time she took the picture, actually wrote two times on her hand,  one was what the bank clock said, and other was what her phone said. She zoomed in and took a picture of the Pepsi can. Opening the gallery app on her phone she watched the picture and the original can.

     She didn't have to wait long. Withing a minute the bench started to fade in her picture.  At the same time, the real bench started to loose its density. it seemed to be fading right before her eyes,    She reached out to touch it. Her hand went right through it. The Pepsi can was also fading equally fast.  Withing another 3 minutes both the real bench and Pepsi can were gone, and the picture on her phone was a gray haze. She watched as the tow of them faded into nothingness. Looking around, No one seemed to notice her or the disappearing bench.  She looked at the the two clocks again.   The bank clock seemed to be  working right It gained another 3 minutes. The clock on her phone had indeed lost another 3 minutes.  

     The implication of what had happened scared  her. She no longer existed as far as the world was concerned. A bench no longer existed, because she took a picture of it.  The enormity of what was happening began to sink in.  She opened her picture gallery again.  Checking the picture of the bench it was completely gone Then her picture. Where there was hair, in the picture, was now a gray haze.  Her face was fast disappearing. It now only showed he eyes and nose and mouth in a circle of  gray haze. She was just getting  used to the idea of being invisible to the world.  The bigger question loomed, what would happen when her picture finely faded from the picture entirely. Checking the information bot her picture, It had been 10 minutes since she'd taken her selfie . 

       As the last pixels of her photo faded into a grey haze that had overtaken her picture  she felt herself becoming hyper aware of her surroundings. Her sense of hearing and sight dramatically and sharply increased.  Her view of her world changed. from that of a human on a street, in the middle of a town, to a  cat's eye view of the world, looking down on earth from outer space.   She was conscious of the whole wold, Every living thing seemed to be channeling its thoughts and feeling to her. The impact of the rush of sensations, and emotions was  shocking to her system and her mind. She tried to comprehend  her new reality.  

Then she heard another voice. Clear and  quiet , over the  cavalcade of thoughts and sounds that was assaulting her mind.

   When her mind finely cleared up a bit she was back where she started, sort of. There was the bench with the Pepsi can. 

Turning she saw a number of people with smartphones in their hands.

The world looked very similar to the world she'd just left.  But , there was one important difference.  There was no room for remorse or sorrow.  Time runs backwards in this world.

<![CDATA[A Life Well   Lived]]>Fri, 18 Sep 2015 02:13:03 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/a-life-well-lived           Time was all he needed was his old guitar. He would get up on the stage with just his old Martin guitar and sing his heart out.

 People loved it, and him, So much that now he  had long since abandoned his street corner, His days as a street performer where long gone. Theses days he traveled in a million dollar bus, with all   of  the comforts of home.  And than some.  He now had a entourage of 100 people on his payroll.  They did everything  from take care of his bus, set up stage, lighting sound, and equipment, and things he didn't even know  existed.

   Sometimes, when he lies in the back of his bus drifting off to sleep, his mind goes back to the old days. Back when he barely had money to eat, and slept wherever he could find a warm dry place. back than it was literally him and his old guitar.   

     At one time he knew who his friends were. People who supported him, feed him, let him barrow money, found him gigs to play.  Now he could never completely trust anyone,  Everyone from the old days was gone.  To the outside world, he'd made it. But had he really ? Made what? A fortune doing what he loved, playing and singing, yes, he had that, but what about a family?   A wife, kids and extended family? He had none.    All of theses things and more weighted heavy on his mind over many months.

      One day he just walked  off the stage, out the back door and disappeared into the night.  That was over 20 years ago.

     The mystery of his sudden disappearance, and why has become the stuff of  legend.   Over the years many tales have circulated about why he left his life.  No one knows the truth.  That is, except him and his family.   Somewhere in Virginia, he lives with his wife, and 6  kids and grand-kids.  He works in a a local hardware store, hunts and fishes, and  spend quality time with  his grand-kids.  Sometimes that plays his old songs and they  have no  idea  that's their grandpa their listening to. 

     Once in a while when its late at night, he gets the old Martin out and plays.  Now as he enter his twilight years, he knows his life has been well lived.

<![CDATA[Ode  To The Kitchen Table]]>Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:08:20 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/ode-to-the-kitchen-table           The  old  kitchen table had long since seen better days.  Over the years,  many meals had been prepared and served on it. There were scratch marks and gouges in the top from various family dinners that had included many turkeys, and hams and other large pieces  of meat. Unfortunately not all were cut with the efficiently of a master chef. Most were  , shall we say, unceremoniously mangled into bite size portions.  Which were served to the various family members attending the event.

     The old table had been the scene of many hours of homework. The homework ranged over the years from simple spelling words to world history, and many topics in between. Three generations of children had eaten and done homework on the table over the years.   Oh the games that it had seen. From Go fish, to Yahtzee, and on more then few occasions poker, bridge, gin, and many board games. Stories had been related over the meals and games, memories had been made, first dates, last dates, fights, making up, and one more then a few Christmas secrets had been told across the table.

     Today , it sat in he garage, in the far back corner, waiting to be first used as a work bench, and probably as is the usual manner of course, to be piled high with junk, no one knows what to do with, or wants to get rid of.  

     Eventually, it will be rediscovered under a pile of stuff that should have been tossed decades ago.  The new owners will oh and ah over it. Marvel at the quality workmanship, and the fine quality of the wood.  The scratches and gouges and various stains in the top, will be noted.  There will be a discussion of weather to leave the table as is, or have it refinished.   It will be decided that the table should stay the way it is. So the table will be moved back into the house, placed back in the kitchen, and used again for another  several generations of the new  family. The old table would be a rabble rouser if it could talk.  The family history  the old kitchen table  has seen and will see with the new family would be enough to fill several books,

<![CDATA[Time In A Song]]>Thu, 03 Sep 2015 22:07:25 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/time-in-a-song                   The name seemed familiar . Only he couldn't place it. He knew he should know who she was, but for the life of him he couldn't remember who she was. Somewhere in his life he'd meet her, if only briefly, but it was enough that he could barely remember the name. Much less who she was, or how they'd met. Oh the joys of getting older. The body's not the only thing to go, one's mind seems to take leave of absence on occasions. This was one of those times. 

 She walked into the room. 

    "Hi Honey, How you doing?" She said brightly and smiled widely. Leaning down to kiss his forehead, lovingly. 

     He sat in his wheelchair watching her come in, looking at her. Yes she did seem familiar, He just couldn't place her.  Her voice rang like a bell, calling him to remember happier times, but he couldn't remember.       Her touch seemed familiar, and her scent as she leaned to kiss him, seemed to be a smell he knew, But he still couldn't remember. It was killing him, It seemed she knew him, she definitely knew and loved him, but for the life of him he couldn't remember.  Finally, when he could stand it no longer, he had to ask;

     "Who, Who are you?" He stammered timidly, not wanting his lack of knowing her to appear too obvious.

     "Why honey, I'm Brenda, your wife. You remember me don't you?" Branda sat in the chair right next to his wheelchair and hugged him.
Brenda, and the nurse exchanged knowing  looks. Today was not going to be one of his better days, it seemed.

    Brenda sat and talked to him for several hours. Telling him how they met, and were married, and all about their children, and how well each of them is doing. Once in a while he would show a spark of recognition, at something she said, mostly he sat and listened to stories about his life, he couldn't remember. As a last ditch effort to try to connect with him even for a moment today she pulled out her phone and hooked up the external speaker, and played music she knew he would remember. When the old music came on his eyes lit up, for a moment they were together, in the songs, many years ago, in their youth.  She softly sang the old Sinatra songs with him, for a brief  moment they connected, through the music. When the songs were over , he went back to his old self again. The life drained out of his eyes, The same blank look he had when she walked in came back. Slowly, he barely remembered a long time ago, when he was married to her. It seemed like a lifetime ago.  Now he sat here in this wheelchair day after day.  He would let his mind drift in and out of his past,. He could remember things when he was a boy, even as a young man. But there seemed to be a cut off, in his mind , past a certain point, he was a total blank. His next memory was always here in the chair, in his room. He could never  remember the rest of his life.  Sometimes he wished Brenda wouldn't come to see him. He knew he should know her, but he just couldn't remember her. In another part of his mind, he hated to see her suffer seeing him like this.  In brief moments of clarity, he knew who he was, and why he was here. He had Alzheimer's and was slowly losing what was left of his mind.  That was bad enough, but he couldn't bear seeing her suffer when she came to see him. But those moments of lucidity where few and far between and getting farther between.

<![CDATA[Bad Day At Nexus]]>Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:05:19 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/bad-day-at-nexus              The scene that greeted him upon his arrival at the  Nexus Space Station was horrific. Several passenger ship floated out alongside the main hub. As he piloted his small craft past them; he looked inside each of them. He shouldn't have been able to. The passenger liners all had cavernous holes in the sides of them. Holes big enough to fly his ship into.  Looking carefully around he found no obvious cause for the disaster. Until he reached the main hub of the Nexus Space Station.  

       There he found the remains of several smaller ships crashed into the loading bays . Doors were either torn off completely and floating nearby, of hanging by either a hinge, or hydraulic line.  He knew from experience, if this had been back on earth, there would be massive fires, and much more collateral damage. As it was, the damage to the space station had rendered it almost impossible to support human life. All the while he was approaching what left of the space station, he tried all hailing frequencies, and got no response from the station, or any of the vessels scattered around the station.  Eventually he was able to find a docking station still intact. Gingerly maneuvering his  small craft to the magnets he let them pull his ship to the hatch.  Once it clunked metal against metal,and the the exit doors sealed. allowing a safe exit from his his craft to the  space station. 

     Once he entered the station, the devastation was immediately obvious.

Heading for the damaged section of the hub, he found all the main airlock had already self sealed, keeping the remaining sections of the hub liveable.  The halls were littered with debris, and personal lay dead en masse in the hall immediately off the airlock seals. Obviously either killed during the initial crash, or when the outer  hull was broken before the airlocks sealed up the area, and environmental systems retuned the area to liveable again. Too late for those caught there originally. Heading to the main control center of the space station he finally found people alive. Not many.  When he talked to them he finally got the story.  

     It had been a suicide attack by a rogue  nation, that was denouncing  earth's venture into space. The plan had worked it had crippled the Nexus Space Station. Killing thousands of people, destroying  billions of dollars of structure, and equipment, and decades of work.  Effectively  ending earth's  bid to colonize the stars. At least for the foreseeable future.

Some thing never change even after thousands of years.

<![CDATA[The Devil is in the Details]]>Sat, 15 Aug 2015 03:47:23 GMThttp://theoddmanspeaks.weebly.com/-studio-30-stories/the-devil-is-in-the-details                    " Details, Details. It's was ALWAYS about the damned details."  He thought to himself as he went over the short story one more time.  Yes, he knew that spelling punctuation, and grammar were important. But this was getting ridiculous.  He lost track of how many times he'd rewritten at least part of his story. It seemed like he'd rewrote the who damned thing at least twice.   Picking up the original printout of his story, reading it over again, then the latest version. He hated to admit it, but the newest copy was much better.  He had to admit all the rewriting had improved the story.  It was much shorter tighter and seemed to flow much better.  As much as he hated doing it, editing was a necessary evil,   He normally didn't mind going back and fixing spelling and grammar errors, and the the like. But this time had been different. His editor had him got back and practically rewrite the whole story from start to finish. Dropping a couple of sections he thought were important, however after   redoing and rewording a couple of  sections before and after the dropped sections he'd had made the whole thing flow better.  Thought the process he'd learned not to Quibble with is editor, and listen to him. 

    Editing had made a OK story with promise and almost no  future a great story that he quickly sold and and helped him see the value of a good editor, and the whole editing process itself.  

     "Yes the devil is in the details" . He thought to himself.