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Trab's 'There He Sat' Parts I - XIII


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Trab's let me play!

I was going to finish Trab's 'There He Sat'. In my mind I know what happens ... but then it wouldn't have been flash. So I've left it open ended ... just in case someone would like to carry on ...?

It also has an open beginning. What happened to the Corolla driver for us to find him sitting in his car, crying in the dark?

Thank you Trab!


There He Sat

By Trab

It was a Friday night, well, evening, really. Dark, wet, and cold, the weather had been anything but a pleasure to all who braved it, including me. The TV programming just totally sucked today, and I had completely exhausted my small library of tapes and DVDs. I bundled myself up, and dragged my sorry ass into the car and left for the movie rental place. As I pulled into the parking lot, I could see that there was only one other person who had braved the damp misery.

Ten feet away, in an older Toyota Corolla, which might or might not really be red, as sodium vapor lights hide colors so effectively, sat a youngish man, whose color couldn?t be disguised. The light, against the black background, highlighted the blond hair that was more like white cotton, topping a blanched face. He was looking down, and slowly picked a longish French fry out of a small packet. Putting it in his mouth, he chewed slowly. When done, he wiped his eyes. And again. Then, ever so hesitantly, he picked out another fry. Again the slow movement of his hand to his mouth, the careful and hesitant nibbling of this morsel, and again, wiping his eyes.

Feeling rather like a creep, I watched him. He was beautiful, he was alone, he was hurting. Yes, I could see that those were tears he was wiping from his eyes. I tried to imagine what could possibly be wrong. What could induce someone to go out on a night like tonight, and eat alone, in the cold and the dark? How had life screwed with him? Why does life suck so? Why? I could stand it no more. I had to do something; anything, to relieve the pain, the anguish, the despair.

I drove away without ever getting out of my car, leaving his pain behind me, for him to suffer in the now empty parking lot; and taking my own pain with me.


There He Sat II

By Camy

Arriving home I put the keys on their hook, hung up my coat, and then instead of going to watch TV, I stood on the mat by the front door, not even bothering to turn on the light. Inside I was screaming, my mind in turmoil over the total stranger in the Corolla.

As if in a dream I took my coat off the hook, slid it on, grabbed the keys and ran to the car. I was split. This wasn?t me. I?d never done anything like this before. I was being stupid: melodramatic. And yet I knew. I knew I had too. I was needed. For the first time in an age I felt I could make a difference.

Instinct was in control, whilst the me that I?d been since the end of my one brief relationship, laughed bitterly at the stupidity. ?You don?t think he?ll be grateful, do you?? I told myself to shut up. ?Oh, I would if you?d only be sensible. Chasing twinks at your age, who do you think you are??

?SHUT UP!? I screamed as I made a left turn too fast, the car sliding sideways. Instant heebie-jeebies, as fear helped me correct the mistake. I slowed from sixty, and was about to pull into the car park where I?d seen him, when I saw the Corolla pulling out. I clenched my toes, indecisive, then slowly blinked: put my foot on the accelerator, and followed.

I could see him through the rear window, his blonde hair caught briefly in my headlights, and noted in passing that the Corolla was red. For some reason that seemed important. Knowing the car's colour somehow legitimised my foolishness.

The lights ahead turned amber. I floored the gas, and shot though on red, slowing immediately so he wouldn?t suspect I was following. What on earth was I doing? ?yes, I was about to ask that, too.? my mind played with me. ?Home is where the TV is. Peaceful ? safe.?

?Boring. I?ve been peaceful and safe for far too long.? I said, chuckling as I turned on the radio: Carol King?s Tapestry feeding my angst as I followed the Corolla onto the mountain road.


to be continued!?

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There's a story of a journalist asking Issac Asimov the difference between a happy and a sad story. Asimov replied, "It's a matter of where the story ends."

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There He Sat III - by Bruin

Off the main highway, the road became narrow and windy as it climbed upwards through the thickly wooded hillside. As I drove I tried to collect my thoughts. My mind was racing, and in there somewhere was a plaintive cry that said: "Stop, turn round and go home. This is none of your business and you may get into trouble if you continue." I was ignoring that voice, not a very loud or persuasive voice anyway. I was trying to gather my thoughts about the guy in the car ahead. So far I was keeping him in sight but he was making good speed and my big sedan was not built for windy lanes.

I needed to establish what I knew or could surmise about him. Very little. I knew he must be in his mid-twenties and I knew, as far as the sodium lights had allowed me to see, that he was drop dead gorgeous (I allowed myself that thought for the first time, now I was committed to this wild escapade). He drove a Toyota Corolla, about five years old, in red. The most reliable car in the world according to some major survey I remembered. But not a sporty car, though you'd never guess it the way he was devouring the road and making me sweat to keep up. He'd been eating fries out of a bag. Like a MacDonald's bag. There's no MacDonald's near the video rental store, I wondered where he'd got them from. So I knew not much about him.

He was pulling ahead of me and the bends in the road were occasionally obscuring my sight of him. I tried to close the gap, driving my big V8 beyond the limits of the suspension system, so on the corners the car was wallowing badly and the tyres were scrabbling on the leaf-strewn road surface. Once or twice I frightened myself as the rear end swung out and I narrowly avoided going into spin. And I was now so focussed on controlling my car at speed that when the Corolla suddenly turned off the road onto a forest track I nearly missed it. As it was I overshot and had to brake, skidding nearly into a tree, reverse, and point my hood into the narrow track. His vehicle must be a foot narrower than mine, and I began to worry that I would get stuck.

We came out of the forest into an area where the trees had been recently felled and my attention was caught momentarily by the breathtaking view across the valley. Even in the dark and the wet I was impressed. The lights in the windows of homesteads on the opposite hillside looked so inviting. My attention snapped back to the track ahead of me and just in time, only just in time, I slammed on the anchors. I came to a stop about a yard short of the red Corolla, stationary and with the driver's door swinging open. Beside the car stood the blond man, his hair wet and sticking to his forehead, pointing a rifle at me.

"Who are you and why are you following me?" he called, his voice cracked and hoarse.


... anyone want to pick up the baton?


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Since no one else took up the 'baton' I'm afraid I couldn't resist.


There He Sat IV

by Camy

I didn't answer. I couldn't: frozen to a spot in time and space.

"Get out!" he called, his voice still undeniably stressed, yet somehow attractive too. 'Yep, attractive and with a gun, way to go' I thought as I pulled the door handle, the rusty hinges squeaking loudly as I shouldered it open.

"Slowly, now!" he said, "No ...."

"Sudden moves?" I interrupted him. "Yeah, I've watched cops shows too." 'nice' I thought, astounded by my nerve. 'Now he'll shoot ... and then I’ll die.' "I'm getting out." I said.

One leg followed the other while I tried to fabricate a reasonable explanation for following a total stranger five miles into the mountains. Then, as I stood up, I heard a crunch: felt a tremendous pain at the back of my head, and in slow motion the world, lit only by headlights, faded to black.

'Thanks be it was all a dream,' I thought as I woke up to find a cool flannel mopping my forehead. It was so soothing I kept my eyes shut, and felt myself smile ... then groan in delayed agony, as the pain at the back of my head flowered exquisitely. I opened my eyes just as the flannel was removed.

The blonde man was sitting in front of me, seemingly, if I was any judge of expressions, concerned. 'You're no judge, you're a fool! He's got a gun!' I reminded myself as he soaked the flannel in a bowl before squeezing it out and replacing it gently on my brow.

"You hit your head, John," he said, a flash smile crossing his face. ‘Red lips, and a nice smile,’ I thought, then groaned again.

"Hit my hea ...." I stopped to look at him. 'Forget the nice smile. He's going to kill you for being a weirdo!' I told myself to shut up, and for once, surprisingly, I did.

"You know my name." I managed. He nodded, the smile flashing across his face again.

"Uh huh, your wallet ...." His eyes were of the palest lilac, and he was, apart from not appearing angry at all, and being right in front of me, beautiful. I gulped, and the concerned look arrived back. It made him look even more beautiful: almost angelic.

He held a glass of water, helped me drink, then re-arranged my pillows. I winced as my fingers traced a large lump on the back of my head, and there was that smile again, though this time it seemed somehow mischievious. He reached forward, cupped my face in his hands and gently kissed me. Then he sat back.

“Before the others come barging in wanting to know why I have a complete stranger in my bed I thought I should welcome you to Shangri-la ….” I blinked. “Now,” he continued, smoothing down my blanket, “why were you following me?”


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There He Sat pt V

by Bruin Fisher

from an original idea by Trab

Well, I knew he had just asked a question, but it didn't register; I was still floundering. How did I hurt my head? How did I get from the edge of the forest in the rain to this comfy bed? How did the tearful man with the wet hair, the beautiful eyes and the gun turn into the smiling angel of mercy with the same beautiful eyes I was looking at? And why did he think he could kiss me? I didn't have answers and my brain grew confused and fuzzy in the attempt. So he'd sat on the edge of the bed and asked a second time, and then a third, before the words filtered through and I realised what he was saying.

Knowing what he was asking me didn't help much; I didn't have a rational explanation. I mustered my resources and tried to come up with something plausible.

"I went out to hire a video. In the car park I saw you, you looked like you were in trouble, I should have offered help but I chickened out and drove off, without even getting a film. But you had worried me and I went back, just as you were driving off.

He just watched me. He didn't make a sound, like he was waiting for me to continue. So I did.

"Maybe I should have turned around when I saw you drive off but you seemed so desperate, I was worried about you."

"What made you think I was in trouble?"

"You were crying."

He gave an odd snort like a suppressed giggle. I looked up into his face in time to see it squash into an ear-to-ear grin, crinkly eyes and all.

"That would be the onions in my kebab. I love onions but these were powerful, enough to blow the top of your head off ? and make your eyes water." He was laughing now, and struggling to talk through it. "That's all it was. But thank you for your concern!"

I couldn't help but see the funny side of it, and soon we were laughing together. I reached out for his hand and grasped it in mine, a sort of friendship gesture.

When I had some control back, I asked: "How did I get here? Where are we?"

"You hit your head on the end of your roof bars as you stood up out of your car. Knocked yourself out cold, and I couldn't bring you round. So I put you in my car and brought you home. I left your car on the side of the lane, but I locked it and it'll be okay there till you're ready to get it. It's only a quarter mile back along the lane from here."

"And here is?"

"My home. My parents' home, actually, my Dad's the forest warden, and I still live here and my sister does. They'll be here soon and I'm going to have to explain you to them."

"I don't know your name."

"Eric. Eric Hofstraat. If you promise to keep quiet about it I'll admit my real name is Alveric, after the dwarf in the Wagner operas, but I prefer Eric, it doesn't need so much explaining!"

"Hi, Eric. I'm John Trubshaw. You checked my wallet so you know that."

"Yes, sorry, I hope you don't mind, I was trying to find who to phone about you when I couldn't bring you round. There's a picture of you hugging another guy. Your brother?"

"No, my boyfriend. That was four years ago, we split up not long after the picture was taken, but I keep the photo."

I'm always like that. If being gay comes up I come right out and say, but I always have to watch faces after I've spoken to see if I'm going to have trouble. I watched Eric, and there was no reaction. I kind of guessed there wouldn't be ? I still hadn't asked him about kissing me ? and the way he kissed had told me enough about him.

There was a commotion coming from below ? downstairs, I guessed.

"That'll be the folks home. You ready for this?" asked Eric.

I nodded, without any idea what to be ready for.

The door of the bedroom opened, and a short, buxom woman with a pretty, round face and elfin features walked straight in, with a puzzled frown, and a very large policeman right behind her.

"Eric, darling, there's a policeman here to see you. You're not in any trouble, are you?" - and at that moment she spotted me on the bed and took a step backwards, putting her hand to her mouth and wailing "Oh, oh... oh!"


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You guys are fantastic. When Bruin started, I had the idea that maybe "Eric" was part of some criminal gang, and had been crying because he had been ordered to 'off' someone, and he couldn't do it, and now...?

BTW, I just about spit up, laughing, at Trubshaw, which is obviously a takeoff from my email address, only barely disguised. Brilliant, totally.

Oh, and not to sidetrack the story, but Alveric? Is that really the name of the dwarf in the opera? I'm not a linguist, but the similarity of Alv to elf, makes me think maybe it is derived from Elf Eric at some point, maybe a folk precursor to the opera by Wagner? Just a fleeting thought.

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That's great, Bruin.

BTW, I just about spit up, laughing, at Trubshaw, which is obviously a takeoff from my email address, only barely disguised. Brilliant, totally.
Ah! So that's why the name 'Trubshaw' niggled at me! Eggcellent! - Mr. Burns, The Simpsons.

And so the plot thickens!

Surely it won't end here?

Who's going to take up their keyboard and write part VI?


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You guys are fantastic. When Bruin started, I had the idea that maybe "Eric" was part of some criminal gang, and had been crying because he had been ordered to 'off' someone, and he couldn't do it, and now...?

BTW, I just about spit up, laughing, at Trubshaw, which is obviously a takeoff from my email address, only barely disguised. Brilliant, totally.

Oh, and not to sidetrack the story, but Alveric? Is that really the name of the dwarf in the opera? I'm not a linguist, but the similarity of Alv to elf, makes me think maybe it is derived from Elf Eric at some point, maybe a folk precursor to the opera by Wagner? Just a fleeting thought.

The Trubshaw thing will just have to be put down to serendipity, since I have no idea what your e-mail address is!

The character from 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' - the series of operas by Richard Wagner - is given by Wikipedia as Alberich. But I've always spelled it Alveric in my mind because that's how it sounds. Wagner's operas were based on Norse legend and the epic poem 'Nibelungenlied'.

Actually I know hardly anything about Wagner's operas, and care rather less. I like the overtures, that's all.


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I know hardly anything about Wagner's operas, and care rather less. I like the overtures, that's all.

What!!!? :icon13:

You mean you haven't listened to all 4,234 hours of 'The Ring'? I'm shocked. And to prove it: :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

What about if I guarantee you'd be next. It's simple: we assign it to you, and if anyone else posts it instead, I just delete the other person's post and replace it with yours. What do you think? Would that work for you?

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Of course it is. Everyone can take turns, like the nice lot we all are. Unless you END the story, in which case you'd be the one with the target on your back.

WARNING: Cole is doing section VI of this saga, and if anyone else posts it instead of Cole, I will personally delete it. I'm not trying to be harsh. Anyone else wanting to join in the fun (and it IS fun) is welcome to let me know and I'll make the same kind of guarantee for Part 7, 8, etc. I fully recognize Cole's worry that he'd go to the trouble of writing something and have someone else essentially ruin his effort. Everyone would feel bad, so please, let Cole do Part VI. Thanks

I reread this before posting, and I sound ugly. Sorry. I don't mean to be; it's just me trying to organize.

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Sounds good to me too. Great work guys. Wish I felt up to contributing.

Speaking of sounds, I guess now that that we have established that Eric's name is derived from opera, then the story won't be finished until the fat lady sings.


(that's an opera joke for those who unaware of it.)

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