Sunday, November 16, 2008

In the Park- A work of fiction

Author's note: Several years ago Miss Wiggles and I made it into Charleston, South Carolina without Dragonwife and Darth Spoilboy in tow and were able to mosey around that glorious city with no whining about the various crises concerning mountains of laundry and dirty bathrooms at home from the former and missed time with video games and friends from the latter. As my daughter and I strolled around I noticed many different types of people but in a crowd of generally well dressed tourists one young, attractive, and obliviously very well off couple stood out mainly because they were dressed in matching his and her outfits. They were very much in love and very much in their own little world. While this is a complete work of fiction about the events, how I described the appearance of the "young lovers" is true.

On the surface everything about them looked perfect as they crossed the street into the park. The young, highly attractive couple walked down Meeting Street on a hot and humid Charleston day dressed in matching clothes holding each other tightly and intimately silently announcing to the world they were lovers. The man was in a flowery Hawaiian shirt with a black background overlaid with various tropical flowers that suggested style without looking like he was trying to be stylish. Blinding white slacks that had to be brand new, expensive leather belt and some of sort of leather loafers for shoes just oozed privilege and money. Despite the weather the man showed no sign of it affecting him to the point his hair being blown in the hot breeze returned to its exact position looking like he had just left the stylist. The lady was wearing a matching tube top with the same Hawaiian design that was cut low exposing more than a little cleavage. Perspiration from the Southern heat and humidity had left a glossy sheen on the upper portion of her exposed cleavage that if anything added to her grace and sensuality. Her long skirt was the same blinding white as the slacks her lover was wearing but tight enough to show off her legs.

The young lovers moved as if in slow motion oblivious to all the other tourists and residents around them and every now and then would move their hands touching each other in a new even more intimate way momentarily looking into each other eyes reconfirming their love for each other. Passion burned in those looks and before a statue of some Civil War era politician erected in the center of the park they embraced and in the fervor of the moment unable to contain themselves and fierily began kissing and exploring each other’s body. While the world during that time didn’t exist for them the spectacle of what amounted to making love in public did shortly begin to draw the attention of all the others in the park. Old men smiled in envy, old ladies in pastel hats and dresses waving fans as if to cool down their own fantasies looked on prudishly in disapproval. Various reactions could be found in the married couples strolling through the park at that time. Some husbands and wives made attempts not to make eye contact with their spouses as they jealously watched on wishing for all the world that they could experience again just for one moment the same fire. Other married couples saw the young lovers next the statue and looked into the eyes of their spouses and began smiling quietly making a wordless promise that once the kids were asleep they too would reach for each other.

The sounds of city traffic, children playing in the park, municipal workmen tearing up the street nearby, and passing planes on approach to the airport didn’t faze the lovers as they continued to ignore the world and explore their feeling for each other but what did draw them back was the sound of sirens. Their separation from reality ended and what had once been the look of burning passion in each other’s eyes now became fear and worry. For an instant their look changed and they both glanced around like cornered animals looking for some avenue of escape or someplace to hide. But the attention they had drawn had not ended with their display of affection. The onlookers still watched on which brought a hint of redness in the cheeks of the lady and a slightly embarrassed smile in the man he tried to hide.

The young lovers looked to each other again and curiously resigned themselves to what fate the thought approached them. Moving over to an empty wrought iron park bench they sat close to each other finally whispering some words that to everyone else watching were overwhelmed by the normal sounds of a living city. Now like teenagers on a first date they nervously held hands and looked off into space.

The sirens came closer and more distinct separating into at least six to eight individual cars. For some in the park such sounds of approaching authority were a motivating factor to be someplace else even though their ultimate destination of the sirens could be miles away. But the sound of screeching tires and car doors being quickly opened and slammed signified that the park was the destination of whatever authority that had been racing the streets.

The small park was close to perfectly square with streets bordering it on all four sides. At each side of the park two unmarked cars with a flashing siren magnetically attached to roof had stopped with three deadly serious people in suits getting out and walking toward the young lovers. Even in the summer heat both the males and females of the group converging on the lovers carried themselves with an air of dark professionalism. Their eyes were hidden with midnight black sunglasses giving what some of the people still in the park hopefully thought was an unintended look of death stalking it’s next victim. Like wolves they surrounded the lovers still on the bench and with the little earbuds inserted in their ears and the occasional lifting of an arm to speak into some tiny device mounted inside the sleeve of their suit jacket like wolves they covered each other for any possible surprise. More than a few parents rushed to their children who out of curiosity began walking toward the well dressed wraiths. Instead of a reassuring smile or wave as the parents retreated with their children they received a cold appraisal that lacked all human spirit or feeling.

Within a minute the lovers were surrounded with some of the authority figures facing outward to block the view to those watching. Suit jackets were finally unbuttoned and one retired military man sitting on a nearby bench that had enjoyed watching the two lovers as they entered the park spotted a submachine gun holstered underneath the jacket with the authority figure’s hand on the pistol grip clearly scanning the surroundings for dangerous intent. The retired military man, a veteran of several wars, knew not to make any sudden moves and prayed that no civilian would either. He knew from experience that behind those sunglasses was not the mind of a human but at best a well trained machine and at worst a cold reptile that was looking for a reason to spill blood. Quietly the retired military man wondered what the two young people had done to draw such special attention to themselves.

The retired military man caught a glimpse of some sort of identification being shown and the complete lack of response from the lovers. Efficiently and quietly female personnel produced restraining devices and applied them to the feet and hands of the lady at the same time male personnel did the same to the man. Equally efficiently they lifted the two and even more quickly moved them in separate directions to cars on opposite ends of the park.

Most onlookers had long since either left the scene not wanting to possibly be draw into whatever was going on or made special effort to ignore it all but none could have mistaken or ignored the final words the two lovers spoke. As they were being carried away the authority figures had overlooked taping their mouths.

“I will always love you!” The man cried out. Clearly his choice of words and tone said that he knew he would never see the woman again in this life time. That whatever fate awaited him she would be someplace else.

“I will never forget you!” The woman cried back less than a second after the last word left the man’s mouth. Her words spoke of an equally sad fate with no hope of redemption.

Whatever authority that had taken them into custody quickly corrected the oversight of not preventing them from speaking with one person in each group producing a clear tape that was applied to the mouth of the person they carried.

The young lovers were placed inside cars, along with the authority personnel and instead of speeding off the drivers made a special effort to leave as quietly and as normally as they could. The flashing sirens were removed and within a mere two minutes the cars had each taken a different direction away from the park. Another minute later it was if nothing had ever happened. A few onlookers whispered questions to each other about what the two lovers might have done. But new people arrived in the park knowing nothing of the recent events, children began playing, old men took up seats and watched young lovers come strolling by, old women fanned themselves and wished they were home, parents watched children and wondered if excitement would ever return to their lives.


lime said...

it really does make one wonder....


So vividly romantic it makes one want to visit the Charleston in your fiction.

Isn't Charleston the same city that figured in the film Gone With The Wind?

Beach Bum said...

Lime: While sitting in the motel room Saturday night as this story came to me I sort of figured a back story that had them government or corporate scientists that had learned something they shouldn't. But then I went back and figured that leaving it completely up in the air about whether they were the good guys or bad was the best. I only saw the couple briefly as they were walking down the street but their clothes and airy attitude completely ignoring the rest of the world left a lasting impression on me.

Hill: I've never read Gone with the Wind but I do think there is a couple of scenes that take place in Charleston. If you ever do get down here in South Carolina please contact me and we will do some serious partying. Would love to show you the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown and the rest of the naval museum.

Randal Graves said...

I knew it! Terrorists!

Ah, to be young and in love. Oh well. Good stuff, sir.

joan said...

I know that park :). Nicely written.

I just found this and thought of you:
The Piccolo Fiction Open will be in its ninth year this time around. The PFO is a literary competition for the Piccolo Spoleto Arts Festival. This year’s competition asks writers to submit a 1,300-word story with the theme of “One Hundred Dollars.” Submissions require a $10 fee and must be sent with an application. For applications and more information, go to —Mark Glenn

Utah Savage said...

I'll be back to read this story, but for now, you're it. I've tagged you. Come see me please.


Hi Beach,

That will be just great. Thanks!

Will take you up on that -- we are seriously thinking of doing a visit of Virginia region and neighbouring places next year after the meet in Norfolk.

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

nice story..make a short movie out of it.

MadMike said...

Beach writes:

"He knew from experience that behind those sunglasses was not the mind of a human but at best a well trained machine and at worst a cold reptile that was looking for a reason to spill blood."

I write:

........behind those sunglasses was the mind of a man prepared to protect his community at the risk of his own life. His approach and his stance was somehow reassuring as the young lovers, wanted perhaps, for murder or some other serious offense, were led away kicking and screaming.

Just another viewpoint Beach. Loved the read.....

Beach Bum said...

Randal: Today at work as one of my co-workers blathered on about his bowling exploits I rudely tuned him out and began pondering exactly what my characters had done to be of such special attention. Several back stories with the lovers as good guys appeared in the void between my ears then started bordering on science fiction. As bad guys, either white collar criminals or murders were not so far fetched but lacked something. So in the end I am officially declaring them illegal aliens from a parallel universe in which Bush was impeached and convicted in 2006 then sentenced to spend the rest of his life on some anthrax infected island. The young lovers were actually sanctioned explorers from their United States but once the Bush goons discovered the news they could spread to our United States they were hunted down.

Joan: I wanted to use the name of the park but I wasn't even sure I remembered the park enough to better describe it so I left it alone.

Utah: Saw the meme and will be glad to participate. Once again my son and his best friend are playing "Rock Band" so it might be until tomorrow night I get to it.

Hill: You can get my email from the profile page and I'll send you my phone number and from there we can make arrangements. Seriously, when you get over on my end I will definitely take you and anyone you bring out for dinner in Charleston.

V: Believe it or not but I have finally dredged a half way decent idea for a novel out of the void between my ears. I'm doing an outline now but this is very much new territory for me. While short stories, ranging from true, semi-true, and out right fiction are one thing I honestly wonder if I have the talent to produce a novel.

MadMike: Oh yeah, the young lovers were wanted for something very serious and as in earlier comments I haven't decided until I wrote the comment to Randal whether they were god or bad.
The reason I wrote that passage was not to offend anyone in law enforcement because even with the young lovers true nature still undetermined the "authorities" that took them in custody were in my mind not FBI, CIA, or any other state of federal law enforcement. They existed on the other side of covert operations.
Another reason was that I once read that during any possible Delta Force rescue operation they take into account the killing of some of the hostages they would be sent to rescue because for several reasons the hostages get to mixed in with the terrorists or some Rambo hostage grabs a gun and tries to add the rescuers. The reason being that the Delta guys are trained to act so fast that they shoot as soon as they see a weapon.

joan said...

I am pretty sure you are describing Washington Park.

Vigilante said...

Ah..... I see that Beach has gifted his growing readership another masterpiece. I am totally emailing this to myself at my place of work, from whence I can enjoy it at my leisure on company time! Ahhhhh, anticipation! (Monday, I'll probably get fired, but oh well!)

MadMike said...

Delta is cool Beach! I get that:-)

LOL Vigil!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff....
thanks for sharing...

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