Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alan Gets Off the Train

Alan stepped off the train at a flag stop near Hazel, on the south end of Putney Bay, and walked up the hill to his house. His new-found friend, Bert, who was perched on his shoulder part of the way, flew off to a nearby tree, then to the house, as Alan approached it. Bert is smart, and is taking inventory of this place for any kind of predators, particularly house cats.  
Though he is an architect, Alan bought this rather humble place (instead of designing it himself) some years ago...
"This little house is perfect; I have enough space to work on projects, and to relax, eat, sleep, and dream. I've fixed up the yard quite a bit, adding a trellis, a brick patio, and an in-ground hot pool overlooking the bay. But soon I'm going to build another hideaway on a beach far away from any roads and railways! I rather like toot-toot of the train's horn as it departs from the flag stop, but I don't like the traffic noise. What I like to hear is the faint roar of the bayshore surf and the high-pitched cries of the shore birds."
Or so he's been saying for some time now... 

Alan's house is on the rise to the left.
It looks out on an endless expanse of ocean and sky, the sandy beach and surf, the distant dunes of  The Hook (visible at the far-left horizon), and the Hazelhurst Ruins, an Old People settlement of stone and mystery. Hazelhurst is one of several prehistoric settlements scattered over the island.
Who were the Old People, and where did they go? We don't know yet.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bert on the Table

Bert sits on the table giving Alan the eye while Alan and Samantha sit there stunned, trying not to make eye contact with Bert. Bert then flutters up to Alan's shoulder, gives Samantha the eye, and Samantha gets a little spooked. No screeching, and no one's talking. Alan sits very still while Samantha slooowly gets up from her chair, wiggles her fingers goodbye to Alan (and Bert) and retreats back to her car.

Alan sips the rest of his grenade, nibbles some sunflower seeds that Samantha must have left on his table, and then holds one up to Bert. Bert very gently takes the seed in his beak, and Alan likes the sound of Bert cracking it next to his ear.

It looks like Alan has found a friend.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bert Comes Back

Bert comes out of nowhere, bites Samantha, and brings the other Samantha out of seclusion...
"OK," said Alan, "So Bert bit you..."
"Yes, then I screamed, and Samantha came running out, who is very brown from living without clothes, I guess. She asked me if I was all right, and everyone in the class was watching, and I wasn't all right; my thigh was still hurting where that parrot bit me...and I was so rattled I just had to leave that place..."

"Samantha's Wild North..."

"Yeah, have you ever been there? It is way the heck in the boonies, up on the North Bight. A friend of mine told me I just had to experience the place. Well, it's a bit rustic, to say the least. Anyway, it took me two days to get down to Putney - I had to walk part of the way!"

"So what about Bert...?"

"Well, he flew off, and I didn't see him again until I got to the Fillmore camp on the north Bight Path. Then he flew up to me and landed on my shoulder...pretty as can be. He screeched in my ear as I tried to fight him off , but he kept landing on my shoulder and my head until I gave up. Then he said 'Bert I am' as clear as day, so I said, 'Hi Bert.' He's been pretty good since, and didn't panic once all the way through the long bus ride, and the train station in Putney. But then people tried to touch him. His screeching scared the guy who runs Hopp's Store, and then bit that creepy kid in Davoo. Then, when I bought my ticket for the train, the agent warned me about taking him on board, and Bert, bobbing his head up and down, said, 'I'm such a good bird. Good bird, Good bird...' so the guy rolled his eyes, waved us on, and here we are."
Alan sips his grenade as Samantha stares at hers...

"So," Alan finally asked, "Why are you telling me all this?"

"Well, when I walked out a while ago, Bert wouldn't stop screeching, so I tossed him out the window in the next car, and I just feel terrible!"


Just then, Bert had caught up with the train (since it had stopped in Skegness), flew into the open window by their table, landing clumsily and bumping Alan's glass, and once again gave Alan the eye.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Samantha sans Parrot

A little while later, as the train pulled into Skegness station, Samantha returned to Alan's table, without the parrot. She had a funny expression on her face as she somewhat humbly asked Alan if she could sit down again. "I'm sorry the bird was so loud. It's a noble macaw, from Brazil, you know, and they naturally screech."

Alan knew nothing about parrots, so he took her word for it..."He seems to talk just fine as well - did you teach him that?" No, not at all!" she replied, "And say, can I get some of whatever you've got there?" She was nodding to his drink. "Oh, sure, it's pineapple juice and a little vodka -  ask the barman for a 'wee grenade'..." She looked at him a second before getting up, giving Alan the impression she might have wanted him to get it for her...

After Samantha sat down again, she quickly glanced at him, then looked down at her drink smiling at something...Alan was starting to wonder what might be going on. "OK, uh, Alan, right? I feel like I need to talk to you, just because you seem like a friendly guy." Alan, who has had a rather sketchy history with women, and hasn't "been with someone" in quite a while, sipped his drink and said, "Okaaay..."


"I'm not sure how to begin this, it's kind of a long story," she began.
"Well," he said, "I'm not going anywhere for another hour or so, is that enough time?"

"Oh I suppose. Anyway, I was up at Samatha's Wild North, you know, that women's commune near Desert Point? Have you heard of it? And no, I'm not the Samatha it's named after -just a coincidence! Anyway, I was at a yoga retreat there and I was doing the downward facing dog pose. That's when Bert, the parrot, flew out of nowhere and landed on my butt. I didn't feel anything as I was deep in meditation...by the way, do you do yoga?" "Uh, no..., replied Alan." "Well, anyway, that stupid bird bit the back of my thigh and then I screeched bloody murder! This brought Samantha (the famous Samantha that anyone rarely sees!) running naked from her 'seclusion' and I was never so embarrassed in my life!"

                                                                                       --see next post!