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Radical Yellow Duck

Joined July 2009.

286 stories, 5 challenges, 353 comments, and 19 friends

Ok, I’m back. One heart attack, a triple CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, pronounced cabbage) and two sessions of beating my computer into submission. I am back.

I’m old. Real old. I’m so old I remember when dialing a phone number actually involved using a dial.

I’ve worked as a projectionist, an armored car driver, a help desk tech, a museum tech and laserist, an historical interperter at Old Sturbridge Village, a university assistant at a planetarium and observatory. I’ve been a salesman, a techie, A union VP and a storyteller. I remember the Gemini missions, but was born after sputnik. I have a love of History, Technology, Space, my religion (Christianity) and my country. I believe there is more that binds us together than can tear us apart.

I’ve loved many, married one, was involuntarily divorced.

Oh and I suppose I should tell you. I don’t understand your music and when it comes to sports, I don’t care if the Red Sox beat the 49’ers for the Stanley cup or not. Not judging, it’s just me.

Stories

  1. That Is Odd... Or is it?

    “Hmm… 42… That’s odd.” “No it’s not.” “I’m sorry, what did you say?” “It’s not odd.” “What do you mean it’s not odd? It’s pretty strange to think that the ultimate question, the mean...

  2. The fall of Gondolin (Changing History challenge)

    The officer came along the trench and crouched beside the sergeant who was smoking a pipe. The officer was tall, lanky and had a thin face. The air was cold this September morning, and a mist hung in no mans land. Three days of artillery had been bomba...

  3. A Night To Forget (It went horribly wrong challenge)

    Murdoch looked out the window at the calm sea. The ship cut through the sea like a greyhound racing for home. They were making good time. At this pace they’d win the pennant for the fastest crossing. Suddenly the phone from the crows nest rang. “Ic...

  4. True Love

    She stood at the sink and cried. She hated what was happening to her. She had been so sure, so solid. And now, even not being able to open a jar of pickles sent her into crying fits. Her back hurt, her sense of balance was off. She couldn’t even bend...

  5. It came upon a midnight clear...

    Proverbs 16:14 “The wrath of the king is as messengers of death…” I was in the palace the night the Persians came. This was no ordinary diplomatic visit. Two years they travelled in search of a new king. Fools! Ours is a mighty king. Appointed by...

  6. That's Weird. (If I had to die..Challenge)

    The florescent lights of the emergency room shined down around me. A curtain hung on small chains from a track on the ceiling. I held your hand and tried to say “I don’t feel so good.” I felt a dull ache grow in my chest and the room started to s...

  7. Home for Christmas (Christmas Challenge)

    When I was a kid Christmas was special. The house was done up in decorations. We had the tree, the wreath on the door, and the advent candles in the window. Mom used to put garland across the mantle and hung oversized stockings with our names on them. ...

  8. A Room with a View (Sci-Fi Me Challenge)

    He found her at the viewing port looking out at Saturn. The planet filled a quarter of the sky, and clouds of beige and white, brown and umber, mixed in swirling patterns like milk just poured into coffee. The rings reflected sunlight back to them, yet...

  9. Does Santa eat Ice Cream?

    It was after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas when my wife and I went to Friendly’s for dinner. Friendly’s for those of you who don’t live in New England is a chain of restaurants famous for a large selection of delicious ice cream. I sometimes...

  10. Rick's Cafe' Americain

    It was the kind of heat that drained you of all energy during the day. Which was why Captain Renault enjoyed the night so much. This morning he had met with a pretty young thing in his office. She and her husband were desperate to get out. But alas, th...

  11. Shooting Star (sci fi me challenge)

    The craft oriented itself so that the heat shield faced forward. The retro pack fired and applied negative delta V. Pressed back into the conforming couch, he waited. Seventy seconds later they shut down and he felt the return to zero gee. The sequence...

  12. Fang-orn Forest

    Merry rubbed the ropes that bound his hands against the blade of the fallen Uruk-hai. Though it tore at his skin, it also parted the rope strands. He went to Pippins side and took him by the arm. “Come on Pip. We have to hide before those orcs know w...

  13. The Greatest Communist Leader... Ever

    The lights were dim as I watched him approach the stage. The backdrop was a simple wall of bricks, with a microphone on a stand in the full light of the spot light. Stalin fidgeted for a moment in his Generalissimo uniform, boots polished to a mirror f...

  14. Openings

    His lungs screamed for air as his head burst above the surface of the water. His long hair and beard stuck to his skin as he eyed the shore. A few quick strokes and he could feel his feet on the sand approaching the beach. The shore seemed like it was ...

  15. Command Post

    “Yes sir, our OP reports that they have stopped their advance and are looting the camp” said Lt. Brooks. He paused and listened to the handset. Lt. Brooks looked about and nodded as he said, “Will do, sir.” “First Sgt, how’s it look out the...

  16. The Crest of the Ridge

    Dulles looked blankly at the Sgt. for several moments, then slowly took the cigarette out of his mouth with his other hand. “Sorry” he mumbled. “You boys better come with me”, he said and we started up the hill. Just before we got to the ridge ...

  17. Forward Observation Post

    “Cobbler”, spoke Stanislaw. “Come on in” said the voice in the dark. We walked at a crouch forward until we saw the others. The small group of soldiers in the Observation Post were camouflaged in the dark. They lay in hollows below the crest of...

  18. Three's company, but four...

    In a crouch I race to the next foxhole. As I slow I hear the challenge “apple”. “Cobbler”, I whispered back. “Come on in.” I slid into the foxhole with Rosenberg and Stimson. “We’ve got company coming. Maybe two, three minutes out. “G...

  19. Visitors comming

    As I got to the lip of the foxhole, a hand reached out and grabbed me by the collar and dragged me down and in. Kirkegaard held his fingers up to his mouth and shook his head. He silently mouthed the word “enemy” and pointed out into the dark. I go...

  20. A look of surprise

    Dulles and I worked quickly to clear fire lanes. When we first set up this position we expected that any threat would come down the road to us. But the Chicoms were coming from the east. Instead of our defenses just facing northwest, we needed 360 degr...

  21. Bayonet Charge

    Three times a minute we fired, until we had no more dry powder. With the command “Charge Bayonet” we leveled our steel at our foes. “Advance” and we started to march. Our drums beat out a steady rhythmic cadance. Hessians were in small knots of...

  22. On the Firing Line

    “RECOVER” we brought our muskets to a ready position. The smoke of our volley floats away. “HANDLE CARTRIDGE”. Hands reached into our haversacks or cartridge boxes and withdrew a paper cylinder. Gripping the paper tail in our teeth we ripped op...

  23. Volley fire

    Officers on horseback rode to the edge of the orchard and began to shout commands. Hessians ran to them and began to form into lines. Some missing coats or wigs. I heard one officer shouting “Wo ist mein Kannon.” Confusion and uncertainty about wha...

  24. Battle line

    Though running at double timing had caused the column to string out a little, the transition to battle line took less than a minute. The officers stood to the front. Swords drawn, they stood with their arms outstretched directing where we would form th...

  25. Begin What You Finish

    Leon picked up the plate and brought it into the kitchen. He looked around and turned the stove on. He took the toast and carefully scraped the butter off it. It was warm and he almost burned his fingers as he placed the two perfectly brown slices into...

  26. November 27, 1950; Hill 1278 (co-author challenge)

    The moon rose shortly after sundown. From our position on the hill we had a good view of the road west of us, and the frozen lake just beyond. The moon, just three days past full, gave a silvery half light to the hill with out a name. For us it was hil...

  27. November 27, 1950 (co-author challenge)

    Novembers are cold in Korea. In case you hadn’t heard Korea is a piece of property surrounded by water on three sides, impassable mountains in the middle and absolutely nothing worth fighting for everyplace else. But in June the Korean Peoples Army (...

  28. Crossroads

    Below us on the hill, lay the whole of Trenton, between us and the river. Two broad streets rose from the river towards us, ending like the apex of an inverted “V” not more than two dozen yards apart. From our vantage point we saw more Hessians wer...

  29. Rolling them back

    The Hessians were falling back in good order. They would fire and recover, then retreat a few dozen yards, turn and repeat. Our men reached the coopers shed and kept on advancing. Soon a second group of Hessians sallied forth from the town and joined t...

  30. First Blow

    Col. Hand’s men swiftly moved from marching column to line abreast in a motion that did credit to their practice on the parade ground. They fixed bayonets and loaded their muskets. The command came to advance. They were about half way to the shed...