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Grib

The Beach

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So after a hard day they would all sit round the camp fire.

 

It was an unwritten rule, but easy enough to grasp, that the more senior members would sit nearer the front.

 

Others sat in the next rows and some even stayed in the undergrowth or the trees, back from the fire. These were the lurkers. You momentarily caught a glimpse of their faces as the flames roared up every now and then. But they would always step back into the darkness and safety of the trees when this happened. They were not really a problem to most and generally harmless, but everyone was aware of their presence. Sometimes they would step forward, have their say, and step back into the darkness.

 

The camp fire was the place for debate and every now and again someone from one of the back rows would come to the front and start telling their woes. Usually everybody listened, then they'd all think a little, and then they'd either agree or disagree or simply disparage the person and their topic. It could be a cruel place.

 

When the discussions became unbearably tense or deep, one of the group, Old George, would shuffle to the front and tell one of his stories about days gone by on the farm. This always had a soothing and pacifying effect for a while, and it served as a pleasant interlude to some of the nastier sides of the camp fire gatherings.

______________________________________

 

Stapros, one of the more enterprising members had been quick to capitalise on the situation and had set up a barbecue. Selling and quite often giving his creations to his fellow shipwreckees. Pineapple and Krab Kebab was all the rage just now - even the name had a ring to it. But when they had gotten* sick of that he would be sure to dream up another creation.

 

For example, StuPify always got free kebabs and was treated to a certain degree of respect by all. In a life beyond the shipwreck he battled with antagonistic ladies and cantankerous old men in public debating arenas. He also used his real name, so brave was he. StuPify was a reminder that there was another world beyond the beach.

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

*gotten - an americanism used occasionally by UK English speaking forum people

Edited by Grib

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And then there was Gor. More senior than most, in both age and experience. He had arrived a little later than the others but had received a message in a bottle.

 

A man of the world who could see beyond the problems such as “where to site the Wurlitzer” or “should we be allowed to drink ourselves stupit 24 hours a day”. He had no time for speed limit debates either and could chuckle at topics involving Local Politics.

 

How trivial (but quaint*) these people could be, he often though.

 

Gor seemed to be toying with the group although now and again there would be someone wanting to challenge his intellectual prowess.

 

This usually resulted in a wry but friendly smile from Gor and his challenger would go back to his seat, often choosing to take a new perch in a row or two further back from where they came . . .

_____________________________________

 

There was quite a surprise one day when an object came bobbing from out at sea. Nearer and nearer it came. It was a bit like the big white bubble thing in The Prisoner, but this was square shaped. The unusual object bobbed onto the beach. Dave the Plastic Box introduced himself and sat down (but not too near the roaring camp fire).

 

Nearby was a Magical Monkey on a raft from the ship wreck. He felt right at home in the palm trees of this beach. He would be able to get up to his tricks in this new place alright!

______________________________________

 

In the morning they could look out to the sea and make out other shapes looking for refuge. It became quite a past time to see who was coming. There were the cries of “Oh look, theres so-and-so about a mile out, he’ll be here in a couple of hours, lets go greet him”. Or "I miss such-and-such, where is she, I hope she makes it here."

 

Each day would herald a few more arrivals.

 

There would be a honeymoon period no doubt. A bit like Lord of the Flies really – how will it all progress?

 

 

 

 

 

*quaint is a euphemism for backward

Edited by Grib

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/stands up to make room for Grib in front of the fire.

 

Brilliantly, done.

 

One tiny criticism - I'd lose the referrence to the kebab shop - just leave it as a barbecue it is a little early in the piece to be that explicit.

 

Other than that you've done the difficult thing with allogorical writing which is to make the real subject unveil itself gradually over time.

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That's great - what a fabulous idea! I think you should continue with it. A refreshingly different read. Thanks.

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There hadn’t been much debating lately. It was as if they were all frightened of what was going to happen next. Shipwrecking and piracy are a shocking business you know.

 

There were designated look outs, allocated throughout the day and night to greet other arrivals. Sometimes they were all lookouts. It seemed to be the only way to fill their time these days. They were all afraid to talk and debate anymore – in case they mentioned something that might cause “it” to happen again. They couldn’t even talk about “it” either, because just talking might rouse “it” from its smug slumber*. But they all knew, and were ever watchful, of "it".

 

 

And that said, this tale will not even hint at "it" anymore.

 

____________________________________________

 

“Look, there on the horizon”. The shout went out.

 

There was something in the distance alright. It was like a big round beach ball with a smiley face. Every now and then, like a firework, it would shoot smaller beach ball type things with faces on them

 

- smiling . . . frowning . . . grinning . . . laughing. . . .

 

Then it would stop and sink slowly into the sea – popping up again somewhere else, almost randomly – throwing faces around like confetti.

 

“That’s emoticon up to his games” someone said “I don’t think he’ll make it here, this place isn’t for him. Not yet anyway”.

 

This was a great pity really. In the olden days emoticon had a free lease of life. At first terribly annoying and he just wouldn’t let up. Then the people became used to him. At least they were aware that someone was with them. For there is nothing worse than to say well structured and thought out, from the heart words that no one took notice of, is there? Except that is, good old emoticon. A smiley is better than nothing . . .

 

Then there were the dot clones. They were out there too. Bobbing about on the sea. There was no place for them on this particular Island. The dot clones served a purpose though and were able to burst peoples bubbles when required. But usually they just annoyed. Surfacing occasionally, just to remind folk of their presence.

 

______________________________________________

 

A raft came drifting past. With a calypso type band playing samba type music. It was the most brightly decorated raft there ever was and everyone was colourfully dressed and dancing and blowing whistles and all that. And there was quite an unusual character dancing and shouting to the crowd on the beach, a huge smile on his face. He seemed to be inviting the lookouts onto the raft but his words were drowned out by the partying. The raft drifted by and off into the distance. No doubt it would be back, Dippity-Dooing and drifting by only, but not landing.

 

_____________________________________________

 

Quite in contrast to this unusual apparition there also occasionally appeared a huge vicious sea monster, raising its huge grotesque head near the shore. Like a hungry Jaws type shark.

 

This was TheEater checking them out. No need for an invite for him, he’ll arrive, invited or not. He’ll be sitting near the fire on an evening too, you can be sure. Barging himself right to the front and turfing others out of the way. Nasty as this character could be, he had one or two female admirers, who swooned at his arrogance.

 

And maybe they had found a paradise Island together after the last wrecking...

 

 

 

 

 

*Smug Slumber – might make a good forum username.

Edited by Grib

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Although there is much to be told, a recent arrival has made it necessary to tell the following:

 

Contrary to popular belief it seems, TheEater had not found a paradise Island with one of the maidens of the beaches. Playing calypso guitar together using the E minor chord (I can play that one you know) on some secluded palm tree lined sandy bay and swigging that cocunut stuff they sell in Havana and the like. Or if this was the case, then it certainly isn’t now.

 

Nope, beacause Erox had now found her REAL friends.

 

(and the next time she fraternises with TheEater she can just stay with him forever. How could she, I ask you. Pffft!*.)

 

Right, where was I? Oh yes, the BackBlob has to be introduced.

 

BackBlob was a ship that sailed past now and again, dropping people off who would hang around (and help themselves to some food I may just add) listen in a bit and then scarper off back to the BackBlob again. They were always picked up in a smart shore boat rowed by them sailors in striped shirts and round hats. No rafts or swimming with the BackBlob crew, you know.

 

These estranged people had a leader called Red Av, a chap with quite a bit of history around the various desert islands. Red Av for many tides had always been at the front of the beach fires and had a reputation for being pleasant and trusting to newcomers, (some would say a little too much at times). But over the existence of the islands Red Av had grown bitter and twisted, and some saw him as a pirate-like figure even though he had a rather smart ship that barged about the oceans (and he had his very own Island these days).

 

It was rare for Red Av to come ashore on MF Island, although we all knew he was about, looking for his chance to avenge himself on one particular beach dweller, even though his past efforts had always left him looking a little sheepish*....

 

 

 

 

*Pffft. A beach type word that I've never really had the cause to use before and I don't think I'll use again.

 

 

*sheep. Although out of context here, this word is another beach word used and probably even invented by Red Av. If this was the case, it would be his greatest ever claim to fame.

Edited by Grib

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Franswaas had just recently found us. She will probably take a party of willing lurkers and go and survey the Island. Carefully registering and cataloguing the fish & fauna, the geology, the socio-economic policies and such like.

 

Franswaas was indeed an intellectual and helped many people out. She did not lower herself to the base language of the usual beach dwellers and was generally held, as with StuPify, in high regard. Franswaas was given the best of kebabs although it must be said all food emanating from the makeshift barbecue was always of the very highest quality.

 

So from the kindly intellect of Franswaas to, er, Zombie Dave. There is indeed a connection and the meeting of the two is an interesting episode.

 

One day we were all looking out to sea for survivors when about 30 yards out there was a stir in the waters. A horrible nasty green thing surfaced and Zombie Dave’s head appeared. He had walked, Frankenstein-like on the bottom of the Ocean all the way from the last shipwrecking, and had now reached MF Island. A cheer went up. It was good to see the fella again although some of the newer folk were initially quite frightened by him. Zombie Dave, for all his faults – they being mainly bad language and poor toilet training - was not a bad lad really. It was perhaps fortunate that his mode of speech was often indecipherable as there were many swear words intermingled with his messages.

 

It was noticed that the ladies with newborn babies in prams moved hurriedly out of the way of this chap. (The Island in fact had quite a few new mothers amongst its members).

 

So the Zombie fella dredged up the beach and up to the fire. He would be at the front all right.

 

Watching . . .

 

 

Thinking . . .

 

 

Making extreme and random profanities . . .

 

 

When he became bored with the fire he would stand by the barbecue. He liked the barbecue and Stapros could handle Zombie Dave all right, but would become annoyed when bits of rotten flesh from the Zombie fell onto his grill.

 

"Lrrrg rrrr grrrrv rrr shrrrrrrd" the playful Zombie would always remark, when say, he lost an ear or a bit of his nose.

 

Anyway, one evening, we were all sat round the fire. It was a right good night and it was really social, like. We were eating and drinking and chatting and discussing the pleasant and also the not so pleasant aspects of things in the real world.

 

And Zombie Dave would every now and then murmur:

 

"hrrrrrrrr, hrrrr, hrrr . . .

 

rrrrhhh rrrhhh . . ”

 

Over and over. It was as if he was in pain, although many of us knew he was in fact laughing. Aye, despite his unfortunate state, Zombie Dave liked a good laugh.

 

We usually ignored him but on this occasion one of the lurkers felt sorry for him and tried to find out what was wrong with the undead fella. “Are you ok Zombie Dave?” she said, concerned,

 

“yrrr rrllll frrrrkn cnnntzz”

 

He kept saying. It was most peculiar. And then followed by more

 

“hrrrrrrrr, hrrrr, hrrr

rrrrhhh rrrhhh”

 

“Oh dear, perhaps we should call for a doctor,” the sympathetic new lass said, “Is there a Doctor here, Is there? Or at least someone who knows other languages so we can find out what is wrong with this poor undead chap”

 

Well, the nearest we had to a doctor was Franswaas, and she could talk many languages including I think Cobol and Fortran. She just might be able to help.

 

She walked over and carefully listened to the Zombie:

 

“yrrr rrllll frrrrkn cnnntzz

yrrr rrllll frrrrkn cnnntzz”

 

and then

 

“hrrrrrrrr, hrrrr, hrrr

rrrrhhh rrrhhh”

 

 

This seemed to greatly baffle even Franswaas but she could not let her followers realize she was stumped. (In fact, it has to be said, she was not accustomed to hearing bad language, and certainly not in Zombie speak).

 

Occasionally, but only very occasionally, Franswaas would use the intellectual’s great secret weapon of baffling everyone without anyone knowing that they hadn’t a clue what they were going on about themselves! This was the problem of being an intelectule, in that everyone always had to assume you knew everything about everything, goddamnit!

 

She concentrated and listened again:

 

“yrrr rrllll frrrrkn cnnntzz”

 

She thought, and then had an idea. She would relate Zombie Dave’s words to his great trip in the Ocean. A bit of bluff would do no harm.

 

“Oh I see” she said intelligently . “In Oceanography we have Forked Currents, a bit like the Gulf Stream phenomena that drifts along by the Isle of Man”

 

He's talking about the Euro Forked Currents. Yes, I see now.

 

Everyone was relieved that the great mind had brought (at least for the unaccustomed) this mystery speech to light. So we all carried on, laughing and chatting and getting stuck into more food!

 

“hrrrrrrrr, hrrrr, hrrr

HHr HHr HHRRR"

 

“Sorry, could you say that again” Franswaas asked eagerly,

 

“rrrvv prrrrsssttt nnn rrr yrrrrr frrrknn kkrbbrbbsss"

Edited by Grib
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He's talking about the Euro Forked Currents. Yes, I see now.

Very funny, it was worth having to wipe up all of the coffee!

 

“rrrvv prrrrsssttt nnn rrr yrrrrr frrrknn kkrbbrbbsss"

 

I think I know where this is going.

 

Stav.

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Me too and I'm not feeling hungry.....

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Heh this is good stuff, euro forked currents was inspired!

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