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It was a dark and stormy night; the snow fell heavily – except at occasional intervals, when it was driven sideways by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in Breckenridge that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and blurring the streetlights that struggled against the darkness. Sensible […]
It was mid-November 2015. There was a big pro squash tournament going on all week, and Ray had tickets for each night’s matches. He went alone during the week, and I went on the big weekend of semi-finals and finals. I was alone at home, just relaxing after a hard day at work, listening to the wind howl outside, and hearing the flying small tree branches falling on our roof. Directly to the west of our house is a small “urban forest” filled with tall cedar and alder trees. A few years before, a tree had fallen across the road which fronts the house. That one took about two days to remove from the road.
Around 8 p.m., the power went out. So I lit some candles, got my big flashlight to read by, and sat down to wait until the power came back on. Sometime around 9, I heard a sound like swish…thump. Then, just the wind. I figured I should go and see what the sound had been, so I got my shoes on and went out the front door. And to my surprise, and horror, that swish/thump turned out to have been a big cedar tree that had fallen across our driveway. Not only did it destroy a big new section of fence around the green-space, it clipped a big branch off the little pear tree in the front yard. A couple of feet further south, and it would have taken out the garage, and my car. We got lucky.
Dear Professor Haim, Enclosed is the letter from The British Museum: Persian Manuscripts Collection Room A3, which you requested, and a standard translation. Please contact us if there is an issue with your manuscript duplicate, or you need further access to the collection outside of normal hours. Preview Open
It was a dark and stormy night, the kind that set Bill’s joints to aching more than usual. He was just thankful that he had an indoors job, a job that paid better than day shift, and did not involve all those customers pawing the merchandise with their kids grabbing goods with their grubby paws. […]
Part One of The Bad Counsellor Part Two of the Bad Counsellor Preview Open
My name is Gordon, “Jack” Gordon, and I’m a private detective. To be more precise, my name is Alexander Dunbar Douglas Henryson Jardine Keith Kerr Stewart Gordon. I am descended from many Scottish noble families. I am also descended from all of the most famous of the Scottish makars, including the two men involved in […]
Part 1 2 3 4 5 Part Six Dusty started undoing all of the magic spells that still lingered around the conference room. He quickly pulled Walpole and Percival aside for a few words, and then led us back to the door that joined our hotel. I retrieved my baggage from my room, and then […]
It was a dark and stormy night at the Edgemere Estates; the wind was blowing rain and sleet against the panes of glass and pelting the brick with gusting malice. The crackle of the fireplace was muted by the sound, and Lord Edgemere struggled to concentrate as he scratched his fountain pen along the coarse […]
For previous installments: 1 2 3 Part Four “Gentlemen, please step through the doorway,” the tall man stepped aside to allow us through. Preview Open
Although Gibb was a greasy little stain on the collective name of economic historians, I was quite sure that he wasn’t feigning his quirked eyebrow at my tired appearance. Age might have left me thick, gray curls and a firm posture, but it had still taken its share away, and the deep lines drawn expertly […]
It was a dark and stormy night, but that wasn’t too unusual for London in December. In fact, I think most tourists, and even residents, would have been disappointed with anything else. London without fog is like Russia without political dysfunction, simply unrecognizable.
As I regarded the mottled Ionic columns that faced authoritatively onto Great Russell Street, I took a moment to consider my presence here. Ten years ago, I would have been part of the woodwork, now I was an unwelcome harbinger of uncomfortable questions. Though maybe that characterization wasn’t entirely fair. Uncomfortable questions were how I ended up in this spot in the first place.
It was a monster gale, out of season, that swooped out of the night with no warning. The sail snagged and tore as we pulled it down and the crew struggled at the oars to keep us pointing into waves that seemed to come from multiple directions, like a cat to22ying with a rat. We lost Old Hermes first, he was at the rudder when the storm came up and he was still shouting warnings and orders and curses when a wave lifted him out and over the side. He was never easy to get along with, anyway, always trying to tell us about doing things the Greek way by which he meant the right way. He was an ugly old pus and the boys never gave him a moment’s thought.
We were carrying wheat west to Tarshish in a guaranteed trouble-free cash in the pouch run. No trouble in that month on that route since my grandfather’s time. Someone had ticked off somebody’s gods, and the captain was going to find them and send them after Hermes with his own hands. He lunged from man to man on the rolling deck confronting each one.
At 7:50 AM, there was a knock on my door. I opened the door to see something I hadn’t expected. There stood Bryce in a very nice, normal suit with an overcoat and modern hat. For many years he had been affecting longer hair and a long beard as well as the robes of a […]
I hopped down from my barstool and took a few steps towards them, evaluating the situation. It looked like the five of them were ready to start throwing spells, which could be detrimental to Larry’s business, other clientele, and furnishings.
“Hey,” I yelled to get their attention as I navigated through the tables to get to them. That redirected their attention. All five started throwing curses and jinxes my way. I merely put out my hand to “catch” them and kept walking towards them.
I was just 24 years old on June 15, 1991 … the day the world ended. I waited quietly for the apocalypse at a rectangular folding table with a beige telephone, a green logbook, and a squadron personnel roster. My station that day was at Subic Bay Naval Base, which was not my home.
Up until five nights previously, my home had been the cozy little two-bedroom apartment that the recently married Mrs. Jailer and I had been assigned at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines. Clark was about 30 miles–as the indigenous F-4 Phantom flew–southwest of Subic Bay.
“The Third of October, 1851, brought perhaps the greatest marine disaster in [Prince Edward Island] history. The afternoon was warm and still…the sky heavily clouded. The north and north west had a lurid, glassy appearance about sunset. It was a Friday, perhaps the best remembered Friday in P.E.I. history. A violent gale and wind arose from the East-North-East, which continued for two terrifying days. Before it was over, the New England fleet, fishing off our shores was devastated – nearly 100 vessels were wrecked or stranded, and hundreds killed.” — From the collection of T. W. Stewart
“On Friday night, the 3rd inst., a most violent gale of wind and rain arose from the [East-North-East], which continued varying at intervals, the following two days. The loss of life and property among the shipping is almost incredible. The whole of the coast on the north side of the Island is strewed with wrecks and dead bodies! Our present number contains a list of some of the wrecked vessels. We are unable as yet to give a correct account of the whole; indeed there are many that will never be heard of, having ran into each other and foundered at sea. The wrecks are chiefly American vessels fishing on the North side of the Island.” — The Islander, October 10, 1851
“A dispatch received last evening by the collector of this port, from B. Hammett, U.S. Consul at Pictou [Nova Scotia], states that the north-west coast has been swept by a terrible and destructive gale and that 100 fishing vessels were ashore on the north side of Prince Edward’s Island. It is estimated that 300persons have perished in the wrecks, and many bodies have already drifted ashore. Mr. Norton will proceed at once to relieve the distress and render such aid as he can” — New York Daily Times, October 9, 1851
I adjusted my collar and put my hand on my hat before walking out from the alcove that was the entrance to my building. The magical fires from the torches lit the street, paying no mind to the wind and the rain. I didn’t pay the weather much heed, either. It was a dark and stormy night that had lasted more than five hundred years. I didn’t have to think about adjusting my collar or securing my hat. It is just something we all learn to do as we grow up. We protect ourselves from the wind and the rain. Most folks cast a simple spell to deal with the weather, of course, but I can’t do that. They call me “Jack the Magicless,” and I’m a detective.
Those little things we do naturally and without thought are very important in our lives. There have been times when I was thinking about a case when I fixed supper, ate it, cleaned the dishes, and then realized I had no real memory of what I had eaten. These actions become all part of a routine, and we don’t pay them any more attention than we pay to the weather. What’s it like outside? It’s a dark and stormy night. What will it be like outside tomorrow? It will be a dark and stormy night. What will it be like outside next week? It will be a dark and stormy night. What will it be like outside next year? It will be a dark and stormy night. We don’t have to think about these things once we get used to them. They become part of the background of life. But every once in a while, something brings them to the foreground.
Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]