Author Topic: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V  (Read 652 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V
« on: November 08, 2012, 04:48:27 pm »
"Nothing matters", the old man spits at you, as you walk beside him down this fucked up highway.  You've been walking a long time, but you don't feel particularly tired.  Lonely, more like...You were walking forever before you came across this bitter old man.

He's dressed in a tuxedo, and sports a truly glorious handlebar mustache.  He's in his early 70s, and looks the very image of the Edwardian gentleman.  But when he speaks, it's like taking a bath in vitriol. 

"I was a lieutenant in the war", he says, "and they scared the shit out of me at Shiloh.  Stupid Goddamned war, the winning of it will be the death of us yet, just you wait and see."

And you walk a while further down the road.

"My wife killed herself, you know."

You say nothing.  What COULD you say?  More walking.  The man stops occasionally to cough asthmatically.

"In 1913, I went down to travel with Pancho Villa.  They say I disappeared.  Some say I killed myself, or was executed, or died from my old war wounds.  But none of those things happened."

You ask what did happen.

"I found myself here.  Walking down this highway, taking in the sights.  And what sights!"

His bitter demeanor seems to brighten.

"Look, over yonder!  Have you ever seen an airplane?  That's one of them, now!  And over there!  That one only has one wing!  A monoplane, by God!  And see here!  Look!  It flies with no propellor!"

He is ecstatic, he can't stop talking.

"And look at that tower there, with USA written on it!  See as it rises on a column of fire!  And now look!  Look at that ugly plane, how fat it is!  See as it burns in descent!  Thousands of miles per hour!"

He is as enthusiastic as a little child, and he tells you that his name is Ambrose.

"They say, young man, that they may have a way to cheat distance.  The universe is ours!  Ah, that I lived to see such wonders!  And not just in these marvelous machines, but in our people!  The colored man stands tall, the heathen Chinee is no longer reviled...Women can vote!  Tiny machines that can tell you of far away places!  I tell you, my friend, it is like a mighty weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and scales from my eyes!  To have wasted so many years being a cynic!  If I had been told the future was like this, if I had been told..."

His voice goes faint.  Startled, you turn to look at him...He is transparent, gazing up at the space shuttle's rentry, the smile of an angel on his face. 

Then, in a blink, he has vanished again.

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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 04:54:43 pm »
Oh, i'm going to like this series.

Juana Go?

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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 04:58:42 pm »
Oooh. I like it. Excellent imagery.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 05:01:15 pm »
Brrrrrrr. This is excellent!
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 06:23:11 pm »
You're outdoing yourself. Chills.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 01:06:06 am »
Hell yeah.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part II of V
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 04:55:38 am »
"Nothing matters", the old man spits at you, as you walk beside him down this fucked up highway.  You've been walking a long time, but you don't feel particularly tired.  Lonely, more like...You were walking forever before you came across this bitter old man.

He's dressed in a tuxedo, and sports a truly glorious handlebar mustache.  He's in his early 70s, and looks the very image of the Edwardian gentleman.  But when he speaks, it's like taking a bath in vitriol. 

"I was a lieutenant in the war", he says, "and they scared the shit out of me at Shiloh.  Stupid Goddamned war, the winning of it will be the death of us yet, just you wait and see."

And you walk a while further down the road.

"My wife killed herself, you know."

You say nothing.  What COULD you say?  More walking.  The man stops occasionally to cough asthmatically.

"In 1913, I went down to travel with Pancho Villa.  They say I disappeared.  Some say I killed myself, or was executed, or died from my old war wounds.  But none of those things happened."

You ask what did happen.

"I found myself here.  Walking down this highway, taking in the sights.  And what sights!"

His bitter demeanor seems to brighten.

"Look, over yonder!  Have you ever seen an airplane?  That's one of them, now!  And over there!  That one only has one wing!  A monoplane, by God!  And see here!  Look!  It flies with no propellor!"

He is ecstatic, he can't stop talking.

"And look at that tower there, with USA written on it!  See as it rises on a column of fire!  And now look!  Look at that ugly plane, how fat it is!  See as it burns in descent!  Thousands of miles per hour!"

He is as enthusiastic as a little child, and he tells you that his name is Ambrose.

"They say, young man, that they may have a way to cheat distance.  The universe is ours!  Ah, that I lived to see such wonders!  And not just in these marvelous machines, but in our people!  The colored man stands tall, the heathen Chinee is no longer reviled...Women can vote!  Tiny machines that can tell you of far away places!  I tell you, my friend, it is like a mighty weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and scales from my eyes!  To have wasted so many years being a cynic!  If I had been told the future was like this, if I had been told..."

His voice goes faint.  Startled, you turn to look at him...He is transparent, gazing up at the space shuttle's rentry, the smile of an angel on his face. 

Then, in a blink, he has vanished again.

Bittersweet. I really like this piece, Roger.
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