Millenium Warp

Millenium Warp

A Story by JohnL
"

I suppose this could be called a ghost story. All the detail is 100% accurate but of course, the tale is a figment of my imagination - - err - - - I think? The Avatar is my self, mum, sister and niece. Dad took the picture in the garden of 540.

"

 

Millennium Warp
 
It had been four years.  Years are supposed to become shorter as you grow older but these had been long. Longer than any he had known.
 
Where the man had been, the sun shone, – day and night were equal all year round and the heat never gave up. Now he had come home.
 
          He opted to alight from the bus about 3 miles from his home in order to savour the atmosphere of Winter’s four o’clock twilight. Greyness loomed, a tunnel into the night as he strode through canyons of high buildings with boarded up fronts; greyness that blanketed his soul, suffocated his spirit and submerged him in a sea of melancholy.
 
Passing Springfield Park, what had been tennis courts was now a vandalised area beyond which he saw the balconies of Alder Hey Hospital where he had left the odd bit of himself when young.
 
In the other direction, Thomas Lane ran upwards into thickening mist to his right. “Ken Dodd lives up there,” he told himself in an attempt to cheer up.  Ken would cheer anybody up.
 
Now it was dark – totally dark. He saw ‘The Greyhound’ at the roundabout, and thought it strange that he had never been in that particular pub. “The 10A tram used to turn round here.”
 
“At least Knotty Ash still looks like a village,” he said to himself passing into the wide dual carriageway between Calvary Church and the Harold Davies Baths on the right, and what was once a Home Guard camp and Liverpool’s first prefabs, long gone on his left, though he seemed to see reminiscent shapes where they had been. Rows of houses stood on both sides, then Dovecot shops, a graceful curve with apartments, a library and Dovecot Hall above, where they once held political meetings.
 
Deeper into housing monotony, the mist metamorphosed into fog whose presence about him formed a stage setting in the round for his remembrances. Normally incessant traffic sound faded, as ghostly convoys of army lorries, columns of marching men, crated wingless aircraft on trailers with notices saying, “Beware, this vehicle is 60 feet long” drifted by. Trams whined quietly past within hedged tracks, their windows dimly illuminated square-riggers. Buses passed towing gas generators while Co-op Laundry vans with vast, wobbling gas balloons on their roofs overtook horse drawn carts. Empty ‘Kirkies’ clattered past at his left, while copper laden ones chuffed towards Prescot on the far carriageway adding their smoke to the fog, a ghostly glow showing from their furnaces. Fog was drifting in from the Tramway Sports Ground, real fog, not the light mists that have become the norm, but yellow and sulphurous, attacking the lungs. Looming out of it appeared the Granada Cinema that had become a Bingo Hall. He peered through the murk and made out above the heads of a shadowy queue, “Noël Coward in: IN WHICH WE SERVE,”  
 
          Walking slowly through the gloom, he counted 12 houses past its front before turning in at a garden gate, now doubting his own identity, his age, what year it was – wondering even if he was here at all. He lifted the moisture dimmed polished brass knocker of the green door of number 540. As it opened, the sound of modern-day traffic seemed slowly to resume. The mist swirled more silver now, diluting the jaundice of the fog, as from the space within he was dimly aware of a voice saying:
 
          “Berry, Hmm yes, there was someone of that name lived here. They moved out in about 1955.”
 
 
 
Some words of explanation:
 
This story demands a key as we move from the present back into my wartime childhood then return to the present though somehow, I myself become confused, lost as it were in time:
 
Ken Dodd, a master of comedy still packing theatres at 80+. A Liverpool legend in a city known for its comedians.  He still lives in the same cottage in Knotty Ash, and yes, that really is the name of a village now subsumed into the city of Liverpool.
 
Home Guard,  A defence force mobilised during WW2 from ex army men from WW1 and any men not called up for the rgular army,
 
Prefabs, Factory built housing which came on a lorry and was placed on pre made foundations during the war to house bomb victims who had lost thir homes.  With an anticipated life of 10 years, many still survive today, 60 years on, lived in and enjoyed by their occupants.
 
Crated, wingless aircraft were just that. Unloaded at Liverpool Docks, they came from USA and were in transit to Burtonwood aerodrome where they were assembled and flew off to fight the war.
 
Buses towed gas generators and some vans carried vast bags of gas on their roof due to the shortage of motor fuel.
 
‘Kirkies’ were steam driven wagons belonging to the Kirkdale Haulage Company. They carried loads of copper slabs from the docks to Prescot where there was a copper refinery. At one time I worked there.
 
IN WHICH WE SERVE was a wartime film about the Royal Navy starring an unlikely Noel Coward.
 
540 East Prescot Road is the house in which I was brought up. When I worked at the copper refinery, I would come out of the house on my bike and catch hold of the tail of a slow moving ‘Kirkie’ which would tow me all the way to work, a happy cicumstance, as it was all uphill.

© 2008 JohnL


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I think you should just take the 'authors note' out as an authors note. In other words, I think the way the authors note is written is almost a direct contrast of the story and I think that by meshing the two it would be absolutely perfect. I enjoyed reading it. It introduced me to some ideas on how to work my own writing.

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

yer brought me 'ome mate, catchin' a lorry t' save the pedalin'. Did I just hear the All Clear?

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ah good old Noel Coward.
This is a really interesting read. You're writing is consistent, engaging and professional. I love the descriptions- they are so real you can almost see them as clear as day in your mind.
And the photo is a nice touch too!

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Liked the use of magery and description. Also think you should merge note with story.
Tom

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The descriptions were so well written that I could immerse myself in this story. Rather than just reading about it I felt I was transported to another time and place.

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very interesting write for those who like myself who enjoy history and story. You get a history lesson while you read. Thanks for sharing.

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Eerily reminiscent, this nostalgic time travel took me wandering through the fog of yesteryear and brought me safely back to the present. I enjoyed the trip.

Posted 13 Years Ago


I think you should just take the 'authors note' out as an authors note. In other words, I think the way the authors note is written is almost a direct contrast of the story and I think that by meshing the two it would be absolutely perfect. I enjoyed reading it. It introduced me to some ideas on how to work my own writing.

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is so wonderful! Your details are aboslutely enchanting; you paint such a vivid picture with your words that I feel like I'm standing beside your old self. Bailish is right - it does have a rather dark tone, but that's fitting for WWII; it was a rather dark time. I will say, though that I was very confused the first time I read it through until I read your author's note. The change from past to present is very, very subtle -all we get is a reference to "modern traffic" and a "mist that swirls more silver" (I love that phrase, by the way) - and that can be confusing to the reader. I think you're just a bit TOO subtle at the end - we need a better transition from the past to the present, because the first time I read this through I wasn't sure what to make of the line of dialouge. I originally thought that the person in question was dead and looking back on his old life, not actually coming back to visit a place from his childhood. It would be good to make this transition a bit more clear.

Also, it would be helpful to have a more blantant reference to the time period when you're "back in time." I wasn't quite sure where you were; I just knew it was somewhere different (believe it or not, there were actually times I thought you were talking about the FUTURE. Gas generators? Does that mean we learn how to generate gas? How wonderful!) At any rate, a more obvious reference to WWII might be appropriate. This piece is great and its description is lovely, but right now it can't plausibly stand on its own without your helpful author's note. I'm not sure if you WANT to let it stand on its own, but in my humble opinion it's always best to have a story that can subsist all by itself with no furthur explaination or clarification from its author.

Great job, John! I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into your life!

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

"All the detail is 100% accurate but of course, the tale is a figment of my imagination" Come again?
Your opening description gets me interested, but most of the rest of your descriptions are rather non-feeling. What should I feel when I read your writing? Nothing sets a tone of gloom and despair.


Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 23, 2008
Last Updated on July 23, 2008

Author

JohnL
JohnL

Wirral Peninsula, United Kingdom



About
I live in England, and love the English countryside, the music of Elgar and Holst which describes it so beautifully and the poetry of John Clare, the 'peasant poet' and Gerard Manley Hopkins, which d.. more..

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