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Messages - Secoura

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Your Stories / Captain Cal
« on: 06:21 AM, 10/18/22 »
There weren’t a lot of children’s shows that I could watch when I was growing up.  We lived in an isolated Nebraska farming community so there was no cable television, and satellite TV was too expensive according to my parents. We had a DVD player and the postal service managed to get the Netflix DVD’s to us.  Remember when Netflix would mail out DVD’s?  My parents had internet access at their job to order the DVDs.  The movie theater in town was only open on Saturdays for two showings, and they just ran old movies that were at least 30 years old so Netflix was worth the money to them. 

That’s not to say that we were cut off from the civilized world.  We had the required radio to get weather alerts and there was an aerial antenna on the roof that received three channels - ABC, CBS and NBC.  If the weather was clear we could get the channel out of Colorado that carried FOX.  Sadly, on Saturday mornings there were no cartoons; the channels carried the local farm report instead.

There was one odd channel that didn’t carry any network programming and only seemed to be on the air for a few hours between Friday night and Saturday morning.  My parents worked odd hours and weren’t ones to get up early on weekends so I was free to watch television until the sun came up Saturday.

Maybe it was a community access channel.  At the ripe old age of six I didn’t really understand how channels work, but there didn’t seem to be any commercials or network logos. I don’t remember even a title card identifying the show so I couldn’t tell you what the name of it was. It was always just a guy in a cornfield, lit by what looked to be the headlights of a tractor. I don’t really remember what he looked like, but I remember his voice.  “Hey there, it’s Captain Cal!” he would start each show, always using a sing-song tone.  Then he would stand there talking about all the magical creatures that lived in that cornfield.  Elves, fairies, unicorns, griffins, and even talking puppies and kittens, all waiting in the cornfield for a boy or girl brave enough to venture out there in the moonlight.  He always said the magic only happened at night when the moon was shining high overhead.

Remember, I was only six.  I still believed in Santa Claus and cooties.  I also lived in a place where the main reason for locking your door was so the wind didn’t blow it open. The biggest crime I can remember happening was someone keying a new car at the Ford dealership. This was autumn of 2000, when there was less to worry about. I don’t think I even knew what ‘stranger danger’ was at that point because there weren’t any strangers.  The only danger to my safety was that the cornfields were massive and it was easy to get lost among the rows of stalks that were twice my height.

I wanted so much to meet the elves, the talking kittens, and all of the other wonderful things that Captain Cal promised were waiting for me, and finally I decided that I would be brave and risk the dark.  I can clearly remember Captain Cal holding up a little kitten and saying that she was so lonely and just wanted me to come and find her. I crept to the door and undid the slide bolt, opening the door and stepping onto the wooden porch in just my nightshirt.  It was cold and damp, and so dark that I could barely make out where the rows of corn started.  Countless days exploring the property had given me a pretty good memory of where things were so I made my way to the cornfields that I loved to run through during the day. At night in bare feet, those same cornfields were not much fun to wander in.  I was cold and quickly lost my sense of direction with only moonlight to see by.  I soon began to cry as I walked the row, believing I would be lost forever. 

“Kitty!” I called out.  “Kitty, I’m here but I’m lost and I’m scared.  Kitty, are you here?”

This happened about four months after selective availability had been switched off for GPS, and the new accuracy meant farm equipment began to be more automated.  Joe had purchased one of the tractors that could be programmed to follow GPS coordinates, running day and night without a driver and even able to cut patterns for a maze.  The software would send a message to a pager if the sensors detected anything in its path and shut the tractor down.  The only reason he had been there at such an early hour on Saturday was because he got a message on the pager that the tractor was stopped.  After finding nothing around the tractor he walked across the field towards our house, afraid that one of the neighbor’s horses had gotten loose and been hit and injured.

On the way towards the house he found me curled up on the ground.  I had managed to get close enough to the end of a row that my pink nightshirt caught his eye.  I remember him picking me up and carrying me back to the house, yelling for my parents as he sat me down on the sofa. I told them about Captain Cal and the show that was on every Friday night, and how he talked about all the wonderful, magical creatures that came out at night to play in the cornfield.  They were angry with me, but they were mostly scared.  The sheriff even came to the house, and he listened while I repeated everything I could tell him about the show and Captain Cal.  He said it must have been a pirate broadcast.  I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but after that night I never saw that show again.  My parents took to unplugging the television and making sure that I was in bed instead of staying awake until sunrise.

In time the memory faded since it seemed to be a case of “no harm done”.  I eventually believed it had just been my overactive imagination or a weird dream that led me to venture out that night in search of a kitten.  I was 24 and living in Colorado when my parents decided to sell the property to one of the commercial farms.  I came home to help them pack up and reminisce about my childhood home.  My dad joked that in all the years the land had been in the family, only about one-third of the 1,240 acres had ever been used.  Only so much land could be irrigated when you were only allowed one well for water and land that can’t be irrigated isn’t worth clearing.  My friends had referred to it as the “back woods” and we often dared each other to venture beyond the tilled ground and see what the overgrowth was hiding.  None of us were ever brave enough or stupid enough to. 

Now that the opportunity to see what was back there was disappearing, I decided to join my dad when he said he was taking the truck out there to get a look.

The tilled land ended at a line of pine trees and beyond them we found a heavily wooded area overgrown with trees, brush and bushes that were home to a few raccoon dens and at least one coyote that we saw.  There was also an old hunting blind that had to have been there for close to a century.  It faced a section of the pine trees that offered a clear view of the cornfield since one of the pines had for whatever reason been cut down long ago, leaving only a stump.

We both felt compelled to explore and see if there was anything interesting or valuable.  What we found was a small diesel generator, the remains of broadcasting equipment and a video camera that still had an old VHS tape in it.  Apparently someone had been trying to do a show from there but abandoned the location to the elements long before we found it. 

Hanging on the wall were blue coveralls.  They were falling apart from deterioration but still recognizable as what the mechanics wore at the small airfield for the cropdusters.  On the front the name “Calvin” was stitched above a pocket.  Dad grabbed my hand and said “Let’s go” as he pulled me outside. We never said a word about it after that since there didn’t seem to be a point to telling anyone.  No harm done, after all.

Your Stories / Re: Aranea de quod Laquearia (NSFW)
« on: 02:27 AM, 09/13/18 »
A very good story -- short and to the point, with excellent writing!

Story Critique / Re: Untitled sci-fi horror thing
« on: 12:14 AM, 02/26/18 »
I enjoyed it.  With the way technology is headed, it won't be long before such things could be reality. I imagine this is how my computer must feel when I run a backup :(

Story Critique / Re: Buckets of Popcorn
« on: 03:45 PM, 01/20/18 »
I liked it -- short, sweet and to the point.  My only question is that the narrator says that the "Poisoned Popcorn" didn't fit with the theme of the party, so what was the theme of the party?

So the first half or so of the rough draft is posted if anyone wants to read it and give their thoughts.

"I accept his offer and take the money walking out of the shop."  For some reason this one sentence is in present tense instead of past tense.

Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: Master List of Summaries
« on: 01:06 AM, 11/14/17 »
Unit 64 is now "Kindergarten Karaoke".  The backstory is pretty much the same except with karaoke thrown in.

I had no idea what to expect when I got to my brother’s storage unit.  I’d been paying for the unit since 2015 and I still considered it to be his storage unit.  Truth be told, if not for the emailing saying I had until October 14th to get what I might want out of the unit, I wouldn’t have been there rolling up the heavy metal door and wincing at the god-awful noise it made in protest.  Two years of non-use had taken a toll apparently.

The first thing I saw was an old console television.  I recognized it as a Curtis Mathes just like the one my grandparents had in their home.  All that worked on it was the turntable but there was something magical about listening to Elvis Presley records on it.  Why Scott would have one, I had no idea.  It couldn’t be the same one that my grandparents owned and it made no sense for it to be here.

I looked back at the black Bronco and Mr. Whiskers who was curled up on the dashboard.  He was already sleeping so I assumed it was still warm in the vehicle despite the chilly air outside.  There was no way the console was going to fit in the vehicle so if I wanted to take it, I’d need to rent a U-Haul.  I walked past it, hoping I hadn’t paid just to shelter an old television for two years.

There was a large yellow tub with colorful pictures of LEGO bricks.  It even proudly proclaimed to hold 607 pieces and I thought that I would have loved that when I was a kid.  Next to that was what I first thought was a kid’s radio.  I picked it up and set it on top of the console for a better look, finally seeing the cheap microphone clipped to the side.  It was a karaoke machine.  I laughed at the idea that young children would be into karaoke and leaving the machine where I’d set it, I kept looking around.  There was no light in the unit and my phone didn’t provide enough light to really see.  Not eager to trip on something or come face to face with a spider, I picked up the LEGO tub and began to walk out when I thought to look inside the console.  There were two doors, one at each end, and my grandparents would store their vinyl records in there.  I foolishly expected to open one of the doors and be greeted with the sight of old album covers protecting the records inside.  Instead, I found a small black portable safe that looked large enough to hold a laptop inside.  There was no keyhole, just a keypad and nothing to indicate the combination. 

I carried out the safe and the yellow tub to the car.  Mr. Whiskers had decided to sit in the driver’s seat, paws on the door so he could stare out the window at the other people who I imagine were there for the same reason I was.  I wonder how many of them were there only because of the dead body that was found.  Sad that it took another death to get me to Havre when Scott lived here for ten years before he died.

The door didn’t want to close but one of the officers was kind enough to pull it down for me.  He looked like he would have been more suited to football than police work, honestly.  I was tempted to ask him if he knew Scott but realized that it would probably sound stupid.  The town wasn’t small enough for everyone to literally know everyone so instead I thanked him for getting the door down, moved the cat to the passenger’s seat and left with the LEGOs and the safe on the floor.

If you’re wondering about the cat, Mr. Whiskers is 12 years old and loves to ride in the car with me.  Luckily a Best Western in Havre allows pets so I brought him with me.  He’s all I have left now.  No family, no friends, just a cat for emotional support.  Obviously I made some wrong decisions in my life to end up here.

The warmth from the heater vents felt good as I drove back to the hotel.  I wanted to get something to eat but I also wanted to get the safe open.

Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: Location Collaboration
« on: 06:45 PM, 11/ 5/17 »
I think Claira is going to be at Inspector MooMoo's on the 10th.  Nothing goes with guilt and grief quite like ice cream, after all.

Here's a list of all the parks in Havre -

Beaver Creek Park might work as well -

I don't think the title gives away too much.  As for the repression, in the midwestern states the attitude that the narrator images from his father is not all that uncommon.  When I lived in NE there used to be a joke that Montana was "where the men were men and the sheep were scared"  ;D

Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: Location Collaboration
« on: 11:31 PM, 11/ 4/17 »
Claira will be at Unit 64 on the 10th around 10AM and leave around 11AM with a small safe ( and the big container of LEGO.  She drives a black 1989 Ford Bronco with North Dakota plates.  Mr. Whiskers, a Maine Coon, will be in the vehicle and likely on the dashboard watching people or sleeping while Claira is inside the unit.

Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: Master List of Summaries
« on: 11:14 PM, 11/ 4/17 »
If anyone could tell me how to format a link so it just says "link" instead of being a mile long, I would greatly appreciate it.  :P

You can always run the link through to get it shortened.

Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: Research
« on: 06:45 PM, 11/ 3/17 »
evilblackbunny, if you have anything in particular in mind I bhave an app for toxic substances and what amounts cause what symptoms. I'd I can help you (or anyone else that might need that information) let me know.

Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: Location Collaboration
« on: 02:18 AM, 11/ 3/17 »
My character will be staying at the Best Western Plus Great Northern Inn.  Prices be damned, they have a section for pets so Mr. Whiskers can join on the trip.

Unit #64 belonged to my character's older brother who moved to Havre around 2005 to work at the Too Close For Comfort archeological site after college.  He died in 2015 in an early morning car crash and my character took over the payments on the storage unit rather than have to go there and face disposing of his belongings.  At some point she'll be visiting Hopper's Firearms.

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