Thread Rating:
  • 2 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The Jason King Incident.
#1
A True Story.

During the days of my working-life and when the world didn't seem as crazy as it is today, I used to enjoy creative writing.
I still do, but the imagination-part seems to be on a sabbatical and I'll bet it's browning it's skin somewhere on a tropical
beach instead of developing it's muscles for a invigorating return to take me on another exciting journey!

The job I had was a soliatry one. In another thread, I related how it involved image manipulation for a small newspaper
and included property-for-sale pictures, advertising logos and performing proceedures to keep a conservative perception
to what the readers saw.

I worked evenings in a large office with nobody else except the odd Journalist who visited from another floor to ask a
favour or to give directions on how an image should be presented. Since the work wasn't dramatically time-sensitive,
I would occasionally type out an idea for a story and if I could flesh it out enough as a short piece of fiction, I'd dare myself
to post it on the company's public website for perusal.

Sadly, the site closed and many of the tales were lost. But during that twilight time, one my yarns -'Jason King Loves Me',
received a comment from someone that brought up an unusual situation that had no real connection with the story I'd offered.

Jason King was a character from the televison world of my youth. The late-Peter Wyngarde played a famboyant author who
doubled as a crime-fighter and always got the girl. The part came as a spin-off from a series titled 'Department S', a British
seventies spy-fi adventure series that involved a 'hush-hush' Government outfit solving high-society politcal corruption.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=3726]

The manner that the character was projected always made me smile and considering Mr. Wyngarde's private tribulations that
led to his career suffering, when I wrote the piece, I steeled myself from mocking the public's view on homosexuality at that
particular period.

King was a womaniser, who enjoyed the high-life and good wine. But the realities of the actor and the television entertainment
rarely meet and the latter must always outweigh the former to keep the Blue Pill real in the minds of the audience.
Sorry for the waffling, but it needed telling!

The light-hearted story was about a young and eager television production company employee who was involved in the
re-invention of the suave and appealing character. The stage-hand's self-meditations poked fun at the actors failings that
were rarely exposed and described the indulgent manner the thespian profession enjoys.

The young man becomes involved in a dangerous situation and a vagrant, a rough-looking stranger who'd crept onto the set,
swoops in and saves the employee from certain death. The dishevelled drifter was of course, the original actor of Jason King.

There was a descriptive comment I wrote that made a simple tongue-in-cheek tale morph into a conduit between myself and
someone I still don't know to this day. The remark was: "...The smell of old urine hung about him, but I believe that may have
been due to his sleeping habits..." -from the saved-employee's depiction of his unkempt saviour.

The story had been on the website for around a month and the comment section -just like all the other stories on the page
branded 'Tales From The Clock Tower', I guessed would be empty.
But on this one Sunday evening, it wasn't (Cue dramatic music!)

Someone with a vague nom de plume that I cannot recall, had opined "I am offended that you accused my favourite actor
of smelling of urine!"

I gulped...! Nobody had ever judged my silly tales. In fact,  I had imagined that nobody had actually read my musings.
Under the single fluorescent light and with a semi-religious radio show murmuring in the background (it was a quaint local
channel and was the only frequency that the bashed-and-bruised radio set could pick up!)... I re-read the obiter dictum.
There was someone out there!

Looking around in the gloom of the darkened office, I nibbled my bottom-lip and holding my breath I typed my reply.
'Sorry... I'll change it' and I did. The sentence became something like "...an aura of forgotten alleyways and damp doorways"

The evening went on just as all the others before and I assumed, like the many stacked-up ahead of me in time.
At ten o'clock, I'd shuffle along to a nearby pub for a beer and roughhouse banter, then wandered back with my head down
to ignore whatever drunken bacchanal that staggered too close or asked from the shadows for a spare cigarette.
The Gotham Walk, I used to call it.

With flat-screen monitors still a facet of the 'Living-on-the-moon' dream they'd promised me as a kid, I approached my desk
from the same type of obscurity that the guy asking for a smoke lived in and wondered what the barrel-of-a-screen would offer
me next.

Sundays usually meant ten or fifteen feature images for a nice article about a fancy nearby mansion or a group of pictures
that lend optics to a story on the days of steam locomotions. Tomorrow's deadline had passed and these were for Tuesday's
editions. Cropping, removing blemishes -especially with old images and colour appreciation were in my quiver and my verve
to deliver was my bow. The Journalists will be wanting to go home.

After appeasing the Gods on the next floor, I took out my last sandwich and reducing the work-board of my Photoshop application
down onto the lower bar on the screen, my late-evening meal trembled in my hand. There was a reply to my reply.

"I was only joking, I like your stories" it said and my wide eyes glanced again towards the shadows, in case someone from the
company was playing tricks on me. Could it be one of them upstairs...? Could it be those purported to be scribes of the public
were revelling in mirth over my tenderfoot prose?

There was a small pile of hard-copy photographs resting in the Out-Tray on a day-shift employee's desk and I thought it would be
a good idea to deliver them back to the originators. If there's a group of Journalists guffawing at the ruse, I would soon find out
with the use of surprise.

I raced up the stairs and gathered myself before entering the Newsdesk.
"Er, here's Sally's photos" I mumbled, nonchalantly passing the only Journalist in the room and giving the clock a look-see,
I remembered that a Sunday midnight usually meant an early finish for the wordsmiths.

The young man in the poor tie waved a hand and went back to his typing. I dumped the pictures on Sally's desk and wandered
back to where the Journalist's clacking was the only sound in the room. "If there's nothing else, I'll get my stuff together and call it a
night" I said whilst scanning his computer screen.

Looking up from his electronic alchemy and offering features that translated to 'piss-off', he nodded and went back to his snooty
high majick. The internet on his computer wasn't active.

Realising that running down the two flights of stairs after drinking beer and sitting on my ass for a living wasn't a great idea,
I steadied my breath as I looked at my own screen again. "I was wanting to ask you some advice and I've emailed you something"
the sentence said.
Oh Shit!
.......................................

That long-dead server, once filled with websites showing ancient photographs of sepia seaside images, clunky gifs decorating
accounts of resurrecting a favoured post-war vehicle and someone pretending they could write fictional tales, had the application
where a viewer could contact the owner of a particular station.

I'd never used it before, but after a few single-finger endeavours, I arrived at the only message I'd received since creating 'Tales
From The Clock Tower' It was from the Jason King fan.

The email went something like this:

'Hello, I've been reading your stories for some time and I think -considering your place of work, you can help me.
I'm a retired teacher and along with my wife -who's still teaching there, was employed at a private all-boys school that receives it's
funds through donors and tuition fees.

During the years that I taught at the school I will not name, I noticed that many of the pupils from overseas seemed to disappear.
I know this sounds odd, but I assure you it's true. They would be in class for a couple of days and then just not attend anymore.
The housing of the pupils is on the school premises, but there never seemed to be any commotion when a boy would stop going
to class and unjustifiably leaving the school.

I was dumbfounded by the lack of concern and the Headmaster at the time advised me to just leave it alone. He remarked that in
many of the instances, the boys would just up-and-return back to his own country for various reasons and luckily, a refund wasn't
requested.

When I retired, the Headmaster also could it a day. A new chap took his place and to be candid, he reminded me of a used-car
salesman. From my wife's information, he looked on the disappearances as merely abscondence, a developing youngster finding
his manhood in a new country and the school keeping the price!

Due to my wife's position at the school, I cannot tell you anything more about the school as it may effect our income. I apologise
for the lack of details, but I wondered if your newspaper could investigate in such a way that gives no impression of my contact.
What do you think?

Yours, the reader.'

I switched off the computer and put my sandwich box into my satchel. This wasn't right. My taxi-ride home found me nodding at
whatever the chirpy driver was telling whilst my mind roamed the world of Sherlock Holmes. "What do I think?" -I mean, what could
I possibly think?!

Young men from other lands coming here under the guise of being educated and then -either being kidnapped like out of a drunken
Enid Blyton story and kept for possibly barbarous acts, or slipping away to meet cohorts in the dead of night for reasons of cunning
and dangerous means.

It would be Tuesday before I went back to work and I arrived early. The Editor, a man younger than myself, was busying himself in
his office when I tapped on his door. Peter was always glad to to see me and didn't hold that aloofness the Journalists seemed to
carry when dealing with other departments.

Sitting across the desk from me with a look of attentiveness, he listened as I told him what I've told you.
The vertical blinds behind him struggled to staunch the sunlight from creating a deity-like aura around the Editor as he digested the
account of of the disappearing schoolboys. I commented that it would make a good story and if true, could promote the newspaper
in the environs of a competing industry.

"You're being trolled..." Peter announced -interrupting my sales-pitch, "...whoever this person is, he's playing you because of where
you work" he added. I had pondered this before, but considering I'd never related on the website that I was employed at a newspaper,
how would the unknown contact have known I would be the appropriate person?

I put this to Peter and added that even though the larger holding-company that owned the newspaper had built the server for local
community needs and a platform to advertise from, would it really make sense to scour the fifty-or-so websites in hope of catching
somebody who had access to a news outlet?

"Your email address has a media connection, that's how he got you... " he said sympathetically "...It's not much, but it does imply you're
connected to the company". I nodded because it made sense, my lack of internet knowledge was very limited and the obvious had
slipped by.

"I'd just leave it alone, if such a thing was happening, the Police and someone from the school would've contacted us by now" the
Editor added and with that, I thanked him for his sage advice and left to start work.

Later back at my desk and as the images for Wednesday's newspaper dwindled in my 'TO DO' folder, I thought about how a stranger
had gotten the better of me and yanked my chain good and proper. When my tasks were done, I warily opened the web-server to see
if the Troll had impatiently pushed his trick any further.

The Tales Of The Clock Tower didn't appear, instead there was something called 'Tales Of The Countryside' emblazoned itself across
my screen with quaint photographs of lamb-filled meadows and a snow-blasted hill range with a huddled cottage enduring the weather.
The labourer-fingers inherited from my father had bludgeoned the wrong keys.

On my own site, the private emails contained no messages about young frightend men in school uniforms bound in rope in a dingy
cellar or a gang of foreign youths from different countries clandestinely attempting a coup of traditions.
Apart from the initial message, everything was back to normal.

Pressing 'return' and not realising that it would take me back to the amateur-photographer's domain, I sighed as I lazily followed
the pictures and descriptions down to the bottom of the page. A lone willow tree at dusk and two fishing trawlers tied on a lonely
quayside tracked my idle inspection.

You know when when there's a thing called a 'Eureka moment'? When the air around you seems to compact and stop sound, when
it seems that the tactile world you know is always there, moves slightly to the right and you're momentarily set adrift.
That was what I felt.

Right at the bottom of web-page, just like my own repository of quixotic musings -with exception that the first part of the address,
this photographer's contact information was the same as mine. The individual titles of the web-pages made up the first part of
the address, but the final part related to the whole server! Any relevance to me and where I worked wasn't there!

I quickly accessed my messaging area, opened a 'Reply' text box and gathered myself for the serious situation I'd found myself.
Looking over the large monitor to make sure no snickering Editor or chuckling Journalists were waiting in the gloom of the unlit
room, I carefully typed my thoughts to the retired teacher who worried for his lost boys.
.......................................

That was over twenty years-ago, Tales From The Clock Tower and it's fellow websites are long gone and I doubt even the
'Archive Machine' could even find 'em. Whoever it was that first sent that message never replied to my email. There's been no local
'scoop' about missing schoolboys or wealthy families from abroad concerned that letters to their male children go unanswered.

No bloated bodies wrapped in decaying school uniforms were dredged from nearby pools, nor were lost and unintelligible youngsters
discovered walking the highways and byways of England. Nothing.

Is the unknown education facility still accepting overseas pupils and allowing them to slip away into the hustle-and-bustle of British
society and all the while, caressing the currency for such strange journeys? Could it be that at the same time I was hailing my cab in
the night, shadows darker than the shadows surrounding them met in the calignosity of the alleyways and plotted their long-term
schemes of calamity?

Who knows...? Well, maybe a stumbling storyteller and a retired follower of Jason King do.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply
#2
WOW!   minusculeclap 

You are such a good writer, it astounds me every time I read one of your stories.  And, great job on the subject matter being one that could possibly be true and open peoples' mind to what is really happening in the world. 

Or, was it actually a true story?   tinybighuh 


smallawesome




Reply
#3
(05-10-2018, 03:56 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: Or, was it actually a true story?   tinybighuh 

It was a genuine account of what happened when the 'Mother'-company that owned the newspaper
dabbled with a community-based platform to gain revenue. If my memory serves, I was the only one
in the firm who had a website and the lady who was supposed to maintain the server was useless!

I used to pop into her office as she was ready to go home and ask for tips to upgrade the poorly-built
system and I always remember she had big hands... 'man' hands!!
tinysurprised

By the way, there's a 'Peggy Powler' story brewing!!
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply
#4
(05-10-2018, 05:41 PM)BIAD Wrote:
(05-10-2018, 03:56 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: Or, was it actually a true story?   tinybighuh 

It was a genuine account of what happened when the 'Mother'-company that owned the newspaper
dabbled with a community-based platform to gain revenue. If my memory serves, I was the only one
in the firm who had a website and the lady who was supposed to maintain the server was useless!

I used to pop into her office as she was ready to go home and ask for tips to upgrade the poorly-built
system and I always remember she had big hands... 'man' hands!!
tinysurprised

By the way, there's a 'Peggy Powler' story brewing!!

Crazy me!  I just now saw where your VERY FIRST LINE was "A True Story".     mediumshy     mediumfacepalm




Reply
#5
(05-10-2018, 05:58 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: Crazy me!  I just now saw where your VERY FIRST LINE was "A True Story".     mediumshy     mediumfacepalm

No problems, I'm glad you liked it.
minusculethumbsup
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply
#6
That was a fun story, to be honest I had to look up who Jason King was  tinywondering.  Seems he was the very "dandy" version of The Saint.
Reply
#7
(05-12-2018, 09:57 AM)Wallfire Wrote: That was a fun story, to be honest I had to look up who Jason King was  tinywondering.  Seems he was the very "dandy" version of The Saint.

Yeah, he actually added something to 'Department S' series that was lacking.
The original characters were pretty straight-laced and serious.
Jason King brought that cheesy aristocratic-meets-the sixties feel and it paid off with getting his own series.

It seems an eternity ago!
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply
#8
I found a few videos of Department S, if you consider when it was made its not tooooo bad. Also found a video of Adam Adamant Lives, but have not yet had time to watch it. Sure made some good strange stuff in the 60s
Reply
#9
(05-12-2018, 05:28 PM)Wallfire Wrote: I found a few videos of Department S, if you consider when it was made its not tooooo bad. Also found a video of Adam Adamant Lives, but have not yet had time to watch it. Sure made some good strange stuff in the 60s

Gerald Harper=Adam Adamant, I vaguely remember it.
(But I had to google as a reminder!)
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply
#10
A bit OT, but do you remember white horses, I only found it about 20 years ago, its good
Reply
#11
(05-12-2018, 06:30 PM)Wallfire Wrote: A bit OT, but do you remember white horses, I only found it about 20 years ago, its good

I do! Gosh, that was a while back, but the theme tune came straight into my head!
1965...! I was five years-old.



[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply
#12
Love that tune
Reply
#13
(05-12-2018, 08:03 PM)Wallfire Wrote: Love that tune

The world was a lot better back then, probably because of my ignorance!
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply
#14
(05-12-2018, 08:28 PM)BIAD Wrote:
(05-12-2018, 08:03 PM)Wallfire Wrote: Love that tune

The world was a lot better back then, probably because of my ignorance!

A special offer to all RN members
I have for sale  my knowledge
Price is the return of my innocence.
Reply
#15
(05-13-2018, 11:54 AM)Wallfire Wrote: A special offer to all RN members
I have for sale  my knowledge
Price is the return of my innocence.

We can only try, Wallfire. That golden time out there somewhere, or maybe still resides in the heart.
tinywondering
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)