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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The run down the long hill had been a good one, drying the sweat that had dripped from his face and trickled down his neck, soaking his shirt. The grind up to the top in the searing heat had taken almost all the strength from his weary legs.

At the bottom of the hill he could see a line of trees that signalled a creek ahead. The old steel bike kicked and jolted over the bumpy and rutted red dirt road. The jolts jarred his spine, but he was too tired to lift his sore butt up off the leather saddle.

All he could think about was getting off the bike and lying down on the grass and sleeping.

The road flattened out as he reached the bottom of the hill. He forced himself to turn the cranks, watching the line of trees slowly come closer. The tires crunched along the road across the flinty and dusty corrugations.

Finally, he rode off the road and reached the trees, coasting into the welcoming shade. The creek had a trickle of water in its rocky channel, for which he was doubly thankful. It meant a hot cup of tea later, when he had regained enough strength to make a campfire and boil his battered blackened billy. He had no food left, but a cup of tea would be good.

Now, all he wanted to do was lie down on the ground in the shade and rest his exhausted body.

He dismounted slowly from the old bike and leaned it against a tree trunk. He was sore, tired, dusty and stiff. With a groan, he lowered himself to the ground. The earth was covered in a layer of brown needles from the trees around him. With a sigh, he lay down on them and closed his eyes.

When he awoke, it was evening, the sun just setting over the hills. He lay on the soft carpet and looked up at the fading bright blue sky through the canopy of she oaks. Gradually, he became aware of the sound of the oaks, a quiet moaning noise made by the breeze through their thin needles.

The music made him sad. He thought that there was no sadder sound than that of the wind through the she oaks.

He listened to the sad song for a long time. He felt connected to the earth, unable to move.

The stars came out slowly as darkness fell. He watched them grow brighter in the crystal clear sky. The Milky Way appeared in all it's splendour above him. Still the she oaks sighed their sad soft song.

He closed his eyes and listened.

Gradually, the song faded and grew softer as the breeze dropped away and the sky above him blazed with starlight ..... but the man never heard the end of the song, nor saw the stars.

Over the days and weeks that passed, the needles of the she oaks covered the mans body with a fine brown covering. The old bike leaned against the trunk of a tree, the air slowly seeping out of the tires. Eventually, only the bike remained.

Every evening, the she oaks moaned their sad, sad song.................



The heads-up board blinked with a bright green alert. The rider slowed the land sled, watching as the machines' detectors traced the faint signs of crafted metal to their source. He allowed the sled to follow the trace on auto until it reached a line of native flora. He stopped the sled and stepped off.

Somewhere in that green belt was an artifact, a relic from the pre-war times. He walked swiftly into the shade , his hand scanner pinging softly as he got closer. In amongst a tight group of casuarinas, he stopped. The scanner traced the shape on the screen. There was definitely something hidden in the soft covering of thin brown needles.

He loped back to the sled and returned with a retriever. Once the small machine was activated, it began to cut and dig carefully through the tangle of roots and matted dead covering to the thing below.

In a short time it was exposed... He held it in his hands, hissing with delight. It was corroded and dirty, but he was sure it was the genuine thing. The original metal was mostly intact. Ohhh how his colleagues would mewl in jealousy at his find. Carrying the artifact carefully, he returned to his transport to pack it away.

His detector bleeped at him again. He returned to where he had found the old hand crafted machine and ran the scan across the ground again. Plenty of soft golden metal was embedded in the earth beneath the old watercourse, but it was something else that the scanner had picked up. There...buried deep in the needles...an oval of metal. He dug into the carpet of needles and extracted the metal object.

It was some sort of buckle, probably from a belt or harness. He hissed with glee. Two valuable finds in the one pass. This would make him rise several levels in the clan. What a fantastic project it would make restoring the items back to new condition. he could just make out some markings on the metal...It looked like M...O...O... the rest was corroded partly away.

As he stood contemplating the fame he would achieve, he noticed a strange sound, emanating from the surrounding trees. A soft moaning wail, caused by the breeze whispering through the needles of the casuarinas. What a sad sad sound, he thought.

He ran back to his sled and jumped aboard. The soft virtual field surrounded his body in a warm cocoon as the sled whirred away across the hills towards his home. He grinned, exposing his long yellow canines.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he thought about the sad song of the trees.............


R.
 

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You've been on the sci fi kick lately.... you could piece them together for a great story one of these days.

I keep hearing the movie preview guy's deep voice in my head (do you have that guy's voice in OZ?).... "in a world where freedom to ride is no longer, a few have uncovered traces of the past......"

thanks!
 

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OMR - Old Man Riding
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429 Posts
Well done... good and faithful servant.... again....

A good read Ray.... have you published anything? If not, you should ....with virtual publishing available on the web, it's cut the start-up costs for authors and gets you away from the blood sucking book publishers that have their own agenda.

I seem to sense a theme that runs through your works... usually a little melancholy in nature... where is that coming from??

Again, always a pleasure to open up the forum and find a Rainman story waiting to be read... sorta like a present at Christmas....

Your friend in SoCal,:cool:

OMR
 

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Reviewer/Tester
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone...

I am, and have always been a science-fiction and fantasy reader and writer.

I really enjoy painting a picture with words, I try to place the reader in the same spot where I am standing, as a part of the story.

The thread that you noticed Gregg...yes... it weaves through a lot of my short stories.

It's all about ... the fragility ... and shortness ... of life.


R.
 

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OMR - Old Man Riding
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429 Posts
Ahhhha!....

Rainman said:
Thanks everyone...

I am, and have always been a science-fiction and fantasy reader and writer.

I really enjoy painting a picture with words, I try to place the reader in the same spot where I am standing, as a part of the story.

The thread that you noticed Gregg...yes... it weaves through a lot of my short stories.

It's all about ... the fragility ... and shortness ... of life. R.
R, Your stories remind me of Richard Harland's (big complement!) PLease keep them up. I look forward to your next installment....

Afterall, man does not live by big wheels alone....

OMR...:cool:
We have white stuff in the SoCal mountains this morning and it ain't coke!
 
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