Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 67

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 67

 …The Cadillac Palace Theatre is hosting the (previous Broadway) New York musical version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Fast forward from 1931 and the heart of the Great Depression to 1951 and an America heavily entrenched as policeman of the world. Having just solved Europe’s problems, the US is involved in yet another war, this time in Korea of all places. In contrast to a worldwide financial collapse, the Korean conflict affects mostly the armed services of three countries and their families. The roots causes… well you see… it is fought over — well nobody seems to know why.

But as a war that began in June can be easily set aside in January, so can the CCPI girls shelve a battle that has raged behind the scenes for centuries: Creation vs. Evolution; and that will be tabled for one more day.

The Cadillac Palace Theatre is hosting the (previous Broadway) New York musical version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes this holiday season and Eddie Dombroski’s cousin Jimmy knows the box office manager, scoring two ducats, as he puts it. The New Years Eve show, with Carol Channing as Lorelei Lee, is a super hot ticket and becomes Eddie’s Christmas present for the girls…

… He gives culturally neutered Martin Kamen 2 tickets to the movies, The Father of the Bride. Early odds are being set at 5-2 that he takes piano coach William with him. “Liz Taylor will get you going Marty!” he hates being called Marty.

The girls are wowed by the off-Broadway performance, “Carol Channing sure is pretty close up,” Fanny is especially impressed with the production adding, “They don’t have anything like this in down home!”

After the show, it is back to the hotel where a seven course meal awaits, followed by a night of dancing to the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, featuring the singing of Helen O’Connell. No one seemed to notice that Constance and Fanny did their own thing, partially due to the fact that the eligible bachelor pool was weak and that other than the slow songs, each of them were better dancers together than apart.

But the evening is taking its toll on the pair, barely able to make the champagne toast at midnight, let alone the last dance. Sometimes fun must be trapped and capped, for the memory bank in times to come; overtaken by more recent recollections, like how potentially dangerous their job is becoming.

“I do not want to lose you Fanny; without you the world stops making sense.”

“I’m not going anywhere Connie; you know that I’ll always be there for you.”

Best friends forever.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 64

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 66

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 66

…“That’s it… sure? Do you ever say no?”

“I do plenty, just not today.”…

“I have an apartment over east of State St., would you like to come over and talk about life for a while?”

— ‘Talk about life – what kind of cornball invite is that? Constance thinks, instead of speaks, to herself this time.

Without so much as a twitch, Fanny Renwick responds, “Sure.”

Was that too easy? again, she thinks to her nosey self. “It’s within walking distance. Let’s leave before your boss kicks us out.”

On the walk to Constance’s modest garden apartment and continuing past the midnight hour, they gain a familiarity usually reserved for life-long friends. Seemingly all of their combined 50 years are covered in that span of 7 brief hours.

Everyone remembers talking forever to someone you have known forever, but in this case, two lonesome spirits bond in a blink of an eye. It becomes apparent that neither wants this day to end, but there are far too many delicate topics that need to be broached before overnight stays are proper.

Before surrendering to separation, Constance tosses another softball in Fanny’s direction, “My parents have a cottage down in Panama City Beach, would you like to come down and hang out this weekend?”

 “Sure.”

“That’s it… sure? Do you ever say no?”

“I do plenty, just not today.”

“You are a peach, Fanny! I thought I was doomed to another boring weekender with the folks. Cool. Pack an overnighter and do not forget your bathing suit.” She may not live with her parents, but they still subsidize their only daughter’s university lifestyle and they truly are boring people, according to their dearest “Connie”. “Where do I pick you up?”

“I’ll meet you back here at your place.” At 25, Fanny is embarrassed to tell Constance that she still actually lives at home with her parents in Frenchtown, an increasingly seedy area in the heart of Tallahassee. “What time?”

“Is 7:00 too early, it’s a two hour drive to the coast?”

“It’s a date, 7 o’clock and don’t be late!”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 63

 

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 65

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 65

…Would you like to come over and talk about life for a while?…

“I’ll have the chocolate cake, thank you,” Constance had not planned on topping off her meal with a treat, but what the hell.

Fanny returns from the kitchen with an impressive pile of chocolate heaven x3, on a plate and places it in front of her, while removing the apron that had been protecting her white tuxedo blouse from Yancy’s version of Veal Florentine and Flounder Alfredo (Chops and Fish), “Here you go, enjoy. I can take your tab.”

Handing her a twenty, the overtly curious customer asks, “Are you done for the afternoon?”

“Yeah, it has been a long day.”

“I cannot possibly finish this by myself, would you like to share?” In a world of filled with possibilities, this woman’s brain seldom rests.

“Sure,” she responds instinctively, “I’ll get your change.”

Upon returning with one ten, one five and a nickel, Fanny sits opposite Constance and picks up a spoon. “I’ve always loved this stuff.”

Constance is impressed with how casually friendly this gal is. The ease at which she carries on a conversation is so refreshing; it’s like they’ve known each other for years and it goes on for longer than it takes for the chocolate creation to collapse into the recesses of her satisfied gut.

“Here are your tips Miss Renwick, were you going to leave them for me?” Yancy is politely trying to free up a primo table for the Friday dinner hour.

“Will you look at the time, thank you sir?” She pockets wads of mostly singles and gads of quarters and gets up to head for the door.

Constance thinks on the fly, quickly as not to lose contact with Fanny, at least not so abruptly. “I have an apartment over east of State Street (Tallahassee) would you like to come over and talk about life for a while?


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 62

The NULL Solution = Episode 175

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The NULL Solution = Episode 175

…When one door closes, another one opens…

Deimostra McKinney has some explaining to do.

“I will tell you what I told Chasonn. I am not ready to make any long-term commitments to a world that is not my true home. I may have been born in space, but I have a brother, that I have never met, on Earth.” His head drops. “And I am not sure that I would be accepted as your mate. I am a social minority here on this planet, but not in a Null sort of way. From what my brother tells me, the Gifted threw a fit when they found out he and Princess Cerella were going to wed.”

“The Null believe what I tell them to believe.”

“That doesn’t work with a McKinney. Have you ever seen Sammy Mac do what he is told, at least the first time? Or my mother… she leads Ekcello around by the nose, if he had one I mean. And what about that rascal Joyner, they need to put that boy on a leash. I wager that he is in the NEWFOUNDLANDER with dad as we speak. He is every bit a child of Earth.”

“Do you prefer Chasonn to me?”

“This must be my lucky day,” two marriage proposals in the young hours of one cycle.

“What is luck?”

“Luck is an imaginary condition that relates to good fortune.”

“Then I am lucky for you?” She is confusing the man.

“I am lucky to have made your acquaintance, yes, but…”

The word “but” is an opposing proposition, not a positive conjunction in any language. Skaldic sees the writing on the wall, “I choose not to test my good fortune. Perhaps Offingga is the better choice for me after all.”

“You are pressing your luck Skaldy ol’ boy. My daughter is not for sale,” insists Sampson who is back from serving as doorman for Chasonn’s melancholy exit from the Spaceflight Expository. Now he rebukes the efforts of another suitor. Predictably, he has a rambunctious youngster in tow.

“You are fortunate to have such a loyal daughter Sammy Mac. She will make some Earthling a worthy mate.”

“Or drive him to my distillery. She is child of space; born to wander and free to make her own decisions.”Related image

Ekcello joins the group. He searches out the Null for a specific reason: to ask Skaldic if he would serve as Eridanus’ representative to Harmonia, not an insignificant gesture for the Gifted patriarch. When one door closes, another one opens.

That completes the roster of charter representatives to Harmonia, making the peacekeeping multinational officially complete. It is a bona fide hit in the Terran System, celebrated on Eridanus and accepted by the Seljuk, but will it play in Peoria?


The NULL Solution =

Episode 175


page 171 (end Ch. 17)

The NULL Solution = Episode 174

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The NULL Solution = Episode 174

…Skaldic happens to show up… him and his convenient home-field advantage…

“Do you prefer Skaldic over me?” Seljuk Chasonn asks.

“You certainly don’t beat around the bush.”

“What bush?”

“An imaginary bush; the unadvertised issue of my affection,” she needs to speak clearly, when diverse customs can be misunderstood. “My brother Deke has taken an Eridanian mate, but they have had years to get to know each other. Skaldic was hid from my sight until recently… and you… you are dashing and smart, but that is not enough for me to judge your character.”

“You are wise for one so young. I could take you to Seljuk, to meet my people.”

“I need to meet the people of Earth first. Do you understand?”

“Chasonn and Skaldic could prepare a contest to prove we are worthy of Deimostra.”

“What is the rush Chasonn? You must have a female on your world that will provide you an heir to your throne.”

She need not hit him over the head with a hammer. She has declared as unavailable. It is time to leave.

Skaldic happens to show up… him and his convenient home-field advantage. His shared experience with the Seljuk leader had brought them close, but only for a while. He would be happy to see him leave for home.

They do a manly exchange of pleasantries, knowing that they would not be seeing each other for a while; a neighboring galaxy is like not having a neighbor at all. Like a relative who lives on another continent on 19th Century Earth.

His cruiser is near the expository and after bidding Sampson farewell, it appears he is edging his way toward it.

“I guess Chasonn has another invention to work on?” Skaldic guesses wrong. The scorned foreigner will have plenty of time to repair his pride.

“Maybe,” Sampson says of his friend as he walks away… back to polishing up the NEWFOUNDLANDER.

“He is an interesting man,” Deimostra has unique insight, “I hope to see him again.”

Feeling like he has a clear path to victory, Skaldic tries his hand at furthering his own cause. “While we were gone, I had a chance to think about my future on Eridanus. I believe there is room in my life for partner, a mate who completes my assent as foremost Null.” His pride is evident, but premature.

“What about Offingga? You two make an awesome team.” Her hammer comes out again.

He thought he had made himself clear. Deimostra McKinney is not usually careless with her words.

“Offingga is like a sibling to me, certainly not a mate. I would be honored if you were to be by my side, to bring Eridanus into a new era, like Deke McKinney has with Cerella.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 174


page 170

The NULL Solution = Episode 167

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The NULL Solution = Episode 167

…Deimostra cannot help but recall the two suitors that are traveling with Daddy…

Eridanus is in on the otherwise inside joke. Skaldic makes sure that his planet receives Harmonia’s message of peace loud and clear. Not a single solitary soul in the Milky Way has a greater appreciation of a universe administrated by the concept of equal footing.

Ekcello, Cerella and the rest of the Gifted are listening and learning. Keen attention is required. They have a unique duopolistic connection out at the Terran territory, just as they have witness a multicultural melting pot at home.

Who knew that a doomed exploratory mission an eon ago would eventually lead to this?

That they would abandon spaceflight only to be drawn back in with both feet?

To think, that they thought they had things all figured out.

For Celeste, Deke and Deimostra, the “plan” is finally coming together, as accidentally as it may be.

“Dad and Skaldic are on their way home,” declares a watchful Deke.

Deimostra cannot help but recall the two suitors that are traveling with Sampson. “What about Chasonn? It is his ship.”

“Yes of course, him too – ‘rub a dub – dub, three men in a tub’.”

“What kind of nonsense is that Deke?”

“It is a nursery rhyme that Mom sang to me while she bathed me. Haven’t you ever had a bath?”

She can only glare, until Mom recites:

“Rub-a-dub-dub,

Three men in a tub,

And who do you think they were?

The butcher, the baker,

The candlestick-maker,

They all sailed out to sea,

‘Twas enough to make a man stare.

 

Hey! rub-a-dub, ho! rub-a-dub, three maids in a tub,

And who do you think were there?

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker,

And all of them gone to the fair

 

 Rub a dub dub,

Three fools in a tub,

And who do you think they be?

The butcher, the baker,

The candlestick maker.

Turn them out, knaves all three.”

“Daddy is the knave. Skaldic and Chasonn are knights and gentlemen.”

“Are you sure?”


The NULL Solution =

THE ARTWORK OF JOHN TRABBIC III

Episode 167


page 163

The NULL Solution = Episode 149

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The NULL Solution = Episode 149

…Have you talked to Deke about this, he is the expert on extragalactic relations you know…

Skaldic the Null is no longer considered a black sheep in these parts, even less so, now that her brother’s mate/wife has managed to integrate an entire world. ‘It works for Deke. Why not me? I think he likes me. He is so much like my father; bold not overbearing, adventurous not reckless, smart not smarmy and not too hard on the eyes either.’  She is comparing notes from the experiences related to her by Mamma Celeste, recounting the circumstances that created the person Deimostra is today – the original Earth-child-of-space.

Of course she has that “talk” with her mother. “In case you don’t remember the story, I met your father back at the Space Academy. I always thought he was a bit arrogant, one of those hotshot pilots who think they are the bulletproof. So here I am, space-sick to the max, in a lift-off simulator and this joker is pretending to be a doctor of all things. He takes me to the infirmary… very convincing, but I knew who he really was. He was just trying to get to know me at the time but that didn’t matter. I could never get that guy out of my mind.

“To snip what is a much longer story, when the Space Colony 1 project was being staffed, we got to spend more time together and not long after that we were married. As it

World Space Consortium

turned out the Space Colony Global Coalition or World Space Consortium or INDEPENDENT FOUNDATION FOR THE OCCUPATION OF SPACE or whatever they call it now, was looking for a married couple to go to Mars… and you know the rest of the story.”

“Yeah you couldn’t keep your hands off each other and here I am!”

“I was marooned, pregnant and hijacked, not necessarily in that order. How’s that for a merry 2030?” Celeste can tell her daughter is serious about a “boy”. “Does Skaldic know… Related imageit is Skaldic right… does he know that you have the hots for him?”

“Mother!”

“Well you wouldn’t be grilling me about the love of my life unless you were having similar notions. Have you talked to Deke about this? He is the expert on extragalactic relations you know.”

“He still considers me his kid sister. I am not going to ask him if he knows anything about Skaldic’s physiology.”

“He and Cerella figured it out, honey. I suggest that you let nature run its course; Que sera, sera.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 149


page 147