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The amazing story of the mysterious magic lantern

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The bulb blew with a loud pop. Angry at the darkening screen, the father ordered his disappointed children to bed. There would be no pictures from that magic lantern tonight.
Next day, he walked from his panelled office several blocks to a less prosperous part of town. There he mounted the bare stairs to enter a shop marked ‘Thomas Wills & Son, Lantern & Cine Equipment’. A man in a brown dust-coat appeared from behind the shelves: “Can I help you, Sir?”
The businessman rhymed off the make and model of his magic lantern.
“Of course, Sir, I won’t be a moment,” said the shopkeeper as bobbed once more behind cardboard boxes.
Shortly, he reappeared bearing two corrugated paper packets.
“Now would it be the standard bulb or the deluxe model?” The customer thought he should purchase the more expensive lamp.
“That will be ten shillings and six pence, please.” The other wrote out a paper receipt to complete the transaction.

That night once more the wood and brass lantern sat on its table and the slides assembled for viewing. However, to the father’s annoyance and his children’s delight, the projector didn’t show them. Instead, it persisted in showing moving images. At first, it showed journeys across the continents before plunging into the ocean and whizzing into outer space. The screen filled with a full-scale orchestra. Next came actors in a Shakespearean play. The lantern then culminated its performance with a football match.
‘This would not do, not do at all,’ thought the father. So, having indulged his family long enough, he switched the contraption off and removed the bulb.
Next day, he returns to Thomas Wills or son and made plain his dissatisfaction to the salesman.
“Oh, I’m very sorry, Sir – most of our customers enjoy seeing the world with the deluxe bulb. I’ll exchange it immediately”
Handing over the standard lamp, the shopkeeper remarked “I am told that, one day, people will see a man walking on the moon with magic lanterns”
The businessman scuttled for the stair forgetting both his change and dignity. Because, he was convinced that the man staring after him was mad – quite mad – quite, quite mad.

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Posted by on 25/08/2017 in fiction, mystery

 

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Forever

Forever

This is thought-provoking.

Haiku out of africa

the soft white blossoms

prediction of deep red plums

stone is forever


© Lize Bard @ https://wandererhaiku.wordpress.com/

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Posted by on 20/08/2017 in Uncategorized

 

Hardwick Pair

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Together the surveyed Hardwick’s glassy lake. Reflected in it, was their constellation far up in the starry sky. They had seen it often and as a couple, they would gaze at it again. For they together had weathered their own storms and days of darkness. And so, as one, they were forever bound.
But it was time to move on. Their young had grown, found wing and fled. The year too showed signs of turning and the earth tilting. At dawn, they made ready to leave for a warmer season elsewhere.
Out, out into the waters, they swam. Soundlessly, they wished each other well. They pushed through the leaden water, gained speed until they were free in the air. Flapping their long wings, the Hardwick pair stretched their necks towards the rising sun.
A bystander watched with breath held tight, thinking only of the elegance of paired swans in flight.

 
 

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The Cyclist’s Fight

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Through the illness, this moment kept him going.

He unearthed his bike and dusted it off after long disuse. He mounted and the wind breathed on his face. Down the main street with a few early shoppers barely glancing at the lycra-clad figure speeding pass. He, however, enjoyed being on a surfboard weaving easily around the parked cars. Next came the outskirts where business travellers encumbered with briefcases look enviously at the free rider. Little could they understand

The highway, tranquil and gentle, let him taste open country. Then he turned into a forest track. The effort he needed now increased multi-fold. He changed gear and pedalled hard with growing confidence. With each rising yard, he pushed himself more, oblivious to the cattle gawping in their curiosity.

Despite the cooling breeze, his legs burned as did his lungs. The acrid taste in his mouth told him he was closing into the ‘red line.’ But, sheer determination kept him focussed on each revolution of the wheels. Onwards and onward until he conquered the ascent. Then he stopped and looked in gratitude at the town nestling in the valley. Now he had surmounted the anxiety of the tests, the fear of surgery and the soul-sapping tiredness of the chemotherapy.

Another day of life lay before him and that’s enough.

 
 

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Blue Balloon

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“I am a blue balloon,

I am a blue balloon not a red balloon,

I am a blue balloon living in a world

Of red balloons.”

 

Perhaps because it was a blue balloon, it was let go. Even the wind was not keen to take it. The balloon bounced along the ground before a gust lifted it grudgingly into the air. It soared higher, hungry for freedom. It was away from that mean town with its traffic aggressive in push through narrowness.

 

The balloon gained height and passed over a park with souls below escaping the shove of their existence. But only the geese looked up and envied its ease of flight.

 

A motorway, a castle and a patchwork of fields followed as the balloon picked up speed on a freshening breeze. Village, farm and hill passed by in the crystal light of that crisp day. No one looked up at the growing balloon skipping high above.

 

Before long, the coast appeared with the blue of the sea flecked with boats braving the tides and waves. Then, just as the balloon knocked on the door of the stratosphere, bloated with expanding gas, it burst asunder. It gave its blueness back to sky leaving the world to the held-fast red.

 

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Painting the future

Time & Eternity

 

The artist opened her paint box, dampened her brush and started. Before her was a handsome half-timbered house complete with moat and gatehouse. She worked on in that hot summer’s day. The picture developed but did not show the many visitors who trooped passed. She disliked their intrusion with garish tops and shorts into this piece of Tudor history.

Then she sighted an old man in straw hat and linen jacket stop and gaze at the house. He was perfect for inclusion just at the bridge over the moat.
Soon she finished her work as the shadows drifted towards afternoon. So, she collected her gear and arose. To her surprise, there beside her was the gentleman she had portrayed.

 

They talked, and she asked if he knew the house well.

‘Yes’ he replied ‘many years ago I lived here’.
‘My uncle once owned it and I stayed each summer as a boy ‘. ‘Do you miss it?’ asked the artist.

‘Yes, but you can’t turn the clocks back. Now it’s the property of the tourists who pay for the upkeep’.

 

He paused and said: ‘Why don’t you paint it again including the visitors-that’s the picture of the future?’

 

A few minutes later he left with the first picture and the painter started again remembering that time runs in only one direction.

 

 

 

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Deck Chair

fischer-719759_1280The woman sat on the deck chair looking out to sea and imagined a far-off ship going to the tropics. There it would find the warmth she had never experienced. She enjoyed a good life in a material sense at least. In personal relationships, she had been less fortunate. And so, she could buy a gift for anyone but had no one to give it.

 

A child run across the beach carrying an inflatable ball. Something attracted the youngster to the woman. So, she threw the ball towards her. Affronted by the girl’s forwardness, she was tempted to retreat into her book with a glower. Instead, the woman sent the ball through the air and into grateful hands. For a minute, they amused each other as they played out a game. Then the girl gave a shy smile and ran off to somewhere unknown.

Brightened, the woman looked around and saw couples, families and groups enjoying shared companionship. She should have felt excluded but somehow, she had reconnected with the human race. That was enough.

 

 The ship upon the grey ocean dropped below the horizon.

 

This came for a book of reflection that you can read free at Wattpad.

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