You know its Thursday again and I haven’t even finished reading last Thursday’s Theme Thursday posts. I am so behind. I am so far behind I am in front of myself. Does that make any sense? My Uncle Tio, yes I know that means Uncle Uncle, used to say things like that all the time. He was the man who at 80 could out hoola hoop a 20 year old. He had all kind of sayings and doings but that is a story for another time. This week’s theme is Light. I of course went back in my mind and conjured up so many stories of lights. I will share one with you and then of course you must go light up the internet and read the other wonderful writings at Theme Thursday.
Gladys was sitting in the middle between her brother, Buck, and his new girlfriend, Pie. Gladys was excited to be included with all the grown-up kids. Her brother was coming home for a visit from college and she was beside herself with joy. She worshipped Buck and thought he could do no wrong.
She also thought no girl was good enough for him, not even Pie. Gladys rode along with the car full of college students talking incessantly about everything and nothing all at once. Trooper Bob sat in the driver’s seat taking in all the ruckus a car load of teenagers create.
Buck sat with Pie on his lap pointing out the stars in the constellations sparkling in the night sky. He told her stories of childhood romps through fields and gathering wood from friend’s farms. Then there in the distance was a glimmer of lights illuminating the night sky. “What is that over there” Pie innocently inquired. Buck leaned forward in the seat and squinted then he nudged Gladys and replied “Oh my gosh this is great! Look Gladys this is what I told you about remember?” Gladys mimicked her big brother and she too leaned forward and squinted staring into the night sky. Once again she felt the nudge from her older brother and she replied “Wow! Is that really IT?” Buck cleared his throat and said “yep, I didn’t realize it was tonight.” Trooper Bob feeling a con being concocted also leaned forward and inquired “I didn’t realize we were this close. I know that they have a special detail guarding it.”
Pie was caught. She sat there with a gaff in her mouth and she was being pulled in. “What is it? Why is it covered in lights?” Buck cleared his throat again and replied “you have to promise not to tell anyone about this because no one is supposed to know.” Pie’s eyes got big and she nodded her head “I promise.” Buck pointed at the stand of lights in the distance “that is an Apollo Space Capsule preparing for launch. NASA is doing some top secret testing up in space and if they launch from Cape Canaveral everyone knows about it but if they launch from Eastland, Texas who is even going to look?” Pie looked out the window and exclaimed “wow! How cool!”
Gladys wanting in on the action added “yeah, the only problem is we will probably need to get tested for radioactivity since we are so close.” Pie sucked in some air and said “why? Am I in danger? Is my hair gonna fall out?” Buck took over and replied “it’s possible I mean we are pretty close and they use a lot of uranium. Have you ever been tested before?” Trooper Bob couldn’t let it alone he interjected “I have a Geiger counter in the trunk once we get clear I’ll pull it out and test everyone for trace amounts.”
Pie was terrified; the thought of having uranium poisoning was weighing heavy on her mind. She had visions of handfuls of her long blond hair lying in clumps around her feet and her light pale skin turning chartreuse. How would she ever explain this to her parents and friends? Here she was going to visit her boyfriend’s family and she would come home a freak.
She was tense and introspective when the car sped even closer past the space ship being readied for take-off. The vertical lights were illuminating the huge structure surrounded by big equipment. There seemed to be a million people on the platform stacking pipe and operating the machinery. She held her breath as they passed just as her boyfriend’s little sister instructed so as not to breathe in any of the noxious air.
The car passed the rig and Trooper Bob pulled over to the side of the road into an empty field. He unlocked the trunk and retrieved a box with a wand and turned it on. He began going over every inch of the car with the instrument clicking louder and louder as it neared Pie. He would tsk and hum and shake his head in concern when he passed over each person. He made all sorts of sympathetic sounds as the Geiger counter clicked louder and louder as he passed it over Pie. She was standing perfectly still trying not to cry as Bob announced “looks like she got the worst of it.” Buck rubbed Pie’s shoulders and cajoled “it will be alright they have some medications you can take to regrow your hair.” This was too much Pie broke down and cried “but I DON’T want to loose my hair. Why don’t they re-route traffic or something.”
The whole crowd began laugh as Gladys announced “Oh PIE! That wasn’the lights of a space ship! That was an oil derrick.”
You know to this day Pie doesn’t believe anything the three of them tell her.
Saturday at the Maul
15 hours ago