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View Full Version : A short story. "The Guest"



Realjambo
08-21-2006, 04:18 PM
Well, I've always enjoyed reading the stories fellow Kaleuns post up here so I decided to have a go myself. I've been working on it for a week or so, and will serialise it if people are interested. I've deliberatley tried to focus on the dialogue, relationships and the tension between. It has direction, although this first piece is deliberatley vague. I hope that comes through.

Gawd I feel strangely nervous!

The hatch was slammed shut and dogged, cutting off the waterfall of cold seawater that cascaded down. Around me, cut off from the daylight now took on an eerie glow, and I blinked my eyes to adjust, panting heavily trying to capture my breath. An uneasy calm pervaded the room. Those of us now in the control room stood aghast, unsure where to place our eyes.

The salt water dripped from him to the floor plates as he leant against the bulkhead coughing hard, a hand held aloft to steady his shaking €" whether through the cold or just fear I couldn€t say. His fleece-lined jacket, having absorbed so much, now sagged like a full baby€s nappy and let go a thin stream of salt water which ran down his sleeve, dripping from his elbow. Looking him up and down, his boots were well made I noticed, plenty of stitching where it mattered. Strong laces. Made to last I thought.

€œMake depth 100 feet, turn to 90 degrees, 6 knots€ the Old Man called out. We had to leave the area quickly, in case more came. Like dominoes running around the room each of us returned to face our stations and make the appropriate adjustments to valves and wheels and charts. All the while the only sound was the dripping of water falling to the floor from his sopping wet clothes. Nobody dare speak, not even to acknowledge the orders given. We just got on with it.

His eyes widened at hearing this order, as if starting a rollercoaster ride, the route €" the twists and turns he did not know. He braced himself with both hands above him now, his fingers curling round the pipe work that snaked across the low ceiling. The boat tilted downward and we began our descent.

€œThey€ll come looking for me, and when they do, they€ll find you, and it will all be over,€ he said with a threatening under tone to his voice. It was as if time itself had stopped.

Without turning round the Old Man put down his cap on the chart table, tiredly massaged his forehead with the palm of a hand, and suddenly said aloud, €œSuch confidence! You are lost at sea! So sad, the letter to your girlfriend has already been typed out! There is nobody looking for you. Nobody will come,€ He said, shaking his head slowly. €œThey are filling your seat back home already €" preparing another foolhardy lamb to the slaughter€

€œCaught YOU though, didn€t I. Put some holes in your Tower too I reckon€ he replied.

It was like watching a bar brawl about to erupt back at the flea ridden, red lamped bars in the back streets of Lorient. The pit of my stomach turned over and I€m sure I stepped back a few paces. My back was against an array of pipes and hand wheels.

The Old Man€s face wrinkled as he turned around from the charts, his eyes squinted in rage. €œYes, yes you did catch us, and yes it appears you hit my conning tower€ he replied, as if appeasing a young child desperate to impress his elders. €œHowever I would remind you of your new found situation. You are a guest aboard my U-boat, and your welfare during your stay is at the discretion of €¦ me!€ He bellowed, jabbing a finger at his own chest.

€œJesus, you make it sound like you€ve done me a favour. Surface your damn sub and let me off, I€ll swim back, thanks all the same. Sorry about the conning tower and all that€

Through the watch glasses on the bridge I€d witnessed men, their ships torn out from under them, flailing in oil slicked seas, only to inevitably slip below the surface and I would tell myself they would re-appear just after I shifted my gaze from them. A part of me deep inside refused to believe or accept that part of my job was to actually watch torpedoed sailors die. But now I was convinced I would watch a man die before me. The Old Man would finish him there and then with his bare hands. I held my breath and swallowed hard as the Old Man crossed the Control Room and squared up to our guest, a mere two inches separated their noses. Both breathing heavily, awaiting the first move, neither ever broke eye contact with one another. The atmosphere rocketed from tense to electric. He was going to kill him right in front of me. How my heart raced.

€œU-boat. U-boat€ The old man said very calmly and slowly, enunciating each syllable, his lips drawn back exposing his teeth to his gums. €œOnly enemies of the Fatherland put to sea in €˜Submarines€. U-boat. U-boat. Remember this my friend; because it was a U-boat that might just have saved your life. I haven€t decided on that yet€

Turning to me the Old Man spat, €œAnton, clean him up, and get him changed. Take Otto with you. Then record in the log the arrival of our guest. I will be through in fifteen minutes€

I€m certain I was shaking as I motioned with my hand for our guest to proceed through the hatch towards the Officers Mess. Our progress was slow, our guest looking all around him, taking in everything, after all he had never seen inside a U- boat before. I pulled together an assortment of sweaters and long trousers of various sizes as I went. I figured he would probably want to keep his own underwear, besides none of the crew would give up any.

I gave him a first aid kit. He accepted it, looking at me blankly. I stared back at him saying nothing, as if he was from another world. Then I came to and realised he needed a mirror for the cuts on his forehead and chin. Otto scuttled out, returning with a shaving mirror, and having wiped it with his cuff, passed it to him. The silence was uncomfortable and I knew I€d have to speak.

€œWhere are you hurt? I see some blood on your shins, and your face of course,€ I enquired.

€œDid that bailing out. I was kinda in a rush, if you can imagine. Didn€t expect to be stopping here and I didn€t fancy sinking. That€s what you boys are best at €" you know, disappearing below the waves and all that€ he replied, drawing his hands down in front of himself and wiggling his fingers at the word waves in a submerging motion.

He remained remarkably confident, for someone in his position, I remembered what The Old Man had told him about being our €˜guest€. I said nothing, giving him the bundle of clothes as he stripped off and dropped the wet heavy flying suit to the floor. The cuts to his shins made me wince, deep and angry red stripes ran diagonally from his knees to just above his socks.

€œDon€t that whine get on your nerves? I mean man, how do you sleep with that going on?€ He was referring to the noise the electric motors were making.

€œIt€s only because we are running fast. Normally you don€t notice, you can sleep fine€ I offered.

€œHell yeah, guess so. Get used to it huh? Funny tho€, we€re like way under the surface yeah? and it don€t feel like it. Smooth as ain€t it? A bit like flying really you could say, on a good day mind. Shut your eyes and you could be in either€

€œReally? I have never flown. I have always believed you can fall out of the sky quite easily, but you can€t fall out of the sea, I confessed. We are quite deep now, things are different down here compared to the surface, much calmer, unlike when you erm, arrived€

Straight away I knew that last comment had soured the conversation. He was opening up, making an effort to make conversation as he pulled on the dry clothes and with one comment I reminded us both about how he came to be here and the atmosphere dried up. He pulled he blue woollen sweater over his head and pushed his hands through the arms.

€œAnton, that€ll be all. Leave us and update the log. Send some coffee in for us would you please€. The Old Man stood in the doorway, under his arm rolls of charts and maps. Between his fingers he clutched wax pencils, a slide rule, compass and 2 cigars.

Our guest shot me am uneasy glance. I was unsure if it was meant to thank me for the clothes, the electric motor explanation or simply that he knew things were about to get serious.

I returned to the radio shack and pulled the logbook from the shelf. My heart was beating so fast I couldn€t think straight. Closing my eyes I relived the last three hours€¦

hueywolf123
08-21-2006, 04:27 PM
Part two please.... Oh, come on..
Well written buddy, very well written. You could perhaps make this a weekly serial

tuddley3
08-21-2006, 04:39 PM
This is getting to be a popular thread topic, it's getting kind of competitive.

VG, can you get another Forum section put in, besides the General, Help, and Creative Forums ?

Like the "Patrol Diaries Forum"

jlpilkey
08-21-2006, 04:48 PM
good just one thing is the guest german or is he the captain from a sunken ship

Realjambo
08-21-2006, 05:03 PM
giving him the bundle of clothes as he stripped off and dropped the wet heavy flying suit to the floor

This is a clue, as is this


Smooth as ain€t it? A bit like flying really you could say, on a good day mind

What nationality he is, you'll have to wait and see! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

VikingGrandad
08-21-2006, 05:17 PM
Hmmm... I seem to recall RJ asking in a recent post about U-boats picking up enemy aircrew in the sea. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Great story RJ. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Sorry Tuddley - I'm not able to set up new forums. If enough people show interest, I could ask a Community Manager about creating one (it would be their decision though).

tuddley3
08-21-2006, 05:23 PM
Thank you for your gracious response, we'll let time tell. Atleast put in a good word to the Higher Ups ?

hueywolf123
08-21-2006, 05:35 PM
A short stories post, or a serial post would be great. Maybe something we can all add to?

tuddley3
08-21-2006, 05:46 PM
Thank you for your input hueywolf123, , I think it would be a greaT ADDITION TO THIS SITE. THERE ARE SOME TALENTED WRITERS HERE. lET THEM SHINE

Realjambo
08-22-2006, 12:39 AM
Hmmm... I seem to recall RJ asking in a recent post about U-boats picking up enemy aircrew in the sea.


You're right VK! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

THnaks everyone for your comments. Part Two will be posted soon.

Ali_109
08-22-2006, 01:54 AM
Thanks RJ that had me hooked http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif
Yep, waiting for Part 2 so get http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/typing.gif

tuddley3
08-22-2006, 02:18 AM
You have the new one giving you tips? The little man takes after his Dad. You ought to post pics of the Capt in training. (The New Mod Master) The older one must be at least a Petty Officer by now. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Realjambo
08-22-2006, 02:25 AM
I give you the author!

(The product shown in no way implies endorsement of said product. Children - models own)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/theboys.jpg

skimbo
08-22-2006, 06:24 AM
Brilliant!

I can't get enough of this stuff at the moment!

Can we not have a sticky for After Action Reports and fan fiction? Would make it a lot easier to find for everyone also.

I've also got the bug now couresty of foehammers AAR and piccies. Will hopefully post soon when I finish it!

Skimbo

Dominicrigg
08-22-2006, 07:28 AM
Nicely written! It always makes me want to crack open the game again when i read stories like these.

Nice one.

You should put some screenies with it aswell if you get time. Thats what i did with mine i think it makes it a little more interesting.

Where2Wolf
08-22-2006, 01:06 PM
Not just another story to read during my own patrols..... no a GREAT story to read.

I used to have to little to read for my patrols, but lately I have to little patrol time to read .

hueywolf123
08-22-2006, 03:01 PM
A face to a name, cool, good looking boys. Chips off the ol' block?

Realjambo
08-22-2006, 03:22 PM
Thanks everyone ofr your comments, and Thanks Hueywolf for your compliment. My oldest boy Hadley, the blonde one, is the spitting image of me so people say (different hair of course!) but our latest one, Monty, looks nothing like me. Mmmm. Perhaps I need to take a closer look at our milkman http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

hueywolf123
08-22-2006, 03:38 PM
No worries, I've often been compared to several postmen http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

VikingGrandad
08-22-2006, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Realjambo:
I give you the author![/IMG]
Wow! - RJ, you have a lot more hair in real life! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Realjambo
08-22-2006, 04:55 PM
@ VK - The stuff on me head is all fake. The real stuff is all down me back.

tuddley3
08-22-2006, 05:17 PM
thats not a chrome dome, that's a sex solar panel. you have the kids to prove it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif