Nomads of Morgan
SIDE NOTE: Prompt is from Love In Ink’s “A Year of Creative Writing Prompts”
DISCLAIMER: The content of this work, including, but not limited to, the accuracy of events, people, and places depicted; opinions expressed; are solely the responsibility of the author
PROMPT: Two travelers sit beneath a large, old tree and talk about the places they have seen during their wanderings
In Morgan park, the water of the Long Island Sound sat still as mansions and yacht clubs of Years Past were left abandoned, their great halls once filled with immense vibrancy. Down the park’s rolling green hills and cream-white gazebo, which an old man could be seen repainting its lead paint exterior, two well-dressed men sat underneath Mr. Morgan’s favorite sycamore tree.
The youngest man was dressed in early-twentieth-century coattails, silver-grey knickerbockers, a yellow-plaid patterned tie, and brown Oxford shoes. For someone of his age, he looked ready for bachelorhood and, perhaps, marriage compared to his older counterpart. His bearded friend, whose attire came from Rock Hudson’s era, had the physical appearance as if he’d seen so much in his life to the point he “wanted to stop seeing.”
Between the two men, a wooden, hand carved picnic basket sat atop a red-white-plaided picnic blanket. They provided themselves plenty of foods and drinks such as apple pie, edges-cut cucumber sandwiches, some beer, a bottle of wine, and a few hot dogs. The food mostly accommodated the the tastes of the older gentleman more so than the younger man as he must’ve been used to finer things from his time period.
“Did you have to travel far to get here?” the older man asked his younger companion as he opened a can of beer for himself. “I heard the travel rates for folks like us can get a little expensive nowadays.”
“No, not quite,” the younger man answered as he, too, decided to take part in some beer. If his mother were still alive to this century, she’d freakout to no end. “I had to bribe a consultant to some aerial company in Sydney,” he continued. “They found out who, or what, I was.”
“Oh, how terrible! I haven’t had to bribe anyone like that in, hmmm, twenty years? The world was different then, y’know.”
“I didn’t know a world like yours, or even a world from twenty years ago, could even exist. People from my era were only trying to survive the day, not the decade, if that makes sense.”
The old man who’d been repainting the park’s gazebo walked by the two men. He briefly waved and gave a charming smile that only he himself could pull off. He was dressed in denim blue overalls with a patch on his left breast labelled “International Brotherhood of Teamsters.” He must’ve been a loyal member as the patch was worn, torn, and as old as the older gentleman.
“I used to be one of those lads,” the older gentleman said with a slight hiccup. “Didn’t last long, though. Apparently, I was ‘too much’ for them.”
“Is that so?” the younger man questioned as he laid back underneath the tree, an orange-reddish leaf landed atop his dark-brown hair. “I would think joining a union would be prosperous, no?”
“And who told you that?”
“Reagan, nineteen-eighty-one. He was giving a speech in the Rose Garden during the PATCO strikes and I blended in with the press. I asked him his thoughts on unions after the speech, and he said they’re a ‘great opportunity’ to exchange ideas and ‘preserve the American spirit’.”
“Kid, he was sugarcoating the hell out of that one. He fired more than 11,000 folks the next day. Tragic, just tragic.”
The two men sat and ate, sat and ate, until a uniformed park office approached them. A man not older than fifty-seven, he looked as though he retired from the city’s police force and decided to get this job at the park to sustain his income on-the-side. A stature and mustache Burt Reynolds would envy, the man looked unimpressed with the two men.
“I’m sorry to break it to you fellas, but the park is closed on Sundays,” the officer told them as he used his hands to fix his belt. “I’m not even sure who let you two in. Did Bo the Painter do it?”
“Sir, don’t blame that poor man,” the young man said as he gracefully stood up from where he’d been laying. His expensive coattails swayed in the early-Autumn winds and, for one reason or another, the officer seemed taken aback by such an appearance. “We didn’t ask Mr. Bo to let us in, for we simply ported in ourselves.”
“The hell does ‘ported’ even mean?” The officer confusingly questioned.
“What my friend here means to say...,” the old man said as he, too, got up in order to mediate the situation better than his counterpart. “We are nomads of time and space. We jump from year to year, decade to decade, until Our Lord says ‘it’s time’, if you get my drift.”
No, no he didn’t under their ‘drift’ nor did he want to further understand what “ported” meant. To the officer, all he thought was these tow men were possibly homeless and on drugs when he heard “nomad” and just by how they dressed. No one dressed in coattails anymore unless if it was a Great Gatsby-themed party, which Mosquito Cove had plenty; and no one dressed like the old man unless you were still into clothing and culture from the 1940s and 1950s.
“I’ll leave you alone for now....” the officer said as he started to turn around and make his way. “Just clean up your stuff when you leave and, um, don’t litter, alright?”
The two men nodded in agreement as the officer left them alone for the time being. Once the uniformed man was out of sight, the two of them took out a little pill box from each of their back pants pockets: one set for the younger man and one set for the older gent. The pills were lime-green in coloring and powdery, so most likely they were to drink water with them. What exactly did these pills do? Every time a nomad of space and time felt their identity was exposed to the point where they could be potentially under threat or others they knew, they take the pill in order to reverse their time travel trips and erase the memories of those they’ve encountered.
Whenever nomads would go on their time-traveling excursions, they did their very best to not interfere with any major events such as WWI, WWII, or any other relevant world-altering events. In this way, there’d be less of a risk with future outcomes. Their maximum stay per year or decade would be twenty-four hours at a time unless given an extension by the United Nations’ sector on nomadic protections and services for time-traveling purposes.
“It was nice having a friend for once,” the older man said with a cheery grin, his yellowing teeth in full display. “When you get home, tell Meredith I said ‘hi’, alright?”
“Of course, I’m sure she’ll be pleased,” the younger one replied as he gulped down one of two pills for himself. “And don’t forget to tell your Mary-Allen the same.”
With that said, the two men soon found themselves transported through the time-space portals they were all too familiar with. And soon, they found themselves in the place where they belonged - home.
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