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The Wanderer's Guide to Somewhere (CLOSED)

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The Royal Kingdom of Quebec
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The Wanderer's Guide to Somewhere (CLOSED)

Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:42 am

OOC : PLEASE DO NOT POST unless you are the OP or have been invited to post on the thread.

The Wanderer's Guide to Somewhere
A Megaseries

Welcome to compilations thread of The Wanderer's Guide to Somewhere megaseries, brought to you by Royal Kingdom of Quebec.
For next few months to a year, this thread will be used to host several series about the life of a certain journalist, whose adventure and stories will bring him to various parts of his twenty-two to twenty-six years of life, as well as various parts of the NS Sports Multiverse from the Quebecois Commonwealth to wherever else he goes and of course, you. His journey is also going to be accompanied with a love story, where the past returns to him like a magic and he has to capture the feeling back to him.

For this megaseries, I expect to run them in few dozen parts, with them divided into various series within a megaseries. Given my commitment to various sports and their competitions, the parts will be scattered across various competitions, which should span from World Baseball Classic, World Bowl, World Cup of Hockey, possibly the NationStates World Cup and the NationStates World Cup. Therefore, I will be posting each part or sub-part to the respective competition's RP thread and here at the same time, to help the reader absorb the material without having to deal with going through various competitions. You will also find the series catalogue in the factbook (WIP), in order to provide a quick, reference guide as needed.

And that's it for now! Many thanks in advance for reading this. If you have questions and/or suggestions, feel free to send me a TG or contact me via Discord and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.




Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:29 am

Childhood, Traces
PART 1 - Les Bottes Rouges
Tournament : World Bowl XXXIX


‘So, where do we start this, Michael? This is my first time trying this, and I’d rather narrate it out than to help you write it.’

‘Well, it’s straightforward, Asher. Don’t be nervous. This is not your first time narrating the stories of your life and won’t be the last time either.’

‘Alright then. How many parts do you think we’ll have to work on?’

‘It’s up to you. Don’t feel so stressed out. Think of this as a good way for you, a man just one year removed from college, to reflect upon yourself. Someday, you can use this opportunity to possibly tell your kids the story of your earlier life and whatnot.’

'Alright, here we go again....'

-----


If I have to be honest, I prefer to orient my childhood memories to that of snapshots and episodes. It’s simply out of choice and reality that we all grasp with information, some of which we fondly remember of, and others we don’t. That’s just how life works sometimes. Right now, for instance, I am lying over a grassy field, somewhere in middle of the Cape Breton Island while my father, a man of the different era of upbringing, strolls with my mother. Somewhere down the beaches, my brother, wearing an orange and black tee-shirt, is wetting his water by the Ocean. As I look into the ocean, I keep thinking the Korean word ‘Nangman, which has entirely different nuance to its English equivalent ‘romance’, as thicker pronunciation of the Korean word evolves into something found more in an elderly baritone from an opera I had to watch months earlier. The waters are clear, the sky is all pale blue, and needless to say, it’s warm in the winter.

The place is, of course, Cape Breton, on the Atlantic. The pair of sunglasses I covered my eyes with, which looked too circular to be understood as a pair of sunglasses for an eight year old, is a gift which my auntie Maraika, a longtime friend of my other, gave me when we came home for August. I remember keeping it as if it was my lifelong treasure until I had outgrown myself, by which it held a place in my cabinet once I returned to Quebec.

Anyways, there wasn’t much I remember from rest of the trip, though there was one occasion. On the way back, at a restaurant, my family just happened to meet another Quebecois family on the other side of the resto, who arrived shortly after us. So we did drop by, greet each other, talk to them for a bit, and after going back to our table, snuck our food away on containers that mum got out of our car.

The year was 2028. I was eight. The nation was going through some periods of change and it was in some ways the best to avoid meeting your compatriots too often on the other side of the realm. The homeland was still reminded by my homeroom teacher, a fair bit- certain Mssr. Brassard, would write me specific instructions in Medieval Korean that showed how the tonal signs- from Ah to Oh- would be deciphered. The certain joly-good-fella Mssr. Brassard would try his best, for an hour after Monday's classes had ended, to amuse me by playing word games with me and a couple of my childhood friends, Kiera and Man-Soon, whom we naturally knew each other from nursery school due to our parents’ employment. ‘Someday, it’ll all make sense’ after we get them right but without understanding it.

Those lessons had lasted two years before I had to return to Quebec. Of course, those lessons would eventually come back to me later when I, while waiting in line at a Metro platform in Quebec City, was asked for a light by an old man. The old man, with the paler renditions of very same moustache me and my friends remembered, was the same ole self. The next moment we recognised each other, and we had lunch two days after.

He was doing well, nowadays working as a private school teacher somewhere in the suburbs, but that I believe is not what I’m trying to get to you, my dear reader, at. What I was more pleased about was rather on how a daring teacher and an unassuming student would first meet, all on purpose and awareness, but would both be back in Quebec and meet outta nowhere. Outta the blue, as people would say.

So I’d say that perhaps, it’s more about how everything, though unexplained, would eventually come back to you as if magical pollens had come to inseminate the flowers of what we had anticipated, but may have forgotten about. And I hope that should help start this series of recollections out and whatnot, as I narrative a couple of stories of my life to you...
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:31 am

Childhood, Traces
PART 2 - Bonzo's Montreux
Tournament : International Baseball Slam XI


Anyways, the heightened tensions taken by the Quebecois Government back home was accompanied by governmental changes under the order of dismissal by late Jacques IX. Undaunted by all the complicated circumstances, my parents, with me and my brother Connor, returned to Quebec City after five years of appointments in the Interrealm Consulate in Montreal. This was June 2029. The party matters required my father to move to Kingston, a city he was somewhat familiar with. The Parti Justice du Quebec, having been crushed in a horrible electoral defeat the previous November after the dismissal of the Prime Minister under charges of immorality, asked that he, the President of Universite St. Croix’s Labour Party Chapter, run as their party candidate for the fall’s byelection.

It was around that time, as we moved to the Southwestern centre, where he noticed that our Korean wasn’t at the level expected. So he decided that a family friend should come to take us to lessons and baseball matches as well. As I gently ring the bell that lies over me on my room, I am once again brought back to the nine year old self that I was, standing as I shake hand with the certain Mr. Kim. Eugene Jin-Sung Kim was an interesting man, with thick circular glasses, long black locks and oddly matched cardigans which clearly drew weird impressions upon my parents.

I remember on our first day, he brought a bunch of sports articles with a different topic planted on each and every one of them- one was about the Blue Jays’ struggles, the second one Kingston Knights’ victories, and the last one something about college football that I wasn’t so familiar about, way back when. Growing up, his maternal grandfather (only grandparent he recognised as his own) knew my late maternal grandmother (bless her soul) as the old gentleman was a loyal customer to her tiny restaurant.

A wild spirit of logician and debater, he kept his clothes loose enough to draw our (more more my brother’s than mine, mind you) approvals and also formal enough to draw my parents’ approval. He was a man careful enough not to provoke without purpose, but knew enough in a way to challenge his students, to think differently and more realistically, if that would be a right way to put forth. In some ways, he was still very much a prep school debater that he once were just a decade ago, though that I’d attribute rather to the man being in a phase of perennial give-ups on relationship commitments.

A natural c-lettered conservative in heart, he would inform on our high school and Blue Jays baseball trips and talk about the very habits and the theories, and how sometimes, it’s not always about being on one side, but rather on what would work and what would not, under circumstances we’d find ourselves into. Sometimes, he’d have us analyse cricket scoreboards for pleasure - dunno why but he was into Plough Islander national cricket team - and ask what would make it work. Not to mention, countless analyses of Akahkov, Plokhii, Razuminsky and Novotny, which I’ve come to appreciate much more later in life.

So the lessons went for about six years, before life got busier for both sides as he got married and went back to graduate school, while I started playing baseball and ran cross country at the very high school fields of Erskine I grew up watching the team practice. Certain Dr. Kim, now convocated, is now teaching at a small town college I later visited on the East Coast. He’s now married and with three children- last I heard his eldest son was an ace pitcher in Bugil Academy, a famous prep school with their orange baseball jerseys and Ottawa Eagles alumni, so I guess they aren’t doing so badly.

To him, I owe the way to look and analyse everything, something that I always held inside my head but needed to be consolidated beyond just the ideas, which runs well into the particularly challenging way the decade had ended. When, in June 2028, His Majesty had dissolved the Parliament on the immoral grounds of the Prime Minister’s conduct in the scandals that he were involved in, the nation was bound for some major changes to their ways. Father, being one of most prominent diplomats coming from the PJQ section of the ministry, decided to resign from Foreign Office and head into the party’s sinking fortunes. From what I remembered, father spent the entire summer and fall campaigning, usually nonstop, on his office and on the trail. My mother, still the same usual self, has the pictures from those times on an album back home, but for that, it's another story, dear reader.

---


The old and the new, the openness and the closure, the wild and the urban were mysteriously brought together at the very turn between the second and third decades of our century. Sometime during that summer of 2029, my family of four would sometimes walk our new neighbourhood before father, sometimes, would be greeted by a bunch of strangers asking him policy-related questions. Quickly my father would fix his glasses, excuse himself to mum and us, and then proceed to provide concise answers as expected.

Of course, I do not exactly remember them- what point is there for me to remember such lines at an age of nine? - but still, it was evident enough that in such an air of enthusiasm, the buzz seemed to be found profoundly in the air about the chances. It probably had something to do with how the city of Kingston, in its complicated history of being a city of swing ridings, or something more about how a political newbie, whose years of diplomatic ranks had trained him for dealing with ooh’s and ah’s and how to deal with them, was generating enough interests. Once, as always expected, the question was answered, there would once again be some kind of a buzz that hits the questioner. Whether it be disappointment, degoutant, or just rabid endorsement was up in the air, and then life would go along as expected for us for yet another half hour (before the chain were to repeat itself outside).

Of course, that election season was a busy time for him, so we’d sometimes see him for half a day, if not the entire day, at times. So a lot of the times, my maman, who had her own culinary business, would be the one more or less looking after my brother and I. She had to make sure we weren’t going late to schools and still did our homework, but hey, it’s not easy since all four of us were occupied everywhere at all times. Still, there would exist surprising apparitions- sometimes brother and I would be watching old television shows from the Other Side of the Interrealm Portal that my parents watched when we were little - Reply Series reruns, One Night, Two Days; etc, etc - and we would just critique and walk around. Usually I’d be having a book, something about trivial facts or random fields of personal interest, with me, while my brother, being more active of the two back then, would run around the apartment a bit more. Then, all of sudden, the lights would all get turned off. I would turn to the left and boom, see my father pop outta nowhere in a matter of levitation, with papa in old jackets and jeans waving at them, as he turned on the light.

And then, like the usual, he'd join us and we'd return to our old selves watching television and doing random shit on top of it.
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:37 pm

Childhood, Traces
PART 3 - Fake Empire
Tournament : World Bowl XXIX


‘Alright, so it seems like we’re heading to a bit more intimate and I guess, historical, of origins. Asher, how are you feeling about it?’

‘Well, it’s the same ole. People ask about that all the time, but you know, you get used to it. Have you ever travelled abroad and people ask this, that and whatnot because you happen to know someone or probably had an ancestor somewhere around there?’

‘Sure. I’ve had that once or twice. For all the different reasons though, and I’m sure you know well about the troubles my dad gets into every other week.’

‘But all’s good though right? No troubles and shit?’

‘Well, it doesn’t change from the fact that you’re a homie, and my homie as well.’

‘Indeed not.’

‘So do you really want me to address all this on a fairly long record right now.’

‘Sure, if you can. Of course, take breaks here and there as you need it.’

‘Alright.’



So, the thing about Quebecois peerage is that more often than not, they do involve either or both of those native to the land, or mysterious arrivals who had arrived in the country in the nation’s first three centuries. So, it is only fitting that the Lundrigan crest, blue and white in a cross pattern, is centred by a solitary mast, to indicate just one of few hundred origin stories (some families do claim multiple, so the numbers aren’t as large as you’d think).

According to my late grandfather Andreas Alexander Lundrigan, a certain 8th Baron of Bron-Yr-Aur known for his businesses and indulgences, the certain founder of our family was a man named Michael Lundrigan, a certain Welshman who came to what was then known under the full name Royal Kingdom of Quebec and Shingoryeo. How he had ended up in the Mainland Quebec in the 1510s, when most of English fishing and colonising fleets had only begun arriving in Acadie, Newfoundland and Sealtainn Eireann in 1540s, remains a mystery. It is something that neither myself nor my own cousins were able to hold much information about, though by the 1600s government documents safely stored at Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec indicates that 3 of 5 Lundrigan children, named Michael, Connor and Thomas of Bron-y-Aur, Anticosti Island, had ended up in the Royal Quebecois Navy.

For about two to three centuries, the Lundrigans were naval officers and public servants who either served in the military or stayed home in their plot. There are some examples here and there, though I’m going to keep to three for here- my great-great-grandmother, Lady Edith Hextall Lundrigan (1881-1967), the Baroness Bron-Yr-Aur, was the first woman to be elected to the Parliament in 1917 elections. The achievement, something that we partly remember in textbooks and also on social media feeds as ‘Quebec Remembers’ short programs we recall watching when little. She, who married Lord John, the 8th Baron, became a widow at an early age when Lord John passed from typhus four years earlier. This unfortunate set of circumstances, ironically enough, caused the provincial reserved scholar and the legendary politician’s only child to become a baro at age 10. The certain son, Simeon John Lundrigan (1907-1988), was known to history students as one of the air force heroes during the Westlands front of the Southern Rushmori War and, in his old age, the Labour Party Lord that his father had strayed from, almost as if the fate were to bring the family back to the chain of service and servitude. He lived a boring life and married a Petrogradian emigre with certain ‘francais elegant’, whom he had acquainted during the War, and after the war, had lived a quiet four decades in peace.

Still, the finest was probably someone I still recall somewhat well. My late grandfather, Andreas Alexander Lundrigan, was probably best remembered for being one of the admirals from the certain Felix Liberation War of 2008-2010 against the Nazis. He was a man with not-so-exemplary abilities, though his ability to consolidate the forces and the personnel, proved to become particularly crucial as he climbed up the ladders. ‘Well he wasn’t the most competent,’ said Dr. Everett Sanipass, a renowned historian who I was privileged to listen to his lecture many months ago, ‘But he was still a key part in bringing together the Felixian rebels, who needed training and discipline, with their Quebecois instructors and comrades. In a situation where international military presence complicates the narrative, he did his best to bring together the solidarity.’ The certain sociable nature of his as a classical, Quebecois gentleman, I recall, a sense of the times and ‘the class’ we take for granted, but really need to appreciate.

With things in life, a lot of the times we have to think about when is the right time to walk away from it all, and that’s usually the hardest part. Upon retirement, the Parti Quebecois (Centrists by political scale in general, non-American, terms, but due to complicated political situations here, they are probably the furthest right you can get for a major party) leader and Prime Minister Isabelle Perreault offered him to return for to his hereditary House of Lords seat or receive the Knight honour of the Royal Moogoonghwa Order. Frankly, the RMO was slightly over-issued, especially for officers, for this war, but grandpapa was frankly happy to take it (‘everybody knew he was giving up the Lords seat for his children’s political ambition,’ notes certain auntie Jennifer).

After that, he spent his time back in his childhood home on the Island, playing cricket and working on making sure there would be enough humanly scent and the warmth found in the house. Unfortunately, I, having spent the first six of ten years of my life on the other side of the PORTAL, do not recall much of him. There were some fun stories here and there at times, but those, dear reader, I’ll leave it for future when I’ll be able to at least come back to something.

By the time I had come back, he was in his last months of his life after years of . As father’s election campaign was underway and he would eventually find himself in the Parliament, it was mostly my maman who flew back and forth between Kingston and Anticosti Island, and would bring to her father-in-law naval and childhood objects to fill up the Naval career. Then the next thing, around the eleventh year of my life, was my family all flying to the Island- on March 11, 2031, he peacefully went back to the homesoil of the place he had long desired to come back during his time away.

Passing at age eighty, Lord Andreas left three sons and two daughters. The eldest was Anthony, who inherited the Lundrigan barony as he had been waiting for two decades prior; he married a baroness’ third daughter, a Catholic he met while studying at Universite du Saguenay, and sometimes drops by the capital to serve at the House of Lords. Next came uncle Brock, longtime fencing coach, who I will be talking about in a few minutes and of course, the youngest, my father. The aunties were Jennifer, who married certain Hans Sorensen in Nyhavn, Norrehavn; and Rachael, who resides on the other side of the Island. Among them many stories were shared and told, but probably the best one to talk about will be that of my second uncle, Brock Andreas.
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:59 pm

Childhood, Traces
PART 4 - Anna Sun
Tournament: World Bowl XXXIX


When it comes to understanding uncle Brock and how my parents met, there is the other, Vdaran side of the family.

The Chania house crest is a much more simplified version of the Vdaran Coat of Arms, though if you understand the origins of the contemporary nation-building practices, there lies only little surprise. The pale bird sitting on the tree within the blue background there is still there, certainly fitting to the maritime heritage of the country with booming tourism, Mantinades poetry and whatnot. Still, it's important to note that the Chanians, while royal in origin, are not as closely related or associated to Her Majesty as many of the royal observers seem to think, and I myself do not enjoy the connections either. The Vdaran maternal ancestors of mine were fairly new to the throne, having been in power from 1945, in their small kingdom located midway between Llamaland, Hinodejin Empire and Lisander, and Filindostan. Father’s been there a few times too, per the obligations of the Royal House of Chania, via an Aeroquebec flight, and so I have my family when I was little. Unfortunately, such memories are few and wide, especially as I grew older and visits happened every blue moon. It’s not so much on my unwillingness, but rather that I usually had commitments that made such visits unrealised for a solid decade.

Rather, I share more fond memories of summers spent in cottage villages abroad. Diagrammatically, hundreds of cottages circle around dozens of lakes on the Lake District, northeast of Baker Park, which may be represented as the childhood fragments of endless Bakerians and Atlantian Oceanians, as did a couple of those I recall within those hundreds. Dozens on the northwestern side of Red Deer Lake, about two hours northeast of Endborough, stood particular Quebecois cottage villages, where Quebecois and the other families of Commonwealth origins rented or owned cottages during during summers, with Quebecois-owned cottages on northern end, the Rushmori-Commonwealthers on the middle, and the Banijans, Tamazghans and Acadianans on the very northern tip, with the villages lacking borders and pretty much linked with stores, piers and few other amenities they were to share along the lakeshore.

Among them, I recall two particular features: the Village-des-Pins station situated halfway between the Quebecois and the Rushmori-Commonwealther villages, which was about ten minutes walk away from my familial cottage, and the mile-long Gwangmoo Pier that distinguished the feature; I was there to watch the sunsets quite often, if my memory serves me correctly.

Anyways, the cottage home of Limassol Cottage, formerly named enters history when King Stelios I, the founding monarch of independent Vdara, bought a particular property. Of course, there are various theories to why he would pick a cottage property on the other side of the Multiverse, but that is not the issue. While the monarch himself did not frequent the property, mostly due to the domestic matters every founding monarch had to tend to, his daughter, late Queen Acacia of Vdara, spent occasional summers in the region, spent time socialising with the Quebecois elite, and had taken enough memories of the Bakerian summers back to Vdara.

My mother, Athena de Chania (1995-), is the daughter of Stelios II the Elderly (1971-), the third king of Vdara, and Helena of Nicosia (1969-), daughter of a certain Nicosian duke who died half a century ago. Of her siblings, she had one older, Princess Alexia (1993-), and one younger, Prince Michael, siblings. And it is from that certain auntie who binds the story the first time.
If the legends tell me correctly, there was a baseball match that took place in Jubillee Park, in honour of Her Royal Highness, sometime between 1 and 5 in the afternoon.

Two people, who had their closest chances, had aimed to win over her and so went forth with it. I can frankly imagine the excitement of a couple dozen men, led by two pesky gentlemen-to-be, in the very grassy fields of the Jubilee Park. I can even smell the soil of the dust that blew upon a run and the grass covered by morning dew that somehow outstayed its time of survival above the leaves. And of course, the smell of summer sweat that came out of the young, youthful selves bidding to win over a heart! For one there was no winner, the match having ended at 15 a 2-2 tie game.

It is at this diamond where my mother befriended two elder siblings of the man she was eventually going to marry. Auntie Rachel, for much of her twenties and thirties, went into investigative journalism and, in the last engagements of her former career in Quebec City, played few crucial groundsetting roles in The Tageukgi’s coverage of a treason plot that would eventually culminate into execution or below-ground detention of 3,864 in year 2036.

Her five decades of life, aside from occasional adventures, hasn’t been particularly eventful, though she did have a couple of lucky instances involving chance from her twenties. Once, on the middle of the first Caraqueno Civil War (OOC: WC70-74 would be the rough timeframe), her train ticket from Caracas Metropolitan Station was nullified because she woke up late- she woke up at 9:00 a.m. for a 7:45 a.m. train- so she ended up staying an extra day before heading home, and walked away safe as the train heading to St-Armand entered into the inferno. That story of her own virtue of luck, best described in ancient idiom (塞翁之馬), was of course just one of hundreds she told us and on media, but in this I will restrain myself from unnecessary recantations.

Anyways, due to her job, she had moved fairly regularly and would disappear for months if not a year at times with little options to contact him. Stil, my family did try to see her, and her vice versa to us, whenever possible. Her return to the old cottage was something that she had clearly thought of in mind, though not in the old Lundrigan cottage, but rather the Limassol Cottage just few kilometres away. Of course, by that point, she had long been used to questioning from the Vdaran authorities about her involvement and whatnot in such minefields that would normally cause such bureaucrats and intelligence officers to flip over. Such was the way and I would get it used to it, was what she said and to this day, I appreciate her words for it. The older you get, the more you notice about how sometimes it's not easy being known with a possible target on your back.
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:47 am

Childhood, Traces
PART 5 - Water Under the Bridge
Tournament : World Bowl XXIX


Sometimes I ask people: If there's this Golden Goblet, where you are promised to life of peace and continued flow of gold before your eyes, but you may have to lose all those around you, would you? That was something that Brock Andreas Lundrigan used to ask me or my cousin, whenever we had a particularly unanswerable or challenging question. It is in this that I would like to go into a brief look into a decade and half of my second uncle's life.

As his nephew, Uncle Brock came to me in a manner of an odd, usual man who just happened to be pretty good at not disappointing people. While fairly well-travelled, Uncle Brock seemed to have cruised easily too. His coaching career, which had started and ended at his alma mater, the simplest kind where he won 8 national titles and brought about a dozen to the national team in his twenty seven years in charge (2008-35), without any scandal.

But just putting him as an average championship coach is something that doesn't necessarily agree upon. He still prided himself, on being able to find the oddities and くせ that he would find in remarkable regularities in himself when he could have lost that touch long beforehand. This had likely come from a habit that originated back in his youth days when he was a pupil and then assistant of late William Yi (1956-2037), 12th Earl of Bathurst, fencing coach and late-imperial Petrogradian literature lecturer for 38 years, he was used to being mentioned alongside patronymics Brock Andreasovich, and he had used to say variations of that in the public.

Always oddly dressed, he came to places in the most dispatched of manners, whether it be occasional trotting with travelling bards that frequent the Quebecois short-distance trains or his love of baking edibles to his children and nephews, something that his wife, a legendary runner in their small city of Cornwall, Frontenac province, little understands (for good reasons) to this day.

Brock Andreas was also involved in various risky positions, which he fortunately had far less stakes to deal with than the globetrotting auntie ever did. Because of that, Brock Andreas it wasn’t so much over whether he wanted to make a career out of risking his prospects or even himself, but rather done out of instinct and occasional whoopsie daisies. Combine that with his element as a hotheaded man who had gotten into more troubles than you’d imagine, he ended up often being on odds with the RQFF and of course the athletics administration (even under former AD Sir. Philippe Ahn, which was quite bizarre in my views), but that's something no one's to be surprised over, as I tell you the his story.

----


In 1996, in what was a fairly unusual move for children of Kingston Collegiate School (where he went on a fencing scholarship from year seven, straight outta the island), the second of Lundrigan boys went from the big city to a small town. It was arranged that Brock Lundrigan, the first of many Greater Kingston Area (GKA) junior national team members on ‘exodus’, would go to Queen’s College, on a generous athletic scholarship that Your Grace awarded out of his wage as head coach rather than lecturer salary. The family continued to stay in the Island while the younger siblings continued to attend Sandringham School. Since living expenses were covered with the scholarship, uncle Brock ended up saving whatever little money his mother sent for stipend into his savings account.

He left Kingston for what he thought would be a short journey to become an engineer; but the life had caused his ways to turn around and eventually end up elsewhere on the growing pains of a squad under revival. In his freshman year, after four stellar tournaments, braving through the unsuspecting eyes, he broke the odds and ended up the anchor (OOC: the ace position on team events) position of the Men’s Epee depth chart: he had a series of stomach cramps the night before, and placed 31st on the individual event of 1997 QIS Championships.

His sophomore season, the year he chose mechanical engineering, was a disappointment too. At the beginning there was a major momentum, as it had appeared likely that the Golden Gaels were to win their first ever national fencing championship, but that's not how it turned out as they ended with a third place finish. But at least he learned to overcome his fear against fellow junior national teammates on the elimination stage and by then, his eyes were glimmering with the prospects of the national championship banner. Pictures of St. Croix’s 9 championship victories, 5 on men and 4 on women's side, on Coach Yi’s office both intimidated and empowered many to the spirit that I was ingrained to back in my baseball player days.

Fortunately he had to wait only a year longer - exactly a year later, Brock Andreasovich was celebrating, confetti to confetti, at the national championships with his first of many national banners, the first of six the good guys would win under Your Grace between that 1999 win to 2004 double that has not been done in Cornwall.

Of course, it was something that Coach Yi had been there before- his ‘first’ of twenty-one national championships in three schools began on a late Sunday, February of 1988, when, as interim head coach, he won the first of eight banners to begin a dynasty for the perennial Quebec City powerhouse (which, eventually, were to end with his return to alma mater). But still, the thrill to win at alma mater was enough for the Bathurst native to land famous words that eventually became that of Sir. Joel-Lynn McCarthy, the legendary sabreur and team captain who became a famous actor.

A rebel is always going to swish and dazzle through the brightest stages,
But he will always find his way back home by the virtue of God, and only the God.


And to be frank, those days seemed to have enamoured my uncle, a rural nobleman’s second son, with a particular fire. The timely ascension of the championship victory, and the continued arrival of junior national team athletes (which had already begun with my longtime senior at Erskine Collegiate, Christopher Tsu-Ahn), seemed to have brought everybody a cause for celebration. There once was a well-celebrated banquet between the athletics and the fencing teams presided by Your Grace, which was joined by his college friend, a(n) (in-)famous cross country coach Ike Vonnegut whom Dr. Yi, practically untouchable by the administration due to his hereditary ranks, insisted on asking when Vonnegut, who had fallen short in previous three years, is finally going to bring a banner. The XC coach, who was annoyed enough at his college friend for teasing him on his prolonged process to undermine the evil athletics empire (OOC: or track and field, in North American terms) Gyeongbuk A&M had built upon tyrannical Stu Conroy-Harris, neatly countered by Vonnegut inquiring how the dirt of Fort Byron seem to only harden after rain and all the hard words said at how battered they were.

Of course, such remarks were remembered nowadays, as part of the folklore of the few (out of four dozens who were there), but the truths were indeed spoken and it is there where uncle Brock, a happy camper, were to eventually fall into a storm that were to brew out of the other team that were there on the banquet.

A recent interview to Sir. Philippe Ahn (1956-), the institution's legendary A.D. also known for his coaching rivalry with Your Grace, has revealed that the situation indeed reflects into the reality of the times. He, trying to find ways to beat his college friend (it is famously known that Vonnegut, Yi and Ahn were housemates and lifelong friends all the way back to their freshman days) while leading the charge at Universite de Gaspe, was certainly not there but he did explain, perhaps, a minor context that added the third person's view to the matter at the time:

'....you see, Asher. It does reflect well with how the things were back then. There once was a time when selected few sports, for example football, basketball and whatnot, were particularly valued by the administrations in past. Of course, that makes sense if you think about how Queen's College, located in Cornwall of all places, can only do so much by focusing on few teams that can win! But that did cause decades of disparity among Gaels teams, between the haves and have-nots.

'And it was something that the Duke of Bathurst (William Yi), myself and of course, Ike Vonnegut had to deal with. It was year 1974 when we, floormates and all looking for something big, became friends at Evers Hall residence. Unfortunately, we happened to pick wrong sports back then and well, got underappreciated because of that. Still, we had high hopes and perhaps looked to come back someday because why not? Big men dream big, as you know.

'So all three of us went different ways for something good- William went to Quebec City where he finished grad school at St. Croix, coached at Saguenay for a bit and then USC again, before he went home. Because he was a nobleman, the preppiest of us three, he had an implied sense of indismissable clause on his tenures, and really was able to come back when he wanted to. He just embraced that and went along with whatever he advocated for, whether it's funnelling his own cash to the team or keep flying them to Commonwealth tournaments, et cetera. He was a lucky bastard of a friend to have, now that I look at it.

'Then there was Ike. He went to Kingston to do a MA in psychology before heading back to Cornwall where he wrapped up a successful running career, created a local club and started coaching the distance running program at alma mater. When he came back, he proved to the world that he too was a magician, in that he did so much with next to no resource available- not even a single fieldhouse was given to them or even considered during my predecessor's time- and it did enough to eventually dethrone the Evil Empire of a pedophile.

'Unfortunately, while he was right...he was also bit too honest with the words and that tongue of his, which we all loved for how honest and far-sighting it was, did earn him a particular infamy upon the athletics administration. It did make sense, for all those who knew him....Being the dissident among us three even back then he, of course, stayed that way, ploughing through many challenges for women's distance running and equality, which I'm sure your auntie Brianne has told you about. But, perhaps because he probably disturbed too many nod-shakers, his teams were always left behind on events and seldom appreciated for achievements, even though the women went top 5 for seven straight years and men top ten for six straight. For what they couldn't do on William because he was the future Duke of Bathurst, they showed enough on his friend.

'And finally, 'tis was me. I stayed two more years for teacher's college, got married to my girlfriend Lise halfway through, and then coached at Ashcroft College and University of Ottawa before Gaspe. To be honest, I wanted to come back, but because my parents were ill, I knew I wanted to coach while tending for them. So things got delayed and I ended up spending another decade spending time with them, before they were greeted by the Lord. I had accepted the dream position thereafter in 2008. Unfortunately, neither William nor Ike were no longer there and I'm sure I can explain a bit more on that...'


-----


You probably figured out from that piece alone that things did not go the way imagined for either anybody. I mean, of course, uncle Brock’s story would not have been a story if all things went happily ever after, which in this case, would have meant that he stayed there, won a couple of Commonwealth Golds as coach, and been living there ever since.

Of course, that’s not how it eventually turned out and that’s why we have a story here.

Anyways, during his senior season everything has changed. Now, with an expectation to defend the crown, there wasn't as much thrill, not to mention no celebratory speeches, and even victories have become part of the norm. In a team where they had already lost significant depth, it proved impossible to come up not disappointed in that they were going to not win the men’s banner that year. After several underwhelming months in an eventual third-place finish that February 2000, at Royal Arlenia Pavilion, Quebec City; my uncle retired from fencing for a coaching career while his eclipsing replacement, greatest Quebecois epeeist in this century by the name of Felix Ahn, spent the last months of his high school career in once again, Erskine.

But before he was to accept the assistant coach offer by Your Grace, another warfront had emerged and he had to make tough choices. His dillemma over the next destination, a particular headcase for my grandparents, was complicated by an unexpected factor. Uncle Brock had three relationships over undergrad, Alexanne Rogers, Yi Se-Ryeong, and Brianne Kenna. Brianne, the second of three children of a professor whom my friends have taken classes with, also happens to be my aunt.

Aunt Brianne (1981-), the two-time QIS cross country champion and gold medalist on 2006 Quebecois Commonwealth Games held in Maracaibo, Nuevo Caracas, was a woman who embodied quirkiness, honesty and of course, not letting the prejudices get away with the world around her with a nod or two. That had of course meant in those days that her, a second auntie (her sister), and a lot of those who raced under Coach Vonnegut on club and/or college level, were very often going to be unfairly criticised and of course, underestimated by the eminense grise of Quebecois athletics who, in every way possible, attempted to play favourites.

Anyways, how they met was very straightforward. Automatically ending up as the academic face of the athletics program during his time there, Dr. Yi was also the freshmen mentorship program coordinator where the seniors, coming from various athletics teams, were to mentor the freshmen on academics. A mild jokester, he often had a habit of place certain student-athletes he had known for many purposes on certain groups, and decided to do the same when he thought it would be a funny joke to have his team captain mentor with none other than the longtime student and star recruit of his friend, Ike Vonnegut.

So by the virtue of coinkydink, Brock Andreasovich, a senior who had just broken out of a relationship that grandparents had long disapproved for a morals-related, was placed to mentor over Brianne. Uncle used to tell me how he was partly scared when he found out about the arrangement, not because he didn't like her or anything, but because he was nervous mentoring a two-time Commonwealth juniors champion, a youth national team member, and not to mention a student of Coach Ike. But after some persuasion by a couple of teammates he did not quit, and eventually hearts smittened by that November, as Brianne led the women's team to a first XC title in history. There Brock Andreasovich, who took a weekend off to watch his mentee win it all in Sept-Iles (12 hrs away by train), had to realise why he had wasted 200Q£ of trainfare and tourist attraction, and that he had to face the moment of truth to all as well.

As for the rest, it's not as clear. There exists various renditions as to how got together, but three different accounts seemed to agree that he skipped the team practice as waltz happened in his living room on a late November evening, and that by the very next day's practice, Coach Yi didn't bother to ask why he had skipped. He just sang along his favourite song and walked away.

Unfortunately, what Coach Yi did not take into account on what was going to happen, as the year 2000 crushed lots of hopes and happiness for the poor uncle of mine. Obviously the team failed to win the nationals, which was a huge downer, but that wasn't even close for him. If anything, it partly came at the price of being with someone he unexpectedly fell in love with. Since the dead man cannot talk, I will once again bring back Sir. Philippe Ahn, dear reader:

'So yes. That Gyeongbuk A&M XC dynasty did crumble and eventually collapsed by the mid-2000s. But how it happened wasn't simply by the virtue of California, Abitibi and USC successfully overcoming them on men's, or briefly Queen's College and not to mention USC, Goose Bay, UPRI on women's teams. Also Kingston on both sides of course. That would be justifiable, but simply not fitting.

'I'm sure we all know that the certain Gyeongbuk A&M State coach, whose name I refuse to say out of my oral health, was a convicted pedophile who eventually spent his last decades in Gotham. But before that, we have to remember two things:

- a) on how the Quebecois Athletics Federation and the Gyeongbuk A&M University were just quietly placing the complaint files of abuses and medical misdiagnosis under the folder, that as long as the Aggies were winning banners in 10s and 20s
- b) on how we just let people of the community, however well-intentioned they may have been at the beginning, eventually got drunk with success and gave the man a full set of keys that he shouldn't have received to start with

This was the sort of injustices Coach Vonnegut had to deal with, losing for years against that scum. Of course, he finally beat him in fall 1999, and that was probably the most needed victory for those awaited the Evil Empire to be prevented for once and hopefully more times. And then the conviction came to that vile man and hey, we may be heading into something good where people would finally listen to Ike more and more. The New Day.

'Unfortunately, while he did overcome that and got the truths to come out on a Royal Commission report, he was unable to propel it further. The very next week after the pedophile's arrest, he made some strong comments on The Taegukgi which, of course, became what athletics administration saw as an incoming dumpster fire. The next thing we knew he was a goner from there, wrongfully dismissed and with no communication to the poor runners, your auntie included.

'I knew the intent was to clear- to cull and cut the entire team before refilling with those they wanted to restart. How stupid were they for thinking that way, but no one's surprised really. After all those years of struggle...you just get it, you know?'

-----

And all shits fell apart, in every wrong way possible for everybody.

The very next morning, the news was on the headlines of The Taegukgi. Given its status as the national Korean-language newspaper, and the central location of Quebec City in Quebecois journalism, this had only meant that the repercussions were particularly strong, as thousands had protested and telephoned to Cornwall to protest the decision. And for some time, there appeared to be hopes that Vonnegut, now being given enough warnings and taste of his own medicine to maybe control his mouth, were to be rehired.

Yet that didn't happen. The administration didn't budge one bit, for they viewed the team and its behaviour, which the former A.D. had viewed as 'cultic and demonic enough that it ought to end' on an archived email, as dangerous and had to be rebooted with much more obedient group of people. Perhaps, they were right in assuming that such mentality would make their lives easier- nobody likes when admin keeps getting in odds with its stars. That's how so many of the pro trades and college transfers happen to start with and whatnot these days, and you know, you just expect it as part of life.

What they did not realise was how such decision, now actively covered by The Taegukgi and of course the local newspapers, was not gonna work because the principles do not equal to practicality. Their poor response to the matter, in turn, had left most with no choice but to transfer or rip up their ROIs. Why bother?

And so the auntie, a hometown superstar who never wanted to leave the town, transferred out of her dream school to go to Mount Ester. She knew she had no choice especially when she knew there was no point staying anymore, and competing for her old club would have been fine, school mattered too for her and it was all so much along the lines of Goodbye Town. And that's where uncle remembers firmly:

'You see, Asher. I was ready to leave the institution.....As much as I loved the team, there was no way I was going to be able to handle further the suffering of what your auntie had gone through back then, I thought. Besides, Mount Ester is historic program too, so I thought I wouldn't be so badly off there.

'So I was at Coach William's office, bowling my eyes out as I knew I couldn't do enough, and told Coach Yi that I wasn't going to be able to join as assistant as I had agreed to just months prior. He understood, just nodded along, patting me on the back and then just said, 'You see, son. Stay for three more years. We win two more at least, hand the baton to Marcel (Cody-Yi), Felix (Ahn) and Pierre-Luc (Gibson), and prove those haters and the A.D. wrong. After that you can go and be with Brianne, but don't fail Felix and the Epeeists because Brianne did what was right for her.' So I stayed for three more years as promised, and then rejoined her there. Lots of long-distance but everybody knew and did their best to handle at least and for that, I thank Coach Yi and of course, the team, for understanding how hard it can get.'


So uncle Brock, after staying for three more years, went on a half-decade exile, as he first coached high school teams in Bathurst while auntie Brianne finished her BEng there and went back for her MEng while continuing to beat the odds, before the inevitable struck. The very next year, after the legendary trio of Yi, Ahn and Gibson had graduated, Coach Yi let his contract expire and after a year off, he went to lead his hometown school (ironically enough Mount Ester). Once again, it was the eventual Duke who offered newlywed uncle of mine to serve as assistant and there, he helped a huge part in Mount Ester's 2008 championship double.

As for stories back in Cornwall, it was still the same. The athletics department, shaken up visibly and tarnished, still ran things under the pretense of 'hakuna matata', and the admin were to remain the same until the same A.D., after another major scandal, was fired and replaced by Sir. Philippe in 2008. Long heartbroken by the impossibility of the trio reuniting, he asked uncle to come back and he, in tears of joy, accepted his way to the end. And while it would take some time for the Kenna-Lundrigans to heal once again by alma mater, they slowly got back to where they had hoped.

And the rest is history. They still live there- uncle Brock's now happily retired, having coached his last season just past february after 35 years, and awaits auntie Brianne, who is still five years away from retirement, to join him.

-----


So….well….yeah. the story of my uncle’s crazy turn of events is really the story of how sometimes, you have to follow your feelings and instincts and hope that you will be on the right side. For me, I always had this feeling that the Queen’s College and all its famed features- the limestone buildings two to three centuries old, parties on the student district, the famous clock tower of Regent Hall and not to mention the occasional brutalist remnants- were not brilliant because of their own but rather because of what the entire thing brought together in combination. And perhaps that’s why I didn’t end up there, as my longtime friend Myeong-Yoon had long dreamed to do so, or as my uncle, ironically enough, wanted me to come. It could seem a lot more intimidating than you’d imagine, especially if you aren’t one of those who are mentally strong or together enough. Uncle was ready to sacrifice and eventually move, auntie to move outta hometown, but I guess I wasn’t.
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:39 am, edited 7 times in total.

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The Royal Kingdom of Quebec
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:24 pm

Childhood, Traces
PART 6 - Лето
Tournament : Sporting World Cup XI

Image

The Observation Car


For the past hundred years, the gothic facade of Montreal’s Saint-Pancras Station has greeted millions of passengers who came to the Imperial Chimney. Whenever I would wake up at five in the morning and head to the station to catch an early train, the sandstone structure’s window and the clock tower would stand well over me. Unfortunately it was remembered by most for usually the most heartbreaking reasons. One could make out the renowned hotel of its frontispiece, the occasional confetti in the air you would see and smell from a wedding parade, and not to mention the smell of heartbreaks brewed from the place. The orderliness of the windows, alternating with thousands of tales about the stories of farewells, greetings and of course the wanderings, reflected perfectly into myself then and now, as I find myself transported thereafter to the train set.

The legendary Calanian Mountaineer train, consisting of international trains that has been running six days a week for half a century, has been uninterruptedly linking Montreal Saint-Pancras, Emberton Great Northern, and Belle Haven Union stations. Of course, even before that, the railways connected the northwestern tip of Calania with the southwestern tip, but the connection wasn’t direct. So whenever people tell me uninterruptedly so for a solid century and half, I would come back at them and say: directly with Belle Haven, had passengers not been obliged to change at Emberton Great Northern station, where few carriages changed here and there due to traffic-related reasons. Those were the days when the passenger and freight demand between Quebec and Baker Park, Quebec and Krytenia and Krytenia and Baker Park all used to be lot more volatile to changes and of course outdated security infrastructures (mostly on Quebecois front due to limited investment ‘til the 1980s), so such stops were necessary. Of course unfortunate, but necessary enough.

From what I recall correctly, I have taken part in, I think, six such journeys to Baker Park, with the eventual destination always being the Red Deer Lake. Among those summer trips, I particularly singled out year 2033, as I recall the memories from that summer the best. In that year, our travelling party was a fairly small one, with about twelve members in four compartments.

The four compartments, all located on the 2nd car of the 14-car set, went as following: my mother sat reading one of several works written by her friend (whom a decade later, the late His Majesty were to appoint as the Official Court Historian that provided him privileged access to Royal Archives) on the No. 5 compartment he shared with the aforementioned University of Kingston professor and his late wife Maureen (bless her soul), a choreographer who owned a dance studio five minutes walk from my old high school. On the No. 6 compartment (a triple) right behind them, their son Myeong-Shin, an idol of mine growing up, as well as my cousins, Alexis and Byron Lundrigan, occupied the space as the one for the fourteen year olds. Behind that, on compartments No. 7 and 8, came me, my younger brother and Myeong-Yoon Heo, an eventual friend of mine, on former, as well as uncle Brock and aunt Brianne on board.

The year 2033 was quite an eventful year, for all that I remembered: Banijans were getting humiliated on the international stage, that was also filled with droughts and insurgencies. The Quebecois newspapers were filled with millions of question marks and of course, mockery, of the stubborn friends of southwestern Atlantian Oceania who made little sense when asked of their intentions at the Quebecois Commonwealth Assembly. Aside from that, there were quite a few things to note- in May, St. John’s Arsenal had won their last of 14 Q-League titles to this day. In July, the hundredth anniversary of the QBC Promenades was celebrated in Quebec City. It was mid August now. With the resumption of Bakerian schools and universities, this had meant that the train would be filled with Quebecois families heading first to Belle Haven, and continuing onto Red Deer Lake. The northern woods of Quebec, Semarland and eventually the unincorporated Mertagne moved along, as the following day saw the arrival of temperate woods in Krytenia.

On the observation car, as we watched the Mertagnian villages turn into Krytenian towns and cities that looked a lot more vibrant and temperate, me and my friend Myeong-Yoon played cards while the older kids of the No. 6 let us do our own thing. Through the sunrise and sunset, we would watch the tourists come and go, while the Krytenian locals, who had long known of the overnight high speed train’s usefulness, frequented their opportunity to use the observation car. It was heckuva sight: even as I tell you this story, on the other side of the Multiverse over a chat of two journalists in Landslide Global, I see the very same image of how beautiful and bustling a train ride can both be. In some ways, I am reminded of the orange-brown locks of Myeong-Yoon, who always looked more like her mother Maureen, a woman of renowned beauty that captured many back in the day.

The famed words were that in year 2012, her beauty had managed to capture the eyes of a young sabreur under Lundrigan and McCarthy’s tutilage, who nearly committed suicide over the unrealised feelings. Around 2014, it was the very presence of her that brought him back from a car crash that ended his fencing career three months before the Quebecois Commonwealth Games in Levis, Capitale-Nationale; causing him to fight for a cause just as all had seemed a loss. There were many allusions made by people as to how the redheaded woman, whom the sabreur’s friends had all opposed to the possibility of their relationship the second time in 2014, was a dangerous creature, a Medea or Circe. But the suspicious has been amply recovered during the three decades they would spend together thereafter- from the gently-lit cities of Quebec City to their alma mater and Novopetrogradian research trips, as well as the lecture halls of University of Kingston and dance salles. Not to mention in two athletically-gifted children of theirs. The fact that sometimes, the unexpected of the unexpected happens with what appears to be a magical power of love, of course is something that we should think a bit more about in this day and age.

‘Have you ever been in love, and do you believe in the chances?’ Myeong-Yoon would ask, trying to catch me awake, as she slowly shuffled the cards. The observation car, by this point, is long dark and somewhat empty, with few elderly couples and a couple of other children present for whatever reason I could care less about. Given that it was night, it had made even more sense to talk of those that we would feel slightly more uncomfortable in daylight. Of course her and I, always close but never really drawn to each other beyond amitié after all these years, came to ask ourselves the same question over and over again….It is something that us two, since then, have become familiar thinking about. Perhaps for best reasons, but other times in committing many youthful mistakes.



‘Okay, so let’s be clear. A friend of yours is Myeong-Yoon Heo of the Grim Reapers?’

‘Yes, Michael. How many times do I have to tell you that she’s my friend?'

‘I know, Asher, but this seems to get me every single time. You just refer to her as normally as possible, by just mentioning her as ‘yeah, my friend Myeong-Yoon’ and whatnot.’

‘Yes. It does not change a single dynamic though. Her and I knew each other even before she changed schools. Of course, we weren’t in the same primary or even middle school, but sometimes, connections work weirdly in Quebec. That’s how I learned to be careful with whom I cultivate relationships back home.’

'I see what you mean. I assume it's not easy to just tell people like how it was though.'

'Oh, certainly it wasn't. You either have to grow into that skin, develop into it with age and wisdom, or just not at all.'

'Perfect. Anyways, let's get back to recording this...'



Sleeping Car


Of course, on those train journeys, the time flies exactly as imagined. The vibrant hustle of activity, from homes to homes, would catch our eyes as I noticed the settings change to the urban universe of Emberton. In Emberton I recall seeing the city comparable to our northern metropolis, with its vibrant nightlife features. The informal contact, met between the train and our own travelling selves, provided enough comfort for our wondering eyes.

The other, of course, was looking at the very romanticised notion of a future that I was to eventually face on my own, as the Lundrigan adults and of course, Dr. Heo, shared during their college days. Was I to know that I, too, would go through it earlier than imagined, and who knows, in future? That, unfortunately, I cannot answer. Anyways, the city views were putting me and Myeong-Yoon starry-eyed, as we watched the train slowly enter into the legendary building of Emberton Great North that predate the Second Krytenian Monarchy (unrelated to the first monarchy, whom the Royal House had long established ties under Prince Richard of Walton).

From what I recall, and which has stayed on the back of mind was, how there were downsides to those late-hour stops on southbound trains, which would stop in Emberton Great Northern around nine for half an hour,and Ousevale St. Thomas Aquinas just shy of midnight for yet another ten minutes. One of the issues I had with those late hour stops was that only about two thirds of the cafes and restaurants were open. Of course, at least one sold a curry dish or two that were emblematic of Krytenian cuisine, and that’s what several of us quickly rushed to order before bringing back to our carriages waiting on Platform no. 1. The other, of course, was the inability to view the orchards and occasional country villages that draped the paysage between Emberton and Ousevale. Those I recall better on the northbound, simply because the trains would be passing through those villages and rolling hills here and there on early to late afternoons, and occasionally families would be having afternoon tea and listening to live music on the dining car. I would recall how rich the range of options were out there, especially with the abundance of pastries, fruits and pastries, bringing us a small time travel to the times when such journeys were a lot more commonplace for both the elite and the common folk. Such a shame that those were not really explored on the particularly savoury part as we headed south, alas!

It was during those late nights of the southbound journey, however, that usually the finest of stories of the ride were still being told. In all four compartments were the stories shared, as I recall various matters, from the latest news of social media to basic baseball sabermetrics, as well as about the occasional official bard groups who would sing in the Lounge Car. On our three-person compartment, we used to gossip about things so trivial they seldom matter on our normal lives of now, and just heard occasional creaks and cracks of the train’s relative age - it was introduced sometime between 2010, its year of introduction, and 2012, the final year of the Laganiere Carriages’ introduction to The Calanian and The Calanian Mountaineer services - and might get scared here and there. On the hallway, you’d see Myeong-Shin and our cousins Alexis and Byron, as well as Byron’s college girlfriend (they are married now), a fine art student, named Kenzie, chatting and just being either the middle, high schoolers or college students they were at that point.

By the time it struck midnight and the train made a stop at the glass-made palace of Ousevale St. Thomas Aquinas station, all three of us in the kiddies’ compartment would be very close to falling asleep. By now, the passengers of this train have long been used to it, whether it’s because of how long they have travelled on the train (minimum 16 hours, let’s say that) or how frequent they have taken it for work. But beyond Ousevale, the last major stop before the train's arrival in Endborough, the familiarity became unfamiliar to many if not most, as the sense of drowsiness, partly brought by how much time spent in our compartment (none of our parents would let us go to other compartments nor other cars unless with them), would be disrupted with an occasional stop or two, but then would just pace themselves along nicely, as the quiet, spakoynaya noch, entered into the train as it travelled past the Krytenian border and across Ibex.

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The Royal Kingdom of Quebec
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:49 pm

Childhood, Traces
PART 7 - Moondance
Tournament : Sporting World Cup XI


The next morning, what seemed to be the neverending horizons found under the sun scoped all over the Great Calanian Desert, as the brutal, throttling self told us that we were slowly on the final stretch of travels. Many were looking outside in despair or awe, as the train part their way through the desert in what was yet another battle between the mankind and the nature, the society and the individual, and many more comparables you could make to such struggles that our ancestors, whether foreign or Quebecois, struggled to break for decades if not centuries.

Still, all things dry and far were to end at some point, and it was around 15:00 that the Calanian Mountaineer reached Endborough, where we were to have an overnight stop. Since the State Museum was close to the end of its business hours by the end of the day, what usually happened instead was that the nights were used to either watch an Endborough Gold Sox Game or to take part in ferry rides along the White and Belle Haven Rivers, a sight widely popularised by a Quebecois film made in mid-80s, whose title I no longer recall. Then there would be enough time spent back in the hotel rooms, before we went to sleep and boarded, at eleven in the following day, the Endboroughian which dropped us around Village-des-Pins station at Red Deer Lake, one of the two largest lakes found in the Endover state.

-----


As I have mentioned before, the Quebecois Villages of old were still the same ole as they were just a few decades ago when the Vdaran royals frequented it more than how they do now. The summer shrubs and the wild berries draped the trees on the quiet country walkpath that led into the Limassol Cottage. Hotel Sylvain IV had its final summer run before it was to go under a three-year renovation. The Brigadier-General Suite at 7th floor of Hotel Rivard has seen a fairly unimpressive list of occupants, before Kim Gye-Sung, the 11th Duke of Navarre, made his own visit to the Lake District five years ago, to discuss an intimate matter of concern with a notorious band of high class socialites.

On the Gwangmoo Pier, located in middle of the Promenades and Beaches that every visitor recall due to different sets of reasons, you’d recall how agile the young children (myself included, though I was very much the opposite) were as they tried to outrace the young parents who’d carry their strollers along the walkways, and not to mention the occasional middle-agers whom were just having their own time looking at the sunrise, sunset or even a no-luck fishing opportunity.

The rich pine and oak trees of the forests, somewhat different from the breeds than the ones native to Quebec, and the birds spoke in different tongues and wore different badges of honour. The latest country hits, originating from afternoon programs that National Radio Corporation’s Endborough Station at 103.0 would play, had kept the northerners feel at home and was still a noticeable feature when I heard from those of the younger generations who spend their summers instead.

Along occasional plots to farther sides of the beaches of this district, various seaside fields and mounds gave the teenagers and youngsters enough time and distraction away from their parents, who had their own ways of enjoying the summer vacation. Among our travelling entourage that was particularly evident. I was usually playing baseball with my ‘brother’ Myeong-Shin, who never came short from displaying his athleticism that made him a highly-coveted shortstop and linebacker from as early as grade six.

Of course, we all know how his circumstances have led into odd ways- the famous sayings were that he, who grew up watching his idols of Tigers’ minor affiliate, Cornwall Tigers, just down the road from his home, thought he was going to play for Cornwall CVI one of the most prestigious public high schools in country better known for academics and minor sports athletes (my cousins, who got the Kenna blood in them, for example), and then just play for his parents’ alma mater, Queen’s College. Life, however, got into the way when Dr. Heo accepted the professorship and moved to Mississauga, where he enrolled into Songjeong Middle School. There he too continued to excel, being known for pitching 88 miles/average his grade eight year in a match eight months from now, and offers followed. After much persuasion and of course, the advantage of playing in a Midtown school just 15 minutes away from both the Skydome and the Mudeung Field, he eventually went to Erskine Collegiate in fall of 2034, an academic school known for baseball and hockey but not really on football. After that, we know the rest of his heroics, so I’ll spare y’all from that. You guys already watch QBO enough times anyway, and he’ll be playing for World Baseball Classic this January anyway.

Anyways, so Myeong-Shin, out of his love and also nudges, naturally brought me to the field, long after failing to bring Myeong-Yoon or my cousins there. Of course, it wasn’t an easy journey nor an idea. Since I was the youngest kid there, naturally I was placed to play the painful position in catcher. Of course, little did I know that would help me as I became adept at the position and continued playing at high school and then college. Funny how life turns out.

Besides that, the usual happened. Men wore swim trunks that were either too generically black or white, or excessively colourful enough to belong in a flower expo; ladies had their own choices of what they had wanted to wear, whether it be swimsuits, beach clothes or bathgowns that remind myself of this tune. At a remarkable pace did they move, and so did occasional boats that would depart either at dawn or late-afternoon to go fishing or windsurfing.

Taking advantage of those demands and the happy-goers were the vendors, who found these summer employment opportunities quite profitable for good reasons. They, in occasional stalls that we have all frequented before with limited pocket money, tried to convince- with a matter of chance- to try their ice creams, cotton candies or other sweet equivalentes. Sometimes they were successful, other times they weren’t.

The process of dancing and singing took part on the sands of the beach. Occasional musicians, who either rented a vacation spot on timeshare, were there with their families of bandmates to help the kids and adults enjoy a quiet summer abroad while under homely comfort. Occasional baigneur, while drunk or high, would wander around while listening to the guitar or flute tunes, and would occasionally try to jump into the water. This, of course, would usually be stopped by their friends and family members, but an occasional miss would lead into drownings that caused pain more often than not.

Somewhere, around same time, you would bump into an occasional cabin where piano or some rare instrument (Harp? Traditional Korean-Quebecois ones? I do not recall exactly) would be played into the night. If you were a newcomer to the Red Deer Lake District you’d get surprised by it, but after few years, you would just nod along with moving heads. Cottage cabins smelling of wood and the salt coming from the bathing suits, the occasional wanderer or frequenter would notice the elements lifting onto a different kind of curiosity. That, frankly, would lead into all sorts of questionable conducts by those senior to myself at the time, and eventually myself once grew older to be like Myeong-Shin or my Lundrigan cousins. Of course, many regrets were made and tears shed, but that's just something all to natural of a summer.
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:25 pm

Childhood, Traces
PART 8 - Graffiti
Tournament : World Baseball Classic 49

Walking through the city streets, is it by mistake or design?
Lana Del Rey, Born To Die -


Was it by accident that I happened to find that voice in my head?

I do not know if it’s by fate or by design that have led me there, that summer, nor do I care on whether it matters or not. Sometimes, the divine figure, high above, has those designs, but those aren’t always foolproof and more often than not you’d fall into such errors where you, too, would behave as if omnipotent. That could end up going dangerous for many of us, as that can either contribute to a cycle of terrible loves that you find yourself committing or receiving the abuse of the flames of irrationality, or just fall into even worse cycle of hubris that ultimately costs your life. So you, dear reader, should always be cautious when thinking about the purpose and how you and a certain love of your life, got brought together at that moment and stage.

Anyways, let’s go back to the timeless sphere of Baker Park. On one of the salles of the Dance Hall, the only remnant at the tip of the Gwangmoo Pier and what remains of its early days, that was where the tunes binded me, side by side, with another Quebecois girl named Eileen.
She was a year older, having turned 13 when the previous school year was slowly wrapping up, and I turned 12 the previous month. One thing I could clearly recall was how it was close to nine in the evening, which had meant that the sun was setting, and yet nobody cared about where I wandered around. Red Deer Lake District, after all, was one of those weird timeless places where people behaved as if all went normal and ‘normie’, and so a random go-around like the one I had that evening, was of course tolerated.

Attention was drawn to the quiet beating of the piano keys that she had tugged along as if they were her own heartstrings, and likely reflected that of the wavelengths of the dancers around or slightly older than us. Of course, I was not really a Southwesterner, and that showed pretty well. The lightest shades of her blue eyes, which looked more like a pair of opals than the aquamarines, looked on point to all those who dared to see, that highlighted the cheekbones. She wore a flowery blouse, befit with a light, pale jacket, that I had reminded myself of a certain Park Gyu-Seong novel I read that summer named ‘꽃밭에 로라 (Laura of the Flowerbeds)‘, which would eventually resurface on my Baccalaureat exam as a college senior.

She spoke slowly, perhaps too paced if anything, in a mix of the Royal Standard for her Quebecois English and French, but also the southwestern branch of the Eastern Dialect group of her Quebecois-Korean. It is not too unusual and if anything, I’ve found the case with children of our time at the cottage county here and there who have come from both the Metropoles or the provinces. That’s partly to do with the product of third-language education in this country which rely upon local dialects, something that I, myself have gone through as a relative latecomer. But it's also to do with what we get used to in general way of life. That's why it'd be near impossible to see those outside of the Montreal and Quebec City metropolitan area to speak all three under the Royal Standard. Kinda ridiculous to expect it.

Anyways, I won't that deny that it was certainly unusual for me to have ended up frequenting the dance halls at such an age. I also understand that it could be translated in a wrong manner. Emotional attachments have not been my strengths and it will never be, however degenerate of a human being you may have seen me in past and present. College stories of debaucheries and low purity test scores explain only parts of my story and whatnot, and we should remember that. But when I first met Eileen, I knew that there was something electric in the air.

For the usual catcher on the diamond and the rafter on the river, Eileen seemed to me much more out of sort than those of the other side at Red Deer Lake district. Unlike short stories that involve twelve-yr old teenage romances or even some of those coming-of-age movies, I quickly came to realise that this love wasn’t one of those cases where there existed particular disparity of love received by a child’s parents. Instead what became of it was rather the melodies that just flowed through the air, as we walked over the grass another day hoping that the divine being does not separate us so early. ‘Fold it, fold it, fold i-i-i-it,’ she said, as we were spinning into circles after circles in some grassy patch that was randomly strewn between cottage homes and the woods.

And as the circles became dizzingly faster and more visible, I offered a piece of my plans to find solitary time with Kenna cousins (to spare ourselves from confusion), who themselves became acquainted with many siblings, cousins or cousin-siblings of theirs that frequented the field. They got along well with those of the ‘deuxieme fin-de-siecles‘, something that a Dr. Heo referred with a raised eyebrow. It was pretty easy to interpret what the perky ears had meant, as I knew they were clearly of the rural nobility with old, old estates and fair few in college, but not a ton on their coffers to vacation out in West Aotearoa (half a world away in Southwestern Tyran, which requires almost-mandatory layover at Handon International Airport), or somewhere farther in the Quebecois Commonwealth. There’s some sort of commonality that they nodded along, as Bron-Yr-Aur seat of the house was too a country barn, family-owned house in Quebec City often rented out, and of course the family being fairly new to Cornwall. It’s one of those old tongues that some, especially those more familiar with history or are just from such backgrounds abroad, would sense right away, but would otherwise be difficult to detect.

During my three weeks spent here, my passions reflected the colours of the sky that changed too dramatically, eventually culminating into chromatics and vague patterns that I would only regain few times since that summer. Since my father, still a PJQ (Parti Justice de Quebec) parliamentarian, chose to stay out of much socialisation with his fifties for much of the time spent here, the tales of passion stayed with my family, the Heos and of course, the Kenna-Lundrigans.

There was something special, with how retrospective the time ran, and how vivid images can get. One thing I recall was how her eyes, while not the brightest of the shades of blue, seemed to bring rain wherever the humidity became too much. If I noticed she had been crying, for whatever the reason I do not recall, I would feel the same. Of course, I could not just indulge upon alcohol or marijuana that the older children of the Lake actively sought out, but we did, however, enjoy cherry pop soda and occasional tea. One day, as we were dancing to a bunch of old LPs that had returned to its vogue state not too long ago here, the lights went out for a solid hour. Yet, all that there was for us to slow dance because the Record Player was still going on and the music slowed down, to the point where we were getting transported back in time. So bizarre was such, that I all could think of saying was, ‘May god forgive, May it all quiet down, to the point where time would not surpass us.’

I had a specific plan that I assumed would not be major, but would just be enough. Besides, what else I could have done in middle of timeless, Victorian space where everything were moving as if Queen Arlene was still reigning, and the Commonwealth was still very much the Quebecois Empire and the allies? The fiddle tunes were all that I could hear, the ones I had used to hear from old Golden Hills of Anticosti Island. One night, I stayed up a little bit later than usual, talking to my cousins and planning on how to get by with this. The nods and the strums, along the melodies of a bard’s caravan or two on the road, rose and buzzed in the darkness and then just went on.

Of our actual trial, there’s little to be said about it. My memory reminds me of how her face dimply llit, somewhat reflecting into the cinema screen, as our Kenna-Lundrigan cousins, Kenzie and Myeong-Shin (Myeong-Yoon was busy rafting upstream that weekend), were busy watching a Bakerian classic on the other side. The next thing I remember was the proximity of the scene. There we sat, holding hands, and then she turned around outta blue and we kissed. All I remembered was the softness and how the earth, soul and the body met, as my eyes were firmly closed with all the nerves and fatigue attached to it. Beyond that, I’m afraid I would be doing a great disservice by describing such feeling. My final glimpse is all of us going to the local galleries under the direction of Dr. Heo and my mother, before being led back to the all-stops, mail train around seven in the evening. My stocky legs and thick thighs, of old, moved with weariness and I could remember how amused both of them were, upon such sight. My cousin Alexis, a high school junior, kept looking at me with particular amazement, as if she’s deliberately peering at me with both warranted and unwarranted interest.

And then the summer went along, and along, as we continued to meet in same spirals and senses, but eventually all things were to end early and prematurely so. Eileen was back in her small southwestern time by the time my summer ended and I had to start grade seven at Dongseong Middle School, but by the virtue of luck, I saw her for the last time in what was likely a matter agreed upon by my parents. She wore a lavender coloured straw hat, which did not fit her head at all, and it appeared to me that she was in town for something different, in a more important matter found in more autumnal, Metropolitan (referring to the two metropoles of the nation in Montreal and Quebec City), and a haute-classe manner. We had a slow walk for half an hour, grabbed an ice cream, and then it was time for my clan to head southwest again- she slipped into my hand a farewell present, a golden ring with small gemstone (later turned out to be emerald, however tiny it may have been), which I knew it was something for me. Then she was off, like the leaves that were to start fall at the beginning of autumn here. Like all good things the time you share with them is short, and like all heart-strung moments, the time you linger over them is long....



‘Well, that’s one way to end today’s part of the series. With a nice recap of how things eventually ended up, but unremarkably so.’

‘Well, you see, Mark. That’s not the end. There’s much more to that than what you’d imagine. But it does require us to look a bit more into my teenage years, so we’ll have to jump time a bit.’

‘Lundrigan? Bryant-Schumacher?’

‘Yeah, I’m fine with that. You know, Asher, your stories are entertaining enough to keep me listening...and that’s why we’re recording it! What else is there for us to do that?’

‘Lundrigan?’

‘Of course, that’s a valid argument to put forth and whatnot. Now, you see my high school days weren’t so easy or even smooth as I’d be describing them, so just be careful with that. You know, being an unreliable narrator’s my specialty, you see…’

‘ASHER C. LUNDRIGAN! COME TO MY OFFICE.’
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:38 am

Childhood, Traces
PART 9 - Little Bird
Tournament : World Baseball Classic 49


Landslide Global Headquarters, Plibury, Grearia

‘What do you mean? Why am I here in your office at ten in the morning? You never schedule the one-on-one meetings this early, Roy.’ Asher stood in front of his end of the business table, feeling very much concerned that he had to wrap up a recording session when it’s only ten in the morning. Memories- they are fickle creatures of their own breed, and he knew that interruption to the narrative would not be a good thing at all.

Yet he was still here, and there wasn’t much he could have done to get away from this awkward situation. Besides, he knew he probably committed something badly enough to be caught.

‘I know it’s nothing big, if you don’t make it big.’ Roy Zimmerman, the Editor-in-Chief, looked at him, while the sun shone brightly outside their office tower. There was no sense of certainty in the air. Both Asher and Roy knew that all’s gonna end very well or the junior of the two’s going to be fired by the end of the day. Of course, the headquarters wasn’t big to start with - there were only about sixty staff members working there - and everybody knew words can be very potent as weapons as well. ‘That’s what we have to agree upon, right?’

‘Yes. You have to explain to me though. There must have been some sort of misunderstanding,’ Responded Asher, in an attempt to get around the increasing headache that this was becoming. The 23-year old always had a nose to find ideas out of the blue. The fact that he’s not afraid to experiment or risk flying into those zones, that’s one thing that quickly got the approval of his supervisors at its branch office that’s just as well known internationally in Landslide Quebec, where he interned for all three summers of undergrad days.

Even after a year of increasing recognition by those of the sporting and musical communities, he was still largely unfamiliar with many of his colleagues at Landslide International. They were generally older, Esportivan, and had been through enough situations in life and world that all he had for their struggles were respect- a particular note given all the regional conflicts that occurred in the 2020s and 2030s. It was an unfortunate aspect of being always around the clock as a two-job journalist. Time management was particularly important in his professional situation- and this had sometimes meant that you’d be able to have a full day or two off, but be working for days straight. For Asher, however, that wasn’t so much an issue, as it was more on him flying abroad all the time with his arms out like a pair of Aerobus A-380 wings, between Concord Heights, Quebec City, and Salvador (where the nearest flight from Quebec City land).

‘Well, I don’t think you’re telling me what exactly happened.’ Zimmerman stared at him with a particular sharpness to his edge, feeling unsatisfied with Asher’s response. ‘I accidentally ended up seeing an L’Instagramme story of one of our colleagues, and it had some morally...questionable content.’ It was pretty clear from the onset that he knew it was somewhat uncomfortable for the Guayabalense-Grearian to discuss, and he attempted to control it with a curveball or two. Still, it was pretty clear to Asher on what he was talking about. That at least he wasn’t denying. ‘It’s quite impressive that you were able to still leave the bacchanalia in time and fly your way back to Plibury, just in time for your morning flight. Amazing even.’

‘Mmm-mmm-mhm.’ was all that came out of Asher’s mouth, as he tried his best to come up with a good excuse. A weekend getaway to nearby Porto Nowi for the final matchday of the season, which of course came with ‘additional perks’. Months of planning ahead, weeks of finding the right blue paint that would not affect his reproductive organs upon contact, and not to mention days of finding a right bodysuit to wear in time for getting back to the Porto Nowi Airport for a 6:30 a.m. flight. He scratched his head for a couple of seconds and tried to gather correct words on how to explain it all - amusing enough to find a passable explanation, but also painful enough to come up with the right words. How was he going to find a way out of explaining this weird situation with a Zeta Rekan ultra’s executive core that happens to have offered him a chance to join their executive-only smurf orgy? That he was unsure to explain how.




Just few days ago...

‘С добрым утром. Просыпайся!’’
‘Morning, Quebec Smurf.’
‘Fuck, turn off the lights...it’s four in the morning!’
‘Mph, Mph. Mph….’
‘Dobro jutro, Aschere. Why the fuck you up right now?’
‘Have a flight to catch back to Grearia. Now, if you can excuse me….can you please pass me my pants?’
‘Yes, papa smurf, yes. YES!’
'There, there. Why can't you calm down a bit? Gargamel's already exhausted because he has low endurance, and a bunch of other smurfs seem to have moved onto other rooms.'
'Hopefully not the washroom, bruh.'
'Not my problem,
‘Mph. Mmmm. Ph. Mmmm…..MPH!’
*moans*
‘....well that’s at least a good sight to watch. One pair doing it on the bed, while there are a couple of them, still with some blue paint on, on some sofas.‘
‘Sure thang it is a fun sight. Anyways, when’s your flight, Quebec Smurf?’
‘The Spiritair flight to Salvador’s in…..3 hours. That’s why I do need to go.’
‘Mph. Ugh….let’s go. Mph.’
‘Yes, yes, yes, yes…’
‘You know how to get to the Porto Nowi Airport right?’
‘Yes I did, Clumsy Smurf. I'm not like you.'
'Good. Anyways, Grouchy Smurf here....hope you clean yourself from the blue and pack your stuff before you fly. Heard that those customs officers aren't so nice these days.
‘Mph. Mph. Mphhhh….mph,.....’
‘Yes. I did, Grouchy Smurf. I’ll probably have to get changed to the jumpsuit though, in case the blue paint may not be scraped off all of my body.’
‘Okay. So, mph, it’s, mph, very…...mph, very straightforward. Just catch the cab to the airport, mph, it should, mph, take you, mph, about twenty minutes.’
'Perfect. Many thanks.'
'No worries, mph. Mph.'
'Such a shame all went like that, and on the day we had our distinguished guest here, in Quebec Smurf. A meagre 1-1 draw against Stanmir and there it went. Our title hopes went away like those 2 points we should have captured.'
'Eh, it's okay. Things can always get worse. Like that Waluigi we brought here last time around....he didn't do so well when I brought him.'
'So you were there that night in Delaclava, Quebec Smurf. The hot night of passions in Manchester, after a Delaclav win over the Naked Princesses.'
'Of course I was there! One of 340-something lucky people, that's me.'
‘YES! **** me like Paznyak to them degenerates!’
'fUcK mE pApA sMuRf.....'
‘Here we goin’, smurfette. Here we goin!!!!’
‘Oh what the heck! Anyways, bro, good game today. Tough luck we didn’t get to win it all this time, but maybe better luck next year. Perhaps Stanmir might properly challenge us this time though.’
‘God I hope it’ll get even more exciting than that. You’ll read a solid article about it on Landslide International soon, assuming it passes.’
'oh....OH....'
'OOOOOOHHH....'
'OHHHHHH.........OHHHHH....'
'YYYYYYYYYYYYYEAAAH.....'
*lots of moans*
'Well, at least that was a sight.'
'Good job today, Papa Smurf....loved it.'
'Oh yes...yes....my dear Smurfette...'
‘Oh, sure thing! We’ll be all reading it in 2 weeks’ time, that’s for sure. Anyways, Quebec Smurf, I have a bigger question for you.’
‘Yehhhh…...s, Grouchy Smurf?’
‘How are you still standing and able to get to the airport for six a.m. flight after all that fun?’




‘So you did find out about it.’ Asher responded, somewhat impressed his supervisor had just enough space on the corner of his eye to look at Asher’s coworker’s social media stories. ‘I’m quite impressed you weren’t so surprised about it.’

‘I don’t think anybody got surprised over it.’ Roy explained with simplicity. ‘As great as the Porto Nowi derby is, and how it seems to drive up a libido of every man, it’s now clear that the whole smurf orgy was what may have brought you to report the final matchweek of FLF ZRiH Divizija 1.’ Roy Zimmerman had once been part of the circuit many moons ago, when he was an undergraduate student from then-Guayabalense San Salvador. Zimmerman was a young international student at Seonggyoongwan University College, the Universite St. Croix’s equivalent of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and he clearly took part in those underground circles that was a symptom of institutional and cultural degeneracy that had come to define the Quebecois culture abroad. Since then, his life had evolved well enough that he was in a good stage to get away with it, but still be aware when to say otherwise to debaucheries. Zimmerman, the Editor-In-Chief of Landslide International the past twelve years, was now one of the most prolific figures of sports and music journalism in the Sporting Multiverse- all the years he spent building it up in both Quebec and ex-San Jose Guayabal/now-Grearia were worth the pain and drain. He was funky, genuine and bald, with a lavender dress shirt and circular glasses.

In the meanwhile, Asher was still up-and-coming star in Quebecois journalism, who may have achieved a ton in a post-graduation year of employment with both Concord Heights Times and Landslide International, but he knew he still had a long way to go.
The two looked at each other, and then briefly looked at the sunny view of Downtown Plibury that they used as the base camp. Perhaps being blatant is better than saying no to this, Asher thought. ‘Yeah, I guess you’re right on that.’ Asher sighed, nodding a couple of times. ‘But I guess it’s not the be all, end all? Experiencing the fan culture out there in Zeta Reka and Hügeltaldom was certainly worth it, especially since we expect a couple of Quebecois players to head there down the road anyway….especially for Stanmir.’

Fortunately, Asher saw a clear nod coming from his supervisor. ‘That’s also a valid point.’ He agreed. ‘You see. You’ve done some phenomenal work for us already, and you know that you are the youngest staff member ever to reach the middle-level employee. So we cannot fire you.’

‘That’s at least good. Hopefully there’s something else I can do to partly make it up, as long as the news about the smurf orgy don’t spread.’ Asher flung his air around in glee.

‘Then you have to finish something for me.’ Roy looked at him, as he slowed down to explain a complicated concept, in the odd, Hispanic variation of Royal Standard that Asher assumed had come down to years of living in Grearia. ‘So just two days ago, while you were still in Porto Nowi, I managed to receive a very good news that Landslide International have just won the honour to be the only media outlet that will have an ex-clu-sive, 2-hour long interview with Plongeon.’ He smiled, giving a particular moment of heightened confidence that came with even more responsibility. ‘But they did have a condition, that you, Asher Chania Lundrigan, be the interviewer for this occasion.’

‘But, why me?’ Asher asked in confusion, uncomfortably trying to hide something he wasn’t really ready to discuss at this point in time. Even after all the months of working with his supervisor, and earning his favour through diligent work and of course, the resemblance of a fuckboi way of life he had long come to enjoy, there were some things he simply wasn’t ready to discuss. ‘Don’t we have Kostya (Kulikov) or Kiannah (Kibanga-Saladino) for this purpose? I'm sure they are probably in better shape to write music articles....It's just not my vibesz right now to write music and pop culture articles! Those are best in the fall!’

‘I don’t know, but it was HER idea to be interviewed by you.’ Roy shrugged. ‘Not a bad thing though. You’re that one major star weeee have around her age group, and one who also needs to breathe the air a bit more and start heading bit more into wooded walks, while burning less rubber every other day of your life. She’s a lovely person, believe me, and I know that you won’t screw it up.’
‘But...but….’ Asher sighed, trying to put together his words as he asked. ‘What about my interview piece on Luochong Zhuang, as I previously promised to you?’

‘Oh that?’ Roy raised his eyebrows, as clicked the clicker to show the article draft he received five days ago. ‘Is perfect. Just what we need.’ And then they slowly went through the article:

Image

Luochong Zhuang : Landslide International Interview
The First in-depth international interview, spanning 2 hours, with the Sherpa Superstar


Image

BY ASHER C. LUNDRIGAN

Although one of the best baseball pitchers on the international stage, Luochong Zhuang is also one of the most unique sportspeople of our times. Since taking the world on storm over the past decade in both his career with Guangzhou and the Sherpa Empire National baseball team, all the world’s eyes and attention have fallen on Zhuang who, in spite of all the challenges, keeps himself focused and curious about the world around him.

This interview and the photographs- probably the finest of Zhuang in the past five seasons- were completed last April at Zhuang’s apartment in Guangzhou. The interview was conducted by Asher C. Lundrigan. Although this isn’t the most thorough set of questions and answers, this interview is still the most extensive of all those conducted so far about the tall, lanky right-handed pitcher to the international media. Of course, the rest and more will be filled in over time, as we grow older and watch him complete a full cycle in his career, but in the meantime, it is our absolute pleasure to offer this interview as a window to understand Zhuang, the true geek of our times.

Q : So, the first thing we'd like to talk about are your favourite topics of discussion like 'sustainable agriculture', 'mating patterns of fruit flies,' and of course, how you came to get interested in it...
A : How I got interested in it is a long story. Growing up, I was living in suburbs just outside Hangzhou, where I first debuted in the pros. Living in a place where there were just about enough green space. I always wanted to get out and pitch while still young, because it's fun and all that. Almost as if in a state where we are in Gyatso-Kai with their sky bisons and how much they eat...

Q : Absolutely. It's something very fascinating that many of us hold to our romanticised notion of past, but also to the promising prospects our futures hold specifically when it comes to sustainable agriculture and how to accept the environmental influences.
A : Right. The suburbs, and how slowly everything goes, even with the grasshoppers there, kinda have us give an underappreciation for our terrains, but as we travel more and look into the other ways of looking into life, it's something we all, as creatures unified under the one sun above and the soil underneath, have to understand.

Q : Absolutely. I do wonder what made you start playing baseball from an early age, and how you ended up playing pitcher?
A : Well, I mean, we were kids, you know, just kids. We were all kids looking for something fun to play. More often than not it’d be something involving screens per se, but just as much effort were given for those without screens as well. Sometimes we all forget too often about those outside and out there, because of how contained we can get on our urban settings. And that's where the environmental influences came into play from early on- the culture encouraged us to go for something bigger, the better and ultimately, to try bolder things.

Q : So that's how you fell in love with baseball.
A : Exactly. It's like Cassadagan ecology, and how the environmental influences there may have played a role in the matriarchal culture and whatnot. We were in local parks with a baseball diamond, and during after schools, we’d go there. Sometimes we’d bring homework there, so we could tell our parents we didn’t just spend several hours there for nothin’, but other times it’d come before or after. We were very lucky our local park happened to have night lights set up long before we started playing at young age...so sometimes it would go on, and on.
Q : Oh, absolutely. Interestingly enough, you did say that your favourite subject back in high school was science, especially biology. What made you get into it from such an early age?
A : There is something fascinating about how everybody and everything moves...so organically, and yet so meticulously and mechanically that cannot be explained in equations or words. We need something deeper and more fundamental to understand, and that’s what got me into it first. As it got tougher, it naturally became a greater interest of mine, and has remained as such....


‘But this will have to wait,’ he continued. ‘because of your behaviour, and also because having this week’s cover as that of Salvador Open which, given the location, makes more sense to do so. It will be on the cover for the next one though. That I can promise. Not to mention the Porto Nowi derby article still being there. Practical experience helps right there.’

‘Bloody hell,’ Asher sighed, before saying the old lyrics he had heard on radio before. 'Girlfriend, oh your girlfriend's drifting away. Past and present, 1855-1901...'

‘It’ll all be fine,’ Roy approached and patted Asher on head, as a gesture of compromise, before winking at him. ‘Just don’t screw it up. Heard that she’s even bigger of a name in the Quebecois Commonwealth than the Mainland. Cannot ignore that.’
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:32 am, edited 5 times in total.

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The Royal Kingdom of Quebec
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:20 am

Childhood, Traces
PART 10 - All I ask


Spiritair Flight 4, from Salvador to Montreal

Is this by fate or design?

That’s all Asher thought of, as the Aerobus A360 was flying somewhere over the northwestern Esportiva. The Spiritair flight, a nonstop flight from Salvador International to Montreal Charles Merton Regimbault International Airport, was a smooth one, and with a clear blue sky and lots of cotton candy clouds over it, it seemed like a perfectly dreamy flight for an average traveller.

For Asher Chania Lundrigan, however, this flight was yet another part of the job that he was doing. Being a mid-tier journalist for Landslide International and AO Correspondent for Concord Heights Times since obtaining his M.A. at St. Croix had meant that he would most commonly associate himself with three words: Airports, Hotels, and Airport Hotels. Working in two different countries, his living arrangements were never stable, with him staying in his Plibury, Grearia, work-apartment for ten to fifteen weeks a year, and a room with a Queen size bed at chic Tiara Resort at Concord Heights, for just as many. Other times he’d be on the road or also spending time at his room in Quebec City that he rented from a recent St. Croix professor from abroad. So, a concept of home and being out and about has evolved into something else.

This, of course, had meant that he had to deal with unfortunate consequences that he would have avoided, had he decided to just move back to Kingston, nation’s fourth-largest city with notoriously provincial mindset, or Hampden, the college town of ole he cherished but knew he had to go elsewhere to prove something of worth in his life.

The fate, like it or not, was going to come back and bite me at some point.

Perhaps all that mobility issues, and moving around and about, may have played a role in him believing in the unusual. If there’s one thing you have noticed from our dear protagonist, dear reader, it’s that Asher Lundrigan never really discredited the possibility of fate, the karma, or pure coincidences. To him, everything had to make sense at some point, and even though the Lundrigans weren’t the Anglicans as they had written out on governmental census forms every half-decade, there was no denying that he believed in supernatural incidences and beings high above.

That convoluted sense of faith, that is both abstract and mysterious, yet clear and sound, partly came from how he knew something could always happen. Being a grandson of a famous baron-commander on one end, and a Vdaran King on the other, wasn’t something to joke about. No matter what, people would notice whom you are based on your familial background, a decent baseball career, and now his time as a journalist. That did play a huge role in his thought process as well, and he had to make sure to be careful of it and be prepared for almost every surprise in life.

Yet, after several years of a breakup, Asher never thought his ex-girlfriend would come back to his life as if a history book’s prewritten for them. His girlfriend was someone special. To him, she wasn’t just a famous singer-songwriter whose fanbase stretched far across the Commonwealth and the multiverse. She was more than that.

To him, she was more than just a pretty girl from Saint-Richard-upon-Battersea, a small town of 14,000 on the northeastern edge of Lyndhurst Forests, 45km southwest of Saint John-Habpo Twin Cities. She was a lot more than that long-distance relationship that we all had at some point.

To him, she was more than the endless texts and calls exchanged when they were still in high school. They were both busy- him having a darn good high school baseball career and her carving a very promising music career- but the distance made all worth it.

To him, she was certainly more than all the tears they had shed when they broke up, on a lonely night in Montreal. He still remembered how brutal the sight it was, to be there when the candles flickered and other tables rocked inside, as snow flurried outside at their restaurant. They knew that the tears were flowing inside and sooner than later, they spilt outside as they said their toughest words.

She was ‘the one’. The girl who taught him how to love, the one and only person whom he had felt something both special and serious to this day. She came into his life when he was lost and felt something was missing even at his height, and brought him newfound directions he had needed. And then, just like that, he had to let her go suddenly, just like how unexpected she came into his life when he was sixteen.

I did miss that autumn scent. The paintings, the leafy pool, and wild horses in those woods when I came to visit her that summer…

Asher thought to himself, as he slowly closed his eyes, to look back and hoped that all of this would just evaporate in mirage and he’d just have a solid day or two in Montreal. Unfortunately for him, it was still getting clearer and clearer that Asher Lundrigan had to see her again for the first time in five years. When he was alone again and had to prepare himself for college, Asher wished he could just forget about her altogether, and that their relationship was just nonexistent. But Asher also knew then that was impossible, and that proved to be the case. As he slowly rubbed his eyes, Asher remembered how he would sometimes hear a song or two of hers on radio, or find an article about her every once in a while. How her traces were very much there, even as he tried to remind himself that she’s not even in the Gaspesie region, did play a significant psyche over him during college autumns.

Of course, it would be silly to assume that their breakup had a role in him being a degenerate that we had just witnessed bits here and there. Asher had already seen enough in life and was open to trying whatever was out there in life. That's how he lived after all. This, however, manifested in weirder forms that his parents had dreaded and friends cheered, and the breakup may have played a role in it. But who’s to blame? I do not know, dear reader.

Asher questioned himself, as he tried to think about what would be best possible words to say to ‘her’ : Hello, ma’am, or miss. Nice-nice-to-meet you. It is, and always is, my absolute pleasure, to be with you, I meant to interview someone so prolific in the musical industry. I hope this, however awkward or hurtful it may-’

‘OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE ASHER. THIS IS FUCKING AWKWARD. YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BRING IT BACK.’ He heard his other self interrupting him for advice, before engaging in a personal struggle. ‘Listen. The past is the past. All’s done and forgotten. But then, why does this all come back to you?’

‘Listen, Asher 2.0. I-, I-, I-...wish, that all...that all.’

‘Yes? Be clearer and tell me what you need to say.’

I just wish I could turn back the clock, and bring the wheels of time to a stop. I could have saved it all….and she could have saved it all...and we all would have...’ He slowly said to himself, stuttering and drowning in his own feelings. Then, just like that, a single teardrop drained down his face, as Asher slowly fell back into the arms of Hypnos in his domain over the international waters.



8 and half hours later...

It was a gentle, May evening in Montreal, the economic and contemporary-cultural capital of Quebec, and it was one of those evenings when the wind was breezing just enough to tickle your shoes. Not exactly hot wind, but it’s warm enough to suggest that the winter’s long past and behind. Maytime Montreal’s like this, to kick off a summer season for the college students and enerve the school-aged children whose exams were coming soon.

Those days of summer were, however, still far away for the adults whose school days were long behind, and this was no different for Asher Lundrigan. The rest of the flight went smoothly, arriving on an early afternoon in Montreal, and once he got his passport stamped by the customs officer, he hopped on the Quadricentennial Line to Atwater station, where he got off and went into the Avondale Villa Hotel, where he were to stay for three days before flying to Concord Heights. Then, after unpacking his belongings, he went downstairs and into the streets.

As he exited the hotel into Saint-Catherine Boulevard, Asher failed to notice a stranger walking the other way, and bumped hard into her.

‘Mon dieu! Sorry about that, ma’am.’ He asked, as he turned to look around, only to see a surprising appearance of the stranger. ‘Professor Jurado?’

‘Asher! Why are you here?’ Asked a familiar voice of Dr. Isabel Jurado, who was certainly a familiar figure to him the past five years. Still recovering from what seemed like an utter bodycheck, he was still getting used to the reality that this was Quebec, not Grearia or Cassadaigua, and that he would be noticed by those in the circuit around him. And that, of course, included his former classmates and teachers at Erskine and St. Croix. ‘Aren’t you supposed to be travelling, writing all the good stuff about international football?’

‘It’s a long story, Professor. For work I had to fly back to Quebec...’ He answered, trying his best not to mention anything about why he’s here. These days, he’s been flying back to Quebec for holidays and a couple of weeks during the summer, but has otherwise taken liberties to fly around the Multiverse.

‘I’m so happy to see you, as always.’ She answered, before giving him a nice hug. ‘Seems like you’re doing exactly as you had told me a while back….It does seem like you do need to visit Tequilo though. At some point you do need to cover the Liga-TQ.’

Right, Tequilo. Asher remembered that Dr. Jurado, one of his tutors of old days at Université St. Croix, was a Tequilian from Tapalupé, who also studied in Tamarindia and Wight, two mysterious places of their own kind. Of course, getting there is far and difficult, requiring just over 16 hours of flight, and that alone had so far left Tequilo from his list of travelled places. Still, he knew he would be there at some point, and had kept himself alert in case something were to happen.

‘Yes, yes, yes, ma’am.’ Asher nodded, before asking her back the same question. ‘What brings you here? I thought you had already flown back for summers as you always do.’

‘Not this summer.’ She quickly shook her head, confidently saying it so. That's something that the occasionally-eccentric professor never ran out of, and that's probably what brought her to the Quebec City school (OOC : I would say St. Croix's like an Oxbridge located in middle of Quebec City, with its own campus and all that). Within five years of taking the senior lecturer position, she had developed her own army of disciples whom were drawn to the Tequilian, and that quickly followed up with the endowed professorship at St. Croix. ‘I’ll be staying home because I do have some commitments to stay in Quebec City. Worked out fine enough, because I have a feeling that this summer’s going to be an exciting one at least. The shambolic quotient appears to be particularly high in the capital this year and whatnot.’

‘Well, that’s good to hear.’ He nodded along. ‘Hopefully I’ll be able to see you the next time I’m in Quebec City...probably come this July. I hope all’s well with you.’

‘Wait.’ Just as he tried to check his phone to indicate that he had to leave, Dr. Jurado raised her hand. Half-folded, half reaching out, she gave him a look of caution that Asher knew it came under one of those moments where she was going to say something insightful out of chaos. ‘Do not forget your past. They always follow, even you think you may have deleted the kisses and have moved on.

‘What do you mean, Professor?’ Asher replied with a surprise, catching up with him once more. Was there something peculiar she’s trying to get out of him? He wondered.

‘Asher.’ Isabel said in a solemn. ‘Tomorrow it will rain, and by the time you see someone dear to your heart, that’s when the miracle will happen. It’s not exactly a miracle, but the raindrops should bring you back to the time.’

‘The time as in…’

‘Well you know what I mean.’ Responded Isabel, checking her watch before bidding farewell. Asher paused for a moment, just giving into the reality. ‘Good luck, and may the leaves fall like how it did when I first arrived in this country 5 years ago.’
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Royal Kingdom of Quebec
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Founded: Feb 15, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Royal Kingdom of Quebec » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:43 pm

Childhood, Traces
PART 11 Over My Head (Cable Car)


After grabbing his dinner at a local deli, a decent place with a Kosher sandwich named Erenburg’s, Asher walked back to his hotel room to find himself alone, quiet and exhausted again. For a hotel located in Downtown Montreal, and especially the West End, it had that particular feeling of an airport hotel, where you knew you weren’t expecting much beyond few amenities. But the design of the rooms were way nicer than those in the median and you would have no problem conducting your own business, so he was happy enough that it didn’t cost him much.

Anyways, it was strange enough for Asher to be so tired and lost over it, considering how it’s a fact that Montreal’s the city where you stay contemporary and outgoing on your own desire. If you had wanted to feel romantic and gloomy and all that, Quebec City’s perfect for it. There’s a reason why it’s called the City of Eternal Lights - you could only imagine how many souls that have shone brightly and then died the very next day like a mayfly, in the late-1800s and early 1900s.

But this is Montreal. Montreal est à nous. Unlike the organised nature of streets and early urban planning in Quebec City, pavements move as if they are strands of humanity, and the roads various streams and rivers that forms the city an island of its own. The buildings that have been at the very forefront of the Industrial Revolution and the Quebecois Empire’s development pass, standing in an eerie parallax of past and present with their limestone and granite limbs standing the test of time.

Here in the Red Smoke, the canvas of the life of the Quebecois people, the ever-changing facades are something to savour. No matter how you put it forth, Quebec’s still one nation that attempts its best to coexist in all their colours and faiths, all Quebecois under the rain and the clouds of the summer, and the snow and the ice of the winter. That’s what has contributed to something wonderful, and that’s how they beat the Nazis of different colours and regions on three different occasions - Southern Rushmori War (1939-1945), Felixian Liberation War (2010-12), and the Conquest of the Holy Republican Empire (2017) - and kept the Commonwealth stable and together in this century of conflicts and regimes.

Anyways, he opened the drawer next to his bed and started reading the channel line-up, and started looking at the list of on-demand films available. Unfortunately this hotel didn’t have a lot of options available, but still he was able to find one film that caught his eyes named ‘The Last of Unfree Republics (URs)’. Finding it interesting enough, he got out of the bed, picked up the remote control placed right in front of the T.V. and then decided to watch it for the night.

At this pace, tonight should go by quietly and gently…




Asher Lundrigan was tired. It was as clear as it could get.

It was a quiet night. The movie, directed by Delaclavan director Ellen Janacek and starred another Delaclav muscular ‘daddi’ named Edmund Nash, turned out to be a solid B Movie. The Last of URs, being a film that aimed to merge cheap action, pornography, and lots of fighters, had had its own ups and downs as expected, but did just enough to keep his mood perky and up. They really should have spent more scenes and time on the silhouettes for that scene with 8 pilots on a bathouse, the night before the Unfree Republics were to meet their own demise, That’s one of the last thoughts Asher had in his mind, as he slowly calmed himself down, stared into the ceiling, and had a quiet night’s sleep.

Unfortunately, eating a smoked beef sandwich, watching an entertaining movie, and of course sleeping for a solid ten hours didn’t help him at all. Instead, Asher woke up feeling shitty as ever, and walked his way to the cafe downstairs with that mood.

Since then, a solid hour has passed. Now Asher was considering buying another cup of tea, but he also knew that this hotel’s cafe did not necessarily have the best morning tea. Having travelled from place to place for travel, he had gotten used to the notion of being a cafe frequenter, hotel night traveller and all that grime and ritz that came with it. That was something he didn’t have so much back when he was younger- the teenage Asher ran under a different state of mind anyway- but he was still finding this style of life adequate for a wretched being he saw himself as.

But if there’s one positive thing he found with the cafes in the middle of these business trips is that he could always watch people and how their lives rotate, almost as if they’re the subjects of his sociological experiments, in a downtown setting with just enough privacy and openness coexisting. That’s what he was doing as he waited for Plongeon to show up - he slowly checked his MyPhone and the latest notifications on the screen. There were few- mostly subscription emails that he deleted upon sight, and FaceBooke Messages that he placed on read, hoping that he could answer them immediately after the interview.

He knew this was a solid midway point for them to meet, as the studio, where the additional photoshoots by the Landslide Quebec staff were going to be taken for the Landslide International’s cover story, was only five minutes away. It also gave him a solid spot five minutes away from his hotel, which would give him short enough of a walk back in case he fucked up.

Asher knew he was not to hurry, for he knew to just nod along to the commonly raised suggestions of beauty sleep in people’s daily lives. Of course, he wasn’t a fan of such- he had long preferred to live and die by the pace and the daze of the night and wake up early just so he could come up with something crazy enough for the morning- but that wasn’t up to him anyway.

Still, the wait pained him enough to just lie and wander around, as he quietly thought back to the past. Of course he wished he could have employed a ghostwriter to conduct the interview, pay them few hundred bucks and take the credit, but such a suggestion wasn’t really something he had on his agenda either. Was he too desiring to see her after all this time? As much as he wanted to deny that fact, Asher also knew that his feelings were as fickle as some of his idols in literature, history and of course sports (he grew up cheering for Leonardo Conavacio, which should say enough to those who know the Quebecois football fans). So the only thing that he was left to do without getting fired was to just embrace the FOMO and go through the interview.

At least this ache should be just enough for me to start swiping right to these profiles tonight.

Still tired and disturbed, Asher really wasn’t feeling the mood he had wanted to feel. He knew he was being disingenuous by thinking about other girls he knew he had a realistic chance in trying his luck at, but he couldn’t help it. He knew enough of them were looking good enough, and as long as he was being careful enough to avoid those who may catch feelings to the ex-college athlete, then that gave him enough to anticipate for the remainder of the trip.

This was something that he really developed during his college days, sometime after breaking up with Eileen. He remembered how he, still sober even after a couple of litres of hard liquor, would simply go on and spend many nights in different house parties, few cheap nightclubs, and on beds of some stranger or a friend of a friend’s room. This was his form of rebellion, I guess, as he moved from the comfy, green-filled residential zones of Midtown Kingston and then to the Eternal City of Lights in Quebec City. It was fun, it was swell and even if this may have caused enough pains of his own then and now, and were just bad for him, he knew the fun-seeking half of him didn’t mind it at all.

But what if there’s the chance again?

He wondered exactly that, and just as he was about to sigh, a girl was approaching. He had secretly hoped she would look away from the flabby man that was him, but there was no need to worry about it. Eileen, the girl of her dreams, was too aware of Asher's habits and movements. Spotting him right away, giving a lean curve to the smile, she quickly made her way. She was approaching him, almost as if they were being transported back to that rainy afternoon in Quebec City again.

It was Eileen De Ramaut.

Like that she came back to his life, and now it seemed as if the stars themselves are aligning again, too unreal to be mortal but too real to be dead. He could not have believed that he was the lucky one back then - Well, Asher was still the one who went through all sorts of rumbles and tumbles. Yet, he felt that it was the opposite right now this beautiful, elegant lady well beyond his stature, would have been more proud of her journeys than he had over his twenty three years of life. Experience =/= Liking it.

'Hello, nice to meet you.' She slowly walked to the avenue, approaching him slowly and with all the time in the world. 'You must be from Landslide International?’

‘Absolutely, mademoiselle.’ Asher smiled, trying his best to look strong, as he tried to pick out his mental handbook where the Amendment 17 had said that he maintains all forms of professionalism in greetings and gestures when it comes to dealing with somebody from the past. ‘Asher Lundrigan. I had hoped that all’s been well with your album.’

Then, like that, the flicker in the candle flowered like a Quebecois fireflower that grew in the Tundras of the northeast. For it was her who brought it to me the first time. Eileen, she was the light of her soul, the goddess of his temple. His grail, his heart, that was Ey-lee-in that held. The lift of the tongue, followed by a light buzz, and then letting it go as if a gentle bird was flying over the sky. She may have been best remembered by many fans as Plongeon. She was known as Mille. De Ramaut on passport and guest lists. She was, of course, called Leanne. But somehow he kept calling her the same.

‘I heard lots of good things about it, and will be looking forward to the release in Quebec next week..’ He continued to say. ‘It’s once again, my- I mean, Landslide International’s privilege to be here with someone special for such a major interview session….’

He tried. He really did. But then it took five milliseconds of realisation that after all this time, that he couldn’t hold it back. The voice wasn’t responding to change the course, so he knew what he had previously set up was moot. Instead of reaching hand forward per normal greeting of a businessman-to-businessman, he briefly let the fuse loose and hugged her.

Then Asher seemed to wish to add something, but his voice wasn’t saying anything. The strength wasn’t there. He was only able to cry and cry and cry. So after a minute or two Asher, having recovered his energy and any semblance of a dam of broken feelings, he finally opened his mouth in a repetition cycle:

‘I’m so sorry...I’m so sorry...I’m so sorry…’

Asher knew this was like the very same setting from six years ago, when they had first met in a quiet, old-fashioned cafe in the heart of Quebec City. That afternoon, as Dr. Jurado had once said over an office hour sometime his junior year, was one of those occasions with highly Shambolic Quotient (SQ) and the rain. All the rain, the rain, the rain….




OOC : And with that, the first of many series has ended. I would like to thank Banija, Commonwealth of Baker Park, Delaclava, The Grearish Union, Huayramarca, Krytenia, Siovanija and Teusland, Tequilo, The Sherpa Empire, Tikariot, Vdara and Zeta Reka and Hugeltaldom for reading it over at various points this series, as well as other supporters of the series.
Last edited by The Royal Kingdom of Quebec on Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.


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