Doug Griffin Bio
Doug comes from a musical family, and has been singing since childhood. He studied drama and music in college and performed in many bands and appeared in numerous plays. As his computer consulting career requires even increasing amounts of writing, he is additionally developing his poetry and prose skills. He lives in the Chicago area, enjoys travel, walking, poker and visits to the beach.
Link to previous episodes
- Frozen Synopsis -
Since the night they met, Charlie and Cynthia have been living in a mysterious world. Everyone they have seen, and many objects, are in a state of suspended animation. Often when Charlie touches something it becomes normal. They are traveling from England to the western hemisphere trying not to get their hopes too high, but weary of the confusing, frozen world.
- Previously -
At breakfast Charlie worries about the cost of their voyage. After an hour's worth of motoring, they believe they are only half way to the Isle of Man. Charlie feels they are taking too long, and should trying driving over the solid water to the western hemisphere. Cynthia reluctantly agrees to return to Blackpool.
- 30 -
To Charlie, it seemed like they had been going east forever. He flashed the spotlight every way he could think, even spelling the Pledge of Allegiance on the surface of the water. His thoughts kept returning back to the start of this mess. What began as vacation in James Herriot's Yorkshire had turned into a carnival fun house, nothing was real, nothing was as it seemed. He played one of the Herriot stories in his mind. The vet had be called from a party to deliver a calf or foal. In the dark he tried to shift the animal so it could be born. Each time Herriot closed his eyes he was whirling beneath the bright chandelier and his ears were filled with laughter and music. Groping in the dark, that's my fate to be sure, thought Charlie. He forced his thoughts away from his favorite tales, and looked at his watch. They had been motoring for over two hours.
Cynthia cut the engines when she saw Charlie turn off the spotlight. "Do you need a break?" She called out the door.
"Are we lost?" He shot back.
"Yes, I can see the time."
"Are we going it circles?"
She stepped out on deck. "Okay Polaris, Deneb, Jupiter and Spica." She pointed the heavens and then went back inside. "Compass says East."
"East now, but were we going in circle before this?"
"Blimely, I am a greenhorn, but I'm not that bad."
Charlie stood silently while Cynthia's mind was flooded with possibilities.
"Ok, this is not a chess game." She said to no one in particular. "It's more like draughts."
"Checkers ye daft Yankee."
"And you accuse me of babbling." Charlie winked.
"Leave off or you'll walk the plank." She quipped. "What I mean is this, Its no good trying to think ten moves ahead, like in chess-"
"Ahead? Oh who? Who do you think is doing this?" He interrupted.
"Exactly my point. We could debate for hours, and still be dead wrong. We got to just make our move like in checkers. And hope we get a chance to jump somebody soon."
He wiggled his eyebrows and said nothing. Instead he stepped back out the door and looked up at the stars. "So in the spirit of checkers not chess, let me ask. What do we do next?"
"Right turn, head south." she answered.
"South? I can't go to Paris, I haven't a thing to wear!"
"Focus for a bit, will you Charlie. Do we beyond all doubt, know where we are?"
"Hey, maybe the compass flipped, and east has become west."
She make casting and reeling motions with an imaginary rod and reel. "C'mon little fishy, stay with me. Since we were expecting to hit solid water by this time, we turn 180 degrees and keep going till we find something."
Back inside the wheel house, Charlie looked at the map. "Hmm, how about North instead?"
"Yes." he said. "If we are lost we have better odds of hitting the Isle of Man or South End. There's nothing open water if we go south."
Cynthia stepped beside him at the chart. "Hmm, actually if we are not lost, we would hit South End before Fleetwood. Okay, but you must let me win every once it a while."
He raised his nose in the air. "Sorry, it's a male brain thing."
"Jerk." she said as she bumped him with her hip.
"Chumblyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" Charlie was calling from his watch post.
Chumbly was curled up on the chart table, and did not move. "Off you go, you're Daddy's lonely."
She was startled at how easily "daddy" slipped out of her mouth.
"Don't give me that look, you know what I mean." She put the cat on the floor.
"Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kittyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" His voice was closer this time. Chumbly was back on the table when Charlie burst in.
"There you are you lazy good for nothin!" He scooped the cat up in his arms, and headed out.
"Watch you mouth young man, you're not fit to lick his bowl!"
"Ugh. You say that like its a good thing."
Back at the front of the boat, he put the cat down and opened a can of tuna.
"Don't tell your mistress, I'm giving you people food. It will just be our little secret."
Charlie put the can on the deck. Chums sniffed it, gave it a tentative lick, then looked up.
"Are you kidding me? That's primo stuff. Hey, has she been sneaking you lobster tail behind my back?"
The cat started to walk away. The light dawned on him, and picked up the can. Charlie sniffed a couple times and there was no aroma.
"Oops sorry lad." He poked his finger in the meat, and his nose was quickly filled with the smell of fish.
"The tuna was still in hyper sleep. No wonder you weren't tempted."
Soon Chumbly was devouring the meat and Charlie was sweeping the water with his light.
"So, how long have you been with the Durham family M'boy?"
Chumbly kept eating.
"I must say Cynthia is smart as a whip, and very easy on the eyes."
"Speak up Charlie, I can't hear you." She called from the wheel house.
"I'm talking to the cat." He yelled back. "We're talking about drinking, and cussing, and staring at hot chicks."
"Right O!" She shouted back. "Carry on with the whole bonding thing!"
Charlie looked back out at the water. "See women just don't understand that we men are-." He gulped. "Ahoy there Captain." He was yelling again. "Land ho, or water ho, or ho ho ho, we gotta get a name for this."
Cynthia put down her raspberry squash, and reversed the engines.