Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

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Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Ranger52899 on Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:00 pm

Welcome to this year's Christmas Story! 

We'll be posting a part every day with the conclusion going up on Christmas Eve. 

We'd like to wish everyone on the forum a wonderful and happy Christmas, thank you for joining us here.   santa santa  

R&R 



Oregon Way 





19th December

 

The first explosion shook the heavy rows of pipes that surrounded the machinery on both sides. It burst one outwards in a jet of water hard enough that it was only by grabbing the Japanese ambassador by the collar of his jacket and yanking him back that they both stayed on their feet. With a groan of steel giving way under pressure another pipe burst and a second explosion echoed behind them, lighting the machinery and the steel gantries above them with an ominous glow. Flynn had one hand hooked around one of the steel support struts and the other arm around the chest of the French Financial Advisory team leader, who was pale green as he fought to find his balance. Flynn’s eyes met Dale’s in a swift, grim, what the actual heck was that? The senior engineer abandoned the group, running back through the machine room towards the source of the explosion. The lights went out, there was a sputter of shorting out electrics in pitch darkness, and then emergency lighting strips began to glow overhead. A dull emergency siren began to moan and an electronic woman’s voice began to repeat with inappropriate normality, “Please evacuate this area immediately. Please evacuate this area immediately.”

“All right let’s go!” Jeremy Banks’ voice bellowed from the front, sharply enough to drown it out and before any of their clients and associated hangers on had time to panic. “Move, this way, now!”

His rugby field roar always worked to get men moving in the right direction whatever the context. There were thirty assorted diplomats, highly senior financiers, government advisors and their staff here, none of whom were used to anything more alarming than the occasional office fire drill, but they started to unfreeze. Dale lifted his own voice to second Banks, keeping his tone crisp and what Riley referred to as ‘iced to the balls’, which usually did its own share of smothering panic and keeping people focused.

“Gentlemen, follow the lights. Miss Keene, lead on please.”

Their young guide with the clipboard in her dampened suit, who was looking terrified, pulled herself together and began to splash fast after Banks. At the end of the underground room where their escape route lay, Dale saw a brief glimpse of a figure in a long, dark coat, his hair wild in the odd glow of the emergency lighting, his eyes intent and urgent. David.

Be careful.

Oh no kidding.

“Now!” Banks thundered somewhere in the gloom, “Hurry it up, let’s go! Christmas is coming faster than you!”

It hurried them, although they were wading in several inches of water now. The water was flooding the area quite fast, and the fact that it was warm water was not at all reassuring. The water here cooled the gas pipes, and as it lost pressure and ceased to do its job, this place became less safe by the second. Dale repeated a general precis of Banks’ orders in Japanese and then in French, steering the man he was holding up through the worst of flow. Flynn moved with him. Exactly as they often did in synchrony at opposite sides of the cattle herd at home, positioning themselves to gather the group before them and drive them forward, with authority and without causing panic. Flynn’s presence was calming and it was making the men in front of him move without hesitation. He’d been steadying them all day, as skilfully as he did with both men and stock, at times with a quiet social chat with one of them, and at others just using his stance at the side of meetings or around the coffee pots during the breaks.

There was another ominous metal groan and then a loud bang as another pipe blew. From the smell, this one was one of the gas pipes. The men began to run, despite several of them being of a very inappropriate age and level of fitness to be galloping around, never mind in semi darkness and water in the bowels of a steelworks. Metal shrapnel whanged off the walls and the pipes. A fresh spray of water burst out, hosing them down strongly enough that Dale had to grab again to keep one of the men on his feet. The young woman had torn off her high heels and was following Banks at a run up steel gantry steps. By Dale’s estimation they were only a short way from the nearest emergency doors to the surface. He paused to count the group at the first gantry corner, leaning over it to look first at the men ahead of them and ensure no one had been left behind, and then down into the well of the room below. The glow of fire was blazing in the distance. David was standing in the rushing water, hands in his pockets, and gave him a faint nod, although his expression was grim. Flynn’s hands gripped Dale’s arms from behind.

“Shift.”

It wasn’t a suggestion. Dale shifted, keeping his voice detachedly innocent. “So how is this looking now in comparison with Christmas shopping?”

Despite the smoke, fire and alarms, he caught one of Flynn’s swift, flashing grins shot at him as they sprinted up the gantry.

With most of the staff of the shipyard gathered at the emergency muster points while fire crews wrestled with their steelworks, there were several hundred people milling about in the misty chill coming off the river. The wet, shaken up members of this morning’s meeting were mostly sitting on crates and concrete bollards, looking much less interested in the deal at hand. On the plus side, they had also stopped fighting; fighting possibly being a bit of an understatement. The Japanese team were long term clients who Dale knew well, and were a highly experienced, practical and courteous group, who vigorously disliked anything they perceived as crass and then flatly refused to engage with it. The American team were equally well known to ANZ and were clients of Banks, and were experienced too. They were also forthright and loud, with several members who believed in an aggressive and ruthless approach to achieving goals that was excessive by ANZ standards. Possibly even by Atilla the Hun’s standards. While the French team….. were considerably out of their depth in terms of experience and unwilling to admit it or to accept advice, had several highly strung members with a gift for drama, needed an extremely firm hand, a much stronger grip on reality and in Dale’s opinion, would have benefitted from the guidance of a good paddle. The presence of the diplomats made it still more complicated.

Dale, positioning himself where he could keep the main players in clear sight and prevent any fresh battles breaking out between their more interesting participants, blinked as Flynn’s hand, with a handkerchief in it, pressed his forehead and Flynn’s other hand cupped the back of his head to hold him still. Dale pulled his hand far enough away to see the blood on the handkerchief, then let him press the handkerchief back to stop the bleeding. He hadn’t felt whatever had scratched him, most likely a piece of the flying pipe shrapnel, but the blood wasn’t much more than a few traces. A moment later Flynn lifted the handkerchief to check, then let Dale take it and mop the remainder off. Banks appeared, digging his hands into his pocket against the freezing cold.

“I just spoke to Michaelson. They got the gas and the water turned off. There’s a couple of injuries but only minor ones, thank God. There’s a fire still raging down there but everyone’s evacuated. They’ve no idea yet what caused the explosion.”

“It came from the rod and bar mill.” Dale folded the handkerchief precisely and pocketed it, reflecting on what he’d seen. “All we saw was the fallout from the concussion damage. Michaelson’s going to need to host emergency control in their admin block; I suggest we move back to the Bay hotel and use the conference room there to resume.”

Banks grimaced. “If there’s any point in resuming. The yard’s going to be tied up in health and safety committee hearings for months reviewing what just happened,”

“Akhiro texted agreement to the proposal back to his head office as we left the board room.” Dale turned far enough to ensure his voice didn’t travel beyond Flynn and Banks. Banks didn’t waste time demanding to know how he knew; it was perfectly possible to ascertain the most likely combinations of letters and words from finger movements over a defined grid, whatever the language it was being done in. “They’ve made the decision, they have no remaining problems with what they’ve got and we’re done here. They just haven’t officially said so yet.”

Largely because that was how the dignified, reserved Akhiro expressed his extreme displeasure at the behaviour of the American chief exec and the foot stomping of the entire French team from Argeles Incorporated. Who more or less did it in close formation.

“Damnit.” Banks said wearily. “I know Akhiro’s got a point but I don’t really want to spend another six hours here playing politics because he doesn’t like their manners. And there is no way the Argeles team aren’t going to use this to push like hell to reopen negotiations on the grounds of industrial accident.”

Balancing the various cultural styles, identities and the various national interest of the different teams was always as complicated a game in these negotiations as the actual financial implications. Dale shook his head.

“No need for it. If you can soothe down Akhiro, I’ll take Argeles aside and run them through the safety record, procedures and policies and insurance record, and advise them on the likely outcomes of today’s incident before we restart.”

“Advise?” Banks said dryly. “Ok. If you feel like being screamed at in French for an hour you be my guest. Do they have any possible grounds on the industrial accident? I know the records but I haven’t had time to check the practice.”

“I have. The policies are being enacted on the ground, I’ve talked to employees; it all matches the data.”

“Thank God.” Banks glanced at his watch, then at the groups of suited men around them. “I’ll get the other teams separated and sorted out and join you at the Bay in an hour, reschedule the full meeting to resume at three.” Banks nodded at the graze. “You ok?”

“Grazed, that’s all. You?”

“Just damp.” Banks nodded and headed back towards the main admin building which was currently surrounded by fire engines and ambulances. Dale dialled rapidly for the hotel and waited for an answer, his eyes on the water that lay beyond the dry docks and cranes, and for a moment in the chaos there was warmth. Little Sarah was skipping there along the side of the dock, barefoot as she always was at home, her dress and her long brown hair floating out behind her.

There were a few Whats that Dale thought of as friends. They were visitors he saw regularly on the ranch, who often acknowledged him as they passed and who seemed to make that connection with him purely because they liked to, and Sarah had long been one of them. Inured to David who was unbothered by place and turned up as and when he felt like it, Dale had been less surprised than he might have been yesterday morning when he first saw Sarah here on the dock. It appeared that those that knew him had no difficulty in finding him whenever they chose to, or when he was doing something interesting to them.

She appeared to be about seven, from what little Dale knew about children’s sizes. He knew she was one of the children whose graves were in their woods, beside the wreckage of a wagon that had fallen from the trail. It was one of the many wagons that had been crossing their land constantly in the mid 1800s, and it was easy enough to guess why she should want to join him in a Wisconsin ship yard. Dale knew the maps and the pictures from hours spent at the Jackson Museum; plenty of pioneers had started out from territories in Wisconsin. Sarah gave him her usual beaming smile as she passed him, and danced off to walk by the water’s edge, confirming it. She was home. Her delight at being here was tangible. During the couple of opportunities there had been for tours around the shipyard yesterday, several of which were intentional cooling off breaks from the meetings before their clients came to blows, and one of which Dale had taken privately to speak to some of the men on duty here, he’d been aware of several pulls, like a little hand tugging on his jacket for his attention to come and look at the lake, and it was a rather lovely balance to the work. He had never expected to be the friend of a rather unusual little girl, but then his being an exec-turned-cowboy never seemed to bother Sarah.

 

 

*

 

 

            The hotel staff leapt to help with an enthusiasm that reflected what Flynn suspected ANZ were paying them. The limousines that swept away their shivering, wet French delegates from the shipyard were met by uniformed staff in the heavily yet tastefully tinselled, tree and bauble decorated foyer, armed with towels, sympathy, trays of steaming coffees and tumblers of brandy, and promises of rooms with the heating turned up high. Arrangements were being made to dry and press damaged suits. Dale had several soothing conversations with some of the more shaken up men, suggesting an hour’s break to recover before they reassembled in the briefing room, and Flynn did what he could to help. Once the Frenchmen were sorted out and dispatched to their rooms, Flynn and Dale headed in the other direction towards the elevator. A room a long way from their delegates was an essential for downtime.

Dale walked ahead of him into their tenth floor suite, shouldering out of the wet wreckage of his jacket. Flynn took it from him. “How cold are you?”

“Not bad.”

He looked as relaxed now as he had been downstairs, which was also as relaxed as he had been in the midst of a major emergency with explosions going on around him. He always rose to crisis, effortlessly, and despite being drenched he wasn’t shivering. And for that reason he needed watching, particularly when he was running on high. Flynn slid a hand inside his shirt and felt for himself. “You’re frozen. Get under the shower.”

Dale pulled his shirt off over his head, neatly folding it and laying it down with his jacket. Flynn turned the shower on full blast for him, starting to get out of his own wet clothes.

“I am not taking Paul into this.” Dale had said with finality to him when the emergency fax arrived around breakfast time yesterday morning. It had been a short and to the point communication: Jeremy Banks appealing – more or less begging - for Dale to come out to Wisconsin in person and assist him in sorting this mess out, since no one else capable or known to the teams was available, and an international deal of some significance looked in danger of coming apart and creating a major diplomatic incident. Dale had been monitoring the records of the meetings and participating by telephone for some days trying to keep it from hitting the rocks.

“Even if we weren’t this close to Christmas, I still wouldn’t. I know these teams. This is flat out warfare in a large industrial shipyard with nowhere else interesting to go, and it’s nasty stuff. Sudden death with power points.”

That might be phrasing borrowed straight from Riley, but Dale wasn’t given to exaggeration. Less than ten days from Christmas most of their preparations were done anyway, but Dale, who did more to practically support Paul and prepare with him for the annual family events than the rest of them put together and cared about them every bit as much as Paul did, had given hard thought as to whether he took this job at all. He hadn’t wanted to. This was probably the nearest Flynn had yet seen him come to refusing an assignment Banks had personally asked him to do.

“You don’t always have to do it, you know?” Riley pointed out while they packed with a plane on its way to the airstrip. Somewhere out in Wisconsin, Flynn suspected Banks was reading Dale’s return fax with relief and a large, celebratory drink that the cavalry was coming. “You don’t always have to be the good guy and carry everyone else’s stuff. Someone else can step up for a change and get the Christmas spirit battered out of them.”

“Don’t worry, I’m going to give this forty-eight hours, no longer.” Dale said rather grimly, and when he gave any kind of time estimation he never meant ‘approximately’. “In and out, no one is getting battered, and there will not be any mucking about.”

Riley gave him a rather reluctant, tugging smile. “Yeah, when you sound like that, I start thinking about coming too, just to watch you kick ass. Don’t take long.”

“I won’t.”

“I’m still very happy to come with you if you want, hon,” Paul had reassured him, but Flynn, reading Dale’s unspoken expression that he knew exactly what these meetings would be like and would not under any circumstances be exposing Paul to them, interrupted.

“No. You don’t need to be rushed off to a freezing shipyard when half the family’s due to arrive. I’ve got it covered.” 

“Only,” Riley said pointedly, “because it gets you out of all the Christmas stuff.”

Jasper, who had seen Dale’s expression too, caught Flynn’s eye and shot him a distinctly private grin.

Dale had been right that the meetings were nasty. But Flynn had watched him work with Banks before, and knew what he was capable of. It was seamless, the two of them knew each other well and if you knew what they were doing and how they worked together it was entertaining to watch them playing bad cop and badder cop. Banks could out roar and out table thump the loudest of the American team when necessary, the man had an energy that could hold the room without effort. Dale in balance, never raised his voice, never failed to be precisely polite and to the point, could have ice in his eyes if he was mildly irritated. His presence more or less reached out and whacked you around the head even if you knew him well. These men didn’t, and they were according him a whole lot of respect.

At one time, he would have been doing this unconsciously. These days he had more understanding of how people worked. Flynn noticed with some amusement Dale using James’ habit of giving someone doing something questionable a slow, assessing stare that stopped pretty much every family brat in his tracks, and the stance Jasper used to communicate to Dale or Riley that he was there, watching, and did not approve of whatever it was they were doing. Both worked well on diplomats and executives. And yet he froze down any attempts to snipe or to harshen the tone of the debate, not allowing it to get out of hand. There was a protectiveness at work here too. It reminded Flynn of watching Dale lean on the table in the kitchen a couple of Christmasses back, the first time he’d informed the other brats with the same intensity he had here that it was time to stop fighting, get it together and sort things out, except at home with them he did it from the heart, with all of him and without his safety catch on. Banks muttered to Flynn by the coffee pot on the first day, “I don’t know what you lot feed him on that ranch, if it’s all the beef and fresh air, but he moves these deals forward like a bat out of hell.”

He was in many ways an exceptional man.

In the shower, Flynn turned Dale to face him and took another look at the graze on his forehead. Neat, small, nothing much to see, and there were no other apparent marks on him from any other shrapnel pieces. Despite their experience this morning, and Paul would have probably added darkly because of it when it came to their adrenaline addict, Dale’s eyes were alive. He was energised the way Flynn had always seen it: like a kid playing a computer game, and it was deeply, powerfully appealing in a way Dale had no concept of.  

“That was most likely a pipe meltdown,” Dale said reflectively, moving back so Flynn could get deeper under the hot spray. Flynn pressed gently around the edge of the graze. It didn’t look like it was going to bruise.  

“Does that hurt?”

“No. Although it won’t be one factor, it’s inevitably a perfect storm of circumstances. Their last recorded accident was five years ago, and that and every other accident over the past twenty-four years have been minor falls, no breaches of inspection or regulation.”

And he’d checked that out thoroughly since they’d been here, Flynn had watched him do it in exactly the way he did everywhere they went; watching, talking to people as they worked, quiet and unassuming while internally he sucked in data like an industrial vacuum cleaner. People and information; Dale drew in everything available to him about both. Flynn ducked his head under the spray to soak his hair, ran it off his face with both hands and reached for Dale, drawing him close. “How are you going to handle Argeles?”

Dale’s hands measured his hips. “How would you handle them? If you’re going to write that paper.”

The things you talked about in bed late at night when you’d spent the day watching three groups of men fight in three different languages…. Flynn smiled.

“Not in any way Riley would approve of. I’m not sure observations on the stress responses of executives in negotiations is going to do much in brokering a deal.”

“I saw you watching Jean-Luc. The tall one with glasses. His pulse jumps in his neck about fifteen seconds before he loses. He did it three times this morning that I noticed.”

“The veins in his hand swell too, you can see the adrenaline shoot.” Flynn said reflectively. “He’s also the one that the two Americans with the beards use to wind Akhiro up. Push his buttons and he explodes on cue.”

“He’s the new member of the French team, they promoted him from one of their scouting teams a few months back.”

“Ah.” Flynn said with comprehension. “Least experience, most to prove.”

“And the most forceful voice on that team, and the most exploitable.” Dale rinsed soap from his hair. “Victor doesn’t have him under control and he doesn’t know when to back down. I plan on this being a short, sharp education on why Victor needs to keep him quiet when we get back to work this afternoon, or they’re going to make fools of themselves.”

“Which will make a bigger mess of this diplomatically.” Warmed through, Flynn turned the shower off and handed Dale a towel. “How are you going to do it?”

“Firmly.” Dale said succinctly. “If necessary I’ll get downright medieval, but we’ll try the polite way first.”

Riley would really enjoy seeing him do this. “Are you still thinking this is going to finish on time?”

“Yes.” Dale wiped his face and wrapped the towel around his waist, going in search of a fresh suit. There was a pot of coffee and cups put out on the table alongside a plate of pastries; room service had been busy. Dale poured a cup as he passed, knocking back the contents then refilling the cup and taking it with him to search the closet. “We are going to be out of here by three pm and home tonight.” From his tone, he intended to walk through walls to achieve it if necessary. “If Akhiro’s accepted, then we’re finished. There is not going to be game playing, it’s only signing and witnessing papers.”

“Enough coffee.” Flynn relieved him of the cup. “Slow down, get yourself a juice from the fridge and eat one of those rolls.”

“Yes sir.” Dale took a roll and went to the fridge in the corner of the room. He paused beside it for a moment, and Flynn, taking the opportunity to put the coffee back in the pot, saw him looking out of the window with an expression Flynn recognised.

“Who? Your little girl again?”

“Sarah.” Dale smiled faintly at whatever he was watching. “Yes. She’s down there playing on the grass.”

 

 

 

*

 

 

 

            Just get on with it, Riley had urged on the phone last night. Stuff to do here. People arriving any minute. Trees to put up. That kind of thing.

Yep, working on it.

Sarah still around?

Yes. I think we’re probably near her home.

Seriously? Wow. Have you got time to go look with her?

Possibly. If a spare hour could be found between tying up this deal in such a way that none of the parties involved could pull on loose ends, and in getting home at a reasonable hour, then it was very tempting. But there was stuff to do at home. Lots of stuff to do. Rooms to prepare, probably people to collect from airports depending on the state of the roads, and Flynn had caught him surfing his blackberry earlier looking at weather and traffic reports around Jackson and figuring out the best routes when he should really have been listening to a group of diplomats quarrelling. Not that Flynn had complained about it; from the private glint in his eye he had understood and thought it was a very healthy distraction.

With just the Argeles team in the room they could conduct the meeting in French, which eased the issues with translation and semantic understanding, and there was only one set of cultural styles to keep in mind. Dale took them through the safety record, policies and procedures too fast to allow for much arguing, which wasn’t difficult since they had no real grounds to doubt them or to protest, and most of what they wanted to do, in plain terms, was be bloody awkward.

Banks sat quietly at the back, letting him get on with it. On the far right side of the desk Flynn was also listening, and more than that, he was watching the clients. Dale could see him letting the language flow over him while he took in faces and postures. He’d commented more than once about there being enough material for a conference in what went on in these meetings; he got these board room participants at a deep level with a wry compassion and an insight that helped Dale a great deal. He also had a knack of being present in a way that meant while he was never a distraction, the same way he never made anything harder, you also never for a moment forgot you had him here or forgot the sheer security he held with him. Paul was easy company when they were away together, and kept a strongly domestic feel around whatever they did, as if they were on vacation instead of working. It was a pleasure to share the sights or events of whatever was going on in the vicinity together in the evenings or their free time, and while Paul didn’t let much slide, it was all in his usual relaxed way. Flynn had a very firm hand indeed away from home, and a way of keeping work corralled behind a number of far more enticing things to do with him.

Dale flashed up another couple of graphs and found himself for the second time running his hand over his eyes. The light above the desk had an unpleasant flicker to it and the glare off the screen made it difficult to read. The following two slides were, if anything, worse. Too much time staring at screens and under electric light; he wasn’t used to it any more. Very much looking forward to being home tonight where the air was clearer and the view stretched all the way to the horizon, Dale carried on. Another brief, discreet rub at his eyes didn’t help. Near to turning the light off and getting rid of the issue altogether, he pulled up the next set of charts, and glanced briefly down at the folder of data open on the table. It took a moment to realise he couldn’t read a word of it. He couldn’t even see the titles. The table was equally blurred. And when he looked back at the screen, he had to admit it. He was struggling now to make out anything on the white board at all. It was just a mass of colour and light.

Which probably shouldn’t be happening. Particularly during a meeting.

He detachedly felt his stomach freeze over even as he heard his own voice continuing without pause. It wasn’t difficult; he’d seen the material, it was always possible to visualise anything he’d read, and he found himself putting one hand more firmly down on the desk to lean on it, finding the cool wood somewhat reassuring.

Facts. Statistics. Probabilities. A brisk summary of risks and interests. There was a silence after he drew the bottom line for them. Then Victor said, rather defeatedly which made Dale realise he’d somewhat lost control of his tone and his expression, that they would take a little time to discuss among themselves.

They left the room. He heard them go. Dale grasped the desk, hearing the footfall traipse into the corridor and the door shut, then the slop of water from a carafe into a cup and Jerry Banks’ chuckle.

“Thirty eight minutes flat. Well done, that’s the first time I’ve seen Jean-Luc lost for words.”

Thirty eight minutes, twenty four seconds.

Shut up.

Dale made a careful assessment of precisely what he could see. The blurring was worse now. There was nothing but a sea of distorted colour, nothing near or far that was at all distinguishable.

Which you are going to have to do something about.

Standing here, holding on to the desk, seemed like a better option.

“Akhiro texted, they’re here. I suggested they grab some lunch and we meet again at two,” Banks went on. “I’ll order some coffee and sandwiches. Want to set up the proposal on screen?”

Yes, he probably could. The laptop was within reach, he didn’t need to see the keys to remember their location, he could probably remember the location of the file more or less….

How long do you want to try faking this out?

He realised, belatedly, that he was controlling a tremor in his hand on the desk. And before he had time to think or plan or do anything sensible, he found himself turning slightly but helplessly in Flynn’s direction. He heard Flynn leave the chair a split second later.  

“Dale?”

It was his normal, level tone, the one that made any crisis manageable, and in which he so often said, just tell me. Blurt it out, we’ll make sense of it later.

“I have a… slight problem here.” Dale said to Flynn and the desk, aware that he was sounding flippant, which never went down well with Flynn in moments of crisis. Dale cleared his throat and tried to pull it together.

“Jerry, I am sorry but my vision seems to have gone.”


continued in part 1b
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Hawklady on Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:02 pm

Ha ha, just found this. The story makes more sense when you start from the beginning Smile
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Hayjude on Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:14 pm

OMG.....DALE! I thought you said it was Flynn who was struggling? Have to work now...AAARRGGHHH...!! Will be absolutely frantic to get to Part B. Easy on the cliffhangers,please.
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Denicemarcell on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:01 pm

Also started with part 1b, it made sense BUT lacked context
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by jkfan on Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:45 pm

I didn't think it would be posted until tonight.  Glad I checked.

Part of me wants to read right now - part of me wants to read it all in one go on Christmas.

Decisions, decisions.

Thank you, Rolf and Ranger, for making the holiday season special with this story, and to everyone who contributed to the Advent Calendar.

I've been looking forward to every day since the first Advent Calendar entry.
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by loyalpainter88 on Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:49 am

Omg !!!! What a cliffhanger ! ... 
Dale losing his sight ?!!! ... Why !??????! 


Apart from that ... Thank you so much ! What a story .. so thrilling ... A fire blast .. a friendly what ... Negotiations in different languages .. flynn and dale away from home ... 
You guys really know how to write a story thats beyond any imagination ... 

Agree with Judy i thought it was flynn who was going to have a hard time .... And also please go easy on cliffhangers ... 

Love love love you guys ... 
Such a spectacular beginning ... With a big bang !
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Nonni on Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:40 am

Oh my! As soon as he hit his head I was worried it was more than a slight scratch.
Poor Dale. No wonder David and Sarah are staying close by.
I so want to read 1b, but I must go to bed as I'm fighting a cold.
But wonderful writing once again and I am totally hooked.
Thanks R and R.

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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Wmarian on Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:09 pm

Traveling Whats make me happy. Can you see a What even when your physical vision is gone?
Yay cliffhanger! Dramatic interlude music.....
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Hayjude on Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:26 pm

Please don’t encourage them with the cliffhangers, Wmarian....
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Dells on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:04 pm

@Hayjude wrote:Please don’t encourage them with the cliffhangers, Wmarian....
Hysterics Yes, really, please don't! I still haven't recovered from the roof-hanger of MEC 7a!
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Ranger52899 on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Poor Dells, we really should have offered counselling for that one Wink
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Dells on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:39 pm

@Ranger52899 wrote:Poor Dells, we really should have offered counselling for that one Wink
lol!  You really should have, but I do forgive you both... even though I still haven't recovered  Wink And no amount of tea has helped me either! What a sham. Hysterics
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Hayjude on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:40 pm

Switch to coffee, Dells.....Dizzy and I will join you!
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Nonni on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:59 pm

@Hayjude wrote:Switch to coffee, Dells.....Dizzy and I will join you!

I was about to say the same thing! Lol

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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Wmarian on Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:17 pm

I think cliffhangers evoke more interesting conversations...and nervous twitching. Maybe cliffhangers when you know the next part is coming soon?
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Hayjude on Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:07 am

Definitely! No prolonged agony here, please!
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

Post by Dells on Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:53 am

@Nonni wrote:
@Hayjude wrote:Switch to coffee, Dells.....Dizzy and I will join you!

I was about to say the same thing!   Lol
I do love coffee! I thought perhaps I’d switch to tea to recover from the roof-hanger as I’ve heard tea is an end-all, cure-all Wink but it hasn’t helped. Perhaps coffee will!  Hysterics
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Re: Christmas Story - Oregon Way part 1a

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