Stories In A Bottle
by Alan C. Baird (69k swf)

1) Apuka:
The Budapest oncologists recently
sent my wife's father home
with a large bottle of pain pills,
to wait for the end.
We've offered to move up
our planned visit, but
János is convinced he'll still
be around in April.
I'm hoping against hope
that he can keep his promise.

2) Revisionist:
The Czar had written at the
bottom of a prisoner's
death warrant:
"Pardon impossible,
to be executed."
Later, the Czarina moved
his comma one word to the left,
and set her lover free.

3) A Twisted Carol:
Marley haunts Scrooge,
Cratchit embezzles funds,
and their legman--Tiny Tim--runs
an insurance scam,
so The Counting-House Gang
can retire to Ibiza.

4) Under Four Minutes:
Before passing the 2½-lap marker,
Roger uttered a single command,
"Chris"... and Chataway took the
lead from Brasher. During the final
230 yards, Bannister pulled away
from both of them,
to make history.
Today, miles are measured
in kilometers, but they're
just not the same.

5) Budapest Evensong:
One votive candle flickers in the
advancing stained-glass shadows,
while a murmured plainchant
echoes faintly against the
empty cathedral's altar.
Behind a latticed screen,
Father Mátyás waits to absolve
someone, anyone.
In the ebb and flow of human woe,
it's low tide.

6) Why 16 June 1904=Bloomsday:
That chambermaid finally agreed
to a tryst, unbuttoning me
in many ways.
Now that we're wed, she nags:
"Why don't you write books
people can read?"

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