A Captain Scarlet Christmas Story
ďI know youíre gone,
You said youíre gone,
But I can still feel you here.Ē
(Spice Girls: Goodbye)
Itís been two long months since I last visited you, Chan. Two very long months. Youíve been on my mind an awful lot, as per usual. You are the only person I ever think about nowadays. I canít shake you off, even if I did try. I love you too much to not care, even though, yes, I died long ago. We were so young back then when I was alive, when we were together. But remember what they say, that those who you love never die, not unless you forget them. I doubt youíd ever forget me. The first man to make your heart skip a beat.
††††††††† Now where are you on this vessel that sails on the clouds of golden dreams? Iíve looked everywhere for you. Your quarters, the Amber Room, the Sickbay, everywhere else I think you would go. Iíve only seen the now familiar faces of the Cloudbase complement.†
††††††††† That brings back memories. Lovely memories. You were always good at hide and seek. After ten minutes, Iíd give in and youíd sneak up on me and seek me instead. You would give me that look I loved so much. That one that said you were the boss of my life.††
††††††††† The times Iíve come and visited you, Iíve never seen that old sparkle emerge. It died along with me. I wish it hadnít, but it did. And there is nothing in this world of wonders that can ever bring it back. Nothing in this world of incredible wonders that can bring me back. I was cremated and my ashes scattered over the ocean I loved to fly overÖ†
††††††††† Damm this spirit life I lead! I want to hold you, to kiss you, to embrace you in my arms and let you know that Iím still alive! I want you to be happy but everything I touch turns to air and my desperate hands pass through emptiness like a dolphin through water. Hell hath neither beauty nor reason to desire!
††††††††† I left you last time in a sleep so deep, you may have slept a thousand years, never to be awakened by the man you wish it to be. Me. Richard Samuels, former aircraft racer, five years older.
It will have to be some other man now. Ouch, that hurts! I clutch my chest as if a red arrow has struck my dead heart.
††††††††† No. No. What am I doing? Feeling angry? Knowing that you will no longer love me because you love someone else? Thatís what I want! I want you to be happy, yet I canít find you to let you know I want you and that Doctor Fawn guy to love one another. To be happy, to get married, settle in the future, have a couple of kids, a dog, something!
††††††††† I break down into silent sobs. Tears that will never fall and trickle down my face as I look again and again, trying to find you.
††††††††† Alas, I find you, walking towards your quarters in full flight uniform, your helmet under your arm. Of course, how could I forget? You mustíve been on duty in Angel One. Trust me not to look there of all places. Tut, tut, eh Chan? Well done Richard, youíve done it again. Forgot something, again.
ďYou always seem to forget something, Richard. Lucky I remember what you fail to keep in mind.Ē†
One of many fine picnics when we visited my hometown in England. The weather was always perfect, the sun always out and the ducks would forever be scavenging for bread.†
You enter your quarters and turn the lights on low, and order for music, something calm and genial. I donít recognise the tune you are playing.
ďThree oíclock in the morning,
And it looks like itís going to be another sleepless nightĒ†
It sure does look like itís going to be another sleepless night. I spy you remove a pretty little number from your wardrobe. You examine it, as if looking for an answer, then hang it up on a hook in your bathroom. You stand still and seem to realise Iím here, but then itís gone and you move to your computer, quickly scan your messages, then switch off the monitor and hum along to the song.
My stomach churns in ways I never thought it could. I walk over to you, reach to stroke your face, and then back off. No. I may be used to being a ghost but I donít want to put my hand through you by accident. Worst-case scenario.
You look at the old battered clock by your bedside table, and decided to get ready. I wouldnít dare watch a woman get undressed, not even you, Chan. Iím too much of a gentleman, despite being a former racing pilot, and cargo carrier pilot, the best in my field in fact. You disappear into the bathroom, to get changed into that fine little black dress.
Didnít I once buy you a little black dress, prior to our engagement? Well prior if I remember correctly. You were really chuffed with it. Wore it the night you got it. We went to fine a restaurant. Your dad was insistent on paying for the meal. We got on so well, despite the fact that I was a bit of a rogue one.
As I look around your tidy quarters, I spy remnants of your past. An old clock, our teddy bear, a samurai sword elegantly displayed, a painting, and various other items. Hang on. What is this doing here?
On your dressing table, I see a badge. No ordinary badge. It is an old one. Itís an old RAF badge. Why? I gave it to you, when we first met. It was love at first sight, back in 2059. You were seventeen at the time. You were still in school, a young student. I was twenty-two, a young man with the world at his feet and an old Triumph motorbike as an everyday ride. That was when I raced planes. ĎThe Red Swiftí was my aircraft. I was winning loads of races in her.
Curious how on that day, the old girl had engine problems, and I was up trying to fix it. You and a couple of friends were visiting the airfield I was on. Just to have a look around, have a nosey. You separated from the others, and spotted a young man working on a bright red plane. You walked over, and asked what I was doing. Thatís when my stomach did a somersault.
In my youth I had so many failed relationships. I didnít exactly get on with my dad either. I didnít go into the military like he wanted me to. I was the youngest of three sons, and the wildest. I didnít really care much about my education, I just wanted to fly and race planes, did well in mechanics and that stuff and it was easy enough to become an apprentice for the old man who fixed up 20th Century aircraft for museums.
But here I was, looking down at the most superb looking girl Iíd ever seen. Adorable brown eyes stood out from a pretty face, and your hair, so lovely. I drank in your beauty. I was so entranced I failed to see your eyes alight with joy and love. Looked like Christmas had come early that year.
We got talking, and one thing led to another, and then you had to go. Thatís when I gave you the badge, and my phone number. You said your dad would kill you if he ever found out. I told you that my dad would gladly line me up in front of a firing squad. You thought I was joking; I was being bloody serious.
My mind drifts back into this year. How long ago was that first meeting? Itís 2068 now. Time never crawls but it flies. And we certainly flew together when my old girl was flying again. She was a two seater after all. You loved it, but followed you fatherís request and went to university. However, I followed you. I realised that my racing days were over. I was hopelessly captured by you, and found myself willing to start a new life. I moved to Tokyo and settled down. I joined a cargo plane force but soon realised my mistake.
We lost touch. You were in university or something. I spent the next three months just flying cargo craft, gaining respect and, yes, I occasionally flew my old girl, but it wasnít how Iíd planned it.
Suddenly, you were back in my life again. 2062. Wow! You looked prettier than ever. That was it after that. We were together, and I refused to let you go. Even greater news, your father accepted me into the family. I was like his son. He didnít mind my background; he loved me because I made you happy. Iím sorry he died when he did.
He died in 2065. I died the year before. You were heart stricken. The two men you loved the most, both gone within twelve months of each other.
No! I can hear your sobbing in the back of my head. Itís like poison. Oh why did I head out into that thunderstorm? Why? Why? Why?† We both knew the risks of thunderstorms over the Pacific, but I so wanted to do that flight and prove myself to, well, anyone who would care. I remember your pleading. You begged me not to, and you were right, little darling Angel, you were so right.
I never made it out of that thunderstorm alive. I never made it to our wedding day the following year. It was our wedding day that my oldest brother died on. YOU STUPID IDIOT, RICHARD SAMUELS! YOU STUPID IDIOT, FOR FLYING WHEN YOU DID! YOU RUINED HER LIFE!
I wish I could tell you, Chan, just how much I am hurting inside. I may be a ghost but Iím human too. And I regret hurting you! Destroying you and turning you into someone youíre not. Argh! No! I love you so much, Chan. I just want to hold you, and kiss you, and assure you Iím here. Weíre here for you, Chan, your father and me. We both love you. And you know that. You know we will always love you, even though we are deceased and no longer walking. Your father is with your mother. Heíll drop by later. But Iím here now, Chan. Iím your Christmas spirit, and Iím here to spread some Christmas magic.
I love you Chan, I always will, and I understand youíve moved on so much. Youíre a hero Chan, and an Angel, a lovely beautiful Angel at that.
In love with a doctor? Why, Chan, your taste in men is puzzling. First a bad boy, now a man with a brain cram-packed with info on viruses, surgical techniques and Retrometabolism. I feel sorry for Captain Scarlet, must be pretty annoying to be a scientistís ideal play toy.
You remerge, dressed for a night with your special fellow. You start to apply your makeup, before you stop and pause, and walk towards your bed. That picture of me is out again, by the side of your bed. It was taken on Christmas the one year. Iím dressed in my uniform, and Iím wearing a Christmas hat. I wrote on that picture:
My heart belongs to you, Chan.
Love Richard, XXX
Youíve kept it all this time, only getting it out on my birthday, Halloween, Christmas, your birthday, New Yearís Day when I proposed, and our wedding date, the wedding day that never happened.
You look at the picture of me, and smiled lovingly.
ďI love you, Richard.Ē
I love you too, Chan. I place a gentle kiss upon the back of your neck. You smile and turn your head slightly, like you detected me.
ďYou will always be in my heart, love at first sight isnít easy to shake off, I just wish we could be together again one day.Ē
In heaven, high above Cloudbase, one day in the future, my harmonious angel. One day in the distant future.
ďI will always love you, Richard.Ē
I know, but love Doctor Fawn like you loved me and enjoy your sweet young life, Chan.
It is time to leave. All is said and all is done, and joy to all ye merry men. I followed the star to the little place, resting on the clouds of golden dreams, where a young lady, clad in a gold and white, stands face first, into the battle, into the war of Earthís dear life. And for the first time in so many years, I look in her eyes, and I see that her old sparkle had returned once moreÖ†
The Writer Writes Once More††††
I would like to thank my good friend Rachael for helping plant this idea in my head. I have enjoyed writing this story an awful lot despite suffering a bad case of Writerís Block (I think thatís an understatement). Following the completion of my Halloween stories, I turned my attention to plots for Christmas stories only to find I couldnít think of anything. I ended up trawling my previous fan fiction for inspiration, along with Rachael. Richard Samuels is indeed the ghost from ĎOn This Night Of Nightsí who is Harmony Angelís former fiancť. I decided to use him again, not only to give him more depth, but because I once had an encounter with a familiar presence. There are many people who have felt that their deceased loved ones are beside them and are talking to them.† Seeing as Harmony was asleep in ĎOn This Night Of Nightsí, she couldnít realise he was there.
The song quotes Iíve used are from ĎTalking In Your Sleepí by Martine McCutcheon and ĎGoodbyeí by the Spice Girls.
This story has been creating purely for the love of writing and I have no intention of gaining profit from it.†††††† ††††††
I wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year. Oh, and if your gran does knit you a woolly jumper this year, just be polite and keep your cursing thoughts to yourself!
17th November 2008