Last week was a good week and this week is shaping up pretty nicely as well. Some plans have not matured as expected and some have completely died. But, we’re moving forward and trusting that everything will work out. This weeks’ prompt response speaks to plans, albeit of a different sort. Sometimes plans are created well ahead of time and are full thought out. Other times, plans are created on the fly, and sometimes it’s a fifty-fifty sort of thing. In life I think I’m working the fifty-fifty option. In writing, I’d like to think I’m ahead of the game.
My prompt this week came from AC Young: For this week’s entry I was inspired by the recent references to Clint Eastwood, so from a line that got away (said in the book by the character he played in the film, but never said in the film) : “The Major Smiths of this world don’t fall off the roofs of cable cars.” This is from the movie “Where Eagles Dare” a WWII rescue/spy movie with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.
Greg looked up at the peak towering seven thousand feet above them. “So where’s this cable car and how do we get to it without being obvious?”
“I knew you’d ask. I have a plan,” Nick’s tone was smug.
Greg shifted his gaze to his brother-in-law. He didn’t understand what his sister saw in the sniveling git, but he didn’t understand a lot of things about his sister. Loved her but didn’t understand her.
“And? What’s this plan consist of?” Greg kept his voice neutral, but his eyes gave away his true feelings.
“The cable car is about a mile that way, behind that ridge. We can come in from the parking lot like regular tourists. We take the car up to the top and then we can walk back this way to the meeting point.” Nick didn’t quite manage to return Greg’s stare.
After a heartbeat, Greg gave a short nod. “Okay. That’s not a bad plan. Let’s get moving then.” He hitched up his overloaded daypack and started in the direction Nick had indicated.
“Hey! Wait! It’s my plan. I need to show you where we’re going,” Nick stumbled in his haste to get in front of Greg.
Without saying a word, Greg slowed to let Nick pass him. It was petty, but Nick just annoyed the crap out of him. He needed Nick to take the lead anyway so that he could contact Brad to meet them at the cable car base.
Forty-five minutes of a somewhat rough hike brought them to the bottom of the parking lot at the cable car base. Greg grudgingly gave Nick credit for putting them in a position where the crew at the cable car would think that they had arrived just like ordinary tourists. Squinting at the small crowd waiting to board the car, he spotted the familiar form of his former commanding officer, Brad Smith.
Making eye contact with Brad was easy as Brad stood at least a head taller than anyone else. A curt nod was all Greg got in acknowledgment before Brad was gone, ducking behind the building. Greg returned his attention to following Nick to the ticket window.
Once in possession of tickets, Nick and Greg hovered at the edges of the small crowd.
“Well? Is he here?” Nick hissed, trying to look around without being obvious and failing.
“He’s here. Don’t worry,” Greg answered without looking at his brother-in-law.
“Where? They’re boarding the car! How the hell is he going to give us back up if he’s not here?” Nick sounded on the verge of panic.
“He’ll be there. Just get in.” Greg gave Nick a small shove as they approached the door to the cable car.
The two men worked their way to the front of the car where they could watch the ascent up the mountain. As the car jolted out of the building, Nick looked around again.
Before Nick could open his mouth again, Greg answered him.
“Settle down, Nick. The Major Smiths of this world don’t fall off the roofs of cable cars.” He cast an amused glance at his brother-in-law.
Nick’s eyes went wide but fortunately he didn’t say anything, opting instead to simply lean his head against the window glass.
The car continued its slow ascent and Greg just enjoyed the scenery.
As I was writing this I had in mind the Palm Springs Tramway which goes up the eastern side of Mt. San Jacinto. Way back when as an Explorer Scout I hiked with my post up from the other side. The tramway company provided dinner to riders at the top of the mountain. One guy in our group walked over to the top of the tram and snagged a free dinner. He got his dinner because they simply couldn’t think of any other way to get up the mountain.
I don’t know if Major Smith got his dinner, but I can see this story going that way!
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