• T. Mark Mangum

Mr. Mason

Everyone agreed it was a brave thing to do, a real act of courage. Everyone also agreed that Mr. Mason was perhaps the last one you’d expect to do something like that. 

Everyone agreed it was a brave thing to do, a real act of courage. Everyone also agreed that Mr. Mason was perhaps the last one you’d expect to do something like that. Until that day, we just thought of him as a grumpy old man.

“Timothy Mason!”

The man in the galactic pattern camouflage announced to the waiting room of young beings.

“Here, Sir,” Timothy said as he stood and walked toward the man holding what he assumed was his induction file. The man turned without a word and walked toward the guarded double doors, behind which all the other inductees went with their escorts after being called.

Later on, that month.

“That is some pretty good footwork, been fighting long?” The instructor said from the floor of the training facility.

“Only what I’ve learned while in training Sir,” Timothy replied to Facilitator Bradrack, as he followed the instructional prompts for the solo evaluation.

A week after that.

“Seems you’re a natural at a number of things. Your standard testing is back, and you have several extraordinary scores. I do not see your name on the Soltair application request. Why?

“Sir, my family is Quarstanian we are not invited to Soltair.”

“Ah, you don’t look Quar.”

A year later outside the Otrio Stellar System.

“That was some amazing flying Mr. Mason, I am even happier today, with the vices’ choice of replacements then I was yesterday. Keep the support teams focused on our Grounders advance.”

“Sir, yes, Sir,” Timothy responded to the commander of the Kaldartic, the Galactic Campaign Cruiser, that was the flagship of the Taosan War Fleet.

17 years later.

“Mr. Mason, you have been with the fleet now for 17 years, typically someone with your skills and abilities might choose Facilitator at The Training facility as their end of tour Purpose. I am told you are choosing to retire. We could use you at the facility.”

“Thank you, sir, but I didn’t have a choice of purpose when I started with the Fleet, now that I do have a choice I will not be apart of War. Thank you though for your kind words.”

30 Years Later.

It was a cool day on Taosa in the Quarstanian District of Flean. Timothy Mason sat reading a book, drinking a hot cup of tea. Then it happened, the faint cry for help, his ears perked he tilted his head, stood, and slowly walked in the direction of the meowing. The distress in a cat’s meow is distinct and clear to a cat lover, Timothy didn’t really like cats.

A few moments later Timothy Mason arrived at the base of an extremely old, large, and tall tree in the park, several young folks gathered beneath, necks strained, heads tilted back eyes focused on a small kitten about 30 feet up. The distressed meow came in steady intervals.

“Won’t one of you young folks climb up there and get that cat?”

“We’re not allowed to climb the trees.”

“It’s too far up Mister.”

“I’m scared.”

Timothy Mason looked about, stepped to the tree, and climbed, in short order, he had reached the Cat, stuck it on his shoulder, and climbed back down to the cheers of the children and the smiles of several adults who had come over to see what was going on.

Everyone agreed, Mr. Mason the grumpy old man was quite the chap.


Published in the Medium publication, Illumination. Please consider joining Medium as a paid subscriber, when you read my stories on Medium I get paid.

Copyright: T. Mark Mangum, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of my story may be copied, reprinted, or published without my written consent.

T. Mark Mangum, is the product of the 60s and 70s, his imagination, wonder, thoughts, and ponderings, emboldened by Star Trek, Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian, and The Hobbit. He loves a good story and hopes you will love reading his stories. Veteran, Father, TTRPG, and board Game Junkie. He spent 20 years in the United States Army, another 10 working for the government, before realizing he should write.

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