Reply To: Songwriters and poets of SE, I need your help.

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Songwriters and poets of SE, I need your help. Reply To: Songwriters and poets of SE, I need your help.

Brian Stansell

Hi Rose,

In my younger days I used to write more poetry and song lyrics, but have not done so in a very long time.  Every now and again I pick up my guitar and strum a few chords, but it is mostly to songs written by others.

However, I did conceive of a story involving an elderly couple with a shared love of music from the 40s, 50s and mid-60s, living out their retirement years in an old apartment building in the Bronx, NY.  They are the landlords of the building, and the older gentlemen is the security guard and co-owner of the building along with his wife.  Both are retired Navy, serving in the WW2 era, but long since departed from active duty, although their secret security clearance is still high, due to an incident at sea they both witnessed bay in the late 40’s after the close of the war.  Both were intelligence officers. Both had Morse-code training and were specialist in encryption.  The incident had brought them together on the high seas aboard a carrier vessel, and during three critical days of heighten stress and national security they discovered their mutual love for big band music and each other.

45 years later, something related to those fateful days, has silently moved in to their building, unaware of these two who were witness to its threat and nefarious plans to alter and subjugate the human race.

As security and now owner of the building, the elderly couple’s eccentricities have endeared them to their tenants in the one and five unit building.  The elderly gentleman plays instrumental versions of his and his wife’s favorite golden oldies music over the building PA system, and they silently communicate to each other in this way, because they both are well-verse in the lyrics.

When the enemy begins to bring others in and attempt to capture and trap the inhabitants of the building in their own apartments, the husband and wife realize that what was in the past didn’t stay there, and it would attempt to harm the building’s occupants as sure as it tried to turn the carrier ship’s crew against one another.

Separated by several stories, with the older gentleman in the heavily camera’d control room, he must coordinate with his wife how to rescue the day tenants and get them past the three alien visitors and outside to a safe area without these alien creatures knowing.  Their communication system is worked out on the fly using the unspoken lyrics to the songs he chooses to play on the PA, as he watches everything through the bank of camera monitors, also employing some Morse-code knocks on the gas pipeline running throughout the building.
These two tease each other through song, but also communicate their love and devotion to each other through this medium as well.  The name of that story is “Knock Three Times” from the old Tony Orlando song.

Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.

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