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Mark M Lichterman

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The Midnight Skulker26
By Mark M Lichterman
Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011
Last edited: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.

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The world’s oldest active sailing ship, the Star of India began her life at Ramsey Shipyard in the Isle of Man in 1863.



San Diego, California 

March 1, 1974

6:40 p.m.  Pacific Standard Time


“What do you kids plan on doing tonight?”


“Jason recommended we have dinner and do some sight-seeing at the ‘Embarcadero’.”


“Good choice.” Sophie said, “I’d recommend you have dinner at ‘Anthony’s’.”


“Yes,” Marsha said, “we plan on doing that.”




A long-running boardwalk, the Embarcadero is the area along the San Diego harbor on the east side of San Diego Bay.


Located on the downtown waterfront.  Looking across the bay, as the bird flies, the Embarcadero is about one nautical mile north-east of the south-eastern portion of Coronado Island.


A landmark restaurant, Anthony’s is built on a wide pier jutting into San Diego Bay.  


At a window table, looking onto the bay, watching as a forty-foot sloop with startling white billowing ‘main’ and ‘jib’  sailed by.  “I just can’t help myself and I’m going to say it again, but, my God, Mitchie, how’d we ever get lucky enough to be able to move to a place like this? It’s so damned…”


“Beautiful, baby!” Finishing his wife’s thought, “I still get the feeling that we’re going to be living in…”


“ ‘Zip-itedy-do-da land’.” Finishing her husband’s thought.


Thoughtful a few moments, “Do you know,” Marsha said, “that in the day and a half we’ve been here this is the third time we’ve eaten in a ‘fish joint’.” She laughed, “And I don’t even like fish…. Hate ‘em, in fact! But…”


“Not much like that great lunch you had in Mexico, huh?”


“Oh, please, don’t even remind me of that!” Cutting the ‘crab cake’ with the edge of her fork, “But this stuff is delicious!”


“Yeah, well,” cutting a chunk of the near pound lobster tail on his plate, dipping it in the drawn butter and ecstatically chewing, “this is delicious, too.”


 Studying his plate, “There’s no claws on that lobster?”


“Pacific lobsters don’t have claws like ‘Main lobsters’.”


“How’d you know that?”


“The waiter told me while you were the bathroom.”


“But you like the claws.”


“Yeah, I do, but,” motioning out the window, “for this I’ll live without claws.”


“And,” looking to her left, “for that, too.”


Though they’d seen it earlier in the evening. Actually having taken an on-board tour. Sitting across from her, looking to his right, “My, God, Marcie, that’s the most beautiful ship I’ve ever seen.”


Three sides of the huge restaurant composed of ongoing picture windows, to the right, although about sixty yards from ‘Anthony’s’, the classic, multi-masted black ship clearly visible:


Launched five days before Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address


The world’s oldest active sailing ship, the Star of India began her life at Ramsey Shipyard in the Isle of Man in 1863. Iron ships were experiments of sorts then, with most vessels still being built of wood. When launched she bore the name Euterpe, after the Greek muse of music and poetry.


Walking the crowded Embarcadero – even at this time of day, on a week day— walking the boardwalk, though too late to tour the USS Midway and the San Diego Maritime Museum…

“The kids will love seeing this!” Making an all-encompassing motion, “and I’ve a feeling that we’ll be back here plenty of times, so we’ll see it with them.”

Stopping, sitting on a bench opposite 'The Star of India' watching the multitude of people passing by, “I want to see something.” Mitchell said.

Standing, going to a passing couple, “Excuse me, but do you live here?”

“In San Diego?” The man asked.

“If you don’t mind, yes. Do you live in San Diego?”

“No,” the man said, “we’re from Los Angeles.”

“Thank you.”

Going to another strolling couple, asking the same question.

“No, we’re from Denver.”

Another couple:

“We’re  from Newfoundland.”

“From ‘Newfoundland’?”

“Yes. We wanted to see Hollywood and Disneyland and now we’re here.”

From couple to couple and there was not one person that Mitchell had spoken to that was from San Diego.

Sitting alongside his wife, “Know what, Marcy?”


“How’s it feel to be living in the place people come to for their vacation?”

“Like I said, we’re going to be living in ‘Zip-itedy-do-da land’.”



©October 28, 2011 / Mark M. Lichterman

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Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 10/31/2011
Sounds like a heavenly place, Mark! Love the imagery of the waterfront area....Imagine running into a Newf right there in San's one Newf that would love to be on that boardwalk....giggle

Reviewed by Laura Fall 10/29/2011
So wonderfully written indeed my friend well done as always and enjoyed the great story Laura

Books by
Mark M Lichterman

For Better or Worse

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The Climbing Boy

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