Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, a story about an argument being more important than a momentous occasion, begins after the photo.
Genre: Speculative Fiction/Humor
There are few people as single-minded as scientists. A scientist might possess the knowledge to explain the greatest mysteries of the universe, but might be flummoxed by setting the ringtone of his cellphone. This was well exemplified by the eminent professors of Britannic History, Hamish Brown and Robert Haversham.
Neither of them had many colleagues, and fewer friends, though their research was highly regarded. The reason for this was the only thing either treasured more than history…was a cracking good argument. Few people could endure their presence, either singly or together, for more than an hour. And so it was that the pair found themselves standing atop the ruins of a site listed as a McConnell homestead site. A fact both disputed, but for different reasons.
Hamish poked at the stones with his cane, more focused on a single rock of the foundation than the beauty of the rolling green hills all around him. “Ye see that marbling? This clearly came from the quarry at Fordyce. QED, that makes this a Dunwoodie site.”
Robert, a tall thin man to Hamish’s diminutive pudgy profile, had to stoop to look. “That only proves my point. The McKeagues also used stones from Fordyce. You’ve made my case for me!”
“But look at the marbling. This came from the Southern quarry. The McKeague family only built after the Southern quarry closed. Ha!”
“You’re missing something important. Look at the mortar, made with clay from Tannehill creek. Only the McKeagues had access to Tannehill.”
Hamish hitched up his trousers. “If that’s your estimation, then it’s still not McKeague at all, it’s a Donnellan site.”
“You’re daft, man!”
The argument drew on for hours. Most of the tourists had fled the scene. The constable nearby, in charge of security, noticed he’d developed two more grey hairs.
A powerful wind blew up and still the professors argued, their dispute more important than anything else occurring above their heads. The few remaining tourists did look up to see the 300 meter-long starship coming in for a landing upon the ruins. While others backed off to avoid being crushed, Hamish and Robert argued on, just more loudly. The starship stopped just above their heads, a tartan for McDougald clan clearly marked beside the ship’s name, “Shillelagh.”
It was perhaps the single most significant event in human history. Proof that the Scots had invented interstellar travel in 1137, long before the invention of black powder rifles. Unfortunately, the ship couldn’t land with the professors standing on the ruins, and it hovered patiently, waiting for Hamish and Robert to get out of the way. Eventually, an exasperated Scot stuck his head out of a nearby hatch. “‘Ere now ye’ bampots! Clear out. Canna ye’ see we’re tryin’ta land?”
Hamish looked up at the single-most important human being in history and said, “Bugger off, ye pansy. We’re having an argument!”
The Scot looked back in the hatch and said. “There! I tol’ ye, Flannery. Noothin’s changed. Yer fookin’ theory about Humans evolvin’ is shite. Let’s go back to space!”
Each week, Alastair Forbes sacrifices one of his original photos to the god of writing challenges. This week’s pic is no different. Look here for exciting and interesting stories based upon the photo above: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/sunday-photo-fiction-july-27th-2014/