WINDERMERE MONSTER: A SHORT STORY
Edward E. Rochon
Edward E. Rochon on Shakespir
Windermere Monster: A Short Story
Copyright © 2015 by Edward E. Rochon
Thank you for downloading this eBook. This book may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, unless prior permission is given by the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Any actual persons, places or events mentioned, living or dead, still existent or not, to which any opinions, comments, deeds or facts are attributed to are merely suggestive or parody, not declarative or stated as factual. Any reputed facts that upon examination are determined to be not factual, were reputed to be facts in good faith and must be attributed to inaccurate dissemination of the various sources of such facts. The author, having never been to Windermere, England, nor having ever met or even seen in the flesh to his cognition any of the mentioned characters in this short story must perforce rely upon secondhand dissemination of any facts or reputed facts to such places, persons and events. Moreover, and finally, I was not even alive during the event known as World War II, and while living during the Heath administration, I never met the man, and he is dead anyway, and you cannot libel the dead.
Your support and respect for the property of this author is appreciated.
Some Other Works by the Author
Collected Poems I
Joy of Life in Verse
Drama Free Verse
Golden Age Essays
Golden Age Essays II
Golden Age Essays III
Golden Age Essays IV
Golden Age Essays V]
Table of Contents
I would not spend any time attempting to confirm this story through Alan Watt, noted British conspiratorial writer. He will only deny it, not having uncovered the matter himself, and too vain to concede such an event could have possibly escaped his purview. As for any confirmation from Ringo Starr or Helen Mirren, in addition to the Ted Heath tele brainwashing, Starkey was too much in an alcoholic fog before and up to the Heath administration to be of any use for accuracy on the matter. As for Mirren, I recently watched a YouTube interview in which Helen was obviously high and/or intoxicated, leaving her early years in a very hazy fog, notwithstanding the demands that acting places on perfecting human memory.
With that out of the way, I commence my career as a short story writer, essays leaving the matter of a literary career open to question.
Chapter 1: Isherwood
Bobbie Isherwood, the illegitimate brother of Christopher Isherwood (AKA Bobby Watson from his mother’s name) followed Christopher to Weimar Germany where he commenced to support himself through teaching British drama at a German boarding school. It was there that Herr Leutnant Schroeder first encountered Isherwood. Bobby was fond of fin de siècle, and often used pieces of the era to teach his Teutonic charges. Perceiving himself a master psychologist, he flattered himself upon selecting parts that broadened the horizons of his students according to their failings and talents. Upon these criteria, young Schroeder was assigned a cross-dressing role in Charlie’s Aunt. Schroeder was indignant, but Germanic obedience to superior authority, coupled with an intense sense of duty, compelled him to bow before the yoke, so to speak, or perhaps to allow himself to be crushed beneath the wheel.
Young Schroeder developed an intense dislike for fin de siècle British theater, in particular Oscar Wilde, though it is true that Wilde did not author Charlie’s Aunt. And Wilde was forever associated in his mind with the fan of Lady Windermere, a fan that never failed to fan the flames of Teutonic fury against the depredations, degradations and humiliations inflicted upon Germany by Perfidious Albion, most acutely manifested through Professor Bobby Watson (or Isherwood if you prefer.)
With the commencement of German rearmament under Hitler, Schroeder joined the German Navy as an aviator whose primary task was to drop sea mines from his plane. Given the task of mining the Mersey River in Liverpool Harbor, he preoccupied himself during the flight in reliving past humiliations at the hands of Perfidious Albion, Lady Windermere’s fan whipping the flames of rage into an inferno. Impelled by a sudden impulse, he veered his plane away from Liverpool towards the Lake District. It was winter and nighttime, and he calculated that the gleaming ice of Lake Windermere would offer an easy target to find in spite of his detour. Finding the lake, he dropped his mine through the ice and headed for home, smiling grimly with thoughts of British vacationers going up in smoke in a pool of mist stained with blood and body parts. His lips pursed with cruel disdain imagining the horrors of swimsuited British girls along the shore watching in horror as cruise boats tore apart in the calm lake waters of the summer season.
His lips twisted into an almost cruel curl as he conjured up Professor Bobby Watson, sitting at his desk, sipping on his Australian burgundy while critiquing the character breakdowns that he forced his students to put down in writing for his perusal while his students squirmed uncomfortably before his desk during after class scoring and ruthless sneering, offensive put downs and needlessly offensive commentary on these novice attempts at script analysis and character breakdown.
While journeying back over the North Sea, Schroeder caught a glint of sunshine in the corner of his eye. The early morning sun reflected off the plane of a young George Martin (of Abbey Road, Beatles fame) while returning from a mission. Now neither of their planes were fighters, both on a return flight and running low on fuel. Deeming aerial combat not their specialty, and discretion the better part of valor, and the North Sea quite chilly in wintertime, their minds as if in unison, both flight crews wanly waved at each other above the waves of the cruel and deadly sea that lay below. I only mention this because it dovetails in with the matter of the yellow minesweeper proffered by Ringo Starr in later years. We will get to that shortly.
Leutnant Schroeder waited patiently for the summer of ’44 and even into the summer of ’45 but to no avail. No explosions were reported on Windermere by the BBC. Were they hiding bad news from a war weary public?
Chapter 2: Kriegy
It was not until the Ted Heath administration that word got out about a mine or mines in Windermere, the Kriegsmarine marinemine, that quickly inherited the moniker, Kriegy or the Windermere Monster. The entire Lake District demanded prompt and decisive action from Prime Minister Heath. The very thought of sunbathing British girls watching tourist limbs flying about in a red spume of water and blood consumed the public imagination with horror. The demand swelled for a Royal Navy minesweeper to be hauled up to Windermere, at least during the season, to flush out, or failing that, to protect the lake cruise ships lest Old Kriegy suddenly pop out of the bottom muck and mire to devour its hapless prey.
Celebrities pitched in. Helen Mirren led a demonstration outside of the Admiralty Building shouting out the chant: We want one or we won’t sun. The one in question was of course a minesweeper. This reminded old timers of the turn of the century days when the chant: “We want eight and we won’t wait.” was led by the young Winston Churchill.
Ringo Starr, feeling a bit guilty about evading naval duty in his earlier days of the draft era, volunteered to buy a minesweeper for Windermere, but only if it was painted yellow and commanded by him until the fracas subsided. The offer was accepted by the locals, but the Royal Navy, somewhat dubious of this amateurish endeavor, decided to haul up one of its own. So there were two on the lake for a time.
As you might imagine, duty on Windermere with its relatively placid waters, numerous opportunities to ogle bikinied sunbathers, tie up at dock every evening and so on, had an appeal that the waters of the North Atlantic and far flung journeys in the ocean vastnesses did not. A green eyed monster of another sort took hold of Britannia. Jealous minesweeper tars hatched a plot beneath the hatch(es) so to speak. The story got out of a secret intelligence windfall. Not only was Windermere mined by the Germans, but: Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, a number of other Scottish lakes, also Lough Neah, Lough Erne and Lough Melvin in Ulster. And Lough Melvin is only partly in the UK.
The Admiralty was in an uproar. First, the Harold Wilson regime strips it of its attack carriers (And we know how they were missed in the Falkland Islands War.), now the RN was to be virtually stripped of its contingent of minesweepers for oceangoing service during the entire season. The Navy told Heath that this was completely unacceptable. If a few vacationers get blown to bits, then so be it, but Britannia must sail on. Ted Heath angrily silenced this patriotic bravura. These were potential voters. Slyly, for Ted was Sly, he thought it odd that this great secret had remained dormant for so long, all these lakes being mined. He ordered Naval Intelligence to investigate.
Surely enough, the plot by minesweeper crews to wrangle lake assignments during the season was uncovered. Even Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, was implicated. Having allowed himself to be compromised in certain tawdry affairs, Charles was prompted to conjoin in this little conspiracy of the lakes. His parents were so outraged upon hearing of this dismal intrigue, that to this day they deem it more appalling than the IRA assassination of Mountbatten.
Prime Minister Heath, beset by many troubles, and with Maggie Thatcher breathing down his neck, devised a plan contingent upon a recent technology advance. He instructed the Navy to continue searching for the mine with the two sweepers currently on Windermere. For none had been found up to that time, perhaps being swallowed up in the muck and mire, or some unknown plastic mine type of the Kriegsmarine that could not be detected. Then he would use this new discovery of his intelligence services.
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A brief preface brushes aside a few difficulties concerning the believability of the story, its verisimilitude. And yes, this is a short story with a preface. Chapter 1 introduces Bobby Watson, bastard brother of Christopher Isherwood, and sets up the tale in the Weimar Republic. Chapter 2 discusses the difficulties entailed by Britons once the vengeance weapon, Old Kriegy, is plunked into Windermere. An astounding cover-up ensues, the details of which I must not divulge at pain of spoiling the read. An epilogue covers a few points not covered by the preface entailing the story's believability. There is a supplement with a number of extraordinary believe-it-or-not tales floating about, on and under Windermere.