Boris climbed the first ridge leading to the water-hole. No a policeman nor Indigenous trackers to be seen. ‘Now, where did that Nathan get to?’ Boris spoke to the air and a couple of accompanying flies.
He stopped and surveyed the landscape. The sacred mountain’s cliffs jutted like teeth above the nearby ranges. The atmosphere shimmered in the moist heat. Thunder clouds built up like steam in the west, and tiny flies formed a permanent halo around Boris.
Boris morphed out of his Walter appearance, and unfurled his wings. He used his surround vision of multiple eyes to check no one was watching. He twitched his antennae scanning for human life just out of sight and helicopters above. Nothing—so far so good. Wouldn’t want them seeing a giant cockroach flying through the air.
The thought of bumping into a helicopter tempted him. He resisted the urge to amuse his deviate self. Must not raise suspicion. He had plans for this part of the world. Plans to get a foothold to dominate the whole planet.
Boris rubbed his abdomen. Mmm! Seven billion humans to enslave, to dominate, to eat…He rose into the air, his wings whirring much like the helicopter’s. Now how’s that Wend community of mine? They make such agreeable slaves. He laughed.
Then he stopped laughing. Where did that Nathan get to? His wings whizzed faster. I hope he hasn’t found my cave.
Boris zoomed above the mountain, and then into the pound. Gum trees, rocks and scrub blurred as he darted to the cave. When he arrived, he flitted to the entrance and then peered in.
Boris sighed. The cave was empty.
He looked out. Just over the precipice, he detected a dark man bobbing up and down through the scrub. Just in time. Boris chuckled. He’ll take at least an half an hour to get here.
He scuttled in and through the portal. Mountains dressed in mauve and silver welcomed him. ‘Can’t have any unwelcome visitors coming through,’ he said.
Boris turned. He charged up his weapon-hand and then shot a steady laser beam at the ceiling. Rocks broke and tumbled down, followed by thick clumps of soil. ‘Can’t have them digging.’ He aimed his laser hand at the soil. He held the heat of the laser on the soil for a few minutes until it hardened to stone. ‘There, that’ll stop them.’ Boris cackled. ‘I still have the other portal, and they’ll never find that.’ He then massaged his stomach. ‘I wonder how the real Walter Wenke is going? I do like them when they’re prepared and marinated just so. Although, I do like them fresh.’
Nathan traced Amie’s trail—a broken twig here, a dislodged stone there, some shoe prints in the dusty soil, and a bucket hat.
Nathan mused. ‘The boy’s been this way.’
He hiked up to the Spring and then further, up over the lip of the mountain and into the pound. He followed the path to the cave.
At the entrance, he examined animal tracks. Hmm, unusual, he thought. Never seen tracks like these. Like big cockroach. In around the cave, more tracks—Amie’s and another person’s, a male.
He crawled into the cave sniffing out the tracks as he progressed. The tracks and Amie’s and Joseph’s footprints stopped at a pile of large rocks.
Nathan studied the boulders. He lifted the sand at their base and sniffed it. ‘Hmm, fresh,’ he said. ‘Is she trapped?’ He leaned against the rocks and called, ‘Hello? Anyone there? Amie? Are you there?’
The cave remained cold and silent.
Nathan pushed the rocks. He tugged at the rocks. He tried to grip them but they slipped in his hands. The boulders were wedged in the cave.
Maybe they’re deeper in the cave. Perhaps they’re trapped there, Nathan thought.
He crawled out of the cave and began to saunter back to camp. He’d tell the others of his find. He was positive Amie and the lad Joseph were still alive.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2017
Photo: Mt. Liebig Precipice © C.D. Trudinger 1981