‘Well, after that disappointing jaunt to find that damned waterhole you went on about David, I’m pooped. I’m going to have a lie down,’ Dad’s friend, Mr. B said as he slumped onto a nearby log. ‘I hope you’ve found us some nice soft sand to sleep on. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep yet on this trip.’
Last time I saw Geoffrey Fox, he wore an alien costume, you know, the one with the grey skin and bug eyes. Fasnacht, Basel 1995. This Aussie, a colleague of Papa’s at the university, should don a mask and space suit and enter into the parade while my dear (and I’m being sarcastic here) fiancé, Johann stowed himself away in his lofty apartment in Altstadt (Old Town). ‘I will not partake of such frivolity.’ Johann said and stuck his nose up in the air. One day he will fall because he never looks to the ground. He’s too good for us mere mortals. ‘I won’t be the richest man on the planet if I keep my nose grovelling on the floor.’Read more "Out of the Chocolate Box (1)"
Dad guided us around the school which appeared empty. We followed him circling the white building. ‘Must be closed,’ Dad said.
‘School holidays, I guess,’ I remarked.
Dad scanned the transportable blocks and then screwed up his nose. ‘We need to find someone to fix up the trailer.’
We walked through the settlement. The white buildings stood sentinel to the roads void of human activity and traffic. The crunching of stones under our feet was magnified by a town suffering from a bad case of abandonment.
‘Where are all the people?’ Mr. B asked.
A beam shimmered from the disk. Gunter rubbed his eyes and blinked. Boris materialised in the centre of the beam. He appeared cockroach-shaped, then, as he strode toward Gunter, he morphed into human-form.
‘Well, now, Herr Fahrer, have you decided?’ Boris asked.
‘Yes, I have.’
‘More than anything else, I want to be handsome, brave, attractive to the ladies like my brother Johann. But, I want to be myself, not someone else.’
Boris raised one side of the hairy eye-brow that spanned his forehead. ‘Very well, then.’
‘And one more thing, you know, like a package?’
‘Could I, with this new face, have a new life, say like in the Great South Land?’
‘Hmm,’ Boris nodded, ‘that can be arranged, if you wish. But…’
The car neared, and we lifted our right hands up and down. The Indigenous owners of the sedan did the same. Dad tracked the car as it passed us. Then he looked back.
‘Felix! (not his real name),’ Dad said. ‘It’s Felix, I would recognize him anywhere.’ He stopped the Rover in the middle of the road.
Boris’ mouth spread into a wide grin with teeth in a neat row like keys on a piano. ‘Now where were we? As I was saying, anything you want, anything at all. Whatever you desire, your wish is my—oh, dear, that sounds a bit lame. Now, what is your greatest desire and I will make it so.’Read more "The Choice Bits (3)"
The wailing started again. Gunter sighed. Grandmother waddled to the table and began scrubbing it. Despite his sister, Salome’s pleading and urging to placate her mother’s rages, the screams rose to a crescendo.
Gunter shut his mind to the agonised cries and dreamed of a faraway land, the Great South Land. His father had told him about this land.