All About the Image (Part 1)
The first leg of our journey I prattled on and on. Günter was mostly silent. Usually I chatted continuously while working with him as Captain Fahrer. To tell the truth, I would talk to myself when no one was around. Verbalizing my thoughts kept me organized and reminded me of the whole assortment of things that I may have forgotten. But in this current situation and Günter’s mood, I hoped my constant chatter would cheer him. It didn’t. I knew in theory, I should be listening to him, but he refused to talk. So, I filled in the silences with my babble as it improved my mood. I like it when I’m down and the birds twitter all around in the trees. When alone I listen to music on my phone or I fill my home with music on my stereo. I don’t like silence; makes me think I’m in a morgue like that one in that tidy-town in the middle of Australia with that trans-thingy-whatsit.
I relished the brilliant blues of the grasses upon the mountain slope, and the splashes of white, bronze, and orange of flowers. Mint green clouds dotted the pink sky. The mountains shrouded in hues of mauve and silver, stretched to the horizon.
‘Oh, this is wonderful!’ I gasped for the tenth time, then burst into song: ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music…’
‘Would you be quiet!’ Günter stormed off and raced ahead.
‘Sorry, I can get a little carried away,’ I replied and then walked some distance behind him. I bit my lower lip forcing it to stay shut.
I spotted a crop of melons strewn on the slope. I collected a few and stowed them in my backpack. I mean, Officer Eloise Delaney did say they’d come in handy against Boris. I mean, what if we had the unfortunate pleasure of encountering Boris again?
Lunch: Finally, we had descended the mountain. We could have enjoyed a pleasant picnic by the river on the hillside…
However, Günter opened my backpack. ‘What is this? What are these things doing here?’
‘You mean the melons. Yes, well I was going to get around to telling all about them.’
‘I have one question—Why? Is it not enough that you got sick by them? Now you have to take them as souvenir?’ Günter hurled one melon into the river.
‘They’re for Boris,’ I shot back and before Gunter could interrupt in maniacal raving. ‘It is poison, is it not? Didn’t Policewoman Delaney say she was going to take a few to Adelaide and there analyze the chemical compound of the melons? Isn’t it possible that the next time we have a close brush with Boris, we could spike his drinks or something? You know get the edge. Or maybe infiltrate Boris’ den and poison him. What if we could make a poison melon gas?’
‘You really have no idea, do you? How do you think you got better so quickly? Heh?’
‘Told you, it wasn’t melon poisoning.’
‘No, Holly, Fritz has already done it. And he has designed the antidote. Which means he has analyzed the chemicals of the melon. Remember the tablets?’ Günter stood over me and waved his finger in the air to emphasize his point. In the middle of a wave he stopped, scratched his chin in thought, ‘Still, not a bad idea about the poisoning. But how do you intend to infiltrate?’
I was surprised that Günter had actually listened to my suggestion. I had expected him to continue on the ranting path and mow down my ideas as he had done in the past. I expected him to say my ideas were dumb. He must have been affected by the chemical composition of the atmosphere on this Pilgrim Planet.
‘Uh, I don’t know. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Perhaps I could make myself invisible, unnoticeable, something like that.’ My voice trailed off into unsure territory. I moved closer to him. ‘Anyway, let’s enjoy the food, the scenery, and each other’s company.’
‘What do you think you are doing?’ Günter scrambled away from me as if I had the plague.
‘What? I thought—I just meant—’ I noted the horrified expression on his face as if I were Frankenstein’s monster. ‘—like friends.’ Over-reaction, hmm, interesting…
‘No, you were suggesting—’
‘I didn’t mean it that way, honestly.’
[to be continued…]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature Photo: Austrian Alps © L.M. Kling 2014
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