Trigger’s Fantastic Flight
Part 2 — Flight or Fight
As we rumbled and tumbled out of the valley and over the savannah, Günter flicked through the diminished and faded tape collection. On this state-of-the-art flying-space car, how quaint to have cassette tapes!
‘What is Billy Connolly?’ he asked.
Günter ejected Dire Straits and inserted Billy Connolly.
A flood of swear words filled the cabin.
Günter chuckled. ‘He is worse than Fox.’
I grasped the volume control and twisted it anti-clockwise, muting Billy and all those naughty words.
‘Comedian? Hardly,’ I said. ‘Love his accent, but his coarse language is difficult for me to listen to.’
‘And you like Fox?’
‘When I knew him at Basel University, he’d changed. He didn’t swear that much. Not in German…hardly at all.’
‘Wasn’t he a bit old for you?’
‘I was eighteen. So?’
Günter raised an eyebrow. He pulled out another cassette tape. ‘What this? Oh, Monty Python.’ He bobbed his head and sang in perfect pitch and tone, ‘Always look on the bright side of life…’
‘Whoa! You can sing!’
‘Better than you. I have advice for you, do not take singing career, okay?’
‘Hey, I’m an artist. And I’ll have you know, I made good money selling my art when I was young and before I joined the IGSF.’
Günter glanced at me but said nothing.
‘Hey, I like Monty Python. They are so funny!’ I said. ‘I love the Parrot Sketch. Can we listen to the Parrot Sketch, Captain? Sir?’
Günter picked out another cassette and studied it. ‘Red Gum, that is funny name! What this Red Gum?’
‘I have no idea. But let’s play Monty Python.’ I was eager to wile away the day’s drive with Monty Python. Some deep belly laughing might relax my serious-minded companion for me to peek behind the iron curtain of his mind.
‘No, let’s try Red Gum. I think it South Australian. Nathan and Fritz talked about the Red Gum.’
‘Okay, Red Gum it is. Put it on.’ I was now preoccupied with the controls. There existed some unusual instruments here. Must be ones for space flight; they appeared similar to the ones I’d seen on the Delaney’s “police patrol” vehicle.
‘We play Red Gum then.’ Günter pushed the tape at the controls. ‘How does this work?’
‘You know on Earth it’s Blue Ray—or an app from the internet—iTunes and Spotify. Tapes are extinct.’ I ran a commentary on the evolution of sound systems, while placing the tape in the tape deck. ‘Now in hospital I was listening to music on my mobile phone.’
‘We had none of such things when I was growing up. So, when Boris came along with technology all, the whole village thought him magic man,’ Günter said.
‘I keep forgetting you’re from the Seventeenth Century. Did you find it hard to adjust to how things are done now?’
‘A little… Hmmm, being on Boris Ship, I, um, no choice to fast catch up.’ He pressed a few buttons in the hope of setting the music in motion, but nothing happened. He pulled the cassette out and the entrails of the cassette trailed after it. As the bumps and lumps of the plain became more frequent and rugged, Günter became entangled in the Red Gum tape.
According to the onboard topography chart, the plain would give way to a hundred metre cliff and a gulf of a shallow but turbulent sea. It looked like some ancient seismic activity had split the land and the ocean had come rushing in. Then, as the planet cooled, and ice caps expanded on the poles, the ocean receded, leaving the cliffs.
‘Put your harness on, and hold on, we are going airborne, yippee!’ I cheered securing my harness.
We were racing along the plain now, gathering momentum. Frowning, Günter chucked the mangled Red Gum tape on the dashboard and then clipped his harness into place.
Trigger spread wings each side, the wheels retracted into the body of the car accompanied by a definite clunk, and with an adrenalin rush we climbed into the sky. The tape plonked as a mangled mess onto Gunter’s lap.
We soared in the air now and Gunter found his voice after the initial shock. ‘How the—what the—you never—you promised. You said I could fly.’
‘Sorry, just sort of happened. According to the GPS, we should be there in no time.’
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature Photo: A Parrot, an obviously alive parrot © L.M. Kling 2016
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