With Hints of the Shining
An hour stretched by. I yawned another hour into extinction. Strangely, being ignored really annoyed me. I was the centre of my universe and everyone usually revolved around me. To have the masked bandit sit so calmly absorbed in a book and not even try to acknowledge my existence was more than I could tolerate. Besides, he sat near the door blocking my only means of escape. I rationalized that my best option was my mouth and what inevitably came out of it. I concluded the training on the Mother Ship proved fairly useless in this situation.
I took a deep breath. ‘Hoy! What’s his face!’ I hollered. Chief Ex man turned towards me. ‘I’ll talk. But only if you take off that mask. I can’t talk to someone I can’t see. It creeps me out! I don’t care if you’ve shown me once who you are. Take it off.’ That would keep the conversation going a while. I was sure that he would not take off his mask and argue against removing the mask. ‘They’re going wild out there, they won’t care if you’re—’
‘Fine!’ He lifted the hood off his head. ‘See it’s me. Anything else that you would like me to do? Would you prefer to speak in your own language? Swiss-German perhaps?’ He sat poised waiting for my reaction.
Here he was. I did not know what to make of the situation. I wondered if the lack of conversation and the gravity of the circumstances had altered my perception of reality.
‘What did you expect? Quasimodo? A gargoyle? Well?’ Günter unmasked said.
‘Doesn’t mean you get any special favours.’
‘I don’t expect any.’
‘Good. Glad to know where we stand,’ I replied. ‘I’ve had enough romantic and otherwise experiences to keep me going for a lifetime. I need a break.’
‘I understand. You know, for me, there were just so many Grey females I could, well you know, and then I had enough. Not to say I do not dream of human female companionship.’
‘Well you can just keep on dreaming; it’s not going to happen.’ I folded my arms.
‘That’s okay, I would never force you.’ He gazed at his feet deep in thought. He stared at the door. ‘Anyway, in the IGSF, it is better not to consider such things.’
‘No, must be professional. We have a mission—save Earth from the likes of Boris and his cronies,’ I said wishing ever so slightly our situation could be different. I did like his sense of humour.
‘I hope—you never—I am sorry if I ever made you feel uncomfortable.’
I eyed him warily. Now, if he were Kirk, he wouldn’t be fumbling with his words and going all red in the face. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Nothing,’ Günter replied, his voice cracking. ‘I was not very nice to you. I am sorry.’
‘It is okay, I accept your apology.’ I sniffed and then asked, ‘Are you alright?’
‘Yah, fine.’ He returned to perusing his book.
A shattering bang forced us flat on the carpet. Shards of glass covered the floor and us.
‘I think we need to make a run for it,’ I said.
Günter brushed the glass from his gown. ‘Yes, it’s time.’
I stood and brushed the glass pieces from my boiler suit. ‘I could do with my invisibility cloak right now.’
Günter picked his way over the glass-strewn floor, opened a cupboard, and then tossed a tartan blanket to me. ‘I know I put it here. Oh, no, just wait a minute, it was mouldy, wasn’t it?’ He hobbled over to a pile of clothes in the corner near the door. Then hunted through the pile. ‘I’m sure I had it. Now where did it—?’
Another bang louder and closer than the previous.
In the corridor, Kirk’s cries echoed: ‘Daddee! I want my Daddee! Oh, woe is mee! I’ll kill you Minna, you kill my Daddee!’
‘We’re running out of time,’ I hissed.
Günter plucked the cloak from the pile and passed it to me. ‘Here, let’s get out.’
‘Where are you, Minna?’ The door vibrated as Kirk hammered on it. The knob turned back and forth, as he tried to open it.
‘How are we going to get out?’ I asked. Visions of the guy hacking his way through the wood and poking his head through, made me shudder.
I threw the cloak over myself and hid the other side of the bookcase.
Günter wrapped the tartan blanket around his neck and darted from one side of the room to the other. ‘Where’s my hood? What did I do with my hood?’ He pointed at me. ‘It’s your fault, I should’ve never taken it off. Now look what’s happened.’
‘Just use your blanket.’
‘It’s no use,’ he huffed, ‘it’s not big enough.’
We watched, frozen, as the wood began to splinter around the knob.
‘Am I okay?’ I said through my teeth.
‘Probably not.’ Gunter glanced at me and shrugged. ‘Well, how do you think he caught you in the first place?’
‘Oh.’ I examined the plaid cloak. ‘But it’s all I’ve got, sure, it’s worth a try. Anyway, when I looked at the poppy, I reckon my invisibility cloak slipped.’
Günter sighed and shook his head.
With a crunch, the door burst out of its hinges and thudded to the floor.
Kirk in his cowboy outfit, his eyes swollen and face blotchy, stepped into the room. He aimed both fists glowing with ammunition at us.
He caught my eye and I wasn’t quick enough to look away. ‘Ah, my petal, there you are!’ He then shifted his attention to Günter. ‘And who are you?’
I fought with the cloak, rumpling it over my head. ‘What? How can you…?’
‘See you?’ Kirk laughed. ‘I am Bytrode. What do you think my hundreds of eyes are for?’
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature Photo: Wall Carvings, La Chapelle Paris © L.M. Kling 2014
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