Out of Time (8.1)

Berry Bogan

Part 1

[The continuation of the Survivor Short Story “project” in the War On Boris the Bytrode series. This time, back in time, 1967, following the adventures of middle-aged mum, Letitia…In this episode (8.1) Letitia and Wilhelm face their demons, and one Berry Bogan mother, on the Princess of Tasmania bound for Melbourne.]

Letitia faced breakfast behind sunglasses, her head covered with a silken scarf. ‘Protection against my identity has come at an inflated cost of $10 for the eyewear and a further $5 for the head gear; money well spent as far as I’m concerned,’ she said.

‘It was meant, however, for the taxi fare to Tullamarine Airport, and now I fear you won’t have enough to cover the flight to Adelaide,’ Wilhelm rambled as they entered the dining room. The lemon-yellow rays of the rising sun filtered through the salt-encrusted windows. ‘Now, what’s left of the loan may only cover the overnight bus fare to Adelaide.’

‘That’s a bit fiscally pessimistic, don’t you think, Will?’

‘You’ll see.’

Wilhelm pale, with dark rings under his eyes, began quibbling over the breakfast offering of ham and cheese sandwiches and orange juice. He then turned his criticisms onto the hairy family over the other side of the dining room.

‘Keep away from them,’ Wilhelm pointed at the homage to the Beetles party, ‘bad news, they are. Bad news.’

Letitia, shade-clad and sea-seedy, glanced in their direction and turned away.

‘You can’t make a judgement about them based on hair, Wilhelm. They might be perfectly good parents.’

Wilhelm wiped crumbs from his section of the table. ‘We have a bad feeling about them.’

‘We?’

Wilhelm leaned close to Letitia and whispered, ‘The IGSF. If you get my drift.’

Letitia prepared to take a second look, but Wilhelm held up his hand. ‘Don’t. It’s all under control. I’ll keep you safe. From them.’

‘Thanks, Will, but I wish you had been around when I had the Bogans from Boganville torment me last yesterday.’ Letitia adjusted her scarf. ‘By the way, where did you get to?’

Wilhelm patted their air between them. ‘Never you mind. Nothing to get alarmed about. Stay calm.’

‘Now, you are worrying me.’ Letitia sighed. ‘Just my luck, Boris will be on the boat and sink it.’

‘Stay calm. We won’t let that happen.’ Wilhelm stroked the table and then tapped it. ‘Bogan? What exactly is a “Bogan”? Isn’t it a type of moth?’

As he spoke, the said mother and her offspring walked into the dining room.

‘Speak of the devil. And her charges. They’ve just walked in,’ Letitia answered barely moving her mouth. ‘That, my friend, is what I mean by “bogan”.’

Wilhelm leaned back in his seat and observed. ‘Interesting! They’re joining the Hippie’s. Interesting.’ He locked eyes with Letitia. ‘Keep away from them too. They’re trouble.’

‘Shh! They might hear you,’ Letitia said.

Wilhelm casually sipped his juice and shook his head. ‘What parent lets her daughter walk around half-naked? I’ll never know! Tsk! Tsk!’

Letitia batted the space between them. ‘Wait till you have a daughter, Mr. Thumm.’

Wilhelm’s eyes widened. ‘Daughter? Am I to have a daughter?’

Letitia covered her mouth. ‘Maybe, who knows? In another universe, dimension, you do.’

Following that comment, Letitia could not resist taking a peek. She glanced quickly around just as the purple mo-haired clad mother armed with the day’s Melbourne Age, her minx of a daughter baring more thigh than skirt, and the short sniggering son, paraded past their table. Letitia turned away hoping that her scarf and sunglasses were enough to fool them into thinking that she was no one in particular.

The “Bogan” family ostentatiously chose the table directly behind Wilhelm. Mum who had all the round features of a blue-berry, and who wore ugg-boots to match her furry lavender cardigan, spread the paper over the narrow table while her off-spring raced off to fill their trays with cakes for breakfast. As she lifted the monumental sized newspaper to turn the page, Letitia noticed the headline, “Ryan to Hang.”

‘Nothing about any plane crash in Antarctica, then,’ Letitia muttered with a shudder.

‘Did you say something?’ Wilhelm said softly.

‘No, not really.’ Letitia kept her head down and eyes fixed on the one piece of vegemite toast and small glass of orange juice. ‘I see hanging is still a thing in this day and age.’

‘Yes, it is, although, there are calls to have it abolished.’

‘Just thinking about it, has made my seasickness return.’

‘Just as well we didn’t go on my yacht,’ Wilhelm said. ‘The sea was particularly rugged overnight.’

At that precise point in time, the ferry passed through the Heads of Port Phillip Bay. The boat rocked in every direction possible.  The Bogan mother directly behind Wilhelm caught Letitia’s gaze. Her chubby cheeks flushed. Her eyes narrowed.

Letitia bent her head and prayed that she would not be mother-Bogan’s victim for breakfast this morning. She had no desire to be bawled out by a blue berry. Especially after Wilhelm’s warning to keep away.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Spirit of Tasmania, Port of Melbourne © L.M. Kling 1995

***

Want more?

More than before?

Read the mischief and mayhem Boris the over-sized alien cockroach gets up to…

Click on the link to my new novel, The Lost World of the Wends

Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker

And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling

One thought on “Out of Time (8.1)

  1. Pingback: Out of Time (8.1) | leeannemarieblog

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