T-Team (the younger) Series–Chambers Gorge

The Road-Trip of No Destination

[Watched the first two of the Mad Max series, lately. Memories of the younger of the T-Team (my brother and me with a couple of friends) surfaced. We piled into my brother’s Chrysler Charger or whatever, and with roughin’ it on our minds, we travel up north of Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges; our sights set on Chambers Gorge…]

Back in the mid-1980’s my brother rarely used a map, not a map I could see. The Adelaide Street Directory, all faded and lying on the back seat under the stiff-from-salt-beach towels, doesn’t cover way-out country areas such as the Flinders Ranges.

[Photo 1: A street directory much like this one, courtesy of L.M. Kling]

Every Easter, commencing Maundy Thursday, we’d pile into my brother’s latest Chrysler charger or whatever, and roll along to the car stereo-cassette player blasting out local South Australian band Red Gum. Up Port Wakefield Road we’d go, and if we were fortunate enough not the break down there, as one tends to do on Port Wakefield Road, we’d sally on forth to the Flinders Ranges, about four hundred kilometres north of Adelaide.

[Photo 2: Classic view of the Flinders Ranges from the highway © L.M. Kling 1999]

We’d start our journey late, usually after nine at night, as some of my brother’s friends had work and had to eat dinner, then finally pack before they were ready to leave.

[Photo 3: We probably took the trip in my brother’s red Chrysler Charger © courtesy of L.M. Kling]

One time, my brother and I took friends Barney and Doris (not their real names) on a planned trip to Chambers Gorge, situated in the north-eastern part of the Flinders Ranges. We must’ve left closer to midnight, and my brother and Barney shared the driving through the night. Dirt roads at that time, caused the driving to slow and by the time we neared our destination in the Flinders, the watery blue sky of dawn crept over low hills in the east. In the back seat, Doris and I rested our heads on our bags and slept, while my brother willed himself to keep awake rocking to British band, Dire Straits. There was a short stop as he then, too weary, swapped with Barney.

[Photo 4: Sunrise in the Flinders Ranges © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

Doris and I kept on sleeping.

Then…Bang! The car skidded to a halt.

We spilled out of the car. I rubbed my eyes and looked around. The sun peeped over the horizon of flat desert plains, mountains to the west, jutted like pimples on the edge, still dark, untouched by the sun.

My brother checked the front of the car. ‘It’s all right, no damage. The bull bar took the brunt.’

Barney sauntered down the road, and then returned to us. ‘We hit a roo,’ he said.

‘So, we’ll have roo for breakfast?’ I asked, half-joking.

‘Why not? I’m hungry,’ Barney replied.

‘You can cook it, then,’ my brother said.


[Photo 5: Kangaroos in Onkaparinga Gorge; the descendants of ones that avoided having unhappy encounters with cars © L.M. Kling 2019]

So as the sun rose over the distant mountains capping the peaks in pink, we roasted the skinned roo-roadkill over the campfire. While we waited for the meat to cook, Barney swilled his breakfast beverage of choice—beer. My brother, a teetotaller and body builder, drank his concoction of protein powder mixed with water and raw egg. Doris and I boiled a billy of water and then brewed ourselves a cup of instant coffee and condensed milk.

[Photo 6: Campfire © L.M. Kling 1986]

Doris clutched her metal mug, then sipped her coffee and said, ‘Not sure about the kangaroo for breakfast.’

‘It’ll be alright,’ I said. ‘I’ve had kangaroo—not so bad. Although, not sure about eating after the way Barney’s cooked it. We fried it once like that on our Central Australian trip, and I had a terrible tummy ache and bad gas. Smelt like rotten eggs. My brother and his cousin had competitions rating the potency of their gas. They thought it was hilarious, but the stink was awful.’

Doris grimaced and put down her coffee mug. ‘I don’t want to know.’

‘You won’t have any choice when we’re stuck in the car driving to Chambers Gorge.’

‘Speaking of Chambers Gorge, where is it from here?’

‘Haven’t a clue. I guess my brother will just keep on driving until we see a sign to Chambers Gorge.’


Barney called, ‘Roo’s ready.’

Doris and I trooped over to the campfire and inspected Barney’s efforts. Barney waved away the smoke to reveal bone and sinew reduced to charcoal.

Doris screwed up her nose and said, ‘I’ll pass.’

‘Me too.’ I grimaced. ‘I don’t fancy the after-effects from that.’

‘Aw, bit over-cooked, but charcoal’s good for you,’ Barney said. He took a few bites and then frowned as he forced the hardened lumps of gristle down.

Barney then took the remnants of the roo behind a bush and gave the poor animal a good Christian burial in a shallow grave.

[Photo 7: Then onto Chambers Gorge © L.M. Kling 1985]

[to be continued…]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2019; 2021

Photo: Lee-Anne on a Limb, Flinders Ranges © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 1984


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Out of Time (10.3)

Doors of Deception

Part 3

Black Hole Bag of Time

[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 (10.3) Letitia tries to get to the bottom of Gunter’s baggage …]

‘Hmm!’ Letitia persevered on the box track. That this was what Jemima used to transport them back in time. ‘That black box was precious to her. It’s very valuable. Did you ever happen to see it?’

Gunter shook his head. ‘Nein! She had this big black bag though. I used to call it the black hole. She was always losing things in it. Yet, she always had everything — everything she needed. It is amazing what she had in that bag.’ He gave a short snort of amusement. ‘I half expected her to pull out a kitchen sink. I mean she had everything!’ He looked directly at Letitia. ‘Hey, where is your bag? Don’t women always have a bag with them?’

‘Yeah, usually. I travel light.’ Letitia was rather pleased with herself for the clever play of words. ‘Anyway, mine got stolen after I got off the boat.’

‘Oh, that is a shame. Were you on a boat? You get around!’

‘Oh, just a bit of Tassie actually. That’s where I disappeared to if you have been wondering. Top Secret IGSF Mission business. Then after completing the mission, I stayed with her name which I won’t mention and husband. They’re the ones who have sent me on this mission to Adelaide.’ Letitia leant forward and whispered, ‘I have to pretend to be Maggie, Tail’s wife, can you believe it?’

‘That won’t work.’

‘How so? I thought I could say I’m Maggie in disguise.’

‘Still won’t.’

Letitia reclined on her seat. ‘How do you know it won’t?’

‘I just know.’ Gunter puffed out his chest. ‘Besides, I saw Maggie this morning. Dressed like a Hippie. And Bo…’

Letitia grinned and bobbed her head. ‘I see. And you were saying?’

‘Nothing,’ Gunter flushed, ‘it is nothing. I am making it up. Like you make up time travel backwards.’

‘No, I don’t think so, love. Is this a trap, my brother?’

Gunter looked away. Mute. Caught in his own trap of pride.

‘Is Boris going to walk into this café and abduct me?’

Gunter wrung his hands.

‘Or is he hiding outside, waiting to catch me?’ Letitia slapped the table making Gunter jump. ‘Come on! I know he’s around. I can smell him. And I know you are working for him. You reek of him, brother!’

‘No, you are wrong,’ Gunter whimpered.

‘O-o-oh, I do hope I am,’ Letitia said while glancing at the darked bun-haired woman who glared at them in a “I’m-about-to-close-shop” fashion. ‘I hope, for your sake, Jemima’s safe. Or you and that bleeding Boris will pay!’

‘See what I mean? Nobody understands me.’ Gunter looked up. ‘I can’t just—can’t just…you would not understand. Nobody gets it.’

‘Get it? Understand? I get and understand only too well. Two bomb blasts well. Exile in another universe well. Over twenty-five years well. I’ve seen my friends suffer.’ Letitia served her half-brother a withering look. ‘Do you think what happened in the last war was a Sunday School picnic? What happened to my friend, Frieda? Hmmm?’

‘You have no idea!’ Gunter ground his teeth before continuing. ‘That woman—that girl who waltzed into our lives, our family, like it was hers, which it was not. Nothing happened to her. Not compared to my mother.’

Now, we’re getting somewhere, Letitia thought. ‘Your mother? What did Boris do to your mother? Tell me. I’m listening.’

Gunter waved the air between them. ‘It’s complicated.’

‘Try me.’

‘Let’s just say, she is who I owe my debt to.’ He laughed, a bitter kind of laugh. ‘And Frieda? She has no idea who she is married to.’

‘Now, you have my full attention. I always thought Wilhelm was a little strange.’ She reached over again and took hold of his hand. ‘I’m sorry for my outburst. Look, if you can keep me from, you know, the cockroach, I think I can help you. And I get the feeling that Jemima is already doing just that too.’

Gunter and Letitia thanked the vendor before stepping out onto the steaming pavement. Gunter hung back from a passing Friday night crowd. He seemed uncertain which way to go. He looked at Letitia for inspiration. ‘So, where’s your hotel? I’ll give you a lift.’

‘Hotel? My bag was stolen. I have no money. I have no hotel. I have no place to stay, actually.’

‘You are homeless, then.’


‘That’s convenient,’ Gunter remarked. He looked about him as if Letitia were a stray in search of a home. He then dug his hands in his pockets and scuffed the pavement with his shoe.

‘I’m sorry. Have I put you out?’ Letitia said.

Gunter began to stride towards the highway away from the beach. ‘This way, I have an idea.’ Half-turning, he said, ‘You sure you don’t know where your daughter lives?’

‘Nah. ‘fraid not,’ Letitia answered while breaking into a jog to keep up with Gunter’s accelerating pace.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Old Baggage © L.M. Kling 2021


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T-Team Series–Base of Mt. Liebig

[While three of the T-Team faced the perils of climbing Mt. Liebig, a drama of a different, yet equally challenging kind unfolded for Mr. B and his son, Matt as they stayed back at camp.

Extract from The T-Team with Mr B: Central Australia 1977, a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.]

Bull Meets Mr. B

Mr B and his son, Matt napped under the shade of a bean tree. A southerly breeze ferried through the dry creek bed, spiriting away the father’s snorts. Matt tossed and turned on his inflatable mattress that was exhausted of air resulting from a small, elusive puncture. He imagined the three others of the T-Team, beating a path through the sweltering heat and stinging spinifex in their quest to the summit of Mt. Liebig. Matt chuckled to himself. “Suckers!”

[Photo 1: Mt Liebig at sunrise with bean tree © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

In a nearby tributary, a bull spied the T-Team’s father, son and daughter trekking in the distance, and stamped its massive hooves in the loose dry sand. Once the family had vanished, the bull trotted towards his stamping ground which possessed a gigantic bean tree as a feature in an otherwise dull bed of dust. His quest was to reclaim his territory that the humans had invaded.

“Matt, ma boy, do be careful. Don’t go too far from camp. A bull might get you.” Mr. B squinted in the direction of distant thumping, then rolled over and resumed snoring.

A monstrous brown hulk loomed through a cloud of dust.

[Photo 2: Resident cattle © L.M. Kling 2013]

Matt bolted upright “Dad! Dad! Th-there’s a big- ugly- brown – ugly- big – brown – ugly – b-b-bull!”

“Aw, Matt, stop kidding me.” Mr. B blinked and rubbed his eyes. “That’s enough of the jokes.” A short rumble from behind sent him scrambling to his feet. He flailed his arms while galloping. “Quick! Into the Rover. Now!”

“But Dad!” In the sweltering heat and moment, the boy froze, glued to his air mattress under the bean tree. Terrified, he witnessed his Dad bound over the dirt and fly into the empty Rover parking space and onto a thicket of spinifex. Matt winced. The massif of angry brown trod closer. It paused, pawing the ground, taunting its human prey.

[Photo 3: Cattle Yard © S.O. Gross circa 1950]

After rubbing his punctured behind, Mr. B scrambled for the tarpaulin and rummaged through the baggage. “Er, d-don’t worry Matt. I-I’ll charge this bull before it s-sh-shoots — er — us.”

“But, Dad, the bull doesn’t have a gun.”

“Well, neither do we, we’ll just have to be satisfied with this boomerang and spear, till I find the damn gun.”

The bull stalked, narrowing the gap. The son clambered up the tree and gasped as his father fought with a rucksack that had entangled his legs, while he waved the pathetic weapons above his head.

[Photo 4: The bull that didn’t get away © S.O. Gross circa 1950]

“But Dad, they’re only souvenirs.”

“Why Matt, how can you say such a thing? Where do you think these genuine Australian artefacts are made?” With all his effort, Mr. B thrust the spear at the beast.

“Yes, Dad, sold in Australia, but made in Japan.” Matt watched as the menacing bulk of fury stomped the ground, dust billowing into a cloud around it. “Too bad the bull doesn’t know the difference.”

“Don’t be sarcastic at a time of crisis, son.” Mr. B flung the boomerang at the charging bull and ducked behind the tucker box. The projectile bounced off the bull’s hide, provoking it into a tumult of frenzy. Grunting like an eight-cylinder engine, he stormed towards its human attacker, screeching to a halt at the edge of the tarpaulin. As the bull glared down at him, Mr. B could smell its leathery breath.

[Photo 5: Meanwhile, Mt. Liebig in afternoon and more generous ghost gum © S.O. Gross circa 1946]

With a nervous smile fixed on his face, the father edged his way to the bean tree and climbed aboard. The bull stomped and snorted around the sacred bean tree while its victims trembled in the lofty branches amongst the beans.

From this vantage point, Mr. B spotted the rifle leaning up against the tucker box. Unfortunately, the bull sat between him in the tree and the tucker box.

Hours passed.

Father and son sat in the tree.

“Dad my bottom hurts,” Matt whined.

Mr. B sighed, “The others’ll be back soon. They have a rifle.”

“But Dad! I have to go!”

“Hold on,” Mr. B snapped. Then, he spotted the missing rifle, its metal shining on the churned sand.

The sun edged to the horizon.

Mr. B bit his lip wondering if he’d be stuck up this tree forever.

“Dad! I really have to!”

Mr. B turned to his son who was now rocking.

The distant hum rang through the golden landscape. Mr. B adjusted his grip on the branch.

The hum became louder. An engine.

The bull rose and sauntered out of the campsite, then disappeared into the bush.

“Just wait, Matt,” Mr. B said. He scrambled down the tree and grabbed the rifle.

Matt’s voice floated down. “Dad, it’s too late.”

As the sun disappeared below the horizon, the rest of the T-Team returned to find Mr. B clutching a rifle and pacing the clearing. Matt remained lodged high up in the bean tree.

“As you can see, while you’ve been climbing your mountain, we’ve had a not-so-welcome visitor,” Mr. B remarked.

[Photo 6: Mt. Liebig at sunset © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

“Somehow, I think the B-family will be taking a guided bus tour next time they go for a holiday,” I muttered to Rick.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019

Feature Painting: Mt. Liebig in watercolour © L.M. Kling 2017


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Out of Time (10.2)

Doors of Deception

Part 2

[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 (10.2) Letitia discusses family matters while Gunter comes to terms with his embarrassing discovery about Jemima…]

Turkish Coffee Time

They found a café still open and churning out Turkish coffees in tiny golden cups.
The aroma lingered in the air surrounding the café, the same one in which Letitia had partaken of vanilla slice and coffee eight maybe nine hours earlier. The same dark eyed woman black hair rolled up in a bun, stared at her. The vendor kept her surveillance as Gunter organised the drinks while Letitia waited at the table that had crammed itself against the wall.

‘Trev won’t trouble us here, Lettie.’ Gunter set down the miniature cups on the laminated table that had the distinct smell of disinfectant.

‘I’m sure that he will be too busy dancing his way to fame and fortune.’

‘He’ll get sick of that.’ Gunter dismissed her suggestion with the wave of one hand. ‘Always does. Same every week. Then he comes looking for me. Every week! I cannot get rid of him.’ He leaned back on the wooden chair, crossed his lanky legs, and continued, ‘When I need a break, I come here.’ He indicated a subtle thumb towards the proprietor. ‘Trev’s afraid of her. Thinks she’s the FBI. No kidding! He’s paranoid.’ Gunter chuckled and then confided, ‘I take Jemima here.’ More sniggers. ‘It’s the only way we get privacy.’

‘Oh, I see.’ Letitia shifted uncomfortably in her seat and glanced briefly at the Greek lady busily polishing the benches. The languid staring from her was beginning to make sense. ‘She’s a bit old for you, though. I mean Jemima – why’s she interested in you, pet?’ Jemima, after all, was still her daughter and she had trouble reconciling that in another time and world, Gunter and Minna were a constant item.

Gunter locked eyes with Letitia. ‘We’re just friends. I did not know she was my niece and involved with the IGSF. She never…’

‘Is that why you reacted, like you…’

Gunter bent his head and nodded.

‘She found you, then. And you know she will go to Papa and…’

‘I must admit, I suspected, but hoped…I mean, she talked about finding her father.’ He grabbed Letitia’s arm and met her eyes. ‘Look, don’t tell them. I want to be left alone. Find my own way.’

‘But why, Gunter? We’re family.’

‘You can’t begin to understand.’ Gunter looked away and sipped some coffee. ‘I’ll always be the lesser. The black sheep. And now that Johann has…’

‘Johann? Your older brother?’

Gunter stared into his coffee cup. ‘Yes.’

‘But why? What’s so bad that…?’

‘You don’t understand. I’ve done some things I’m not proud of.’

 ‘What have you done, Gunter? Don’t you think I don’t know what Boris is like? What has he got over you? What has he asked you to do?’ Letitia searched for his evading gaze. ‘Nothing is too bad that you have to sell your soul to that creep.’

‘Just last night, I saw her. Jemima. She comes and goes a bit. I never know when I am going to see her.’ Gunter’s gaze wandered out into the street. The atmosphere was still bustling and electric as summer nights in Melbourne usually are. ‘You don’t have an address for her?’ His voice sounded concerned, with a thin reedy tenor to it.

‘No, she went away and never really gave one, I’m afraid.’ Letitia continued this line of enquiry without further mention of Boris. No need to trigger Gunter. Trigger, there’s that word again. ‘Say, does she still carry around that little black treasure box?’ The transportation device materialised in Letitia’s mind. She remembered that black box. Remembered distinctly what the box could do. Hot beads of sweat rolled slowly down from her temples and over her cheeks.

Gunter peered at her. ‘Are you alright?’

She fanned her face with a menu. ‘Yeah! Not used to the Melbourne heat. It’s getting to me.’

‘But, Sydney is hotter and more humid. Remember? We used to sleep out in the back yard on our foam mattresses. I remember Papa used to snore so loud that it would keep us awake.’

‘Yep, those were the days! Wouldn’t dream about doing that now.’ Letitia forgetting what era she was in. All time, all years were embraced by the immediacy of “now”.

 ‘Ja, must not do that these days. Not in Melbourne. There was that serial killer in Perth.’ All that remained in Gunter’s cup was a pug of silty coffee grounds. ‘The night caller. Other end of the country, but it could happen here.’

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature photo: Coffee anyone? Turkish or otherwise. (The tea set is St Kilda Fine China made in the 1960’s). © L.M. Kling 2021


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T-Team Adventures–Lost on Liebig (2)

[While Mr. B and his son, Matt stayed back at camp, three of the T-Team faced the challenge of climbing Mt. Liebig. And finding their way down. After a successful climb (except for the lost quart can) to summit Mt. Liebig, (Read Part 1 of this adventure), the T-Team lose their way..]

Extract from The T-Team with Mr B: Central Australia 1977, a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.]

The T-Team Lost

We heard a blood-curdling scream.

‘What’s that?’ I asked.

‘Rick, I hope he’s alright.’

We scrambled down the last of the gully and ran along the ridge in the direction of Rick’s cries.

Rick rose above the mounds of spinifex rubbing his behind.

[Photo 1: Surveying the descent © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]

‘Are you okay?’ I fought my way through the prickly barbs to my brother.

‘I’m fine, except I fell, bottom first in the spinifex.’

‘Oh, so it’s just a false alarm then, we thought you were really hurt,’ I said. His scream was worse than the prickly bushes’ sting.

‘Well, I’m going to avoid any more painful encounters,’ he said and with that he stomped away from me and within minutes, drifted out of view.

[Photo 2: Dangerous descent as far as Rick and spinifex is concerned © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

We also diverged. Dad was confident that all gullies lead to the big one at the base of the slope. ‘Ah, well! We will meet Rick in the gully below,’ he assured me.

But contrary to Dad’s prediction, we did not meet Rick. I could not help thinking, this was not the first time as far as Rick was concerned. We’d already lost him in the sand dunes near Uluru. Almost.

[Photo 3: Memories of a lost Rick in the sand dunes near Uluru © L.M. Kling 2013]

Dad continued to search for his quart can. But that little friend Dad had cherished since the fifties, eluded him also.

We weaved our way down the main gully for about an hour. A huge spider in a web spanning the width of the gully confronted us. The spider, the size of a small bird, appeared uninviting, so we backtracked and decided to hike up and down the ridges.

[Photo 4: Another big uninviting spider (Orb Weaver); they’re everywhere in Australia © L.M. Kling 2011]

For several hours, we struggled over ridges. Up and down, we tramped, yet seemed to make little progress; the rise and dips went on forever. The sun sank low, and so did our water supplies.

[Photo 5: Late afternoon on the Liebig Range © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

The heat drained me. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. But we had to ration water.

Dad slumped on a slab of rock at the bottom of a gully. ‘Drink?’

I took the canteen from him and filled my cup. Then I spooned in some Salvital. I chugged down the water as it fizzed. So refreshing!

‘Oh, Lee-Anne!’ Dad quibbled. ‘You didn’t leave much for me!’ He poured the last drops of water from his canteen into his mouth and gazed in despair at the lengthening shadows of the mountain.

‘Oh, but Dad! It’s not fair! We will never get out of this place! We are lost forever.’ I had visions of future hikers coming upon our dried-up old bones thirty years later. ‘What are we going to do?’

[Photo 6: Dried bones; not human, kangaroo. Brachina Gorge Flinders Ranges © L.M. Kling 1999]

‘Well, um, perhaps we better pray God will help us.’ Dad bowed his head and clasped his hands. ‘Dear Lord, please help us find our way back to the truck. And forgive me for growling at Lee-Anne.’

‘Forgive me too. Help us not to run out of food and water, too.’

‘Bit late for that,’ Dad muttered. ‘Ah, well.’

We had barely finished praying, when an idea struck me. ‘Why don’t we climb up a ridge and walk along it. Surely if we go high enough, we’ll see the landmark and the land rover.’

‘Oh, I don’t know. We need to conserve our energy.’

‘Just one ridge won’t harm us.’

Dad sighed. ‘Okay, it’s worth a try.’

I raced up the hill and strode along the ridge. I climbed higher and higher. I glanced towards the east expecting, hoping, willing the Rover to appear. But with each stride, each hopeful gaze, nothing. I resolved to climb further up the slope before turning back.

[Photo 7: Ridges leading up to Liebig © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

After a few more steps, still nothing. With the heaviness of defeat, I turned to climb down. Then I saw it. The Land Rover sat at the base of the mountain, glistening in the last rays of the setting sun.

‘There it is!’ I jumped up and down over-reacting with excitement.

‘Praise the Lord!’ Dad’s shout echoed in the valley.

With renewed energy, we attacked the last mounds that lay between the vehicle and us.

‘Rick will probably be sitting there waiting for us wondering what has happened,’ Dad said puffing as we strode up to the land rover. ‘Can’t wait to have a few gallons of water.’

We rambled over to the rover. Dad circled the vehicle and returned to me shaking his head. ‘He’s not here.’

[Photo 8: Foreboding, Mt. Liebig at sunset © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

I wandered around the clearing searching for Rick. I looked behind bushes and under some neighbouring bean trees. My brother was nowhere in sight.

But worse still, when Dad tried to fill his cup, only a few drops of water trickled from the land rover’s water tank.

Dad stared at the ground and tapped his pockets. ‘This is not good. This is not good,’ he said.

The sun had set and a cold chill cut through me. He’s lost. My brother is lost in this wilderness. ‘What if he’s had an accident?’

‘We need to pray,’ Dad said.

Dad prayed, ‘Father, bring Rick home and provide us with water too.’

We waited watching the colours on the mountain fade and our hopes fade with them.

‘I guess we better get going,’ Dad said. He opened the door of the Land Rover.

Rick staggered around a nearby outcrop of rocks.

We ran to greet him.

‘Rick, you’re okay,’ Dad said hugging him.

‘What happened?’ I asked.

‘I took the long way and trekked around the base of the mountain. I thought it wouldn’t take that long, but it just went on and on.’

[Photo 9: Around the base of Mt. Liebig © S.O. Gross 1946]

As we walked to the Land Rover, Dad studied the vehicle. ‘You know, it’s on a slope, if I get it to level ground, we might have enough water.’

Dad drove the Rover to where the ground flattened out. Water never tasted so sweet.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2019

Feature: Painting acrylic on canvas: Descent from Liebig © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2014


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Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981,

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And escape in time and space to Central Australia 1981…

Out Of Time (10.1)

Doors of Time

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 (10.1) Letitia challenges her black sheep brother, Gunter …]

The Fog of Time

Reality is out there; oftentimes it is hidden behind the fog of muddied perceptions, overlooked details and the brainwashing of denial. At that precise time, Letitia was sure that Gunter was in denial about something; that something being his association with Boris. While Trevor insisted on doing a little dance and ditty about Gunter and Jemima, Gunter kept batting the demented soul with the back of his hand and telling him to stop in no uncertain terms. Obvious denial there.

Meanwhile, as they walked, Letitia kept glancing back, sure that behind Trevor, Boris lurked in the shadows. Sure she smelt wafts of cockroach. Definitely not garbage spilling out of public bins.

Gunter was perplexed about the possibility that Letitia could be anyone’s mother, let alone Jemima’s. As Trevor continued to provide the entertainment, Gunter argued, ‘But you can’t possibly be a mother.’ He gesticulated in mathematical frustration. ‘You look too young.’

‘I’m not. I’m nearing fifty, pet,’ Letitia replied, the verbal idiosyncrasies of a certain detective series she had enjoyed on Mirror surfaced. Then, guiding the conversation to eke more truth out of Gunter, she asked, ‘Why the sour face, dear? Why are you hiding here in Melbourne? Why don’t you keep in touch with your family?’

‘Do you know how screwed up they are?’

‘Hey, my dear, brother, I’m part of that family.’

‘But, there are parts you have no idea about, Letitia.’

‘Ooh, that sounds interesting,’ Trevor’s voice sang from behind them.

Letitia turned and glared at him. ‘What? Pray, Gunter?’

‘Wouldn’t you like to know?’ Trevor gyrated. ‘Come on baby, light my…’

Gunter snapped, ‘Stop it, Trev!’

Letitia laughed, ‘Reminds me of the Mr Bean.’

‘Mr. Bean? Who’s he when he’s at home?’

‘On Mirror, in the future…Oh, never mind…’ Letitia sighed. ‘I shouldn’t even be in this time.’

Gunter stared at Letitia his eyes wide. ‘Time travel is impossible. Anyway, why do you keep going on about a train crash?’ He then patted Letitia on her back. ‘I think you need help, Lettie, my dear sister.’

‘You did. Time travel, that is. When you go light speed, through worm holes, whatever. Remember Einstein’s theory of relativity?’

‘That’s forward. Never backward. Think of the…the…problems if you went back? The…the…what is the word?’


‘Yes, that is the one. You must not have paradoxes. They are not allowed.’

‘But there’s the paradox. Anyway, it’s more likely a parallel world. I gather this world is a parallel world, but out of sync, or time. In my universe, I am in 2018.’

Letitia thought that of all the people in the universe, Gunter would understand. But it appeared as if he didn’t. She had two choices. She could either persist in convincing him that she was from the future and risk ending up in the funny farm surrounded by the men in white coats, or she could pretend that she had been joking. After all, Trevor was still tagging behind them, listening. What would he make of this information?

Gunter scratched his head. ‘It still doesn’t make sense.’

Letitia laughed, ‘Gunter, you’d believe anything! You haven’t changed, that’s for sure.’

‘I – I thought you were – were – serious – ly deluded.’ Gunter patted her head. ‘Little Lettie! Always joking.’

Again behind, Trevor roared with ripples of uncontrolled laughter. ‘I reckon Ferro believed you, though. Know what – hee – hee – haw- haw, I had a friend from Adelaide once who used to tell us at school that she had flown to the moon in a spaceship called “Trigger” Ha-ha-hee-hee-haw-haw! What a name for a car! Trigger! Reckoned it was Chrysler Charger or something. Ha-ha. What Chrylser could ever fly to the moon, let alone move on four wheels?’

‘Well, there you go,’ Letitia said, humouring Trevor. A cold chill raised the hairs on the back of her head. ‘Sides, anyone knows it is Adelaide that is stuck in a time warp.’

‘Chrysler Charger? What is that?’ Gunter asked. Then before Letitia could explain, he jerked his head back towards Acland Street, ‘C’mon, let’s get a coffee and catch up.’

‘Okay.’ Letitia followed Gunter as he marched towards the bright lights of St Kilda’s most favourite street. Meters away, Trevor’s dance had developed into a street performance and coins, mostly the old, now defunct pennies, gathered on a crumpled hanky and glistened in the light of the lamps by the bay.

As they passed the food caravan once again, Letitia noticed the smokers still there, statue-like, tracking them, plumes of cigarette fumes rising and mingling with the humid night air. She could not resist throwing in a comment, ‘What is it with those people? Not very Christian, if you want my opinion.’

‘They’re not,’ Gunter replied.

‘They’re not? Then what are they doing at a charity food van, serving food?’ Are they working for Boris? she wanted to also ask.

‘Community service. They don’t want to be here; they have to be.’

‘Oh, that makes sense then.’ Letitia was tempted to add a quip such as “better than a Mirror-mind wipe” or “splitting rocks on the mining planet” but decided that under the circumstances, that turn of conversation would not be a good idea.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: A door in Wil, Switzerland © L.M. Kling 2014


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Alice to Adelaide (2.2) — Coober Pedy

Chaos in the Can at Coober Pedy

[Mission to scatter Dad’s ashes in central Australia accomplished, the T-Team Next Generation commenced their journey back down south to Adelaide. Toilet stops were an essential part of the trip. A fact that these conveniences, even in this modern age, sometimes fail to appreciate…And the users too failed to appreciate, thus no mugshots of the “can” in question…

So, in lieu of that particular “robot” model, I have hunted down and flushed out (from my photo collection) an assortment of true blue Aussie dunnies from my travels…through life…]

We settled down at a picnic table near the automated toilets. Anthony prepared the sandwiches while I dashed into the “robot” dunny to do my deed.

Photo 1a: This is a distant cousin of the likely suspect (not at Coober Pedy, though).© L.M. Kling 2016
1b:View of Adelaide Beach coast from Marino rocks with the automated loo © L.M. Kling 2016

While I sat on the tin throne, county and western come Hawaiian music clanged away. Did I detect a banjo while the toilet roll unfurled itself for me? No button to flush. Oh, well. Once I washed my hands, the toilet duly flushed. Then, I placed my hands under the air-dryer. As usual, I am invisible to this universe, and the cohort of air-dryers that belong to it. Air-dryer refused to acknowledge me and blow air on my wet hands. Oh, well, I’ll dry my hands with my own towel from the car that exists quite happily in my universe.

Photo 2: More traditional pair, in the open air, now, in our back yard as planters © L.M. Kling 2016

I step to the sliding door and press the large blue button. The music volume increased. But the doors did not oblige. I pressed the blue button again. Nothing. Just the demented music. Becoming more demented.

Photo 3: Am beginning to prefer the long drop at Ocean Beach Tasmania (note the al fresco wash basin) © L.M. Kling 2016

I read the instructions. And pressed the blue button again.


I hit the button.

Kicked the door.

I sat down by the stubborn non-sliding door.

Photo 4: Generational memories from Mum when she lived in Hermannsburg of waiting for her dad to finish and door to open…Meanwhile she danced around the little house…waiting…This photo, a T-Team, next Generation reenactment © L.M. Kling 2013

And waited.

Instructions said I must vacate this automated locked-down establishment in ten minutes. As if to press its point the “robot” toilet increased the annoyance level of the music.

What’s worse, I had entered this pongy prison without my mobile phone. Or jumper. It was cold in there.

Photo 5: That little house in the Hermannsburg Precinct is now itself imprisoned, although Anthony did wait…and reenact the T-Team Next Gen dance.© L.M. Kling 2021

Anthony called from the outside. ‘What’s going on?’

‘I’m trapped,’ I replied. ‘The toilet won’t open.’

‘Have you tried to push the button?’

‘Yes, a million times.’

‘Well, you must’ve done something wrong.’

I noted that the blue button had written on it “touch free” and then I figured, That’s why the toilet’s incarcerated me. Touching it must’ve broken its rules. ‘Has it been ten minutes yet?’

‘Not yet.’

Photo 6: Dreaming of the simple life when a bush will do. But be careful where you aim such camera shots. Apparently, I just missed Mrs T who had to find said “bush”. She appeared from behind a bush after I took this lovely photo of typical Central Australian bush land. She was not amused. © L.M. Kling 2013

Then, the blue button which I’m meant to push for my release from this demented can, the button that has “touch free” displayed on it, lit up and vibrated. But the door refused to budge.

I pushed the door. No joy. It stayed locked and the not-so-ambient music went on and on like some crazy organ-grinder.

I was starting to imagine some security guy in some dug-out office in the middle of Coober Pedy laughing at this old jailbird (me)…when…

Photo 7: Jail cell Port Arthur (equipped with the bucket for use in the corner) © L.M. Kling 2009

A voice from above warned, ‘You have exceeded your stay, you must exit immediately.’

‘Not that I haven’t wanted to,’ I snapped back. Pushed the vibrating bright button, yet again. Pulled the door. Still stubborn as.

‘You have exceeded your stay. You must exit immediately.’ Followed by the crazy music.

I rolled my eyes. ‘I wish.’

Photo 8: Dreaming of freedom. The painted facilities of Sellicks Beach © L.M. Kling 2013

Watched the door. Hoping. Praying it would open.

‘You have exceeded your stay. You must exit immediately.’

I waited and watched. ‘You might need to call the police or emergency services to release me,’ I told Anthony.

As if it heard my warning to call the authorities, the door slid open. I leapt out. ‘Yay! I’m free! I’m free!’ I jumped and danced in front of a rather unimpressed husband. ‘I’m never going to in one of those things again! I thought it was never going to open!’

Photo 9: Ah! Freedom at last! Loo with a view, Rawnsley Park, Flinders Ranges, South Australia There is an actual toilet block. This is the view that greets you upon your exit. © L.M. Kling 2007

‘Come on, let’s have lunch,’ Anthony snipped, ‘We’ve already wasted twenty-five minutes.’

‘Not before I get my jumper, I’m freezing. You don’t know how cold it was in there. I’m never going into a toilet without my mobile phone or a jumper. Ever.’

As we munched on our sandwiches, a brisk wind chilled us to the bone, even with an extra layer of clothing on. A little indigenous boy scampered into the evil “robot’ toilet. Less than a minute later, he exited. Anthony, then went into the same crazy “can” and was out in two minutes.

‘How did you do that?’ I asked.

Anthony replied smugly, ‘I pressed the blue button.’

‘So did I, a dozen times.’

‘You must’ve done something wrong.’

‘Just my luck I had to be incarcerated by the toilet.’

Photo 10:Have been sticking to more traditional, low tech loos ever since. Seacliff Loo with the view, Adelaide beachfront South Australia © L.M. Kling October 5, 2021

So, out on parole from the Cooper Pedy “can”, we escaped this town and headed for Woomera.

[to be continued…]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Let me out! Our History Teacher Jailed in Burra Mines © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1980


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Out of Time (9.5)

Plenty of Time

Part 5

[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 (9.5) Letitia and her black sheep brother reconnect but she is worried that Boris is lurking…]

She’s Your Mother?

Letitia knocked on the white metal door. It rattled. No answer. She could hear sizzling of water on hot plates and a cacophony of clanging. She was uncertain whether she should pursue her brother. Might be a trap; just the sort of thing Boris would do. She glanced behind, worrying. Fretting. Boris could be lurking just around the corner. Or inside. With Gunter. Hadn’t he gone to Boris after Frieda’s disaster of a party? The party he hadn’t been invited to? She turned and looked back. The motley crew of smokers were sniggering at some unspoken joke. Trevor loitered at the bottom of the caravan steps. With no way to retreat, she had to knock again.

She hammered the door, and nearly lost her balance as the door swung open.

‘Whose making all that racket?’ Gunter barked. He slung the tea towel over his right shoulder and glared at Letitia. ‘Who are you?’

From below Trevor who had been keeping abreast with the smokers’ conversation, called out, ‘It’s your mum, Ferro. Mrs. Ferro.’

‘I’m not your…’ Letitia began.

Gunter stared wide-eyed at Letitia and then yelled at Trevor, ‘She’s not my mum. My mum’s a…Oh, never mind.’ He turned his attention to Letitia. ‘Who are you?’

‘I’m your, sister—Letitia.’

‘Who?’ Gunter stared blankly at her with his deep blue eyes. ‘You don’t look like her.’

Wiping a stray hair from her face, she said, ‘You are Gunter Fahrer, aren’t you?’

‘Er, yes.’ Gunter responded cautiously. He continued to peer at Letitia with a mixture of pity and paternalism as if she were the local village idiot.

‘Son of August? From Bavaria?’ Letitia persisted attempting to dispel any notion that she was insane.

‘Shush, keep your voice down woman.’ Gunter sounded more annoyed than over-joyed at the connection.

‘I-I’m your sister, Letitia who vanished. Remember the party? Frieda’s party? The one she didn’t invite you to? The one Boris…’ Letitia babbled while trying to edge her way into the van. ‘I know I look a lot older, but time travel…’

‘Who were you?’ Gunter’s brow wrinkled as if her presence on the steps of the food van troubled him.

‘Letitia, your sister. I’ve been on Mirror World, a parallel, well not exactly, oh, dear…’ she repeated. ‘You don’t believe me. You think I’m nuts.’

‘If you are, how come you’re so…tanned?’ Gunter said.

‘Oh! The nanobots, and skin grafts after the burning…of me.’ All her courage evaporated into the heat of the night. ‘I guess, on this world, maybe I never…’ she turned to go. ‘That my mum and your dad never…’

As she planted a foot on the pavers below, Gunter called out. ‘Just wait a minute! Come back! I had to make sure, Lettie.’

Letitia looked up at him. ‘You remember me? Recognise me then?’

‘Natuerlich. I must test, you know.’ Gunter jumped down the van steps. ‘Come, we go for a walk.’

Letitia shrugged. ‘Sure, why not? Looks like I better get in practise. Have to walk to Adelaide, later.’

‘Sorry, I didn’t recognise you. You look so, so different.’ He wiped his hands on his faded jeans and paced towards the stone wall by the beach. Letitia followed, with Trevor still trailing after them.

With the curious smokers lost in a fog of smoke and out of earshot, Gunter muttered out of the corner of his mouth, ‘You shouldn’t be here, you know.’

‘Is she one of yours?’ Trevor asked.

Gunter glared at Trevor.

‘It wasn’t my idea,’ Letitia said. ‘Something happened when the plane crashed. I just want to—go to Adelaide. I know I shouldn’t be here. Not here. Not at this time. I’m not sure you can help. But Will, Frieda’s…’

Gunter held up his hand. ‘Frieda? Frieda? Don’t mention that name around me!’

‘Sorry, I know she was mean to you. That what she did caused all this sh–, I mean rubbish to happen: Boris’ attack on the satellite we were on; me ending up in Mirror World; not to mention the recent plane crash…’

‘Plane crash? What are you talking about?’

‘The one in Antarctica,’ Letitia sighed, beginning to wonder if Gunter did not have something seriously wrong with his memory.

‘She is one of yours. You can tell. They are different. They stand out.’ Trevor was suddenly palpably excited. He was hopping around in the dark as if dancing at a rock concert.

‘Antarctica? There’s been no crash in Antarctica. Not recently there hasn’t.’ Gunter scanned his half-sister cynically.

‘Didn’t Boris tell you?’ Letitia raised her tone an octave. ‘They said you had gone to his side. The dark side. The least he could…’

‘Where do the IGSF get their intel from? I’ve been in Melbourne.’

‘All this time?’

‘More or less.’

But Letitia sensed he withheld the whole truth from her. She decided to allow that last comment slide. ‘So you’ve been living in Melbourne, then? But, not with your sister, Doris, I gather.’

Gunter snorted, ‘Doris? She’s in Adelaide, I think. She’s become a teacher, so I heard. Some high school up in the hills.’

He swapped the tea towel to his other shoulder. They strolled along the esplanade. Trevor tagged behind, scuffing his feet but not mumbling.

‘There’s this girl, must be your daughter – looks like you.’ Gunter began deep in thought. ‘I thought she was you, because the last time…’

‘Jemima!’ Trevor piped up into our backs. ‘Mr Fahrer likes her. But I say she’s too young.’

‘Shut your gob Trevor,’ Gunter snapped. ‘She’s my niece.’

‘Niece? She’s too old…’ Trevor said.

Gunter dismissed him with a wave of the tea towel. ‘It’s complicated.’

‘Things are always complicated with you Krauts,’ Trevor whined.  

Letitia smiled. ‘You know Jemima?’ She began to skip with hope.

‘Yeah.’ Gunter uttered curtly and strode head down and hands deep in his pockets as if he had entered a dark cloud of discontent.

‘Jem has been here? In Melbourne?’ Letitia clapped her hands. ‘She’s alive!’

‘Mmm.’ Was all the response she received.

‘She comes every now and again. She was here yesterday, wasn’t she Mr Fahrer.’ Trevor chipped in.

‘Quiet Trevor.’ Gunter barked. Then he stopped and turned to Letitia. ‘Are you looking for your daughter? Has she run away from you?’

‘Well, not actually.’ Letitia had to be honest despite how the situation would appear from Gunter’s perspective. ‘What was Jemima doing in Melbourne?’

‘Said something about looking for her grandmother. Or was it her father. Know anything about that?’ Gunter asked. He stood stabbing a sticky lump of chewing gum on the asphalt.

‘Possibly.’ Letitia thought it time to explain her virtual dilemma and see if Gunter could help her. ‘You see, I think Jemima is up to something. I’m starting to suspect that she sent me here, back in time, to…I don’t know, somehow fight in the war against Boris. Just before the plane went down, she told me to drink some wine and that she had a plan. I always get suspicious when Jemima says she has a plan.’

Gunter froze.

This’s not a good sign, Letitia thought.

Trevor began to whine, ‘Why have we stopped, Mr. Fahrer?’

[Continued next week in Chapter 10.1 “Doors of Deception”…]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Summer sunset © L.M. Kling 2019


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