Out of Time (14.2)

Fast Forward

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…Now, being a project of sorts, over the summer holidays, I have pieced together the story from beginning to end, and then revised it. A main thread has evolved. Something to do with murder and Letitia’s unfortunate involvement in it. I have worked on developing some of the other characters. In this episode (14.2), we obtain some character insights with the interaction between Gunter and his mother.]

Change of Plan


Gunter sat bolt upright in his bed. He was determined and focused on what he must do. He tiptoed into his absent brother’s room to “borrow” some of his money, hidden in a jar behind his H.G. Wells collection in the bookshelf. Mrs. C down the hallway, was asleep; he could hear her snoring like a band saw as he passed by her room. He gritted his teeth and hoped that the door would not creak. It did.

With a fist full of dollars, Gunter slipped out of the boarding house and then pelted across the road, the solitary streetlight witness to his race. He paused as he reached the solid wooden doors of the local church. The suburb had paused to sleep at three in the morning, but Gunter’s heart was thumping. He decided that this front entrance was too risky, so edged around the side of the church until he found a side door. Actually, a metal gate.

He fumbled with lock. It was not budging. He groped around in his trouser pocket for old faithful, his mama’s hair pin. Mama’s pin had not let him down yet. With the pin, he poked around the keyhole until the click and the gate sprang open. In the moonlight, another door, challenged him.

Nervously he maneuvered the pin around the wooden door lock and hoped that it wasn’t a deadbolt. As if a mantra for luck, he chanted under his breath, ‘Dumkopf! Open!’ The words made him feel less anxious if nothing else.

The door fell away from him, and he lurched, then tripped, sprawling on the rug covering the jarrah floor. ‘Sheisse!’ he cried. He was sure that he had been found out and that his life was over.

‘I thought you would never make it.’ A woman’s voice floated over his head.

He recognised that voice. ‘Mutti?’

‘Ah, Gans, immer spaet! (Ah, Goose, always late).’

‘What are you doing here?’

A slight woman, aged somewhere in her thirties, flaxen hair tied in a bun, locked eyes with him. ‘To rescue my future grandsons, naturally. Why else would I ask you to come here?’

‘Yes, I know.’ Gunter pulled himself from the floor, dusted himself and sneezed. ‘But, I was expecting someone else…’

‘Have you got the chocolate box? You know, the time travel bon bons? I left it here last time.’

‘Oh, Mutti! Always leaving your stuff wherever you go! We could trace you through time and space the trail of chocolate you leave.’

‘Just as well I did, or I’d be lost forever.’

‘Ja, natuerlich.’ Gunter paced down the hall. ‘Let’s do it!’

‘Hoi, not so fast.’ His mother caught his sleeve. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’

‘Saving the boys.’

‘Aber, I have the matches and the bomb is all set up.’

‘Bomb? What bomb?’

‘The one to blow Boris to little pieces. You know, kaboom.’

‘But, but you can’t just go around killing people. I mean, look what happened to Letitia because of you.’

‘Hmph! What’s she? Your papa’s second child? With that woman? Hmmm? How could he do that to me? Tossing me aside because I’m…I’m…’

‘I’m sorry, Mama, but we thought you were…’

‘Tot? (Dead?)’

Gunter shrugged. ‘So, then how’s the bomb going to work?’

‘Oh, the bomb will work very well, indeed.’ She grabbed her son’s hand and dragged him out to a courtyard and onto a patch of lawn.

‘But, but, how are we going to save the boys, then? I cannot believe I will be the father of boys.’

‘Simple.’ She struck a match and tossed it onto the porch. The flame flared and then fizzled.

‘Ja! And your point is?’

‘The point is, Gans, that the flame is a signal.’

Gunter stood scratching his head. ‘For what?’

‘Come on.’ His mother sighed and tugged at her son’s shirt. ‘You must get back to the house before they notice you are missing. I think Mrs. C is cooking you Bratwurst and fried onions on her outdoor barbeque.’

Gunter gazed back at the house. The weatherboard with its untamed cottage garden. The driveway, concreted but cracked. He realized that since the flame throwing, the night had morphed into midday. A fine summer’s day. An afternoon southerly breeze cooled the air slightly. The smell of BBQ sausages wafted, making Gunter’s stomach growl.

‘How did that happen?’ Gunter asked.

‘Come,’ Wilhelm Thumm nudged him. ‘You can introduce me to the famous Mrs. C.’

‘How did? Where’s my…?’

‘Don’t ask. By the way, do you have the money?’

Gunter nodded and handed Wilhelm the wad of notes. ‘I don’t see why you need so much.’ He clocked the Aston Martin parked in front of the boarding house. ‘You look like you are…’

‘All for a good cause. Besides, that greedy brother of yours can do with a bit less. So, I hear.’

As they approached the house, a slender blonde leapt from the car, slammed the door and marched down the street, away from the house.

‘Who is that?’ Gunter asked.

‘My wife,’ Wilhelm replied. ‘Remember Frieda?’

‘She has not changed.’ Gunter stared at the gravel on the footpath. ‘She saw me, and she does not like me.’

‘Don’t be so hard on yourself.’

‘She blames me for what happened to Letitia.’

‘She’ll get over it.’ Wilhelm patted his back. ‘You’ll be friends, one day.’

Gunter locked eyes with Wilhelm. ‘Yeah, sure. Pigs fly, as they say here in Australia.’

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2022

Feature Photo: Stain Glass windows, Notre Dame, Paris © L.M. Kling 2014


Want more?

More than before?

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

Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker

And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling

T-Team Series–T-Team with Mr. B (1)

[The last few months I have revisited The T-Team with Mr. B: Central Australian Safari 1977 which is a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981. In preparation for its release later this year, I will be sharing posts of this adventure.

Here’s how it all began…]

Beginning With Mr. B–Adelaide

1977, August, mid-winter and I was excited. Dad had never taken me camping. Then, when I turned 14, he decided to take the risk and allowed me to join the T-Team on a Central Australian safari. Dad’s friend Mr. Banks and his son, Matt (not their real names), joined Dad, my brother (Rick) and me on this journey of adventure. I had gathered from Dad’s reluctance to invite me on previous adventures out bush, that he had some reservations how I would cope…

Our trip began in the grey dawn in the foothills south of Adelaide, where we collected our companions, Mr. B, and his son Matt.

[Photo 1: Foothills of Adelaide, near where the T-Team picked up Mr. B © L.M. Kling 2017]

August, two weeks before the September school holidays, and Dad eased the truck, as he called the red hired Land Rover, to a stop on the slope. He yanked up the handbrake and sighed.

‘I hope it holds,’ he said.

‘Is this where Mr. Banks and Matt live?’ I asked. Mr. B, as we nicknamed him was Dad’s friend and Matt, a few years younger than me was his son. Only fair as my dad had the nickname of Mr. T.

A tall man, about Dad’s age, dressed R.M. Williams trousers, checked shirt, and polished hiking boots, bowled up the steep driveway to meet us.  ‘Come into our humble abode,’ this man, Mr. B said gesturing to his home; hardly humble, as inside, it was more like a 1960’s style Swiss Chalet set on the hillside with a vista of the Adelaide plains.

We admired the view, through a large window spanning the wall, a panorama of Adelaide, lights winking as the city woke up.

[Photo 2: Adelaide lights © L.M. Kling 2018]

‘Nice view!’ I said observing Mrs. B fussing around her husband, her hair perfectly coiffured, even at this time of the morning.

‘The advantages of being a bank manager,’ Mr. B sniffed, then waved at his eleven-year-old son, Matt. ‘Come on boy, can’t be late.’

‘Wow,’ I said to Dad, ‘the B’s must be rich to have such a large home with a view. We’d never be able to afford this on your teacher’s salary.’

‘Lee-Anne!’ Dad muttered. ‘Keep your comments to yourself. Don’t embarrass your hosts.’ Or me for that matter, he implied.

‘Sorry.’ I was always putting the proverbial foot in my mouth.

[Photo 3: Dad the teacher © courtesy of L.M. Kling (photographer unknown) circa 1960]

My brother Rick nudged me and whispered, ‘I wonder how this bank manager is going to cope on one of Dad’s camping trips.’

I shrugged. ‘Who knows?’ At fourteen, I did not consider too deeply how a man of class would cope with a camping trip minus all the luxuries a well-to-do city slicker like him would be used to. ‘I wonder how I’m going to manage. I mean to say, this is my first time camping in the bush.’

[Photo 4: One son of mine not impressed with camping © L.M. Kling 2005]

Matt slung his sports bag over his shoulder and after reluctantly hugging his mother and older sister who made a brief appearance, followed us out to the Land Rover.

‘I say, girl,’ Mr. B strode to the truck, ‘you take a photo of me. We must mark the occasion.’

‘I’m not sure, it’ll work out, Mr. B,’ I said. ‘It’s still pretty dark.’

‘Go on, girl, there’s light enough.’

As Dad packed Mr. B’s and Matt’s baggage into the back cabin, I lined Mr. B with the road and, with my nameless brand instamatic camera, snapped a photo.

‘It won’t work out, Lee,’ my brother said as he passed me. ‘It’s too dark.’

‘I know,’ I mumbled.

Mr. B appeared in my photo to be keeling over, such was the slope of his street. Little did I know how prophetic that photo would be of Mr. B’s adaption to the ways of the bush.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2022

Feature Photo: Adelaide in Sea mist © L.M. Kling 2020


Want more?

More than before?

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981 

Out of Time (14.1)

[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…Now, being a project of sorts, over the summer holidays, I have pieced together the story from beginning to end, and then revised it. A main thread has evolved. Something to do with murder and Letitia’s unfortunate involvement in it. I have worked on developing some of the other characters. In this episode (14.1), we get to see inside the younger stolen boy’s (Liam’s) head.]

Fast Forward

10 Days before Murder

Saturday 28th of January 1967

Barbeque Battles


Liam remembered sourly the call that changed everything. One minute the fourteen-year-old was blissfully ignorant; aware only that his father was almost no-so-unhappily widowed, that his mum had returned but with that smelly character Boris, and two ratty kids, that there is no God and when he died, that was it, no accountability. The next minute, the phone rang and his whole world view was cracked. That minute there was a Jemima on the other end of the line demanding to speak to his father. It was then as this intruder insisted, demanded and hollered on the line, that Liam began to change his mind about God. Liam remembered considering, “How dare this lady invade my space! There has to be a God and my parents have to be accountable to him! This is too much! I can’t handle any more! What right had she to interrupt my life?!”

Liam clutched the telephone receiver in one hand and fended off Jemima’s advances with firm “Nos” and lies that Dad was not home at present. He could hear the rising beat of his heart, punctuating Jemima’s whiney protests. Clueless he was, how to combat this woman.

‘What do you mean he is not home?’ Jemima persisted.

‘He’s just not,’ Liam fibbed. He watched his Dad slink behind him, his old clothes high on manure.

‘But he said he would be home,’ she said.

‘Well, he’s not.’ He fanned the pungent passageway air. ‘Poor, Dad, you stink!’

‘Ha! Did I just hear you mention your dad in conversation?’


‘I did,’ Jemima, now a smug Jemima, ‘you said to him that he stinks.’

‘I never.’

‘You did.’


‘Look, Liam, dear, it is very important that I speak to him. He said, he promised that he would be home. Your father, he keeps his promises. He’s a man of his word,’ she spoke in a softly and evenly.

‘Yeah, right!’ Liam remarked cynically. ‘Like he promised us a holiday in Tasmania but all we got was mum going off to Antarctica and getting herself…’ He paused unsure whether he should be passing on classified information. After all, his mum had returned, wearing kaftan and beads in her hair, in possession of a new Kombi Van, and unscathed. Liam had been delighted to acquire a new cool van, but not so pleased to have his mother back. Of course, the novelty of kaftaned mother and new Kombi wore off when the van broke down and had to be towed away for repairs. S

Still, Liam couldn’t complain. Just before the recent, yet brief escape up north to Alice Springs, his dad had bought a new Holden Premier. Liam was pleased with his art of persuasion as he had convinced his father to purchase this icon of motoring history. Well, so a recent Wheels magazine had recommended.

‘I know! I know!’ Jemima cut in. ‘He told me all about it. Isn’t it obvious why she did that?’

‘Nup?’ Liam bit his nail. Jemima’s argument was advancing into areas that were uncertain. ‘She won a prize, a competition.’

‘Who are you talking to?’ Dad’s voice boomed in the background.

Liam had to think quickly, but Max who was passing by was nimbler. ‘A girlfriend. Ha! Ha! Liam has a girlfriend. What a loser!’

Liam covered the mouthpiece. ‘Yeah! So?’.

Meanwhile the Jemima intruder had come to her own conclusions. ‘He is there! You liar! Put him on! Now!’

Liam had had enough. ‘No!’ he retorted. ‘Go away, you freak!’ with that he slammed the receiver down. He then picked up the phone and hurled it towards the bookcase at the end of the room. A few unfortunate ornaments, namely Max’s prized “Lord of the Rings” dragon figurines crashed to the floor.

‘Oi! What do you fink you’re doing? You could’a smashed the tele,’ Tails yelled.

Max emerged from preening himself in the bathroom. His face turned red, and he pulled at his hair. ‘My dragon! You killed my dragon! How could you do that?’ He cradled the broken bits of ceramic dragon in his hands. ‘They are so hard to get in 1967.’ Then, with teeth bared, he cried, ‘Why, I’ll get you!’ With one swift move, he lunged onto his younger brother and began to throttle him.

‘Oi! Oi! Stop that you boys!’ Dad tore the fighting youths apart. ‘Right, that’s it! no tele or suppa tonight for you lads! Go to your rooms! Bof ov you! Right! I’m pulling out the plug to the tele, now!’ Tails marched both protesting Liam and Max to their rooms with as much strength as his fatherly muscles could muster.

Meanwhile the phone chirped, unheeded and ignored.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2022

Feature painting: Kombi from the Hitch-hiker © L.M. Kling 2015


Want more?

More than before?

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

Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker

And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling

School Daze–When You Gotta Go

100-Word Challenge: When You Gotta Go

All students are back to school this week in Adelaide. Reminds me of another life, a long time ago, when I was a teacher and I had one particular student who would do anything to get out of class, I reckon.

When You Gotta Go

He stood up and wandered to the door.

‘Get back to your seat!’ I snapped.

‘Gotta go to the toilet, Miss.’

‘No, you don’t.’ I pointed at his desk. ‘Sit down!’

This version of Denis the Menace crossed his legs and grinned. ‘Yes, I do.’

‘You can wait.’

‘Please, Miss,’ his voice mocking, ‘I have to go.’

Sniggers rippled throughout the classroom.

I stood, pointing like a fool at his chair. Afternoon sun streamed through the dusty windows, ripening adolescent body odour.

He walked past me.

I growled, ‘Get back here!’

‘When you gotta go, you gotta go,’ he replied.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2022

Feature Photo: Memories recreated for my Mum when she lived in Hermannsburg. Waiting for the toilet. © L.M. Kling 2013


Longing for more travel adventures?

Dreaming of exploring Australia?

Trekking the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981

Out of Time (13.1)

[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…Now, being a project of sorts, over the summer holidays, I have pieced together the story from beginning to end, and then revised it. A main thread has evolved. Something to do with murder and Letitia’s unfortunate involvement in it. Characters such as Frieda have been developed. Plus, characters, like Ella, have emerged from the shadows of past backstories that never before have been in print. In this episode (13.1) we have the meeting of these two characters…]

An Untimely Visitor

Part 1


Meanwhile in Tasmania, the grass was dry and the weather about to heat up for the start of school.

The first rays of dawn filtered through the lace curtains of Frieda’s bedroom. After glimpsing the start of a new day, she turned over and settled back into a deep sleep.


Frieda groaned. ‘Go back to bed Johnny.’

‘Mummy!’ Johnny pushed at her back, rocking her. ‘There’s a funny lady in our good room.’

‘What’s she doing there?’

‘I let her in, Mummy,’ Johnny sighed. ‘She says she’s my “Cross-mother”.’ Another sigh. ‘But she doesn’t look like a “Cross-mother”, she looks too young and pretty to be cross.’

‘Now you are making me cross, Johnathon, dear. Go back to bed. You must’ve been dreaming.’

Johnny tugged at Frieda’s hand. ‘No, Mummy, she’s a real cross-mother. You must see her. You must!’

Frieda rolled her eyes and gulped down a rising sense of seediness. ‘Oh, alright, if I must.’

Mother and son pad down the stairs and into the lounge room.

A petite figure dressed in a blue dirndl stood gazing at the panoramic view of the Derwent.

She turned and flicked a platinum plait away from her face.

Frieda gasped.

The stranger smiled, her deep blue eyes twinkling. ‘Beautiful view. I love it when the sun rises over the sea. Don’t you?’

‘Who are you?’

The woman stepped towards Frieda and took her hand. ‘Come, sit down. There’s something I need to explain.’

‘What?’ Frieda asked.

The German lady paused.

‘Well, don’t just stand there. Tell me.’

‘You need to sit. It’s important.’

Frieda exhaled and shook her head. ‘Fine, then, I will sit.’

She perched on the edge of the couch. The German lady sat beside her and caressed the frills on her baby blue dress.

‘I’m sitting,’ Frieda said.

‘So, you are.’

Johnny peered into the German lady’s blue, blue eyes. ‘Why are you cross, lady?’

‘I am not cross.’ The lady smiled. ‘My name is Ella and I am a friend of your mother’s.’

‘I find that hard to believe.’ Frieda leaned back and studied this strange woman called Ella. ‘You must’ve been a very young friend, my mother died during the war. So did my father. I am an orphan.’

‘To tell the truth, Frieda, your mother is very much alive. She is living in Melbourne now. You see, you were not an orphan; you were kidnapped.’

‘Really? All this time, since I was a child, I have believed I was an orphan, Lebensborn, they called me. Bred pure for the Reich. And now you tell me my mother is in Melbourne?’

‘Yes. Are you not happy about that?’

‘Ecstatic!’ Frieda scoffed. ‘And how long have you known about my mother and me?’

‘Um…’ Ella shrugged. ‘A little while.’

‘And why did it take you such a long while to come over to Tasmania to tell me?’

‘I have been elsewhere…on business. Out of…’ Ella touched Frieda’s arm. ‘But I am here now telling you. And she wants to see you. She wants you to come to Melbourne and for you to meet.’

‘And how exactly are we to travel to Melbourne?’

‘You have a sailboat, don’t you?’

‘Yes, but…I can’t…’

‘But I can.’

‘But my husband Wilhelm won’t…’

Ella’s eyes twinkled. ‘Don’t worry Frieda, I have been in close contact with your husband. In fact, I met him in Melbourne recently. One of the reasons he went there, to meet with your mother. And yes, he has agreed to lend us the boat.’

‘Not too close, I hope.’ Frieda frowned. ‘You and my husband.’

‘No! Not at all!’ Ella laughed. ‘We go way back, Wilhelm and me. Just old friends, to tell the truth.’

Johnny danced on the spot. ‘Are we going on a sailing trip, Mummy?’

Frieda nodded. ‘Yes, my darling boy. And you are going to meet my mummy, your grandma.’


As Frieda and Johnny packed clothes and essentials into a suitcase, Ella sipped a cup of tea that Frieda had prepared for her. Ella watched them and while the pair were busy packing, she chuckled. I remember Gunter, my youngest at Johnny’s age, she mused. So sweet, so innocent.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2022

Feature Photo: Morning on Derwent, Hobart, Tasmania © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016


Want more?

More than before?

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

Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker

And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling

School Daze–Teacher Training (2)

[After our summer break, school’s back today in Australia. Well, let’s qualify that statement. In South Australia, some students are back in the classroom, while the rest are learning online. So, a break from my travel missives and a journey back in time to my teaching days…]

The Trials and Tribulations of a Student Teacher

Part 2

[Note: Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.]

The Fallout

After the proverbial reading of the riot act the following lesson, my teaching limped along in an unsteady truce; actually, less resembling teaching, and more akin to animal tamer in a circus. And with each passing lesson, Luke took on the characteristics of the ringmaster. I should’ve seen then, that my high school teaching days were numbered and made a quick and painless exit, at that time…

The final week of my Practical Teaching, culminated in Luke’s mastery of revealing my failure as a teacher. On that Wednesday, my supervising teacher, poked her head in the classroom and said, ‘Alright, Miss T, you’re on your own.’

I glanced at the thirty faces looking to me for control and instruction.  I gulped. ‘Okay.’

‘Any trouble, send the trouble-makers to me,’ Mrs S said before abandoning me to my fate.

As soon as her footsteps faded down the corridor, Luke, with a glint in his eye, pushed over a desk. ‘Oops!’

Danny kicked Ben into his desk. The wood splintered with a sickening crack.

Ben leapt up. ‘Why you…!’ He raised his fists. Danny launched at Ben and thumped him. Ben grabbed Danny. The boys fell to the floor, wrestling, turning tables, kicking up chairs, grunting and struggling.

Tiny Bill whined, ‘My pen! My pen! Someone’s stolen my pen!’

All the while, Luke lounged in the far left-hand corner of the room, laughing.

I stomped and cut the air with my hand. ‘Right! Luke! Danny! Ben! Bill!’ I swished my cutting-hand to the door. ‘Off to Mrs S!’

Out the four trooped to an unimpressed Mrs S who issued them with uninspiring, but necessary in Luke’s case, grammar sheets to complete.

I salvaged what was left of the class. With pens set firmly in their hands, I set them to work writing a story based on a poster I had brought in. Maria, obviously not satisfied with pasting her face with foundation, though, “accidently” spilt liquid paper all over her desk, chair and herself.

Meanwhile, Mrs S, showed her dissatisfaction of having to supervise these four stooges on what she hoped was her “free lesson”, by marking my assessment sheet for classroom management as “unsatisfactory”.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2018; Updated 2022

Feature Photo: Window of Wisdom © L.M. Kling 1985


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Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981

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Out of Time (12.4)

Time In-Between for the Queen

Part 4

[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 (12.4) Once her most annoying visitor has gone, Letitia gets down to work…]

A Time to Work

With Monica absent, Letitia trawled over the mess, room by room, section by section in the vain hope of finding the elusive keys; the ones that worked. As she hunted, she systematically dusted, wiped, sorted and cleaned. She was sure that the owner would not recognise the place when he returned. ‘I hope they don’t curse me,’ she mumbled.

Three o’clock and Letitia had progressed to scrubbing the shower alcove, followed by hospital grade disinfection regime on the toilet. The tiles in the shower were so coated with mould that their original white was no longer visible to the naked eye. She used a full bottle of Ajax toilet powder on the toilet bowl before she was satisfied that the brown streak down the back of the bowl was scrubbed away.

At four in the morning, with the home unit sorted and sparkling, and the bathroom overloaded with the smell of bleach, Letitia flopped onto the main bed of renewed clean and ironed sheets, to sleep. She still had not found the keys. With a cool breeze flowing from a slightly open window, she sank into a satisfying dreamless slumber. After all, she figured, If worse comes to worse, I will be able to climb out the window.

Rest only lasted a few micro-seconds, however. As soon as Letitia was still, she became cold, very cold. Groaning from stiff joints and aching back, she hoisted herself from the bed and edged past the bed end to close the window. The wind howled. Moments later, a flash of lightening and a loud bone jarring bang of thunder. She peered outside through the curtains. A bolt of lightning hit the unit at the end of the driveway and accompanying that was the clap of thunder.

Letitia jumped. Heart thumping. Goosebumps rose on her skin. ‘Goodness, it’s like an Antarctic blast,’ she said. ‘Need to find more blankets.’

She tried the lights. They wouldn’t work. In semi-darkness, with the first shades of morning light beginning to seep through the cracks of deep-purple brooding clouds, she could see just enough to stand on the bed and reach for the top shelf of the built-in robe. ‘I hope there’s a blanket there, maybe a torch.’

Success! Letitia touched something soft but scratchy; something very blanekety. With a sense of achievement, she pulled the blanket from the shelf and onto the bed. A thin piece of paper fluttered to the floor. She picked it up and tried to scrutinize it in the non-existent light. A brief lightening flash lit up the images. They appeared strangely familiar. But all too soon, the light was gone, and the picture became indistinguishable. She placed the photo on the bedside table and nestled under the itchy woollen rug. The sky was putting on a show, but she was too weary to enjoy it. Comfortable at last, Letitia fell sound asleep to flashes of lightening and rumbles of thunder as the storm travelled over Melbourne.

Meanwhile in Tasmania, the grass was dry and the weather about to heat up for the start of school.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2022

Feature Photo: Hello Storm! © W. Kling 4 February 2009


Want more?

More than before?

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

Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker

And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling