[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.
This week, it became obvious to me that something had to be done with my time-travel mechanism in this story. Let’s face it, a black box is just a bit lame and over-used. Then the idea came to me, what about a box of chocolates? What assortment of adventures one could have with chocolates laced with the time travel microbiol mud from a cave on the *Pilgrim Planet? In this episode (14.3), I begin to explore how these chocolates might work. Unlike Forrest Gump’s famous phrase, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates…”, in Out of Time it is: “Time Travel is like a box of chocolates, you may not know when you’ll end up.”]
Meeting with Mutti
‘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 stood, dusted himself and sneezed. ‘But, I was expecting someone else…’
‘Have you got the chocolate box? You know, the time travel bon-bon thing. 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 boxes and their wrappers you leave.’
‘Just as well I did, or I’d be lost forever.’
‘Ja, natuerlich.’ Gunter paced down the hall. ‘Let’s do it!’
‘Hey, not so fast.’ His mother caught his sleeve. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’
‘Saving the boys.’
‘Ja, aber, I have the matches and the bomb is all set up.’
‘Bomb? What bomb?’
‘The one to blow Boris into a million itty bits. You know, kaboom.’
‘But, but you can’t just go around killing people. Besides, a million itty bits would make a million itty Borises that would grow up into a million big Borises.’ Gunter shrugged. ‘Besides, look what happened to Letitia because of you.’
‘Hmph! What is 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…’
‘So, then how is 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.
‘Yeah, right! And your point is?’
‘The point is, Gans, that the flame is a signal.’
Gunter stood scratching his head. ‘I don’t understand. I thought you were after your chocolates.’
‘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, your favourite sausages, you know, 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.’
As they approached the house, a slender blonde leapt from the Aston Martin parked in front of the boarding house. She slammed the door and marched down the street, away from the house.
‘Who is that?’ Gunter asked.
‘My wife,’ Wilhelm replied. ‘Frieda, remember her?’
‘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.’
‘Yeah, sure. Pigs fly, as they say here in Australia.’ Gunter locked eyes with Wilhelm. ‘And another thing, if I may ask, how did you…? Where’s my…?’
‘Don’t ask.’ Wilhelm burped and tossed a chocolate wrapper in the gutter. He flashed a shiny black box at Gunter. ‘I’d offer you one, but, um, we need you here and now, not some random time in the future or past. 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 watched Wilhelm toss the box into the front seat of his Aston Martin. ‘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 walked up the rose-lined path to the front door of the house, Gunter said, ‘Won’t they melt? The chocolates?’
‘They’re not that sort of chocolate.’
‘So then, where’s my mutti?’
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2022
Feature Photo: Chocolate Box © L.M. Kling 2022