Friday Fiction–Future Friend

[In response to today’s prompt, a friend is someone you can trust as they trust you. They are there for you, as you are there for them. You can share almost anything about yourself with them, and they can share anything with you and feel safe. You can be yourself with them and they can be themselves with you. With some friends, no matter how long it has been between seeing each other, you pick up the conversation with them from where you left off the last time you saw them.

This story is about the future and friendship.]


“Grandma, can I excuse the table?” I asked.

Grandma chuckled. “You mean, be excused from the table, dear.”

I nodded and then pushed my chair from the old wooden table.

“Yes, you may, but don’t go too far,” Grandma said. “Go only to the end of the road and then you must turn back.”

“I will.”

*[Photo 1: Escapee from Grandma’s © C.D. Trudinger circa 1966]

I escaped out the back door and down the gravel driveway. The street spanned before me, begging adventure. Sunday lawns green, pungent with fresh Saturday clippings piled behind an assortment of fences.

“Go away, will you,” she said in her grimy blue dress. She leaned over the stone wall and pushed me.

I brushed off her greasy prints and walked on, leaving the willow tree and that girl snarling in the shade behind me. As I strolled into the sun, I ran my hand over cracked rendered walls, rattling cyclone fences and peering through the oleander bushes for signs of life in quiet houses.

“Don’t go over the road,” Grandma’s voice warned in my head.

*[Photo 2:  Memories of Belair National Park, Old Government House © L.M. Kling 1985]

No, I won’t. I rubbed my bottom in memory of the Belair Sunday school picnic adventure when my brother lost me. Promise! Careful not to step on the lines in the pavement. Bad luck. I tiptoed and danced along the pavement in my pink ballerina shoes.

A shadow wriggled over the pavers. Stobie pole to my right, plastered its stunted midday image on the asphalt. I halted. Casting my focus up, I spied this big girl. I squealed and clapped my hands over my mouth. This lady-girl was dressed all in lace and brown velvet as if in Grandma’s clothes.

“Hello, you must be Lee-Lee.”

“Why did you know my name?” I pointed at her; rude, I know. “Ha, ha! Why are you wearing funny clothes?”

She blushed and rubbed her stubby fingers over the velvet. “They’re trendy where I come from.” She smiled and straightened her long dress that swept past her ankles. “Actually, where I come from, I know a lot about you.”


“Because I have the same name as you.”

“So? I know more than you do. You’re dumb. So there, ner!” I planted my hands on my hips and poked out my tongue.

“That’s no way to talk about yourself.”

“Huh?” I pulled at my pigtail and chewed the ends of my hair.

“Elementary girl.” She flicked her long blonde strands and smirked. “I am the future you. In fact, I know more than you do because I know what’s going to happen to you.”

“Future me?” I scratched my cheek and screwed up my nose. “What does future mean?”

“I am your grown-up self.”

[Photo 3: Six-year-old self with missing tooth © School Photo 1969]

“Oh!” I wiggled a loose tooth. “Does that mean your teeth all fell out? Did you get grown-up teeth or did you get them all pulled out and get false teeth like Grandma’s?” I zoomed up to Future Me’s face and ogled at her mouth. “Come on, show me your false teeth.”

She bared her perfect row of pearly whites and nudged me back. “They are real. Orthodontically corrected, but real.”


“I had braces on my teeth.”

“Why? Were they crippled?”

“No, they were crooked.”

“Ugh! Crooked teeth.” I turned from her and poked stones with the point of my shoe. “I don’t think I like being you. Grandma clothes, crooked teeth that need Arthur’s braces. I’ll never be like you. You’re just pretending. ‘Sides, how could I be you?”

I squinted at this tall slim blonde who transferred her weight from one leg to the other. I noticed the worn back-pack groaning full of books, straps straining to pull the load from her waist. Future Me stroked her chin between her thumb and forefinger. “Well, it’s hard to explain to someone as little as you. You’re in Prep, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I’m a big schoolgirl, now.” I thrust my chest forward and with hands each side of my tummy, swung my hips.

“Well, big schoolgirl, Lee-Lee, to put it simply, it’s called T.T.T—thought, time, transportation.”

“What then?” I watched my pink dress swish as I swayed.

“You just think and instead of thinking time as moving forward, you make it move backward for you.”

“Just like that?”

“Well, actually, it’s more complicated than that—a kind of scientific experiment that my big brother Warwick invented. He put electrodes on my head and well, something happens that I can’t fully explain.”

“Oh, did you have a brother, Warwick too? Does your Warwick snort when he laughs?” I cupped my hand over my mouth and tittered.

The lady-girl raised her lace sleeve to her mouth and giggled. “Yes, he does.”

“You must be me.” Repressing the urge to gnaw my fingernails before my future-self, I clasped my hands together and looked in her eyes. “So, me, what’s going to happen to me?”

She avoided my gaze. “That’s for me to know and you to find out.

“That’s not fair! Why can’t I?” I grabbed at her, but she slipped through my fingers and drifted from me. “Plee-ease!”

“I can’t!”

I watched her move further away and shimmer in the sunlight.

“But why not? Please! Just a little bit.” I chased her and swiped at her. “Just a tincy-wincy-little bit. I won’t tell! Promise!”

“Alright, if you insist.” She floated above the greying plaster fence. “But I must be leaving soon.”

[Photo 4: Trampoline fun © L.M.  Kling 1989]

She faded, blending in with the oleander and honeysuckle bushes. I strained to see her. I attempted to touch her, but my hand passed through her.

The wind whistled through the bushes. “Have a good time with Jilly.”

“You didn’t tell me! You lied, me!” I cried.

I hunched over and plodded back towards Grandma’s house. Shouts and squeals from a yard on my left, caught the corner of my eye. A girl my age bounced on an old double-spring bed.

“Hello, my name’s Lee, what’s yours?”

“Hello, my name’s Jilly. Do you want to play on the trampoline with me?”

© Lee-Anne Kling 2009; updated 2023

Feature Painting: Somerton Beach Dreaming © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2011

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Dreaming of being transported to another world?

Time for some holiday reading?

Take a break and journey to another world, another time to

The Lost World of the Wends

Wandering Wednesday–Road Trip in the Charger (4)

Our next challenge in our road trip to Sydney in the Charger were car repairs. Car parts in the outback were not so available, and in the middle of summer, the group were feeling the heat and they were hungry.

Waiting for the Alternator

Mitch’s hopes turned to practicalities as the morning dragged on while we waited for another elusive item, the alternator. I figured that the alternator must be hiding in the same place that the roadhouse in Dubbo must be.

By the time my watch read 8am, us four who were not mechanics, once more headed down the main road to the town centre in search of a “deli” as we in South Australia call corner shops, or a supermarket of some description.

We found a supermarket come snack bar, and treated ourselves to a meat pie, chips and Famers Union iced coffee. Just the sort of food one has for breakfast after a grueling sleepless night. Mitch, appreciative of my mechanic brother’s efforts, brought him back the same fare as we had eaten.

Rick was leaning against the side of his precious Charger, still waiting for the elusive alternator.

*[Photo 1: Morning in outback © L.M. Kling 2013]

A heated discussion ensued amongst the fellows. Mitch put forward that we could be using daylight to drive to Sydney.

Rick refuted that suggestion with, ‘Do you want to sleep in the car again?’

Jack began to raise his hand, but Mitch cut in. ‘No, you’re right, Rick.’

Rick went onto explain that the problem with faulty alternators is that they affect the battery. He described how in the short but slow drive to Dubbo, he drove the car in a lower gear to get the most out of the failing battery.

And so, we waited, sitting in what little shade the garage’s carpark afforded, waiting for the alternator to arrive.

Early afternoon, the sun’s heat beating down on us, Jack, Mitch, Cordelia and I again walked down to the main street for some lunch. Upon our return with stale ham sandwiches to share, Rick was hunched over under the Charger’s open bonnet.

*[Photo 2 and Feature: Mechanic’s Backyard of experience © M.E. Trudinger circa 1989]

I put my hands together in a half-hearted clap. ‘Hooray! The cavalry has arrived!’

‘No,’ Mitch had to be correct, ‘it’s the alternator.’

‘I had an idea how to repair the existing one,’ Rick said.

‘Hooray! Rick has worked out how to fix the alternator,’ I laughed.

‘You have a strange sense of humour,’ Cordelia said. ‘No wonder you find it hard to make friends, Lee-Anne.’

‘Praise the Lord!’ I raised my hands. ‘My brother can fix…’

‘Don’t make it worse,’ Cordelia said.

Perhaps she’s right, I thought, then took my sandwich pack, split from the “social police” before drifting over to Rick, to watch him as he operated on the car. Strange thing was, Mitch made a speedy dash away from Cordelia and followed me.

‘Hey, Rick,’ Mitch asked while hovering over his shoulder, ‘how long till you’re finished?’

Rick grunted in reply and swore.

I stepped back, knowing all too well not to crowd my brother when he was concentrating. Obviously, Mitch was not as aware. He leaned over Rick, blocking the sunlight from the engine. Rick poked out his tongue as he tackled a stubborn bolt.

Mitch stuck by Rick’s elbow. ‘Is that all you have to do?’

Where’s the social police now? Oh, there she is, staring at her sandwich and grimacing. She looked like a chipmunk.

[Photo 3: For a koala its always time for food (Melbourne Zoo) © L.M. Kling 1986]

I smiled observing Rick as he gritted his teeth and muttered expletives. Mitch seemed totally unaware that his attention wasn’t helping.

‘Bu#@%er!’ Rick cried.

A ping and a clunk, and the spanner dropped into the engine of no return.

‘What happened?’ Mitch asked all innocent.

Rick narrowed his eyes at his friend. ‘What do you think?’

‘Did you drop the spanner?’

‘Yes. And now I’m going to have fun getting it out.’

Mitch rubbed his hands together. ‘Can I help?’ Mitch loved to help.

A grin slowly formed on Rick’s face. ‘I think you can, Mitch.’

Mitch was dancing on the spot in anticipation. ‘How?’

‘See the engine?’

Mitch nodded. ‘Yes.’

‘I want you to find the spanner and pick it out for me.’ Rick wiped his sweaty brow. ‘This is hot and thirsty work and I need a drink and some lunch.’

‘Okay,’ Mitch said while studying the engine, ‘I can do that.’

In the shade of a scraggly bush by a low stone wall, I handed Rick a quarter of sandwich and bottle of Fanta. My brother and I sat on the wall and watched Mitch hunt for the spanner. Rick munched on his ham and relish sandwich, unperturbed by the dryness of bread and ham tasting too salty. He washed down some of the fizzy drink and then said, ‘Well, I better go and rescue Mitch.’

The sun travelled westwards, and shadows lengthened as the “quick” job took several hours to complete.

Just before the sun set, Rick rubbed his grease-covered hands on an old cloth and declared the vehicle ready for action. He hoped the battery would give us no trouble.

*[Photo 4: Sunset on parrots © L.M. Kling 2022]

Once again, we piled in the car and Rick turned the ignition.

A squeak.

A sputter.

Then a roar.

The Charger puttered and shook as the engine turned over and the beast began to move out of the garage carpark.

We entered the main street, passing the store which had provided our breakfast and lunch. Closed for the night. Jack gazed at the store and sighed.

As if reading his mind and everyone else’s, Rick said, ‘We’ll need to drive for an hour or so before we stop.’

Mitch put on a brave face. ‘We’ll find a roadhouse sometime later tonight to have tea.’

We watched Dubbo’s Shell service station come roadhouse flit past as we left the town.

Sitting in the front passenger seat next to my brother who was driving, I pulled out the RAA strip map and flicked through the pages. Locating the one with Dubbo, I scanned the last few pages and calculated the distance and time to reach our destination.

‘According to the strip map, it will take us about six hours to reach Sydney,’ I said.

‘So,’ Mitch from the back replied, ‘we shall make it in time for the conference.’

‘Where, exactly is the conference?’ Jack asked.

‘Randwick Racecourse, if I remember correctly,’ Mitch said.

‘Where’s that?’ I asked.

‘Beats me,’ Rick said.

‘Do we have a map of Sydney?’ Mitch said with an edge to his voice.

Rick shrugged and planted his foot on the accelerator. The Charger roared to the highway’s maximum speed of 110 km/ph.

*[Video: Long stretch of Central Australian outback highway © L.M. Kling 2021]

‘I guess we’ll have to…’ Mitch began.

Cordelia who seemed to be quieter than her usual demur self (I guess she had no social mores to report on), clutched her stomach and whispered, ‘I don’t feel very well, I need to find a hospital.’

Slowing the car, Rick sighed and shook his head. ‘I guess we better go back to Dubbo.’

Tyres crunched on the gravel before he swung the car in an arc performing a seamless U-turn and headed back towards the twinkling lights of Dubbo.

 © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2023


Want more, but too impossible to travel down under? Why not take a virtual journey with the T-Team Adventures in Australia?

Click here on Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981…

And escape in time and space to Central Australia 1981…

Monday Musing–Be Still


I go to the shops as I do every second day. At the checkout, the girl asks, ‘And how has your day been?’

‘Busy,’ I say.

‘That’s good,’ the girl says with a sage nod as if involved in some conspiracy to keep me on the hamster wheel of busyness.

In the Twenty-first century world “busyness” is good. Not being busy, then, is undesirable. Our Western Protestant work ethic touts, ‘Idleness is the devil’s workshop’. The state of “idleness” is to be avoided at all costs. These days, we equate idleness with boredom.

‘I’m bored,’ say your children (so did mine, when they were children many years ago, back in the good ol’ 1990’s), and terror strikes at the heart of each mother when they hear these words. Bored? We can’t have our children bored—idle—just imagine what devils will come to play if we allow boredom to fester. First, the grizzling, then, the niggling at each other, and before long, World War Three amongst the siblings and the house ends up looking like the Apocalypse.

*[Photo 1: The computer, the answer to all who cry, “I’m bored!” © L.M. Kling 2007]

No, we can’t have boredom.

So, in my quieter times now, I reminisce the days as a young mother, structuring each day, every hour—especially during the holidays, to avoid boredom—any strategy to avoid my tribe from becoming restless.

‘What’s wrong with a bit of boredom,’ my mother would say. ‘They need to learn to entertain themselves, you know, use their imagination. Nothing wrong with being still for a while, I say.’

Mum should know, she grew up in the Centre of Australia on a mission in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. Those were the really good ol’ days with no shopping centres, no electronic games, nor television. They did have radio, but her minister father only allowed the news to be heard from it. Heaven forbid they listen to modern music. During the War, even the radio was confiscated by the allies. So all my mum as a girl had to entertain herself were books. Even so, the Protestant work ethic was a major value in mum’s family as her mother, when she found her daughter reading would say, ‘Isn’t there some housework you should be doing?’

*[Photo 2: In the good ol’ days, being productive. Making kangaroo-skin rugs © S.O. Gross circa 1940]

As expected, then, I grow up in a world that values industry, productivity and filling each day to the full. The schools I attend are hot on producing good grades, projects and students who go on to university and become wealth-producing citizens.

Then, at sixteen, I have a revelation. We sing a chorus at church, “Be Still and know I am God”.

Being still…forget the homework…forget the housework…put aside my racing head of worries…centre my thoughts on God and his greatness. Pause for a moment and remember, God is God and He’s in control.

So at sixteen, I do just as the chorus bids. I hop on my deadly treadly (bike), and pedal down to the beach. I figure that’s the best place to be still; the waves lapping the sand, the sun on my back as I comb the shore for shells. Or on a sunny afternoon, I lie in the backyard and sunbake, think and ponder.

*[Photo 3: Entertainment of Seal, Glenelg South © L.M. Kling 2022]

The result? Wow! Those mountains? School and pedantic teachers going on about uniform—my socks, my hair? Boyfriends or lack of them? Life and my future? …All my concerns become molehills.

December 1979, I write a poem “Be Still”. Perhaps not the greatest work of literature, but the values stick with me…until I embark on university, work, and then a family. The poem hides in a book of my teenage missives. Ten years ago, I pull it out for a devotion. I preach being still, but I fail to apply the principles. I must keep busy. If I stop, even for a few minutes, what will others think? There’s just too much to do. Everyone’s depending on me as wife, mother, bible study leader, committee member …to produce the goods. I can’t let them down.

The culture to keep moving is ingrained. Go to meet people for the first time and they ask, ‘What do you do?’ The doing has to have a dollar sign attached to it. Not enough to do all the above as a mother. Must produce money to have status in the group. Without status, I am not heard. Ironic how the under-valued creative arts of writing and painting, though, afford status. I am creating. I am producing.

*[Painting 1: Life after Lock-down, Port Willunga © L.M. Kling 2020]

Even so, in this creative phase of my life, if I stand still, I feel guilty. Now, there are novels to write and art to produce. My “work”. I’m on the hamster wheel, but I can’t get off.

However, in all the busyness expected of me, the cogs of my life are unravelling. I drive to a cafe to meet a friend. She’s not there. I’d forgotten my mobile phone. I drive the thirty-minute return home and check my phone and then ring her. I’d gone to the wrong place. A misunderstanding. If I had taken the time to listen and ask the right questions…

The voice of my sixteen-year-old self still convicts me. ‘Be Still’.

For over forty years, I’d not been following my own advice. After the misunderstanding of the other day, I give myself permission to have time each day to rest…Time to be still…time to know God.

*[Painting 2: Sleeping Beauty on Huon, Tasmania © L.M. Kling]

So in the voice of my sixteen-year-old self, the poem:

Be Still

Exhausted, yet restless to advance

Ever onward in a trance,

A weary traveller

Refused to look around

So lost the intimate beauties which could be found.

Be still,

And know God the eternal creator.

Furtive, frustrated, fraught we flee,

When confusion bears down on thee,

A weary traveller.

Failure looms, chaos glooms,

In life, this lonely room.

Be still,

And wing your eyes

To soar above the clutter.

Marvel at the vastness of creation

Where God lies.

If what we infinitely fear

Will produce a lonely tear,

Of a weary traveller,

We blind ourselves with sorrows

Clinging to illusions of good morrows.

Be still,

Capture destiny in your heart,

For God said, “Let it be”.

See the beauty of it’s part.

Learn from what it has to offer

Ignore the scoffer.

A weary traveller did relent,

When Jesus was sent.

Be still,

While He,

Our hungry souls will fill.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling (nee Trudinger) 1979

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2022

*Feature Photo: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania © L.M. Kling 2009


If you’d like to polish your writing skills or find out more about our new project, a self-publishing collective, click on the link to Indie Scriptorium


Catch up on the exploits of Boris the over-grown alien cockroach, and Minna and her team’s attempt to subdue him.

For good holiday reading click on the links below…

The Lost World of the Wends

The Hitch-hiker

Mission of the Unwilling


Join the Journey, click on the link below:

Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari

He Wanted us to Know God’s Love

In Memory and celebration of my father’s life…

Remembering his passing 9 years ago this week…


Ron and Lina Trudinger’s third child was born in Adelaide on January 13, 1928. His parents named him Clement David Trudinger. He was a much longed for child as he arrived eight years after his older sister, Agnes.

[Photo 1: Growing family with Clement David baby no. 3 © courtesy C.D. Trudinger collection circa 1928]

“Clement?” his aunts cried. “We don’t like the name Clement.”

So they called the babe by his second name, David, and David he has been ever since. Except, of course when he goes to hospital, then he’s Clement, officially.

Throughout his life, God watched over David who has shared many stories of how he showed His love towards him, protecting, and providing for him and his family. He shared how he felt he didn’t deserve God’s love; he wasn’t perfect, yet God loved him. It is this love that David would want all of you to know.

[Photo 2: David, the boy © courtesy C.D. Trudinger collection circa 1930]

He began to write down his life-story, and in the last few weeks began to tell all, especially his grandchildren, how God worked in his life and how his Heavenly Father protected him.

When he was two years old, his missionary parents took David and his younger brother Paul to Sudan, in Africa. Not the kind of place to take small children. But God protected David and his brother from a hippopotamus, cobras, car accidents, and mad men. (He’s written in more detail about these incidents and I will share these in the future.)

[Photo 3: David and his brother on the Nile © courtesy C.D. Trudinger collection 1932]

God also blessed him with a loving and God-fearing family. Some may say, too God-fearing, for his parents continued their mission work in Sudan while David from the age of seven, and Paul from five, commenced their schooling in Adelaide. As a student, David only saw his parents every five years when they returned home on furlough. He shared how despite missing his parents, he enjoyed his childhood, with so many aunts doting on him, and the game afternoons they had. I think his love of games started there in the Northumberland Street parlour. He’d even created a few games in his latter years.

[Photo 4: With siblings in Adelaide © courtesy C.D. Trudinger collection 1940]

His other great love was sport, especially football. God blessed David with fitness, agility, and a few trophies along the way. In retirement, he played golf, and when his legs couldn’t keep up trekking the 18 holes, he took up table tennis instead. He was still playing table tennis up until a few months ago. Sport kept his body and mind young.

David also enjoyed hiking and exploring. During school holidays he’d visit his older brother Ron, a teacher at Ernabella. While there, he made friends with the Pitjantjatjara children and go into the Musgrave Ranges on hiking expeditions. One hot day, David and a friend became lost in the ranges without water, or salt. They wandered for hours parched and at the point of dehydration, before coming across a waterhole, the most welcome sight David had ever seen. I’m sure God protected and guided them back home. I’m also sure that’s when David’s love of salt began.

[Photo 5: Younger Brothers in Ernabella © courtesy C.D. Trudinger collection circa 1940]

David progressed through his schooling, and gifted in art, he trained to be an art and woodwork teacher. After a couple of years at Lameroo, he won a position at Hermannsburg Mission as headmaster.

He taught at Hermannsburg for five years. In that time, he became close to the Aranda people, especially the students he taught. They took him on expeditions into the MacDonnell Ranges, Palm Valley, and gorges and beauty spots along the Finke River. David also became close to Pastor Gross’ daughter, Marie.

[Photo 6: Teacher in Hermannsburg (David far right) © S.O. Gross circa 1955]

On January 23, 1958, he married Marie in Hermannsburg.

However, his romance with Central Australia was cut short, when, for health reasons, he and Marie had to move down to Adelaide. On October 30, his first child, Richard was born.

David continued teaching, first at Ridley Grove Primary School, and then St. Leonards P.S. The little Trudinger family moved from schoolhouse to schoolhouse.

May 3, 1963, his daughter, Lee-Anne was born. By this time, Glenelg Primary School planned to convert their little rented home into a library. As his family grew and Marie grew more unsettled with the constant shifting, David faced the challenge to buy a house. But how could he on a teacher’s wage? He looked at his lovely stamp collection of rare Sudanese stamps. Could he trade them in to help pay for a deposit?

[Photo 7: David and Marie’s first own home © L.M. KLing 2005]

They looked at a few homes. A bungalow on Cross Road appealed to him, but not Marie. His father wasn’t impressed either. Marie didn’t like that pokey little home on the main road with no back yard at all and the property was right next to the rail line. Then a trust home at Gilbert Road Somerton Park came up for sale, and the deal was done. David regretted selling his stamp collection but reasoned that this was an investment for the children. And, many years down the track, it was, especially with the two lovely court yard homes, one of which David and Marie have lived in from 2006.

[Photo 8: New and improved courtyard home © L.M. King 2021]

God blessed David’s career. He taught at Port Adelaide Primary School from the late 1960’s until he retired in 1985 at the age of 57. In that time he studied to teach Indonesian, became Deputy Principal, and won a government research grant to go to Indonesia. He became interested in the Indonesian musical instrument, the Anklung. He brought a set home and proceeded to teach pupils how to play. He had bands of students playing in the Festival of Music until 2010. He continued to visit the school now LeFever Primary and train students to play the Anklung, right up till the beginning of this year. He also tutored indigenous students.

David lived life to the full and grasped every opportunity to explore the wild and untouched land God has created, especially Central Australia. With his long service leave, and then time in his early retirement, he made regular pilgrimages to the Centre. And God protected him. I like to think that now he is with the Lord, his guardian angel is enjoying a well-deserved rest.

[Photo 9: Dad having a well-deserved Sunday afternoon rest © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1983]

One example he gave of God’s protection was on a hiking trip in the Western Wilderness of Tasmania with a friend. On one narrow path climbing around a cliff-face, he felt his heavy pack over-balance and he began to fall. “This is it,” he thought. Then he felt the pressure of someone pushing him back against the rock and he was able to step two metres further to a wider path. He knew an angel of the Lord rescued him, preserving his life, not just for his sake, but for his friend’s sake, and also because his work on earth was not complete.

[Photo 10: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania © L.M. Kling 2009]

But on August 25, 2012, David’s work on earth was done. There are probably many things he has done that will be remembered as a blessing and encouragement to all who knew him. He was a regular member of Faith Lutheran Warradale church; he took an active role, and was a vital member of the congregation for over 54 years. He was a Sunday School teacher, an elder, and a Bible Study leader.

We will miss his cheerful nature, how he grasped life, lived it to the full and shared God’s love with all he came across.

He may have been David by name, but he was Clement by nature.

[Photo 11: The original men of the T-Team, David (3rd from left) and his father and brothers © C.D. Trudinger collection 1967]

First published as a eulogy to Clement David Trudinger by Lee-Anne Marie Kling ©2012

Revised © 2016; 2021

 Feature  photo: Central Australian sunrise © C.D. Trudinger 1977


More of my dad’s intrepid adventures in Central Australia in my memoir,

Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981

Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari. (Australia)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (United States)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (UK)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (Germany]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [France]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (India)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Canada]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Mexico]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Italy]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Brazil]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Spain]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Japan]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Netherlands]

The Survivor (3)

[An extract from another of my little projects in the War Against Boris the Bytrode Series…]

Escape From the Ice-Cave

She rubbed the frosty walls, her hot hands fused to the ice. Prising her palms free, she blew her stinging hands and then flapped her arms to keep warm. Drops of water trickled around her pooling on the cave floor. She marvelled how the enclosure had expanded to the extent that she could stretch out her arms, the tips of her fingers touching the opposing sides.

‘If only I could fly out of the cave,’ she said.

A groan, then a sigh.

She stood still, arms by her side. She gazed up.

The roof trembled. There was rumbling above her head. The rumbling turned to a roar.

Maybe there’s a search party, she thought. She held that thought and sought some spare piece of clothing to toss through the small gap above. She picked up a soggy scrap of material and prepared to throw. An avalanche of snow swamped her. She tumbled, rolled and suffocated under wave upon wave of frothing ice and snow. Her hand gripped the rag.

With a thud, she hit an icy wall. She gasped; air knocked out of her lungs. A glaring sun and pure white snow assaulted her vision, dazzling her. She blinked; the glare rendered her sightless.

Letitia twisted in the waist-deep snow packed as hard as ice. Her eyes hurt. She squinted and held up her hand. She could just make out a washed-out hand against a backdrop of white. She spun around, slowly, her arms gliding around her on the packed ice as if she were a human drill. Thirsty, she scratched up a ball into her palms. The snow melted under her fingers. She put some crystals to her mouth, the fresh icy water trickled down her throat.

‘Lord,’ she rasped, ‘I’ve been patient enough. I need food and water to survive.’

‘Okay, okay,’ the small voice replied, ‘I’m working on it.’

Once again, an incredible heat overwhelmed Letitia. Her eyes adjusted to the light. Each side, the snow and ice gave way as if it were water, the heat generating from her body causing her frozen captor to melt and form puddles at her feet. She cut through the bank of snow and tottered to freedom. Before her a vista of blue-green sea dotted with icebergs, and a muddy plain with green boxes scattered on it.

Letitia strode down the slope. The hard patches of snow and ice squeaked beneath her numb feet. Had to take care not to slip and slide on this virtual black ice. She headed to what appeared to be faded green shipping containers. The containers seemed to be strewn over a carpet of mission-brown rock as though they were forgotten toy blocks.

Further down the hill, a large shed emerged from the shadows and then a bright red tractor loomed up in the foreground. An old-style ship lurked off to the side, its red hull reflected in the water so still, it appeared as a mirror image.

The air was biting and still, as if holding its breath. Letitia remembered reading that Antarctica was the windiest place on earth, but there was no evidence of that fact this day. Granite-like boulders poked through the mountain blanketed with snow. The heat radiating from within her did nothing for the excruciating pain when she stubbed her foot against a rock.

As she drew closer to the shipping containers, she detected bright orange and red parka padded forms lumbering over the brown ground. Red trucks ferried their human drivers from one Leggo block to another. The closer she came to the settlement, the more impressed she was with the hive of activity.

‘I hope they accept me,’ she murmured and began to feel apprehensive at the thought of imposing herself, her situation, upon this peaceful, industrious community. ‘What if this is another world Boris has sent me to? What if he’s sent me to the Ice Planet? What if the inhabitants are hostile to my kind—human? Or if they’re human, what if they’re prejudiced against people of my colour? I’m not white. Not anymore.’

Letitia remembered the last world, the one Boris said she’d escaped. Black was beautiful. Dark-skinned people were dominant. She’d been so badly burnt, and her DNA so damaged, that the doctors on that world had grafted her skin and reconstructed her DNA sequence to conform to the dominant race. White people had been oppressed on Mirror World; more in the Eastern States, than in Mirror’s Baudin State, the equivalent of South Australia… But on Earth, particularly Australia in the 1960’s, people of colour were marginalised. Letitia shuddered. The indigenous people of the land were considered fauna and denied the right to vote. And when she stepped out with Nathan, the general public of Sydney at that time, shunned her. If this was Earth, then, how would she be treated?

Calendar 1967

A siren brought Letitia back to the present, this world of winter. She took stock of her predicament—not good; not good at all. Destructive vials of chemicals, catastrophic explosions and a plane blown apart, flashed through her mind. Boris’ threat of the southern polar cap melting, and the world forced into further global warming stabbed her with fear and dread. ‘Will I be blamed? I’m coming out of nowhere. Do I have to alert this unwitting scientific community to this planet’s fate? What if they don’t believe me?’

She glanced down at her tattered rags for clothes. ‘How can I tell these scientists anything? Even if I am on the same world, the scientists still believe mankind have ventured no further than a short trip around Mars with a robot probe. Boris men and their mutant armies are beyond their sceptical comprehension. To these men as much of the world, the recent Fusion bombs were merely the work of terrorists intent on religious and racial wars.’

Letitia sighed and hobbled down a slippery scree slope. She darted past the bright yellow tractor, and lumber-jacket clad fellows dragging a lump of metal over to the khaki green shed. She searched for a door.

The buildings and equipment she passed appeared weathered, and antiquated. She kept thinking that the station would appear different; more updated, more slick, more “science-fictiony”, more modern. She was sure that the brochure about Antarctica which she had gleaned in the airbus, had the buildings more rounded in a saucer shape and standing on stilts. She was positive that the buildings had been portrayed in such a way that they reminded her of the Martians and their craft in War of the Worlds. She had not expected out-dated shipping crates with the constitution of Lego bricks. Still, perhaps that was Mirror World, and so, confirmation that this is Earth.

After detecting a likely door, she stood before it, puzzling how to open it. She tugged hard and down on a metal handle. The door swung open with a jerk and she entered a holding cell. She shoved open another, lighter door. A common room cluttered with walls of pin-up notices, photographs and an obligatory dart board greeted her. A wave of heat washed over her. There were no windows. A green strip of felt for carpet bowls stretched over the floor. Battered coffee tables and chairs that had seen better seasons, hugged the edge of the room making way for the bowls tournament. If the place had been graced with a few dark green slightly deflated cushions, she could have imagined that she was back in the 1960’s at a young peoples’ coffee shop.

The group of seemingly young adults were mainly bearded and unkempt, except for the odd female who was merely unkempt. None of the crowd of strangers were affected by fashion or keeping up appearances. They were focussed on the carpet bowl competition. They ignored her as if she were invisible.

The initial heat receded. Letitia shook, her body jerking, her teeth chattering, as if possessed by demons of the cold. Her bones ached with the chill. Her strength left her, and her legs turned to jelly threatening collapse. She hunted for a stray jacket or knitted rug to throw over herself. She staggered back to the entrance hall and grabbed a fur-lined checked lumber jacket. Aware that she was suffering the effects of hypothermia, she reasoned she had no time to be fashion-conscious. She had heard from fellow compatriots of the IGSF that such a species of fashion existed way back last century, but she, herself, had by-passed the joys of such clothing. During that span of time, the previous encounter with Boris’ attacks had catapulted her into another world where those particular fashions never existed. Just the fancy French ones on Mirror World.

Still weak, she shuffled back into the communal hall and watched the scruffy-looking people with pity. ‘At least they are human,’ she muttered. She mused that they must have been so isolated, so far south, that they had to resort to reject attire from fifty years ago. A calendar with a typical Uluru photo hung askew on the wall. ‘My goodness, even the calendar’s out of date!’ She chuckled half-amused that they would have a 1967 calendar still hanging dolefully on their common room wall.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Uluru at sunset © S.O. Gross circa 1950


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