Act Five Chapter fifty
All my nerves were screaming -‘You can’t fly.
It took me a few minutes, I mean, I was deep down in the depths of the deepest depression.
I couldn’t quite snap back into normal life. I just held onto Macker and cried and closed my eyes.
-‘I’m sending a message’- said Barney -‘Maxie is fine. We saved her life. Coming home soonest.’ I’m sending it to Danny, and your mother, and Bernie and Damo and Tricia and Josie and Duna and Damo and Lila, Tricia and Paco and Janie and Jimi, and James and Jerry and more besides.’-
It was so great just to hear his smarmy voice going on.
-‘Hey guess what Maxie,’- said Macker.-‘Janie’s had a baby girl and called it Macker.’-
I couldn’t reply. Thinking of Kazoo.
-‘Jerry and James are gay lovers.’-
Why oh why did I lose Kazoo.
-‘The PIF stay in their barracks. Then they come out and party with the Clanners. Lots of them support us already.’-
How cool. We were winning the war without even fighting. But that was not enough.
-‘And Killian Bate is dead, Hilda Curbin shot him in the head.’-
I opened my eyes and looked around. That worked, that switched me on. I have to confess that news of his death brought me back to life.
Somehow that man was everything that was doing my head in. Suddenly I was fine.
-‘Are you serious? He’s really dead.’-
They were all nodding, except the Occupy eagles who didn’t get it.
-‘They set him a trap, dressed up as you and Jerry, as the bait.’-
Macker and me were squeezing.. The eagles were craning out the window.
Lucy was dabbing Barney’s head with her healing fingertips.
While he was chucking aspirins down his gob.
-‘Come on Maxie.’- she said. -‘I’ll put my magic cream on your bruises.’-
-‘I was slipping out that window’- says I -‘but my breasts got caught on the sill, and saved my life.’-
-‘Saved by your tits. What next?’- said my beautiful magician.
-‘Because they’re big. I had, uh, nice little tomboy tits till I got pregnant.’-
-‘That’s true enough.’-
-‘So I was saved by Kazoo. Or by making love with you!’-
I was weeping and laughing at the same time, showing Lucy my new bruises.
-‘How weird. Seems like everyone took turns to save you. We pulled you in. Barney head butted the floor.’- he said.
-‘Janneke definitely saved you. And Sol and Bernie found you, with the help of Jerry and James and your support group and…’-
-‘All the people who pushed us to look harder and….’-
-‘You forgot about Moonbeam.’- I interrupted. -‘ She asked me to be her mum!’-
She was wriggling on my knee, hurting me.
-‘What? But Moonie…’-
-‘I’m gonna have two mamas. Mama Maxie and Mama Lucy. Okay? And I want Macker for my other papa.’-
Everyone was laughing, amazed.
-‘Actually she’s serious.’- Barney said, but Henni, my friend from the Eagles, was yelling at us.
She was announcing that the cops were lining up to take the whole block by force. Unless all foreigners were handed over immediately.
Maybe I was right to be depressed.
We really could be interrogated, and deported to some secret prison.
Or get disappeared and tortured to death.
Lucia has warrants out for her everywhere..
And Janneke of course was on the run.
-They offered to fly us out, if we could come that instant. But after all my moaning about wanting to fly I turned out to be a chicken.
-‘We know how to fly them ourselves.’ - said Macker proudly.
-‘Heel goed. They have just two airbags, and double tails.’- Henni explained.
-‘We use double tails as well. You need them for braking.’-
-‘Then you could fly to the ferry. I’ll take you there if you like. They let us land on the helipad at the back.’- said Janneke. Nodding eagerly at the Eagles.
-‘Hasn’t the boat left already?’- Macker asked.
-‘It leaves at six but we can catch up with it easily. Then they can hardly stop us.’-
-‘This ship is run by our friends.’- I said -‘But I can’t fly.’-
The Eagles were consulting. Finally nodding and pointing at me.
-‘We need the suits, but more we need you free. Especially Maxie, and Lucia Perez must stay free.’-
Everybody turned and looked at me. Lucia Perez. They knew who I was, they needed me free. What a complement.
-‘But no way I can fly in one of them.’- I said.
Heart in my mouth and clutching Moonbeam protectively.
-‘I’ll take you in the training suit. You don’t have to do anything.’- Barney offered.
-‘But.. I can’t jump from here.. You’ll have to push me off!’-
Really a chicken would be braver. At least it’s got wings.
-‘You don’t have to jump. You’ll see. The wind just lifts you up.’-
I had to go with Barney, but I suspected we were just too heavy. Maxie and Macker were a pair, and Janneke would take Moonbeam and show us the way. It was a bit complicated, the checks and straps. They had an assembly-line of people taking off, and others landing up the other end.
I was so scared I was crying. Lucky I’d pissed first. I was allowed my little bag with the notebook, belted round my tummy and that’s all.
No shoes, just bra and panties. We had to crouch together, me underneath, on the soft hot tarry roof, and hold some metal rungs.
While they clipped a climbing harness round the two of us, shouting instructions which I forgot. Then they unfolded and clicked the suit on top of us.
It was light, and immensely wide as the whole roof, like a great kite. All filled in with white goose feathers. Janneke and Moonie were in front of us in the take-off queue. Macker and Maxie behind. The Eagles were shouting checks. Dropping and lifting the windbreak fences.
We moved forward. The front fence folded down, and Janneke lifted over us, quite lazily, with Moonie waving like mad, close up, harnessed underneath. We could have reached up and touched her.
Except I was strapped under Barney, crawling forward now, like a clumsy two headed dragonfly. It would have been sexy I suppose, if I hadn’t been so terrified.
All my nerves were screaming -‘You can’t fly.’-
Ready. Twist wings back, tails up. Lower front windbreak. Let go the bars…….
My eyes tight shut, then peeping, then gazing around. We were floating up, my heart was leaping about. It wasn’t so windy at all, we were creatures of the wind!
Gliding away down in a wide curve, with the odd flap, then rising with the warm air, and lifting into the head wind. Till the three of us circled together. Janneke turned south, slowing back till we came alongside. Blowing kisses.
My fear was gone, just nausea looking down. I could have helped Barney, lifting my arms, with the controls and flapping. But the pneumatics did the work, with ten times our muscle power. We did need to flap because we were too heavy.
Janneke was pointing urgently behind us. She began a long shallow dive, followed by Macker, with Maxie slung under him, and us behind.
She was giving Moonie a bag of little leaflets and sweets, and yes… the pedestrian zone was packed. We were all slipping sideways down over Zeezandijk center.
There was a demo of yunkers, Occupiers and krakers, waving up at us, as Moonbeam emptied the bag, cannily keeping a fistful.
Barney had turned on the flapper and we lifted, well above the cables. Then I saw Maxie had sweets as well, all smiles and trying to throw me one.
Suddenly I was enjoying the flight. If Maxie could grin already so could I.
In fact I was loving it, as we wheeled gradually into a line, while zipping across the flooded parks beside the sea.
Now lifting on the warm head wind, yet diving at the same time. So that we whizzed out into the breeze.
Flying is like yachting in three dimensions. Yawing a little and clawing to our right, then over the promenade in a wide curve.
Slicing the air down, and ourselves up, flying headlong over the dike and the strand.
A whole cloud of black headed gulls were surprised into the air and whirled about us, some falling in with our route. As we shot away across the sparkling water.
We lifted up and up and slowed, copying Janneke. Then plunged one by one into another curve. She was pointing again and I saw the walled harbour further down the coast.
In ten minutes, they signaled, we would arrive. I was chilled from the wind, yet sweating against Barney, twisting up to give him a mid air kiss.
-‘I’ll love you always always, Lucía.’- he grunted, for the first time.
-‘Me too me too, for always.’- We married in mid air.
Then we were daring to follow Janneke down. Till she was skimming across the waves like a monster albatross. We whizzed along behind, planing under the wind like gulls do.
I was gone beyond terror, Moonie was getting sprayed, shrieking with fear and delight.
While Macker pointed out some giant fish.
And a couple of gannets shot by and splashed, diving for their dinner.
Barney was kissing my neck, whispering an erotic fantasy, in my right earhole.
His arms were firmly strapped while mine were free. I tickled him, and made sexy gestures over to Maxie, who started laughing and wriggling in her harness, scaring Macker who lifted higher. You wouldn’t believe she tried to kill herself an hour before.
Then we were turning to the right, a bit awkward, lifting and using the flapper and losing speed, threading among gulls
Janneke was pointing ahead at the ferry going out.
Luckily the ship was heading into the south west wind. Soon we were cruising up behind it.
Maybe we were expected, a couple of sailors were roping off the helipad at the back.
The upper decks were packed with passengers. Were they all waiting for us? Janneke gestured to Macker and Maxie to land first.
Moonbeam was trying to explain something terribly important to me. And I was nodding, impossible to communicate in the air at thirty meters. Then I saw her pointing as a couple of dolphins jumped clear of the water, following the boat and getting thrown sprats.
That’s what they were all watching, but the next spectacle was us landing.
Macker went in perfectly. Then folded their wings forward a smidgen late, and got blown sideways, Maxie catching the rope and a sailor jumping onto one skewing wing.
-‘Don’t forget to drop, Lucy.’- said Barney in my ear as we drifted in.
We were coming in short. We would fall screaming into the churning propeller.
But Barney judged it and the wind behaved.
Like hovering, but relatively rushing forward, almost motionless but very unstable, through the whistling air.
Three meters above the helipad center. Two. One. ..Now!
I unclicked my hip belt and my bare feet hit the metal deck. Grabbed onto the cross rope.
We slipped out fast, the sailors controlling our flapping, folding suit.
Janneke and Moonbeam landed behind us. Barney hid behind me bashfully. Hopping on one foot, and hiking his disgracefully revealing boxer slip. While all the passengers cheered and clapped and whistled.
Janneke had landed, making it look supremely easy.
Had unclipped Moonie, who escaped, running wildly across the heli-deck.
Intercepted by her bald hopping daddy who grabbed her arm.
-‘Up Papi. Lift me right up.’-
Moonie decided to do her much rehearsed acrobatic stunt, which was standing up on his shoulders.
Only she forgot that Barney had just one good leg.
Maxie linked arms with Barney and they hobbled along. We all headed for the bar, through the flashing cameras.
Moonbeam was holding on by Barney’s ears, and flopping like a rodeo star.
Trying to pose elegantly for her cheering public.
- Serial of The Free Ch 49. Bye Bye Maxie Moon (thefreeonline.wordpress.com)