Sunday, May 14, 2006

Chapter Sixteen

“Alma! Calm down…it’s alright, my darling, it’s alright…”

Derek whipped his pink Argyle pullover from around his neck and draped it lovingly across Alma’s shoulder. He looked at the sweating security guard.

“I’m sorry, sir. My girlfriend has OCD. She takes that bloody kitchen timer everywhere. You ever tried shagging to a tick tick tick? Not easy.”

The guard blinked. His pork-pie face flickered uncertainly. He looked from Alma, shivering and muttering, to Derek. Cool, calm, suave.

“It’s not on Sir. Not on at all. Just won’t do, kicking up such a fuss. Could have caused chaos….”

“Yes, of course, Very disruptive. That’s why we’re on our to Brussels…we have an appointment with Dr Schenkelbenker….hopefully he’ll sort out my precious love..”, Derek stroked Alma’s cheek.

She glared at him, opening her mouth. Derek bent down and dropped a kiss on her lips.

“Fucking shut it Alma. OK? Just put that egg in your gob and shut it. Or else.” His hissed threats did the trick. Alma closed her mouth and did the only thing guaranteed to set them free. She cried. A small, sad tear trickled down her cheek. Then another. And another. She gasped, shuddered, and let the floodgates open. Soon, her howls and sobs filled the air.

“Oh bloody hell. She’s a nutter. Sir, just take her and get lost. I don’t want any more trouble. You just keep that woman under control. I have a bacon sarnie and a nice cuppa waiting for me and I don’t intend to skip it…get out of here, go on…get!”

The guard hitched up his trousers, covering his flabby white belly and turned, losing interest in the loopy cow.

Derek dragged Alma to a row of seats and shoved her into one.

“Nice going Alma. Well fucking done. You nearly lost that egg….you almost landed us in jail. Just pull yourself towards yourself and get a grip, you dumb bitch.”

Through her wet lashes, Alma stared up at Derek.

“Hmmm. Mr Smooth has an interesting dark side,” she thought. “Not so much of the fresh lemony, Blond anymore. I’d better watch him.” She tucked the egg backed into her bra, smoothed her hair and smiled tremulously.

“I’m sorry Derek. Really. I don’t know what came over me. I don’t even have PMS. It’s just been such a crazy few weeks.” She sighed, turned her mouth down sadly and lowered her head, the very picture of abject despair.

“Right. Let’s get moving. Our flight is boarding.” Derek pulled Alma up, slipped his arm firmly through hers, smiled again sweetly, and tugged Alma firmly towards the gate.


Alma stared down at the English Channel. Tiny boats appeared motionless, dotting the blue water, minute white wakes a fuzzy blur. She leaned back in her seat, closed her eyes and thought about the egg. It freaked her. It HAD been ticking. It had also been very hot. What was going on with that damn egg. The ticking had stopped, and settled into a dull vibration. She could feel its warm buzz against her breasts.

Sighing, Alma opened her eyes. None of it made any sense. She reached forward and yanked out the in-flight magazine from the seat pouch. Flicking through it, she glanced at the articles. Yawn. Dull. A piece about Dr Who, the time traveller.

Time travel? Puhleeese. Who cares? She put the magazine on her lap.

As the pages fell silkily, she looked over at Derek. His eyes were closed, his mouth hung slackly. A small puddle of drool had collected in the corner of his thin lips.

She looked back at the magazine. The pages had fallen open on something incredibly sleep-inducing.

“Quantum Physics Explained….”

Does the thought of quantum physics send a chill down your spine, just like the words calculus, differential equations, and -gasp- organic chemistry? You may not even think that quantum physics is a serious science, like the more familiar…..

Cripes. I don’t need this…she was about to turn the page when a phrase seemed to leap up off the smooth white paper and slap her in her face.

“….the world of these subatomic particles is a very bizarre one, filled with quantum probabilities and organized chaos….”

Bizarre. Yes. Her life was bizarre. The egg was bizarre. Bizarre. Chaos. Yes.

A light switched on in Alma’s brain. She closed her eyes again, and let the electronic waves in her mind hum and undulate. The answer to the riddle was tantalisingly close. So close. She placed her hand over the egg. Immediately, she felt the vibrations increase. The buzz became a frantic tick tick tick…her hand burned. Alma snatched her hand away, opened her eyes and began to read the article.

“…..The electrons don't orbit like planets; they form blurred clouds of probabilities around the nucleus…..”

“….What quantum physics does is give us the statistical probability of the electron's location at any one moment….”

“….Quantum physics even plays a part in blackholes, where regular physics is thrown out the window and then some!”

“Ladies and Gentleman, the fasten seat belts light has been switched on. Kindly return to your seats and prepare for landing. Make sure your hand baggage is safely stowed in the overhead lockers.”

Derek opened his eyes. He looked at Alma. She seemed far away, a dreamy, quizzical expression on her face.

“Alma? “…..He snapped his fingers. “Alma? “

She looked at him, a small smile playing weird games with her lips. Almost as she knew something he didn’t.

“Yes Derek?”

“When we get to the Faberge Exhibition, I want you to stay close to me. No tricks. Understand? Just keep your mouth zipped.”

“Yes Derek.”

The hall was a crush of smelly, noisy humanity. Alma stuck close to Derek. Well, actually, she felt glued to him. He had his arm around her waist and dragged her along as he went from stand to stand, looking at the magnificent display of jewelled eggs.

He stopped suddenly, staring intensely at someone standing just 10m away. A tall, long-legged woman.

Alma gasped. Olga!

She looked around for Oppenheimer. Yes…there he was, the stinking fat slob. Alma slipped behind Derek, hiding her face. She trembled. Holy Schmoly! Now what. How was she going to get away.

A child’s voice pierced her wild thoughts.

“Daddy? Dr Who is the telly in an hour. I want to see Dr Who. Daddy?”

Alma froze. Selwyn. That was Selwyn’s voice. What the hell?

She peeped furtively around Derek’s shoulder. Yup. It was Selwyn. Her beautiful Selwyn. And Lonnie. Bloody hell. Lonnie. She stifled a giggle. Lonnie had gone to seed. His trim frame was blurred with a layer of pudge. Thin sandy hair flopped weakly over a tomato red face and oh cripes…he had on an in-your-face red shirt with green flowers, a pair of baggy khaki shorts…and sandals. Socks and sandals. The archetypal Brit abroad.

Alma wondered fleetingly what shed ever seen in him. Bleugh. But Selwyn. Oh her lovely baby boy.

A plan formed in her mind. A wild flight of fantasy. But maybe…just maybe….

“Woke up this morning
Everything I had was gone.”

The song flashed through her mind. Gone. She had nothing left to lose.

With her free hand, Alma removed the egg from her bra. Immediately, it grew hot and began ticking…louder and louder…tick tick tick tick….

She wrenched free from Derek, dashed towards Selwyn, grabbed his hand and ran.

Chaos ensued. Derek, Lonnie, Olga and Oppenheimer ran after her. Alma ran wildly, frantically, through the sea of people. Screams, shouts, yells….tables knocked over. She ran on.

The egg was screeching its tick tick song. Alma lifted her arm, holding the glowing egg aloft.

The room spun. She gripped Selwyn’s hand tightly.

Tumble tumble tumble…

A shocking flash.

Stunned, Derek and his crowd of followers froze. They crashed into each other. A Laurel and Hardy farce. Except it was real. Alma was gone. Vanished into thin air. With the egg and Selwyn.

“Mum….mummy….you did it… penetrated the Matrix…”

Alma sat up. Where were they? She felt dizzy, disoriented.

Glancing around, she saw they were in a field. Surrounded by wild flowers, hedges, a babbling brook. No telephone wires. No electricity pylons. No sounds of cars. Just birds. Water gurgling. And voices. Harsh, foreign voices.

She stood up slowly, and peered over a hedge. 20 m away was a group of caravans. Traditional gyspy caravans. Ragged, shabby children dashed in and out of the vans. Women, dressed in bright traditional dresses fussed over an open fire. A man played a fiddle.

In the distance, A saw a town. Minnarets, spires, onion domes.

She looked down at Selwyn.

“No sweetheart. Not the Matrix. Time. We’ve penetrated time. And we are about to find some of the answers to this mad mad riddle. I think, my love, that we are in Russia. Two hundred years ago. When this egg was made.”

She held the egg up. It was cool and quiet. Settled.

Selwyn smiled.

“Well done Mums.”

by Wendy who came to the rescue!


Anonymous Clair said...

This story is getting weirder and weirder... I love it! :)

4:20 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

It was great fun letting my imagination go...yay Blogstory!

4:58 PM  
Blogger tristan said...

fab ! fab ! fab !

8:46 PM  
Blogger lucy pepper said...

now I have had a chance to sit down and savour this... I can only say THANK YOU Wendy. Brill brill brill.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Dr. Rob said...

Bosemoy - Horroshow Bolshoi horroshow!

12:22 PM  
Blogger Nancy White said...

Wonderful. And I think the story just grew longer.


5:50 PM  
Blogger Louis-François Pilard said...

Chapter nineteen

Never had Alma suspected any transcendent power to guide her through this tremendous adventure. She somehow felt free. But then there were so many events and hindrances that had been on her way that she could not help resenting this fate of hers. None of the other characters of the novel had really been nasty to her. None of them was really the bad one. All were human. So why was she beginning to yearn for deserts, wildernesses, with nothing but dunes on end till the horizon melted with the sky, not a soul in those landscapes? How come she was like fed up with any kind of company? Even her son and husband seemed burdensome to her now. She was wondering whether the hen that could have hatched these eggs was to be found somewhere on Earth, and if any poultry would be born from one of the Fabergé eggs.
She found herself to have a sudden taste for the letter o. She was beginning to see ellipses all around herself. Moving shapes. She was saying to herself that if all those people coveting vibrating luxury eggs simply cared for true eggs with yokes that one could fry or scramble then things might be a little easier to live. But no: complicated they were.

2:48 AM  

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