Friday, 20 February 2009

Deathly Peril At the Volcano’s Edge - Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – Adrift

I surfaced from beneath the icy water to find a great white shark attempting to gnaw on my leg. Fortunate, my copper-tinged physique was protecting me from the worst of it. After a brief tussle which ended in bitter, jaw-wrenching defeat for my toothsome foe, I applied a tourniquet to my somewhat bleeding shins using tatters from my shirt and scouted the waters for signs of the others.

A short distance away, I found the three of them clinging to boxes which had been thrown from the plane as it plunged beneath the deep blue waves. I was surprised once again at Little Jimmy's resiliency – he has proved to be darned difficult to kill over the years. Before I was forced to pass out very briefly from blood loss, I managed to fashion a rudimentary sailing craft from remnants of the boxes and the parachutes we had used to escape certain death from our plummeting plane.

When I came to, I discovered Lucy Lovelady tending to my wounds, a frown creating furrows in her pretty little brow.

"Now, don't you go worrying your sweet little head about me, my dear Lucy. A quick sit down and I'll be fighting fit and ready for action!" I assured her in a thoroughly manly way. She batted her eyelashes in a demure fashion.

"Gee willikers, Doc, we sure are in a tight spot, aren't we?" chirped Little Jimmy. I gave the little tyke a reassuring chuck on the chin then waited a moment while Big John retrieved him from the ocean and mildly wrung him out.

"Not at all, Little Jimmy," said I. "I'll have us on dry land in no time. Big John, strike out north-westerly and we'll hit our intended destination within hours."

"Jeepers, Doc," squeaked the lad, "how do you know that?"

"Simplicity itself, little fella. Observe overhead." I pointed and their gazes drifted upwards. Overhead a perfectly straight line of brightly coloured birds stretched away in a north-westerly direction.

"Those bright red Yellowbirds up there never stray more than five miles from land and are only indigenous to three islands. Only one of those islands is in the vicinity of our splashdown point..."

"...and that's Klaatu Baradanikto!" squealed the small one. I moved to give him a congratulatory cuff about the head but he was surprisingly nimble and managed to duck out of the way. I resolved to congratulate him at a later date.

"That's right, all we need do is follow and our destination shall be reached," I proclaimed, mightily.

"But, Doc, what in the wide, wide world of sports a-knocked us out of the gosh-durned sky in the first place?" opined Big John.

I had my suspicions but held my tongue. I would wait until we reached our destination and whatever evil was held in store for us there....

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