Choose your own adventure
16 June 2003
1.1 Rounding the bend before the departure lounge, you triple check that you still have you tickets, boarding pass and passport. You are beginning to regret your impulse newsagent buys as the plastic bag holding your magazines, chocolate, water and paperbacks (Nicci French, Naomi Klein) cuts into the palms of your hands. Yet you have a long flight ahead, and better to have discomfort now than homicidal boredom at forty thousand feet. As you wait in line to get in to the holding bay, you mentally calculate that in twelve hours time you'll be on Canadian soil.
Clearly your mental calculation wasn't so mental; alerted by the mumbling behind her, the attractive brunette in front of you turns around and smiles.
2.1 As you wait in line to get in to the holding bay, you mentally calculate that in twelve hours time you'll be on Indian soil. Clearly your mental calculation wasn't so mental; alerted by the mumbling behind her, the attractive brunette in front of you turns around and smiles. You smile back, but the queue has moved forward. Your girl (as you already begin to think of her) is handing over her documents and answering questions. She is softly spoken with a trace of an accent that you can't place. She moves and it's you. The guard makes no comment on your stupid passport photo but does raise an eyebrow slightly. You tug your tie in embarrassment and move quickly on.
Your girl is sitting by the window, the great Boeing looming up behind her. You take a seat opposite her.
2.2 The guard makes no comment on your dated passport photo but does raise an eyebrow slightly. You tug your bra strap in embarrassment and move quickly on. Your girl is sitting by the window, the great Boeing looming up behind her. You take a seat opposite her.
"Prepared, huh?" She gestures to your bags, her American twang uncomfortably loud in the small area. "I've got valium, Evian and a Cosmo, and they should see me right through". Her laugh sounds like some sort of bovine vacuum cleaner. Her charms are thinning and you don't voice your suspicions that you are both going to the same conference. You are grateful for the boarding call and get onto the plane as quickly as you can.
Your seat is a window seat. As you are cramming as much as you can into the overhead locker, a stewardess comes by and, leaning in, whispers "A word? Out back?"
3.2 You are grateful for the boarding call and get onto the plane as quickly as you can. Your seat is a window seat. As you decline the first round of the complimentary champagne, a stewardess comes by and, leaning in, whispers "A word? Out back?"
You follow her through some dark curtains whereupon you are handed a cup of fresh, strong coffee and steered towards a seat in front of a small screen. It blinks into blue light which then settles into a picture of your first-on-command, Havelock.
"This thing on?" he barks. "Good. Kingsland, your target has been targeted and triangulated. It's the Flannel Pig. There may be trouble, we just don't know. Obviously we'd prefer to keep this operation swift and move onto the debriefing but we can't use force until they break through the firewall into the mainframe. Our agents in Economy are watching. Until they slip the word, sit tight, enjoy the inflight films and we'll see you in Bankok. We're all relying on you." The screen flickers into darkness again.
You down your coffee and return to your seat. You are shaken. The Flannel Pig - of all the international murderous rogues, you had hoped against hope that it wouldn't be him. But until you are given the word, there is nothing you can do.
3.3 The Flannel Pig - of all the international murderous rogues, you had hoped against hope that it wouldn't be her. But until you are given the nod, there is nothing you can do.
For the next few hours you stare out of the window, take short, DVT-preventing walks through the aisles, and compose a love letter to your beloved girlfriend Esme. And you cannot stop your mind from racing. All of your training and preparations have brought you to this point in time, to this place here.
At somewhere over the North Pole, the word comes through. You close your eyes, flex your fingers. As the cabin crew look on nervously, you walk through the partition into economy and look forwards to find Row 54. There she is: the blonde with the Cosmo and the valium. The Flannel Pig.
4.1 There she is: next to the blonde with the Cosmo and the valium. The Flannel Pig. Your mother.
She sees you as you careen down the aisle towards her. With a bloodcurdling yell she attempts to smash the laptop that she has been using to bring the world's satellite systems down, but you are too swift for her. With one hand you grab the computer and throw it towards a waiting stewardess; with the other hand you grab her wrists to restrain her, and with the other hand you quickly manacle her to the seat. There are screams and cries all around you, but you are only alert to the evil supervillainess in front of you.
"Bitch!" your mother screams, "I should never have had you! I should have flushed you away when I had the chance!" As you manhandle her into a headlock you look down at her red sweaty-faced struggling and state "The only thing that's being flushed away now is you career as an international evil mastermind".
A stewardess runs over with a syringe of buffalo tranquilliser. As you wrestle with your mother to aim it at her upper arms she yells "We had Moscow, and Berlin! We will rise again..." and you jab the needle into her. She collapses drooling to the floor.
After the champagne celebration given to reward your bravery, the rest of the flight passes smoothly. You arrive refreshed at Toronto, where your beloved Esme meets you at the gates.
5.1 The rest of the flight passes smoothly. You arrive refreshed at Toronto, where your host family meets you at the gates.
18 December 2003. George writes: This List
Most recent ten:
15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
Also by this clown:
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
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