Ugh. Someone-or-thing over the Cusp has seen Top Gear's British made motors take over the Mall and the Allianz UK school run insurance ad and wants to do an horrific amalgam of the two for the Cusp's inimitable type of transportation insurance.
I was contacted to see if I could organise a collection of unique, eldritch (to the mortal realm) personal conveyances so that they could be "auditioned" for suitability in an advertisement. I expect you can imagine my sighing and eye-rolling at such a task, but, unfortunately, the person (and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word's meaning) who did the asking knows a certain something about my past - that I'd rather stay in the past - and made it clear that this wasn't so much a request as a requirement.
Anyway, I managed to gather a small fleet of apterygial AFOs (Arcane Flying Objects) at Northrepps Aerodrome this weekend. It was all very last minute, so I couldn't get everyone I wanted, unfortunately.
Oh, come off it! You've known about this for weeks.
Yes, but we've been very busy with other important matters!
Yeah, like fannying about with centaurs and tin foil...
OK, so I was given plenty of time, but my natural procrastinating abilities kicked in with a vengeance. However, it was still quite a sight as a loose formation of broomsticks, hoes & pitchforks, a magic carpet, an elderly Electrolux Model 30, two sensible umbrellas & a parasol, two flying saucers (don't ask) and a Mini-Metro took to the sky and performed low-level manoeuvres under the mostly sober guidance of their pilots.
|The very elderly and difficult to manoeuvre Electrolux Model 30|
Everything was going swimmingly - or flyingly, I suppose - until a distant rumble rent the air. I was standing just off the leading edge of runway 04/22 being talked at by one of the nuns who'd arrived in the Metro, when I noticed her wimple vibrating slightly. At first I didn't pay it much heed as the nuns of the Chattering Order of Saint Beryl were capable of talking at such a rate of speed that I assumed the vibrations were a by-product of their loquaciousness. It was only when I noticed her being impressively drowned out by the ever increasing roar that I realised something else was to blame. As she obliviously blathered on, I surreptitiously glanced about trying to find the source of the noise. Soon, the roar was so loud that even she noticed it and changed subject to that of the noise so quickly that I almost suffered with whiplash!
Suddenly, one of the few low-hanging cumulus clouds burst open to reveal an enormous white dragon, its wings spread and its claws out, heading right for us!
|The mythological dragon, Concorde, about to seize its prey|
After that almost heart-stopping moment, I managed to gather my wits (no mean feat as some of them had managed to get quite a distance away) and see the "dragon" for what it really was.
"Don't worry" I said, attempting to soothe the panicking nun. "Its only Concorde."
And with that, my wits fled again - along with the nun - as the realisation that 150 tons and 62 metres of 20th century supersonic airliner was attempting a landing on a small village's grass runway that was only
As I gawped in awed terror, rooted to the spot, the fleet of AFOs scattered to make way for the descending Concorde. Well, I say scattered - most of them did but a few of the slower ones were taking a terrifying amount of time to get out of the way. The brollies and the parasol were the chief culprits, but the ancient Electrolux was the worst. That thing couldn't manoeuvre for toffee and was attempting a starboard turn that made the Titanic look like a London taxi. It just about got out of the way though, its hose earning a clip from the very tip of Concorde's wing as the enormous jet dropped onto the runway.
The airliner sloughed speed at an incredible rate, its brakes glowing red hot and screeching in protest, with great clods of runway being flung left, right and centre like a rubbish golfer creates divots. Somehow, it managed to skid to a stop before careering off the end of the runway, through a hedge and into the road.
My heart hammered in my chest as, not two feet away, Concorde's droop nose pointed right at it.
"Eeep" I said, breathing heavily.
To be continued in... Don't you point that thing at me!