"Oh my gods we're going to crash!"
"Stop wringing your hands, IDV. It makes you look even more limp-wristed" The Mistress snapped. "Remind me again whose stupid idea this was?"
I glared at LX in the pilot's seat by way of reply. "I said we should have taken Concorde, but oh no, we had to take the Space Shuttle out for a spin."
"Well, at least we can say we've flown it now" LX said.
"If we live to tell the tale, that is!"
"Have you no sense of adventure?"
"Oh, shut up, LX!" 'Petra almost screamed. "This isn't an adventure. This is a nightmare!"
"There!" Ms Scarlet pointed out of the window. "We can land there!"
"In a bloody forest?" I was incredulous. "Are you mad?!"
"No. Look" and Ms Scarlet indicated a wide, tree-less avenue with her calligraphy ink-stained index finger. "There's a strip of clear ground near the edge."
"Well, it'll have to do as we're out of options now." LX was suddenly all business. "Strap in everyone!"
We all started doing up seat-belts and harnesses except for The Mistress. Instead, she began to hand out frighteningly large, firm silicone dildos complete with straps and buckles on their bases. Gods only knew where she'd managed to hide them until now.
"Strap in, MJ" 'Petra yelled. "Not strap on! What good are those going to do?"
"Take our minds off getting smushed to smithereens when this thing hits the ground? And you address me as 'Mistress', remember? 'MJ' is so last season."
"Fine, Mistress" 'Petra sulked, then leaned in and whispered, "Although, can you save me that sparkly fuschia one?"
Through the windshield, the ground was looming at an alarming rate.
"Oh, gods, it's The Core all over again..." I muttered as we plummeted towards the outskirts of Bendigo.
Meanwhile at Palais de Steff...
|Not the Pirates of Penzance, sadly|
"Bugger off, you little creeps!" Princess snapped as she edged past the massing hoards of unruly garden gnomes in the Psychotic Gnome Maximum Security Yard. This was the last thing she needed after a grueling emergency wardrobe fitting for the Pirates of Penzance. Maybe if the pirates were a little older, it wouldn't be so bad, she thought as she approached the back door.
"Bloody Hell!" A wave of hot, humid air washed over Princess as she opened the door. This was accompanied by percussive sounds of manual labour. "Mother?" she called out to The Empress. "What's going on? It's boiling... in... here..."
Princess was silenced by the sight of a tool-belt and short-short wearing contractor, his muscles bulging and gleaming under a sheen of sweat as he man-handled a massive marble column through the hallway. Following the mightily-muscled young man, and dressed in a flowing diaphanous gown, was The Empress. She stopped, managing to drag her gaze from the rapidly retreating rear, and turned to greet her son.
"Happy birthday, Princess!*" she smiled, and handed him a tall, cold glass of gin & tonic, condensation clinging to the outside. "I thought we should have a treat as it's your birthday, so I turned the heating up to maximum to make the most of all these nubile young men working on the Palais!"
Princess just gaped.
"Ooh, hurry up darling" The Empress urged with a glint in her eye as she kicked aside sweat-soaked, discarded overalls and made her way towards the living room. "I think the blond one with the huge power tools is about to start drilling something!"
A little while later...
"Are you sure this is the place?"
"Of course, Mistress!" I said. "It's palacial; the state carriage is parked just over there; and that's the Psychotic Gnome Maximum Security Yard just next door" I indicated with a wave of my hand.
|A psychotic gnome lying in wait for the FGES!|
We studiously ignored the pervy little gnomes alternately lurking in the undergrowth and then flinging themselves up against the wire mesh that kept them enclosed. And we especially ignored their rather depraved 'goings on' and obscene gesturing as we ascended the steps to the Palais.
"Do you think they can sense that we've all worn the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts?" said Ms Scarlet.
"Well, not all of us" LX huffed.
"Oh, stop sulking" The Mistress said. "It makes you look like 'Petra."
"Who's got the present?" I called out just before ringing the doorbell.
"Here it is!" Ms Scarlet waved it above her head as the Palais bells chimed at our arrival.
After a few seconds, the front door opened, blasting us with an escaping rush of steamy air and revealing the final member of our coven.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRINCESS!" we all cried, and Ms Scarlet thrust the package at the startled Princess.
"Well" she said, after recovering somewhat. "This is a surprise. You came all this way for little old me?"
"Of course! Now, open your present!"
Princess tore off the colourful, shiny paper and delicately curled ribbon, to uncover a carefully folded swathe of fabric. She shook it out and looked at the pattern properly.
"Oh, my! What a coincidence!" she exclaimed. Then, noticing our somewhat confused faces, she added with a salacious wink: "You'd better come in for cocktails and contractors!"
* Although it's still the 25th here in the UK and across the pond in the Americas, in the land of Oz, it's the future already. Only a day, mind, but still the future and, therefore, Princess's birthday!