Source: 194. Job Done
Outside they check the airplane carefully. The antenna is in perfect condition, but the tip of one wing and the left wheel are crooked. For the rest, everything is fine. Against Bruce’s fear, the plane is firmly placed on the ground, next to the cliff but not in the brink.
“To be a forced landing, it was perfect…” says Sylvia admired.
“It’s me, please… What did you expect?”
Sylvia, ignoring his joke, looks closer the damaged wheel.
“If I had some tools, maybe I could fix it…”
“Yeah, it’s not completely broken. I can try at least…”
She didn’t finish her phrase that Bruce runs into the plane.
Minutes later, he comes back notoriously disappointed.
Sylvia slowly moves her head; she didn’t expect tools, all in all they went to a nice ride through the sky and a picnic.
Bruce looks up to the sky.
“Isn’t it weird that it’s so cloudy?” he asks.
Sylvia looks up too.
“It wasn’t this way when we started the flight.”
They both look at the sky but no explanation shows up.
“Maybe it’s going to rain?” she suggests tentatively.
“Mmm… Yeah… It could be.”
But it’s obvious he isn’t much convinced.
“Anyway. Let’s have our picnic.”
Bruce turns and gets in the plane followed by Sylvia.
It’s the 1st day of summer, Sylvia is tired of her work and decides to take a proper holiday… she decides to go on a journey, so she goes to the nearest bus station with her luggage, searching for a way to finally relax herself. She waits for the bus, for an unknown destination… bus is late as usual, but this allows her to make new acquaintances. Sylvia sees this guy on the floor and looks away; he reminds her too much her former boyfriend, a guy that she hopes not to see ever again. She also hopes not to see any of his or her friends. All of them got her completely stressed, sick and exhausted. She needs a start over urgently.
After the forced landing (the glade was too small to make a proper one), they look each other and the landscape through the window.
“Hope we’re not in the brink.” says Bruce.
“Seems to be stable…”
Bruce looks at her face for a moment.
“That compass…” he says.
“The real thing.”
She takes it out of her pocket again.
“It’s beautiful. Who gave you this?” he says taking it to behold.
It’s a careful handicraft, made in the style of the ancient instruments, wrapped by a box of leather and thin hard wood. It has a tiny lock and a ring for attaching purposes.
“Why you think it’s someone who gave it to me?”
“I know when it’s a gift.”
“Oh! David gave it to me.”
“Ah! Is he into you?”
“Well… I didn’t ask…”
Bruce makes a noise somewhat similar to a laugh. After studying it a bit more, he gives it back to her.
Sylvia saves it inside her pocket. The compass still looks like if it went mad, but moving slower.
“Yeah, he said that given I’m always traveling and taking photos, it would be of use.”
Bruce carefully stands up to see if any inner damage was done to the aircraft. Meanwhile, Sylvia takes the radio to make an emergency call.
“Mayday Mayday Mayday. Aircraft…”
Bruce comes back thinking she stopped because she didn’t know the airplane data.
“It’s written there.” he says pointing a paper hanging at her right.
“No. It’s not that.”
Sylvia pushes the radio button; only the noise of opening/closing communication is audible. There’s no radio signal, not even background noise.
Sylvia looks at Bruce in despair. If they can’t communicate, who’ll seek them… And when.
Bruce ponders for a moment, moving nervously.
“Let’s go outside. Maybe we can fix the antenna.” says Bruce.
They open the door, loom and jump outside.
Sky is blinding bright blue with some flocks of white clouds. It’s a beautiful day, not too hot and not too cold, with a soft breeze blowing from the tail.
Sylvia is seating like a good girl admiring the view. Bruce smiles proud of himself.
Given is a warm day they aren’t much wrapped up. She has a jean long jacket, tight elegant pants and short leather boots. Bruce is wearing pilot jacket, comfortable long pants and tennis.
Airplane motors are purring soothingly and instruments show a nice speed of 100 mph.
Life is simply perfect.
“I really think I should give him a call…” says Sylvia pensively.
Bruce moves uncomfortable in his seat.
“Don’t talk about him when you’re with me.”
Sylvia downs her head.
“Nothing bad against that old hairy arse. But you know, you’re with me right now so…”
“Yes. You’re right. I’m sorry.”
Bruce shakes his head. After a moment of silence, he points out a group of clouds saying:
“Look! What about climbing on the clouds?”
Sylvia raises her head and nods happy.
They didn’t really climb on the clouds but rather went through them. Then they get out and keep flying a stunning bright sky.
“But I can do many other things…” says Bruce smiling.
“Oh, yeah! But I need some inspiration…” says Bruce stretching his neck, offering a cheek like a small child expecting a cuddle.
Sylvia shares some little kisses with him, planting them on his face.
“Balls to the wall!!” says Bruce enthusiastic, suddenly accelerating the airplane.
Sylvia giggles delighted as he makes all sorts of crazy things flying.
“To the Empire of the Clouds!!!” says Bruce leading the aircraft to a huge flock of cotton clouds.
They fly inside and a bit over the clouds for a long while. Amazed, Sylvia takes some photos. Bruce flies looking at her from time to time with a proud satisfied smile.
Eventually, they leave the clouds. By now, fuel level is reaching the half tank indicator.
“Okay, let’s find a nice place to have our private party.” says Bruce with a naughty expression.
“Oh! You make it sound like an orgy!” says Sylvia laughing.
“No, no. No orgy. Only you and me.” he says and winks.
But when they see the ground again, can’t find a place to land on. Everything is trees on uneven fields.
Bruce smiles as if he knew exactly what is going on, makes a turn and keeps flying confident they’ll find a place. After all, it’s England, it’s not like it’s an infinite territory…
“I think we’re going in the wrong direction…” says Sylvia looking at the airplane compass.
“Look… It’s pointing to the other side.”
Bruce takes a look and frowns. Then make a turn but the compass keeps pointing at the same direction. Bruce is starting to get nervous. Sylvia pulls her phone out of her jacket pocket. The compass in her phone is pointing to a different direction. Then she pulls a real compass from the other pocket. This last one is frantically pointing everywhere. She lays both things on her lap and calls Bruce’s attention. He looks and curses.
By now, fuel level is half tank, so he has to think fast.
“We must land.” announces.
“Yeah, but where?”
Fields below looks like chopped with an axe, and wildly populated by nature.
Over their heads, sky is uniformly clouded. They find it strange, but isn’t the moment to discuss it.
“Look! There!” says Bruce pointing out a far place at their right.
There’s a glade next to a brink. Bruce will take no risks, so he tells Sylvia to hold tight and fly there to force a landing.
“Hello? Sylvia? Ah, finally! I’ve been calling you for the last 10 minutes!”
“I was busy”
“Organizing your party? Yeah, about that… you should come here”
“I have a nice surprise for you”
“Can’t you tell it on the phone?”
“No, you have to come here”. Ah, never say no to Dickinson… It’s Sylvia’s birthday today and he’s planning to try a new aircraft, making the first flight for her birthday, as a present. Therefore, she reaches the airport and finds him all smiling, next to his new toy.
“Oh! You’re there!” says Bruce.
“Finally! You took an eternity to come!”
“Sorry.” Sylvia says confused.
“Look at this beauty.” he says pointing at the plane behind him with a wide gesture of his arms.
“So pretty…” she says with shining eyes.
“And look inside…” he says guiding her to the airplane.
She looms to see the interior. There’s some boxes at the bottom and nothing else. But being a light aircraft like that, there isn’t much room to carry many people or packages.
“I planned a nice journey with a picnic… Only you and me.”
Sylvia smiles delighted.
“What do you say?”
“Sounds so good…!”
With a touch on her back, Bruce Dickinson invites her to get in the plane.
“Shouldn’t we tell Steve…?” asks Sylvia.
“What for? That wanker won’t come anyway. ”
“No, well, no… Not to invite him, just…”
“Let’s go, come on.”
Sylvia gets in the aircraft followed by Bruce. He sits down on the pilot place and she takes the copilot.
She looks around excited and happy like a child anticipating a surprise. Bruce asks permission through radio and starts the motors.
This is a tale, horror topic, written in collaboration. It’s the third of its serie but it doesn’t matter because they’re independent from each other.
It’s the first day of summer, Sylvia is tired of her work and decides to take proper holidays. A journey would be a nice idea under her eyes, so she goes to the nearest bus station with her luggage, searching for a way to finally relax herself. She waits for the bus, for an unknown destination… bus is late as usual, but this allows her to make new acquaintances. Sylvia sees this guy on the floor and looks away; he reminds her too much her former boyfriend, a guy that she hopes not to see ever again. She also hopes not to see any of his or her friends. All of them got her completely stressed, sick and exhausted. She needs a start over urgently.
Despite is summer, days aren’t too hot and nights are fresh. Maybe because of this, maybe because isn’t a very well known place, the beach has some people but it’s mostlyt lonely. Something that Bruce loves; he had enough of people in bunches for a long time. Sylvia doesn’t like bunches or populated places under any circumstances, so she’s also very comfortable there. They can sit on the sand, with waves licking their toes, and talk about anything while beholding infinity. Peaceful empty days apart from world.
Suddenly, the door is opened and a small fat guy, half bald, looks at her.
“Yes? What is it?” says looking at her bothered.
“My friend. I want to see my friend.”
“You’re wrong. There’s nobody else but me and my mother.”
“Yes, he is!”
“You’re making a mistake. Look for him somewhere else.”
“He is here! I saw him enter.”
The more she gets furious, the lower her voice descents.
“You wanna see?” says with a cranked smile.
Sylvia gets straight, leans her hands on her swords and says, calmed and serious:
“Of course, sir. I wanna know.”
The guy opens up the door to let her in. Sylvia walks into the room, knowing she’ll fight until her last drop of blood.
At her back, the lock cracks.
“I told you. There’s nobody else here.”
Sylvia sees tiny dry pieces, old leftovers from previous meals.
When she turns around find the guy a little fatter and with some tentacles rising from his back. Sylvia unsheathes the katana and fights, but she doesn’t want to, she wants to find Steve quickly. Because this guy, this thing couldn’t eat him so fast, right? He’s hidden, imprisoned somewhere, isn’t it?
But the more she cuts its tentacles, the more they grow. And meanwhile, she’s wasting precious time. She jumps, strikes and avoids as she looks around. Only two doors close and a creature impossible to beat.
Watching everything, an old fat woman sat on a rattan chair in a corner.
He wanted something bigger, but maybe something bigger would be impossible to drive for him. And he’s running out of time. Big or small, he steals it planning to crash it against the door.
But once he gets closer he realises that Sylvia isn’t there. Scared, he drives surrounding the bungalow looking for her. A crystal explodes and Sylvia falls and rolls over the sand and window pieces.
Bruce accelerate, take her by her arm and runs.
“Steve’s there. They couldn’t eat him so fast”
“Right.” Bruce gulps. The only idea of his mate been eaten upsets his guts.
Bruce stops. He faces her with an open hand.
“Give me one.” says expecting the katana.
But she sheaths the katana and offers him the wakizashi.
Sylvia looks serious right into his eyes.
“I ave my reasons.”
“Right. Let’s go.”
Bruce drives to the bungalows again. He leaves the bike next to the broken window, so they can jump and runaway.
They get in the house through the window. Now this place seems to be empty. Maybe they’re gone? Maybe now is too late?
Bruce and Sylvia look each other.
«Let’s finish this fast and clean»
For the creatures still have recognisable shapes like head and body, they have a good guess about where to aim at.
But again, the chopped tentacles quickly grow again and the fight seems to have no end.
«They’re tiring us» thinks Bruce while jumping to avoid them.
Sylvia is trapped by one of the creatures. The thing opens a big mouth full of uneven sharp teeth. She stays still until being next to it, then she stabs its head as deep as she can without losing control over her sword. She retires her katana but the creature, in fury and pain, throws her violently. She falls on a table and drops on the floor like a ragdoll.
Bruce is desperate now. He doesn’t know if she’s unconscious or dead. The stabbed creature moves towards her but he can do nothing, he has his own creature to keep at bay.
The stabbed one falls apparently fainted or dying.
Bruce sees his chance. Runs putting some distance and then run directly to the moving creature, jumps over it and tries to chop its head. But his sword is too short so he can only make a deep cut. The creature gets rid of him and moves a bit towards the other one. Then attacks Bruce again. Trying to avoid it and think at the same time, Bruce slips and fall. The creature grab him by a leg. He manages to cut the tentacle falling to the ground. Then runs and stabs creature’s head from below. The creature moves pushing him away.
And then it falls.
Carefully, Bruce stands up still en garde. None of the creatures moves.
Then, he approaches Sylvia, kneels next to her and touches her neck looking for heartbeats. He finds them, so, she’s just unconscious. He stands up looking around.
Two closed doors, nothing else.
Bruce opens one door; is darkened inside and the smell of rotten things prevents him from entering. He close it firmly. He takes a breath and tries the other door.
This is a luminous and spacious kitchen. Bruce spots Steve’s foot on the floor, so runs inside. Then he finds pieces of guts and limbs stained in blood. Bruce feels nauseous needing to lean himself somewhere not to fall fainted. He crawls out of the kitchen closing the door firmly behind him. After some moments, he clears his own mind. Now he feels the urgency of getting the hell out of there.
Bruce takes Sylvia forcing her to stand and walk. Somehow she manages to move. He pushes her through the window as he passes as well. Now, she’s half awake. Bruce carries her to the bike, sits her down on it, placing himself to drive.
“Hug me. Tight.”
Sylvia doesn’t speak but obey.
Bruce starts the motorbike and drive towards their bungalows. He’ll take everything, including Steve’s bags, and run as far as they can.
Being a man of little patience, Bruce doesn’t stay too much with her, but comes back over and over.
He sits down smiling, in front of her and asks her how’s she today. She mumbles an inexpressive “fine” without looking at him. Bruce caress her a cheek, softly. Sylvia looks up, slightly surprised.
“I brought roses tea. You like it, don’t you?” He smiles and speaks in a dulcet voice.
«For too long now, there were secrets in my mind…»
“I’ll make a tea so we can talk, right?”
He never asks that way but now is doing it because is necessary. A tiny smile appears in her face.
«For too long now, there were things I should say…»
He sits down again in front of her pushing a cup of hot tea towards her.
They drink in silence.
“Now tell me. How are you?”
“Horrible.” replies looking at her cup.
“Well, it’s normal…”
“I killed him.”
“No, you didn’t.” he says emphatic.
“I sent him to death. I asked him to talk instead of you.”
Bruce’s smile shades.
“I thought you’d carry away and”
“I’m not an idiot.”
“I know, but you have no patience, and”
“Right! I’m not patient but…”
Suddenly, he stops. He realises his voice is getting louder. He’s thinking, he’s suspecting another thought beneath her words.
“Anyways, you didn’t know.” and drinks his tea.
“No.” drinks a sip “But if we were all together, we’d had a chance…”
“Or we would end up in their stomachs.”
“Fine. But we would have a chance. Steve hadn’t any.”
Her voice is stronger now. Bruce thinks that under the circumstances, that’s a step forward.
“Right. But would you prefer to be eaten?”
“I wouldn’t mind if you both are alright.”
Bruce drops the cup inadvertently.
“I’m alright.” says trying to take again his cup.
“But Steve isn’t.” she says looking into his eyes. Her look is darkened, deep.
Bruce looks at his cup and drinks.
“If I didn’t ask…”
“Stop it!!” says Bruce clashing his cup on the table. Tea drops sprinkle everywhere.
«I grabbed you by the arm, that’s how he ended alone. What guilt falls on me?»
“Stop it, dear. Please.” says in a softer, more educated tone.
Sylvia is looking down, looking nowhere again. Bruce stretches a hand and touches her face. He thinks something to say, but nothing pops up.
«I’ll be there, catching your tears before they fall to the ground…»
“We must live with it, there’s nothing left to do.”
“Do you want to be my guitarist? I’m still looking for a good one.”
Sylvia looks up, Bruce makes a stupid face to make her laugh. She smiles and makes a little noise.
“Now that’s better.” says smiling.
Bruce won’t never say what he saw inside the kitchen, nor show his deepest feelings about that moment when annoyed he took her by the arm and made her walk leaving Steve alone.
Bruce never wanted to put a foot in a butchery again, not even at the supermarket. And no matter how many years pass, he’s still having dreams where he enters in a sunny room to find bleeding pieces of his mate.
I had this Ronnie picture, cropped from a magazine and the lines at left were really annoying me.
So, I decided to fix them using Resynthesizer tool from The Gimp. Is better but is not good enough.
So, I decided to make some work by hand. Used blurring tool and a lot of patience. This is the result:
Much better, don’t you think? Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll!