Flight

Suddenly the vast space was echoing to Klaxon alarms, the walls flashing in reflected crimson light.

“Up There!” someone had shouted above the general ruckus and, with the first bullets ripping and pinging about them, the boys abandoned their rucksacks and scurried after Ginsbergbear as he disappeared back down the ventilation duct. They were scuttling awkwardly in the confined space, but the bumping and scraping behind them told of their pursuit by Chats Souterrains far more comfortable in the claustrophobic darkness. After an eternity of blind shoving, shouting, scrabbling they fell, sweating and wheezing, into the main tunnel and continued their mad dash without any attempt at concealment. As they ran there were distant shouts and explosions behind them. Then they became aware of a throbbing whine rapidly growing in volume.

“Take cover!” shouted Boz, and they pressed against the dark walls as a flying saucer, the very craft they had seen on its railway truck, whooshed past. It veered towards the tunnel wall and directed a static discharge ionising the air ahead, the electromagnetic crackling mingling with a booming sound beam howl, like an amateur brass band attempting a Charles Ives composition. The wall dissolved into tatters akin to a moth eaten lace curtain and the gaping maw of the Devil’s Arse appeared ahead. Boz and Slasher broke cover, the others following close on their heels, and rushed through the shimmering gap before the rock wall could reform and the overlapping universes part company once more. The saucer, silhouetted against the sky, zoomed out and up, scattering jackdaws, its mission unknown and its crew’s attention far from the fleeing group that followed in its wake. Slasher broke his step momentarily to fire his Mauser, once, into the blackness behind them. The shot echoed around the cavern like a fusillade; the others flinched, but the relentless pounding of their commando-booted pursuers did not falter. They fled past the ropewalk and workers hovels out into the winding back alleys of Castleton – ducking, weaving, bouncing off walls in their wild flight.

 

 Flight of the Sore Afraid

Out of the Devil’s Arse we blundered

Into the street where Emos chundered

Scattering Goths

And Punks who wondered

“What the f…”

We did not make reply

Theirs was not to wonder why

Theirs was but to duck or die

Les Chats’ Sten guns thundered

Bullets to the left of us

Bullets to the right of us

Bullets from behind us

Buzzed and whined

Blasted with shot and shell

Swiftly we ran… ah well

Out of that mouth of Hell

Nought could our terror quell

I wish we could catch a bus

We must be mad as bats

Taking on the pallid Chats

Rounds ripping through our hats

Gasping teddy wheezing cats

Tottering Dodo

Legs all spent

Relentlessly pursued by Paras

Tough old vets of Mons and Arras

Battle hardened bold as brass

Armed to the teeth they’ll kick our ass

Our future looks like diddly squats

A miracle’s our only chance

A cavalry with sword and lance

On mighty steeds that rear and prance

Slasher chucks t’ward me a glance

“Is that Plan B?”

“There’s no Plan B”

Grovelling upon all fours

Hammering on shuttered doors

Mourning for our last lost cause

Doomed Amigos of El Boz

Is this really our last dance?

 By-line: Ginsbergbear,

Ms Goldilocks’ Convalescent Home for Bears,

Clamp House,

Chelmondiston.

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