Stan The Wine Man – Part Four
Special game – – Just ONE letter in this part of the story is in bold. If you can spot it, you’ll get a special mention, or may even star in the next part of the story.
The CCR was belting and blasting almost with the same violence that the Humvee’s movements across a clearly rocky and mountainous, yet to Stan’s covered face, invisible geography. The sack covering Stan’s face smelled of salt and grapes and tobacco and calf’s blood – he was able to discern all of this because he was, in deed, a wine wanker (connoisseur).
After what must have been a certain amount of time, the Humvee with Stan inside it, came to a very abrupt halt. Stan heard the door on his side open, and before he could say “Mhhm…mmmhhhuumm….arrghmuhuhum”, he was pushed out of the Humvee and onto the familiar spongy grey ground. The music of CCR also stopped, which made Stan happy, because he was only really interested in the music of Wagner and 1950’s Jazz.
A loud, authoritative voice screamed just inches from Stan’s covered ears, “Hello, maggot! We’re gonna let you know exactly where you are, what has happened, and what we gotta do now, in due time”. The sack remained on Stan’s for a good while, as he, his immediate captor and 30 or 40 other people, as Stan reckoned with his sense of hearing and bodily pressure, trudged through a rocky and uncertain landscape. The surface was still spongy and soft to the touch, but it was also hard to traverse – an unplanned hiking trip that Stan neither liked nor could refuse.
Stan’s slippers began to, ironically, slip off of his feet. The reason for this dislocation of footwear was the fact that Stan and the conga line of incredibly serious people behind and in front of him all began slipping and losing their footing. The ground beneath Stan had leveled out very suddenly, and a slight decline in angle made the ground a more difficult place to walk. Stan and the men started to slip more and more, until the angle became too steep to walk at all. Stan was fully expecting to fall over and tumble to his untimely death. But he didn’t, none of them did. When each individual man, and possibly woman or child, fell over because of the steepness of the ground they trod upon, it seemed that the ground itself wanted to protect them. The soft and spongy surface, oozed an unknown, unseen sticky substance. This sticky goo oozed out of the near sheer steep ground at seemingly random intervals. A few falling men would stick to one patch of the goo, then they’d become unstuck and fall for another 50 or 60 feet, then the goo would ooze out again and catch them. This happened to all the people who fell due to the steepness. Between 30 and 40 men, women or children, or a combination of the three, all falling, sticking, falling again. They looked like they were part of a giant game of Japanese pinball.
This laughable, if not painful, series of events had to end eventually, and it did. It ended, inevitably, with Stan and his fellow fall-victims reaching the bottom of the dangerously steep surface. A loud thud, cracked bones, deaths. These things did not happen. Instead, the ground itself worked it’s magic once more. The sponginess and softness all of a sudden increased tenfold. Stan, as it happened, was the first of the people to hit the ground. He didn’t scream in agony, he didn’t break his face. Rather, he sank deep into the soft ground, and sprang back up and out into the air again. This predictable law of physics repeated itself a number of joyous times until Stan and the other unwitting trampoline users around him bobbled to a level horizontal position on the ground.
Stan, quite childishly happy and jubilant at this point, stood up, and finally took off the sack covering his face. What he saw was quite simply, pretty cool. First, he glanced upwards towards the sky. He saw a curved surface stretching up and up and up as far as the eye could see. He concluded that he and his new found “friends” must have fallen down an enormous cone shaped hole in the ground. He’d fallen down the cone and eventually reached the narrow bottom of it. His eyes then fell upon his horizontal viewpoint. Nothing of any notice stuck out to him. The same boring, grey ground was beneath him, with the exception of a single, lone television. An old fashioned television, an old Sony cube TV with manual dials and switches. Stan was intrigued beyond reason, so he and a few of the other people there with him ventured over to it to investigate. The rest of the people there were not interested in the television at all. Half of them were trying to figure out a way to get back up, and the other half of them were still jumping up and down very vigorously trying to get the trampoline-like ground to come back.
Stan and the other interested folks, who were actually a mixture of men and women – and no children, gathered in front of the old timey television with anticipation and trepidation in equal measure. Stan, for once in his life, took the initiative and switched it on. The screen flickered for a few seconds before a clear image appeared. And boy did it appear…..
Stay Tuned For Part Five.