Saturday, 3 September 2016


I looked at Nick with a cocked eyebrow as if he had lost his mind. This was nothing new of course; I almost always looked at him like that. Then I realized Nick was right. It had also been bothering me since I’d met Grizzly. His mannerisms, the way he walked and talked, and his viewpoint on things. He had constantly reminded me of someone I had known in the past but I could not put my finger on.
“Bloody hell—you’re right! He’s a huge, hairy Holly!”
We then got up and walked across the hangar to T-2 to pick up the carryalls. After grabbing them out of the locker, Nick said,
“I wonder where one hides an arsenal of arms where other people won’t find them, especially on a Martian outpost.”
“How should I know? I’m not a Martian terrorist.”
“Well I know it was a waste of my time trying to hide my stash of rum. Your girlfriend always found it.”
“Yeah, but she won’t be looking for firearms.”
“Are you sure about that? She does get quite angry with you sometimes. Not that anyone can blame her for that of course,” Nick said.
“I know: why don’t we hide them in the empty house next door to my house? No one would have any reason to go in there.”
“OK, why not? It’s as good a place as any. Let’s go.”
We left T-2 and walked back for our buggies. We drove over to my place and parked in the driveway. As we climbed out of the buggies, we looked around to see if anyone was nearby, but aside from us the street appeared empty. We carried the bags nonchalantly over to the empty house, and Nick casually kept watch while I worked the blue panel to open the door, and then we casually dived in as I touched the blue panel inside to close the door. We both breathed a sigh of relief as the door clicked closed.
“No worries. That was easily done. Now the question is where to hide them,” I said.
“Let’s hide them in the bottom of the dining cabinet.”
“Yeah, OK.”
I stood up as the cabinet door slid shut.
“Well that’s that then. How about we stop in at my place for a well-earned drink?” I said.
“Good idea. Let’s go.”
“OK, I’ll just check and see if the coast is clear.”
I opened the shutter over one of the front windows and surveyed the street. Satisfied that it was empty, I closed it again and we walked out onto the porch. As the door slid shut, I heard a voice behind me.
“What are you two up to now?”
Nick and I leaped so high into the air we almost hit our heads on the porch roof. We deftly turned in midair as we dropped back to the floor and landed. Mel and Sammy were leaning against the wall with their arms folded.
“Whatever you do, don’t show fear!” I whispered to Nick.
“Yeah, right back at you, mate!” he replied.
“We weren’t doing anything—just checking out the empty houses,” I explained. (Yeah, I know, it also sounded idiotic to me as I said it! If I’d had an ounce of sense I would have hidden them in a house on an empty level where there was no likelihood of anybody being around to see us.)
“Codswallop! You were furtively fast-walking across our front lawn with your heads spinning from side to side making sure you weren’t seen going into this house. You were, in fact, acting like two schoolkids up to no good who are scared you’ll be spotted.”