The Landor was certainly a rare species, blue underbody, white head and wings, a fleck of red adorned the blue tipped tail, silently, she circled the strange holding pattern for what seemed like an eternity, to her left and below the cruise ships lined up on the docks of Dodge Island, tiny speed boats and mile upon mile of silver sands stretched out to both North and South of juxtaposition, suddenly, her *mark* was in sight, she banked sharply and started losing height dramatically, whilst in her final part of the dive she started to scream like a kamikaze pilot. Speedbird hit the runway hard, her sixteen talons gripped into the steamy asphalt, and the forward nose wheels followed suit very quickly, raising her flaps and opening her rear thrusters she screeched to an eventual halt with her precious cargo still leaning toward a forward inertia of 1.7G’s, hardly a text book landing, but, we were down.
Entering into and through the United States via Miami International should have given us immediate pass direct to boarding our flight to San Salvador City, no such luck, we had baggage that had to be collected and re checked in, so much for our travels going smoothly, Big boy Bill “it’ll be alright” got it wrong again, the four of us were frog marched by heavily armed guards as they escorted us on this trek which never seemed to end, we were a constant point of attention, through to immigration via the Harmonic Runway, now known as Rainbow Bridge, a beautiful coloured art installation with sounds of the South Florida Everglades which played whilst we walked and traversed over the never ending moving sidewalk, everyone was looking at us, all far too close for my liking. I hate bad breath as it is, but, chilli, garlic and alcohol emanating from burly olive skinned hispanic’s in tight beige security uniforms doesn’t cut the mustard for me* and to top it off, “big mouth” pointing and orating un silently “look at his fat arse Stumpy, fancy some of that”? was not helping. Sometimes, drunken old men who think its hip to be gay friendly really make my blood boil. “Shut the fuck up Bill” kept going through my head, I was just praying to God that he wouldn’t turn off my mute button as to make it publicly known.
We were advised that our specialist tool cases had gone through security and they were now probably ready to board our Taca flight bound for El Salvador or there was every possible chance that they had been thrown into the back of a flat bed and heading off of Airport campus, nicked by the underground workers way below in the airport basement, whereas, at this particular moment in time we hadn’t a hope in hell of catching our linking flight, the next scheduled departure was 07:00hrs Monday morning. If I had ever wanted a great title for a novel, here it was …. “Stranded in Miami”. “OK big mouth Bill, over to you now”
….. Checking into our room, This was to be the only time I have ever shared with a work colleague, I desparately wanted, no, sorry, needed a drink. I laid on my bed, my mind started to drift and I wandered off to sleep …… The second line back “Beach Front Motel” was akin to something similar of a seventies thriller horror movie, and yes, cockroaches were crawling everywhere, the bathroom was rife with them, somebody kept knocking on the door, visions of red necks and poor white trash on the run jacking up crack or heroin in the corner of the room, and punters receiving sleazy street services kept appearing in my head, or was the dirty mark on the carpet by the side of my bed a vomit stain from a suicidal female? well, in just one loud outburst, my street cred was now completely wiped clean. …….. “don’t let them get me”,
“Stumpy, STUMPY !! …. wake up for fucks sake man” …
Pete bore the duty of guard, patrol, and secretly, my hero keeping the nighttime monsters at bay.
….. after all we had made the usual pact that “whatever happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas” …. …… what on earth was wrong with the hotel at the airport!
* I was lying like a flatfish!