Stan Berserkervich Rides Again (Part 16)

Stan raced from the building and jumped in his car. “To my brother’s house. Now!” he yelled at the driver.

At once the car sped off through the busy streets. In fifteen minutes, Stan arrived in front of his brother’s house. He got out of the car and ran up the front steps, wearing only his underpants. After holding his finger on the doorbell for a few seconds, the door flung open, and Stan’s brother, Gavin, stood there in surprise. “Stan? What are you doing here? And where are your clothes?”

“I can’t very well wear pyjamas to save the world, can I?”

“Save the world? What are you talking about?”

Stan pushed his way past Gavin and looked around the living room. “I need a suit. Something stylish. I want to look good in the papers. I’m going to save the world.”

“Yeah, you said that.” Gavin closed the door. “Are you all right, Stan?”

“I figured it out,” said Stan. “It all makes sense now—I can do it, but I need the helicopters.”

“The helicopters?” said Gavin. “For the Air Force? We never finished them, remember? You said we wouldn’t have to.”

“Well, that’s what I thought,” said Stan. He plucked a bunch of lilies from a vase on the coffee table and threw them on the floor, then drank all the water from the vase. “But I need them now, Gav. Those right-wing, racist journos have been on my back about the choppers for months. Well, now they’re gonna see them in action. And what’s more—I’m going to end Covid!”

Gavin slapped his hand to his forehead and sat down on the couch. His breathing was heavy. “Stan, I haven’t got the helicopters. You told me the press would forget about them.”

“Well, they haven’t. Where are your suits? I want to look good.” Stan ran upstairs. “I’m going to save everyone!” he yelled.

“This isn’t good,” said Gavin. He stood and went to the kitchen, took a sausage roll from the refrigerator and ate half of it in one bite. He put the other half back in the fridge, wiped the crumbs from his mouth and then made his way upstairs. “Stan, where are you?”

“In your bedroom! Are these all the suits you have?”

Gavin entered the bedroom and saw Stan tearing the clothes from his wardrobe. “Yeah, that’s all I have, Stan.”

“Well, none of these are going to fit me. Where are your smaller suits?”

“Smaller suits?”

“Yes, Gavin, smaller suits. Have you been listening to a word I said? I am going to save the world, and I want to look my best.”

“Stan, I’m a hundred and forty kilos,” said Gavin. “My suits are all big. You can try some of Jenny’s clothes if you like. They might fit you.”

Stan huffed and stood with his hands on his hips. “That’s hardly ideal,” he said. He sighed then scratched his ear. “Fine. Let me see what she’s got.”

Gavin opened the other side of the walk-in wardrobe, where his wife’s clothes hung. “It’s mostly dresses, but there are some jeans in there, and maybe a pant suit, I think.”

Stan slid the garments one by one along the rail and shook his head. “Well, you’re right, they’d probably fit. But I’d look ridiculous in a dress. And I’m not wearing jeans. I can’t use any of these. Hang on… What’s this?”

“Hmm? Oh, that’s Jenny’s old wetsuit, from when she took up snorkelling.”

“I like the colour,” said Stan. “It’s kind of like what the Navy divers wear, don’t you think?”

Gavin shrugged. “I don’t really know.”

Stan smiled and held up the wetsuit. “Yes, this will do nicely. I’ll look like a real macho guy.” He stuck one scrawny leg into the suit, and then the other. He wiggled the rubbery material up around his waist, and then heaved the top half of the suit up to his shoulders and put his arms through. “Here, the zipper’s stuck. Help me with this will you, Gav?”

Gavin zipped up the suit to Stan’s neck, and then Stan pulled the hood over his head and paced around the room, testing the suit. “Well?” said Gavin.

“Yeah… Not bad,” said Stan. “Feels kind of funny, but I like it.” He stood in front of the mirror and examined himself. “Hmm… It’s a very slim fit, isn’t it?”

“Makes it easier to swim,” said Gavin.

“It will have to do,” said Stan. “What do you think?”

“Maybe lose the snorkel,” said Gavin.

Stan removed the snorkel but kept the bright green goggles. He put them down over his eyes. “I look like a superhero,” he said in a slightly nasal voice, the goggles blocking his nose. He turned around to face Gavin. “Now, how much progress did you make with those helicopters?”


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