O'Way hurtling through shallow space

O’Way hurtling through shallow space

Dirigible Warrigal by Mischief

So, we have been in space for weeks now. The ship can’t go very fast when it’s inside a solar system and Henry has to work hard avoiding things. There’s a tollway just the other side of Pluto and that’s where we’re heading.

Life in the village is idyllic. The crew, well the droids but we refer to them as crew now as they are so human and friendly, create a great ambience of English rural life. Mornings are taken up with breakfast in the court yard. I usually read the paper, The Intergalactic Times, which is beamed to the ships computer everyday. I don’t understand much of it but I’m learning. Belinda chats away about her plans and then her and George set off to the shops to pick up the daily groceries.

This gives me time to reflect. I was born at the Matworth Base Hospital right on change of shift which immediately put me of side with the staff. I was Chinese and my parents called me Nick, Nicolas Xavier Wong. My dad, Walter, a very wealthy man, was a watch maker and he was proud of his shop “Walter Wong’s Watches” being displayed across the front in large letters. “One day all this will be yours Nick X” he would say. My elder sister was Penny, Penny Wong. We would play for hours every day in a creek that ran past the back yard. Penny used to love to tell me “One day me and you are going to control all of this water Nick X”. My family always called me Nick X. I think it was because I didn’t look like them and couldn’t master chop sticks very well.

My dad was always looking to get richer. He used to tinker with computers and one day at a large family gathering my Dad said “You know, one day computers will communicate with each other via the phone line, the information will be broken up into packets and reassembled at the other end”. “Preposterous” came the cries and the next day men in white coats came and took my dad away. Not long after that the police arrived.  My mum was feeling bad because she missed dad and the policeman said “Mavis” that’s my mum’s name “Mavis you’ve brought home the wrong child from the hospital” “Yes, that’s right the Wong child” replied mum in her broken English. “No the wrong, wrong child” emphasised the policeman “He’s a Wong” said mum “No wrong, w.r.o.n.g. child meaning Nick isn’t yours” and so I was taken away to my new family, John and Olive O’Way.

My new parents called me Alexander Leonard Lyndhurst O’Way, yes an acronym, that’s why I hate them, and as you know, everyone calls me Sandy. My new family were poor. They didn’t eat fish and rice like the Wongs but lamb and potatoes instead. My dad was a university professor and my mum was a farmer’s daughter. This was all very different and it took me a long time to adjust.

Then I met Trevor. Trevor lived next door and loved cricket. We played cricket all day and into the night until our mum’s would come and get us. In the park on weekends the Test match was on. Me and Trev would always play on the same team, usually with Jules and MJ. On the other team were always Glenda and some of her sisters. Glenda had eight sisters Juanita, Jacinta, Melinda, Rosita, Edwina, Sophia, Cassandra and Belinda but man Glenda was awesome. She would tonk you all over the park and was a good bowler as well.

Then things changed. Trevor had to move away as his dad got a job in the mines. All the gang would come over to my house “C’mon Sandy, you’re the only one that can get Glenda out” they’d cry but to no avail. I lost my interest in cricket from that day forward.

Many years later I attended the Sow End High School for Boys with Criminal Records where I met the Bish. Billy Bishop. Billy told me a story one day about wanting to become a priest. Billy said they feed you, provide you a house and all you have to do is wear a funny gown and listen to people’s problems. So Billy and I joined up. Billy wanted to get up the ladder and moved on but running a parish was good enough for me. So that’s how I ended up at the parish of St Generic, St Generic Brand, in the good old inner west of Cyberia, pub regular at the Pigs Arms and now on a spaceship headed for the planet Joon to report on a cricket game. Work that one out.