Stories from Springsure

'The Gindie Silos'

There's not much town at Gindie. In fact there's really just the school, some grain silos and a few houses. One day one of the local boys was riding about on his bike. He made a jump out of some boards and dirt and was having a good time seeing how high he could get as he launched himself and his bike over the ramp.

Well, he was having fun until one of his touchdowns was more like a crash landing and over he went. He fell on top of the bike and rolled onto a piece of metal sticking out of the ground. Pain shot up his leg from a gouged out wound on his shin. He limped up stairs and into the bathroom where he washed his leg, cleaned the wound with a cotton bud and put some antiseptic and a bandaid on it.

He was just about to throw the cotton bud into the rubbish bin when he noticed a rolled up shiny piece of metal or foil sticking to it.

He unrolled it, held it up in the light and noticed there was some small lettering printed on to it. He got out his mum's magnifying glass out of the sewing machine draw and had a closer look. "Ah," he said, "That's not letters it's some sort of computer circuit or something."

Silos at dusk He dropped the piece of foil into his shirt pocket and limped downstairs to his bike again. He rode towards the jump and was just about to launch himself again when he heard, "Heh. Want to climb the silo Peter?"

It was Kane the boy from up the road. "Nah. Can't," said Peter.

"Why not?"

"My Dad said it's against the law. He said if I'm ever caught up on the silo I could go to gaol?"

"Hah. He's just trying to scare you."

"No he wasn't. My Dad said that silos are dangerous and that people can die if they're caught in them."

"Oh. You're a squib. You're not game are you."

"Kane you'd better not go near that silo."

"I'm taking off for the top. See ya."

Kane ran towards the silo, slipped through the barbed wire fence, over the railway line, shinnied up over the barrier and started climbing the ladder. When he got to the top he leant against the railing and waved down to Peter. Then he started to climb up the sloping cone shaped roof right up towards the very top.

He didn't get there though. He was only half way up the cone when lights flashed on around the silo. A siren started blaring, shrieking and wailing in the gathering dark.

As Peter watched from his back yard a great gust of gas jetted out of the bottom of the silo which started to vibrate and shake.

Kane slid back down to the railing at the edge and was hanging on like his life depended on it.

Peter heard a roaring, rumbling sound and saw flames come shooting out of the bottom of the silo. "Ah no. It's a rocket. It's going to take off with Kane on board."

He jumped on his bike and began pedalling towards the silo screaming out, "Kane come down. Come down."

He was so busy looking at the Kane trying to get off the silo or rocket or whatever it was before it took off that he forgot the bit of metal he fell on earlier. The bike wheel struck it and over Peter went. As he fell he grabbed the piece of metal and pulled on it. A shining console slid up out of a hatch in the ground pushing Peter out of the way. A cover slid off to reveal a touch screen with symbols of a rocket launch glowing and pulsating in the dark.

Peter looked over towards Kane. He could see him half way down the silo. Huge flames were roaring out of the bottom. The silo was shuddering and shaking as if it would take off any second if it was released by the clamps holding it down.

"Releasing clamps 1 and 2", said a strange metallic voice from the console. The clamps flew back on the screen and over at the silo at the same time. Kane nearly fell from the ladder.

"Ten seconds till lift off," said the console. "Insert chip code to deactivate lift off sequence before five second mark."

"Chip code? What chip code?" Peter screamed at the console. He kicked the side of the metal console in his frustration and remembered the wound on his shin and the small piece of metal he picked out of it.

"Heh. Maybe that's the chip code."

He pulled it of his pocket and slid it into a slot beside the screen as the countdown reached six seconds.

"Launch procedure deactivated. Silo simulation will normalise. Console will relocate at alternative launch site."

The flames shooting out of the base of the silo turned to smoke and then dust. The clamps clanged back into place so they just looked like parts of the silo again. Kane climbed shakily down the ladder and jumped past the security onto the ground but he took off running through the dark towards his house.

Peter looked back towards the console but it had disappeared. There was just a bit of rusty metal in its place. He could see the lights of his Dad's four wheel drive coming up the road towards the house so he road back and waited for him at the front.

"Hey. You alright Peter? I thought I saw a fire or something coming from over near the silo somewhere. What was going on?"

"Oh. It was just Kane mucking around with matches. Some of the dry grass caught fire but I helped him put it out."

"He's a silly kid. He's really going to lose it one day. You stay away from him and that silo now Peter."

"Yes Dad."

Peter rode his bike back to the ramp but somehow he didn't feel like playing on it any more. He looked over towards the silo and then up at the night sky and the great splash of the Milky Way, all bright and distant, and he wondered about what was really up there.

Created by Daryll Bellingham and students from the Writers in Residence Week, 23/7/2001.
Daryll Bellingham, 2001


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Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
P.O. Box 5300, West End, Q4101, 
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Tel. 61 7 3846 3135
All contents copyright (C) 2001, Daryll Bellingham. All rights reserved.
Last update: 26th August, 2003.
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