| Any comments, including constructive criticisms, would be most appreciated.
Please send to email@example.com
This work is copyrighted by the author. You may download and keep one
copy for your personal use as long as my by-line and e-mail address and
this paragraph remain on the copy. Any posting or reposting on a website,
other than the archive or Dejanews, or to a newsgroup requires my
permission first (but I'll probably say yes). This should not, under
any circumstances be used to make a profit by anyone other than the author.
I was shaken awake some time later. The first thing I became aware of
was a splitting headache, the next was that three worried faces looking
down at me.
"Well, she's awake," Janey observed. "Vickie, do you know where the
leprechaun is? No one can find him."
"He's sleeping," I muttered. "Lucky bastard."
"But he's supposed to be driving the train," Shon observed, far too
loudly in my opinion.
"Don't worry about that, you don't exist anymore so it doesn't matter,"
I said, trying to reassure them.
"What?" Janey asked.
"You're American, no Americans exist any more, so you don't have to
worry about anything."
"What is she talking about?" Maria asked. "Why don't Americans exist?"
"Is that what she said? I couldn't really understand what she was
saying?" Shon said.
"Well, I'm listening to her in Spanish, and my Name Tag is translating
for me," Maria explained. "But I don't see why you can't understand her.
Surely she is speaking English?"
"She has this accent, though," Shon said.
"But surely the Name Tag thingy should still be translating for her,"
"You would think so, wouldn't you?" Janey said thoughtfully. "Or maybe
it can be altered so that it translates Yorkshire to American. Let me take
a look at it."
"Careful, Janey, it's complicated technology, not like tinkering with
the wiring at your in-laws' place."
"I know, I know. Yeah, look at this, it's got half the languages turned
off. This will only take a second to fix. There you go. Now Vickie,
what's this about Americans not existing?"
"Leave me alone, my head hurts," I protested. "It's too late, me and
Louie persuaded Columbus to turn back and not discover America."
"Well, I understood the words she said, but it still doesn't make sense.
She seems to be drunk or doped or something" Shon said.
"You don't think she's serious, do you?" Maria asked.
"Why would Vickie and Louie want to get rid of all Americans?" Janey
asked. "They must have had some reason. Vickie, why would you do that?
"Leave me alone," I grumbled. "I can't remember. There was some
reason. After all, why not?"
"I think we're going to have to try to reason with her," Janey observed.
"Which isn't going to be easy considering the state she's in."
"Maybe if we remind her of all the great things Americans have done,
she'll change her mind about obliterating us all," Shone suggested.
"Like what?" Maria asked.
"I don't know? Think!" Janey snapped. "How about the moon landing?
Vickie, pay attention. If you get rid of all Americans, many wonderful
things will disappear too. Just think, Americans put a on the moon!"
"Yeah maybe," I muttered. "Lots of people think it was faked. And
anyway, if the Americans hadn't got there first, the Russians would have
got there soon enough."
"Great," Shon exclaimed. "Come on Maria, you're not American. What's
the best thing Americans have ever produced?"
"Well, there's my husband," Maria suggested, giggling. "Other than
that, I don't know. Hollywood?"
"Hollywood?" Shon echoed. "It's worth a try. Vickie!" he gave me a
shake. "If you destroy all Americans, then there will be no Hollywood, no
great films. No 'Star Wars', no 'Batman', no 'Gone With the Wind'."
"No 'Star Wars'," I echoed, sitting up faster than was advisable with my
aching head. "No Hans Solo?" I took a deep breath to calm myself down.
"No Harrison Ford?"
"That's right, no Harrison Ford. He's American. You don't want to get
rid of Harrison Ford, do you?" Shon asked
"No, no," I told him, trying to get my head together. "No, no, no. Oh
hell, what am I going to do?"
"Hey look," Maria called, pulling her head back inside after looking out
the window. "We seem to be hovering over an ocean. Shame we haven't got a
bucket. We could throw some water over Vickie, that might sober her up."
"Hmm," Janey said thoughtfully. "That's a good idea. If the mountain
can't come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain."
"Uh, what?" Shon asked intelligently. "Have you been drinking the same
stuff as Vickie?"
"No. Look, help me up with her." Janey and Shon hauled me to my feet
and dragged me over to the window. They somehow manhandled me out of the
window, and dropped me, only retaining their grip on my ankles. My gown
slithered up, or down depending on your perspective, gathering around my
armpits. The cold air alerted me a little to what was happening, and I
looked up in time to see Maria place her hands over Shon's eyes.
"No peeking," she told him.
"Spoilsport," Shon sighed. I gave her a grateful smile, before making
the mistake of letting my head drop back. The next moment I was engulfed
by cold, salty water.
They dragged me back inside, wet but much more aware of what was going
"Can you explain what you mean by Americans not existing any more now?"
"That complete toe-rag Louie got me plastered, then threw a load of
Fairie Dust on me and when I was off my head, he somehow talked me into
going and persuading Columbus to not discover America. I think he's still
miffed with Shon."
"But why did you go along?" Maria asked.
"I don't know," I admitted. "I was lonely, and fed up because no one
could understand me, and with all the stuff he gave me I couldn't think
"No one could understand you because your Name Tag was set to the wrong
base language," Janey told me. "Louie must have done that. The question
now is, what do we do to sort things out. I don't want to get home and
find that America, as I know it, no longer exists."
"OK, give me a moment," I pleaded, holding my aching head. "Do you want
to see if that food machine can produce some painkillers for me?"
"Here, I have some here," Maria offered, digging in a pocket. I
gratefully swallowed them and tried to get my brain working again.
"I take it we haven't moved?" I asked, taking a quick look out of the
window. Sure enough, Columbus' ships were still besides us, but now they
were heading in the opposite direction. I took a quick survey of the
settings for the transporter and saw that they were still set for Columbus'
cabin. And a look at the monitor showed that Columbus was still asleep.
"OK, I have a plan, but I need your help," I said.
"If it fixes things, I'm willing to help," Shon replied, and the other
two quickly agreed. I rummaged around in Louie's cupboards until I found a
couple of white gowns like mine that would fit Maria and Janey. I gave
Janey a wig of bright hair, and Maria a wig with blue hair. I also
asked them to wear every piece of jewellery I could lay my hands on. Most
of it was costume jewellery, but it looked real enough.
"I'm going to look like a cross between a Greek goddess and a disco
queen," Janey giggled.
"OK, face that wall while they get changed," I ordered Shon.
Shon waited until both Janey and Maria were half-naked before observing
that he could clearly see them reflected in the shiny metal wall. Grinding
my teeth in annoyance, I realised that Louie had watched me the entire time
I had changed.
When they were ready and looking suitably exotic, I showed Maria and
Janey where to stand and Shon exactly which lever to push. Then I pushed
the button on my transporter device, and found myself back in Columbus'
I needed him awake, and since I wasn't particularly fond of him I used
the simplest method of throwing a glass of cold water over his groin. When
he had spluttered awake, I was curled up on the end of his bed.
"Good morning," I observed brightly, thinking he looked as awful as I
felt. "I have to be going now, but I thought I'd say goodbye and thank you
"I thought you'd already gone," he mumbled. "You said we'd meet up
again on the dock when I land."
"Oh right, yes, of course," I said, trying to look as shifty as
possible. "Well thanks for everything, especially turning your ship
"Hang on, why are you thanking me for turning the ship around?" he
asked, eyeing me suspiciously. "I thought I was avoiding some great
"You were. I mean you are," I replied, trying to look stupid and
devious at the same time. He sat up in bed and grabbed me by my throat.
"I want to know exactly what this danger was, right now," he said,
"Well, if you must know," I explained as best I could while being half
throttled, "the danger wasn't to you, it was to us. We all live together
quite happily in the land across the sea, but then we heard that you were
on your way. To be quite honest, we just didn't want to share the bounty
of our land with anyone. So I was sent to try to put you off, since I'm
the ugliest woman in our land. And I fed you all our most disgusting food,
again to put you off. But you didn't seem to find the food or me
repulsive, so I had to try something else. And it's worked!"
"I don't know if you're lying now, or you were lying last night," he
grumbled, letting go of me. I quickly moved out of his reach.
"Well I don't mind what you believe, just so long as you keep going in
the direction you are headed," I told him. "My sisters will be arriving
any moment to take me home."
"Is there any gold in this land of yours," he asked.
"Gold, what's that?" I asked, just as Maria and Janey arrived. He
stared at them in shock.
"That's gold, all that jewellery they are wearing," he stuttered, his
eyes bulging with greed.
"This," Janey asked, lifting one of the necklaces draped about her
person. "This stuff is just laying around on the ground everywhere. It's
quite pretty though, don't you think?"
Columbus was lost for words as I stepped close to Maria and Janey, and
signalled Shon to transport us back to the Fantasy Train. We hardly had
chance to step off the transporter platform before Shon was gleefully
informing us that Columbus' ship was turning around.
"Right, now where's that bloody leprechaun?" I demanded, yanking open
cupboard doors until I located the one that concealed the snoring Louie. I
yanked him out and I was dangling him out of the window before he had time
to wake up.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't drop you out here and leave you
for shark bait after the way you set me up?" I asked menacingly.
"You need me to drive the train," he cried, not even bothering to deny
what he had done.
"Wrong," I informed him. "I've had all night to read the manuals, and I
know how most of it works. I might not have your magic powers, but I'm
confident I can get us home."
"What manuals?" he asked.
"Typical male, you hadn't even bothered looking at them," I said, giving
him a shake. "If you ever, ever try to pull a trick like that on me again,
or on anyone else on this train, I will find out and I will make you suffer
in ways you can't even begin to imagine. Do you understand me?"
"Yes," he whimpered. I dragged him back inside and dropped him on the
"You owe me big time," I told him. "Now I'm going to bed to sleep off
this hangover. If anyone wakes me, I'll hold you responsible Louie, OK?
Oh, and Louie? If you look out the window you will see that Columbus is
back on his heading. Don't even think of interfering with him again."
I left Louie staring out the window at Columbus' ship in a mixture of
disbelief and amazement, and went to find my cabin. I imagined that by the
time Janey, Maria and Shon had finished telling him exactly what they
thought of him, he would be feeling a good deal sorrier for himself.
I quickly fell asleep in my surprisingly comfortable bed, and didn't
wake up until Janey shook me awake. I sat up to find her offering me a
bacon and fried egg sandwich, while on a in the corner 'The Big
Breakfast' was playing with the volume on low.
"We thought we'd try to make you feel more at home," Janey explained.
"We would have made you a full English breakfast, except that it's actually
evening. You slept all day. Someone suggested making chilli con carne, so
everyone got their recipes out and they're having a cooking competition.
You're missing all the fun. Homer has nearly managed to convince Souvie
that the right combination of cilantro and habanero will cause
contraceptive failure, Lisela is running around trying to get all the
recipes written down, and Maria and Greybeard are already arguing about the
correct amount of seasonings. You've just got time for a shower before the
first one should be ready. So hurry up!"
"No problem," I said, swinging my legs out of bed. "I'm a quick
dresser. Hey, can we make Louie eat the hottest one?"
"You bet," Janey said, laughing. "I'll hold him and you can feed him."
I took a bite out of my sandwich and thought that this trip might be fun
Copyright Vickie Morgan, 1999 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
This is distributed free of charge for your entertainment. It
does take quite a lot of time and effort to write, type, edit and post a
story, especially a long one like this. All I ask is that you take a
couple of minutes to e-mail me, let me know that you've read this and
perhaps give some reaction. Thank you.