One hot summer afternoon, Ahmad drove his car along a narrow, bumpy road. He drove quite fast, but not too fast to avoid colliding with another car that might come from the opposite direction, especially when his car was not in a good condition due to the bumpy road.
Suddenly his car jerked and stopped. Ahmad was surprised and he quickly went out of his car. He stepped on the hot, rocky road and and felt the heat of the hot summer sun burning his skin. He shaded his eyes from the sun and went to the back of his car.
Immediately, he saw what was wrong with the car, he had a punctured tyre. He squatted down in front of the punctured tyre, thinking of how to fix it. He saw a car coming and he stood up and waved his hand at the car. The driver saw him and stopped his car.
The driver walked out of the car and walked towards Ahmad. He looked at Ahmad in disbelief, “Ahmad, I haven’t seen you for a long time!” said the driver excitedly.
“Ariff! I’m so happy to see you. It has been three years since you moved away from the city! Ariff, I need your help. I have a punctured tyre, but I’ve never fix a punctured tyre before,” said Ahmad to his old friend Ariff.
“Sure, I’m glad to help you!” said Ariff with a big smile.
Ariff walked to his car, and took out a spare tyre and some tools from his car boot . Ariff taught Ahmad how to use a car jack and they took out the punctured tyre. After that Afiff taught Ahmad how to put on the new tyre. When they were done, Ahmad thanked Ariff and invited Ariff to his holiday cottage for dinner.
“Thank you for the invitation. I really wish that I could but I had promised my cousin to have dinner at his house tonight. May be some other day, said Ariff before saying good bye .
Ahmad continued his journey to his lakeside holiday cottage. After two hours, he arrived at his destination. It was a lovely, small cottage surrounded by fruit trees, facing a beautiful lake and with a big field o its right.
He heaved a sigh of relief and walked towards his cottage. He plucked some the red, ripe apples from the tree by his drive way before walking inside his cottage. It was almost seven, so he went to the kitchen and prepared his dinner.
Before he could even started eating his meal, his phone rang. He picked up his phone, it was Ariff calling to tell him that his car crashed due to a very heavy rain about two hours drive from Ahmad’s cottage.
Ahmad quickly drove to the accident location and was relieved to see that his childhood friend was unhurt. He invited Ariff to stay at his cottage while his car was being fixed. Ariff thanked Ahmad for being a good friend. A friend in need is a friend indeed
A boy rode a horse across the desert with a small bag in his hand. A sheriff rushed past the trotting horse wondering what he ate for dinner on Wednesday last weekend. Suddenly he remembered something. He turned around and ran towards the boy.
The boy saw the sheriff coming and he quickly brushed his teeth and rode towards Las Vegas. The Sheriff whistled and down came a falcon which belonged to his good friend, Mr. Black Blun. He climbed up onto the falcon and commanded Black to follow the boy to Las Vegas.
Meanwhile on the falcon, the sheriff took out a tiny bag and pulled out a toothbrush and a cute, little tube of clove flavoured toothpaste and start brushing his teeth. Black ate lemons one after another until at last, they arrived at their destination. The sheriff jumped down of the falcon with Black and the falcon flew away tearing a billboard sign.
“Oh,” said Black. “There goes my falcon. Oh well, why are we here, Sheriff?”
The Sheriff answered, “I want to meet that boy. He’s now in one of those crowds that are brushing their teeth facing a mirror while closing their eyes and lying down on the floor. They brush their teeth for an hour every week on Wednesday.”
The two men walked around the place and found four groups of people who were brushing their teeth facing a mirror while closing their eyes and lying down on the floor. The sheriff spotted the boy and he quickly ran towards him but the leader of the group who was also brushing his teeth at the time, ran towards the sheriff to offer him a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.
Anyway, the sheriff could not understand what he was saying because he could only mumble, for his mouth was full of toothpaste. The sheriff thought he was trying to sell some tooth brushing set, so he pushed the guy away and ran towards the boy. Just as the Sheriff was about to reach the boy, everyone got up and ran towards him to where the sinks were to clean their mouth. They collided with the Sheriff and the sheriff tumbled down onto the floor.
The Sheriff got up but two men ran into him and he fell down again. As he got up again, some children who came out of nowhere came running and bumped into him. Then he got up and ran quickly without looking where he was going and he slipped over some slippery toothpaste that spilled all over the floor. He got up again and slipped over that the toothpaste again, and again, and again until the children came back running towards him. He rolled aside and ran away while the children disappeared into some sort of tent.
The Sheriff then went inside the tent to see what was happening. Then, as he was about to push away the velvet curtain at the tent’s entrance, a large motorcycle flew over his head, almost knocking it off. The Sheriff ran to the rider who looked like a Chinese man and he hugged the rider tightly till he was almost chocked.
“My brother!” the sheriff exclaimed excitedly. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. The last time we met was when you joined the police force.”
“Hi, there, big brother!” said the sheriff’s brother with a big smile. “How have you been? It’s really nice to see you again”, continued his brother.
But the sheriff had no time to answer as at that very moment, the boy he was looking for ran in front of him. He ran after the boy and he caught the boy’s sleeves but the boy turned out to be someone else. It was the man who offered the Sheriff a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste before he was knocked down to the floor. The sheriff quickly ran away before the man. who was still holding a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste in his hands, could say anything and bumped into another boy. It was the boy he was chasing!
The boy was holding some drumsticks and he started a parade followed by more and more people marching behind him, singing all sort of national anthems. First they sang the Uruguay’s national anthem, then Spain’s, after that they sang Germany’s national anthem, next followed by China’s, and last of all, they sang the Russian national anthem.
They sang so loudly that they did not need any microphone. The sheriff decided to join the parade so he could catch up with the boy. But trying as hard as he could, he failed to move near to the boy even after they repeated singing the national anthems six times over and over again.
Then, the sheriff decided to look for a lasso. He saw one on the floor and he took it up. He started to spin it, but as he spun it at full speed, he started to dance to the beat of a song played somewhere. Only then he found out that it was a musical lasso that will make people dance when they spin it. So he let go of the spinning lasso and went to a magic show.
He volunteered in a magic trick. In that trick, he became inflatable and flew up into the air. After enjoying flying in the air, he pressed a special button and slowly he grew smaller and smaller until he was on the ground again.
He continued searching for the boy until all of a sudden, the boy ran towards him. The boy gave him a bright brown hat with wings on it, and the wings started to flap.
The sheriff smiled happily, “Thanks, boy. This hat is awesome! I was looking for you all over the place to ask about this special hat that I ordered last week. Now here’s the money. Bye, see you later!”
After a wonderful barbecue, they all went inside for some tea. Peter asked Paul, “What’s your plan for tomorrow?” Paul answered, “Since everyone is here, we’d better go back to England and start working for our concert. There would be a lot of things to do. We’ll first must make an announcement through the media, then we’ll have to plan for our concert”. “Okay,” said Peter “I’ll go upstairs and book my flight online. Paul shouted at Peter, “Don’t forget that we’ll be flying on the 1:00 am Qantas flight.
Very early the next morning, Martin woke up to a big roar. He went to the window and looked outside. “It is raining!” shouted Martin. He took his umbrella and ran outside. “Woo-hoooo!” shouted Martin excitedly, singing in the rain. Peter, who was in the kitchen, slicing the delicious, freshly made cheese for breakfast wondered what Martin was doing outside. Peter walked out and the happy Martin shouted excitedly, “Ooh! What a wonderful rain! I’ve been waiting to sing in the rain for so long.”
Peter pulled him inside and told him that a storm is coming. Martin had been very busy travelling to the big cities that he really missed singing in the rain like he used to do when ever the Astolf Band members were together in the countryside. “Storm?” asked Martin. He switched on the television to watch the news.
Eve woke up after a lightning struck the ground a thundering thunder roared outside her bedroom. It was very dark. “Blackout?” asked Paul who was using his laptop. He turned it off and went down stairs. Lin was walking out from her room when the lights suddenly went off. She went downstairs and asked, “Is it a blackout or somebody had switched off the electricity?” Martin answered, “A blackout!” while buttering the bread. “Ooh. That smells so good,” said Lin, walking to the dinning table. “Really tasty, you must try it,” said Paul while eating his bread. Peter said, “Home-made butter; my home-made butter. And also the freshly home-made bread”.
The bad storm was almost gone when they walked out to the car to go to the airport. Martin sat beside the driver seat and asked Peter,”Are you sure that we can catch our flight?” Peter answered, “I hope so”. After they’ve travelled about 6 kilometres, they realised that they were almost out of fuel. Peter stop by at the Caltex petrol station to refill the petrol and soon they were on the way to the airport.
Soon as the car was moving towards the Melbourne Airport, the car suddenly shook. “What’s wrong with the car?” asked Lin. “I think it must be the tyre!” said Peter. “We must have hit something sharp!” They went out to check the tyres. “Wild kangaroos!” shouted Martin. “They are coming our way, run!” They ran and ran and ran until they reached a petrol station nearby. The three wild kangaroos were still behind them. The cashier of the mart at the station saw the kangaroos chasing the friends. The cashier was also a cowboy who was very good at using the lasso.
He took out his lasso with a 10 metre rope, and lassoed the wild kangaroos one by one until he caught all of the kangaroos. They were amazed to see how the cashier lassoed the kangaroos, it was like watching a cowboy film. They thanked him and Martin asked him if he could help them to fix the tyre. “Of course!” said the cashier. They led him to the car and the cashier helped them to replace the tyre. “Thanks! We have something for you for helping us,” said Paul giving the cashier a fifty dollar note, “We would like to invite you to our concert in London. I’ll be sending a ticket for you to go to our concert, together with a plane ticket to London.”
They drove off to the airport hoping that they would not miss their flight. “We are not very far from the airport now,” said Paul. As they were running inside the Melbourne Airport, they heard an announcement saying that their flight to London was delayed. “Good,” said Peter, “We are very lucky that the flight was delayed, if not we might have missed our flight.” At 3:30 pm, when they boarded the plane to London.
To be continued …
Please click here for The Astolf Band, A Story By Ahmad Ali Karim (Part 5)