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[Shorts] [Bond] : No Worries, Mate

Posted by tortillafactory on 2006.09.03 at 23:53
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No Worries, Mate

In Memoriam.

James Bond sliced through the water, feeling tiny waves crest on either side of him. The rest of the sea was still as glass. He turned in mid-stroke and opened his eyes to see the vast expanse of blue atmosphere, rippling, as if he were trapped under ice. He let out his last lungful of air and floated for a while, motionless as a corpse.

He rose for one more breath, then sank again, watching the fish pass – some scurrying, others keeping a relaxed, dignified pace. Every time he broke surface, the sun beat down on him like an anvil, and it was almost Christmas time. He smiled at the novelty of it.

He had come here simply to get away from all the telltale signs of the holiday season. The ice-skating and snow, the children’s songs, the festivities and the taste of mulled cider, did nothing but flood him with memories.

Her snow white body and her blood red lips and the blood on her veil and oh, how could she, how could she leave him like this, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE -

He braced his feet against the reef and pushed, blindly, feeling the water rush past him, gliding like a frog. Did frogs mourn the deaths of their mates? Their children?

Bond turned a somersault, quickly, revelling in the head rush. He sighed, and it came out in bubbles. He opened his eyes.

A wing.

No – fingers. Claws. A porcupine’s back.


An eel.

It slithered past him, so close he could feel it. Past his neck. He lurched back, the water impeding his movements; with nothing against which to brace himself, he could only twist his body for fear of touching the thing.

A stingray’s tail, of course.

What else?

His heart pounded. In the open ocean, he would never survive such a wound. Even if the venom didn’t hit him, the smell of fresh blood would be his end. Why the hell hadn’t he brought a spear gun? Regulations be damned!

“Oy there, mate!”

A voice from shore pricked his ears, but he couldn’t look away from the barbs floating inches from his skin. If the ray was startled and began to swim, his tail could easily lash back for the kill.

“Yes,” said Bond, as loudly as he dared.

“You okay out there?”

Bond shook his head, slowly. “Damn stingray,” he called back. “Tail’s so close I can breathe on it. Can’t move.”

The man laughed. “Yeah, that’d be right. Hang tight, I’ll come give ya a hand.”

The ray, perhaps taking a midday nap, was gently floating with the currents. Bond watched in horror as the barbs came closer.

He heard the gentle splashing of his approaching saviour, moving with energy and skill through the water.

“They’re nasty little diggers,” he said as he drew closer. “I love ‘em. Don’t think the feeling’s mutual.”

“Careful,” said Bond. “He’s getting closer.”

“Relax, mate. You ever seen one of these lovelies before?”

“I killed one,” said Bond dryly. “Somewhere they don’t care if you carry a spear gun for self-defence.”

“You killed him in self-defence, then?”

He grimaced, the spines now mere centimetres from him. “He looked evil. Like he would hurt me, if he knew I was there.”

“That’s be a ‘no,’ then,” said the Aussie with a chuckle, now only about a foot behind Bond. “Maybe this’un’s its cousin. Gettin’ revenge.”

Now when his chest expanded for a breath, Bond’s skin brushed the spines. He forced himself not to shiver at the sensation.

“Now, then,” said the Aussie softly, so close Bond could feel the warmth of him. “This’ll be dodgy, but nobody’s watchin’.”

Bond felt a strong arm grasp him around the waist and lurch him backwards; it gave him the precious six inches he needed to backstroke away, and into safe water. The ray turned lazily towards him, but did not give chase. Bond turned onto his stomach and headed for the shore with powerful strokes. He didn’t stop until he reached shore, where, staggering onto the fine sand, he saw the Aussie had beaten him there. Panting, he stood hunched, his hands on his knees. His face, already boyish with adventure, shone with triumph. Bond was suddenly ashamed; the Aussie ran his hands through his mop of bleach-blond hair. His clothes, a khaki safari shirt and matching short trousers, were completely soaked.

“Thanks,” said Bond, looking at the ground, feeling the clammy unpleasant cling of his swimming shorts on his skin. “That was stupid of me.”

The other shrugged. “Happens all the time; I’ve just learned to keep my eyes open underwater. Always. They’ll get ya. It’s their territory after all. You’ve gotta respect that – how’d you feel if you found a big old ray in your bed? That’s how it is for them. Doesn’t mean we can’t go out there, just means we gotta -” he broke off in a grin. “Sorry, that’s my speech. I work in a zoo, y’know.”

“No joke?” Bond extended his hand. “James Bond.”

“No joke.” The Aussie shook it. “Stephen Irwin.”

“Pleased to meet you, even under such unflattering circumstances.”

“Hey,” the Aussie said, clapping him on the shoulder. “No worries, mate. I won’t tell a soul.” With a grin, he began trekking his way back to Queensland.

Bond stood on the beach for a long time, letting the sun drink from the wetness of his skin. He breathed the warm air.

“Happy Christmas,” he shouted, suddenly remembering.

But the Aussie was gone.


Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter, was killed by a stingray barb to the chest on September 4th, 2006 off of Port Douglas, Queensland. He leaves behind his wife, children, and countless lonely crocodiles.


Alice Dryden
huskyteer at 2006-09-04 08:29 (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed that! Very Fleming. (Nice icon too.)
tortillafactory at 2006-09-04 20:07 (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, thanks! I adore Fleming and that's quite a complement. :D
mysticsong at 2006-09-04 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
That was quite well done.
tortillafactory at 2006-09-04 20:07 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. Love that icon!
fenz123 at 2006-09-04 14:22 (UTC) (Link)
As I said before, wonderful stuff. :)

tortillafactory at 2006-09-04 20:12 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, don't. :P
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