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Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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Cuzzy in Distress AFM3 Part 6

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

Part six of And Fenando Makes Three  is set mainly in Wellington Botanical Gardens, where Ricky explains the problems he is facing with an upredictable thug named Alexander. There are a few phrases that may perhaps need translating. Cuz or Cuzzy/Cuzzy Bro is short for cousin  and the Sound Shell Stage (botanical gardens) is where they sometime hold garden concerts. Anything else you are not sure please feel free of just ask.

The sky quickly darkened and rain started bucketing down. Most of the Botanical Garden’s visitors were making a bee line for the gates but Levi remained on the far left corner of the Sound Shell stage; trying his best to empathise with Ricky’s somewhat complex dilemma. They had already been discussing it for over quarter of an hour and his mind was starting to drift.

Memories of his late father, Esau had been occupying his mind a lot lately and despite having had over three years to come to grips with the loss he knew that deep down he was still nowhere over him. Esau frequented his dreams and was never far from his thoughts and he had often wondered if his father’s spirit or soul still remembered him. At times he mused over the possibilities that Esau may have moved on and settled down with a new partner in the afterlife.

And why wouldn’t he? If it was good enough for Katrina to search out a new companion, why should he stay lonely and risk the possibility of her remarrying.  By the time she died what guarantee did he have that she would be willing to betray her new husband’s affections? And what of the new husband, staying loyal for a woman that no longer wished his company?

Somewhere laid the answers but he didn’t have a clue where to start searching. Was he supposed to look deep into his broken little heart, scour his disturbed mind, or perhaps consult with his parish priest, study the Bible or maybe even hold a séance and ask Esau directly? VOP (the Voice of Pessimism) alleged that even if the answers were obtainable Levi would still feel just as misreable.

“So what do you reckon?” asked Ricky, snapping Levi out of his melancholy musings.

“I think you were right to discuss it with me, Ricky,” he answered tactfully. “Mum reckons Alexander’s temper is an unknown quantity.”

“What does “unknown quantity” mean?”

“It means you never know when he’s going to go crazy-ape-bonkers. He may seem alright one moment but the next he’ll flip-out for no good reason.”

“So what you’re saying is I should just pay up and shut up?”

“I didn’t say that. I’m just warning you of the risks involved.”

Almost two years his elder Levi looked after, guided and protected Ricky like a big brother. Though short for his age and rather lacking in fighting skills he nonetheless was always ready to step in whenever he saw anyone picking on his cousin, and quite often he would return home with a black-eye or bloody nose because of it. In truth he had lost more fights than he had come close to winning but he just could not stand by and do nothing.

He tried his best to share his limited wisdom with Ricky, even if it teetered on the bounds of the erroneous; like his theory on the light on-top of the Carillon. One day they were both walking along Buckle Street when he stopped and tapped Ricky on the shoulder to get his attention and said.

“You see that tall structure on your left, it’s called the Carillon. See the light-bulb thingy sitting way up on top of it?”

“Yeah,” replied Ricky craning his head back “What about it, Levi?”

“Do you know why they put a light up on top of it?"


“So the planes won’t accidently crash into the Carillon at night. They have to fly higher than the light.”


“Do you know why the Carillon’s there?”


“To hold up the light-bulb,”


“Would I lie to you?”

Of course he would, but what harm was there in a little white lie between friends? Well none, but with some people fibbing was an unforgiveable transgression. People like Delilah, Levi’s older sister who had left home and gone flatting as soon as she turned 17 and as far as he was concerned her departure had been good riddance to bad rubbish.

Levi suddenly realised that Ricky had ceased talking again and was awaiting his reply. Engrossed in this own thoughts he had not even been aware that his cousin had actually continued the conversation. He wondered if he should just ask him to repeat himself but thought better of it. His eyes shifted down to his watch then back to Ricky. It was well past time to wrap things up.

“Look, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to retrieve Dunstan, and keep that stupid thug off your back,” agreed Levi, patting Ricky’s shoulder. “No-one blackmails my “bestest cuzzy-bro” and gets away with it. Not even a demented dingbat like Alexander.”

“You’re a true friend Levi. I sometimes wonder what I would do without you.”

“I often wonder what you would do without me too.”

When Levi and Ricky grew up they would think and act like grown-ups, but for now they were children and acted and thought like children, postponing their maturity for the years to come. And acting and thinking like children they jumped off the stage and ran around the Botanical Gardens, and skylarked in the pouring rain.

“Don’t Levi!” fretted Ricky as Levi climbed over a roped off area. “It’s against the rules.”

“I don’t care about rules,” retorted Levi purposely stomping on a recently planted sapling. “Rules were made to be broken.”

“Ooooooooo! Now you’ve done it. That plant’s Mum’s gunna be really angry when she sees what you did to her poor little baby.”

“I’ll stomp on her too,” he alleged, guffing nefariously like Doctor Evil from Austin Powers.  

“You’re dingbats,” giggled Ricky.

“Well it takes a one to know one.”


It was just after 1:30pm when Levi and Ricky stepped off the cable car and made their way down into Lampton Quay.   It had ceased raining and though the sun was peeping through the clouds the chances of another downpour was not completely out of the question. The footpath was congested with pedestrians and they had to walk briskly to keep up with the adult strides or risk getting trampled.

“One Nun goes with the other Nun to see that Nun gets none,” alleged Levi, still in a slightly silly mood.

“None of what?” inquired Ricky.

“Any hanky-panky; nuns aint suppose to do the hanky-panky.”

“How comes?”

“I’ll tell you when you get older.”

“You know everything because you’re an old fart.”

“Am not,”

“Am too…bet ya can’t keep up with me,”

Ricky suddenly pushed Levi aside and started running, weaving his way in and out of the pedestrians like an artful-dodger fleeing after picking a pocket or two and got quite a lead from Levi, who quickly sprang into action but struggled to keep up.

Levi gasped as Ricky veered off the footpath and ran onto the road without bothering to cheek for traffic. His heart chilled at the sight of the oncoming Holden Station wagon.

“Look out!” warned Levi, then covered his eyes and cringed. Seconds later a gut wrenching screech sounded followed by a loud horn blast and shrill scream.


Next: Part Seven - "Ricky Balboa"

"Crazy-ape-Bonkers" originates from one of the Episodes of "The Young Ones" called University Challenge

The Young Ones go onto the British University Challenge and meet the presenter Bambi Gascoigne, whom is meant to be the actual Bambi from the Walt Disney Film. Vivinne reminises about the sequel to Bambi = "Bambi goes Crazy Ape Bonker with his Drill and Sex"

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