Category Archives: Cars

Observatory Fight

As the fifty space flight engineers made to attack me, I drew my longbow and went for cover, ready for our epic fight. They were trying to stop me from finding the secret to excellent and affordable car repair, but I wasn’t going to let them get in the way.

I went to draw an arrow from my quiver, lightning-quick with my expertly trained reflexes. As my hand touched my waist, however, I realised I’d left my quiver and arrows at home! A metal set square went flying over my head, as I tried to think of how I could possibly win. Without arrows, my bow was useless. I drew my shortsword and leapt over the barrier, then rolled on the ground to avoid more flying lab equipment.

“Tell me where to find the best auto electrician near Hobart!” I screamed, charging through the pack of engineers. Now I was so close to them that they couldn’t throw anything at me, as they would hit their scientific allies.

With a single thrust, I put my shortsword through the giant telescope which my opponents surrounded. It pierced the metal, and suddenly lights in the observatory began to flash red. A voice came over the room. “Telescope has taken critical damage. Self-destructing in five, four, three…”

I was already making a run for it, the engineers stunned by my epic move. I managed to get behind the group as the telescope went up in a giant fireball, exploding. They were thrown back by the force, flying in a wide arc through the air.

When it was over, I walked toward one of the engineers, putting a boot on his chest. “Tell me where I can find the mechanic I seek.”

He coughed, his body broken. “You’re looking in the wrong places,” he said. “What you really seek is wheel repair. Hobart is-” He collapsed, eyes shut.

“Hobart is what? Hobart is what?” I demanded.

But it was too late. He was already unconscious. I grunted and pushed myself up, looking around at the destroyed observatory. They really didn’t want me finding the car repair guru, did they? There was something sinister going on here. If I was going to get to the bottom of this, I’d need some new tools.

My New Story

I’ve been trying to write something a bit different lately since my agent (the lovely Janet McCallom) thinks I should branch out a little while she shops around my series. I guess I can see the wisdom in that. After writing seven massive unpublished epic fantasy novels, maybe it’s time for a small break. So these last few weeks I’ve been dabbling in flash fiction and short stories, and I’ve found it surprisingly enjoyable.

Today I started a new story. This one is about a mechanic close to Bentleigh who realises that he has the power to speak to cars. I’m pretty sure that’s an original concept, so it should do well. Might even win the Nebula award one day. Who knows? I’m getting ahead of myself, though. I haven’t even finished the first page yet! My plan is that Harold, the mechanic, forms a partnership with this special, high-tech spy car. They go on missions to the central ring of the Milky Way galaxy and fight a robot invasion that wants to take all the water from Earth. It’s going to be epic. I like the idea so much that I might even turn it into another series one day.

While on these adventures, Harold is going to long for home and the simple, enjoyable life he once had. He’ll remember how great it was to work at an auto electrical shop near Bentleigh and wish to go back. But at the same time, he knows that the fight is one worth continuing. Without Earth’s water, nobody will ever be able to be a mechanic again, himself included. He hopes one day to defeat the Fantastic Menace, as the robots are called, and be able to return home.

This is fun to write and all, but I really do hope Janet can get Giggle McWiggle to a publishing house soon. I really want to get started on book eight! My protagonist is finally going to conquer his biggest fear: words starting with the letter ‘s’.

– Augustus Bland

The Bandit’s Face

Our video camera was flat and that wasn’t even the worst thing. Shortly after the Glass Smashing Bandit had broken our back window, we’d discovered that he, disguised as a mechanic, hadn’t even fixed our vehicle. All he’d done was leave a note in the engine that said, “You’ll never catch me and my beautiful face, suckers.”

Oh, how wrong he was. He’d dropped his fake moustache and glasses shortly before leaving and we had the evidence on our camera. We just had to get it charged. So Watson and I called an auto electrician working around Hobart who was willing to come and tow us to the workshop. After a few hours, we finally got to the capital of Tasmania, our original destination on this crazy holiday.

We asked if the mechanic had a cable that could charge our video camera and he brought us into his office, letting us set up there while he got to work on the car. A few minutes later we had the camera working and began fast-forwarding through the footage for the face of our elusive criminal.

I should have known that he wasn’t a real mechanic sooner. The footage shows that he just stood with the hood of our car open, playing on his Nine-Ten-Do portable video game console. Now that I think back on it, I couldn’t hear any tools being used and he didn’t even check to see if the car was working. It should have been so obvious that he was a fake mechanic. Hobart and Melbourne have a Glass Smashing Bandit on the loose. I never should have let my guard down.

Watson got to the part of the video where our man dropped his disguise. He was talking to us when his fake moustache and glasses fell from his face and onto the ground. We had him!

But as we zoomed in closer, it became apparent that the Glass Smashing Bandit had been wearing a mask under his disguise. 

“That sly dog,” I whispered. “Got us again!”

“Not quite,” said Watson. “I think I can work out where he got his disguise and possibly the mask too if it was from the same shop. Schlock, I think we have a lead.”

Cracking Up

Today’s been quite a day. It all started when I woke up and realised that today would be the perfect day for a picnic by the waterfall. This realisation was quickly followed by another: that of not having any crackers to go with the cheddar and quince paste. I figured I’d risk a quick visit to the supermarket, but upon arriving there I learned that they don’t stock my preferred brand of crackers. Sure, it’s no biggie, but once you’ve tried Kerry’s Gone Krackers there’s no going back.

Anyway, that happened, and I settled for some run-of-the-mill brand of crackers with a packet of bagel crisps as back up. With that sorted, off I went, picnic basket in tow. I had a lovely few hours there by the waterfall, which I guess is lucky because circumstances started to test me as soon as I got back in the car to drive home.

The car started, but it wouldn’t go anywhere. I started panicking as I vainly tried to think of where the nearest auto mechanic would be, aware that I couldn’t call them anyway – I had no phone reception. Just as I was musing on that, I became aware that although the car wasn’t moving forward, the wheels were turning.

I started freaking out once more, imagining scenarios such as having to improvise a DIY wheel repair. Adelaide city was over an hour away and I wouldn’t even be able to load a video, so I’d be on my own. It was then that I realised I’d simply become bogged in the wet ground of the unsealed car park. Now, this is where it gets exciting.

As I couldn’t see any suitably flat, solid sheets of material I could use to help guide the wheels out of the bog, I opened the boot to see what I had in there. There was the unopened packet of mediocre crackers, glowing with the promise of tooth-breakingly hard, untextured flatness. Perfect! Sticking them together with lashings of leftover quince paste was a no-brainer, and soon my car was unbogged. What a day!

Old Car Haunts

I feel like I’ve now made enough of a mark in the business world that I can comfortably invite people around for late drinks. Previously I might have felt like I was imposing to have people around after dark, especially in the summer. However, it is now one of our family’s eccentricities. People will do a great deal for a business partner, after all, even attend an intimate gathering in the castle-mansion up on the hill that happens to be covered in gargoyles.

Again, this has all been accepted as part of our Romanian charm! So we sat there, Percival Clancey and I.  My glass was also full of a nice red, and we talked about all sorts of things. His work vehicle is at a garage for car servicing in Toorak, since his driver was complaining about something to do with the gearbox. This I found quite interesting, since I’d assumed such a prestigious family on such a huge estate would have their own mechanic, but Percival instead likes to visit his old haunts. He previously participated in Boss Swaparoo, a television programme in which a boss swaps place with their lower-level employees. This just so happened to be in a car mechanic’s garage in South Yarra, way back when he mainly just invisibly presided over Melbourne’s entire automotive industry. He learned quite a bit during that time, with the only unfortunate part being that once it came time to swap back, the lower-level employee tried to stage a hostile takeover to keep his job. Percival crushed him easily and left him a broken man, but what a terrible interesting experience.

He still brings his vehicles for car servicing around Toorak, because they proved themselves, and why not support your own business?

Fascinating conversation. I’d like to do something similar, but alas…car servicing happens in the daylight.