“We're going to be landing soon,” she told him. “Do you want to come and see?”
Oscar crawled over to the window to look out at the view.
“Blimey, we're a bit low aren't we?” he exclaimed as he looked down at the houses and roads which weren't far enough below them. He could almost see the passengers in the cars speeding along the dual carriageway. He thought for a fleeting second that if it were a little lighter they'd be able to see into the houses as well. After looking at the view for a few minutes, something occurred to Oscar. “That airport I can see doesn't look big enough to be Gatwick or Heathrow,” he said.
“It's Filton,” Delta told him. “Near Bristol. We happened to come this way so Frog thought he'd drop us off here.”
“And dropping you off it might be,” Frog called from the cockpit.
“What do you mean?” Oscar asked.
“I'm trying to work out where the runway is but I think they've built houses where it used to be.”
“He thinks they've built houses where the runway used to be,” Delta said patiently.
“They can't do that!” Oscar said. “Where are we supposed to land?”
“Sorry, old chap,” Frog said. “Looks like you'll have to parachute down.”
Oscar looked at Delta. Now would be a good time for you to wake me up and tell me this is all a dream, he thought. She smiled as though she'd read his mind.
“Delta, you remember where the parachutes are, don't you?” Frog asked.
“Yes, I'll get them,” Delta replied. She crossed to the front of the cabin and opened a cupboard Oscar hadn't noticed before. Inside were a few small packages – the parachutes. She pulled out two parachutes and a few straps. “Have you parachuted before?” she asked conversationally.
“No,” Oscar replied.
“OK, we'll go tandem then.” She put one parachute away, put the other on, then strapped all their luggage together. Oscar put his coat on and then desperately tried to remember the words of the Lord's prayer whilst he waited for Delta to tell him what to do next. He wasn't in the habit of praying, but this seemed like a good time to start.
“I knew they were talking about closing the airfield,” Frog said as he circled around in search of a good place for them to parachute down. “I didn't realise they'd done it already. There isn't enough room to land a plane with all those houses but you might be able to parachute down and land on the little field that's still there by the Concorde museum. Now, that was a good plane. Shame I never got to fly one. Didn't even get to go in one at all. I mean, having my own plane, why would I? Maybe I should give being a passenger a go sometime, have a go in one of those A380s for the next mission.”
Oscar suddenly realised that while Frog had been telling this story Delta had been strapping them together, with their luggage, ready to jump out of the plane.
“OK, I've found you a good spot.” Frog said after a few minutes of more circling. “Delta, I'm going to drop you at Teletubby Hill.”
“Teletubby Hill?” Oscar asked.
Delta leant towards to window so he was forced to lean that way too and look out. “See that field with the swirly patterns on it? We call it Teletubby Hill.”
|Photograph by David Goddard|
“It was an overflow field from when the airfield was open. If a plane was going to overshoot the runway or crash, that was one of the designated places to land.”
“Lovely,” Oscar said. Could this day get any worse?