"Here, have some pudding." David tosses an individual pudding package into the back. "What is this stuff, tapioca?" "No, it's just pudding."
"It looks just like tapioca." "Believe me, it's not." David's words reassure me. Tapioca always turns my stomach. I take a bite. Tapioca!
Tapioca laced with toxic honey from New Zealand honeybees was Willum Granger's undoing! I spit the pudding into the cup. Regi says "Ew!"
David says "You not gonna finish that? Gimme." With one hand on the plane yoke, David reaches back and takes my pudding cup. Regi says "EW!"
"That's gross! He spit his mouthful back in there." "It's tapioca. What's the difference?" "EWW!" "Boss, what's your beef with tapioca?"
What was my beef? Granger's poisoned pudding partitioning wasn't my first tapioca terror. I once found myself trapped in an aunt's freezer.
Surrounded by frozen curdled treats, I gorged myself on tapioca until my own blood began to curdle. I haven't been able to stomach it since.
"Wasn't tapioca at the crime scene instrumental in you giving dad's killer his just desserts?" "Yes. Justice is a dish best served cold."
"I thought that was revenge." "That too." David says "Some desserts are also good warmed up. Like apple pie." "I think you miss the point."
"Did you know 'desserts' is 'stressed' backwards?" "I know I don't eat tapioca. I'm still thirsty. What do I do?" "Stay thirsty, my friend."
"I'll stay stressed unless you keep your eyes on the road." "We're flying over water. There's no road." We come up fast on the derelict jet.
They clearly are struggling. One jet engine trails black smoke as the derelict fights to maintain altitude. We are on a collision course!
I shout "DAVID LOOK OUT!" David lets out the same squeak he gave just before we almost hit the island coming down and drops his pudding cup.
He grabs the yoke, we go vertical, and abruptly I'm covered in tapioca. As we level off Regi says "Again, it's amazing watching you work."
We fly past the crippled jetliner and level off at 100 feet. I say "Why aren't you freaked?" "I gave up all hope when I boarded this heap."
Regi continues "And I've spilled tapioca in my lap." David says "You gonna finish that?" "Watch it bub!" Regi looks back at me and laughs.
She looks past me out the window and gasps. I turn to look. The derelict jetliner is directly behind us, its nose almost touching our tail.
What they are doing is not possible by any physical laws I understand. Of course, by anything I understand, they shouldn't be flying at all.
We're being followed and they're not subtle about it. It's hard to miss when the jet is trailing black smoke behind us. I know what to do.
I say "Quick! Swerve to the right!" David says "Huh?" "They're on our tail! We've got to shake them!" "If we wait they'll shake themselves."
"DO IT!" We go into a steep dive and the derelict jet follows us down. "CLIMB! CLIMB!" We go vertical again. The jet continues downward.
(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)