Considerations | BTL SRVC LVII

Via Issue 188, The Eternal Flame Issue!

Written by

Bill DiDonna

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Stanya Kahn. “It’s Cool, I’m Good” (2010) Digital Video, Color, Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. 35:22 Minutes. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. © 2010 Stanya Kahn.

I did not scream because I could not scream. The plane had somehow come completely apart in mid-air. As we were drifting towards the ground I reached out and found my backpack, pulled out my MacBook and began Googling ‘How to survive a plane crash,’ but realized we were descending so slowly there was nothing to fear except boredom.

Nels touched down with a handful of coupes and began pouring champagne for everybody.

You made it. Congratulations.

A while ago I wrangled a one-month membership to BlissAir. It was a startup PJ Company with a twist; they would announce a departure city, date and time and the first member to show up could pick the destination. A week later I got a notification, there was a flight leaving from John Wayne Airport down in Orange County in two days. I decided to arrive six hours before takeoff with the idea of flying everybody to Pitcairn Island to meet the descendants of the Bounty mutiny. We would fly to Santiago, refuel and spend the night drinking Terremotos. For the uninitiated, it is traditionally made with Pineapple Whip, Grenadine and Pipeño, a fermented wine, although I know a place that uses Fernet instead of the sweet red syrup. The name means earthquake and after two you will walk like you’re in 5.5.

I checked in and boarded the jet looking forward to a massage, some sushi and a nap before takeoff. Waiting for the maestro to arrive at the Kan, I perused the sake list when someone behind me spoke.

Try the Akamutsu and the trumpet fish, also I can highly recommend the ‘Dreams Come True’ excellent mouth feel.

I wasn’t the first on board, my plans were foiled.

He said his name was Nels, he was a retired Magician from Gibraltar, he would not reveal our destination and that he was heading for the Sauna.

Oh well.

Before takeoff, our pilot announced that we would be landing in Canada to refuel, if anyone on board was wanted in Canada they should turn on the blue light above their cabin door and remain on the plane during our layover.The rest of us could limo into town, grab a pint and look for polar bears.

We left Labrador and headed south.The pilot said we would be landing in about four hours, that the sauna would be closing an hour before that, and last call at the tapas bar was in 90 minutes. I grabbed an Oloroso and some tinned clams then headed back to my cabin pretty sure that we were headed to the Azores.

Why we fell in slow motion and hit the ground uninjured I’ll never understand, but there we were, passengers and crew all toasting our otherworldly luck. We had Sake and Maguro, plenty of Jamón and at least two trained bartenders so we would be fine for a week or so. Nels sidled up to me.

Walk with me my friend.

The Captain had cracked another Jeroboam and no one noticed when we slunk off towards the cave.

I’m sorry about that little stunt earlier, but everyone is fine and I’ll contact search and rescue as soon as our task is accomplished.

What are we looking for?

The Eternal Flame. Currently we’re in the pit of a dormant volcano on an uninhabited island north of Velas. There is a 15th century text written by a defrocked priest who’s testament recalls washing ashore on this island and being saved by an indigenous population of small vaguely blue people. They took him into a cave and showed him a vaguely blue flame about three feet in height. Over several years the priest learned the language and worked on building a boat. The islanders explained that the Eternal Flame was the barrier between our world and Arazi, which he interpreted as Heaven. He left by boat on an April morning and was found by a Portuguese navy ship three weeks later. Eventually returning to Lisbon he wrote about his travels and discovering the Gate of Heaven. This led to his ouster from the Order and eventually he was put to death as a heretic.

So what are we going to do? Extinguish it of course. 

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Flaunt Magazine, Issue 188, The Eternal Flame Issue, Considerations, BTL SRVC, Bill DiDonna