That Hideous Hammock
"Lady P, you gotta try this!"
"Yeah, c'mon Lady Penelope you'll kick yourself if you don't!"
Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, the number one sassy socialite of the English aristocracy glanced up from her Danielle Steel novel with a delicate brow arched in questioning. The youngest of the Tracy boys, Alan, was swinging enthusiastically on the wicker hammock strung between two palms next to the pool and his elder brother Gordon stood next to him bouncing eagerly on the balls of his feet. It seemed a suspicious enough situation as it was without them wanting her attention.
"What is it boys?" She asked nonchalantly, flicking to the next page in her book with a manicured finger.
"You've gotta come try something, it's so much fun!" Alan reiterated, leaping off the hammock mid-swing.
"'Fun' in your vocabulary Alan usually means something entirely different in anyone else's, such as dangerous, perilous, death-defying and in short something that might make me wrinkle prematurely, which would not do." The elegant blonde replied easily, taking a sip of her margarita.
By now, Scott and Virgil who were lounging on the other side of the pool had become interested in the situation, and were sitting up in anticipation of what the two trouble makers of the family might be trying to pull on the aristocrat.
"It's nothing bad, honest. You just sit on the hammock and we do the rest, it's an…exercise in imagination." Gordon explained innocently.
"Yeah, Gordo did it to me earlier, it's amazing, you'll feel like you're flying but you'll never leave the ground." Alan added with an emphatic nod.
"In our line of work does that really seem like such a novelty?" Penelope asked, setting the book down on the ground with a sigh, knowing it would be useless trying to carry on in hopes of peace when Alan and Gordon were in this mood.
"We did it to Virgil last week and he loved it, isn't that right Virg?" Gordon said, fixing his elder brother with a sharp look.
The most reserved of the five Tracy boys looked around hesitantly as four expectant gazes locked onto him. Scott raised a brow as Virgil glanced at him and Virgil shrugged bemusedly.
"Uh, sure, never had so much fun outside my 'bird?" He offered, not entirely convincingly, and Alan and Gordon rolled their eyes and went back to plan A.
"C'mon Lady P, don't you trust us? You know we'd never do anything to endanger you!" Alan pleaded, fixing her with his best puppy-dog eyes that could crumble the resolve of any human on the planet- with the exception of their father, though Alan had always insisted that Jeff was an alien from the planet Uptight, and had brought their brother John with him to infiltrate Earth.
Penny rolled her eyes and hoisted herself up from her comfortable lounger, adjusting her pink sarong around her waist before heading despairingly over to the two younger brothers. She came to a stop in front of them with her hands on her hips.
"Very well, what is it I am supposed to be doing?"
"Yay! You won't regret it Penny!" Alan grinned and Gordon shot him a dubious look behind her back. Alan shrugged it off and motioned to the hammock like a waiter showing a guest to her table.
"Just take a seat, lie back and think of England." Gordon smiled winningly and after a last suspicious look Penelope closed her eyes and lay back into the hammock.
Scott frowned questioningly at Virgil who shrugged and shook his head, it seemed as though they both had about as much idea as Penny about what was to happen, although they were perhaps in the more favourable position.
"Now Gordon's gonna tell you a story, you can't say anything, and you can't open your eyes- that'll ruin the mood- but you just have to imagine yourself in that situation, imagine whatever Gordon says, it's amazing, I promise." Alan explained and Penelope's eyebrows knitted, though she didn't open her eyes.
"Careful Penny, you'll wrinkle!" Gordon added cheekily and Penelope opened her eyes to glare at him then.
"Okay, okay I'm sorry, just, keep 'em closed, it'll be fine." Thunderbird 3's pilot put his hands on each side of the hammock, and he began to sway it gently, as if it were being buffeted by a light breeze.
"You're in a boat… you're just off paradise. The breeze is a soothing whisper across your skin, the sun is bright and beating down on you, and the birds are twittering in the trees onshore just loud enough for you to catch their song…" Gordon began in a hushed voice, as if he were trying to hypnotise the pink clad woman.
Alan began to make delicate sounds like a slight wind from out of his pursed lips, and there was no need to simulate the crash of the waves or the soft melody of the birds as Tracy Island was in prime position to offer those sounds, and Penny's face relaxed into a light smile as she thought of it.
"…The sea is calm and crystal clear, and it laps around you soothingly, swaying the boat like a cradle rocked in a lullaby. You've never felt more at peace, no disturbances, no distractions, just the quiet water and perfect tranquillity in your soul."
Penny looked as if she were about to drift of to sleep looking quite blissful.
"Then suddenly, the wind picks up! The sea becomes choppy and black storm clouds gather round. You start to be tossed and turned in the waves like a salad, swirling and rocking dangerously as the wind buffets you! Your boat starts to tilt, nearer to the sea and you think you might capsize!" Gordon's voice had grown louder and he was swaying the hammock more violently now, rocking it back and forth faster and higher and twisting it nearer the ends, making for a very bumpy ride. Penny's face was definitely more of a frown now if her eyes were not indeed squeezed shut in terror.
"The water is forming a whirlpool! It's sucking you and your fragile boat in, spinning you around and around as it twists and begins to break up the boat around you! You're being sucked towards the seabed and there's nothing you can do, no controls will work, your rocking and crashing and then you're falling, falling into the chopping water as it's ready to crush your bones and swallow you whole!"
"EEEEK!" Penny's screech echoed around the poolside as Scott and Virgil leapt up, thinking she had fallen onto the concrete. Her cry caused Jeff and Brains to come charging out of the office as well as Kyrano, Onaha, Parker, Tin-Tin and Fermat who were now spilling over themselves to squeeze out of the kitchen.
The sight that greeted them as they pulled to a halt by the poolside was Lady Penelope sitting up in the rapidly swinging hammock, drenched to the bone from head to dainty toe, and Alan standing on her other side with a large red bucket the contents of which he had obviously just thrown all over her.
Alan and Gordon were beside themselves in fits of hysterics and Scott and Virgil had their hands over their mouths, trying very hard to suppress their sniggers. Fermat's mouth fell open in awestruck amusement and Tin-Tin's eyes were wide as saucers at seeing the usually composed and elegant Lady soaked through, silken hair now a sodden mop hanging over her face and mascara leaving black streaks down her cheeks.
"What's going on out here?" Jeff barked and caused his sons to all swallow their glee instantly as they whipped round to face him.
The eldest stood up slightly straighter under his father's stern scrutiny, but luckily Jeff's keen gaze then switched view and locked like a laser on to his two youngest sons, one still holding a bright red bucket and trying to sneak into the shrubbery.
"Well…we had to make it…realistic." Alan squeaked, trying to use the bucket as a shield.
"Penny, are you okay?" Jeff questioned the socialite as she stood, dripping, from the still swaying hammock.
"Well," Penny sniffed as she flicked her arms to try and dispel the water from her person, gathering as much composure and poise as someone who resembled a drowned cat could have,
"I believe now would be an excellent time for us to take our leave of you Jeff, before I am inclined to do something quite unladylike. And if you want my advice, before I return, I would do something drastic about that hideous hammock!" She said huffily and turned on her heel, beginning her soggy march back to the main house for a change of clothes and transportation back to probably less damp climes of sunny old England.
"We are going to have a serious talk later, you can count on that!" Jeff murmured threateningly to Alan and Gordon as he and the other adults hastened after Penelope to dry off her dampened ego.
Once the doors to the main house had slammed closed the remaining poolside companions erupted into hysteria once more.
"Well…" Gordon gasped between snorts of laughter, "It certainly was realistic!"
Alan nodded, doubled over with his hands on his knees to keep from rolling on the floor, "Yeah, there's definitely a storm headed our way now, but man was it worth it!"
Thunderbirds belongs to Carlton and was thought up by the wonderful Andersons, I own nothing but my Thunderbirds DVDs and a great love for the series and movie!
If you were wondering, this story came about- obviously- from Penny's line in the movie, but the prank is inspired from real life as it is one I have unfortunately had played on me by one of my friends who owns a hammock at her house. Lull 'em into a false sense of security and let 'em have it seems to be her motto! It's certainly a good trick to play if you have many friends round and one who isn't in on it, she managed to pull it three or four times on different lots of us, so it looks like John better watch out when he comes back from space!
Hope you enjoyed it, dunno how funny it was, it is always quite entertaining to watch in any case, it's just a light-hearted little ficcy to satisfy my Tbirds muse. Thanks for reading!