Nena Book 4 *Four Star* - Part 6

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This time we meet up with Chris and the gang several months after the previous episodes have taken place.
It's a simple enough trip but this time...  You might want to recap what's gone before...http://bigclosetr.us/topshelf/fiction/23902/nena-book-4-part-1
 
Sod's Law comes into play against the reluctant Nena!
 
Nena: Book 4
Four Star

by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2005 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.

Nena: Book 4 - Four Star

 
Part 6
   

At some point I must have drifted off again as I was rudely awakened by a particularly loud alarm clock going off.

"Hey Nena, time to get up"

"Gnh"

"Come, we’ll get frühstuck at the Lamme."

"Yeah"

It was only when I dragged myself out of the bed that it struck me how I was dressed, and that I wasn’t even safely with Jools. Oh sugar! I quickly assembled myself before making a dive for the littlest room. I had at least got a bit of what Jools insists on calling ‘slap’ with me so when I joined Brigitte ten minutes later I looked at least reasonably presentable.

"Ach so. You can change at the Lamm, we haf plenty of time"

I looked at my watch, six fifteen!

"Um yes" I agreed.

In the light of day the village looked very different, not particularly picturesque, but clean, tidy and very German. A few older buildings had timber cladding in traditional Harz style but its not somewhere that I’d bring a coach for a visit!

We walked the short distance to the Lamm, Brigitte kept up a non-stop dialogue that although I understood, required very little input from me. Just as well as I was still early morning groggy.

The next couple of hours flew by. A quick breakfast, equally quick change of togs and a fraught half hour on the phone to the railway was not the early morning start I like.

"All sorted Nena?"

"Finally John, you have informed the passengers?"

"Done"

   
"Good morning everyone"

"Mornin’"

"I’m John, your replacement driver and I think you all met Nena yesterday? She has agreed to stay on to help out. I’ll pass you over to the lovely Nena now and we’ll be on our way."

He handed me the mike and started our steed.

"Which way girl?"

"The signs for Braunlage first"

I waited until we were moving before clicking the PA on.

"Gut morning everyone"

"Morning Nena" a fairly enthusiastic chorus replied.

"As you know we have needed to change around your itinery slightly, so today we ride the Harzquetalle Bahn. I haf managed to organise a longer ride than in your brochure so we pick up the dampflok? Smoking train? At Drei Annen Hohne and will travel up to the Radio Station Brocken before returning by the coach to Wernigerode (vare knee gar roader). We will haf time there for sightseeing before we have a scenic drive back to the hotel.
Tomorrow instead we will visit Goslar. I will visit you as we drive if you have questions, Güten fahr."

I plonked myself into Maureen’s seat and my thoughts turned to my friends back in Berlin.

"You okay girl?" John asked.
"Er yes sorry, I was just wondering how Maureen is"

"I’m sure she’ll be okay, we can give George a call later eh?"

"Yes of course. Do you want a trink?"

"Tea would be good, white with two please."

"Okay. Moment"

The passengers seemed okay this morning and no one seemed put out by the changes to the itinery. I made Johns cup of syrup, I mean tea and arrived back at the front just in time to get us turned onto the right road. The scenery is pretty unremarkable, mostly trees and not dissimilar to the Black Forest although lacking the same elevation.

"So Nena, you are going on the train and I meet you here?"

"Neh, you meet us at Wernigerode station for two o’clock. The road goes straight to the town."

"Okay, see you later"

I followed the passengers along to the rough bit of tarmac that makes up the platform and made a quick stop at the ticket office. Well at least something was going right! The global party should arrive on the next train from Nordhausen then we all get on the train up to the Brocken. I was a bit surprised that den wasn’t already here but I guess he’s gone straight down to Wernigerode.

Even as Chris I never had a huge interest in railways but as I licked at my Cornetto I watched some obvious train buffs as they cooed over and took pictures of anything that moved or didn’t in the station area! In the distance a train hooter or whatever they call it announced the imminent arrival of a train, I was expecting it to be the one with Jools on board but instead it came the other direction and was indeed the train we would be joining.

There is plenty of leeway on the schedule and anyhow the northbound train wasn’t here yet so I didn’t rush to round up my charges although I made a mental note of where they all were. I needn’t have worried, most were already gathering on the up platform and I spotted a label on the next carriage that stated ‘ Reserviert fur Wallace Arnold’ and another saying much the same but with ‘Global’ inserted.

Another hoot rent the air and this time the expected train chuffed into view to the obvious delight of the train buffs, a few of the gents in my party joined the excited throng of would be David Bailey’s as the noisy, smoky little Lok pulled into Drei Annen Hohne
   

"There she is!"

A voice stated louder than strictly necessary.

"Hi Nena!" another called in my direction.

Not wanting to make an exhibition of myself I just gave a cheery wave by return.

"Please to board" I started to usher ‘my’ passengers onto the carriage. I kept a look out for Jools but maybe I missed her in the crowd. The Global passengers reached where I was stood and after a cheery greeting they started to board the train too.

After giving one old dear a hand up into the carriage I turned around and found Jools there.

It wasn’t the usual Jools though, the venomous look was enough to tell me I was in trouble, and I just wish I knew why.

"Hey up Jools" I went to give her a hug but she shied away, "everything okay?"

"What do you think?"

I dunno, what do I think? I do think this isn’t the place for an argument.

"We’d best get the stragglers rounded"

She nodded, her expression now more of hurt than anger.

"Wallace Arnold! Bitte the train!"

"Global people"
The pair of us watched the last couple join the train, then climbed up ourselves for a head count before the train started! I hadn’t lost anyone and by the fact I could see Jools chatting in the next carriage, it looked like all the Global bus were on too.

The whistle sounded, the carriages rattled and squealed as the slack was taken up then we started to slowly move off. Distractedly I watched as the crowd on the platform waved and took their snaps, those on board equally enthusiastic. Well mostly the men it has to be said, the ladies were chatting away merrily, they might have been on a number nine bus instead of a scenic railway!

Clouds of black wood smoke billowed back down the train as the little engine struggled to get going, then another hoot and the air cleared somewhat as we picked up more speed. My lot were happy enough so I thought I’d go find Jools.

I opened the door and crossed the open platform to the next carriage where Jools a half hearted participant in a discussion about German fashions.

"Hi Jools"

"Oh Hi" she replied without any real feeling.

"Um, can we talk bitte?"

"I guess"

"Maybe on the platform?" I prompted when she made no move.

"I suppose so"

I led the way back to the end of the carriage and onto the little end platform, the countryside racing past and the odd cinder floating into the space.

"I don’t think I’m talking to you" she started before I could say anything.

"Look Jools, I have no idea what I did last night to upset you, but sorry anyhow" the train whistle shrilled its warning drowning out half her reply.
"...Don’t know? If it was anyone else I wouldn’t believe you."

My expression was, I think, of some cluelessness as she went on.

"I guess you want to know?"

"Only if it helps"

"Hmmm, look, last night, when we were sorting out who did what?"

"Uh huh."

"Well you slapped me down good and proper and made it clear you didn’t think I could organise anything, so like a man!"

"I never did" I just caught a glimpse of a couple of deer watching us from the trees.

"You did, well it seemed like it"

"You know I wouldn’t do that, you’re great at that stuff."

"You say that now"

"I mean it"

"Hmm" she seemed slightly mollified.

"Friends?"

"I guess. But why did you want to stay with the Wally lot?"

"Dunno, I thought I was protecting you"

"Protecting me? What from?"

"I dunno, any hassle, John"

"Look Nena, I’m a big girl, if anyone needs protecting its you, you’re so so...ooooh naive!"

"Um"

I turned away and looked at the trees flashing by.

"Come here girl" Jools instructed before enveloping me in a hug. "Sometimes you are really infuriating!"

"I’m sorry"

She cuddled me closer and we both stood on the rattling, smoky platform for a bit longer.

"You fancy a drink?"

"Have we got time?"

"I reckon so, come on" Jools beamed.

I think I’m forgiven but I’m not entirely sure.

We made our way to the front of the train, only two carriages away, where we found the quaint refreshment car.

"Zwei cola lite bitte"

"Drei Euro"

The girl passed me the two bottles with plastic cups and I joined Jools at one of the little tables.

"So, what’s it like?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know, staying at Brigitte’s and John, he’s a bit of a hunk."

"Give over"

"Well he is. If I didn’t have a boyfriend I’d be interested"

Now let me just make one thing clear here, I might be wearing a skirt and makeup but I am not, I repeat not interested in blokes!

"So come on, spill"

"I’ve no idea what you are on about, I suppose he looks well enough"

"Well what are your digs like?"

"Weird"

"Weird?"

"Weird. Don’t get me wrong, Bridg is great but she has some weird stuff."

"Like?"

"Like I woke up this morning with a strange face staring at me."

"God, have I got to drag every bit out of you?"

"Give me a chance. Well apparently she’s into some Japanese dressing up thing."

"Like kimono’s and stuff?"

"No, its cartoon characters, from those Japanese manga comic things, she’s got loads of Dvd’s and stuff."

"Weird."

"That’s what I said."

The trains whistle and a glance out of the window revealed scrubby hillside, we must be near the top.

"I suppose we should get back, we eating up here?" Jools enquired.

I checked the time, it was a bit early but we wouldn’t get down to Wernigerode for the best bit of three hours.

"Maybe just a wurst or something"

I arrived back in the WA carriage just as the train pulled into the hilltop Brocken station.

A description of our hour at the radio station would be too tedious for words, we had a bit of a wander, looked at the views and I got my wurst! With my relationship with Jools now apparently back on track, I was a lot happier but still a little wary of saying the wrong thing.

We managed not to lose any of our combined group and got everyone onto the down train without problem. It was one train all the way to Wernigerode with a brief halt at Drei Annen Hohne. We pulled into the station in a Wernigerode bathed in hot sunshine.

   
John and Den had found each other and both buses were waiting for us. Our two bus parties were starting to mingle in my mind and there isn’t a label pinned on them saying which bus they are on!

"I hope you enjoyed the dampflok, John will take us to the Busse Park, we will be staying for one hour forty five." John was following Den around to the coach park as I spoke. "From the parking it is funf minuten to the stadt, there is also the Bummelbahn up to the castle." by this time we were nearly parked.

Five minutes later and divested of passengers the four of us gathered by Helga.

"Den suggested we all go up to the schloss for a coffee" John opined.

I actually fancied a proper look at the town; the shopping trip on Monday hardly counts.

"Whatever you like" I shrugged.

"Fine by me" Jools added.

"The tourist train will be here in a couple of minutes"

"Oh goody, another train" Jools mentioned with some sarcasm.

"Some of us haven’t been swanning about the woods half the day" Den grinned, ducking from Jools friendly slap.

The little road train pulled up and the four of us shoehorned ourselves into the less than spacious ‘carriage’.

"Busse Fahrer?"
"Er, ja" I replied as the driver came to collect fares.

"Ach, keine geldt"

"Danke"

"Bitte shun"

"We haf a free ride"

The little tractor unit let rip and with a ring on the bell we took off.

"So, Nena. Den was telling me how you ended up on his bus, you really are a glutton for punishment."

I glared at Den who just raised his eyebrows.

"Glutton?"

"You know, um all the extra work, helping out at Global after the fire, volunteering to bring our bus back and then staying over last night, you must really love doing this."

"Um"

"You’ve embarrassed her John" Den stated.

I was saved from further inquisition by our arrival at the castle. In truth I was actually pretty much lost for words, looking at it like that I do seem to both attract trouble and act as good Samaritan. I followed the others towards the little restaurant and joined Jools at an outside table while the drivers went to fetch some drinks.

"Penny for ’em"

"Ungh?

"You’ve got that dazed expression again"

"Oh sorry Jools. Its just what John was saying"

"Well you have to admit, he’s right"

"That’s just it, he is. But he thinks its heroic Nena doing it all, its like Chris doesn’t really exist and instead there’s this German wonder woman."

Jools giggled at that.

"What are you two laughing at?" Den asked as he joined us with a tray of drinks.

"Nothing" Jools said then mouthed ‘wonder woman’ at me.

John appeared with another tray bearing what looked suspiciously like cream cakes.

"Here we go, one for Jools, one for Nena, first to finish gets the spare."

"You are not having?" I asked.

"We had some while you were gallivanting around the woods." Den advised.

Well I’ve never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth!

"You will make me fat"

"Me maybe, it’ll take more than a couple of bits of cake to fill you out!,” Jools mentioned.

At least the conversation was now not about my ‘heroics’! We caught a different ‘train’ back down which deposited us behind the main square so I was at least able to take a few pics of the famous carved town hall and the old town behind it. We had a relaxed walk back down to the coach park, on the way firming up plans for tomorrows trip into Goslar.

I felt a bit lost as I watched the Global bus depart, once again I’m alone with a bunch of complete strangers, well okay I know John a little better now but still.

The drive back to Lautenthal took a little over an hour and I must admit to not being the life and soul during the ride.

"...So we depart at nein heure. Tschuss."

I stood by the door and helped the passengers disembark then followed them into the Lamm while John went to park the coach.

"hey, Nena! Gute tag?"

(Translation!)

"Yes it was fine. Mind you all those trains can be a bit wearing."

"I know what you mean. George rang earlier, Maureen is better today but still in the special care."

"That’s good news at least"

"Yes. You have anything planned this evening?"

"Dinner I suppose"

"Well I have tonight off, if you like to come out with me?"

Memories of previous ‘Nena’ nights came back, that first time down in Austria with Ingrid. And that girl’s night in Koblenz with Mika. No denying I’ve had fun in a skirt! I wonder what Brigitte is planning?

"What about John?"

"Ach, he will be fine, I saw some of the passengers eyeing him last night!" she stated with a giggle.

To be honest although John is a nice bloke I wasn’t really looking forward to a night propping up the bar and getting sozzled. And as I’m boarding at Brigitte’s - well it’d be churlish to turn down the offer.

"Um okay then"

"Great!"

"Do we eat here first?"

"Neh, we eat out, Sandra has booked a place."

"Sandra?"

"Yes, it is our group meeting tonight, we join up each month, and it is great fun!"

"I don’t want to impose" what group is this?

"You won’t be, we always have gäste"

"Um, what sort of group is it?"

"It is our Cosgruppe, we dress up, eat, watch some anime, it is great!"

Brigs eyes had lit up, this Cos thing is obviously a big thing for her. What am I letting myself in for?

John was clearly a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be passing the evening with him but we had a drink while I waited for Bridg to finish her shift. We took her car up to the flat; at least I would have my case!

"I hoped you would say yes, I have been thinking all day what you can wear."

"You have?" I cautiously enquired.

"Of course."

"I have a nice dress in my case"

"Dress? Oh you thought we put on nice clothes to meet?"

"um yes?"

"neh, neh. We go in costumes of course, Sandra has said the theme this time should be Sailor Moon so we all will try to be dressed that way."

Oh my god, a bunch of nutters and I’ve agreed to go! And I don’t see any reasonable way out. Brigitte obviously mistook my expression.

"It is good we are the same size, I have just the outfit for you!"

Oh goody.

"You are kidding?"

"Of course not. You will be a fine Sailor Venus" she beamed back ten minutes after she had disappeared.

"This Sailor Venice,"

"Venus"

"She always wears so little?"

"Uh huh"

I held up the outfit again, it was like some sort of gymnastics or skating outfit, white with an orange skirt and like a sailor collar thingy attached. To define that, it’s short, tight and revealing.

"I have the matching schuh also!" she brandished some orange things at me.

"Come, we get changed then I will finish your outfit"

Much as I wanted to make my excuses, I had agreed although I was a bit wary that my secret would be revealed. I was just about to disrobe when Bridg came back.

"I forgot, you will need hosen also" she chucked me another garment and disappeared humming some infuriatingly catchy tune.

   
Well I can’t say that I was exactly happy but I was less unhappy when I returned to the living room. After a little bit of jiggling and trial and error I got the outfit on, the tights were flesh coloured but as thick as the rest of the outfit. The dress, if that’s what you could call it, had built in knickers and was, how can I put it, tight. No that’s not it, firm is a better description. There was no loose material in the body, it gripped me in a sort of assuring way and only the slight swish of the skirt acted as a reminder of the brevity of my garb.

"Bravo Nena! Wunderbar!"

She herself was dressed in some bits of purple material that made a floor length dress that conspired to expose as much as it covered. Queen something or other she said she was, I’m not sure now who got the better deal, maybe this Sailor Venus wasn’t so bad after all.

Half an hour later I was coiffed, painted and nervously climbing into her car. Apparently we were going to Kassel, where I’d been in hospital, for this bizarre soirée.

On the way over I got the abbreviated, I think, story that our costumes were based on. I didn’t quite understand the plot but Brigitte obviously new it well and was hyper enthusiastic.

"...Of course Final Fantasy is more realistic."

"Er yeah", I’d switched to nod mode.

I sort of recognised some of the buildings and realised we weren’t far from Kassel now. Instead of heading into the town though we turned off the main road and spent ten minutes darting along back lanes before finally pulling into the parking area belonging to what looked like a sports club. This must be the place, there were other costumed people heading inside and for the first time since I’d put it on I didn’t feel quite so daft.

I meekly followed my tormentor into the building, the sign exclaimed ‘wilkommen bei SV Ober Kassel’, and we went through to the bar where the most bizarre sight I’d ever seen was taking place. All around were more ‘Sailors’ in different coloured outfits, including one or two who were clearly lads, and a bunch of other assorted costumes that I presume are other characters. In all I guess there were about thirty people from early teens up chatting and drinking.

Several girls came to greet Bridg and I was introduced to Sandy, Inge, Maria and I started to lose the plot when one sailor-outfitted girl introduced herself as David in a very male baritone!

I know what you are thinking, here I am myself pretending to be a girl, in fact I’m a guy pretending to be a girl wearing a girl costume and not just a guy wearing a girl costume, and very convincingly too, you see what I mean? I’m not sure I do now I put it like that! Whatever.

I fetched us some drinks and cursed the wand thing I was carrying which nearly caused me to drop the drinks.

I’d tell you more but my mind was turning fast to mush! The edited highlights I guess I can manage. We’d been there about an hour before the barman announced the grub was ready, we moved into an adjoining room where we were seated and provided with a meal of Hacksteak, mashed potato and veggies followed by ice cream, not exactly cordon bleu but there was plenty of it and it was eatable.

After the food we retired to the bar while they cleared the tables then we returned to watch one of these Sailor Moon cartoons. It didn’t help me understand it any further but there again I’m not sure the double translation from Japanese to English to German helped much! I did find out what all the weird posturing and finger waving was about - I think! I didn’t say understand it, just the why!

To be completely honest it has to rate as one of the weirdest evenings I’ve ever spent, as either Nena or Chris. Memo to me - check what you are agreeing to do in future! So okay it wasn’t really that bad, they were all having a good time, it was good clean fun (?) and it finished before midnight. I think I drank a bit much because I don’t recall the drive back to Brigitte’s or going to bed.

  
© Maddy Bell 2005 
 

 

Photos  © Maddy Bell 2001,2002
 
 
End of Part 5
 
 
To Be Continued...

Pictures of Nena have been generated using Ania's 'Cherie' Fkiss doll on Angy-Chan's template and are Copyright 2004. They are used with permission, if you'd like to see more go to www.acharsi.prv.pl



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