The Amazing Mystery of Maisie

 The place was deserted. Dust lay thick upon the scorched boards beneath the charred remains of what was once a bed.

They were the only outward remaining signs of the mystery of 27 Jacaranda Avenue. A mystery caused by a freakish combination of circumstances so incredible as to defy the imagination. Almost.

A wet cockroach, a faulty electric blanket (isn’t there always one?), a packet of Iced Vo Vo’s and a build up of natural gas.

Maisie Evans lived between the pages of the Women’s Weekly and Home Beautiful. Between her bed covers. Between her ears she played out her life of fantasy. She was addicted to her periodicals. She was also addicted to sweet and delicious Iced Vo Vo’s.

So were her only live companions, the cockroaches, who feasted as Maisie brushed crumbs from her sheets.

They also rather enjoyed swimming and diving in the chamber pot Maisie had under her bed. It is as little known fact that cockroaches, given a choice, actually do prefer to swim in circles.

There are two fairly interesting consequences of an excessive intake of sugar. One is the increase in the brain’s production of endorphin’s, the “feel good” chemical. So Maise was usually very happy. The other is the significant manufacture in the gut and intestines of flatus, or wind. This resulted in Maisie continuously expelling copious amounts of highly inflammable natural gas. This was also satisfying for her in the way that breaking wind is for schoolboys and those with an anal retentive personality.

Apart from the gas causing a marked depletion in the ozone layer above number 27, no real harm would have been done had there not been a low level fault in her electric blanket and a show off, high diving cockroach called Alistair.

For the second time Alistair attempted a triple somersault with pike into the partially filled chamber pot. This dive has a high degree of difficulty for a cockroach because their six legs all have to bend at the same time. As he began to pike Alistair fell back and his wet shell made contact with the electrical leak.
This might only have caused a short circuit if at that split moment Maisie had not, with a rumbling, crackling roar, emitted a cubic litre of explosive gas.

She was ignited like the back burners on an Apollo space rocket. She shuddered slightly on the bed as the voluminous store of intestinal gas combusted. Then, with a startled expression on her face and an involuntary explosive expletive bursting from her lips, she took off vertically. 

Alistair was instantly incinerated.

Maisie reached a velocity of Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound as she went through the corrugated iron roof.

A young F18 fighter pilot doing night exercises over Stockton Bight, stared in disbelief as he watched Maisie approach at incredible speed off his starboard wing and he watched, open mouthed, as she soared away, flannelette nightie flapping, on a fiery trail towards New Zealand.

He spent years trying to reconcile the notion of “the truth shall set you free” with his incarceration in a Government Mental Health facility.

Maisie was never seen again.

But she would have been delighted to know of the publicity surrounding her mysterious disappearance and her real life, posthumous, fame in the pages of her beloved magazines.

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