Sunday March 31st, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the pilot.

Planted peas out in the garden this morning, then worked in the greenhouse with Kat in the afternoon. We got a bunch more tomatoes seeded and moved some things around so that we have a bit more space to work with.

This evening we went up to Kat's parents place for an Easter/Kat's birthday dinner. She hasn't had to share her birthday with Easter since 2002 (three years before we met), but I'd say the turkey dinner and chocolates make it a pretty good deal.


The engine rumbles and grumbles to life, sending vibrations from one end of the plane to the other. He shifts in his seat, anxiety already gnawing at his stomach. He wants to trust this modern marvel of technology but his thoughts are haunted by the knowledge that it was constructed by humans.

And humans are fallible.

Mere minutes to go until the wheels beneath him kiss solid ground farewell and the clouds welcome the plane and all her passengers home. Assuming they get that high without a failure of some sort bringing them crashing back down to earth.

Deep breaths. It will be fine. If it wasn't safe they wouldn't be cleared for takeoff. All the seats would be empty, for no one would be foolish enough to purchase a ticket. But they have received clearance, and passengers occupy every available space.

So it has to be okay, right?

With a slight shake of his head, he reaches out and presses a button before him. The tremble in his finger is barely noticeable. He clears his throat and begins to speak.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking..."


Greg said...

Turkey and chocolates definitely sound like a good Easter dinner to me! And Happy Birthday Kat!
Heh, I didn't guess that you were telling the story from the perspective of the pilot at all, so the ending came as a nice surprise to me. Very atmospheric, as usual ;-)

The Pilot
"The driver of a dinosaur is referred to as the pilot," said Sylvestra. She was standing, arms akimbo, on the board-room table of the Council of Nastiness. This was because Dr. Septopus and the Green Lightbulb were sat together in the chandelier above the table and refusing to come down until she, to quote the Green Lightbulb, "put the safeties on her bloody lizard."
"So pilot it out of our Headquarters and back into its pen!" Dr. Septopus was feeling dry and crackly, and was worried that being this close to the Green Lightbulb might not be good for his mental health.
"I don't have a pilot," said Sylvestra, who felt she was having to repeat herself.
"Well how did you get it here in the first place then?"
"It was smaller," said Sylvestra, her voice thoughtful. "I think... I think maybe it thought I was its mummy."
The explosion of laughter rocked the chandelier until it tipped the Green Lightbulb out and he landed on the table, curled up and giggling.
"I don't see what's so funny," said Sylvestra, and stalked out.

morganna said...

Away up in the sky
Zooming along so high
Humans have conquered the air.

MosesMalone said...

I was about to debrief my 2nd flight of the day when my skipper came looking for me. He was standing on the flight deck.
“Dooms Day, my wife just called. Yours is in labor. You can use my phone.” Yelled my skipper
“Thank you, Sir.” I replied with a sense of nail biting anxiety.
“Good luck, and congrats.” He said.
I gave a thumbs-up as I jogged off the flight deck and downstairs to his stateroom. Sweating, I called my wife.
“Hey Babe. I’m all check in at the hospital. I’m ok. How are you?” She quickly said knowing all too well that you need to spit out info incase we lose connection.
“Hey Babe. I love you. I’m good. Just got done flying.”
“It hurts.” She said with a little whimper.
“I know. You can do it. Anyone there other than your mom?” I asked
“Hey, It’s Kaitlyn. She’s having a contraction. My mom and me are here. She can’t talk through them.” Interrupted my sister-in-law.
“How far along is she? Do they know how long it will be?” I asked
“She’s 4cm. She has a while still.” Said Kaitlyn
“Do you think I have time to eat?” I asked
“Here she is…” said Kaitlyn
Hey. Sorry. I can’t talk through it. I don’t want to talk. I’m sorry. It’s too hard. Can you just keep calling back? Kaitlyn with keep you updated through email. I’ll be hours still. Go eat and nap. Call me in 2 hours? OK?” quietly said my wife
“Alright, email Red if there’s an update. He’s standing duty.”

We said good-bye for the time being. I grabbed a quick bite, and then I ran to the ready room to talk to Red.

“Hey, if my wife emails you, come get me. She’s having the baby.” I said nervously.
Congrats, man. You’re having a hell of a day. I watched the last flight. Good thing New Guy didn’t actually hit the deck.” jokingly said Red
“Seriously. Of course Dumps is on paddles screaming ‘Power!’ That wakes you up pretty quickly and gets you back on your game. New Guy did all right though. He missed the landing the first time, and the second pass – well, he did almost hit the deck, but he powered up, and came back around. He landed perfectly on the 3rd wire the 3rd try. It never ceases to amaze me that after you get through landing on a carrier for the first time, you have to live through it over and over again with all these new pilots.” I replied with more enthusiasm than I thought I had in me.
“Right. Well, he didn’t need to tank. That’s good. I had to my first time.” said Red
“The last New Guy had tank midair. All right, I need shut eye.” I said
“I’ll take you off the schedule. Good luck with your wife. You having a boy or a girl?”
“Don’t know. She thinks it’s a boy. So I guess we’re probably having a boy. See ya, Man.”

Marc said...

Greg - glad I managed to pull the surprise off, as I was concerned I'd given it away too soon.

Love this scene, for so many reasons :D

Morganna - ... until we come crashing down :P

Mo - can't even imagine being that far away when Max was born. I'd be going out of my head.