Saturday, April 4, 2009

Short Story Saturday

its been awhile. Lets see what I can do....

     The azure blue sky was dotted with white, fluffy clouds that, upon inspection from the ground, closely resembled sheep. The man wasn't on the ground, however, he was in his favorite 2 seat plane, nicknamed 'Jenny'. Why Jenny? He wasn't sure. The name just seemed to suit her.
     Checking his gauges, he was satisfied with the altitude he had gained, with the amount of fuel he had left, and the quiet hum of a sweet running plane. 
     He'd started flying for practical reasons. It had cut down very much on his driving time when he needed to take his daughter back to her mother. It also made family vacation commute times much, much shorter. But the flying became a solace to him. A quiet place, where he could be up in the sky, with himself, and his thoughts. Where no one was asking him for something. Where his cell phone didn't ring. He was alone, and blessedly so.
     It wasn't that he didn't love his family. He valued every minute he spent with them. But these moments alone, they made him a better man. These moments made it easier, somehow, for him to be a part of things on the ground. The time he spent alone in the sky balanced him.
     Adjusting his sunglasses, he looked around, admiring the view from above. He was above farmland, now, different patches of crops adorned in their spring colors, looking like a colorful crazy quilt on the ground. Dotted here and there, looking like industrial ants scurrying about, were the farmers themselves, usually driving a piece of heavy equipment. One or two of them would stop and look up at him, if he ventured down close enough to get their attention. He seldom did, preferring to be in the arms of the sky, not flirting with the ground below. He did enjoy flying low when he came across a pasture filled with sheep, though. For some reason, watching them all run madly at the sight of his plane always made him chuckle. He could imagine their angry bleats. Plus, it was good practice for the possibility of an emergency landing, which, knock on wood, he'd never had to do, yet.
     Looking out over the horizon,  he could see nothing but sunshine, and fluff ball clouds. It was a bit windy today, and the clouds were sailing through the sky, looking for their destination. At times, he envied them. Always up in the atmosphere, in the quiet. But when that thought crossed his mind, he thought of all the happy noises on the ground he would miss, were he always skybound. He stopped to consider this thought, wondering "If I were always in the sky, would I want to go to the ground for a time out? Would the land help me find my balance?" he wondered if birds felt that way. Then, he shook his head at his foolishness, laughing a little bit to himself. "I'm getting silly with altitude" he thought. 
     Seeing a pasture filled with sheep, he banked, swung around, and made them run. Too late, he saw the farmer and the herding dogs, the farmer looking up at the sky, shaking his head, and, if his vision served him, shaking a fist at him. The dogs, though, looked overjoyed at the scattered flock, darting to and fro, gathering up their bleating targets. "Sorry" he muttered in the direction of the farmer, and, tilting upward, began to climb again.
       "That will make a fun story for the dinner table, though" he thought, and laughed out loud. Thinking of the table made him think of his family, at home. Suddenly, he missed them. He wanted to be with them. His time of solitude now seemed oppressive. Turning, he faced his plane towards home, balanced again.
     The farmer watched the plane leave, and sighed. "Wish I knew how to fly" he thought, as he brought his bandanna up over his face to protect it from the dust and stench of his still running sheep.


sybil law said...

Mie likey... !

CDB said...

Wow.. interesting perspective change! My dad was a private pilot most of my life, and I can really relate to this. I love the line about flirtation with air vs. ground.

Anonymous said...

I'd give it an A.

I like the idea that time alone makes him a better man. I feel like time alone makes me a better mom.

Daryl said...

LOVED it .. didnt get to read it til now but I loved it ... MORE please

Bubblewench said...

very cool! like it..