Welcome to Spot Writers! The September 2014 prompt is to use the following five words: bubbles, airplane, attention, facts, solved. This week’s contribution comes from Kathy L. Price, author of Down the nanoTubes (soon to be released).
Initially being lazy, Kathy used all five words in one sentence: I solved the problem of having bubbles develop in the model airplane fuselage by paying close attention to the application directions and reading the facts listed in the epoxy brochure.
Here’s her short story:
by Kathy L. Price
Silver Flash, an old Cherokee 140 airplane, sat on the tarmac at a small airfield in New Brunswick, Georgia, patiently waiting. He was up for sale and knew his owner was expecting a potential buyer to show up later in the evening. In preparation, Flash had been washed and fueled, vacuumed and polished. He hoped the person coming to see him tonight would be a good pilot. Everyone who had come to look at him so far had very little experience and were looking to buy their very first airplane. He was tired of their lack of confidence. Flash had done his share of teaching but he was older now and just wanted to be able to relax with someone at the controls who knew what their were doing. He hoped the person coming to look at him tonight would be someone who really knew how to fly and liked to go places. Flash’s current owner was competent but had gotten busy with other things and did not seem to have a lot of time to take him flying. That meant Flash spent at lot of time on the ground and he had become very bored.
Flash began plotting how he could get rid of this buyer if it turned out he, or she, wasn’t very good. He thought about how he might put bubbles into the fuel and cause the engine to quit. If he did it when they were up in the air, it would let him know right away if this potential buyer really knew how to fly or not. He wouldn’t let them crash, though. He’d make sure they all came through safely. Maybe it was selfish and mean, but he was getting too cranky to patiently put up with all the mistakes new pilots typically made.
Finally, a car pulled into the parking lot. A man and woman got out, made their way onto the airfield, and eventually wandered over to where Flash was tied down. These people had to be the potential buyers. Flash listened intently as they looked him over and it sounded as if the man knew a lot about airplanes. He pointed out to the woman all the good things he saw and even showed her, to Flash’s embarrassment, some of his warts.
After a few minutes, Flash’s owner showed up and talked briefly with the buyers. They discussed Flash’s history and exchanged the pertinent facts about engine time, the airframe, and all the equipment on board. Finally, his owner said, “Let’s go flying!”
Flash’s owner was a little on the heavy side. The potential buyer was no light-weight, either, and his wife wasn’t slim. Flash’s tanks were full of fuel, which weighed 6.5 pounds a gallon, and with all three of the people on board, Flash knew he’d be over his manufacturer’s rated weight limit. He was strong, though, and was confident he could handle it.
As Flash raced down the runway, he quickly reached airspeed and, despite the heavy load, leaped easily into the sky. He loved to fly and wanted it to show. He belonged in the air. He didn’t want to stay tied up on the ground.
The timing and the weather this evening were perfect, too. Flash couldn’t have asked for better and he climbed out just as the sun was setting in the west. It painted the sky with pink and orange, lavender and gold. As they banked out to the east, over the Atlantic Ocean and the barrier islands just off the coast, the sky darkened to a deep, deep blue. The big, full moon reflected beams of silver which danced like diamonds on the water below. It was all very romantic. He hoped he was making a good impression.
The potential buyer’s hand were steady, sure, and confident on the controls. Flash had been able to tell, right away, the man had a lot of experience, a lot hours in the air. He asked Flash to do some Dutch rolls to demonstrate his coordination and a stall to see if Flash was rigged efficiently. Flash easily passed all the tests with flying colors and he decided he wouldn’t have to put bubbles in the fuel after all. This man knew how to fly! After an hour or so cruising along the coast, they turned and headed back to the airfield. By now, it was dark and they used the radio to click on the lights for the runway. The man landed him perfectly.
The buyers agreed to meet his owner again in the morning and took Flash’s log books back to their hotel. Flash knew there had been some manufacturing recalls which had been fixed and a few minor mechanical problems had also been solved over the years. All of the information should have been entered in his log books, though, and he hoped they were in order.
Early the next day, Flash saw the man and woman meet his owner in the parking lot. He hoped so much they would buy him. They didn’t come out to see him again and Flash wondered what was happening. All night long Flash had been on pins and needles, thinking up all sorts of exciting new adventures he might have if they did. Where did they live? How often would they fly? Where would they go? To interesting places? Or would they just stay in a small area, landing at the same old airfields over and over again? That would be boring. Had they decided not to buy him after all?
Days went by and Flash was left to wait and wonder. He didn’t see his owner again or the new people and his hopes began to fade. He began to feel like he was going to sit in the same old spot on this same, boring little airfield forever.
Finally, early the next Saturday morning, he saw them in the parking lot: his owner and the new people. They talked for awhile then came over to Flash.
Hurray! Hurray! They’d bought him after all. The new owner, Ron, climbed into the cockpit. He took Flash up into the air and they flew off together to a new life full of travel and adventure.
The Spot Writers—our members.
Catherine A. MacKenzie